Whenever I mention email marketing SaaS, I get the same instant audible sign and look of contempt from average people and marketing people alike. There seems to be this stigma about email marketing that’s become associated with junk mail and spam, and given how many unsavory organizations and individuals have abused the concept, I get why. However, as truth is oft stranger than fiction, so is the case with this concept as well. While mass mailing systems intended to send ads to those who have never requested them is somewhat of an annoying and unnecessary thing, there is a practical application for the technology where it is offending nobody.
Email marketing SaaS is highly useful for the purpose of sending updates, announcements and the like to existing customers and associates. We’re all familiar with most sign up forms asking us if we would like to receive email about marketing, products or updates in most cases, and those who click “yes” obviously want the information. If asked for, who is it harming? Nobody, it’s only helping.
So, if email marketing SaaS goes beyond bugging those who didn’t ask for such, what are the best systems for implementing it? Well, you have quite a few options, but let’s narrow it down to the big three out there right now.
#1 – MailChimp
MailChimp is fairly new, but man is it neat. Capitalizing on the power offered by new HTML5 and AJAX systems, it’s about like using a really powerful piece of local software, making you surprised at just what a browser can actually do.
With a free starter account giving you access to easy to create newsletter and marketing templates, and an awesome drag and drop system for embedding images, attachments and other things, as well as a rather sophisticated yet simple management system for contacts, MailChimp has made quite a splash since it came around.
And well, who doesn’t love a monkey in a hat? MailChimp’s more for individuals and smaller businesses, so its power for huge mass mailings is somewhat limited, but that’s ok, it’s priced with these sizes of users in mind, too.
#2 – Aweber
Aweber is along the same lines as far as power as MailChimp, but it’s kind of a different approach. More mainstream in design, this is a larger scaled system than MailChimp, but at the cost of less flash and pomp and circumstance.
It’s got a greater range of customization and deployment scale as well, meaning that a larger organization with greater mailing needs would probably get more out of this than MailChimp. Alas it’s not as slick, but what can you do?
#3 – Act-On
Act-On is an alternative solution not so much designed around specific scale so much as a general access platform for this sort of solution. Geared around user-determined scale, this is a highly customizable and heavily automated platform with built in logistics and analysis, meaning that this is what the really big companies are going to use, without a doubt.
It is, however, easily scalable to smaller needs, but it once more lacks the flair other programs offer, but it makes up for it in growth capacity and raw power.
Of course, it depends on what you value more in your email marketing SaaS solution. If you value a small, but really slick system, MailChimp is right for you. If you value more power and a larger scope, but don’t plan on exceeding reasonable scale, Aweber is probably more appropriate. If you plan to grow, and you don’t care about polish, then Act-On is the only real way to go.
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