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Small Businesses: You Need These Top 4 Email Marketing Software Tools

Looking to expand your small business's email marketing efforts? Here's a list of vetted email marketing tools to try in 2023.

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By Mayple staff
Michelle Meyer editor profile picture
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Updated December 4, 2023.

email marketing tools

With the potential to improve your ROI by a factor of 2-4, email marketing should be the cornerstone of any marketing strategy. It's a highly effective way to reach your target audience directly, nurture leads, and drive conversions.

But, with all the email marketing software tools out there, finding the right one for your business can be confusing. That's where we come in.

In this guide, we'll explore the key factors to consider when choosing an email marketing software tool, plus a few recommendations to get you started.

4 top email marketing software tools for small businesses

Our methodology: How we reviewed the best email marketing software tools

To find the best email marketing options, we compared several key factors including:

  • Range of features (templates, drag-and-drop editors, etc.)
  • Pricing (monthly vs. list size, overall cost)
  • Ease of use (beginner vs. advanced)
  • Integrations (number and variety)
  • Automation (workflow automation, autoresponders, etc.)

What is an email marketing tool?

An email marketing tool is any software or platform that helps you create, send, and track email campaigns.

It simplifies the process of designing emails, managing subscriber lists, analyzing campaign performance, etc. So, it's a great way for business owners like you to promote products, services, or information to a targeted audience via email.

» Want to sell without sounding salesy? Learn to use transactional emails like a pro


Cover image for MailChimp

Complete marketing and commerce toolkit

Easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder

Offers a free tier with basic features

Scalable pricing options

Automation limitations for complex B2B nurturing sequences

Challenges with integration with niche B2B tools

What sets MailChimp apart is its robust automation capabilities and sophisticated list segmentation, ensuring efficient and personalized email marketing.

For over 20 years, MailChimp's been the buddy small business owners lean on, giving them the same digital marketing tools that larger competitors enjoy. The platform boasts an impressive array of features for the price, including a user-friendly editor, Mailchimp surveys, a site builder, and A/B testing that allows you to optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.

  • Price — Starts at $9.90/month
  • Free trial — No, but there's a free plan
  • Ease of use — Easy for beginners

» Drive better email marketing results with these MailChimp A/B testing ideas


Cover image for ActiveCampaign

Automated email marketing at your fingertips

Budget-friendly plan for small businesses

Scalable pricing

Automation features

Integration with 870+ apps

May have a learning curve for beginners

Apart from its powerful automation capabilities, ActiveCampaign also offers advanced segmentation, personalization, and split testing options to optimize your email campaigns.

ActiveCampaign offers email marketing features like time-saving automation and seamless CRM integration for easy access to customer data. This is in addition to insightful site tracking, effective lead scoring, and even SMS messaging to add a personal touch to your outreach.

  • Price — Starts at $29/month
  • Free trial — Yes, 14 days
  • Ease of use — Intermediate

» Want to boost your sales and engagement? Consider these SMS strategy must-haves


Cover image for HubSpot

Your complete CRM platform

User-friendly dashboard

Basic CRM is free

Marketing hub available at a premium price

Free customizable email templates

Automated personalization

Powerful analytics and A/B testing

Multitude of features can be overwhelming initially

HubSpot is particularly effective for B2B businesses, thanks to features like lead scoring and pipeline management, which help you nurture and convert leads with precision and ease.

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing platform that seamlessly combines essential elements—CRM, landing pages, analytics—into one easy-to-use hub. Its email marketing capabilities are user-friendly, meaning you can set up and manage email campaigns "without waiting on designers or IT."

  • Price — Starts at $20/month
  • Free trial — No, but there's a free plan
  • Ease of use — Easy for beginners


Cover image for SnapAdvantage

Social media marketing you can measure

User-generated content to enhance credibility

Omnichannel marketing to cover all bases

Data-driven strategies

Balanced AI vs. people approach

Specializes in social media, text, and email marketing only

With the added bonus of an expert team on your side, your email marketing efforts are more likely to be successful.

Although primarily focusing on user-generated social media marketing, SnapAdvantage offers a robust email and text marketing service. To achieve effective omnichannel marketing, SnapAdvantage can help you combine your social media marketing efforts with text and email marketing campaigns—potentially generating 20-40x ROI monthly.

