It may seem like an old-fashioned way of driving revenue, but it still works far much better than other marketing channels.
Yes, I’m talking about email marketing.
That’s why email 54% of small businesses cited email as their number one marketing tool. Not surprising seeing as the number of email users is projected to reach 4.3 billion in 2022. Simply put, savvy SMB’s have realized a simple but powerful truth – the money is in the list.
And that’s where email marketing services come in. A casual search on Google will show you that in order to enjoy the rewards of email marketing you will have to invest in a good email marketing service. If you’re a startup or running your business on a shoestring budget, you may not be able to afford most of the popular ones.
That’s why I want to show you the best free email marketing services for businesses on a tight budget.
Sure, you may be getting by with spreadsheets and mail merge, but if you are serious about growing your business, you will need to get a proper bulk email marketing platform. You’ll need to learn how to do email marketing the modern way.
3 Reasons Every Business Should be Using Automated Email Marketing Software
Let me quickly give you 3 reasons to get an automated email marketing service before we look at the best free email marketing services you can pick one from.
Allows You to Personalize Your Emails
One of the biggest advantages you get with email marketing tools is that they offer you the ability to easily personalize the emails you send. And yes, personalization is important if you want to see results in your email marketing campaigns.
According to a study conducted by Experian, personalized promotional emails have a 29% boost in open rates and a 41% increase in click rates.
Provide Crucial Data and Insights into Campaigns
In the digital age we are living in, data is crucial to marketing success. This is why email marketing tools are a must for every serious marketer. They provide the much-needed data you need to
- Track your progress
- Fine tune your personalization
- Optimize your email marketing campaign
In order to implement email marketing best practices, you will need to know how to collect data and understand how to use it to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
Increase Lead Generation and Customer Retention
Automating your email marketing will benefit your business in that it enables you to generate leads easily. And the leads that turn into customers, you can easily retain using your automated email marketing strategy. Considering that a 5% increase in customer retention can translate into a 25% to 95% increase in your profits, marketing automation is definitely a step in the right direction.
The Best Free Email Marketing Services – How Free is Free?
Being a business person yourself, I’m sure you know that free is not always free. When it comes to the best free email marketing services, how “free” are they? Let’s quickly consider their pros and cons so that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Pros of Free Email Marketing Services
While each free email marketing service has its unique feature set and capabilities, they all have some common advantages they bring to the table.
For businesses on a shoestring budget, this is the biggest advantage of free email marketing services. This means you get to dip your toes in the email marketing waters without committing yourself to a service provider.
Offer the essentials
Free email marketing services usually offer the essential features you need to start your email marketing campaigns. While you may not get advanced features that help you optimize your campaigns, they do help you get some traction.
If you find that your free email marketing service is helping you generate leads and revenue, you can easily scale when resources permit.
The Cons of Free Email Marketing Services
Let’s briefly look at some of the cons of free email marketing services so you know what shortcomings you should expect from the one you will pick for your business.
As to be expected, free email marketing services won’t come with all the features you will find in paid versions. While they can perform most basic email marketing tasks, you will find that they will be lacking in some email marketing tools such as advanced segmentation among others. For most, the biggest limitation will be the number of subscribers and emails allowed on the free plan.
Little or no customer support
Because service providers prioritize paying customers, customer support is usually non-existent on free email marketing services. You will have to figure out and troubleshoot most problems on your own.
Now that you know what to expect from free email marketing services, let’s take a look at some of the best on the market.
Free Email Marketing Services – The Top 5
Finding a free product that delivers is usually a painstaking task. And because we know that you have neither the time nor the energy to do so (seeing as you are busy with other facets of your business), we have taken the liberty of separating the wheat from the chaff for you.
Here’s our list of the best free email marketing services – in no particular order.
Mailchimp is probably the most widely used of all free email marketing services. The reason for that is pretty simple – it offers more than most in terms of the number of subscribers you can have.
