Using emails for online business strategy is like a puzzle. If you agree then you should look into what some of the best email services providers can do for you. They provide you with new tools to make your existing tasks easier as well as revealing totally new possibilities.
Before starting let’s make it clear that Email deliverability is not a problem unless you have to send a lot of them.
As a WordPress website beginner, you do not need any email-related delivery service at all. You can simply use services like MailPoet and have the emails sent but ideally, it is not the most optimized solution.
Problems with Sending Email
Basically, You can differentiate the emails that you need to send into two main types, i.e bulk email, and transactional email.
- The first type i.e bulk emails are the ones where you can send mass emails to multiple users (list of subscribers) all at once.
- The second type of email is the transactional emails that are sent to individual recipients and it is one to one communication- based on the recipient’s activity. Moreover, it is the recipient who triggers the email to be sent in their direction.
Transactional emails are an important type of email-based communication between a business and its audience or customer base. In a nutshell, if you have the tool, plugin, web service, etc and you want a particular thing to communicate with the user automatically based on specific triggers then it is when transactional email happens.
In that scenario, you do not have to do any work, your tools algorithm will detect the things and triggers the email to the particular user (one to one communication) when any transaction happens. Transactional emails can be like:
- New account creation emails
- Order confirmation mail
- Comment responded to mail, etc
So, transactional emails are important and must be delivered to your recipients without fail and fast.
You can achieve this by using PHP’s mail() function or similar in other technologies but these are not recommended as you can run into some deliverability issue here. Especially when you have a shared web server and the server’s IP might already be on spam blacklists, which will send your emails in the recipient’s spam folder and hence conflict with the deliverability. And therefore, this is not a recommended way to sent transactional emails.
Free SMTP Servers – The Best One To Choose
(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) SMTP is an international electronic standard for transmission of emails. Nearly all emails use a free SMTP server. If you get an email in your inbox, most likely it is sent from an SMTP server. Today we will explore some of the free SMTP service providers.
Check out our free SMTP server list and choose which plan is best suited for your needs –
The SendinBlue is again a very good free SMTP server provider which is easy to use and also supports API, Plugins, and Integrations. Integrating SendinBlue with WordPress is very easy. We highly recommend using Sendinblue.
Pricing: SendinBlue provides many services like Lite, Essential, Premium, etc. It also provides free service in which you can send 9,000 emails/month, limited to 300 emails per day. Check Out SendinBlue Pricing here.
Free Emails: SendinBlue provides 9,000 emails/month for free, if you want to send more mails then you need to upgrade your plan.
Scalability: SendinBlue is available from free to $66/month. It also gives you the opportunity to choose the “Enterprise” plan in which you can customize your plans according to your need. The full detail of the plans can be seen here.
Features: Some of the features of SendinBlue are :
- You can send a transactional email and standard email campaigns
- Import/export features for email data
- You can send the email manually using the user panel
WordPress Integration: SendinBlue can be integrated with the WordPress site and integrating it is very easy. You can use the SendinBlue plugin to integrate the service to WordPress.
To integrate it check this document.
Pepipost is a cloud-based SMTP Email delivery service. It boasts of having lighting fast deliveries. With servers all around the globe, it can push your emails from the optimum locations to give you fast service and reduce network latency. If you are looking for SMTP relay servers we recommend giving Pepipost a chance.
Pricing: It provides 30,000 emails free when you sign up for the first 30 days and then 100 free emails per day. You can send 150,000 emails with their starting plan costing $17.5 per month for annual plans. If you exceed this limit you will be charged $0.60 for extra 1000 emails. Check the details.
Free Emails: Pepipost gives you 30,000 emails for the first month for free. If you want a higher plan, pay it accordingly.
Scalability : It scales between free i.e $0/month (for 30,000 emails for first month) to $311.50/month for 2,000,000 emails and then you are charged $.40 for extra 1000 mails. There are several plans according to your requirements. For sending more emails other plans are available here.
