A “good list” is often considered the most important asset for any business. Building that list is an important element of any business plan. Just as important: choosing the best platform and strategy for getting your message to your list of engaged readers.
3 Factors to Consider
You need to think about 3 key features that you need to think about when you choose an email platform: deliverability (will it arrive in my readers’ inboxes?), price, and matching your needs (how to create it, type of message, etc.) We’re profiling the two biggest competitors in the email newsletter market – AWeber and MailChimp. If we were to recommend based on deliverability alone, AWeber would win. Just because someone has opted into your list, it’s not a given that you’ll make it through spam filters. As a service provider in the market for 15 years, AWeber is often considered the BEST when it comes to making sure your email is going to find it’s way into your subscribers’ inbox. If we were to recommend based on Price alone, MailChimp would win. You can’t beat free! Well, MailChimp is f.ree for up to 2,000 subscribers and a max of 12,000 emails sent per month. AWeber’s basic package will cost you $1 for 30-day trial, and then $19/month after that.
Tie Breaker: What kinds of emails will you send?
You have to pick a platform that matches your needs. There are two types of email messages you need to know about:
- a broadcast that is sent one time at a scheduled day and time to your list (eg. your newsletter OR an announcement of a special event or sale)
- an autoresponder that is sent in response to something else (e.g. new user sign up OR a predetermined sequence as in an e-course OR to reach out to clients/customers after they’ve bought something from you)
AWeber was created as an autoresponder service, so they do this really well. MailChimp also provides this capability with their paid model, but, frankly, it’s not that good. And once you take price out of the equation… If your business needs to be able to send a sequence of emails (such as an e-course or post-purchase nurturing email sequence), then choose AWeber – no question! However, if you do not foresee a need for an email sequence (autoresponders) and you plan on only sending newsletters (broadcasts), then MailChimp may well be the choice for you. One important note: if you plan to share ‘affiliate’ links in your newsletter (links to other business’s offers from which you collect an affiliate commission) MailChimp can close your account in violation of their terms.
An Email Platform You Can Work With
You’ll be working with this platform over and over and you don’t want to switch, so it has to be easy to use. When it comes to composing a message, AWeber and MailChimp are pretty even. Both offer pre-designed templates plus drag-and-drop editors to customize the templates. In either case, you can create your own from scratch and use it every time you create a new message (that consistent look is so important for brand recognition!).
The Online Empowerment Recommendation
Overall, we recommend – and we use! – AWeber. (This is our affiliate link, and we’d love to see you sign up through us.)
Need help with the set up of either MailChimp or Aweber? Check out our Email Newsletter (Re)Launch package.