Before I begin using any product or service, I really take the time to read up, do my homework and evaluate for myself the information I find. If possible I try to demo the product or service, play around with it and familiarize myself with it to see what its like. Especially when it comes to online SaaS and things like an ESP (eMail Service Provider) or newsletter service provider – I want to be able to demo it. What features are included aside from what is described on the “features” page and how intuitive is the user interface. I’ve come across software and websites that praise themselves in regards to the user friendly layout of their product, but then have three million explanations everywhere on how to use it. I believe that if you have to explain it, it’s not user friendly. When I go about creating things, as strange or bad as it may sound, with no disrespect at all – I want my mom to be able to navigate and find her way around without me having to explain what to do next.
Why am I touching on this? Because I have been shopping around for an ESP and wanted to see what you guys thought. I have used a few in the past, however now find the time right to begin building out the email list and hence am in need of some service to execute that strategy. Here are a few of the services I am considering (in no particular order)
Have tested them in the past. Variety of plans. Dont like the “purchase additional features” for each pack though. Overall solid company.
Seems to be very streamlined in regards to focusing solely on email. Majority of the features one would need. Decently priced.
Used them in the past for a newsletter. Overall easy to use and straightforward interface. A few features annoyed me at the time, however price/service ratio and quality is good.
They seem to be everywhere and on every list I read about. No idea on quality, service or anything else. Seem to be your standard ESP.(?)
Up and comer in the ESP world. Focused on simplicity and design. Targeted at bloggers. Seem slick but no experience.
Now while I know there are a ton more providers out there (Active Campaign, Constant Contact, Benchmark Email, Stream Send, etc), this is the list I have narrowed it down to. Why? Because overall quality, features and service seem to be above average on everything I have read including mixing in my own knowledge and emotional response to how I stand with a few of these. I dont want to simply jump on board one and get going. I want to ensure I’ve done my homework and without over complicating it or overthinking it, make a solid choice and work with that. If at some point down the road things change, than its just a matter of flexibility and adapting. But Id like to purchase a good car not simply for the sake of purchasing a good car, but knowing what it is capable of doing and if things change like we need more luggage space, well than we’ll just have to adapt. The same goes with choosing an ESP.
Any experience or thoughts on the above? Am I missing something or do you have a specific recommendation on one or the other? One thats not listed? Feel free to reach out and let me know.
P.S. – Ill keep you guys updated once I’ve made a choice and get going!