The best email marketing platforms for small business 2020: my top picks

The best email marketing platforms for small business 2020What are the best email marketing platforms for small business in 2020? It’s a bit of a trick question, because it’s always the one that’s aligned with your business goals. So there’s no definitive best platform out there that I can recommend to you.

While that might be the truth, I know it doesn’t help you find your way through the piles of email marketing and marketing automation platforms. So I thought it would help if I shared some of my favourite platforms I’ve been lucky enough to use for clients this year. This isn’t an exhaustive list – and I’m pretty sure I’ll discover some more as soon as I publish this post! – but they are platforms I’ve used and been impressed by.

Best for beginners and tiny lists

You’re just getting started with email marketing and you’re on a tight budget. You’re just finding your feet so you need a platform that’s easy to use and has a free plan. If this is you I recommend Mailerlite.

This niche used to be filled by Mailchimp, but Mailchimp changed its plans in May 2019, many people (especially free plan users) have migrated to Mailerlite and are loving it.

I’m planning a course on Mailerlite in early 2020 and if you’d like to know more about that please join my mailing list and I’ll email you when it’s ready.

Mailerlite allows you to set up automations and comes with built-in landing pages.

Best for simplicity but with more flexible tagging and segmenting than Mailerlite

If you want more than Mailerlite but don’t want to go as far as Active Campaign and Convertkit (see below), then check out Aweber. I’ve been with Aweber for years (full story here) and the customer services is excellent, plus I’ve never had a problem with affiliate marketing with Aweber, whereas affiliate marketing is against the terms of many platforms. Once you get to several thousand subscribers, Aweber is a good amount cheaper than Active Campaign and Convertkit, too.

I’ve found Aweber far more intuitive to use than Mailchimp and, as it’s been around longer than almost all of the other email marketing platforms out there, it integrates with many other tools you may already be using. For a demo of its newer features, take a look at this post.

Aweber also has a very helpful guide to email marketing called ‘What to write’ which you can download here.

Best for multiple products, multiple landing pages and automations

If your needs go well beyond fairly simple lists, landing pages and downloadable freebies, take a look at either Convertkit or Active Campaign. Both allow you to do more complex automations and to do more complex tagging and segmenting.  If you have multiple landing pages, lead magnets and products, then want to tag subscribers based on what they bought or downloaded, and send them emails based on those downloads then these platforms are the ones for you.

Convertkit has the edge when it comes to ready-to-go landing pages, Active Campaign has the edge if you want CRM features but both are really powerful for setting up automations. I especially like Convertkit’s WooCommerce integration, too.

Best for e-commerce

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Klaviyo until a couple of months ago but I’ve been blown away with how good it is for e-commerce. It even has pre-written email sequences (known as flows in Klaviyo), such as a post-purchase sequences and cart abandonment sequences. I’ve been using it with e-commerce platform Shopify and it integrates brilliantly. I’m definitely a fan.

As I said, these are just my favourites of the tools I’ve used. There are many more out there and what’s most important is that you pick the right tool for your business needs.

In my Free Business Toolkit I have much more advice and tutorials on streamlining your sales and marketing using tech  Click here to find out more.

This post contains affiliate links, but it also contains my honest opinion.

2 thoughts on “The best email marketing platforms for small business 2020: my top picks”

  1. I love ActiveCampaign and I’ve been able to set up some really great automations with it.

    However, you currently cannot add a CC or BCC recipient to an email you send through it. Very frustrating and something they need to add, but don’t seem in a rush to do so.

    • Thanks Karl, I really like ActiveCampaign too. Can you give me an example of when you might need a CC or BCC in a campaign? It’s not something I’ve come across and I’m curious!


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