Email Marketing For Free – What’s The Catch?

Email Marketing
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

I’ve been thinking about whether I should consider a different email marketing strategy for a while. Namely one that is free!

I use AWeber and I absolutely love it. It’s also considered by many the best company to use. But is there a free alternative out there that would allow me to do something similar? Maybe not with all the bells and whistles that come with AWeber.

Over the past few days I’ve been ferociously researching some viable alternatives to see whether they would be suitable for me. So, does the old adage, “you get what you pay for”, stand true here?

Well, to a large extent I think it does. While there are a number of free options for email marketing, there are compromises I may have to make if I go down the free route.

Here’s a run down of the options I looked at.


With Mailchimp’s free account, I can:

  • Send 12,000 emails a month
  • Have a list of up 2,000 subscribers

The main compromises that I can see are that there is no autoresponder available on the free account and you also have to keep MailChimp’s logo in the footer of your emails.

One thing which does concern me about MailChimp is the stance on affiliate links. They don’t sound affiliate friendly from what I’ve read on the search engines.

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi looks like an interesting option. As of November 2012 they have changed their free account. I can now:

  • Send 12,500 emails a month
  • Have a list of up to 2,500 subscribers

There are compromises with Mad Mimi but they’re not as many as MailChimp. I can only have one web form, 25 hosted images and no custom or plain text emails.

Now what I like about AWeber is that you have lots of templates for your web forms or you can make your own. Mad Mimi’s not so advanced and I find the web form template very basic.

There is a WordPress plugin for Mad Mimi which will allow me to add an optin form in my sidebar but to make any stylistic changes to it, you need to know CSS. That’s not going to happen any time soon! Still Mad Mimi looks like an interesting option for email marketing.

Imnica Mail

Imnica Mail offers a free option and with that I can:

  • Send 6,000 emails a month
  • Have a list of up to 1,000 subscribers

The only other restrictions mentioned are that you have to keep the Imnica Mail logo in your email footer and you can only get subscribers by double opt-in. I use double opt-in with AWeber in any case so that’s not such a hardship!

I think Mad Mimi or MailChimp would be better options though as they offer more emails a month and a larger subscriber list.


OK, so Listwire is completely free right? I think this is where things start to get a little hazy around the word “free”.

It is a completely free service in the sense that you don’t have to pay any money for it, however banner ads are included in any emails you send out.

From what I’ve read, Listwire are also likely to send marketing emails to your list. At the end of the day, you are getting a “free” service after all though so these would be your compromises.

I think Listwire would be the very last resort I would go for as I think the compromises are a step too far.

GWA Autoresponder

If I wanted to self host my email marketing then GWA Autoresponder looks like a good option.

It’s a WordPress plugin which allows you to build a list directly from your blog with an autoresponder and double opt-in.

With GWA Autoresponder I can:

  • Build a list of unlimited size
  • Send daily email auto-responses
  • Easy to add, edit, and reschedule mailings
  • Broadcast single messages to my list anytime
  • Import/Export csv list format

Sounds pretty good, although I’m not sure my web host would be too keen if my list got to any size. It could be a good start-up option though.

So, What Now Then With Your Email Marketing?

From the free email marketing options available, I have come to the conclusion that Mad Mimi would be suitable for my purposes with GWA Autoresponder coming a close second.

Mad Mimi is certainly an interesting option. I signed up for a free account to have a look over the user interface and it’s very easy to use. You also get the autoresponder option in the free account. The only thing that put me off was the web form.

GWA Autoresponder would be my next best option and I think if I started again, that is what I would use in the first instance until I had grown my list a little more.

After taking everything into account though, I just can’t see my way beyond AWeber. I really wanted to find a free email marketing alternative that would convince me otherwise but I just don’t think there is one.

I’d really like to throw open the floor to you though and ask for your advice.

Have you used any of the free options I’ve mentioned or any others that I haven’t? What were your experiences of them and would you recommend any of them? If you moved from a free to a paid email marketing option, how easy was that to do?

