Email and email marketing is still one of the better platforms to engage your customers. It get’s better participation and use than print ads as well as building a better relationship with your clients regardless of how you originally acquired them. For those new to email marketing, this will explain the pro’s and con’s of various email marketing platforms, in particular MailChimp and Aweber. Whole there are plenty of other platforms, these are the two that I consistently use depending on what I am trying to accomplish.
What is an Autoresponder?
For those that don’t know or have never used these systems, Autoresponders are platforms to allow you to do email marketing. Many of you will ask, why can’t I just send it from my domain or from my Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo email account. There are multiple reasons to send them from a dedicated platform including:
- Compliance with the Law: The CANSPAM act detailed what exactly you need to do to stay in compliance including using an Opt-in system, as well as an easy way to Opt out of email. These systems provide automated opt-in and opt-out systems for your lists.
- Risk Blacklisting Your Email Address: If for some reason you have unusual activity, your domain can be blacklisted, or you could even be kicked off your email. This protects you from getting blacklisted.
- Newsletter Design: All these platforms provide beautiful templates to create a newsletter, coupon or even integrate with your Blog to automate emails when you do new posts and news items.
- Performance: Want to know how many people opened or clicked through the email? These systems will tell you performance including who received, opened and clicked. It also allows you to test different send times, subject lines to see which ones perform better.
- Easy sign up: All these platforms provide sign up forms you can integrate on your website, create a QR code or a dedicated site for folks to sign up.
Which Autoresponder is Best for me?
There are several programs and systems available for people to create email lists. They all have similar functionality but there are distinct differences that make me suggest different systems depending what you are doing. While we are talking about Aweber and Mailchimp in this post, there are several including Vertical Response, IContact, GetResponse and Constant Contact to name a few. The simplest way to distinguish between the two, is what you will be doing with each system.
- E-Commerce: If you are doing e-commerce, I always suggest MailChimp. For e-commerce, Mailchimp is already integrated in one way or another with most shopping cart systems making it a simple plug and play, versus having to play with code in the back end. They have tons of pretty templates for you to do email marketing. This includes BigCommerce, Shopify and Zencart has a module to plug it in.
- Affiliate Marketing/Blogging: If you are going to do mainly blogging and affiliate marketing then I suggest Aweber. Aweber (or Getresponse) is what most affiliate marketers use and it is a nice little system. Also, Aweber allows you to do affiliate marketing which is not allowed with MailChimp.
Both systems allow you to create multiple lists to market to, and both allow you to create auto response sequences. Both can let you set up automation and connect with PayPal if you want to accept payments.
Mailchimp is slightly less expensive but remember, if you are doing affiliate marketing, you will get banned eventually with MailChimp. I use MailChimp for my ecommerce sites and Aweber for my direct marketing. (If you sign up with me, its through Aweber).
Take a look at those below and let me know what you think of each.