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I understand the appeal of having an integrated digital marketing platform that combines email marketing with all the other services GoDaddy offers – website building and content management, ecommerce, blogging, social media marketing, SEO, and more. But compared to specialist email marketing providers, GoDaddy Email Marketing is a limited add-on that lacks the range and depth of features to make a real difference to your business. Instead, I’d recommend a dedicated service like Sendinblue, that offers you custom automations and advanced segmentation, even on the Sendinblue free plan.
Business-Class Email Marketing or Lightweight Add-On?
GoDaddy is best known as one of the world’s largest website hosting and domain registration companies. But it also offers a wide range of other digital business services, including email marketing.
Email marketing is part of a full suite of digital marketing tools available as part of GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing service. Combining web building and content management with social media, SEO, blogging, CRM, brand design, email marketing, and more, GoDaddy promotes this as an ideal one-stop web solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
From an email marketing perspective, I wanted to put this claim to the test. A ‘one-stop’ solution for multiple marketing services sounds great and will appeal to many businesses.
But if email marketing is a central part of your business growth strategy, if you aim to build large lists of subscribers and run email promotions at scale, does GoDaddy provide everything you need? In my opinion, GoDaddy Email Marketing is very basic and fails to match most specialist email marketing services for quality and depth of features.
On the other hand, GoDaddy can add attractive pricing to convenience amongst its list of positives. Its plans are cheap compared to those from specialist email marketing services with similar limits on subscribers and emails sent.
All of GoDaddy’s standalone email marketing plans are paid-for only, with no free trial or free tier. You can, however, get very limited free access to email marketing by signing up for the website builder free plan, or via the Digital Marketing Suite free trial.
While GoDaddy Email Marketing prices are low, the question is whether that translates into good value for you. Read on to get my in-depth take on the pros and cons of GoDaddy’s email marketing offer, who it best suits, and who should look elsewhere at a dedicated provider.
Basic Email Marketing Tools With Little Scope to Upgrade
GoDaddy Email Marketing offers all the main things you need to run email marketing campaigns – email design and templates, list building, campaign analytics, even some automation to simplify and speed things up a little on the higher plans.
But all of these features are pretty basic. Even when you pay for the more expensive tiers, you don’t get the kind of sophisticated automation and analytics tools that many specialist email marketing services like Sendinblueoffer, even on its free plan.
GoDaddy lets you expand email marketing functionality with third-party add-ons, namely Google Analytics, Freshbooks, Etsy, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, Facebook, and other social media platforms. But the number of integrations it offers is quite small, considering that AWeber, for example, offers 850 third-party integrations.
Drag-and-Drop Email Editor
GoDaddy calls its email design platform an ‘HTML editor’. But don’t let the name put you off – you don’t need to know how to code HTML to build emails in GoDaddy (though the option is there if you have the skills).
Slightly misleading name aside, the email editor is based on the same block-based drag-and-drop design interface GoDaddy uses for its website builder.
GoDaddy offers a generous library of stock images to choose from to help make your emails eye-catching. On the more expensive plans, you also get unlimited image storage for uploading your files.
If you don’t want or need image-based designs for your campaigns, GoDaddy also includes a plain text editor for creating more simple test-based emails.
A Limited Choice of Email Templates
To get started using the email editor, you have to pick a template. GoDaddy email templates are outline layouts rather than complete pro-quality designs.
There are only three template options available, plus the option to build your own from scratch. That’s a very small number of templates – the fewest I’ve seen available on any email marketing service, in fact.
Unless you are confident designing and customizing your own layouts, having just three templates to choose from means you risk all your emails looking the same. Plus, you’ll know that everyone else on GoDaddy Email Marketing is using the same layouts.
If you want more variety with your email layouts, pick a service like Constant Contact, which offers just under 250 pro-designed templates, and a generous60-day free trial (depending on your location) for you to try them all out.
One thing I do like about GoDaddy’s templates is that, once you customize one to create a design you like, you can save it as a template to use for future campaigns. That saves you having to start again each time. All templates are fully responsive, meaning your emails will look great no matter what device they are opened on.
Simple Autoresponders But No Option to Build More Complex Workflows
Email automation is available on all but the cheapest Beginner plan. The automation available amounts to simple autoresponders which trigger emails being sent in response to certain events or actions. Date-based automations are only available on the Pro plan.
You can use automation to send welcome emails to new subscribers when they sign up, wish them a happy birthday, or to send rewards when they reach so many loyalty points. This is basic stuff for email marketing automation.
What GoDaddy doesn’t let you do is build more sophisticated automated workflows using two, three, four, or however many conditions and triggers you like.