PS. Thank you for reading and please share this post on your favourite social media site!

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  1. Theodore Nwangene says

    A well done research Tim,
    Mailchimp was the first email marketing service i used when i started, but the day i stopped using them was a day i wrote a blog post and send an email to my list telling them about the post. After sending the mail, Mailchimp suspended my account claiming that i went against their TOS, that i sent a spam email that contains affiliate links.

    I was able to send them a mail explaining to them that the link is just a blog post that has no affiliate link on it. They later restored back my account but i was afraid that it might happen again and I’m not ready to be appealing all the time, so i stopped using them. Another thing was the issue of not using the Autoresponder.

    I now switched over to Imnica Mail. I really enjoyed them but i don’t like their web form. One thing i love about imnica mail is their customer service, very responsive indeed.

    Finally, i switched over to Getresponse suggested to me by my friend Michael Chibuzor. I was able to export all my lists from Imnica Mail and then imported them to getresponse.

    Getresponse is also very nice, you can even compare them with Aweber. You van be paying $15/month with 1000 subscribers, unlimited email follow up and they also have so many templates for web forms.

    I’m just thinking of going back to a free one for now though until my site start generating some substantial income.

    I think from your review, Mad mimi and GWA Autoresponder sounds like a good alternative.

    So what’s your decision about switching to free one? And which would you go for?

    Thanks for sharing and do have a great day.


    • says

      Hey Theodore

      I’ve read of similar stories to yours with Mailchimp Theodore. It worries me that they would do this, so I’m going to steer clear of them. Thanks for letting me know.

      I’ve not tried Imnica Mail or Getresponse, although I know many people like both of them. I went for AWeber because that is what was recommended to me.

      If I were starting again, I would go for Mad Mimi I think. To get around the fact I don’t like their opt-in box, I had looked into using a plugin like WP Subscribers or Premium List Magnet with Mad Mimi but I couldn’t be sure they would be compatible. I tried Premium List Magnet Lite and that didn’t work so I’m still considering my options.

      GWA Autoresponder would be a good option if I weren’t on a shared server. That said, I think it’s a great option to start off with and as there’s a double opt-in option, if you were to switch back to a paid option, you shouldn’t have too many problems with loading your list to a new service.

      I haven’t found the perfect free solution for me yet Theodore so I’m sticking with AWeber for now. I really want to look into Mad Mimi a little bit more. I plan on contacting the support desk at WP Subscribers, Premium List Magnet and Subscribers Magnet to see if they are able to confirm that Mad Mimi is compatible with their plugins.

      I hope you enjoy the weekend Theodore and thank you for your comments.


  2. Sapna says

    Hi Tim

    Thanks for doing the research, I am using Mail Chimp but I won’t be able to compare it with others as I have not been using them
    From your research I feel GWA autoresponder is a great deal but it will use my server resources and clutter my resources, it can surely affect the performance of the server which currently I don’t want to do.

    The last and the best option I feel I am left with is Imnica mail. I will surely try that as well.


    • says

      Hi Sapna

      I’m thinking along the same lines as you. GWA autoresponder would be great if I weren’t on a shared server.

      I really like the look of Mad Mimi and to be honest that is the one I’ve looked at the most as a possible solution for me.

      Let me know if you look at Imnica Mail as I’d be interested to hear what you think. I know their customer service is supposed to be very good.

      I hope you have a great weekend Sapna.


    • says

      Hi Barrett

      I was hoping there would be more free email marketing options out there but this should give people somewhere to start at least!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend.


  3. Khaja moin says

    Hey Tim,

    I too was searching for similar thing. Not seriously as you did. And first thing I found was mailchimp.

    Thinking to try this. But I wonder if at any point want to change the email marketing provider, is it easy to change?


    • says

      Hi Khaja

      I think many people come across MailChimp first as they are one of the larger email marketing companies.

      I’m with AWeber but the first free one I looked at was Mad Mimi. It looks like a very good option to me, I just don’t like the opt-in form.

