5 Low Cost Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits [Updated]

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Best Low Cost Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits

When evaluating email marketing software for nonprofits, you want a platform that makes it easy to connect with supporters, share your mission, and drive donations. With so many tools out there, how do you choose the right one tailored to a nonprofit’s unique needs?

This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when selecting an low cost email marketing software for nonprofits and review some of the most popular email marketing software options suitable for nonprofits. Whether you’re just starting out with email marketing or looking to switch to a new platform, use this advice to find the best nonprofit email marketing software for your needs.

Below are our top 5 best low cost email marketing platforms for nonprofits.

10
Constant Contact

Constant Contact Editors choice

– 60 day free trial
– 15% off for nonprofits

Best For: Nonprofits new to email marketing
Price Starting at $12/month
Read full review
9.5
Sendinblue

Sendinblue Best Value

– Free plan with 300 emails per day
– 15% discount for nonprofits on paid plans

Best For: All-in-one marketing automation
Price Starting at $15/month
Read full review
9
Benchmark Email

Benchmark Email Cost effective

– 30 day free trial
– Discounted “SmartSuite” plan for nonprofits

Best For: Nonprofits wanting basic, low-cost email marketing
Price Starting at $15/month
Read full review
8.5
Flodesk

Flodesk Beginner Friendly

– Free plan allows up to 500 contacts
– Paid plans offer 50% discount for nonprofits

Best For: Beginner email marketers
Price Starting at $38/month
Read full review
8
salsa labs

Salsa Labs Cause Oriented

– 14 day free trial
– 10-20% discounts for nonprofits
 
Best For: Politically-oriented toolset
Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan

Why Email Marketing is Crucial for Nonprofits

Before diving into the tools, let’s look at why email marketing should be a core part of your nonprofit’s overall marketing strategy.

  • It’s cost effective. Email is one of the most affordable ways to reach your supporters and donors. Nonprofits can get excellent email marketing software for free or at a heavy discount.
  • It builds relationships. Regular email communication strengthens connections with your subscribers and nurtures them into loyal supporters.
  • It drives donations. Email appeals and campaigns are proven to increase donations and engage your donor base.
  • It’s trackable. You can easily see email open rates, clickthroughs, unsubscribes, and other metrics to optimize your efforts.

In short, email marketing provides an exceptional return on investment to help nonprofits fulfill their mission. Integrating it into your marketing mix is essential.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Email Marketing Software for nonprofits

Not all email services are created equal. As a nonprofit, you have unique needs, smaller budgets, and limited resources. Keep the following criteria in mind as you evaluate different platforms:

Price and Discounts

Many email marketing tools offer free plans or deep discounts to nonprofits. Look for an email provider that offers:

  • A free plan with basic features 
  • At least 50% off paid plans
  • Free email sends up to a certain threshold per month
  • No contracts so you can test it out risk-free

This makes top-notch email marketing achievable even on small budgets.

Ease of Use

Your team may not have a dedicated email marketing expert. Seek out an intuitive platform with: 

  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Pre-designed email templates
  • Easy automation for drip emails and workflows
  • Online tutorials and responsive customer support

You want email marketing software that’s simple for non-technical users to master.

Nonprofit-Specific Features

Certain functionality can streamline nonprofit email campaigns such as:

  • Donation forms and links
  • Volunteer signup forms 
  • Event promotion and registration
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising pages
  • Pre-formatted nonprofit email templates

List Management and Segmentation

Proper email list management ensures your most engaged subscribers receive relevant communications. Look for:

  • Automatic list cleaning to remove inactive emails
  • Segmentation by donor history, events attended, etc
  • Signup forms for your website, events, and more
  • Simple import/export of email lists

This allows you to tailor your messaging and provide a better donor experience.

Deliverability and Security 

You want your emails reaching the inbox, not getting flagged as spam. Consider:

  • Deliverability monitoring and optimization
  • Sender reputation management 
  • Domain authentication like SPF and DKIM 
  • Encryption to protect subscriber data

These safeguards help ensure your emails get delivered. Prioritize tools purpose-built for nonprofits over generic solutions.