This more advanced level of automation would let you personalize which messages your contacts receive without lots of hard work preparing and sending each email individually. Services like ActiveCampaign and Benchmark allow you to build workflows using user-friendly drag-and-drop editors that don’t need any previous experience with email automation to use.
For example, ActiveCampaign has more than 540 automation recipes, all available on the cheapest ActiveCampaign plan, along with campaign and automation reporting. If you’re only starting out with email marketing, automations may not be your number one priority now. However, a lot of businesses start to need quality email marketing automations as they grow and evolve, so it’s something to consider now.
One automation feature I do like on GoDaddy is the option to convert blog posts directly into emails to send automatically via an RSS feed. This is available on the Up & Coming and Pro plans.
GoDaddy also lets you automate what it calls ‘maintenance’ emails, such as password resets, account activations, purchase orders, receipts, and so on. These are more widely known as transactional emails. If you run a digital shop and need to send out large volumes of these types of email, you should consider a service like Sendinblue which has its dedicated server for transactional email automation.
Basic Sign-up Forms
GoDaddy lets you embed forms on pretty much any website or blog, with a special plug-in available for WordPress sites. You can also add sign-up forms to your Facebook page (as long as you have more than 2,000 followers) and even include forms in email campaigns. The Beginner plan only allows a single sign-up form, though.
GoDaddy provides basic sign-up form templates with customizable fields. You can edit the appearance, including adding logos and changing the text on buttons, once embedded. All forms are static; there aren’t any pop-up or scrolling forms available.
One thing GoDaddy offers that I do like is pro-designed graphic templates acting as a ‘front page’ to your form – so someone clicks on the visual prompt to access the sign-up form. These offer a more attractive user experience than many forms.
All GoDaddy sign-up forms use a ‘double opt-in’ flow by default. This means that contacts are not added to your lists straight away when they sign up. Instead, an email is sent to the address they provide, asking them to confirm the sign-up and verify their email address. This helps to guard against spam bots and online identity theft.
Plenty of Options for Managing All Your Connections
GoDaddy has a dedicated section – called Connections – for managing contacts. For email marketing, this contains a Subscribers tab where you can see all contacts you have added or who have signed up to your mailing lists.
You can manage and segment your contacts using lists. GoDaddy includes three lists by default, called Automatic Lists:
All: A complete list of all active contacts from all lists.
Signups: All contacts who have subscribed using any one of your sign-up forms.
Suppressed: All inactive contacts, including those who have unsubscribed, who have marked your emails as spam, who have not confirmed email addresses after signing up, and who you have bounced. Suppressed contacts are not included in your All list.
Any lists synced from third-party services will also appear by default under Automatic Lists.
You can create as many new lists as you like. When you create a sign-up form, you are prompted to assign it to a list. You can set separate lists for every sign-up source, and segment your campaigns accordingly.
GoDaddy offers basic contact profile search which lets you sort and segment lists by age, location, and other demographic factors. There is also a set of ‘Smart Filters’ which allow you to sort by contact activity and get insight into audience trends. You can use any of these criteria to directly select contacts from one or more lists to be the recipients of a campaign, or you can create a new list.
User-Friendly Tools But Not The Simplest To Navigate
I can’t fault GoDaddy for how user-friendly its email marketing tools are. The interface is clear and well designed, and most of the core functions are easy to use.
For example, uploading a list is just a case of dragging and dropping a .csv file. The search features I described above to segment and sort contacts are straightforward. The various visual design editors you have access to, whether it’s creating emails, web pages, or multi-purpose branded graphics, are all simple enough so even beginners will be making eye-catching designs in no time.
But I had trouble actually finding the email marketing tools in GoDaddy to start with. If you’re time-strapped, the last thing you want to do is waste precious time trying to find tools and getting lost in confusing navigation.
The problem is that GoDaddy has so many other features and services on offer, email marketing gets buried.
GoDaddy offers three choices for how you can sign up for its email marketing: pay for it as a standalone service, include it as part of the bigger Digital Marketing Suite, or get it with the Website + Marketing offer, which combines building a website or online store with digital marketing. I found it difficult to understand the different options for accessing email marketing and how they relate to one another.
I found some of the available information misleading. For example, on the Digital Marketing Suite page, it suggests you get 25,000 emails a month starting “as low as $9.99/mo”. This isn’t the case – you only get that many emails on the higher tier Websites + Marketing plans. On the cheaper tiers (including the free site-building plan), the number of emails you can send is heavily restricted.