      Changing email marketing providers I don’t think is too bad, although I’ve not done it myself yet.

      Certainly with AWeber, for example, if you want to import a list into your account, you do need to get all of your subscribers to confirm they wish to continue to be on your list. You also need to let them know exactly where your list came from and how they were added to your list, ie double or single opt-in. The problem with having to get people to confirm is they just might not and you could lose a lot of subscribers from your list.

      I know that with Feedblitz, you don’t need to get people to confirm they wish to remain on your list, so there are always options out there!

      Thank you for your comments Khaja and I hope you have a great weekend.


      • Khaja moin says

        Thanks Tim for the help. Let me clear this If I change from Mail chimp to Aweber. Should my readers confirm or not needed.

        • says

          Hi Khaja

          If you wanted to move your list from MailChimp to AWeber, once you’d imported your list, AWeber would send your subscribers an email with a link for them to click on to activate their subscription. You can’t get around that unfortunately.

          I think that’s a fairly common requirement when moving your lists to a new email marketing provider, although as I mentioned, I believe that this is not a requirement with Feedblitz.

          Hopefully that answers your question but if I can help any further, please let me know.


  4. Andrew says

    I haven’t heard of GWA Autoresponder up until now, but have always wondered whether there is a “self-host-your-list” type of a plugin. Never bothered to look for one, but it’s good to know!

    It does sound like a good option for any fresh start, and if you host your website with a quality, not $1 per month, they shouldn’t have any problem with it for a decent while.

    Of the all mentioned, I’ve used listwire at the beginning and have now migrated to AWeber (which is awesome, it’s no wonder people think it’s the best option). Moving from one responder to another shouldn’t be hard for anyone, since most of them have import / export options.

    I’d recommend anyone that’s new to try out AWeber for the first $1 month, and if they’re not happy with it, they can then move to a free service. AWeber is definitely worth a try!

    Hope you’re having a great week, Tim!

    • says

      Hi Andrew

      I agree that GWA Autoresponder sounds like a good starter option. I’m not sure how much your list would have to grow before your web host would start to become uncomfortable with the email traffic. I may experiment with it if I set up any more websites to see!

      I’ve only ever used AWeber and I really like them. The fees are reasonable enough, although I still don’t like the fact that they charge you for unsubscribed people. It’s not a problem to delete them at least though!

      I’ve decided to stick with AWeber for now, although I’m going to investigate Mad Mimi more as it does look like a good service too. I just don’t like the opt-in forms.

      Thank you Andrew and I hope you’ve had a great week this week too!

      Enjoy your weekend.


  5. says

    I use AWeber and I have been using it for many years. I am still very satisfied with it, but I am also using MailChimp for several clients. The reason I am using MailChimp is that I can translate everything into Norwegian, and that’s not something I can do in AWeber. On the other hand, even though AWeber is fairly expensive, I believe it’s worth every dime :)

    • says

      Hi Jens

      That’s useful if you can translate things into Norwegian with MailChimp and I can see why you would use them for that very reason.

      I know what you mean about AWeber, they are very good. I just wish their charging structure was a little bit more generous for starting out. Something like Feedblitz for example where there are many more tiers within the charging structure.

      I’ve not fully decided what to do for the moment, although I’m going to stay with AWeber for now. I still want to look at Mad Mimi a little more as that does look like a good solution as well.

      Thank you for your comments Jens and I hope you have a great weekend.


  6. says

    We use MailChimp for our auto responders on Spin Sucks Pro so I know it works for that. But, for the bigger business stuff, we’re using Infusionsoft. It was a lot of work to get it set up, but now that it’s going, I really love it. In fact, I may ask it to marry me.

    • says

      Hey Gini

      Welcome to my blog. Wow, I’m really pleased that you came over!

      I know many people who use and love MailChimp. I’m always been a little reluctant to use them because of the reported issues with affiliate links, although they have, to a certain extent, put my mind to rest on that one.

