6 Best Ecommerce Email Marketing Software

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The right email marketing software could be the best investment your ecommerce business makes, with some marketing professionals recording an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent. The very best ecommerce email marketing software has the tools to nurture your audience, and the designs to wow them.

We’ve given more weight to our marketing/content tools scores in this research, and encourage you to look beyond the price points to find the best investment for your business. Marketing tools, such as automation and segmentation, are especially useful for ecommerce businesses, as it allows them to be very specific about who they target, and how – ultimately leading to more sales.

According to our research, here are the 6 best ecommerce email marketing software:

6 Best Ecommerce Email Marketing Software

  1. Mailchimp Best ecommerce email marketing software
  2. GetResponse Best for Shopify stores
  3. MailerLite Best for detailed analytics
  4. Sendinblue Best for custom coded designs
  5. Constant Contact Best for cheap, scaled-down email marketing
  6. ActiveCampaign Supportive but basic

1. Mailchimp

Best ecommerce email marketing software

Mailchimp

Best ecommerce email marketing software

Excellent

4.3

out of 5
  • Great designs for ecom
  • Smart automation tools
  • Strong help and support

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $9.99 - $1190 / month

Pros

  • Advanced personalization capabilities
  • Hold 100,000 contacts for $18.15/month
  • Integrates well with ecommerce platforms

Cons

  • Plans cap email sends per month
  • Can initially feel overwhelming

Mailchimp came out as the top email marketing software in our research largely due to the strength of its marketing tools, and how well its email designs cater for ecommerce.  It also integrates smoothly into the top ecommerce platforms. Mailchimp isn’t the cheapest platform, but try not to get hung up on this; the investment is still pretty low, and Mailchimp’s smart automation capabilities mean your ROI stands to be a lot higher.

Mailchimp has the strongest behind-the-scenes tools of any platform we’ve tested.

  • Personalize your customers’ emails with recommended products tailored to them
  • A/B test the content, send time, and subject line of your sends
  • Easily build custom workflows – even behavior-triggered ones
  • Track past interactions with inbuilt CRM

When it comes to what your emails can actually do, and how they can work alongside your online store, Mailchimp again comes out top of the class.

Mailchimp was noticeably strong when it came to transactional emails. Some of these can be set up as workflows, while some require an add-on to the standard monthly plan. You buy these as a ‘block’ of transactional emails, costing $20 for 25,000 emails (the price decreases if you buy in bulk). This allows smaller ecom stores to still provide a really excellent customer experience over email, without having to pay for an expensive plan each month – they can just use what they need, as they need it.

You can integrate Mailchimp easily with most key ecommerce platforms:

  • Big Cartel
  • BigCommerce
  • Prestashop
  • Magento
  • Woocommerce
  • Ecwid

Shopify, however, is notably missing from the list. It’s still possible to link the two, but isn’t as easy as just adding an app to your store.

Mailchimp allows you to design something that looks really sleek, with over 100 templates built especially for commercial campaigns, newsletters, and promotions.

Some platforms we’ve tested leave you with an email that feels very ‘DIY’, but this wasn’t the case with Mailchimp; by sticking with the templates on offer, we were able to make something that looked like it could have come from a big time brand. You can also add in blocks of custom code.

Mailchimp has a free plan with caps of 10,000 emails per month and 500 contacts. This is less generous than other free plans, notably MailerLite. Its paid plans start at:

Essentials – $9.99 – $270/month (50,000 contacts cap)

Standard – $14.99 – $540/month (100,000 contacts cap)

Premium – $299 – $1,190/month (200,000 contacts cap)

Mailchimp’s prices can hike up quite steeply as your contact database grows, but the main reason it scored relatively poorly for value for money is because it holds back certain features – such as automations, A/B testing and social scheduling – for the Standard plan or above.

Our users were quite divided when it came to ease of use. Some found it pretty intuitive, others a little overwhelming. All in all, it isn’t the easiest platform to use, but it is easy enough for anyone to be able to work with – it just might require a bit of patience!

As one person put it:

I think that if a user took time to learn the platform they would get a lot from Mailchimp.

Mailchimp offers support via:

  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Online forum

…although it’s worth noting you’ll need to be on the Standard plan or above for phone support, and the Essentials plan or above for 24/7 email and chat support.

