The 10 Most Popular Newsletter Tools and their Features in Comparison

Sven Scheuerle Last updated 21.09.2021
17 Min.
newsletter tools compared
Last updated 21.09.2021

If you want to send newsletters to your subscribers, you'll of course need a suitable newsletter tool that meets your needs. Which email marketing software you ultimately go for depends on those needs and what you intend to do. Naturally, the price is always a factor when choosing modern newsletter software too. 

In this article, I'd like to briefly explain why you should use email marketing for yourself, what advantages it has and what you really need to look out for in newsletter software. I'll also introduce you to what I consider to be the ten best tools. 

What is email marketing and why should you use it? 

Email marketing is an essential part of online marketing or, more precisely, direct marketing. Put simply, with this form of marketing you want to reach your customers or target group with digital messages. It's about informing your subscribers about news via emails, drawing their attention to offers and, of course, generating direct sales. An example of this are discount promotions (e.g. "Only valid today"). 

At this point, it should said that there is indeed a difference between email marketing and a newsletter. In classic email marketing, a sequence of emails is sent that is triggered by a predefined action. For example, by opening a certain email, entering data in a certain form or similar. A newsletter, on the other hand, is usually a single email that's sent to a specific distribution list – on a regular or irregular basis. 

Why should you use email marketing or newsletters? 

As a self-employed person or company, you'll not be able to avoid email marketing or newsletters. Emails are still an effective marketing channel today. Just think about how often you check your email inbox every day. 

In the best case, you manage to combine email marketing and newsletters. Of course, you only need one email marketing tool or newsletter software for both. In a moment, I'll show you what makes a good tool of this kind and what functions it should have. 

Advantages of email marketing and newsletters: 

  • Cost-effective
  • Customizable
  • Scalable
  • Effective
  • A/B tests
  • Tagging

What should a newsletter tool be able to do?  

Newsletter software should enable you to create campaigns and send newsletters quickly and easily. But it should also make effective email marketing possible. This is exactly what marketing automation is for! 

There are plenty of newsletter tools on the market, some are more and some are less good. They usually differ less directly in the range of functions, but rather in the user-friendliness, the email editor, the interfaces and, of course, their pricing.  

For this reason, you should pay special attention to the following points: 

  • Campaigns: Newsletters, A/B tests, autoresponders etc.
  • Marketing automations: Autoresponders means multi-stage automations with "if-then" function
  • Support: Support should at least be available by email or chat and, ideally, also by telephone.
  • Interfaces: A modern newsletter tool should allow you to interface with all known third-party tools, such as Zapier, WordPress etc.
  • Delivery rate: A very important factor is the delivery rate. This indicates how many of your newsletters or emails actually arrive and how many email clients classify certain senders as spam.
  • Data protection: At the moment, it's probably a better idea to choose a provider whose servers are located within the EU. But this doesn't mean that you can no longer use providers from the USA, for example. A data processing agreement (DPA) is particularly important in this respect.
  • Forms: A good newsletter tool should also offer you modern and easy-to-integrate registration forms, which you can embed on any website in just a few steps. As a WordPress user, you can even access a newsletter plugin with almost all providers making the setup even easier for you.

Popular newsletter tools compared

1. Sendinblue 

Sendinblue newsletter tool

Sendinblue was founded in 2012 and is therefore actually still a very young newsletter tool on the market. The company started exclusively with a focus on so-called transactional emails (automated emails). 

Just a few short years later, Sendinblue took over the European newsletter software Newsletter2Go. With the takeover, Sendinblue expanded its range of functions many times over and has since offered complex email marketing tools, SMS marketing, marketing automations, a CRM system and much more in addition to transactional emails. 

Sendinblue advertises on its website with the slogan "The all-in-one solution for your business" – and rightly so. 

Functions included in Sendinblue: 

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Chat
  • PO Box
  • CRM
  • Marketing automations
  • Transaction mail
  • Segmentation
  • Landing pages
  • Registration form
  • Facebook Ads

A big advantage of the newsletter tool Sendinblue is the server location. According to the provider, all data is stored on German servers and thus within the EU. In addition to a data processing agreement (DPA) which you conclude with Sendinblue regarding GDPR, Sendinblue also has a certificate from TÜV Rheinland for data protection compliance. 

