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Paid or Free SMTP Server: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Business

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on March 28, 2021

Paid or Free SMTP Server
Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Anastasia is a content marketer and manager with a strong IT background, passionate about storytelling and SEO. She likes creating high-quality content and helping others develop their skills. Besides work, she loves traveling, extreme sports, and reading fantasy books.

Published on March 28, 2021

A powerful email campaign lays the groundwork for a successful marketing strategy. But like a space maze full of asteroids, email delivery can be a complex and intricate process.

The good news is, you can always simplify your approach by using tools that boost your efficiency. Certain software, for example, can keep your email from making wrong turns and, ultimately, help it finish the maze, fast.

Here is where a free SMTP server can help scale your email delivery. But first, what is an SMTP server? If you’re new to the concept of SMTP, we’ll show you how it works, and how it can impact your email marketing strategy. Then we’ll get into email services that use this server.

What Is an SMTP Server? 

SMTP meaning what exactly, you might be asking? That stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It’s a communication service used to send a series of emails via a third-party server. Mainly used for bulk email deliveries, SMTP helps your business operate seamlessly by preventing errors with outgoing emails. It’s important to note, however, that an SMTP relay service is not designed to receive incoming emails.

An SMTP server is basically like a delivery hub. When you’re selling a product on an online platform, say Amazon, your product is sent to Amazon’s warehouse before it’s delivered to your buyers. The warehouse, in this scenario, is the SMTP server.

SMTP Relay Process

The shortcut to creating a functional email marketing campaign starts with finding a free SMTP server that can organize the flow of your outgoing emails. In this context, email dissemination is done by an SMTP relay process, which starts with you — the sender.

After you send an email, it’s delivered to your SMTP server, which relays the message to the receiving mailbox of your recipient — in this example, John. Let’s say John’s receiving mailbox is Gmail. Gmail then downloads your email and puts it right where he can easily see it — in his inbox.

For example, say you want to create a campaign about a mini dog show. The “Mini Dog Show” email is sent to John via this SMTP relay process:

How SMTP server works

Difference between an SMTP Server and Regular Servers

Like regular servers, an SMTP server processes emails, but there’s one huge difference. While regular servers are capable of receiving and sending out data, an SMTP server’s main purpose is to process and send outgoing data, with or without a machine. Put simply, an SMTP server is an application that continuously runs and anticipates outgoing emails.

How to Send an SMTP Email 

Fast and convenient, SMTP is like a bullet train that transports your data to all your subscribers and target consumers with accuracy. There are two ways to send an SMTP email: send it via an online app (e.g., Mailbird) or take advantage of marketing software. 

1. Send Free Emails to Your Client

Online apps like Mailbird allow you to boost productivity by bringing cohesion and efficiency to the table. Mailbird is an emailing app that integrates all your email accounts into one space so you can effectively manage your emails and effortlessly create a collaborative working environment. 

Pros 

  • Helps you optimize your business communication channels across different online platforms by aiding in the management of in- and outgoing emails
  • Integrates all your email accounts into one place for easy email management 
  • Works with third-party apps such as Google Workplace, FollowUp.cc, Asana, and other email accounts to increase productivity in your workspace

Cons

  • Not ideal for bulk messaging

2. Use Email Marketing Software

Email marketing software, on the other hand, is more equipped to handle bulk email campaigns — you know, the ones that can pull off high volumes of email deliveries in one click.

Pros 

  • Helps automate your emails so you can instantly run your campaigns
  • Offers statistics and analysis that can help you understand trends and create better marketing strategies
  • Ideal for mass emails
  • Often comes with an email editor

Cons

  • The bigger the mailing list, the higher the fees associated with sending emails

How to send an SMTP email

Example: Google SMTP Relay

Here’s an example server to help you truly understand what an SMTP server is.

What Is Google SMTP Relay?

A perfect example of a fast and reliable server is Google SMTP relay because, hey, let’s admit it, who argues with Google? With its intuitive design, you can now send emails from multiple networks as long as you’ve got a Gmail account. The best part — it’s free! 

If Google SMTP relay is new to you, we’ll walk you through the process of organizing your outgoing emails through this server. 

Who Is It For?

As an entry-level server, Google SMTP relay allows you to send 100 emails per day at no cost. Add it up and you’d get 3,000 free emails a month, making it a handy tool for small-scale email campaigns.

