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Though Yahoo has handed over its search and PPC advertising business to Microsoft, the company still provides services to small businesses such as web hosting. Additionally, it offers Reputation Tracking tool, which gathers ratings, reviews and mentions from more than 8,000 sources and displays a breakdown of positive, negative, and neutral reviews so marketers can get a sense of what people are saying about them online. The company has partnered with Constant Contact and Orange Soda to display data for email marketing campaigns and search engine marketing efforts, respectively, when the Dashboard users are customers of these providers. MarTech: The Marketing Tech Conference is for marketers responsible for selecting marketing technologies and developing marketing technologists. SMX Advanced, the only conference designed for experienced search marketers, returns to Seattle June 22-23.
I often get asked “what’s the best email marketing software for small business?” and the truth is that there’s no one size fits all answer.
Choosing the right marketing platform allows you to manage and grow your subscriber list, while helping you design and optimize beautiful emails, in an effort to build your business. Which of them is correct? As it turns out, that depends on your exact needs as a business owner. After reaching that threshold, the price goes up in a pricing method that’s precise rounded up to 100 subscribers to ensure you’re never overcharged. Depending on your skillset, the web-based tool also comes with a built-in editor for your pictures, making MailChimp one of the most flexible tools on the market: it’s just as useful if you’re just starting a business as it is when you’re looking to grow beyond your initial customer base. AWeber is the first email marketing system that I signed up for when I was starting my online business, and it’s one I’m still happy to recommend today. What I love about AWeber is their “no fuss” focus on delivering your emails, and giving you good stats about what people do with your emails. Especially if you engage in eCommerce by selling products directly on your website, you need an email tool that integrates with your shopping cart so that you can send well-designed, automated confirmation and shipping emails each time someone purchases one of your products.
In fact, we would go as far as to say that AWeber is the perfect choice if you are looking for a tool that integrates with your various customer databases. Salesforce integration comes with the tool from the start, as does an easy way to set up auto-responders that will become invaluable as your business grows and you don’t have time to send emails manually and individually.
If you’re technologically savvy, AWeber even allows you to take your email marketing one step further: at AWeber labs, you can create custom apps that integrate seamlessly with your email marketing.
Unlike MailChimp, which gives its users almost limitless flexibility in how robust or complex their email marketing should be, Constant Contact goes the opposite route and takes care of the choice for its users. The options for integration with other digital marketing are almost limitless, allowing users to attach videos or documents to the emails along with seamless social media navigation. Constant Contact is easy to navigate and master, and its many help and support articles and resources are sure to answer any questions that may remain. A popular review site recently ranked iContact as the single best email marketing tool available, with an average rating of 9.83 out of 10 possible points. Working in iContact allows you to easily create beautiful emails, but the tool especially scored especially high based on its excellent customer service and contact management system. I personally used iContact for a few months, to see what all the fuss was about and I have to say that I loved my experience. It’s almost impossible to get confused in the interface but even if you do, the tool’s customer service ensures that you are back on the right path sooner than you know it. Where iContact relies on its quality service to ensure your satisfaction, Mad Mimi goes a different route: providing perhaps the most beautiful emails out of all the options we mentioned here. That’s not to say the creators ignore customer service – it’s just that they have clearly made design their top priority, and it shows in the software.
Rather than relying on pre-designed templates like most of its competitors, Mad Mimi instead offers Themes that are reminiscent of their WordPress equivalent and allow users to customize the look of their emails without any prior design knowledge.
The result: no two emails look the same, and it’s almost more difficult to make an email look bad than the opposite. Let’s start with the most important part: Infusionsoft is one of the most expensive platforms on this list.
If you’re not willing or able to spend at least $200 per month on your business, you may want to skip to the next tool we’ll discuss.
Too often, calculating the return on investment from email marketing devolves into a guessing game. The tracker has been so successful, it makes other advanced features (such as a lead scoring system that allows you to track which of your contacts are most likely to become customers or flowcharts that allow you to create comprehensive, consistent campaigns) seem like nice little bonuses.

