Ballin’ on a Budget: 10 Best Free Email Marketing Software Tools in 2021

Last Updated on October 16, 2021 by Alex Birkett

The money is in the list.

Those who can build effective email marketing programs outperform those who don’t.

Especially if you’re doing content marketing. It’s most often through collecting emails and building nurturing campaigns that you actually monetize and create ROI from your content, whether you’re in B2B or B2C.

It has been estimated that 87% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use email marketing to engage with their audience. And for good reason, too!

Even with the growing popularity of social media, email is still the best way to contact people directly especially when the purpose is business-related.

However, marketers still face many challenges with email marketing. The most common one is the cost of email marketing platforms. Some of these platforms prove to be too expensive for business owners, especially when the business is small.

At the start, most businesses prefer to minimize operating costs and try to find a way to run their email marketing strategies without breaking the bank. The solution is to use the free email marketing tools that are available.

The free email marketing software on this list lets you send thousands of emails every month without spending a dime.

What makes a good free email marketing software?

It’s amazing to know just how much functionality you can get from an ESP for $0.

Some email marketing software even have extra features like transactional emails, SMS messaging and email tracking in addition to regular features like email editors and landing page builders.

Naturally, the features you need in a good ESP would depend on the marketing needs of your business. However, many free email marketing software offer limited features compared to their paid plans.

Here are a few things to look out for when selecting a free email marketing software for your business.

  • The number of emails you can send in a month
  • Responsive and attractive email templates
  • Stunning and intuitive landing page templates and landing page builder
  • Email automation and list segmentation options
  • Relevant and comprehensive analytics and reports
  • Extensive third-party app integrations (This is especially important if you have an eCommerce site)
  • Great customer support

Editor’s note: I’m going to use some affiliate links when possible to try to earn some revenue from my content. These don’t change the opinions espoused in the content nor the style in which they are written. If I think a product sucks, I’m not going to say otherwise. This is just a bonus and a way to fund the whole operation. Anyway, enjoy the article!

The 10 Best Free Email Marketing Software in 2021

1. MailerLite

Source: MailerLite

Ideal for: Small businesses, freelancers, creatives and solopreneurs

Overall G2 Score: 4.7/5

Pricing: The free plan allows users to send up to 12,000 emails each month. Paid plans start at $10/month with unlimited emails

Launched in 2010, MailerLite was originally created to help bloggers grow their blogs. Since that time, MailerLite has added a lot more email marketing features and grown to become one of the most popular email marketing platforms with more than 1 million users worldwide.

MailerLite provides businesses with powerful multi-faceted marketing solutions that are effective and user-friendly. The cloud-based email marketing software is mainly suited for small businesses as it offers users the tools they need to create landing pages, customize email list building and manage popups.

I use the free MailerLite plan presently to run email campaigns for a literary blog, and I have found that this free email marketing software boasts really powerful features. The first time I used it, I fell in love with the simple, intuitive user interface and the drag-and-drop email builders that I used to create email newsletters.

The pre-installed HTML editor is amazing too because it lets you build custom emails with HTML at any time. Users can also edit in Rich Text, create landing pages, make embedded forms and web forms, and set up subscription buttons.

The entire MailerLite UI screams simplicity and users won’t have to take tutorials or deal with sophisticated settings to successfully execute their email campaigns and manage their contacts/leads. MailerLite also offers integration with third-party marketing tools like WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify and Zapier.

However, I found the approval process for MailerLite to be very rigorous. In addition, MailerLite is not the best ESP to use if you need to execute complex workflows or need comprehensive reporting.

Key features of MailerLite

  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Rich text editor
  • Custom HTML editor
  • Extensive third-party integrations
  • Developer API
  • Excellent marketing automation features
  • Free email newsletter templates
  • A/B split testing
  • Subscriber management tools
  • In-built photo editing feature
  • Signup form and popup builder
  • RSS campaigns
  • Auto resend
  • Landing page builder
  • Campaign reports/analytics
  • Drip campaigns
  • Customer polls and surveys
  • Autoresponders
  • Data segmentation options
  • Email and live chat support

Pros of MailerLite

  • It has a free plan.
  • The prices are inexpensive.
  • The user interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
  • The email and form builders are easy to use.
  • MailerLite provides 24/7 customer support through email and live chat.
  • The deliverability rate is great.
  • You can customize your email to your liking with the drag-and-drop editor, rich text editor, and custom HTML editor.
  • You can track email statistics (open rates, click-through rates, etc.) and assess the performance of your marketing campaigns.

