The Mailing List List


Having worked with almost every major mailing list system out there, I decided to compile a short list of favorites that wont require you to spend endless hours in research.

So it goes without saying, this list is not exhaustive.

What's not included:
  • Enterprise-sized systems (like Bronto). Most people don't need anything like this.
  • True “all-in-ones” like Ontraport and Keap (used to be InfusionSoft) I've found them cumbersome to set up for new businesses and some were very buggy and infuriating to my clients.
  • Mailchimp – this system has recently updated its terms to remove anyone sending “misleading information”, which can be anything. They also do not support – are actively against affiliate emails, so if you've used them to refer or recommend anything, they can shut you down. They also recently (Spring of 2020) deleted a list of 50,000 members without word and have yet to recover it or explain this to the list owners.
  • WordPress hosted email systems – we find the deliverability is weak and inconsistent, and they wont work well if you have more than one WordPress install.

4 vendors we love, 1 notable

Your ideal may or may not be here, but look around and see what feels like the closest fit for you.

Active Campaign

Create great flow diagrams for behavior, on the fly. Add new lists, tag members, on the fly. Those coming from Mailchimp will find this incredibly refreshing.

Good for people who plan on running sequences and getting complex and flexible lists and customer management. I'm not crazy about its CRM system – Hubspot is more robust, but it's also more expensive.

Another MAJOR PLUS and why we use it here is that it integrates with just about everything.

AC wants to be for everyone, so they do have store integration, but it feels more complex for starters than something like Klaviyo.

Free TrialYes – 14 days
Free PlanNo
Cheapest Plan Cost$9 / month / 500 subscribers
(this is the Lite plan and perfect for starting out)
IntegrationsExtensive

Klaviyo

This is a beautiful system that's excellent for shops. With its fluid integration with Shopify and WooCommerce (a WordPress based shopping cart we love) and graceful Automations for abandoned carts, shipping notifications, etc, you'll love how it flows.

It also integrated with Facebook Advertising and many other services, and for small lists – 250 users and less, you get a free account.

Klaviyo is definitely the up and up service to watch if you're running an estore.

Free PlanYes – up to 250 users
Cheapest Plan Cost$20 / month / 500 users
IntegrationsExtensive

FloDesk

FloDesk is a beauty to behold, with its gorgeous templates.

I think overall, if you're a “personality” and do a lot with Instagram/Facebook, sell one-on-ones or human-based services, and don't like complex system nor feel you need them, Flo is for you.

Even if you want some basic automations, you may fall in love with Flo. As easy to make lists as Active Campaign, but simpler to work with.

It also doesn't charge you based on user count, so you can import your list of any size and pay one flat fee for life.

My only real issue with Flo, is that it didn't integrate with some of the systems we use, so we had to walk away. That and it's not as good for stores and all the things stores have to deal with (shipping, notifications, cart abandonment, etc.)

Free TrialYes – 14 days
Free PlanNo
Cheapest Plan Cost$38 / month / unlimited everything OR
$418 / year / unlimited everything
IntegrationsNot many

ConvertKit

These guys are good and we had fun working with them.

It has nice templates, a good collection of PopUps and even Landing Pages that comes with the subscription – great for those who don't need to visually micromanage everything, and of course automations because there are some limitations to the look.

That said, the templates are beautiful, so you can feel good with some out of the box choices.

Very easy to use, and a good price too. ConvertKit also integrates well with many many services, so you shouldn't have a problem gluing stuff together.

Free TrialYes – 14 days
Free PlanNo
Cheapest Plan Cost$29 / month / 1000 subscribers
IntegrationsExtensive

Notable:

Sendinblue

I've liked Sendinblue because it behaves a lot like Active Campaign. It's not for folks running large shops, but good for campaigns and automations. It was quite good at deliverability as well.

It has some issues with its reporting – it doesn't track automations the same way it tracks regular campaigns, so we had to dig for details, and that was frustrating.

Their help is in France, so the help files are sometimes in strange English, which has made it difficult to understand.

A good choice for those who want a free account with under 300 members that they don't email a lot. See table below.

Free PlanYes,
Caveat: This plan toutes unlimited contacts, but only sends 300 emails per day, which means if you have more than 300 people on your list, it will take several days to mail all those people one campaign. If you plan to run automations, that will count towards your total email tally for the day.
Cheapest Plan Cost$25 / month / 10,000 Daily Sends
IntegrationsNot many, but they're expanding

Questions? comments?

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