Main takeaway? With Google SMTP relay, you can avoid delivery glitches without binding yourself to monthly premiums if you have only a low volume of outgoing emails. But if, on the other hand, you’re running a large company that sends thousands — maybe millions! — of emails per month, a free SMTP server won’t cut it. You need a dedicated server that can handle a huge workload. 

Google SMTP Relay in a Nutshell

  • Entry-level SMTP server capable of sending bulk newsletters, personal emails, and marketing messages (maximum of 100 per day)
  • Doesn’t use port 25, which many internet service providers (ISPs) mark as spam

How to Set Up Gmail SMTP Server 

Remember the two ways to send an SMTP email? Before we dive into that, here’s some info you need to find the Google SMTP relay server:

  • SMTP server address: smtp.gmail.com
  • SMTP Port or TLS: 587
  • SMTP Port or SSL: 465

Now, let’s talk about how you can set up Gmail SMTP by using two tools: Mailbird and WordPress.

Setting Up Google SMTP Relay on Mailbird

NOTE: Mailbird is an app designed for email providers that can support IMAP, a standard email retrieval protocol. Normally, Mailbird’s system automatically detects the server settings of your email address. But if it doesn’t, you’ll be asked to input the information manually. You can find it on the setup page

The good news: Mailbird’s process is extremely simple and easy-to-follow. We bet even first-time marketers can feel like a pro. So if you want to use Mailbird to get your communication tools in sync, here’s what you need to do:

  • Open Mailbird
  • Go to server settings
  • In the “Outgoing Server” section, add the following information for the SMTP:

Mailbird SMTP server settings

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Setting Up Google SMTP relay on WordPress

Earlier, we discussed some of the information you’ll need to find the Gmail SMTP server. In addition to sending 500 free emails through the Google SMTP relay service, you can also boost your daily sending limit to 2,000 email deliveries per day by upgrading to a paid plan from Google Workspace. Once you create an account here, you can make a custom domain Google email address.

What do we mean by that? It’s simple. When you have a domain Google email address, you can send emails from you@yoursite.com. Pretty cool, right?

Now, to set up Gmail SMTP on WordPress, here’s what you need to do:

  • Create a custom domain Google email address
  • Install and configure the Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log plugin on WordPress
  • Create a Google App
  • Add Client IDs to the WP plugin from the previous step

Why You Need an SMTP Relay Service

Sending an email to a long-lost friend is one thing, but running an ad campaign for hundreds or thousands of subscribers is a completely different story. When sending bulk emails, you have two options: 

1) Use a primary email server. Stay stuck in front of your computer for who knows how long, and delay your delivery and inbox placement rates, 

or

2) Use a free SMTP service that can help you send emails while you focus on creating new business ideas. 

Well, this one’s a no-brainer.

One of the many advantages of using SMTP is that it prevents transactional emails from being labeled as spam. Say you have a purchase confirmation or a password reset email. When you use a reliable SMTP relay service, you’re making sure that these emails will land in your recipient’s inbox.

How Does This Affect Your Business?

Your bulk and transactional emails help mobilize your marketing campaigns. When John buys a product from your site (yay!), you want him to receive important emails that can trigger future conversions. Without a reliable SMTP relay service, these emails can be directed to the spam folder, leaving John confused, which can eventually flush your marketing efforts down the drain.

SMTP Server Scalability

You can easily spot a free SMTP relay out there, but you can’t just jump on board because it’s free. You want a tool that can grow with your brand (and your audience), and that’s where scalability steps in. 

Why? For one, it’s no secret that mailbox providers are protected by powerful filtration systems that can mark the most brilliant email campaigns as spam. A dependable SMTP relay service can help your ideas get past those filters, directing them to the inbox of your growing subscribers list — and we’re talking thousands, here. 

Here are just a few of the benefits that scalability brings:

  • Send bulk emails
  • Simultaneously run promotional campaigns
  • Email your ex 1000 times a day

A lot of professional (and not necessarily professional) email activities are possible when you have a scalable, filtration-proof SMTP relay server.

