Update: 10 Best WordPress Email Plugins Compared in 2021 (Most Are Free)

Illustration by Sènga la Rouge Illustration of an archer hitting a target

Looking for the best WordPress email plugin to level up your business?

The core WordPress software does a lot of things well, but email isn’t one of them. If you want to grow an email list, send emails to your subscribers, or even just make your WordPress site’s basic transactional emails more reliable, you’ll need the help of a plugin.

Thankfully, there are tons of great plugins to improve how WordPress works with email, no matter what features you’re looking for.

In this post, we’ve collected and compared your top ten options so that you can go straight to the plugins that will help you the most.

We’ll start with a few important thoughts on choosing the right plugin for your needs and then we’ll get right into a detailed comparison of the top 10 email plugins for WordPress.

Important considerations when choosing a WordPress email plugin

Before we get to the plugins, let’s quickly run over some important factors to consider as you browse the list and choose the right plugins for your site.

First off, “email plugins” is a pretty generic term, so we can’t actually be sure what you’re looking for. Do you want a plugin to…

  • Grow your email list?
  • Send marketing emails from your WordPress dashboard?
  • Create a simple newsletter?
  • Improve the reliability of your site’s transactional emails? (e.g. password resets and form notifications)
  • Send custom notification emails?

All of those things could be considered “WordPress email plugins” and if you search for “email” at WordPress.org you’ll see plugins that cover all of those different use cases. For that reason, it’s important to understand exactly what you want out of a WordPress email plugin.

The results of searching for WordPress email plugin at WordPress.org
Searching for “email” at WordPress.org turns up a range of different plugins

Some of the plugins on this list only focus on one of those things, while others can perform multiple actions, such as both creating email opt-in forms and letting you send emails to your subscribers. We’ll be sure to note all these differences while going through the plugins.

Second, if you are looking for a plugin that lets you send emails from your WordPress dashboard, another important consideration is how that plugin actually sends those emails. By default, WordPress sends its emails using WP mail (based on PHP mail), which often ends with emails arriving in subscribers’ spam folders (or just not sending in the first place).

If you want your emails to make it to your subscribers, you need to look for a plugin that either…

  1. …includes its own built-in sending service. This is the simplest option because there’s zero additional setup – you just install the plugin and you automatically benefit from reliable delivery.
  2. lets you integrate with a dedicated sending service. This is a little more complicated because you’ll need to sign up for a third-party sending service and connect it to your site, but it serves the same effect of making your site’s emails a lot more reliable.

Of course, those are only the important email-specific considerations. You’ll also want to consider all the important criteria in any WordPress plugin such as:

  • Price
  • Support
  • Updates
  • Ease of use
  • Etc.

With that in mind, let’s get to the ten best WordPress email plugins!

Ten best WordPress email plugins in 2021 and beyond

1. MailPoet

MailPoet

MailPoet is a native WordPress plugin that offers an all-in-one solution for newsletters and email marketing.

Without ever leaving your WordPress dashboard, you’ll be able to create your own custom opt-in forms and pop-ups, add your subscribers to one or more lists, send them one-off or automated emails using a drag-and-drop editor, and view statistics to see how your emails perform.

You can use MailPoet for simple text-based newsletters or you can create beautifully designed emails using the editor (and some handy pre-built templates).

If you’re running an eCommerce store, MailPoet also has a bunch of dedicated WooCommerce features to help you send product recommendation emails, abandoned cart recovery emails, and more.

Finally, MailPoet includes its own built-in sending service, so you can be confident that your emails will make it to your subscribers’ inboxes without any configuration on your part. Or, you also still have the option of using your own email sending service – it’s up to you!

Key features:

  • Native WordPress plugin – do everything from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Use the WordPress block editor to design custom opt-in forms to grow your lists.
  • Drag-and-drop email builder, including pre-built templates.
  • Send one-off emails or create automation sequences like automatically sending an email when you publish a new post.
  • View analytics to track opens, clicks, etc.
  • Built-in email sending service to ensure reliability. Or, you also have the option to use your own SMTP service.
  • Option to use the MailPoet sending service to also deliver your site’s transactional emails in addition to the marketing emails or newsletters that you send.
  • Dedicated WooCommerce features to customize emails, send abandoned cart emails, and more.

Pricing:

MailPoet is available for free at WordPress.org.

If you want to use MailPoet’s built-in email sending service (which we recommend), MailPoet Premium is free for up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited emails. Once you cross the 1,000 subscriber mark, the paid plans start at €13 per month.

You can also purchase the standalone MailPoet Premium plugin and pair it with your own sending service. This starts at €149 for use on a single site.

Suitable for:

MailPoet is good for individuals and businesses who are looking for an all-in-one native WordPress email marketing solution. Unlike a lot of plugins, you don’t need a third-party email marketing service. Instead, you’ll still get access to all those advanced features without leaving your WordPress dashboard.

