When looking for a suitable Email Service Provider to provide you with the online system to manage your email marketing campaigns ask yourself these two questions:
- Do I need to handle multiple opt-in lists?
- Do I need a sequential auto-responder?
This will narrow down your choices significantly. If you’d like to have people sign up on your website/blog/facebook to different lists and offer them different automated sequential messages (aka auto-responders) then my choice would be iContact – I use it myself and recommend it to my clients.
For the ultimate in ease of use, try MadMimi.com, I recommend them to my clients who are just starting out, with zero contacts on the list. MadMimi has the most easy-to-use interface of all the ESPs I’ve tried over the years. Their customer service is the best I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with, plus they keep adding features on a regular basis. MadMimi’s free account is a fully-featured one, but is limited to 100 contacts, and you can send as many messages as you want. Read my blog post MadMimi Brings the Fun Back to Sending Email “Blasts”
I have considered an ESP like iContact or Constant Contact….but have not heard you comment on InfusionSoft. Would infusionsoft be in this category?
Are the templates from IContact as nice as constant contact? I definitely want an autoresponder and have considered purchasing aweber separately…necessary?
InfusionSoft is not in the same category as iContact, MadMimi or Constant Contact. IS starts at $199 per month, but it does allow you to have 10,000 contacts, and includes a CRM module. In fact it would probably be fairer to say that InfusionSoft is a CRM with an email marketing module. You can upgrade it to a full ecommerce system with an affiliate module and a shopping cart, with online payment processing.
However, if you’re a small business owner you could do much better by using iContact, and using the “free” PayPal shopping cart. If you need an affiliate program, there are a number of inexpensive stand-alone packages you buy once and use without paying monthly fees.
You can try iContact for free for 15 days. That should give you plenty of opportunity to make sure their templates suit your needs.
I hope this helps. Feel free to continue this conversation!