Why not use Mailchimp

Mailchimp is likely the most well-known email marketing service used by nonprofit organizations around the world, while Mailchimp is a popular free option for nonprofits, it may not be the best fit for every organization’s needs. Here are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • Limited features on free plan – The free version has caps on the number of contacts, emails sent, and some key features. Nonprofits with larger email lists or more complex needs may require a paid plan.
  • No native CRM or donation processing – Mailchimp focuses solely on email marketing. For a complete donor management solution, you’d need to integrate separate CRM and donation software.
  • Templated design limits branding – While Mailchimp has nice templates, you are a bit restricted in custom branding capabilities compared to other email builders.
  • Contacts only stored for inactive accounts – If you stop using Mailchimp, your contact database does not remain accessible. This makes it hard to switch platforms.
  • Not ideal for complex automations – Mailchimp has automations for basic workflows, but other tools are better for highly advanced, custom nurture tracks.

If you want more robust features, greater design flexibility, long-term data ownership, or more sophisticated automations, explore other nonprofit-focused platforms like Flodesk, Salsa Labs, Constant Contact, or Sendinblue as Mailchimp alternatives for nonprofits. The best solution depends on your specific organizational needs.

1

Constant Contact

(Editor’s Choice)

Constant Contact focuses specifically on small businesses and nonprofits. Notable nonprofit features:

  • 60-day free trial and 15% off for nonprofits
  • Donation forms, peer-to-peer fundraisers, and event promotion tools
  • Pre-defined templates for nonprofit email campaigns  
  • Automated welcome series and anniversary emails
  • Contact management with groups and segmentation
  • Free access to their nonprofit marketing advisors
Constant Contact Email marketing software for nonprofits

Their nonprofit expertise and hands-on support make Constant Contact a strong fit for small nonprofits new to email marketing. 

2

SendinBlue

(Best Value)

Sendinblue is a flexible all-in-one marketing platform. Features include:

  • Free plan with 300 emails per day  
  • 15% discount for nonprofits on paid plans
  • ntuitive drag-and-drop email editor 
  • Automation with segments and conditional logic
  • SMS marketing and Facebook ads in one platform
  • Excellent deliverability and real-time tracking
sendinblue

Their free plan and multi-channel features are ideal for lean nonprofits on tight budgets.

3

Benchmark Email

(Cost Effective)

Benchmark Email is a long-standing email provider focused on small businesses and nonprofits. They offer:

  • 30-day free trial  
  • Discounted “SmartSuite” plan for nonprofits 
  • Hundreds of mobile-friendly email templates
  • Contact management and segmentation tools
  • Automated welcome series for onboarding
  • Solid email deliverability and analytics
Benchmark Email marketing software for nonprofits

Benchmark is a cost-effective option if you just need straightforward email marketing software without extra frills.

4

Flodesk

(BeginNer Friendly)

FloDesk is designed specifically for small business and nonprofit email marketing. Some key features that make it a good option for nonprofits include:

  • Free plan allows up to 500 contacts and 5,000 emails per month.
  • Paid plans offer 50% discount for registered 501c3 nonprofits.
  • No long-term commitments or contracts.
  • User-friendly drag and drop email builder.
  • Customizable templates for newsletters, appeals, events, etc.
  • Automated welcome emails and follow-up sequences.
  • Integrated signup forms, donation forms, and event pages.
  • Contact management with tagging and segmentation tools.
  • Email scheduling, A/B testing, and analytics.
Flodesk

Overall, FloDesk is designed for beginner email marketers but packs robust features into an easy-to-use platform. Their nonprofit-specific resources and discounts make FloDesk a cost-effective option worth considering.

5

Salsa Labs

(Cause-Oriented)

Salsa Labs caters to politically progressive nonprofits. Their platform provides:

  • 14-day free trial and 10-20% discounts for nonprofits  
  • Drag-and-drop forms for petitions, events, and donations
  • Automated emails triggered by actions or dates
  • CRM with supporter records, groups, and tags
  • Integration with social media and mobile messaging
  • Focus on activist list-building and fundraising
salsa labs

If you’re a cause-oriented nonprofit, check out their politically-oriented toolset.

Best Practices for Nonprofit Email Marketing

In order to maximize impact and drive meaningful results through email marketing, nonprofits can benefit from adopting best practices that align with the unique needs and objectives of their organization.

