The Best Free Email Autoresponders Compared

Are you looking for the best free email autoresponder for your business?

Back in the day, there weren’t a ton of free options.  Most decent email autoresponders require some sort of monthly fee.

But times are changing, and a couple of well-known email autoresponders recently added free plans to their pricing models.  So we now have a handful of good free email autoresponder options to pick from.

Keep in mind that all these free plans are limited in some way.  While they are good enough to do some basic emailing, if you really want to get serious with your email marketing, you will eventually need to upgrade.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at 6 of the best free email autoresponder options so you can pick the one that fits your needs.

#1. MailerLite


MailerLite was founded in 2010, making it relatively new compared to the other email marketing and autoresponder platforms in this list, but it’s already established itself as an easy-to-use but feature-rich alternative.

MailerLite Free Plan Pros:

  • Email automation and visual workflows are included with almost no limitations. You can build semi-complex automation workflows without paying a cent. This was impossible not so long ago.
  • You can use the landing page features to build both informational pages and email capture pages. There aren’t a ton of templates but they look great and can be customized with the drag and drop editor.
  • Popups and lead capture forms are included. It’s not uncommon for autoresponder tools to have popup features, and while these features are usually reserved for paying customers, MailerLite takes a different approach.
  • It’s free forever. The promise is in the name, and this provides some comfort that if you start building your email list with MailerLite, you won’t wake up to a sudden policy change that forces you to move all your data. (This happens more than you think!)

MailerLite Free Plan Cons:

  • Branding. Every email and landing page you create on the free plan will be tagged with subtle MailerLite branding, and there’s no way to turn this off without upgrading to a paid subscription.
  • Basic tracking and reporting is available but you won’t get access to click maps or location-based reporting — though this isn’t really something you need with a small list.
  • No email templates. This is potentially the biggest drawback since you’ll be restricted to plain text unless you pay up. What’s more, this used to be included in the free plan, then suddenly it wasn’t. #sad
  • A few automation features have been stripped out of the free plan, including “Auto-resend” to resend a campaign to subscribers who didn’t engage, and “Deliver by timezone” to time your sending based on geolocation.
  • No A/B testing. Running a split-test campaign is (rightfully) considered an advanced feature, and it’s not something you’ll have access to as a free user. This should be expected across the board.
  • You can’t use live chat support. You still get access to email support with a reasonable response time.

MailerLite Pricing

The free plan covers you for up to 1,000 total subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, which equates to 12 emails per user, per month at the very top end.

Optionally, you can pay $10 per month if you want unlimited emails and/or access to restricted features, like email templates, A/B testing, and more automation capabilities. MailerLite also scales well, staying competitive for both small and large email lists.

You can find more MailerLite pricing info here.

#2. MailChimp


MailChimp has been around since 2001, and remains one of the most popular email marketing/autoresponder platforms on the internet, particularly for small businesses and solopreneurs.

MailChimp Free Plan Pros:

  • Includes ‘Single Step’ and ‘Classic’ automations. MailChimp recently revamped its free plan to be more attractive, including adding automation features that were previously only available to paying customers.
  • Includes landing pages, forms, AND websites. Not only can you build squeeze pages but you can also publish entire websites, not to mention ‘Website Analytics’ are thrown in as well.
  • Works with custom domains. Most free plans require that you use their domains for things like landing pages and link tracking, but MailChimp doesn’t.
  • Includes the new Creative Assistant. This is a Beta design feature that helps with your brand assets with the power of AI. Very surprising to see this in the free tier.
  • Allows up to 2,000 subscribers without forcing you to upgrade. This is very generous compared to most other free plans.

MailChimp Free Plan Cons:

  • No behavior-based automations, so you can’t trigger targeted automations when a subscriber takes a certain action. Examples of this include signing up for an account for the first time or trying a new feature on your website.
  • No lead scoring, or what MailChimp refers to as ‘Purchase Likelihood’ scoring. This basically tells you how likely someone is to purchase a product from you based on the actions they take
  • Only includes basic email templates. Most of the pre-built MailChimp templates are locked behind a paywall and there’s also no option to custom code your own.
  • Limited analytics and no lead scoring features. Things like ‘Predicted Demographics’ and ‘Customer Lifetime Value’ are reserved for paying customers.
  • Other feature restrictions such as social media scheduling or retargeting ad campaigns. These are considered more bonus features than a core part of the product.
  • Light branding. Every email and landing page is marked with subtle MailChimp branding which can only be removed through a paid subscription.
  • No live chat support, and only 30 days of email support. This is quite limited in comparison to other freemium plans.

MailChimp Pricing

The free plan covers you for up to 2,000 total subscribers and 10,000 emails per month, which is certainly one of the highest subscriber limits.

