4 Top Email Marketing Services, Plus This Game Changer

4 Top Email Marketing Services, Plus This Game Changer

We recently spent time evaluating our email marketing strategy. Are we really connecting with our audience? Are we providing the right content to the right people? How are we organizing our contacts? Are we using the best software?

We have been asking ourselves these questions, and more, in order to give you the useful content you desire most.

Part of the evaluation involved looking at what email marketing service we were using and whether we were getting the most out of it. We were looking at the essential elements like cost, design, reporting, integration, and list management.

We reviewed the major players and put this together. We hope it will help you make the best decision for your needs (or confirm the decision you’ve already made).

You won’t want to miss the last one, it’s a true game changer.

CONSTANT CONTACT

Constant Contact - Email Marketing Service

They are probably the most familiar email marketing service provider. My guess is most in the small business world have heard or seen their ads. I think it plays to their benefit because you don’t hear a ton about the others.

Functionality is the name of their game, although they push their low monthly prices. They currently charge $15/month for up to 500 contacts, which you will see is lower than some. But generally speaking they are in-line with their competitors.

Constant Contact offers a tremendous amount of templates, making it easy for the non-technical to get emails out quickly. They also have a great support and guidance team to help you get started. Unlike some other services, they have additional features such as surveys and event management tools.

One common benefit to an email marketing service is their reporting features. Their reports give you the essentials, such as open rates and click-through rates, and are easy to follow.

Where they lack a little is design and user-interface. Even though their templates are plentiful, the design could use a second look (personal opinion). Their website isn’t the easiest to navigate either. If you are using something frequently, you want to actually enjoy being in the program and this doesn’t cut it for me.

We used them for several years, but as we gained experience we wanted to improve our email design without having to rely too heavily on our graphic design team.

MAILCHIMP

MailChimp Email Marketing Service

Although a young company, I consider MailChimp one of the leaders in modern email marketing. Their templates are abundant and top-notch. Their drag-and-drop editor is really easy to use and you can find tons of inspiration from others who have created great emails from links they provide within the email editor.

One great thing about MailChimp is that the service is free if you have less than 2,000 contacts on your email list. Which means if you are just starting out, this is the service for you – no one else does this. The pricing is fairly competitive as you add more contacts too – you can look through it here.

Not surprising, integration is another thing they do well. Integrating a sign-up list into your website, blog, or email is simple and looks good. These sign-up forms allow you to smartly manage your email lists, which is key in sending your customers the right information.

One downside to MailChimp is lack of phone support. Their website is a knowledge base, self-service support system (which is robust), but if you don’t want to take the time to find something on your own and read through pages to find your answer you may find it annoying. We never needed to call, but we were willing to search their site for answers, and we certainly had questions when we were getting started.

In the end we loved using MailChimp, and highly recommend them.

AWEBER

AWeber Email Marketing Service

AWeber is one of the oldest email marketing services, which I think you can tell when comparing sites to MailChimp. However, they are still a big player and can provide value depending what you are looking for. Their deliverability rate is among the highest in the industry, 99%+. They focus on making sure your messages don’t end up in spam, and therefore, get seen and read by your prospects. Hard to argue against that.

They boast an easier, faster approach to email. Some key features are:
App Showcase – connect your account with other online tools such as Google, Call Loop, and more.
Autoresponder – Send a sequence of automatically delivered emails based on your prospects actions.
Subscriber Segmenting – Target customers based on their actions with a single click.
Expert Customer Support

AWeber tends to be on the high side with pricing for those starting out and I find it a little complicated to follow. Pricing starts at $19/month for up to 500 contacts. You can check out their price structure here.

iCONTACT

iContact Email Marketing Service

The simpleton of the group. You won’t find the prettiest templates, or the most features, but their tools are easy to use and intuitive. They integrate really well with Salesforce – in my opinion CRM integration is extremely important – so if you use Salesforce that’s great, but not so much if you don’t.

iContact also offers what they call premier services. These services include a marketing advisor, large sender support, and design help. This does help separate them from some of the others.

I find their user-interface to be on par with AWeber, a little clunky and unattractive for my liking. If you can’t tell I tend to prefer a more modern, clean look.

Their pricing is very competitive, starting at $14/month for up to 500 contacts. They tend to stay just below the competition as you add contacts too.

AND THEN THERE’S HUBSPOT

The game changer in (email) marketing.

If you don’t know who HubSpot is and what they do, I suggest you get to know them quickly.

You may not be ready for their services right now, but you will want to do your best to get there because they take your marketing capabilities to a whole new level.

Yes, their email marketing features are beyond those we’ve reviewed, but it’s way more than just email. They integrate all facets of online marketing. Here, take a look at this overview.

HubSpot Email Marketing, Marketing Automation

This is a marketing automation platform, tools for inbound marketing. For a more in-depth look at what inbound marketing is I suggest reading this article.

But the gist is this: it’s marketing focused on building an audience through valuable content that walks them through the sales process until they are ready to buy.

The converse to this is traditional marketing – where you constantly interrupt your customer with messages they don’t want to hear.

We’ve been adjusting our marketing mindset towards content and inbound. It’s such a simple idea, but not as easy to execute. It takes time to develop a strategy and to truly understand your customers needs.

Time very well spent.