iContact versus Aweber, 1shoppingcart, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, SendPepper and LeadPages
I’ve been using email marketing to grow my business for over ten years, and I’m familiar with just about every good software solution available today.
I take this stuff seriously since my list has grown to over 100,000 people and I send over a million emails every month.
To build a business to it’s true potential, it’s essential to build a list of people who are interested in the type of information (and service) you offer. Signing up with one of the services below makes it possible to grow and manage your list.
Here are the best options…
Email List Management
iContact – I’ve use iContact for years to manage my email lists, send my email newsletters and autoresponders, and create registration forms that can easily be added to my web page. I highly recommend them. Does NOT include affiliate tracking.
Constant Contact – I used to use Constant Contact. I liked them because they were very user friendly. However, I switched to iContact (also user friendly) because they offered autoresponders, multiple list segments, and surveys without charging any extra. Does NOT include affiliate tracking.
MailChimp – This is another popular service similar to iContact and Constant Contact. They require double opt-in or confirmation when people join your list – something I don’t like. I’ve heard that it’s easy to segment your list, which can be very helpful. Does NOT include affiliate tracking.
Aweber - More expensive than iContact and Constant Contact, but they have a great reputation for having high email delivery rates and this is one of the most important factors in choosing a service. I haven’t used them myself but I know a lot of people who like them. They do not require double opt-in (or confirmation) for new subscribers but the default is set to double opt-in and you’ll need to manually change the settings to single opt-in. Does NOT include affiliate tracking.
LeadPages – LeadPages doesn’t replace your email list management software. Instead, it works in conjunction with all of the other solutions listed here. It helps you to quickly and easily build awesome looking opt-in pages and opt-in boxes that integrate with your email list management software. All of their templates are tested and proven to get high conversion rates, and you can easily modify them, without needing any technical skills. I use LeadPages and their built in LeadBoxes and absolutely love both of these tools. I give this one my highest recommendation.
SendPepper - This is the simple, more affordable version of Ontraport (see below) that doesn’t include their more advanced features such as a built in shopping cart and affiliate tracking. This solution is not as well known as some of the others but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as good, if not better. It hasn’t been marketed heavily, since Ontraport seems to be focusing most of their advertising on their more advanced product.
Email List Management With Built In Affiliate Tracking
DirectPay (private label version of 1shoppingcart) – This is the first service I’m recommending that includes affiliate tracking and an integrated shopping cart for ecommerce. PPS Shopping Cart is simply a rebranded (private label) version of 1shoppingcart. 1shoppingcart recently decided to start charging a per transaction fee of .75 to 1.25 for their integrated ecommerce solution. This can really add up, so instead of signing up directly with 1shoppingcart.com, you might want to sign up through DirectPay (the first link above) so that you can avoid the per transaction fees. DirectPay charges $29 more per month for their Professional Package which means if you’re doing $3,000 or more per month in sales, then it’s better financially to go with DirectPay as you’ll save more than $29 per month in transaction fees. I currently use them for the majority of my email marketing, list building, event registrations, and even the delivery of my programs to my clients. They have built in affiliate tracking, shopping cart, digital product delivery, automatic recurring billing, and more. Despite many imperfections and limitations, they are the most widely used service amongst serious internet marketers. Their pricing is the lowest compared to the other integrated solutions I recommend, and you can start with an affordable package if you don’t need all the features, and upgrade as your business evolves.
Infusionsoft – Does all the same stuff 1shoppingcart does and a lot more. Their big claim to fame is that you can automate a lot of your follow-up with prospects and customers by applying if/then rules to situations. For example, if a prospect clicks on a certain link they could be automatically added to an autoresponder sequence. Infusionsoft is one of the most popular services amongst serious internet marketers. I have a lot of friends who use Infusionsoft and love them.
Ontraport – Ontraport was formerly named Office Autopilot. It’s on the same level as Infusionsoft. Does everything 1shoppingcart does and more. You can automate a lot of your follow-up with prospects and customers by applying if/then rules. This service has a growing number of raving fans who sing it’s praises and is one of the more popular programs used by serious marketers. I’m about to try them out myself so check back with me later and I’ll have more to report from personal experience. I have a lot of friends who use Ontraport as well. I hear very good things for the most part.
NOTE: If you already have a substantial list you would like to import into one of these systems, an important factor to consider is whether or not they will require everyone to reconfirm their subscription. iContact, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft and Ontraport don’t make you do this but 1shoppingcart, DirectPay and Aweber do. You’ll lose a substantial number of subscribers if you force them to opt-in again to remain on your list. I switched from iContact to 1shoppingcart (DirectPay) a while back, and because I couldn’t import my contacts, I chose to keep an account open at iContact for the original 1,500 people who joined my list. It’s less than ideal to maintain lists in two separate systems, but it can be done. However, if you already have a very large list, than it might be important for you to be able to import them into the new system without requiring them to opt-in again.
Some of the above links are my affiliate links which means I get paid if you sign up with those services. I’d be recommending these services even if I wasn’t an affiliate. I’m recommending them because they are the ones that I have personal experience with and have done my homework on. You will pay the same for these services whether you sign up through my link or directly through the company. I have not excluded any options that don’t offer an affiliate program. In other words, this hasn’t influenced what I’m recommending in any way.
Ryan Eliason is a professional life and business coach with a proven track record of business success. His socially conscious business clients have frequently doubled or tripled their incomes, increased their positive impact, and simultaneously improved their lifestyles. Download your FREE audio seminar and workbook on How To Have The Best Year of Your Business and Your Life and feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook and post a comment below.