Written By Ria du Plessis - Digital Marketing Expert
Professionally Reviewed by: Alex Gurevich
Email Octopus in a nutshell
Multiple accounts and logins.
Segmentation and geo:
There’s a segmentation option, but not by geographical region.
No, but you can set these up manually.
No, covered as part of the free plan.
Means of use:
Desktop, mobile devices and tablets.
Good all rounder for any company engaging in email marketing.
Email Octopus Video Review
What is Email Octopus?
Email Octopus is a responsive email marketing software that has sent over thirteen billion emails for various industries, including self-published authors, food bloggers, eCommerce stores, and charities. They offer multiple features, including drip campaigns, automated workflows, a drag-and-drop editor, developer API, reporting, and an autoresponder.
Email Octopus Pros & Cons
Affordable pricing: Any business on a tight budget looking for a simple email marketing tool can benefit from Email Octopus's inexpensive plans. They offer a generous free plan and an impressive pro plan. You can get 5,000 subscribers at $20 per month, plus all the features you need to run a successful email marketing campaign. Compared to other email marketing software, you are getting a solid deal.
Great Customer Service: I have come across many people raving about Email Octopus's support. Even though they don't offer phone support, they have email and live chat. You can also do a quick search on their website that offers many articles on technical support and how to improve your email marketing results.
Responsive to different devices: When sending emails with Email Octopus, you don't have to worry that the emails your subscribers receive on their mobile device will suddenly not show up correctly on the screen. Email Octopus's email campaigns can respond to any device.
Simple interface: You can easily create workflows with Email Octopus's simple interface. Having overcomplicated software can take a lot of time to understand, but Email Octopus keeps beginners in mind.
- No landing page builder:Landing pages give information straight to the point so viewers know what they can expect from your brand. It is also an effective way to capture leads and convert contacts into customers. Unfortunately, Email Octopus does not offer this feature unless you use an external tool.
- Limited Segmentation:Email Octopus offers basic segmentation that they have been working on, so we hope to see a bit more advanced segmentation from them in the future. Segmentation is essential since it allows you to send highly targeted emails to a specific audience.
- Direct integration not available: Integration allows you to make your email campaigns stronger and more effective by adding tools to your email software that help strengthen the software where it is lacking. You can't directly integrate other tools with Email Octopus, but you can use a 3rd party provider that allows integration.
Who is Email Octopus Good for?
If you are looking for basic features- Email Octopus is not an over-the-top email marketing software. Still, they are perfect for small business owners looking to stay in contact with their customers. With Email Octopus, you can easily navigate the software and send out simple emails at an affordable price.
If you are looking for a free trial- Email Octopus offers a generous free plan with up to 2,500 contacts, including 333 emails per day. If you are a small business, you will be able to use their free plan for a long time before having to upgrade to their pro plan, which is just as affordable.
If you are looking for a Developer API- Email Octopus allows external applications or websites to interact with the software. API is an excellent feature since it will enable you to work efficiently by creating content for one platform and distributing it simultaneously across other platforms.
Email Octopus is not recommended for:
If you are looking for a built-in CRM tool- Email Octopus does not have a built-in CRM, but you can integrate one using a 3rd party provider via Zapier. The only downside is that if you want a powerful CRM, you will most likely have to pay for it. CRM allows you to manage relationships with your customers effectively.
If you are looking for a wide variety of email templates- Email Octopus has five email templates to choose from. There is other email marketing software at the same price point as Email Octopus that offers more variety with their email templates. Even though there aren't many to choose from, you can still edit them to your liking by using the drag-and-drop editor.
You can cancel your Email Octopus subscription in the software dashboard or send them an email via email@example.com. Unfortunately, they do not offer a refund, but the software will continue to work until the end of your current billing period.
Key features and workflows
Creating emails and campaigns
Automation and template options are made clear at the outset, and you’ll find a good quality set of reporting tools at your disposal.
Emails sent/opened and links clicked
The software uses real-time analytics to give you open rates and click rates as they happen. You’ll also be able to see how many customers are unsubscribing and track your bounce rate. All of these metrics provide valuable insights on how well your campaign is going.
Deliverability rates and delivery by time zone
Email Octopus doesn’t disclose its average deliverability rates, but you’ll be able to track this statistic across your campaigns. It also provides a how-to article on improving your deliverability rates, and making sure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder.
Creating and importing email lists
You can import your contacts via a CSV file, add members manually, or collect subscribers via sign-up forms. You can store email addresses and custom data on each contact; just make sure you create the fields in the right format for import.
Let’s look at how you can create your lists fast and easily. To import contacts, you need to navigate to the lists section on your dashboard.
Now you need to choose to create your list.
You can name your list and choose to import your contacts from a CSV file. You will see just how easy this is.
When you move on to the next section, you will be asked to add a field to your contacts before the import will begin. This is the field under which your contacts will be saved.
To create a list without importing a file, you will just choose the second option after you navigated to the list section.
Split tests and A/B testing
Email Octopus doesn’t offer any A/B testing options; instead, you’ll have to review your own campaign report analytics to figure out what’s gone well and what hasn’t.