Cons of MailerLite

  • MailerLite lacks automations for more advanced triggers.
  • It does not include any social tracking and tag-based international funneling features.
  • The segments and groups can be a little confusing, especially if you have a large email list.
  • The approval process is laborious.
  • Depending on your business needs, the paid plans might have limited advanced features.
  • Live chat support is only available if you have a paid plan.
  • Your account can be halted if you have low open and click-through rates.

2. Moosend

Source: Moosend

Ideal for: SMBs and entrepreneurs

Overall G2 Score: 4.7/5

Pricing: There is a free forever plan that lets users send unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $8/month.

Founded in 2013, Moosend is an email marketing service that automates email marketing tasks for business owners so they can focus on building relationships with clients. Moosend’s has an intuitive interface for creating emails and measuring campaign performance easily without any need for coding or web design experience.

Moosend offers a drag-and-drop campaign editor that allows users to easily add text, images, CTA buttons and other email elements to a newsletter. Users can also create custom designs or use Moosend’s newsletter template library.

Moosend’s marketing automation tools help marketers specify which events trigger certain actions. There are prebuilt automation templates called Recipes that keep marketers from specifying triggers and actions repeatedly.

The analytics feature helps marketers measure their campaign performance. Users can see which links their subscribers click on, and the email client and device metrics provide data on the apps and devices the subscribers are using to view their emails. Marketers can also know the day, time and location of the email opens. The reports can be exported to Excel and many other formats.

Moosend assigns a dedicated Account Manager to each company/business. This Account Manager will provide marketers with the best email marketing practices. Users can also contact customer support by phone, email or live chat. The knowledge base of FAQs, video tutorials and webinars on the platform are also really helpful.

Key Features of Moosend

  • Clean interface
  • Email newsletter editor
  • Campaign editor
  • Landing page templates and builder
  • A/B split testing
  • Filters and triggers
  • Cart abandonment
  • Transactional emails
  • Efficient marketing automation tools
  • List segmentation and personalization tags
  • Advanced reports and behavioral analytics
  • Email tracking
  • SPAM test
  • API access
  • Unlimited contacts and number of lists
  • Third-party integrations
  • eCommerce AI

Pros of Moosend

  • The user interface is simple and easy to navigate.
  • You can import members, CSV files and/or excel files very easily. You can also import your Google and Salesforce contacts.
  • The automation workflows are robust compared to competitors.
  • You can create unlimited custom segments and data fields.
  • Moosend can integrate natively with applications like Zapier, WooCommerce, Magento, Salesforce, Facebook Lead Ads, and many more.
  • You can send transactional emails with Moosend.
  • The free plan includes most of the features that are in paid plans.

Cons of Moosend

  • Although it lets users customize their automation to send SMS messages, Moosend does not offer native SMS messaging.
  • Moosend only has about 70 pre-designed email templates which is limited compared to other free email marketing software.
  • Moosend’s interface is separate from Gmail so users have to juggle between both, which can be time-consuming.
  • The customer support in the free plan is available only five days a week, and does not include phone support.
  • Its third-party integrations are limited compared to other ESPs.
  • Moosend is not available as a mobile application.

3. Omnisend

Source: Omnisend

Ideal for: eCommerce businesses of all sizes

Overall G2 Score: 4.6/5

Pricing: There is a free plan that lets you send up to 15,000 emails/month to your contacts. Paid plans start at $16/month

Started in 2014 and trusted by more than 50,000 eCommerce brands, Omnisend is an omnichannel eCommerce and SMS marketing automation platform that was designed to help marketers grow businesses and convert leads into paying customers with easy-to-create emails and texts.

Omnisend caters to the email marketing needs of eCommerce business of all sizes, from local shops to multinational organizations. This free email marketing software serves customers from different industries including home supplies, pet supplies, consumer goods, etc.

Whether you’re targeting visitors, buyers, shoppers, or customers, Omnisend provides you with all the tools you need to engage with your prospects. With Omnisend, users are able to send personalized messages across various channels to their customers and potential buyers.

