You’ve Got Mail: Build Successful Email Campaigns & Sell More Services

Even though we’ve replaced emails with instant messages, Tweets and status updates, “You’ve got mail” still remains one of the most well trusted and appropriate (dare we say, romantic?) phrases that signal important communication. With so much social media noise, email inbox has become a sanctuary, a safe place where users review relevant content. On another hand, email marketing still has the highest ROI of any marketing channel available. So, you have to be smart and prepared with the latest tools to reach people in their sanctuaries, where attention is the only currency.

Email marketing takes many forms: newsletters, sales campaigns, promotional flyers, surveys, and other methods that help you get the word out and promote your business. Today, there is a variety of software/online tools to help you build databases of subscribers, craft email campaigns, and high impact newsletters. And all of this at low cost. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tools.

Mailchimp

  •      Considered the go-to tool for creating newsletters, because it is super easy to use, template-driven, and the only email marketing service that has a 100% free account (with limited features, though). Great for total beginners, individuals as well as businesses of all sizes. No wonder it is the preferred leading email marketing platform for 15 million customers.
  •      It is easy to get started with importing your email lists. The mailing is free for lists of up to 2000 subscribers. Then, decide if you want to use a plain text version without picture and formatting, or maybe you would like a more fun template to express yourself. There are more than 300 templates available!
  •      Drag and drop is used to build your newsletter template, and you can design the format that you want without having to code. Their plugin for WordPress is one of the most used services, while there are other integrations too, with LeadPages, Hubspot, Facebook, and other popular marketing tools. Once you create and send your newsletter, it gives you a link, so that you can post to your social media channels. You will get a report about the numbers and clearly see how many people opened your email.
  •      MailChimp still has room for improvement. Most of the newsletters look familiar, since there are only about 20 basic layouts, so newsletters have a similar look and feel.
  •      Upgrades will get you other features, such as autoresponders and larger lists, but you have to pay a hefty fee (our suggestion is to go for the pay as you go plan if you are sending email sporadically and on one-off basis).

GetResponse

  •      This easy to use email marketing software has hundreds of templates. After you build your newsletter, you can preview it on a desktop, mobile devices, and a number of browsers.
  •      We love that you can send video email and build landing pages with GetResponse. It also features autoresponder messages and integration with Salesforce for CRM (customer relationship management) to help you run your business smoothly.
  •      There is a great analytics tool (integrated with Google analytics), giving you access to your stats and reports. It works well for building targeted subscriber lists, and the basic package is reasonably priced, while there is a free, full-feature 30 day trial (we believe this should be industry standard!).
  •      If you get stuck, just reach out to their professional and friendly online customer service; they offer excellent support in foreign languages.
  •      Some limitations include: the landing page builder is hard to manage, there is a bit of learning curve, and templates are somewhat dated.

Dotmailer

  •      You’ll be jumping with joy when you see the results and revenues achieved by Dotmailer. Email marketing is its core service, meanwhile its other features include customer segmentation, data import, automated response, and reporting.
  •      It is easy to use, so you don’t have to be technically savvy to create sophisticated and segmented campaigns to reach your targeted demographics. If you have any questions, customer support is on hand to help you.
  •      Dotmailer is the preferred tool for large companies with sizeable contact lists and also, mid-sized enterprises. Additionally, it offers discounts for nonprofits.
  •      Cons: relatively few integration features as compared to other software ;price is on the expensive end.

Constant Contact

  •      Often described as “fab” by its users, Constant Contact will help you manage and grow your email lists and forge stronger customer relations. The tool is preferred by small business owners who want to send professional looking email newsletters. Try it for free, with a 60 days free trial and affordable monthly packages. The software is ideal for larger organizations with lists with over more than 2000 names.
  •      Nifty and useful features include event registration forms, feedback forms, and surveys. The newsletters are easy to build with drag and drop features. You can easily add contacts and tag them, and the contact manager is super easy to navigate.
  •      Personal Marketing Coach as well as phone support set this tool apart from the other software. This is great for beginners, since the setting up can be a challenge.
  •      Constant Contact is not ideal for images: there is a limited number of images that you can store in your library, and the image editing tools do not have basic features such as crop and color brightness adjustment options.

Aweber

  •      A strong contender in the email marketing space, Aweber is used by 100,000+ businesses. Basic package allows you to send unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers, using a variety of templates. It has all the important features, including the very useful WordPress plugin, that enables you to add email sign-up from your website.
  •      With Aweber, you can convert your blog posts into email newsletters easily, so your readers can stay informed with your thought leadership articles or company news.
  •      If you are a newbie, you will appreciate the guidance offered for setting up sign-up forms, building the newsletters, and reports for monitoring what works and what doesn’t.
  •      If you are an experienced marketeer, you can easily segment your subscribers and play around with the split testing option (sending different variations of campaign to different target groups from your list) to improve your engagement rates.

ConvertKit

  •      Designed specifically for bloggers to promote their content and build lists, this tool integrates many non-standard integration with services that are most likely used by bloggers and publishers, such as BookLaunch and Gumroad.
  •      It  features a lot of membership site plugins and web forms. You can use the database for email blasts that the system calls “broadcasts”. Automation and reporting are very well done and nicely designed, so you can easily monitor which blog posts are driving sign-ups and growing your list.
  •      It can be pricey compared to other email marketing tools and there is no free trial.

Conclusion

It is evident that there is no “one size fits all” email marketing tool. You will have to analyze your budgets, size of mailing list, integrations that you require, and most of all, business objectives. Let us help you make the right decision. Let us assess your needs and make a recommendation for a successful marketing campaign, all the while considering proper email etiquette and permission marketing good practices.

LJ Seeger

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