Email marketing is a core part of any successful business. It has been ever since the birth of the internet and will continue to be.
It goes without saying then, that choosing the best autoresponder for your business is very important.
While there are loads to choose from, it can get a bit confusing. Some have cool, innovative, and fancy features, while others just offer the tried and tested basics.
On top of that, some autoresponders are better suited to certain types of businesses. If you sign up for the wrong one then it can be a pain to change later down the road.
In this article you will learn about the different features and benefits of the top autoresponders on the market along with the pricing so you can decide which one is right for you.
Several of these autoresponders also have a free plan so if you’re on a budget be sure to read about each one before making our decision.
What To Look For When Choosing The Best Autoresponder
When you’re choosing an autoresponder, there are a few important things to look for to make sure you choose the best one for your business.
Email automation is the facility to be able to set an email or a series of emails to be delivered automatically based on a trigger or a set of triggers. This is extremely useful for all types of businesses and can save you a lot of time.
Most commonly, people use email automation to set an email or even a whole campaign to trigger an opt into your list.
However, you can also automate your blog posts to be sent to your subscribers’ inbox, set automation by date when building up to a promo or an event, and even send your subscribers a personalized birthday message.
Email deliverability is the success rate an autoresponder has in being able to deliver your email to the inbox of your subscriber.
Unfortunately, not all autoresponders have a great deliverability rate. While some can consistently deliver your emails directly into the inbox of your subscribers, others have a lower success rate.
If you’re using an autoresponder company that doesn’t have good deliverability, then your emails will often end up in the Promotions box for your Gmail subscribers or trigger spam filters and end up in the spam folder.
It goes without saying, this can really hurt your email marketing campaigns.
Email segmentation is basically a way to separate your subscribers onto different lists so you can send them more relevant info based on what they’re interested in.
For example, if you run a fitness blog that covers a range of topics, then some of those topics will appeal to some of your site visitors and not others. However, you may also have a lead magnet that appeals to people across more than one of the different interest groups.
So, rather than sending everyone on your list the same emails, you can segment your subscribers onto different lists based on things like interests, location, purchase history, age, and so forth.
Being able to send more laser-targeted emails to your subscribers based on what they’re interested in will get you better open rates, more engagement, and a higher conversion rate.
Ease of use
If you’re a tech nerd and you love to figure things out then you may not be too worried about how easy it is to use your autoresponder.
However, most entrepreneurs want a solution that is straightforward and easy to set up.
Particularly if you’re new to working online or if you’re a solopreneur with not enough hours in the day, you’re gonna want to choose a solution that can get the job done without having to spend hours figuring things out.
My 7 Best Autoresponder Services
Aweber has been around since 1998 and was one of the first autoresponder services on the scene.
They have a great track record and are well respected in the world of online marketing.
With Aweber you get a whole host of features including a landing page builder, contact forms, segmentation capabilities, ready to use templates and even the use of stock images.
Aweber is great for all kinds of businesses and is also affiliate marketing friendly.
- Aweber is competitively priced
- Generous 30-day free trial period
- Aweber allows you to use all the features during your free trial period
- Easy to use (is newbie friendly)
- Has great onboarding training videos to show you how to use it
- Integrates with many other services including ClickFunnels, ThriveLeads, Unbounce, PayPal and more
- Great customer support, even during your free trial
- Aweber has a huge template library
- Aweber has a very easy to use drag-and-drop email template builder
- Aweber is well established and respected
- Aweber is regularly introducing new features which are available to all members
- Aweber has good automation and segmentation tools
- Aweber has great deliverability rates
- Aweber is affiliate marketing friendly
- It is free to migrate your list to them from another service
- There is no ongoing free plan for people with a very small email list
- Aweber charges you for duplicate and unsubscribed people on your list. This means you need to periodically clear out the duplicates and remove people from your list who have unsubscribed so you don’t go over your pricing plan
- Aweber does not currently have a split-testing feature available
Aweber’s pricing is fairly competitive and starts at $19 per month for up to 500 email subscribers.