The drag-and-drop content editor makes it easy for marketers to create email/newsletter campaigns. Marketers are able to tailor emails to their customers by using the available segmentation tools to group customers into segments based on their activity and behavior. For beginner email marketers, there are pre-built workflows that make it easy to set up email automations for one or more channels.

All these tools combined help eCommerce businesses meet their marketing goals and get better ROI and revenue.

Key features of Omnisend

  • Responsive email templates
  • Drag-and-drop content editor
  • Automation editor
  • A/B split testing
  • Recovery of abandoned carts
  • Audience segmentation
  • Comprehensive analytics and reports
  • Push notifications
  • Campaign booster
  • Powerful third-party integrations
  • Multi-channel marketing campaigns
  • Bulk SMS messaging
  • Product Picker
  • Triggered drip sequences
  • Mobile optimization

Pros of Omnisend

  • Omnisend is very user-friendly and easy to get familiar with.
  • The Click Map feature gives marketers insights as to what products customers are viewing and where they are on a webpage.
  • There are SMS automation options, which work hand-in-hand with email automation.
  • With Omnisend, you’ll get actionable email marketing reports that will enable you to track the performance of your email campaigns, signup forms and automation workflows.
  • There are pre-built marketing automation workflows which can help reduce manual tasks for marketers.
  • Omnisend can send follow-up messages and cross-selling offers to activate inactive customers.
  • Omnisend provides customers with real-time updates on orders, shipping, and order follow-ups.
  • Omnisend offers one-click integrations to powerful eCommerce apps like Shopify, ShopifyPlus, WooCommerce and BigCommerce. It also integrates with Zapier, Magento and Intercom, amongst others.
  • The customer service is stellar.

Cons of Omnisend

  • Compared to competitors, Omnisend’s email designs are somewhat limited.
  • The number of templates is limited.
  • Every time you launch a social media campaign, you need to input data from scratch.
  • Tracking activity is slower than normal because it is in real-time.

4. SendPulse

Source: SendPulse

Ideal for: SMEs, eCommerce, retail businesses and banks

Overall G2 Score: 4.6/5

Pricing: There’s a free plan that lets users send 15,000 emails to up to 500 subscribers each month. Paid plans start at $9.85/month.

SendPulse is a cloud-based, all-in-one marketing solution that allows users to capture email leads, and create highly relevant, personalized email and SMS campaigns quickly and easily. As a multichannel marketing automation tool, SendPulse allows business users and email marketers to manage email, SMS and web push notifications with one platform.

The drag-and-drop email editor and ready-made templates enable users to set up engaging emails. Users can monitor their campaign performances with A/B testing tools, and the IP addresses on the email servers help ensure that emails are delivered promptly.

The push notification feature helps users send instant and dynamic notifications to customers. The text messaging features lets users send automatic text messages to customers on a user-based schedule in more than 200 countries.

SendPulse tailors the user interface to suit how much experience you have as a marketer. It also suggests actions based on the information you input to help guide you on your marketing journey. SendPulse offers a free version to beginner users. This free email marketing software lets users have only 3 email addresses and 20 MB storage. With the free plan, you can send 15,000 emails to up to 500 contacts.

Customer support is provided through three channels: phone support, email support, and an online knowledge base.

Key features of SendPulse

  • Drag-and-drop email editor
  • Landing page builder
  • Autoresponders
  • API access
  • Push notifications
  • Campaign analytics and A/B testing
  • Artificial Intelligence technology
  • Transactional emails
  • Stellar marketing automation features
  • High open rate and click-through rate
  • Bulk SMS messages
  • Error and geographic statistics
  • Device-based statistics
  • Multilingual phone and live chat support

Pros of SendPulse

  • The paid plans are very affordable.
  • The user interface is simple and intuitive.
  • You can send many emails at one go.
  • You can send up to 15,000 emails/month with the free version.
  • You can use the audience segmentation and A/B testing features to target the right audience with the right message.
  • The delivery rate is high.
  • It provides 24/7 responsive customer support.

