Email Marketing Campaigns

Avoid the Black Hole

As writers and subscribers of The Core, we always look forward to the moment when our blog update email appears in our inbox. Lately, with the improvement of our spam filter provided by our trusty IT provider, we have been seeing less and less of our own email making it through the firewall and e-security system. Which got us to thinking…If we aren’t getting our own emails, are you?

After each release of The Core, we pay close attention to the analytics provided by our email marketing service, Constant Contact. We have established benchmarks and measure “high’s and low’s” based on multiple criteria, including: open rates, views by post, comparison of day/time of release, etc.

As curious marketers, we thought it would be fun to compare/contrast the various email marketing service providers available. Fun and VERY helpful – because who wants their hard work disappearing into the black hole of lost email communications? We also performed a test, sending test emails from each service to multiple corporate and personal email addresses, to gauge which service is the most “delivery dependable”. Here is what we learned:

Pricing: Up to 1000 Contacts – $19.00/month

  • iContact will scan your email’s subject line and complete content to determine the likelihood your messages will end up in your clients’ junk boxes.
  • You can manage and filter your list of message receivers on all sorts of criteria, including 13 standard fields, and any other custom fields you wish to segment by.
  • More than 300 template options you are guaranteed to have a professional looking email message even if you are completely unfamiliar with HTML code.
  • Delivery Success Rate: 3 of 5 test emails delivered

Benchmark Email
Pricing: Up to 1000 Contacts – $12.95/month

  • Features include the ability to create and send surveys
  • No other service shares Benchmark’s ability to send video emails.
  • They provide a solid selection of customizable templates in various themes
  • Reports include an active campaign summary, click-throughs, contact statistics, email forwarding, surveys and email abuse reporting.
  • Delivery Success Rate: 4 of 5 test emails delivered

Pricing: Up to 1000 Contacts – $10.00/month

  • Guides you through creating a successful email marketing campaign with the step-by-step wizard
  • Includes 450+ professionally designed email templates to choose from or you can upload your own coded design
  • Available reports include: emails sent, opened, forwarded, delivered, bounced and unsubscribed
  • Delivery Success Rate: 4 of 5 test emails delivered

Mail Chimp
Pricing: Up to 1000 Contacts – $15.00/month

  • “Golden Monkeys” feature sends you push notifications when certain recipients (identified by you) open and click.
  • Integrates with Google Analytics for more detailed reporting
  • MailChimp allows you to segment your lists based on interest, engagement and more, so you can tailor your message to your audience.
  • Delivery Success Rate: 4 of 5 test emails delivered

So What?: Email marketing, as with Facebook is no passing fad. And we are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase the effectiveness of this medium. First and foremost, we need a service that will, well, DELIVER. As emails that we’re sending from online email marketing services begin to get caught in spam filters, we must make sure that we’re utilizing services that stay one step ahead.

Posted by: The Optimist (Megan Zweig)