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Since I delivered one of the first training courses on Email marketing in 2001, I have regularly been asked for recommendations for affordable E-mail broadcast software packages for Email marketing and sending Enewsletters. Today, email services are far more sophisticated when I first became involved with Email marketing 15+ years ago. The main changes are:
This post highlights some of the options for businesses of different sizes that are most commonly used in the UK and delegates on my E-mail marketing courses have recommended to me. It's an informal post I originally started on a previous site in 2005 to point marketers on courses to for a shortlist of suppliers to review and I've added to it and removed sites over the years. It also includes recommended reviews site.
I always recommend hosted (Email Service Provider or ESP, or SaaS) email marketing solutions rather than software since, in general, the reporting/tracking and bounce management capabilities of the cheaper desktop e-mail packages are inferior. There are also management problems with deliverability and blacklisting which are best managed by an external email service provider in my opinion.
Although you can use an email service provider in another country, I recommend using a local provider since this is easier for support and resolving deliverability problems locally. So I have highlighted UK Email marketing companies at the start of the list, but options for US and Asia Pacific are also covered.
The E-mail broadcast / management (E-mail Service Provider, ESP) solutions which are most cost-effective (below $50 per month for low volumes) recommended to me by delegates on my courses are as follows. I have grouped them by region, since often, local support is useful to deal with local deliverability issues.
Since I originally created this comparison around ten years ago I have updated it with new Email marketing services available in different countries which can give better local support.
Choosing the best email service provide can be challenging since there are so many features. Although some providers may offer 'Marketing Automation', there are many features within that. To help here we offer premium members this downloadable checklist of features to look for when choosing an email.
Since this post was originally posted on my blog 10 years ago, there have been huge changes in functionality of email systems. So by 2017, many Email marketing providers have expanded their services to include broader Marketing Automation features and Marketing Clouds that cover marketing communications across the full customer lifecycle. If you want to learn about our top recommendations in these categories see our Digital Marketing Tools 2017 checklist, available as a free download to all Basic members.
Use publisher sites to compare criteria for email marketing systems side-by-side
In the next sections we have recommendations of ESPs we're familiar with who have local support which can be vital for timely response and knowledge of local deliverability issues.
ExpertSender - an ESP for medium-sized and enterprise-grade companies offering segmentation, marketing automation, throttling, IP volume balancing, list scalability and content management. With offices located in the US, EU, Russia and China it deploys 15 billion email messages annually
These focus on providing services for large brands with complex needs of systems integration, higher quality support and delivery of services in different countries. Companies I have worked with in the UK at training days for their clients include:
Of course, there are literally hundreds of E-newsletter broadcast solutions and these represent the most widely used lower-cost options.
Key criteria to consider for an Email or Enewsletter system are - can the solution:
Please add your comments on other systems or suppliers you can recommend, or not!
By Dave Chaffey
Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
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