The Battle for Canada’s Best Email Marketing Services

benefits of email marketingWhile digital marketing pundits of all shapes and sizes scream from the rooftops that “Email is dead!”, the simple fact remains: These jokers are dead wrong.

The numbers don’t lie and according to countless studies, email marketing is still more effective at engaging and converting users than any social media channel in existence.

In fact, some studies have shown that email is 7X more effective at generating sales than Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn… Combined!

But there’s a problem…

To the average SBO (small business owner), executing an effective email marketing campaign can seem more complicated than solving a 5×5 rubik’s cube while wearing a blindfold and riding a unicycle down a mountain.

And most entrepreneurs have struggled so profoundly with their email marketing that they’ve come to believe that succeeding at the email game requires you to chant in Latin while you sacrifice goats to the Owl God Molech.

Luckily for you (and our furry goat friends), when you have the right tools at your disposal, email marketing is actually pretty simple.

To help you cut through the crap and find the right email marketing service for your business, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite providers who will help you execute wildly profitable email campaigns in no time flat.

Let’s dive in.

Earnings disclosure: Some of the products we reviewed on this page contain affiliate links. Don’t hate us! It won’t cost you a dime extra to use our referral links and we use those proceeds to help cover costs of maintaining the website and doing research. Remember, we use our own money to pay for and review every product/service on this site so your support allows us to keep bringing you the most comprehensive and unbiased reviews on the whole interwebs!

The Four Horsemen of the Email Apocalypse


Narrowing down your options and selecting the right email provider can seem like a monumental task. But, at the end of the day, it’s actually pretty simple.

To ensure that you’re picking the right service, you only need to ask yourself 4 questions.

  1. How much budget do you have to put towards email marketing? Everyone is different and you want to make sure that you pick the service best suited to your budget
  2. Do you have the time to learn the new software? Some email marketing services are very beginner friendly but lack certain features. Others have a steep learning curve but offer endless options for segmentation and optimization. Be honest with yourself about how much functionality you really need and how much time you can realistically invest in learning a new program.
  3. What features do YOU need? Do you need A/B testing? List segmentation? Knowing which features you need will help you determine the provider that is right for you.
  4. Does the service in question offer reliable support? You are GOING to have some sort of technical issue at some point in your email marketing journey (sorry, but this is inescapable). You need to make sure that the provider you choose has the best support possible if you want to stand any chance of succeeding at the email marketing game.

With these questions in mind, here are our 5 favorite email service providers that will fit any budget, need, and time constraint you might have.


1. CONSTANTCONTACT.COM

Our Favorite Email Marketing Service

Visit ConstantContact.com

With an unbeatable 60 day free trial, Constant Contact offers some of the most robust and intuitive email marketing services in the business. With live chat, email support, and phone service, their customer support goes above and beyond the industry standard to ensure that you have all of the tools you need to succeed with their service (which is important because the learning curve with this software can be pretty steep).

In addition to their superb support, Constant Contact offers a plethora of unique features like the ability to schedule events from your dashboard, create downloadable coupons, and upload contacts into your database with a wide variety of methods. All in all it’s an excellent, user friendly service that is perfect for small business owners of all types.

  • PROS

     60-day Free Trial
    Great customer support
     An abundance of advanced features
     Affordable pricing that scales with your business

  • CONS

     Steep learning curve
    No A/B Testing (this is the biggest problem with the platform)


2. MAILCHIMP.COM

Perfect for Beginners

Visit Mailchimp.com

No budget? No problem! Unlike many other email service providers, MailChimp doesn’t just offer a free trial, they offer their service completely free for individuals with email lists under 2,000 subscribers who need to send fewer than 12,000 emails a month (6 unique emails total if sending to your entire list).

Once you graduate beyond the 2,000 subscriber level, MailChimp offers and abundance of fantastic paid packages as well (the price of which depends on the number of subscribers you have).

The main drawback to MailChimp’s free service is that they don’t allow for auto-responders (which would save you dozens of hours a month) or list segmentation which is a critical feature for ecommerce and info-product businesses.

