Email marketing is still a marketing force to be reckoned with.
So you are doing email marketing for your business, right?
If not, don’t despair. It’s easy to get started but that’s the key — get started!
But where to begin, right?
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
Well, it’s important to understand that if you’re going to engage in email marketing in any kind of a serious way, you need to sign-up with an email marketing company that will help you sign-up, grow and manage your list. While my company, Samson Media, develops the strategy and concepts for email marketing, even we use a third party company called iContact, to automate all the tedious but necessary tasks of managing a list of hundreds or even thousands of email addresses.
- Duplicate management
- Deletes Undeliverables
- SPAM compliant
- Full reporting (deliverables, click-throughs, etc.)
- User-friendly email newsletter publishing tools and templates
WHY IT MATTERS WHICH SERVICE YOU USE
Granted, whether you choose Constant Contact, iContact, Topica, Vertical Response they all do the tasks listed above and are similarly priced, but here’s what separates the men from the boys in my opinion:
THE WINNER IS…
The winner in terms of features, price and service is iContact hands down.
iContact has several features that the popular and more well-known Contact Contact does not offer:
FREE ARCHIVING: Every newsletter you send out automatically gets posted on an iContact hosted page that’s unique to you and your business. As you begin sending out newsletters you’ll see how powerfiul this is. Because as you begin to build a history of newsletters, all you have to do is add a link to your webpage that says something like “Read Our Back Issues Here” and all of your past newsletters will be listed and viewable. Constant Contact offers this for an additional $5 a month, the others don’t offer it at all, and at iContact it’s free. You also get search engine traffic back to your own site from these archived newsletters — a double bonus!
AUTORESPONDERS: Constant Contact, amazingly does NOT offer autoresponders at all. Even if you don’t know what they are, trust me — you’ll want to have the ability to use them, especially if it’s included in the price. Autoresponders are a highly powerful email marketing tool that allows you to preset and pre-create an advanced email marketing strategy that allows you to offer multi-part reports and series. Topica also offers this feature but it’s not nearly as user-friendly.
TECH SUPPORT: All things considered, especially compared to Topica which I’ve used for over 10 years and still use today for older lists, iContact actually answers the phone. With a human being! Really!
So comparing, price, features and support, iContact is the email newsletter and hosting service champ!