Free & Cheap Email Marketing Software Comparison 2022

Best free email software

Last updated: Nov 2021

Today we are going to find the best cheap email marketing software for you.

So if are wondering:
What is the best email marketing software?
What is the cheapest email marketing software? And…
Can I have BOTH?

You have come to the right place. 🙂
But which is the best email marketing tool for you specifically? Let’s walk through that.

In this article:
Real email software selection advice
Reviews of 7 cheap Email marketing software tools
An up to date price comparison table
Additional discounts and extra’s (!!)

Realize, you don’t need a big budget to begin with email marketing:
1. A lot of email marketing tools offer a free trial. So you can take simply them for a test-drive.
2. Tools are so good, you don’t need any real custom work done to get started.
3. Some systems are very cheap or even have a free email marketing software tier.

I personally tested and reviewed the 7 well-known systems below.

Let’s dive right in – meet our brave contestants:

1. SendinBlue

SendinBlue is an email blast platform, founded in 2010, now has over 50.000 companies using the system.

Included for free
Unlimited subscribers, 99% off your first month
⍟ Extra’s? Yes! 99% off the first month & 20% discount yearly
Short Review | Visit Website

2. Moosend

Moosend is an Email Marketing platform for newsletters and simple automation, with a very nice email builder.

Included for free
Forever free 1.000 subscribers with unlimited emails
Access to all features
⍟ Extra’s? Yes! 20% discount on yearly+ swag
Short Review | Visit Website

3. MailerLite

MailerLite is a very simple and user-friendly email tool. A clean interface, simple personalization, especially attractive for small businesses.

Included for free
1.000 subscribers with Unlimited emails Forever Free
Access to all features + 24/7 support
⍟ Extra’s? Yes! A month free premium features!
Short Review | Visit Website

4. Benchmark Email

Benchmark Email is a simple email tool, with some advanced features, free small businesses CRM and great support.

Included for free
2.000 subscribers Forever Free
24/7 support on chat, email, and phone.
⍟ Extra’s? Yes! 10% extra discount on a yearly plan
Short Review | Visit Website

benchmark email cheapest email autoresponder with CRM

5. Getresponse

GetResponse is a popular all-in-one email marketing platform with list management, marketing automation, and full newsletter functions.

30-day free trial
Free onboarding
⍟ Extra’s? Yes! 10% extra discount
Short Review | Visit Website

6. Mailjet

Mailjet is an email service provider with an advanced email editor. They deliver mass marketing emails and are very strong in transactional emails.

Included for free
Unlimited subscribers, 200 emails/day
Advanced statistics & Full API access
Short Review | Visit Website

7. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is advanced email automation software that will handle your email marketing and build marketing funnels. Includes Sales CRM.

14-day free trial
Free onboarding and migration service
Short Review | Visit Website

8. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is especially for bloggers and content creators. It is a lead generation, email marketing, and email autoresponders platform. Includes opt-in forms, drip email marketing, landing pages. They are the most expensive on the list, consider if you want the included training and community.

Free up to first 500 contacts
Short Review | Visit Website


Email software Price comparison

I know this article is about affordable email marketing software, so you are probably looking to compare prices. To make it a bit easier, here is an Email software Comparison Chart/table. Just click on the number of contacts and the price and Extra will show you what the different solutions cost. All of the ESPs have a free trial, which is linked on the right.

How many contacts are on your email list?

