Regardless of what type of business you’re running, email marketing can help you to stay in contact with your target audience and ultimately to increase profitability.
There are a lot of expenses that come with starting or running a business and when you’re trying to run a lean operation, you might choose to ignore things that don’t seem to be essential. Thankfully, you can implement email marketing in your own business without the need to spend money, thanks to free email marketing services.
While there are many different providers that will allow you to grow and manage your email list, some of them offer free plans. Over the last several years, as this industry has become increasingly competitive, a growing number of providers have chosen to offer free plans in order to get new customers signed up.
These free plans are typically limited in terms of the features provided or the number of subscribers that you can have on your list, but they are more than adequate for most small businesses. By the time you outgrow one of the free plans, your list will easily generate enough money to justify the cost of upgrading to a paid plan.
The Best Free Email Marketing Services
We’ll provide details of the top seven options that you have for growing and managing your own email list at no cost.
AWeber our top recommendation for email list management, regardless of whether you’re looking for a free or paid plan. They offer all of the features that you’ll need (more on that in a minute), they offer fair pricing, and their customer service is the best in the industry.
As far as the free plan is concerned, AWeber allows you to manage up to 500 subscribers and send up to 3,000 emails per month at no cost. When you’re ready to exceed those limits, you can sign up for a premium plan starting at just $29 per month.
AWeber’s free plan allows you to select from hundreds of email templates or create your own design from scratch with their drag-and-drop builder. The builder is extremely intuitive and easy to use, making it simple for anyone to create beautiful emails that work well on desktop computers and mobile devices.
The template selection is one of their areas where AWeber really shines. If you’re looking for a free email marketing plan, you probably don’t want to spend money on a designer to create custom emails for you. With AWeber, you can make use of their templates to get professional-looking emails at no cost to you. Of course, you can customize the templates as needed, so there’s no limit to what you can do.
The free plan also includes:
- Email automation
- Unlimited landing pages
- Signup forms
- WordPress plugin
- List segmentation
- Ecommerce integration
- Free migration from another email marketing service
- And more
One of the biggest ways that AWeber stands out from the competition is in terms of customer service. It’s very easy to get assistance from a rep on their team. They make it very easy to contact them and they are available by online chat, email, or phone. Their phone number is listed openly on their website, so there are no hoops to jump through it you want to talk to a human.
They also offer a free migration service, which means if you’re using another email marketing service, they will do the work to import your list to AWeber.
The primary limitation of the free plan is the number of subscribers and the number of emails that you can send each. Some features like split testing are not included with the free plan, but overall, AWeber’s free plan comes with an impressive list of features. It’s a great starting point for any small business.
Who Should Use AWeber?
AWeber is an excellent choice for small businesses, freelancers, and bloggers. They offer some of the best email templates, a strong set of features for a free plan, and the best customer service available. You really can’t go wrong with AWeber and that’s why they’re at the top of our list.
ConvertKit is another popular provider that offers a free plan. They allow you to manage up to 1,000 subscribers on the free plan, however, there are some limitations.
Before signing up for ConvertKit, you should be aware of what it is and what it is not. ConvertKit, as you might guess from the name, is very focused on helping you to increase conversions with your email marketing. However, you’ll be sending more basic-looking emails. You’re not going to have pretty HTML email templates with ConvertKit, so if you’re in a highly visual industry, ConvertKit is probably not the best choice for you.
Where ConvertKit really shines is in terms of email automation. You can set up advanced sequences and automation features that can be extremely effective. However, the free plan unfortunately does not include these features. You can send broadcast emails (emails that go to your entire list) on the free plan, but you’ll be missing out on the best part of ConvertKit until you upgrade to a paid plan.
In terms of customer support, you can open a ticket to get support by email.
Overall, ConvertKit is an excellent option, regardless of whether you’re looking at the free plan or the paid plan. We have AWeber rated a little higher due to the features of the free plan and their customer support, but ConvertKit is still a solid option to consider.
Who Should Use ConvertKit?
If you’re an entrepreneur selling a digital product (or planning to sell a digital product), ConvertKit could be a wise choice. The free plan doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the automation features, but when you eventually upgrade to a paid plan, there is a lot you can do to increase sales.
If you’re looking for free email marketing, MailerLite is a provider that you’ll definitely want to consider. Their website and user interface is very well-designed and easy to use. They offer an excellent set of features even for free users, and the pricing is very reasonable once you outgrow the free plan.