Cons of SendPulse

  • The free plan only lets you have 500 subscribers.
  • Sometimes, the campaign approvals take a bit of time.
  • You cannot pause or amend push notifications; you can only cancel them.
  • The email editor can lag at times.
  • Sometimes, the emails go to Gmail’s ‘Promotions’ tab or spam.

5. Sendinblue

Source: Sendinblue

Ideal for: SMEs and eCommerce businesses

Overall G2 Score: 4.6/5

Pricing: There is a free version that allows users to send up to 300 emails every day. Paid plans start at $25/month (the Lite plan)

Sendinblue was initially created to be a digital marketing agency, but with time, it developed to become an all-in-one email service provider that is capable of taking care of the entire email marketing needs of a business.

One of the most impressive features of Sendinblue is the marketing automation options. With Sendinblue, you can set up triggered campaigns based on contact data, eCommerce activity, email engagement and web behavior. Sendinblue also features lead scoring and offers users the ability to send transactional emails like receipts and purchased confirmations through SMTP.

Sendinblue drag-and-drop email editor is fast and formidable. It comes with a variety of built-in design elements that help you customize your emails to suit your needs. Sendinblue also offers conditional content, which lets users send certain email elements to a particular segment of contacts, and dynamic lists, which lets users include content that is updated occasionally.

The free Sendinblue plan includes marketing automation and lets you send up to 300 emails per day.

Sendinblue has most of the reports you might need, such as a click-map, geo-tracking and Google Analytics integration. You can also access conversion data. There’s a nice in-built previewer for seeing how emails will display in different email clients. No spam testing available, though.

Key features of Sendinblue

  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Outstanding marketing automation options
  • Responsive email template designs
  • A/B split testing
  • Formidable email marketing functionality
  • Customizable sign up form and popups
  • Triggered automation
  • Transactional emails and SMS
  • Nifty list and data segmentation
  • Ads retargeting
  • Email and phone customer support
  • Third-party integrations
  • CSV and Text File Contact List imports

Pros of Sendinblue

  • It is beginner-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • The plans are more affordable compared to other competitors, but just as full-featured.
  • You can send trigger-based and transactional emails via SMTP. You can even send SMS.
  • You can test your workflows before deploying them.
  • It offers integration with popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify.
  • You can use the automation builder to create custom automation.
  • The deliverability rates are really good.

Cons of Sendinblue

  • The free plan only allows you to send 300 emails per day which isn’t enough for many businesses.
  • Sendinblue only lets users multiple logins for different users on their Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • The landing page editor is only available on the Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • Compared to competitors, Sendinblue offers limited third-party integrations.
  • Sendinblue’s reports don’t include sale conversion or social data.

6. ConvertKit

Source: Convertkit

Ideal for: SMEs and content creators (bloggers, artists, musicians, YouTubers, etc.)

Overall G2 Score: 4.4/5

Pricing: There is a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $29/month.

ConvertKit is a powerful email marketing software that is primarily aimed at online creators such as bloggers, YouTubers, freelancers, consultants, etc. that want to build relationships with their audience. With ConvertKit, you can create signup forms and popups, grow your email list, send dynamic emails to your contacts, and set up automation workflows.

I have personally used ConvertKit as the ESP of choice for multiple blogs. What attracted me to ConvertKit was their deliverability rate and how easy it was to deliver content upgrades. I also loved how easy the features were to work with. I was able to send targeted emails, manage my lists, and set up automations, sequences and tagging without sweating. The visual automation builder helped me create workflows very easily.

However, you might need to have some technical knowledge to work with the email editor as there are options that require you to insert code snippets. If you’re a business that needs unique-looking emails and landing pages, ConvertKit might not be for you as the templates have limited customization options.

ConvertKit offers native integrations with up to 100 marketing automation tools including Teachable, Shopify, WordPress, Zapier, Slack, and Stripe. Users can get help by browsing the articles in the knowledge base, connecting with other online creators in the Creator Community and contacting customer support.

ConvertKit also hosts hour-long weekly video workshops on a variety of email marketing topics.