Exclusive Extra’s
Free trial
Sendinblue email blast software
$25 up to 40K mails$25 up to 40K mails$25 up to 40K mails$39 up to 60K mails$66 up to 120K mails$138 up to 350K mails$138 up to 350K mails
First month 99% discount
20% discount on the yearly plan
moosend free email marketing

Forever Free $16


Access to all features
Exclusive 10% extra discount
Extra swag; a mug or t-shirt
Getresponse free email marketing
$13,50$22,50$40,50 ($45)$58,50$130,50$225$405
Extra 10% discount
Free email marketing certification
Benchmark Email affordable email marketing
Free (logo shown)$28.79$46.79$73.79$148.49$229.49$445.49
10% discount on yearly plan
mailerlite free email marketing
Free (logo shown)
or $10
Mailjet free email marketing software
$9.65 up to 30K mails$9,65 up to 30K mails$9.65 up to 30K mails$18.95 up to 60K mails$18.95 for 60K mails$68.95 for 150K mails$166,95 for 450K mails
Free for 200 emails / day
activecampaign email marketing automation software
Convertkit email marketing software bloggers

* The above numbers are based on the normal edition, with a monthly plan. Some ESPs have additional or extra functions in a higher plan. Our exclusive discounts are already in the shown pricing. Mail-based prices are calculated to let you send at least 4 email campaigns per month. We do our best to update and check the pricing each month, but no guarantees.


Reviews of Free & Cheap Email Marketing Software

To give you a better overview of the Email Marketing Software listed. I am going to give a mini-review of each one. All reviews highlight my findings and considerations.


SendinBlue Review

Sendinblue cheap email blast software

Started out as a transactional email provider, Sendinblue now is a full email marketing solution with a drag-and-drop email designer, statistics, simple automation, and free templates.

What does SendinBlue cost?
SendinBlue pricing is based on the number of emails you send. The free email plan from SendInBlue is good for having a look inside the software and has a daily limit of 300 emails. If you want to send out mass email blasts, SendinBlue is still very cheap. Starting at 19 Euro for 40.000 emails per month.

Creating emails in SendinBlue
The email editor is pretty fast and it auto-saves your progress. The text and font editing are in the middle section and options to the right. More on the editing experience in our full SendinBlue review

The necessary content block types and options are there. With SendinBlue it is best to prepare your images outside of the platform, as you can resize images in their original ratio, but there is no image editor to crop your email’s images.

cheap email blast editor

If you want to integrate the email newsletter tool, there are direct plugins available for popular platforms like WordPress, Prestashop, WooCommerce Drupal and Shopify. There is also an API and Zapier integration available.

The free email software plan
The free plan has some functions disabled. Most important seeing where people have clicked in the email (with a heatmap). Probably you want to shift to a paid version quickly if you choose to go with SendinBlue. It is an affordable email marketing tool at a low cost, starting at 19 Euro for 40.000 emails per month.

SendinBlue has automation and email autoresponders included, so you can send for instance welcome emails and anniversary campaigns. You can also trigger automated campaigns based on web pages visited and actions on your site. Product purchase and abandoned cart emails are also there. And recently they have added a very well rounded landing page builder.

Price: Very cheap email blasting software.
Simple: You need very little technical know-how to launch a campaign.
The system offers text messages (SMS) as well, so you have two channels to reach your customers.
Site triggered automation, and email autoresponder available

The editor works fast, but highlighting can take some getting used to.
Not for you if you want to do very complex automation campaigns.

Try SendinBlue free email marketing > (Extra’s included)

⍟ SendinBlue discount and Extra’s

If you try out SendinBlue email marketing software here, there is an extra discount in it for you.

Because when I spoke to the SendinBlue team, they wanted you to get started on your favorite plan – basically totally free.

If you register for a new account, start your free trial via this secret page you get…

    • 99% discount off of your first month of the paid plan
    • Another 20% discount if you pay per year

Try SendinBlue for free > (Extra’s included)


Moosend Review

free email marketing software moosend
Moosend is a European hosted email marketing system, founded in 2011. You could say they are a real MailChimp alternative, only much cheaper. There is even a MailChimp synchronization to let you automatically import all the contacts.

Email newsletter creation
The drag and drop editor is updated last year and is very easy to use. You can simply change text inline and adjust the design of the newsletter blocks on the left. All of the free email templates are responsive. But you can also add or code your own.

Nice about the editor is a “helper grid”, you can turn it on and off and it will show exactly the structure of your email. With columns and rows, and you see buttons to add more blocks.

