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9 Customer.io Alternatives for SaaS Email Marketing Automation

Let’s look at Customer.io alternatives that are better fit for SaaS email marketing.

Krista Melgarejo
Krista Melgarejo
Customer.io alternatives for SaaS companies

While Customer.io certainly comes with a lot of great features, its complexity and price might not suit your current SaaS-specific needs. SaaS email automation is key for user activation and continuous retention, but it comes with its own set of challenges. What other tools are worth investigating?

We've made this comprehensive list of alternatives that may be a better fit for your SaaS business, depending on your feature requirements and budget.

What is Customer.io?

Customer.io is a marketing automation tool that lets you send relevant messages based on customer behavior across web and mobile products. The company was founded in 2012 to help teams leverage their customer behavior data.

Their key features include:

  • Segmentation: lets you maximize the potential of available customer data so you can create better and more specific campaigns
  • Messaging: send marketing and lifecycle messages through a variety of channels which include email, push notifications, and in-app messages
  • Reporting and analytics: basic reporting
  • Experimentation: A/B testing
  • Workspaces: lets you manage multiple products, sites or apps from a single account

Pricing. Customer.io's pricing depends on the number of contacts. Plans start at $100 for 5,000 profiles.

Why people look for Customer.io alternatives

Product complexity & steep learning curve. Not only does this make usage difficult for non-developers, it also makes migration a very painful process if you ever find yourself dissatisfied with the tool.

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of a Customer.io review that talks about the steep learning curve

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of a Customer.io review that talks about the steep learning curve

Prohibitive pricing. Customers also found it to be expensive, making it less accessible for small businesses. One customer even shares that they have difficulties with right-sizing their billing.

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of a Customer.io review that talks about the steep learning curve

Because Customer.io serves all industries, the platform might not serve your SaaS-specific use cases.

Customer.io alternatives that fit your SaaS better

While no tool is perfect, there are many alternatives that offer similar features.

We've listed some of the best alternatives to Customer.io's functionality below. Use this as a guide in creating your martech stack that better fits your use case.

#1. Userlist

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Userlist homepage

Userlist (disclaimer, it's our product) is a dedicated email marketing software and automation tool built with SaaS companies in mind.

Unlike other email marketing tools, Userlist supports account-level data and account-level automation, letting you manage complex many-to-many relationships between users and companies.

Ideal use case. SaaS companies.

Key features

Pricing. The monthly subscription is based on the number of users and scales depending on your business growth. Plans start at $149 per month for 10,000 users.

#2. ActiveCampaign

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of ActiveCampaign's marketing automation landing page

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one platform that helps you manage your marketing and sales activities.

Its email marketing feature lets you send one-time broadcasts, triggered emails, targeted emails, transactional emails, and even autoresponders. It also has a drag-and-drop designer so you could easily create and send great looking emails.

Ideal use case. General audience: ecommerce, B2C, and B2B companies of all sizes.

Key features

  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Personalization
  • Site tracking
  • Landing pages
  • Forms

Pricing. Though the most affordable option on their pricing page states $49 per month, ActiveCampaign actually offers a Marketing Lite plan for individuals and small teams at $29 per month if you dig a little further. The Lite plan gets you basic features like email marketing, marketing automation, and inline forms.

#3. Campaign Monitor

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Campaign Monitor's email marketing landing page

Campaign Monitor is a platform that helps marketers grow their customer relationships.

The tool lets you leverage your customer data so you can send the right messages at the right time. Its testing feature lets you improve your emails based on performance reports. You can also build customer journeys easily with their visual journey designer.

Ideal use case. Companies of any size and industry.

Key features

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Segmentation and personalization
  • Marketing automation
  • Transactional email
  • Analytics

Pricing. Campaign Monitor's pricing also depends on your number of contacts. Their Lite plan comes at $11 per month with a 2,500 monthly email send volume. They also offer a pay per email campaign plan for users who only send emails occasionally.

#4. Loops

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Loops' homepage

Loops is a platform that helps SaaS businesses send marketing and transactional emails through their easy to use interface.

