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EmailOctopus Review: Is the Free Plan Enough for Me? [2024]

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis Email Marketing Expert

EmailOctopus is a beginner-friendly Email Marketing Service (EMS) with one of the most generous free plans out there. It offers excellent customer support and pretty high deliverability rates. But for more experienced marketers, the platform’s shortcomings are bound to leave a bad taste in your mouth. The reporting tools aren’t the strongest, and many advanced features are missing but if you’re new to email marketing, not fussed by the high-level tools, and you’re on a budget, keep reading.


EmailOctopus at a Glance

💯Free planYes
💲Starting price$8.00
💬Live chat supportYes
Shared Reseller Dedicated Cloud WordPress

Simple or Simplistic?

EmailOctopus homepage
It takes five minutes to sign up for a free EmailOctopus account

EmailOctopus is an easy-to-use EMS designed with the beginner email marketer in mind – and that’s okay. I can see how there’s value in a platform that sticks to the basics. Sometimes all you want to do is send a couple of emails to your contacts as quickly and painlessly as possible.

And with EmailOctopus, you can do just that. The EmailOctopus pricing system is pretty straightforward, and if you only have a few hundred contacts, you can enjoy most of what the platform has to offer free of charge.

Bonus points for the excellent customer support team that’s on standby 24/7, leaving no questions unanswered.

So when does “simple” become simplistic? Well, once you start segmenting your lists and experimenting with data and campaigns, EmailOctopus struggles. There’s no A/B testing tool or advanced personalization, and automation is as basic as it gets.

If you want to do more than just send emails, chances are you’ll outgrow EmailOctopus quite quickly.



EmailOctopus’ Set of Features Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

Sure, EmailOctopus is easy to use and beautiful to look at – but its core set of features is lacking. Beyond the modern templates and simple drag-and-drop editor, EmailOctopus struggles to keep up with competitors in terms of functionality, automation, and personalization.

Email Campaigns, Templates & Personalization

EmailOctopus email editor
The email editor is easy to use but lacks advanced customization options

I usually take a good look at the email templates before testing anything else. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out there were only two pages worth of templates on EmailOctopus – 34 in total. Sure, they look okay, but I don’t love that it took me 10 seconds to scroll through them. Especially when you compare that to what’s on offer from other EMS – such as ActiveCampaign’s impressive collection of 250+ high-quality templates.

EmailOctopus is an easy platform to navigate, and the drag-and-drop email editor is no exception. Every template can be customized with code, and you can insert tags (such as name or email address) to make your emails feel more personal.

On the other hand, dynamic content isn’t a thing. There’s also no stock image library, and a few crucial buttons (like a logo, RSS feed, and signature) are missing.

And it gets worse. EmailOctopus is the first EMS I’ve reviewed without an A/B testing tool. To put it mildly, that’s pretty inconvenient. It means you’ll have to manually test campaigns by creating almost-identical emails, splitting them between your audience, and tracking the results yourself.

And if you want to publish content simultaneously to social media platforms, you’re out of luck – you can’t do that either.

Mailing Lists and Segmentation

Importing subscribers on EmailOctopus is a bit of a pain. You can populate your audiences with a CSV, DSV, or TXT file, but there’s no option to paste multiple contacts directly into the platform – you need to add them one by one. Integrations with third-party services (like Zapier, Salesforce, QuickBooks, WooCommerce, and Shopify) are also available.

When I first signed up for a new account, EmailOctopus sent an email asking a few questions about my business and how I acquire new subscribers. The team wanted to ensure I wouldn’t be using the platform to send unsolicited emails, which indicates that EmailOctopus takes spam seriously. It was a pleasant surprise and something more EMS should be doing.

You can segment lists using fields, tags, and campaign activity (like opens, clicks). If you set up everything correctly, you can, for example, send an email to all female subscribers aged 25-40 who interacted (clicked or opened) with your last campaign.

Unfortunately, there’s no global suppression list, which, frankly, isn’t ideal. You’re forced to import your suppressed contacts into your main lists, marking them “unsubscribed” as you do so. And you need to repeat this process for every new list you create! You’re in for a headache if you attempt to isolate and export all contacts who have unsubscribed.

Landing Pages

EmailOctopus landing page templates
Landing pages are included with the free plan…but there are only 5 templates to choose from

With a free EmailOctopus account, you can create up to 3 unique landing pages and forms. Although there are only 5 landing page templates to choose from, you can add your own titles, text, and images to spice things up. You drag and drop elements into the editor, which helpfully resembles the email editor and is easy to use.

If your goal is to create highly customized landing pages, EmailOctopus won’t quite hit the mark. Existing elements can’t be moved or removed, and you can’t really add your own buttons. The few available website forms are equally inflexible.

The templates themselves are mobile responsive, and you can switch between desktop/mobile preview mode with the click of a button. I also like how EmailOctopus allows users to connect created landing pages with a custom domain without charging extra.

