Getting started on an email campaign? These can be a truly effective way to reach thousands of people at once and get a real push on your sales or your latest PR campaign.
Choosing the best email marketing service, though, can be a daunting task. Each company has its own way of doing things which may or may not fall in line with your company. How do you choose which one to use? Here at Handset Detection, we recently had to choose a new email marketing service… and boy, we didn’t take this lightly.
Below are three of the biggest email marketing services on the planet right now. To help you choose the best service for your company we’ve compared and contrasted their pros and cons judging from our experience. Of course your mileage may vary but hopefully this gives you a good idea what’s out there.
Also, just because it’s what we do, we took a peek at how each site handles mobile devices. And now to our findings…
One of the first things you’ll notice about MailChimp is how seriously they don’t take themselves. MailChimp knows that stuff like email marketing isn’t the most fun and hilarious thing in the world so they like to lighten the load a little bit with goofiness.
But this is all user-focused material, so don’t expect your customers to receive their videos with a side of dancing cats or anything. When it comes to what businesses need for their email marketing, MailChimp is just as serious as the rest.
One of the most impressive things about MailChimp is the analytics department. If you want to know how your campaign is doing you have several options at your disposal. From reports, to graphs, and even interactive maps, they don’t cut any corners when it comes to showing you how your campaign stacks up against your hopes for it.
On the other hand, MailChimp can be a little overprotective of people receiving your emails. Users have complained if even a small portion of their email list reports your email as spam they will suspend your account.
Speaking of spam, the filters seem to automatically flag their messages as spam according to some users. As a result your message may not make it to your audience in the first place.
How’s the mobile site? Simple and streamlined, just like we like it.
If you have multiple campaigns across several platforms, then Constant Contact may be for you. These guys are really good at combining campaigns from email, social, and even event marketing into one solid platform.
If you don’t need all of that, however, Constant Contact is still a viable option. Their big feature is customization – for instance, you can edit the “From” section to reflect whoever the message is from rather than having to create a new account for each brand or company you own. This means campaigns can run much more quickly and efficiently. The look of your email says a lot, and Constant Contact gives you tons of options to sculpt them just like you want them.
What you won’t get from them is a lot of analytics coverage. In fact, you’re unable to use Google Analytics to fully grasp your campaign. They have their own coverage of course, but you would think a company that’s so big on interconnectivity would offer more in this area.
How’s the mobile site? Congrats! Constant Contact has the most detailed of mobiled optimized site of the three contenders.
Instead of worrying about customization, iContact tries to make things as simple as possible for you. Don’t want to spend hours crafting the perfect email with as many details as possible? iContact lets you choose from 500+ templates. It’s almost impossible not to find something that doesn’t work for you.
The rest of the service is really streamlined as well. Multiple tabs let you negotiate through your campaign quickly and fire off multiple emails with no sweat. It’s really ideal for beginners, but don’t expect too much in the customization department. They want you to be able to start things up and get going without too much fuss.
The main problem with iContact is to get real results on how your campaign is going you have to sign up for a separate service. There’s basic info available through iContact but for more in-depth coverage you must sign up with Salesforce. It’s an unnecessary and aggravating step that almost makes you feel like you’re getting taken for a ride.
How’s the mobile site? While iContact, like all the contenders, has a mobile app, visiting the site from a mobile device doesn’t redirect to a mobile version whatsoever.
At the end of the day you have to recommend the service you end up using the most. And every time we have an email campaign come up we always click on MailChimp first.
Something about their ease of service just gets to us, plus we love having the full capabilities of their tracking and analytic software. It’s definitely the nerd in us – we just love playing with graphs!
Another big plus is what may end up turning some companies against them: their sense of humor. Despite how professional they are when it comes time for it, the company really does like their jokes and funny videos. It lightens our day in the middle of a task – email marketing – that’s never been particularly ripe with comedy.
Once again your mileage may vary, so definitely check all three services out before you sign up for one in particular. Also if you like agree or disagree with our evaluations, sound off below!