The newsletter software is available in four packages: 

  • Free of charge
  • Lite (€19 / month)
  • Premium (€49 / month)
  • Enterprise (on request)
Sendinblue prices

The free Sendinblue package allows you to manage an unlimited number of contacts and send up to 300 emails per day. If this is not enough for you and you want to do A/B tests, set up landing pages or create automations, you'll need to sign up the next paid package. Depending on the email volume, the standard prices can still change. 

Sendinblue: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Free plan
  • Price-performance ratio
  • Simple operation
  • Extensive range of functions
  • Constantly new features

Cons

  • User interface
  • Deliverability
  • Support

2. CleverReach

Newsletter tools

CleverReach is a German newsletter tool from the town of Rastede, which was founded in 2007. The total number of customers worldwide is currently 290,000 and they send more than 300 million emails every month.  

The email marketing tool is represented in over 170 countries and is characterized by high technology standards, interfaces to relevant CRM and shop systems as well as German customer support. 

CleverReach has numerous functions as a newsletter software. Among other things, A/B tests, bounce management and the choice of multilingual interfaces are possible. Like almost every other newsletter tool, templates can also be created, the design is customizable and image and template hosting is included. 

Range of functions of CleverReach: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Manage recipients
  • Fully automated emails
  • Reporting & Tracking
  • Quality, Whitelisting, Spam Tests

Just like Sendinblue, CleverReach offers the advantage over other newsletter tools that all data is stored on German servers and therefore within the EU. As a CleverReach customer, you can easily conclude a corresponding data processing agreement (DPA) within your account.

The newsletter software is available in two packages: 

  • Lite (free of charge)
  • Monthly plan (costs depending on the number of contacts)
The 10 Most Popular Newsletter Tools and their Features in Comparison

CleverReach's free plan allows you to manage up to 250 contacts and send up to 1,000 emails per month. If you want to send an unlimited number of newsletters, create more than one automation or use an ad-free account, you have to switch to the monthly paid plan. 

The costs for the monthly plan starts at €9 per month and depend on the number of recipients you want to manage in your account. 

CleverReach: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • High deliverability
  • Free plan
  • German Support
  • Simple operation
  • Many interfaces

Cons

  • User interface
  • Price-performance ratio
  • Premium support
  • Very expensive

3. GetResponse

Newsletter tools

GetResponse has been a provider of online marketing tools for over 20 years. Again, it is not just a pure newsletter software, but an "all-in-one platform" for online marketing. The provider GetResponse is now represented in over 350,000 companies in 183 countries. 

Especially for email marketing and as a newsletter tool, the software offers extensive functions for sending newsletters. These include marketing automations, a website builder and conversion funnel. In addition, landing pages, live chat, webinars and advertisements can be created in GetResponse. 

An email editor, autoresponder, email statistics, transactional emails and list management are available for creating newsletter campaigns. 

Functional scope of GetResponse: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Manage recipients
  • Marketing automations
  • Autoresponder
  • Statistics
  • Transactional emails
  • Website builder
  • Webinars
  • Advertisements
  • Landing pages
  • Conversion funnel
  • Live chat
  • Push notifications

GetResponse is an international company. The server location and all data stored by the provider are mostly in the USA and therefore not in the EU. Nevertheless, the newsletter software can also be used in a GDPR-compliant manner. 

In your customer account, you can download a data processing agreement (DPA) and add GDPR-compliant fields within the registration forms. 

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • BASIC (from €13 / month)
  • PLUS (from €45 / month)
  • PROFESSIONAL (from €89 / month)
  • MAX (pricing on request)
Newsletter tools

Unlike other newsletter tools, GetResponse doesn't offer a free plan. You can, however, test all rates for 30 days free of charge. In addition, the prices for a package can vary greatly. They depend on the size of your list. You should therefore check beforehand exactly which functions you need and in which packages they are included. 

You can also save up to 30 percent by paying 12 or 24 months in advance. 