Mailchimp also has a really useful and comprehensive knowledge center, so you’ll be able to work your way through most basic questions and issues.

Find out more

  • Mailchimp is our top-rated ecommerce email marketing platform. Find out more in our detailed Mailchimp Review

2. GetResponse

Best for Shopify stores

GetResponse

Best for Shopify stores

Outstanding

4.6

out of 5
  • Easiest to use
  • Best design score
  • No email volume caps

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $15 - $580 / month

Pros

  • Large template selection (220+)
  • Edit mobile version of emails
  • Shopify and Etsy integration options

Cons

  • Can’t A/B test email send time
  • No free plan (but there is a free trial)
  • Some automations withheld for top plans

GetResponse is a good alternative to Mailchimp for those wanting a smooth Shopify integration, and/or a little more guidance when it comes to making the most of email marketing tools. Design is also a real strong point, but the lack of transaction emails on the cheaper plans lets it down.

In terms of backend marketing tools (automation, personalization, data analysis etc.), GetResponse performs well, but loses points in a couple of areas:

  • You can’t A/B test with email send time (though you can with subject line and content changes)
  • No email click map features (to see at a glance where people click on your emails)
  • No inbuilt CRM functionality to track the history of your leads

That said, the helpful prompts while using GetResponse mean you’re more likely to actually get the most out of the tools that are there, and there are plenty of those too.

GetResponse’s automation capabilities are great, and we know this is essential for ecommerce email marketing success. The only real downside is that building in some of these automations (like abandoned cart recovery emails) is held back for the Plus plan and above.

GetResponse seamlessly integrates with the following ecommerce platforms:

  • Etsy
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Shopify
  • Woocommerce

If your store is on a different platform (like BigCommerce), there’s still likely to be a way to link the two together.

One area that again lets GetResponse down is the ability to send transactional emails, or more specifically the fact that you can’t send transactional emails unless you’re on the Max plan – the most expensive option, and a custom price.

This is particularly disappointing given that most other platforms in this ranking offer these tools at a considerably lower price point.

Design is an area where GetResponse really excels. It offers a large selection of templates, plus plenty of scope to drag elements around to create something really unique, and free from that ‘blocky’ feel.

One really awesome feature is the fact you can actually adjust the mobile view of your emails. This allows you to hide elements that clutter the mobile view, and keep everything really optimized and streamlined. We haven’t seen any other platforms offer this, and it’s a real bonus.

GetResponse offers a really tailored approach to pricing. Email volume is always unlimited, so the price you pay comes down to your contact list size, and the plan you choose. Prices range from $15/month to $580/month, with a custom priced plan thereafter.

It’s definitely not the cheapest provider (the higher tier plans are actually pretty pricey), but you can work your way up quite gradually. For ecommerce businesses, however, we wouldn’t recommend going lower than the Plus plan ($49+/month), as this is where you’ll unlock key automations, such as abandoned cart recovery.

Ease of use is another strong area for GetResponse. The platform is intuitive, and you’re guided through it carefully. Prompts throughout help you make the most of the features on offer. In this sense, it’s great for those who are new to the concept of automation, and of building workflows for your ecommerce store.

Here’s what one user had to say:

‘The set up was really logical. Once you’ve created the campaign for example it then supports you in creating bespoke campaign send times, every step you’d expect to take after the previous seemed to be suggested next.’

GetResponse provides:

  • 24/7 live chat
  • Email support
  • Phone support (Max plan only)

We also recommend the video tutorials onsite, which offer a really useful, visual way to find your way around the platform.

Find out more

3. MailerLite

Best for detailed analytics

MailerLite

Best for detailed analytics

Good

4.5

out of 5
  • Strong all-rounder
  • Excellent analytics
  • A little expensive

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $10 - $1915 / month

Pros

  • Excellent data/analytics
  • Option for very tailored automation
  • No limits on email sends

Cons

  • Cost grows quickly with subscriber count
  • Long and intrusive sign-up process
  • Not hugely beginner-friendly

MailerLite is a great platform in terms of tools and tracking, but isn’t the easiest to use, and can get expensive quickly as your customer base grows. We’d recommend it to ecommerce stores with a dedicated marketing manager, as it would suit someone with email marketing experience.

