Despite an urge to paint email usage as out-dated and irrelevant compared to all the popular, fast-paced social media platforms out there, small business owners should not discount email as a primary marketing medium. The fact is that email marketing just works; whereas the jury is still out when it comes to leveraging the surge in social media usage. According to the ForeSee Results Report on Social Media Marketing (US Edition), 64 percent of consumers prefer to receive promotional information for retailers via email instead of social media.

That said, social media has still left it’s mark. To be effective, an email marketing campaign really involves not only intelligent analysis of consumer behavior and demographics, but also savvy social media integration. Spamming current and potential customers with your promotional emails won’t cut it these days.

So how do you get your email marketing efforts to convert into some real sales? For starters, you need to get a good email marketing software solution. If you are now just starting your foray into email marketing or your previous efforts to market via email have been unsuccessful, then here are five top, reasonably-priced email marketing solutions to consider:

MailChimp. Though MailChimp may lack some of the robust features mentioned with the services below, if you are looking for affordable, easy-to-use email marketing solution, then go no further. MailChimp offers a, simple user interface with a host of tools for creating, managing, and tracking your email campaigns. It also supports most mobile platforms and integrates well with many third-party apps. The free version supports up to 2,000 subscribers with up to 12,000 emails per month. The paid versions are reasonably priced, ranging from $15 to $240 per month depending on the number of subscribers your business has. The major downside is that there’s no phone support.

iContact. iContact is an inexpensive, feature-rich email marketing solution. The service comes with a lot of valuable functionality, including an HTML editor for email newsletter templates, Google Analytics and social media integration, and list segmentation. Like MailChimp, iContact offers a free version for up to 500 subscribers and 2,000 total emails per month. The paid version is also reasonably priced starting at $10 per month for up to 500 subscribers, and all the way up to $699 per month for 100,000 subscribers. There is a lot of DIY support available if you want it, but here live phone assistance is also an option.

AWeber. AWeber is an affordable email marketing platform that supports several robust features, such as comprehensive reporting and tracking, an easy-to-use, intuitive WYSIWYG editor, and great customer support right from the beginning. Prices range from $19 per month for lists of up to 500 subscribers to $239 per month for lists of up to 25,000. The downside to AWeber is that it doesn’t support mobile platforms and there is also no image hosting or surveys.

VerticalResponse. VerticalResponse has many things going for it: a FreeForm web editor that allows you to upload your own HTML, a feature-rich image editor and 25mb of image hosting space, support for online surveys and real-time reporting, as well as a quick and extensive customer service setup. Their pricing plan is also attractive to budget-conscious small business owners. They even offer a “pay-as-you go” option with a price per email sent that ranges between 1.5 to .75 cents. Monthly plans start as low as $8.50 per month.

Campaigner . Campaigner rounds out this list of affordable email marketing solutions for small business owners. Aside from the competitive pricing, Campaigner offers an easy-to-use template builder, a large library of pre-made templates (currently there are over 500 to chose from),10mb of image hosting space, and solid integration with social networks. They have a good reputation for customer service as well.

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