The Best Autoresponders, CRM’s & Email Marketing Automation Software

 

Unsure of what the best autoresponder is for your business?

Or maybe you’re wondering if it’s a CRM or marketing automation tool that you need… But aren’t they the same thing?

And why is it so confusing?

Either way, you don’t want to waste valuable time and money investigating and experimenting with all the different providers. Only to find they aren’t right for your type of business, or they offer a poor-quality service.

Which is why this article exists.

To help you quickly find the top-rated email marketing and CRM services specific to your needs.

Quick Navigation Links:

E-commerce

Small Business

Affiliate Marketing

Self-Hosted

Beginners

This is important because there is NO one-size-fits-all, best email marketing automation tool that works equally well for all types of users.

For instance, the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing is certainly not the best for e-commerce.

And while a CRM is very different to an autoresponder, you’ll find today that a lot of autoresponders have a built-in CRM, and likewise a lot of CRM’s have a built-in autoresponder.

So, I’ll be using the terms autoresponder, marketing automation and CRM interchangeably in this article. And, I’ll often refer to them as email marketing services or software. Because it’s better for me to list a complete email marketing solution according to your requirements, rather than a specific tool. So, please bear with me.

These choices aren’t only based on my findings, but also that of other users.

If you are in a hurry, you can click the links below to check out the best marketing automation software for each category:

  • Best for Ecommerce – WINNER
  • Best for Affiliate Marketing – WINNER
  • Best for Beginners – WINNER
  • Best for Small Business – WINNER
  • Best Self-Hosted – WINNER

Let’s get started…

The Best Marketing Automation Tool for E-Commerce

Omnisend

The Omnisend logo. Which is the listed as the best marketing automation tool for ecommerce

When choosing a suitable marketing automation software for your eCommerce business, you need to make sure it comes with the following:

  • An abandoned cart recovery solution
  • Easy integration with your shopping platform (whether it’s Shopify, WooCommerce, or even one of the small lesser known ones)
  • A variety of ways to get visitors to sign-up to your mailing lists
  • Quality newsletter and promotional campaign creation
  • The ability to segment your subscribers based on their preferences and behavior for more targeted marketing
  • Sales tracking
  • Incentive tools

I consider these non-negotiable features that are essential for every business selling products online. These key features will:

  • Make scaling your business possible
  • Directly impact sales and revenue
  • Fully automate your customer relationship management
  • Minimize downtime and frustrating obstacles when setting up

Omnisend has all these features and more, because it was built specifically for businesses in the eCommerce space.

Here’s a few of the features that will prove to be extremely beneficial for your business.

1-Click Integration

Getting started with Omnisend is quick and easy. And even better if you’re using Shopify, WooCommerce or Bigcommerce, since you can enjoy 1-click integration.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Their most famous feature.

Inside Omnisend you can market and communicate with your audience by:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Push Notifications
  • As well as automatic syncing of your data with Google and Facebook Ads.

For example, you can steadily improve the traditionally low email open rates using Omnisend’s built-in A/B testing, while ensuring most of your audience receives your messages with an SMS campaign (98% open rate).

Abandoned Cart Recovery

They even have an abandoned cart recovery campaign which is quick to set up and customize (number of abandoned cart emails, timing, etc.).

This campaign automatically contacts potential customers who’ve abandoned their shopping carts, and gently persuades them to complete their purchase.

Incentive Tools

This is a big one, and an important reason why using a marketing service built exclusively for ecommerce is crucial.

When using general email and CRM services, it’s difficult implementing ecommerce-based incentives like discount coupons and free shipping to your campaigns. Often ending up being frustrating and time-consuming to get working consistently.

With Omnisend it can’t get any easier, as it’s just a matter of selecting the discount coupon option or other incentive-based elements for your campaign.

These are also fully integrated with your shop, so gifts and discounts are automatically applied to shoppers’ purchases. No extra workarounds needed.

