I’ve been testing out email marketing systems for ages. And as I test there are even more new ones coming on to the market.
My focus was on having a robust reliable system with no advertising, easy to use (I want to delegate the task eventually to someone else), and above all low cost – it may be my Scottish heritage coming out but I love to get the best deal I can!
Here’s what I’ve tried:
- GroupMail – probably my first attempt outside of using Outlook. It has a free version but it’s limited to 100 and its free version limitations annoyed me after a while. I wasn’t persuaded to buy their upgrades because of the nuisance value but I know people who use it and love it.
- Campaign Monitor – I love the work these guys produce and it is a great standard pricing model but I found it was too techie for me to be able to delegate the email marketing to a novice later. A lot of people use CM (links are ‘createandsend’) without realising it because they are using a reseller version through a web developer or similar. It works well if someone else does the back end for you. I just didn’t devote enough time to setting up templates for myself etc.
- Interspire – again, these guys do great stuff and they have both an online and a self-install system. I shied away from the self-install job again because I want to simplify and automate things as much as possible and the online version wasn’t as competitively priced
- Mailchimp – I was an early adopter of MailChimp and they were fast and streamlined. For me now though they seem to have become less easy and flexible. I couldn’t find a way to just send plain-text autoresponders for example. I’m still using MailChimp because they have a good free version – I’m just not sure I’ll go with them for my volume mailings
- Constant Contact – a great reliable system and one of the early email marketing companies. Just not price competitive enough for me
- YourMailingListProvider seems promising but I didn’t really give them a red hot go. Since I first looked at them thought they have become more professional
- VerticalResponse I liked them, I really did but I had trouble getting access to my account and couldn’t resolve it. I don’t think I’m even on their mailing list anymore!
- iContact – I signed up with these guys recently for a 12-month package at a really good price. What I like about them is the simple interface I can train a monkey (sorry, MailChimp) how to use their system and I can do either text or html for broadcasts or autoresponders. I’d like an easier way to access support but following their tutorials pointed out a couple of things that made life easier. Not as intuitive as you think (like a lot of them) but works when you know how!
- PHPList – I avoided self-install packages as I said even though this was a free and respected one (feel free to go this route if you’ve got a techie bent and time). Today I just noted that they have a beta-test version of a hosted solution. Best part is there is a free version and their upgrade plans are very competitive. One to watch as it rolls out.