E-Newsletter software choices can be overwhelming. Many choose Constant Contact because it is popular and shows up in just about every search related to e-newsletter software. Others looking for free newsletter options use Mailchimp because it is free and has tons of integrations.
Bottom Line: Do your homework before choosing. I can assure you that you should use something, build a contact list and regularly send out meaningful and helpful material to your customers that will lead to sales. Newsletters/emails are the NUMBER 1 WAY Women in Biz Network drives sales.
Here are some important points to consider:
- The size of your contact list: if it is relatively small you pay a smaller amount – the bigger the list the bigger your monthly or yearly payment is. How easily can you embed the “Sign Up for My Newsletter Widget” with the provider? These are all things I would look at.
- Plug Ins: Do you use Membership Site Software like WishList or another custom program? Well then you should look at what plug ins the newsletter provider works with and how well you can share your newsletter after you send it out. Can you automatically tweet out your newsletter? For example Wishlist works with Infusionsoft and Get Response
- What functionality do you want your newsletter to have? Some newsletter software have the capability to include a survey, manage an event or embed videos. Many don’t. Constant Contact is great with managing events.
We have been evaluating our e-newsletter software here at Women in Biz Network, and while doing some research I came across a great article that charts out all the major e-newsletter software and what are the best bets and comparison of capabilities.
The top rated Email Newsletter Software Services are:
- icontact Pros: Whether you’re a web designer, marketing guru or a beginner, iContact has the tools you’ll need to succeed. Cons: If you are looking for statistics regarding conversion , you’ll have to use the Salesforce application.
- Benchmark Pros: With Benchmark Email, you can include video, images and customization unique to your company in your marketing campaigns. Cons:While Benchmark Email doesn’t offer conversion tracking, it does integrate with Google Analytics to show you how your email campaigns are affecting purchases and the number of paid accounts.
- Constant Contact Pros: Great system for event marketing Cons: Doesn’t have splash page landing pages
- Pinpointe Pros: Pinpointe manages your subscriber lists and helps you send out the most effective marketing pieces. Cons: The smallest monthly plan is set for 2,500 stored contacts
- Get Response Pros: Easy drop and drag graphics make creating emails fast. Provides splash page templates. Cons: Newsletters don’t have an automatic save feature, so you must remember to save the emails you are working on as you go should your email creator crash.
- Mailchimp : Pros: Newsletter service is free until you reach 2,000 subscribers. Easy to use templates with drop and drag features with lots of cool plug ins to other software providers. Cons: Certain features like autoresponders really hard to use (in my humble opinion).
What about CRM Systems?
What is the difference between e-newsletter software and CRM Systems?
One of the main differences between the two types of software is who they target. Primarily, CRM software is sales-focused, while e-newsletter marketing automation software is (aptly) marketing-focused.
Salesforce, a leading CRM software provider, defines CRM as, “a strategy for managing all your company’s interactions with current and prospective customers”. A CRM system saves information such as a customers addresses, names, phone numbers, and interactions with the company. However, CRM systems will intergrate with your marketing and social media systems to streamline in many cases directly from the CRM system that integrates with a free e-newsletter system like MailChimp.
(Three considerations priced low, medium and high)
- SAGE CRM: Over 14,000 small and medium sized companies across the globe use Sage CRM every day to accelerate sales, drive business productivity and make every customer interaction count. It is used by enterprising, growing companies seeking new ways to interact with customers, leverage the power of social media and take advantage of the latest mobile developments to further grow their business. Price point: $39 per month
- Microsoft Dynamics : Microsoft Dynamics business solutions energize and empower customer engagement with real-time information and collaboration. As the world grows smaller and more complicated, technology plays an important role and enables individuals to drive their vision while also helping organizations to manage their end-to-end business processes. Price Point: From $65 per month
- InfusionsoftImport and organize the contacts that come to your business (both online and offline) with tagging and segmentation. Collect data about your leads’ behaviors, score them based on marketing interactions, and prioritize the leads that are hottest and ready to buy. Track engagement and customize follow-up messages based on unique customer profiles and set up with your online purchasing platform to manage sales from CRM. Price Point: From $199 per month
- Premium WebCart.is an online shopping cart with CRM capabilities (to access you must pay extra)
The final word on CRM: If you are in sales, marketing and actually like to have customers, then having a e-newsletter system is a MUST Have. If you want a fully integrated system who likes doing everything from one location where you manage your CRM, set up a referral system, have a sales funnel then you will want to look at Sage CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, Infusionsoft, or Premium WebCart.