Email marketing is an essential component of your small business marketing system. Email Service Providers (ESPs) come in all shapes and sizes. In addition to price, here are a few questions you will want to answer when evaluating ESPs:
- How easy is the email creation process? Do they have a variety of templates to choose from? Are templates easy to edit? If I already have a template, can I import it?
- How easy is it to import my existing list of contacts? What are the rules for importing, i.e., do I need to make all of my contacts confirm they have opted-in?
- What other features are offered (i.e. event marketing)? Do I need those features?
- How flexible is the reporting? Can I get all of the information I need?
- Do I have other systems that need to integrate with my email marketing system? Does this ESP work with those systems?
Once you have your criteria checklist defined, you can start investigating solutions. Below is a list of 10 popular (there are many others) email service providers for small businesses to help you get started:
AWeber’s email marketing tools like professional email signup forms & autoresponder services make it easy for you to build your email list and stay in touch with prospects.
Getting Started – aWeber let’s you create a trial account for $1 for your first month, and $19 on a recurring monthly basis after your trial. Learn more about aWeber
CampaignMonitor is simple to use and provides great reporting.
Getting Started – create your account for free, you only pay when you send emails. Per send and monthly plans are available. Monthly plans start at $9 month. Learn more about CampaignMonitor
Constant Contact offers email marketing, event marketing, online surveys, and social campaigns along with a robust learning center.
Getting Started – 60 day free trial. Pricing starts at $15/mo. Learn more about Constant Contact
Emma is famous for their customer service.
Getting Started – 30 day free trial. Pricing starts at $30/mo. Learn more about Emma.
The self proclaimed “World’s Easiest Email Marketing”, GetResponse had everything you need to get started with email marketing.
Getting Started – 30 day free trial. Pricing starts at $15/mo. Learn more about GetResponse.
Recently purchased by Vocus (the folk who own PRWeb), iContact provides email marketing services for small businesses as well as agencies who support them.
Getting Started – 30 day free trial. Pricing starts at $14/mo. Learn more about iContact.
MailChimp is simple to use, provides great support, and integrates with a ton of other applications.
Getting Started – MailChimp has an incredibly generous free account providing up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month. Paid plans start at $10/mo. Learn more about MailChimp
Mailvu gives you a simple way to create videos and share them via email.
Getting Started – create a send a free video message on their homepage. Monthly pricings starts at $5/mo. Learn more about MailVu.
Users of ACT! will want to check out Sage eMarketing (Swiftpage) for it’s tight integration as well as the ability to create drip marketing campaigns.
One note about pricing – while many services quote a price based on emails sent per month, Sage eMarketing quotes messages per day. This is probably due to their drip marketing capabilities, but it also let’s you use scheduling to control your costs.
Getting Started – 60 day free trial. Pricing starts at $15/mo. Learn more about Sage eMarketing
In addition to your typical email marketing features, VerticalResponse also allows you to send postcards.
Getting Started – 30 day trial period. Pricing starts at $8.50/mo. Learn more about Vertical Response
I have had the opportunity to use several of these services including aWeber, Constant Contact, iContact, MailChimp, MailVu, and Swiftpage (as well as a few others not on this list) so if you have any questions about selecting an email service provider, feel free to contact me.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant