Newsletters are a cheap and easy way of connecting with customers and growing your business. They provide an effective way of keeping your existing customer base engaged and interested, and make it easy to receive valuable feedback as to how you can improve your business and maximize your profits.
Subscribing to an online marketing service provides you with all the necessary tools and information to do just that. Whether you are a seasoned Web designer or a complete newbie, you need a reliable, powerful and easy-to-use platform to manage your email marketing campaign. When choosing the service best suited for your needs, there are many important points to consider. Take into account the size of your business, your skill level at designing marketing materials, customer support, social media integration and image hosting limitations, among others. Some newsletter services are better equipped to handle large-scale marketing campaigns. Others might have a smaller amount of features, but a more intuitive interface, which will save you a lot of time when designing quick email blasts to smaller audiences.
No matter the scale of your email marketing campaign, you might want to consider these five online services, which provide the most comprehensive variety of tools and features to make your newsletters stand out in your consumers’ mailboxes.
Since listing AWeber, the top choice in my opinion, might seem redundant since I always speak on it, I will skip it today.
MailChimp is great for beginners, as it offers fantastic learning resources in the form of MailChimp Guides. This service makes it easy to manage your contacts and minimize irrelevance by letting you segment and divide your subscribers into groups. MailChimp provides a variety of newsletter templates for every type of user. There are drag-and-drop templates that let you design your emails quickly, but there is also an option to code your own templates using the provided Email Template Reference guide.
MailChimp offers many analytical tracking tools, which help you monitor your clients’ behavior, and provide valuable information in the form of graphs, activity and revenue reports and industry comparisons. You can also easily integrate MailChimp with Google Analytics to get even more information about your campaigns. The service offers mobile apps for iPhone and Android, as well as easy social media integration. MailChimp offers a Forever Free plan for those who have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and send fewer than 12,000 emails per month. Various pricing options are available for paid accounts, such as a monthly fee or a pay-as-you-go format, if the free option does not meet your needs.
2. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is another popular choice for business owners. The service is known for its extensive customer support, comprising an online learning center that includes tutorials on everything from the basics to the most complex aspects of email marketing. Constant Contact offers hundreds of easy to customize templates, as well as an option to insert your own HTML code. Contact lists are easy to import and manage, and the entire process is simple and intuitive, from creating a newsletter to sending it out and monitoring the results.
Constant Contact makes it easy to get into social media marketing as well, providing a wide variety of resources to help you create and manage your social media campaigns. One of the important features that’s lacking is the ability to launch triggered campaigns, where you can have automatic email blasts sent out after certain actions occur. An A/B split testing option is not available either. The pricing starts at $15 per month, but will increase as your contact list grows.
3. Benchmark Email
Benchmark Email is easy to use and includes step-by-step guides and tutorials to building professional newsletters for every kind of business. It offers an impressive variety of templates that are easy to browse and customize. You also have the ability to take full control of the design process using HTML and CSS coding. Benchmark is dedicated to their customers and they prove this by making it possible for users to suggest ideas for new tools. These are then voted for by the rest of the community, and if your idea gets enough votes, Benchmark implements it. Unlike most of the other major email marketing services, Benchmark doesn’t offer A/B split testing. Also, its mobile app is only available for iPhones.
Benchmark offers a Free for Life plan, where you can send up to 10,000 emails per month, but only allows you to add users who subscribe from your sign-up form. You also have a choice of three payment plans starting at $9.95 per month, including send-based, list-based and high-volume plans, so it’s easy to choose the best option for your budget.
iContact offers an intuitive, hassle-free experience with their easy-to-use dashboard. There are also multiple guides to help you optimize your email marketing strategy that both seasoned users and first-time marketers will find helpful. If you sign up for a premium account, you will get personalized professional help from an iContact strategic advisor. If you are serious about email marketing, this will save you time and money in the long run, especially if you cannot afford to dedicate yourself to learning all the ropes of the trade and developing a long-term marketing strategy.
iContact makes it easy to manage large numbers of subscribers with advanced tools such as contact segmentation. This service emphasizes the importance of social media in business development, and offers great integration tools to make it easy for you to connect with users via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Unfortunately, image hosting on iContact is limited to 5 MB, and you will have to pay extra for an upgrade. iContact pricing plans start at $14 per month and goes up depending on the number of subscribers you have.
GetRosponse is another great service for those who don’t have the time or skill to create HTML designs from scratch, although it still has that option. You can choose from hundreds of templates or use a drag-and-drop design tool to create your own look quickly. GetResponse is known for its well-designed and easy to use dashboard and tools, making it a perfect choice for anyone who appreciates intuitive navigation and clean, attractive workspace. It also provides 1 GB of image hosting space, which is much more than most of its competitors offer.
Other impressive features include a Learning Center, Inbox Preview Tool, time-based and action-based autoresponders, mobile apps for iPhone and Android, and social media and Google Analytics integration. Prices are $12.75 per month for 1,000 subscribers, $21.25 for 2,500 subscribers and $55.25 for 10,000 subscribers.
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