Top 8 Email Newsletter Software: Business Value, Features, and FAQs

Email newsletters are a marketing staple for many businesses. Whether sent monthly, weekly, or quarterly, they help nurture your relationship with your audience. But you need the right newsletter software to deliver your newsletter.

This article will cover what email newsletter software is and why you need it.

Table of Contents (*Inline*)

How newsletters drive business 

Your newsletter is a tool for strengthening and building relationships with your contacts. Receiving regular communications builds familiarity and trust. But newsletters can also drive business in a more direct way.

Newsletters can turn contacts into leads and leads into sales, both directly and indirectly. It can be a little nudge reminding someone of the purchase they want to make but haven’t gotten around to it. Or, your newsletter might link to blog posts that convince readers that they need what you offer. 

An email newsletter with annotations
An email newsletter with annotations

Since newsletters aren’t transactional emails and are not always obviously promotional, they are often a part of the lead nurturing process. Your content should strategically illustrate the user’s problem and present your product or service as the solution. 

Newsletters can also promote events like webinars, which move contacts closer to conversion. Depending on your industry, you can use product announcements and features to drive newsletter recipients directly to a product or purchase page.

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Three benefits of email newsletters
Three benefits of email newsletters

What is newsletter software? 

Typically, your newsletter is sent through whatever email marketing tool you use for other communications. There are few cases where a business would need a separate tool just for newsletters. 

Email marketing software allows you to send newsletters to lists of people, schedule email campaigns, and add automation to your email marketing. Email tools will usually have a database of all the email addresses on your contact list and additional information, like business size, lead score, or past email interactions. 

In most cases, your email tool should allow you to:

  • Build and design email newsletters
  • Manage and create different email lists
  • Schedule individual emails and campaigns
  • Track metrics and performance indicators relevant to your business

Top 8 newsletter software tools 

There are many different email tools, but we’ve gathered information about some of the best options for creating and delivering effective newsletters.

1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a comprehensive customer experience automation suite. That means it is an email tool, a customer relationship management system, an automation tool, and more.

Because ActiveCampaign is a fully integrated marketing automation platform, it combines your customer relationship management system with your email marketing service. This makes sending the right emails to the right people at the right time easier.

ActiveCampaign's email marketing page
ActiveCampaign’s email marketing page

Standout features

  • Drag-and-drop email designer: ActiveCampaign’s email designer allows you to easily add and arrange text, images, CTAs, and more. The step-by-step process makes building and sending your newsletter a breeze.
  • Easy automations: An email tool should make life easier, and automations take that to the next level. You can use workflows to automatically send your newsletter to contacts based on their behaviors or interests. 
  • Conditional content: Even if you send your newsletter to a large mailing list, you can use conditional content to ensure recipients get content relevant to their interests.

Who should use ActiveCampaign?

While there are plans for all business sizes, ActiveCampaign is an especially great tool for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a comprehensive marketing platform. It’s ideal for creating personalized customer journeys with a relatively small team.

2. GetResponse

GetResponse is an inbound marketing solution for online businesses. Their customer engagement tools include email marketing, marketing automation, and landing pages.

Homepage of the GetResponse website
Homepage of the GetResponse website (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Email templates: GetResponse’s library of email templates includes 500+ styles of newsletters for different industries.
  • Segmentation: You can assign tags and segment your email list for more relevant content, whether importing a list or adding data from sign-up forms.
  • A/B Testing: A/B testing is 1 of the simplest ways to learn what your audience responds to. Within GetResponse, you can test subject lines, images, layouts, and CTAs.

Who should use GetResponse?

GetResponse is a good tool for small and medium-sized businesses focused on inbound marketing. The tool’s landing page features are customer favorites. 

3. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a marketing solution that enables small businesses to send emails, implement chat and SMS messaging, and use automation workflows to manage their audience. 

Homepage of Sendinblue website
Homepage of Sendinblue website (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Email personalization: Within Sendinblue’s email editor,  you can add contact information to your newsletters, such as adding the recipient’s first name in the salutation.
  • Multi-channel communication: Along with sending emails, you can use Sendinblue to reach customers through chat and SMS messaging.
  • Send time optimization: Instead of scheduling your newsletter for Tuesday at 9:00 AM, you can choose “Send at the Best Time” and Sendinblue will use machine learning to analyze your past data and automatically send at the optimal time.

Who should use Sendinblue?

Sendinblue’s free plan is a good choice for small businesses with a small number of contacts. You can send up to 300 emails daily at no cost, but it lacks automation and advanced segmentation.

4. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce is a mainstay of enterprise businesses with large email lists and complex sales processes. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is their digital marketing solution.

Email marketing page for Salesforce
Email marketing page for Salesforce (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Email Studio: In their content builder interface, Salesforce users can create mobile-responsive emails from existing templates or from scratch. 
  • Dynamic content: Like ActiveCampaign, Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers a dynamic content feature that can populate emails with different content based on the recipient. 
  • Email automations: Designed for large businesses, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has the automation tools to manage huge numbers of contacts and lists. 

Who should use Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

If you’re already using Salesforce, sending newsletters and other emails through Salesforce Marketing Cloud may be the simplest path. Overall, the platform is best for enterprise and mid-market businesses.

5. AWeber

AWeber is an email marketing platform designed to help small businesses to grow and engage their audience with messages and landing pages.

Homepage of the AWeber website
Homepage of the AWeber website (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Library of templates: AWeber has tons of free email templates to choose from, whether you need somewhere to start with your newsletter, promotional emails, or industry-specific templates.
  • Stock image gallery: To make it easier to get from concept to send, AWeber offers thousands of curated images you can use in your newsletters and other emails.
  • Video tutorials: If you’re brand new to email marketing, AWeber has a library of step-by-step video tutorials to teach you how to get started. 

Who should use AWeber?

With its free plan and a wide selection of templates, AWeber is a good option for small businesses starting their email marketing journey. However, it lacks the advanced features a scaling business will need.

6. Adobe Marketo Engage

Marketo is a comprehensive email solution owned by Adobe (makers of Photoshop and other dominant design tools). It’s popular with software and IT businesses.

Homepage of Adobe Marketo Engage
Homepage of Adobe Marketo Engage (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Personalization: Adobe Marketo Engage allows you to use behavior tracking and predictive content to send your subscribers email content tailored to their preferences.
  • Segmentation: Like most email tools, you can segment your email list to target certain recipients. Customer behavior updates those segments in real time.
  • Marketing impact analytics: Marketo offers pre-built dashboards to get a high-level view of email performance, but you can also map out and measure the entire customer journey.

Who should use Adobe Marketo Engage?

Both its complexity and price point ($1,000+ per month) make Adobe Marketo Engage best suited for mid-market and enterprise businesses. It may also be worthwhile for teams already deeply embedded in the Adobe world.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a well-known email tool that Intuit, a giant in the software space, has acquired. They’ve expanded their platform to include creative tools and marketing automation in recent years.

Homepage of the Mailchimp website
Homepage of the Mailchimp website (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Email templates: Mailchimp offers a gallery of 100+ email templates for newsletters and more. You can also build your templates to get the exact look you want. 
  • Segmentation: For marketers or businesses new to list segmentation, Mailchimp has pre-built segments based on engagement and buying behavior.
  • Customer Journey Builder: Mailchimp’s Customer Journey Builder is where you can create workflows to move people from contacts to customers.

Who should use Mailchimp?

Mailchimp bills itself as an easy-to-use platform for small businesses. Their pre-built offering can help you get started if you’re new to email marketing.

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8. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a marketing platform for the creator economy. It helps artists and small businesses build an audience and sell digital products.

Homepage of the ConvertKit website
Homepage of the ConvertKit website (Image Source)

Standout features

  • Email designer: Designed for creators more than professional marketers, ConvertKit touts its pre-built email templates and in-line editing as easy to use.
  • Forms and landing pages: To grow your newsletter, ConvertKit makes it quick and easy to create landing pages with their templates or embed subscription forms on your website.
  • Automated email funnels: With ConvertKit, you can build simple automation workflows to send the right emails to customers at the right time.

Who should use ConvertKit?

ConvertKit is designed for creators who want to turn their passion into a successful business. This means it’s intuitive and easy but doesn’t have the advanced features you may need as your business grows.

Key features of newsletter software 

While all email tools will have slightly different capabilities, here are the main features and functionalities you should look for in your newsletter software.

List management and segmentation

Your email platform should make it easy to import and export contacts and add new contacts. ActiveCampaign allows you to automate contact creation, speeding up the sales process and cutting out human error. This means that as soon as someone enters their contact information, ActiveCampaign automatically creates a record of the account and adds them to the list of newsletter recipients.

Segmentation is also an extremely important feature. A modern email tool should allow you to segment your email list based on various qualities. And if you can automate segmentation (as ActiveCampaign users can), even better.

Email templates

A variety of pre-built templates will make it easy to create common emails like account creation emails, purchase confirmations, abandoned cart messages, and renewal emails. You should be able to build off of templates but also add personalized elements with custom fields and tokens.

Email templates offered by ActiveCampaign
Email templates offered by ActiveCampaign (Image Source)

ActiveCampaign has a vast library of more than 250 email templates for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) messaging.

Rules and sending parameters

Obviously, your email tool should make it easy to send emails, but it should also help you avoid spamming people. It doesn’t matter how good the content is if you’re emailing your list 20 times per week. You should be able to set rules and sending parameters that limit the number of emails a contact receives in a day, week, or month.

Reporting and analytics

Great email marketing is about testing, learning, and improving. Accurate and useful analytics allow you to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Look for a tool that makes A/B test subject lines and other key variables easy.

Much of email analytics comes back to a few main metrics, like opens and click-through rate, so an email tool should also offer you some pre-built reports and dashboards. It never hurts, however, to have the ability to create custom reports based on your company’s needs.

Three metrics for email newsletters
Three metrics for email newsletters

Integrations

Email affects just about every stage of the customer journey, so it’s extremely helpful to integrate your email platform with your other tools.

With ActiveCampaign, you get an email tool combined with a CRM and an automation platform. Our 900+ integrations mean you don’t have to choose between us and your favorite tools, like Shopify, Quickbooks, Zapier, Buffer, WordPress, and more.

Advanced features

Beyond these basic features, consider what advanced features an email provider offers. With so many digital marketing tasks to handle, it’s a big win to automate your newsletter and other email elements as you can with ActiveCampaign.

A workflow for newsletter automation
A workflow for newsletter automation (Image Source)

You should also look for opportunities to personalize your emails, including newsletters.

Along with basic personalization, ActiveCampaign’s conditional content feature means you can tailor your message to a contact’s geography or interests.

Since you will probably only use 1 email marketing software, it’s best to ensure it can be used for all the emails you send: newsletters, promotional emails, transactional emails, autoresponder, and more.

Frequently asked questions 

Here are some of the most common questions about email newsletters and newsletter software.

What is the best program to create newsletters?

Most email marketing programs allow you to build and send your newsletter. Which email tool is best depends on the specific needs of your business. ActiveCampaign is a robust tool suitable for a broad spectrum of customers, from one-person shops to enterprises.

How often should I send my newsletter?

The most common email newsletter cadence is monthly. However, depending on your industry and brand, you can send a newsletter weekly, bimonthly, or quarterly. You should send a newsletter as often as you can come up with valuable content.

What content should a newsletter include?

Generally, your newsletter content should offer helpful information, demonstrate an understanding of the customers’ needs and present your brand as a source of expertise and solutions. But each brand puts a different mix of content into their newsletters. Most email newsletters include industry blogs, links to resources, and calls to action. You can also add images, videos, and interactive elements. 

What do you need in your newsletter software 

Newsletters (whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly) are an important part of digital marketing, so take care in choosing your newsletter software. They allow you to build trust and familiarity with potential customers as you show how your company can solve their problems.

Whatever your business, you want a tool to easily build beautiful emails and manage your contact lists. As a business grows and optimizes its marketing—segmentation, analytics, and sending parameters become essential. As a comprehensive marketing suite, ActiveCampaign delivers all these features alongside industry-leading automation capabilities.

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