SimplyCast Review: Email Marketing
|Sign up for SimplyCast|
|Most affordable service with free plan for up to 2,000 contacts; interactive email editor is one of the best|
SimplyCast stands out with their awesome email creation options, A and B split testing feature and super cheap price. Not only is their paid plan affordable, you can actually send 30,000 emails to 2,000 contacts per month, for free. Though all of the features may seem overwhelming at first, this service is easy to use once you get the hang of it.
Signing up is fast and there is no credit card required to use the service for up to 2,000 contacts. With such a great deal and low price thereafter, one would expect SimplyCast's interface to be less than sleek. But on the contrary, they have attractive front page navigation that doesn't feel cheap. The fron page controls are made up of bright icons that show you exactly where to go. On the front page of your account, the dashboard, you will find the main controls to create emails, view reports and manage contacts.
After clicking the managing contacts button, you can create sign up forms for your website and add contact lists. Creating an email signup form is easy, and is very minimalistic compared to other services that allow you to add different colors to the form. You can slightly customize the form by adding different elements like state or fax number, and SimplyCast lets you move them around so you can get the look you want. In the advanced settings section of form creation, you can add different email opt-in settings, choose whether your subscribers are sent a confirmation email and more options. In general, it's not the best form creation we've seen because of the lack of design options, but it gets the job done.
There are a lot of options for adding contacts. You can upload lists from different programs like Wordpress, Salesforce, Oracle CRM and others you may be familiar with. To simply enter contacts, just click "new from text" from the drop down. Though using them isn't the most intuitive process, there are helpful tools such as segmenting lists and looking at reports for particular lists.
To start making emails, click "create new project" and select the email icon. To use your own HTML for the template, select the blank template after clicking on "Advanced HTML Editor." After entering in the code, you can edit the design directly by using SimplyCast's awesome HTML editing toolbar. In addition to using the toolbar to edit fonts and adding images like some of the other services, SimplyCast also allows you to edit the template itself, adjusting the width, columns, and other aesthetics.
You can also choose to use a pre-made template, selecting the color scheme and how many columns there are in the design. Once you get used to the editor, it's pretty easy to use. You can click on each section and a toolbar will show up below with editing tools. You can adjust colors, width, and other design elements as you go, which is similar to the HTML editing option we discussed above.
When creating a new project, you can choose to do an A&B Split to test which email is more effective for with audience. We like how straight forward it is to do this type of testing with SimplyCast. Otherwise, email reports are standard, showing clicks, opens, bounces and unsubscribes. You can view reports from emails side by side from different time periods.
SimplyCast is headquartered in Darthmouth, Nova Scotia. They have email, phone and online chat support available on weekdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. We had to leave a message when we called, but left our phone number. When we emailed our question using their online form, we received a helpful answer within 2 hours. Unfortunately we didn't have much luck with the live chat. After waiting for someone to pick up our session for over a half hour, the session ended. In general, SimplyCast's customer support does not compare to some of the other services we review, but thankfully since the service is easy to use, you may never even need to contact them.
Plans and Pricing
SimplyCast's "Epic Free Plan" holds true to its name — you get to send an unlimited number of emails to 2,000 contacts using their service. The only downside of the free plan is that you only get 30 days of phone customer support. As for their paid plans, SimplyCast has three different types of plans: based on the number of emails you send, based on the number of contacts you are sending to or there are pay-as-you-go options as well. The email-based plan starts at $3.00 per month for 1,000 emails per month, and you'll be using each credit per each contact. You get full support and 5 subaccounts. If you want the ability to roll-over email credits into the next month, the total will be $3.99 per month and if you want to be able to remove the SimplyCast logo from the emails it will cost you an extra seventy five cents. For their contact-based plans, the cheapest option is $4.00 per month for just 250 contacts and, for example, 1,000 contacts will cost $9.00 per month. The pay-as-you-go plans are pricey, for 1,000 emails it will cost you $18.00.
If you don't think you will need full customer support, and plan on sending to under 2,000 contacts per month, there isn't a reason why you shouldn't try SimplyCast for free. If you prefer to enter you own HTML and want a stellar editing toolbar to boot, this is the service for you.
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Here is NextAdvisor's review of SimplyCast Email Marketing: http://www.nextadvisor.com/email_market ... review.php