10 Cheap Email Service Providers with advanced Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is definitely at the core of digital business and we are here looking at Cheap Email Service Providers to help with that.

Every business online has a series of activities and we are all looking for some robot to handle these activities while we focus on other areas of productivity.

Email Service Providers have gone into melting competition with automation features. While some of these big names in the industry are still dragging their feet, new comers are investing massively in developing complex and powerfully flexible automation builders.

While shooting this Email Marketing Course, I have gone through a number of Email Marketing Service providers for small businesses, trying to find out how much of automation they offer their users and with what ease.

I was disappointed in some of the big wings who have barely scratched the surface of workflow automation. On the other hand, what I found with some smaller platforms is overwhelming.

In this post, we are looking at some 10 cheap email marketing service providers and what they offer in their workflow automation.

On these platforms, these Marketing Automations Builders are referred to as Workflow Automation or simply Automation

What is workflow automation and why is it important?

There are basically two words that pull our attention in this:

  1. Workflow: This is a series of business activities aimed at achieving an outcome
  2. Automation: Execution of tasks by a script or machine without you having to do anything.

Workflow or marketing Automation is the automatic execution of these business activities. In Email Marketing, the simplest Automated task is the Welcome Email  sent to your subscribers as they sign up to your list.

Automation can go from very simple to complex, depending on the outcome expected. In Smart WorkFlow Email Marketing Course, it deals with a complex automation that filters out ill-mannered subscribers (who have valid email addresses) before they are signed up to your list.

Workflow Automations are set to work by triggers. Simply put, when a subscriber performs an act, an automated workflow begins running. Here are some examples of triggers to grease your understanding:

  1. List Signup
  2. A click on a link in a message
  3. Opening  a message
  4. Visiting a page on your website
  5. Abandoning a card process
  6. Dates
  7. Unsubscriptions
  8. Etc.

Each time any of these actions is performed by a subscriber, it may set a workflow to work.

Types of Workflow Automations

The types of Workflow Automations are as many as the business types that exist today. As a matter of fact, any task that can be performed manually online can be an automation type.

What ESPs have done is to group some of these different business activities into pre-programmed automation types to make things easier for their users.

But the power of any ESP’s automation is what you can do with the custom automation builder:

email service providers automation

Custom Automation allows your creativity to flow depending on how deep the platform can allow you.

10 Cheap Email Service Providers with advanced marketing automation builders.

Many of the low in price ESPs I came across have the most basic automation, which is sending the Welcome Email to the new subscriber. But I went on trying to figure out some more complex automation possibilities like inter-workflow relationships, movements between steps of the same workflow, tags, delays, conditions, web hooks, etc.

1. MailerLite WorkFlow Automation

Go to: https://mailerlite.com

MailetLite is fast becoming a leader in the industry due to the aggressiveness of the marketing department and the powerful features it offers. One of the most-mentioned reasons why this platform defeats its older counterparts is the  Automation feature that’s available in the free package for life.

Once you signup to this inexpensive Email Service provider and walk around, you won’t find a reason to step out. The support team is timed and efficient. Inbox deliverability is top, influenced by the reputation of the company.

What about it’s automation?

workflow automation with mailerlite

Definitely, it only takes a limited mind not to achieve anything with MailerLite Automation. While (at the moment) they don’t have automation templates, the workflow creation function allows you to go quite deep.

What I didn’t find that should be added by the team: Web hooks

This allows you to post data to external applications when a subscriber takes an action.

2. SendinBlue Automation feature

Go to: https://sendinblue.com/

SendinBlue is an interesting low-cost player of the Email Marketing game. The free trial account allows you full access to the Automation feature which definitely helps discover how far it can lead your business.

sendinblue automation feature

More interesting workflow actions include SMS triggers, Web hooks, A/B Splitting,

3. SendPules Workflow Automation feature

Go to https://sendpulse.com/

If you want a not-expensive Email Service Provider with advanced automation workflow, you definitely should be taking a closer look at this option.

sendpulse automation feature

The automation WorkFlow is fully available in the the trial version. This means you’ve got time to walk around in other to make an accurate decision.

