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MailChimp and its Competition

MailChimp is a pioneer in the email marketing landscape and email marketing has become an ever more prominent and important part to promote a small business in the modern era where much of business is done online. For those who used to send promotional letters, daily, weekly or monthly and others who did that and cold-called, email has definitely become the all-in-one stop for getting the word out about what your brand or small business is up to. This is the best way to keep clients, friends, family and everyone you know up to date. While social media is a good tool, it is good to use what MailChimp and other services offer to plug in your social media handle and promote yourself further through emailing platforms. MailChimp is a very good option and the site is nicely set up and easy to use.  Mailchimp is one of the top email marketing platforms, known for its cute monkey logo, but moreso for its easy-to-use interface which is a great option for people just beginning to market over email. It allows its customers to send newsletters and automated messages in a simple way. Yet, there are many other email marketing platforms out there, many of which have been developed more recently and offer perks beyond Mailchimp’s based email marketing service. Stock-standard designs are simple ones that Mailchimp has almost patented, but they might not be as exciting to people viewing your emails as other options can be. Here are some alternatives and information about them regarding what they do. MailChimp also offers a very cheap option called the Forever Free plan which allows marketers not looking to break the bank to send 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers. Plans after begin at $9.95 per month for 600 emails up to $375 per month 100,000 emails.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is an alternative to Mailchimp that offers some more advanced features within its interface than Mailchimp offers. The CRM that Infusionsoft uses is exceptional and their marketing automation platform is far above the rest. In the sense that it allows its customers to market themselves through an all-one-one platform that is actually more advanced than Mailchimp, for the most part.  Infusionsoft prides itself on having serves over 125,000 users during the time it has been in business, which is 16 years.  Infusionsoft uses its technological experience to help its customers personally cater their email marketing message to land more leeds and customers through their sales and marketing automation software that has been designed for small business success. The extremely advanced nature of Infusionsoft’s automation platform is that it saves time and money for its customers because everything is being done in an all in one place platform. The e-commerce features are impressive, but it can be said that some other options are better. Infusionsoft and the tracking and analytics are not the best. Yet, while it is a more advanced marketing platform than Mailchimp, it is actually easier to use and it is recommended to watch training videos when learning about more complex technology and marketing platforms like Infusionsoft.

AWeber

AWeber boasts a sleek interface online and on the phone. Their email automation can be purchased or experienced with a 30-day trial at which point if you like the product, you can then pay to be a user after those 30 days. Their software allows for its customers to use their email marketing tools to create communication campaigns with state-of-the-art features with professionals there to help you along the way. The AWeber platform is unique in the sense that its email marketing tools offer HTML email templates and a number of other tools that allow its customers to build email marketing campaigns that include several other tools to assist in running your business including showing the percentage of people who opened your email within the dashboard that is available on the mobile application. AWeber also focuses greatly on making sure that customers and subscriber’s actually receive an email that is sent out through their services and that they see it and it does not get caught in the mix of their spam or promotions email no matter what their mailbox is. The usability of AWeber is put together as a sleek interface that can be integrated with Facebook, Paypal and WordPress. There are some other options that we believe have better interfaces than AWeber, but AWeber does offer sign-up forms and is easy to work with, customers say, because it has a pay-as-you-grow billing scale.  AWeber’s price point is $19 for 500 contacts and the most expensive price point is $149 per month to send to 25,000 subscribers. All their plans allow customers to send an unlimited number of emails.

SendInBlue

SendInBlue was formed in 2012 and has made a strong push in the email marketing platform market with its essential features being offered to its customers at a good price. Their free plan consists of certain limitations that may come as a hindrance to many customers. SendInBlue charges over $330 for you to send 750,000 emails a month that is a bit frustrating because their price point does not focus on charging for subscribers whatsoever. The beginning prices are a bit more friendly than some other companies which is nice for those just getting into the email marketing business. Contact management is available from their services at affordable prices. SendInBlue’s cheaper option is complemented by its more expensive and more complex option for its premium users. They also have another option for their Micro users. The better options allow you to send more emails per month and it allows its customers to alter images and change the themes of the emails they are sending out.  In order to get your contacts into SendInBlue, you have to copy and paste all your contacts or download a CSV, if you are using Google – Gmail. They also offer a downloadable web excel sheet you can use to make your life easier. They provide feedback and offer reporting tools where you can assess which of your contacts are opening which email and who is clicking on what. SendInBlue may not be the top option in the game, but it does always seem like they are striving to be better.

Robly

Robly boasts on the front of its website that it works with both businesses and non-profits which helped it become voted #1 in customer satisfaction of all of the email marketing campaigns. Robly claims it has 50% more opened emails than other email marketing platforms because of its OpenGen technology which allows it to resend emails if they were not opened the first time, that way by it being sent twice, there is an extremely higher probability that it will be opened. They claim that they grow lists by five-fold to replace the traditional widgets that are offered.  Robly offers what they call Robly A.I., allowing for the best open rates, since the emails are sent at different times with different subject lines. Additionally available on Robly’s site also offers a 14 day free trial that makes it very customer friendly.  Their product is probably easier to use than some other integration platforms listed here.  Folks rave about their HTML final products that they build and they are also excited about the constant and continued improvements that Robly makes daily and weekly.  The platform overall is easy to use and for what they are offering, the product is relatively affordable.

