Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing channels. It allows businesses to reach a large audience in a personalized and targeted way. With email marketing, you can send promotional emails, newsletters, announcements and more to a list of subscribers. But how much does it actually cost to send mass emails? The costs vary based on several factors.
Factors That Influence Mass Email Costs
There are a few key factors that determine how much a mass email campaign will cost:
- Number of emails sent – The more emails you send, the higher your cost will be. Sending to a list of 100 subscribers costs less than sending to a list of 100,000.
- Email service provider pricing – Email service providers like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, etc. all have different pricing structures. Some charge per email sent, others charge a flat monthly fee.
- Additional features – Extra features like automation, templates, analytics etc. can add to the cost.
- Design and copywriting – If you outsource creating your emails to a designer and/or copywriter, their fees will need to be factored in.
Generally, the cost of email marketing comes down to your email service provider’s pricing model and the size of your list. Let’s take a closer look at how some popular ESPs calculate their fees.
Pricing Models of Email Service Providers
Here are some of the most common pricing models used by email service providers:
1. Per Subscriber Fee
With this model, you pay a monthly fee for each subscriber you have on your email list. For example, if you have 1,000 subscribers and your ESP charges $1 per subscriber each month, your monthly cost would be $1,000.
This model rewards you for having a larger list, as your costs scale up or down with the size of your list. Some popular ESPs using this model are MailerLite, SendinBlue and Moosend.
2. Flat Monthly Fee
Some providers charge a flat monthly fee regardless of how many emails you send or subscribers you have. This can range from $10 to hundreds of dollars per month. Providers using this model include SendGrid, Postmark and SparkPost.
The upside is predictable costs each month. The downside is fees don’t decrease if you have fewer subscribers.
3. Tiered Pricing Plans
This model provides different pricing tiers based on the number of subscribers you have. For example:
|Plan||Number of Subscribers||Monthly Price|
|Basic||Up to 500||$9|
|Pro||Up to 2,500||$29|
As your list grows, you move into higher pricing tiers. This model is used by Mailchimp, Constant Contact and more.
4. Pay Per Use
With pay per use pricing, you only pay for what you actually use each month. Costs are calculated based on:
- Number of emails sent
- Number of subscribers
- Any additional features used
At the end of each month, your actual usage is tallied and you are charged accordingly. There is often a monthly minimum fee as well. This model is popular with transactional email providers like SendGrid.
Average Mass Email Costs
To give you a better idea, here are some rough averages for how much mass emails cost for different list sizes:
|List Size||Average Cost per Month|
|1 million subscribers||$10,000|
These numbers assume you are using an email service provider with a per subscriber pricing model and sending 1-2 email campaigns per month. Costs may be higher if you are sending more frequently or using addons.
How to Reduce Mass Email Costs
Here are some tips for keeping your email marketing budgets under control:
Compare Email Service Providers
Costs can vary widely between email service providers. Do your research and compare the pricing structures of different ESPs to find the most cost-effective option for your specific needs.
Leverage Free Trials
Most ESPs offer free trials so you can test out their services. Take advantage of these to determine if the platform is right for you before committing.
Pay Annually vs. Monthly
Many providers offer discounts if you pay annually upfront rather than going month-to-month. You can save up to 20% this way.
Segment Your List
Instead of sending every campaign to your entire list, segment subscribers into separate groups with shared interests. That way you can send more targeted, relevant emails to smaller segments.
Simplify Your Designs
Fancy templates, images and graphics can increase data usage. Stick to simple text-based designs to lower costs.
Monitor Open and Click Rates
If your open and click rates drop below a certain threshold, trim your list by removing inactive subscribers. A more engaged list means higher deliverability and lower costs.
Automate Your Workflow
Use automated workflows to send emails based on subscriber behaviors. This reduces the time and effort needed to manage campaigns.
Offer an Un Subscribe Link
By law, you need to provide subscribers with an easy way to opt out of your list. Doing this ensures you are only paying for people that want to receive your emails.
In summary, the cost of sending mass emails depends on your email list size, email service provider’s pricing model, frequency of campaigns and any additional features used. Costs typically range from $25 per month for 500 subscribers to $10,000+ per month for lists with over 1 million subscribers. By optimizing your subscriber list, leveraging discounts, comparing providers and automating workflows, you can keep your email marketing budgets under control.