Done-for-You: Email Marketing Comparison

Which Email Marketing Service Provider is Right for Your Small Business?I surveyed my readers and found out that their #1 challenge with e-mail marketing is designing a newsletter template. Tied for a close second?  Deciding which one best fits my needs and Finding a service I can afford.

If you know at all what I’m about, you know I believe your website, your social media and your e-mail marketing all need to work together as a cohesive unit to get you traffic and conversions. If you’ve been putting off committing to an e-mail marketing provider because it’s all too overwhelming (and/or time-consuming) to compare pricing and features and flipping back and forth between websites to do that comparison, I’m here to rescue you! I’ve done the research on 5 of the top e-mail marketing providers for small business and compiled it for you below.

An important thing to note: Don’t let settling on an e-mail marketing service intimidate you. You are not going to be “stuck” with a company that you may decide after a few months really doesn’t fit your needs (or you’ve grown so much, it no longer fits your needs). Virtually every e-mail marketing site will allow you to export your existing list; you will then be able to import it to your new site.

MONTHLY PRICING

Monthly Plan A Monthly Plan B Monthly Plan C
AWeber $19/500 subscribers $29/501-2,500 $49/2,501-5,000
Constant Contact $15/500 subscribers $30/501-2,500 $50/2,501-5,000
iContact $14/500 subscribers $29/501-2,500 $47/2,501-5,000
MailChimp FREE up to 2,000 contacts/ 12,000 e-mails per month $10/up to 500 contacts, unlimited e-mails $15/,000 contacts; unlimited e-mails
VerticalResponse $10/500 subscribers $28/501-2,000 $46/2,001-4,000

OTHER PRICING INFO

Trial Offer Pay-As-You-Go Nonprofit Discount
AWeber $1/30 days N/A 3 months free; 25% off thereafter
Constant Contact 100 FREE e-mails N/A 20% off with 6 month prepay
iContact 30 days FREE N/A FREE in NC; all others 20% off
MailChimp FREE up to 2,000 contacts $.03/e-mail 15% off
VerticalResponse 500 FREE e-mails 1.5¢/e-mail 10,000 free e-mails/month

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

Autoresponders?

Ease of Use
(1 = simple; 5 = intricate)

AWeber Included 4
Constant Contact Included 3
iContact Included 3
MailChimp Incl with Pay as You Go
or monthly paid plans
2
VerticalResponse In Development 1

Autoresponders, in case you don’t know, are part of an automated campaign that sends out an e-mail or series of e-mails when a triggering event occurs.  The trigger could be someone submitting the opt-in form on your website, clicking through to an offer from one of your landing pages, or any number of other events.  This is kind of an advanced e-mail marketing technique and not something you necessarily need to jump into right away.

When rating ease of use, I considered several factors such as how simple it is to create really great-looking e-mail newsletter templates, how straightforward the import/export procedure for lists is and general ease of navigation.

My personal favorite is Vertical Response.  Yep, that’s an affiliate link.  If you click on it and sign up, I get a kickback the first time you send an e-mail.  But I would highly recommend their service even without the commission; I use it myself and continue to recommend it verbally, even when there’s nothing in it for me.  They offer the very best pay-as-you-go pricing (one of the few that does at all), so when you don’t use it you don’t pay for it; very beneficial when you’re just starting out in e-mail marketing.  They have a lot of great ready-made templates but I also LOVE their template wizard – it is SO EASY to create highly customized, great-looking newsletters, even from scratch.

So there’s my run-down for ya.  If you still have questions or need guidance in helping you choose an e-mail marketing provider, comment below and I’ll get back to you!

teach-to-fish-give-a-fish_blogAward-winning web professional Bonny Clayton, aka Your Web Chick, is a web designer, social media mechanic and email marketing technician.

A Tech Geek with a Creative Streak℠, she helps small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere establish and maintain their online presence. She is committed to serving them according to their needs, whether that means “giving them a fish” or “teaching them to fish”.


your-two-cents2If you still have questions about pricing or determining the best e-mail marketing provider for your business, feel free to ask
 in the comments below!  I will make every effort to respond to all inquiries!

2 comments

  1. Very good info, Bonnie!! You did all the work and made it simple for everyone!

    • on February 24, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thanks, Lisa! As someone who is devoted to the ongoing business success of my clients and readers, this seemed a good way to contribute to that success!

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