Email Marketing Providers Are Not All The Same

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By now you may already be using an E-mail Marketing Service Company to handle things like your newsletter and other emails messages. I’m talking about companies like Constant Contact, iContact, Bronto, Campaigner, Vertical Response, MailChimp, etc., etc.

When we first started doing email marketing for our clients years ago, there weren’t as many choices. One company didn’t even want to talk to me if I wasn’t ready to spend thousands of dollars a month. I can’t find them listed as still in existence today so I guess that strategy didn’t work.

We settled on Constant Contact at the time and have continued to use them. Today, I had a client ask me about another company, ExactTarget, that isn’t even on my radar right now which got me to thinking about what I think is important (at this point) in choosing a provider. Maybe it will help you and you can learn from my experience.

I told him there are three things that are most important to me in picking a provider:

1. Deliverability
2. Reporting
3. Ease of use and good design templates

That might sound like four things but number three ties together. The winner so far for templates has been Constant Contact. However, I would give their reporting (or lack of reporting) a D, which is why I’m likely to switch to iContact sometime soon for all my clients.

However, iContact’s templates and editor for building the emails aren’t close to Constant Contact which means you have to know a little too much HTML for most people’s tastes or you have to be satisfied with some pretty bland looking emails.

iContact has shown that they care about their customers and even offered to build me a couple of templates to match the ones we now use. I’m impressed with their commitment to service. Their reporting and deliverability are exceptional.

Constant Contact has had issues with deliverability and instead of giving straight answers about the problem, they tend to dance around them and invoke the old technical mumbo-jumbo outside their control as an answer. I’m not buying it because I’ve tested the same email and same list with different companies.

Most of the companies are offering surveys and archiving which are both good tools used properly.

The other companies out there may all have great ideas but I don’t have the time to test them all and Constant Contact and iContact are the Big Two right now for small and medium companies.

So there you have my current thoughts about the state of email service companies. Feel free to add your own comments and recommendations. I’m all for sharing and learning. And, if you think there is something better out there right now, I want to know too. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Email Marketing Providers Are Not All The Same”

  1. Hi Bob
    Just wondering if you’ve had a chance to test us out. I’m the CEO of VerticalResponse and I’d love to hear your thoughts. We offer 25 email credits for free and 100 free survey responses.
    Let me know if there is anything we can do to have you try us.
    Thanks!
    Janine Popick – CEO
    VerticalResponse

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