Email marketing is not a low-cost marketing solution. While you can start email marketing for free, as your list grows, the monthly costs for using an email marketing platform can increase considerably.
To big businesses and for companies that fully utilize email marketing and make a profit from it it’s not an issue, but for small businesses, the high monthly cost is a problem.
In this guide, you’ll learn easy techniques you can follow to reduce your email marketing costs and at the same time increase the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
The following topics will be covered:
- Popular email marketing tools and their associated costs
- How to reduce your monthly email marketing costs
Popular Email Marketing Tools and Their Cost
Let’s first start with the most popular email marketing platforms and their monthly costs taking into account two scenarios.
The first scenario is the monthly cost associated with maintaining a list of 10,000 subscribers and the second is a list of 30,000 subscribers.
The reason we will compare the costs based on the number of subscribers is that the monthly subscription fee to an email marketing platform is calculated based on the number of subscribers and not the number of emails sent.
All platforms use similar pricing schemes. They charge you per subscriber volume and NOT by the number of emails sent. In most cases, this is unlimited.
Note: There are many email marketing platforms in the market worth considering. The tools listed below are the ones I’ve used personally for my websites or client websites.
MailChimp is the marketing tool I’ve been using for more than 10 years. It’s the leader in the email marketing industry and its platform offers all the features you need to run successful email marketing campaigns.
MailChimp offers four plans:
- Free – for less than 2000 subscribers and offers basic email automation tasks.
- Essentials – for a maximum of 50,000 subscribers
- Standard – for a maximum of 100,000 subscribers
- Premium – for a maximum of 200,000 subscribers
To take advantage of all the needed email marketing features, you have to enroll in the STANDARD plan which starts at $14.99 per month.
MailChimp Main Features
- A complete email marketing tool
- Integrates easily with WordPress, WooCommerce and other major platforms
- Easy to use and less complicated than other tools
- Flexible pricing plans
- Less expensive than competitors (see table below)
- Supports both text and HTML emails
- Ready-made templates
- Ready-made workflows for automation
- Integrates with FB for retargeting
MailChimp Monthly Cost
If you have 10,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for the standard plan will be $99 per month.
If you have 30,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for the standard plan will be $249 per month.
Another popular email marketing platform is ConvertKit. ConvertKit offers two plans:
- Free – for a maximum of 1,000 subscribers
- Complete – based on the number of monthly subscribers.
ConvertKit Main Features
- Visual automation funnels
- Automated email sequences
- Easy to use email editor
- Integrates with all major tools and platforms
- Simple pricing system
ConvertKit Monthly Cost
If you have 10,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for the complete plan will be $119 per month.
If you have 30,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for the complete plan will be $259 per month.
Klaviyo offers one plan and the cost is calculated based on the number of contacts. What differentiates klaviyo from other email marketing solutions is that they offer the ability to contact your subscribers by email and SMS.
Klaviyo Main Features
- Supports both email and SMS (at an additional cost per SMS)
- Extra features for eCommerce Websites
- Visual workflows
- Nice reporting
- Facebook ads integration
- Tracks website behavior
Klaviyo Monthly Cost
If you have 10,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for klaviyo will be $150 per month.
If you have 30,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for klaviyo will be $500 per month.
Drip is also offering a single plan based on the number of people in your account.
Drip Main Features
The main features of drip include:
- Deep customer insights
- Behavior and event tracking
- Powerful segmentation
- Detailed email analytics
- Impactful third-party integrations
Drip Monthly Cost
If you have 10,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for Drip will be $184 per month.
If you have 30,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for Drip will be $494 per month.
Get Response offers multiple pricing plans starting at $15 per month. In addition to the email automation features, Get Response offers webinar funnels. They give you the platform to host a webinar and build follow up email campaigns to target the users that attend your webinars.
Get Response Main Features
- Automation builder
- Webinars (max 100 attendees)
- Contact scoring & tagging
- Sales funnels
- Webinar funnels
Get Response Monthly Cost
If you have 10,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for GetResponse Professional package will be $165 per month.
If you have 30,000 subscribers, the monthly cost for GetResponse Professional package will be $370 per month.
Email Marketing Costs Comparison Table
This is a summary of how the monthly costs compare for 10K and 30K monthly subscribers.
|10K Contacts||30K Contacts|
How to reduce your monthly email marketing costs
As you can see in the table above, the average cost for maintaining a 10K list is $145 per month or $1740 per year and maintaining a 30K monthly list is $375 per month or $4500 per year.
That’s a lot of money to spend on email marketing, especially if you are still working on optimizing your processes.
If your email marketing campaigns generate sales and profit then the cost might not be an issue but this is not the case then for a small business, it’s a relatively high cost.
There are two ways to minimize your monthly email marketing costs.
- To regularly clean up your lists
- To use a low-cost email marketing solution for a portion of your list
1. Regularly clean up your lists
‘Cleaning’ an email marketing list means removing inactive subscribers from your list. By doing so you will have fewer subscribers and this means less monthly subscription fees.
