As a follow-up to my post yesterday where I listed two reasons why Mailchimp deletes your account without warning, I thought I would mention one more free alternative that I've used for a couple of projects in the past.
I like services and solutions where you get to own your data. This alternative to Mailchimp natively holds your data on your own website, so that is one of the upsides I really like about it.
As a quick disclaimer, I still think you should pay for your email marketing service from the beginning. This creates a little bit of pressure for you to follow through. There are also some logistical problems every time you need to migrate your email list. Like for example, if you start for free with one company and then you want to move to another one and start paying for it because you've exceeded the free limits, you'll find that transferring your list successfully doesn't always work.
If you want to follow that advice, my go-to email marketing service is Aweber, you can get started for free here using my link.
This alternative to Mailchimp is free for up to 1000 subscribers, and it is highly dependent on your web host. They work great with most hosts, but they specifically have GreenGeeks as one of their recommended hosts. And it is free, for the sites I've used it on, it works great to send out newsletters and updates to your subscribers and you can manage it all within your WordPress dashboard.
The alternative is an email marketing plugin for WordPress
This alternative is a plugin, called MailPoet. You install it like a normal plugin, configure the basic options, and voila, you now have an email marketing system within your blog or website. Using it is very easy and intuitive.
The free version allows you to have up to 1000 subscribers, and you get the premium features. After that, the pricing is comparable to other services. They have templates and customization of your emails so it matches whatever branding you want, and they offer statistics such as open rates, click-through rates, and all that good stuff.
MailPoet form editor video
I'm not going to go into details on how to use it or have a full tutorial about it on this blog post, but here's a very helpful video by the Mailpoet team showing you how easy it is to use it.