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 Plan A||Monthly Plan B||Monthly Plan C|
|Constant Contact||$15/500 subscribers||$30/501-2,500||$50/2,501-5,000|
|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|
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|
Ease of Use
|MailChimp||Incl with Pay as You Go
or monthly paid plans
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!
Award-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”.
If 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!