For the bit more tech-savvies, there is an HTML email editor with a split-screen view, you can change the code AND use the WYSIWYG editor at the same time. It updates in real-time, which is often lacking in other systems. The email tool has direct live chat support.

moosend cheap email marketing platform editor

With Moosend you can easily manage multiple email campaigns and mailing lists, while most of the integrations should go through Zapier or direct API.

Email automation and autoresponders work in a linear fashion. You can start your own, or use template automation flows called “Marketing Automation Recipes”. The automated email streams include website based automation like follow up from a site visit, abandoned cart, fields changed, but also welcome campaigns, up and cross-selling campaigns, etc.

Free email marketing plan
Moosend‘s free email marketing plan comes with 5.000 subscribers and unlimited emails. The free account has access to all features that Moosend offers such as email analytics, and an email drag-and-drop editor, email drip campaigns and more for 3 months.

They don’t ask you to display their logo in your footer in the free plan, so that is cool.

What is great about Moosend?
* Modern responsive email editor with free templates
* Support and help directly via Chat
* Sexy smart subject line recommendations and countdown timers included.
* Simple automation and free email autoresponder are all there
* Free landing page builder

What to know before starting with Moosend
* They have the most generous free email marketing plan, 5.000 subscribers, all functions.
* Support is available through multiple channels on European business hours.
* To make it easy, register with your business email address (not Gmail, Hotmail), as it is a requirement before you can start sending.

Try Moosend free email marketing > (Extra’s included)

⍟ Moosend discount and Extra’s

Oh yeah, this is the juicy part. Because you’ve taken the time to review the software here, there is an extra discount on the email software.

When I contacted the Moosend team to get some facts checked on the review and asked them. “Can you do a discount and some extra’s?” They were like: let’s do it!

So… this makes it one of the cheapest email marketing software. If you register for a new account, start your free trial via this secret page you get…

      • Moosend discount of extra 10% once you hit a paid plan (on top of any other discounts for the yearly plan if you choose that).
      • Extra Moosend T-shirt or Mug if you have > 50K subscribers
      • Exclusive email List growth Guide + Excel email growth template

Try Moosend for free > (Extra’s included)


Getresponse review

email marketing automation cheap getresponse
GetResponse has been around since 1997. It is a mature email marketing software, serving over 350,000 email marketing customers. They have been added some cool features over the last couple of years.

Marketing Automation and email autoresponders
Getresponse always had an email autoresponder function. Autoresponders allow you to do timed follow-up mail. It is still in there (I guess for nostalgic reasons). But realistically, you can now use the new email automation functions for that.

GetResponse has an advanced visual marketing automation workflow builder. You can use tagging so you can create profiles with the preferences of your subscribers and there is support for website event tracking. Learning the marketing automation is easy to set up the first one with a sort of email automation guided tour – it is really a snap.

Editor and free email templates
There is a big selection of pre-designed email templates, the top 32 templates are fresh and look 2022 – the rest don’t really. You can also start directly from the drag and drop editor.

There is a handy testing wizard that will let you do A/B testing for up to five variants at a time. The editor has just been redesigned and is drag and drop now. Create a newsletter or two and it works fast. Editing text is mostly inline. As a bonus, there is an image gallery with 5.000+ free stock images. The included image editor for email lets you crop, add filters, stickers, text in the images, etc.

Getresponse all in one email marketing software

Unique Webinar feature
Getresponse is the first email marketing service to have a webinar marketing solution included.