I personally switched to Infusionsoft when my business started to get more complex, when I realized that I could automate my follow up and do more smart marketing based on people’s actions. If you’re not sure if it’s time to upgrade to Infusionsoft or Ontraport, I’ve got a blog post giving you my advice here. Ontraport is the Infusionsoft equivalent, with a slightly different approach to automation and contact management. One of the deciding factors that might help you decide between Infusionsoft and Ontraport is the community and support that each company has cultivated. Finally, we finish with a software (Vertical Response) that’s almost the exact opposite of Infusionsoft and Ontraport, at least in terms of budget-needs. You probably noticed that most of the email marketing tools we mentioned above base their pricing models on monthly subscriptions.
That may not make sense if you have implemented a comprehensive email strategy into your marketing plan, but it’s perfect if you just want to send out a promotional email to loyal customers every now and then.
Active Campaign is a newer contender in the email marketing space that focuses heavily on automation and contact management. Active Campaign also allows you to track leads and do more individual one-on-one sales, just like Infusionsoft does. One thing that ConvertKit has going for it is their intuitive interface design and the fact that they’ve gotten some big name bloggers on board, like Pat Flynn.
With ConvertKit you can build email drip sequences, and use automation features like triggers to change the default behavior and tailor it to each individual subscriber. PopupAlly Pro allows you to design the most beautiful opt-in boxes, polite popups for you website… using any of the email marketing systems we reviewed today.
Of course, a single blog post can’t even begin to list all available email marketing tools for small businesses. Questions about the best email tool available for small businesses are impossible to answer definitively. We actually get a ton of people switch off of Infusionsoft and Ontraport once they start to get larger (over 30k-50k).
Take a look at their pricing page – it is based on how many subscribers you have on your email list. As allies in our marriage and business, we're here to become your favorite allies for growing your business with elegant software solutions! Sadly, this means that most of the time, commercials are even more annoying than one might imagine. This doesn’t happen very often, but that only makes those special companies appear that much brighter when it does.
This might also be a good time to point out that Benchmark Email also offers a custom template service.
Send newsletters, design beautiful email campaigns, and keep in touch with your contacts and customers. Benefit from our personalized training with our experts who will help you grow your business.
With a distributed team spanning three continents we are here to help you when you need it. She's a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998. On top of it all, you also get different analytics that allow you to you determine just how well your email did, and how you can improve it in the future. Countless email marketing software companies have sprouted up, determined to convince you that they are the perfect solution for your small business marketing needs. To make the decision just a little easier for you, we’ve compiled an overview of some of the best email marketing software for small business, and how they can help you achieve your goals. And that’s for a reason: the service is entirely free if you have under 2,000 subscribers or send less than 12,000 emails per month. The service allows businesses to spend as much or as little time designing their marketing emails as they want, offering both free templates and an easy-to-learn drag-and-drop template editor for customization. Their autoresponder and list management options are also more flexible than MailChimp’s list management… which is important if you have more than one type of customer or email list offer. The cheapest plan begins at $20 per month, but this email marketing service leaves much to be desired for digitally savvy business owners.

That, in turn, makes iContact the ideal tool for small business owners who are ready to start their email marketing efforts but not yet familiar with creating and editing emails, or contact management. But if the money is available in your budget, then the added benefits of a full fledged program like Infusionsoft will pay for themselves. This means you can do smarter marketing and offer the right kind of email follow up based on what people do (or don’t do).
Infusionsoft has been around longer, but Ontraport is coming up strong with new features and a strong set of support professionals to answer your questions. But if you’re a small business that doesn’t necessarily send out emails all that often, these pricing models mean wasting money in months that you don’t actually use the service. Think split testing emails, and automatically adjusting what people receive based on whether they clicked a link in an email or didn’t open another email. However, the more email subscribers you have on Active Campaign, the faster your monthly bill increases… but I see it as a way to tap into automation before you are ready to jump into bigger systems like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. Their marketing is aimed at bloggers and those who are building an audience and wanting to segment follow-ups easily with their automation features. Pricing is reasonable for smaller email lists and does pick up speed quickly, and once you pass the 30,000 subscriber mark you’d be better off on a system like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. But there is such a thing as the best email tool for specific situations, and we hope you will be able to find the answer for your needs in our list above. In fact, our larger customers (100k-300k subscribers) ran into major throttling issues and slow sending speeds.
I appreciate you sharing what your customers are seeing in terms of what works for them and when it makes sense to upgrade or switch providers. While I am very critical of all marketing efforts that I come across, the same could be said for pretty much anybody else. Not only am I now uninterested in their product, but now I have a sort of vendetta against the company as having a generic and lackluster marketing department. The direct opposite to the above, maintaining consistent contact with your recipient base is also key.
As part of its suite of tools, the company today rolled out a small business marketing dashboard — meant as a one-stop shop where small businesses can monitor (and tweak) their online presence. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ, and worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Infusionsoft provides an answer: it comes with a built-in ROI tracker that allows you to calculate exactly that, and the results have been higher ROI than most if not all competing email marketing tools.
But even beyond that, you may not have to pay much: the tool offers pay-as-you-go options that allow you to pay only when you actually send out an email. But from MailChimp to Vertical Response, this list should cover the best tools for every situation. In my world, if you want to stand out, you need to make me laugh, cry, or stupefy me with some amazing or emotional revelation.
Open rates, and click rates can be compared against hundreds of other data points that you may have available to help find trends and patterns.
While we offer some pretty awesome templates to use, investing some time and effort into creating emails that match your companies branding is well worth the effort. For example, plotting a map of all recipients who opened a certain email might help you recognize that recipients based in Montana probably do not have as much interest in surf-boards as compared to recipients based in California. In my years as a marketing professional, I have never seen any reason to send more than one email per day to a recipient.
Focusing your efforts on consistency and reliability will improve open rates and recipient engagement. A proper email marketing department will take every measure to maximize recipient engagement, and ensure that their experience as being part of your mailing list is an enjoyable one.
This is a pretty broad example, but even the minute details can improve your marketing efforts. Either way, I am very sensitive to marketing efforts, and it’s almost become a game for me to weigh the performance of how those efforts affected me.

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