      Infusionsoft looks a little out of my league for now :-) but as you say, for the bigger business stuff, it looks pretty impressive. Sounds as though it’s working really well for you. a marriage made in heaven even!

      I’m going to stick with AWeber for now I think but give some serious thought to the service offered by Mad Mimi. It looks simple but very user-friendly.

      Thank you for taking the time to visit Gini and I hope to see you again soon.

      Have a great weekend.


  7. Dadblunders says


    I haven’t been using email for a marketing strategy thus far but it is something I have considered. Thank you for doing the research and sharing it with everyone!


    • says

      Hey Aaron

      No problem.

      I enjoy doing this kind of research and it’s made me think I should just stick with AWeber for now.

      I’m still looking into Mad Mimi though!

      Have a great weekend.


  8. says

    Hi Tim,
    I had signed up for MailChimp but haven’t used it yet as I need to complete an eBook first. I liked the options of the MailChimp to start with. Love to know how you you end up on this one. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Lisa

      I was set on moving everything to Mad Mimi as I really liked their user interface, they have great customer service and the free option is one of the best I’ve found.

      Now I’m not so convinced as I don’t like the opt-in form very much.

      So for now, I’m going to stick with AWeber and investigate Mad Mimi a little further before I make a decision.

      Let me know how you get on with MailChimp.

      Enjoy the weekend Lisa!


      • says

        I just started last week time and so far I really like them. WIsh they had the auto-responder but other than that it’s great. Not sure I like how to transfer to Aweber. Yikes. That was my long term goal.

        • says

          Hey Lisa

          I decided to move to Mad Mimi this morning from AWeber. It was so straightforward and easy via Mad Mimi’s customer service team.

          I wish the auto-responder was also part of their free account too but eventually I am likely to sign up to a paid account so that will become available then.

          I may think about moving back to AWeber in the future but for now I really like the set up at Mad Mimi too :-).

          I’m using Hybrid Connect for my web forms, mainly because Mad Mimi’s aren’t as customisable yet as say AWeber’s were.

  9. says

    After already using Aweber Tim I can’t imagine why you would want to go the free route besides the cost. It’s pretty obvious that you get no where near the same type of service or features for that matter and there are always going to be limitations on what you can use and what you can’t.

    But if you aren’t creating a business yet and it’s an expense that you aren’t getting back then I can definitely see why you would have to switch.

    I’ve never used a free service so I can’t really comment on any of these. I’ve heard of Mail Chimp and set it up for a friend of mine but I found it confusing. Just glad I’m not using it.

    Good luck with your final decision and I hope it works out great for you.

    Enjoy your weekend.


    • says

      Hi Adrienne

      I know what you mean. AWeber would be hard to give up, although I’d be prepared to give it up if I could find a decent compromise. I’m not convinced I have yet though.

      I think pushing forward with the business is definitely what I need to do but maybe not as quickly as I’d hoped. At the same time I need to be realistic and not get ahead of myself.

      For now at least, I’m going to keep going with AWeber. I know it makes sense and it’s not like I can’t afford it.

      I’ve always been a bit sceptical about MailChimp just because of the issues I’ve heard about in terms of affiliate links within mailings.

      Thank you for helping me make up my mind in any case Adrienne.

      I hope you also enjoy your weekend!


  10. says

    Hi Tim,

    Wow, I am impressed with your research. I guess I am the luckiest reader here! Just two weeks ago, a friend of mine suggested me to look into MailChimp as I have just a small list. I am using Aweber but was not really getting the most out of it. It is just because I am technically challenges, not that Aweber is not good.

    I am glad that after your research, you just can’t see your way beyond AWeber.
    I am now leveraging on our wonderful effort and will be staying with Aweber :)

    Thanks, Tim! Keep up the great work. I look forward to visiting again.

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    • says

      Hi Viola

      Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s great to see you here.

      I know that MailChimp are quite strict on affiliate marketers. The link in my post mentions that they are fine with links to quality affiliate promotions however.