You can control the scheduling and number of webinar invitations, reminders and follow-ups your contacts get. Pre-designed invitations and reminder templates get pre-filled with webinar details. That is pretty cool. And there is an auto-login hash so contacts can enter the webinar without logging in. (also pretty cool)

What to love about Getresponse:
* Chat support available 24/7
* Webinar Feature
* Visual automation and tags
* Free image gallery with 1000+ stock photos

⍟ Getresponse Discounts and extra’s

When I emailed Taylor Barr from the Getresponse team, and asked if we give a discount for Getresponse for the registrants here? Guess what he said? Yes. 🙂

Normally you already get a Getresponse discount if you pay yearly or for 24 months. But… if you register for a new account via this secret link you get…

      • Additional -10% discount
      • Depending on the plan, you get an email marketing training and certification for free (worth $199)

Try GetResponse > (Extra’s included)


Benchmark Email review (2022)

benchmark Email Marketing Review
Benchmark Email started out as a family business in 2004. Today, 65.000 brands are actively using it. Benchmark is an email marketing platform with some advanced features thrown into the mix. But how are they compared to other email software? Let’s find out…

Getting started with Benchmark Email
We tested and signed up for a free account. The minute you try an account, they guide you every step of the way. You get welcomed by a friendly face in a “getting started” video. You also get an email and stimulate you to ask any questions you might have.

get started free email marketing

Even for a free account, they offered to do a demo and give personal help with onboarding + set-up. That is so different compared to other Do-It-Yourself email service providers. Maybe the family business spirit is still in the company culture.

Each page in the email tool has a short video that explains exactly what you can do, and you can always chat for help. Phone, chat and email support. We found that chat is tech-savvy, knows the tool and is very responsive (like within the minute).

Forever Free email marketing software
The email marketing software from Benchmark offers a free plan for up to 2000 email subscribers and there is no limit on time to try it out, it is free forever.

With the free email marketing plan, you get:

      • Free templates, send emails campaigns to up to 2k subscribers
      • Customizable signup forms to capture more leads
      • The free plan includes autoresponders and list-based autoresponders
      • Full customer support 24/7

Once you pass 2k subscribers, you’d want to do some serious email blasting.
(Pardon my French Andy, I didn’t mean to say email blast.)

The paid version is called Benchmark PRO and starts at $13.99 ($12.59 with our discount). It has additional functions like:
* A/B testing wizard
* More elaborate email automation based on website behavior
* Subscriber engagement reporting and engagement emails
* Huge image storage (9GB) for your email images

You also have to option to remove the benchmark branding in the footer. Most people don’t mind – or even like branding, provided they get the tools for free. But I think is more professional to mail without email tool branding in the footer.

Let’s craft some emails with the Benchmark Email editor
They just recently updated their interface and it looks spanky fresh. Benchmark has a modern drag and drop email builder. It lets you edit in place, so you can see what your newsletter will broadly look like while typing directly in it. The email design editor is easy to use. Different content blocks you can drag into the editor on the right side and you can arrange them as you like.

It will be more than enough for most brands and small businesses that send newsletters and promotions. You can send a test email directly from the editor screen which is handy. There is a quick preview that shows a simulation of the email on desktop and mobile.

There are 100+ pre-made responsive email templates to get you started/inspired. And most of them (not all) look pretty fresh like they were made in 2022.

You can always start with the sample email and do it yourself. Here is what I made in a few minutes:
Email marketing platform review editor

Something to note is the image editor. You can have a lot of fun with it (see above) with filters, cropping, color adjustment all types of text styles, stickers, paintbrushes, and emojis to edit your images. It takes just a little bit of playing with, and you are doing your own email Mona Lisa-image masterpieces.

The drag and drop editor is made to be easy for normal users.

It is not for advanced email designers/coders. For example in the drag and drop editor, you can’t split screen edit the HTML code. And there are no custom HTML blocks in the drag and drop editor. Luckily most small business users wouldn’t even want to see HTML code, ever – if they can avoid it.

Advanced email designers/coders that desire all the cow-bells and cow-whistles, can still use their own HTML. But Benchmark is probably not the best choice for them.

More advanced email features

Email marketing Automation in Benchmark starts with automated autoresponders (called lite) in their free package. They let you do list based and time-based automated email campaigns. You can send a welcome series, birthday emails, etc. So that is a very affordable autoresponder!

