5 Best Free Autoresponder Tools Tested and Compared

5 Best Free Autoresponder Tools Tested and Compared

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If you’re looking for a high-quality, reliable autoresponder, it may take some time to complete the research and figure out which one is right for you. Multiple free autoresponder tools are available online, many of which are made for specific types of companies and uses.

Since this process often takes a while, we put in the research for you! Keep reading to learn about how autoresponders function and how to pick from the best free autoresponder tools available on the market.

Best Free Autoresponder Tools

What do we mean by “autoresponders”?

Autoresponders come in various forms, from SMS autoresponders to website chat modules with canned responses.

These are all wonderful – and sometimes included with the services covered – but we’re more interested in email marketing autoresponders, the ones that offer complete automated workflow building, transactional emails, and even eCommerce receipts and promotional coupons.

Regardless of your business, autoresponders fulfill a need to communicate on a regular basis with website visitors. As a bonus, some autoresponder tools include those unique extras, such as automated SMS messaging.

Ideal features from the best free autoresponder tools

It’s a given that we want to see a free version of each email marketing tool. That knocks out heavyweights like AWeber and ConstantContact. However, we also desire free plans with at least a few autoresponder tools. That means the ability to automatically send out a welcome email to new subscribers and potentially add them to a series of upcoming marketing messages.

Outside of that, here are some other ideal features to look for from the best free autoresponder tools:

  • An email builder with templates designed not only for newsletters but for autoresponders and transactional emails.
  • Sign-up forms for capturing contact information and start the automation process.
  • A workflow builder with templates that relate to automation processes, such as welcome series emails, automated birthday responses, and eCommerce receipts.
  • Custom workflows that target specific users based on how they find your website, what they’re looking at, and which actions are taken on your website.
  • Potential options for chat and SMS automation.
  • Personalization and segmentation in contact management.
  • Retargeting features to show automatic ads to people who come to your site.
  • Analytics and reports to visualize the effectiveness of your email and automation campaigns.
  • Tools for sending out emails when certain actions are made on your end, like posting a blog article or putting something on social media.
  • eCommerce-specific automation with messages for abandoned carts, product recommendations, and order notifications.
  • A/B split testing to ensure that you optimize messages long before you begin sending out thousands of them.
  • Links to social media and other platforms to instantly share information you send out as an email.
  • Landing pages to boost the potential for bringing in new subscribers.

Here’s the short version. In case you’re in a hurry and just want to get a recommendation:

Autoresponder Free Autoresponder Capabilities Premium Autoresponder Capabilities Price After Free Plan
Sendinblue Workflow builder, transactional messaging and automation for 2,000 contacts. Unlimited contacts for all other email marketing. The $25 / month plan allows for unlimited email list contacts (2,000 contact limit for marketing automation). The $65 / month is unlimited for regular email contacts and autoresponder contacts. From $25 / month
MooSend Workflow builder, automation templates, autoresponders for 1,000 contacts. No transactional emails. Transactional emails added. 2,000 autoresponder and email list contacts on the cheapest plan. Contacts increase with more expensive plans. From $8 / month
MailerLite Workflow builder and email automation for 1,000 contacts and 12,000 email sends per month. Automated re-sending to unopened emails. No email send limit and an ever-expanding contact list based on plan choice. From $10 / month
Mailchimp Simple (one-step) email automations and workflow builder for 2,000 contacts. Most autoresponder workflows are restricted or previews. 500 contact limit. Automations begin opening up for things like branching points and customer journey building. From $9.99 / month + $20 for 25k autoresponder emails
SendPulse Workflow builder and email automation for up to five events. Limited to 15,000 emails and 500 contacts per month. 12,000 transactional emails per month. Full automation and options for more transactional emails. No limits on email sends with an ever-expanding contact list based on your plan – starting at 500 contacts. From $8 / month

The chosen autoresponders passed several tests and comparisons, starting with the free aspect. I chose the solutions with comprehensive features, automation tools, themes, and analytics that stood out above the competition.

