If you recently got convinced to get started with email marketing (whether it required a lot of convincing or not) your next decision is of more practical nature: which software to choose and how to get started? There are 10s if not 100s of options out there, and on the surface they might even look and sound quite similar. So what are the pros and cons of each and how to choose the right email marketing software for your business? Read on to find out!
Although there are many more others to choose from in the post I’ll compare and talk about the main 3 options suitable for online business owners, plus you get get a downloadable checklist further down the page to help you compare the tools.
And if you’d like to know where Infusionsoft fits into this (which is what I use in my business) you can read this post about MailChimp vs Infusionsoft & why I switched.
As a starting point I’d say that most modern email marketing tools will allow you to have forms to get new subscribers, send newsletters and autoresponders, view reports, import and export data, customise the look of your campaigns. So the real differences come in the detail of how these features got implemented in each of the tools below.
A robust and pretty email marketing software that quickly became popular due to their free plan – which is indeed free for as long as you want, provided you don’t use autoresponders (called automation workflows) and your total number of subscribers across all lists is below 2000.
Watch this extract from a recent Virtual Marketing Academy webinar to learn more about MailChimp’s pros and cons:
And don’t forget to grab your free downloadable checklist below as well!
I used to really like Aweber and recommended it for many of my clients. But as times moved on, other email marketing services rolled out enhanced features and automation campaigns, while Aweber… well… stayed pretty much the same.
It doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for your business – it’s still got great automation options between lists (which MailChimp doesn’t have), reporting, integrations with other online services and tools, form designs, campaign designs.
But the autoresponder series you can send are linear only. This means they are like ecourse delivery:
- 1st message is sent immediately
- 2nd message is sent X days/weeks after the first
- 3rd message is send X days/weeks after the second
- and so on
So you can’t trigger messages based on actions your subscribers take or don’t take in previous messages. Or on a specific date (like their subscription renewal or birthday). I think it’s going to become more and more of their downside going forward.
Then there is no free subscription (although the lowest level is just $19 per month). And no file storage (only image storage for campaigns).
And importing subscribers to your Aweber account can be sometimes tricky as might require the double opt-in confirmation messages to be sent out again (at which point you could lose a lot of subscribers). There are ways round this – so no messages will get sent – but they don’t apply for 100% of cases.
If you are thinking on migrating to Aweber from another system, or have a list of people you’d like to import – speak to me first at the free Marketing Discovery Session about the best way to do this.
I’ve been doing some testing recently on this email marketing software and I believe GetResponse can be the winning tool for many small business owners.
You get round issues with MailChimp (lists and groups segmentation) which works closer to the Aweber’s model. Also you get a library of designs for opt-in forms (that can be used on the website), campaigns and autoresponders. An added bonus – you can send surveys and use their landing pages with quite a nice selection of templates (which are features of Constant Contact and LeadPages).
Automation campaigns work really well and have a large variety of triggers: date-based, action-based or simple linear campaigns as well. During my testing I found the system quite easy to use once you get round the initial learning curve (which will be present in whatever system you choose to use).
Here’s a quick video from GetResponse to give you a feel for what they are like:
GetResponse also has loads of integrations with other popular online business tools so that you can create a smooth business system without having to go straight for Infusionsoft.
And pricing is very affordable too: first month free, and then starting from $15/month (for up to 1000 subscribers).
FREE GIFT: Checklist “Which email marketing tool is right for YOUR business?”
Enter your details below to get the checklist:
Over to you
What do you think about email marketing software options? Which one did you choose for your business and why? Have you had to switch email marketing providers because the features you needed weren’t there?
If you liked the post – share it with your friends to help them make an informed decision. And if you have any additional questions or would like me to share details about other email marketing services – just post in comments below!