Many businesses use newsletter marketing as an important means for reaching their customers. A newsletter should offer value to the reader and not just be used as a cheap way of advertising. Stylish templates are appealing, but without relevant concepts and high-quality content a reader will quickly unsubscribe. Win them over with exciting content.
If you want to carry out professional e-mail marketing, you need the right software. But the demands on e-mail marketing tools are high. In addition to the security aspect and legal compliance when sending newsletters, there are also some things to consider from a marketing point of view. For example, you choice of newsletter tool has to support you in managing your contacts and – if required – enable individual users to be divided into groups. The more expensive your planned campaign, the more important it is to have a feature implemented that measures performance. Only this way can you continuously improve the quality of your e-mails. In addition, the e-mail marketing software you choose should be able to ensure that your messages do not end up in the recipient’s spam folder.
Newsletter marketing is particularly popular because it is one of the most cost-effective marketing instruments. Should the cost aspect play an important role in your decision, you could also consider: many newsletter tools promise a significant and rapid increase in your subscriber numbers, but when sending e-mails, you’re sometimes dependent on another provider’s services because a corresponding service is missing in the portfolio. It is therefore important to consider whether the cost/feature ratio is good when you decide on a particular newsletter provider.
But which providers score points in terms of usability, range of functions, and price-performance ratio? Here’s a comparison.
This e-mail marketing tool, MailChimp boasts intuitive operability and menu navigation. The template editor scores well with its easy-to-use drag and drop feature.
The optional connection to Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes the newsletter system versatile. Advanced analysis features ensure that you have all important data on how well your MailChimp campaign is doing at a glance.
- Double opt-in process
- Spam and design testing
- Refined bounce management
- Linked to social media
- Marketing automation
- Authentication: sender-ID, SPF, DomainKeys/DKIM
MailChimp offers the most generous trial version out of all the newsletter tools in this guide. This “forever free” tariff lets users send 12,000 e-mails to up to 2,000 recipients per month, and all you need to do is integrate a banner ad into your footer. The “Growing Business” package (from $10 a month) is aimed at beginners and SMEs, while the “Pro Marketer” enterprise level model costs from $199 per month and is MailChimp’s all-inclusive solution for professional newsletter marketing. Some features such as design testing, comparative reports, or the possibility of automation are only available with a paid subscription.
1&1 E-mail marketing
IONOS also offers its customers a tool for efficient e-mail marketing. IONOS E-mail marketing is a professional solution for all SMBs and marketers. With the uncomplicated IONOS newsletter editor, even less experienced users can create their first e-mail marketing campaigns as well as newsletters in a very short time. Use drag-and-drop to move placeholders for text and picture elements, as well as CTA buttons, to the desired position where you can later add more content if you want. In addition, there are ready-made design templates for e-commerce, events, and many other purposes: all designed responsively and therefore optimized for all screen sizes.
- Automated e-mail campaigns
- Double opt-in
- Newsletter subscription box for your own website
- Campaign comparison
- Performance analysis including data visualization
- A/B testing
- Simple domain setup via Domain Connect
If you want to use IONOS’s e-mail marketing software, you have to purchase one of three available packages. Each package offers you the complete range of functions – they differ only in terms of price and the amount of e-mails you can send monthly. While the most cost-effective “E-mail Marketing Basic” model enables you to send up to 10,000 e-mails per month for $4, the “E-mail Marketing Plus” package can send up to 25,000 e-mails for $8 per month. The “E-mail Marketing Pro” package is best suited for frequent dispatchers: for $15 per month, you can send up to 60,000 e-mails.
The provider, CleverReach, is the German market leader in the field of e-mail marketing software. Many additional features and a high security standard make this program a good alternative to MailChimp. The cloud-based software has a large selection of event-related and responsive templates that save you a lot of work when creating newsletters. Learning the operation process and creating your own designs doesn’t take much time at all thanks to the drag-and-drop feature. It can be integrated into other systems and social media without problems: there are interfaces to WordPress, Magento, TYPO3, affilinet, Facebook, and Salesforce.