Recap: What a Paid and Free SMTP Server Are, and How to Maximize Them

Paid or free, an SMTP server is a valuable communication tool that can cut the never-ending turns on your space maze. It increases deliverability rates while spam-proofing your emails, giving your marketing campaign a good head start. There are a lot of SMTP services and deliverability tools out there, paid and free, in varying quality.

But if a paid and a free SMTP server is still quite confusing to you, think of it this way:

A free SMTP server is a small local shop that offers limited goods to a narrow market (for instance, residents in a subdivision or a city). A paid SMTP server, on the other hand, is a large online retailer that can deliver goods not just countrywide, but also worldwide. The “goods” here, as you might already know, are your bulk, personal, and transactional emails.

Another major difference, of course, is the fees linked to using these services. Whether you’re sending a dozen or a hundred emails per day, you can significantly cut your marketing costs by using a free SMTP server. But if you’re running a full-blown email campaign that involves thousands to millions of email deliveries, you need a dedicated server (or email marketing software) to get the job done. 

Top 11 Marketing Tools that Offer SMTP Servers 

With a pool of email marketing automation tools out there, finding the best free SMTP server for you can mean endless trial-and-error. To save you time (and sleepless nights), here are some of the top marketing tools designed with built-in SMTP servers. 

SendinBlue

SendinBlue SMTP server

True to their word, SendinBlue launches your business to success by helping you expand your reach. It’s a free SMTP server that offers you all-inclusive marketing services through a simple drag-and-drop feature. From email to SMS marketing to chat support, the company covers all bases to keep your business thriving. 

Pricing

  • Free 
    • Send up to 300 free emails per day 
    • Expand your network by storing unlimited contacts
  • Lite: $25 per month (ideal for beginner marketers) 
    • Waive your daily sending limits
    • Expand your network by storing unlimited contacts
    • Get connected to a wider market by sending up to 100,000 emails per month
    • Get help from a professional email support system 
    • Upgrade to Lite+ to…
      • access advanced statistics and A/B testing features
      • custom-fit your email campaign by removing SendinBlue logos
  • Premium: $65 per month (ideal for pro marketers) 

Note: This plan includes all the features under Lite+. It also gives you the freedom to:

  • Connect to a wider market by sending up to 1,000,000 emails per month
  • Improve your marketing strategy by getting access to marketing automation, Facebook ads, landing pages, and telephone support
  • Get more done with its multi-user access feature
  • Enterprise (for marketers with advanced needs) 
    • The service fees depend on your desired features. Contact SendinBlue to get a quote. 

Scalability 

SendinBlue has a wide range of service packages suitable for small and large-scale businesses, making it one of the top SMTP servers out there. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop email campaign builder
  • Campaign analytics
  • Real-time reporting
  • Customizable transaction mail feature 
  • Tracking tools that monitor and blacklists email addresses with hard bounces to drop your spam score

If you are thinking about trying out SendinBlue as an email marketing tool (not per se SMTP provider). Be sure to have a look at this review of free and cheap email software comparing SendinBlue and some others on price and features.

Pepipost

Pepipost SMTP server

The best things in life are free, and Pepipost made sure of that. Known for its unparalleled reliability, Pepipost’s free SMTP relay service promises speed and accuracy through its widely distributed servers. Pepipost’s server is cloud-based and so can deliver emails in seconds, making Pepipost the gold standard for fast email delivery. 

Pricing 

  • Free 
    • Free Trial – 30,000 free emails for 30 days
    • 100 free emails per day after the free trial 
  • $25: 150,000 emails per month 
  • $85: 400,000 emails per month 
  • $145: 600,000 emails per month 
  • $245: 1,000,000 emails per month 
  • $445: 2,000,000 emails per month 

Note: Pay annually and get up to a 30% discount. You can also send an additional 1,000 emails per month for a low rate.

Scalability 

Pepipost is fast, but is it scalable? Capable of sending over 2,000,000 emails for one company, Pepipost is, without a doubt, as scalable as an SMTP server can get. The company’s pricing is also highly competitive, explaining why it ranks 2nd on our list. 

Features

  • SSL- and TLS-supported email transmission for maximum security
  • Data-tracking and 90-day backup feature 
  • Globally deployed SMTP servers to ensure on-time deliveries 
  • Email API ensures delivery of transactional emails in less than 3 minutes
  • Email marketing software support

SendGrid

SendGrid SMTP relay

More than a free SMTP server, SendGrid also offers customizable plans that can keep your marketing campaigns on the go. Just like SendinBlue and Pepipost, this cloud-based software is suitable for sending bulk messages and transactional emails. It also has unique offerings that can appeal to different types of marketers. 

