Do you need to send a newsletter? Are you looking for an email marketing software with a free account?
You can find many email marketing services, several with options that will allow you to send a newsletter for free.
Ok, but are they similar? Which is the best software for your needs?
You may believe all platforms offer the same services, that each free account is the same, no matter the service you use, but that is not the case.
There are many important differences.
Differences that can affect the financial cost you end up paying in the short and médium term.
As well as the advantages you can get from the free accounts.
If you are not one of those who like to throw money away and overpay, we recommend you keep reading this comparison of the best email marketing tools.
- 1 Comparison of different email marketing services. First aspect: Free account limits
- 2 · Use of your own or generic domain
- 3 · Logos and advertising links
- 4 · The harsh reality, statistics available or not?
- 5 · Technical support
- 6 · Multi-user access to the email marketing software
- 7 · Dedicated IPs
- 8 · Points in common of all mailing tools
- 9 · Useful and interesting differences offered by Mailrelay
- 10 · Now you can choose what is best for you.
Comparison of different email marketing services. First aspect: Free account limits
That is probably the first thing you will check when you compare different email marketing platforms.
It is the most visible aspect and is also related to “money.” Or rather, with the money will save as you won’t have to pay for an email marketing software.
It is also the easiest thing to compare, or maybe not.
Actually, it is not that easy to compare. You will see it little by little in the comparison.
It is not so easy because many services “hide” certain conditions.
Even comparing sending volumes is not so easy because some platform packages are pretty difficult to understand.
So let’s give it a try:
Mailchimp allows you to upload 2,000 contacts and send 10,000 emails per month using a free account.
Sendinblue’s free plan has a different limit. They offer you a package that will allow you to send 300 emails per day, with no subscriber limit. That means you can send around 9000 emails per month, and work with about 9000 different subscribers.
However, the problem is that you can only send 300 messages per day, so if you need to send a campaign to more than 300 subscribers, you would have to split the database into smaller groups and send your newsletter slowly, which would mean some contacts would receive the email only several days later.
Mailrelay is often considered Mailchimp’s competitor.
Especially for users who need a free email marketing service with a free package easy to understand.
As soon as you create a free account, you can send 80,000 messages per month, with a limit of 20,000 different contacts.
If you want to send a mailing for free, the free email marketing account from Mailrelay is the only option that allows you to send emails without having to spend a single penny.
Let’s not just focus on the sending limits. We should understand other features as well.
· Use of your own or generic domain
Sending domain, corporate or generic. This will be vital for brand image.
We could find two scenarios here; you could send a newsletter from your corporate domain or a generic domain provided by the email marketing software.
If you decide to work with Mailchimp, you can’t set up your own sending domain, for users working with a free account.
Both Mailrelay and Sendinblue will allow you to work with your corporate domain.
Many users think it would be better to work with a generic domain, as they don’t have to worry about technical settings like SPF, DKIM, ETC.
However, this will affect brand identity, which is terrible for your corporate image (that is why they charge you for this feature).
The vast majority of free email marketing tools will require some kind of compensation in exchange for a free account.
For instance, Mailrelay asks users to follow the company on social media, it is something they will do only once, and that will not take a long time. However, the most important aspect to consider here is that that won’t impact the emails sent from the Mailrelay servers.
Other services insert their own logo on your campaigns or a link, so they can get something from the package they are offering you.
It’s a quick way to advertise their brand to your contacts.
What impact does logos and advertising have on your emails?
At first, we may think that it’s just visual.
But you should remember that in addition to advertising a third-party brand in your campaigns, this logo or link will indicate to your subscribers that you are using a free account.
You are the only one who will decide how that will impact your marketing strategy and, most importantly, your brand image.
A practical problem that can arise when including third-party links in your emails is that users can get confused and end up clicking on that link. If they click on it, they will be directed to another website, not your landing page.
How many sales could you lose because of that?
It is very difficult to calculate, but if you lose sales, you will lose money.
This ESP will insert its logo on all emails sent from your free account.
They will also insert their logo on all emails sent from your free account and on campaigns sent by users working with their first paid package option.
Both Mailchimp and Sendinblue have similar rules for free users and will include some kind of advertising in your free email marketing campaigns.
However, the free Mailrelay account will never insert logos, links, or any other type of advertising in the emails you send.
· The harsh reality, statistics available or not?
When you send a mass mailing, I’m sure you want to check the results of your campaign.
Some people are satisfied with just counting the number of sales (manually) after each email sent.
But that presents a problem.
To understand if your campaign was successful, you should compare the number of clicks with the number of sales.
It is not the same to get 5 sales with 10 clicks than 5 with 100 clicks, isn’t it?
Most platforms have statistics so that you can check click and open rates for each campaign.
However, not all of them offer this vital feature for users who work with a free account.
It does offer some kind of statistics for free accounts, although not too detailed.
It doesn’t offer click and open rate statistics neither in its free account, nor for cheaper paid plans.
It offers advanced and complete statistics; you can check clicks, open rates, and many other reports. You can also export the reports and share them with other people.
