The days of mailing out newsletters have gone by the way of the pony express (and thankfully too). Welcome to the 21st century, where we connect, like, share, tweet, retweet, etc. If your newsletter is still stuck in the days of yesteryear, then this post is for you, my friend. We’ll talk about the best content for newsletters in a later blog, but right now, let’s address actually having a company newsletter – great for both intercompany communication and external communication with homeowners, property managers, and other restoration related marketing contacts.

3 Websites to Make Your Newsletters Super Easy

Now there are plenty of awesome websites to choose from for sending out newsletters, but here I’ve selected my top three. If there’s a better option out there, great! Just share it with us in the comments below… sharing is caring. The formula I selected for choosing these candidates was 1) cost, 2) ease of use and 3) tracking abilities (the ability to see from the back-end who opened what).

1. Constant Contact

In the past few years, it’s hard to hear about online newsletter marketing without hearing the name “ Constant Contact - http://www.constantcontact.com/ ” attached somewhere to it. With small business in mind since day one (day one being back in 1998 - http://www.constantcontact.com/about-constant-contact/company-history.jsp , by the way), Constant Contact’s marketing efforts have not gone unnoticed. Constant Contact’s email marketing integration, survey tools, and event planning options have won over nearly 500,000 small business users and at the cost of roughly $15 per month base price, that’s a hefty chunk of profit for the online website marketing company.

Constant Contact charges users based on the amount of contacts they have in their address book, the price breakdown starts at a minimum of $15 per month for 0 – 500 users and increased incrementally to $30 (501 – 2000 address book contacts), $50 (2,501 – 5000 address book contacts), $75 (5,001 – 10,000 address book contacts), $150, etc (check their pricing sheet here - http://www.constantcontact.com/pricing/email-marketing.jsp ). So basically, for your marketing budget purposes, having a newsletter sent out every month for a year to 250 contacts, you’ll be spending $180/year. Not bad considering the back-end tools Constant Contact offers. From removing duplicate accounts (thank goodness someone has thought of this) to letting you see exactly who clicked on what link when, Constant Contact gives newsletter creators the ultimate power in tracking what works and what doesn’t.

Constant Contact also offers a website plugin allowing site owners to install a “subscribe here” feature to their websites and email signatures – a great way to build up your subscriber list.

2. iContact

Similar to Constant Contact, iContact - http://www.icontact.com/ is a lesser known competitor, but still holds its own in the online newsletter marketing world. With a pricing plan - http://www.icontact.com/affordable-email-marketing/ that will save you a few dollars per month over that of Constant Contact, iContact offers a whole new set of email templates, pictures, and more. Having used both options, I would recommend iContact as a better “ease of use” candidate over Constant Contact because of the ability to resize pictures without having to have a Ph.D. in graphic design (Constant Contact, if you’re reading this, please fix the picture resizing issues!). Just like Constant Contact, iContact also has a plugin feature for websites (although not as aesthetically pleasing as CC’s (Constant Contact’s).

Both are great options and offer many of the same back-end tracking tools and more.

3. Mail Chimp

For those of you graphic design buffs out there, Mail Chimp - http://mailchimp.com/ offers the most flexibility in custom newsletter design. With their drag ‘n drop design, it’s no wonder their website boasts of 2.5 million users. The great thing about Mail Chimp? You can purchase pre-made templates from websites like ThemeForest.com - http://themeforest.net/collections/2445082-mailchimp-ready-items  – great if you want to really set your newsletter apart from the competition but not as easy as the two options above (hey, you have to work for individuality).

Schedule emails so that they don’t arrive in inboxes at 1:34 am, co-branding, mobile, and more – you really cannot go wrong with Mail Chimp. As far as pricing - http://mailchimp.com/pricing/  goes, Mail Chimp trumps the competition. Sending out one newsletter a month to less than 500 contacts is absolutely free… yes, F-R-E-E (marketing gods have finally smiled upon us). From there, their monthly plans start at only $10 and rise incrementally based on the amount of contacts your address book contains.

So there you have it, the top 3 online newsletter creation websites. Are newsletters a good investment? Well, that depends on the content you’re putting in them, but on a high-level, yes – very valuable. Try the three above – they all offer a variation of trial versions so you can get your feet wet before you dive in. The best newsletter is the one you actually send out, so make sure you’re comfortable with how the website works, how to read the tracking info, and how their customer service is (Constant Contact offers a lot of free in-person training sessions in many areas). There’s something out there for everyone, so try ’em out and let us know which you prefer in the contacts!

 

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  1. Pingback : Restoration Marketing Blog » Marketing for Property Restoration Companies » 5 Websites to find Great Restoration Marketing Ideas

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