Do you want to know what our top choice is? Jump ahead and check out SendPulse, the best free email marketing tool for most people.
How do you develop an effective email marketing program that combines beautiful design and effective sales tactics?
Email marketing tools allow for advanced personalization, professional-looking design, and relationship building. What’s more, you can use these tools to automatically nurture customers and increase sales.
It’s also worth noting that many of the top providers provide free-forever plans. So we’re not talking about the best free tools here but the best tools—that happen to be free. Win.
The Top 6 Best Free Email Marketing Tools
- SendPulse – Best for Multi-Channel Marketing
- HubSpot – Best for CRM-Driven Email Marketing
- Omnisend – Best for Ecommerce Workflows
- Zoho Campaigns – Best for Subscription Management
- Sendinblue – Best for Behavioral Segmentation
- ConvertKit – Best for Creators
Take a look at our rundown of the best free email marketing tools that suit different marketing goals:
SendPulse – Best for Multi-Channel Marketing
- 15,000 emails per month
- 3 free chatbots
- Combine messaging channels
- Free CRM
If you don’t take a multi-channel approach nowadays, you’re working at a disadvantage. Modern consumer journeys are complex and involve multiple touchpoints.
For this reason, you need to be able to communicate with customers on multiple channels. It extends your reach and allows you to communicate with customers where they spend their time.
The great thing about SendPulse is that it offers a wide range of messaging options that you can control via one platform. The added bonus here is that you can combine the tools and have them work together to optimize campaigns across the customer journey.
But the biggest reason we consider SendPulse the best free email marketing tool on the market is its far-reaching free-forever plan. With this plan, you get to send up to 15,000 emails per month to up to 500 subscribers, and you can manage your contacts with the tool’s free CRM. You can also create up to three different chatbots on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger, through which you’re able to send up to 10,000 messages to 1,000 contacts for free.
The free plan also includes web push notifications for up to 10,000 subscribers. Plus, you can create a landing page for free.
HubSpot – Best for CRM-Driven Email Marketing
- 2,000 emails per month
- Data-driven email marketing
- Connect to CRM
- Email open time optimization
Effective use of a CRM drives customer loyalty and retention. HubSpot combines the capabilities of its robust CRM tool with email marketing to help you create relevant and accurate data-driven campaigns.
For instance, you can pull CRM information such as customer lifecycle stage or engagement level. Then use these insights to send hyper-relevant marketing emails to customers from the subject lines you use right down to the CTA.
Another useful feature of HubSpot’s free email marketing software is the ability to schedule emails according to the user’s optimal open time. This, of course, leads to more opens and click-throughs.
Naturally, the tool also carries the key features of any good email marketing tool such as a drag-and-drop email builder and reporting. Yet, the data-driven approach is what makes the software stand out.
You can send up to 2,000 emails per month with the free version of HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. If you want to increase sending limits, remove HubSpot’s branding, and add functionalities such as more advanced automations, you may wish to opt for the paid package starting at $480 for the year.
Omnisend – Best for Ecommerce Workflows
- Built for online stores
- Pre-built workflows
- Unique sales features
- Affordable upgrades
Omnisend is an email marketing tool that was created with ecommerce businesses in mind. Thus, its features are geared towards acquiring and, more importantly, retaining customers for online stores.
First, its design tool has a number of unique features that’ll help increase sales. For instance, the tool makes it easy to add coupon codes. It even automatically picks and inserts relevant products into emails for you.
But, where Omnisend really shines is its ecommerce automations. There are a number of pre-built workflows on offer with the option to customize or add your own unique workflows.
These workflows comprise the pillars of ecommerce email marketing including the welcome series, cart abandonment, transactional, and win-back campaigns.
Fair warning: the free version is pretty limited. Free users can only send 500 emails per month. However, this may work well for those who are just getting started with email marketing.
Nevertheless, Omnisend’s paid options are some of the most reasonably priced on the market. The Standard plan is just $16 per month for up to 6,000 emails and unlimited web push notifications.
Zoho Campaigns – Best for Subscription Management
- 6,000 emails per month
- Reduced unsubscribe rate
- Relationship-building features
- Multiple users
When it comes to your email marketing KPIs, it’s easy to become obsessively focused on metrics such as click-throughs and ROI. Yet, it’s just as important to manage and maintain your email subscriber list.
At the end of the day, those who you’re able to develop a long-term relationship with are going to provide the most value to your company over time.
Zoho Campaigns excels in this area. For instance, its topic management feature allows recipients to choose which types of emails they’d like to receive. This will reduce the number of bounces and unsubscribes.
Furthermore, admins are able to set limits on the number of emails sent to customers each week or month. This will ensure your emails aren’t perceived as spam and build trust with customers in the long term.