Pricing 

  • Free 
    • Free Trial – 40,000 free emails for 30 days
    • 100 free emails per day after the free trial 
  • Essentials: starts at $14.95 per month 
    • 40,000+ emails per month 
  • Pro: starts at $89.95 per month 
    • 200,000+ emails per month 
    • Send up to 1,500,000 emails per month (pricing is subject to change)
  • Premier (custom pricing) 
    • For a customizable plan, email SendGrid for a quote. 

Scalability 

SendGrid is equipped to send over 1,500,000 emails per month, subject to a pricing increase. This feature alone puts SendGrid at the top of its game in terms of catering to both small and large email campaigns. 

Features

  • Two-factor authentication for added security when sending emails
  • Industry-specific ROI calculator 
  • Microsoft Azure and WordPress integration

Mailjet

Mailjet SMTP

In the world of email deliverability, flexibility is always next to efficiency. With Mailjet offering a free SMTP server that can quickly integrate with any system and support multiple ports, the sky’s always the limit when you’re running an email campaign. 

Pricing 

  • Free (no credit card required) 
    • 6,000 free emails per month
    • 200 free emails per day after 30 days
    • Unlimited contacts
    • Advanced statistics
    • Email API, Webhooks, and SMTP Relay
    • Advanced email editor 
  • Basic: $9.65 per month 
    • Inclusive of all the free services 
    • 30,000 emails per month (with no daily sending limit)
    • Excellent customer support
    • Removable Mailjet logo
  • Premium: $20.95 per month 
    • Inclusive of the features under the Basic Plan
    • 30,000 emails per month (with no daily sending limit)
    • A/B testing, segmentation, multi-user collaboration, marketing automation 
    • Saved, linked, and dynamic sections (for easy template structuring)
  • Enterprise (customizable plan)
    • Service fees depend on your desired features. Contact Mailjet to get a quote. 

Scalability 

Mailjet’s advanced features create opportunities for businesses that run on different systems. Compared with other tools on our list, its free plan allows you to send 6,000 free emails! But if you’re running a robust campaign, Mailjet’s below-average automation and segmentation processes can pose challenges. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • GDPR-compliant and ISO 27001-certified (government-approved standards for email privacy and security)
  • Email emulator allows a preview of your email on different devices
  • Tracking features

Elastic Email

Elastic Email SMTP service

What is an SMTP server without a wealthy library of free email templates? Elastic Email, an exemplary email marketing platform, makes contact and funnel management a breeze with their advanced tools and reliable SMTP relay service.

Pricing 

For Email Marketing: 

  • Unlimited: $15 per month
    • Store up to 5,000 contacts
    • Unlimited emails
    • Landing page editor, email designer, autoresponder, campaign creator
    • Webforms
    • Analytics
    • Segmentation
    • Customer support
  • Unlimited Pro: $30 per month 
    • Inclusive of the features under the Unlimited Plan
    • Email automation, extended logs, webhooks, unlimited custom fields, custom rDNS, sub-accounts, reseller feature, user management
    • Faster email delivery

For Email API:

  • Email API: $0.10 per 1,000 emails 
    • Landing page editor and email designer
    • API Access (SMTP and HTTP)
    • Web forms
    • Analytics
    • SMS API
    • Customer support
  • Email API Pro: $0.12 per 1,000 emails 
    • Inclusive of the features under the Email API Plan
    • Inbound email processing, extended logs, webhooks, unlimited custom fields, custom rDNS, sub accounts, reseller feature, user management

Scalability 

Elastic Email’s budget-friendly plans make great, user-friendly tools available for small or mid-sized companies that require email management. Its standard plan is capable of sending unlimited emails to up to 5,000 subscribers, but its Unlimited Pro Plan allows a ceiling of only 1 million contacts. So if you have over 1 million subscribers, the company might not be able to handle your email deliverables. 

Features 

  • Free library of email templates
  • Email API
  • Increased security
  • Analytics for tracking clicks, open rates, bounces, and other functionalities

Mailgun

Mailgun SMTP setup

Mailgun is essentially an SMTP relay service that gives your email campaign a winning edge even if you don’t own a server. Through its cloud-based services, you can now effortlessly send transactional and marketing emails to thousands of subscribers. 

Pricing 

  • Flex: Free for 3 months, then pay only for the emails you send
    • 5,000 free emails/month for 3 months
    • Emails over 5,000 during the trial period – $0.80 per 1000 emails 
  • Foundation: $35 per month 
    • Inclusive of 50,000 emails
  • Growth: $80 per month 
    • Inclusive of 100,000 emails
  • Scale: $90 per month 
    • Inclusive of 100,000 emails 
  • Enterprise (customizable plan)
    • Service fees depend on your desired features. Contact Mailgun to get a quote. 

Note: Mailgun’s plans are packed with technical features that can help you reach your business objectives. Just like the other tools on our list, higher plans translate to a broader range of services. If you need to send millions of emails, the price for its Scale plan can peak to around $1,250 per month per 2.5 million emails. 

Scalability 

Mailgun’s pricing is directly proportional to the type of services you get and the number of email deliverables you’re entitled to. With endless marketing features included in its packages — especially the advanced ones — Mailgun doesn’t fall short in terms of scalability. Be it a small or a large email campaign, the company makes sure that all your needs are met as your business continuously grows. 

Features

  • Email API
  • Email events tracking
  • Email authentication methods for boosting deliverability

Moosend

Moosend mailing lists

“Free” and “unlimited” don’t usually mix well in one sentence unless you have an account on Moosend, a generous SMTP relay service provider that allows you to stay in touch with up to 1,000 subscribers, absolutely free. Designed for content creators and agencies, Moosend is loaded with basic and advanced tools that can make your marketing strategies look like they were made by a pro. 

Pricing 

  • Free (no credit card required) 
    • Unlimited free emails to up to 1,000 subscribers
    • Reporting and analytics 
    • Marketing forms (sign up & subscription)
  • Pro: starts at $10 per month
    • Unlimited free emails to up to 200,000 subscribers (costs $760 per month)
    • Pricing depends on mailing size
    • Inclusive of landing pages, transactional emails, and SMTP server
    • Customer support
  • Enterprise (customizable plan)
    • Service fees depend on your desired features. Contact Moosend to get a quote. 

Scalability 

Moosend boasts a superior trial plan that allows small businesses to give their email campaigns a green light. However, it’s not equipped to handle millions of subscribers, making it inappropriate for large-scale marketing operations. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop editor for creating emails
  • Paid plans include a dedicated IP that improves email deliverability rates

Pabbly

Pabbly sending emails

Committed to “growing your business, not your bills,” Pabbly is an email marketing app that allows you to deliver bulk emails through a built-in SMTP — all for reasonably priced rates. The best part: Pabbly does not restrict you from using any of its marketing tools, regardless of the paid plan you choose. 

Pricing 

  • Rookie: $29 per month 
    • Email deliveries to up to 5,000 subscribers
  • Pro: $49 per month 
    • Email deliveries to up to 15,000 subscribers
  • Advance: starts at $99 per month (50,000 subscribers) 
    • An adjustable plan that can send emails to up to 1 million subscribers for $1,599 per month

Note: You can pay yearly and get up to a $20 discount on all plans. 

Scalability

Fit for small and mid-sized businesses, Pabbly gets your ideas across 1 million subscribers. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • List management
  • Subscription forms
  • MX cleaner (email list cleaner)
  • Email tracking
  • Marketing automation
  • Autoresponders 

SendPulse

SendPulse SMTP server settings

Creating a benchmark for bulk messaging, SendPulse grants you unwavering flexibility in terms of mailing size. Plus, the company goes beyond SMS and email deliveries, as it was also built to improve your online presence on Telegram and Facebook through its custom chatbots. 

