10 Free Email Marketing Software Solutions

See now a list of the best free email marketing software solutions for help your business to grow and you stay in contact with your users / clients easily

As a small business marketer with my own entrepreneurial dreams, I’m a big fan of the show Shark Tank on ABC. If you’re not familiar with the show, every week, small business owners and entrepreneurs get up in front of the “sharks” (i.e. millionaire venture capitalists) and pitch the VCs on why they should invest in their business. One of the most common—and, in my opinion, weak—rebuttals when one of the sharks asks an entrepreneur why they should invest in a fledgling business with little to show for itself thus far is, “Because we haven’t put any money into marketing yet!”

For some reason, many small business owners still falsely believe that, in order to scale, they need the money to invest in a million-dollar TV commercial or put hundreds of thousands into radio and print ads to get the word out. But thanks to the widespread reach of the internet and the amount of time consumers spend online these days, reaching your potential customers has never cost less.

Perhaps the fastest and most cost-effective way to reach your customers today is with email marketing software—especially when there are so many 100% FREE email marketing solutions available.

While email marketing might seem like a passé marketing tactic of the ‘90s and 2000s, it has grown up quite a bit since those times. In the past 5 years, customers across all industries have increasingly turned online to take control of the sales and marketing process. Whether reading and leaving online reviews, asking for product recommendations from peers via social media, or performing online research and reading blogs before making a purchase, the customer is now increasingly in charge of their communications with businesses.

As such, email marketing software is no longer just a batch and blast system that allows marketers to push out their message to the masses: it has evolved to include advanced automation rules, integrations with blogs, mobile devices, and social media, allowing you to not only reach customers through their inbox, but also through the variety of other channels that they frequent in 2014.

Below, I’ll delve into ten of the most well-known free email marketing software systems that you can use to scale your small business marketing:

1. Benchmark

Founded in 2004, Benchmark focuses on simple email marketing and appeals to those with an eye for creative design thanks to its ability to customize email templates.

Free Plan: Free for Life plan for up to 2000 subscribers and 14,000 emails a month

Paid Plans: Send based plans start at $9.95 per month; list-based plans at $11.95 per month

Pros

  • User-friendly, clean templates, including the ability to send video email marketing.
  • Built-in A/B Testing and Inbox Checker that shows you how your emails look on recipients’ mobile devices and various browsers.

Cons

  • While you can have unlimited contacts in your Free for Life plan, they have to come from your Benchmark subscriber sign-up form—not uploaded from your CRM or other sources.
  • Limited customer support on weekends; only some chat and email support on Saturdays.

2. Reachmail

Reachmail was founded in 2001, and the company states that they strive to have the best, personal customer service in the industry.

Free Plan: Free for up to 5,000 contacts and 15,000 emails per month

Paid Plans: Start at $10 per month for up to 7,500 contacts and 30,000 emails/month

Pros

  • No contracts and no commitments, plus free training and unlimited support.
  • For an extra fee, they’ll scrub your email list to make sure your email deliverability rates don’t suffer due to bad addresses.

Cons

  • Free, custom email template designed by Reachmail’s design team is only available with a paid account.
  • Despite built-in integrations with Google Analytics and WordPress, Reachmail doesn’t advertise any built-in integrations with CRM systems, meaning you have to rely on their API to create a sync with your customer relationship management software.

3. MailChimp

MailChimp is perhaps the most widely-used email marketing system for small-businesses, and based on a recent email marketing survey we performed of 60 small business owners, it received rave reviews from its users.

Free Plan: Forever Free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month

Paid Plans: Start at $20 per month for unlimited email

Pros

  • Huge integration list—Integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Magento, Salesforce, ZenDesk, BigCommerce, Drupal, Mandrill, and Google Analytics, to name a few.
  • Nice analytics—easy-to-read graph reports that show side-by-side comparisons of your email performance compared with past emails or others in your industry.

Cons

  • Difficult to customize sign-up forms.
  • Some features excluded in free version, including: autoresponders, spam filter diagnostics, email client testing, delivery by time zone, and advanced social media monitoring.

4. VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse was founded in 2001, and the company currently has more than 1 million users. Its suite of web-based marketing tools includes ways to reach customers and prospects through email, social media, mobile, and more.