Some advanced actions include web hooks, goal settings, SMS alerts, Advanced filtering based on variables, etc.

4. Workflow Automation with ActiveCampaign

Go to https://www.activecampaign.com/

Active Campaign is one of the top household names, gaining attention from top brands and small businesses.

Having impressive advanced automation actions, ActiveCampaign is definitely one of the most recommended Email Service Providers with over 500 workers employees worldwide and 90k small businesses on the platform.

The Automation feature and many more advanced features are made available in the trial version. That allows you to measure their worth before any consequent investment.

I personally was impressed with the action to update Google sheets with data from your workflow. This could mean a huge action that facilitate team work.

ActiveCampaign Workflow automation google sheet

5. Marketing Automation with Getresponse

Go to https://getresponse.com/

There is no way I would have done this comparative studies on low-priced Email Service Providers without including Getresponse on the list. The reason is that this ESP has gained enough attention from the marketing by way of its longevity and trustworthiness.

low-priced Email Service Providers

GetResponse comes with pre-programmed workflows for a range of activities. While the custom automation function allows you to flexibly create a complex automated workflow, some actions are not available in the free plan.

6. Autmation Workflow with Moosend

Go to https://moosend.com

Many small businesses find Moosend an excellent option for their Email Marketing. The platform is easy to use and straight to the point.

While I do not have any practical experience with it, when I checked out the Automation feature, I think it’s worth mentioning.

moosend automation feature

Beside basic actions, some advanced Automated workflow actions include Web Hooks and inter-workflow exchange. However, lacking on the platform are SMS, tagging, movements between steps in the same workflow, etc

Check out Moosend here

7. WorkFlow Automation with AWeber

AWeber is an old game player. My first attempt at Email Marketing was with this platform and the experience was quite great.

But I think AWeber isn’t doing a great job with Workflow automation.

I spent quite some time trying to figure out how to automate a complex Workflow but a lot is missing. I think AWeber is loosing its leadership position. If you found a way out to create powerful workflows with this platform, let me know about it.

Go to https://aweber.com

8. Marketing Automation with Hubspot

Hubspot has recently rapidly grown to be a marketing power-house. Dominating Google’s First Page for many digital marketing terms, the team behind this platform has certainly cracked the code.

But the professional package with the Marketing Automation feature is not easily accessible for many small business:

hubspot marketing automation

If you are just starting out or running on a smaller budget, I’ll recommend you check out some of the cheaper ESPs mentioned earlier.

9. ConvertKit Email Marketing Automation

This is a serious attraction in Email Marketing. Used by many marketing experts, ConvertKit seems to be lagging behind when it comes to some advanced marketing automation features.

convertkit email automation

I didn’t find web hooks, SMS notifications, movement between steps within same workflow, etc. You may find these features by the time you are reading this post. I believe this platform is still being developed.


10. Mailchimp Marketing Automation

Mailchimp is there first choice of many beginners in digital marketing and blogging. This  is definitely because of the free package and excellent dileliverabilty.

But when it comes to Marketing Automation, I think a lot still have to be done:

mailchimp email automation

The automation feature is quite basic and only available to paying clients.

Top 10 cheap Email Service Providers with Automation workflow: My take

For Workflow Automation, ActiveCampaigns, GetResponse, MailerLite, SendPulse and SendinBlue are definitely most attractive on the list.

If you work on limited budget, MailerLite wins. The free package gives you full access to the Automation  builder.

One of my attractions with MailerLite is the Auto Resend campaign type:

mailerlite autoresend feature

This will automatically re-send a campaign at a specific time to subscribers who didn’t take some required action.

The feature allows you some reasonable flexibility to create the content that will be automatically resent to the subscribers.

I hope this piece helps you on taking the right decision which Cheap Email Marketing Service Provider to go with.

Good luck

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