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Benchmark

Benchmark is another service that can serve as an alternative competitor to mailchimp because of the array of services that it offers within its business model and website. The Forever Free plan is the first plan they offer which allows marketers looking to spend less money than some others to send 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers; it is a bit frustrating that it is only 2,000 subscribers, but that is definitely a good place to start. The trial will last you for 30 days or after you email 250 clients or send 14,000 emails depending on which of the three things happen first. The sign-up forms provided by Benchmark are very much Benchmark forms though which means you cannot import your contacts through a CSV like some of the other email marketing platforms we have discussed. This can certainly make matters tricky for a small business owner. When you have more than 100,000 contacts, your plan must be negotiated directly with Benchmark. Otherwise there are list plans that allow for emails to go out to each client on your list seven times per month. The rates are as follows beginning at $9.95 per month for emailing up to 600 contacts per month to $11.95 per month for 600 contacts. Once you reach the leavel of 25,000 contacts, the rate goes to $112 per month.  Benchmark’s technology is a bit older and for those that have used it for a while or are beginning to use it again, this can allow for an easy learning curve. Autoresponders letting you know your open rates are available on benchmark as are video emails, surveys and almost 500 templates to choose from. Their social media integration is not as advances as some of the other companies.

Drip

Drip is another one of the top marketing automation platforms in the email marketing platform business. They call themselves the best automation platform provider because of their cost-effective marketing automation.  Drip uses a very advanced algorithm that uses almost 20 triggers and about 15 actions in their automation rule building which helps businesses by covering moving subscribers in and out of campaigns and syncing their details to CRM, or another application.  Their algorithms also offer the auto responder which helps with moving subscribers from certain campaigns they are and are not responding to and making their details work with other applications like CRM. The algorithm also helps to show you which clients are most engaged so you can compare them to one another. Subscription rates go up quickly and efficiently, claim many of Drip’s users, but others have remarked that the service is not the easiest to use of all integration services.  Customers claim it is a straightforward solution and that the software is high quality technology. The workflow creator that they use helps its customers to plan and manage campaigns. Yet it is not the easiest to use of all of the email marketing platforms. So it may not be a better choice for a first time user.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor offers an email design system that is built for efficiency and has a template library. Campaign monitor is recognized as being quick and easy to use. Split-testing is available by allowing users to send text emails to fie potential recipients before the entire email campaign goes out to their customers.  Their reporting tools come color-coder within charts and graphs and they offer the autorespond and all the other perks to track your email marketing platform’s progress and success as you go along. Their autoresponder system even sends messages on data fields such as people’s birthdays. The reporting tools are good, but not as extensive as some of the other company’s we have touched on so far. The external analytics allow you to run a more advance and extensive campaign if that is what your company needs. They also allow for stock images and uploading of images into the cloud. You can also tweak your emails in very unique ways like the birthday situation to cater to the customers you want.  Like other companies that allow for integration with excel sheets and other items, the fact that Campaign Monitor is not great at this is definitely a downside for them.

AutoPilot

Autopilot uses a very unique approach to the email marketing platform and has worked with clients like LiveChat, InstaPage, Lyft, CrunchBase, FreshDesk, etc. They allows you to connect applications, websites and forms so you can make your marketing and communication tasks much easier to perform and alsmost automated with a whiteboard-like layout as their interface. In-app messages, SMS and postcards allow you to deliver your marketing in a unique way and it is really different from most of the other options that we have touched on and that are out there. The whiteboard-like layout helps you to conceptualize and put together a sales funnel in an easier fashion than any of the other email marketing platforms.  Communication through AutoPilot is also multifaceted which is quite unique.  Not only can you just contact people through email, but you are able to speak with your customers and clients through SMS text message and in-app messaging. Autopilot’s technology is truly far and about many of the email marketing platforms and these are just some of their features. The more advanced features are a bit harder to learn., but if you use the service and continue to put the time and energy into it, you can soon become accustomed to the offerings of AutoPilot.  A lot of customers claim that Autopilot is in a league of its own and that it has helped increase clients from 30-150$; that is a pretty amazing ratio.

GetResponse

GetResponse serves as a stellar email marketing platform that aims to help you grow your business. They pride themselves on the integration of their landing pages and webinars that can be built into your marketing automation. The landing pages allow for you to build, publish and host websites with high-conversion rates and to create a journey for your customers and clients that they claim to be unlike any other. GetResponse also lets you create use built-in analytics to track your marketing and see what sort of analytics and date you are receiving, based on how you are performing in general. Newsletters that you send out on GetResponse are viewable within smartphones. Text messages will additionally come into your phone which are called their “perfect-timing” text messages and they will tell you when your messages arrive. The customer service team is available whenever you need 24/7 which really does go with their name of GetResponse and them being available at all times. GetResponse will not allow you to resend an email if it was unopened by some of your potential clients or for any reason. A complaint about GetResponse has been that it is not easy to transfer over your customers from one platform to another if you are moving to GetResponse from another company.  Customers say that the marketing solutions for GetResponse are constantly improving and their eye is on the ball with their technological choices and advancements as new technology continues to come out. Other customers say the website is easy to use and that they have their open rates and click-through rates increast by drastic amounts. The customer service team is also said to be very helpful with working with whoever the client may be to help them keep their focus and deal with each client to cater to their needs and what they are trying to gain with the GetResponse email marketing platform.