For increasing engagement, Omnisend have also created fun, interactive incentives for you to include in all your campaigns.

Incentives like the:

  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Scratch Card
  • Gift Box

Are extremely popular with shoppers and enjoy higher conversion rates than conventional methods.

These are just some of Omnisend’s main features that put it well ahead of the competition.

And I haven’t even mentioned the time-saving Product Picker, or the open-rate increasing Campaign Booster.

 

When you switch to Omnisend you’ll also see:

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How their tools and reports will help your business grow

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Why their integrations and easy-to-use features will save you time

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How their forms and incentives will increase your leads and sales

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Why their automation solutions will streamline your CRM and make it more effective

So, if you’re ready to really scale up your e-commerce business, boost sales and increase customer retention, click the button below and you can try out Omnisend completely free for 14 days, or schedule a full demo.

The Best Email Marketing Solution for Affiliate Marketing

GetResponse

The GetResponse logo. Featured here as the best email tool for affiliate marketing

There are too many horror stories of affiliate marketers losing their hard-earned email lists overnight.

Why?

Well, they made the crucial mistake of choosing an email marketing service that is NOT affiliate friendly. Many providers unfortunately don’t want affiliate marketers using their platforms. Some state it explicitly in their terms and conditions, others don’t.

So, it’s essential to choose an autoresponder that’s happy to have affiliate marketers as clients.

GetResponse is, and here’s a few of the reasons why it’s my #1 autoresponder for affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Friendly

GetResponse is probably the most affiliate-friendly email marketing tool currently on the market.

They have excellent relationships with some of the largest affiliate networks, and even provide direct integrations, so you can get your campaigns running quicker and access more actionable data linked to your emails.

As long as you’re not doing anything illegal, you won’t have to worry about your account getting shutdown and losing your email list.

So, you can confidently test and scale your affiliate campaigns without any fear.

Deliverability and Quality Control

This is extremely important, and often overlooked by inexperienced affiliates.

You see, since there aren’t too many established email providers allowing affiliate marketing, affiliates generally run to the new, overhyped email tools being launched every year.

These tools tend to offer one-time pricing for unlimited subscribers and emails, and a whole bunch of other glorious benefits.

They also attract a whole lot of spammers to their platform. This is a huge problem because they don’t have the internal infrastructure to adequately monitor the quality of emails being sent and list quality.

Their sending reputation takes a hit, and eventually emails being sent using the service end up in the spam folder. Even the clients trying to do things the right way.

Fortunately, GetResponse has leading infrastructure, resources and experience to strictly monitor email and list quality to maintain its excellent sender reputation.

Which means your affiliate marketing emails reliably land in your subscribers’ inbox, and not in the spam folder.

In addition to being completely open to affiliate marketers, GetResponse also comes with all the essential features needed to enjoy success with email marketing, like automation, tagging, forms, analytics and more.

Here’s a few other benefits you’ll see when using GetResponse for your affiliate marketing campaigns.

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How their 30-day free trial lets you save money which you can then use on PPC campaigns to quickly generate traffic and test affiliate offers

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Why their pre-made templates allows you to get landing pages and opt-in forms up to get your affiliate campaigns running quickly

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How their straightforward platform means you’ll have no problems in easily setting up working campaigns

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Why their webinar integrations mean you can seamlessly get your list on high-ticket webinars for big commissions

So, if you want a reliable email marketing service that lets you securely grow and profit from huge affiliate marketing lists, GetResponse is the best and most convenient solution. 

If you click the button below, you’ll get 30 days free access with GetResponse so you can start testing out affiliate offers to see if GetResponse is the right solution for you.

The Best Email Marketing Solution for Beginners

Aweber

The Aweber logo. Featured here as the best email marketing software for beginners

It can easily feel overwhelming when you’re just starting out with email marketing.

There’s a lot of ‘technical’ stuff you need to do like:

  • Creating sign up forms to collect emails
  • Getting your forms on to your website
  • Creating and connecting emails to your forms
  • And all the backend setup to ensure everything works smoothly

You don’t want to be spending days trying to get it to work. And you definitely don’t want to be struggling with complicated and costly features you don’t know how to benefit from.