And when it comes to features, this email marketing service will take you far with your email marketing. One of the features that make Mailchimp so popular is its ease of use. Other features you can expect include:
- A campaign builder for crafting all sorts of emails
- Beautiful email templates
- In-suite apps
- Easy integration with e-commerce platforms
- Campaign archiving
- A/B testing
One thing you’ll definitely love about the Mailchimp email marketing software is the set of analytics tools it comes with. With these, you are able to track your emails, know who’s opening (and not), and even how they engage with your emails. For the marketer, this is crucial intel that you need to keep tabs of so as to understand your audience better. It also gives you the information you need to build a robust email marketing campaign.
The free plan, dubbed “New Business”, allows you to have 2,000 subscribers on your list. There’s also a 12,000 email limit per month.
Another popular email marketing service for businesses on a budget is MailerLite. While it does come with a paid option, the free version of MailerLite is well able to cater for most of all your needs as a small business.
Some of the features you can enjoy with the free version of MailerLite include:
- An easy to use drag-and-drop editor
- Rich Text editor
- A/B testing
- Landing pages
- Mobile-friendly email newsletters
- A built-in photo editing feature
- Easy file management
Like Mailchimp, MailerLite is super easy to use, even if you’re new to email marketing software. An analytics dashboard gives insight into what will be happening at every stage of your campaign. An advantage that MailerLite has over other free email marketing services is that it comes with API integration. This allows you to easily modify the platform to your needs.
The free version of MailerLite allows you up to 1000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
If you’re looking for the best free email newsletter service, Benchmark could easily be it. Featuring a clean crisp design, this is one of the most user-friendly email newsletter services around.
One of the standout features that make Benchmark an excellent option for small businesses is the WYSIWYG email builder. This allows you to easily design beautiful emails in a short space of time (15 minutes according to Benchmark). As for the features that come with the free plan, you’ll enjoy:
- Live editing
- Photo editing
- Email templates
- Code editor
- Google analytics tracking
- Basic automation
- Sign-up forms
Benchmark also integrates with over 300 tools to help you generate leads or sales for your business. The one major caveat that comes with Benchmark is the low email deliverability rates when compared to other services.
Benchmarks free plan allows for 2,000 subscribers and up to 14,000 emails in a month. For a small and growing business, that’s actually quite a lot.
If you run an e-commerce store, one of the best free email marketing services for you is OmniSend. Designed with online stores in mind, it makes email marketing easier for you by being able to quickly pull products from your store and generate attractive emails.
So what can you expect from the free version of OmniSend? Some of the most convenient include:
- List management
- Website tracking
- Signup forms (maximum of 3 active at any given time)
- Landing pages
- A/B testing
In a nutshell, OmniSend gives you most of the email marketing tools you will need to promote your products, including sending out promo codes. This is definitely one email marketing service you need to consider if you run an e-commerce store.
Even if you don’t, you’ll still find this service robust enough to meet most of your needs and flexible enough to fit into your business model.
Opting for the free plan affords you to send up to 2,000 emails a day or up to 15,000 per month. The number of subscribers is unlimited.
SendinBlue is fast becoming a favorite email marketing service for small businesses as it easily allows you to manage transactional emails and run marketing campaigns. Here are the features you can expect to find in the free version:
- Drag and drop email builder
- Responsive email templates
- Email and SMS personalization
- A/B testing
- Customizable sign-up forms
- Workflow editor
- Real-time reporting
SendinBlue also comes with API functionalities, allowing it to easily integrate with your other marketing tools. You also get 60 days free phone and chat support, thereafter, you only get email support. The free plan only allows you to send 300 emails a day (up to 9,000 a month) and an unlimited number of subscribers.
The Best Free Email Marketing Service – Your Choice
If you’re a startup or running a business on a budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forego some powerful marketing strategies – especially email marketing. While the more sophisticated email marketing services may seem to cost a fortune, you can still get great marketing automation capabilities from free email marketing services.
Now that you’ve seen the main features of 5 of the best, go ahead and pick the best free email marketing service that looks like the perfect fit for your business.
Have you had any experience with any of these free email marketing services?
Share with us in your comments below!