Email Marketing: Compare Hosting
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What Is Email Marketing Hosting?
Email marketing is the way direct to customer advertising is done on the Internet. Whether you are a company selling products and services to consumers or a business providing solutions to other businesses, email marketing is probably the most essential piece of the online marketing puzzle.
If you need to stay connected with your current and future customers, email marketing should be the no. 1 method of information delivery for your special offers. Compare the top email marketing features reviewed on our website below and don't forget to review our top rated hosting plans for email marketing before choosing your next provider.
Mailing Lists Hosting
Just about every business and website has a mailing list, and they are constantly trying to grow that list with more contacts. Because many hosting providers offer a basic email service with their website hosting packages, they are likely to be a trusted e-mail sender. Thanks to that existing trust, hosting your mailing list with a hosting provider may make delivery of your messages much easier when you start email marketing.
Hosting your email mailing list with your primary hosting provider also makes a lot of sense because your marketing processes can be more efficient.
Instead of taking the time to learn a new software and setup your email marketing campaigns, you can save the headache of learning a new program in addition to the other responsibilities you have if you host your mailing list with your current provider for your website or other applications.
Be sure to consult with your hosting provider to make sure they offer a hosted solution for email marketing and mailing list management before settling on a contract or term length with them.
Mailman Email Marketing Hosting
Mailman is an open-source, web-based email management application designed to provide webmasters with an easier way to help maintain newsletter lists and discussions. Unlike most common email marketing software in today's marketplace, Mailman is more commonly used for distribution lists that need discussion management features in addition to mail delivery. First created in 2007, Mailman is written in the Python programming language. Because it is an open source application, it is also commonly referred to as "GNU Mailman".
Because Mailman is an open-source platform that is developed by volunteers and financially supported by donations, it is not the most advanced mailing list solution. For example, the next generation of Mailman - version 3.0 - has already been under development for over 5 years! If you are looking for a mailing list platform that is a hands off platform for programming or contains more features than what you read above, you may want to review newer platforms.
The biggest reason not to use Mailman - or any other mailing list softwares like it - is due to the evolution of web technology.
With social networking and blogging platforms so commonplace, managing a mailing list seems like an obsolete way to communicate with subscribers.
Most solutions that work best in today's email marketplace are not self-hosted, like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
If you already have a mailing list and need a simple, open source script to install for assistance in managing that list, perhaps you should consider phpList. This script for managing email lists is very flexible. phpList is capable of running on both Linux-Apache-PHP-MySQL (LAMP) server stacks as well as Windows editions, Apple editions, and a variety of other Unix-based installs.
The system requirements are a little different for each server type, but each server will need to support IMAP in order for phpList to complete its functions for removing the "automatic bounces" from your mailing list.
Installation of phpList is very straight forward, as is backing up the system files and making updates as they become available.
Alternatives To Self-Hosted Email Marketing Softwares
While there are several options for self-hosted email marketing software, the most innovative companies powering the email marketing industry today host their own software. For a monthly subscription-based fee, email marketing service providers like Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp, and VerticalResponse provide their users with list management, message editor, message delivery, analytics and drip campaigns. Pricing plans are typically structured based on the size of your mailing list or on the volume of messages you send each month.
Hosted email marketing software take on a lot of the management responsibilities that are required of a webmaster when they host their own software and scripts to do email marketing. With a hosted email marketing software, a webmaster will be responsible for managing the lists and delivery of emails, creating and editing all messages, and processing results if analytics are not already provided. In a hosted software, most of these stats and tasks are provided to you with a click of the mouse.
This saves you an impressive amount of time and energy so you can focus on other objectives related to websites and hosting.
If you prefer to host your email marketing with a hosted software provider like one of the companies mentioned above, consult with your hosting provider before selecting your service. Many providers will supply you with a list of introductory offers and special prices to make your email marketing even more cost effective than it normally is when used in a proper manner.
Hosting Of Email Marketing - Other Considerations
What are some alternatives to using Mailman or phpList?
If you are serious about using a self-hosted mailing list software, you will be hard pressed to find solutions that are better for your needs than Mailman or phpList. The biggest difference between the two is the programming language they were built upon - if you are comfortable with configuring open source software, then Mailman could be a good solution for you. On the other hand, if you have a little more experience on the PHP programming end of things, then phpList is probably better served to be your mailing list solution.
If you want a closed-loop opt-in system for your mailing list, Dada Mail could be another alternative, as well.
However, when it comes to email marketing and mailing list management, the most innovative and feature-rich solutions are not open source or self-hosted. Most businesses and webmasters looking to utilize email marketing software for the first time will find the best solutions are actually developed by email marketing service providers like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
What are some good reasons to use a self-hosted mailing list for email marketing?
While the most feature-rich solutions are available through “software as a service” like Constant Contact, it’s not crazy to find benefits to hosting your own mailing list.
Open source solutions like Mailman offer web-based administration for nearly all of their tasks. Also, because it is a self-hosted solution, you shouldn’t have any concerns about a provider mining your data. Further, the threat of outside sources attempting to steal your contact information go down dramatically when you host your list yourself.
Also, if you have acquired your list of email contacts by any method that could be in violation of CAN-SPAM compliancy, a self-hosted mailing list might be a good idea. Please note that we are not supporting the practice of building a mailing list that is in violation of the CAN-SPAM act. However, many email marketing software providers require you to confirm that the method you used to collect email addresses is CAN-SPAM compliant. If your list has been built without regard for being compliant with these regulations, maybe it is a good idea to self-host your mailing list.
From the web admin of self-hosted software, administrators can configure lists, users, delivery mode, and manage lists, discussions, users, and subscribe/unsubscribe for users. You can also create a unique homepage for each mailing list you want to include on your site. Major features in the latest releases often include multi-language support, "real name" support, improved member management and support for personalized deliveries.
What are some reasons I should avoid using a self-hosted mailing list for email marketing?
The biggest reason not to use Mailman, phpList, Dada Mail - or any other self-hosted mailing list software - is due to the evolution of web technology. Let’s face it - there are a lot of methods today to connect online with your customers and fans. While email is still one of the most effective ways to do it, hosting your own mailing list seems unnecessary and ‘old-fashioned’, by Internet use standards.
Below are three alternative methods to email marketing for communicating and connecting with your customers and contacts. We have more information and hosting solutions available for many of these communication methods if you think they may be helpful in growing your ability to connect with people who will be interested in hearing from you.
Blogging - while this strategy is a great way to connect with people online, there is a considerable amount of effort into writing a blog post. On top of that, once you press post, you need to notify your readers that there is a post to read. That said, if your post is optimized to rank for search keyword phrases, the chances of increasing the reach of a blog post are very high. Because of that opportunity, blogging is great for connecting with a new, large audience - but it takes a lot of time to accomplish that goal.
Mobile App Notifications - similar to email marketing, if someone is willing to add your app to their mobile device, communicating with them becomes very easy - and with the development of push notifications, the likelihood they will read your message goes up significantly. Because there is an implied “opt-in” with mobile app downloads and the communication method is 1:1, mobile app notifications are the most similar alternative to email marketing on this list. Just make sure people can easily download the app!
Social Networking - sites like Facebook and Twitter are part of the everyday routine of internet users today. Unlike giving you their email address, users who follow your brand on social media don’t have to give you anything. On top of that, they can engage with your messages on their schedule. While that is a benefit for them - it can often be a detriment to you when you are trying to connect your followers with sales opportunities. Having a following on social networks is important to growing your website or online business, but is likely less effective for engaging users than email marketing.