One of the main challenges in email marketing is simply managing the mailing list. Once it gets beyond a few dozen subscribers, the management aspect begins to become one of those tedious tasks that gets in the way of the real business.
As email broadcasting has gained popularity, an array of email list management software programs and email list management services have emerged to help automate this process. Usually by the time a small business owner starts looking for one of these solutions, they have reached the point of frustration.
“Anything is better than managing lists in Outlook!” they imagine, and so they tend to use the first solution they find. This usually ends up being either a hosted solution that requires a monthly fee, or an open source/free email list management script.
The problem with using a free software solution is twofold. The first thing you’ll notice is that these products are produced by volunteers and so tend not to be as featureful or as stable as software packages that have the resources of a professional development team behind them. The second major problem is that there is little or no support for these products. You may be able to track someone down on a forum who can help you understand how to get the software working, but then you may not.
On the other hand, hosted email list manager services tend to be very well supported, and in some cases are quite robust. Many people are very happy with them during the early phases of building up their email marketing efforts.
The problem with this type of service is that you have to keep paying for it over time, and the price of the service is based on the number of messages you’re sending out. This means that the cost of using an email marketing service can increase dramatically as the popularity of your email lists increases.
It can be time consuming and difficult to transition to a less costly alternative once you’ve already gotten used to an email list management service. In many cases you’re better off making a slightly larger up-front investment to purchase a self-hosted list management system that can grow with your business.
For example, ActiveCampaign Email Marketing offers all the features of a high-end service for managing your email mailing lists, but with a flat one-time price. And unlike a free or open source software package, you won’t have to figure everything out on your own–we include a free support package with your purchase and will even install the software for you at no extra charge. It’s really the best of both worlds.