You can manage up to 1,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month on the free plan. You’ll be able to use the drag-and-drop builder to create mobile-friendly emails, but unlike AWeber, the pre-designed templates from MailerLite are not available on the free plan.
MailerLite’s free plan includes the following features:
- Create landing pages
- Create signup forms and popups
- List segmentation
- Email automation
- A/B testing
Customer support is available by email.
An area where MailerLite stands out is in terms of pricing. When you outgrow the free plan, MailerLite’s pricing is extremely reasonable and offers one of the best values in the industry.
Who Should Use MailerLite?
MailerLite is ideal for small businesses and e-commerce websites on a tight budget. The free plan is very good and their paid plans also provide excellent value. The main limitations in comparison to AWeber are the pre-design templates and customer service.
Sendinblue offers some interesting features like SMS marketing, which you won’t find with most of its competitors. As a free user, you will get access to their template library and drag-and-drop email builder, but you’ll be limited to the number of emails you can send. You won’t be able to send more than 300 emails in a day. Most marketers will want to send an email to their entire list at specific times, so if that is the case for you, you won’t be able to do it with more than 300 subscriber unless you’re on a paid plan. The free plan also does not include A/B testing, the landing page builder, and other advanced features.
What makes Sendinblue more interesting is the range of features that are included, like marketing automation, transactional emails, and a CRM.
Users on the free plan will be able to get support only by email. If you upgrade to a paid plan, Sendinblue also offers support by chat and phone.
Who Should Use Sendinblue?
Sendinblue offers a compelling service, but those looking for free email marketing are probably better served with the options we’ve ranked higher. The free plan for Sendinblue has a nice set of features like SMS marketing, but some of the limitations are moe significant (like the limit of 300 emails per day).
Omnisend is a feature-rich platform that includes a free plan for those who are getting started. The free plan offers some nice features but is also limited in some other ways. The free plan does not have a specific limit on the number of contacts, but you’ll be limited to 2,500 emails per day or 15,000 emails per month.
The free plan includes:
- Email templates
- Optin forms
- Exit-intent signup forms
- Landing pages
While those features and the daily/monthly email limits are generous for a free plan, you should also consider what the free plan is lacking. First of all, there is no support provided for free plans, which is a major limitation. Free plans also do not include any email automation features or A/B testing.
Overall, Omnisend has a lot to offer, but it’s lacking in a few key areas.
Who Should Use Omnisend?
Omnisend is more appropriate for users who have experience with email marketing since support is not available on their free plans.
Sender is a really intriguing option. The company is not as well-known as the others on this list, and unlike the others, I have no personal experience using or trying Sender.
However, by specs alone, Sender is an option that you might want to consider. Their free plan includes all the features of their paid plans and is only limited in terms of the number of subscribers you can manage. And Sender allows you to manage up to 2,500 subscribers for free.
- Mobile responsive templates
- Optin forms
- Drip campaigns
- Abandoned cart emails
- Push notifications
Customer service is available by online chat or email.
Who Should Use Sender?
The only drawback to Sender is the fact that they’re not as established in the industry and it’s a name that’s not familiar to many people. If you’re ok going with a lesser-known provider, Sender could be a good option.
Mailchimp’s free plan has been very popular for a number of years. In fact, the popularity of their free plan has had a big influence on the their competitors that have started to offer a free plan.
Despite Mailchimp’s popularity, it’s ranked lower on our list because of some significant limitations that come with using Mailchimp. Like any email marketing service, Mailchimp has terms of service that you must follow, and they’ll take action if you violate those terms.
Mailchimp has a reputation of being less friendly towards affiliate marketing and there have been a many cases where entrepreneurs and businesses have spoken up about their accounts being closed by Mailchimp because of violations.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize an email list, so we recommend choosing a service that is more accepting of affiliate marketing.
If you have no plans of using your email list to promote products as an affiliate, you may be interested in the details of what Mailchimp offers.
The free plan allows you to manage up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 10,000 emails per month. You can tag and segment subscribers, but you can’t create an automated sequence on the free plan. You’ll also get access to some, but not all, of the email templates from Mailchimp on the free plan. You can also create landing pages and popups to grow your list.
Overall, Mailchimp has a very compelling free plan in terms of the specs. The biggest concern is their reputation as being more restrictive.
Who Should Use Mailchimp?
Because of Mailchimp’s restrictions, the other options on this list are better for most online businesses and entrepreneurs. Mailchimp could be a better fit with traditional businesses.