Email Marketing for Small Business (Part 3)

Choose an Email Service Provider (ESP)

A good vendor can turn your email marketing into a turnkey operation. Look for the following features:

MailChimp logo

MailChimp is Tony MacFarlane’s favorite email service provider
  • Opt-in forms you can put on your website
  • Automatic list scrubbing
  • A/B Testing Capabilities
  • Analytics (including heat-maps)
  • Easily customized templates
  • Sending schedules
  • Social media integration
  • Integration with your CRM (advanced)

The best ESP that I’ve found by far is MailChimp. MailChimp provides all the features above in “forever free” accounts (maximum 12,000 emails per month to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers). By the time your list has grown past 2,000, you will be reaping dividends to afford their modest monthly rate. The most important consideration for using an ESP like MailChimp, however is the hygiene of your list: because MailChimp’s email servers need a stellar reputation to protect their many customers, they will shut you down if your email blast gets more than a 1% spam report. That means your list should have no more than one respondent in 100 unsubscribing and calling your email spam. If you have been growing your list properly, though, you should never encounter this problem.

Other excellent email service provider:

  • Emma (head-to-head comparable to MailChimp)
  • Constant Contact (pricey, but worth it to very large enterprises)
  • ExactTarget (great for connecting to your CRM)

I have been directing email campaigns for businesses and non-profits for more than five years now. I have built email lists for the design/build and automotive industry. Send me your RFP to get your email marketing started.

Email Tony MacFarlane Now!

« Part 2: Know your CAN-SPAM

Part 4: Know Your Subscribers »