      It all depends on what you’re promoting I guess but I am still quite sceptical.

      Following the research I did, Viola, I came to the conclusion that it was also my best bet to stick with AWeber. I think you made the right decision, certainly over MailChimp.

      I’m definitely still going to look into Mad Mimi further though as I think if I can get the opt-in form how I would like it then that would also be a very good option for me.

      I struggled with AWeber for a while too in terms of setting things up so don’t worry too much. It will become clear I’m sure if you play around with it. I would be happy to help in any way I can too.

      Thank you for your comments Viola and I really hope to see you again some time soon.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


  11. says

    Hi Tim, I don’t do email marketing but if I did, I would definitely come here first! Excellent overview of the different email services. I imagine, like most things, you get what you pay for. Most people seem to use Aweber, so there’s probably a reason for that. It’s kind of like choosing between WordPress, Blogger and Typepad for a blogging platform. Most successful bloggers use WordPress and successful bloggers tend to be very smart people.

    • says

      Hi Carolyn

      Thank you for your comments. That means a lot!

      I agree, from the research I did, it definitely goes without saying that you do get what you pay for.

      I was surprised by a few of the things you do get for free as well but for the most part I need some of the things that I can get from AWeber.

      The conclusion for now is therefore to stay with them. Although I’m going to look at Mad Mimi again to see if I can get that working.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend Carolyn.


  12. says

    I tried Mail Chimp but like Adrienne I found it very confusing. Possibly masking your affiliate links with Google shorter or Bitly? Are you unhappy with Aweber or just try to cut out some monthly expenses? You might go to oDesk and have someone build a plugin or something for an automated email list. Could be a one time payment and you could even put it on WordPress and build a backlink to your site :) Just a thought.

    • says

      Hi Garen

      Welcome to my blog. It’s great to see you here.

      That seems like a common theme that MailChimp is a little confusing Garen and with their stance on affiliate marketing as well it was always going to be a no go for me.

      I’m pretty sure they would close down your account for masking links too from what I’ve read.

      I’m definitely not unhappy with AWeber, apart from the fact that they include unsubscribed people in their charges. It was purely a cost thing.

      I liked the look of GWA Autoresponder as the plugin option for WordPress but as I’m on a shared server with Hostgator I don’t think it would be too long before I would start having problems doing things that way.

      Thank you for your comments Garen and I hope to see you again soon.


  13. says

    great research on the free autoresponder services. I believe that if I want a good service, it should not be free. It is an exchange of values. I always ask myself, if something is free, what is it for them. I prefer to know it hence I want to pay. This $19 aweber is so very worth it.

    I have a question. I tried FeedBiz for a few months. If you have a small list, you pay may be $2 or $3. But to me it was very complicated. I felt so stupid trying to figure out how everything works, and the customer service was not good. If you know something about them, please, share. Oh, the good thing about them is that you can import a list of subscribers without optin requirement. But I don’t think it is of any value.

    Great post. thank you

    • says

      Hi Margarita

      I definitely agree with you that you generally need to pay good money to get a good service. I was surprised at the options you do get with the free account with Mad Mimi however and it’s something I’m still looking into.

      I did also look into FeedBlitz a while back as I liked the fact that their charging structure was much more favourable for people starting their lists. I didn’t get much further than my initial interest however. Whilst their charges are low for small lists, as your list grows they are as expensive and in larger lists more expensive than AWeber.

      The additional thing that FeedBlitz offer is an alternative to Feedburner for your RSS feed and I know quite a few people have joined them for that reason alone.

      I know someone that uses FeedBlitz for email marketing, Mark Harai. I will ask him how he’s getting on with the service and come back to you.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend Margarita and thank you for your comments.


