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One-Stop Buyer’s Guide for Email Marketing Platforms

The marketing automation industry has exploded over the last decade. Back in 2012, there were only about 30 email automation software solutions on the market. Today, that number has grown to over 750 email marketing systems.

That’s a LOT of software companies to choose from! Some of them are very good and some of them? Not so great.

As someone who spends a lot of time researching software companies in the automation space, I know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be to sift through that much information and then try to make a choice.

That’s why I’ve decided to create this ultimate buyer’s guide, a one-stop-shop for learning everything that you need to know about different email automation tools.

You can expect to find useful information here about how the top companies stack up against each other to speed up your research and decision-making process.

I’ll be covering everything from best-of lists, individual product reviews, comparisons between products, rating guides, pricing comparisons, tutorials, and free resources.

As I create new content, I’ll also make sure to link it back here. Then, you’ll always have access to all of the resources that I’ve created.

Tops Picks, Guides, Reviews and Resources for Email Marketing Systems

If you’re like me, you just want to skip to the good stuff without all the reading.

Below are summaries with the links to the more detailed content, if interested.

Towards the bottom of this post you will find guidance information on how to choose the best automation software for your needs.

My Top Picks for Email Marketing Systems

Best Overall Email Automation Solution
Best Email Automation for Small Business
➡️ 30 Day Free Trial
Visit Website
Best Free Email Automation Solution
➡️ Freemium Account
Visit Website
Lasso Brag

Active Campaign, Moosend and Gist are among my favorite e-mail marketing providers due to a combination of their price point, ease of use and unique features they provide to small business owners. You can read more details about each of them below.

Best Email Marketing Software List

  1. Active Campaign
  2. Active Campaign
    ➡️ 14 Day Free Trial

    Use this email marketing platform to build an impressive customer journey that allows you to grow your list, engage and convert leads into buyers.

    Visit Website Our Review

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  3. Moosend
  4. Moosend
    ➡️ 30 Day Free Trial

    Moosend is an email marketing platform with marketing automations for managing multiple email campaigns, mailing lists, newsletters, and more.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  5. Gist
  6. Gist
    ➡️ Freemium Account

    Gist is a unified marketing, sales, and support platform. It includes live chat, a help desk, email marketing, marketing automation + more.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  7. Get Response
  8. Get Response
    ➡️ Freemium Account

    GetResponse is a complete online marketing software that helps you grow your audience, engage with customers, and boost online sales.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  9. AWeber
  10. Aweber
    ➡️ Freemium Account

    AWeber is one of the world's leading email marketing and automation providers, and allows users to easily create & track the performance of email marketing.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  11. MailerLite
  12. Mailerlite
    ➡️ Freemium Account

    MailerLite is an email marketing software designed to help people of all skill levels create professional and personalized marketing campaigns on their own.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  13. Constant Contact
  14. Constant Contact
    ➡️ 60 Day Free Trial

    Constant Contact helps you drive sales, grow your customer base and engage your audience with powerful, easy-to-use digital marketing tools.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  15. Pabbly
  16. Pabbly
    ➡️ 14 Day Free Trial

    Pabbly Plus is a complete business management bundle that takes care of all your sales & marketing needs, and saves you from using multiple services.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

  17. OmniSend
  18. Omnisend
    ➡️ Freemium Account

    Omnisend is an Email & SMS marketing platform used by 70,000+ ecommerce merchants who want to increase sales, not the workload.

    Visit Website

    I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

    Lasso Brag

Below is an in-depth article comparing the top e-mail marketing automation solutions available:

Best Choice Buyer'S Guide: Email Automation Software (2023) Email Automation Software

Email Marketing System Reviews by Product

Best Overall Email Automation Solution
Active Campaign
➡️ 14 Day Free Trial

Use this email marketing platform to build an impressive customer journey that allows you to grow your list, engage and convert leads into buyers.

Visit Website Our Review
I may earn a commission if you try it, love it + buy it.

