There's a lot of advice floating around the digital world about how best to use email as a means to acquire customers, maintain community and drive conversions.
What's most often missing from the discussion, however, is the cost that is associated with sending. There's a human cost, of course (it takes time to build a newsletter), but what about the actual dollar amount? How big of a check will you be writing each month?
It is important to understand that email service providers charge in different ways and very often at different rates. Some provide per-send pricing, others will place limits on the number of times a marketer can send per plan, while some will offer monthly rates based on recipient volume levels without send limits at all. That can be unduly confusing for a marketer that has yet to test the digital waters of email.
Knowing what it will cost will force you to discover new ways to make the investment a profitable one.
For our purposes here, let's imagine that we have a list of exactly 10,000, and we'll send a standard email newsletter four times per month. Since we're a startup, we're not going to pre-pay, which could save us some money. So, what will it cost?
(Editors Note: If you're an ESP and not on the list, just comment below and we'll be glad to add your pricing)
GetResponse - GetResponse offers marketers packages for unlimited sends based on the number on the recipient list. In our case, our list of 10,000 would cost $65/mo (an annual plan with the same volume would cost just over $53/mo).
MailChimp - MailChimp also offers unlimited sends, so for our list of 10,000 the cost would $75/mo. MailChimp also offers pay as you go pricing and, if you've got less than 2,000 subscribers and send fewer than 12,000 email per month - the service is free.
ConstantContact - The cost to send to a list of 10,000 through ConstantContact is $75. The company offers pre-pay pricing for 6 months (10% saving) and 12 months (15% pricing) which would bring our bill to $67.50 and $63.50 respectively.
AWeber - AWeber is one of the oldest email service providers on the market. Their pricing is unique in that they require not only subscriber pricing (in our case $50 for the 10,000 list) but also a monthly plan starting at $19/mo. That will bring our spend to $69/mo.
MyEmma - By far the priciest option highlighted so far, MyEmma - which does not offer unlimited sending, would charge $125/mo. A 30-day free trial is provided, and if you're a non-profit you'll save 20%. .
VerticalResponse - While most ESP's offer bulk pricing without send limits, VerticalResponse does and it comes in the form of per email pricing. With our list of 10,000, the price (remember that we're commited to sending four times each month) would be $400.
Benchmark Email - Benchmark Email provides the ability for senders to be charged per email sent - ideal for those sending infrequently - but we know that we'll send 10,000 four times. The company also provides a list based plan which for us would run roughly $78.95/mo.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.