Looking for Cheap Email Marketing?

July 7, 2009 by  
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Finding cheap email marketing is more important than it ever has been before. Shall we run down the reasons? Let’s see… the economy is slow… unemployment is high… consumers are cautious and weary… and you still have a business to run, with a product to sell or a service to promote. Cheap email marketing can be just as effective as super expensive campaigns managed by consultants and when you consider the lower costs, it will actually provide a higher ROI.

Finding the Best Cheap Email Marketing Providers

There are many great, highly affordable cheap email marketing companies out there today. It’s a list that’s growing everyday and in the past I’ve spent a bit of time talking about a few of them. In the coming months, I’ll be providing some detailed, in depth reviews of many of the popular ESPs to help you and your organization make a sound decision about which provider to use.

In the meantime, there are many different elements that help separate the average ESPs from the best cheap email marketing companies. In order to make a simple decision, you can start crossing off waves of companies that don’t fit what you really are looking for.

First you can eliminate any pretenders you come across. The following are things that you should assume any high quality ESP is providing. You can scratch off any ESP that doesn’t provide:

  • Hundreds of templates
  • Resources and guides
  • Tracking and statistics
  • List management and unsubscribe services

Next, you want to eliminate a further wave of companies by looking at some of the add-on services you may be interested in. Some of these add-on features include:

  • Autoresponders
  • Surveys

Finally, you want to take a look at a few distinguishing characteristics that make the best cheap email marketing companies stand out from the others. Take a look at:

  • Deliverability rates
  • Customer satisfaction (the user and the user’s customers)
  • Industry specific needs
  • Prices and plans

If you try to find your ESP following this three pronged elimination strategy, you should end up with a cheap email marketing provider that perfectly matches your needs. Here are a few good places to start looking:

Sign up for an iContact free trial with plans starting at $9.95 per month

Sign up for a Constant Contact free trial – plans starting at $15 per month

Transforming from Expensive to Cheap

If you’re already running an email campaign you can certainly find ways to trim your current costs. You want to make the most out of the emails you send. First, take a look to see whether your account is billed by list size or by total emails sent. It will help give you direction for the action steps you should take.

Being billed by total list members – or crossing a threshold into a higher billing area due to your list size – should make you focus on really getting the most from each and every person on that list. Cheap email marketing is about quality, not quantity.

Start shaving off wasted list members by sending out brief customer surveys or by manually removing those list members who always bounce or who have been inactive for a long period. The result is that you’ll be left with a smaller, but much more heavily engaged list.

If your high bill comes from the total number of messages you send, you can still decrease that by lowering your total list size. Additionally, you can start focusing on creating more effective messages. Every ineffective or inappropriate email message you send out just tacks on more costs. Here’s a few ways you can make more out of each of your messages:

  • Short, compelling, informative subject lines
  • A point to every message (rather than the generic, “Hey what’s up? Buy something.” email)
  • Engaging, useful content
  • Clear calls to action in multiple locations of the email

Following these steps you can turn any expensive or wasteful program into a lean, mean, cheap email marketing machine.

Don’t forget about our Race to 50 New RSS Subscribers with a chance to win a free email marketing consultation package.

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Comments

3 Comments on "Looking for Cheap Email Marketing?"

  1. Heather on Fri, 10th Jul 2009 8:05 pm 

    Hi Jake,

    Thanks for the great advice. We noticed you’re planning to look into different e-mail marketing and online reputation management services. Would love to hear your feedback on the company I work with, RatePoint, who is an affordable, easy-to-use, Web-based communication service which includes feedback tool like email marketing, survey and dispute resolution capabilities. These tools give small- and medium-sized businesses with the ability to collect, manage and promote customer feedback directly.

    Check out the free trial at https://www.ratepoint.com

  2. Jake on Mon, 13th Jul 2009 12:53 pm 

    Thanks Heather, I’ll certainly include your company when I get to reviewing different services.

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