- Autoresponder and follow-ups
- Marketing automation (THEA)
- Automatic bounce and log-off management
- Design and spam tests (Newsletter Client Testing)
- Double opt-In
- SSL encryption
- Blacklist (import/export possible)
With CleverReach, contacting 250 recipients and sending 1,000 e-mails per month is free of charge. The package prices for larger amounts of e-mails starts at $30 per month (1,000 e-mails). The newsletter provider also offers a service for frequent dispatchers. There is a flatrate option where you can send e-mails up to 75,000 recipients for around $760. If you want the number of recipients to be even higher, you need to get an individual quote.
The service provider, Newsletter2Go is located in Berlin, Germany. The newsletter software is also certified by the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA), which guarantees not only whitelisting, but also enormously important legal compliance in e-mail marketing. The drag-and-drop editor is simple to use and well structured, but loses some points when it comes to registration forms that require in-depth HTML knowledge.
There are over 50 free templates available to users and all have been tested and optimized for mobile devices. The tracking options of Newsletter2Go are also diverse: Users not only receive standard information on the opening and clickrate, but they can also use visual geotracking or multivariate clustering, for example. In addition, the e-mail marketing software provides interfaces to various e-commerce, CRM, CMS, and analytics solutions such as Shopify, Salesforce, WordPress, and Google Analytics.
- Bounce and unsubscribe management
- Import and segmentation of recipient data
- Spam test
- 1-click product and content transfer
- Marketing automation
- Mail server with whitelisting
- Double opt-in
When it comes to the pricing, the model differs from the others since the price is calculated for each e-mail you send. There is a distinction between prepaid and subscription tariffs: the “LITE” prepaid rate is free for up to 1,000 e-mails per month, after which you pay around a cent per e-mail, depending on the amount you plan to send out (for example, 5,000 e-mails cost around $40). The long-term contracts “STANDARD” (from $20 per month) and “PRO” (from $275 per month) are billed according to CPM (cost per thousand impressions).
GetResponse is an internationally orientated e-mail marketing tool that is available in 183 different countries and in 24 different languages. The solid newsletter editor and the integrated landing page editor are particularly attractive features. A selection of more than 500 templates and 1,000 free iStock photos offers users practically unlimited design options. Thanks to the (always available) mobile view, you also get a good overview of how your newsletter will look on mobile devices. Opening and click tracking as well as Google Analytics tracking are also available. In addition to Salesforce, SugarCRM, and Zoho CRM, e-commerce solutions such as WooCommerce and PayPal can also be connected to the newsletter software.
- Access to free stock photos
- A/B testing
- Optimized message delivery
- Spam and design testing
- Double opt-in process
- Bounce management
The newsletter tool, GetResponse, is available as a 30-day trial. The fee-based offers start with package prices of $15 per month (1,000 recipients). More professional packages that support more message volumes start at $49 per month (5,000 recipients). The “Enterprise” package (over 100,000 recipients) is available from $1,199 per month.
Comparison of the aforementioned newsletter tools
|Available templates||Mobile support||Server location||Monthly cost|
|IONOS E-mail marketing||very good||Germany||from $4|
|Newsletter2Go||50+||very good||Germany||from $20|
|GetResponse||500+||very good||unknown||from $15|
Newsletter software for small projects
Many of the newsletter software solutions mentioned above aren’t suited for smaller businesses and projects. The reason being is that there are too many useless features that can be distracting for freelancers or small businesses. If you simply want to reach a small amount of people, you should opt for a provider that offers the exact functions you need. Simple e-mail marketing tools such as Clever Elements are ideal for beginners with their slimmed-down, but solid functionality.
Another alternative is the free program, TinyLetter. It belongs to MailChimp, but offers a narrower range of functions and is particularly suitable for content. Campayn offers a few more of the standard features that are also included in professional e-mail marketing software. A good basic offer with a user-friendly interface is Cake Mail.
There are plenty of alternatives to the more popular e-mail marketing tools.