Paid plans start from $9.99 for only 500 subscribers, and while this affordable, it doesn’t scale too well compared to alternatives – especially if coming off of the free plan at 2,000 subscribers.

You can find more MailChimp pricing info here.

#3. ConvertKit


ConvertKit reared its head in 2013, targeting bloggers and online creators with its tagline “the power of InfusionSoft with the simplicity of MailChimp”. It has since become one of the top players in the email marketing/autoresponder line up.

ConvertKit Free Plan Pros:

  • Unlimited emails. You’ll find that most free autoresponder plans limit the number of emails you can send per month, but ConvertKit doesn’t.
  • Unlimited landing pages and forms. You also get full access to landing pages and forms, with no limitations on how many you can create. ConvertKit has some great looking landing pages too.
  • Allows custom domains. You have the option to connect your own domain and bypass ConvertKit branded URLs. This isn’t always a luxury afforded to free users.
  • Includes full tagging and segmentation features. ConvertKit has always been a big advocate of tag-based segmentation, so they aren’t about taking away such a fundamental feature from the free plan.
  • Affiliates get credited for free accounts when they eventually start paying, providing an easy transition into the “ConvertKit funnel”, and ultimately increasing conversions.
  • ‘Refer a friend’ system to expand free plan limitations. This is a unique approach to free accounts, allowing you to refer other freebie seekers in order to expand both account limits. Each referral raises your list limit by 100 subscribers.

ConvertKit Free Plan Cons:

  • No automation features whatsoever. This is a pretty harsh limitation given that most alternatives on this list allow at least some form of automation, particularly for creating autoresponder sequences.
  • No Custom HTML templates. If you’re looking to build your own templates, then you’ll need to pay. This is true for almost every free autoresponder plan you’ll find, however.
  • No third-party integrations. There are a number of third-party integrations available for ConvertKit, but you won’t be able to take advantage of these integrations on the free plan.
  • No free migration. ConvertKit usually offers a free migration service, meaning they will move your list over on your behalf, but this isn’t available on free plans.
  • No access to premium support. This just means you won’t have priority when contacting their support staff for help, but you will still have access to support.
  • Branding. As is standard, your emails and landing pages are marked with ConvertKit branding until you become a paid subscriber.

ConvertKit Pricing

The free plan covers you for up to 1,000 total subscribers (up from 500 when it launched) and there’s no mention of how many emails you can send per month, which can only be interpreted as “fair use”.

Paid plans start from $29 for 1,000 subscribers, with sequences and advanced automations being the main attraction. It’s fair to say ConvertKit isn’t the cheapest option when comparing list size limitations.

You can find more ConvertKit pricing info here.

#4. Aweber


Aweber has been around since the dawn of the internet. Scratch that, 1998. Close enough. This one is designed more for small businesses with a strong focus on email marketing — meaning not so many bells and whistles.

AWeber Free Plan Pros:

  • Includes all email templates and access to the visual email builder, which is typically not the case with free autoresponder plans. The template library is also huge.
  • Includes basic email automation. You will be able to create simple email autoresponder sequences but you won’t get access to the more advanced automation features. (More on that below)
  • Unlimited landing pages using the visual landing page builder, as well as access to all templates. You can also use this to build squeeze pages to capture more emails and build your list.
  • Unlimited users. This makes the free plan viable for teams both small and large, since you can create any number of users to access and manage the account.
  • Full access to support, including 24/7 live chat. They also offer a migration service at no charge to free users which is a nice touch if you have an existing list elsewhere.

AWeber Free Plan Cons:

  • No split-testing for both emails and forms. Split-testing is considered an advanced feature so you won’t be able to use this
  • No custom segments. This means you can only send to an entire list or multiple lists as opposed to carving out new segments.
  • Limited analytics. While you get access to basic data likes opens, clicks and unsubscribes, you won’t be able to use advanced message analytics, audience analytics, or even webpage tracking.
  • Limited e-commerce features. You can integrate various e-commerce solutions but it does prevent you from using sales tracking and cart abandonment features.
  • No behavioral automation, so you won’t be able to trigger automations on specific user actions, whether it be from your emails or on your website.
  • Branding. Every email is tagged with Aweber branding. You’re also not allowed to use branded link tracking.

AWeber Pricing

The free plan covers you for up to 500 total subscribers and 3,000 emails per month, which is significantly lower than competing products in this list.

Paid plans start from $19 per month for 500 subscribers, giving you more automation features, unlimited emails per month, better analytics, and a few other small upgrades. Not super expensive, but not cheap either.

You can find more Aweber pricing info here.

#5. SendinBlue


SendInBlue was founded in 2007, putting it somewhere in the middle if we ordered this list by company age. It’s also one of the most ambitious platforms in terms of feature set, going way beyond just email marketing.