How to choose the right email marketing system for your business

If you’ve been looking into these types of tools and haven’t found one that works for you, then hopefully this guide will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Come with me as we explore the wonderful world of email automation software!

If you’re a small to medium-sized business, this guide is right up your alley! When you are a small business owner it’s hard to find the time or resources to compare every single marketing automation software out there. I get it, which is why this guide focuses specifically on email marketing software designed with SMBs in mind.

What is email automation?

Before we start, let’s talk about what email automation is. Email automation is a process by which emails are sent according to predefined rules based on certain triggers. For example, if someone subscribes to your email list then they might receive an automated welcome series that contains helpful information or links for them. Perhaps after seven days, they will receive another email to see if they want to continue receiving emails from your business. This is but one example of an email automation process.

Types of email automation software

There are two main types of tools that you can use for automating your email marketing efforts. These are known as cloud-based and on-premise software.


Cloud-based software is exactly as the name implies. It’s hosted in a cloud where all of your data and files can be accessed from any device, anywhere. The only requirement is that you need to have an internet connection to access your account and data.


On-premise means the tool you use will be hosted on your local network or computer instead of out in the cloud with most other options. On-premise tools are generally slower than their counterparts because they have to communicate over a much longer distance. This being said, there are some very popular on-premise email automation software programs available today, so they’re not something that should be overlooked.

What to look for in email automation software?

When you’re looking into different email automation tools, there are a few main features and aspects that you should take a look at. These include:

  • Price
  • Customer Support
  • Features
  • Ease of use


This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need to make sure that the tool you choose has a price level that fits within your budget and business model. Some tools are very expensive while others are fairly affordable. Make sure to do your research and find one that fits well for you.

Customer Support

The customer support offered by email automation software is, in my opinion, essential to look at when making a decision. I’ve seen way too many businesses get stuck using an email automation tool because they get stuck on something very simple, and then they can’t get ahold of customer support to help them. Not only is this super frustrating for companies, but it’s also extremely embarrassing because now customers know that you’re not being very effective at utilizing the software you chose.


Features are important to look at when running your business so you know exactly what functions are available with the tool you choose. You might need to be able to create automation rules, set timers for certain emails to go out at a designated time after someone has subscribed, etc. If there are any specific functions that your business needs then you’ll want to find an email automation software with these capabilities.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is also very important for your business to look into. If you have less tech-savvy team members then the tool should be very simple and easy to understand so they’re able to implement it without training. If your team is more advanced, then there might be some need for a tool with more advanced features and functions that are more customizable.


Your email automation software should be able to integrate with other tools that are already being used at your business. This way you can make sure everything is working together well without having different systems confusing your team members.

Reviews and Ratings

Finally, you want to check out what other people are saying about the email automation tool. Check out reviews and ratings from different sources to make sure it will be a good fit for your business needs.

What to consider in pricing for email automation software?

When choosing a price for your email automation software, you need to think about the cost-effectiveness of the tool. If it’s going to make your business more effective and efficient, then it might be worth looking into later on down the road when you have more money available in your budget. In addition to this, if you choose an email automation tool that’s only going to give you a few features, then it might be best to look into one with a higher price point because it will offer more and better functions.

Many email automation tools scale their pricing based on the number of subscribers you have. If you are a small business with only a few subscribers, then there’s still a good chance you can get email automation software for pretty cheap while some of the bigger companies with hundreds of thousands of people on their lists might be looking at higher-priced plans.

Consider the following:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • The features available with the tool
  • How many subscribers you have
  • Free trial or freemium account version availability

What should you consider regarding customer support for email automation systems?

The customer support offered through an email automation system is very important because it can make or break a business. You might need support for a simple issue, and you shouldn’t have any problems getting in touch with someone to help you. At the same time, some companies offer terrible customer support that just leaves you stuck and frustrated at your computer screen wondering what you’re supposed to do next.

Your email automation system should offer some sort of customer support that is there for your team members when they need it so they can use the tool properly and effectively. You want to have good relationships with your customers, so offering great service through every interaction will help you earn their business in the long term.