You’ll find a decent range of customization options here. You can add customer names to emails, insert images and make personalized offers based on buying habits.
Reporting and analysis (Rated: 4/5)
The analytics offered are not as detailed as some of Email Octopus’ competitors, but still offer enough information for you to analyze your campaigns effectively. I give them a score of 4.
You’ll get access to real-time engagement statistics, as well as an end-of-campaign summary. These reports cover opened emails, clicked links, who unsubscribed, who marked your mail as spam, those who didn’t open and those who opened but didn't click.
The reports don’t have as much detail as some of Email Octopus’s competitors, but you get enough information to see the strengths and weaknesses in your campaign. You’ll also find a number of helpful articles on the website that detail how you might improve your engagement and get more opens and clicks in the future.
There are no heat maps in the main reporting tool, but you can link Email Octopus to Google Analytics via a third party app. This will give you an idea of which areas and regions are engaging with your marketing campaign.
Campaign comparison report
There’s no campaign comparison feature with the software, but you’ll get an individual summary report at the end of each campaign. It’s not difficult to download the data on the different campaigns you want to compare and then compare manually.
Segmentation options are fully customizable, and you can create any custom field you’d like. You can divide your subscriber list into categories like gender, age, location, how long they've been subscribed, as well as by personal preferences. The segments all depend on the type of data you collect when someone subscribes. If you’d like to add new segments, you can issue surveys and questionnaires at any time to get even more information on specific product preferences.
Social media tracking
While Email Octopus doesn’t have native integration with social media, you can connect to platforms like Facebook via a third party app. You can track and add subscribers who engage with your campaign through Facebook and target ads to users.
You won’t find a return on investment analysis tool here; this is something you’ll have to calculate for yourself based on the plan you’re on and how many campaigns you’ve issued.
Email Octopus Integrations (Rated: 2/5)
Email Octopus earns a score of 2 for their integration offering. They do not offer any integrations themselves, which forces you to incur extra costs through the use of a third-party app, Zapier, if you would like to add integrations.
Email Octopus doesn’t have any integrations of its own. Instead, you’ll need to go via Zapier, a third-party app provider, if you want to use any add-ons. Luckily, Zapier has about 500 integrations you can use with the platform, so you’re sure to find something useful. Bear in mind, though, that this might incur an additional cost to your core plan.
You can connect Google Analytics to Email Octopus very easily, and with no prior coding knowledge. You’ll be able to track who’s visiting your web pages and get additional statistics and reports on user activity.
The application programming interface (API) at Email Octopus allows external websites and applications to interact with your account. If you have the coding skills, you can also develop your own integrations using the API.
It’s possible to connect your Email Octopus account to quite a few different eCommerce tools like Shopify, Amazon Seller Central, and PayPal. The tools let you set up triggers that will update your subscriber list whenever you make a sale through these platforms. You’ll also get additional analytics to see which platforms are bringing the most traffic.
Easily connect to a number of popular CRM platforms like Redtail, Microsoft Dynamics and Agile. Any change made as a result of your email campaign, e.g. new subscribers or sales, will automatically be updated in your CRM tool, helping you manage your sales pipelines.
Social media integrations
You’re able to integrate most popular social media platforms and set triggers as a result of your campaigns. For example, if someone likes one of your marketing tweets, you can automatically add that user to a list of customers to target in the future.
There are plugins to integrate Email Octopus into just about any type of website, including those developed using WordPress, Squarespace, WooCommerce, Wix, and Shopify.
There are plugins to integrate Email Octopus into just about any type of website, including those developed using WordPress, Squarespace, WooCommerce, Wix, and Shopify.
Email Octopus Automation (Rated: 4/5)
The automation options are decent, covering the basic automation features you would be looking to utilize in your campaigns, which earns Email Octopus a score of 4.
The Email Octopus Automation tool is easy to use. You can set time-based triggers or drip sequences to automate your campaigns. Drip campaigns work on simple yes/no triggers, and you can pre-set all of these commands before your campaign starts.
I found it really easy to set up an automated email campaign. The first thing you do is to navigate to the campaigns section in your Email Octopus dashboard.
After that, you will get the option to “create” your campaign. This is all very straightforward.
You will get an option on your screen to choose between two types of campaigns, a regular campaign or an automated campaign. Well, in this case, I went with an automated campaign.
You will then need to set up the settings for your automated email campaign. These settings include the workflow, the subject line, from name and email address, and the wait condition.
After you filled in all of the necessary information, you can go to the save button and move on to the next step. The next step is where you will design your email content to fit your brand.
Before you design your email, you will need to choose an email template to work from. Luckily, there are multiple email templates to choose from. I went and chose the “announce” email template to work from. I found it easy to work on and I can add my own information to it.
When you move on to the next step, you will get to the drag and drop builder. The drag and drop builder is also very easy to understand. When you click on a certain element in your template, you can change the content on the left side.
When you are happy with the way your email looks, you can hit the save button and move on to the next section.
The next section is where you will start adding emails to your automation. You can add as many emails as you like.
Once you are happy with all the emails that you added, you can enable your automated email campaign.