Overall, I can’t say I’m impressed. I wanted to do more with my landing pages – I just couldn’t. EmailOctopus’ landing page creator looks like a test tool that’s still in beta – honestly, I hope that’s the case!


Automation can help marketers run complex targeted campaigns on autopilot. Top EMS take pride in their complex automation systems that allow users to get very specific with their targeting.

Unfortunately, EmailOctopus offers one of the weakest automation systems I’ve seen. You can set up a series of emails for new contacts joining your list…and that’s it.

There are no other triggers to choose from (such as tag added, birthdays, abandoned cart, product bought), and there’s no way to dynamically move contacts between segments based on their behavior.

For comparison, with ActiveCampaign you can set up a drip campaign based on your contacts’ actions. Those who engage with your content follow a specific path. Those who don’t can be removed or added to a new re-engagement campaign. ActiveCampaign’s pre-built automation templates do all kinds of things, while EmailOctopus limits users to a very basic welcome email sequence.

We can only hope that, in time, EmailOctopus will add more automation options to make the platform more appealing to email marketers.



EmailOctopus Does All It Can to Keep Deliverability Rates High

EmailOctopus' "email sent" landing page
With a bit of luck, my emails won’t get wet!

Most marketers agree that an email marketing service’s deliverability rate is one of the most important things to consider before signing up. Unfortunately, there isn’t really any reliable way to actively test a platform’s deliverability rate.

Let’s say I use EmailOctopus to send 5,000 emails, and 4,500 of those reach my subscribers’ inboxes. Does that mean EmailOctopus enjoys a deliverability rate of 90%? Maybe – but maybe not. I’ve introduced way too many variables (content, style, format, links, hour of the day sent/received), so my results aren’t replicable.

That’s not how we measure deliverability here at Website Planet. Instead, we prefer to examine specific features that can improve the odds of your emails eventually reaching your contacts. The score you see at the end of this section reflects whether such features exist on EmailOctopus – and how well they’re implemented.

First, I wanted to see whether EmailOctopus has DKIM authentication. Think of DKIM as a signature that tells email providers it’s really you who’s sending emails in your name. It’s a crucial deliverability feature, so I was glad to learn that EmailOctopus does indeed offer DKIM authentication. There’s even a helpful article that can help you set it up as quickly as possible.

Next, I had to take a look at EmailOctopus’ anti-spam policy. An email platform that tolerates spam is never good news, as that’s likely to affect the deliverability rate of honest marketers who adhere to the rules.

Luckily, EmailOctopus is quite strict with its Acceptable Use Policy. Not only that, but it’ll also email you once you sign up for a new account, asking all kinds of questions (such as how you acquire contacts) before it will activate your account.

That said, EmailOctopus did let me import several spam contacts without blocking them or showing a warning, which brought down its final deliverability score.

What about affiliate marketing? EmailOctopus doesn’t outright prohibit accounts associated with affiliate marketing, gambling, cryptocurrency, and other spam-prone industries. However, it does warn that such accounts may be subject to additional scrutiny – which is great for deliverability. As long as you’re not trying to cheat your subscribers or generate leads/sales for a third party unrelated to your business, you should be fine.

Finally, I checked to see if EmailOctopus offers private (or dedicated) IP addresses. Having a dedicated IP address means you don’t need to share your send domain with other users, which can boost your deliverability rate.

Surprisingly, EmailOctopus offers dedicated IPs for a very reasonable monthly fee of $29. Compared to other EMS (that often charge hundreds of dollars), that’s a great price!


Analytics & Reporting

EmailOctopus Does the Bare Minimum

EmailOctopus Analytics
The insights page looks okay – but where are my advanced stats?

EmailOctopus’ dashboard is well-designed and easy to read. It’s pretty standard and contains all the basic information marketers must know about their campaign’s performance: opens, clicks, unsubscribers, and bounces.

If you click on the Activity tab in the top-right corner, you can access more information about each contact’s activity through a dropdown menu. There’s also a 24-hour performance chart that tracks opens and clicks in real time.

But that’s pretty much it. There are no heat maps or maps to track activity based on geographical location. You can’t compare campaigns against each other, and there’s no benchmark tool to compare your performance with that of your competitors.

The thing that bothers me the most is that EmailOctopus doesn’t offer any advice or tools to help you act on your stats. For example, I can view and export contacts who didn’t click, but why isn’t there an option to automatically create a new list/segment on the spot? Other EMS offer this kind of helpful functionality.

If you’re looking for detailed insights and actionable advice, you need to look elsewhere. AcitveCampaign’s analytics suite, for example, can do so much more.



Outstanding Customer Support – Even as a Free User

You can reach EmailOctopus via live chat or email 24/7. When using the platform, there’s always a prominent “?” button you can press in the bottom-right corner to get the help you need. The chat bubble warned me that communication might be a bit slower on weekends, so I decided to send my queries on a lovely Sunday afternoon – as one does.

