SPOILER: Yes. Yes, it does.

It doesn't really matter what email service provider you use. They're all the same.

My skin crawled.

Yes, this is how sensitive I am to email marketing chat.

I was chatting up a couple of women who manage email marketing for their companies at a recent event.

(And yes, I talk email all of the time. I am that annoying person.)

One of the women works for a jaw-droppingly large organization. They have their own proprietary email platform.

It sounds very impressive but it. has. no. analytics.

I would claw my eyeballs out.

So this woman can't see how many people are opening or clicking her emails.

You know. Like basic information to see how your emails are performing.

So she was trying to get her internal communications off of the proprietary platform and on to Mailchimp.

The woman next to us piped in and said she uses Emma Marketing but (cue flashback) It doesn't really matter what email service provider you use. They're all the same.

I had to stop myself from screaming.

Can you imagine?

The short woman in the corner table of a fundraiser wearing her new favorite cat blouse just screaming NOOOOOOOOOOO!

This is how geared up I get.

Instead, I politely nodded. Because I am also that person.

POLITE.

Here's the rub.

THEY. ARE. NOT. ALL. THE. SAME.

Please, for the love of all that is holy. Drop Mailchimp.

Why?

Free is free for a reason. (even though Mailchimp recently upped their pricing.)

If you want to create an automated campaign that will be tailored to your audience's specific needs, they're not the guys.

ALSO, their deliverability sucks.

Deliverability is the term used to make sure your emails avoid the SPAM folder.

I won't go into the details here but let's just say that your emails are being sent out with a butt load (yes, the technical term) of other accounts.

If their emails are getting marked as SPAM it drags down the reputation of all of the other senders who are being sent from the same IP address.

Does it guarantee your emails will end up the SPAM folder? No. But it certainly doesn't help keep you out of there.

How to pick the right email service provider for your business.

I have some suggestions on the best email service provider for a smaller budget but here are the questions you want to ask yourself.

1. Do you want to deliver a personalized messaging experience for your email subscribers?

2. Do you have the tools to deliver that kind of messaging?

3. Are you able to collect and analyze data about your subscribers' behavior and then tailor email messages to them to increase engagement?

4. Do you need a flexible visual drag-and-drop email builder?

What that really means:

1. Are you ready for an email marketing program that actually delivers content and offers to subscribers who want them?

2. Are you ready to invest in the tools it takes to do that?

3. Do you have the resources to write copy, design and integrate data into your email marketing program?

3a. If yes, are you ready to use those resources to their full potential?

4. Do you have an email developer on staff who can code emails for you?

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