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Sunday, January 20, 2013

TechnoGrannyShow, Email Marketing Comparison of ConstantContact, AWeber, MailChimp

Techno Granny, E Mail Marketing Compare ConstantContact, AWeber, Mail ChimpTime: 11/20/2012 10:00 AM EST

Episode Notes: What is an E Mail Marketing Program? How can you use it to get the word out about your business or non-profit organization? How do you know the best server to use? Today Email List Building Expert, Matt Tomsho of the Effective Detective will give comparisons between three major email marketing servers--ConstantContact, AWeber and Mail Chimp. Find out the major similarities and differences in this Email Marketing Program Comparison.

Listen to Archived Show Here:

Matt Tomsho, The Effective Detective™ brings over 30 years of eclectic experience in technology, management, marketing, and sales to bear on a very specific problem: how small businesses can be more effective at making money with their existing resources. The secret is in the data that flows into a business everyday. Customer data, prospect data, product data, sales data,  everything involving the business can typically be utilized to reveal how to market more cost effectively. From segmenting lists to using email list management software, The Effective Detective™ can help you uncover the clues that are hiding in plain sight that can lead to a goldmine of business.
Talking Points: comparison between email marketing programs
1.       Why do you need this? What good is email marketing? Why not just email yourself?
a.       Email is simply the most cost effective way to maintain a relationship  with prospects and customers.
b.      Internet providers don’t like it when you send out lots of email (SPAM)
c.       You have to do all of the work.
2.       What is “all of the work”?
a.       Very specific laws about SPAM these days.
b.      Need an opt-in.
c.       Need a way for people to opt-out
d.      These programs handle that for you.
3.       Who are we talking about here?
a.       There are a ton of these providers out there, but 3 really stand out for a couple of reasons
b.      Aweber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp.
4.       Key things that they all do:
a.       Handle your opt-in and opt-out
b.      Auto-responders
c.       Broadcasts
d.      Templates for messages
e.      API – Application Programmers Interface
                                                               i.      Advanced functionality but in the right hands can do some amazing things.
5.       Where are they different?
a.       The difference isn’t so much in what they offer as much as how they offer it.
                                                               i.      Example: Mailchimp and Aweber offer a way to connect your blog so that every time you post a blog entry (or it can wait until there are a few) it will send out the entry to your list. Constant Contact lets you send out a particular blog entry, but not every one you post. However, this might be a better solution depending on what you are doing.
                                                             ii.      Constant Contact lets you advertise events and sign up people through them, Aweber integrates with Eventbrite.
                                                            iii.      Somewhat on price. If you only want to send out broadcasts, Mailchimp is free with a few other limitations. Constant Contact has a 60 day free trial, Aweber is 30 days. All of them have various add-ons that cost extra – beyond their base subscription rate.
                                                           iv.      All of them offer pretty reliable delivery of your email.
6.       Which one should I pick?
a.       The $10,000 question, or should I say the $10, $20, $30, or more / month question.
b.      It depends. When anyone asks me what software should I buy, the first thing I respond is: what are you trying to do?
                                                               i.      If hosting a lot of paid events, to a set list of people you already have, Constant Contact might be good for you with their event option.
                                                             ii.      If you are just starting out, and only sending broadcasts or blog entries, Mailchimp could be a great way to start (especially since it could be free if you have a small list that you only email to a few times a week).
c.       Word of warning: If you decide to switch, you may need to opt-in your list again. This actually isn’t as bad as people think. Why? Because if someone wasn’t reading  your email and they drop off, they were worthless (to you at least) anyway. 
                                                               i.      The easy way to do this is to send them a couple of broadcasts from your old system before you do the switch asking them to watch for the confirm email from your new provider.
7.       What is the process to pick one of these providers?
a.       Decide what kind of marketing you are going to be doing. Will you be sending a lot of spontaneous messages (broadcasts) ,  or do you have a very specific set of emails that are sent at a predetermined schedule (follow-ups or auto-responders), or both, along with a newsletter, blog entries, etc.
b.      Look at feature sets only in terms of what you are doing, or might be doing in the very near future (remember you can switch between providers – I just wouldn’t recommend doing it in a short time span).
c.       How will you be formatting the messages? Do you like to have a lot of different formats for different types of emails, or do you like doing seasonal type emails with a different format? The message editor and choice of templates might be of interest then.
d.      Try it out. Mailchimp is free (except for autoresponders), Aweber offers a 30 day trial and Constant Contact a 60 day. Select a small group of people (friends, business associates, friendly clients) and take the system for a test drive. How do the messages look? How is the editor? Do the messages get through? How does the opt in work?

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