The 8 Best Email Marketing Platforms for Under $50


save money on email marketing

Email generates $42 in sales for every $1 invested.


ROI that high will persuade even the greatest online marketing critics to give email a shot. And why wouldn’t you? Email has the ability to:

  • increase sales,

  • boost content marketing visibility,

  • turn leads into sales, and

  • strengthen customer relationships.

If you want to put your marketing dollars to good use by collecting email addresses to start selling, you won’t get very far without a tool to capture and store contact details.

Comparing the Best Email Marketing Platforms for Under $50


We’d all love to spend $0 on marketing. And there’s no shortage of freemium software products to make marketing easier. But free doesn’t always accommodate a growing company’s needs.


For instance, one platform may only allow you to store five contacts. Five leads won’t get you very far... unless they're all million dollar leads. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.


Or, you may find a free platform, only to be disappointed that you can’t create landing pages for lead capture.


At some point, you need to consider paying for a program that suits your needs, which might include:

  • Price

  • Ease of use

  • A/B testing

  • Functionality and flexibility for growing lists

  • The ability to create landing pages, forms, email automations, workflows, etc.

Instead of wasting hours researching the features of email service providers, constructing spreadsheets, comparing costs…. I’ve got you covered. Here are the 8 best email marketing platforms for less than $50.

1. MailerLite $10/month


Pros:

  • A free plan is available for lists with under 1,000 subscribers which allows 12,000 email sends per month

  • Clean, easy-to-use interface

  • Lead-generating pop-up creation included

Cons:

  • TrustPilot reviews mention technical glitches and email send failures. On the bright-side, their customer service team is quick to respond and assist where needed.


A/B Testing:

MailerLite allows you to test nearly every aspect of each email (subject lines, send times, call-to-action copy, etc.).

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

2. HubSpot Marketing Starter - $50/month

Pros:

  • One of the most established all-in-one marketing platforms

  • Free versions of the marketing software and CRM are included (so you to test out other HubSpot products before committing to an annual plan)

  • Manage up to $2,000.00 in PPC ads

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive platforms because it comes with so many add-ons

  • Once you have more than 1,000 contacts in your CRM, you must upgrade your account, and charges increase based on your list size

  • Paid plans are locked in for one year minimum; prorates are not given and HubSpot makes no exceptions on this policy


A/B Testing: Testing is limited to email subject lines only. Despite testing limitations for emails, HubSpot landing pages allow you to A/B test copy, calls-to-action, and graphic elements too.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner


3. Campaign Monitor - $29/month


Pros:

  • Includes stunning templates for email newsletters and landing pages

  • Campaign Monitor’s visual funnels come with examples you can clone and use for your own automations, which is great if you are just getting started with sales funnels or want to build on industry best practices

Cons:

  • Campaign Monitor isn’t as well known or cost-competitive compared to its competitors

A/B Testing: A/B testing is only available for subject lines and calls-to-actions

Level of Difficulty: Beginner


4. ConvertKit $29/month

Pros:

  • ConvertKit customizes its platform based on your type of business, suggesting pre-made marketing funnels and templates

  • Free plan is available for lists of under 1,000 subscribers


Cons:

  • Though it’s an easy-to-use platform, ConvertKit isn’t as robust or feature-packed as its competitors

  • ConvertKit email templates are not overly designed, so if you like pretty templates, you may want to look for another provider

A/B Testing: Testing is only available for subject lines in broadcasts (not sequences or automated emails).

Level of Difficulty: Beginner


5. Klaviyo - $30/month

Pros:

  • Send SMS messages for $0.30 each, but this can get expensive if your business sends mass text messages to a large subscriber list

  • Includes website pop-up creation as an additional feature


Cons:

  • Introverts beware - you must speak with a salesperson before receiving a free demo

  • $30 monthly plan must be upgraded once you reach 1,000 subscribers

A/B Testing: Testing is available for subject lines, test groups (segments), send time, send frequency.


Level of Difficulty: Unknown - wasn’t about to speak to a real live salesperson for a free demo to test this one out. :(


6. ActiveCampaign - $9/month



Pros:

  • Powerful CRM capabilities

  • Allows you to track data on website visitors, Google Maps clicks, geo tracking, and more

  • Allows you to oversee, manage, and post content to social media

  • Plan includes chatbots, advanced email list cleaning, and website page customization

  • Highly cost-effective for the amount of tools included

Cons:

  • Because ActiveCampaign can be used for more complicated funnels, there’s a steep learning curve for beginners.

A/B Testing: A/B testing is available for subject lines, email content, call-to-action buttons, and more.

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate


7. Constant Contact - $26/month


Pros:

  • One of the most established email companies

  • Great for live event promotion and management, as well as selling online courses, because it includes additional tracking for ticket holders

  • Like ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact also allows you to manage social media accounts and chat inboxes

  • Their free templates come with basic copy that can be customized and used for your own marketing needs


Cons:

  • Additional automation packages cost $50

  • Constant Contact is one of the more complicated programs to use and its interface is not as aesthetically pleasing as some of its competitors

  • Online reports of difficulties cancelling paid subscriptions.

A/B Testing: For such an advanced email marketing platform, A/B testing is only available for subject lines .

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate


8. Mailchimp - $10/month

Pros:

  • One of the most well-established email marketing companies

  • MailChimp is equipped with a CRM and a website builder

  • Free version is available for users with up to 2,000 subscribers, and includes landing pages and forms

Cons:

  • Online reviews raise concerns with hidden fees on free plans

  • Some of MailChimp’s newer features, like Creative Studio (page builder), are not as robust as other design programs

  • The $10 plan only allows automations with up to four actions, whereas the $15 plan allows up to 100 actions per workflow

A/B Testing: A/B testing is available for subject lines, sender name, email content, and send time.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

The Most Important Aspect When Choosing Email Marketing Software (it’s not whatcha think)


Before making your final decision on a platform, you need to first get your feet wet with email marketing. This’ll give you an idea of your business’s needs and your own technical abilities before you invest in a big expensive program that’s too difficult to use.


There are inexpensive, user-friendly email programs that I chose not to include in this list, because they do not offer A/B testing. For me, lack of A/B testing is a deal-breaker. You should always be testing, learning, and improving on the elements of your emails.


Each of these programs includes a free trial, with the exception of Kalviyo. If you have the time and patience, give them a try. Just be sure to carefully read any cancellation policies so as not to worry about a trial timeline and being charged for a program you don’t love.


Still not sure which platform is right for you? I’ve done all the leg work, and can pinpoint what you’ll need over a virtual coffee. Hit me up here.