  • Price — Contact for a custom price
  • Free trial — No
  • Ease of use — Easy for beginners

What to look for in an email marketing tool

Choosing the right email marketing tool will depend on the specific needs of your business, the size of your email list, your budget, and the features you need for your email marketing campaigns. Here are the core criteria you can look at when evaluating email marketing tools:

  • Ease of use: Your email marketing software should be user-friendly with an intuitive interface. Time spent struggling with a tool is time taken away from core business activities.
  • Cost: Consider both the immediate costs and potential long-term costs as your subscriber list or feature needs grow.
  • Scalability: Make sure the software can cater to your needs as your business grows. Frequent platform switches can be disruptive and costly.
  • Integrations: Check for compatibility with other tools you use, like CRM systems, eCommerce platforms, and social media integrations. This can help to streamline workflows, maintain data consistency, and lead to more upsells and faster deals.
  • Segmentation features: Robust segmentation capabilities are essential for targeting different industries, company sizes, or stages in the buying cycle.
  • Personalization and automation: Personalized content can significantly enhance engagement. Look for tools that allow automated email workflows based on user behaviors or specified triggers.
  • Analytics and reporting: Comprehensive insights into open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more can guide strategy and improve campaigns over time.
  • Deliverability: Make sure the tool has a good reputation for getting emails into recipients' inboxes and not spam folders.
  • Templates and design: Access to well-designed, mobile-responsive templates can save time and ensure your emails look professional.
  • Customer support and community: A responsive support team and a vibrant user community can be invaluable, especially when you run into challenges or need tips.

Possible considerations and limitations

While these tools are good at some things, they also have limitations. Let's take a look at a few and see how each platform stacks up:


Mailchimp only comes with generic templates, and brands often have to create and save their own templates. HubSpot and Active Campaign offer a wider range of templates, allowing you to skip the hassle of writing a brand-new email every single time. SnapAdvantage is a marketing service, so they'll help you create unique content for your brand instead of utilizing templates.

Learning curves

ActiveCampaign's powerful features can be overwhelming for some, yet its CRM capabilities aren't as exhaustive as specialized CRMs. Meanwhile, the various options HubSpot offers can be downright daunting for beginners to navigate. Again, as a marketing service, SnapAdvanatge will be your partner through your marketing activities so the learning curve isn't necessarily big.

The cost factor

HubSpot's premium pricing may not make sense for some small B2Bs, and there's potential for platform lock-in, as migrating away from the platform after deep integration can be challenging. On the other hand, Mailchimp offers a cost-effective option with free tiers and scalability, while ActiveCampaign's prices can escalate as contacts increase. SnapAdvantage doesn't list specific pricing plans on their website. Instead, they request users to book a call.


As briefly mentioned, seamless integration with other business tools, such as CRM systems, is vital for B2B email marketing success. ActiveCampaign and HubSpot excel in integrations, while Zapier can bridge gaps for Mailchimp. SnapAdvantage doesn't mention any specific integrations.

Personalization and segmentation

In B2B email marketing, personalization and segmentation are of utmost importance. All of the email marketing software tools offer great options for personalization, including merge gaps, custom fields, and dynamic content.

Analytics and reporting

For actionable insights, you want to focus on analytics such as the open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, behavioral insights, segment-specific reports, revenue attribution, and list growth rate. All of the recommended tools stand out in providing comprehensive analytics.

User experience and training

User-friendliness and ease of adoption are crucial for small businesses. That's why you want to look for platforms that offer intuitive interfaces and comprehensive training resources. Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign do this well with a helpful and simple task roadmap and a getting started hub, respectively. HubSpot offers a lot of helpful training information in its knowledge base, but it can be a bit tricky to find your way around. SnapAdvantage is with you every step of the way in your email marketing journey, so you have an expert to turn to.

Choose right the first time

Selecting the right email marketing software for your small business is a significant step that can completely transform the trajectory of your company. When making your decision, be sure to consider your unique needs and goals and prioritize features, ease of use, and scalability. And don't forget to leverage the power of personalization and analytics. With the right tool—and an experienced email marketer to help you wield it—you too can unlock the full potential of email marketing and drive growth for your business in 2023 and beyond.

Meet the expert

Sandra Stepan, a seasoned digital marketing and eCommerce expert, is the founder of SnapAdvantage. Her diverse portfolio includes collaborations with startups and companies with $20 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).