Email Marketing Tools
If you've got a mailing list, these cloud-based tools make it much easier than using your own email account to keep in touch. You use them through a website and there's no software to download. Pricing varies. It can be a flat rate per month, by number of contacts, or by the number of emails sent per month.
Most offer the following key features:
If you need help figuring out how to best use email for marketing purposes, read our guide.
MailChimp: Many of my clients are very happy with this one. It's super-easy to use and priced competitively for loads of features. Advanced features: split testing, geotargeting and an admin area for managers and agencies.
MadMimi: Don't let the name or the lighthearted design fool you. This email tool is loaded with features that are actually easy to use. It's the simplest interface I've seen so far. The price isn't bad either.
AWeber: An autoresponder that allows you to get back to customers, even when you don't have the time to answer every email. Could be very useful for predominantly ecommerce sites when you get a lot of tire-kickers.
Campaign Monitor: Claims to be the email marketing tool for designers. It has a pretty sweet interface and templates. Pricing is $5 + 1 cent for each mailing.
Constant Contact: Most of the functionality you'll need for a pretty low price. However, the templates are a little dated, and the newsletter creation tool is somewhat clugy. Also have a built-in survey creation tool which is pretty handy (costs extra).
Emma: Have all the basics, but their claim to fame is they'll create a custom newsletter template for your business for about $200. Not a bad branding option if graphic design isn't your strength.
Ennect: Tools for managing email, as well as surveys and events, and it's the only one we've seen with a sweepstakes manager.
Vertical Response: What makes these guys different is that they'll create coordinated postcards for you too. Good for when you want to combine email and snail mail. Has an events manager too.
StreamSend: Have some advanced tools which are pretty cool, like one that lets you set up A-B tests to measure the results of different emails. Also offers international language support.
GotMarketing Campaigner: Offers many of the same bells and whistles as Constant Contact. Sign up for the free trials to see which one is better for you.
iContact: Here's a new one not added to the downloadable list yet. They claim to be less expensive than Constant Contact, and it looks like they offer about the same features. However, their reporting is somewhat rudimentary.
If you know of others we haven't mentioned or have feedback about our list, please let us know.