GetResponse: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Functions
  • Automation tools
  • Landing pages
  • Website builder
  • Webinars
  • Conversion funnel

Cons

  • User interface
  • Deliverability
  • Translations are not always of high quality
  • Price-performance ratio

4. KlickTipp

Newsletter tools

KlickTipp is one of the best newsletter tools on the market. The company was founded more than 10 years ago, in 2010 to be precise. KlickTipp set a new standard with its technology, which many other newsletter tools have now followed. 

In contrast to many other providers who nowadays call themselves an all-in-one platform, KlickTipp has always remained true to its core – email marketing. So it's hardly surprising that the software is sometimes far ahead of the competition. 

In addition, you'll receive numerous free coaching sessions, webinars and PDFs from the provider to support you in implementing your email marketing strategy. Some of the core functions of the newsletter software include campaign creation, split testing and tagging. 

KlickTipp is less about managing large contact lists and more about tagging contacts in order to reach your target group in the best possible way. There is probably no other provider on the market that offers such a comprehensive tagging system. 

In addition, the newsletter software also offers direct connections to Digistore as well as Affilicon, which is particularly suitable for those who sell their own products via these platforms. 

Functions of KlickTipp: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Manage recipients
  • Split testing
  • API interfaces
  • Digistore connection
  • Affilicon connection
  • Email countdowns

KlickTipp also easily meets the requirements of the GDPR. On the one hand, you can download a data processing agreement within your account and conclude it with the provider. Secondly, the server is located within the EU. 

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • Standard (from €27 / month)
  • Premium (from €47 / month)
  • Deluxe (from €67 / month)
  • Enterprise (from €149 / month)
Newsletter tools

KlickTipp doesn't have a free plan. The cheapest starter package costs €27 per month and includes up to 10,000 contacts, three campaigns and a Digistore or Affilicon product. 

If you want to create more than three campaigns or integrate more than one product, you have to upgrade to the next higher package. By the way, all plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

In addition, you can save up to 20 percent on an annual or two-year payment. Only the Enterprise package includes an additional set-up fee of up to 699 euros. 

KlickTipp: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • High deliverability
  • Autoresponder
  • Functions very extensive
  • Extensive split testing
  • Modern user interface
  • Unique tagging function
  • German Support

Cons

  • Simplicity
  • Expensive

5. Mailchimp

Newsletter tools

Mailchimp is one of the oldest newsletter tools and the most popular email marketing software worldwide. Mailchimp was founded in 2001 and was intended to make sending newsletters as easy as possible. The goal of the founders Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius was to develop a newsletter software that even smaller companies could afford and thus participate in the email world of that time. 

Today, Mailchimp offers much more than just newsletter distribution. The provider has developed into a complete all-in-one solution for online marketing. The platform even allows you to create pages, online shops or websites. It is also possible to create and manage advertisements. 

The email marketing tool offers numerous functions in its packages. From the email builder to a marketing CRM to A/B tests or even extensive automations. 

Functions of Mailchimp: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Marketing CRM
  • Forms and landing pages
  • Website builder
  • Journey (automations)
  • Transactional emails
  • Autoresponder
  • Statistics and reports

A very big advantage of Mailchimp is clearly its popularity and the many years it has been on the newsletter market. Numerous third-party tools already offer a simple MailChimp connection. 

As far as data protection and GDPR are concerned, Mailchimp, like other newsletter tools, also offers a data processing agreement. As a customer, you don't even have to conclude this separately, as it is already integrated into the provider's terms and conditions. However, the server is located outside the EU – in the USA.  

Mailchimp assures that all data is treated as securely as on EU servers – and was certified under the Privacy Shield agreement. This agreement was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice last year, however. You can read more about this in our article on the ECJ ruling.

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • Free 
  • Essential (from €8.58 / month)
  • Standard (from €12.88 / month)
  • Premium (from €256.92 / month)
Newsletter tools

There is a free plan for Mailchimp you can use where you have up to 2,000 contacts at your disposal. You can also manage a list. If you want to manage more contacts, use A/B tests or Journey (automations), you'll have to upgrade to a paid package. Moreover, there's the option to expand the number of contacts within the premium plans as required. 

