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8 Best Email Autoresponders With Free Service Plans
If you run a business with an online presence, you will know that email marketing is one of the most valuable methods to keep in touch with prospects and customers.
If you plan to start a business, let me tell you now that having an email marketing plan could be the difference between your success and failure.
There is just something about blasting out emails that make it such an effective marketing mechanism. Maybe it’s because:
- People tend to check their inboxes more than once a day
- Readers tend to be in more of a serious mode when opening emails compared to social networks
- You have more control in tracking and management with emails compared to social networks
- Subscribers get on your mailing list because they want to hear from you
With the available emailing technology these days, you no longer have to pay a designer to design a digital flyer, get a copywriter to draft the text content, hire a programmer to code the templates, and sign up with a third party to send out EDM blasts.
Most new businesses use a basic desktop email client to blast out promotional material to the masses. This is a BIG mistake because not only do you exhaust your hosting bandwidth, but more importantly, you could trigger big players (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) to label you as a spammer.
The worst outcome is that your website domain gets blacklisted even when you are doing legitimate business. And all you were trying to do was to save some money. Good luck trying to get a response from Google :S
This why you need an alternative.
There are now web-based software platforms for you to login and manage your email marketing campaigns from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet and a web browser.
This means nothing to download that will potentially slow down your computer.
These marketing platforms allow you to:
- Create landing pages
- Collect email addresses
- Reply automatically upon sign up
- Segment your subscribers
- Send out pre-written follow up messages in a scheduled manner
- Track performance of your emails with open rates, click rates, action goals, time, etc
- And many more
The generic name for these web-based software platforms is “autoresponder”. This name explains very gist of what it does… which is to collect email addresses and automatically respond to them via a schedule you set.
So basically, you get write a year(or more) worth of emails and set up your autoresponder to send them intermittently over the course of a full year. This allows you to keep in touch with your followers and subscriber base with little effort.
Actually, most businesses will implicitly understand the value with email marketing. The biggest problem with adoption that startups face is the recurring costs of signing up with a service provider.
Some of the best autoresponder services out there include GetResponse, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, etc.
You might not be able to afford it if you are just starting a business where you want to use your funds in other areas like web development, advertising, and offline marketing activities.
At the early stage of a business, you want to keep operations as slim and mean as possible.
Anyway, when you have little to no customer emails, it requires little motivation to convince you that signing up for one of these fee-based platforms might not be a pragmatic to do.
You probably don’t mind spending these money if you are already generating a steady flow of income. But until you get to that stage, it would probably be wiser not to take on those expensive recurring charges.
Well, here is the good news.
There are reliable and dependable email marketing platforms out there that offer free starter plans. You will only need to start paying until you reach a certain number of contacts in your mailing list when you need to use the features that are in their paid plans.
And don’t confuse them with spammy freeware. These are real genuine profit-driven businesses that offer their services for free.
Here they are in no particular order as they are all top service providers. Followed by a review comparison table.
You might think that with a name like that, this company will be wacky to say the least. But come on. You can’t blame someone for trying to brand themselves differently from the competitors.
It’s a catchy name. The free starter plan though, is pretty thin in terms of number of contacts. They used to be much more generous with the starter plan. And their pricing looks unfriendly when compared to the others that are mentioned on this page.
According to their website, their client list includes Disney, AOL, and… would you believe it, Seth Godin.
And… they are owned by GoDaddy.
Sendpulse offers a generous amount of free subscribers to manage. You can pretty much start with their free plan and build a considerable mailing list without incurring any costs at all. You can also find bulk SMS services with them.
The limit of emails you can send on a monthly basis is not too shabby too.
Their system also enables you to create HTML emails with their library of design templates.
Their users include Swatch and Karcher.
Nice generic name for an email marketing service. But for some reason, I don’t like the look of their home page. However, that has no bearing on the level of service you can expect from their platform.
They are also not too stingy on their free plan. With contacts management being such a key issue to businesses, Benchmark comes with a host of user segmentation options.
However, there seems to be limitations with social media integration. Although this is might not be a critical concern in email marketing, other service providers have social integration with communities nailed down.
I would say that if you are just looking into the basic functions of email blasting in your startup phase, Benchmark is good value.
I don’t know what “send in blue” means.
But surely it must mean credibility when their customers include Asics and Michelin.
It comes with a WordPress plugin to integrate your website to their system if you need it. And have I mentioned the drag and drop template designer?
What really makes Sendinblue stand out from the rest is that their starter package allow you to have an UNLIMITED number of contacts. Do note that the monthly emails you can send is capped at 9000.
How can you not like a name like that?
What makes Freshmail unique is that they have “pay as you go” plans where you will only pay when you need to do something that their free plan cannot undertake.
As someone who is used to paying a continuous monthly fee for such services, I have to admit that their “pay as you go” structure is somewhat… fresh. I pretty sure there are many marketers out there who would prefer a pay-as-you-go compared to a monthly subscription plan.
So, good job.
But I do find it a little confusing when comparing both their monthly plans with the pay-as-you-go plans. Maybe their presentation should be made clearer.
If you are wondering, it has an email builder too.
Don’t let the name fool you. “Lite” does not mean that they are a lightweight.
The features in their system look pretty slick with subscriber management, click tracking, and split-testing among others.
This is especially so when their clientele includes BMW, GoPro, and Birkenstock.
The powerhouse in this list is undoubtedly Mailchimp.
Mailchimp is one of the biggest players in the industry with a big reputation. So it is a little surprising that they do offer a free starter plan with a respectable subscriber count and email sending limit.
The name gives us a peek at what this company does. They actually provide a full suite of online marketing tools, including ecommerce and CRM modules, to help business owners manage their selling activities more efficiently.
Little do you expect that a fully-fledged service provider like this to offer a free starter plan.
Email Autoresponder Service (free) Comparison Table
|No. of subscribers (free)||No. of emails (free)
Cheapest Starter Plans Comparison Chart
|Price per month
||No. of Subscribers
||No. of emails
Now that you are aware that there are free ways to manage your subscribers and newsletters, there is no longer any excuse not to jump in and start filling up your mailing list.
Remember that if you are not building an email mailing list, you are leaving money on the table. People who lands on your website are probably interested in your subject, product or service. By getting a channel to reach out to them in the future, you will gain more engagement on your web content, generate traffic on demand, and even drive high conversion rates for your promotions.
There is a reason why there are so many companies offering this service. It’s because email marketing simply works for businesses both big and small.