You have lots of choices to pick from when choosing your next email service provider. Each has their own different feature set and all have their own price points.
To make things a little easier, I’ve put together a table of the most popular email service providers and how much you would pay monthly, based on the number of subscribers in your account.
Cheapest Email Service Provider?
Taking a look at this table, Mad Mimi is probably the cheapest email service provider overall. I don’t normally recommend then to most small businesses though as they really don’t offer all the features I look for.
Both Mad Mimi and Mailchimp do have free plans, although they are limited. The best free plan available is actually Drip. Their Starter plan is completely free and not limited in any way. As long as you have under 100 subscribers you can use Drip for free.
The email service provider that I think provides the most value for the price is ActiveCampaign. Not only can you get started for just $9, but it can really grow with your business.
It has everything you want in an ESP, plus it includes some very powerful marketing automation features. This lets you construct email marketing workflows that can really increase your email response rates and conversions. See our marketing automation roundup to get a more detailed look at how it compares with other services.
GetResponse is also a very good low cost alternative email service provider. It has some very nice autoresponder features and is very easy to use. Plus they recently added some nice marketing automation editor as well, to keep up with the rest of the pack.
Are the High End Email Service Providers Worth It?
For many small businesses, I think services like Infusionsoft and Ontraport are overkill. They are actually huge, complex systems with their email marketing component being just one aspect of it. They even have setup fees to get started.
There are some big name marketers who would use these services primarily for their automation capabilities. However with the rise of services like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, marketing automation is now included with more affordable services.
Pat Flynn wrote an article about his switch from Aweber to Infusionsoft to ConvertKit which I recommend reading to learn more about the complexities of using a system like InfusionSoft.
Email Service Provider Discounts
It’s quite rare to find additional coupon or promo codes for any of the email service providers on this list. However, a few services, GetResponse (18% discount), ActiveCampaign (15% discount), Drip (2 months free) do allow you to pre-pay yearly to save an additional amount. Aweber does too, but only for the first year.
As an ESP is usually a service you will stick with for awhile, it often makes sense to take advantage of this option if you can as you can save quite a bit of money.
Say you had 15,000 subscribers in your GetResponse account. Paying yearly would reduce your cost from $1,740 a year to $1426, a savings of over $300.
Many ESPs do offer free trials so you can test things out yourself. ActiveCampaign gives you 14 days while Drip has a 21 day free trial. The best free trial though is GetResponse which gives you a full month to try it out.
Which Email Service Provider should I go with?
I normally would not recommend just going for the cheapest autoresponder service you can find.
I primarily care more about email deliverability and features then price. That’s because if you do it right, the ROI with email marketing will greatly outweigh the price you are paying for your provider.
So which is one should you go with?
Services are always changing, so take a look at my article on the Best Email Service Providers. It’s updated every few months so you’re always getting the most current info on each service.