EmailOctopus is a new player in the world of Email Marketing platforms.
So if you are looking for a tool to create a newsletter, or to capture emails from potential customers on your blog, this is one of the best alternatives you can consider, as it is very easy to use, and affordable.
What is Email Octopus and how does it differ from EmailOctopus Connect?
Before signing up on the platform, you should know that Email Octopus offers two different tools.
- EmailOctopus: a Mailchimp-like tool, which will manage everything for you, is the one you should choose in most cases.
- And EmailOctopus Connect: which uses Amazon SES (simple email service) infrastructure to make sending emails much cheaper.
You should only choose the last option if you are an advanced user, you have an AWS account (Amazon Web Services, necessary to configure SES, or you are willing to create one), and are going to send thousands of emails per month, a situation where the money-saving is remarkable.
It is important that you decide first of all which one you want to use since you will have to use a different sign-up page in each case, one is the “normal one”, and the other one is the one promoted as “Via SES”.
If in the future you want to change your model, you will have to contact support.
That’s why I recommend you to read the full EmailOctopus review before deciding.
EmailOctopus offers only 1 paid plan, which simplifies things a lot, as it doesn’t offer add-ons or complex plans for big companies, teams, or similar (like Active Campaign)
But note that since you can choose to use Email Octopus Classic, and the one managed through SES (which remember, is cheaper), you can actually choose between 2 different payment plans, and in fact, also 2 free plans.
EmailOctopus “Classic” Pricing
In the classic plan, in which, remember, the company manages the sending of emails for you, you can choose two plans: Starter (free) and Pro.
- The free plan (Starter) allows you to have up to 2,500 subscribers and/or send 10,000 emails per month.
- For example, if you have (the maximum of) 2,500 subscribers, you could send 1 email per week (2,500×4 = 10,000). But if you only have 1,000 subscribers, you could send up to 10 campaigns per month (1,000 x 10 = 10,000).
- The Paid plan (Pro) starts at $24 (~20€) per month for 5,000 subscribers and/or 50,000 emails sent per month, and increases according to the number of subscribers:
- 10,000 subscribers or 100,000 mailings costs $36 per month.
- 25,000 subscribers or 250,000 mailings costs $70 per month.
And so on
As you can see, it is quite economical, having 25,000 subscribers is a lot, if you have so many subscribers, you should be earning way more than $70 per month.
Note: The paid plan also removes the EmailOctopus branding from the emails and landing pages, and allows you to keep unlimited reports instead of only 30 days, which is what the free plan offers.
EmailOctopus Connect Pricing
Remember, Email Octopus Connect Product manages the delivery of the emails through Amazon SES.
Because of that, the price changes slightly, although you will have to add Amazon SES charges to what Email Octopus charges you (but no worries, those charges from Amazon are minimal, really)
- Free plan: Email Octopus Connect also has a free plan, the difference with the classic mode is that although you keep the limit of 2,500 subscribers, you have no monthly sending limit.
- Important: Amazon SES lets you send 62,000 emails per month for free. And after that, it costs only about $0.10 for each additional 1,000 emails. Because of the 2,500 subscriber limit that the EmailOctopus plan has, you will probably never need to pay more, as you would have to send, for example, 25 campaigns to the 2,500 subscribers to reach the Amazon limit.
- The Paid plan it’s a bit cheaper than the previous one (as you can see, the base plan only drops from $24 to $20). The savings are noticeable if you have thousands of subscribers, since as you can see, the Connect version does not have a limit of monthly mailings, but remember that you will have to pay them as an extra in Amazon SES at a rate of $0.10 per 1,000 additional mailings from 62,000 onwards.
Note: the price of Amazon SES varies slightly depending on the region you choose for the delivery of the emails.
EmailOctopus Review, what does this platform offer?
Each Email Marketing software has its own method of organizing the contacts, here it’s how Email Octopus works.
EmailOctopus uses as its main organizing tool, lists.
A list is simply a way of grouping your contacts, you will create them from the Lists section of the menu, by clicking on “Create List”.
Something to keep in mind is that if a contact is in two different lists, it will count as 2 subscribers in your free/paid plan, so you could reach the limit faster than you would expect.
By default, these lists only store the Email, first name, and last name of your contact, but you can add more fields from the Fields section.
Notice that to the right of Fields, you will find the option to create tags.
These tags are exclusive for each list, you won’t be able to use the tags of one list in another list.
The conclusion you should draw from this is that EmailOctopus is set up to be organized preferably with a single list and tags.
This becomes even clearer if you take a look at the Segments section, which allows you to virtually split your list according to the parameters you specify:
For example, if you have a list for your blog, you can create a segment called “customers” with all subscribers who have purchased a certain product from you, and therefore have the tag “product #1”.
In addition to tags, you can also create segments based on other parameters, for example, based on campaigns opened or clicked, location…
In Europe, it’s mandatory by law that your newsletter has a double opt-in, i.e. a confirmation email so that no one can subscribe to your list other people without their permission.