You may notice popular services left out of this list. Although we like many other autoresponder tools, the primary element where services failed was with the autoresponders included in the free plan. Some of them didn’t have free plans at all, eliminating them from our list of the best free autoresponder tools.

Having said that, keep reading to find the top free autoresponders. Here’s the lineup:

Best free autoresponder tools: Sendinblue

Sendinblue boasts a sleek platform with beautiful email templates and both simple and advanced automation tools. From a general marketing perspective, we like it for companies that need several promotional tools wrapped into one. This includes email marketing, SMS marketing, and chat boxes. It’s also worth mentioning that Sendinblue provides simple payment plans that don’t rely on the number of subscribers on your contact list.

As for automation features, it provides a workflow builder with rules and conditions based on users’ actions. Link these to automated messages of all sorts and choose from the basics like birthday messages or the advanced ones such as lead scoring flows. The workflow optimization comes in handy when you’re not sure if a customer journey has the right steps. Test out those steps with A/B conditions and check analytics to evaluate what goes right and wrong.

💰 Pricing

Sendinblue touts one of the simplest pricing models in the email marketing and automation industry:

  • Free – $0 per month for unlimited email list contacts and a 300 email daily sending limit. Marketing automation emails and workflows get limited to 2,000 contacts.
  • Lite – $25 per month for unlimited email list contacts and for 10,000 emails per month. The pricing goes up with a higher monthly email volume. Marketing automation emails are limited to 2,000 contacts.
  • Premium – $65 per month for unlimited contacts and 20,000 emails per month. The price goes up with higher monthly email volume. Marketing automation is unlimited and more advanced.
  • Enterprise – Contact Sendinblue to get a quote.

🤩 Free autoresponder capabilities

Sendinblue offers simple transactional emails and SMS sending in its free plan. There’s also a workflow editor to design how the automations run. Standard email marketing contacts are unlimited for all plans, but for the autoresponders, a 2,000 contact limit applies.

⚙️ Other notable features

  • Beginner workflow templates for tasks like user signups and birthday wishes.
  • Advanced automated workflows for things like tracking the purchase process and onboarding.
  • A/B split conditions for testing different workflows and email templates to see which ones generate the best results.
  • SMS marketing tools to communicate directly to your customers and add automated messaging when you need to send out coupons or other promotional materials.
  • A chat box with canned responses and regular tracking tools when users are on your site.
  • A customer relationship manager to view all contact details in one place and segment them when sending out emails.
  • Landing pages and signup forms that convince customers to purchase items or pass contact information to your company.
  • Options for making Facebook Ads based on email campaigns.
  • Retargeting tools that reveal ads on other websites, so as to bring them back to your own.
  • Reports, charts, and heatmaps that analyze everything from read rates and performance.
  • Integrations with a wide range of third-party tools like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Salesforce.

2. MooSend

Best free autoresponder tools: MooSend

MooSend doesn’t have brand recognition like Mailchimp or MailerLite, yet the email marketing service contains an impressive set of features for message autoresponders, newsletters, and other elements like eCommerce and landing pages.

The standard features involve a beautiful drag-and-drop email builder with pre-built templates. Personalization comes standard, and the tracking combines with lead generation to bring in more sales. We also enjoy the analytics with real-time progression and ROI metrics.

MooSend offers marketing campaigns on autopilot, focusing on workflows such as user onboarding and lead scoring. The eCommerce merchants receive tools as well, with abandoned cart automation and VIP offers. Add as many steps and triggers and conditional elements you desire, and utilize integrations for WooCommerce, ZenCart, and other eCommerce and blogging platforms.

💰 Pricing

MooSend pricing relies on subscriber counts. Set pricing plans begin low and increase as subscriber lists expand. See examples below:

  • Free Plan – $0 for 1,000 contacts. You get unlimited emails.
  • Pro – $8 per month for 2,000 contacts. Pricing is dynamic as you grow your list. For instance, it’s $24 per month for 5,000 subscribers. Other benefits include landing pages, transactional emails, phone support, and SMTP server sending.
  • Enterprise – A custom plan with add-ons like custom reporting, an account manager, and more.