So it’s important to start your email marketing journey with an email service that:

  • Is extremely easy to use
  • Is affordable
  • Comes with simple step-by-step instructions and setup guides
  • Is built for non-techies
  • Has excellent support

 

Which is why Aweber is the best choice for beginners.

Everything from the user interface, to creating your email campaigns is extremely simple and user-friendly. Additionally, there’s loads of guides and step-by-step instructions that cover everything needed to get your first email campaign up and running. Aweber was also the first autoresponder I used, and even though it’s been quite a few years since then, I remember having no issues creating my first campaign.

Here’s some of the main features that makes Aweber the ideal choice if you’re just starting out.

Access to Everything

What do you need?

That’s one of the first questions you’re asking yourself when starting out.

And that’s where the problem starts.

You see, a few email tools have an entry-level pricing plan that’s often meant for beginners. These plans offer very basic features, while the bigger and better options are reserved for higher tier subscriptions.

So, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on important tools which will give you better results. Or you’ll start out with a higher-level plan. Wasting countless hours trying to figure out how to implement these advanced features in your very first campaign (features you don’t need to get started). Just because you want to ‘get your money’s worth’.

With Aweber, you’re getting access to every feature right from the start. Even on the lowest pricing plan.

This is awesome for beginners because it means you can start out with a very basic campaign. Then once you get the hang of it all and grow in confidence, you can start playing around with the advanced stuff. At no extra cost.

It’s the perfect way for any beginner to start with email marketing.

Pre-Built Campaigns and Templates

Your first email autoresponder series…

This can trip you up and waste a lot of time.

Knowing what to write in your first few emails is tough. Then you must fiddle with settings and other stuff to make sure it’s all working correctly.

It can seem incredibly intimidating the first time.

Luckily with Aweber, you can immediately get started with one of their 4 pre-built autoresponder campaigns.

  • Welcome campaign
  • Lead magnet campaign
  • Blog content campaign
  • Mini-course campaign

These are fully built autoresponder campaigns complete with prewritten emails which you can edit with your own content as well as the backend settings.

This is a fast way to get your first campaign launched so you can start building your list. Now you won’t have to worry about what to say in your first emails, and how to configure your autoresponder settings.

And you can also choose from over 700 email templates which you can customize and use.

Simple, Step-by-step

This is probably the most important reason why Aweber is the best choice for beginners.

From the very first time you sign in to your Aweber account, you’ll have clear, easy to follow instructions guiding you on creating your first campaign.

Nothing is left out.

  • Opt-in form creation and setup on your web properties
  • List creation and segmenting
  • Email creation
  • Autoresponder setup
  • Automation

They also have beginner checklists, video tutorials, webinars, and a whole host of guides to help you master Aweber and increase your email marketing skills in general.

And if you ever do get stuck, Aweber has 24/7 live support that helps you through any problem you’re having, as well as helping you understand the solution.

Aweber really makes it easy for you to build out a working funnel. Even if you’re completely clueless with anything tech related.

With Aweber you’ll find it incredibly simple to create email campaigns and build up your skills and confidence with email marketing.

Using Aweber you’ll also see the following benefits from some of their other features:

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Why their built-in segmenting means you’ll be able to send more targeted emails for higher conversions

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How using their drag and drop email creator lets you create beautiful emails like a pro

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Why their comprehensive integrations mean you’ll effortlessly connect with your favorite tools

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How their advanced form creator gives you high-converting opt-in options like popup forms, lightboxes, blog post sign-ups and more

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Why their detailed analytics means you’ll have all the information you need to measure and improve the performance of your email campaigns

So, if you’re just starting out with email marketing, and looking for an affordable and easy to use autoresponder, consider using Aweber.

If you click the button below, you’ll get full free access to Aweber for 30 days to see if you like it.