Pricing 

  • Free 
    • 15,000 free emails to up to 500 subscribers
  • Monthly Subscription: starts at $6.40 per month (unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers)
    • Maximum inclusion: $5,600 per (unlimited emails to up to 5 million subscribers) 
    • Professional marketing features
  • Pay as You Go: starts at $0.0032 per email ($32 per 10,000 emails)
    • Maximum inclusion: $0.0016 per email ($812 per 500,000 emails)
    • Emails valid for up to 12 months 
  • VIP Plan (customizable plan)
    • Suited for over 5 million subscribers
    • Inclusive of a personal manager 
    • Customized email template

Scalability 

What is an SMTP server if it can’t grow with your business? SendPulse keeps your marketing strategies “palpable” by allowing you to reach millions of subscribers, making it an ideal tool for small and large businesses alike. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop email editor
  • 360 automation with SMS and web push notifications
  • Subscriber rating
  • Email personalization
  • A/B testing

Constant Contact

Constant Contact email editor

“Work smart by staying in contact, constantly” sounds like a great tagline for Constant Contact, an email marketing software built to increase your online presence. With a plethora of marketing tools at its disposal, this software can keep you 10 steps closer to your business goals. 

Pricing 

  • Free 
    • 60-day trial 
    • Tracking and reporting
    • Customizable email templates
    • Free use of email marketing tools 
  • Email: starts at $20 per month 
    • Plan price depends on mailing size
  • Email Plus: starts at $45 per month 
    • Plan price depends on mailing size
    • Maximum: 50,000 subscribers
    • Inclusive of advanced marketing tools designed for online engagement

Note: Non-profit organizations get a 30% and a 20% discount for 12-month and 6-month prepaid plans, respectively. 

Scalability 

With its small maximum mailing size, Constant Contact is suited for small businesses that need smart marketing tools to increase their brand awareness. 

Features

  • Subscriber mailing list creation
  • Easy email marketing campaign setup
  • Email marketing automation
  • Campaign monitoring

GetResponse

GetResponse email templates

Simplicity and growth go hand in hand with GetResponse, a powerful tool that offers you wise, intelligible marketing solutions. 

Pricing 

  • Basic: starts at $10.50 per month
    • Base: $15 per month – unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers
    • Max: $450 per month – unlimited emails to up to 100,000 subscribers
    • Unlimited landing pages
    • Autoresponders
    • Email marketing
  • Plus: starts at $34.30 per month
    • Base: $49 per month – unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers
    • Max: $450 per month – unlimited emails to up to 100,000 subscribers
    • Inclusive of the features under the Basic Plan
    • Automation, webinar, and sales funnels
    • Contact scoring and tagging
    • Multi-user function
  • Professional: starts at $69.30 per month
    • Base: $99 per month – unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers
    • Max: $580 per month – unlimited emails to up to 100,000 subscribers
    • Inclusive of the features under the Plus Plan
    • Web push notifications
    • Unlimited sales funnels
    • Max (customizable plan)
    • Service fees depend on your desired features. Contact GetResponse to get a quote. 

Scalability 

GetResponse is ideal for small businesses that need user-friendly marketing tools. 

Features

  • Drag-and-drop email creator 
  • Automated transactional email sender
  • Micro-segmentation for better targeting
  • Automated blog digest

Summary Table: Side-by-Side Comparison of Top 11 Tools

Marketing Tool

Scalability

Price

Main Features

SendinBlue

Small to large businesses

Paid Plans:

Lite: $25/month (100,000 emails per month)

Premium: $65/month ( 1,000,000 emails per month)

 

Enterprise: custom price

*Free plan available*

Drag-and-drop email campaign builder, campaign analytics, real-time reporting, customizable transaction mail feature, tracking tools 

Pepipost 

Small to large businesses

$25 – 150,000 emails per month 

$85 – 400,000 emails per month 

$145 – 600,000 emails per month 

$245 – 1,000,000 emails per month

$445 – 2,000,000 emails per month 

*Free plan available*

SSL and TLS-supported email transmission,

data-tracking and 90-day backup feature, 

globally-deployed SMTP servers, email API, email marketing software support

SendGrid 

Small to large businesses

Free Trial – 40,000 free emails for 30 days

Essentials – starts at $14.95

*$40,000+ per month

Pro – starts at $89.95 per month

*200,000+ emails per month

Two-factor authentication, industry-specific ROI calculator, Microsoft Azure, and WordPress integration

Mailjet

Small to mid-sized businesses

Free Plan:

*6,000 free emails per month

*200 free emails per day after 30 days

Basic – $9.65 per month

*30,000 emails per month (with no daily sending limit)

Premium – $20.95 per month

*30,000 emails per month (with no daily sending limit)

