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How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?

How much an email marketing campaign costs will impact your budget, performance metrics, and ability to manage the campaign effectively. Here’s what to expect.

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How Much Does Email Marketing Cost

The cost of email marketing can vary, depending on the:

  • Size of your email list
  • Email marketing software platform you use
  • Features you need

This can drive the price up into the several thousands (especially if the campaign goes on for years) or drop it as low as a few hundred (for less intricate campaigns). As such, many businesses question how much they’re willing to pay for such a campaign, even if they need one. 

It’s important to evaluate the cost of email marketing in terms of the potential return on investment (ROI) it can generate. When done right, email marketing can be a highly cost-effective way to reach and engage with customers, drive sales, and grow your business. That makes it worth paying a little more for a campaign that will work – and thus earn back the spent funds – versus committing to a weak campaign that will never recoup the original costs. 

So what will your email marketing campaign cost? Here are factors you should consider when calculating the cost of marketing through emails:

Email Marketing Platform Fees

The first aspect to look at is the cost of the various email marketing platforms. While it’s technically possible to send out emails manually from your email provider to save money, this is inefficient, indescribably time-consuming, short-lived, and robs you of valuable data that will be crucial for any serious campaign. 

An email marketing platform is an essential tool and almost always used, no matter how small the company is. Some email marketing platforms charge a monthly fee, while others charge per email sent or based on the number of contacts on your list. Here’s a rundown of popular email marketing platforms and their cost:

  1. tinyEmail: tinyEmail has a great free plan of 15,000 emails per month and a paid plan that starts from $15 a month for 15,000 emails and upwards.
  2. Sendinblue: Sendinblue offers a free plan that includes 300 emails per day, as well as paid plans that start at $25 per month for up to 20,000 emails a month.
  3. Mailjet: Mailjet offers a free plan that includes 6,000 emails a month, as well as paid plans that start at $15 per month for up to 15,000 emails.
  4. SendGrid: SendGrid offers a free plan that includes up to 100 emails a day, as well as paid plans that start at $19.95 a month for up to 50,000 emails a month.
  5. Amazon SES: Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) offers a free plan that includes up to 62,000 a month, as well as charges based on the number of emails sent, with rates starting at $0.10 per 1,000 emails.
  6. Mailgun: Mailgun offers a free trial that includes up to 5,000 emails per month, as well as paid plans that start at $35 per month for up to 50,000 emails.

Many of these email marketing platforms also offer custom pricing and more advanced marketing tools for larger businesses. These custom prices may cost several hundred to thousands of dollars a month.

List Management Costs

As the name implies, a list manager is a software tool or platform that is used to manage email lists. Many popular email marketing platforms already include list managing tools as part of their overall service, so you don’t need to calculate the cost separately.

However, some companies may need more advanced list management tools, so they can decide to pay for third party tools specifically made for this task. The cost of these tools depends on the features required, such as list segmenting or removing inactive emails. Because the features are so many, some of these companies offer custom pricing that can range between a few hundred dollars a month to thousands of dollars a month.

Creative Costs

The cost of designing the email campaign needs to be taken into consideration as well. Some common professionals that help design and write email marketing campaigns include photographers, copywriters, and graphic designers. They help to present your brand image and make the correct impression on your subscribers. 

It can be tempting to cut costs by investing in lower-charging professionals, but this can impact the quality of the final emails, which can then translate into less engagement with your target audience. If you’re going to hire freelance creative talent, the cost per hour is usually:

  • Copywriter: $40-70 per hour
  • Photographer: $40-90 per hour
  • Graphic designer: $35-75 per hour


As your email campaign runs, you’ll need to continuously analyze the data and test different campaign methods. Like list management tools, many email marketing platforms offer data analysis features, but you may also want to pay for extra services from specialized software and platforms. The cost for these extra services also varies due to the numerous features, from the kind you choose to the volume you need to manage and how specific you want the data to be.

If you choose to outsource the data analysis to a marketing data expert, you may need to pay anywhere between $30-60 dollars an hour depending on their level of expertise.

As you can see, the price of an email marketing campaign will vary dramatically, based on what you need. From a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, be sure to evaluate how long you wish to run the campaign, how customized or intricate it should be, and how many customers you want to reach. With these factors in mind, you can then pick the right strategy (and the necessary tools for it) to launch a successful email marketing campaign. 

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