Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on May 7, 2013. It has been updated to reflect pricing & offering changes, as well as newly available tools and solutions.
What better way to keep in touch with your clients, prospects and contacts than through email? You’ve seen the flashy, super-impressive designer email campaigns, and you’re fairly certain that the company spent thousands of dollars on a custom design—thousands of dollars that you may not have available to invest. What you may not know is that you can replicate the same level of sophistication and success at a much more affordable price.
There are a variety of email marketing platforms packed with the head-turning features you need to grab the attention of your audience, and best of all, you may not have to fork over a dime to try them out. A number of email applications are completely free for the first few hundred subscribers, providing the perfect opportunity for you to get started, build your subscriber list and figure out what email marketing tactics resonate with your audience before you go big. Here are 25 of the best email marketing web applications available. We’re pretty sure that after reading this list, your biggest challenge will be deciding which platform to use. Trust us, they all have amazing offerings!
- Mail Chimp – With six million users, MailChimp is one of the most-frequently used email applications. The interface includes customized signup forms you can integrate into your website or your Facebook page, social sharing integration, dozens of customizable templates and a full-featured API to sync existing customer databases, shopping carts and more. MailChimp is ideal for beginners, since it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers—and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. However, you are limited on a few features under the free plan. Paid plans are full-featured and very affordable, ranging from $10 to $450 per month, depending on the number of subscribers and the number of emails you will be sending each month. The $450 per month plan allows up to 85,000 subscribers and over a million emails.
- Constant Contact – If you’ve heard of email marketing, you’ve probably heard of Constant Contact. It’s one of the most comprehensive email marketing applications on the web, with a variety of ancillary tools, such as surveys and event marketing, that you can add-on with a fee. Constant Contact’s built-in analytics are pretty awesome, as well as its impressive customizable template database and social sharing features. You can get started with Constant Contact for as little as $20 per month after a 60-day free trial.
- AWeber – Aweber features autoresponder follow-up, customizable HTML email marketing templates, signup forms, RSS-to-email (create emails automatically from your latest blog posts), a full-featured API and much more. Not to mention a robust learning database featuring live webinars, video training, a complete knowledge base to help you navigate the features and a blog with insider tips on maximizing your email marketing campaigns. Pricing starts at just $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers once your 30-day free trial ends.
- iContact – iContact has also made a name for itself in the email marketing scene, offering hundreds of email marketing templates to choose from, an easy drag-and-drop interface for users without advanced design skills, and integrated social sharing features so you can share your messages with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Deep contact history offers an in-depth view of your previous interactions with each subscriber, so you can manage your relationships more effectively. Pricing ranges from $14 for 500 subscribers to $79 for 10,000 subscribers per month.
- Vertical Response – Vertical Response offers email marketing as one component of its host of marketing products, which also includes social media marketing, event marketing, online surveys and other applications. With tons of email templates to choose from, real-time analytics and easy sharing functions, Vertical Response is a comprehensive email platform. Vertical Response offers a volume-based price structure that is also feature-specific. Not only can you customize your plan based on your needs, you can try Vertical Response for free for up to 300 subscribers.
- Campaign Monitor – Create your own templates with Campaign Monitor’s easy-to-use template builder. Choose from a variety of layouts, select colors and then customize your text, images and even personalized messaging. Campaign Monitor’s emails are automatically optimized for mobile too—the perfect solution for today’s mobile-driven users. Signup is free, and you can send campaigns starting at just $9 per month.
- FreshMail – FreshMail is totally free for up to 500 subscribers and 2,000 emails per month, and paid plans start at only $14 per month. This interface offers an impressive set of features for email marketers, including A/B tests, time-optimized messages, transactional emails and auto-responses. You can even create bar codes for retail discounts and promotions for your subscribers.
- ExpressPigeon – ExpressPigeon is a powerful email marketing platform with an extremely clean and easy-to-use interface, offering scaling pricing for businesses depending on number of subscribers, with paid plans including an unlimited volume of sent messages. ExpressPigeon allows you to send up to 1,000 emails to up to 500 subscribers every month for free, with paid plans starting at $9.99 for 500 subscribers and unlimited messages.
- Campayn – Campayn allows you to import the contacts from your Yahoo!Mail and Gmail address books to populate your subscriber list. It also offers premade templates, sign-up forms to add subscribers and autoresponder emails to ease the burden of following up. Up to 20,000 emails to 500 subscribers is free, so you can test out this platform’s functionality before your subscriber list grows. Paid packages start at $10 per month for 1,000 subscribers.
- Emma – Emma offers ready-made email templates and cool visuals, including response graphs and analytics data. Emma’s analytics helps you look beyond the surface data to identify trends over time and dig deep into data for maximum results. Pricing starts at $45 per month for up to 2,500 subscribers and 15,000 emails and goes up to $199 per month for unlimited sending and all the bells and whistles, including a dedicated account manager. If your needs are even more specialized, you can call to request a quote for the enterprise level, which offers a custom plan.
- Mad Mimi – Mad Mimi simplifies email marketing by focusing on just the emails. Everything is uncomplicated. You can view your most recent stats on the front page and see an image of your latest email to help you recall just how it looked. If you want a little more than the basics, social media features, drip emails and more can be turned on as add-ons. Pricing starts at $10 per month for 500 subscribers.