In the paid plans engagement-based automation feature is added. This means you can trigger emails based on email clicks, behavior on your website and engagement level (like a reactivation campaign).

benchmark email autoresponder test

Survey publishing: Benchmark comes with free email surveys. You set up a few questions and answer types. And you get the survey URL to use. There aren’t many options to tweak the survey design though. So might as well use a free survey tool like Typeform or SurveyMonkey together with Benchmark.

Small business CRM as a free extra
Any plan above 2500 users comes with free small business CRM built-in. This can be helpful if you don’t have any CRM yet.

      • Create tasks and follow-ups, log calls
      • Track sales and a sales pipeline
      • A support ticket system
      • A Gmail plugin to add contacts and conversations from Gmail to your CRM.

Recap Benchmark email review; what we like:
* 24/7 real user support. Live chat, phone, and email, even for free users.
* The image editor is amazing fun
* One of the cheapest email autoresponders
* Free small business CRM functions


⍟ Benchmark Email Discount and Extra’s

Oh yeah, one more thing. Because you read our benchmark email review here, there is an extra discount on it.

When I contacted the Benchmark team to get the facts checked on the review and asked them. “Can you give a discount?” They said, “No, we never do that.” But after about 3 months of driving them crazy on the – I want something extra for the people here– we did get something.

If you register for a new account and start via here. (We will make the secret page, will be live in a few days) you get…
• 10% extra discount on the yearly plan. (on top of what you already get)
I’ll add in an awesome surprise (from my own pocket) if you get a > 20.000 subscribers plan.

Try Benchmark Email for free > (Extra’s included)


Mailerlite Review

free email marketing software mailerlite
MailerLite is a popular and simple email marketing tool. More than 450.000 businesses, startups and freelancers around the world use MailerLite. Together sending more than 1 billion emails every month.

MailerLite is really easy to use, and it has enough features for small business email marketing needs. Planning to send some mass newsletters or simple promotional email blasts? It can be all you need if you are not looking for anything too advanced.

Creating emails in MailerLite
When creating newsletters, you can start with a drag and drop editor or use one of their free email newsletter templates as a start. There is help text with every step and everything is explained in videos if you need it.

mailerlite email marketing editor

During editing, you see your email on the left and you can change text and design on the right. While it updates instantly so you can see how it looks.

More features
They are keeping it basic, as you would expect: Reporting is exactly what you need. Inside templates, there is no conditional content.

MailerLite offers Zapier and API integrations, so that covers a lot of different software. There are direct integrations for the most popular platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce and Shopify and a lot of opt-in subscriber growth plugins.

MailerLite has autoresponders for simple email automation campaigns, don’t expect the world of it. But you can send a welcome email autoresponder flow or automated birthday emails, with follow up emails, etc. These are also included on the forever free email plan, so that is great.

True free email marketing software
MailerLite has a Forever Free plan that gives you all the features that they offer. It includes for 1.000 subscribers and unlimited emails. The only thing they ask is to display a small Mailerlite logo in the footer of your email newsletter. It is one of the cheapest email marketing tools you can find.

There is no spam testing or design testing functionality, but you can preview the designs in the browser and send yourself a test. If you can live with that, it is hard to beat free. (price-wise)

MailerLite has a form builder and a landing page builder. That includes pop-up subscription forms, embedded signup forms and unsubscribe forms. You can put them inside your site pages, as well as let them be hosted by MailerLite.

Some old MailerLite reviews online, report on email list imports to be slowish, in our own MailerLite review we didn’t find that to be true.

What is cool about MailerLite?
* Automated Resend option, to send another mail if the first one wasn’t opened.
* See your email being sent internationally timezone by timezone (if you like). It is in 7 languages.
* The price: Free and if you have more than 1.000 subscribers the price is still very low.
* A/B testing – although you can only test 2 versions (A and B) at a time.
* Track changes while editing your email template, you can undo if you make a mistake.
* Create landing pages and pop-ups, they also integrate with a LOT of opt-in plugins as well.

