Email Service ProvidersThese are just a few of the email service providers that offer free accounts. I have not included any of the WordPress blog plugins for email marketing because you are better off with a known email service provider. You’ll get better delivery and better tracking than if you used a plugin on your own.
- MailChimp. Send up to 12,000 emails or mail to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. You’ll have access to MailChimp’s email template builder and an array of tracking and signup tools. The only drawback is the free plan does not include autoresponders. You’ll need to upgrade to do an automatic campaign.
- Constant Contact. This giant of email marketing providers also offers a free trial, but it only lasts for 60 days. You get access to dozens of email templates and autoresponders, plus social media and tracking analysis. The drawback? You only get to mail to 100 contacts, but you can mail to them as often as you’d like.
- Mad Mimi. Less well-known, but delightful to use, Mad Mimi’s free trial lets you have up to 2,500 contacts and send up to 12,500 emails. It has pre-designed email templates, but its email builder interface is easy enough for almost anyone to use. Autoresponders, called “drips,” are included.
- ReachMail. ReachMail has one of the most generous free plans. You can mail up to 15,000 messages — and store up to 5,000 contacts — per month. You’ll get all the tracking and deliverability support expected, plus you can create surveys and include social media engagement. The drawback? You’ll see the ReachMail logo at the bottom of your emails.
- Kualo. If you want to combine your hosting account with email marketing, Kualo is worth a look. A free trial includes 15,000 emails sent each month and 2,000 subscribers.
Spam and Deliverability Tools
- Lyris’s Content Checker. This gives your email a “spam score” and suggestions for how to tweak your email message to improve that score. The tool is powered by SpamAssassin, a popular spam filter that many email service providers include only for paid accounts.
- Email Spam Test . This is also powered by SpamAssassin, but has a different layout and response format.
- Contactology’s Email Spam Checker. This is very similar to the Email Spam Test above, but the two tools can give different recommendations, so comparing their results can be interesting.
- Return Path’s Sender Score. If you did decide to use a WordPress plugin to manage your email marketing, then this is a good tool to check regularly. The Sender Score tool will take the domain name or IP address you’re mailing from and give you back some metrics on how it looks to the eyes of an email client’s spam filter. It’s a quick way to measure your email’s reputation.
- Send Forensics’ Email Deliverability Test. No matter which email service provider you use, this tool is worth checking for every email message you send. It gives you a detailed analysis, but also shows you how other recently-sent emails in your industry compare to yours.
- MXToolBox . This tool is more technical than other spam checkers, but if you’re having a problem, send your webmaster to this site. It might turn up something interesting.