Best email marketing software programs

Email marketing List Building and Autoresponders
Best email marketing software programs

Email marketing and list building, if done correctly, is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website and build customer loyalty within your target niche.

It’s no wonder that we are spoiled for choice when it comes to email marketing software. You may be familiar with cloud based solutions like Mad Mimi, Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor and AWeber to name a few. There’s also new players in the email software market, such as my personal favorite, MailerLite. So what are the best email marketing software programs? Well it depends on a few factors, including; the size of your audience, the type of functionality you need, and how often you plan to send emails.

I have chosen four popular email marketing, listing building and auto-responder programs to compare features and benefits below.

Email Software Comparison Chart



MailerLite was originally created in 2010, and is a relatively new player in the email software space. MailerLite has a diverse team, with a head office in Lithuania, there is a strong focus on delivering a simple yet powerful email solution to help businesses grow.

The reason I love MailerLite is that users have access to All the functionality of their software even on the forever free plan, which means that as an online marketer I could build, test and refine my emails, auto-responders and popup forms even when my mailing list was quite small. The other thing that stands out for me with this product is my interactions with their customer service and support staff via the live chat option on the website, which is fantastic. Their team is super helpful, with quick response times and are 100% focused on helping their customers get the most out of the MailerLite software.

MailerLite for Authors

MailerLite has some amazing features for writers and authors, including an integration with Instafreebie and BookFunnel to make building a mailing lists a breeze. This means that you can offer subscribers a freebie or a copy of your e book and if they take up that offer, their email and contact details will automatically be synced to MailerLite.

Below are testimonials from authors who are happy with their experiences with MailerLite.

MailerLite Testimonials

Can Affiliate Marketers use MailerLite?

MailerLite prohibits affiliate marketing but permits the use of affiliate links within email campaigns. An excerpt of their terms and conditions are below:

Affiliate Marketing and Affiliate Links

Affiliate Marketing and Affiliate Links are two different things. Affiliate Marketing is prohibited in MailerLite, but Affiliate Links are fine in most cases.

  • Affiliate Marketing (Prohibited) – is a type of business where you earn commission by promoting other company’s products. We don’t allow this activity, because there’s no direct relationship between you and your subscribers. You are not allowed to send unrelated offers to your subscribers or pretend to be another brand.

  • Affiliate Links (Allowed) – is a way to recommend product or service to your subscribers in your campaigns. Advertisement for another company (Affiliate Link) can only appear under your branding and be clearly presented as a special offer from another company. Moreover, the offer has to be related to your content and meet subscriber expectations. You are not allowed to send emails with links to content that is prohibited in our Terms of Use. Campaigns with blacklisted links will be stopped automatically and we may be forced to close the account permanently.

If you are unsure whether your planned emailing activities fall within the permitted use of MailerLite, their support team will be happy to assist you via a support ticket or live chat.

  • Pricing Options:
    • Forever Free plan up to 1000 Subscribers
    • Small Business plans (price per month)
      • 1,001- 2,500 $10
      • 2,501- 5,000 $20
      • 5,001-10,000 $35
      • 10,001-15,000 $50
      • tiered pricing for larger volumes continues
  • Read my MailerLite product review here

Does MailerLite have an affiliate program?

YES. You can apply to become a MailerLite Affiliate and earn 30% of every sale, plus recurring commissions. MailerLite will provide you with an affiliate link upon acceptance of your application. You can track who has signed up via your affiliate link on the affiliate dashboard and these referrals remain yours even if it takes some time for your referral to upgrade from a forever free to a paid monthly plan. Once you have accumulated $120 in commission you can request a payout and MailerLite will send your commission to your PayPal account.

MailerLite Login




Whilst AWeber is more expensive than some of the other email programs showcased in this article, it is a tried and trusted product used by many serious affiliate marketers. Wealthy Affiliate also recommend AWeber to their members for building an email list through funnels, landing pages and auto responders. Regardless of which plan you are on, you have full access to all AWeber features from day one.