🤩 Free autoresponder capabilities

MooSend includes regular email campaigns and conditional content for the free plan. The product recommendations are technically an autoresponder and those come with the free plan as well.

The true marketing autoresponders in the free plan include workflows, automation templates, and the workflow designer.

They get more advanced when you switch to premium.

⚙️ Other notable features

  • A drag-and-drop builder with hundreds of templates for different occasions and industries.
  • Unique marketing automation for lead scoring, email subscriptions, and VIP offers. You can build your own at any time.
  • Expanded targeting using hyper-personalization that brings in artificial intelligence for finding user tastes. Other options involve product suggestions and elements like names and contact information.
  • Behavior tracking for all users that come to your website. The in-depth analytics reveal every step a user takes on your site, whether that’s with one click or a process through the shopping cart.
  • Integrations with the top third-party software and apps such as WooCommerce, Magento, and Salesforce.
  • Landing pages and templates to eliminate the need for a web designer and start a funnel to your website.
  • A/B testing that pairs multiple emails and workflows to check if certain items could be changed.
  • Segmentation for categorizing users and only sending out relevant messages to the right people.
  • Unique reporting features like location tracking, exporting to PDFs, and tracking in real-time.

3. MailerLite

Best free autoresponder tools: MailerLite

MailerLite competes with the best autoresponders in a way that’s both simple and powerful. The email marketing platform includes the must-have email campaign builders and automation, yet you’ll also find unique elements like surveys, popups, and landing pages. The visual, drag-and-drop editor works seamlessly with embedded forms and subscriber management.

The autoresponders start basic and become complex. You can launch an automated campaign within minutes, mainly due to the pre-built templates. The MailerLite website provides several examples and templates like email series, book promotions, and link triggers. Check your history at all times and even talk to people individually when you set up certain triggers and responses.

💰 Pricing

Similar to MooSend – and just about every email marketing autoresponder – MailerLite sets prices based on subscriber counts. The service doesn’t have any named plans, just pricing that goes up as your list grows. Here are some examples:

  • 1,000 contacts – Free, but limited to 12,000 emails per month.
  • 1,000 contacts – $10 per month for unlimited emails per month.
  • 5,000 contacts – $30 per month.
  • 10,000 contacts – $50 per month.
  • 440,000 contacts – $1,425 per month.

🤩 Free autoresponder capabilities

The free version of MailerLite provides a surprising number of features including email support. MailerLite has free autoresponders, as long as you stick to the basic options. The workflow builder has drag-and-drop functionality and comes with several templates to get started. The RSS feed and auto-resending features could also be seen as autoresponders.

⚙️ Other notable features

  • Automated subscriber updates that go to the admin when a person signs up for a list.
  • Fun and creative autoresponders like warm welcome emails and anniversaries.
  • Specific auto triggers covering everything from updated fields to form completions.
  • eCommerce automation that covers tasks like purchase followups and abandoned carts.
  • Sending of personal emails if you tag users and make segments.
  • Send out personalized content and reward those users based on how loyal they are to your brand.
  • Email and autoresponder tracking with simpler metrics like open rates and more advanced options for monthly workflow stats.
  • Dedicated eCommerce and newsletter campaigns that not only link to popular platforms but cater to those specific customers.
  • Audience growing tools such as popups, embedded forms, landing pages, and website builders.
  • A/B split testing to optimize all campaigns, from email messaging to autoresponders.
  • Other optimization tools that help with delivering by time zone, auto-resending, and activating RSS feeds.

4. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Mailchimp possesses what’s likely the most popular name in the game. The features expand on a regular basis, the customer support stands out, and the Mailchimp autoresponder functionality is on a path of market dominance. Competitors slowly caught up to Mailchimp with high-quality, industry-focused templates; and designers from other email marketing services look just as capable as Mailchimp’s.

