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Email Newsletter Services – What do You Use?

Posted By Darren Rowse 5th of January 2007 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

I’m looking for a new email newsletter solution – does anyone have any recommendations?

I’m looking for a service that will handle multiple newsletters with 15,000 or more subscribers on a weekly basis, that will be reliable, that’s not too expensive (I don’t mind paying something), that is easy to use and that has a nice array of features and tracking capabilities.

Please hit me with your recommendations and experiences!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Hi Darren,
    I’ve used http://sunacommunications.com/ for a number of clients, good stats, and Casey (who is behind it’s development) has been very helpful re new features.

  2. I currently do not have a newsletter, but you may want to take a look at PHPlist. http://www.phplist.com/

    “100 000 + subscribers. phplist is designed to manage mailing lists with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. “

  3. If you need free phplist is okay, I’m about to switch from them to Aweber for my list. It costs $20 or more a month, but they are accepted as the best in terms of delivery rate and that is everything when it comes to newsletters.

  4. Campaign Monitor. Created and run by Freshview out of Sydney. Brilliant product. Hence the clients that use it…

  5. Aweber or Getresponce are generally looked on as the best within internet marketing circles, but don’t expect to be able to import your old mailing list to the new service.
    Readers will have to opt-in a second time with any legitimate professional service that values their delivery rates.

  6. http://www.intellicontact.com

    Only 10 bucks per month email newsletter with RSS features. My dad has been using them for his company

  7. Darren, I can’t say enough good things about Campaign Monitor – http://www.campaignmonitor.com/ – they are based in Syndey and run an absolutely awesome service. We use their MailBuild service for our clients.

  8. campaign monitor looks lovely – however at 1 cent per email when you’re sending 100,000 plus emails a month it gets pretty expensive – even when you buy in bulk and get it for half that price – ie $500+ per month isn’t really within the budget I’ve set aside for this type of promotion.

  9. We’ve been using Constant Contact and love it. http://www.constantcontact.com

  10. Darren, check out 12all – http://www.activecampaign.com/12all/ – I was recommended to it by a colleague, and have used it since for our community newsletters. It is simply outstanding b/c there is no cost per email, you can purchase addons, easy to use, and is perfect for an html setup.

  11. I use AWeber myself, they charge a flat rate based on the total number of subscribers you have. Haven’t had any problems at all. They offer a nice RSS-to-email feature that I use to send my AdSense blog out to people who prefer to read it by mail.

  12. I use this for MajikWidget…http://www.mailbuild.com and it really rocks.

    Good Luck.

  13. I use Aweber for email marketing, but have been very pleased with Feedblitz for blog content delivery, and it counts towards your Feedburner subscriber count. They also allow imports without another optin.

    You can send each post, a daily email, a weekly email, or custom emails for something like $5 a month. Whatever the price, it’s so cheap I don’t recall. And Phil, the founder of the company, still does customer service even though they are VC funded.

  14. I’ve used Aweber for three years and am completely happy with them. I have a step-by-step article on how to set up an Aweber autoresponder here

  15. I just started testing http://www.intellicontact.com, all looks very good so far, easy to use, nice interface, good tracking.

  16. I’d have to throw in another vote for Intellicontact, although I don’t do that much volume. I spent a lot of time looking around, and found them to be the best value.

    You can import an entire mailing list WITHOUT a double opt-in, too.

  17. Hey Dan! We’ve been using Constant Contact for our clients and ourselves and we really like it alot because:

    1. Its easy to use.

    2. You can customize it.

    3. It tracks all emails sent and you can see who opened what, when and what links they clicked on.

    4. They’ve been in the business for a long time and have a great reputation.

    5. Its less than $500 per month for 100,000 emails–email me if you’re interested and I’ll get you a quote or check it out here http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp?pn=bellawebdesign

  18. I was looking for the exact same thing – thanks Darren!

  19. Campaign Monitor all the way, baby.

  20. I’ve used Constant Contact and ExactTarget. I’m currently using ExactTarget for 4 newsletters. The largest of the 4 serves more than 12,000 opt-in subscribers. ExactTarget has been reliable and fairly easy to use. I like the detailed reports and how easy it is to segment and target my audience.

    Constant Contact’s product is a good one, too. I switched to ExactTarget when the company I work for consolidated the contracts among various departments and ExactTarget offered us better rates.


