Top 25 Free or Low-Cost Email Marketing Web Applications

May 7, 2013 Email Marketing

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-email-white-background-d-render-image30180654What better way to keep in touch with your clients, prospects and contacts than through email? You’ve seen the flashy, super-impressive designer email campaigns, and you’re sure that the company spent thousands of dollars on a custom design. Well, that may be true, but you can replicate the same level of sophistication and success at a much more affordable price. There are a variety of email marketing platforms packed with so many features your head will spin.

Just starting out in email marketing? You may not have to fork over a dime. There are a number of email applications that are completely free up to a few hundred subscribers, providing the perfect opportunity for you to get started, build your subscriber list and figure out what email marketing tactics resonate with your audience before you go big. Here are 25 of the best email marketing web applications available. We’re pretty sure that after reading this list, your biggest challenge will be deciding which platform to use. Trust us, they all have amazing offerings!

  1. Mail Chimp – MailChimp is one of the most-frequently used email applications, with customized signup forms you can integrate into your website or your Facebook page, social sharing integration, dozens of customizable templates and a full-featured API to sync existing customer databases, shopping carts and more. MailChimp is ideal for beginners, since it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers—and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. However, you are limited on a few features under the Free plan. Paid plans are full-featured and very affordable, ranging from $10 to $240 per month, depending on the number of subscribers—all with the ability to send unlimited emails.
  2. Constant Contact – If you’ve heard of email marketing, you’ve probably heard of Constant Contact. It’s one of the most comprehensive email marketing applications on the web, with a variety of ancillary tools, such as surveys and event marketing, that you can add-on with a fee. Constant Contact’s built-in analytics are pretty awesome, as well as its impressive customizable template database and social sharing features. You can get started with Constant Contact for as little as $15 per month, after a 60-day free trial.
  3. AWeber – Aweber features autoresponder follow-up, customizable HTML email marketing templates, signup forms, RSS-to-email (create emails automatically from your latest blog posts), a full-featured API and much more. Not to mention a robust learning database featuring live webinars, video training, a complete knowledge base to help you navigate the features and a blog with insider tips on maximizing your email marketing campaigns. Pricing starts at just $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
  4. iContact – iContact has also made a name for itself in the email marketing scene, offering hundreds of email marketing templates to choose from, an easy drag-and-drop interface for users without advanced design skills, and integrated social sharing features so you can share your messages with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Deep contact history offers an in-depth view of your previous interactions with each subscriber, so you can manage your relationships more effectively. Pricing ranges from $14 for 500 subscribers to $47 for 5,000 subscribers per month.
  5. Vertical Response – Vertical Response offers email marketing as one component of its host of marketing products, which also includes social media marketing, event marketing, online surveys and other applications. With more than 700 email templates to choose from, real-time analytics and easy sharing functions, Vertical Response is a comprehensive email platform. Vertical Response offers a pay-as-you-go, per-email price structure—so you’re only paying for the services you actually use.
  6. Campaign Monitor – Create your own templates with Campaign Monitor’s easy-to-use template builder. Choose from a variety of layouts, choose colors and then customize your text, images and even personalized messaging. Campaign Monitor’s emails are automatically optimized for mobile too—the perfect solution for today’s mobile-driven users. Signup is free, and you can send campaigns starting at just $9 per month.
  7. Pure 360 – Pure 360 offers an impressive set of products and features for email marketers. Behavioral re-targeting, Facebook register to encourage signups and send targeted emails as a result, RSS-to-email, and split content and subject line testing are just some of the capabilities this powerful platform offers. Because this is a comprehensive platform with robust capabilities, it’s a bit pricier than some of the others listed here, and designed for users who send more than 50,000 emails per month. You can request a price quote using this form.
  8. The Mission Suite – The Mission Suite looks at email marketing as a social network that’s been around much longer than Facebook and Twitter. With prices ranging between $15 and $300 per month, The Mission Suite packs a slew of handy features into an affordable email marketing platform. Take advantage of built-in solutions, such as event marketing, viral coupon campaigns, surveys, social media integration and even opt-in text messaging.
  9. Campaigner – Campaigner offers a 30-day free trial, so you can test out this platform’s functionality before you commit to a monthly budget. Use functions such as recurring and triggered campaigns, advanced list management with segmentation and more to maximize your results.
  10. Emma – Emma offers ready-made email templates, cool visuals including response graphs and analytics data, unlimited free surveys, Google Analytics integration and more. Emma’s analytics helps you look beyond the surface data to identify trends over time and dig deep into data for maximum results. Pricing starts at $30 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers and goes up to $420 per month for 75,000 subscribers. If you have a super-fabulous list of more than 75,000 peeps, Emma will create a custom plan to meet your needs.
