I am looking into email marketing and made my experiences with some web based programs as well as paid programs. A web based program which I could recommend is Constant Contact, though you pay for a certain batch of emails per month ($25.- or more). I personally do not have a huge database and I do not send out emails every month, I want to avoid paying monthly fees for something I do not use.
I am trying to find THE solution!
The bad news is, there is no ‘THE‘ solution. But there are some very acceptable solutions that will do what you need.
The most important thing to consider in email marketing is
That means: does your email get to the people you are sending it to.
You want a service that has a measureable delivery rate of at least 85%. To make this happen, the service will need to have resources (staff members) devoted to making sure their email gets delivered. A fly-by-night email service won’t do this, it takes months to gain the trust of Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, MSN, and other major tier providers.
I don’t have to tell you that thanks to the spammers all of us are deluged with garbage emails.
The problem gets worse daily, and so the ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) have implemented various systems to prevent their users from getting spam (also called junk) email.
What this means for you is, at the point where you begin to use email as a marketing tool is that you risk your emails, getting caught by these same filters. Even when it has been requested by potential prospects. (I’ll talk about ‘Double Opt-In’ lists another time)
To say this is a pain in the butt is an understatement. Delivery problems are the bane of Internet marketing.
And the prospect for this changing in the near future doesn’t look too rosy.
So before you decide on an email service you should find out what their deliverability is. And don’t just ask them, check with people using the service if you can. Sales reps will tell you what ever they think will get you to sign up. Ask for data proving their claims.
And frankly this can change in a day. One of the most popular shopping cart/email systems in use by small Internet businesses recently got on the spamhaus blacklist due to one bad user. This causes their deliverability to drop to about 60%, or put another way… 40% of all email sent from their servers was lost to junk mail filters.
This had a huge impact on thousands of businesses!
Two of the clients I write marketing emails for use that particular service, and it caused a very noticeable decrease in sales.
This has since been resolved, but the shopping cart provider had to buy new domain names, get a bunch of new IP addresses, and implement very strict usage policies. In the end, these strict policies hurt the good businesses using that system and the guys that caused the problem are long gone.
Over the last couple of years I have had experience with most of the email systems a small business would use. They all have their issues, there is no perfect answer. There is one I can feel confident in recommending and that is Send Pepper Email Services. They devote a lot of time and effort to staying on the ‘white’ list of all the major providers.
Send Pepper have a number of very useful features and a user interface that is easy to use, and they have live support from 7am to 7pm EST. They have a deliverability rate well over 90%, depending on your content of course.
Follow this link and you can Send Pepper Trial‘test drive’ it for 15 days for free.
Honestly, the solution is for commercial email to no longer be free. Even at a cost of 1/10 cent per email, spammers would no longer be able to afford to do what they do.
Also, I don’t recommend using email software on your computer either. It can cause you problems with your ISP and get your computer blacklisted as a spammer. If you want to go this route, pay for commercial rack space and host a separate server. Of course you’ll need technical know how or you’ll need to pay for tech support.
You’re better off using Send Pepper.
Now, go get some clients.