#11 – 5 Things To Look For In An Email Marketing Service

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Hello and welcome to episode 11 of TIM Talks, I’m your host Nate Fancher, and I’m stoked to be with you today.

This is an all new podcast for THE independent musician – I’m excited to talk with you about a new business model for indie artists and musicians.

This podcast has something for everyone, no matter what part of your music journey you find yourself in.

If you’re listening to this and you’re just getting started, there is something for you. If you’ve been a professional musician or a full time time indie artist for years with a thriving career, there’s still something here for you, and the reason I know that’s true is because of the topic we cover on this podcast.

Digital marketing. Digital media. Platform building and online business….

These subjects are moving fast and constantly changing. If you’re listening to this a few months down the road, something has probably changed with Google and Facebook and all the rest, since I’ve recorded it.

So the goal here is to help you along the way…

And you know what?

I am on this journey with you.

I don’t consider myself a guru or google expert. I am constantly learning about these things myself as an artist.

So will you join me?

I’d love that.

ipad-sgtg-2Alright today we’re kicking off a new series on email marketing…

In the first part of this series, we’ll be looking specifically at what to look for in the different email marketing services that are out there.

Should you go with Mailchimp?

Should you go with Aweber?

What about Infusionsoft or Ontraport?

There a ton of different services available. Even new and innovative ones are coming out and competing with all the big names.

I’m thinking of a new one called ConvertKit by Nathan Berry. ConvertKit specifically serves bloggers and authors. I’m actually very intrigued by this one and might give it a try to see how well it works – but there are many others out there too.

Icontact, Benchmark, Pinpoint, Get response, ConstantContact, Vertical response, Mad Mimi…..

But you know what?

Rather than getting overwhelmed in making a decision, it’s important to know what actually matters at the end of the day when looking for an email marketing program.

Honestly they all do a lot of the same things, and each one excels in different areas more than the others.

So in this episode we’ll quickly touch on 5 things I think you should look for in an email marketing service.

Now in this episode I will not be touching on why email marketing is so important for you as an artist. I will always highlight that importance along the way, but if you want to hear more on that particular subject, just check out episodes 2 and 7 of the show.

Episode 2 was where I gave a bird’s eye view of what I call the 4 pillars of the indie musician online. The second pillar which I quickly cover is starting and growing a big email list.

So that’s episode 2 and then in episode 7, we talk all about email in that episode entitled “truly direct to fan”.

So let’s quickly dive in to this 5 part checklist on what to look for in an email marketing service provider.

5 things to look for in an email marketing service

5 Things To Look For In An Email Marketing Service

Easy design, image hosting, and HTML support

  • Is designing the email easy for you?
  • Do they host their own images?
  • Is there full HTML support?

3rd Party Integrations

  • Does your service have broad support from 3rd party services?
  • Blog opt-ins
  • LeadPages support
  • WordPress plugins
  • Shopping cart software
  • Membership plugins

Autoresponders and follow up

  • Autoresponder does not mean “out-of-the-office” auto reply
  • The power of following up
  • Automated sequences that lead up to a CTA
  • Intuitive “if / then” rules

Accurate tracking and analytics

  • Segmentation that actually works
  • Accurate open rates
  • Accurate click through rates

Great deliverability

  • Good reputation with email service providers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc….)
  • Gets in the inbox and not in the spam folder
  • Much of this depends on the behavior of the marketer, but can be impacted as well by the marketing software you decide to go with.

Example: Aweber and Mailchimp both have a great reputation with email service providers, but Aweber tends to have better deliverability according to them. And I’m a user and have seen the difference myself.

Guys at the end of the day, most reputable email marketing providers will have all 5 of these, so don’t stress out over which one to get as if it’s a deal breaker for you.

When it comes down to email marketing what matters most is how you build your list, and the value you give to those who sign up.

If you can have a reliable program that helps you build long term relationships with your fans, that’s really all you need.


DIY Research

links to different providers:


Aweber is my top pick for folks who ready to dive in to a rock-solid program. It’s like the Pro-Tools of the email marketing world.


Mailchimp would be my suggestion if you want to ease into things. They offer a free account, which is great for folks who want to just start collecting email addresses and have some way to send out a newsletter.


Ontraport is what I currently upgraded to, as they offer a whole suite of other tools like shopping cart pages, CRM tools, amazing tagging and autoresponder features, and even the ability to do private membership sites.


In this 5 module video course, I teach you how to start and grow your email list FAST

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Other Email Marketing Services

There are a TON of different email marketing services out there. Here’s a shorter list of others I’ve curated for you to go and check out:

Get Response
Mad Mimi

Upcoming Series On Email

  • Email Marketing for musicians 101 (5 Things To Look For)
  • Email Marketing for musicians 102 (How often to send to your list) – March 30
  • Email Marketing for musicians 103 (What to send your list) – April 2
  • Email Marketing for musicians 104 (The money is in the list – converting your leads) – April 6

Watch This Video Comparison Of Aweber and Mailchimp