Which email marketing company or software should we use?

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I have an established eCommerce website with a few years trade under its belt which I would like to send marketing emails for. The customers on our list have all explicitly agreed to receive such offers and can be exported with ease from our database. I am looking for any recommendations with regards to a platform I could use to send the emails from. I am a fairly competent designer and programming so generating the emails and web versions is no problem at all. I just really need to find a company who I can use to send the emails and track open rates and conversions from.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Paul.
#company #email #marketing #software
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Originally Posted by fuzzydude View Post

    I have an established eCommerce website with a few years trade under its belt which I would like to send marketing emails for. The customers on our list have all explicitly agreed to receive such offers and can be exported with ease from our database. I am looking for any recommendations with regards to a platform I could use to send the emails from. I am a fairly competent designer and programming so generating the emails and web versions is no problem at all. I just really need to find a company who I can use to send the emails and track open rates and conversions from.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
    Paul.
    Check out GetResponse.com. They're very reliable.
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  • Profile picture of the author barry500
    Paul I know aweber is popular here on the forums but I am currently trying Get Response. They allow you to export explicitly opted in lists and at the back end they do not insist on double opt in from new subscribers.

    Almost all companies - Get Response. icontact, Aweber and Constant Contact have tools that allow you to track opens and clicks.

    Barry
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    • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
      Thanks for the help, from what I had read on these forums I noticed a trend about not allowing the import of lists without a second opt-in. This was news to me as I setup a couple of email marketing platforms a few years back with 2 different companies and neither mentioned this, both insisted on me importing lists. I am wondering whether it has to do with the amount of money you pay a company? - The two companies I dealt with were on a professional contract / pay a certain amount of money per month (think hundreds of pounds). Maybe they ran background checks on your business before they worked with you, strange. I will go have a look at Get Response.

      Thanks,
      Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author IncomePitbull
    I am not sure what place you are talking about, but most places DO NOT allow you to import any lists of contacts. The default action when you import a list is that all the contacts receive an email to verify the action. If I recall, they also require each contacts IP address and date of entry with the import details.

    When I joined GetResponse, I had setup a few lists, campaigns, and started to get some leads into their system. I wanted to show that I was taking action, and will do things legit. Giving them some data to look at of my normal routine. After I few hundred leads came in, and a couple lists, I then called them up and talked to them. I explained I had pre-existing lists that I wanted to import. I had some contacts from Aweber to do first. Usually importing from one major company to another, they accept right away. Like export from Aweber or iContact into GetResponse, is like a golden ticket. You can simply transfer all your contacts from one place, to another, and I am pretty sure will not have to double verify them (so long as you call the company FIRST and talk to them!).

    I also explained I had x amount of contacts from x number of lists that I mail to from my server. I told them the number I wanted to import was not ALLLL of them, but only those who have clicked a link in any of my emails in the past 3 months, or who have opened an email within the past month. I expressed that I felt this was the best I could do to help work with them. I didn't want to import everyone, but only those who have shown a RECENT interest! They said they understand, and thanked me for being considerate of their system, reputation, ect.

    They are just trying to protect their emailing server reputation. They don't want people importing scraped and illegally obtained lists. So their verification on the imports, is to protect that.

    I have had Aweber, GetResponse, ConstantContact, and MailChimp. In my opinion, GetResponse is the best.
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    • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
      Thanks for the replies. I suspect the one's who generally don't allow imports and the kind which are self managed. The one's I had dealt with in the past were accounts where you had to meet or talk to people, have demonstrations of the platform's and then sign up and pay on monthly invoice. I am guessing you also had to be a limited company etc, and that's probably why they allowed the imports as the norm. These kind of companies were probably avoided by the unscrupulous.

      Having had a good look now at Get Response, this most definitely looks to be the perfect solution for us right now. A big thank you to all of those who took the time to reply to this thread, I doubt I would have found them without your recommendation.

      Many thanks,
      Paul.
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      • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
        If you are running an ecommerce store, then I would suggest MailChimp. It is what I use for my ecommerce stores (I use Aweber for my IM business) and I have several clients on it. What is great about MailChimp, it is most likely already has an easy integration into your shopping cart. This means as you get more customers that sign up, it will add them to your list via API. In addition you can actually put all those emails and names you have already into a spreadsheet and upload it into MailChimp without the customer getting an optin email.

        Get Response and Aweber are great platforms but they are designed for the IM business in my opinion. MailChimp and Constant Contact (I personally do not recomment CC) are designed around offline and ecommerce businesses. You can see this from the fact they have integrations into the shopping carts already. iContact is another one but since I have not used it I can not give an opinion on it.
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        • Profile picture of the author SoundsGood
          Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

          If you are running an ecommerce store, then I would suggest MailChimp. It is what I use for my ecommerce stores...
          Ditto . . .
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

    Get Response and Aweber are great platforms but they are designed for the IM business in my opinion.
    Hi OSH,

    I respect your preference, but I would like to address a couple of points...

    Actually, we integrate with a number of top ecommerce solutions (shopping carts) from OSCommerce to Zencart. As Barry500 mentioned, single optin is available via API or by contacting our compliance team. Of course we recommend double optin as a best practice and it's the default, but the option for single optin is certainly available.

    In the end though, it's really about what fits your specific needs. I always suggest people contact the email service providers being considering and ask them some good questions. If you are satisfied with the answers and (just as importantly) the way the answers are provided, then you probably have the solution which is right for you.

    Thanks Barry500, PerformanceMan and Shudogg for the nods . Paul, feel free to contact me via Twitter or Skype if you have questions.