Key features of ConvertKit

  • Responsive landing page and email templates
  • Autoresponders
  • Drip campaigns
  • Personalized email content
  • Great marketing automation options
  • Automated funnels and sequences
  • WYSIWYG email editor
  • Nifty segmentation and tagging system
  • Free landing page builder
  • Sell digital products and subscriptions
  • Visual automations
  • Subscriber management
  • A/B split testing
  • Reports, analytics and ROI tracking
  • Customizable forms and CTA buttons
  • Great customer support

Pros of ConvertKit

  • The platform is simple and easy to use.
  • It is a Subscriber-centric platform so you won’t be charged for duplicate subscribers.
  • It integrates well with membership sites and platforms like WordPress and Teachable.
  • It has excellent automation functionality.
  • You can create multiple forms for different lead incentives.
  • The deliverability rate is high.

Cons of ConvertKit

  • It lacks integrations with eCommerce platforms.
  • You cannot test emails for autoresponders.
  • The A/B split testing is limited to just the subject lines.
  • The email and landing page templates lack flexibility and customization options.

7. HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

Source: HubSpot

Ideal for: Businesses of any size

Overall G2 Score: 4.4/5

Pricing: HubSpot’s email marketing software is free. HubSpot’s Marketing Hub itself is paid, and prices start at $50/month

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM platform that helps companies and businesses of all sizes track leads and examine business metrics. HubSpot integrates a variety of sales, CRM, and email marketing solutions to fulfill the business needs of SMBs that want to strengthen their marketing strategies.

While it can be a bit expensive, HubSpot Marketing Hub boasts an extensive feature suite and solutions portfolio that put it ahead of popular products in the email marketing industry. This free email marketing software offers inbound and outbound marketing, customer relations management, sales automation, email tracking, lead and contact management, and sales pipeline management, amongst others.

HubSpot’s visual dashboard shows a real-time view of the entire sales funnel, which helps businesses track customer interactions through social media, email, live chat or phone calls. HubSpot also offers email marketing automation and lead generation features to help businesses design and manage email templates, and see how well their email campaigns are performing.

With HubSpot’s sales tools, sales representatives are able to track deals and manage contacts and sales channels. HubSpot email marketing tools integrate with other HubSpot tools like the Sales Hub and Marketing Hub, as well as third party platforms like Salesforce and Zoho CRM.

HubSpot is suitable for B2B and B2C businesses in many industries, including sales, marketing, accounting, retail, real estate, etc.

Key features of HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

  • Customizable email templates
  • Personalized email campaigns for more open and click-through rates
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Advanced marketing automation options
  • Signup form and popup builder
  • A/B testing
  • Ad retargeting
  • Free landing page builder
  • Contact list segmentation
  • Ads management
  • Comprehensive analytics
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Email tracker and meeting scheduler
  • 500+ third-party integrations
  • Elaborate lead and contact management
  • Business insights
  • Great customer support

Pros of HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

  • The user interface is sleek and easy to navigate.
  • A variety of social media management options are available.
  • The marketing automation features are stellar.
  • It offers integrations with other HubSpot tools and third-party platforms including Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Zapier and WordPress.
  • HubSpot is cloud-based, so you can use it anywhere on any device.
  • HubSpot makes it easy to keep your software stack minimal since it’s a full-featured email marketing tool suite.
  • HubSpot encourages users to set measurable and strategic goals for their business.
  • The resources (webinars, workshops, etc.) that HubSpot provides are very helpful.
  • You’ll be able to monitor how your prospects engage with your content and/or emails.

Cons of HubSpot Email Marketing Software

  • If you decide to pay for the Marketing Hub, HubSpot can get really expensive, especially if you don’t use all the features.
  • The lower packages do not have the A/B testing feature.
  • You have to pay to get extra technical support.

8. MailChimp

Source: MailChimp

Ideal for: Individuals and SMBs

Overall G2 Score: 4.3/5

Pricing: There is a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $9.99/month and the highest-priced plan starts at $299/month.

MailChimp is usually the first ESP that comes to mind when people think about email marketing. Millions of individuals and businesses use the platform to send about a billion emails every day using MailChimp.

MailChimp’s free plan lets users send up to 10,000 emails each month to up to 2,000 email subscribers. This is great for individuals and small business owners because most of MailChimp’s features are accessible with a free account. MailChimp also has a built-in CRM which is great for SMBs looking for an all-in-one email marketing solution.

I used MailChimp as the ESP for my first blog (before I sold it). The feature I was most impressed by is the drag-and-drop builder which lets you create campaigns easily. It is intuitive and flexible, and provides WYSIWYG customization to build great email designs. Personally, this is the best email builder I’ve used till date.