Advanced drag-and-drop email builder, GDPR-compliant and ISO 27001-certified, 

email emulator, tracking features

Elastic Email

Small to mid-sized businesses

For Email Marketing: 

Unlimited – $15 per month (store up to 5,000 contacts)

Unlimited Pro – $30 per month

For Email API:

Email API – $0.10 per 1,000 emails

Email API Pro – $0.12 per 1,000 emails 

Free library of email templates, email API,

increased security, analytics 

Mailgun

Small to large businesses

Flex – 5,000 free emails/month for 3 months

Foundation – $35 per month (50,000 emails)

Growth – $80 per month (100,000 emails)

Scale – $90 per month (100,000 emails)

Enterprise – (customizable plan)

Email API, email events tracking, email authentication 

Moosend

Small businesses

Free (no credit card required) 

Unlimited free emails to up to 1,000 subscribers

Pro – starts at $10 per month

*Maximum: Unlimited free emails to up to 200,000 subscribers for $760 per month

Enterprise (customizable plan)

Drag-and-drop editor

All paid plans include a dedicated 

Pabbly

Small to mid-sized businesses

Rookie – $29 per month (5,000 subscribers)

Pro – $49 per month

(15,000 subscribers)

Advance – starts at $99 per month (50,000 subscribers)

*Maximum: 1 million subscribers for $1,599 per month

NOTE: Pay yearly and get up to a $20 discount on all plans. 

Drag-and-drop email builder, list management, subscription forms, MX cleaner (email list cleaner), email tracking, marketing automation, autoresponders 

SendPulse

Small to large businesses

Free – 15,000 free emails to up to 500 subscribers

Monthly Subscription – starts at $6.40 per month (unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers)

Maximum inclusion: $5,600 per (unlimited emails to up to 5 million subscribers)

Pay as You Go – starts at $0.0032 per email ($32 per 10,000 emails)

VIP Plan (customizable plan)

Suited for over 5 million subscribers

Drag-and-drop email editor

360 automation with SMS and web push notifications, subscriber rating, email personalization, A/B testing

Constant Contact

Small businesses

Free 

60-day trial 

Email – starts at $20 per month

Email Plus – starts at $45 per month

Note: Non-profit organizations get a 30% and a 20% discount for 12-month and 6-month prepaid plans, respectively.

Subscriber mailing list creation, easy email marketing campaign setup, email marketing automation, campaign monitoring

GetResponse

Small businesses

Basic – starts at $10.50 per month

Plus – starts at $34.30 per month

Professional – starts at $69.30 per month

Max (customizable plan)

Drag-and-drop email creator, automated transactional email sender, micro-segmentation, 

automated blog digest

Conclusion 

Growth always starts when you’re on unknown shores. If you want to widen your horizon, a free SMTP server can help you gain better connectivity. The industry is already taking advantage of this powerful tool, and it’s just a matter of choosing the right app/software that speaks to your business needs.

On the other hand, if scalability is not a requirement, Mailbird is a remarkable business tool that can unify all your messages, calendars, and accounts. Even better, if you tend to zone out, you can quit worrying about missing out on important meetings and special events — and potentially ditching your clients.

Mailbird has a Snooze and Schedule Send feature that can keep you up your feet. This, along with other intuitive functions, makes Mailbird the perfect pair of an SMTP relay service. With Mailbird and a free SMTP server, your business opportunities are limitless.

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FAQ about SMTP servers

What is the best free SMTP server?

Gmail SMTP always comes out on top when it comes to free and reliable email deliverability. But if you need an SMTP relay service that can offer you equally great services with additional marketing tools, SendinBlue, Pepipost, and SendGrid are consistent dean’s listers in this arena. Fast and dependable, these tools can give your email marketing a complete make-over.

How do I get a free SMTP server?

The process of getting a free SMTP server is quite straightforward. Visit your chosen SMTP relay service provider, create an account, and sign up for its free plan.

Can I send emails without an SMTP server?

Yes, you can.

Can I create my own SMTP server?

Yes, you can.


Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Anastasia is a content marketer and manager with a strong IT background, passionate about storytelling and SEO. She likes creating high-quality content and helping others develop their skills. Besides work, she loves traveling, extreme sports, and reading fantasy books.

Published on March 28, 2021

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