Social media and crowd-funding may be getting all the hype, but frankly the most effective way to make a sale or build an audience is through mailing lists.
You can maintain a mailing list in your email account or with WordPress plugins, but there are also many companies that offer free or paid email marketing services.
I used to be quite happy with Mailchimp, but recently I found their CS and features to be lacking. Now I user Mailerlite. It's cheaper, with better automation. BTW, while I can't recommend services I haven't used myself, I have heard nice things about Aweber.
Which one do you prefer? Do you know a good one that isn't on this list?
Edit: An earlier version of this list was published in April 2017. This updated version is more comprehensive and provides more detail.
|MailChimp||free, $10 to $199 per month||Merchant Maverick||One of the more heavily marketed services. Generally good quality, but also more expensive than many of its competitors.|
|Mailerlite||free, $10 to $50 per month||Email Tool Tester||I have heard from a lot of authors who have moved from MailChimp to Mailerlite because of cost. So far no one has regretted it.|
|MailMunch||free, $12 to $60 per month||Tools Insight||I've actually been using MM's forms plugin because they look nicer than MailChimp's form, but I don't think I would ever use MM to send an email. It's focused too much on sites rather than lists of subscribers.|
|Constant Contact||$20 to $335 per month||G2 Crowd||I've always gotten the impression this is more of a corporate tool than one for freelancers or solopreneurs. The emails I have gotten through CC have always looked dated and stuffy, like they were designed around 2005 for a govt agency.|
|Feedblitz||$7 to $300+ per month||n\a||This company got its start as a paid alternative to Feedburner. It has also offered email list management, but it's rather hard to find anyone who uses it. The latest reviews are from 2013.|
|Aweber||$20 to $150 per month||PC Magazine||Judging by the cost per email address, this is one of the pricier companies, and yet I have several clients that use it. Clearly they are getting something for their money.|
|MailBlast||$10 to $85 per month||ToolOwl||Another one that is hard to find reviews for.|
|HubSpot||free, $50 to $2400 per month||CRM Search||HubSpot is less an email marketing service than a general purpose marketing platform. Email mailing lists is just one feature.|
|SurveyGizmo||not stated||Capterra||See above.|
|ConvertKit||$30 to $80+ per month||Authority Hacker||I have had a couple experiences with ConvertKit's marketing team and found them to be smugly condescending nobs.|
|Pinpointe||$50 to $900 per month||G2 Crowd||n\a|
|Benchmark||free, $14 to $255 per month||Merchant Maverick||It does not come highly praised; several reviewers described it as buggy with a poorly designed UI.|
|Zoho||free, $5 to $350 per month||n\a||Like Hubspot and SurveyGizmo, Zoho is a general purpose marketing platform.|
|Campaigner||free, $20 to $550 per month||Next Advisor||Little known but highly rated, and rather expensive.|
|Vertical Response||free, $11 to $543 per month||G2 Crowd||With mediocre ratings, this company should not be first on your list.|
|Drip||free, $41 to $84+ per month||Capterra||n\a|
|Emma||$89 to $729 per month||G2 Crowd||Intended for universities, non-profits, and other large organizations. Not as expensive as it looks; the bottom tier supports 10,000 email addresses.|
|iContact||$14 to $239 per month||Merchant Maverick||While missing some basic capabilities like autoresponders and address import, you can use iContact to send surveys and engage with customers.|
|Get Response||$15 to $1200 per month||G2 Crowd||It offers many advanced features that you can try during a free trial, including Salesforce integration and flexible autoresponders.|
|Infusionsoft||$50 to $200 per month||PC Magazine||You will find more affordable options that are also more highly rated.|
|Send in Blue||free, $25 to $66 per month||G2 Crowd||Not easy to use, templates are underwhelming, and it lacks third-party integration.|