8 email marketing options for your business
If you’re looking into email marketing services as a better way to take advantage of your email list, a simple web search may give you overwhelming results. So where do you start? And how do you determine what’s a good value? Or what features you need?
The best email marketing service will vary depending on the size of your email list and the frequency of your email campaigns. So, first you need to think about what you want:
- How many clients do you plan to email?
- How frequently do you want to email the?
- What do you want to automate (blog updates, new signups, etc.)?
You also should consider the following:
- Economical pricing (when your list grows to the next price tier)
- Integration with Google Analytics
- A signup form that can be directly embedded into your website
- RSS to email auto-campaigns (email subscription of blog)
- Email automation based on a subscriber’s actions
There are a plethora of email marketing services. What works for one person might not be best for another. It really comes down to which features are most integral to your email marketing plan, and, of course, which interface you like using the best. So, take advantage of the free trials. Send some test emails to a test subscriber list (namely, yourself and your staff). See what you like and what you don’t. Just remember to look at the pricing plans so that when your email marketing plan causes your list to grow, you’re prepared for the increased costs associated with it.
Most of these companies have additional pricing options beyond what are listed here. Some services even have plan options that are more economical if you’re willing to forgo the unlimited email feature. Unless otherwise mentioned, all plans include unlimited emails and prices listed are monthly rates.
AWeber has more than 700 responsive email templates. You can do split testing with up to four variants, and segment your list based on database fields or user activity. It lacks direct integration with Google Analytics.
(500 subscribers: $19; 2,500 subscribers: $29; 5,000 subscribers: $49)
Campaign Monitor has a really neat “Enlist” iPad app to capture email signups at events (online or offline). All email templates are responsive, and they integrate with Google Analytics. On the downside, their free trial doesn’t let you actually send any email campaigns. Autoresponder triggers are also limited to the date of signup or a date (i.e. birthday).
(500 subscribers: $29; 2,500 subscribers: $59; 5,000 subscribers: $99)
Constant Contact can send your emails and also manage event registration. They also offer hundreds of email templates, Google Analytics integration on a per email/event basis, and complimentary personal coaching. Scheduling options and autoresponders are on the more basic side, and it can be difficult to import already coded HTML emails.
(500 subscribers: $20; 2,500 subscribers: $40; 5,000 subscribers: $60)
GetResponse offers a Landing Page creator as a way to acquire new subscribers. There is split testing with up to five variants, and you can send emails at the local time for your subscribers (“Time Travel”). Autoresponders are triggered by many different actions or data fields, and the interface features an intuitive visual diagram for designing your email automation flowchart. Their service also allows you to host webinars.
(1,000 subscribers: $15; 2,500 subscribers: $25; 5,000 subscribers: $45)
Icontact has a nice interface with easy-to-use tools, advanced list segmentation (i.e. demographics, interests, behaviors), flexible email templates, social media sharing, and Google Analytics integration (enabled on a per campaign basis). However, not all features are available unless you upgrade your plan.
(500 subscribers: $14; 2,500 subscribers: $32; 5,000 subscribers: $52)
MailChimp has 300+ email templates, split testing with up to three variants, many options for autoresponders, Google Analytics integration, and a member rating feature where your subscribers are rated based on their amount of interaction with your emails. They also offer a forever-free plan (12,000 emails per month, up to 2,500 subscribers), which, unlike all the others, has MailChimp branding at the bottom of all email campaigns.
(500 subscribers: $10; 1,000 subscribers: $15; 2,000 subscribers: $25; 5,000 subscribers: $50)
MadMimi offers the basics without all the bells and whistles. There is no split testing, the email template can be customized by color themes only, and there are limited autoresponder features. They do feature Google Analytics integration. MadMimi also has a forever-free plan (up to 100 subscribers).
(500 subscribers: $10; 2,500 subscribers: $16; 5,000 subscribers: $27)
VerticalResponse has easy-to-modify email templates, Google Analytics integration, and social media marketing tools. Their signup forms cannot be embedded, there is no RSS to email, and you cannot edit the HTML code of a template (but you can import your own code). Some tools are only available if you upgrade. VerticalResponse has a free plan (4,000 emails per month, up to 300 subscribers)
(500 subscribers: $11; 1,000 subscribers: $22; 2,500 subscribers: $33; 5,000 subscribers: $55)
Betsy Finn owns Betsy’s Photography portrait studio in Michigan.