Mailchimp: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Already integrated in many well-known third-party tools
  • Free plan with up to 2,000 contacts
  • Modern user interface
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Deliverability
  • Site only in English
  • Server in the USA

6. ActiveCampaign

Newsletter tools

With over 850 employees worldwide and well over 150,000 customers, ActiveCampaign is one of the fastest growing email marketing tools on the market. What the provider is offering isn't just a simple newsletter tool, but rather a comprehensive all-in-one solution for multi-channel marketing. 

ActiveCampaign offers its customers email marketing, marketing automations and a CRM. For digital business, this includes functions such as SMS marketing, landing pages, split automations, conversion reporting, Facebook and much more. 

Functions of ActiveCampaign: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Marketing CRM
  • Automations
  • Segmentation
  • Website and event tracking
  • Landing pages
  • SMS marketing
  • Split tests
  • Facebook Ads

If you want to use ActiveCampaign in a GDPR compliant way, you do, course, also need to conclude a DPA. You can download this directly from the ActiveCampaign's help page

Just like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign also stores the data on servers in the USA. It assures to treat all data in the same way as it is required on EU servers under the GDPR, however. The newsletter provider was subject to the Privacy Shield, which has been lifted recently.

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • Lite (15 USD / month)
  • Plus (70 USD / month)
  • Professional (159 USD / month)
  • Enterprise (279 USD / month)
Newsletter tools

As with many other newsletter tools, the pricing of ActiveCampaign depends on the scope of functions and the number of contacts you want to manage. There's no free plan but you can test every package for 14 days without obligation. 

If you only want to send newsletters, manage contacts and use automations, the Lite package will be sufficient. If, in addition to the newsletter software, you also want to create landing pages and use SMS marketing and the like, you'll need to go for a higher premium package. 

ActiveCampaign: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Deliverability
  • Modern surface
  • User-friendly
  • Many integrations
  • Automations
  • Segmentation

Cons

  • Email editor
  • Support in English only
  • Server in the USA

7. Mailjet

Newsletter tools

Since 2010, the newsletter tool provider Mailjet has made it its mission to become the best email marketing software on the market. Like Sendinblue, the provider also comes from Paris and initially concentrated exclusively on so-called transactional emails. By now, more than two billion emails are sent via Mailjet every month. The provider has already established itself as a newsletter software in over 150 cities worldwide. 

Mailjet is characterized above all by easy-to-use newsletter software and highly professional technology. What also distinguishes the email marketing tool from other providers is the possibility to work in a team and to create sub-accounts for customers. 

The newsletter tool offers all the important functions a modern newsletter software should, including automation, A/B tests and, of course, integration with a number of third-party tools. 

Functions of Mailjet: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Automations
  • A/B tests
  • Statistics
  • Sub-accounts
  • Webhooks

Mailjet easily meets all the requirements for using the newsletter software in a GDP compliant way. As a customer, you can request the DPA directly on the website. Furthermore, all servers are located within the EU. 

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • Free 
  • Essential (€14 / month)
  • Premium (€25 / month)
  • Custom (on request)
Newsletter tools

There is a free plan available at Mailjet. This includes up to 6,000 emails per month, an unlimited number of contacts and APIs or statistics. 

If you want to manage your newsletter more professionally, i.e. with segmentation or sub-accounts, the next higher package would be the right choice. The premium packages are also based on the number of contacts. If you pay annually, you can also save up to 10 percent. 

Mailjet: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Low price
  • Email editor
  • Automations
  • Deliverability
  • User-friendly
  • Many integrations

Cons

  • Segmentation

8. Rapidmail (Mailify)

newsletter tools: Rapidmail

Rapidmail was founded in Freiburg, Germany, in 2008. More than 100,000 customers in over 28 countries now use the newsletter software. Rapidmail was recently acquired by Mailify and its parent company Sarbacane Group

Since the merger with Mailify, the email marketing tool has numerous additional features on top of the normal newsletter dispatch, which previously distinguished Rapidmail. Customers can now also look forward to user extensive automations, landing pages and send SMS. 

