Email Marketing

I decided to sit down and grade every Email Marketing Service Provider I have used since starting full time online in 2012.

Since starting online I have emailed out millions of emails, yes, millions! So I felt obliged to crack the whip and play teacher, and grade the ones that I've used.

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to email marketing service providers, AKA: Autoresponder.

Below is an unbiased review of some of them that I have personally used…and I'm telling it like it is!

SIDE NOTE #1: I have used every one of these services below, and I am grading them according to my experience. If you have had great luck with one that I grade lower, stick with it.

SIDE NOTE #2: Also, there are no affiliate links in this post, because I don't promote anything I do not currently use in my business.

If you want to go over to my Tools page to grab the products I use everyday, You can do that here.

Freddy O's Ultimate Email Marketing Service Provider Report Card

So before you dive in, here is an Explanation of Each Area that I am grading them on.

Deliverability (The Most Important Aspect To Email Marketing)

I base this grade off of a few key factors…

  1. Does it get good open rates?
  2. Is it hitting my seed list inbox?

A seed list is a list of email addresses that you will send an email to before you send the email out to everyone on your list. A seed list allows you to test the email across different email clients and devices.

https://blog.hubspot.com/customers/bid/109521/why-you-need-to-create-a-seed-list

Also keep in mind that deliverability is affected by other factors as well that are out of the service providers hands. Below are some examples:

  1. Spammy headlines that bait your subscriber to open the email. These will end up in the spam box 99% of the time. Also, it's a great way to get the old' heave ho from some of these companies.
  2. Domain reputation: IPs use sender reputation to make a decision whether (or not) they'll deliver your email messages to your subscribers. This sending reputation is predicated on your IP address. … that's domain reputation in a nut shell. Domain reputation would essentially allow you to keep up your reputation without concern about individual IPs.
  3. Text to image ratio: You want to have your email contain a minimum of 60% text, and no more than 40% image.
  4. Link overload: If you pepper your email with links, expect it to go in the spam box. I recommend having no more than 2-3 links to be safe (depending on the length of your email.

Interface Ease of Use

This section I'm grading from an ease of use point of view. Overall functionality, how many steps it may take, and overall learning curve.

Customer Support

Pretty straight forward. How fast do you get your questions answered, how long it takes, and overall customer experience I've had with the service provider.

Strictness

I have been emailing out since 2012 and have tried many techniques, some good and not so good. With that being said I have had numerous lists shut down in my earlier years. Some of them gave me warnings and some just shut the account down. That is how I compiled the Strictness grade.

Business Opportunity Friendly

After you have emailed out thousands of offers from different networks, you get a feel for what they find acceptable offers to send out. Some service providers frown on Make money from home offers, some don't care what you send out.

I very rarely send out business opportunity emails anymore considering I have my own digital products, but I used to crank them out in the past.

Beginner Friendly

I took a step back and looked at each of the services below from a newbie standpoint, and that's how I came up with this grade. After coaching so many entrepreneurs on how to email market, I have a pretty good grasp on this grade.

Cost

I'm sure You've heard the term “you get what you pay for.” That statement rings true in the online world in most cases. So ask yourself this question…

I calculated the price grade with what you get for the money. The autoresponder may be pricy compared to others, but if may it has functionality that is off the hook, the grade will be higher.

At what cost are you willing to sacrifice your time and patience?

In my opinion, if you get great results, scaling your business… price is NOT an option.

Zoho Campaigns

Beginner Friendly – B+

Deliverability = B+

Interface Ease of Use = B

Support = B

Strictness = A

Biz-op Friendly – N/A Never tried Business opportunity

Cost = A+

Grade Average = A-

Freddy's Take: Zoho Campaigns is a breath of fresh air when it came to ease of use. At first, it may look daunting to you, but it isn't.

I have not tried Business opportunity with Zoho Campaigns, I actually started setting these up for my local clients.

I do use it for certain aspects of my own business, but not Business opportunity. Would I attempt to try a business opportunity with Zoho Campaigner, most likely not.

The deliverability was really good, and the starting price is a measly 5 bucks! They also have a free plan you can set up as well.

Aweber

Deliverability = B-

Interface Ease of Use = A

Support = B

Strictness = C

Biz-op Friendly – C-

Beginner Friendly – A

Cost = B

Grade Average = B

Freddy's Take: Aweber used to be my go-to when it came to email marketing when I was new to the industry. I feel pretty gun shy using them very much anymore because they can be wishy-washy with their compliance rules, in other words, when they shut you down it is in a lot of cases without warning in a lot of cases and good luck getting your list back. They also, without warning, can put you on a bad IP address, and your open rates can go down the toilet.