Features: Some of the features of Pepipost are :
- Real-Time Reports
- Subaccount Management
- Email API to connect your apps
You can read all their features here
WordPress Integration: Pepipost too can be integrated with WordPress very easily. Read their WordPress integration guide here
Pabbly Email Marketing is an affordable SMTP service provider that allows you to integrate in-built or 50+ external SMTPs without any additional charges. The best thing about this software is that it enables you to send bulk emails to all your prospective users in a single click. Pabbly Email Marketing is the only service that handles bounce and spam complaints.
Pricing: With its free plan you can send unlimited emails to 100 subscribers. After that, you can opt for its paid plans that are based on the number of subscribers. Their paid plans start with $29/month for the Rookie plan and $49/month for the Pro plan. Check the details here.
Free Emails: Pabbly Email Marketing gives you offers a free trial for 15 days to send unlimited emails to 100 subscribers.
Scalability: The plan ranges from $0/month i.e free to send unlimited emails to 100 subscribers. The pricing plan ranges from $29 for 5,000 subscribers to $1599 for 1,000,000 subscribers.
Features: The features of Pabbly Email Marketing are:
- MX Cleaner
- SMTP Routing
- Marketing Automation
- Enhance Lead Capture
- Add Multiple SMTPs
- Email Tracking
You can read all their features here
WordPress Integration: Pabbly Email Marketing offers a free subscription form that can be integrated in your WordPress to capture leads. When users fill this form, their data automatically added to the Pabbly Email Marketing account from which you can send mails to the given list in automation.
4. Elastic Emails
Elastic Email is a free SMTP service provider. It has a set of tools for everyone whether you are a developer, marketer, or a designer, the tools developed by them, fits all. It provides the ultra-fast global infrastructure for transactional emails.
Pricing: Elastic email has two offers to choose from. Email API and Email Marketing. Depending on the plan you choose, you either pay a monthly fee of $15 per 5000 contacts and unlimited emails or pay as you go for $0.10 per 1000 email and an additional daily fee of $ 0.04. The price depends on the number of emails or contacts that you would like to have but it also has a free trial that allows you to send up to 100 emails per day. If you want to send more emails then you can choose any plan which suits you. The plan’s price ranges from $15 to $1450 depending upon which plan you choose. You can still send extra emails for an extra charge depending on your plan.
Free Emails: It provides you with 3,000 emails/month for free. [ 100 Emails per day] Click Here to start sending free emails.
Scalability: The plan ranges from a free trial account. Email Marketing ranges from $15 to $1200 and you can get an individual pricing plan if you wish to send emails on a large scale. Email API is from $0.10 to $0.40 per 1000 emails and you can get purchase email as you would like to go for.
Features: The features of Elastic emails are :
- Tools for designers, marketers, as well as developer
- A/X testing – to find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Email Automation.
- Large integration library.
WordPress Integration: It provides the WordPress plugin hence configuration becomes easy for this service too.
Check plugin details here.
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SendPulse is a Multi-Channel Marketing Platform and a free SMTP service. They provide Email, SMS, Transactional Emails, Facebook Messenger, etc services. For Emails, they provide features like Email Editor, Subscriber Ratings, segmentation, A/B testing, etc. They have a smooth interface and is good for marketers and developers.
Pricing: This service provides 500 free subscribers and lets you send 15000 free emails. Their paid plans start with $6.4 per month when billed annually and $8 when paid monthly. They also have a pay as you go feature for $0.0032 per email. Valid for 12 months after purchase. Check out prices here
Free Emails: SendPlus Provides you with 15,000 Free Emails.
Scalability: 4,000,001 – 5,000,000 mails be send for $5,600 per month when billed yearly.
Features: The features of SendPulse are as following:
Convenient Email Editor
WordPress Integration: SendPulse can be easily integrated with WordPress using “SendPulse Email Marketing Newsletter” you can check out the detailed guide here.