The Best Email Marketing Solution for Small Business

Ontraport

The Ontraport logo. Featured here as the best email marketing service for small business

Inefficiency.

One of the biggest obstacles that will hurt the growth of your business. Which is why you’re looking for a marketing automation tool to streamline your business processes by automating as many manual tasks as possible.

Tasks such as:

  • Assigning of leads and duties to your staff and sales team
  • Responding to enquiries
  • Reaching out to old clients
  • Lead nurturing
  • Client communications
  • Data gathering and analysis

Having a fully automated AND complete system for these tasks means you’re freeing up valuable time and resources to minimize losing out on client opportunities and falling behind your competitors. Automation is a crucial part of scaling your business.

Which is why Ontraport is my #1 choice for small and medium businesses.

It’s one of the most complete and affordable tools for creating a fluid system that connects the offline and online parts of your business and automates your communications with leads, clients and staff. As well as providing detailed insights into every aspect of your business, so you can see what’s working.

Here’s a few of the main features that makes Ontraport ideal for your business.

One Platform that Does it All

  • Opt-in Forms
  • Landing Pages
  • CRM
  • Autoresponder
  • Newsletters
  • Special Promotions
  • Cart Abandonment Protection
  • Full membership site management
  • Your own referral program
  • Detailed analytics
  • Split-testing
  • Segmentation
  • Payment gateway integrations
  • Internal task scheduling
  • SMS reminders
  • And more…

Ontraport is packed full of almost all the tools and features you need to successfully run and scale your business.

And they’re all completely handled within the Ontraport platform.

All the tools and features work well. A lot of work has gone into their implementation rather than being tacked on as a bug-filled after-thought.

 

In addition to all the money you’ll be saving on cutting down on the number of paid tools in your arsenal, you’ll also be saving a tremendous amount of time.

Instead of having to waste time logging in to all the different platforms to perform tasks and get an overview of your operations, you’ll quickly do it all within Ontraport.

Having everything integrated into one platform also means you’ll get more accurate reporting and insights into your business.

With Ontraport you can see reports detailing the effectiveness of EVERY:

  • Traffic source (offline included)
  • Landing page
  • Opt-in form
  • Email campaign

As well as every interaction leads have with your business.

Allowing for more informed decisions and better results.

CRM and Sales Force Automation

With Ontraport you’re getting access to a fully loaded Customer Relationship Management tool.

You can easily

  • import, update and edit contact details
  • see a detailed history of each interaction a contact had with your business
  • Set up lead scoring

Which allows you to better qualify your leads and see which ones are worth spending more time on.

With sales force automation, these leads can be automatically assigned to your sales team automatically. Leads can be assigned in a round-robin format where leads are distributed equally, or in a weighted format where you can assign certain staff to receive a larger or smaller percentage of leads.

And it’s not just lead distribution that’s automated.

You can also automate your task scheduling. So, once a staff member completes a certain task, another one will be automatically assigned to them.

Ontraport’s CRM and Sales Force Automation allows you to completely automate and integrate your Customer Relationship Management with your sales team. Yes, it does take some time to set up. However, once it is, you’ll find that your business is running much more efficiently, and you’re getting much higher conversion rates.

Once it’s set up, you’ll see a definite improvement in the way your business works.

With the marketing automation you’ll have a smooth system that handles the entire customer journey; from their first contact with your brand, the important relationship building, nurturing and converting, and all the post-sale communications.

Additionally, the sales automation will make sure your internal processes is just as efficient.

Being able to access and manage it all from one platform will allow you to easily maintain control over your entire business.

Some other benefits of using Ontraport:

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How the private IP setup ensures you get a near faultless email reputation with extremely high inboxing rates

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Why their automated collections and recharges feature helps you increase retention by getting clients to update their payment info

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How the Pilotpress plugin lets you effortlessly manage your very own customer center, membership site and affiliate program

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How their advanced form creator gives you high-converting opt-in options like popup forms, lightboxes, blog post sign-ups and more

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Why their detailed analytics means you’ll have all the information you need to measure and improve the performance of your email campaigns

So, if you’re ready to scale and streamline your business for significant growth, have a look at all the Ontraport offers by clicking the button below. You’ll also be able to try it out completely free for 14 days.