Cost: FREE for 30 Days. Starts at $19 a Month after that depending on list size.

Drip

Deliverability = B+

Interface Ease of Use = B

Support = A+

Strictness = B+

Biz-op Friendly – C-

Beginner Friendly – B

Cost = B-

Grade Average = B

Freddy's Take: Drip is actually a great option when it comes to email marketing if you've had issues with other services. Deliverability was decent, support was really good. I just had to make a decision between Active Campaign and Drip, and Active Campaign won.

GetResponse

Deliverability = B

Interface Ease of Use = B-

Support = A

Strictness = B+

Biz-op Friendly – D

Beginner Friendly – C+

Cost = B

Grade Average = B-

Freddy's Take: I have used GetResponse numerous times and have never been keen on their deliverability.

The user interface is so-so. At first, they were biz-op friendly, but the past year they seem to be straying away from it (CPA offers).

My biggest concern is the deliverability, but I also know marketers who swear by them. I guess you either love em' or hate em'.

Cost: FREE for 30 Days. Starts at $15 a Month after that depending on list size.

Active Campaign

Deliverability = A+

Ease of Use = B

Support = A

Strictness = A

Biz-op Friendly – N/A Never tried Business opportunity

Beginner Friendly – B

Cost = A-

Grade Average =

Freddy's Take: Active Campaign is, by far, my favorite when it comes to deliverability.

Active Campaigns automation is extremely powerful, but the interface will take some getting used to.

Pricing is higher than the average Autoresponder, but the pros outweigh the cons, in my opinion. If you are beginning in the industry, then I would make sure to cut yourself some slack because you could get lost in the back office.

Cost: FREE for 14 Days. Starts at $15 a Month after that depending on list size.

Send Eagle

Deliverability = C

Interface Ease of Use = B

Support = C

Strictness = C-

Biz-op Friendly = B

Beginner Friendly – B+

Cost = A+

Grade Average = B-

Freddy's Take: Send Eagle is new to the game, so for me to give you a reliable and fair review is difficult at this time. I have only been using them since July 12, 2019, so I will make sure to Update the grades when I get more data. Like many other autoresponders, it seems to have some serious potential, but we will have to wait and see.

Cost: Use PROMO CODE: REF7436 for a $0.01 Trial

Starts at $19.97 on up a Month after that

Convert Kit

Deliverability = B

Interface Ease of Use = B

Support = A

Strictness = B

Biz-op Friendly – N/A Never tried Business opportunity

Beginner Friendly – B

Cost = B+

Grade Average = B+

Freddy's Take: Convert Kit seems to be a reliable solution for your email marketing efforts.

The delivery has been on point thus far. The interface is easy enough to grasp in most cases. I have not, nor will I use Convert Kit to send out CPA offers so not sure on how strict they are regarding those offers.

Cost: FREE for 14 Days. Starts at $29 a Month after that depending on list size.

Market Hero

Deliverability = D+

Interface Ease of Use = C+

Support = C+

Strictness = C

Biz-op Friendly – B

Beginner Friendly – C+

Cost = C+

Grade Average – C+

Freddy's Take: I have used Market Hero on two separate occasions, and unfortunately, both were less than stellar.

G mail never inboxes, so I decided to go strictly with all of my non-G mail subscribers and the numbers rose but not to where I would say is they were great.

I personally like Alex Becker, but Market Hero not so much.

imnica Mail

Deliverability = D+

Interface Ease of Use = C+

Support = C+

Strictness = C

Biz-op Friendly – B

Beginner Friendly – C+

Cost = C+

Grade Average – C+

Freddy's Take: imnica Mail set up is less than desirable unfortunately. The price is something that a lot of people would gravitate too, its crazy cheap. Sad thing is that is the only shining light that this service has in my opinion.

Support is slow, open rates are deplorable, the interface is decent. they're not strict, and if you wanna shoot out any and every business opportunity, they will let you.

Problem is it won't get in the inbox 95% of the time, if any time. It was hit and miss to even see my emails even land in the spam box in Google, they disappeared into the deep abyss of the internet.

Freddy's Final Take

I love automation, and if I find a tool that makes my life easier, I use it. My goal is to not have snags in my day, and if I do, I want a support team that can handle the issue quickly. I highly recommend any business owner automate as much of their business as they can.

