Why You Need an Email Marketing Service (or email newsletter service)
There are limits to how many emails you can send per day, as imposed by your ISP, your hosting provider or your free email service provider. Mostly, these limits allow you to send 250 emails a day only.
With an email marketing service, email newsletters can be crafted, sent, and even tracked online, all in under ten minutes. Have a time-sensitive announcement to make? An email newsletter is waiting in your recipient’s inbox a second after you hit send.
You might ask what the difference is between sending an email and an email newsletter. On the surface, very little, but one of the common problems is that there are a wide variety of email handlers. Most accept html, but not all accept every tag, so testing your newsletter before it goes out is an important feature, and one common to newsletter applications. Getting your newsletter the way you want, no matter what email reader the receiver is using is just one of the benefits.
Online newsletter applications have a lengthy list of features, from how you can create them (html, css, design tools, and templates), how you send them (scheduled delivery, targeted audiences, address management), and how you track them (analytics and bounce lists). Newsletters can be cloned, adjusted, even catered to specific addresses (by zip code, for example). Subscriber and send lists can be managed (and imported), and adjusted for duplicates and bounced emails.
Beauty is in the Eyes of the Reader
HTML Email Newsletters are much like websites. The difference is that they are delivered via email instead of the visitor going to your website. As we develop for the web, we put careful attention to detail and make sure that the website looks consistent across all major web browsers, because each browser interprets HTML in a slightly different way. That is why you see some badly made websites that look good on one browser and messed up on the next.
There are hundreds of email readers that are widely used. Now imagine each email reader as a web browser. To be able to produce HTML that is of consistent quality across all email readers would be a very time consuming, expensive task. That is why we need an email marketing service.
Can’t I Just Use Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail Account?
Sure you can. If you have a small list of about 100 subscribers and is content on sending plain text emails, these email applications will do. However if you have more email accounts than you can manage manually, an email marketing service is necessary.
Email Marketing Service Providers
Perhaps the best known name in email marketing, Constant Contact has been in the online marketing business since 1995. It offers a very comprehensive selection of design templates to choose from or the ability to design your own style from scratch. It’s also easy to integrate into your website, so you can encourage sign-ups in your web marketing.
Constant Contact’s pricing is also reasonable for most small businesses, and based on how big your subscriber list is. If your list includes less than 5,000 email addresses, you’ll be paying $50 per month or less. Even at 25,000 subscribers, the monthly fee is only $150.
If Constant Contact is the Microsoft of email marketing, think of Mad Mimi as the Google of the medium. As opposed to feature-rich, somewhat complex software (some might use the term “bloated”), Mad Mimi is lightweight and extremely quick and easy to get started with.
Like Constant Contact and Mad Mimi, MailChimp makes it relatively easy to design, send, and track an email newsletter. The difference is that it allows you to pull your content from an RSS feed. In other words, instead of needing to come up with new original content for your newsletter, you can simply have your newsletter automatically send out your most recent blog entries to email subscribers.
This approach isn’t for everyone, but if you have a highly segmented audience of customers, some of whom are Web savvy and follow you in social media and others who do little else on the Web besides email, it’s a good way to double up your efforts. Similar to other providers, MailChimp has tiered pricing based on how many subscribers are on your mailing list.
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