Bulk Email Marketing Autoresponder Comparison

What is Email Marketing?

And why would I want to use an email marketing service?

Email Marketing

Email marketing is not going away. Since the invention of email, it has been around and is still going strong. Some would like you to believe that text marketing is the wave of the future. However, text marketing is very annoying to the end-user and makes most users mad. They will opt out of a text marketing system quicker than an email marketing system.

Although email marketing has a low open rate (often between 1%-5%), it is still very profitable. This is why an extensive email list is essential.

How do I create an extensive email list?

That is the question of the day! There are many traditional methods:

  • Make sure all your actual clients are on the list. Use automation software like Zapier to connect your billing software and your email marketing software. If this is not automated, some will get forgotten.
  • Offer an Opt-In on your website. I have found the best opt-in is a piece of information that your clients will find helpful, AND it will make your sales process flow better. My most successful was a checklist of everything someone needs to have together before starting a website.
  • If you speak – either in person or Online – collect the names of people attending and add them to your list. Make them a special offer that will also add them to your list.
  • Do webinars or events and connect the sign-up to your list.

These are just a few ideas.

What is an Email Client?

These are computer-based programs that are designed to handle email. They will have a way of organizing all your emails, and they also include a search for finding past emails. The drawback is that anything attached to an email gets downloaded onto your computer. This means viruses, trojans, etc.  Examples of email clients are:

  • Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, Windows Mail
  • Manages email on your computer

What are Webmail Services?

Webmail services are like email clients, but they are cloud-based. The huge advantage is that nothing gets downloaded to your computer unless you ask for the download. Anything attached that is nefarious will often be caught in the spam filters before you ever see the email.  Examples of webmail services are:

What are Email Marketing Services?

These are Online companies for list building, email newsletters, and some offer landing pages. This is where you keep your email list for sending bulk emails. They have opt-in forms and are sophisticated enough to segment your lists so you can send targeted emails.  Examples are:

  • Infusionsoft, Keap, AWeber, Constant Contact, iContact, Mail Chimp, Vertical Response, Elite Email, 1ShoppingCart/WAHMCart
  • Why use an email marketing service
    • Less likely to be seen as spam
    • Allows for “pretty” emails – a great way to extend your branding
    • Large lists – You can send as many or as few as you want with little problem
    • Reports for tracking – how many opens, who is opening, opt-outs
    • Automatic opt-outs – you don’t have to keep track unless you want to
    • Most now offer Newsletter templates for easy creation of branded newsletters
  • Other things to note
    • Permission-based
    • Templates for ease of use
    • Technical Support
  • Comparison—Top 10 Email Marketing Softwares

Services Preview

Infusionsoft or Keap. These are the same company. Infusionsoft has more features like a shopping cart. Keap is supposed to be easier to use. In my opinion, neither are easy to use. I had Keap for over one year and could never get it working correctly.

Whirlocal – This is the company I use now. It is easy to set up and does not limit your list. It allows for email campaigns, tagging, auto sends based upon preset criteria, and much more.

AWeber
My favorite but probably the most not user-friendly. You can get a 30 day trial for $1—then $19 per month for unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers. There is no Image Hosting, but there is a free online archive. Autoresponders.

Constant Contact

The most user-friendly and one that I have used. You can get a 60 Day FREE trial with 100 subscribers. Then $15 per month for unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers. Image Hosting is available but limited; Online archive is extra.

Vertical Response

30 Day free trial—Then pay per email rate of 0-1000 @ $0.0150—A list of 150 with one campaign would be $2.25. Free Image Hosting. Online Archive. Some reports of trouble when sending lots of pictures.

iContact

15 Day free trial—Then $8.46 for up to 250 subscribers and $15 for up to 500 with unlimited emails. There is also a survey option.

MailChimp

FREE — I think this is my new favorite. Up to 1000 subscribers and 3000 total emails per month—for FREE!  Not as easy as Constant Contact, but worth it. Archiving is free.

WhamCart

Everything is in one place, including a shopping cart. $39.95 per month with up to 10,000 subscribers. This sounds too good to be accurate, but it comes highly recommended. It will not allow uploading or importing a current contact list – all contacts must come through a registration form.

Features Included In Most Email Marketing Services

  • SPAM Test (Make Sure Your Emails Aren’t Spam)
  • Create Email Aliases
  • Test Email
  • Email Reporting Features
  • Click-Through Tracking
  • Conversion Tracking
  • Sent Emails
  • Delivered/Undeliverable
  • Bounced Emails
  • Opened Emails
  • Forwarded Emails
  • View Unsubscribed Contacts
  • Unsolicited Email Complaints
  • Compare Message Reports
  • Export/Download Reports
  • Integrate with Google Analytics
  • Technical Support
  • Email/Online Forms
  • Phone Support
  • FAQ Section
  • Help Documentation
  • Free Trial/Demo/Tutorials
  • Live Chat
  • Articles and Resources
  • Online Community
  • Import Mailing List
  • Remove Unsubscribed Contacts
  • Group your Email Contacts
  • Automatically Detect Duplicate Emails
  • Add Custom Demographic Fields
  • Require Opt-in
  • Email Creation Features
  • Email Setup Wizard
  • Supports Unicode
  • Add Images
  • Add Hyperlinks
  • Basic Formatting
  • Import Web Pages
  • Create Plain Text Messages
  • Create HTML Messages
  • Create Messages from Template
  • Custom Order Design from Service
  • View Overall Preview (WYSIWYG)
  • View HTML Source Code in Program
  • Add Email Footer (Unsubscribe Link)
  • Create Web Forms
  • Image Hosting
  • Create Auto Response
  • Create Surveys
  • Email Sending Features
  • Email Job Scheduling

Post updated on December 8, 2021

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