Best Email Marketing Provider is MailChimp
I’ve done a lot of research into email marketing providers as I needed to find a new one for our business. I searched far and wide and basically these are my findings…
Email marketing providers can be split into a few tiers:
Premium – The likes of InxMail, SilverPop, CheetahMail. These guys tend to charge like 0.5c – 2c per email, but have very flexible software, good deliverability and tend to have some sort of training and personal interaction with you. CheetahMail for example are very expensive but they try to do the whole managed service thing with an account manager, while InxMail provide a very good platform (and would be the ones that I choose if I chose a premium email marketing provider).
Mid-tier – The guys that fall into this category are MailChimp, ConstantContact, VerticalResponse, iContact and a couple of others probably not worth mentioning as these 4 seem to be the biggest and the best. These guys often have unlimited plans where you pay based on the size of your subscriber list rather than on the number of emails you send, but you also have that option with pay as you go, which they all offer. These guys are still professional email marketers and hence have good deliverability (which is pretty important).
Budget – Budget providers includes the likes of NetRegistry and others that tend not to specialise on email marketing but do a little bit of everything and hence usually don’t even have their own platform. For example NetRegistry uses Interspire Email Marketer. These guys are OK for a small list and if you just want to get started (but I’d still chosee MailChimp given what I know now).
DIY – Well there aren’t many contenders here… Interspire Email Marketer is BY FAR the best product in this category and yes it’s not free, but well worth spending the money on. Others include PHPList and a few other open source options, but they’re really not worth mentioning. If you’re gonna do it yourself BUY Interspire Email Marketer… it’s a great product for the price.
So, unless you’re a corporate with deep pockets or a small-timer it’s probably best to stick to the mid-tier guys (even if you’re a small-timer).
Now you need to decide between the mid-tier guys…. I spent a lot of time doing research and comparing the different providers by creating test accounts and so on. I also looked at a number of reviews which really led me astray initially as it seems they’re quite old. Anyways, I found that MailChimp has by far the best options from all the email marketing providers and by best options I mean good deliverability, spam checking, reporting, API, integration with Google Analytics and shopping cart software, social media, YouTube and so on. These guys really know what they’re doing and I’ve purchased a few of the add-ons which are really worth doing as well.
Anyways, my call is don’t waste your time with the rest, just use MailChimp. The only thing that I’m really missing with MailChimp is a decent transactional emails capability, which I really really hope they will implement at some stage as at the moment you have to do it in round-about ways and it’s a pain in the butt.