Email Marketing Software Comparison – Web vs Desktop

Technology changes more quickly than the seasons, it seems. Gone are the days of entering commands at the DOS prompt, as are floppy disks, and 56K modems.

Will the hard drive soon be gone too?

Will we soon save all of our data and run all of our software over the Internet?

Large companies such as Google seem to think so, and are making the push for software to be completely web-based, as it apparent from their Chromebook. More and more, sales of Android tablets and IMacs are picking up, causing software companies to seriously consider putting their programs on the web.

But, is email marketing software (or any of your business’ software) really something you want to be web-based?

No, I’m not stuck in the past. I seriously think there are risks and disadvantages to a cloud-based business that cannot be ignored.

In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of web-based email marketing software.

1) Disadvantage Lower Security – Yes, email marketing software does get hacked. Just last year, the databases of the world’s largest email marketing company Epsilon were hacked, exposing millions of customers’ personal data.

If you think millions of email addresses are no big deal, you’re living in denial. Consider the fact that these hackers now have the ability to impersonate your business via email. Hi, this is Joe from company XYZ, please enter your login credentials again. Please pay your invoice. Your account has been cancelled; please sign up at this other web site for your services. The effects on the business could be absolutely devistating. See: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/04/04/massive-hack-of-top-e-marketer-may-leave-millions-open-to-phishi/

Email Marketing Software that runs on your desktop, by contrast, stores the data safely on your own private network, which is not vulnerable to the same attacks as a web-based company that is more open to the public.

2) Disadvantage – Lower Speed – I’ve used email marketing software from just about every company out there, and I can tell you from experience, there is not one web-based email marketing service that has not at some point or another forced me to wait. Wait for the customer list to load. Wait for the contact to save to the database. Wait for the report to run. Wait. Wait. Wait.

As a business person, time is one of your most valuable assetts. Can you really afford to wait for a web page to load, or would you rather store the software and data on your own PC, which is much faster. And what happens if the Internet goes down? At least with desktop software, you could create your messages, plan your campaigns, and segment your mailing list until your have your connectivity back.

3) Disadvantage – Higher Cost – Web-based email marketing services charge monthly fees to store your data (safely, we hope), images, campaign statistics, and send your marketing emails. By contrast,  desktop email marketing software can be purchased for a one-time fee and used with your own mail server.

An even smarter solution is to purchase email marketing software and use it with a bulk email service such as ProMail, offered with Email Marketing Pro. Bulk email services cost much less than web-based email marketing.  That’s because bulk email services only send email — they do not have the extra overhead of storing contacts, reports, images, and thinking up more ways to manipulate you out of your money.

As compared to using your own mail server, using a bulk email service reduces the risk of getting your mail server blacklisted, increases the chances of your marketing email going to the inbox (rather than the spam folder), and protects your email reputation with Internet Service Providers. Also, they don’t have daily quotas and can get around the quotas set by your Internet Service Provider. And a big plus: they track and notify spam reports so that you can remove subscribers from your mailing list that mark you as a spammer. Regular mail servers cannot do this.

3) Disadvantage Global System Updates–  With web based email marketing software, system errors affect all the users of the system. Unlike desktop software, when web-based software is updated, the update affects all the users of the system.

Now, imagine the frustration of working hard on your email marketing design and strategy, only to find that you can’t log in to your web-based email marketing service on the day you planned to send thousands of email marketing messages. Once the error is finally fixed, 1000s of other users will be trying to log on and use the system at the same time.

Also, consider this: if you download an update to your desktop software and it has an error, you can simply uninstall it and revert to an older version. With web-based email marketing software, if an update causes errors, you wait and wait and wait some more and stare at messages like this: