Update 1/25/18: It’s been almost two years since our last update, so we double-checked the existing solutions, checked the comments for new suggestions, and added new screenshots. We also removed options that are no longer free or met the post’s rating criteria.

A 30-second television commercial during NBC’s broadcast of the Super Bowl on February fourth will cost you a cool $5 million, according to Sports Illustrated.

Luckily for small business owners, that’s about $5 million more than you need to be spending on marketing your growing business.

That’s because — despite rumors to the contrary — email marketing is still a highly viable strategy in the year 2018. Better yet, you don’t even need to pay a dime for email marketing software.

Below, I’ll delve into ten well-known free email marketing software systems that you can use to scale your small business marketing. For each, we’ll look at what you get with the free plan, what you get if you decide to upgrade, and some pros and cons.

Software options presented in order of overall user rating and number of reviews in Capterra’s directory.

1. MailChimp

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Reviews: 2,650+

An animation showing how to navigate lists in MailChip

Navigating lists in MailChimp

After its 2014 breakthrough on the back of a brilliant podcast marketing campaign, MailChimp is perhaps the most widely-used email marketing system for small businesses with an estimated 15 million+users. And it’s more than just a popularity contest winner. In a recent email marketing survey of 60 small business owners, it received rave reviews from its users.

Free plan: Forever Free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month

Paid plans: Start at $20/month for unlimited email

Pros

Cons

  • Difficult to customize sign-up forms
  • Some features excluded in free version, including autoresponders, spam filter diagnostics, email client testing, delivery by time zone, advanced social media monitoring, and email/chat support

Have you used MailChimp? Leave a review!

2. Mailjet

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Reviews: 65+An overview of Mailjet's template galleryThe template gallery in Mailjet

With a name like Mailjet, it’s got to be fast. The company is based in Paris, but operates in more than 150 countries, including the U.S. Marketed as an “all-in-one solution,” Mailjet aims to be a one-stop-shop for email marketing.

Free plan: 6,000 emails/month or 200 emails/day for unlimited contacts

Paid plans: Start at $9.65/month to remove the daily sending limit, Mailjet branding, and add 24/7 customer support

Pros

  • No limit on contacts, even on the free plan
  • The user interface is simple and easy

Cons

  • Some useful features, like A/B testing and marketing automation, are behind the Premium paywall (starting at $15.50/month)
  • Several users found the contact and distribution lists to be tricky to navigate

Have you used Mailjet? Leave a review!

3. SendPulse

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Reviews: 45+A screenshot of the push notification process in SendPulseSending a push notification in SendPulse

A relative newcomer to the email marketing scene, New York-based SendPulse has been around since 2015. It offers a generous free plan and has garnered many positive reviews in its short existence. The system also offers SMS texts and web push notifications (for an additional charge).

Free plan: 15,000 emails/month for less than 2,500 subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $9.85/month

Pros

  • The high threshold on the free plan means that you won’t have to pay until you’ve really had a chance to see what SendPulse is capable of
  • The system is simple and easy to pick up in short time

Cons

  • Some users found the template options to be a bit limited
  • In some users’ experience, the system performed slowly when completing tasks like sending emails and importing contacts

Have you used SendPulse? Leave a review!

4. Benchmark

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Reviews: 35+

Benchmark's email campaign editor

The Benchmark email campaign editor

Founded in 2004, Benchmark focuses on simple email marketing and appeals to those with an eye for creative design thanks to its ability to customize email templates. It is also available in eight languages.

Free plan: Free for Life plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 emails/month

Paid plans: Start at $13.99/month for up to 600 subscribers and add features like advanced automation and A/B testing. Add-on features include list verification ($3/1,000 contacts), image hosting ($5/month), and dedicated IP ($28.95/month).

Pros

Cons

  • While you can have unlimited contacts in your Free for Life plan, they have to come from your Benchmark subscriber sign-up form (can’t be uploaded from your CRM or other sources)
  • Limited customer support on weekends; live chat and phone support are available Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM-8:00 PM EDT

Have you used Benchmark Email? Leave a review!

5. SendinBlue

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviews: 125+

A SendinBlue sample email template

An email template in SendinBlue

The colorfully named SendinBlue is an email marketing service from France that has been around since 2010. They now have a North American office in Seattle, and offer services in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German.

Free plan: 9,000 emails/month (300/day limit) to unlimited subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $25/month for 40,000 emails/month with no daily limit to unlimited subscribers

Pros:

  • Thanks to its simple design, you need very little technical know-how to launch a campaign
  • The system offers automated text messages as well (for an additional charge), so you have two channels to reach your customers

Cons:

  • Reviewers are split on SendinBlue’s customer service; some love it, while others have reported rough experiences
  • Some users find the main interface to be a bit convoluted

Have you used SendinBlue? Leave a review!

6. Zoho Campaigns

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviews: 65+Screenshot of Zoho Campaigns' social media campaign managerThe social media campaign manager in Zoho Campaigns

Zoho Campaigns, the email marketing tool from California based SaaS developer Zoho, offers a generous free plan that includes premium features like A/B testing, reports, and templates.

Free plan: 12,000 emails/month for up to 2,000 subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $5/month for unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers

Pros

  • You can design your own templates
  • Integrates with other Zoho products, such as Zoho CRM, as well as G Suite

Cons

  • The system is a little more involved than others, meaning it could take several hours to launch a campaign
  • You can’t embed videos in your emails

Have you used Zoho Campaigns? Leave a review!

7. MailerLite

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviews: 65+

An overview of MailerLite's email template gallery

The MailerLite template gallery

MailerLite, based in Lithuania, is one of the cheapest email solutions around, and aims to make everything easy for first-time email marketers. The company claims that more than 300,00 companies use its services to send more than one billion emails every month.

Free plan: Unlimited emails to 1,000 subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $7/month for unlimited emails to up to 2,500 subscribers (when paid annually)

Pros:

  • MailerLite is a lite solution; first-timers won’t be confused by a lot of features
  • A/B testing, autoresponder capabilities, and embed forms to gather emails are all included in the free plan

Cons:

  • Advanced marketers may find that it lacks many features they need
  • The template gallery is a little skimpy compared to the competition

Have you used MailerLite? Leave a review!

8. VerticalResponse

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviews: 15+

A screenshot of the A/B testing process in VerticalResponse

A/B testing in VerticalResponse

One of the more established solutions on this list, VerticalResponse was founded in San Francisco in 2001 and has grown to more than one million users. It’s now part of the portfolio of Minnesota-based check printing giant Deluxe Corp.

Free plan: Free for 4,000 emails/month to up to 300 subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $11/month for unlimited emails, automated follow-up emails, live phone/chat support, landing pages, and VerticalResponse logo removal

Pros

  • Includes social media scheduling tools for unlimited posts on Facebook and Twitter
  • Built-in integrations with many of the major CRMs, such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, Zoho CRM, and Nimble

Cons

  • No automation features such as autoresponders or event-triggered emails, or A/B testing, unless you pay for the Pro Plan ($16/month)
  • Unsubscribes from any VerticalResponse emails are also opted-out from the VerticalResponse user databases, so you might lose some subscribers through this system.

Have you used VerticalResponse? Leave a review!

9. Mad Mimi

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviews: 15+

A screenshot of Mad Mimi's primary dashboard

The main dashboard view in Mad Mimi

Arizona-based Mad Mimi — now part of the GoDaddy portfolio — is a popular solution for beginning email marketers due to its extreme simplicity. Plus, it has the most unique name and logo on this list.

Free plan: Free for unlimited emails to 100 subscribers

Paid plans: Start at $10/month for up to 500 contacts

Pros

  • The simplicity of the system makes it easy to work with for newbies, and the comic-style interface brightens up the experience
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • Since their free plan is only good for up to 100 subscribers, it’s only useful for very small companies and freelancers
  • Mad Mimi is missing some fairly standard features, such as full A/B testing, even on the paid plans

Have you used Mad Mimi? Leave a review!

10. Campayn

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Reviews: 3+

A quick look at Campayn's ROI reporting functionality

ROI reporting in Campayn

Representing Canada on this list, Toronto-based Campayn has a simple interface that is designed for email marketing newcomers. Even the free version includes some advanced features like forms, automation, and basic reporting.

Free plan: 12,500 emails to 500 subscribers with one autoresponder

Paid plans: Start at $19/month for 15,000 emails to 3,000 contacts

Pros:

  • Comes with a built-in contact manager, which is ideal for companies that are too small for a CRM (although, with so many free CRMs out there, are you ever really too small for a CRM?)
  • Lets you embed opt-in forms on your website to easily collect email subscribers

Cons:

  • Campayn can get pricey, as you have to pay to have more than one user. A plan for 10,000 subscribers and three users shakes out to $79/month.
  • Campayn reviews outgoing campaigns to ensure high deliverability, but that can put campaigns into a holding pattern that could potentially last hours depending on the time of day

Have you used Campayn? Leave a review!

Your recommendations?

Know any other good free email marketing software solutions?

This article originally appeared here.