The Top Email Marketing Options for Small Business

Small Business Mail OptionsIf you read about online marketing and engaging customers, you will likely find many sources that explain why email is the best way to reach and engage customers. Several companies have built email marketing services to help you harness the power of email marketing and engage your list. Here are the top three options.

 

Don’t Just Use Your Email Account

If you try to send bulk messages from your regular email account, you will likely see your account shutdown or see very low open rates.

Email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL (yes, some people still use AOL email!) have advanced filters and algorithms designed to detect and block spam. If you use your regular email account to send bulk messages, the filters will flag your messages as spam. Even worse, you may see your account shut down.

Instead, use an email marketing provider. These services use industry standard email servers and delivery practices to ensure your emails get to your customer’s inboxes.

 

Aweber

In the blogging community, Aweber is the most popular email marketing tool for good reason. Aweber allows you to build smart lists with rules, targeting, segmenting, timed email delivery, auto-responders and other advanced features.

I use Aweber myself for all of my blogging based businesses and websites. I offer both subscribe to every post and newsletter only options to ensure potential customers get exactly the information they want in their inbox.

Another differentiator is arguably the most important part of email marketing. My delivery and open rates were higher than other services I tried after switching my lists to Aweber. That is hugely important!

Aweber is known for their first month for $1 trial. Most people who give it a try are not disappointed.

 

MailChimp

MailChimp is another great email service with some differentiated factors from Aweber. Most notably, MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month when used for blog RSS-to-email and newsletter only service.

MailChimp has a much sleeker, intuitive design than Aweber (though Aweber has made big strides to catch up), but has a few rules on their free service that pushed me away to Aweber.

  1. No autoresponders on the free account
  2. You can’t use MailChimp for affiliate marketing
  3. I was shut down twice for sending “link spam” when I was promoting a service that I used myself regularly.

If you are just sending standard newsletters to a small list, MailChimp is a great option. If you are doing anything more complex, I would stick with Aweber.

 

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the old guys in the email world. They did a great job marketing to non-profits and have a large base of small business customers.

The free 60 day trial for small lists is a great way to bring in customers, but I highly urge you look deeply at the long-term abilities and costs of all three major email providers when you make a decision.

 

The Best Option?

In my opinion, Aweber is best for bloggers and companies trying to engage their readers to build better brand awareness and sales. MailChimp is best for small businesses that only need to blast out a message from time to time. In my experience using them with a non-profit, Constant Contact was not worth the cost.

Who do you use for email? Please share your experiences in the comments.

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

Comments

  1. I need to start a newsletter soon. These are great tips. Thanks for the advice!

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