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One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to begin your online business or website and not think about having an email marketing strategy.
It is often overlooked when people first begin online.
You are probably thinking:
I don’t need to think about that now. I am just starting out.
I don’t have a lot of traffic yet so no one is going to sign up.
When I first started out, I had no more than 200 pageviews by the end of the month. Yet still, with no lead magnets or freebies, I still ended up getting 3 people to sign up to my email list.
Email marketing is going to be a great way for you to keep in touch with your most active users and viewers. It will also give you the possibility to monetize your email list with affiliate products or your own products that you want to sell in the future.
But setting this system up comes with a price.
Or at least, it used to.
There are several free platforms that now let anybody sign up and start building their email list completely for free!
So let me show you how to get started and how to find the one that suits your needs the most.
What Is Email Marketing?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, you might need to get a better understanding of what email marketing is.
If you think that email marketing is purely for affiliate marketers or store owners who send their catalogs every month, then you may need a refresher course.
Very simply put:
Email marketing is basically when you have people sign up to your email list and then you send them emails.
It is for anyone who wants to build and keep an online presence and build a good relationship with their audience.
Even if you do not have a website and just have a landing page, a product you are selling, or even a youtube channel, you are going to want to start your email list.
Here is why.
Why Do You Need An Email Marketing Tool?
Let’s face it, the internet is growing and changing every day.
And so are the social media platforms that are built on it.
How many times have you heard of Youtube just shutting down a channel or Instagram banning you? If you have a million subscribers, you would have completely lost all contact with all of them instantly.
That can completely destroy your business in an instant.
However, when you have an email list, it is your list. You own it and no one can take it away from you.
So if anything happens, you can simply send an email to everyone on your list, and redirect them to another page or channel that you have made.
A lot better than having to start from zero.
5 Free Email Marketing Tools You Can Use
Now that we got all of the essentials out of the way, we can get into the good stuff.
There are 5 platforms that I recommend beginners use for email marketing:
I will preface this by saying that I actually currently use 2 of the email tools on this list. But I have used each one of these in the past.
So I will be giving you my first-hand experience.
All of these platforms also have paid tiers but, if you just starting to build your list, a free plan will be more than enough.
Aweber is one of the bigger names in the email marketing business because it has been around for a long time.
And for good reason.
Aweber is an all-in-one platform that will give you everything that you need to start your email marketing system.
With 120,000 users, it is one of the most popular and well-known on the market.
If you have a list of under 500 contacts, you will be able to access their email marketing tools for free.
- Up to 3000 emails per month.
- Email Automation
- RSS to email
- 100s of templates
- Thousands of professional images
- Drag-and-drop builder
- HTML emails
- Dynamic content
These are some great features that even the most professional email marketers can appreciate.
Even if you already have a couple of emails on your list, you will be able to easily migrate them over to Aweber if you would like.
You can also read the full Aweber review to get more details.
Aweber’s Best Feature
One of Awebers best features is the thousands of images, landing page templates, and opt-in forms that it give you access to.
Not only does this make your creative process a lot easier, but it also will be a great way for you to get quality content that will grab your audience’s attention.
GetResponse is another heavy hitter in the email marketing niche. It is also one of the platforms that I myself use for my opt-in forms and landing pages.
GetResponse was actually a fully paid tool that only had a free trial. But in September, they announced that they were providing a fully free tier for anyone with less than 500 subscribers.
The news made waves. Personally, I think it was about time they did it.
If they want to keep up with major platforms like Aweber or Mailchimp, they kind of had no choice.
But don’t think they skimped on the free features because they didn’t. With the free plan, you can get:
- Email Creator
- AI-powered website builder
- Forms and Popups
- Website visitor tracking
- Webinar hosting
- Landing Page
- Sales Funnel
If some of these words look foreign to you, I highly recommend that you read the full GetResponse Review to get a better understanding.
Once you do, you will quickly realize just how powerful the tools in this plan are.
So if you have 500 contacts or less, this would be a great option for you as well.
GetResponse’s Best Feature:
From personal experience, I have to say that one of the nicest things about GetResponse is that once you have connected your website, there is no more code needed.
If you make a new pop-up form in GetResponse, it will automatically show up on your website when you activate it.
It may seem like something small, but it is the small things like that that make our lives as content creators a lot easier.
Not to mention it will not add any extra lag to your site.
If you have been around other bloggers then you have probably heard the name ConvertKit.
It is especially popular among bloggers and website owners for its ease of use and great design capabilities.
This is the one tool that is on my bucket list of tools to have for my business in the future.
It is absolutely amazing and the support you get is also great.
