Email marketing tools enable businesses, small, medium and large, to keep in touch with their customers, launch new products, advertise services, and drive leads, so it’s hardly surprising that 68% of B2C marketers use email newsletters and 60% use other types of email; the numbers are slightly higher for B2B marketers: 69% use email newsletters and 67% use other email formats to distribute content to their audience.
It’s clear, then, that email is an essential tool for connecting with customers and should form the bedrock of marketing activity. However, the Content Marketing Institute’s 2023 report shows that 33% of B2C marketers do not have the right technology in place and for B2B marketers, their use of email marketing software decreased from 75% to 68%. This could be down to a number of factors, but likely, price and changes various providers have made to their platforms may have seen people switch to alternative systems with email integration.
We thought this would be a good time to have a quick look at some of the free email marketing tools available. As discussed in an earlier article, there are various factors to consider when looking at email marketing tools, and you should consider which of those factors are essential to your marketing activities and which are less so, particularly if assessing a free email marketing tool: free tools tend to trade off different functionalities which subsequently become available on a paid upgrade.
In particular, we would suggest you consider the following:
- Number of contacts
- Deliverability – no point sending emails if half don’t land! Check the deliverability rate -the closer to 100% the better!
- Segmentation – you have to be able to separate your audience into categories according to their buying habits, geographic location, and other identifiable characteristics
- Templates – unless you’re a coder or a graphic designer, you want a good choice of templates that will be easy for you to work with and preferably that will automatically resize depending on the interface they’re being viewed on
- Support – when things go wrong, how easy is it to get help?
Benchmark Email – Unlimited contacts make this an inviting tool, as does the automation facility and the 200+ mobile-friendly templates on offer. However, whilst unlimited contacts sounds tempting, sends per month are limited to just 250 sends per month which, for some businesses, will cancel out the benefit of unlimited contacts, especially as there is no built-in CRM, social ad tools or SMS marketing. On the flip side, it does integrate with 1500+ third-party apps, so if you want to merge your email marketing with everything else, this could be a smart choice for you.
Mailchimp – Probably the most widely recognised email marketing platform popular because it used to offer up to 2000 contacts as part of its free plan. This has changed now, but the free version still offers basic email marketing features such as email creation and scheduling and a smart recommendations feature, providing audience insights which you can use to optimise your marketing campaigns.
Brevo (was Sendinblue) – A fabulous platform if you’re planning on sending a lot of emails, as you can send up to 300 emails PER DAY. It’s a little limited on email templates, but the ones on offer are easy to use. There’s a built-in CRM which many businesses will love, along with an SMS marketing facility. It also offers an automated workflow and the ability to create simple chatbots, as well as advanced segmentation and customisable sign-up forms. As drawbacks go, there’s no advanced reporting function for the free version, and you should be confident playing with tech because there’s neither email nor telephone support available. However, if automation and sending quantities of emails are your key considerations, this could be the platform for you.
AWeber – if you have a team of people who need access to the email marketing tool, then this is a great platform for you. In addition to allowing up to 500 subscribers and sending up to 3,000 emails per month on its free plan, you can add multiple users to the platform – most platforms charge for this. AWeber also offers a huge selection of responsive email templates (over 200), the ability to create automations, segment your audience, and a large integrated stock photo library. Most unusually, there’s 24/7 phone, email, and chat support available, even for free accounts.
Omnisend – selling products? Then Omnisend could be the one for you as it’s great for e-commerce. Segmentation, automation, and incorporating behavioural triggers so you can maximise the opportunities for sales; practically every part of this platform is customisable. It even has a Brands Asset feature which will automatically populate your logo, colours, and fonts from your website. However, if you’re planning on sending a lot of emails to a lot of people, you’ll need to be aware that the free version only supports 500 emails per month for up to 250 subscribers.
Moosend – a flexible platform where the free account allows for sending unlimited emails to up to 1000 contacts. It delivers behavioural analytics so you can design email campaigns around your subscriber’s information and activities. It also offers advanced segmentation and campaign performance reports. Moosend integrates with a number of apps, so you can incorporate your must-have tools. And interestingly, it’s only one of the only few free email marketing tools that doesn’t stick its logo all over your emails.
If you need help picking out a tool, why not give Email-Postman a call, and we can help you determine which tool is right for your business?
Shaun Reynolds has been specialising in email marketing since 2005 and, in February 2019, launched Email-Postman. Since then, Email-Postman has helped over 1000 clients build successful email marketing campaigns across a range of email marketing platforms. For further information or to discuss getting help with your email marketing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.