In addition, having a list of active subscribers will help in improving the email open rate which means more interaction and better results.
The best way to clean-up your list is to perform maintenance every 6 months to find and remove inactive subscribers.
To find your inactive subscribers, create a new segment with the following rules:
- Subscribers that registered to your list 6 months ago
- Subscribers that did not open any of your emails the last six months
You can then delete these people from your list. Some email platforms offer this feature out-of-the-box. If not, you can use the simple technique outlined above.
2. Use a low-cost email marketing solution
The most effective way to minimize your monthly costs and ensure that you will not accidentally delete your hard-earned subscribers is to use a low-cost email marketing solution together with your main email platform.
This is how I manage my email list and keep my costs low:
In addition to MailChimp, I also use Sendy. Sendy is a stand-alone email marketing platform that you can buy and install on your own server.
Sendy Main Features
Sendy does not offer the same features as MailChimp or Convert Kit but it’s a great low-cost solution to use together with your main marketing platform.
It uses Amazon Web Services to send emails and it costs 100x cheaper than other marketing solutions.
The main features of Sendy are:
- List & subscriber management
- List segmentation
- Email reporting
- Custom domains
- Third-party integrations & Zapier
Sendy Monthly Cost
Sendy’s initial cost is $59 (one-time fee) and then you pay $1 per 10,000 emails sent!
Unlike the other email platforms, Sendy does not charge you with the number of subscribers. You can have an unlimed number of email subscribers and users and you pay only for the number of emails you sent per month.
If you have a list of 10K subscribers and you send them 12 emails per month, your Sendy cost will be $12 per month.
If you have a list of 30K subscribers and you send them 12 emails per month, your Sendy cost will be $36 per month.
Resources to Learn More about Sendy
Comparison of costs for a total of 30K subscribers
To understand how much you can SAVE per month using this hybrid solution, consider the example below.
Let’s say that you use Mailchimp as your main marketing platform and you have a list of 30K subscribers. Your monthly cost will be $249.
If you segment your list and keep only 10K active subscribers in Mailchimp and move the ‘inactive’ or ‘less active’ subscribers in Sendy, your monthly cost will be:
MailChimp Subscription for 10K: $99 per month
Sendy Cost for Sending 12 emails per month to 20,000 subscribers: $24
Total cost: ($99 + $24) $123
Total Savings: ($249-$123) $126 per month or $1512 per year!
My process is the following:
I use MailChimp as my main email marketing platform. When someone registers to my newsletter, their details are stored in MailChimp. I also use MailChimp for all email automation tasks and campaigns.
Every six months, I export my inactive subscribers from MailChimp (by creating a segment as described above) BUT instead of deleting them, I import them to Sendy.
After importing to Sendy, I delete them from MailChimp. This way my monthly costs are reduced and my main email list is healthy and this contributes a lot in achieving open rates above the industry average which is 21%.
What is surprising is that a good percentage of people added to my Sendy list tend to be ‘active subscribers’, although this was not the case before!
These people did not open my emails before, but they do now.
One of the reasons this is happening is because of spam filters. It looks like that for some people my emails did not reach them at all and that’s why they did not interact with them. This is normal to happen and very difficult to avoid.
The great benefits you can gain by following this approach are:
- You can dramatically reduce your monthly cost
- You can increase your email open rate for your main list
- You increase your email open rate from your inactive subscribers.
The disadvantage is that it needs a bit of work to initially set up Sendy and a bit of management every six months when you transfer your subscribers. But once you do the process once, it’s easy and it definitely worths the extra time.
Email marketing is a must-have channel for all kinds of online businesses. While the return of investment from email marketing is higher compared to other channels, the monthly costs of email marketing can become considerably high, especially for small businesses.
Businesses that take full advantage of email marketing and use it successfully as a sales tool, don’t have to worry about costs but for businesses that are still testing and experimenting and have not yet managed to use email to increase their revenue, the monthly cost can be an issue.
All major email platforms use the number of subscribers to calculate the monthly subscription fee. The bigger the list, the more money it will cost you to maintaining an active subscription with a tool.
If you have less than 10,000 subscribers this may not be a problem but if you get to more than 30,000 active subscribers, the monthly cost can be around $500 per month.
The best way to reduce your email marketing costs is to use a low-cost solution such as Sendy, together with the email marketing platform of your choice.
Sendy costs 100X less than most email platforms and you can use it to store your ‘inactive subscribers’.
The procedure is simple. Once every six months, find your inactive subscribers and move them to Sendy. Keep them for a few months and those that are still inactive, delete them forever.
What is very surprising is that you’ll notice that a lot of your subscribers that are ‘marked’ as inactive in your main platform, become actually when you move them to Sendy.
At the end of the day, you can save a LOT of money per year on monthly subscriptions and increase the number of people that open and interact with your emails.