MailPoet is also a great option for WooCommerce store owners, as it includes a number of eCommerce-focused features.

2. WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP plugin

WP Mail SMTP is a popular plugin that helps with one specific aspect of WordPress emails – your site’s transactional emails. It does not help you grow an email list or send marketing emails to subscribers, but it does help you make sure your site’s transactional emails successfully land in people’s inboxes.

As a reminder, transactional emails are those emails for things like password resets, form notifications, order confirmations, etc.

WP Mail SMTP includes dedicated API integrations for some popular email sending services including SendGrid (tutorial), Gmail, and Mailgun (tutorial). And if you’re using a service for which there isn’t an API integration, WP Mail SMTP also offers a generic SMTP option so that you can enter the credentials for any SMTP server (like the free SMTP server that many web hosts offer).

Key features:

  • Use a dedicated email sending service to deliver your site’s transactional emails.
  • Dedicated API integrations for popular providers including SendGrid, Mailgun, Gmail, and more.
  • Generic SMTP option to use any SMTP server.
  • Option to send a test email to make sure your service is working.
  • Email log to track which emails your site is sending (in the Pro version).

Pricing: 

WP Mail SMTP has a free version at WordPress.org, which is all that most sites need. The Pro version adds the email log feature as well as more dedicated integrations for Amazon SES, Microsoft SMTP, and Zoho Mail SMTP.

Suitable for: 

WP Mail SMTP is focused on one thing – improving the reliability of your site’s transactional emails.

3. Newsletter

The Newsletter plugin

Newsletter is another popular native WordPress plugin that, as the name suggests, helps you create and send newsletters without leaving your WordPress dashboard.

In that respect, it shares some similarities with MailPoet. You can use Newsletter to create opt-in forms, add subscribers to lists, and then send them emails using a simple drag-and-drop composer.

For more features, there are a number of free and premium add-ons for automation sequences, reports, targeting, additional opt-in types, and more.

However, Newsletter doesn’t include its own sending service, so you’ll need to integrate it with a dedicated service such as SendGrid or Mailgun.

Key features:

  • Native WordPress plugin – do everything from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Create opt-in forms.
  • Add subscribers to one or more lists.
  • Drag-and-drop email composer.
  • Send one-off emails for free or automatic emails with a premium add-on.
  • No sending service, but works with SMTP plugins and has premium add-ons to connect to sending services.

Pricing:

The core Newsletter plugin is available for free. For the advanced features, you can purchase a bundle of all add-ons for $65.

You’ll also need a dedicated email sending service, which might cost additional money depending on how many emails you send.

Suitable for:

Newsletter can be a good option for people looking for a lightweight native WordPress email marketing plugin that lets you do everything from your WordPress dashboard. Just remember that you’ll need to pair it with a sending service to make sure your emails make it to your subscribers.

4. Newsletter Glue

Newsletter Glue

Newsletter Glue is a newer option that’s focused on helping bloggers and writers send simple newsletters. It lets you design your newsletters using the native WordPress block editor and then send them out to subscribers.

One of the unique things about Newsletter Glue is that it lets you publish a complete blog post straight to your newsletter, which lets you create your own sort of Substack system where you can cross-publish content to both your blog and newsletter.

Newsletter Glue doesn’t include its own built-in sending service or list management – you’ll need to connect to an email provider via the built-in API integrations and manage your subscriber lists from that provider. 

Key features:

  • Write and design your newsletters using the native WordPress block editor.
  • Cross-publish blog posts straight to an email list with the check of a box (like Substack).
  • Publish your newsletters to your site (if you aren’t already writing them as blog posts).
  • Free version lets you use Mailchimp to manage your lists and deliver your actual emails.
  • Pro version adds support for ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, GetResponse, MailerLite, Sendinblue, and Sendy.
  • Dedicated blocks to insert blog posts, author bylines, and more (Pro version).

Pricing: 

Newsletter Glue has a free version that works with Mailchimp. To unlock more providers and access the premium blocks, you can upgrade starting at $57.

You’ll also need to factor in the price of your email service, which you need to manage subscribers and send emails. This will depend on the service that you’re using, the size of your list, and/or the number of emails you send.

Suitable for:

Newsletter Glue is best for writers and publishers who are looking for a simple way to send primarily text-based newsletters and/or cross-publish complete blog posts directly to newsletters like Substack allows.

5. Newspack Newsletters

Newspack Newsletters

Newspack Newsletters is a brand new offering from Automattic that fills the same space as Newsletter Glue, which is why we’re featuring it next. If you’re not familiar with Automattic, it’s the same company behind WordPress.com and WooCommerce.

As the name suggests, Newspack Newsletters is part of Automattic’s Newspack initiative, which is a suite of features designed to help news organizations and media companies get more from WordPress.

