One of the first things entrepreneurs and small business owners must decide when launching their business is which email marketing company to use. There are a multitude of companies out there – with different features and price-points. Luckily, most will allow you to start with a free trial, so you can test the service out for yourself before you commit to spending any money.
Before you choose any provider, it’s a good idea to establish what you want to accomplish with your email marketing. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you want to use email to send a newsletter to your clients and prospects?
2. Do you want to incorporate video in your emails?
3. Do you want to include images in your emails?
4. Do you want to easily incorporate social media sharing options in your emails?
5. How much are you willing to spend per month / per year?
Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to start finding the right email marketing company that will meet your needs. It’s good to get referrals from friends and colleagues first. But ultimately, you will have to do your own research because your needs might not be the same as your friends’ needs. If you’d like to check out the top 10 email marketing services, here is a website that provides a side-by-side comparison and reviews: http://email-marketing-service-review.toptenreviews.com/.
My Experience with 3 Email Marketing Companies
I have personally used three different email marketing companies: Constant Contact, iContact and MailChimp. Of the three, I prefer Constant Contact. It costs a little bit more than iContact when you pay on a monthly basis, but you can save up to 15% if you prepay for a year. Both Constant Contact and iContact have similar features. They supply templates for your emails, or you can use your HTML coding. They both allow you to set up autoresponders, and provide reports on the messages sent, forwarded, bounced and delivered. They also track unsubscribed emails along with actual click-throughs.
Both services provide a sign up form that you can install on your website, as well as on your Facebook page. And both also allow for easy social media integration with Facebook and Twitter. However, Constant Contact goes one step further, enabling you to embed YouTube videos right into your emails.
MailChimp has one major advantage over both of these services. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. There’s no expiring trial, contract, or credit card required. I know people who use MailChimp and love it. But I didn’t find it that easy to use.
If you’d like to try Constant Contact out for free for the next 60 days, click this link: http://conta.cc/jnBE8l. It will take you to my Constant Contact partner account. I have taken their training, so if you like the email marketing service and decide to stay with it, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
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