The platform lets you build loops with a visual builder, set up triggers, personalize emails with merge tags, and more. It also features a drag and drop editor to let you customize your emails easily.

Ideal use case. Early stage B2B SaaS companies.

Key features

  • Marketing emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Automated onboarding
  • Drag and drop editor

Pricing. Loops offers a free plan for up to 1,000 contacts and 2,000 monthly emails sends. Their paid plans start at $49 per month for 5,000 contacts and unlimited email sends.

#5. Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Brevo's homepage

Brevo is a marketing suite that helps you build customer relationships across a variety of channels.

Aside from letting you send marketing and transactional emails, Brevo also lets you grow your email list through landing pages and signup forms. You can also design your emails easily with their templates and built-in image editing tools.

Ideal use case. Ecommerce, SaaS, small to medium-sized businesses.

Key features

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • WhatsApp campaigns
  • Livechat
  • Chatbot

Pricing. Brevo offers a free plan with unlimited contacts but you can only send up to 300 emails per day. Their paid plans start at $25 per month that lets you send 20,000 emails monthly.

#6. Engage

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Engage's homepage

Engage is a customer engagement platform that helps you send personalized messages based on their journey, preferences, and activities on your platform.

The platform is mainly used for customer onboarding, retention, and billing notifications. It also lets you analyze your transactional email performance.

Ideal use case. Small to medium-sized companies of any industry.

Key features

  • Segmentation
  • Marketing automation
  • Email
  • SMS
  • Push notifications
  • In-app messages
  • Basic reporting
  • Accounts feature

Pricing. Engage offers a free plan for 1,000 active customers and 2 team members. Their paid plans start at $50 per month which gets you 5,000 active customers and 5 team members.

#7. HubSpot

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of HubSpot's marketing hub page

HubSpot is another all-in-one platform that connects your marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.

Aside from letting you create and test your emails, it also comes with other marketing features like forms, landing pages, live chat, and even publishing your blog.

Key features

  • Email marketing
  • Segmentation
  • Forms
  • Landing pages
  • Live chat
  • Blog

Ideal use case. Suited for companies of all sizes, doesn't focus on SaaS

Pricing. TheHubSpot Marketing Hub has a free plan that lets you send up to 2,000 emails per calendar month.Their paid plans start at $20 per month that already includes 1,000 marketing contacts.

#8. OneSignal

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of OneSignal's homepage

OneSignal is a customer engagement platform for developers and marketers.

The platform lets you send relevant messages across a variety of channels, including email. You can create and send emails through their Email Composer or via integration with other email platforms like Mailchimp.

Ideal use case. Companies of any size and industry.

Key features

  • Mobile push messages
  • Web push messages
  • In-app messages
  • Email
  • SMS
  • A/B testing
  • Personalization

Pricing. OneSignal offers a free plan for up to 5,000 monthly email sends. Their paid plans start at $9 per month that gets you standard personalization and up to 500,000 monthly email sends.

#9. Ortto

Customer.io Alternatives: Screenshot of Ortto's homepage

Ortto is a marketing automation and customer data platform that lets you unify data, messaging, and analytics.

Its email marketing feature lets you maximize your customer data, create and send great looking emails through its drag-and-drop editor, and optimize your campaigns with A/B testing.

Ideal use case. SaaS, ecommerce, non-profits, B2B or B2C, from startups to big enterprises.

Key features

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Push notifications
  • Live chat
  • In-app messages
  • Pop ups, forms and surveys
  • Fit and engagement scoring
  • A/B testing
  • Report and dashboard builder

Pricing. Ortto's Professional plan is at $599 per month which already gets you key features including email and SMS marketing, web push notifications, and advanced A/B testing.

Choose the right email marketing platform for your SaaS

Investing early in your marketing is crucial in your SaaS growth. When deciding on your tech stack, it's best to find one that meets your current use case.

If you want to know more about Userlist's features and if it's the right fit for you, you're welcome to book a free strategy call with our team.

About the author
Krista Melgarejo

Krista Melgarejo manages marketing and podcasts at Userlist. Krista is a scientist turned writer and digital marketer who helps businesses with their copywriting and automations. They also had their creative work published in two anthologies.

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