Mailify has the most advanced features in the email automation industry. Mailify earlier was a Software for enterprises that were looking to keep their data safe and manage it securely. They have recently launched the Cloud-Based service as well. It is for someone who is looking for premium service along with privacy.
Pricing – They charge you on the basis of the number of emails you send per month rather than the number of subscribers. The first month is absolutely free then after that, the minimum plan is $69 per month. As you send more number of emails the pricing starts getting more cost-effective. Check out their plans here.
You also have the option of purchasing additional credits if you finish your limit.
Scalability: Start sending emails for free at $0/month then as your business grows you can move onto higher plans and send up to $629 for 500,000 emails per month check out the plans here.
Features: Some of the features of Mailify are :
- Awesome email automation
- Send transactional emails
- Email API to connect your apps
You can read all their features here
MailJet is a cloud-based service that allows you to send transactionally as well as marketing emails. It is a powerful service provider which ensures the maximum deliverability of transactional and marketing emails.
Pricing: It provides a plan for free in which you can send up to 6,000 emails/month i.e 200 emails/day. If you need more emails services then you can get a paid service, it is available for $9.65/month for the basic plan, and $15.50/month for the premium plan. If you want to send the number of emails then you can you will have to pay accordingly. Check the details here.
Free Emails: Mailjet gives you 6,000 emails/month for free. If you want a higher plan, pay it accordingly.
Scalability : It scales between free i.e $0/month (for 6,000 emails/month) to $15.50/month i.e premium plan. There is a mid-plan also in which you have to pay $9.65/month. For sending more emails other plans are available here.
Features: The features of MailJet are :
- Easy drag-and-drop email editor
- Email statistics
- Gallery of pre-made marketing and transactional templates
WordPress Integration: Mailjet too can be integrated with WordPress very easily with the help of Mailjet Emai Newsletter Marketing plugin by Mailjet SAS. Mailjet plugin is easy to install and configure too.
To check how to configure it, click here.
8. Amazon SES
Amazon SES (Amazon Simple Email Service) is another cloud-based email sending service designed to send transactional and marketing emails to help digital marketers as well as application developers. It can also be integrated into the software you already use, such as ticketing systems and email clients. You can use Free SMTP server for testing.
Pricing: This service is free as well as paid. For free service, you can send up to 62,000 emails per month, but there is a special condition. You can only take advantage of the free tier (free service) if you are an Amazon EC2 user and “when you call Amazon SES from an Amazon EC2 instance directly or through AWS Elastic Beanstalk.” Also, $0.12 per GB of attachments sent.
Free Emails: Amazon gives 62,000 emails per month for sending more emails, the plan must be upgraded.
Scalability: It allows you to send free mails up to 62,000 per month for the charge of $0 if you are an EC2 user and after 62,000 emails $0.10 per 1,000 emails will be charged.
Features: The features of Amazon SES are :
- Basic numbers on successful deliveries, complaints, and bounced or rejected messages.
- All you get is their API and SMTP.
WordPress Integration: Amazon SES can be integrated with WordPress using the plugin “WP SES”. It is easy to install and configure.
Check how to install the WP SES plugin and configure it with Amazon SES here.
Mandrill is basically a transactional email API for MailChimp users. It provides a reliable and powerful service to send transactional emails, including targeted e-commerce and personalized one-to-one messages. We hope you are liking our SMTP server list. It is the best free SMTP server for testing purposes.
Pricing: Mandrill gives you 2,000 emails as free credits and once these are used, you need to upgrade to a paid MailChimp account and start buying more Mandrill credits to continue sending emails. Check the pricing details here.
Free Emails: It gives you 2,000 emails and once they are exhausted you need to upgrade the plan.
Scalability: After the free emails (i.e 2,000) are exhausted, you need to pay for the service. The price of the plan varies from $20 to as per the plan. Check the plans here. Mandrill also provides dedicated IP at $29.95/per month.
