You may remember in the post Email Marketing – What is it and why should you do it? I talked about the three things you needed for a successful campaign. One of these was a way of sending and monitoring your email marketing campaigns when you have a large number of emails.
In this post, I will talk about a couple of tools to help you send and monitor your email marketing activities.
Sending and monitoring your email marketing campaigns
Sending and monitoring your emails is something you can do using tools you already have, your email program and a spreadsheet. Whilst it is totally possible to do it this way I would never recommend it. Very soon you would find the tasks associated with managing a growing email list would take up so much of your time you would get little else done.
Thankfully, we do have many companies who have software that does just that and does it all automatically. The key features all of them have is
- Some sort of form for you to use to collect email addresses
- They automatically add new email addresses to your list
- They automatically remove Unsubscribes from your list
- A campaign builder to help you build and manage email campaigns
- It automatically sends all your emails.
- It monitors the opening and clicking of your emails.
Of the many out there I feel there are two that are worthy of special note.
I will start with MailChimp not because it is the best but simply because it was one of the first and is possibly the biggest.
MailChimp does all of the basics very well and includes as standard all of the basic features above. It manages your list accurately and helps you build a range of email marketing campaigns both as plain text and/or HTML. It integrates with a large number of other software providers to allow you to collect emails from a range of platforms
Where it does fall down is in the extra features department. Email marketing campaigns have come a long way but sadly MailChimp has not kept up with the pace. You won’t discover this at first not until you think wouldn’t it be great if I could …….. Another thing you will notice is that its sign-up form for you to use to gather emails is pretty terrible.
Although MailChimp is not the cheapest around getting started is FREE. You can send up to 12000 emails to up to 2000 addresses on the Forever Free plan. This is a great starting point however, the features you have with the free account are very limited. If you would like more features or have a larger email list Mailchimp fees soon start racking up. 100 email addresses are $11 (£8) a month, 1000 is $15 (£11) a month and 10000 is $75 (£55).
Get up around the 100000 and you will be spending between $475 (£345) and $500 (£365) a month. In addition to that if you would like to add the Pro features to your account that will be another $199 (£145) a month extra.
MailerLite is another company worth mentioning. It is a much newer company, has been going about 8 years and hence has the far fewer user at around 406,000. Like MailChimp, Mailerlite does all the basics needed to manage your email marketing campaigns very well in pretty much the same way MailChimp does. Where it does differ significantly from MailChimp is in the fact that all of the extras you will need to grow your list are built in as standard.
Like MailChimp, MailerLite offers you a free option. You can send unlimited emails to 1000 email addresses for free on its Forever Free plan. That would be saving you $15 (£11) compared with MailChimp because all these extra features you pay for in MailChimp are included as standard in its free version. As you list begins to grow the price for 10000 is $35 (£25). Get around the 100,000 mark and the savings soon start to mount. At $240 (£175) for 100.000 email addresses, it is half the price of Mailchimp.
So, in conclusion, both pieces of software do an excellent job of managing your email marketing campaigns but for me, Mailerlite pips Mailchimp on both costs and features.