Try Mailerlite for free >


⍟ Mailerlite Discount and Extra’s

Because you just read this intense Mailerlite review. There is a discount. Yes there is.

Register for a new account via here and get
• Full month of free premium features!
• 30% discount if you take the yearly plan.
• I’ll add in an awesome surprise (from my own pocket) if you get a > 20.000 subscribers plan.


Mailjet Review

cheap email marketing system mailjet
Mailjet sends over 1.5 billion emails per month with 100.000 clients in 150 countries. The system started out as purely transnational and focusing on developers, but now it is a full email marketing platform.

The free plan from Mailjet will let you send out 6.000 emails per month if you plan it exactly right because it is limited to only 200 / day. But that is enough to really check them out. There is a good case for free transactional email here because you get full API access and unlimited contacts.

Mailjet Responsive Email Editor and templates
Let’s start with the editor, it is well rounded and incredibly smooth, modern email creator. Drag and drop elements can be picked from the left and all editing is done inline so you immediately see what you are doing. With moving and making changes there is some animation, which makes the UX feel really good.

mailjet lowcost email software provider

Unique is that you can edit/make changes with multiple people at the same time in collaboration. If you have ever used google docs, it is sort of the same thing.

Free templates are available, some specific for travel, sports, e-commerce. All templates are 100% Responsive, so they render well on mobile and smartphones. And they look great. Mailjet is the company behind the open-source mobile email framework MJML, which is fully integrated. (if you are a bit of a huge email geek, you might like that).

Stats and reporting
The stats show all the email metrics you’d like to see, cool is the comparison view of up to 10 campaigns. New is a view of real-time stats where you can see the clicks roll in as they happen.

There are a widget and pop-in creator to make sign-up forms, all can be customized.

The small package starts at $8 for up to 30.000 emails per month and has 24/7 support and features like A/B testing, segmentation, and simple automation built-in. Which makes it one of the most attractive email marketing services for small business, but with room to grow.

What we like about Mailjet
* Very modern editor and templates – creating emails is enjoyable
* Transactional email and API / integrations are well rounded
* Price: Very cheap 🙂

What to know before testing MailJet?
* The free package is really for testing out the system, with a limit of 200 emails per day.
* Not for you if you are looking for advanced email automation features.

Try Mailjet for free >


ActiveCampaign Review

cheap marketing automation software activecampaign

Instead of email newsletters and mass mailings, the focus of ActiveCampaign is on Marketing automation and marketing funnels. That is where they are really strong. There is even built-in CRM, on-site messaging and SMS.

Automation systems like Pardot or Marketo can get very, very expensive. ActiveCampaigns pricing makes it a great solution for small businesses, or senders that like to put more smarts into their email marketing automation and funnels.

Segmentation, tagging, and conditional content make that email targeting can be everything you want.

The email editor is drag and drop, yet a bit less great in comparison – there are some pre-made templates available.

What is especially nice is the option to import email marketing campaigns that others have built. It makes it very easy to get a running start on automating your emails. For instance, if you want to use and promote your online course on your site, there are ActiveCampaign automation templates for that. If you have never seen an automation system, every system is going to take some time to know. That is because of the many options. ActiveCampaign gives weekly “getting started webinars”, one-on-one design help, and concierge onboarding (if you choose).

What is great about ActiveCampaign
* Pricing is great for such advanced automation and email targeting
* A/B testing works well even on automated and drip campaigns (which isn’t as common as you’d expect)
* Helpful community of funnel building and automation enthusiasts
* The platform is quite actively developed with frequent updates and new features.

What you should know before using ActiveCampaign
* 14-day free trial
* If you are planning to send bulk emails only, no automation, try one of the other systems.
Try ActiveCampaign for free >

⍟ ActiveCampaign discounts and extra’s

I will be working on launching a secret page for ActiveCampaign and will annoy the AC team until they start giving more extra’s or discounts (alternatively, I’ll create / arrange them for you myself 😀 ).