Functions of Rapidmail:  

  • Create newsletters
  • Transactional emails
  • Statistics and tracking
  • Automations
  • Send SMS

All Rapidmail data is located on servers within the EU – in France to be precise. An DPA can also be concluded within your customer account. 

The newsletter software Mailify is available in three packages: 

  • Pay as you go: Charged per mailing (from €16 / month)
  • Flat rate: Unlimited emails to a fixed number of contacts (from €9 / month)
  • Monthly email packages (from €46.55 / month)
The 10 Most Popular Newsletter Tools and their Features in Comparison

Rapidmail does not have a free plan. The low-priced entry-level plan starts at 9 euros per month and includes unlimited emailing to a maximum of 250 contacts. If you wanted to send unlimited emails to up to 1000 contacts, the plan would cost 19 euros. In contrast, the "Pay as you go" plan offers a different billing model. For 16 euros, for example, you can send up to 100 emails a month to up to 2,000 contacts. You're billed by per email and do not have a contract period. The contract period for the other plan models is one month.

Rapidmail: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Templates
  • Email editor
  • Deliverability
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Email forms
  • Segmentation
  • Costly

9. Quentn

Newsletter tools

Quentn is a newsletter tool that's been on the market since 2014. Quentn.com GmbH is based in Potsdam. The company's goal is to establish an intuitive, user-friendly and high-performance email marketing tool. 

The newsletter software is in the same league as KlickTipp. Because, just like KlickTipp, it's all about comprehensive and high-turnover marketing automations. In addition, the provider has an integrated a sales CRM and plenty of functions. 

Similar to KlickTipp, Quentn allows you to directly integrate your own Digistore24 products. Moreover, the email marketing software offers several integrations including Zapier and API interfaces. You can also find free helpful webinars on the website designed to familiarize you with the tool. 

Functions of Quentn: 

  • Create newsletters
  • Manage recipients
  • API interfaces
  • Marketing automations
  • Digistore connection
  • CRM system

As Quentn is a purely German provider of newsletter software, it fulfils all GDPR requirements. As a customer, you can conclude a DPA within the customer account. All data is stored on servers in Germany and thus within the EU. 

The newsletter software is available in a total of four packages: 

  • Lite (from €35 / month)
  • Basic (from €60 / month)
  • Pro (from €100 / month)
  • Enterprise (on request)
Newsletter tools

Right from the start, you can only use a paid version of Quentn as there is no free plan available. These differ in the number of contacts and the available functions, such as the number of API connections, website tracking or Zapier. 

All plans can be tested free of charge for 14 days. If you pay on an annual basis, you can also save up to 10 per cent. 

Quentn: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • High deliverability
  • Autoresponder
  • Very comprehensive
  • Modern user interface
  • Segmentation
  • German Support

Cons

  • No split testing
  • Templates
  • Expensive

10. MailerLite

Newsletter tools

The newsletter software MailerLite was launched in 2010 to provide companies with a simple and powerful email marketing software. The team can draw on years of agency experience, which is of course a great advantage in the development of the product and the understanding of customer wishes. 

Today, over 1,243,363 companies, start-ups and freelancers use the software. More than one billion emails are sent every month. Like some of the other providers presented here, MailerLite can do much more than just send newsletters.  

MailerLite has a user-friendly drag-and-drop email editor, numerous templates and can even be used for e-commerce campaigns. There is also a website builder, landing pages, pop-ups and more. 

Functions of MailerLite:  

  • Create newsletters
  • E-commerce campaigns
  • Website builder
  • Landing pages
  • Pop-ups
  • Automations
  • Tagging
  • A/B tests

MailerLite can be used in compliance with the GDPR. Firstly the newsletter tool provides a DPA on its website and, secondly, the servers are located within the EU. 

The newsletter software offers a free plan as well as numerous other paid packages that are scaled according to the number of contacts.

