Suncoast Web Solutions
  • 14th Feb, 2014
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E-Mail Marketing has been around for quite sometime now but it is has only been in recent years that you have been able to choose from a large range of options when it came to newsletter and e-mail marketing software. Given that there are now so many options in the marketplace it does become very difficult for a website owner who has little to no knowledge on great e-mail marketing software which option is the best one to go for.There are many options out there that tell you what they offer is the best and that no one else really comes close. Whether it be bang for buck value or whether it be performance wise out there in the marketplace neither of these things should be the determining value as they can only talk about what they offer and the performance of their users campaigns.

What E-Mail Marketing solutions do we recommend when it comes to E-Mail Marketing? We have typically recommended clients to a paid and hosted solution like AWeber and MailChimp. We have also utilised ones that are specifically developed for various website platforms that we have used. These have been used for various reasons but one bug bear that we find across the board is their limitations.

The types of issues we have experienced has been a customer orientated issue and it is not due to the customer themselves. It has been an issue with the options and limitation of these options. Here is a few examples of what I am talking about:

1) AWeber – Great system, very popular and fairly flexible. The issues that we have experienced have been customization orientated. Namely creating custom templates and testing them. Pricing is a little high as well given the nature of what they offer.

2) MailChimp – Great System, User Friendly (moreso than AWeber), does really well with a lot of things including custom templates and testing. Overall great product until you hit the first 2,000 subscribers. Cost jumps up from $0 per month to a minimum of $20 (only 1,050 subscribers). It is just a little confusing about how the charging is calculated.

3) CMS based solutions – Most are free or very cheap to purchase and usually support custom templates and allow unlimited subscribers and sends. The excitement stops there as the reporting is terrible, simple gramatical issue can prevent sending of emails and cause multiple copies to be sent out of the same email.

Now that we have given a fairly clear and basic overview of each solution you can see there hasn’t been a safe, user friendly and cost effective solution available. Until now… We recently came across a new product called “Sendy“. It offers a great alternative to all of the options mentioned above, it does cost but in the scheme of things it is probably the best value all round.

What does Sendy do that the others dont? Not much to be perfectly honest. It has a simplified but effective tracking and reporting system. MailChimp’s solution is very good with its reporting but this seems to be just as good. The flexibility is there with custom templates and sign up forms. It doesn’t have huge costs associated with it each month. You can buy it for under $100 and get updates for it regularly. The one thing it does do that the others don’t is ties in with Amazon SES service.

Recently we deployed a copy for a long term client who had used a CMS based solution and from a configuration standpoint it seemed almost way too easy to setup. Installation was painless, the configuration (while documentation is lacking) was quite simple. Setting up mailing lists was just a few clicks away. The most important and usually complex task of importing the contacts was done within a few minutes for approximately 3500 subscribers.

After setting all of this up and doing a test send the results were quite surprising. The reporting was accurate, the sending was straight forward and the most impressive thing was there was no bounce backs from server related issues which happens a lot with servers that send large volumes of mail.

So where does AWeber and MailChimp come in to play when E-Mail Marketing? Well for the most part they wont… Unless you are after a hosted solution where all the updates are automatically applied to your account or you want a solution a little more robust that handles hundreds of thousands of subscribers. MailChimp and AWeber have their places but unfortunately we just cannot see where they really are if you have a reasonable size list consisting of over a couple thousand subscribers.

If you would like to know more about any of the E-Mail Marketing solutions mentioned in this article you can visit their sites by clicking on the links below:

AWeber – Visit Website

MailChimp – Visit Website

Sendy – Visit Website

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