5 Most Effective Email Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Who says email marketing tools are now defunct? Social media might be the reigning king in the digital marketing domain, but don’t discount good old, reliable, email marketing. Here’s why: nothing beats the ROI of a successful email marketing campaign. 

The average return on investment for email marketing is 122%. That’s a whopping 4 times higher than the ROI of other marketing formats such as paid search, direct mail, or even social media. 

What is email marketing used for? Email marketing is used for sending a commercial message to a group of people via email. Basically, all emails sent to potential customers can be considered email marketing. Email marketing includes sending promotional messages, advertisements, catalogues, special offers, and other business acquisition materials through email.

If you use it right. email is still the tried and tested way to reach your audience. Use email for marketing strategy because email marketing helps build business credibility.  It is personal and targeted. That’s why it helps build customer relations. You get to personalise the content. Unlike social media where followers constantly change, your mailing list is yours. You get to decide who sees your content. 

Here are some of the best email marketing platforms for small businesses:


All of us have probably encountered MailChimp in one form or the other – as a user or as a recipient of mail from MailChimp. It’s arguably the most popular and widely used email marketing tool on this list. It’s user friendly dashboard gives its users a snapshot of all the information they need to create email marketing campaigns or improve on the next one using the stats from previous campaigns. It also has useful social media integrations that simplify sharing posts and email updates. 

Constant Contact

Templates dramatically increase productivity and Constant Contact has hundreds of design templates to help kickstart your email marketing campaign. It also has practical features such as documents, images, polls, links to surveys, videos that you can insert into your email marketing campaign. 


Being an email marketing and automation software company, AWeber prides itself in pioneering the autoresponder tool. It integrates well with well known shopping cart platforms and third party services such as Salesforce. It’s not just for digital marketers but for developers as well. Developers love the AWeber Labs where they can build their own apps using the AWeber API. 


GetResponse is the perfect email marketing tool for digital marketers who meticulous care for their mailing lists. It lets digital marketers track how many subscribers view, unsubscribe, or click on links. They can also track complaints, delivery fails or even find out why people unsubscribed to the mailing list.

Zoho Campaigns

Zoho’s comprehensive end-to-end email marketing tool, Zoho Campaigns, not only helps marketers create compelling email, but also integrates with other Zoho services to create an automated workflow. With Zoho Campaigns, you can create email workflows and autoresponders that let you trigger emails based on a contact’s activity. That automated process takes care of half the work of running email marketing campaigns. It plays well with  a number of products that you use to run your business like SurveyMonkey and WordPress, among others.

ActiveCampaign (my favourite!)

ActiveCampaign has a built in CRM that connects to your email marketing data to allow for easy analytics and quick follow up by your sales team. It also has powerful automation tools that trigger campaigns, sales follow ups, automated segmentation, and dynamic email among others.

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)

Keap’s (formerly Infusionsoft) strong point as an email marketing tool is that it scales well. Infusionsoft fans will be happy to know that the old email marketing tool has been repackaged into a sleeker and more powerful product with advanced marketing and sales automation features, powerful app integrations and fully customisable campaigns.


Ontraport boasts of having “all your marketing tools in one place”. True to form, Ontraport does offer a unified platform with marketing automation, CRM, and project management tools all streamlined in one solution as opposed to having these features “stacked” and available as separate features.

These are just a few of our favourite email marketing tools for small businesses. Is your favourite mentioned on this list? Which email marketing tool have you had the most success with? Share your experience with your best email marketing tools.

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