My first “taste” with email marketing came nearly 10 years ago. At the time, I was an internet illiterate oaf who was using a website builder which happened to give the option to build forms and create newsletters as a bonus feature. It used GetResponse.
A couple years later, I migrated away from GetResponse and to aWeber. Since then, I have used a garden variety of email marketing services, from inhouse software (for clients) to other web based services.
Today, for most new clients that are looking for email services, I typically first recommend Mailchimp. This is for a litany of Musician and Artist clients I work with as well as a smattering of corporate clients who are too small for in house software.
I do this for musicians because they are usually just trying to connect with their fans and Mailchimp allows them the ability to easily segment their audience via location. So, if they are gigging in the midsouth, they can send notifications whenever they happen to be playing in their particular audiences’ area. And it’s free up to 1,000 subscribers, which means that they can test out the system before making the big commitment.
And for the most part, they are happy with Mailchimp. And I am happy with them as well, with one caveat….
If you are using your newsletter to peddle affiliate products then you are better off going with Affiliate friendly email marketing services (which is why you hear Aweber recommended by internet marketers…plus they offer an affiliate commission for those who recommend them).
However, if you own your own product and don’t intend to promote other people’s stuff, or if you do, don’t intend to do it as an affiliate, then Mailchimp is a better solution.
Of course, this is my opinion. David Risley has an alternative opinion (he prefers aWeber). Chris Brogan (who has probably managed other businesses email campaigns as well) offers a more grounded look into the world of email marketing.
My #1 question for any decision you make on a provider? “What’s your method for dealing with spam reports and what is your relationship with the various spam cops?” This is wholly why you should choose one platform over another. If you compete on price only, you’ll find a very affordable system that might be sending your mail into the void. Take this as a lesson from experience. -Chris Brogan.
Chris actually highlights something that is important when considering email marketing services…the relationship that the email marketing company has with the internet service providers. Which is primarily why Mailchimp is so harsh about not allowing certain elements (like affiliates) into their service.
Let’s face it. Affiliates are more likely to SPAM and less likely to be branded in a significant enough way to consider NOT spamming. Which means that companies like aWeber have to take additional steps to maintain their relationship with the spam cops of the world.
Just my 2 cents though.
Image Attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/jazzmasterson/1895715/
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