However, the Mailchimp autoresponders remain in the lead. The brand offers the basics like email welcome messages and customer journey workflows, yet it compounds on that prestige with automated social media posts, digital ads, and even postcards. The hard-line focus remains in the digital space, however, using behavioral-based autoresponders, RSS-to-email options, and respectable eCommerce automations like the abandoned cart emails.

💰 Pricing

Mailchimp email marketing pricing gets presented as several packages:

  • Free – $0 for 2,000 contacts.
  • Essentials – $9.99 per month for 500 contacts. Pricing increases as your contact list grows.
  • Standard – $14.99 per month for 500 contacts. Pricing increases as your contact list grows. Send limit increases compared to the previous plan.
  • Premium – $299.99 per month for 10,000 contacts. Pricing increases as your contact list grows. The sending limit increases compared to the previous plan.

Custom plans are available as well.

To send transactional emails, additional costs are involved. The pricing depends on the estimated email sends per month, sold in blocks of emails:

  • 1 to 20 blocks of 25k emails – $20 per block.
  • 21 to 40 blocks of 25k emails – $18 per block.
  • 41 to 80 blocks of 25k emails – $16 per block.
  • 81 to 120 blocks of 25k emails – $14 per block.

For transactional emails, the blocks, or batches of emails, count for one month. More plans are offered, but essentially, the more blocks you buy the cheaper it is per block.

🤩 Free autoresponder capabilities

The free Mailchimp pricing plan provides links to seven marketing channels that could all be automated in some way. The actual marketing autoresponders are limited to 1-step automations, so you may create something like a simple welcome message as users sign up for your email list, or similar processes. Behavioral targeting comes with the free plan, along with basic segmentation.

The vast majority of autoresponders from Mailchimp require premium plans.

⚙️ Other notable features

  • Social media posting after sending out emails to users.
  • Shoppable landing pages that link to eCommerce pages and direct users to your website.
  • Unique tools for postcards, digital ads, and websites.
  • Advanced autoresponders for welcome series emails, date-based communications, behavior-oriented automations, and RSS-to-email sharing.
  • eCommerce connections that send out automated messages for cart abandonment, product suggestions, and order notifications. Product retargeting emails also come in handy to boost revenue.
  • Customer loyalty workflows like product follow-ups and customer re-engagement.
  • Loyalty programs to send out special sales and promotions to those who spend the most time on your site or spend the most money.
  • An intuitive email marketing planner that helps with outlining and designing your emails from templates.
  • Pre-built forms to collect your customer information and post the forms on multiple websites and social media sites.
  • Contact management with segmentation and grouping tools. Add users directly to specific lists based on where you met them or where they signed up for your email list.
  • Advanced demographics that predict how users act online. This includes categorization tools for tags, personalization, and address finding.
  • Landing pages that encourage email signups and allow for you to begin the retargeting process.
  • There’s an incomparable Mailchimp feature that finds your audience based on lookalike audiences in the same industry, improving your own marketing techniques in the future.

5. SendPulse

SendPulse

SendPulse markets itself as a multi-channel marketing platform, using autoresponders, emails, and other advantageous tools like chatbots and web push notifications. The service also includes SMS messaging and integrations for advanced flows and transactional emails. The chatbots are rather unusual to this market, and SendPulse provides two types: Facebook chatbots and Telegram chatbots. Each product, from chatbots to email campaigns, sells for a separate price.

Autoresponders tie into the email marketing suite, offering transactional emails and automation flows. The goal is to generate long email sequences with relevant content whenever someone completes an action. Using triggers and segmentation features, the SendPulse email marketing autoresponders perform rather well, and with a few of the features in the free plan.

💰 Pricing

SendPulse pricing is primarily based on subscriber counts. The following only includes email marketing examples:

  • 500 contacts and 15,000 emails – $0.
  • 500 contacts and unlimited emails – $8 per month.
  • 1,000 contacts – $12 per month.
  • 2,500 contacts – $25 per month.
  • 10,000 contacts – $53 per month.
  • 800,000 contacts – $1,320 per month.

That’s only a fraction of the pricing options available. You can go higher than 800,000 contacts and between the examples provided.

