When it comes to web-based email marketing software, IntelliContact and Constant Contact are two of the most popular providers.
I've used both for my email marketing campaigns, and while both are quality products I lean more toward IntelliContact. (For the sake of simplicity, I'll refer to them as I. C. and C. C. from here on out. )
Both are entirely web-based, which means you don't have to install the software. Rather, you log into your account, prepare your email marketing message or newsletter, broadcast it, and let the service handle the rest. Using a hosted form of email marketing software (like these two) has its advantages. There's nothing to install, and nothing to update or maintain.
At first glance, cost is the most noticeable difference between these email marketing providers. IntelliContact comes in a few dollars less per month than Constant Contact (as of this writing).
But the big difference in my opinion is usability. While both are relatively easy to use, I found C. C. to be more challenging, with more of a learning curve to overcome. For me, I. C. was more accessible and navigable. I could find things quicker with I. C. , especially my first time using their email marketing software.
Keeping customers informed is another area where I. C. excels. Both companies offer plenty of “how to" tips on email marketing, but I. C. goes beyond that by providing industry news. They seem to be in regular contact with the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in order to maintain good relations, and they do a good job keeping their customers in the loop.
Though IntelliContact is my personal choice, anyone interested in web-based email marketing software and service providers would do well to evaluate both companies.
* Copyright 2006, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article if you retain the byline, author's note, and the active hyperlinks.
About the Author
Brandon Cornett manages the Software Learning Center, a holy shrine for software geeks looking for independent software articles and advice . Online at: http://www.LearnAboutSoftware.com