I also loved the Facebook Ad Campaigns feature on MailChimp. It helps you create and buy a Facebook and/or Instagram ad to promote your email offer/lead incentive without ever leaving your MailChimp account. Be warned, though. You won’t get an advanced Facebook marketing strategy with this feature but it’s a good feature to help smaller businesses and startups reach a wider audience.

The form builder, however, is pretty average and the UI isn’t as smooth-running as other MailChimp features. Sure, you’ll be able to create and embed forms on your site but the design options are nothing fancy.

As opposed to other MailChimp alternatives, MailChimp’s email automation and list segmentation features too are pretty basic. You can set up auto responses, create Google remarketing campaign ads and recover abandoned carts, but that’s about it. If your business is small, this will do.

If you’re using the free plan, you can switch to a paid plan to get more advanced automation options, but even then, the options won’t be advanced enough to suit the needs of a serious brand that has email marketing at its core.

Key features of MailChimp

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop email builder
  • Landing page builder
  • Email and landing page templates
  • Advanced analytics
  • Social media advertising features
  • Predicted data insights
  • A/B and multivariate testing
  • Automated drip campaigns
  • Third-party app integrations
  • Marketing CRM
  • Mobile app
  • Ready-made email campaigns
  • Email and live chat support

Pros of MailChimp

  • The user interface is clean and easy to use.
  • The reports are thorough and comprehensive.
  • It offers hundreds of integrations to popular eCommerce tools like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and PrestaShop.
  • The Timewarp feature lets you send emails to your list at a specific time in their time zones.
  • MailChimp makes it easy for you to import subscribers from another ESP.
  • The free plan lets you send 10,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers which is a great deal compared to other ESPs.

Cons of MailChimp

  • The marketing automation and segmentation options are too basic for the needs of big businesses.
  • The paid plans can get expensive once your number of subscribers increase.
  • You cannot build custom automations with MailChimp.
  • MailChimp’s Terms of Use has a strict policy prohibiting affiliate marketing. The rules are not very clear but if you’re an affiliate marketer, it’s best to not use MailChimp as you could be penalized severely.
  • MailChimp’s emails usually end up in Gmail’s ‘Promotions’ tab, which is not as frequently checked as the ‘Primary’ tab.
  • There is no workflow editor, so managing your automation chain can get a bit cumbersome.

9. Benchmark Email

Source: Benchmark Email

Ideal for: SMEs and NPOs

Overall G2 Score: 4.1/2

Pricing: There is a free plan that allows users to send up to 250 emails/month to 2000 contacts. Paid plans start at $13.99/month.

Established in 2004, Benchmark Email is an email marketing platform that offers a strong portfolio of features including effective visual automation, in-depth reports and analytics, CRM, and good A/B testing. It offers social integrations to apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Slack.

I used Benchmark Email briefly for my beauty blog before switching to ConvertKit. What attracted me was the clean and simple interface. Users are not required to be tech-savvy to become familiar with the platform’s features. I absolutely loved the code editor, which helps me tweak my emails to my preference.

I also liked the drag-and-drop editor. It’s fast and intuitive. However, I did come across a few instances where things didn’t work as I expected. The templates are very responsive, though, and are optimized for mobile viewing. The form editor allows you to create basic popup and opt in forms with ease. You can also add a limited number of custom database fields and integrate with apps like Facebook, WordPress and Unbounce.

List segmentation is based on contact fields and criteria. On the paid plans, users can create targeted lists based on email URLs clicked, email opens and unopens. Unfortunately, you can only create segments within the lists, not across, and you can only delete a contact from either one, or all, the lists. It’s black and white—no gray area.

Benchmark Email provides great reporting and analytics which allow users to compare open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe clicks over time, amongst others. Benchmark even reports the social activity generated by an email, which is a pretty unique feature.

The platform’s knowledge base is extensive because of its huge library of free eBooks, videos and webinars on different marketing topics.

