Email Services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, Active Campaign, etc

Does anyone know of, or have an evaluation of the various mailing services out there.  Some of the services seem useful but expensive.  Some don't even have a phone number to speak to a marketing or support rep! Gotta reach out by email if you need help. (Scary if you're having a critical deadline.)

I'm emailing about 5,000 messages a month (our database consists of 3,000 subscribers) for a government agency notifying constituents of policy changes and software upgrades. So I'm not selling any product where I need payment transactions.

Please provide links to any articles, blogs which evaluate these types of services or blogs/sites which discuss these types of services.  When I google, I get link farms and other oddities popping up in search results.
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David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Best option is likely which is...

1) Dirt simple to setup.

2) Provides 100% deliverability, to clean lists (non-spammer lists).

3) Allows you to send 10K free messages each month, so your cost will be $0/month.

MailGun == Email Crack.

After I started using MailGun for all my clients, I've been converting them off every other email system.
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I like Mailchimp if you want something that you can design on your own. There are a lot of plug ins available for various things you may not need now but later.

As far as getting live help, you will not find that in the lower tiers like you are in directly from the online service. Instead there are going to reseller/partners you want to rely on.

If you are just going to be sending a simple mass email from something like outlook, a 3rd party smtp service may be all you need. In that case I suggest They do have a new campaign system for non-developers now too

Sendgrid, Mailchimp, mailgun, constant contact and similar are all good choices as far as deliverabilty.  If creating the physical email is most important for you, then most of these have trials where you can test and use what is easiest for you.

I use both MailChimp and Sendgrid.  

If you are looking for handlolding and somebody to do a lot of this for you, then I would start by working with a partner or marketing company first before doing any selecting.

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Alicia St RoseOwner & Principle Developer/DesignerCommented:
Okay, If you are in this for business and you want to set up email automated sequences and tag your subscribers and gain leads from ads, then Active Campaign is the way to go. It works nicely with other Third Party marketing software like Leadpages. If you have e-commerce, you can target abandoned carts and such.

With all due respect to the commenter who mentioned this as a bonus: NEVER go with something because it is "dirt cheap". I will tell you that there are USUALLY hidden costs in cheap and free. And these cost can be expended through sanity or hair. Active Campaign has concierge like service. You'll have a rep show you everything and they answer the phone.

Growing your list is the most important aspect of you business, as you know. You'll want to utilize it properly and have as much advantages as your competition.

I was a Mailchimp fangirl for years! When I needed to automate my email sequences I had to bail and find a company that could handle this for me.

And Constant Contact will give you a rash. I've never had a favorable experience and their emails look like crap. I don't care how goofy and quirky their commercials are. Put that marketer to work on the product...

One day you'll be a ginormous success and can afford Ontraport!
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I think David said, "Dirt Simple" and the first 10K free. That does not equate to cheap. Otherwise, well said Alicia.  I agree, with Constant Contact, steer clear.  Although I would clarify that mailchimp does have automation.  Anyway, the key is if you want help, any of the lower tiers do not come with live help. Even with the with the system mentioned above, you only get a couple of hours of live help for set up.  I think you can use that same $5K to work with an independent consultant with more hand holding.
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