It was time to choose a new newsletter service. I asked around, and looked at services my clients use or have recommended in the past year.

The contenders:
  • Constant Contact
  • iContact.com 
  • Emma
  • The newsletter services built in to 1shoppingcart
  • Aweber.com  
There were a few other options that I looked at, but these were the few that I really considered.
  • Constant Contact: I didn't like the user interface. Have also heard reports that their deliverability is not great and that they have been blacklisted from delivering to some major email services such as GoDaddy. That's never a good sign.
  • iContact: I signed up for their free trial and looked around. Tried to get some information from support, who gave me an incorrect answer (even after a couple of rounds of clarification). And, I couldn't get their server info to check their deliverability stats – they wouldn't release the information. 
  • Emma: This service is touted as being "for designers" – and was really pretty. It just didn't have the "technical" feel that I like. And it was a bit expensive compared to the other services. Great customer service, though, and excellent templates – if you need those.
  • The newsletter services through 1shoppingcart: A very close contender, especially because it is included with my shopping cart package (so, I could send my newsletter for free). I wasn't in love with the interface, though, and wanted to use an actual email newsletter service so that when I have to recommend one to a client who doesn't need a full shopping cart, I would have one to recommend.
  • Aweber: This service wound up being the winner. Very good deliverability and statistics. Customer service was very helpful during the trial month (which isn't free, but they have a money-back guarantee). They have lots of tutorials and good quality training materials, both at the beginner and advanced levels. I like the security of having my list be double-opt-in. And their interface was easy to set up and to use to send out my first email on this service. So far, I am very happy with them!