Junky looking, long-winded emails go right into my trash. I don't care what the topic.
The emails I receive that look like the sender cares about their company brand - with a message that I'm interested in, of course - get read.
Over the past decade of creating email campaigns, I've experimented with a variety of different email broadcasting services.
In my early days of email broadcasting, I've sent (and received) HTML emails where the email arrived looking like a big ol' mess.
Unfortunately, email broadcasting has not evolved as much as website development in the past decade… and that's because email "clients" (Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) all "read" emails a little differently.
So what often happens with inexperienced email broadcasters, is that great looking email you think you're sending out, is not necessarily going to be received looking as great as you had intended.
A Google search today reveals thousands of email broadcasting services. They're all priced about the same… within a few dollars or so… but reading the small print reveals features are not the same.
As a marketer and designer, I want my email to arrive as I originally designed it... or as close to it as the receiving inbox can deliver it. I also want a broadcasting service that is "white-listed" so my beautiful email won't go into my recipient's spam folder.
(Example: A friend of mine recently sent me an email from Constant Contact and even though she's in my address book, her email went into my Spam folder! And when I eventually found it in the trash, it looked like trash, as well.)
My personal favorite email broadcasting service that offers everything that I want is campaignmonitor.com
Other popular email broadcasting services, that have most of the features I like, include:
mailchimp.com is priced well, but the reporting and analytics are not that great… and the interface is more appropriate for a more casual, youth oriented business or a non-profit organization
iContact is also priced inexpensively, but I'm not crazy about the reporting, and I certainly don't like having to pay to keep their logo off my email campaigns.
Email brain I like this service. Sadly, they really need to work on their reporting features. It's inexpensively priced, and they have some fun extra features built in, but I don't love the way they have the analytics set up. Good support, however.
ConstantContact is my least favorite. I have no idea why so many people still use this service, other than they have good SEO and are always at the top of the search engine for email broadcasting.
They've been around for as long as I've been creating email campaigns, and their interface forces the user to have the same generic ugly template for everyone. Whenever I see the ConstantContact logo at the bottom of an email blast, it visually communicates to me that the business isn't that concerned about their brand. Worse... their interface is the most difficult of any broadcasting service I've worked with. Except for offering a 60 day free trial, I see no advantage at all to this service.