AWeber has an extensive knowledge base, help articles, video guides and training as well as weekly webinar training to help you every step of the way. It’s worth a visit to the AWeber website just to grab their freebie; a What-To-Write guide which includes 45 templates to help you craft powerful and engaging emails. I’ve got a copy and it’s an 86-page guide which covers everything from the basic intro email through to setting up automated emails to develop subscribers into loyal customers.

  • Pricing Options (price per month):
    • 30 day free trial, then from $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers
    • 501 – 2,500 $29
    • 2,501 – 5,000 $49
    • 5,001 – 10,000 $69
    • 10,000 – 25,000 $149
    • tiered pricing for larger volumes continues

Does AWeber have an affiliate program?

YES. AWeber have an affiliate program where you can earn 30% of every sale, plus recurring commissions. Apply on their website and when approved, AWeber will provide you with an affiliate link upon acceptance.

AWeber also have tools and resources to assist you to grow your affiliate commissions including:

  • Articles and Adverts – for your to reprint and reuse for your own campaigns
  • Email sales notifications of when you have made a sale
  • Reporting on visitor and sales stats
  • Affiliate newsletter and access to tips, webinars and tools

Commissions are paid by cheque when you have accumulated $30 in earnings.

Aweber Login




MailChimp is a popular solution for small businesses as it’s completely free if you have less than 2000 subscribers. However, it’s worth checking their terms and conditions carefully as they do not allow affiliate marketing emails, so make sure your intended use falls within their allowed activities.

Their platform is nice and easy to use with drag and drop functionality, automation, landing pages and more. They have some training guides online as well as a blog which is regularly updated with useful information.

  • Pricing Options:
    • New business – Free up to 2,000 subscribers with some limitations on features and functionality
    • Growing business (price per month)
      • 2,001-2,500 subscribers $30
      • 5,001-5,200 subscribers $55
      • up to 10,000 subscribers $75
      • tiered pricing for larger volumes continues

Does MailChimp have an affiliate program?

NO, but it does have a rewards program. You can earn email credits on your MailChimp account by referring new paying customers to MailChimp through their MonkeyRewards program. Both accounts need to be paid accounts before any MonkeyRewards can be used, as they cannot be redeemed for cash, they can only be applied towards MailChimp purchases on your account.

MailChimp Login



Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is a popular choice among corporates and agencies as it offers the full suite of functionality you expect from email software as well as analytics, reporting and built in billing for agencies.

This software program is intuitive and easy to use with full drag and drop features, a ton of templates and designs so you’ll be creating beautiful and responsive emails in minutes

The power of Campaign Monitor is within their solution for ‘Agencies’

If you are planning on managing or offering an email solution to your clients, Campaign Monitor may be the solution for you. Within the platform you can manage email marketing for multiple clients, whether you are creating and sending campaigns on their behalf or they are doing their own. You can create multiple users per client as well as add users to your own administrator interface. Campaign Monitor also can be branded and named by you so your clients see a solution offered and delivered by your business. You can easily toggle between your clients, their campaigns and billing information. Each client you sign up can have their experience fully customized to meet their needs.

  • Pricing Options:
    • Pay per campaign (based on number of emails sent) or;
    • Monthly Pricing
      • 2,500 emails $9
      • Unlimited; $39 with added features (Advanced marketing automation, Unlimited inbox previews, Time zone sending, Unlimited spam testing)
      • Premier; same as Unlimited $199 with added features (Send-time optimization, Advanced link tracking, Template management for teams)
      • Advanced; same as Premier $519 with added features (Advanced segmentation, Activity-triggered journeys, 1:1 email content, Behavioral customer data)

Does Campaign Monitor have an affiliate program?

NO. However, as mentioned, Campaign Monitor lets you ‘white label’ email marketing to drive more revenue for your agency and results for your clients.