As mentioned, transactional emails, SMS, web push, chatbots, and email verification all have their own pricing structures.

Transactional emails are actually free for 12,000 emails per month.

🤩 Free autoresponder capabilities

The transactional emails are free until you hit the maximum.

Create up to five automated events with the free plan. You can also take advantage of some semi-autoresponder tools like the email scheduler and segmentation.

⚙️ Other notable features

  • A drag-and-drop editor complete with various pre-built templates from different industries.
  • An “Automation 360” feature that sets up every aspect of your autoresponders, from variables to events and email sends.
  • Subscriber ratings to understand information about your VIPs and target those who are more likely to come back to your site.
  • Email personalization utilizing replaceable text fields.
  • Complete subscription forms to place on other websites and bring in more subscribers.
  • Statistics that touch on clicks/opens and charts for improving your email marketing campaigns and autoresponders.
  • A unique feature that resends an email if someone doesn’t open it the first time around.
  • A/B testing tools to examine small modifications in emails and see which ones get the best results.
  • Integrations with popular CMS and CRM systems.
  • Chatbots for discussing common questions with users and giving canned responses based on AI.
  • SMS notifications with bulk capabilities, multi-country support, and personalization.
  • Web push notifications that show up on user desktops and devices when they land on your website.

Which of the best free autoresponder tools is right for you?

Here’s a  quick summary in case you’re in a hurry: 

Best free autoresponder tools of 2020
Autoresponder Free Autoresponder Capabilities Premium Autoresponder Capabilities Price After Free Plan
Sendinblue Workflow builder, transactional messaging and automation for 2,000 contacts. Unlimited contacts for all other email marketing. The $25 / month plan allows for unlimited email list contacts (2,000 contact limit for marketing automation). The $65 / month is unlimited for regular email contacts and autoresponder contacts. From $25 / month
MooSend Workflow builder, automation templates, autoresponders for 1,000 contacts. No transactional emails. Transactional emails added. 2,000 autoresponder and email list contacts on the cheapest plan. Contacts increase with more expensive plans. From $8 / month
MailerLite Workflow builder and email automation for 1,000 contacts and 12,000 email sends per month. Automated re-sending to unopened emails. No email send limit and an ever-expanding contact list based on plan choice. From $10 / month
Mailchimp Simple (one-step) email automations and workflow builder for 2,000 contacts. Most autoresponder workflows are restricted or previews. 500 contact limit. Automations begin opening up for things like branching points and customer journey building. From $9.99 / month + $20 for 25k autoresponder emails
SendPulse Workflow builder and email automation for up to five events. Limited to 15,000 emails and 500 contacts per month. 12,000 transactional emails per month. Full automation and options for more transactional emails. No limits on email sends with an ever-expanding contact list based on your plan – starting at 500 contacts. From $8 / month

Judging from our in-depth comparison – and the simpler side-by-side chart above – each autoresponder tool presents advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at our final suggestions below:

  • 🥇 BEST OVERALL Sendinblue is great if you’re looking for a decent contact count while still receiving a free plan and some excellent autoresponders.
  • 🥈 RUNNER-UP MooSend performs well as a low-cost leader and for those seeking slightly simplified autoresponders. The low pricing seems to continue for other packages as well.
  • MailerLite includes most of its autoresponder features in the free plan, but the email sending is limited. So, companies with smaller lists may want to take advantage.
  • Mailchimp lacks in the free autoresponder area, but you can make one-step automations. We like it most for the extremely advanced automation in the premium versions – and it’s nice to have a few free autoresponders to start. Still, you need to keep in mind that it’s going to become real expensive real fast once you decide to go with the premium package.
  • SendPulse is another great solution for smaller organizations that won’t go over the email send limitations if you’re trying to stay on the free plan. Overall, the premium plans are rather inexpensive, and you can go up to massive email lists.

If you have any questions about the best free autoresponder tools, let us know in the comments section below. Also, share your thoughts on other tools that you enjoy using.

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