Their free plan is a bit more limited than others, but they do allow you up to 1000 contacts instead. With that, you get:
- Unlimited landing pages and forms
- email broadcasting abilities
- digital product sales integrations
- community support
If you have freebies or your own digital products that you are looking to sell, ConvertKit is going to be a great choice for you.
ConverKits’s Best Feature
Hands down, one of the best features ConvertKit has is in its design. They have some of the best (if not the best) popup forms and landing page designs I have ever seen.
So much so that I myself have made the decision to leave both of the email platforms that I have to join ConvertKit when it’s time to renew my plan.
The designs and colors will help you grow your email list in no time.
MailChimp is one of the biggest and most well-known email marketing platforms out there. It is used by some of the biggest companies at the moment.
I also use this platform myself.
If you look at any email marketing review, you are bound to see a comparison to MailChimp.
They are one of the best in the business.
Their free plan has one of the biggest features available allowing you up to 2000 contacts and 10,000 emails sent per month.
More than enough for any beginner. Along with that you also get:
- Subject line helpers
- 1-step automation
- 1 audience list (with full segmentation and tagging capabilities)
- Sign-up forms
- A marketing CRM
- Landing Pages
- Marketing Ads Platform
As you can see, it has everything you need to be able to start. Including a free automation that you can use to send your new subscribers an automatic email as soon as they sign-up.
This is going to be great for your initial contact with your audience.
MailChimp’s Best Feature
I can tell you from personal experience that MailChimp is very reliable and integrates so well no matter what platform you use it with.
Literally, every app or CRM has a MailChimp integration that is free to add and it is a life-saver.
This makes MailChimp very popular among bigger websites and e-commerce platforms.
It will save you time and effort (and sometimes, even money).
Groove.cm (formerly known as GrooveFunnels) is one of the newest tools to come to the surface when it comes to email marketing.
That is because it used to be focused solely on sales funnels and landing pages.
Now, this monster platform has everything from Email marketing, to video hosting, to e-commerce website building.
Basically, it has become a one-stop-shop for anyone who has any kind of online venture.
So when they announced that they now offer a free email marketing plan for anyone with less than 500 subscribers, a lot of people jumped on it.
And by a lot I mean, 550,000 users.
You get all of the basic features that you would get anywhere else, plus:
- 3 landing pages
- 1 free website
- 3 free opt-in forms
- Drag-and-drop editor
Honestly, this tiny list doesn’t even begin to cover how massive this platform is. I recommend you read the Groove.cm review to see all of the features that are available to you.
Groove.cm’s Best Feature
The best feature with Groove.cm has to be the fact that you can interconnect everything that you do online on this platform.
I used it for other things but I am able to connect my youtube channel, website, and affiliate marketing landing pages all in this one platform.
It really has saved me a lot of time.
What is the best free email marketing tool?
Deciding which plan is actually the best when it comes to email marketing is a bit difficult but not impossible.
If you look at the features that you get, the integration possibilities, plus the number of contacts and emails you are able to send, there is one clear winner
MailChimp has the best free email marketing plan for beginners and you will be able to use it for a while before having to migrate or upgrade.
However, there are other platforms that definitely give better options for other functions.
Best for Design
ConvertKit is by far the best when it comes to esthetics and designs.
If you are looking to make your sign-up forms more eye-catching and have them more customized to your website template, then ConvertKit is the one for you.
Design is one area that MailChimp needs to work on.
The landing pages are good but the forms definitely need some work and require a lot of tweaking in order to make it work with your website’s look.
Matter of fact, if you are going to use MailChimp, I highly recommend that you pair it with the OptinMonster plugin if you have WordPress.
Those two together are very powerful.
Best for Quantity
When it comes to quantity, this one goes to GetResponse for the simple fact that it not only has great forms, but they are also unlimited.
Literally, no cap on how many you can create and/or publish.
You may think that this isn’t a big deal, but it is. When you want to build an email list, trust me, you will be looking for opt-in forms and lead generators everywhere.
If you can have it all in one place, unlimited, you will take it in a heartbeat.
By now, you guys know that I am all about helping people make their online business without having to break that bank to do it.
So why pay for something like email marketing when you can do it completely for free.
Signing up with a free account is going to be a great solution for anyone who is starting their email list.
You will most likely not cross the 500 contact limit for a few months so you could be saving hundreds of dollars.
Focus more on making freebies and lead magnets that will make people want to sign on to your email list.
You might even want to work on your copywriting skills to make your forms more enticing to your readers.
Do all of this, and I promise you, as your blog grows, you will start to see people signing up every single day.