EmailOctopus has this option on every list, so you can use it without any problem.
No email marketing software is complete without specific tools to capture emails.
In EmailOctopus you have two ways of doing that:
- Through Forms
- Through Landing Pages
Both are created from the Landing Pages & Forms option in the menu bar.
At the moment there are only 2 types of forms you can create within EmailOctopus, the ones you generate to add between content paragraphs (Inline), or PopUp forms.
Each of these forms is assigned to a specific list.
In these forms, you can add the GDPR checkbox, redirect to another page after sending the form, and define many design parameters visually. Don’t worry, you’ll find several form templates to start with.
Landing Pages are very similar in terms of creation, but they are not embedded in your page or blog, but a separate URL is generated, in a domain owned by EmailOctopus, which looks like:
You can define the “username” part at https://emailoctopus.com/account/settings.
Official WordPress Plugin
If you are not comfortable working with code to add the forms, you should know that EmailOctopus offers a plugin for WordPress, so you can create the forms from it, and insert them with a block, or with a shortcode.
However, for the moment it is quite limited.
EmailOctopus has an API, which makes it possible to connect it to hundreds of external services (including the official plugin).
The most interesting integration is undoubtedly the one with Zapier, as this will allow you to connect its actions with more than 4,000 applications.
EmailOctopus also has direct integrations with additional software, tools, and services.
- It has direct integration with Carrd, so you can create your websites for free there, and also create a newsletter thanks to EmailOctopus’ free plan.
- bCast, the podcasting hosting,
- OptinMonster or OptinNinja for forms…
There are about ten of these integrations, unfortunately, the most interesting ones, such as Gumroad, Stripe, Teachable, Airtable… are only available indirectly through Zapier.
And a very negative point for me is that for the moment, there is no integration with Thrive Leads.
From the “Campaign” tab is where you can send your Email Marketing campaigns.
You can choose between:
- Simple campaigns: that you will send manually, or leave scheduled.
- And automatic campaigns: which are sent according to certain parameters.
Some things that can be highlighted here are:
- You can send campaigns only to a specific segment of a list.
- You can turn off click and open analytics in case you want to respect their privacy,
- You can add Google Analytics tracking,
- You can choose from a multitude of templates,
- You can use tags so that for example <<FirstName>>, displays the user’s name,
- You can get a link to share your campaign with other people or by other means (Twitter),
- If you have activated it, you will be able to see reports of opens, clicks, unsubscribes… of your simple campaigns.
Email Marketing usually attracts a lot of attention because of its ability to automate sendings.
EmailOctopus has tools for this, although for the moment, a little limited.
The creation of these campaigns is practically identical to the creation of simple campaigns, but you’ll find an extra section where you can indicate whether you want this email to be sent immediately, or X hours or days after a person has subscribed to a list.
This is enough to send the typical welcome gift (lead magnet), or an onboarding series of email, but it’s a bit insufficient to create more complex automations, especially if you want them to depend on actions taken by the user (for example, if he has opened previous campaigns).
At the moment, a contact subscribing to a list is the only trigger.
Email Octopus, Pros and Cons
As a quick summary, these are the strengths and weaknesses of this email marketing platform:
Weak Points of EmailOctopus
- It has no integration with Thrive Leads, for me this is basic, since I consider it the best tool to capture emails in a WordPress blog. I also miss more integrations in general.
- The forms are very simple, they do not allow for example to add tags to contacts who subscribe through them.
- The automation capabilities in general are very limited, there is only the trigger of subscribing to a list, but nothing else.
Good Points of EmailOctopus
- Very generous free plan (up to 2,500 subscribers / 10,000 emails per month)
- Very cheap if you use the Connect version with Amazon SES (Simple Email Service), in terms of functionality vs. price, I don’t think there is anything that comes close.
- Very easy to use, in less than 1 hour you can have your system up and running, as its interface is very simple.
- Extra privacy options for your users, being able to disconnect open and/or click tracking.
EmailOctopus, bottom line
EmailOctopus is a relatively young platform (it was founded in 2014), and as such, it is still growing and expanding.
To give you an idea, the functionality to tag contacts was added on March 11, 2022, a few days before writing this review, so maybe that’s why you still can’t integrate them into forms, nor launch automation campaigns with them.
In general, I miss more power when creating automatic campaigns, and above all, integration with Thrive Leads to make the use of this platform fully efficient.
EmailOctopus is not an email marketing service for advanced users, if you now have, or want to create dozens of automatic campaigns based on the actions taken by your users (what interests they have, where they click, what pages they visit …) this is not for you, and I think the same applies if you want to complement this with for example an e-commerce, since the integration should be done through Zapier.
EmailOctopus is focused on the entrepreneurs that are looking for simplicity, a fast system to capture emails and send quality campaigns in a comfortable way, without pretensions or complications.
It’s ideal for content creators.
If you are starting with Email Marketing, and you don’t have a Newsletter yet, this is probably the option I recommend the most right now.