For an email marketing alternative that makes it much easier to understand what is on offer and how much everything costs, I would personally recommend MailerLite. As you can read in my review of MailerLite’s pricing, not only do I rate it as one of the best-value budget email marketing services available, I also think the simplicity and scalability of its pricing model is ideal for business start-ups and freelancers.
Single Pane of Glass for all Digital Marketing Features
GoDaddy operates a single integrated dashboard for all services under the Websites + Marketing banner. From here, you can manage everything – building and running your website or digital store, social marketing, SEO, blog, graphic design creations, connections, even your business diary. And yes, email marketing, too.
This has its benefits if you’re new to digital marketing but want to jump into running multiple activities at once. The layout of the dashboard is well designed and it is easy to find all the different tools and services available. If you are still trying to learn what digital marketing is all about, it helps not having to switch between multiple platforms.
But I found some of the navigation from the main dashboard to the email marketing section glitchy, with pages not loading correctly the first time. If email marketing is your priority, you want reliable tools you can access as soon as you need them.
Data-Driven Insight for Your Next Marketing Steps
GoDaddy’s marketing dashboard offers a business intelligence tool that advises you on what your next steps should be. GoDaddy tracks the progress of all your digital marketing activity and uses that data to suggest an action plan.
This is useful for getting started in email marketing. If you are looking for something that will give you insight into getting all your different marketing strands working together to grow your business faster, there are more sophisticated tools available. For example, GetResponse includes an excellent platform for building conversion funnels which also sequence and automate a lot of your activity.
GoDaddy provides built-in monitoring tools that track how your email campaigns are performing. These include accept and bounce rates (i.e. how many emails make it to the inbox), how many people view or open your email, how many are ‘engaged’ (the number that click on a link or share your email combined), and click-through rates.
You can view reports for each campaign or compare the performance of different campaigns. You can also break down stats to see, for example, which contacts clicked on a link, or which shared your promotion on social media, and so on.
GoDaddy also has an Insight feature on the main dashboard which provides a performance score on all of your digital marketing activities combined. This is based on traffic, contact sentiment, and revenue.
All of this is useful, but aside from the Insight feature, it offers only the basic level of reporting you would expect from any email marketing service. GoDaddy itself doesn’t provide more sophisticated email analysis, such as which links get the most clicks or a demographic breakdown of how your contacts are responding.
You have the option to add Google Analytics to your email marketing, which does open the door to much more in-depth analysis by every link, and also more detailed performance tracking and reporting over time. One particular benefit of using Google Analytics is that it lets you link email campaigns and website analytics together, giving a complete picture of what your contacts do ‘beyond the click’ – how long they stay on your site, which pages they visit, etc.
While Google Analytics is a powerful tool, there are plenty of email marketing services that give you a similar (or better) level of in-depth campaign analysis without having to worry about an add-on. I also don’t find the way that GoDaddy presents stats to be user-friendly, as it relies mainly on numbers with just a few basic graphics. It is much easier to see what the data means, and therefore be able to act on it, when it is reported using charts.
Instead, I would recommend ActiveCampaign. It offers a range and depth of analysis that easily matches Google Analytics and clear visual reporting that lets you see in an instant what works and what doesn’t. Plus you get added-value extras like lead scoring (which of your contacts are most likely to convert into customers) and real-time automation split testing.
GoDaddy offers 24/7 phone support, 365 days a year. This is an international service, with domestic help desks offering round-the-clock support available in 30+ countries, plus a number of others operating limited hours.
Staffing a round-the-clock service desk is something most specialist email marketing service providers simply don’t have the resources for. This is a great extra bit of reassurance to have if you are regularly sending campaigns out of normal office hours, perhaps because you have an international customer base yourself, or because you’re busy doing everything else that needs doing to run your business during ‘normal’ hours.
There is a catch with GoDaddy’s impressive real-time support offer, though. It seems like it has a single service desk handling both new business inquiries and technical support requests from existing customers. This might explain why getting through at odd hours may not always be easy – you’re competing for the attention of a small team that is also fielding new business calls, possibly from all over the world.
GoDaddy also has an extensive online Help Center well-stocked with self-help articles, how-to guides, and blog posts. There is also an active community forum where you can look for answers to your questions from other users.
GoDaddy offers its email marketing services at affordable prices that, at first glance, compare favorably with many standalone email marketing services. But when you look more closely at the details, the low prices don’t necessarily add up to a good deal.
As well as buying GoDaddy email marketing as a standalone service, you can get it as part of the larger Digital Marketing Suite or Websites + Marketing packages.