- Mailjet – Mailjet offers full email automation and a host of templates. There are even website widgets to capture email addresses and sync them with your contact list and analytical tools to help you adjust your marketing efforts for the greatest impact. Price plans start at just $7.49 for 30,000 emails sent per month.
- Benchmark Email – Benchmark Email’s editor works just like a Word document, for totally streamlined and simplified design—even if you’re not a skilled designer. You can customize signup forms for Facebook, Twitter or your website, and track important metrics like open rates and social shares. Benchmark Email is FREE for 14,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers, and plans with unlimited emails start at $11.95 per month for up to 600 subscribers.
- GetResponse – GetResponse lets you “create stunning newsletters and landing pages in minutes,” with capabilities including customized offers, mobile apps and more with the ability to segment subscribers for greater impact through targeting and perfect timing. GetResponse starts at just $15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers and goes up to $799 per month for more than 100,000 subscribers. There are no contracts with GetResponse, so you can cancel anytime.
- StreamSend – As its name suggests, StreamSend streamlines email marketing with easy opt-in/opt-out features, opt-in confirmations, list management including importing and exporting of contacts, list segemenation and more. And that’s just on the administrative end. You can also take advantage of Email Analyzer, which tests your messages in 30 different email clients. If you’ve ever sent an email marketing campaign, you’re probably painfully familiar with the hassle of different email clients rendering your code in various, and sometimes absurdly wacky, ways. Plans start at $19.90 per month for up to 2,000 emails, but you can this platform for free during a 30-day trial.
- SharpSpring Mail+ – With SharpSpring Mail+, you’ll not only know who opened your email, but what device they used, what links they clicked and whether they shared it across their social networks. Choose from dozens of email templates and make them your own with a simple, intuitive design interface. Choose from multiple pricing options, starting at $5.00 per month for up to 500 contacts.
- Sendicate – Sendicate offers the best that simplicity has to offer. The platform is content-focused with a cool editor that lets you pick and choose what you want to add to your emails, compose your emails long before you are ready to send them out and then release them at the perfect time. Search filters make it easy to segment your subscribers for strategic marketing. Pricing for this gem starts at $9 per month for unlimited emails to 500 subscribers, but up to 1000 emails to 500 subscribers is always free.
- ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign is a robust email marketing and CRM solution for businesses looking for a platform with a bit more customizability and freedom. Pricing starts at $49 per month for 1,000 contacts, and every plan includes unlimited sending, custom platform domain, white label branding, and more. A 14 day free trial is also available.
- MailerLite – MailerLite is FREE for up to 1,000 subscribers, and there is no limit on the number of emails you can send per month. If you have more subscribers in mind, you can choose from several plans, which range from $10 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers to $100 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers. Regardless of the plan that you select, you can take advantage of MailerLite’s many features, such as mobile-friendly emails, drag-and-drop editor, real-time reporting, comprehensive list management and more.
- SendLoop – SendLoop is “the easy way to send email newsletters.” It includes list management, campaign management, integration with awesome apps, such as WordPress, and even a full-featured API for developers. At only $9 per month for up to 500 subscribers, getting started is easy on the budget. You can even choose to pay by the email. Every 1,000 emails is $10.
- Elite Email – Choose from a myriad of fully-customizable templates, share your emails on popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, take advantage of a fully-branded subscription center where your customers can set up their preferences, enter their info and even edit their profiles (talk about making you look sophisticated!), and fall in love with the live ticker that delivers your stats as they’re happening. (Ideal for those of us who are less-than-patient when we’re waiting for metrics!). It’s FREE for up to 500 email addresses. Yes, free. More than 500 contacts? Prices start at $15 per month. Totally affordable, and totally awesome.
- Interspire Email Marketer – Interspire is a cool platform with features to help you automate your list management, optimize your click-through rates and solicit and track feedback with surveys. Advanced reporting allows you to see the full activity of a single lead for maximum personalization and analysis. Pricing starts at $495 for a single user—yes, it seems a little pricey on the surface, but this is a lifetime license for a slew of capabilities. In other words, definitely worth it!
- SimplyCast – SimplyCast is an email marketing platform offering custom templates (for a one-time $99 fee), email client rendering so you’re sure your campaigns won’t look like gobbled-gook to your subscribers, and even sub-accounts so you can give other users access with specific permissions. A campaign cross-check ensures you’re not missing any important details before your message goes out. It’s free for up to 3,000 email contacts. Doesn’t get any better than that! Paid plans are incredibly affordable as well, if you have a larger list.
- SendGrid – SendGrid provides reliability, scalability, comprehensive, real-time analytics and more—including a full-featured API. Prices start at $9.95 per month for an incredible 40,000 emails.
- ActiveTrail – ActiveTrail is a full-featured email marketing platform that’s only $7 for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails per month—perfect if you’re a newbie to email marketing and don’t yet have a large subscriber list. You’ll benefit from nearly 100% deliverability, advanced reporting and management features and much more.
What email marketing application do you rely on to stay in touch with your contacts? We want to know! Share your favorites with us in the comments below, and tell us about any experiences you’ve had using any of these email marketing platforms.
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