  14. Annie André says

    Hi Tim,

    I use the free version of Mailchimp. I have not tried any other mail provider so i have nothing to compare it with. I guess i just figured it all out and it works for me. Mailchimp does have an autoresponder and it’s free. I just logged into my account to check.
    The other thing is I sent out a few emails with affiliate links in them. I even stated at the bottom of one of them that I had affiliate links in the email. I never heard anything from mailchimp .

    all this praise for Aweber makes me think Maybe I should switch over. Although i’m pretty comfortable with mailchimp.

    • says

      Hi Annie

      I started with AWeber because that is what was recommended to me. If you’re happy with MailChimp then I don’t think there’s any necessity to change. Great if you have the autoresponder feature as their website suggests they don’t provide this on the free account. Although it could be that they haven’t updated that page recently and it’s out of date.

      I get the impression from what I have read about MailChimp that they aren’t anti-affiliate links as such but more anti-affiliate marketing. The types of things they really don’t like you promoting are the next hyped-up money making scheme; you know the kind of stuff, “buy this product and you’ll make $10,000 in 1 hour”. If you’re promoting a book listed on Amazon about living abroad on the other hand, it would be highly relevant to your business and not something they’d perceive as bad for their reputation.

      AWeber does have some great features and there are lots of services that can be integrated with it such as Paypal and ClickBank. Honestly though, if you’re achieving the results you want with MailChimp then I’d stick with that.

      I hope you’ve had a great weekend Annie and thank you for your comments.


  15. Andrew Stark says

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve used mailchimp for clients from fiverr, and I’ve got to say that it’s really very clunky, and you will need to spend money if you want to send automatic follow-up messages. I think they’re spending big money advertising on places like the chrome marketplace and aiming at bricks & mortar business rather than online marketers.

    I’ve been with aweber since 2006 or something stupid and none of the other alternatives have come close to making me want to switch. All the membership scripts are set up to integrate with aweber for a reason, the only real alternative is getresponse, but it’s a similar price.

    Lastly listwire is a pretty good autoresponder, but the adverts in the sign-up process are a big price to pay for annoying your new subscribers with something you can’t control.


    • says

      Hi Andrew

      From the comments people have made, it does, as you say, sound as though MailChimp aren’t really looking to attract online marketers so much.

      I’ve not tried their service at all to be honest. I was cautious just because of what I’d read on the web about them closing accounts for the use of affiliate links.

      I would be concerned about the ads with Listwire. I know that is, at the end of the day, the reason why the service remains free. It does seem like your mailings would be more likely to be deemed spam however. I think that would be a compromise too far.

      So, AWeber it is for now. I do like the look of Mad Mimi though I have to say, but it still maybe doesn’t offer quite what I can get with AWeber.

      Thanks for your comments Andrew. Very helpful.

      I hope you’ve had a great weekend.


  16. says

    Great post tim ! i never liked mail chimp because you cannot add your affiliate links in to it thats why I went for aweber , i think paying 29.99 is worth it because i have made decent money using it.

    • says

      Hi Saad

      Glad to hear AWeber’s been worth it for you. I know it will be for me in the end so I’m going to stick with it for now. There really aren’t any options available out there at this moment in time that can better AWeber.

      Thanks for your comments Saad and I hope you’re having a great week.


  17. says

    Hi Tim,

    I have been wrestling with similar thoughts. aWeber is great but the monthly cost you pay while building your list is worth thinking about. Sometimes it is worth spending some money to make money, but you have to be judicious in how you go about doing it.

    • says

      Hey Josh

      Sounds like we’re on the same wavelength!

      I wish that AWeber would change their charging structure so it was more like FeedBlitz’s where there’s a low charge to start off with. $1 for just one month doesn’t seem like it last very long!

  18. Akos Fintor says

    I became an Aweber fan from the get go. I don’t know why but I’ve never even considered free autoresponsders. Perhaps in my mind free means less worthy but obviously that’s not necessarily the case.
    Thanks for the research on other alternatives, Tim!


    • says

      Hi Akos

      Welcome to my blog. I’m pleased to meet you.

      I really like AWeber too but for starting list building the fee structure could be more generous don’t you think? Something a bit more like Feedblitz?