You already get an ActiveCampaign discount of ~ 25% if you sign up for a year vs monthly. You can sign up starting with a free trial here, and if you Let me know once you’ve signed up for a paid account, and I’ll make sure you get the extra’s once available.


Convertkit Review

Convertkit emailmarketing bloggers

ConvertKit was founded in 2013. They offer software for what they call Creators: bloggers, authors, YouTubers, podcasters and online course creators. I have been looking at why people like ConvertKit – and I think it is because they focus on the creators and bloggers audience.

Email software for the Bloggers community
Monthly new “tradecraft” guides are published to improve your professional blogging. For instance on running a successful webinar, influencer marketing, etc.

They run a Product Creation Masterclass several times per year – teaching bloggers to actually make money. I think making money is pretty darn important.

Next to Zapier and CMS integrations, there are a lot of direct integrations with membership and software for online courses like Thinkific, Teachable, Wishlist member (WordPress), Memberpress, etc, etc.

Sequences (Formerly Courses)
Nathan Barry built the software as an outgrowth for his teaching courses. The main structure in ConvertKit is “sequences” (formerly courses) – email drips sent over time, for instance for your course, of course!

The email app has a 14-day free trial, then the cheapest package starts at $29 for 1.000 subscribers which are not cheap in comparison. The email editor is very basic, with no drag-and-drop blocks. While part of the blogging community seems to like the simpleness and “rawness/realness” of not being able to add CTA buttons or columns. Well… everybody can have their opinion.

Stats are there, but nothing advanced. There is no heatmap or e-commerce conversion tracking.

What I like is the tagging system. Tag subscribers for their preferences, the downloads they made – etc. Tags make it easy for people to come in and do multiple downloads without any problems. There is a visual automation editor in there, to set up welcome and product/course campaigns.

* For bloggers: Comprehensive training, the whole community is about professional bloggers and creators.
* Segmentation: Use tags to store preferences and segment your groups.
* Visual automation and email autoresponders.
* Easy free trial up to 100 subscribers, to check out the tool

* Price – This overview is about free and cheap email systems. In comparison ConvertKit asks more of the green;
* The email editor is limited;
* No heatmap in your reporting, so no visual way to see where people clicked in your emails.

Try ConvertKit for free >

Email Software selection tips for marketers on a budget

Here are 4 tips for those who are especially looking for low-cost email marketing software.

Selection tip 1: Have a look at more than one system

It is a good idea to look at more than one email marketing system. This makes sense – and you were probably thinking about doing so already. Check for 2 or 3 options that seem to be a good fit and create an account to have a look inside. All of the email software on this page has a free trial and some even free sending plan, so they are the best MailChimp alternatives you could find. There is no risk to give them a try to see if you like what you see.

Selection tip 2: Don’t be afraid to spend a bit if you like the tool

Don’t be afraid to spend a bit if you tried and like the email platform. Squeezing pennies is the worst mindset for growth. As long as the ESP fits in your budget range, don’t mind a few dollars. Go with the best option for you. You are worth it. 😉 Email marketing can be such a great channel, the investment will seem small in comparison to your results.

Selection tip 3: Think maximum of 1 year ahead

Of course, you want an email marketing solution that will do what you want in the near future. Don’t look too far ahead though, especially when shopping for an ESP for the first time.

Think of what you will be needing this year, it will be more realistic. You save time, evaluating only things you need and prevent over-buying. At least you are not paying for features you won’t be using!

Selection tip 4: Today is better than tomorrow

Get started. Just take the first step by trying out some of the software. Add a list, build it out and send those first emails. If your needs are simple enough, you don’t need to take a lot of time comparing each and every solution. There is nothing more expensive than waiting to start with email marketing.

Selection tip 5: Get the discount and Extra’s

Many email providers give discounts (10 – 20%) for taking a yearly subscription. If you like the system, don’t forget to grab that discount. Non-profits might even get an extra discount. From the vendors we talk about here, 2 already give an extra discount if you sign up via this page. (No need to thank me, I do it with pleasure.)

