Comparing Self-Hosted Email Marketing Software

This article is Part 6 of a 10-part series on Email Marketing: Self-Hosted vs Traditional Cloud-Hosted Options.

OK – now we’re getting to the important bit. If you’ve decided that the time is right to move on to a self-hosted email marketing solution, we’ve got everything you need to know covered right here. We’re going to take you through the various options available to you, explain the pros and cons of some of the big players in the market right now, and then tell you why we chose the solution we did.

These options are in no particular order, and it’s up to you to decide which solution works best for you.

More Benefits of Self-Hosted Email Marketing

This article is Part 5 of a 10-part series on Email Marketing: Self-Hosted vs Traditional Cloud-Hosted Options.

Having discussed the potential pitfalls of cloud-based hosting solutions, we are now perfectly in position to consider some of the benefits of self-hosting. It stands to reason that the disadvantages we’ve covered off so far automatically point to benefits for self-hosting, right?

It’s worth bearing in mind that all of these potential issues usually only crop up once your business is well-established, you have a significant number of subscribers, followers and clients to communicate with, and your portfolio of customers is expanding in line with your business growth and development.

We can’t stress enough that cloud-based solutions are absolutely great for the majority of SMEs, and we’ve been really happy with the service we’ve received through this type of solution.

So, Why Consider Self-Hosting?

What Is Self-Hosted Autoresponder Email Marketing?

This article is Part 4 of a 10-part series on Email Marketing: Self-Hosted vs Traditional Cloud-Hosted Options.

So far, we’ve looked at the different options for cloud-hosted email marketing and compared the various packages that are out there. However, many businesses with a grasp of the fundamentals of email marketing and looking to develop their strategy and gain complete control of their activities would do well to consider self-hosting as a great alternative to the hosted services.

Self-hosted email marketing entails installing software on your own server (to which only you have access) and managing every detail and nuance yourself. As we said earlier, cloud-hosted email marketing is like hiring FedEx to deliver your packages, and self-hosted email marketing is like buying and managing your own fleet of trucks and drivers.

Why a Self-Hosted Solution?

Comparing Autoresponder Services

This article is Part 3 of a 10-part series on Email Marketing: Self-Hosted vs Traditional Cloud-Hosted Options.

Autoresponders are one of the most useful and effective features of cloud-based email services. Ranging from simple functionality right through to complex masterpieces of programming, autoresponders provide cost savings and time efficiencies, ensuring that all of your customers are welcomed, greeted and responded to at any time of the day or night.

Where would be without them?

There was a time that, whenever a client contacted us to subscribe to a product or service, we’d have to manually craft an email to welcome them on board. We used to spend so much time keeping in touch with our customer base that we’d have nothing left to dedicate to our business development.

I’m a huge advocate of using autoresponders as a means of easily, systematically and automatically turning prospects into customers. They’re also a highly effective way of pulling on the sixth lever of your business, “Transactions per Customer”. As a business owner you’re looking to find simple ways of encouraging your prospects to come back to you and make purchases again and again. Autoresponders allow you to set up a few emails and responses, select a schedule and sit back while your communications are sent out at specified times to encourage your customers to make repeat purchases.

The 7 Levers of Business
If you’re not yet familiar with the 7 Levers of Business and how they will transform your marketing and increase profits, you can check it out here:
Over the past couple of years we’ve trialled a few different products and, to our minds at least, there are two clear winners in the comparison stakes. We’re firm fans of both AWeber and MailChimp, for several reasons. However it’s important that we share all of our findings with you as you may come to a different conclusion and decide that a different product is the right one to meet your business needs.

In this section we’ll check out the key players in the autoresponder market, compare some of their advantages and disadvantages, and then outline why we chose AWeber and MailChimp over their competitors. At the moment, the main players in the field are Constant Contact, AWeber, MailChimp, OfficeAutoPilot, Infusionsoft and iContact.

What Is Cloud-Based Autoresponder Email Marketing?

This article is Part 2 of a 10-part series on Email Marketing: Self-Hosted vs Traditional Cloud-Hosted Options.