MailerLite is very data-oriented, and has the second best score for marketing tools of any platform we’ve tested. It sits 0.1 points behind Mailchimp largely because it doesn’t let you A/B test the send time of your emails, or offer any built-in CRM function.

It does have some pretty impressive automation though, allowing you to segment your customers very precisely, and build very specific journeys for them. The auto-resend feature sends a repeat of your campaign to customers who don’t click on the first one (a handy feature, but one to use sparingly…). You can even build pop-ups directly within the platform.

Once your campaign has been sent out, you can analyze how people are both opening and interacting with your emails by country. It’s a data lover’s dream.

MailerLite integrates smoothly (via an app or plugin) with:

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • Prestashop
  • Squarespace

…which is more ecommerce platforms than our top two software systems. This trend continues to social media; if you want to integrate your social posts into your MailerLite emails, the platform supports the largest range of socials, from Twitter and Instagram to Strava.

Crucially, MailerLite also supports transactional emails, including order confirmation, shipping notification, and cancellation confirmation.

MailerLite’s email template selection is smaller than most, but they look good, and are easy enough to work with. There are 12 specifically tagged as ecommerce, but you can always drag and drop blocks to build your own.

Those on a paid plan can also import their own coded emails via the custom HTML editor, which will be preferable for most established brands with a designer on board.

You can’t make mobile-only adjustments, which is a shame.

MailerLite scores poorly for value for money not because it isn’t feature-rich, but because of how quickly the cost grows as your user base does, and how you’re forced onto higher tiers.

Depending on your subscriber count, you could be paying anywhere from $10/month to $1,875+/month, although there is a free plan option while your subscriber count is under 1,000.

MailerLite also proves itself to be a very scalable platform, with prices given up 600,000 subscribers (and custom pricing offered thereafter). Most other platforms default to custom pricing after around a third of that number.

Despite scoring well for design and features, MailerLite was one of the lowest scoring platforms when it came to ease of use.

The sign-up process is extensive and invasive, and caused some frustration among our users who tested the platform. One said:

As a company I think they need to be more transparent as to why they need you to answer an abundance of questions during the onboarding process.

Once inside, you’re left a little more in the deep end than you are with other platforms. There aren’t any pre-populated automation templates, for example, although there is a section of worked-through examples. This is one of the reasons we recommend MailerLite to more experienced marketers over beginners.

When we tested MailerLite’s support guides (within its knowledge base), we found it harder to get answers to the questions we had than with most other platforms – which isn’t ideal given how poorly the platform scored for ease of use.

However, help from the MailerLite team is on hand via 24/7 live chat and email (for premium plan users) – but not over the phone.

Find out more

  • Check out our detailed MailerLite Review for more information on this email marketing platform

4. Sendinblue

Best for custom coded designs

Sendinblue

Best for custom coded designs

Good

4.4

out of 5
  • No contact list caps
  • Uninspiring templates
  • Can’t make custom domains

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $25 - $755 / month

Pros

  • Intuitive, with helpful onboarding
  • Great CRM functionality
  • Unlimited number of contacts, always

Cons

  • Lack of campaign-specific templates
  • Can’t make domains for landing pages
  • No live chat or phone support

Sendinblue is a good overall platform, but we found the template designs a little underwhelming, which is why we’d only really recommend it for ecommerce brands with custom designs. We’d also like to see the addition of either phone or live chat support to improve its future score.

Sendinblue generally has great marketing tools, including a full scope of personalization options, automation tools, and A/B testing options. It also provides more than most platforms in terms of CRM and analytics, allowing you to monitor:

  • Contact profiles
  • Task tracking
  • Task automation
  • Lead scoring
  • Interaction history

However, Sendinblue doesn’t allow you to create dedicated domains for landing pages through the platform itself – something all the other providers on this list do offer. If this isn’t something your business needs, Sendinblue’s marketing tools should make up the full package.

This is another area where Sendinblue performs really strongly, integrating with key platforms:

  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WordPress
  • Elementor
  • Prestashop

…and supporting those all-important transactional emails. Unlike other software, it also doesn’t impose any caps on your contact list at any plan level, even the free plan.

This is a huge deal. A strong-performing ecommerce store will passively accrue a large contact list just through sales and near-sales, but with Sendinblue, there’s no need to worry this will suddenly push you into a very costly tier.