Design and ease of use (Rated: 5/5)
The system is easy and attractive, giving you easy access to great looking, customizable campaigns that don’t need too much time and effort on your part. I give them a score of 5.
As you might have seen with our automated email campaign designs, the Email Octopus drag and drop builder is very easy to use. Email Octopus has 11 email templates to choose from, and each one can easily be amended using the drag and drop editor. Everything is made as easy as possible, and there are some great-looking designs on offer.
Drag and drop interface
The editor is simple to use and you can add in images, amend the text, and drop in your logo. If you’re not happy with the interface, you can develop your own templates outside of the platform and upload them to the platform yourself.
So, you get the idea that the drag and drop interface is easy to use, right? So, let’s create a regular email campaign using the drag and drop interface and you will see just how easy it really is!
Just like before, you will go to the campaign section from your dashboard. There, you choose to create a new campaign, just like before. The only difference is that you will now choose to create a regular campaign instead of an automated campaign.
You can follow the steps, just like with the automated campaign, and fill in the details until you come to the section where you need to choose a template. You will see that there are great templates for regular campaigns to choose from. I chose the “traveler” template to work on for this review.
After you have chosen your template, you can edit it with the drag and drop editor. You can even add more elements to it if you choose to do this.
Before you can click save and move on, you will need to insert the required tag to your email campaign. This is a required tag if you are working on a free plan. You can go to the “learn more” button on Email Octopus if you want to learn more about this tag.
Landing page creator
The only way to build landing pages is to sign up for a partner service offered by Card. It costs an extra $9 per month and has 20 landing page templates to choose from. These also use a drag and drop interface and are easy to edit.
If you sign up for this service, you will get a lot of value out of it. It is easy to create a landing page with Email Octopus. You can start by navigating to the landing pages & Forms section from your dashboard.
You will get the option to create either a form or a landing page. In this case, you will choose to create a new landing page.
Before you can build your landing page, you will need to choose the list where you want your subscribers to be added.
After this, the fun part comes, you will choose a template and create your landing page. For this review, I chose the “Hanner” template.
Just like with the email campaign templates, you can edit your landing page with the drag and drop editor. You can click on the section you want to edit and add your own content.
When you are happy with the way your landing page appears, you can publish it.
The 11 templates on offer are sleek and modern-looking. Each one can be edited using the drag and drop interface and, if you have the coding skills, you can make more advanced changes directly via HTML.
Email Octopus Deliverability (Rated: 3/5)
While you would be able to analyze deliverability rates from campaign to campaign, Email Octopus does not disclose their overall deliverability rates, which in turn earns them a 3.
The average deliverability rate is not disclosed by Email Octopus, but there is the capability to measure your own rates within the reporting suite. There is no time-zone scheduling offered, but it is possible to set this up manually. Segmentation is possible; however, geographic segmentation is not offered.
Email Octopus pricing (Rated: 4/5)
Email Octopus is very affordable, with a free plan that offers most of the features you would need to drive successful email campaigns, earning them a score of 5.
Starter - Free
Pro - $24 per month
The service is provided in a sliding scale format above the $20 per month option. All of the features will remain the same, but you’ll pay an extra $10 to $15 per month for each additional block of 5,000 subscribers. The number of monthly emails will also scale accordingly; you’ll always be allowed to send 10 times the number of emails as you have subscribers.
Email Octopus Customer service (Rated: 5/5)
Email Octopus has a reputation for having amazing support. While it is limited to email and live chat, they are quick and able to respond to your queries, earning them a score of 5.
You’ll find dozens of support articles and blogs via the help center that cover most major issues you might encounter with the platform. If you can’t find an answer to your question, you can also get in touch via live chat and email. Customers on the Pro plan will receive a priority response.
Email Octopus Alternatives
Mailerlite: If Email Octopus isn't living up to your expectations, you can choose an easy-to-use and affordable software like Mailerlite. Their free plan includes 1000 contacts with up to 12,000 emails per month. What makes them great is that they offer a landing page editor so you can easily capture leads and convert them into paying customers.
Sendinblue: This software is an affordable all-in-one solution that allows you to send email campaigns and SMS. Their automation is quite advanced for an inexpensive tool, and you can send triggered emails based on email engagement, web behavior, and lead scores.
GetResponse: This tool is more expensive than Email Octopus, but it is well worth the price as it offers the ability to set up Facebook and Google Ads directly from your account. Other features include over 180 landing pages, CRM, advanced list segmentation, and automation.
Email Octopus is affordable, reliable and has all of the features any small and medium sized business needs to run an effective email marketing campaign. The interface is easy to get to grips with, you’ll find decent automation options, and the templates are stylish and easy to edit.
Where the platform struggles is its lack of additional features. Other platforms offer more detailed reports, full A/B testing, and more complex segmentation. However, this shouldn’t put off most small business owners from trying it out.
What I liked about Email Octopus
- It’s inexpensive
- Good automation options
- Easy-to-use email editor
- Free plan available
- Wide range of third-party applications
What I didn’t like about Email Octopus
- Lacks A/B testing
- Segmentation is a little more limited than other platforms