MailChimp also offers live chat and email support for their customers (but no call support) and is a robust and feature rich platform that is ideal for businesses in all niches and of all sizes. Mailchimp also has some really easy to use integrations for WordPress sites.

  • PROS

     Free use of their service up to 2,000 subscribers
    Intuitive and easy to use
     Plenty of great features for paying customers

  • CONS

     No autoresponder or segmentation for free customers
    No live call support


3. AWEBER.COM

(Plenty of Features But a Higher Price Tag)

Visit AWeber.com

With Aweber, you’ll get your first 30 days for free after which you’ll pay a minimum of $19 a month (for a list of up to 500 subscribers). Where Aweber really separates itself from the competition is with its full service customer support that gives you access to an experienced support staff on call every day of the year (not to mention the chat/email support for less urgent matters).

Unlike Constant Contact, Aweber offers A/B testing to all customers so that you can easily determine the effectiveness of your various campaigns and they offer responsive email templates so that your emails will look (and function) beautifully no matter what device your audience is using to view them. Although the dashboard is fairly intuitive and easy to use, the service comes with a steep learning curve and can feel overwhelming for the novice marketer. Luckily, with a huge database and abundance of tutorials, webinars, and free training modules, anyone can master the nuances of Aweber in a relatively short amount of time.

My main point of contention with Aweber is that they cost a lot more than many of their competitors and, if you have a large email audience (above 25,000 subscribers) you’ll have to contact the company directly to get a quote for their services. That being said, Aweber is still an excellent service that offers a plethora of features and a myriad of methods for optimizing your marketing and turning your email list into a cash printing machine.

  • PROS

     30 Day free trial
    A/B Testing Available (Yay!)
     Full service customer support
     Comprehensive database to help you get started and troubleshoot potential problems.

  • CONS

     You have to contact the company to get a quote for services exceeding 25,000 subscribers (really guys?)
    Pricier than some of their more robust competitors.


4. GETRESPONSE.COM

Visit Getresponse.com

As with comedy, timing is everything when it comes to successfully executing your email marketing campaigns. With the average office worker receiving more than 120 emails everyday, it’s easy for your marketing messages to get lost in the chaos of your subscriber’s inboxes — If you don’t send them out at the right time.

Luckily, GetResponse offers a unique timing feature that will do all of the heavy lifting for you and help you determine exactly when you should send emails to your list in order to generate the highest open, click through, and conversion rate.

As with the other companies mentioned on this list, GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial to new customers and premium plans start at only $15 for 1,000 subscribers. The company offers comprehensive and effective customer support through email, chat, and over the phone support and has built a reputation in the industry as one of the easiest and most beginner friendly services on the market.

The primary drawback of GetResponse is that they don’t have any sort of event management tools. So if you run a traditional brick and mortar business, you’ll need a different software to handle that aspect of your business. Outside of this one small issue, GetResponse offers an excellent set of tools that work in any industry and cater to novice and veteran email marketers alike.

  • PROS

     Free 30 Day Trial
    A/B Testing to Optimize Campaign Efficiency
     Excellent Customer Support
     Abundant tutorials and resources to help you get started
     Timer feature to optimize CTRs and Opens

  • CONS

     No event management tools


5. ACTIVECAMPAIGN.COM

Visit Activecampaign.com

Despite their lackluster free trial (only 14 days) ActiveCampaign has carved out a significant chunk of the ESP (email service provider) industry for itself through its comprehensive marketing options and exceptionally feature rich platform.

With an abundance of split testing, timing, and autoresponder options, ActiveCampaign delivers everything that you need (and then some) to create effective and profitable email campaigns. Their service is especially tailored to business owners looking for one-on-one support and consulting pertaining to the growth of their email business. Although they don’t offer over the phone support, for $65 you can sit down for 30 minutes with one of their email marketing experts to get all of your burning questions answered. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to understand their service or just want some advice on improving the CTR of your next campaign, ActiveCampaign has you covered. (Note: This fee is waived for individuals who have purchased a higher tier subscription).