Sendinblue scores poorly for design compared to other platforms in this ranking. The templates just feel a little clunky and ‘block-y’, and editing them isn’t as intuitive as we’d like.

That said, there is the option to upload a custom HTML code design – ideal if you have a designer on board.

For an ecommerce business, Sendinblue doesn’t offer amazing value for money, but it won’t break the bank, either.

The Lite plan ranges from $25 to $99/month, but it’s worth noting that this carries an automations cap of 2,000 contacts per month. The Premium plan costs from $65 to $599/month, and thereafter you’re onto the custom-priced Enterprise plan.

Unusually, the price you pay for these plans is tied to the volume of emails you send in a month, rather than the size of your contacts list.

Sendinblue is easy to use, second only to GetResponse. The platform is intuitive and simple to navigate, and actually feels more beginner-friendly than platforms like Mailchimp.

In the days following signing up to Sendinblue, we received helpful emails with pointers on what to do next, and tutorial videos to show these steps in action. Other platforms have similar funnels, but Sendinblue’s stood out for being very methodical and useful. These guys know their email marketing!

Sendinblue is the only platform to receive a help and support score of under 4. This is down to the lack of live chat and phone support, which makes it difficult to get a reply in a hurry.

We did, however, find the knowledge base quite helpful, both when it came to technical questions and general advice (on copywriting, for example). However, as anyone who has experienced real technical difficulties will know, this is no substitute for speedy first-hand assistance.

Find out more

5. Constant Contact

Best for cheap, scaled-down email marketing

Constant Contact

Best for cheap, scaled-down email marketing

Average

4.3

out of 5
  • Affordable and simple
  • Poor automation options
  • Few testing possibilities

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $20 - $335 / month

Pros

  • Cheap and good value for money
  • Strong help and support
  • Good feedback from users

Cons

  • Templates definitely lack the wow factor
  • Email personalization is difficult
  • Limited automation/testing options

Constant Contact offers a simple approach to email marketing, but without the feature depth and quality needed to really nurture an ecommerce audience. This is why we generally recommend it for people doing minimal or ad-hoc email campaigns.

Constant Contact offers the core marketing tools you’d expect from an ecommerce software, but quickly falls behind competitors when it comes to the finer details.

Automation is limited and can’t be done based on a behavior, such as clicking a link or looking at a product. You also can’t segment users based on their behavior. While this wouldn’t matter for other types of businesses, these are pretty important tools for an ecommerce store.

Constant Contact can only integrated with three ecommerce platforms:

  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify

It offers unlimited email sends on all plans, which is a huge bonus. You’re also able to create transactional emails, but this function doesn’t have the same detailed analytics as other software.

In terms of design, Constant Contact scores well for having a broad range of templates to populate (over 230), and for the fact that these span a broad range of send types and industries.

That said, we all agreed that the ‘aesthetic’ of the Constant Contact emails wasn’t what we’d want for an ecommerce brand, as they lack the polished, modern feel of brands like Mailchimp. Our users also found them trickier to edit and populate than with other software.

Constant Contact offers very affordable pricing, and a refreshingly simple pricing structure, with only two plans:

  • Email – $20/month
  • Email Plus – $45/month

Both plans offer unlimited email sends. It’s not the cheapest start price, but both plans are certainly good value. The Plus plan gives you a much larger scope for automation, the ability to create pop-ups, and to add products to your emails directly from either Shopify or WooCommerce, among other extra perks.

Despite finding building the emails a little tricky at times, it was agreed that Constant Contact was a pretty intuitive and supportive platform overall. This makes sense given it is very much targeted at smaller ecommerce stores, and email marketing beginners.

Here’s what one person had to say about the process of creating a campaign:

Really helpful prompts/tips throughout which I found so useful (as a novice!). The editor/dashboard were also pretty logical and intuitive, but some tasks came at odd points (e.g. the subject line after the email creation). Most things worked as I expected them to.

In keeping with the platform’s ease of use, Constant Contact’s help and support was really top-notch, too. It offers support via live chat and phone, although – somewhat ironically – not over email.

Constant Contact also had the most helpful online material, so you’re in with a good chance of being able to answer your own questions swiftly.