I use Active Campaign exclusively for all of my online products. They are my #1 pick in this list.

Did I miss the grade on any of the above email marketing service providers?

Am I missing one that you use and love?

I would love to get your take, comment below to join the conversation!

Feel Like Quitting

I know how you feel right now. You feel like waving the white flag, giving up, not wanting to keep going. You feel like quitting.

I bet You have chipped away at this dream for so long, and for what?

You might be curious, is there even a point to going on with my dream?

Are on the right path?

I always ask myself whether I’m on the right path, even though my thirst to succeed is incredible. However, I often feel overextended, like I’m clinging for balance in a world that’s constantly changing around me. I feel empty as I eat tuna from a can, have oatmeal 3 times a day, and eat bananas as a quick snack just to get by. But I have learned it’s supposed to be this way to make me appreciate what I will have.

It wouldn’t be a trial if it weren’t difficult. And if receiving what we wanted was easy, it wouldn’t be worth the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Besides, we would not be able to achieve what we want if we weren’t a little uncomfortable in pursuing our dreams.

So keep going. Keep being creative. Keep moving forward, yet always be aware of the gap.

Are you stuck in the gap

There’s always a gap. It sits between who we are and who we strive to be.

It can feel like that gap is continually getting bigger, so that the further we go, farther the prize gets away from us. This is discouraging because it can be hard to pursue our dreams when they always feel so far out of sight. But you can’t let that stop you. Not now or ever. You have to continue to be persistent and keep going. You owe it not only to yourself but to others to keep moving forward and claim the power your message has over the world and people around you. People need to hear your story, and you need to speak it for them to listen to it. Don’t let the gap that stands between where you are at this very moment and where you want to stop you from chasing your dreams and unlocking your best self. Instead, seek the work you were put on this earth to do. Keep going and keep making great strides. The one way you will undoubtedly get there is by moving in a forward motion. That’s how you’ll close the gap and call your success to come.

Tap into real-world expectations.

This one has been critical to me.

Tap into real-world expectations not by listening to advertising that promises you quick results. Not by hearing how to be perfect – from the people around you or yourself.

Tap into it by listening to the people and or person who has already traveled where you want to go. Listen to the person or people who know what works and how you will fall and not succeed along the way and can tell you how long your adventure may take.

You’ll probably not get a precise blueprint. But the things someone can tell you in person or via videos and blogs can be great guidance.

Remind yourself why you are doing this.

Losing the big picture in the busy everyday life is easy. But if you feel like quitting, then really try remembering with why you are doing what you are doing.

Is it to financially support your family?

Live a healthier lifestyle, so you get to watch your kids grow up?

Travel the world and explore new and exciting things?

Write your answers in a notebook.

Then, whenever you feel like waving that white flag, pull out your notebook with your most important why(s). It really does help.

It is always the darkest before the dawn.

This idea has helped me to keep a grip when things have felt hopeless, and I felt like giving up and really not wanting to keep going.

When certain things seemed to be at the lowest spot with my business, with my gym life, or with my get up and go in life in general something always happened.

Quite often because being at that lowest point forced me to change how I did things.

But maybe also because life always seems to have some kind of balance if I just keep pushing. If I just keep going instead of giving up and doing nothing, then something good always seems to happen.

Seeing this cycle strengthened my belief in grabbing hold and to keep going even on tough days or weeks. And it brings some comfort also when things look pretty bleak.

When you hit that wall

When I have run into a bump in the road or a more extended rough patch these two things have been helpful:

Make it simple and take it back to the basics. It is easy to become very overwhelmed by all the information out there about any change you can make in your life. That can lead to confusion and trying to do too many things at once.

Learn more and make the correction in your direction. Reconnecting with the basics often works very well.

To look at how I am doing things, what results they are bringing in, and to compare it to how people who have done this sort of thing before me have done things. To be completely honest and admit to myself that maybe one or two words of what I am doing is not working so well.

And to replace those things for a short time – based on what others have done in the past – and see if that works better. It means that I have to get out of my comfort zone.

You need to Keep Going because You're Worth The Effort

If you feel like quitting, that’s great. It means you’re intensely involved. Go ahead and feel like stopping. Just don’t actually leave. Instead, experience the power in that feeling. That’s your power. With that, you can do amazing things. What a shame it would be to walk away from it. Feel like quitting, then keep going. Significant success is right around the next corner.

Are you failing to make any money with your online business?