What to look for in selecting cheap email marketing software

Now you have seen the tools available one-by-one, and overview what they have to offer. I’d say you probably have one or two favorites already. But let’s talk about comparison and what you should actually be looking for when comparing cheap or free email marketing services.

As with all newsletter software, there are a lot of shiny gimmicks and hyped features that will easily distract you from the real things you need.

When it comes to email marketing systems, there are only a few key factors that’ll move the needle for you.

        • Marketing automation and autoresponders
        • Segmentation and email lists
        • Responsive Email templates
        • Reporting
        • Support
        • Price (Ok, I put this here – because that was sort of the point of this post)

Let’s see what is important on each of these, I am sure it will make it much easier to pick the best tool for your business.

Finding the right marketing automation tool / best email autoresponder software

The first advice is to consider if you want to just send email newsletters and sales promotion emails or are looking for something more like free email autoresponder software.

Think about what type of campaigns you want to do this year.

Because if you won’t be using more advanced automation, no real need to look into it.
Almost all ESPs will allow you to do a simple drip campaign (like a welcome email autoresponder).

Examples of simple email marketing automation workflows (that most software has):

        • A contact signs up for your newsletter. A welcome email autoresponder is sent, followed with two or three timed messages.
        • A subscriber has been on your “list” for three months, and you have an automation set up to thank them and send a special offer.
        • A message goes out to subscribers on a date, for instance, their birthday. Wishing them a great day (possibly with a gift or discount).

If you really want to get into advanced automation triggers, that will take more than simple email blast software.

Examples of more advanced automation workflows

        • A subscriber looks at several blog posts about Widgets on your site. The automation software tags him as “interested in Widgets”. An automated email drip campaign follows to foster that interest and promote the Widget category.
        • A subscriber adds a product to their shopping cart or starts filling in a form, but doesn’t finish. The abandoned cart email sequences bring them back to finish the job.

There is much more possible with advanced email automation. But at least marketing automation software should be able to build flows, tag subscribers and set business rules (to determine who to send your emails to or not).

1. Responsive Email Templates

Templates are very valuable to get started quickly and save time with each newsletter sent. If you go for custom templates or use your own HTML, you don’t have to look at email templates.

The best email marketing software has a good starting selection of well-designed and modern looking email templates. The email editor allows you to customize templates and they should be completely responsive.
Modern drag and drop email designers don’t require that many templates though, as the building blocks are almost templates by themselves.

Check we’ve compared and reviewed 11 best free email template builders.

2. Email segmentation and list management

See if you can easily manage your lists and selections in the tool. For list management, think about the ways imports work. Or even better automated importing / integration with your other systems.

You’ll have to see how granular you want to go with your email list segmentation. If the plan is to send an email campaign to just a few segments, most free email service providers have email marketing features like that.

Want to go very detailed into the selections and use several fields at the same time for segmentation to make your selections, test them out.

3. Reporting and statistics

All email marketing tools have built-in statistics and reporting of the most important email metrics.

Email deliverability rates, open rate, and click rates are standard. You can find them in any email marketing software.

A tad more advanced reporting lets you see:
* New subscriber list growth (per source)
* Email client reports (desktop versus mobile)
* A click overlay to quickly see where people have clicked in the email
* Automation and drip campaign reporting
* Stats integrated with the site and google analytics

4. Support

Here you want to see what type of support you can expect. In the free tier, support can be less than in paid tiers. (you can imagine)

Support and customer service is always important in choosing the right email software. But on a budget think channels, response time and namely DIY (Do it yourself). Look for great documentation, chat (or phone) support, a ticketing system. An added plus would be videos.


Good hunting, I hope this review of free and cheap email marketing service providers helps you find the right solution for you. So take your pick and try out the tools! Have any questions? Do feel free to get in touch.


Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)