  21. Has anyone tried ShiftThis.net’s WordPress Newsletter Plugin?

    I agree with Darren’s philosophy of total control and not handing over your data to others, as much as possible anyway.

    It costs $20.00 USD, which seems reasonable if it works well. Thoughts?



  22. Only two option you should consider. Aweber and Feedblitz. Feedblitz in particular be good as it count towards your feedburner count and so you should be able to increase your revenue with feedburner ad network

  23. We have been using http://www.ezinedirector.com/ for the monthly Creative Kids at Home newsletter (20,000+ subscribers) for the last few years. We pay about $25us a month for this. The service is free for

  24. Email Newsletter Software…

    I just posted comment over at ProBlogger, Darren’s looking for an email newsletter service. We use Ezine Director and have been happy with it. There’s lots of other suggestions in the comments to Darren’s post. I’m curious to see what……

  25. I went from phpList to Aweber and I will NEVER look back. Best decision I ever made. I have been extremely happy with them since I switched. I really love the tracking features.

  26. We use ExactTarget because of its seamless integration with WebTrends and Salesforce.com. If you will have other touches to the people on the list besides the newsletters, its probably a good idea to look into a CRM solution at the same time.

  27. We’ve been very happy with Aweber. At $20/mo it includes 10k subscribers, and the price goes up linearly I believe. But that includes unlimited messages.

    For us, deliverability is by far the biggest factor in choosing an email host, and that’s really the main reason we went with them. Their support is also very friendly and helpful.

    They also have RSS to email feature which we prefer to the FeedBlitz / Feedburner options since you have the ability to actually email that list yourself… not just sending them the blog posts by email.

    The issue you’ll likely have is getting your current list imported… Aweber will only import your list if you can prove they double-opted-in.

    If that’s a deal breaker but you still want to focus on the big players to get good email deliverability, look at http://www.ConstantContact.com or http://www.GetResponse.com.

    Constant Contact will import a well documented single opted-in list, and Get Response will similarly work with you if you have some documentation about how you aquired your subscribers (read: didn’t purchase the list). Send each one an email and ask about your specific case.

    We’ve used each of those services but ended up mainly with Aweber – even though we weren’t able to import our list of nearly 50k subscribers with them. Yes, ouch indeed. :-)

    Another option is to import your list wherever you can, and go with Aweber to build your list going forward… just a thought.

    Feel free to email me if you have questions, etc. on how these compare in more detail.

    Good luck with it!

  28. We use Constant Contact
    also. Our secretary learned it in a few minutes. We get LOTS of great feedback from people.

    Dan, are you not happy with your current newsletter company?

  29. mrstock says: 01/06/2007 at 12:13 pm

    Definitely Campaign Monitor gets my vote!

  30. I use groupmail ( http://www.group-mail.com/ ) to send my newsletters.

    It allows me to create customized messages using predifined fields
    (like “Hello !!FIRST_NAME!! wish you have a happy new year…”)

    You can create several distribution lists,
    you can have drafts, templates, custom fields,
    You can have groups to send, black lists and so on…

    you can even import / export contacts.

    Well, automating the import task of my contact info from a DB to the app requieres a little bit of geekdom; but you can do it manually for the worst case

    I haven’t tried a web service (I did create one for one of my clients though)

    However, imho groupmail is a better desktop app than its web-based counterparts.

  31. Darren,

    If you dont mind me asking,whats wrong with zadooka?I personally use feedburner newsletter which is completely free and very functional for my needs.

  32. http://www.interspire.com/sendstudio/ – The only option I really recommend for this purpose is a hosted solution you can do yourself and private label as your solution, unless you absolutely want a company run hosted solution and aren’t a stickler for brand identification for your company to your clients. When I look at the monthly fees adding up and the fact that most of the email solutions are spreading their brand with their logo on your work and your clients emails, that is just losing business for you. Some on this page would charge over $400 per month for 15,000 subscribers. Thats highway robbery. So I recommend:

    Again the two big sells are one fee and your done, you install on your site and they even do that for you. You get full source code so it is fully customizable. It has all the bells and whistles including autoresponders, email throttling, templates, custom forms, text/html emails, reporting. Best of all it is actively developed software and they help you with support on everything.

