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Choose your email marketing partner wisely

Creating beautiful emails and sending them to numerous people isn't something that just anyone can do. That's where an email marketing company comes in.

A good email marketing platform can make your email marketing efforts simpler and more effective than they would be otherwise. A great email marketing platform or service will also give you insight into how your email campaigns are doing: How many people are opening and clicking links in your emails, and how many people are marking your emails as spam? Most important of all: How effective are your emails at driving more people to your website?
Below you'll find a list of email marketing providers and platforms that we've used, or that friends of AboutUs have recommended. There's a brief description of each so you can get some idea of which providers could fit your business and email goals. There are many more email marketing services out there to choose from, but these are ones we can recommend.

Some providers do much of the work for you, while others give you a good do-it-yourself platform.

Many of the sites listed below offer a free trial, so you can see what features they have and how easy they are to use. Some of the services offer a free version for small email lists.

This is the tool I use here at AboutUs.org to send our newsletters. I like its friendly interface and options to customize my own email template. It even has simple A/B testing so you can see which subject line works best and make your email campaigns more effective.
MailChimp is a good option if you're comfortable with poking around and building your own email (they do have lots of help pages), or using one of their ready-made templates. MailChimp has 400,000+ clients and it's used by several technologically-hip companies, such as Firefox and Foursquare.
Before choosing MailChimp, I looked at Emma's tools and generally liked what I saw. Emma impresses SEO guru Rand Fishkin.
This is a popular provider used by a few hundred thousand small businesses. It seems to offer a more comprehensive service for people who want less do-it-yourself. Randall Hansen, who has worked at AboutUs.org, tells us he's heard good things from ConstantContact clients.
This company is popular with web designers who do email marketing for their clients. It is re-brandable, so designers can sell the service as their own. CampaignMonitor has at least two enthusiastic fans.
eROI is a digital marketing agency that helps companies with email marketing, along with a slew of other services such as SEO and brand identity. They have some big-name clients, like HP and Red Bull.
A colleague who taught me a lot about Internet marketing, Corey Burke, says that AWeber is great for follow-up emails and that they've "been around for a long time and know their ish [stuff]". Employees from AWeber have also contributed helpful articles about email marketing here on AboutUs.org, including Don't Buy Email Lists and How To Get Email Addresses.
I would call this a full service email marketing company because they offer much more than just email marketing, and doing it yourself doesn't seem like part of the package. It seems to be geared for larger businesses and budgets, and it is used by many well-known companies - for example, Groupon.com, Best Buy, and CareerBuilder.com.

Know of another good email marketing provider? Email me.

Read Tips for Sending Email Newsletters for advice on sending effective emails that bring people to your website.

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