Marketing September 8, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 555 Reads share

How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Platform

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The correct answer to this would be whichever suits you better; all platforms have unique features, which means that there is no such thing as an ideal choice. They all have objectively positive and negative sides; let’s take a look at what four of the most prominent services in the industry have to offer you.

#1. GetResponse

Between affordable pricing and outstanding functionality it is hard to find any fault with GetResponse.

To give you the taste of what it offers, GetResponse provides a 30-day free trial. And here is what’s special about it – instead of giving you a limited access to the platform’s abilities, as most other services do, GetResponse goes all out and allows you to use its full version, minus paid addons. And this full version packs some pretty impressive firepower.

гр1There are two types of autoresponders – an extremely important feature as any marketer knows. It should also be noted that from this selection only Getresponse offers an action-based autoresponder, so if it the function you are after, you may just as well skip to the end.

Split testing functionality is one of the best in the industry, giving you an opportunity to test up to 5 versions of your e-mail at once using 5 different variables (instead of two like, for example, MailChimp).

Landing page creator comes as a part of a package you have to pay for separately, but the fee isn’t all that high when compared to similar packages in other services ($15 vs. ConstantContact’s $45; some other, like MailChimp, don’t have such a tool at all).

In addition to that: spam checker, inbox previews, powerful template design tools, flexible approach to design in general, user-friendly interface, helpful and well-informed customer support, a number of manuals making it easy to get started and much more. All in all, GetResponse is an excellent choice, no matter whether it is the first time you deal with email marketing or have a great deal of experience.

#2. AWeber

You don’t want to use AWeber. Seriously. Yes, it is the oldest and best-known platform in existence. But old age alone isn’t an advantage, as AWeber clearly shows. Outdated, clunky design and user interface, higher prices than average, limited functionality of mail designer – all these aren’t damning drawbacks and one can get used to them. Many seem to be using AWeber just out of habit that formed long ago.

There are, however, a number of problems that are much harder to get used to. For example, it charges you for subscribers who have already unsubscribed unless you regularly clean out your mailing lists by hand. It also charges you for spammers – if you consider those who are automatically unsubscribed because their emails don’t exist to be spammers, which they probably are.

It is hard to understand if it is intentional foul play or simple oversight, but either way, a company that allows it doesn’t present itself in a very favorable light.

All in all, today AWeber is a mediocre platform with a lot of small disadvantages that can all be tolerated if only there would be any reason to do so – but AWeber has little to offer that others don’t do just as well or better.

#3. MailChimp

MailChimp’s main selling point is its unlimited free account for those who don’t exceed certain limits: 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. The problem is, there is little else to recommend it for.

мч2Free trial? It offers only a very limited version of the platform’s service (no autoresponder, for one), and free accounts are treated the way freeloaders are treated everywhere: without much respect. These accounts tend to be cancelled without explanation if the service doesn’t like what you are doing – which means that relying on it is way too risky, especially if you plan to use the trial version for a long time.

Prices? Not extreme but still high, and tend to grow by large increments after you reach a certain number of subscribers.

Interface? Rather simplistic. It tries to look clean and simple, but the resulting fonts are too big, and you often have to do a lot of scrolling to get where you want.

Split testing capabilities are very limited, mobile functionality is mediocre, no landing page creator – all this makes MailChimp a questionable choice at the very best.

And one more thing – MailChimp really doesn’t like affiliate links. Officially, they only block your messages if they notice they are blacklisted, but in practice you can never say beforehand if your message is going to remain intact, get blocked or have all links in it broken.

#4. ConstantContact

сс2First thing you need to know about ConstantContact is that it is expensive. Prices start at $20 per month and grow rapidly with the number of subscribers. Yes, it boasts of excellent reputation and has a host of additional functions and services (autoresponder, landing page creator, campaign tracking and so on), but GetResponse offers the same for a far more reasonable price.

For example, the full-feature pack (including most of the aforementioned goodies) costs $45/month instead of $15/month at GetResponse, while GetResponse has a number of functions ConstantContact lacks – like surveys or event-based autoresponder.

You may try out the free trial version if you want to compare them, but be ready to the absence of autoresponder and some other functions without which full comparison cannot be done.

Conclusion

When all is said and done, the choice among these four is actually not much of a choice at all. Both AWeber and MailChimp have considerable problems that make them undesirable to use for any serious work. AWeber may have been the market leader in the past, but it clearly fell behind since then. MailChimp relies too much on its unlimited free trial and lacks a number of important features.

GetResponse and ConstantContact go neck to neck in most respects (with GetResponse having a bit more impressive functionality in some areas), but ConstantContact costs about thrice as much as GetResponse – not much of a choice indeed.

Images: “abstract shiny construction background vector illustration/Shutterstock.com

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Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns

I graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays I am an entrepreneur and independent journalist. My sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. I have written approximately 2000 articles covering mentioned subjects. Two years ago, I founded a startup dedicated to e-education that aggregates and presents in convenient way information concerning possibilities to study all over the web. Furthermore, it offers several exclusive free courses. Before, I used to work as a Marketing Manager for 4 years in big US IT company. Last two years I was working in Google as a Business Associate.

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