I was in for a surprise. When I first contacted EmailOctopus via live chat, a representative got back to me almost instantly. I’d asked whether the platform natively supports right-to-left (RTL) languages such as Hebrew or Arabic

EmailOctopus live chat
I felt almost as if Marta here was waiting for me to message her

Although this wasn’t great news, Marta answered my question with as much detail as possible. I wasn’t aware that the classic editor could be used to fully edit the code – which is something I’d totally do if my HTML knowledge wasn’t so limited.

Later that day, I sent an email inquiring about EmailOctopus’ limited automation functionality. It couldn’t be that basic – perhaps I’d missed something. I put the kettle on and wrote:

“For automated campaigns, are there more triggers other than ‘contact added to the list’ (birthday trigger, for example)? If so, how do I access them?”

Marta saved the day once again, replying to my email in less than 5 minutes. I’m not sure how she does it – I received the notification while my tea was still brewing!

EmailOctopus Email Support
Marta will be there when you need her

Sure, this isn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but how could I be disappointed? My question was answered, and I was even offered a place in the platform’s beta testing program – which I wholeheartedly accepted, of course.

Before contacting customer support, you can turn to EmailOctopus’ extensive knowledge base for help. There are hundreds of articles available, so chances are your question might’ve already been answered.

Reportedly, the Pro plan comes with priority support, but I honestly can’t imagine how the support could be improved on. As a free user, I really have no complaints (and you know me). Keep it up, EmailOctopus!



Generous Free Plan – Affordable Pro Plan

I’ve been a bit harsh on EmailOctopus due to its lack of advanced features and lackluster analytics. But if there’s one thing EmailOctopus gets absolutely right, it’s the pricing.

There are only two plans to choose from here, so things are pretty straightforward.

The free plan includes almost all of the platform’s features, but you’ll have to put up with EmailOctopus branding at the bottom of your emails. With a free EmailOctopus account, you can send up to 10,000 emails to 2,500 subscribers – by all means, an impressive offer.

The Pro plan, which starts at $8.00, removes all branding from your emails and comes with some extras. It features an unlimited number of landing pages and forms, ups the number of users, and unlocks priority support.

What EmailOctopus offers might underwhelm experienced marketers, but I can’t deny the attractiveness of its low prices. If you’re in search of a user-friendly EMS and the absence of advanced features doesn’t bother you, EmailOctopus’ Pro plan could be a suitable choice for you.


How does EmailOctopus match up to the competition?

ActiveCampaignCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)CompareOur Score4.7Compare
EmailOctopusCompareOur Score4.2Compare
Squarespace Email CampaignsCompareOur Score3.0Compare


My experience with EmailOctopus has been bittersweet. Although it’s a beautiful, well-designed EMS with excellent customer support, I can’t help but obsess over its lack of advanced features. No A/B testing tool and automation workflows with only one available trigger? Come on, EmailOctopus!

The good news? EmailOctopus is relatively new to the email marketing scene and still has room to grow. If the developers are working as hard as customer support is, the future seems bright for this cute purple invertebrate.

I really want EmailOctopus to do well. The potential is there, and the free plan is more than generous, so I see no reason not to stick around. The only question is whether it can do enough for you until it offers these important missing features.


Is EmailOctopus a good email marketing tool?

EmailOctopus is an easy-to-use EMS with a great free plan and excellent customer support. It is, however, lacking several advanced features (namely A/B testing and automation triggers), making it a less-than-ideal choice for more experienced marketers.

EmailOctopus pricing: how much does EmailOctopus cost?

You can enjoy most of EmailOctopus’ features without ever spending a penny – the free plan is among the best I’ve tried. If you want to remove branding, invite more users, and create an unlimited number of landing pages and forms, the Pro plan starts at $8.00/month.

Who is EmailOctopus suitable for?

EmailOctopus is a decent choice for beginner marketers or if you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool to set up simple email campaigns. If you’re looking for advanced automation, personalization, and segmentation capabilities, there are much better options available to you. Check out our updated list of the best email marketing services to learn more.

Is EmailOctopus easy to use?

EmailOctopus features an intuitive UI and is very easy to use. I was able to create and send my first email campaign in less than 20 minutes. The email editor might not be as feature-packed as I would like, but it does help you create beautiful emails in record time.

Which is better: EmailOctopus vs Mailchimp

EmailOctopus and Mailchimp both have their pros and cons. Although Mailchimp packs more features, its free plan is quite limited. EmailOctopus offers much better customer support, which is quite crucial – especially if you’re new to email marketing. I’d recommend you try out both and see which one you like better.
Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis
A freelance writer and editor with experience in digital marketing, Alex has published over 40 product reviews and comparisons on Website Planet. He has tested email marketing services, freelance websites, social media management tools, and more. Before joining our team, he worked at an Australian agency where he experimented with all things digital marketing. In addition to his work, Alex enjoys cooking and writing about games.
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