Consider the following:

  • Onboarding Process
  • Training
  • Knowledge Base
  • Video Library
  • Hours of Availability
  • Phone Support
  • Email Support
  • Chat Support
  • Social Media Support

What should you consider regarding ease of use for email automation systems?

Email automation systems should be extremely easy to use and understand so that anyone in your business can take advantage of it. If you chose an email automation software with great features but terrible ease-of-use, then nobody is going to want to use the tool because they get frustrated easily or don’t have time for a lot of training.

Ease of use is extremely important because it can make or break your business. When you are using email automation software, the last thing you want is to have a lot of confusion or problems because it will drive your team members away from the platform.

Consider the following:

  • How long does it take to onboard someone?
  • How much training is required?
  • Is it simple enough for anyone to use?
  • Does the tool have a great user interface?
  • Do they offer great documentation and/or video library for training?

What should you consider regarding integrations with other tools for email automation software?

Integration with other tools is very important for your business because it can save you time and money. If you’re using several different customer relationship management (CRM) tools, then integrating them will sync up all of your data so it’s in the same place. On top of this, if you have an email automation system and a billing system to keep track of payments, integrating them will put all of your data together.

Don’t settle for an email automation system without integrations with other tools because it’s going to cost you time and money in the long term when you have to manually enter information between two or more systems. Consider how many different platforms are integrated with your particular email automation software, as well as how it integrates with your current software.

Consider the following:

  • What other tools are integrated with your email automation platform?
  • What platforms does it integrate with?
  • Does it sync up all of your data so you don’t have to do extra work?
  • How much time and money will you save on collecting all the same information in one place?
  • What should you consider regarding value for money spent on email automation systems?

What should you consider when looking at reviews and ratings for email automation software solutions?

You want to make sure that you can trust your email automation system. Look for reviews of the company and their products, as well as what people say about their customer support experience. If a particular company has loads of bad reviews from their customers who were dissatisfied with their products or lack of assistance, it’s probably time to find a new one.

On the flip side, if a company has a lot of good reviews and ratings from customers who loved their products and service, it’s a much better choice because you can feel confident about your purchase.

Consider the following:

  • What do they say about customer service?
  • How reliable is their platform?
  • What do they say about their integrations with other tools?
  • What are some of the most frequent complaints about email automation systems?
  • What are some of the most frequent compliments about email automation systems?

The benefits of an email automation software

Email automation software provides a lot of useful features so you can keep your business running smoothly. Some of the main benefits are listed below:

Allows you to find sales leads on autopilot  – This is one of the most popular functions, especially for small businesses just starting out. After someone subscribes to your list you can set it up to be sent directly to the designated email automation software. Here, it will wait for a certain period (usually 24 or 48 hours) before it is automatically sent back out to the subscriber. If they still show interest in your business by opening up and clicking inside of this email, then there’s no doubt that they’re a good lead. This software takes out the leg work and you’ll find better and higher quality leads because of it.

Customize emails to upsell and cross sell

The tool you choose should allow customization so that your potential customers can be matched up with products or services that they might need. You can also set up scheduling with this tool, so if someone subscribes to newsletters or blog updates you can set it to go out every month instead of every day. That’s a lot more beneficial because it’ll be a lot less spammy and they’ll have the chance to read through it.


Some email automation software has reporting that is extremely beneficial for businesses because you can see which leads are converting into sales, what products or services are being sold the most, etc. Again, this takes out a lot of the leg work when it comes to running your business, so you can focus more on making money.

Manage unsubscribes and complaints

This is probably one of the most important functions to look at. If you’re getting a lot of unsubscribes or complainers then something needs to change. Marketing strategies are constantly changing, so what worked best back in 2011 might not work today. Email automation software allows you to closely monitor these problems so you can see exactly what someone complained about or unsubscribed from. You can then use that information to help better your content for future email campaigns.


Email automation software allows you to do a lot of segmentation in a list. This means that you can sort your leads in different categories so they receive certain emails in their inbox depending on what service or product they signed up for, etc. This is a very important function because you don’t want to send out an email going over something that the subscriber has no interest in.