The next package up is also very affordable at $29 per month for up to 2,500 subscribers. And, of course, like any other autoresponder there are increased pricing tiers for more subscribers.
While Aweber is not the cheapest on the lowest tier plan, it certainly is very reasonable from the second tier up compared to most other autoresponder services.
If you need to use landing pages and funnels in your business then the new addition of the landing page builder can save you a lot of money using a third-party service for this feature.
Aweber has a 30-day free trial so you can try out all the features before you pay over any money.
SendLane is a cool autoresponder solution with a number of mention-worthy features.
I have written a full, in-depth SendLane Review article, which you can check out. Alternatively, if you just want the short overview of why this autoresponder is in my top 7, keep reading here.
SendLane has great automation and segmentation capabilities and they also use a tagging system for you to easily segment subscribers onto different lists.
Each account also comes with pre-build automation funnels ready for you to use. They literally plug and play! You also get a selection of email templates to choose from in order to stylize your emails.
Being able to contact your subscribers via text message is a huge advantage these days. With SendLane you can also automate SMS marketing to your customers if you are collecting phone numbers from your subscribers.
SendLane has some pretty great automation features. You can create automations based on user behavior, events, or triggers you set up.
Knowing exactly where your conversions are coming from is very important when working online. With SendLane you can also track your conversions and monitor your ROI.
If your emails aren’t showing up in people’s inboxes then there’s not much point in using them. Fortunately, SendLane also has excellent deliverability rates and are able to deliver a high number of your emails exactly where you want them to be delivered.
SendLane is also affiliate marketing friendly so if you’re trying to build an affiliate business then they’re worth checking out.
Unfortunately, all of these great features come at quite a high price. They’re definitely not one of the cheaper options on this list and there is also no free plan.
- Excellent deliverability
- Affiliate marketing-friendly
- Advanced automation and segmentation features
- SMS messaging
- Automation funnels
- You can save money on your subscription if you choose to pay yearly
- No free plan
- The free trial is only 14-days
SendLane’s pricing starts with the Growth Plan at $79 per month, however, this plan allows you a generous amount of subscribers, up to 5,000.
If you want the full range of features then you will need to upgrade to the Pro Plan at $125 per month.
SendLane also has a special offer pricing plan, called the Starter Plan. The pricing of this plan fluctuates, but you can check the Starter Plan pricing here.
You can also see how SendLane stacks up to the competition with this comparison tool here.
ConvertKit is one of the most popular autoresponders around at the moment. It’s stylish, fresh, and has fantastic automation and segmentation capabilities.
While ConvertKit doesn’t have as many features as some of the other autoresponder alternatives out there, the ones it does have work extremely well.
ConvertKit’s target market is bloggers and people in the creative industry. So if this is also your area then I highly recommend taking a closer look at ConvertKit.
One thing I particularly like about ConvertKit is the “auto-resend to un-opens” feature. This is a great feature and can increase your open rate considerably.
Another great advantage of using ConvertKit is the “conditional email content based on tags” feature.
This allows you to only show a certain type of content to your subscribers based on the tags you assign them.
- ConvertKit has a free plan for lists under 500 subs
- Very good segmentation capabilities that also allows you to assign tags to your subs
- ConvertKit includes a landing page builder with more than 30 templates to choose from. This is also available on the free plan.
- ConvertKit makes it very easy for you to sign up and get started
- No limit on traffic to your landing pages and opt-in forms, even on the free plan
- ConvertKit has advanced reporting capabilities. This allows you to easily see which campaigns are working the best for you
- ConvertKit has great visual funnel mapping capabilities. This means you can easily layout, design, and manage your funnels
- ConvertKit integrates with over 90 other services including ThriveLeads, OptinMonster, ClickFunnels, PayPal and more
- ConvertKit’s customer support is well rated
- The ConvertKit free plan does not allow you to set up automation
- ConvertKit’s pricing quickly increases as your list grows
- Email templates are not the easiest to use
ConvertKit has a free plan for people who have an email list under 500 subscribers. However, on the free plan there are limited functions available to you. IT is also not possible to set up automation on the ConvertKit free plan.
