Let's begin with the preferred solution of most internet marketing experts:
Hosted Email Newsletter Solutions
The core features of these services is the ability to manage your subscribers and send carefully targeted email newsletters. On top of these core services is tons of sophistication and automation. Once set-up, these services will save you hours and take your internet marketing to a new level.
Comparing the services is extremely difficult since unique features quickly become standard across the industry. It is a very competitive business and which constitutes the best deal for you really depends on many criteria. In truth, you could choose any of the services below and be sure of an excellent service. All offer some kind of trial, so if none of them stand out immediately, give each a try.
aweber email marketing: Aweber is probably the most used by serious internet marketers. Virtually every newsletter relating to internet marketing to which I have subscribed is delivered by Aweber. So if the guys in the know are using it ...
With such a user-base, you can probably guess that the support and advice that you receive from Aweber covers not only the technical aspects but also hundreds of marketing tips.
With AWebers autoresponder you can now send out messages on specific days and at times to suit the subscriber's time zone. Video overview below
mailchimp email marketingMailchimp is a service that I have used for a number of years. My personal experience has been excellent. Great support (including some very good videos) and an ever-expanding feature list. I find the browser interface very intuitive.
Finally, I like their quirky sense of humour (well anyone who calls their company Mailchimp cannot be too serious).
constant contact email marketingThe current emphasis at Constant Contact is on the ease and speed with which you can create high-impact professional-looking emails. There are over 300 easily-customized email templates and a Wizard-driven point-and-click interface.
streamsend email marketingFinally, there is StreamSend. StreamSend have focused on meeting the needs of a number of vertical markets, providing enhanced features and case studies. So if you are involved in markets such as online retailing, real estate, event planning, design, associations or publishing, then you may find that StreamSend offers a crucial feature not available from the broader services.
Self-Hosted Email Newsletter Solutions
interspire email marketerThe difference here is that you install software onto your server. This is not as complex as it sounds and generally involves nothing more complex than uploading files to your webspace via FTP and then running an install script. In fact, Interspire will even install it for you at no extra charge. You can rest-assured that Interspire, the company I recommend, will provide all the support you need, even if you are a complete novice.
So why would you install software on your own server? The obvious answer is cost. Unlike hosted solutions there are no per-email costs. There is an up-front investment but this would soon be recovered if you are sending a reasonable quantity of emails (the math is simple so I'll leave you to it!).
interspire email templatesThe Interspire solution is comprehensive:
website sign-up forms, , segmentation and full contact management
completely browser based with full WYSIWYG (and advanced HTML) editing, template-driven (and tested to work in all major email clients)
easy use of images and attachments
full campaign management features, including multiple lists, forward-to-a-friend, scheduled sending, automatic unsubscribe and bounce-handling
multiple autoresponder emails for each list with the option to filter
reporting on campaigns and autoresponders (who opened, which links they clicked, bounces)
automatic creation of an RSS-archive - great for increasing backlinks
split-testing to identify the best-performing copy and integration with Google Analytics
triggers - for instance, birthday greetings or transfer to different lists (eg after a period of inactivity)
CAN-Spam compliance - one-click unsubscribe, do not mail lists and double opt-in confirmation
multiple user accounts
250 page user guide AND 500+ How To Guides
Try the Interspire Email Marketing online demo - there is a button at the top of the web page, next to the video tour. I'm sure you will be impressed.
[Email Marketing is part of a suite of Interspire products.]
Desktop Email Marketing Software
This is software that you install on your computer. It is not as sophisticated as other options and only works when your computer is turned on and the software is running. I have personally tried Follow-up Expert and it is a good starting point if the quantity of emails that you will be sending is small. It is the cheapest of the paid-options.
There is a free demo copy available for download.