In our introduction to this subject we talked about the potential problems that businesses face if their email hosting is not properly optimised. In an effort to ensure the real meat of this report provides best value, we’re going to start with a look at cloud-based email marketing as an option for your business and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of “off the peg” solutions.

If you’ve followed Preneur Marketing for a while, you’ll know that we’re big fans of AWeber and MailChimp. Both of these platforms have served us brilliantly and it’s important to know that this type of email marketing solution is an ideal choice for businesses for a number of reasons. We’ve also checked out other options for cloud-based email marketing and we’ll give you an overview here.

PreneurCast112: What Do You Do?

In another Foundation episode, Dom talks about one of the basic mistakes many businesses make when marketing themselves: not being clear about what services or products they offer.

PreneurCast111: Leadership with Nicole Lipkin

Pete talks with Nicole Lipkin, author of What Keeps Leaders Up at Night, about the challenges of leadership. They talk about the qualities of a leader, whether you are a business owner or manager with staff, or an entrepreneur managing a remote team.

Pete’s Personal V.D. Report

A.K.A. The Lazy Entrepreneur’s Guide to Highly Converting Websites

It probably comes as a shock to a lot of you who listen to our marketing + productivity podcast, or who came to be part of the Preneur Community through the Profit Hacks program, that I actually enjoy putting pen to paper.

… and  I mean that in the literal sense. Yeah, it might not be as hyper-productive as the content leverage system stuff — but there is a joy and wonderment that comes with physically writing.

Anyway,  recently after finishing a session with one of my consulting clients, where we spent the time  looking through their website, I got the urge to put pen to paper, to cover the stuff we discussed in that session. And what resulted is this V.D. Report you see below.

See, like most of you reading this right now, I bet you’re just like D+R and get a vast majority of your business through your website… and if not, I’d almost guarantee that the web (read: Google) is where your prospects are going when they first start to look for the products and services you offer!

And like many business owners who are too focused on their “product” and not their marketing, their website wasn’t really giving them the ROI they expected, needed or deserved.

It was there, online, but wasn’t:

  1. Getting any traffic
  2. Converting that traffic (they want the phone to ring, or client to complete a ‘quote request’)

Now this post and Venn Diagram Report below is not going to spend much, in fact, any time discussing ‘the getting of traffic.’ There are plenty of other (and probably better) resources for learning how to get traffic.

The VD Report is all about Developing a Website That Converts.

PreneurCast110: Smart Social Media

Pete and Dom discuss their tips for using Social Media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to promote yourself and your business, including tips on what not to do and why.

The main points covered in this show are:

  • A definition of Social Media
  • Go where the hungry crowd is
  • The Marketing Symphony
  • Social Media for you vs your brand
  • Use and Mis-use of social media buttons

Digital Distribution: History’s Best Wholesale Business Model is Now.

The subtle strengths of digital partnerships and how they stack up against traditional alternatives

What if I told you that one of the largest and most successful companies in the world wanted to sell your product.

They are a retail juggernaut. Their name is a household phrase. Their standard of excellence is well-known, and their buyer base is rapidly expanding, always ready to spend more.

Their stores are some of the most popular in the world—moving over $100 Billion (with a “B”) in product back in 2011, and on track to sell $400 Billion a year by 2015.

And they want to put your product on their shelf. They want you to help them reach that $400 Billion.

Their offer is almost too good to be true. Shelf space on one of the world’s most popular stores … customer service, refunds, stock management and merchant fees; they handle it all. You’re just along for the ride, cashing in on one of the hottest brands in the world today.

Oh yeah, did I mention they have thousands of buyers flocking to their store each day, searching the isles looking for stuff to spend their money on… looking for your stuff? 

Wait what? No more lead generation needed either?

And yet some people still don’t think this deal’s good enough. 

I hear a surprising amount of complaints about this specific arrangement, so I’d like to set the record straight and shed some necessary light for new entrepreneurs on the digital frontier …

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

Download Pete’s First Book For FREE!

“Now that I've got the rights back from the publishers, if you enter your email address below, you can instantly download a free audiobook version of my first book, How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality.” - Pete