SendInBlue Free Plan Pros:

  • Unlimited subscribers. SendInBlue is unique in the way it limits emails per day as opposed to subscriber count, and this applies to the free plan too. You get a limit of 300 emails per day.
  • Includes autoresponders and visual automation workflows. You can build anything from simple autoresponders to full-fledged visual workflows with various triggers, conditions, and actions, all for free (up to 2,000 subscribers).
  • Full access to the template library. You can also customize any templates using the visual drag and drop editor.
  • Includes website/page tracking. This works in tandem with the visual automation workflow to trigger automations on-page activity. This is typically reserved for paying customers, but not here.
  • Includes advanced segmentation. There aren’t any limits to managing your contacts, so you can carve out new segments from existing lists using the segmentation tools on offer.
  • Includes other marketing tools, including SMS marketing, embeddable live chat widget and a full sales CRM.

SendInBlue Free Plan Cons:

  • No split-testing. You won’t be able to run A/B testing on your emails, which is a common theme among free autoresponder platforms.
  • No optimized sending. SendInBlue can automatically send emails to each individual subscriber based on a special “timing algorithm”, but only if you upgrade, unfortunately.
  • No landing pages. It was surprising to see this one taken out when so many other features included, but I guess they had to make cuts somewhere.
  • Limited reporting. Things like geographic and device reports, heat map reports and advanced click reports aren’t available on the free tier. This should be pretty much expected at this point.
  • Light branding, same as the alternatives listed above.
  • No live chat or phone support is available to non-paying users, only email support. This also applies to the Lite plan.

SendInBlue Pricing

The free plan covers you for an unlimited number of subscribers because all SendInBlue plans are based on email limits, not contacts. However, the free plan gives you 300 emails per day which makes it difficult to broadcast to more than 300 subscribers.

Paid plans start from $25 for up to 100,000 emails per month and no daily send limit, which is pretty competitive for moderate sending frequency. You also get a few extra automation features and better support.

You can find more SendInBlue pricing info here.

#6. MooSend


MooSend was founded in 2011 and comes in as one of the most affordable email marketing platforms on the market right now, and like many of their competitors, they’re also expanding into a holistic suite of marketing tools.

MooSend Free Plan Pros:

  • Includes visual automation workflows. You can build practically any kind of automation you want using the workflow builder, with no feature restrictions.
  • Includes signup and subscription forms to capture leads. This also gives you access to popups such as modals and ribbons, as well as inline forms that can be displayed inside your website content.
  • Includes split-testing. This is one of the (very) few free autoresponders that allow A/B testing your email content and subject lines. A huge value proposition for MooSend.
  • Includes conditional content. Email campaigns can have dynamic sections using their “Conditional Visibility” feature. This can be used to show specific content only to relevant subscribers
  • Full, in-depth campaign tracking. This is everything from basic open and click tracking, all the way to advanced tracking/reporting such as custom events, location and demographics, spam analysis and more.
  • Full access to integrations. MooSend currently has 100+ integrations and these can also be leveraged on the free plan.
  • It’s free forever. Another promise of longevity, which means you don’t have to worry about uprooting your list if you plan to stay on the free plan for a while.

MooSend Free Plan Cons:

  • No landing pages. Once again, the landing page feature can fall either way when it comes to the free plan. This time, however, they decided against including it.
  • No transactional emails. If you run an online store you’ll need transactional emails for things like abandoned cart, order status, and order receipts. Unfortunately, you won’t get that for nothing.
  • Light branding. All emails are marked with a MooSend logo. This one has applied across the board, so no surprise there.
  • No priority support. Again, this means it might take a little longer to get a response, but, aside from phoning in, you can still use the same support channels, including live chat support.

MooSend Pricing

The free plan covers you for up to 1,000 total subscribers and there are no restrictions on how many emails you can send per month, at least none that are clearly stated.

Paid plans start from only $8 monthly for up to 2,000 subscribers, which is the cheapest premium option on this list. This will also unlock almost every feature MooSend has to offer at that price.

You can find more MooSend pricing info here.

So what is the best free email autoresponder?

As you can see, you have a lot of choices if you want to sign up with a free email autoresponder.

But which one you pick depends on what camp you’re in.

If you’re on a tight shoestring budget who’s never planning to upgrade then both MailerLite and Moosend are what I would recommend for you.

Both of these service pack a lot of value into their free forever plans.

However, if you’re looking for a free autoresponder that you can grow into once you start seeing some results then I would try SendinBlue or ConvertKit.

They both are really good options once you finally upgrade to paid, you will unlock their full capabilities.

About Chris Fong

Chris Fong is a blogger and a 6 figure a year affiliate marketer. He enjoys helping others learn about different marketing tools and helping people achieve success online.