As a tour operator, hotel, or travel agent, finding the perfect email marketing software is essential for effectively reaching and engaging your audience. 

With a plethora of options available, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the features, pricing, and suitability for your specific needs.

Today, we’re exploring the important qualities to consider when choosing email marketing software and provide guidance on the decision between free and paid options. 

Then we’ll reveal our picks for the 10 best email marketing software providers to help you make an informed choice.

How To Choose The Right Email Marketing Software For Travel & Tourism

Whether you’re a safari tour operator that emails their clients monthly for years or a hotel that needs to automate many of your email processes, having the right email marketing software can make all the difference.

Before we get into specific examples, here are seven qualities to keep in mind before you choose the software for you.

  1. Ease of Use – Look for user-friendly email marketing software that doesn’t require advanced technical skills to navigate and set up. Intuitive interfaces and drag-and-drop editors can streamline your workflow and save time. This allows you to spend more time doing the work you love, and less time futzing around with minor design details.
  2. List Management and Segmentation – Effective targeting and segmentation are crucial for personalized and targeted email campaigns. Ensure that the software provides robust list management features, allowing you to segment your audience based on demographics, preferences, and engagement levels.
  3. Automation Capabilities – Automation simplifies repetitive tasks and helps nurture leads and engage customers. Look for features like autoresponders, drip campaigns, and triggered emails to deliver timely and relevant content. This is especially powerful once you want to scale up your business.
  4. Templates and Customization – A visually appealing email template library, along with the ability to customize designs and branding elements, can ensure consistent and professional-looking emails that align with your brand identity.
  5. Integration and Compatibility – Consider the software’s compatibility with other tools and platforms you use, such as CRM systems, booking engines, or customer data management platforms. Seamless integration can streamline your workflow and enhance efficiency.
  6. Reporting and Analytics – Access to detailed email performance metrics, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, is vital for measuring the success of your campaigns. Choose software that provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.
  7. Customer Support – Opt for a provider that offers reliable customer support, whether through live chat, email, or phone. Responsive and knowledgeable support can save you time and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

These qualities are going to be found to some degree in every email marketing software. Getting the best of the best, though, will start to come up with a price tag.

Free vs. Paid: Email Marketing Software for Travel

Many email marketing companies offer free trials and free plans, which are great ways to see if the service is a fit for you. At this stage, you can also easily upload and download your contact list, so there’s no need to worry about getting stuck with a provider you don’t like.

Still, these email marketing companies exist to make money (as does your business, I’m sure!), and they’ll offer paid plans that either a) remove some of the annoying limitations of the free plan, and b) offer greater amounts of control and customization.

Ultimately, choosing between free and paid email marketing software depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider the following factors:

  1. Feature Limitations – Free plans often come with limitations on the number of subscribers, emails sent per month, or advanced features like automation. Evaluate whether the limitations align with your business requirements. For many travel businesses, the number of subscribers you can keep on your list could be the most important factor.
  2. Scalability – If you anticipate substantial growth in your subscriber base or the need for advanced features in the future, paid plans may offer scalability and flexibility to accommodate your evolving needs. Many email marketing software providers have ways for you to see at what point the price jumps, so you can plan according to your expected budget.
  3. Professionalism and Branding – Free plans often include the provider’s branding within your emails, which may not align with your desired level of professionalism. Paid plans allow for custom branding and provide a more polished appearance. Depending on the size of your travel business, your customers may or may not expect that level of polish.
  4. Customer Support – Free plans typically offer limited or no customer support, while paid plans often include priority support. Assess the level of support you require and the impact of potential downtime or technical issues on your business. If you have relatively simple needs for your email provider – or you have technologically gifted staff members! – you may not need much customer support.
  5. Budget Considerations – Evaluate your budget and the value you place on email marketing as a strategic tool for your travel business. While a monthly plan of $25 or $45 or $85 can seem too high, ask yourself what you’re getting for what you spend. Would it help you book one more traveler? Ten more? One hundred more? Consider the potential return on investment and the long-term benefits of investing in a paid plan.

Top 10 Email Marketing Software Options For Travel & Tourism Operators

As a travel entrepreneur or marketer, choosing the right email marketing software is crucial for effectively reaching your audience and driving business growth. After all, once you have your email marketing strategy dialed down, you’ll need the tools to execute it. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 travel email marketing software solutions. Let’s explore their features, pros and cons, free plan limitations, and pricing options.

1. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a popular and user-friendly email marketing platform with a wide range of features. It offers customizable templates, automation capabilities, and integrations with popular travel tools.


  • Intuitive interface and easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
  • Robust automation features, including autoresponders and drip campaigns


  • Limited customer support on the free plan
  • Some advanced features are available only on higher-tier plans

Free Plan Limitations: Mailchimp’s free plan only allows up to 500 subscribers, and it’s limited to just 1 welcome email automation.

First Plan Cost: If you have more than 500 subscribers, you’ll pay $26.50/month for the Essentials plan.

2. EmailOctopus

EmailOctopus is a cost-effective email marketing platform known for its simplicity and affordability. It offers features like automation, customizable templates, and audience segmentation.


  • Affordable pricing compared to other solutions
  • Simple and user-friendly interface


  • Limited advanced features compared to more robust platforms
  • Customer support options are limited

Free Plan Limitations: EmailOctopus offers a free plan with up to 2,500 subscribers and 10,000 monthly email sends.

First Plan Cost: The Pro plan starts at $8 per month for 500 users and offers full design, unlimited landing pages, and reports.

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing platform that offers email marketing as part of its suite of tools. It provides advanced automation features, lead nurturing capabilities, and CRM integration.


  • Powerful automation and personalization features
  • Robust analytics and reporting capabilities


  • The learning curve may be steeper for beginners
  • Pricing can be higher compared to other solutions

Free Plan Limitations: HubSpot offers a free plan with limited features, allowing up to 1,000 marketing contacts

First Plan Cost: The Starter plan starts at $18 per month for 1,000 contacts, and goes up to $36/month for 2,000 contacts.

4. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a robust email marketing and automation platform suitable for larger travel businesses. It offers advanced segmentation, CRM integration, and powerful automation workflows.


  • Extensive automation capabilities for personalized customer journeys
  • Deep integrations with popular travel tools and CRMs


  • The interface may be overwhelming for beginners
  • Higher pricing compared to some other solutions

Free Plan Limitations: ActiveCampaign does not offer a free plan, only a 14-day free trial.

First Plan Cost: The Marketing Lite plan starts at $29 per month for 1 user.

5. MailerLite

MailerLite is a beginner-friendly email marketing platform that provides a range of features for travel businesses. It offers drag-and-drop editors, automation workflows, and landing page creation.


  • Easy-to-use interface with intuitive drag-and-drop editor
  • Affordable pricing plans with generous features


  • Some advanced features may be lacking compared to more robust solutions
  • Limited template customization options

Free Plan Limitations: MailerLite’s free plan allows up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly email sends.

First Plan Cost: Past 1,000 subscribers, you’ll need to move up to the Growing Business plan at $15/month.

6. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a popular email marketing platform designed for content creators and bloggers. It offers features such as customizable forms, automation workflows, and subscriber tagging.


  • Simplified interface with a focus on segmentation and automation
  • Easy integration with popular platforms and tools


  • Can be technically more challenging
  • Pricing can be higher compared to other solutions

Free Plan Limitations: ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 300 subscribers. 

First Plan Cost: Above 300 subscribers, you’ll need to switch to the Creator plan, which starts at $25 per month.

7. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a user-friendly email marketing platform suitable for small businesses in the travel industry. It provides customizable templates, automation, and list segmentation features.


  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop editor
  • Robust event marketing features for tour operators and event organizers


  • Limited automation capabilities compared to more advanced platforms
  • Pricing can be higher for larger subscriber lists

Free Plan Limitations: Constant Contact offers a 14-day free trial but does not have a permanent free plan.

First Plan Cost: The Lite plan starts at $12 per month for up to 500 contacts.

8. GetResponse

GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers email marketing, automation, and landing page creation tools. It provides a range of features suitable for travel businesses of all sizes.


  • Comprehensive set of marketing tools in one platform
  • Advanced automation and segmentation features


  • The interface may be overwhelming for beginners
  • Basic plans limited with automation

Free Plan Limitations: GetResponse offers a free plan with up to 500 subscribers and limited features.

First Plan Cost: Their Email Marketing plan starts at $15 per month.

9. Brevo (formerly known as sendinblue)

Brevo is a versatile email marketing platform that offers automation, transactional emails, and SMS marketing. It provides a user-friendly interface and features suitable for travel businesses of all sizes.


  • Easy-to-use interface with a visual automation builder
  • Affordable pricing plans with generous features


  • Limited template customization options compared to some other solutions
  • Advanced features may be lacking for more complex marketing strategies

Free Plan Limitations: Brevo’s free plan allows up to 300 emails per day to unlimited subscribers.

First Plan Cost: The Starter plan starts at $25 per month.

10. Beehiiv

Beehiiv is an email marketing platform that specializes more in newsletters. It offers features such as customizable templates, automation workflows, and monetization strategies. If your focus is purely on one destination or niche, this newsletter-focused email marketing software could be a great option.


  • Quick to launch newsletters for growth-focused travel content creators
  • Easily customize and monetize your content


  • Not as robust for email marketing
  • Not as applicable to all travel entrepreneurs

Free Plan Limitations: Beehiiv offers their Launch plan for free up to 2,500 users.

First Plan Cost: For more than 2,500 users or more advanced features, the Grow plan starts at $42 per month.

By considering the features, pros and cons, free plan limitations, and pricing options of these 10 travel email marketing software solutions, you can find the right fit for your travel business. Remember to assess your specific needs, budget, and long-term growth plans when making your decision. Happy email marketing!

Work With Passport Creative To Set Up Your Email Marketing

Know which email marketing software for travel you’d like to use, but need a helping hand getting all the pieces together? Our team can help you get your email signup forms, lead generation, welcome campaign, and more installed and ready for you. 

Check out our travel email marketing service, then feel free to get in touch to hear more.

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