Like Newsletter Glue, Newspack Newsletters lets you write and design your newsletter using the native WordPress block editor. You can use most of the core blocks including buttons, columns, groups, and more. 

Newspack Newsletters doesn’t include its own list management or sending service, though. You’ll need to integrate it with a dedicated email sending service such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact.

Key features:

  • Write and design your newsletters using the native WordPress block editor. Almost all of the blocks will work in your emails, including the column block.
  • Start with pre-built newsletter templates or design your own from scratch.
  • Dedicated blocks to insert your latest blog posts or include advertisements.
  • Connect to Mailchimp or Constant Contact to manage your lists and deliver your newsletters.
  • Send emails without leaving your WordPress dashboard.

Pricing:

The Newspack Newsletters plugin is currently 100% free. However, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your email marketing service, which you need to manage subscribers and deliver emails. This will depend on the service that you’re using, the size of your list, and/or the number of emails that you send.

Suitable for:

Newspack Newsletters makes a good option for news organizations or media publishers who are looking for a simple option to deliver newsletters. While there’s nothing saying you can’t use it as a regular blogger, it is part of Automattic’s Newspack project so its features and development will probably focus on news organizations.

6. Sendinblue

Sendinblue email integration plugin for WordPress

Sendinblue is a standalone email marketing service, but one of the reasons it deserves a spot on this list is because it has one of the most detailed WordPress integration plugins of any email marketing service.

It offers a complete solution for email marketing, as well as other marketing tools such as a CRM, text messages, live chat, and even a landing page builder.

If you’re running an eCommerce store powered by WooCommerce, Sendinblue also has a dedicated WooCommerce add-on plugin.

Key features:

  • Dedicated WordPress integration plugin to perform most email marketing actions from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Drag-and-drop email builder.
  • Send one-off emails or set up automation sequences.
  • Detailed list management and segmentation.
  • Use Sendinblue to deliver your site’s transactional emails, as well.

Pricing:

The Sendinblue plugin itself is free, but you’ll need a Sendinblue account to use it. Sendinblue has a free tier that lets you send up to 300 emails per day to unlimited subscribers (but includes Sendinblue branding).

After that, paid plans start from $25 per month.

Suitable for:

Sendinblue can be a good option for people who are looking for more of an all-in-one digital marketing platform that also includes a CRM, text message marketing, and more. Though it is a standalone tool rather than a native WordPress email plugin, it does “feel” a lot like a native WordPress solution thanks to its integration plugin.

7. OptinMonster

OptinMonster email opt-in plugin

OptinMonster is focused on doing one thing really well – creating conversion-optimized opt-in forms to help you grow your email lists.

It does not let you send emails or manage subscribers by itself. Instead, it lets you create the forms that feed into your email marketing service, including some other tools on this list like MailPoet.

By offering this singular focus on opt-in forms, OptinMonster is able to do them really well. You’ll be able to create a ton of different form types, target them by content or user behavior, trigger them at specific times, and lots more.

You’ll also get analytics and A/B testing to improve your forms.

Key features:

  • 9+ different types of opt-in forms including popups, inline forms, slide-ins, content lockers, full-screen welcome mats, notification bars, gamified “spin the wheel”, and more.
  • Pre-built opt-in form templates or start from a blank slate.
  • Design/customize your opt-in forms using a drag-and-drop builder.
  • Detailed targeting rules – target by content or user details such as geolocation, “new vs returning visitors”, and lots more.
  • eCommerce-specific targeting rules to target offers by the items in a shopper’s cart, the value of their order, and more.
  • Flexible trigger rules, including exit-intent.
  • Integrates with most popular email marketing services/tools including MailPoet, Mailchimp, AWeber, and lots more.

Pricing:

OptinMonster’s paid plans start at $108 for your first year, though you’ll need a higher-tier plan to access the more advanced targeting rules, triggers, and features like A/B testing.

Suitable for:

OptinMonster is best for people who are looking for a heavy-duty list-building tool that connects to most popular email marketing services and allows for personalized, highly-targeted opt-in offers.

It can be a bit pricey, though, so you should only pay the money if you’re going to take advantage of its advanced marketing features. For simple opt-in forms where the most advanced targeting you’ll use is content targeting, you can find cheaper options. Speaking of…

8. Hustle

Hustle

Like OptinMonster, Hustle is another email plugin that’s specifically focused on helping you grow your email list, rather than sending emails or managing subscribers itself.

It lets you create different types of forms including popups, slide-ins, inline/after-post forms, widgets, and more. You can customize your forms using a simple editor and then target them to specific content/users and use triggers to control when they appear.

You’ll also get built-in statistics to track conversion rates.

Key features:

  • Create different types of forms including inline forms, popups, slide-ins, and more.
  • Pre-built templates.
  • Customize your forms using a simple interface (it’s not drag-and-drop, though).
  • Target your forms to specific content.
  • Target your forms using user information such as number of visits, referrer, logged-in status, and more.
  • Integrates with most popular email marketing services including MailPoet, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and more.

