There are lots of e-mail marketing services on the internet and it might be difficult to choose because there are lots of options, features and pricing to consider. Let’s take a look at a few services and what makes them special:
This service is one of the most popular on the internet and is well-known in the e-mail marketing arena due to its focus on usability, design and heavy marketing. It is incredibly easy to use although it offers many high-end features. The main dashboard is optimized and is the place where it all starts – all the web applications can be added, deleted and customized from there.
Many experts in e-mail marketing lack HTML skills and MailChimp gives a helping hand here as well. You can use your own code, but if you don’t have enough knowledge of web design, then you can use the available free templates. They are tested and optimized for MailChimp, therefore using one of them may even be better than creating your own. If you own a MailChimp premium account, you will be able to use all the premium templates for free.
Another advantage of MailChimp is the way you can populate the mailing list, where this great tool offers lots of options. You can even build your form or use one of the available ones. You can even embed a form into your site and MailChimp makes it easy for you to customize it.
There are also iPhone and Android applications you can use for MailChimp and one of their great features is their push technology which lets you know all about the contact you’ve flagged as VIP. MailChimp can easily be integrated with third-party services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google suite, SurveyGizmo, Zendesk, Capsule, Amazon or eBay.
2. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is also very easy to use and one of the advantages is the fact that you can phone them for help, real-time chat and the learning center. There are also seminars you can attend to get started with this tool, which is perfect for small business.
This service targets business owners who require services such as online surveys and event marketing, therefore it offers different features than the first two we’ve reviewed. With the event manager you can promote and sell tickets for events (with Google Checkout and PayPal integrated so clients can pay right there), while the marketing system helps you promote and announce events.
Although online surveys might not sound related, they are a great addition because by creating and promoting them you can figure out what your subscribers are into. This helps because you don’t have to conduct campaigns outside of Constant Contact. This concept is simple to use, very useful and everybody considers it a key feature. Other unique features are the social media integration, template library, e-mail building using drag and drop, help options and spam testing solutions.
This service is mainly targeted to professionals with the need for a robust feature set, while not neglecting the basic features every e-mail marketing service needs.
One of the disadvantages of iContact is the fact that the interface is a bit difficult to use and it takes some time to get used to; some people might even feel overwhelmed by the number of options they have on the landing page. However, iContact offers a number of good features, like the integration of an RSS-to-email tool. This allows users to send e-mail to a list of RSS subscribers and iContact is one of the few e-mail marketing services to offer this.
Another good feature of this service is the option to automatically send a series of auto-responses. For example, when someone subscribes to one of your lists, you can automatically send him several e-mails over a period of time, and can include offers and special information, but also call to action buttons in these mails. This will help you work faster and will make the contact with the clients more automatic.
You can also conduct surveys with iContact, which is always a good feature because it gives you an insight into what your audience likes and wants.
AWeber is another top e-mail marketing service on the internet, although it really has nothing that stands out at first glance – however, you might be surprised if you dig in deeper.
The panel is easy to use and it does not take a lot of time to get used to if you have a bit of experience working with other control panels, but it might be confusing if you have no experience with e-mail marketing at all.
AWeber offers lots of tools for creating sign-up forms and helps you run A/B testing and find which form works best for you – quite a unique feature on the web today. All these forms you create can be embedded into other websites and there is also a WordPress plugin that allows you to display the form on blogs running the PHP platform.
Like iContact, AWeber can also send sequential auto-responses. This is one of the key features of AWeber, but also the bunch of e-mail templates (more than 150), sign-up form templates (more than 100), extensive sign-up form optimization tool, the WordPress plugin for embedding forms, blog-to-mail automation and the e-mail parsers.