    Regards,
    jim
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

      Hi OSH,

      I respect your preference, but I would like to address a couple of points...

      Actually, we integrate with a number of top ecommerce solutions (shopping carts) from OSCommerce to Zencart. As Barry500 mentioned, single optin is available via API or by contacting our compliance team. Of course we recommend double optin as a best practice and it's the default, but the option for single optin is certainly available.

      In the end though, it's really about what fits your specific needs. I always suggest people contact the email service providers being considering and ask them some good questions. If you are satisfied with the answers and (just as importantly) the way the answers are provided, then you probably have the solution which is right for you.

      Thanks Barry500, PerformanceMan and Shudogg for the nods . Paul, feel free to contact me via Twitter or Skype if you have questions.

      Regards,
      jim
      Jim,

      Please let me know when you integrate with BigCommerce, Shopify, Americommerce, 3dCart and the other hosted carts, I will be the first one to be pushing your services as I do think you have a good service, but as for cart integration, you are not there yet compared to MailChimp (they are integrated with just about every cart).

      Ecommerce owners have a lot to do and having the integration in place to have those who buy automatically entered into the list is key in this day and age. And since many commerce owners don't want to use open source carts, have to deal with servers and SSL certificates, integrating with the hosted cart providers is key.

      Until that happens I have to stand by my recommendation of MailChimp. I do look forward to the day you integrate them since I think your lightbox pop ups are so much nicer then MailChimp.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    Hi OSH,

    Thanks for the kind words. Perhaps I could have worded my inital reply better. I definitely wasn't trying to challenge (but I can see how it read that way) your recommendation. I thought a couple of points were worth clarifying regarding our services.

    Regards,
    jim
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

      Hi OSH,

      Thanks for the kind words. Perhaps I could have worded my inital reply better. I definitely wasn't trying to challenge (but I can see how it read that way) your recommendation. I thought a couple of points were worth clarifying regarding our services.

      Regards,
      jim
      Jim,

      Don't get me wrong, I think you have a great product and I didn't think you were challenging me. I think the autoresponders that IM'ers use are years ahead of many of the other autoresponders, which is why I mentioned that I do use them. I really do look forward to the day you integrate with the hosted ecommerce platforms as I would like to see some competition to Mailchimp in the ecommerce space.

      Chris
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      • Profile picture of the author ShaggyMax
        If you try to host your own email / newsletter list, you run the risk of having your IP address blacklisted. Yes, even using an OPT-IN list opens you up to this possibility.

        One of many reasons we now eat bananas after pressing send...Mailchimp all the way!
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        • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
          Thanks again everyone. I am trialing Get Response at the moment and will post how I find it over the next few weeks. I am a developer myself and so integrating their services into our website isn't a problem. I can see where you are coming from though with regards to being able to drop a service provider directly into a shopping cart system.

          Thanks again,
          Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    After trialing Get Response I have found a little problem which has stopped play for us. It has to do with what appears in the display name from field on received emails. Where it should display your chosen from address; eg@eg.com it displays campaign_name@getresponse.com on behalf; eg@eg.com which for us is a no go. I am looking to have as little branding as possible and this appears right in the face of everyone receiving the email. I contacted their support today and was unfortunately told that this could not be removed. Support appeared very good and live chat was quick to respond. Platform is really nice too, but seems to have a tad too much of their own branding about it. I noticed on the unsubscribe page for customers that there were adverts too. Not sure if they appear when you upgrade to a full account. May trial mailchimp next. Anyone tried YMLP before?

    Thanks,
    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    After trying MailChimp and seeing the same problem, I did some reading up on the subject. The header is apparently added to help ensure deliverability of emails as opposed to them being spammed. Because the emails originate from a different domain to that used in the reply-to / from address, they are often classified as spam or seen as potentially unsecure if the message 'on behalf of' and the senders domain is not included within the header. I have found one company who allow the removal of this feature from their settings menu, but they do say that in doing so it may impact the deliverability rate of your campaigns. I will have to think about this and balance up the importance to us. I can see in the marketing world that it wouldn't matter a great deal, but I feel in an eCommerce one it does, am I wrong to think this?

    I checked a number of other marketing emails from big brand names which I have and none had similar headers. When I looked further I could see that they were all using very expensive marketing companies to produce and send their emails.

    Thanks again,
    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    Adding this link for completeness: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...nt-before.html

    Apparently GMail appends 'on behalf of' on all emails which do not originate from the domain specified in the reply-to field. I haven't personally tested but that's what I read.

    Thanks,
    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    Hi Fuzzydude,

    The co-reg ads you mention are voluntary and you can simply turn them off in your account settings.

    Regards,
    jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Maui Joe
    interspire + mandrill
    or
    interspire + amazon
    = win
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Icontact will be easy to convince with sub 2000 emails. Otherwise Aweber is fine if they allow you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Star8700
    GVO is the best!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author WebTheorem
    I've used Constant Contact for years, and have always had great success.

    They actually have a very good email building that is very user friendly.
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  • Profile picture of the author smileverse
    You can check out Comm100 Email Marketing. It is easy to use and has good inbox delivery.
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  • Profile picture of the author kuzmanin
    I am using send grid service with 100k mails per month and they have everything you need
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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    Wow, thanks again to everyone for their helpful advise.
    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author gekko2.0
    We have been using MailChimp for a couple of years for our ecommerce sites and have had good luck with them. I wouldn't use them for anything IM related but for ecommerce they are a solid choice.
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