Pricing:

Hustle has a free version at WordPress.org that will work for most sites. It gives you most of the features but limits the number of forms you can create. For example, you can create three popups, three slide-ins, etc.

For unlimited forms and some other advanced features, Hustle Pro costs $60 per year or $6 per month.

Suitable for:

Hustle is a good option if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution (vs OptinMonster) for email opt-in forms. The forms still look great and it still gives you a good number of advanced targeting rules, but it’s a lot more friendly on your budget.

If you took the price out of the equation, OptinMonster is a more advanced tool. However, for most WordPress users, Hustle is still a better option because it gives you all the important features at a much lower price point (or even for free).

9. MC4WP (Mailchimp for WordPress)

MC4WP

As the name suggests, MC4WP is focused exclusively on helping you connect your WordPress site to Mailchimp.

With the free version, it’s a pretty basic connection, just letting you create opt-in forms that add people to Mailchimp lists. But if you purchase the premium version, you’ll get a lot more advanced features such as user sync, WooCommerce activity sync, and more.

All in all, a really solid WordPress email plugin if you’re already using Mailchimp for email marketing.

Key features:

  • Create opt-in forms for Mailchimp.
  • Add checkboxes to your comment and registration forms to let people join your lists.
  • Sync WordPress users to Mailchimp.
  • Sync WooCommerce data to Mailchimp.
  • Reports to track your most effective opt-in methods.

Pricing:

The core MC4WP plugin is available for free at WordPress.org, but it only lets you create a single form. To create more forms and access lots of additional features, the paid version starts at $59.

Of course, you’ll also need a Mailchimp account, which might cost money depending on your usage.

Suitable for:

MC4WP is great if you’re already using Mailchimp and want a plugin to help you integrate your WordPress site with Mailchimp.

However, because it’s 100% focused on Mailchimp, it’s obviously not a viable option if you’re using another email marketing service.

10. Jilt

Jilt eCommerce email plugin for WorDPress

Jilt is an email marketing plugin specifically built for eCommerce stores. It has dedicated integrations with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads for WordPress, though it also supports non-WordPress platforms such as Shopify.

Jilt is an all-in-one email marketing solution for eCommerce stores, so it covers everything from growing your lists to managing subscribers, sending them emails, and viewing analytics.

Because of its eCommerce focus, you’ll also get a lot of eCommerce-specific features such as segmentation based on order history/behavior, dynamic coupons and product recommendations, revenue attribution to emails, and more. 

Key features:

  • Dedicated eCommerce email marketing solution.
  • Works with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, as well as Shopify.
  • Send one-off emails or set up automation sequences like abandoned cart reminders or after-purchase coupons.
  • Drag-and-drop email builder that includes options to insert coupons, product recommendations, and more.
  • Segmentation conditions to filter out customers by details like order history, cart abandonment, tags, etc.
  • Detailed analytics dashboard, including attributing revenue to emails.

Pricing:

Jilt has a limited free plan that supports up to 300 email contacts and up to 600 emails per month. This might work for very small stores, but the 600 emails per month limit will go pretty quickly.

To raise the subscriber limit and send unlimited emails, the paid plans start at $29 per month.

Suitable for:

Jilt can be a good option for eCommerce stores searching for an email marketing solution. Because it only focuses on eCommerce, the entire user experience is optimized for eCommerce store owners’ needs.

How to choose the best WordPress email plugin for your needs

There’s no single best WordPress email plugin for everyone. Instead, you should be looking for the best plugin for your needs, knowledge level, and budget. That could be a single plugin on this list or, depending on the features that you need, it could be a stack of multiple plugins each focused on separate goals.

Here are some thoughts on the best plugin to choose for several different scenarios…

  • If you’re looking for an all-in-one email marketing solution, consider MailPoet or Newsletter for native WordPress solutions, or Sendinblue for a tight WordPress integration from a SaaS tool.
  • If you’re looking for a dedicated solution for email opt-in forms, consider Hustle if you’re on a budget or OptinMonster if you’re willing to pay a premium for advanced marketing features. Both integrate with MailPoet as well as other email marketing services.
  • If you’re running a WooCommerce store, consider MailPoet or Jilt. Or, Sendinblue also offers a dedicated WooCommerce add-on plugin.
  • If you want to design simple newsletters using the WordPress block editor, consider Newsletter Glue or Newspack Newsletters. Just remember that you need a third-party sending service.
  • If you want to improve the reliability of your site’s transactional emails, consider WP Mail SMTP. MailPoet and Sendinblue also have features to use their sending services for transactional emails in addition to your marketing emails.

Do you still have any questions about picking an email plugin for WordPress? Let us know in the comments!