Email marketing is one of the most successful, most cost-effective, and most important features of your business. But in order to cash in on the power of email marketing, you've got to have the right email marketing provider.
This review of five email marketing platforms will help you to make an informed decision as to which email marketing system is best for you.
Constant Contact is one of the oldest and biggest players in the email marketing industry. Their customer list has the likes of Microsoft, AmericanExpress, HP, and others. In a growth effort, Constant Contact has emerged from mere email marketing to encompass event planning (EventSpot), social campaigns, local marketing (SaveLocal), survey creation, and more. Though they are constantly changing their email editor, it still remains somewhat clunky and vexing, especially when compared to something slick like MailChimp. Nonetheless, for its competitive pricing and quality features, ConstantContact is a great option.
- 0-500: $15
- 501-2,500: $30
- 2,501-5,000: $50
- 5,001-10,000: $75
- 10,001-25,000: $150
- $25,000+: Undisclosed
- (All pricing monthly, according to mailing list size)
Geared mostly toward the B2B community, iContact is a full-fledged email marketing system with all the standard features — templates, customization, metrics, and social media distribution. One advantage of iContact is its integration with several CMSs — Joomla, SalesForce, and Drupal. iContact's customer service has a sterling reputation, so you're sure to get the help you need when you need it.
- Up to 500 subscribers: $14/month
- Up to 2,500 subscribers: $29/month
- Up to 5,000 subscribers: $47/month
It hasn't yet sprouted wings and soared with the same popularity of the others, but ExpressPigeon has the potential to be a top-notch mail carrier. The potential lies in the technology, which is powerful, advanced, and super flexible. One of the major shortcomings of other email marketing tools is their inflexible editors or prefab templates. Without HTML knowledge, you're somewhat limited in your options. Not ExpressPigeon. ExpressPigeon uses Zen simplicity with a WYSIWYG editor to make the job easy. No HTML knowledge needed. ExpressPigeon's slick A/B testing tools, market segmentation, suppressed list feature, and unlimited list power makes it one of the most advanced yet best-keep secrets in the email marketing industry. We'll likely see ExpressPigeon get bigger and better in the months ahead.
- 0-500: $8.99
- Up to 2,500: $19.99/month
- Up to 10,000: $49.99/month
- Up to 50,000: $209.00/month
Brilliant marketing, sweet tools, and a marvelous interface make MailChimp a really appealing option for many companies. Clearly postured toward startups, B2Cs, and small businesses, MailChimp makes email marketing cool again. The whole chimp thing might be a little quirky, but the serious delivery power of MailChimp makes the whole system really appealing. With an open API, you'll see plenty of programs and sites that have Mailchimp integration — PayPal, FreshBooks, SurveyMonkey, etc. Oh, and they've got apps for any mobile device you want. Plus, MailChimp's A/B testing is very intuitive, unlike some of the other email marketing contenders. One of the few downsides of Mailchimp is the analytics interface. I've been underhwelmed by MailChimp's reporting. It seems hard to mashup numbers in the way that I want, but this is a pardonable shortcoming.
- 0-2,000 subscribers, with a limit of 12,000 emails/month: Free
- 0-500: $10
- 501-1,000: $15
- 1,001-2,500: $30
- 2,501-5,000: $50
- 5,001-10,000: $75
- 10,001-25,000: $75
- 25,001-50,000: $240
- Pay-as-you-go, prepay, high-volume rates, and high-volume CPM rates also available.
This company takes email marketing seriously. Their buffet of help options, seminars, complementary coaching, and campaign strategy consultations demonstrate their commitment to solid email marketing efforts. Like iContact, AWeber integrates with Drupal. Another helpful feature of AWeber's reporting is that it pulls numbers from Google Analytics. One aspect of AWeber that sets it apart from the mass of other email marketing platforms is its handy auto responder tool. With templates, full automation, and complete personalization, AWeber's autorresponse feature is easy and intuitive. Plus it comes free with a subscription.
- Trial: $1
There are plenty of email marketing programs on the market. The key is to find one that works for you. Each of the platforms discussed above have a loyal following and proven success.
By Daniel Threlfall - Since it's hard to make a living drinking coffee, I instead write about tech. And I drink coffee. I'm concentrated in web design, good CMSs, SEO, bad CMSs, social media. And I drink a lot of coffee. No cream, no sugar. You can find Daniel on Google+, and Twitter.