· Technical support
Is support not that important? Or is it essential for your business?
It is one of those things you will only value when you need it and find it is not available for your plan.
You may need support at any time, and as is often the case with these things, it will happen at the worst possible moment, when you are really in a hurry and can’t take the time to look for alternative solutions.
However, providing technical support is costly financially, and that is why most tools don’t include full support for free accounts.
Where to start with Mailchimp and support for free accounts?
Mailchimp offers support for free accounts:
Exclusively by email, so you may need to wait for some time before getting an answer.
Only during the first 30 days after the account was created.
As I mentioned before, providing customer support will be a very expensive endeavor, and it’s obvious that Mailchimp can’t offer free support for all users, so they will include this option as a premium feature for paying customers.
They also offer email support, reserving phone support for premium paid accounts.
Even the cheapest paid accounts don’t have phone support. I think they need to reduce costs and maximize profits.
Mailrelay includes all possible support options for the free accounts:
– Ticket and email
– Real-time chat with real people (no bots)
This way, whenever a doubt or question arises, there is always someone who can help you.
· Multi-user access to the email marketing software
Another feature with little utility?
I don’t think that is the case; It is a vital option for many companies, otherwise, why would several services charge for it?
In reality, it is something very useful, which is immediately obvious.
If more than one person manages the account, different users will likely have to work on different tasks. For example, one of them could be responsible for uploading the contacts while a designer would have to create the campaigns.
And you may not want the person who prepares the newsletters to have access to your contacts, for example.
With different users having different permissions, you could do that without any problem.
What do the different services offer in this regard?
It only allows one administrator, so any logged user will access all the available features.
If several people manage the same account, they will always login with the same username and password.
It doesn’t allow multi-user access for free accounts or the first paid options.
The premium accounts allow up to 3 administrators, and if you need more, you can payfor other users; the cost is 9 € per each additional user.
Mailrelay allows you to create as many users and profiles as you need, even for free accounts. Creating profiles will help you to manage accounts with many users with different roles.
· Dedicated IPs
Most email marketing services use shared IPs.
This is done for technical and financial reasons, and although dedicated IPs are not necessary for sending a newsletter, it is better to have options for getting dedicated IPs for special situations.
The services we are comparing have different options for this feature:
It allows you to purchase dedicated IPs.
Let’s you purchase dedicated IPs from its business account up.
It allows you to purchase dedicated IPs even if you are using a free account.
· Points in common of all mailing tools
Features available in all the email marketing services we are comparing
With the points mentioned above, we have seen the main differences between the tools so that you can evaluate which one is the best option for your needs, based on what is included in the free accounts.
However, almost all the platforms have some points in common:
· Easy-to-use newsletter editor > in the case of Mailrelay, it is a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to drag and drop various blocks where you want to use them (images, texts, etc.)
· Scheduling > so that you don’t have to worry about sending your emails, you can schedule your campaigns for a specific date, and the software will send the message automatically.
· Automated contact management > it is crucial for email marketing services to offer features for cleaning subscriber databases. That’s why most services will have a system to remove incorrect email addresses (bounces).
· Subscription forms > they are indispensable for implementing any acquisition strategy.
· Importing contacts > it is clear that all email marketing services will offer features for importing your subscribers. On Mailrelay, you have 3 different options for importing your email lists.
And even in these common aspects, we can find some differences between Mailrelay and other email marketing tools, we will see them in the next point.
· Useful and interesting differences offered by Mailrelay
– Automated RSS feeds > if you have a website with an RSS feed (such as a WordPress), you can create an RSS campaign that will send a newsletter automatically when a new content is published.
– Flexible audiences > contrary to other tools that count each contact for each audience to which it belongs, Mailrelay groups are much more flexible. So the same subscriber could be registered in as many groups, as you want; that means you would be using only one subscriber from your package, even when the contact is registered in several groups or segments.
– Real-time segmentation > when you create a segment in Mailrelay, you do it using certain conditions (custom fields, actions performed), the contacts that respond to these conditions can be filtered and form a segment. If any of these values is changed, Mailrelay will remove the subscriber from the segment. And if a new contact meets your selected conditions, it will be automatically added. With this setting, you always, always will have only contacts that meet the conditions you want to use for each segment.
– SMTP server > all Mailrelay accounts include an SMTP server that can be used if you wish, at no extra cost.
– Dynamic newsletters > when you are creating a newsletter, you can include conditional variables, which will display one content or another based on personalized fields for each contact.
– First sending wizard > to make it easier for new users, Mailrelay provides a step-by-step wizard that will guide users through the first campaign, with several options for importing your contacts, creating and sending a newsletter for the first time.
– Support chat available in your dashboard > so that you can ask any questions while working with your Mailrelay account, without having to stop what you are doing.
These points can make a difference in creating a successful email marketing campaign.
· Now you can choose what is best for you.
With the points that we have seen, I think you can make the best decision for your specific needs and choose the free email marketing software you are going to use.
These differences are not always clear-cut or obvious.
So I hope this post will be helpful to you.
Translated by Micheli.