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I want to send out a twice a month email with trending topics, highlighted videos and posts, etc. to my members.  I was looking at mailchimp and the discussions on the site about it, but then I saw the price.

I have a network with over 10,000 members, which comes out to $150 a month.  That's a chunk of money, especially considering we have the broadcast message feature built in for free.

Anyone care to share pros and cons of these, why they chose what they did, and how to best customize either to get the best benefit out of it?

I am planning on using it to monetize my site, so I can justify funding it if I'm convinced it would be a good investment.

happy holidays and new year,

Scott

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Replies

  • I'm personally a big fan of MailChimp, but I can see how that would be a big investment at nearly $2,000/year. Yikes. I would be interested in hearing what others have used outside of Ning's broadcast messaging functionality. 

  • NC for Hire
    I'm considering constant contact because you can synch it with your Ning member data in Ning Extensions in your dashboard. However, the costs are similar.
    I wish the broadcast message function was more sophisticated but can understand why resources are not put into it.
    Eric, I've noticed that your bi-weekly newsletter no longer uses the broadcast message function, are you using CC?
    SP
    • I'm using a different application entirely. It's not well known since it's not a consumer-focused app and wouldn't be suitable for a Ning site I don't think (enterprise pricing, for example). 

      • NC for Hire

        ah, ok, thanks Eric.

        would you be prepared to share any stats on click throughs and delivery? do you notice a spike using the new method versus the old BM way?

        Cheers

        SP

        • It's hard to compare since I don't have access to analytics for the Broadcast Messages. But, we've always had good open and click-through rates. Sometimes as high as 35-45% for a few winners, but usually a 10-20% open rate is typical. Click-through is trickier because it depends on the message and how many calls to action we have. Delivery is always higher when using services like these. That's their expertise, I guess. 

  • I am getting a feeling the mails sent from the message broadcast mostly ends up in bulk. Maybe I have start looking for an alternative as well.

  • Without question you want Mailchimp.  You can have actual demographic and success rate stats which makes it worth the investment alone.  Ning comes up really short on that end.  If you're planning on selling ad space, you need to know these types of numbers that you can't get out of the basic Ning functionality...

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