If you’re in the Chicago area, you can even set up an in-person meeting with one of their experts to get hands on help growing the email marketing side of your business.

Furthermore, at only $9/month for 500 subscribers, ActiveCampaign is one of the most affordable email marketing providers in the industry — Especially when you consider all of the features and support to which you’ll have access. If you’re into collecting customer data and getting feedback from your subscribers (which you should be) ActiveCampaign also offers an integration with Survey Monkey which is free up to 250 subscribers.

Oh, and you can even send out date-based emails so that you can pre plan sales notifications or wish your customers a happy birthday! All in all ActiveCampaign offers a robust email marketing service with a beginner friendly price point and an abundance of support options that is sure to please any business owner, regardless of the size or needs of their list.

  • PROS

     Affordable pricing
    Abundant list of features and integrations
     Option to speak or meet with certified email marketing experts
     Date based campaigns
     Great A/B testing tools

  • CONS

     14 Day Trial (too short)
     No (free) over the phone support

A Few Closing Thoughts


Email marketing has evolved tremendously in the past half decade or so and has quickly become one of the primary revenue drivers across every industry. Despite some outcries to the contrary, email is far from dead and is, according to all statistics and expert predictions, actually gaining traction as a marketing modality, making it more important than ever before that you have the right systems in place to ensure you aren’t leaving any money on the table.

But as with most things related to business, having the right tools is only half the battle. Take the time to educate yourself on the industry’s best practices and “growth hacks” and don’t overlook the abundant training modules and information that most ESPs provide.

With a little bit of marketing know-how and one of the tools we’ve shared in this guide, you’ll be off to the races in no time and will be able to transform your email list from a vanilla database into a lean, mean, profit producing machine. For more badass guides, real our detailed breakdown of the best web hosts in Canada.

What email marketing service do you currently use? Which one is your favorite? Have you used any of the services on this list? Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

benefits of email marketingWhile digital marketing pundits of all shapes and sizes scream from the rooftops that “Email is dead!”, the simple fact remains: These jokers are dead wrong.

The numbers don’t lie and according to countless studies, email marketing is still more effective at engaging and converting users than any social media channel in existence.

In fact, some studies have shown that email is 7X more effective at generating sales than Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn… Combined!

But there’s a problem…

To the average SBO (small business owner), executing an effective email marketing campaign can seem more complicated than solving a 5×5 rubik’s cube while wearing a blindfold and riding a unicycle down a mountain.

And most entrepreneurs have struggled so profoundly with their email marketing that they’ve come to believe that succeeding at the email game requires you to chant in Latin while you sacrifice goats to the Owl God Molech.

Luckily for you (and our furry goat friends), when you have the right tools at your disposal, email marketing is actually pretty simple.

To help you cut through the crap and find the right email marketing service for your business, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite providers who will help you execute wildly profitable email campaigns in no time flat.

Let’s dive in.

Earnings disclosure: Some of the products we reviewed on this page contain affiliate links. Don’t hate us! It won’t cost you a dime extra to use our referral links and we use those proceeds to help cover costs of maintaining the website and doing research. Remember, we use our own money to pay for and review every product/service on this site so your support allows us to keep bringing you the most comprehensive and unbiased reviews on the whole interwebs!

The Four Horsemen of the Email Apocalypse


Narrowing down your options and selecting the right email provider can seem like a monumental task. But, at the end of the day, it’s actually pretty simple.

To ensure that you’re picking the right service, you only need to ask yourself 4 questions.

  1. How much budget do you have to put towards email marketing? Everyone is different and you want to make sure that you pick the service best suited to your budget
  2. Do you have the time to learn the new software? Some email marketing services are very beginner friendly but lack certain features. Others have a steep learning curve but offer endless options for segmentation and optimization. Be honest with yourself about how much functionality you really need and how much time you can realistically invest in learning a new program.
  3. What features do YOU need? Do you need A/B testing? List segmentation? Knowing which features you need will help you determine the provider that is right for you.
  4. Does the service in question offer reliable support? You are GOING to have some sort of technical issue at some point in your email marketing journey (sorry, but this is inescapable). You need to make sure that the provider you choose has the best support possible if you want to stand any chance of succeeding at the email marketing game.

