Yup, you read that right. Why you might ask? Simply because of growth and opportunity. Two things were happening with MailChimp that we didn’t like so we started to see what our other options were. Below, we’ll share with you the reasons why we left MailChimp, features of other top email service providers, and who we ultimately went with.
So here’s the deal: investing in email marketing is good for your business. Like, $44-back-for-every-$1-spent kind of good according to Direct Marketing Association 2013 Statistical Fact Book. When we first started with MailChimp, however, there were key features that we were not getting that we didn’t even know how to use. You don’t know what you’re missing until you know what it is, right? Like targeted segmenting. (MailChimp says they do this, but trust us, it is not true).
We were also getting charged for multiple subscribers who were the same person. For example: if you signed up for Main List + Webinar List + Ebook List you would count as three people even if you used the same email. So eventually the more lists we had (to target our followers) the more times one person could be on more than one list. We were constantly being upgraded to the next highest plan every time we offered something new to our audience. No bueno.
So we started looking around. Below we’ve broken down the top email service providers and their key features and pitfalls. We’ve also created a handy chart for you down at the bottom.
- $50 a month for 5,000 (some could be duplicates)
- automations, series
- can’t specifically target on the back end (they call it segmenting or grouping, but it’s your subscriber who has to decide which category they fall into not an automatic process)
- drag and drop templates
- e-commerce connectivity
- phone app
Bottom line: MailChimp was great to grow with. It was easy to use and beautiful. However, we started to find that our emails were getting sent to the Promotions tab or worse the Spam folder (no bueno). Their customer service is slim to none (chat box is hit or miss with someone helpful and they take days to respond to your email without really answering your question). Once we hit 5,001 subscribers we knew it was time to go.
- 30-day refund policy
- $79 a month for 5,000
- responsive opt-in forms - allows you to have as many opt-in offers as you want
- landing pages
- automation and segmenting (easily exclude purchasers)
- no templates (which leads to higher open and engagement rates)
- personalized email no longer lands in the “promo” box - unlimited everything (Forms, Courses, Landing Pages, Automation Rules, Emails)
- personalized support team (Nathan Berry - the founder - often answers our emails when we have questions, now that’s customer service)
- no e-commerce integration yet, but you can easily target people who already purchased vs haven’t purchased in your emails
Bottom line: this is who we switched to! Once we realized that MailChimp wasn’t the only one double counting your subscribers and that their segmenting was not how we needed it to work, we wanted to get straight answers from people. We emailed ConvertKit and asked if we could schedule a call. We hopped on the phone with the creator of ConvertKit to pick his brain. He explained to us their powerful “tagging” capabilities and how that led to no one being counted more than once (with the same email). He also eased our minds that we’d be switching from cute, designed and beautiful templates to plain text emails and how that actually benefited us (hello, higher open rates). We’ve since emailed and gotten responses within hours (even on a Sunday) from the creator himself. We are so pleased with the transition and excited for our future email marketing capabilities. Interested in making the switch?
- free trial for 60 days
- $60 a month for 5,000 for basic $85 for plus
- 1 user with basic 3 with plus
- free custom template with plus
- automation only with plus
- FB promotion with plus
- customer surveys, collect donation, register for events and track coupons with plus
- real live support (personal experience their support is AMAZING, you get your own rep)
- e-commerce integration with third party
Bottom line: We actually used Constant Contact last spring during their free trial offer so we can speak from experience. First, of utmost importance their customer service is ah-mazing. Like you hop on a call with a team member who walks you through all of their features and helps you grow. You get your own team member to email or call at anytime (literally they told us to call that number if we were struggling with something for more than 1 minute). They also have some pretty cool Facebook Promotional features to help grow your audience on that channel. We ultimately didn’t want to pay for a service at the time (we still weren’t paying for Mailchimp). They also don’t have great targeting features like ConvertKit has.
- 30 day free trial
- $69 a month for 5,000
- automation and segmenting
- customer support (call chat or email 7 days a week)
- 700+ templates
- ecommerce integration with third party
Bottom line: We’ve never personally used Aweber, but word on (the internet) street is that their customer service is amazing. It’s also been said that MailChimp doesn’t particularly like you sharing affiliate links with your audience, but Aweber supports it. So if you’re monetizing for your business you’ll want to consider a switch. Aweber also counts your subscribers as multiple if they are on multiple lists and even counts a unsubscriber until you manually go in and delete their record.
- $49 a month for 5,000
- landing pages and autoresponders
- webinars 100
- 3 users
- 24/7 chat, phone support, email support
- drag and drop editor
- CRM and e-commerce
- try free for 30 days
- email templates
- app for phone
- double count subscribers
Bottom line: Get Response double counts for your subscribers just like MailChimp does. That’s enough to not use them in our book.
- $113 a month for 5,000
- 14 day free trial
- no app
- chat and email support
- 3 users
- email templates
- drag and drop design
- ability to integrate e-commerce with API
- plus features gets you
- custom domain
- custom branding
- 1:1 training
- SMS marketing
- 25 users
Bottom line: It seems expensive for not that many different features.
- $299 a month for 5,000
- 4 users
- have to pick either sales automation OR e-commerce
- difficult to learn and manage
- Infusionsoft helps streamline the way you market to new customers by automating lead capture and follow-up. Trigger personalized communications based on email sends, opens, clicks, form submissions, and payment history, so you know messages will be timely and relevant to customers' needs.
- Set up online shopping carts and manage your online store, inventory, fulfillment and billing from a single system. Plus, create discounts, subscription plans, and promo offers to sell products or services.
- training is $199
- 24 hour chat webinars, user guides
- phone app: "simple but not very useful" Apple Store Review
Bottom line: Hella expensive, yo. We’ve heard this is quite the powerhouse of email marketing (like all-in-one sort of deal) so it’s no wonder that there’s quite the learning curve. We haven’t personally dove in o InfusionSoft (no free trial, just a demo) so we can’t speak from experience but we’ve heard most people hire someone to manage their accounts because of the complexity. Also, big names (like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income) with lists with over 135,000 subscribers left Infusionsoft (and Aweber) to come to ConvertKit. So, yeah we think they have room to grow.
So we can't exactly just do a whole post on email providers and not give you an opportunity to hang out with us! So if you are interested, there is some pretty awesome stuff waiting for you on the other side.
Before ya go, we have something extra just for you. Want to watch our quick scope that we did yesterday talking more about the awesomeness that is Convert Kit? You can watch that here, plus here all about how the process of making the switch. Head here to read more about if Convert Kit is right for you. (That is an affiliate link so if you're switching we'd love the be the ones they thank)!