Campaign Monitor Login



This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale. “Basically, if you buy through my website, I might get some pocket money, but not enough for Jimmy Choos.”

12 Responses&nbspso far.

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Karen,

    Great post.

    Email Marketing is something that I have struggled with when I first started.

    From the info I have read and reviewed, Aweber seems to be the most popular Email Marketing software.

    With it being automatic, is Email Marketing still hard work do you think?

    All the best,


    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Tom, thanks for your question. I think the hard work with email marketing is up front, so the setting up of your email auto responders and email series that you create to build a relationship with your readers. Then once that is all established, the work is in making sure you are monitoring your campaigns and tweaking them to get the best results. It’s an area I’m exploring and writing about at the moment, so be sure to bookmark my site as further articles will be posted on this topic. Also, I have chosen MailerLite for my campaigns, every interaction I’ve had with their team has been fantastic and I have confidence in their product offering. Cheers, Karen

  2. Alice says:

    Email marketing is something I am considering but I am not sure if this is the right time to do it. I have tried out Get Response’s one month free trial; unfortunately I couldn’t figure out how to do it so I did not upgrade my subscription. Interestingly, Get Response is not included on your list of the best email marketing software programs.

    When do you think is the right time to build and email list?

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Alice, My recommendation for you is MailerLite as you’re website is not in the MMO niche so you’d be operating within their terms and conditions. Personally it’s never too early to start building a list, the sooner you start, the sooner you can refine your automated emails and responders on a small amount of traffic before things really take off. Best of luck, Cheers, Karen

  3. Anna says:

    Hi Karen,
    I was actually wondering about the best mail marketing software programs. I have been using MailChimp before and it served great my needs, but I would not mind to check other options.
    I liked that you created a comparative graph where you can easily see the differences between the most popular email marketing agents.
    I have never heard about the MailerLight before and I am intrigued to give it a try and see whether I will like it more than MailChimp. My audience is not that big so far, but I would like to incorporate email updates at some point.
    Thank you again for the valuable post!

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Anna, Thanks for reading and if I had to choose between MailChimp and MailerLite, It would be MailerLite hands down. Best of luck and if you need any further info, please feel free to drop me a question in the comments here. Cheers, Karen

  4. Garrett says:

    This is really helpful. i just started my online business a couple months ago and now I am starting to pick up a little more traffic to my site everyday.
    So I been looking for ways to better convert my traffic into commissions and I read from an article that email marketing is the best way to go.
    But the thing is that there are so many email marketing programs to choose from so it makes it a hard to decision to choose the best one.
    This article just made my decision that must easier and definitely going to look into a couple of these programs. Great article, I am going to share this on my Facebook.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Thanks for your comment and your feedback. MailerLite is a great option but with all email software it pays to do your homework and make sure it’s a good fit for you business. All the best and thanks for sharing this post on your social media. Cheers, Karen

  5. dreamgirl93 says:

    Hi Karen,

    I really like your post.

    I haven’t started using email marketing at my online business yet.

    I have heard a lot about Aweber but haven;t started to use it yet.

    There is something discomfortable for me in email marketing, like everything new which is discimfortable at the beginning. Do you think email marketing is effective? Do people really read those emails sent for marketing?

    All the best,


    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi there, Email marketing (done correctly) is the best way to create loyalty and build an income stream online. To learn more about effective email marketing, I recommend the training by Wealthy Affiliate, Best wishes, Karen

  6. Jackie says:

    Thanks for the article
    I’ve been with Aweber for sometime but recently changed to Mailerlite. I find their interface much easier to use and quicker to navigate.
    I’m going to try Mailerlite for a while and see how I get on with it.
    I’ve had no dealings with Campaign Monitor but don’t think it would be suitable for any of my sites.

    Thanks again

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Jackie, thanks for your feedback about Aweber compared to MailerLite. I’ll be interested to hear back from you in a month or so once you’ve had a chance to put MailerLite through it’s paces. Best wishes, Karen

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