newsletterWhat do you use for sending out newsletters, tracking email lists, and handling CRM?

There are plenty of products that offer simple-to-full-spectrum features in this online space.  And that full spectrum includes the price they charge for it.

Am I wrong in thinking Constant Contact and MailChimp have risen to the top of the heap?  Here’s a blog I wrote about a year ago comparing the two services.

I also see Aweber, Icontact, and Enewsletter once in a while.  Here’s a list of 35 Mailing List Services on Mashable.

MailChimp has two big things going for it.  It’s a Google product, and it’s free for most of the standard features.  Constant Contact is incredibly feature-rich, and has integrations with about every other 3rd-party service you could imagine: 225 in all.  That’s a real plus in my book. But CC also charges extra for storing images, and then a little more for archiving your newsletters, and still more for add-ons like Social Media linking and surveys.

Mailing List Services are only handiest, of course, if you actually have lists.  That would be an accumulation of email address of friends, agents, producers, clients, prospects, etc., that you want to reach regularly.  One school of marketing thought is that it pays to keep your brand in front of the right people on a regular basis, and that a minimum of 7-8 exposures is needed before they even remember you.

Constructing fetching email list newsletters is a unique subculture.  Entire companies are built around selling you information on how best to do this technique.  Online communities and forums are available whose members do nothing but discuss the latest trends in email list building.  It’s beyond the scope of this blog to cover all of that today.  But if you decide to go this route, it certainly behooves you to take the time to decide what direction you want to go, and then, how best to go about it.  Hubspot might be a good place to start.  There are also a number of Google Plus communities that welcome information and conversation about this topic.

Let me add to the list of choices:  I’ve written before about BombBomb.  Its singular distinction is that it specializes in VIDEO newsletters, and also offers a lot of the same metrics, tracking, list management and other features present in MailChimp and ConstantContact.

Finally, a service claiming better templates, friendlier customer service, and free archiving all at half the cost of ConstantContact is ROBLY. It also stores all your images for free.  ConstantContact charges for that past a certain threshold of size.  Robly admits they have no 3rd-party integrations yet, as they are focusing on getting their core product solid.  I’ve had some very frank and open exchanges with a Robly representative I thought was part of their customer service department…and then I found out he was the founder/CEO!

I’m trying it out, and will file a full report on my experience in the weeks ahead.

CourVO

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