With these questions in mind, here are our 5 favorite email service providers that will fit any budget, need, and time constraint you might have.


1.
CONSTANTCONTACT.COM

Our Favorite Email Marketing Service

Visit Constantcontact.com

With an unbeatable 60 day free trial, Constant Contact offers some of the most robust and intuitive email marketing services in the business. With live chat, email support, and phone service, their customer support goes above and beyond the industry standard to ensure that you have all of the tools you need to succeed with their service (which is important because the learning curve with this software can be pretty steep).

In addition to their superb support, Constant Contact offers a plethora of unique features like the ability to schedule events from your dashboard, create downloadable coupons, and upload contacts into your database with a wide variety of methods. All in all it’s an excellent, user friendly service that is perfect for small business owners of all types.

  • PROS

     60-day Free Trial
    Great customer support
     An abundance of advanced features
     Affordable pricing that scales with your business

  • CONS

     Steep learning curve
    No A/B Testing (this is the biggest problem with the platform)


2. MAILCHIMP.COM

Perfect for Beginners

Visit Mailchimp.com

No budget? No problem! Unlike many other email service providers, MailChimp doesn’t just offer a free trial, they offer their service completely free for individuals with email lists under 2,000 subscribers who need to send fewer than 12,000 emails a month (6 unique emails total if sending to your entire list).

Once you graduate beyond the 2,000 subscriber level, MailChimp offers and abundance of fantastic paid packages as well (the price of which depends on the number of subscribers you have).

The main drawback to MailChimp’s free service is that they don’t allow for auto-responders (which would save you dozens of hours a month) or list segmentation which is a critical feature for ecommerce and info-product businesses.

MailChimp also offers live chat and email support for their customers (but no call support) and is a robust and feature rich platform that is ideal for businesses in all niches and of all sizes. Mailchimp also has some really easy to use integrations for WordPress sites.

  • PROS

     Free use of their service up to 2,000 subscribers
    Intuitive and easy to use
     Plenty of great features for paying customers

  • CONS

     No autoresponder or segmentation for free customers
    No live call support


3. AWEBER.COM

(Plenty of Features But a Higher Price Tag)

Visit Aweber.com

With Aweber, you’ll get your first 30 days for free after which you’ll pay a minimum of $19 a month (for a list of up to 500 subscribers). Where Aweber really separates itself from the competition is with its full service customer support that gives you access to an experienced support staff on call every day of the year (not to mention the chat/email support for less urgent matters).

Unlike Constant Contact, Aweber offers A/B testing to all customers so that you can easily determine the effectiveness of your various campaigns and they offer responsive email templates so that your emails will look (and function) beautifully no matter what device your audience is using to view them. Although the dashboard is fairly intuitive and easy to use, the service comes with a steep learning curve and can feel overwhelming for the novice marketer. Luckily, with a huge database and abundance of tutorials, webinars, and free training modules, anyone can master the nuances of Aweber in a relatively short amount of time.

My main point of contention with Aweber is that they cost a lot more than many of their competitors and, if you have a large email audience (above 25,000 subscribers) you’ll have to contact the company directly to get a quote for their services. That being said, Aweber is still an excellent service that offers a plethora of features and a myriad of methods for optimizing your marketing and turning your email list into a cash printing machine.

  • PROS

     30 Day free trial
    A/B Testing Available (Yay!)
     Full service customer support
     Comprehensive database to help you get started and troubleshoot potential problems.

  • CONS

     You have to contact the company to get a quote for services exceeding 25,000 subscribers (really guys?)
    Pricier than some of their more robust competitors.


