We posed that question to several inc.com mentors. Here are their responses:
Paul Edwards, Running a One-Person Business mentor
You should make your choice based on your budget and how much time you can afford to spend sending your newsletters. The most labor-intensive and cheapest option is to send newsletters from your e-mail program. (If you choose this option, you should put e-mail addresses in a group. Otherwise everyone can see who's on your list.)
The least labor-intensive option is outsourcing. I suggest SparkList or Lsoft ListServ. Sparklist charges $1 for every 1,000 messages based on a 10K message size, with a $50 monthly minimum. Lsoft, which is the company that developed ListServ, has an annual charge ranging from $200 to $600 plus $0.0015 to $0.0035 per attempted delivery.
If you want to buy software so you can do it yourself, I suggest MailKing, and Campaign. MailKing 3.0, from MessageMedia, can be downloaded for $199, and works in conjunction with popular software such as contact databases, spreadsheets and address books so you must have your list in a program like Act! Campaign, from Arial Software, has a version for smaller businesses -- Arial 2000 mails up to 100,000 newsletters per hour and costs $995.
You can also rent the use of software like Traffic Builder, which includes List Builder, from ListBot for $19.99 a month. ListBot is probably best known for providing the ability to send out your newsletter free, but along with it goes third-party advertisements.
Robert Hoffman, Human Resources mentor
I recommend Microsoft BizCentral's products. Check out BizCentral for product details.
I also like imakenews.com. Their standard package costs $99.95 for up to 5,000 e-mails per month. Their pro package costs $199.95 for up to 10,000 e-mails per month. Additional e-mails with this package cost $10 per 1,000.
Mie-Yun Lee, Offices and Operations mentor
I suggest checking out Roving Software's Constant Contact. It's very inexpensive and works really well. Rates vary according to the number of subscribers -- it's free for up to 50, and $150 for 10,001 to 50,000 subscribers.
Note: Roving Software is an inc.com Solutions Provider
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