A/B Testing

Testing emails is very important when it comes to sending out a mass email campaign. You don’t want to have any mistakes or typos because you’ll come off as unprofessional and like you aren’t even trying. That’s why it’s good to set up an email automation software where you can test out different email templates. This way, you can find the best format that gets results and improve your success rate.

Empower team members with automated workflows

This is a great tool for business owners because it allows you to empower your team members by giving them the ability to have certain tasks done automatically through the tool. Team members can have tasks assigned to them through a simple drag and drop function, so they’re not having to dig around the backend of a program for information that might be useful in their work.

Build trust with automated email

When people subscribe or sign up for something there’s always a fear that they’ll get spammed and the business won’t be trustworthy. The easiest way to calm these fears is by sending an email out automatically, letting subscribers know that you’ll be in touch with them soon. This is essential for building trust and keeping your customers happy so they don’t leave.

Business owners should look into email automation software because it’s going to help them save time and money while also maximizing efficiency. Some other functions include A/B testing, analytics, social media integration, and much more.

It’s always best to look into what email automation software can do for your business to see if it’s worth the investment. Some are extremely affordable but still provide a lot of great features for your specific needs.

What do you use email automation for?

Most businesses have a variety of different types of emails they need to send out daily. Some are transactional, some are informational, and some are any combination of the two. Sending out these types of emails is a great way to engage with current and potential customers while networking and building customer loyalty. A few examples that come to mind:

  • Emails letting your client know when you’re going to be sending them their new product in the mail
  • A monthly newsletter showcasing some fun things you’ve been up to and a few new products you’ve added for your customers
  • Sending out appointment reminders to people who have made appointments with you in the past

So what’s the easiest way to send all these emails? Email automation software allows you to quickly create templates, set schedules, and automatically populate them with data from various points of customer information.

Features of email automation tools

Before we jump into all the wonderful things that email automation software can do for you, let’s cover a few basics first. When deciding on an email automation software product to use, there are many different types of features you should look for:

Email Management

This allows you to send emails at specific times (when someone subscribes, etc) and schedule emails in advance.

Email Templates

This allows you to create reusable email templates and apply them quickly and easily when you need to send out an email campaign or reminder.

Tracking & Reports

This provides you with reports on how many people opened your emails and clicked through to specific links so you can analyze the data and optimize the effectiveness of your emails.


This provides you with a variety of different detailed analytics that can help you determine what’s working and what’s not working in your emails.


This is one of the best features because it allows you to add in specific personalization elements like a person’s name, company name, the department they work in, etc.

Scheduling & Automation

This is also one of the most important features because it allows you to automate your workflow by setting up repeat email campaigns and automatically populating them with data from various points of customer information.

Photo Source: SmartSheet

A/B Testing

This allows you to see which types of emails perform better based on open rates, click-throughs, and other analytics.

Integrations with Other Software

This allows you to integrate your software with other programs on the backend, which makes sending out emails easier and more convenient.

Some examples of email automation software are MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, InfusionSoft, etc. See if any of these products would be a good fit for your business and start checking out its features and benefits.


This allows you to see what channels (like Facebook, Twitter, etc) people are coming from so you can better serve your customers where they’re at.


Email automation software is becoming popular with all kinds of different businesses because it’s an effective way to find good marketing leads while also being able to keep in touch with website visitors and customers. With email automation tools you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to send out important emails again and you’ll be able to see which types of emails perform better.

Plus, getting started is easier to use than you might think!

Figure out what email automation tools or software you want to use and start trying them out. Most of them are free up to a certain number of emails sent per month so there’s no risk in giving it a shot. And if you still have questions make sure to hit the comment section and I’ll be sure to answer them as soon as possible!

Happy marketing, y’all!

This blog post was written with my AI writing assistant, Jasper.

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Best Choice Buyer'S Guide: Email Automation Software (2023) Email Automation Software
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