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Thread: Free Alternative to Constant Contact and other White Hat Bulk Email Services

  1. #1
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    Default Free Alternative to Constant Contact and other White Hat Bulk Email Services

    Many businesses that have websites have invested in Constant Contact or Verticle Marketing or other services that cost between $40 and $200 a month to email 100 to several thousand subscibers/clients. These services are typically valuable but for those of you who are a little green when it comes to internet marketing here is a simpler solution that is more customized and cost $0 per month.

    You will need:

    a. an email address that supports SMTP
    b. Sendblaster (which has a basic free version) or Interspire which you may be able to get through your hosting provider
    c. a list of client email addresses preferably with names as well


    Using Sendblaster (since there is at least one free version) compose an email that you want to send to all of your clients. How personal you want to make the email is up to you but the more personal typically the greater the response rate. You'll want to have your email addresses and corresponding names in a csv spreadsheet. Names in the first column and email addresses in the second. If it's the vice-versa that is fine, but make sure names are in one column and email addresses in the other.

    You then import the list into sendblaster and select which column is the name and which is the email address. It will show you a spreadsheet with one column listed for both. Then as for typing the email you simply replace where you want the person's name shown with #NAME#. So if you are email mattfakeaddress@gmail.com and you say #NAME#, a word from Your Company in the subject, Matt's name will be shown.

    In the email body do the same:

    #NAME#,

    we spoke a while back about bla bla blaisdkasd sksa dl

    and #NAME#, I thought you might be interested in giving us more business.


    Thanks,

    Your Name



    Once this is written and saved simply plug your smtp settings into sendblaster and set the send rate for something like 40-60 emails per hour. DO NOT send them at max speed. If you have a large list you can get a smtp account just for this purpose that will allow 10,000 sends a month for about $15 a month. Which is far better than the $200+ price you would pay with a mere newsletter service like Constant Contact.

    You can use HTML in your mass email and utilize all the features already available, the biggest factor is to make the emails noticeable by utilizing variable data. According to Interspire emails are opened 6X as often when their name is in the subject.

    Here is a picture of where you input the smtp settings so Sendblaster knows what email service to send through
    Clopton Capital is a firm that provides bridge loans, commercial loans and business loans. We are based out of Chicago, IL. We can be contacted at 866.647.1650 or at CloptonCapital.com

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  3. #2
    Moderator Array Patrysha's Avatar
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    I have to respectfully disagree with the above. Though I recommend Mailchimp over Constant Contact or any other list management service, the benefits of using a service far outweigh the costs involved. Information on open rates, auto-sub & unsub features, auto-bounce removal, easy A/B split testing & other features are not included in software like that above. Of course, with MailChimp most small business owners will not reach the level of having to pay for the service. It's cost-free up to 2000 subscribers...and if you aren't making a measurable return by the time you get to that point then your system needs some serious tweaking. And the fees really are nominal until you get into huge-ass numbers that are common in online businesses and larger companies and even then a whole months service with ublimited sends to massive lists is still less than you'd pay for one single page full color ad run once in your local newspaper if you live in a town large enough to support a daily paper.
    In pursuit of bright lights and good stories,
    Patrysha
    Community Futures Yellowhead East

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    I have found (or been advised) that many companies and ISPs block Constant Contact and Vertical Response. The reason given - they are so big and they send so many e-mails for so many clients, it looks like spam, even if it isn't. If that is the case, I suspect that Mailchimp is, or soon will, suffer the same fate. Of course, I could have been illadvised.

    I have found YourMailingListProvider to be smaller and very responsive to the neophyte. They have a free service which I have used for years with double-opt-in, auto-unsubscribe, auto-response and other amenitities, as well as a paid service for larger numbers. I confidently recommend them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    I have found (or been advised) that many companies and ISPs block Constant Contact and Vertical Response. The reason given - they are so big and they send so many e-mails for so many clients, it looks like spam, even if it isn't. If that is the case, I suspect that Mailchimp is, or soon will, suffer the same fate. Of course, I could have been illadvised.

    I have found YourMailingListProvider to be smaller and very responsive to the neophyte. They have a free service which I have used for years with double-opt-in, auto-unsubscribe, auto-response and other amenitities, as well as a paid service for larger numbers. I confidently recommend them.
    Doubtful, they are whitelisted. The system is more sophisticated than that. SPAMhaus and the other filtering organizations are aware of them.

    As far as the comment above that, I can track open rates and do a/b testing and such with my interspire. Sendblaster is just a simpler solution. The problem with services like mailchimp is you can only send newsletteresque emails. I like to automate followup emails. Instead of copying and pasting the same email to tickle someone who contacted me, I can simply press a button and any replies come directly to me.

    Mailchimp is however easier to use, but if you want to be successful at internet marketing you can't rely on simple solutions.
    Clopton Capital is a firm that provides bridge loans, commercial loans and business loans. We are based out of Chicago, IL. We can be contacted at 866.647.1650 or at CloptonCapital.com

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    Moderator Array Patrysha's Avatar
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    You can send plain text, follow up emails with mailchimp as well...not just newsletters. And my clients do not aspire to be successful internet marketers in the same vien as the traditional IM mailers...so simple is good as it's just one of many marketing avenues that they are already to busy for...there are certainly some who could handle and properly manage a software solution like the Sendblaster, but most couldn't and wouldn't want to...so they'd be paying someone to do it...and likely at higher rates than the services offer.
    In pursuit of bright lights and good stories,
    Patrysha
    Community Futures Yellowhead East

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    I started with Constant Contact but switched to Vertical Response because I liked their pricing structure.

    I can pay per email or do a discounted unlimited monthly send.

    $15 per 1000 addresses is pretty reasonable for a small biz that only wants to send 1 email a month.

  8. #7
    Member With Stressed Keyboard Array Duston McGroarty's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the others... for most small business owners this technique, while very creative, is just
    too much to handle. In my opinion, it's worth the $15-$19 a month to have this done for you.

    I have always used, and highly recommend, Aweber. They have a deliverability rate of 99.34% (that's 99.34%
    of the emails that get sent end up in the inbox, not the SPAM folder).

    Also, one of the best features of almost all of the services listed above that hasn't been mentioned
    is the autoresponder feature. This is almost a necessity for anyone attempting to get new customers
    online. Being able to set up your lead-generation one time and letting it run on autopilot is priceless.

    Sorry to ramble here, I just feel that anyone with any kind of an email list CAN afford to pay for one
    of these services and if they can't... they're not capitalizing on their list properly.

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