4. GETRESPONSE.COM

Visit Getresponse

As with comedy, timing is everything when it comes to successfully executing your email marketing campaigns. With the average office worker receiving more than 120 emails everyday, it’s easy for your marketing messages to get lost in the chaos of your subscriber’s inboxes — If you don’t send them out at the right time.

Luckily, GetResponse offers a unique timing feature that will do all of the heavy lifting for you and help you determine exactly when you should send emails to your list in order to generate the highest open, click through, and conversion rate.

As with the other companies mentioned on this list, GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial to new customers and premium plans start at only $15 for 1,000 subscribers. The company offers comprehensive and effective customer support through email, chat, and over the phone support and has built a reputation in the industry as one of the easiest and most beginner friendly services on the market.

The primary drawback of GetResponse is that they don’t have any sort of event management tools. So if you run a traditional brick and mortar business, you’ll need a different software to handle that aspect of your business. Outside of this one small issue, GetResponse offers an excellent set of tools that work in any industry and cater to novice and veteran email marketers alike.

  • PROS

     Free 30 Day Trial
    A/B Testing to Optimize Campaign Efficiency
     Excellent Customer Support
     Abundant tutorials and resources to help you get started
     Timer feature to optimize CTRs and Opens

  • CONS

     No event management tools


5. ACTIVECAMPAIGN.COM

Visit Activecampaign.com

Despite their lackluster free trial (only 14 days) ActiveCampaign has carved out a significant chunk of the ESP (email service provider) industry for itself through its comprehensive marketing options and exceptionally feature rich platform.

With an abundance of split testing, timing, and autoresponder options, ActiveCampaign delivers everything that you need (and then some) to create effective and profitable email campaigns. Their service is especially tailored to business owners looking for one-on-one support and consulting pertaining to the growth of their email business. Although they don’t offer over the phone support, for $65 you can sit down for 30 minutes with one of their email marketing experts to get all of your burning questions answered. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to understand their service or just want some advice on improving the CTR of your next campaign, ActiveCampaign has you covered. (Note: This fee is waived for individuals who have purchased a higher tier subscription).

If you’re in the Chicago area, you can even set up an in-person meeting with one of their experts to get hands on help growing the email marketing side of your business.

Furthermore, at only $9/month for 500 subscribers, ActiveCampaign is one of the most affordable email marketing providers in the industry — Especially when you consider all of the features and support to which you’ll have access. If you’re into collecting customer data and getting feedback from your subscribers (which you should be) ActiveCampaign also offers an integration with Survey Monkey which is free up to 250 subscribers.

Oh, and you can even send out date-based emails so that you can pre plan sales notifications or wish your customers a happy birthday! All in all ActiveCampaign offers a robust email marketing service with a beginner friendly price point and an abundance of support options that is sure to please any business owner, regardless of the size or needs of their list.

  • PROS

     Affordable pricing
    Abundant list of features and integrations
     Option to speak or meet with certified email marketing experts
     Date based campaigns
     Great A/B testing tools

  • CONS

     14 Day Trial (too short)
     No (free) over the phone support

A Few Closing Thoughts


Email marketing has evolved tremendously in the past half decade or so and has quickly become one of the primary revenue drivers across every industry. Despite some outcries to the contrary, email is far from dead and is, according to all statistics and expert predictions, actually gaining traction as a marketing modality, making it more important than ever before that you have the right systems in place to ensure you aren’t leaving any money on the table.

But as with most things related to business, having the right tools is only half the battle. Take the time to educate yourself on the industry’s best practices and “growth hacks” and don’t overlook the abundant training modules and information that most ESPs provide.

With a little bit of marketing know-how and one of the tools we’ve shared in this guide, you’ll be off to the races in no time and will be able to transform your email list from a vanilla database into a lean, mean, profit producing machine. For more badass guides, real our detailed breakdown of the best web hosts in Canada.

What email marketing service do you currently use? Which one is your favorite? Have you used any of the services on this list? Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

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The Best Email Marketing Services of 2018
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