Why Email Marketing Services? (i.e. Constant Contact, iContact, and more)

The ultimate goal of email marketing services is to increase your business or website traffic by putting you in contact with your target audience, your subscribers and future clients to deliver an effective message with measurable results.

Email marketing services are your gateway to professional, effective bulk email campaigns that excite results.  You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create an attractive email or newsletter. A good service has various email development features to help you every step of the way. You can import an HTML page or use one of the many email templates provided by the service if you don’t know a thing about HTML.

Below are the criteria that one website, TopTenREVIEWS, used to evaluate email marketing services:

Feature Set
Email marketing services should offer many useful features that help you create emails, develop contact lists and monitor results.
Ease of Use
The email marketing website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The most practical bulk emailers make setting up your email list and account information simple and quick.
Email Campaign Creation
A big part of marketing campaigns and newsletters are design aspects. The service should assist in the design process and provide an HTML email editor so you can add images, links and tables. Top-notch services also provide options to help you develop your contact list.
Reporting
The reporting section should be comprehensive and easy to find and use. Reports are important so you can evaluate your email campaign’s effectiveness and make needed adjustments.
Help/Support
Email marketing services are designed for corporations spending money trying to get new customers. The Email marketing service should provide comprehensive online and in person, help that includes easy to follow tutorials, online knowledgebase, live chat support and responsive email.

On their site, you’ll find articles on email marketing and comprehensive reviews on email marketing services, but also talk to people using email marketing services, who they’re happy with, who they’re not, and why, before making a decision who to go with.

I read the info on TopTenREVIEWS, and asked for the personal experiences from twenty of the members of the network group I belong to, Savor the Success, a premium network for women entrepreneurs. Here’s their feedback:

I would recommend mailchimp.com. Their system is very simple, user-friendly and produce great e-newsletters (without the logo on the bottom that cc has).  they are reasonably priced as well.
I love constant contact and appreciate their customer support.
I use, and have been very happy with, Mad Mimi http://www.madmimi.com/
I am in love with MyEmma (emma is short for email marketing).  They are so fun to work with.  You can actually speak to a live human who is energetic and willing/wanting to help.  Check them out at www.myemma.com
I just started working with MailChimp and I’m a fan.
Initially, I would have recommended Constant Contact as I have been with them for a few years now. However, I discovered something recently within my newsletter that I must discuss with them: An Unsubscribe Button at the top of each email!! I sent out a newsletter 2 weeks ago and found that 8 people unsubsribed immediately -and they were the ones who subscribed! Talk about a battered ego!  As I submit my trouble ticket to CC, I will check out Aweber as I’ve heard great things about them.
I’ve been using constant contact for several years now. I like the reports I receive, and I have been able to mess with the template to make it look like something no one else sends out. They are constantly adding and improving the interface, and they have real people/live chat to help.  I have no problem with the unsubscribe button. You can remove it from the top of your newsletter while you are working in your template. But why?  I don’t want to be sending my newsletter to people who decide, even after signing up, that they don’t want to receive it anymore. I understand where they are coming from, because I may like a product, but I may also decide that I don’t want to receive anymore newsletters about it.
I know we’ve had a discussion similar to this before.  But, another one we all decided was a good one is RatePoint.  Many of us were Constant Contact customers, but switched over because as your list gets bigger, they are more expensive.  We have a list of over 5000 and it is getting bigger.  The other thing that was so dis-enchanting about Constant Contact is that when many of us called and asked to cancel, they didn’t ask why, or do anything to keep our business.  Just said fine and cancelled.  I thought it was an isolated incident, but many others had the same response.  Don’t really want to do business with a company that doesn’t care why I’m leaving when I’ve been with them for years.
I’m with Ratepoint, too. I like them because they are so helpful. If you have any questions, you hear back immediately. They also moved my lists for me and put them into the groups I had when I was with Constant Contact. They also said if I had a template that I was using with Constant Contact and couldn’t find a suitable replacement in their assortment, they would make it for me. I love great customer service and they definitely offer it.
I really appreciate this discussion 🙂 I’ve been using Constant Contact for about 8 years & have been pretty happy with it. As my list has grown, I will definately check out RatePoint and I love what you shared ,that it was easy to move the lists,keep them intact etc
I moved to Ratepoint earlier this year after 12 years with constant contact…… WAY better all around and less $$ too.
I started using iContact a few months ago. If you know coding it’s easier. I’ve been extremely happy with their customer service though.
————————————————————————————————————–
Here’s a review my techie, Nadine, did in Oct after our bad experiences with both icontact & constant contact.  (Based upon this eval, we switched to MailChimp.
  • ConstantContact is the easiest product to use right off the bat.
  • MailChimp would be the second easiest, could be easier by taking the time to create own templates.
  • pHpList is very complex and involved to set up which makes the attractive price less attractive with the amount of time that would be needed to make it work the way Vettanna will need it, actual start up costs could be prohibitive.
  • iContact could be made more usable by investing time, however with their table intensive structure and odd html coding, it will always be tricky to work with.  The biggest issue with iContact is the received email not matching the online Preview from their site.  This will be a constant source of frustration.
In summary –  either ConstantContact or MailChimp would be a good eMail newsletter choice.  Both products allow Safari users to at least view the html rendered email and allow some/limited editing.  MailChimp would be cheaper initially MINUS the template creation time to make it more usable; once both products are at over 500 emails they are the same price.

——————————————————————————————————————–
We just (as in yesterday) switched from Ratepoint to Mail Chimp after having major failure with Ratepoint that I felt was just unacceptable.
I’m going to go with the free Mail Chimp for now since we’re just building our list.
LOVE MailChimp!!!

MailChimp all the way!!! I use this myself and for all my clients integrating email marketing into their website. It’s easy for the non-techie and feature robust and customizable for the advanced developer. Seamless integration is a big deal to me, so I love it. Plus it’s FREE if you have under 500 subscribers!

We switched over from Vertical Response to Mail Chimp a few months ago and love it.  Of course, I was stubborn and demanding when my husband (also my marketing and I.T. guy) suggested it – but was soon won over.  It is easy to use, offers attractive templates and the price is extremely good.

I’ll now be diving into the world of email marketing service for the first time, don’t know anything about HTML.  I’ll use it for this blog and my other,  Saddleback Buzz, as well as my business website, www.csbegone.com.  I want tracking capabilities, with access to reports on bounced, forwarded, delivered/undeliverable and sent emails; as well as conversions, click-throughs and more.

Consequently, going with MailChimp because of the reviews above, it’s free (for my current volume),  I’ve been told their customer service is excellent, and I love their  website, so easy on the eyes, cute and funny, easy to understand, it doesn’t overwhelm me. They offer how-to-get started video tutorials.  Some well-known clients include Mercedes, Firefox, Intel, Staples, Canon, and many others.

Advertisements

One thought on “Why Email Marketing Services? (i.e. Constant Contact, iContact, and more)

  1. allan January 15, 2010 / 8:14 am

    Great post… Great info on bounce rates… I’ll have to write an entry about the same topic some day soon… Bounce rates can tell you alot…work from home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s