By implementing these best practices, nonprofits can strengthen their connections with supporters, inspire action, and achieve greater visibility and support for their cause.

Segmentation and Personalization: Effective segmentation of the audience and personalized messaging are key drivers of engagement and conversion in nonprofit email marketing.

By tailoring content to specific donor segments, volunteers, or supporters, nonprofits can deliver messages that resonate with the recipient, fostering a sense of connection and relevance that drives action and support.

Compelling Storytelling: The art of storytelling is a powerful tool for nonprofits to convey their mission, impact, and the stories of those they serve.

By integrating compelling narratives and visuals into their email communications, nonprofits can evoke empathy, inspire action, and forge lasting connections with their audience, ultimately maximizing the impact of their messaging.

Clear Calls to Action: A clear and compelling call to action is essential for motivating recipients to engage with nonprofit emails.

Whether it’s a donation appeal, event registration, or volunteer opportunity, nonprofits should craft persuasive calls to action that clearly communicate the desired outcome and make it easy for recipients to take the next step in supporting the organization’s initiatives.

Multi-Channel Integration: Integrating email marketing with other communication channels, such as social media, website content, and fundraising efforts, can amplify the reach and impact of nonprofit initiatives.

By coordinating multi-channel strategies, nonprofits can create a cohesive and immersive experience for their audience, driving engagement and support across various touchpoints.

Data-Driven Optimization: Utilizing analytics and performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of email campaigns is essential for nonprofits to gain insights and make informed decisions.

By leveraging data to optimize their strategies, nonprofits can refine their messaging, targeting, and timing to drive greater impact and achieve meaningful results in their outreach efforts.

By embracing these best practices, nonprofits can elevate their email marketing initiatives and build enduring connections with their audience, driving support and impact for their cause.

In addition to implementing best practices, nonprofits can leverage the power of automation to streamline their email marketing efforts and enhance their efficiency in engaging with supporters and driving meaningful interactions.

Free Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits

For nonprofits seeking cost-effective email marketing solutions, there are several free platforms that offer robust features and capabilities to support their outreach efforts.

One such platform is Mailchimp, which provides a free plan that allows nonprofits to send up to 10,000 emails per month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. This generous offering enables nonprofits to leverage essential email marketing tools, including customizable templates, audience segmentation, and performance reports, without incurring additional costs.

Another free email marketing solution for nonprofits is Sendinblue, which offers a free plan with no limit on the number of contacts. This plan includes key features such as email marketing, marketing automation, and transactional emails, empowering nonprofits to engage with their audience and drive meaningful interactions at no cost.

Additionally, Sendinblue’s intuitive interface and user-friendly design make it accessible for nonprofits of all sizes, ensuring that they can maximize the impact of their email marketing efforts without financial barriers.

By utilizing free email marketing solutions, nonprofits can allocate their resources towards advancing their mission and serving their communities, knowing that their outreach and engagement strategies are supported by reliable and affordable platforms.

However, as nonprofits grow and expand their reach, they may require more advanced features and capabilities that go beyond the offerings of free plans. In the next section, we will explore the best email marketing platforms that provide comprehensive solutions tailored to the specific needs of nonprofits.

Leveraging Automation in Nonprofit Email Marketing

Automation can significantly enhance the efficiency and impact of nonprofit email marketing efforts. By using automation, nonprofits can nurture supporter relationships, deliver personalized content, and drive engagement without requiring constant manual intervention.

For instance, welcome series automation can be utilized to onboard new supporters, educate them about the organization’s mission, and encourage them to take further action, such as making a donation or volunteering.

Furthermore, automation can be leveraged to send targeted donation requests based on supporter behavior and interactions with previous emails. This can include personalized donation appeals for specific campaigns, events, or causes that align with the supporter’s previous engagement history.

By delivering relevant and timely messages through automation, nonprofits can increase the likelihood of securing donations and fostering long-term supporter loyalty.

Additionally, utilizing automation for event promotion and follow-up can streamline the communication process, ensuring that supporters receive timely reminders, registration confirmations, and post-event thank-you messages.

This not only saves time for nonprofit staff but also enhances the overall supporter experience, leading to higher engagement and participation in future events.

Integrating Email Marketing with Fundraising Efforts

Email marketing can be a powerful ally in supporting nonprofit fundraising efforts when integrated strategically.

One effective approach is to segment supporters based on their donation history, engagement level, or specific interests, and tailor email content and donation appeals accordingly.

By personalizing fundraising emails, nonprofits can create a more compelling and relevant experience for supporters, increasing the likelihood of receiving donations.

Furthermore, integrating email marketing with fundraising events, such as virtual galas or crowdfunding campaigns, can help nonprofits amplify their impact. Email can be used to build anticipation, promote the event, and provide updates and progress reports to keep supporters engaged and informed.

Additionally, post-event follow-up emails expressing gratitude and sharing the impact of the funds raised can further strengthen supporter relationships and inspire continued support.

Moreover, by incorporating storytelling and compelling visuals in fundraising emails, nonprofits can effectively convey the real-world impact of donations, creating an emotional connection that motivates supporters to contribute. Sharing success stories, testimonials, and specific examples of how donations have made a difference can instill a sense of purpose and urgency, driving increased support for the organization’s mission.

Conclusion

In conclusion, affordable email marketing solutions offer nonprofits the opportunity to maximize their impact by effectively engaging supporters, raising funds, and advancing their mission.

By choosing the right email marketing platform, leveraging automation, and integrating email marketing with fundraising efforts, nonprofits can create meaningful connections with their audience and drive tangible results.

With the power of email marketing, even nonprofits with limited resources can expand their reach, inspire action, and make a lasting difference in the communities they serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the free email for nonprofit organizations?

Many email service providers like Mailchimp, FloDesk, and Sendinblue offer free plans for registered 501c3 nonprofits. These usually include limits on the number of contacts and emails you can send per month.

What is the best and free software for email marketing?

For nonprofits, Mailchimp and Sendinblue have the most generous free plans with useful features. Mailchimp allows up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails monthly.

Is Google domain free for Nonprofits?

Yes, eligible nonprofits can get a free custom domain name from Google Domains along with free hosting on Google Sites.

What is the free newsletter software for charities?

Mailchimp, FloDesk, and Sendinblue all enable nonprofits to create and send free newsletters on their free plans up to a certain volume. Constant Contact also has a 60-day free trial.

How to create a free email account for a nonprofit organization?

Nonprofits can sign up for a free Google Workspace account to get Gmail business email on their own domain. Microsoft 365 also provides free licensing to eligible nonprofits.

Is Gmail for Nonprofits free?

Yes, Google Workspace for Nonprofits includes free Gmail with 30GB storage per user along with other Google tools. Microsoft Outlook email is also free for nonprofits via Microsoft 365 Nonprofit.

What is the best email account for a nonprofit organization?

Gmail or Outlook email through free nonprofit programs from Google and Microsoft are great options. A custom email on your nonprofit domain looks most professional.

What is the free website for nonprofit organizations?

Google provides free web hosting and a free domain for eligible nonprofits through Google Sites and Google Domains. Wix and Weebly also have free plans.

Can we do email marketing for free?

Yes, many email providers offer free versions for nonprofits with limited contacts and emails per month. Mailchimp, Sendinblue, and Constant Contact are popular free options.

Is MailChimp really free?

Mailchimp does offer a free plan for nonprofits with up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails monthly. So it’s free for basic email marketing needs.

What softwares are used for email marketing?

Common email marketing platforms include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Salsa Labs, FloDesk, Campaign Monitor, ConvertKit, and more.

What is the best email software for small business?

For small business and nonprofits, the most popular email marketing tools are MailChimp, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, and FloDesk based on their free plans and ease of use.

Can Nonprofits get a free domain?

Yes, nonprofits can get a free custom domain for one year through Google Domains. Some web hosting providers like Wix also provide free domains.

How do nonprofits use Mailchimp?

Nonprofits use Mailchimp to create email newsletters, send fundraising appeals, promote events, automate workflows, manage contacts, track email metrics, and more.

How do I create a non profit newsletter?

Use a free nonprofit email marketing platform like Mailchimp, FloDesk, or Sendinblue to design newsletter templates, manage your list, and send out newsletters.

What is the best email hosting for nonprofits?

Google Workspace and Office 365 nonprofit plans provide free professional business email hosting for nonprofits. Some email marketing systems also include email sending and hosting.

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