If you are seeking to automate your email marketing, it’s essential to have the right tools. This starts with your email marketing software or autoresponder. In this article, I’ll be comparing two popular email marketing tools.
One is Thunder Mailer, which is a bulk email software; the other is MailChimp, an email and autoresponder service that has several different plans, including a free one. Each of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages. This review will make it easier for you to choose which is more appropriate for your email marketing needs.
Thunder Mailer: Mass Email Software
Thunder Mailer is mass emailing software that is downloaded and installed on your computer. Why choose a mass email software and not an autoresponder such as MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse or Constant Contact? This software certainly has some benefits that you don’t get with the autoresponders. Most notably, once you purchase the software there are no monthly fees to pay!
There are also no limitations on how many subscribers you can have or how many messages you can send. With downloaded software, it’s yours to use, while with an autoresponder you are using someone else’s service and paying a regular subscription fee for it. From my experience, here are some other benefits of Thunder Mailer:
Create Professional Looking Emails - Using the Message Editor, it’s simple to design emails for any purpose, in either plain text or HTML format. You can change colors, fonts and backgrounds and enhance your emails with embedded images. This is a user friendly interface that allows anyone to create great looking emails efficiently.
SMTP Server Options - You will have to integrate Thunder Mailer with your SMTP server, the system that handles the sending and receiving of emails. The software works with all standard SMTP servers, even free ones such as Yahoo Mail and Gmail. Yes, you heard me right, you can even use the software with Gmail to send out emails.
They recommend using SendGrid if you are planning to send out large numbers of emails.
Managing and Filtering Your Email List - It’s important to maintain a high quality list, and this software has features that help you do this.
- Import contacts from another list.
- Create multiple lists based on location, interests or demographics.
- Clean your list, removing duplicate, bounced or suspicious emails.
- Add and store unlimited email addresses.
- Personalize your messages.
- Test and preview messages before sending them.
- Can be used without web hosting using free SMTP servers.
Having all of these features at your disposal makes it easier for you to concentrate on other tasks, such as writing your emails and creating your products.
There’s also a distinct advantage to having everything on your own computer rather than subscribing to a service (like Aweber and MailChimp). You never know when an autoresponder service will raise its rates or even go out of business. With downloaded software, you have complete control over the product.
You can sign up and download a trial version of Thunder Mailer for free. The full version is also quite reasonable. The original price was $169, but it’s sold for $69 from their website. At the moment, there is even a coupon code that lets you take an additional 20% off the discounted price. Just enter the coupon code “HAPPY20”, and the magical 20% is applied.
For more about Thunder Mailer, see: http://www.thundermailer.com/
MailChimp: A Reasonable Email and Autoresponder Service
Many online marketers look to autoresponders for their email needs. MailChimp is one of the more reasonable of these services, and it’s one of the few that has a free plan. Some of the others, such as GetResponse have a limited trial period but that’s only for 30 days).
Aside from the free option, MailChimp offers you most of the benefits of an email and autoresponder service, such as:
- Email Templates - You can choose a template that matches your newsletter.
- Drag and Drop editor - Makes it easy to create and edit your messages.
- Analytics and testing - Allows you to test different variables and see the results.
- Autoresponders - Schedule mailings at your convenience.
- Opt-in forms - To help you build your list.
- Flexible pricing - Based on the number of subscribers and emails you send.
As for the pricing, this can be seen as a mixed blessing. For people who want to start email marketing without investing any money, you can start with MailChimp for free. You are allowed to send up to 12,000 emails per month and have as many as 2,000 subscribers.
If you want to build your list beyond this, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan. These start at $10 per month, and go all the way up to $240 a month, where you can have up to 50,000 subscribers.
MailChimp also has a Pay As You Go plan, where you purchase credits and use them when you want. This wouldn’t work if you have a newsletter that gets sent out at regular intervals. If you only send out mailings occasionally, though, it saves you from paying a monthly rate.
For more about MailChimp, see: http://www.mailchimp.com/
Is Thunder Mailer or MailChimp a Better Email Marketing Solution?
There are many ways to handle your email marketing, but at some point you will need some way to automate basic tasks like sending out messages. Thunder Mailer is a good example of email software you can download, while MailChimp is a good email service that you can subscribe to.
I recommend that you look over a few different possibilities, including the ones discussed above. Personally, I prefer the control and independence of having the software on my own computer. It’s also a relief not to have another bill coming every month. With Thunder Mailer, you only have to purchase it once and there are no additional charges no matter how large your list gets.
On the other hand, if you prefer to use an email service and are starting on a small budget. MailChimp is a good alternative to costlier autoresponders. It’s really a question of what you’re most comfortable with and what your goals and budget are.