Some of the benefits of using a third-party provider are:
- No wasted development time - no need to reinvent the wheel creating databases, processing email and so on.
- Reputation - third party providers spend a lot of time ensuring their network isn't blacklisted which greatly improves the chance of delivery. If you're using a shared hosting provider there's a good chance another tenant may be sending spam. This means your emails might end up in the spam folder too.
- Analytics - lots of pretty graphs and charts so you can understand how your emails were received.
We took MailChimp for a spin briefly, however Campaign Monitor won us over with their simple interface and straightforward pricing plan. They simply charge $5 per campaign + 1c per email sent. That's easy to understand, and quite affordable.
However, if you are certain you'll be sending at least one email per month, then MailChimp can be cheaper (depending on the volume).
We doubt we'll be sending an email every month though, so Campaign Monitor won the day. (It's nice that they're an Australian company too!)
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