      I think with free email marketing there are compromises to make and eventually you would have to pay for the service in most cases. So it’s important to make an informed choice. Free definitely doesn’t necessarily mean an inferior service though; mostly it means a restricted service.

      Thank you for your comments Akos and I hope you’re having a great weekend.


  19. says

    Hi Tim,
    thanks for sharing this list and reviews of different services. We are now using getresponse and had no problems wiht e-mail campaigns. Switching to a free service, however, sounds attractive.

    • says

      No problem Jack

      I think GetResponse and AWeber are pretty similar in terms of what they offer. I’ve not had a chance to look at Mad Mimi any further at this stage so I’m going to stick with AWeber for the short term.

      Switching to a free account is certainly an attractive proposition though, I agree!

  20. taiwo says

    i have used listwire and i can say th only time they intrude is by showing your subscribers an advert when they are about confirming their subscription. all the rest is rumour from people who never understood the system. note however that listwire would also send you promotional emails(promoting other products) but they never send it to your list (only to you) and u can delete them anyway.

    I moved across to mailchimp only to realize you must upgrade to use the autoresponder. I love the simplicity of using mailchimp.

    • says

      Listwire sounds like a viable option Taiwo. I’d always assumed they promoted to your list as well but I’m glad to hear they don’t. The advert shown when people are asked to confirm their subscription wouldn’t be too obtrusive.

      I’ve never used MailChimp but I know lots of people who swear by them. I’ve always been wary since the word on the street is that they aren’t so keen on affiliate links. I’ve read their article kind of dispelling this but I still would be a little unsure about using them.

  21. Kate says

    Hi Tim, this is a very interesting discussion, as we are just about to take the next step! We are a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, but because we are ‘out of the way’, our webpage and our mailing list are increasingly important to us. A year ago we had just 60 people on our mailing list, now we have almost 500. We are sending out weekly ‘updates’ in response to customer enquiries – ‘when are you getting x,y,z in stock’. We used to phone each person individually, but now I say ‘if you want to go onto our maiing list I’l make sure I send out a notification on the weekly update’. Well, we were doing all this just using a group created in Outlook, and sent using BCc. Whoaaaa! I hear you say – but that’s is all we knew! So I started researching email marketing and so on, and realised that we needed to find a better method – not least so we had some idea of whether our mails were ever getting opened! So we are thinking about trying Mailchimp. I mean our marketing budget is approximately zero (we do pay to advertise in the local press, and they do pay me too, but marketing isn’t actually on my job description!), so clearly a paid service isn’t an option at this point. So this was very timely – I notice that not a lot seems to have changed in the 2 years since you started this discussion. A good deal of what you write about email marketing does apply to us, and I loved your ROI calculator – but it is hard for me to quantify a lot of stuff cos I don’t know how many people ‘convert’ if they’re not buying online. I want to work out some way of tracking that sometime – like doing an offer they have to bring into store. Anyhow, I’ll let you know how Mailchimp goes for us. Given that we are pretty green it will no doubt be ineresting to see how we cope! I have subscribed to your blogging guide as I am dipping my toe into that too! Look forward to reading more and thanks. K

    • says

      Hi Kate

      Great to hear from you and that’s fantastic that you are growing your mailing list!

      Phoning people individually I’m sure went down well but I suspect that won’t be sustainable in the long term. Email marketing is perfect for you to keep in touch with your customers as well as still giving you that personal touch.

      I think that Mailchimp would be perfect for you. They offer a very good service from speaking to people who use them. Of course, you can also start for free which is a great incentive! The main thing you won’t get on a free account is the autoresponder.

      The other email marketing service I would recommend looking at is Mad Mimi. I have used them and they are a very user friendly bunch. Their free account offers very similar features to MailChimp and the customer service I received was top notch even on the free account.

      I’d love to hear how things go if you decide on MailChimp and thank you for subscribing to my mailing list too. I hope you find the blogging guide useful.

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