Both of these options give you an option for trying out email marketing for free. However, in both cases you can only send 100 emails per month – nowhere near enough for any serious level of marketing activity. On the two cheapest paid-for Digital Marketing Suite and Websites + Marketing tiers, there is still a limit of 500 emails per month.
I see a similar issue with the standalone email marketing plans – they are not scalable at all. At best, if you sign up for the most expensive Pro plan, you get a maximum of 5,000 subscribers and a sending limit of 50,000 emails a month. You can increase the number of subscribers on any of the plans, but only by 1,000 contacts, for $3.99 a month.
This combination of subscriber and email limits is very restrictive compared to most leading specialist email marketing services. 50,000 emails is a low ceiling for how much you can grow your promotional activity. If you don’t want the trouble of changing providers once you need to send more than 50,000 emails, consider GetResponse or Constant Contact, which have no email send limits on any of their plans.
Similarly, a maximum of 6,000 subscribers is small change for ambitious growing businesses and entrepreneurs. If your priority is to grow your contact list as much as you can or if you already have a sizable online audience, Sendinblue places no limitations on contact numbers, even on its Free plan.
GoDaddy accepts payment by credit, debit, or prepaid card, via checking account, or through PayPal. You can pay for one month, 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months at a time, but there is no discount for paying in advance. Compare that to MailerLite, which offers a 30% discount for paying annually.
# of emails per month
# of subscribers
Up & Running
Cancellations & Refunds
GoDaddy gives you the option to auto-renew your accounts or manually continue at the end of every billing period.
Aside from getting 100 emails to play with on the Digital Marketing Suite free trial and the Websites + Marketing free tier, there is no way to try out GoDaddy’s email marketing services before you buy. This means that whatever subscription route you take, you have to pay to find out if GoDaddy is right for your email marketing needs.
The saving grace is that GoDaddy does offer a time-limited full refund policy. If you sign up (and pay up) for a year or more, you can cancel at any time within 30 days and get all your money back. If you sign up for a monthly subscription, however, you only have 48 hours to cancel.
Compared to many specialist services, GoDaddy Email Marketing’s offer is basic and limited in scale. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good option for some people.
I understand the appeal of having an integrated digital marketing platform that combines email marketing with all the other services GoDaddy boasts. It makes sense if you already host a website with GoDaddy, or if you are building a website for the first time and like the idea of having all the tools to promote it in one place.
None of these benefits stand up, however, if your email marketing requirements are anything but light. Compared to specialist service providers, GoDaddy’s email marketing is a limited add-on that lacks the range and depth of features to make a real difference to your business.
The caps on subscriber numbers and email sends is a major curb on growth, which is one of the main reasons to run email marketing campaigns. If growth is your priority, you can go much further with Sendinblue, which has no cap on subscriber numbers even on the Sendinblue Free plan.
And while GoDaddy offers plenty of other tools to link with your email campaigns, for professional marketers and business owners looking to take their digital marketing to the next level, I’d recommend GetResponse. It offers far superior email marketing, in-depth analytics and testing, flexible sign-up form options, sophisticated marketing tools, and advanced automation and conversion funnels starting at only $11.07 a month.
Even if you are an existing GoDaddy customer, there is no financial incentive to add email marketing to your account. So all in all, I’d say you are better off trying one of these dedicated email marketing services – especially as so many offer generous free trials, or even completely free-to-use tiers. You don’t have anything to lose.
What does GoDaddy Email Marketing offer?GoDaddy’s email marketing service includes a visual drag-and-drop email editor (plus a plain text editor and the option to code designs in HTML), a small number of basic outline templates, list building (including sign-up forms), contact management, campaign analytics, and autoresponders. As part of a much bigger suite of digital marketing tools, you can also link email marketing activity closely with website building, blogging, social media campaigns, and more.What is the GoDaddy Email Marketing starter plan?The Beginner plan is the cheapest standalone email marketing tier, which lets you send a maximum of 5,000 emails per month to 500 subscribers.Is GoDaddy Email Marketing free?You have to pay for all standalone email marketing plans, with no free trials available. You can, however, access very limited email marketing (maximum 100 emails per month) as part of the Digital Marketing Suite one-month free trial, or with the Websites + Marketing free tier. If you’re looking for a free email marketing service, I’d recommend Sendinblue’s free plan for the sheer volume of features you get, or check out our review of the best email marketing free trials so you can try them out first.How much does GoDaddy Email Marketing cost?Standalone email marketing plans start at $9.99 per month.
Paul is a Technical and Business Blogger based in the UK. His professional interests include digital marketing, content production, and business journalism. Away from his laptop, he leads a hectic double life as a father, husband, musician, sports team captain, forager, gardener, vegan cook, and book nerd.