Email Marketing Platforms – Free vs Paid?

As an email marketer I’ve often been asked about the cheapest email marketing platform to use.

I personally think that’s the wrong question to ask and in this post I’ll tell you why. I’ll also recommend a platform that’s as cheap as it gets (free) for up to 300 subscribers and that’s plenty to get you started!

I’ve been sending emails for well over 15 years.

It’s my sole source of online marketing.

And I’m totally willing to PAY to make sure I have the best email marketing software and services available to me.

When to use free email marketing tools

It wasn’t always this way. When I was totally new to email marketing I signed up for a totally free email marketing tools service (one that no longer exists) and I happily sent out my free emails.

In the beginning you might not be that serious about your email marketing. Kind of “playing around” and testing things out. I think that’s really the only time to use a free email marketing software.

This is because you won’t get all the tools and features if you don’t pay.

The cheapest email marketing platform won’t get you the BEST features for your business

You know the saying “you get what you pay for”, right?

It applies to deciding if you want to go with free email marketing platforms or paid ones.

Many email software as a service companies such as the one I use, ConvertKit, have a free version.

I never recommend this version if you’re ready to get serious about your plans to make money with email marketing.

A free version almost always gives you less.

Maybe it’s less support, less features, less emails you can send… always less something.

Less support is one of the most common ones.

Another platform I was on has a pop-up chat box for customers and no box for free members. I personally think this is a mistake as it doesn’t show the potential future paying customer what the actual paid service is like. But maybe that’s not their goal… if not I’m not sure what it is.

Just know when getting free you are getting LESS and then check out what you get less of and decide if that’s a smart move for your business.

How to make money with email marketing to recoup the email software fees

There’s a lot of reliable math in online business.

If you grow your email list, email them regularly and make regular offers you can expect to earn somewhere in the range of $1 to $3 or more per subscriber per month.

This is what I posted on my Instagram stories about earning $1/subscriber/month:

cheapest email marketing platforms as not necessary

As an experienced email marketer I earn about $2 – $3.50 per subscriber per month. This goes up and down because when I add new people to my list it takes about six months to a year to build the kind of relationship with them that creates a higher value list. The better my relationships get with my subscribers the more that number increases.

So many people go for the short-term wins (the immediate sales). I’m here to tell you that you can go long-game and build a list of subscribers who stick with you for YEARS on end.

I have subscribers (many) who’ve been on my list for over 10 years!

I never balk at paying for my email software. Rather I’m just so freaking GRATEFUL that I can build a business with this little of an expense that provides me with a growing monthly recurring income and (my favorite) lifestyle freedom!

I recently had a member of my community discussing the costs and here was my reply:

cheapest email marketing platform get your ROI

Don’t bother with the cheapest email marketing platform… think ROI!

If you’re not familiar with how email marketing works as I said I recommend you pay for software. Don’t find the cheapest email marketing platform you can find. Look for a platform that fits your needs as a business owner.

It’s not free but the software I recommend is ConvertKit and it’s only $9/month to start on their lowest plan.

Then you start building your email list of subscribers and you start sending them emails (I like the daily email habit and find it works really, really well).

There’s no cost per subscriber or per email so in essence that part is “free” after you pay your monthly payment.

I’m writing this post as an email marketing of 15+ years with over one million dollars in sales accounted through email marketing. I LOVE sending emails and I do so in a way that people WELCOME them into their inbox.

If you’d like to learn from me I run the Email Practice Club – it’s your “Hit Send Support Club”.

If you’d like to check out a good email platform check out ConvertKit. Give yourself a year to build a list and earn a minimum of $1 per subscriber per month and watch how inconsequential that monthly email software fee really seems!

You might also like these other posts on email marketing here on the Living Lifestyle Freedom Blog:

All the best in your email marketing!


(Updated Aug. 22, 2023)

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