If you go over the 500 subscriber limit of the ConvertKit free plan or if you just want access to the advanced features then pricing starts at $29 per month and allows you a limit of 1,000 subscribers.
Once you go over the 1,000 subscriber limit the ConvertKit pricing quickly increases. The next plans up will cost you $49 per month for 3,000, then $79 per month for 5,000 subs, and so on.
While ConvertKit definitely isn’t the cheapest, they do have some really great features, which may be worth you paying the extra money for.
ActiveCampaign is currently one of the most popular email marketing platforms with over 100,000 small businesses using them across the world. It is also considered by many to be the best autoresponder overall in 2020.
They are particularly known for their sophisticated automation and segmentation capabilities as well as their easy to use visual automation builder.
ActiveCampaign also has a range of awesome features that can make a huge difference to both your revenue and the way in which you build relationships with your customers.
Features like predictive content and predictive sending that can be used to trigger SMS messages are powerful features you can use to grow your business.
Another great feature that a lot of other autoresponders don’t have is the ability to run A/B split tests from within different automation sequences.
This is really powerful because you can quickly and easily discover which sequences are working best for you.
ActiveCampaign is list-based, however, they do not charge extra for duplicate contacts on multiple lists or unsubscribed contacts, unlike many other autoresponder services.
Their segmentation capabilities are very impressive and work through tagging. You can add tags manually or they can also be assigned through automation.
Considering the number of powerful features they offer, Active Campaign is also very reasonably priced and is one of the lowest cost autoresponders in the market.
If you’re an affiliate marketer then it is important to be aware that ActiveCampaign is not really affiliate friendly.
While it is possible to use them to promote affiliate offers, they are very strict on how you will be able to operate.
If you are new to affiliate marketing then I would not recommend using this company. That aside, I think they are a fantastic choice for any small business.
- Excellent deliverability
- Excellent automation capabilities
- Can run split tests on your automations
- Sophisticated tagging system
- Good segmentation capabilities
- Can create complex workflows
- Great visual automation builder
- Great segmentation features
- Does not charge you for duplicate contacts and unsubscribes
- Easy to use
- Reasonable pricing
- Free 14-day trial without needing a credit card
- Not affiliate marketing friendly
- Reporting capabilities could be better
ActiveCampaign pricing starts at just $9 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
You can automate your lists on this plan, however, the majority of the advanced features are available on the next plan up, which is $49 per month.
They have a 14-day free trial, which you can take without even entering your credit card.
GetResponse is another well known and established autoresponder with thousands of users worldwide.
If you want in-depth info on this email marketing solution then you can read my GetResponse review here. Alternatively, if you just want the overview, then keep reading here.
GetResponse’s target market is small businesses and solopreneurs and they do a great job serving this demographic.
Even though they don’t have a free plan, pricing starts really low at just $15 per month. This basic plan allows you to send automations and build a list of up to 1,000 subs before you need to think about upgrading your plan.
They also have some nice extra features such as:
- Landing page builder
- Sales funnels
- Visual editor
- Webinars feature
Not all of these features are available on the basic plan, however, you do get automations, landing page templates, and one sales funnel on the basic plan.
See exactly [which features are included in the basic plan here].
Two more cool features that GetResponse offers are Perfect Timing and Time Travel.
Perfect Timing is a clever feature that learns your subscriber’s behavior patterns. It then starts to deliver your emails at the most optimal times based on when they are most likely to open their emails.
If your subscriber base consists of people from all over the world then you will like the Time Travel feature. This allows you to send emails to your subscribers based on their local time.
If you’re the type of person who likes to know you have backup when you need it then you’ll be glad to hear GetResponse also has good customer service. You can contact them via email, live chat, and even on the phone.
If you want to check them out then you can [sign up for a 30-day free trial] without having to enter your credit card details.
- Low starting price at $15 per month for 1,000 subs
- Great automation
- Can automate emails on the basic plan
- Includes other tools such as landing pages, sales funnels, and webinars
- Affiliate marketing-friendly
- Great customer support
- No free plan
- Not as easy to use as some of the other platforms
- Advanced features only available on the higher-priced plans
GetResponse pricing is super affordable and starts at just $15 for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Unlike other platforms, you can also use email automations, landing pages and a sales funnel on the basic plan.
