In the world of Internet marketing, the real money is in email marketing.
Everybody knows that.
Email marketing brings in more buyers and does more to build a loyal audience than anything you will put on a blog or website.
When you’re first building your list, it’s difficult to know which company will best meet your needs. Sure, you could sign up for one of the many free trials that are out there, but if the service doesn’t work out or if your list stays on the small side, you’re stuck. You either have to pay that company’s prices or switch your list over to another service and risk losing subscribers due to the hassle.
Your best bet is to choose a service that offers a free plan.
These plans are plans that offer you most (if not all) of the same features that you would get on a paid plan but limits you to a small number of subscribers and mails. If you like the service and wind up expanding your list, you simply choose a paid plan that best fits your needs. No importing or switching required.
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Here are some of the best free email marketing providers on the Internet right now.
Mail Chimp tops pretty much every list of “top email marketing providers.”
If you plan on keeping your email list small, you can use Mail Chimp for free forever. “Small” in this case means fewer than 2,000 subscribers across each list that you build on your account. As long as you keep yourself under 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails a month for free.
Unlike other services that will offer a bare bones free service, Mail Chimp gives almost every single thing that it gives its paying members to its free members.
>>>TIP: If you want to send out personalized-feeling (and looking) emails, try Mail Chimp’s subsidiary Tiny Letter—the service is a no-frills service that has no templates (the goal is to make every email feel and look as personal as possible).
Benchmark offers users who plan on sending fewer than 10,000 emails per month a free-for-life plan, but this plan has a few conditions. Being limited to 10,000 emails is one, though it shouldn’t be that big a deal when you’re just starting out or if you plan on keeping your list small.
The bigger issue is that users of the free-for-life plan can only send emails and market to people who sign up through Benchmark’s sign-up form. So you can’t, for example, manually enter people who sign up on a mailing list that you pass around at a meeting.
ReachMail offers a free account to users with fewer than 5,000 subscribers and who want to send fewer than 15,000 emails per month.
The biggest catch is that you absolutely cannot send more than that because the service will not let you. Unlike the paid accounts with this service, which price out over-the-limit emails piece meal, with Reach Mail they simply cut you off. This is fine if you are confident that you can keep your mail count and subscriber count low. If you think you might go above those numbers, plans start at $10.00 a month.
Mad Mimi is another service that, in addition to its paid plans, offers a free plan for people whose lists are small and who only plan on sending out a few blasts a month.
The free plan with Mad Mimi caps at 250 subscribers and 12,500 mails each month. Unfortunately, free accounts aren’t given the same level of support that the paid accounts will get, but if you want a robust system and are good at figuring things out yourself, this is a good choice.
iContact has a place on every “top email marketing service” list out there right now.
It is listed last here because while it has a free plan, that free plan is very limited (users can only have up to 100 subscribers). That said, the feature that draws people to iContact over the company’s competitors is the mobile messaging capability. This company is one of the best if you want to make absolutely sure that your mails look good when being read on mobile devices.
Each plan is set up a little bit differently. Some will allow you a certain amount of subscribers. Others cap the number of emails you can send out. Some offer a hybrid. Click here to learn more about calculating email marketing costs.
Once you’ve figured out which service you most want to work with, it’s simply a matter of making sure that you set yourself up for email marketing success. After all, the service can only make sure that your mail gets sent out correctly. The message that mail contains is up to you!
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