  11. dotMailer – dotMailer is an easy-to-use, super-fast platform that’s scalable for your email, social, mobile, design, management and reporting needs. Pricing structures are offered for small-to-medium businesses as well as large enterprises. You can start out with a simple, free account with 500 free sends, then move to a pay-as-you-go plan starting at $9.99 per month.
  12. Jango Mail – Jango Mail is a totally customizable email platform with 100% branding control (no “Powered By” branding in the footer of your emails), simple HTML editors, comprehensive preview tools so you can see exactly what your subscribers will see before you send, self-configured auto-response and much more. Price plans start at just $15 for 1,000 emails sent per month, and agency plans are also available.
  13. Benchmark Email – Benchmark Email’s editor works just like a Word document, for totally streamlined and simplified design—even if you’re not a skilled designer. You can customize signup forms for Facebook, Twitter, or your website, and track important metrics like open rates and social shares. Benchmark Email starts at $9.95 per month for up to 600 sent emails.
  14. GetResponse – GetResponse lets you “create stunning newsletters and landing pages in minutes,” with capabilities including 1-to-1 personalized messaging, customized offers, and more with targeted accuracy and perfect timing. GetResponse’s drag-and-drop editor makes it simple for anyone—designer or total non-designer—to create captivating email messages with ease. GetResponse starts at just $15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers. If you make an annual purchase, you get a sweet discount, too.
  15. StreamSend – As its name suggests, StreamSend streamlines email marketing with easy opt-in/opt-out features, opt-in confirmations, list management including importing and exporting of contacts, list segemenation and more. And that’s just on the administrative end. You can also take advantage of Email Analyzer, which tests your messages in 30 different email clients. If you’ve ever sent an email marketing campaign, you’re probably painfully familiar with the hassle of different email clients rendering your code in various, and sometimes absurdly wacky, ways. Plans start at $19.90 per month for up to 2,000 emails.
  16. Graphic Mail – With GraphicMail, you’ll not only know who opened your email, but what device they used, what links they clicked and whether they shared it across their social networks. Choose from more than 300 customizable email templates and make them your own with a simple, intuitive design interface. Choose from multiple pricing options, based either on the number of contacts you have (limited to one email per day) or the volume of emails you send.
  17. Email Brain – Email Brain offers comprehensive analytics to help you monitor and improve your campaigns, including viral tracking report analysis, campaign bounce reports, open and click rates and much more. An integrated, WYSIWYG editor lets you easily customize and create powerful and visually appealing email messages and newsletters. Pricing starts at $9.95 per month for up to 2,000 emails.
  18. Mailigen – Social media integration, mobile marketing, integration with popular tools and applications, real-time reporting and analysis and a drag-and-drop editor are just some of the features you’ll get with Mailigen. Prices start as low as $10 per month or 4 cents per email.
  19. MailerLite – For just $99 per year (for up to 10,000 subscribers), you can take advantage of MailerLite’s many features, such as mobile-friendly emails, drag-and-drop editor, real-time reporting, comprehensive list management and more.
  20. SendLoop – SendLoop is “the easy way to send email newsletters.” List management, campaign management, integration with awesome apps such as EvenBrite, HighRise and WordPress, and even a full-featured API for developers are included in the $35-per-month fee for up to 2,500 subscribers.
  21. Elite Email – Choose from more than 400 ready-to-use templates, share your emails on popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, take advantage of a fully-branded subscription center where your customers can set up their preferences, enter their info and even edit their profiles (talk about making you look sophisticated!), and fall in love with the live ticker that delivers your stats as they’re happening. (Ideal for those of us who are less-than-patient when we’re waiting for metrics!). It’s FREE for up to 500 email address. Yes, free. More than 500 contacts? Prices start at $15 per month. Totally affordable, and totally awesome.
  22. Interspire Email Marketer – Interspire is a cool platform with features to help you automate your list management, optimize your click-through rates, solicit and track feedback with surveys, and advanced reporting allowing you to see the full activity of a single lead for maximum personalization and analysis. Pricing starts at $495 for a single user—yes, it seems a little pricey on the surface, but this is a lifetime license for a  slew of capabilities. In other words, definitely worth it!
  23. Simply Cast – SimplyCast is an email marketing platform offering custom templates (for a one-time $99 fee), email client rendering so you’re sure your campaigns won’t look like gobbled-gook to your subscribers, and even subaccounts so you can give other users access with specific permissions. A campaign cross-check ensures you’re not missing any important details before your message goes out. It’s free for up to 2,000 email contacts. Doesn’t get any better than that! Paid plans are incredibly affordable as well, if you have a larger list.
  24. SendGrid – SendGrid provides reliability, scalability, comprehensive, real-time analytics and more—including a full-featured API. Prices start at $9.95 per month for an incredible 40,000 email credits. You can also opt for a pay-as-you-go plan (if you’re not sure how many emails you’ll be sending) with SendGrid Lite.
  25. activetrail – activetrail is a full-featured email marketing platform that’s totally free for up to 500 subscribers and 2,000 emails per month—perfect if you’re a newbie to email marketing and don’t yet have a large subscriber list. Paid plans start at $16, and you’ll benefit from nearly 100% deliverability, advanced reporting and management features and much more.

What email marketing application do you rely on to stay in touch with your contacts? We want to know! Share your favorites with us in the comments below, and tell us about any experiences you’ve had using any of these email marketing platforms.