Like all autoresponder services, the price increases by either the number of subscribers you have or the type of features you want.
While the basic plan does include a lot of good features, if you want advanced features like tagging, being able to host webinars or use of the automation builder then you will need to upgrade to the $49 per month plan.
MailerLite has been around since 2010 and serves almost 900,000 customers at the time of writing this. They’re a beginner-friendly autoresponder with a large range of features.
They also offer one of the best free plans I have seen. The free plan allows you to use almost all of the advanced features to a certain extent that comes with the paid plans. The free plan also allows you to have up to 1,000 subs, use automation, and even email segmentation.
MailerLite’s segmentation works by using Segments and Groups. Segments allow you to set up auto-adding and removal of subscribers based on different rules you set. Groups function the same way as tagging does on other platforms, they just call it “groups”.
One of the things I particularly like about MailerLite is the automation editor. It’s very easy to use and you can visually map out your automations.
When it comes to setting up automations and segmentations, things can get quite complex. However, MailerLite makes it very simple, which is one of the reasons I recommend this autoresponder for beginners starting out with email marketing.
- Very easy to use
- Great automation editor
- Easy to use drag-and-drop editor
- A lot of good features on the free plan including automations, landing pages, tagging, and advanced segmentation
- The free plan allows up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
- Very reasonable pricing overall
- The free plan means your emails will contain the MailerLite logo unless you upgrade to a paid plan
- No email templates on the free plan
- Not affiliate marketing friendly
The free plan is free for life and allows you up to 1,000 subs and the ability to send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Once you go over 1,000 subscribers you will need to upgrade to a paid account, which starts at $15 per month and is up to 2,500 subs.
ConstantContact is one of the old boys of email marketing and have been around since 1998.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a forever-free plan, but they do offer a very generous 60-day trial without needing to enter your credit card details.
If you want to keep using them after your trial period you’ll need to cough up some dough, though. Fortunately, the pricing starts off low at just $20 per month.
While they do seem a little outdated compared to some of the newer players in the market, they do offer some cool features that a lot of other autoresponder companies are lacking.
For example, ConstantContact has some great branding tools. If you already have a website then it will scan your site to learn your colors, layout, and images. It will then create several branded email templates for you to choose from.
Besides this, you also get access to their logo maker and image library to further customize your emails.
ConstantContact integrates directly with Facebook and Instagram. It will pull stats from your campaigns on these platforms and show you the insights from within your dashboard.
If you’re ever in need of help using this platform then ConstantContact has excellent customer support. You can reach them via email, live chat, and even on the phone.
- Generous 60-day free trial with no credit card needed
- Full use of all the features during your trial period
- Cool branding tools
- Branded email templates
- Email automation available on both pricing plans
- No forever-free plan
- A bit dated compared to some of the newer
- Advanced automation features only available on the Email Plus plan
- Pricing per list size is not clear
ConstantContact has two plans, Email and Email Plus. The Email plan is $20 per month and includes the majority of features. If you want additional features including advanced automation then you will need to upgrade to the Email Plus plan at $45 per month.
Prices then increase depending on list size.
So there you have it, my list of best autoresponders to choose from. If you would also like to know how to grow your email list quickly then check out my article on how to build an email list.
As you can see, it’s not about just choosing the cheapest option out there and hoping for the best. It’s important to find the one that’s right for your specific business.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, for example, then just focus on the ones that are affiliate friendly and forget the rest.
If you need to set up complex sequences with advanced segmentation then choose a solution that specializes in these features. However, if your business only requires simple automations then it’s not worth spending the extra money on a more expensive solution.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that I may receive commissions when you click some of the links in this article and then decide to make a purchase. If you do follow one of my links and purchase a product, thanks! It means a lot to me, and any commissions I do make from this blog enables me to continue to provide you with all this awesome, free content. However, any commissions I do receive does not affect my reviews and comparisons. If I think a product is sub-standard I will either say so in the article or I will not feature it on my blog. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.