The Best Self-Hosted Email Marketing Solution 

Sendy

The Sendy logo. Featured here as the best self-hosted autoresponder

There are 2 major reasons why you’re probably considering a self-hosted email service.

1. High recurring fees based on the size of your list and number of emails you send

The cost of email marketing services usually scales based on the number of subscribers on your list, or on the number of emails you send every month. And because of how quickly this monthly fee scales, it can feel like a significant expense.

Self-hosted autoresponders thankfully don’t come with these high monthly fees. Usually it’s just a one-time payment upfront, and then you’re free to use the software as required.

2. Lack of ultimate control over your email list

You’ve worked hard and spent considerable time and resources on building your subscriber list. It’s a revenue generating asset.

So, if you’re running your email campaigns through a cloud-based autoresponder service, you are at risk of losing it all if you ever get your account shutdown.

With a self-hosted autoresponder, you’re in full control of your list.

  • Number of subscribers
  • Importing of contacts
  • Frequency and volume of emails
  • Content of emails

You decide it all.

However, even if you’re in full control, you still can’t be completely reckless with your mailing, or else you can kiss your delivery and sender reputation goodbye. 

Now, most self-hosted emailing services give you full control over your list, as well as freeing you from the financial burden of a high monthly fee. However, when choosing the best one, you need to make sure it:

  • Is easy to use
  • Has excellent deliverability
  • Works reliably
  • Helps you get results

Which is why Sendy tops my list as the #1 self-hosted autoresponder.

 

Here are some of Sendy’s key features:

Amazon SES

Sendy is leveraging the trust and credibility of Amazon to deliver your emails, through Amazon SES.

Doing so means you will enjoy excellent inboxing rates right from the start. This is a huge advantage over using most other self-hosted autoresponders that require you to use your web server’s SMTP service which puts you at risk of landing in the spam folder.

Cost

$59 one-time cost, with no monthly fees when you buy Sendy. It’s yours to use forever.

However, there is a small cost you pay Amazon SES depending on the number of emails you send. And by small, I mean really small.

To put it in perspective:

  • Sending 10 000 emails with MailChimp will cost you $200
  • Sending 10 000 emails with Campaign Monitor will cost you $105
  • Sending 10 000 emails with Sendy will cost you $1. Yes, one dollar

There’s no comparison. Switching to Sendy will save you a lot of money.

Segmentation

Rather than being just a basic self-hosted email tool, Sendy is constantly evolving and adding to their feature list.

Which now includes segmentation.

Sendy’s easy to use segmentation allows you to target certain subscribers in your list for specific campaigns. You can divide your list based on several factors which include, demographics, link clicks, how they opted in, email opens and a whole lot more. You can even set custom fields to collect from your list which you can also use for segmentation.

The result?

Much more targeted campaigns which means better open rates, higher CTR’s and more conversions.

When you get Sendy, you’ll also see:

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How their GDPR features ensures you remain compliant

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Why automatic handling of complaints and bounces gives you effortless list management & protects your email sending reputation

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How using their white label lets you effortlessly manage unlimited numbers of clients for more revenue

With Sendy, you can send out thousands of emails and enjoy high deliverability for a fraction of the regular cost.

So, if you’re looking for a self-hosted email marketing service to keep costs down and gain more control over your list, Sendy is currently the best option.

Click the button below to check it out.

Next Steps:

 

If you came here looking for the best autoresponder, CRM or marketing automation tool, you’ll hopefully now have a clear idea of an email marketing solution that’s ideal for your specific needs.

Still unsure?

Feel free to browse the other articles and reviews on this website, where I go into much greater depth on the different email service providers.

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