It may not seem like much, but features like these are vital to maintaining a healthy email list.
Zoho’s forever-free plan is one of the most extensive you’ll come across. It allows you to send up to 6,000 emails to 2,000 contacts. Plus you can have up to four users alongside your admin account. And email templates, reports and analytics, and signup and popup forms are all included for free.
Sendinblue – Best for Behavioral Segmentation
- 9,000 emails per month
- Unlimited contact list
- Advanced segmentation
- Real-time updates
Personalization is key to email marketing success. It’s not simply that customers appreciate personalized messages, they expect it nowadays.
Segmentation allows you to target groups of customers with personalized messaging. This helps to create customer loyalty and increase sales via personalized product recommendations and the like.
Sendinblue has advanced segmentation capabilities. It places trackers on your site which monitor user behavior. This can be used to create segments and complex automated workflows to ensure you deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time.
Lists and contact info are updated automatically and in real-time. Seeing as Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform with a range of communication options, you can also create personalized customer journeys across the marketing funnel.
The tool’s free offering allows for an unlimited list of contacts and up to 9,000 emails per month. If you need to scale, you can upgrade to a paid plan for $65 per month.
ConvertKit – Best for Creators
- Unlimited emails
- Unlimited landing pages
- Effective sales funnels
- Automated workflows
This tool has rather a unique offering catered to a specific group – content creators. These include, for instance, podcasters, authors, musicians, and coaches. There are currently over 400,000 creators that use the platform.
ConvertKit has created an effective sales funnel through which these creators can build an audience and sell their digital products. Many online entrepreneurs, for example, use ConvertKit to sell online courses.
It all begins with building a landing page using a customizable, free template. This is perhaps what ConvertKit is most well-known for and we could’ve easily awarded the tool “best landing page builder” too.
The landing page is used to advertise your next project and/or collect email subscribers. You can then use ConvertKit to send out email broadcasts or set up automated workflows to nurture leads.
Step three is of course selling your digital product or subscription service. ConvertKit has a commerce tool through which you can receive payments and send products to your customers automatically.
The tool’s free plan allows you to create an unlimited number of landing pages and send an unlimited number of emails for free. However, you only get to have 300 subscribers, which isn’t as extensive as we’d like.
How to Find the Best Free Email Marketing Tool for You
There are many common features that all of these email marketing platforms have. For instance, a drag-and-drop email builder and automated workflows.
So the question is how do you choose the right one for you when many of the tools look similar, at least on the surface?
Here, we’ve covered the functionalities that are unique to each tool, i.e. what makes them stand out. Plus, the types of businesses that might use certain tools e.g. the fact that ConvertKit is made with creators in mind and Omnisend with ecommerce stores in mind.
You need to consider what it is specifically that your business needs in an email marketing tool. Perhaps, you run a B2B company and therefore need a well-integrated CRM. Tools such as HubSpot and SendPulse offer that for free.
So one way to look at it is to determine which tool is the right fit for the type of company you operate.
But if you’re still struggling to figure out which free email marketing tool to choose, here are a few more key points for you to consider:
This is arguably the most important aspect to look out for. At the end of the day, nurturing a relationship with your audience is what email marketing is all about.
The types of features that are conducive to nurturing an audience are, for example, segmentation and personalization features. For instance, the tool might allow for the collection of first-party data.
It’s also great when a tool helps you map the customer journey in some way by creating complex funnels or workflows perhaps. It’s this kind of thing that allows you to develop relationships over time without constantly being sales-y.
Number of Emails and Subscribers
It’s clear that some of the tools on this list have a much more expansive free plan than others. You should certainly consider the number of free subscribers you’re allowed to have and the number of emails you’re able to send when researching email marketing tools.
That’s not to say you should go for the tool with the highest subscriber or send limit. Just pick one with a limit that’s right for your company and what you hope to achieve in the future.
This means you can ensure the email tool has the right limits for now so that you won’t need to migrate to a paid plan too quickly.
Email and Workflow Templates
A solid catalog of templates will help you get started with email marketing quickly. Having a library of professional email designs also means there isn’t such a steep learning curve to contend with.
When it comes to workflows, you must ensure the tool has the right kind of workflows for your company. Say you run a SaaS company, you’ll need a strong onboarding sequence available. While an ecommerce brand needs a post-purchase sequence and so on.
Top Free Email Marketing Tools in Summary
The best free email marketing tools combine design, automation, and relationship-building. Though many have these features, some tools have better free plans than others.
SendPulse, for instance, has an extensive plan that allows you to send thousands of messages across a number of different messaging channels. That’s why we consider it the best tool for most.
Though you should look at your campaign goals to figure out which is the right tool for you specifically.