Email marketing sounds just so boring, especially when compared to social media marketing. What with the millennial trend of flocking to social media, you might be likely to think that social media marketing is a better option in every way than email marketing.
You’d be wrong.
Sure, social media has it’s draws. But it doesn’t come anywhere close to the effectiveness of email marketing. Not only are there nearly three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined, but the return on your investment with email marketing is also incredible. Email marketing gives you $44 for every $1 you spend.
Statistics by Campaign Monitor show that the average open rate for email marketing falls around 20% to 30%. Your marketing materials are five times more likely to be seen on email than on a Facebook post. For emails, the clickthrough rate is a solid 3% while tweets have a clickthrough rate of 0.5%. That translates to you being six times more likely to get a clickthrough from an email than you are from tweet.
We aren’t saying that social media is entirely useless. Rather, the point that we are trying to make is that if you are a small business, you might be tempted to put aside email marketing in favor of other methods. You shouldn’t.
If you are a small business considering starting email marketing – and you should – this article will give you options for excellent email marketing services for you to choose from. All of the below email marketing platforms have free options with a reasonable number of emails and subscribers, excellent templates and a toolset that is easy to use.
MailChimp is an excellent option for both beginners and experts alike. It’s free service starts you off with 12,000 emails, and you can email up to 2000 subscribers per month. The free option has limited analytics tools, but it does have a number of easy to use, drag-and-drop templates. With the in-built segmentation feature, you can also divide your mailing list for further personalization.
Zoho also has the same number of emails and subscribers as MailChimp on it’s ‘Forever Free’ plan. 12,000 emails and 2000 subscribers. Zoho’s free option has some great features included: an A/B testing function and clear, concise analytics, but of course, it has limitations compared to the paid options. Where Zoho really shines is it’s hundreds of customizable template options, one of which will surely serve your needs.
EmailOut has both MailChimp and Zoho beat in terms of emails and subscribers on the free plan with you being able to send 12,500 emails to 2,500 subscribers. EmailOut also has some professionally designed templates for you to choose from and edit to your liking. The service also has tools for custom fields and the ability to import your own HTML design.
4. Email Octopus
If you don’t like any of the previous plans, you might like Email Octopus. It’s free plan, hilariously named "Shrimp", allows you to send unlimited emails to up to 2500 subscribers. It gives you the ability to send emails from multiple email addresses and it also has a wide range of templates. Where it lacks is in the automation department – which they’ve reserved for the paid plans. They also have 11 completely free templates available to download without any strings. You might also be interested know that they’re an Amazon partner.
Using Benchmark’s free plan, you’ll be able to send up to 14,000 emails to 2000 subscribers. However, the free plan lacks any and all automation features, A/B testing and targeting. In essence, the free plan is just the basics. However, they do have some neat, professional templates.
With Mailjet’s free plan, you can send 6000 emails a month. With a limit of up to 200 per day. The free plan also has a rather advanced statistics feature, as a bonus. It has a number of free templates for you to pick and choose from – with a strong focus on images – and they all have a ‘drag and drop’ functionality, for ease of use.
If you’re using Freshmail you can send emails for free to under 500 subscribers. That’s not such a bad number, especially if you are a start up company that is just growing. However, you will find that you need to get a paid plan soon. Freshmail has a number of beautifully designed email templates for free, but the standout feature of Freshmail is it’s mobile app, which allows you to edit and manage your campaigns on the go.
Mailerlite is another excellent choice for start up companies, because it offers you with the luxury of sending unlimited emails to up to 1000 subscribers. For free. With access to an in-dept managing system that will allow you to deliver emails by timezone, split test and tag subscribers with interests, you can conduct a rather sophisticated email campaign with Mailerlite. It also has a diverse range of template designs to suit whatever your specific branding need is.