Key features of Benchmark Email

  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Code editor
  • Responsible, flexible email templates
  • Good email marketing automation options
  • CRM integration
  • A/B split testing
  • Polling and surveys
  • Events management
  • Drip campaigns
  • Signup forms and popups management
  • Automated customer journey funnels
  • Live editing and photo editing
  • Campaign tracking
  • Reporting and analytics

Pros of Benchmark Email

  • It has a low learning curve.
  • The paid plans are very affordable.
  • The customer service and chat support are stellar.
  • The tracking reports on set email marketing campaigns are detailed.
  • There are a variety of user segmentation options.

Cons of Benchmark Email

  • The signup form options are limited.
  • There is no mobile preview feature.
  • The email editor can be glitchy.
  • There is no landing page editor.
  • There is no Gmail or other third-party contact integration.
  • The deliverability rates are subpar and emails usually end in Gmail’s ‘Promotions’ tab or Junk folder.

10. Constant Contact

Source: Constant Contact

Ideal for: Small businesses

Overall G2 Score: 3.9/5

Pricing: There is no free plan, but the free trial lasts for 60 days. Plans start at $20/month.

Launched in 1998 and trusted by over 600,000 customers, Constant Contact is one of the largest email service providers in the world. Constant Contact provides a range of tools created to help small businesses and NPOs reach a wider audience and nurture relationships with their customers. These tools include email marketing, survey management, event marketing, social media campaigns and reporting, amongst others—all of which are available both independently and as part of the entire suite known as the Constant Contact Toolkit.

Although this ESP is not technically a free email marketing software (it has no free plan), it is on this list because it offers a 60-day free trial, which is pretty long. Constant Contact offers over 100 customizable templates that are already optimized for mobile devices. Users can edit these templates with a handy drag-and-drop editor. Users who know how to code can create custom email templates. There is also a feature that can scan your website and auto-generate a template that has your site’s colors and images.

With Constant Contact, users can set up welcome emails, personalized emails and autoresponder series to be sent automatically to contacts based on specific triggers. Constant Contact also allows businesses to import customer data from spreadsheets and email apps like Gmail and Outlook.

Constant Contact offers online and in-person training and seminars to help users improve their marketing strategies.

Key features of Constant Contact

  • Drag-and-drop editors
  • Excellent market automation options
  • A/B split testing
  • Auto responders
  • Tag-based data segmentation
  • ROI tracking
  • Customizable CTA buttons
  • Campaign management
  • CRM and data analysis tools
  • Great deliverability rate
  • Trackable coupons
  • Image and contact management
  • Surveys and polls
  • Social media integration
  • Integration with third-party event tools like Eventbrite

Pros of Constant Contact

  • The interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • The editor is easy to use for customizing campaigns.
  • There is a high discount for NPOs.
  • There is a strong data security framework in place.
  • There is good support for surveys and events.
  • The deliverability rates are high.
  • It offers social media campaign integration.
  • Constant Contact is available as a mobile application.
  • The free trial lasts for 60 days, unlike most of Constant Contact competitors.
  • You can conduct A/B split testing on subject lines, emails, landing pages, etc.
  • Constant Contact integrates with third-party apps like Gmail, Outlook, WooCommerce, Shopify, Facebook and Salesforce.

Cons of Constant Contact

  • The dashboard lags sometimes.
  • The plans can get really expensive as the number of emails and subscribers increase.
  • The landing page builder is basic.
  • The automation and auto-responder capabilities are somewhat limited.
  • There is no advanced reporting and analysis.
  • The templates are responsive but they lack flexibility.
  • There is no live support on weekends.


As earlier mentioned, the free ESP you choose depends on the marketing needs of your business. However, it is important to note that most of these free email marketing tools come with robust features and do not require you to upgrade to a paid plan unless your list exceeds the set threshold. When you do upgrade to accommodate your list, you’ll find that many of the paid plans are affordable.

If you’re an online creator or small business owner, you should look into platforms like MailerLite, MailChimp, ConvertKit and HubSpot.

If you run an eCommerce store, you could check out Omnisend, Sendinblue or SendPulse. If you’re marketing for an NPO, Benchmark Email and Constant Contact are your best bets.

If you need to send transactional emails or text messages to your contacts, you can try Moosend, Sendinblue, or SendPulse.

Along with the positives, you should be aware of the limitations of these ESPs so that you can pick the one that feels right for you. If you’re unsure of which one to use, simply try them out. They’re free after all.