You are running a top notch well know nonprofit agency, in charge of projects from fund raising to membership drives. Most if not all your work is done online, so you pick and choose the products that will give you the most bang for your buck, and believe free is even better.
You wonder if free is always better recalling the saying “you get what you pay for” as opposed to “the best things in life are free”. You’re on a budget so you subscribe to the later and run things accordingly. For your current project you need to find a list hosting provider that offers discussion list hosting that accepts attachments and offers searchable archives. You start your search by looking for “free” and “cheap” list hosting services.
While free and next to nothing list-hosting services may work just fine, some free services are not using business class tools. These services should not always be trusted to keep the list secure, or to keep Spammers off their system, which may affect your deliverability. Some Free services are free up to a point, for example just adding one more list member will change your service from a Free List to a Fee list. The terms will usually change too, with promises of unlimited emails (until you read the small print conditions that define unlimited).
Even prior to that, always read the terms and conditions. You may discover that your free or next to nothing list hosting service is really a “light” version of the paid offered list hosting service minus some needed features; such as Spam Filter Diagnostics or A/B split testing.
Besides, the features you may be missing, what about their support staff? Is support free, available, in country, live or just guidelines? Do their customers answer the technical questions for customers? Can you talk to someone regardless of time zone or the Country you live in. Will they respond to your email in a timely manner or will you just receive an auto response? What about their online support and documentation. Is it current, do the links work, are there examples or tutorials if needed?
In the end paying for a list hosting service actually saves you time and money, by providing a complete set of list management tools designed just for that purpose. Features that may not be included in the free service
Features that offers you:
- Marketing Calendar
- Segment tools
- Advanced Message Throttling
- Domain Key Support
- Archive mailings lists with quick search
- TCP/IP security
- Automated bounce handling
- Suppression and/or banned lists compares
- Custom Branding
- Grievance handling
- One-click confirm
- Tiered encrypted password protection
- Demographic data fields
- Templates and template creation
- Dynamic, conditional content and advanced content scripting
- Easy way to create text, HTML, or multipart MIME messages.
- Attachments support
- Spam analysis
- Clickthrough and clickstream segmentation
- A/B split-testing
- Triggered and sequential mailings
- Online and Offline purchase tacking & reporting
- Sales Cycle & abandonment tracking
- Web Traffic analysis
- Transactional Messaging
- Multi-vendor Web analytics integration
- Graphical Deliverability reports
- Forward trackingSee http://mailinglistservices.com/features for more.Before you decide to host on a free service remember the saying “you get what you pay for”. Your list is a valuable commodity and should be treated as such so focus on quality; using a commercial trusted list-hosting provider, like Dundee Internet List hosting is a smart and worthwhile investment for your organization. After all your mailing list wasn’t free to compile (Consider the time, effort and expense to build it), treat it well and it will treat you well with the results you are looking for.