  • Free
  • Premium (from €9 to €44 / month)
Newsletter tools

With MailerLite, you can start with a free plan, which includes up to 1,000 contacts and up to 12,000 emails per month. If you want to manage more contacts or send more emails and use further marketing tools such as landing pages or templates, you have to upgrade to one of the premium plans. The packages are graded according to the maximum number of contacts (the number of emails is only limited again from 50,000 contacts) and start at 9 euros for up to 1,000 contacts.

If you pay annually, you can save up to 30 per cent on a Premium plan. You can also test each plan for 14 days free of charge. 

MailerLite: Advantages and disadvantages

Pros

  • Price-performance ratio
  • Segmentation
  • User-friendly
  • Support
  • Automations
  • Email editor

Cons

  • Site only in English
  • Support only available in English

Newsletter tools: Comparison table 

SendinblueCleverReachGetResponseKlickTippMailchimpActiveCampaignMailjetMailifyQuentnMailerLite
Newsletter editorx
Templates
Form editor
Responsive
Customization
Dynamic contents
Preview function
Autoresponder
A/B testsx
Automations
Tagging
Websites/landing pagesxxxxx
Statistics/reports
Server LocationEUEUWorldwideEUUSAUSAEUEUEUEU
DPA
Free-plan / Test accessxxx
Max. contacts in lowest planunlimited2501.00010.0002.000500unlimited2501.5001.000
Price (per month)from €0  from €0 from €13from €27from €0 from €15from €0 from €9from €35from €0
Scroll right for more providers

What are the disadvantages of using a newsletter plugin in WordPress? 

The newsletter tools presented in this article are all so-called "cloud-based" services. You can use them directly online without having to download any software in advance. Also, all data is not stored locally on your computer or server, but on the servers of the respective provider. 

If you're a WordPress user, you can also install the newsletter software directly as a plugin in WordPress. This way you have everything in one backend and don't have to use another service. We recently presented some of these popular plugins in our magazine: Create newsletters with WordPress: The best plugins compared But this is exactly where the catch lies! 

Because managing everything within one software, in this case WordPress, is extremely taxing on your server. The more data is stored via the newsletter plugin, the more you'll notice it. Especially if you send newsletters that take up the same server capacity as your website itself.

Here are a few important points to help you understand the disadvantages of newsletter plugins:  

  • Server load: Sending mail eats up an extremely large amount of server resources
  • Security: Any additional plugin can pose a security risk
  • Range of functions: In contrast to "normal" newsletter tools, newsletter plugins in particular have a very limited range of functions and usually only concentrate on the most important thing – creating and sending a newsletters!
  • Deliverability: There can also be problems with deliverability. Especially if you use a shared hosting package. Because here you use the same IP address as everyone else on the server. Once a sender has attracted negative attention, your mails can also be seen as spam. Moreover, the number of emails that can be sent is limited at many hosting providers.

Final thoughts

As you can see, finding the right newsletter software is no easy task. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of exactly which features each tool has to offer. Of course, you can ask yourself: do I need all of this? 

Besides, most of the newsletter tools presented here are no longer just providers for sending newsletters. In addition to newsletter campaigns, you can create landing pages, set up live chats, organize webinars and much, much more. 

To make the selection a little less complicated, I recommend the newsletter tools as follows:  

Newsletter tools for beginners 

  • Mailchimp 
  • Sendinblue
  • CleverReach

Newsletter tools for advanced users

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Mailjet
  • Mailify
  • GetResponse
  • MailerLite

Newsletter tools for experts:

  • KlickTipp
  • Quentn

In any case, you always have to see for yourself what range of functions you need and which tool suits you best. If the respective provider offers a free trial period or even has a free plan, you should definitely take advantage of this offer and test the tool before you decide.  

For all providers with servers located in the USA and an explanation of the current legal situation, I also recommend the following Tripolis

Do you have any other questions?

What questions or insights do you have about newsletter tools and email marketing? We look forward to your comments. Are you interested in current WordPress, online business and web design topics? Follow RAIDBOXES on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via our newsletter.

Sven Scheuerle - Independent freelancer and passionate affiliate marketer - has been working in online marketing for many years. He is also a blogger and regularly posts on his blog BLOGGiraffe.de about self-employment in online business.

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