Features: The features of Mandrill are :
- Optimized delivery infrastructure.
- Customizable sending options and white-labelling.
- Split testing and comparative reports.
WordPress Integration: Although, the plugin for WordPress is available and it is very easy to install and configure, but their plugin is not updated in two years.
To check how to install it check this page or follow the Instruction below.
Mailgun is an email automation service for free SMTP relay provided by Rackspace, especially for developers. It provides powerful APIs for sending, receiving, and tracking the emails effortlessly. It offers a complete cloud-based email service. Read about online business strategy here to grow your business.
Pricing: It is available free of cost in which you can send a maximum of 10,000 emails/month. If you need a higher level service then paid options are also available. It charges in charge/emails fashion. The charges can be seen here.
Free Emails: Mailgun gives you 10,000 emails/month for free. If you want to send more emails then you can send it on extra charge/per email.
Scalability: You can send as many emails as you want. It offers plans from free to charges depending on the number of emails. Check here for the details.
Features: The features of Mailgun are :
- It automatically delivers the emails at the best time
- Emails Analytics to enhance the email sending performance
- Logs are maintained for 30 days
WordPress Integration: Mailgun can be integrated with WordPress very easily. Mailgun provides the WordPress Plugin to make the WordPress integration easy. The plugin is easy to install and configure.
To check how to configure it, check this page.
11. Google SMTP Server
Gmail SMTP is the most well-known free SMTP provider. Instead of using an unreliable service or technologies for sending emails, you can simply configure Google’s SMTP server settings into whatever script or program you wish to send email from. Since a lot of people use Gmail to access their Emails, emails sent from Gmail SMTP have a very small chance of going into the spam folder. It provides the best deliverability for Gmail users.
Pricing: However, Google SMTP server is completely free of cost, but as we all know nothing is there for free without its limits. There are limits on how many emails you can send per day, recipients per message, etc
Free Emails: It gives 500 emails per day for a trial account (valid for 14 days). Then you must choose a plan and upgrade.
Features: The features of Google SMTP Server are :
- Instant access to google drive and other google services
- Access to google forms, sheets, etc to create whatever you want
- Manage users, devices, and data securely and easily
WordPress Integration: Gmail Smtp can be integrated with WordPress but the procedure takes some time and is easy. Firstly you need to install the Gmail SMTP plugin for your WordPress and then configure it.
Postmark is the transactional emails service provider for web applications. It focuses on fast and reliable delivery of transactional emails. The brand strives to maintain a high reputation in the industry as they manually review every new account to maintain fast delivery. It is a very good service for free SMTP relay.
Pricing: Free plan allows their customers to send up to 100 emails per month. Plans price ranges from $10 to $400, but you can still customize the plan. You can check the detailed plan here.
Free Emails: Postmark provides 100 Free emails per month. After that, you need to purchase the plan.
Scalability: The plans of postmark scales between $10/month to $400/month. For the $10 plan, you will get 10,000 emails and for $400 you will get 7,00,000 emails. You can see all the plans here.
Features: The features of Postmark are :
- 45 days of content history
- Responsive, well-tested, highly compatible, and nicely integrated templates
- Two-factor authentication and advanced user permissions to keep data safe and secure
WordPress Integration: There is a WordPress plugin for Postmark hence it is easy to integrate it with the WordPress and configure it.
To check how to configure it click here.
13. Spark Post
Sparkpost is one of the cloud-based free SMTP relay server providers. Sparkpost is comparatively new and is used by some major brands such as Pinterest, intercom, Zillow, etc. The company claims that 25% of the world’s non-spam emails are sent by them.
Pricing: Sparkpost prices are very convenient for the customers as it is designed as per customer needs. It also provides a free service for developers in which it allows 15,000 emails/month and that too with no time limitations. If you want to send more emails then you can choose the plans. It starts at $9 and goes up to $249. In every plan, you can send extra emails with extra charges as per the plan.
