Email Marketing Service Provider Report Card

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!

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