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Web Hosting Service recommendations?- Email sending limits are a factor

Posted on 2013-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I'm trying to set up a web-based business.  Short term, I just want a presence on the web.  Within a year, perhaps I'll be selling products --no not Viagra BTW, this is legit.  But right now I have a database of customers of several thousand.  I'm looking for a hosting service that doesn't say "You can only send 100 emails at a time." (UGGH!).  I like constant contact but my budget is SMALL.  Can't afford them.  My budget is VERY SMALL --I have a one-half of a shoestring budget.  Currently I'm not going to be collecting money on the web.  
Hubspot is a nice service for web-based businesses, but I'm not up to that point.
Recommendations please?  What is a semi-employed guy supposed to do?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:junipllc
junipllc earned 166 total points
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Mailchimp has a free service level, but that will depend on how many legitimate opt-in subscribers you have (you must have opt-in subscribers in order to not be considered spam. I'm sure you know that, but it's worth repeating here since your new business will suffer if you do it any other way)

The best way of sending mass email is via an email service provider (ESP, like Mailchimp or Constant Contact). They take care of all of the bounces, complaints, etc. and they maintain relationships with the biggest email providers so they can resolve complaints quickly. If you try sending mail using a PHP script or something similar you will run into issues eventually, if not right away. Issues like being blocked completely, or ending up on an RBL somewhere.

I completely understand the shoestring (or portion of it). But from my experience doing it your best bet is to leave it to the professionals who do it exclusively. See if you can find other ESPs that have free service levels.

I'm just partial to Mailchimp, personally, but I have not tried them all...not by a long shot.

This is not an anti-spam lecture, btw...I'm just sharing what I know from years upon years of email marketing experience.

Cheers,

Mike
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by:duncanb7
duncanb7 earned 167 total points
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Dear brothertruffle880,

if your budget is limited, I suggest you buy one personal linux server for email server
that is really cheap in a long run, for example, for 5 years with US$350 64-bit intel processor
wihtout sharing the server with others to slow down access time  . If you want do any thing you want, unlimted email accout, unlimted sending
email,....etc.., you had better to know script, C++, php script or linux command operation.
I have your situation before, final I put 1 year effort to know everything about
linux,apache, website,....etc sine I spent a lot money before on internet. Now I can setup everything I want by myself with help from Google and EE

One year later after my suggestion, you will feel save a lot of money from your
master computer skill than spent a lot money  to buy a lot expensive of package in internet
and do anything you want for computer. So in long-run, it will help,
For short-run, just need to speed a lot money and you can search it google easily

There is a lot free software or code in internet but you need at least some
background of computer programming language or computer knowledge.

Hope I  understand your question, if not please point it out
Duncan
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 167 total points
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Your touching on multiple points.  You have mentioned:

You want a website
Your goal is to sell products
You have a list of a couple thousand
You want to send mail but frustrated by sending limits
Shoestring budget
You like hubspot

Let's start with your budget. Hubspot will set you back at least $1,500 per month.  Let's nix that right off the bat.  If you study your analytics from google you will get very similar results.  While Hubspot does have a CMS option, it is not used as much as in earlier times. Instead, people are using hubspot code like google analtyics code in their sites and blogs.  However, +1 for studying their system.  Inbound marketing is where it is at and they have a lot of good things to say on the subject.  It is harder to grasp for some people then traditional marketing because the cause and effect is not as immediate.

While we are nixing ideas, while duncanb7 brings up a valid possibility about getting your own server, it is not realistic.  Hosting a website is more then plugging a server into the wall.  Instead of placing your effort on something you will not (want to) understand as well as the trained behind the scenes engineers at a good hosting service.   It's hard enough to create a website let alone hosting.

One more nixing, sending email via your server.  The reason you can't send more than 100 emails at a time is because spam is a huge problem.  Half the spam is the good old fashioned kind.  The other half is from legit people thinking their spam is not spam and their contact list "wants" their spam or they found a way to buy a list of people they don't know and feel they have the right to send their spam.    

The only way you should email people is if they specifically opted in.  Let's assume your list of 2,000 are people that know and love you and want your products because they have used your products in the past.    Because a huge majority of people feel sending email should be free, they spam away.  That has ruined email for the rest of the good legit people.    

There are spam filters everywhere from the ISP to the mail server to the mail client and rules.   Getting to the inbox is not easy.  When you send mail from  a shared server like from a php or asp script, the chances of getting to the inbox are very small.  This is where third party email providers come in.  Constant contact and Mail Chimp (my preferred vendor) spend some of the money you pay them on keeping their servers white listed as best they can.  This is why they don't want you to upload contacts and if you do, it only takes a very very small percentage to click the "this is spam" link or the bounce rate is too high and your account is blocked.  

MailChimp does allow 2,000 clients for free. Start with that and use their "sign me up" links and buttons on your site.

This leaves us with what to do for a website and how to sell products.   Because you like Hubspot, I know you want to spend your time on creating content and not managing hosting.  You also want to start free or very inexpensive. Plus you probably need a site too.

To start out, for free you can create a site/blog on https://www.tumblr.com/ where you can even point your domain to tumblr as well.  http://www.tumblr.com/business.  If you want something more like a traditional site, I suggest using http://www.weebly.com/#pricing or http://www.squarespace.com/pricing/ and not http://wordpress.org.  The reason is weebly and squarespace are all self contained where you are not relying on plug ins that can cause havoc lator.   Weebly has a free option (but the free option does not allow you to point your domain).  Otherwise, they are both about the same, $8 per month or $25 with some type of ecommerce stuff.  If you are only selling 5 or 10 products that don't change much, you don't need an ecommerce site anyway, just use paypal buy now buttons https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/merchant.

By using a self contained system like tumblr you can start your content blogging for free and eventually build a more traditional site with weebly or squarespace.  If you are going to succeed you need to spend what little budget and time you have on your marketing efforts, not the mechanics of hosting and development.

Good luck!
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