Which Email Marketing Service Is Right For You?

In another article, we showed you why email is not only alive and thriving, but essential to the success of your business.

This week, we’ll review the various email marketing services that are out there and the pros and cons of each.

First, you should know that there are two types of email marketing services. I’m going to categorize them as…

  1. Basic email marketing services – The reason I call these basic is because they do everything a typical email marketing tool should do. Things like send emails, track results and build sign-up forms.
  2. Advanced email marketing services – Advanced email marketing services go a step beyond the typical “build a list and send them emails”. With these you can create behavioral-based emails, implement if-then rules, split-test autoresponders, and other nifty features.

Now that we’ve covered the basic definitions of each, let’s dive right in.

Basic Email Marketing Services

Yes, I realize I’m going to miss a few services. If I were to review every single email marketing tool, this post would be 5,000 words long.

What I’ll do instead of review what I consider to be the industry leaders in each category. Please note, these are in no particular order. Also note that many services have similar features. I’ll try to do my best not to repeat too many of them. As always, do your own research and determine which is best for you.

#1: Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a great beginners email marketing service. It offers great deliverability and a good “bang for your buck”. Use Mailchimp if you’re just getting started and would like to “test the waters” before jumping into a paid service. You can get more information at www.mailchimp.com.

PROS

  • Free starter account (for broadcast only, and a list under 500 people)
  • Great deliverability
  • Free pre-designed templates with drag & drop editor
  • Social media integration
  • Impressive analytics reports including tweet trends, goal tracking, revenue charts and social analytics.

CONS

  • No telephone support
  • Slightly clunky user interface (my personal opinion)

#2: AWeber

Aweber is one of the oldest, most reliable and most well-known email marketing services in existence. And for good reason. If you’re looking for solid deliverability and consistency with a company that’s been around forever, Aweber is for you. You can get more information at www.Aweber.com.

PROS

  • 99%+ deliverability (likely the best in the industry)
  • Hundreds of signup form templates (plus drag & drop customization of those templates)
  • Easy to use interface
  • Signup form split-testing
  • Easy list segmentation based on who opens, who clicks, and more
  • Great customer service

CONS

  • Slightly higher starting cost ($19/month) than similar email services
  • Can’t switch back to single optin if you use double-optin for any new list

#3: iContact

iContact is attractively priced, especially if you’re just starting out. It also boasts a very easy to use interface for ease of use. If you’re a fan of ease of use, you’ll love iContact. You can get more information at www.iContact.com.

PROS

  • Ability to create email marketing surveys easily
  • Publishes emails to a dedicated landing page
  • Very easy to use interface
  • Starting prices at just $10/month
  • Various add-on services such as design and advisory options (optional)
  • Integrates with many other services like Analytics, Salesforce and more

CONS

  • Clunky analytics reporting
  • No customer service on weekends

#4: Constant Contact

Constant contact is unique in that it offers regular email marketing along with several other services that may help grow your business. This is a fantastic tool for those with offline businesses who are using online marketing. You can get more information at www.ConstantContact.com.

PROS

  • A lot of coaching and support to help get you started
  • Free trial available (no credit card needed)
  • Apps and integrations allow you to sync with your other business tools
  • Social campaigns
  • Ability to create your own “local deals” like Groupon

CONS

  • Website is hard to navigate
  • Deliverability is lower than other services (97%)
  • Diversification in services may limit overall effectiveness

Advanced Email Marketing Services

These advanced email marketing services are better suited for people with a well-established business and want to maximize the effectiveness of their emails while adding even more automation.  The cost is over 10x the price of regular email marketing services, but worth every penny if you use them properly. They also integrate shopping carts and affiliate programs, so come with many more features.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft has been the leader in advanced email marketing for many years. In fact it was the only solution to be “all-in-one” for quite some time. You can get more information at www.Infusionsoft.com.

PROS

  • All-in-one solution including email, shopping cart, affiliate system and more
  • Prices start at just $200/month
  • Various third party add-ons and integration with third party services such as
  • If-then rule system which allows you to send emails based on users behavior on your website
  • Track website visitors to determine their interests and online behaviors

CONS

  • Hard to use interface
  • Steep learning curve
  • Easy to turn into an “expense” if not used to it’s potential
  • Expensive to customize

Office Autopilot

OfficeAutopilot

Office Autopilot is similar to Infusionsoft, but (in my opinion) offers a much easier to use interface. While it lacks in a few features (such as social media sharing) it makes up for it with ease of use. You can check it out at www.OfficeAutopilot.com.

PROS

  • Very easy to use
  • Clickbank integration
  • Drag n’ drop landing page creator with ability to create PURLS (personalized URL’s)
  • Ability to send automated postcards, text messages and voicemail messages
  • If-then rule system which allows you to send emails based on users behavior on your website
  • Split-testing autoresponder sequences (highly recommended!

CONS

  • Beginning prices start at $300/month (they have a little brother, Sendpepper, if this is too high for you)
  • Very basic shopping cart with limited functionality

Now that we’ve gone over all of the various options you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are you using now? Are you taking full advantage of the features that that company offers? Most people I talk to are not leveraging their email campaigns and are therefore losing out on a lot of money every month.

I highly suggest going through whatever you use now and finding new ways to segment better, add more messages, and automate your marketing. You’ll be glad you did.

But before you do… let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I want to hear your experiences with these various services!

Next up in our series: The importance of email frequency. Along with many pieces of advice you’ve likely never heard before.