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Let me begin by saying that there is no “perfect” service, although some may come close. Searching for a service that worked for my needs and wouldn’t put me back an insane amount of money every month was crucial to me.
When you are first starting off and not yet generating much income, who wants to dish out $20, $40, $100 bucks a month on an email service! Your plan is to keep things lean for as long as you can.
For a bit I tried the free newsletter plug-ins that was available through WordPress. But I soon realized that it didn’t quite meet my needs. I was limited to what I can do with it and I really wanted more flexibility.
I ended up evaluating three email management services which I will discuss in detail; Mailchimp, IContact and Aweber. All services are reputable, yet the usability very different.
Mailchimp was the first service I used. I liked the fact that they made their service available for free up to 500 subscribers and up to 3000 emails per month. If you are first starting off and not yet generating income, who wouldn’t think this to be the ideal solution!
Second, I tried IContact. IContact appeared to be user friendly and I liked that the pricing scale was slightly more reasonable than some of the other services I had looked into. If you have a small list (under 250), you will pay as little as $9.95 per month…not bad to get you started.
Finally after MUCH research I settled with Aweber…and holy cow! You don’t realize the difference until you’ve tried all. They offered the flexibility I wanted and were extremely user-friendly. I found the customer service to be impeccable and the support with videos and live online webinars was fantastic. I really can talk about them all day (don’t worry I won’t ).
Here are the pros and cons of each service:
- FREE each month up to 500 subscribers and 3000 emails.
- Nice templates
- Analytics on your campaigns show up as soon as you sign in
- Offer free online training
- Not extremely user-friendly
- I found it a bit difficult to create a campaign using their templates
- Creating web forms was a bit challenging
- Logo appears on your forms unless you upgrade to paid version
- Pricing scale based on number of subscribers- a bit more reasonable than some other services (free 15 day trial)
- Fairly good online training videos
- Analytics are shown as you sign in
- No double opt in required
- Forward-to-a-Friend Feature
- Not at user-friendly as it appears at first site
- Opt in web forms are very basic
- $1 sign up fee for the first month so you can try it out
- Very user-friendly
- Impeccable customer service
- Online training webinars are very informative
- Their logos do not appear on your forms
- Follow-up emails and other campaigns are very easy to do
- $19 per month after the first month up to 500 subscribers
- double opt in required
So there you have it. All in all, all three services faired well, although Aweber took the lead. There are plenty more email marketing software’s out there, such ConstantContant. All you have to do is do a Google search on “email marketing software’s “and you’ll get a whole list of them.
I can only speak of what I’ve used from my own experience and what has worked for me. What worked for you? I would like to know.