We do email newsletters for several of our clients. I'm know, very old-school, but they're still a useful tool for plenty of companies. A couple of years ago, we completed an exhaustive assessment of the email newsletter options available and went with Constant Contact. They're web-based, provide the functionality and reporting we require, and are very affordable. The app has an incredibly Web 1.0 interface (constant page reloads, pop-up windows and animated status bars), but it does the job. We recently had a recommendation for Campaign Monitor, so we may give that a try too.
I signed up for another Constant Contact account today, for a new client. I received the standard welcome and verify your address email. I also received a short email from Constant Contact support, reminding me to verify my address. They came simultaneously, which was puzzling.
I verified my email address. A few minutes later, I got a phone call from Constant Contact. A phone call! Just checking to make sure that everything was going smoothly. I blew off the 'Campaign Consultant', explaining that I was very familiar with their app. And then I got another email from the same guy.
That's three emails and a phone call when I sign up for a bake-your-own newsletter service that starts at all of US $15/month. Maybe I'm just hermitic and the exception that proves the rule, but when I sign up for a self-serve service (heh), I don't want to talk to anybody.
Leave me alone, Constant Contact. I'll call if I want to chat. Speaking of animated status bars, I copied a link for one off the Constant Contact site in passing. Amusingly, the cheeky designer has named the file pacifier.gif.