Free Emails: It gives you 15,000 emails/month for free and that too with no time limitation.
Scalability: For the free plan it provides you 15K emails/month. The paid plans scales between $9 to $249 and emails range from 50K emails/month to 500K emails/month. You can still opt for ‘High Volume‘, in which you get the higher plans or you can create your own plan.
Features: The features of Sparkpost are :
- 35+ real-time metrics that assess sending, delivery, and customer engagement
- Deliverability and reliability
- Friendly environment for developers
WordPress Integration: Sparkpost also provides the WordPress plugin, therefore, making the integration of the spark post to WordPress a bit easier and its configuration too.
Check this page for details.
SendGrid is basically a Denver, Colorado-based customer communication platform for transactional and marketing email. It provides a cloud-based service to send transactional and marketing emails to hundreds of thousands of customers.
Pricing: This service is free for a limited period of time and i.e. 30 days during which you will get 40,000 emails per month and then you will have to pay for the plan which you choose. You can see the plan here.
Free Emails: SendGrid gives you 40,000 emails for a month after that you need to upgrade the plan to continue the service.
Scalability: SendGrid is not free after the trial version is over. The pricing of the SendGrid service differs according to the plan. It provides three plans i.e essentials, pro, and premier. The detailed comparison between them can be seen here.
Features: The features of SendGrid are :
- Secure sending environment (for example two-factor authentication when sending).
- Scheduling, segmentation, A/B testing, and other marketing features.
- APIs supporting Node.js, PHP, Java, etc.
WordPress Integration: SendGrid can be integrated with the WordPress site very easily using the SendGrid Plugin.
It is very easy to integrate with WordPress just go through the installation instruction on the SendGrid Plugin page or follow the steps below.
Comparison of Free SMTP Server Providers
|Vendor||Free / Month||Daily Limit||Paid plans||Comments|
|SendInBlue||9000||300||$25 for 10k to $499 for 1 Million||Best Free|
|TurboSMTP||6000||200||14.95 for 50k to 979.95 for 2 Million.||6000 / month for 12 months|
|Alibaba Direct Mail||6000||200||.00029 per 1000 Emails|
|PepiPost||3000||100||$25 for 150k to 445 for 2 Million|
|SendGrid||3000||100||$14.95 for 50K emails to $749 for 150K|
|SparPost||3000||100||$20 for 50K to $525 for 1M|
|Elastic Email||3000||100||Costing like Amazon SES||Low cost paid option|
|Amazon SES||62000||.0001 for 1000 Emails||One of the Cheapest , Free if sent from AWS EC2 server|
|GMail||15000||500||Gsuite is the premium option||Domain will be gmail.com , Can lead to account suspension.|
How to set up a free SMTP server?
There is no particular way to set up your SMTP, different service providers have different ways. Kindly visit your SMTP service provider for accurate information.
How to configure Gmail SMTP?
Make sure you have a Gmail account with 2-step authentication. Generate an App Password that is used for SMTP integration and choose other custom names. Choose whether you want SSL or TLS and then chose your port.
How to get free SMTP?
A free SMTP server is provided by a huge number of platforms like Pepipost, Sendinblue, and Gmail for sending bulk emails. Just check in their websites, sign up, integrate and start using for free bulk mails.
I need an SMTP Relay for Email testing?
If you wish to test how emails are being sent or capture SMTP traffic then we recommend something like mailhog or mailtrap, even WPOven provides a free tool for the same, please check here. These will capture all outbound Emails and allow you to see how things work.
Who is the best and cheap SMTP Server provider?
We recommend using SendinBlue for all your bulk email and SMS needs. They provide Customisation, automation, and segmentation of your emails in a very effective and efficient manner. Also, they have a very good dashboard and CRM for tracking all your clientele. Read more about it here.