Free Plan: Free for up to 1,000 email contacts and 4,000 emails per month

Paid Plans: Start at $22 per month for unlimited email sending plans

Pros

  • Included social media scheduling tools for unlimited posts on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Built-in integrations with many of the major CRMs, such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, ZohoCRM, Nimble and more.

Cons

  • No automation features such as auto-responders or event triggered emails.
  • Unsubscribes from any Vertical Response emails are also opted-out from all of the Vertical Response users’ databases, so you might lose some subscribers through this system.

5. Elite Email

Elite Email targets small businesses, enterprise organizations, and nonprofits alike with their mass email marketing solution.

Free Plan: Free for up to 500 contacts with unlimited email sending

Paid Plans: Start at $15 per month for 500+ contacts and pay-as-you-go plans

Pros

  • Geo reports tell you where your customers are located and where they’re engaging with your emails through interactive maps
  • You get unlimited emails and unlimited list segments, which allows for more targeted sending.

Cons

  • No mobile app to deploy emails on the go from your mobile device.
  • Does not include any basic automation features, such as A/B testing and drip programs.

6. Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is a popular solution for beginning email marketers because solutions really don’t come much simpler than this.

Free Plan: Free for unlimited emails to 100 subscribers

Paid Plans: Their first paid plan starts at $10/month for up to 500 contacts

Pros

  • It’s a phenomenal system for email marketing newbies because it’s both easy to work with, and has excellent customer service.
  • Emails are 100% customizable, with no need for any knowledge of HTML.

Cons

  • Their free plan is exclusively for very, very small companies.
  • There are no templates.
  • You can’t A/B test your emails.

7. Freshmail

Freshmail is not for marketers new to email marketing – mainly because it’s less of an email marketing system and more of a marketing automation system. But all of those extra features are a boon to marketers who need to stay cheap, yet have the skills to implement more advanced email campaigns.

Free Plan: Unlimited emails for up to 500 contacts.

Paid Plan: $7 for 1000 emails; pay as you go.

Pros:

  • You can create email nurture tracks and create dynamic content. (Some upsides of Freshmail being more of a marketing automation system.)
  • Freshmail can generate barcodes to send in emails – which makes it ideal for retailers.
  • A/B testing functionality.

Cons:

  • 500 contacts is very easy to outgrow for a company that is ready to use marketing automation.

8. Campayn

Campayn is strong solution for beginners with very competitive pricing.

Free Plan: 20,000 emails to 500 subscribers

Paid plan: $20/month for unlimited emails to 1000 subscribers

Pros:

  • It comes with a built-in contact manager, which is ideal for companies that are too small for a CRM. (Although, with so many free CRMs out there, are you ever really too small for a CRM?)
  • It allows you to embed opt-in forms on your website to easily collect email subscribers.
  • Campayn has an excellent customer service team.

Cons:

  • Campayn can get pricey if you get on the paid version, as you have to pay to have more than 1 user, as well. A plan for 10,000 subscribers and 3 users comes out to $79/month, for instance.

9. Mailerlite

Mailerlite is one of the cheapest email solutions around, and makes everything easy for first time email marketers.

Free Plan: Unlimited emails to 1000 subscribers.

Paid Plan: Unlimited emails to 5000 subscribers for $6.66 (when paid annually).

Pros:

  • Mailerlite really is a lite solution. As the name implies, first-timers won’t be confused by a lot of features.
  • Mailerlite has a drag-and-drop editor, and a photo editor.
  • It comes with A/B testing, autoresponder capabilities, and embed forms to gather emails.
  • They have an iPad sign-up app, so that you can easily collect emails in person.
  • Mailerlite is incredibly cheap, so outgrowing the free plan is hardly a big deal.

Cons:

  • Mailerlite really is a lite solution – so advanced marketers may find that it lacks many features they need.

10. SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a four year old email marketing service from France. They now have a North American office, and offer their service in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German.

Free Plan: 9000 emails/month to unlimited subscribers.

Paid Plan: $7.37/month for 40,000 emails/month to unlimited subscribers.

Pros:

  • The free plan is very generous. 9000 emails to a 500 person list is 18 emails in a month.
  • They offer automated text messages as well – so you have two channels of marketing to your customers within SendInBlue.

Cons:

Reviewers are split on SendinBlue’s customer service. While some customers love it, others seem to have had truly rough experiences.

Know any other good free email marketing software solutions? Share them in the comments below!!