  33. Paul,

    basically I think I’ve outgrown it both in terms of the size of my list and what they can handle and features. It’s served me very well but I think I need to upgrade to a paid service that can guarantee slightly better results.

  34. Constant Contact is one that I’ve enjoyed playing with, but I never worked on that large of a scale. I have used it for a spa that was looking to stay in contact with their clients. Their ease of use was great

    Best, Deb

  35. Ummmm….

    To jd who recommended the ShiftThis.net wordpress plugin…

    I recommends uploading your CSV file in batches of 100. I am guessing this is going to be a tad slow for the 15,000 he’s talking about!

    To add to the general coversation, I have to agree that deliverability is a key issues. To this end you want to go with a supplier that can prove their worth here.

    Ask to see the proof of their deliverability rates with hotmail, for example… that’s a notoriously tricky one.

    If you’re going to do it yourself, you have to be careful to go through a checklist at server setup to make sure you get it all right:

    1. Reverse IP lookup has to work.
    2. SPF entry must be in your zone file and must be correct.
    3. The IP address you have has to be clean from the past sins of someone else (and has to be static).
    4. Your server better not be creating any mal-formed headers or dodgy HTML.

    That’s just for starters. It doesn’t take much to get just one ISP or someone else upset, who stick you on an ORB or RBL database somewhere, and hey presto, suddenly no-one wants your emails.

    Er yes, speaking from experience. A completely innocent setup mistake cost me a month of 20% deliverability rates, or there abouts, because some trigger-happy postmaster added my IP to spam database.

    Finally, to ensure maximum deliverability, I have an associate looking into “bonded sender” services. I don’t know much about it, but if you’re making a lot of money from your list, you’d want to look into it.

    All in the name of getting into everyone’s inboxes!

    – Alister

  36. Hi Darren,

    Aweber is the best and most perfect one. I have been using it for a long time. It is the most professional email list and newsletter manager I have ever seen.

    You can also add your weblog feed to it and it sends the updates to the subscribers automatically:
    It is also so affordable. Just $19 per month for less than 10,000 subscribers.

    Best regards,

  37. I really like Aweber. I’ve personally used them for more than two years and have had great service the entire time. Customer support is awesome. They’re delivery rates are incredibly high. Setup and list management is easy. Click-through, delivery and open tracking. Support for unlimited newsletter lists. And they are absolute sticklers about spam.

    Cost is reasonable – $19.95/mo for 10,000 subscribers & $9.95/mo each additional 10,000. Price breaks for paying quarterly, semi and yearly. They’re adding new features more often now. They may not have all the bells and whistle of other services, like a huge database of HTML templates, but what they do they do well.

    I’ve setup dozens of clients with Aweber and they all have been very happy.

  38. Hi Darren et al,

    I used to use Constant Contact, which worked fine. However I now use zookoda which I’ve generally found to work very well (I manage 2 small newsletters). It’s free, has tracking capabilities and broadcasts can be set up one at a time or as recurring activities. I’ve only had one time where there was a delay of 12 hours after I scheduled a post to run for subscribers to receive it (Still not sure what happened). My only other caveat would be to see if there are any warm bodies at zookoda in case you need support. Peace.

  39. Hi Darren,
    i use a very easy to use tool called eyepin. Advantages: unlimited sending volume and very good reporting tools.
    they also offer event management, sweepstakes and so on, but I don’t use that stuff.



  40. I second the recommendation for Active Campaign’s 1-2-All, which I use for a newsletter with nearly 40k subscribers. I would have liked to use Campaign Monitor, but it was too pricey.

  41. Feedburner suits my needs

  42. I suggest http://www.eNewsletterSolutions.com to produce the custom content and HTML code — and then use Constant Contact ( http://www.enewslettersolutions.com/services/campaign.htm?pn=enewslettersolutions ) to manage your subscriber list. You can handle a big group for about $50/mo. and not have to write a thing.

    …_/) Happy Sailing. — Paul

  43. Feedburner email is different from Feedblitz. How?

    Is Feedburner email ad-free?

    Does Feedburner email enable all the customization Feedblitz provides?

    (Feedburner and Feedblitz are associated/integrated, but Feedburner email is different.)

    Are you sure PHPlist doesn’t already do everything, if you know how to use it? If not, do you know if PHPlist is planning a release with any missing features?

    New to mailing lists,
    (Testing WordPress & TikiWiki)

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