Find out more

6. ActiveCampaign

Best for cheap, scaled-down email marketing

ActiveCampaign

Supportive but basic

Average

4.3

out of 5
  • Great help and support
  • No transactional emails
  • Cheap starter plans

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $15 - $599 / month

Pros

  • Strong help and support function
  • Easy-to-navigate dashboard
  • Customizable plan prices

Cons

  • Can’t send transactional emails
  • Designs lack the wow factor

ActiveCampaign is more of a combined marketing/CRM tool than specifically an email marketing software. This brings some handy features, but some problematic oversights – namely the lack of transactional emails.

ActiveCampaign sits pretty much in the middle of the road when it comes to marketing tools. You’ve got the tools for automation, personalization, and optimization without any problematic omissions, but also without any ‘star’ or unique features.

ActiveCampaign doesn’t support transactional emails, which is an obvious issue for ecommerce brands, and the reason behind the platform’s poor score in this category.

Most ecommerce platforms will offer the tools to complete your basic transactional emails, but brands typically make the move to ecommerce marketing software hoping to keep all communication and campaigns in one place.

ActiveCampaign underwhelms in terms of design. It offers only a small selection of templates (36), all of which we feel lack the ‘wow’ factor.

You can add HTML via code blocks, but there’s no feature for plugging in a whole custom HTML design in one. You can, however, import a template with a URL.

ActiveCampaign has a broad range of pricing, and is generally pretty affordable compared to competitors like MailerLite. Prices start at $9/month, all the way up to $405+ for 100,000 contacts, then on to custom pricing. 

Like most competitors, you can choose between different plans at different price points, depending on your contact count (i.e. the number of contacts doesn’t dictate which plan you’re on). We like this method as it allows for a lot of flexibility, and we also like how simple ActiveCampaign makes it to filter out which ecommerce-specific features are included with each plan.

ActiveCampaign feels ‘gentler’ and more beginner-friendly than other more advanced platforms. The setup process helps the platform understand what you’re trying to achieve, without bombarding you with marketing jargon.

While ActiveCampaign’s designs lack the wow factor, your dashboard is clean, intuitive, and useful:

Overall the actual process of creating an email is really easy, with a super clear interface.

ActiveCampaign offers help and support via:

  • Phone
  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Onsite forum

There’s also a useful knowledge center, which includes lots of video tutorials.

Find out more

  • Do you have questions about ActiveCampaign? Read our ActiveCampaign Review for a full look at its pricing, features, and more
7

How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Service for You

Here’s a recap of what you should focus on when looking for the right email marketing software for your ecommerce business:

Automation

The ability to set up workflows that automatically send emails to contacts who perform certain actions on your site is super important. An example of this would be sending a discount voucher to a contact who was browsing your site the day before, but who left without buying anything. These email workflows can be really successful in re-engaging customers, and once set up don’t require much attention from you – just some testing and tweaking.

Personalization

Similarly, good personalization options can really level up your ecommerce marketing efforts. Most software will allow you to carry out basic personalization (e.g. adding a first name into the subject line), but the best platforms for ecommerce will take this a step further, for example by generating personalized recommended product emails.

Transactional emails

The ideal ecommerce email marketing software should be able to plug seamlessly into your ecommerce platform, and take care of all the essential emails around a purchase – order confirmations, delivery updates, etc.

Send limitations

Is there a hard upper limit for either the number of contacts or volume of email sends, and are you likely to hit this soon?

8

Best Email Marketing Software: Summary

Here’s a reminder of our top 6 ecommerce email marketing software, and who we recommend them for: 

6 Best Ecommerce Email Marketing Software

  1. Mailchimp Best ecommerce email marketing software
  2. GetResponse Best for Shopify stores
  3. MailerLite Best for detailed analytics
  4. Sendinblue Best for custom coded designs
  5. Constant Contact Best for cheap, scaled-down email marketing
  6. ActiveCampaign Supportive but basic

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with our top two:

We’d recommend Mailchimp for any ecommerce business. The integration with Shopify isn’t as simple as just adding an app, but it can be done.

We’d recommend GetResponse for any store built on Shopify that doesn’t want to go to the extra hassle of integrating with Mailchimp.

The other options on our list all have their own selling points, but ultimately, we’re confident that the top two platforms are best for the vast majority of ecommerce stores.

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