When it comes to email marketing, there are a lot of options out there that claim to be the best. Some are paid, some are free, while some offer to be free initially and then require you to pay for extra features on the back end.

But which ones are worth it?

Not all email services are created equal, but here’s a look at some of the most popular.

1. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the industry leaders when it comes to email software for the part-time side-hustler, as well as the full-time e-commerce juggernaut. MailChimp is perfect for users just getting their feet wet when it comes to online businesses, offering a free plan up to a certain subscriber limit, and custom autoresponders, unlimited emails, and pre-made templates designed to get your business off the ground.

2. Constant Contact

A step up from MailChimp is the email service known as Constant Contact. Though it offers no free plan or round-the-clock customer support lines, it does boast an impressive amount of features, such as segmentation, A/B testing, surveys, and integrated Google Analytics. The pricing may give you a bit of a shock, but with the free trial and money back guarantee, it’s worth a look.

3. Mailerlite

A relative newcomer on the email marketing block, Mailerlite is best characterized as a bare-bones email service that promises to be more user-friendly than most programs available. Though it doesn’t have the overwhelming amount of features as some of the more advanced systems do, it still provides the basics of automation, templates, scheduling, and Google Analytics.

4. Outbound Engine

Outbound Engine is a marketing software that primarily caters to professionals in the following industries: real estate, insurance, mortgage, financial advisors, promotional products, auto, wellness, home services, legal, and marketing agencies. The software’s primary offering is automated twice monthly newsletters to your contact list, filled with information that’s relevant and engaging. The software hopes to engage your mailing list to retain existing customers, while also pushing content out across your social media platforms to help you find additional prospects. These responsive newsletter templates make small business marketing much more manageable for the typical business owner. Prices for the basic package start at just $179, making this an affordable marketing solution for most companies. Check out product reviews for yourself!

5. Infusionsoft

By far one of the most robust platforms on the market, Infusionsoft has rightly earned the nickname amongst some as “confusion-soft.” Indeed, its features skew towards the more advanced, and the learning curve is particularly sharp, but some six and seven-figure entrepreneurs swear by it.

Though the analytics can seem lacking at times, Infusionsoft’s drag-and-drop automation features have revolutionized campaign building, and for the better. They also provide detailed coaching and support when you initially set up service, but trying to reach a representative after that can be frustrating. Add to that the jaw-dropping annual plans, ranging anywhere from $200 a month to over $5,000, and you’ll need to have a pretty legitimate business to justify using this service.

5. Zoho

For those looking to have not only a robust email service but also an integrated social media marketing campaign, Zoho could be what you’re looking for. Basic functionality like autoresponders come standard, but the interface looks antiquated, and there aren’t a lot of templates to choose from. Unless you need Zoho for the non-email aspects, it might be best to look elsewhere.

6. Pardot

Pardot begins its memberships at $1,000. Let that number sink in for a minute.

Even though this is the more direct competitor to companies like Infusionsoft, even this basic plan includes scoring leads, reporting, tracking prospects, email analytics, sales analysis, marketing calendar, and chat support.

As you move up in features, the prices go up as well, but at a rate significantly less than its competitors. For instance, Salesforce Engage, an option that will give you real-time access to interactions and content marketing, will set you back $50 a month; that same feature can be found in Infusionsoft for an extra $200.

Is it worth it? That depends on how intensely you plan on growing your business.

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