You’ve followed all of the marketing experts’ advice, built up your list and are sending out newsletters and emails to keep in contact with everyone. You’ve been using Outlook to keep track of all of your contacts and emails, but as your list grows, you’re finding it tougher to track the results you’re getting from your emails, and you’d like to incorporate more features into your emails. There are so many email marketing tools out there, but how do you know which one has the features you want at a price you can afford?
We’ve put together a list of some email marketing tools that came recommended to us a while back on Twitter. All of the email marketing tools on this list offer the same basic services: sending email newsletters, templates, and autoresponder setup, just to name a few. Listed here are some of the unique and different features offered by each service. Prices have also been included and are based on a 1,300 contacts or emails, depending on the information provided by each service.
Act-On provides customizable templates and stationery for your email to help set you apart from the rest. It also contains a graphical form builder to allow you to create forms and surveys. If you have distribution lists located in several places, Act-On can bring them together and consolidate them into one for you, making your distribution list easier to manage. Act-On also tracks your emails through the sending process and provides you real-time reports on who opens your email, clicks on your links and replies to you. Act-On does not provide cost information on their website, but they do offer a 30 day free trial for their services.
Aweber not only tracks website clicks using your domain name rather than tracking links so people know where they’re being directed to from your newsletter, it also will automatically tweet your newsletter onto Twitter. Using Aweber you can segment subscribers based on who clicked or didn’t click links in your newsletter and send follow-up emails accordingly. It can also split test messages to find the best offer or subject line for you. Another feature that is becoming popular among email marketing tools that Aweber offers is the ability to convert your blog’s RSS feed into an email newsletter. You can find a full list of Aweber’s features here. Prices for Aweber run $29/month for 501-2,500 subscribers.
Campaign Monitor uses Google Analytics to track your email campaign-related sales. Using this service, you are able to customize the sign-up and unsubscribe process for each distribution list you manage. It also will take care of all bounced email and spam complaints. You can find a full list of Campaign Monitor’s features here. Using Campaign Monitor, there are no setup charges or monthly costs, you only pay when you send. There is a flat delivery fee of $5 per campaign, plus 1 cent for each recipient. So if you are sending your email to 1,000 people, your cost would be $15 – the $5 flat delivery fee plus $10 for all of your recipients.
Emma includes a custom design template done by their company with their setup fee. They offer a month-to-month service contract rather than an annual contract, which can save you money if you do not send something out every month. They also offer 10% off everything when you sign up for a full year of their services. A unique benefit Emma offers is that they plant five trees for each customer who uses their company’s service. A full list of benefits can be found here. The cost for Emma’s services is $30/month for 1,000 or $40 for 2,500 emails. There is a $249 one-time setup fee.
iContact provides its customers with 500kb of image hosting and uses T3 connected servers, making sure your messages are delivered quickly. An exclusion list feature allows you to choose lists or segments of lists to determine who should and should not receive a specific message delivery. iContact provides event RSVP management and follow-up, and also allows you to send automated messages to subscribers based on date or how long they have subscribed to your list. A full list of iContact’s features can be found here. Prices for iContact is $29/month or $313.20/year for up to 2,500 contacts.
MailerMailer offers its customers a customized signup form for their new distribution list members. You are also able to copy and paste HTML code or use a page from your website as a template for your emails; and they also provide a fill-in-the-blank template to customize your emails. MailerMailer will confirm all of your opt-ins, and provides live tracking of all your emails so you know where your campaigns are. You can find a full list of features here. Sending up to 20,000 emails per month runs $29.95 per month, and they also offer a 200 email free trial.
Mailchimp’s features include screenshots of your email in all major email clients so you can make sure it will appear correctly to everyone. They perform quick and automatic A/B tests with every email campaign to ensure what works and what doesn’t so your email campaign runs smoothly. You are also able to change and personalize the content you send based on each recipient’s interests or any other criteria you have set for your list. Each email is authenticated, meaning it embeds a code into the email header that guarantees your email is not blocked by filters. Mailchimp also has the ability to keep track of campaigns on your iPhone or other mobile device. For a full list of features, visit http://www.mailchimp.com/features/. Prices for 501-2,500 subscribers is $30/month, and they also offer a PAYGO plan to use as you need.
My Newsletter Builder
My Newsletter Builder is 99% delivery verified, so you know your emails will get to where they need to be, when they need to be there. They also offer one-click Audio, Video, Flash and eVoiceSpot so you can include different types of media in your emails. My Newsletter Builder provides automated sign-up, subscription and referral systems, as well as automated survey and newsletter creation, including real-time tracking and statistics. A full list of features can be found here. Prices for My Newsletter Builder vary depending on the options you choose. For example, for $20/month, you can send unlimited emails to 1,001-1,500 subscribers. You can also choose the standard option, paying $18/month for 1,500 emails or $24/month for 2,500 emails. My Newsletter Builder also offers options to pay in bulk amounts per month or year, along with a 30 day free trial of their services.
Vertical Response offers free data hosting for your distribution lists as well as a free opt-in form. They also offer tracking and reporting to see how many people opened your emails or clicked on links in real time, and are anti-SPAM compliant. You can see a full list of benefits here. Vertical Response offers monthly or PAYGO options. For an email list size 501-2,000, the cost would be $28/month. If you choose a PAYGO option, it is $.13 per email for 1,001 – 2,500 emails (or $13 per 1,000 emails, 1300 emails would be roughly $16.90/month).
Mary Havlicek creates more hours in the days of busy small business owners, especially mompreneurs. Her Virtual Assistant company, Hours by Design, offers copywriting, social media and general marketing services. With her decade of administrative experience, Mary takes tasks off her clients’ hands and puts back time for them to focus on putting energy back into their businesses and spending time with their families and children.
When she’s not creating time in her clients’ days, Mary enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.