E-Mail Marketing – Service or Server

E-Mail Marketing – Service or Server

Let’s explore e-mail marketing delivery methods

When launching a large e-mail campaign it’s wise to ask “Should we use a company like MailChimp or Constant Contact, our own mail server or should we use a commercial e-mail server to send our mailings?”  Here’s your choices Mr. Executive:

  • Your traditional E-Mail Delivery Methods
  • A free e-mail account
  • An E-Mail newsletter service provider
  • Dedicated space on a private server

It’s good to ask this question and carefully consider the answers because there are advantages, disadvantages and risks to each choice.  We can’t give you a definitive answer that works for all businesses and all e-mail campaigns.  There is one choice that is more obvious than the others so we’ll start there.

Using your normal e-mail methods.

This usually means the e-mail server that’s on the same machine as your web server.  Sometimes you might use a dedicated machine or provider for your every day business mail.
Advantages:

  • No set up expense or time

Disadvantages:

  • This is the riskiest way to send commercial e-mail, it’s almost certain to get you into trouble.
  • Probably can only deliver to less than 25 recipients at a time
  • The e-mails received have a great chance of not looking the same as what you’ve created.

Risks:

  • Blocked from sending e-mail by your ISP at your offices physical location, even if you only try it once.
  • Blocked from sending e-mail by your external e-mail provider, even if you only try it once.
  • Legal trouble (if you keep doing it)
  • Jail time IS possible (if you keep doing it)
  • As with any e-mail marketing campaign, if the campaign is large and long enough you run the risk of having any e-mail than links to your website blocked by ISP’s, backbone relays, free e-mail providers, corporate e-mails providers, etc, from being delivered.
  • As with any e-mail marketing campaign, if the campaign is large and long enough you run the risk of “viagra-ing” your brand name.

When to use this method:
NEVER. Ok,  it’s probably safe if you’re sending less than 10 e-mails to people you already have an e-mail relationship with. But other than that…

Using a free e-mail account

You could use a free yahoo account and be relatively risk free right?  Well, it does lower the risk but there’s a high chance you’ll just be wasting your time.

Advantages

  • No fees (other than what you pay for labor)

Disadvantages:

  • Lots of time in labor in setting up the e-mail list for even a typically small e-mail list
  • Can only send to so many at a time

Risks:

  • Losing the free e-mail account
  • Losing other free services from that provider
  • Legal trouble (if you keep doing it)
  • Jail time IS possible (if you keep doing it)
  • As with any e-mail marketing campaign, if the campaign is large and long enough you run the risk of having any e-mail than links to your website blocked by ISP’s, backbone relays, free e-mail providers, corporate e-mails providers, etc, from being delivered.
  • As with any e-mail marketing campaign, if the campaign is large and long enough you run the risk of “viagra-ing” your brand name.

When to use this method:
NEVER. Ok it’s probably safe if you’re sending less than 10 e-mails to people you already have an e-mail relationship with. But other than that…

 An E-mail Newsletter Service Provider

We’re talking about services like MailChimp and Constant Contact here.  They have a high rate of delivery and other advantages, but are very likely to refuse to service you and they will be a high per e-mail cost.

Advantages

  • Negates most risks
  • Help with creating visually styled e-mails that work correctly in most e-mail clients.  This is bigger than it sounds as this is difficult for even an experienced web designer.

Disadvantages:

  • High costs
  • Easy to get kicked off their service.

Risks:

  • Using a service almost totally negates all the risks typically associated with e-mail marketing provided you don’t purposely game their system.

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