I can promise you $0 to 6 Figures and beyond is genuinely attainable, but there are a few things I think you need to know first before you either throw in the towel because you have been at it for some time or you are starting from scratch and don't know where to start.

When I first started my online business in 2012 I was all over the place

When I first started online, I did not have a clear direction, and it cost me. I made things way too complicated when I should have had a concise and straightforward mindset. Does this mean that you don't have to work hard and invest in yourself? Absolutely not, It says you avoid doing things that DO NOT make you money.

Also, not being stupid by thinking that you are going to build a 6 figure plus online business in a month. I've coached a lot of people in this industry, and the top 3 reasons for their lack of success are…

Three prime reasons people fail building an online business 

1. They're lazy
2. They don't feel confident investing in their business (yes friends, running an online business does cost money)
3. They lack consistency and never master that one thing that can help you make a living from the comfort of your own home.
There are also other reasons that may be out of their control, but for the most part, it is those three culprits.

It drives me crazy to think that someone is ok with working for someone else 40 hours a week and not to hustle for themselves.
Is being an entrepreneur for everyone? Not a chance, but don't start something you plan on quitting. If you sincerely believe that you're going to make a ton of money without putting forth some effort, then you need to wake up and shake yourself.

three reasons people fail to build an online business

The traits of successful people I have mentored through the years

Some of the characteristics that some of my students have that have had the most significant successes…
1. They listen
2. Invest in themselves
3. they know what that it doesn't happen overnight.
4. Laser focus on building their audience and building their online business.
5. They turn roadblocks into learning experiences.
6. They continually try to get better at their craft by learning from the best and applying what they learn.
7. They don't make excuses (that is a bonus one for you)

learn how to build your online business

I don't care what you set out to do online, email marketing, your own product, e-commerce, blogging, etc. You have to build an audience, and if you do that, your earning potential is limitless. That along with consistency and mastering the skill is priceless.

You have been hustling and still, have not made a dime

Why and how could this be happening you ask?

It could be a various list that is causing you to be in this rut. Ask yourself this question, how much time do you legitimately focus on money making tasks? When I first started online, I was like so many others, all over the place and getting nothing accomplished. Now, I focus on things that I know will bring in revenue.

Do I focus on blogging every day for hours on end? Not a chance.

Yes, you can make a substantial amount of money blogging, but it can take a lot of time to build up to a decent amount of revenue and site authority in most cases. If you're a writer and have an unquenchable thirst for blogging, then go for it.

My first year and a half I dabbled in a bunch of different things and imagine what it got me?

A lot of wasted time, Confused and broke.

What that first year and a half did do for me was wake me mentally on what I did have to do to make this work.

If you genuinely want to succeed here is my best advice

Be patient but be persistent! If you're going to learn to master something, then stay focused on it and get it done. You have to make sure that whatever you set out to do, you love it and you know that you can make money doing so.

I did this with building audiences thru email marketing and building audiences. Mastering this and staying consistent opened up numerous opportunities financially.

Imagine this…

Let's say you have an undeniable love for having an e-commerce store. You build it, master the ins and outs of setting it up, formulated the perfect method generating targeted traffic towards that specific niche and monetizing the store.

That's great right?!

But it doesn't have to end there.

You could branch out and create training showing the exact methods you used to build your e-commerce store sell that as a product as well. What you end up doing is creating another targeted audience of people that want and need to learn exactly how you achieved success.

So now you have 2 viable streams of income, your store, and your coaching.
But wait, let's not stop there because you also have tools that you use within your coaching that have some pretty good affiliate programs so now you have more streams of income coming from those avenues.

Let's get a little crazier and have a high ticket one on one coaching platform. Yes, there are people out there that want to accelerate the learning process, and they have no problem paying a premium price for your one on one expertise, and you help them build their e-commerce empire. Remember, you mastered what your teaching and they need someone with your skill set and knowledge.

Wow, another stream of income. I hope you see where I am going here.

turn roadblocks into learning experiences

Conclusion

There is a reason why you chose to become your own boss online, and if you want something bad enough, you're going to do whatever it takes to make it happen. You want to have the choice to decide when and what you want to do online and how you plan on doing it.

If you think it is going to be free, without any failures and frustrating days, I recommend you go back to working your 9-5 job and help create someone else's wealth.

If you are ready to actually take the bull by the horns and create something special, Master it and make it happen!

Be the best at whatever you set out to do and finish what you started.

You are worth it!

#FaithFocusFinish