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10 Free Email Service Providers(ESPs) For Bloggers & Small Businesses

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In spite of the growth of Social Media Marketing in Digital Marketing, Email Marketing continues to be the most important form of marketing for all types of businesses, ranging from large corporations & multinationals to startups & small businesses. The high level of personalisation, ROI, reach and targeting achieved by using email marketing is unmatched by any other form of digital marketing. For every small business or blog, aggregating, interacting with and engaging their audience using this powerful medium of Email Marketing from inception has become essential for success.

Email Service Providers(ESPs) are required to be used when sending bulk marketing emails to ensure deliverability of the emails. Most ESPs also offer a range of features including Easy-to-use templates for creating beautiful and professional looking emails, social media integration, scheduling and tracking tools. For many blogs or small business owners, free Email Service Providers are a boon as they tend to operate on tight budgets. 

In this post, I have looked at the free plans available from different well-known Email Service Providers. Though this is not a comprehensive list, it is a good place to start off with in the process of selecting a free ESP for your blog or small business. The choice of ESP for each business will vary depending on the type of business, the number of contacts in the mailing list, expected growth in the email list, type of emails required to be sent, and the number of emails sent each month.

Email Service Providers(ESPs) with free unlimited emails/month

1.MailerLite

Free Plan: 1000 contacts, unlimited emails/month

Screenshot from www.mailerlite.comMailerLite is a simple platform which is very easy to start off with for beginners with no prior email marketing experience. This easy-to-use ESP provides full access to all its features in the free plan including Subscriber Management, Autoresponder, A/B Testing,  Campaign Reports and Seamless Integration with the most popular Web Services. It also offers low-cost upgradations as your email list expands (in $10 increment for every 5000 contacts). However, as the name suggests it is a very lightweight ESP.

2. TargetHero

Free Plan: 1000 contacts, unlimited emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 12.21.18 AM

TargetHero markets itself as a free email marketing platform. It also a host of features which will be required in most email marketing campaigns including a simple WYSIWYG(What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) content editor, Importing of Contact Lists, Real Time Analytics, Automation of email marketing campaigns. Email Service Providers(ESPs) for small subscriber lists

3. MadMimi

Free Plan: 100 contacts, unlimited emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.26.08 AMMadMimi offers a very limited free plan for only 100 contacts; though it offers very competitive prices for its paid plans. The main pros of using MadMimi is it provides a very simple interface for beginners to create beautiful looking HTML emails and integration with a host of Add-Ons. However, it has only one template and it does not provide much in the way of automation or A/B Testing.

4. RedCappi

Free Plan: 100 contacts, unlimited emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.26.48 AM

RedCappi is a simple ESP with all the features required for creating, tracking and automating emails with easy interfacing with content management systems. However, they provide only a very limited free plan with competitive pricing depending on the number of contacts.

Email Service Providers(ESPs) with free for unlimited subscribers

5. SendInBlue

Free Plan: unlimited contacts, 9000 emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.28.07 AM

SendInBlue is an ESP targetted for both small and large business. It was marketed as a low cost yet a feature-filled alternative to MailChimp. It offers a range of email marketing features including customizable albeit simple templates, a range of transactional and autoresponder options, though many of the features are limited in the free option. Also, there is a daily cap of 300 emails in the free plan.

Email Service Providers(ESPs) with Value for Nothing Limited Free Plans

6. ReachMail

Free Plan: 5000 contacts, 15000 emails /month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.33.22 AM

As the landing page of ReachMail (above) indicates ReachMail provides one of the best plans for bloggers and small businesses for life, so they can start off without spending anything till they aggregate an emailing list of >5000 contacts. It offers all the required features including Autoresponders, lot of templates, and good tracking features in its free accounts as well, but it does not have trigger based autoresponders and email mobile optimization which might be an important requirement for many companies.

7. BenchMark

Free Plan: 2000 contacts, 14000 emails /month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.30.51 AM

BenchMark provides an intuitive design and multiple templates, good online learning resources, and limited A/B testing in its free plan. It also provides a discount for non-profit organizations. However, it provides a number of features including engagement automation only to its paid customers.

8. Zoho Campaigns

Free Plan: 2000 contacts, 12000 emails /month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.29.38 AM

The top features of Zoho Campaigns include integration with its CRM(Customer Relationship Management), List Analysis, A/B Testing & Chain Campaigns. However, its generous free plan does not include Email Automation, which is really one of its core strengths.

9. MailChimp

Free Plan: 2000 contacts, 12000 emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.28.49 AM

MailChimp is the most frequently used Email Service Provider, and many of the other ESPs listed here were developed as an alternative to MailChimp. Its free plan comes with its drag-and-drop editor, responsive email templates, free reporting and data insights, and email deliverability reputation. However, other features like delivery according to time zone, automation and support are reserved for its paid customers.

10. VerticalResponse

Free Plan: 300 contacts, 4000 emails/month

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 11.32.42 AM

VerticalResponse offers a completely free plan if you have a very limited contact list of 300. It also offers a Non-Profit program for 10000 contacts. Its top features are an Advanced Editor which is good for emails consisting of many images & Autoresponders. However, its list management features are a little inflexible.

So which of these Free Email Service Providers do you use for your blog or business?

Namratha is an aspiring Digital Marketer and research intern at Digital Vidya. She is a Hubspot Inbound Certified Professional, currently pursueing Certification for Digital Marketing from Digital Vidya.
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