Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Email Campaign Providers--Take your pick!

I am in the beginnings of starting an email newsletter and was researching the best autoresponder to go with. I got this information off of LinkedIn. I was so awed by his details that I thought it was a definite plus for my readers. He even lists the cost of each provider. Thanks, Ethan, for detailing this for someone searching for an Email Campaign provider.

As far as email service providers go, here's a breakdown:

AWeber: The industry leader in autoresponders and also one of the most reliable and economical email service providers. The interface is on the lo-fi side and there is less hand-holding than with Constant Contact, but if you don't require that, they are potentially the best option. They, like most of the options have a very high deliverability rate, plenty of templates and successful email marketing tutorials. $19.95 per month with no setup fee. This covers 10,000 subscribers and you can email them as much as you like. Each extra 10,000 subscribers is $9.95 per month.

Constant Contact: Very customer friendly and non-technically-oriented. Lots of templates and tools and online assistance to help you succeed with your email marketing. $15 per month gets you 0-500 subscribers with unlimited emails. The pricing scales from there, with 10,001 to 25,000 email addresses costing you $150 per month.

Get Response: Another non-techy option similar to Constant Contact. $17.95 per month for 10,000 addresses. $4.50 per month for each 5000 addresses over that. Unlimited emails and campaigns.

Campaign Monitor: A very polished, slick aesthetic earns this one all the kudos from the design crowd. Many good tools and templates to help with your email campaign's success. They use a price per email model instead of a total subscriber model. You pay $5 for each campaign and then 1¢ per recipient. You can get discounts of up to 50% by pre-purchasing email credit.

SparkList: This is the hosted service of Lyris, the makers of one of the more high profile email marketing software systems, ListManager. It is much more expensive than the others but carries the Lyris brand behind it and is much more suited to high volume emailers. It also offers a familiar interface if you are already using ListManager somewhere else. $175 setup, $100 per month for 5000 email messages up to $500 setup and $1000 per month for 500,000 messages.

A very important consideration given if you have an existing email list has to do with importing the list into their system and opt-in confirmation. In order to maintain the positive nature of their relationships with the ISPs, these email service providers want to make sure that you have obtained permission to send email to these addresses. If they require you to re-confirm the opt-in status for each email address, they will send a new request to the address. Since roughly 50 to 60% of email subscribers never confirm their subscriptions, this will erode a fair bit of your list. However, many of these people were probably not receiving/viewing your email anyway, given that they did not respond to the confirmation request.

AWeber: Re-confirmation is required. Each email address will receive a customized message asking them to re-confirm permission. Constant Contact requires you to state that the list is permission based and they will penalize you if your bounce/spam numbers get too high. They offer a free 60 day trial of up to 100 email addresses. Campaign Monitor requires you to state that the imported email addresses are 100% permission based, they were not purchased and they were not scraped from emails/websites. SparkList also requires that a re-confirmation email to be sent to each address. Get Response will also not require that you reconfirm each email's permission.

More info and vendor links at Ethan Pierse's website below.


Advenir Internet Marketing Strategy said...

Hi Carole -

Great Blog! Very useful information. I'm glad you got some value out of my posting on LinkedIn.

If I can be of any further assistance with your Internet Marketing Strategy or your online marketing's best practices, don't hesitate to ask. I wish you all the best; great success to you!

Ethan Pierse

Carole DeJarnatt said...

Glad you like it. I appreciate the great information you supplied. It has helped me to choose a provider and I am sure it is guidance for my readers as well.