Regular readers will know that over recent weeks, we have been sharing a few different email marketing tips. But perhaps the most important thing is to understand that email marketing is still the most effective way of reaching out to your customers. Yes, even more so than Facebook or Twitter.

That’s not to say that email marketing is the same now as when the concept was first invented 40 years ago. Email has transformed from a digital novelty to something we all take for granted since then. But it’s not just attitudes that have changed, so has technology.

The first step in how to do email marketing successfully is to select the right tool for the job. Make a mistake here and all the email marketing tips in the world won’t save your campaign. Let’s take a look at what’s out there to choose from.

MailChimp 

This is the email marketing tool that most people have heard of. It’s simple to use, and the free package offers you up to 12,000 emails per month and 2,000 subscribers. That’s enough to get anyone started, so it’s easy to see why so many bloggers and small businesses choose MailChimp.

Even the free version has great flexibility. There are literally thousands of templates, or you can easily create your own to ensure your mailshots are completely on-brand. The member rating system provides a simple way to segment your email list into clients, hot leads and so on. MailChimp can also integrate with your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

How about the downsides? Well, you can connect MailChimp to Google Analytics to see how your subscribers are interacting with your website, but it is a little fiddly to set up. The software does provide its own basic performance measures, but you really need to connect to Analytics to get meaningful information. Also, the tool can start to get expensive if your subscriber or recipient list goes beyond the limits of the free package.

Constant Contact 

Here’s an email marketing solution that’s been around even longer than MailChimp. In fact, Constant Contact have been offering email marketing solutions since 2003. Unlike MailChimp, which has a sliding scale of process, Constant Contact offers two versions, Email and Email Plus. Each has its own list of features, and you can give either is offered on a free one-month trial basis.

When it comes to usability, Constant Contact is just as simple as MailChimp to use, once you’ve got the template set up. The actual templates feature, however, is a little less-user friendly and takes some patience.

The biggest advantage of Constant Companion is its speed. Independent reviews indicate that Constant Companion gets emails out faster than its competitors. So if time is of the essence in your email marketing campaign, then this could be the one for you.

Constant Contact comes with in-built reporting features that include open rate, opt-outs, click-thru rate and so on. You can also connect it to your Google Analytics account by checking the “Google Analytics” box under “additional options” to put the campaign up against other digital marketing efforts and see which is delivering the best return.

Drip

The above two options are well-established email marketing tools. Here’s one that’s all-new and causing quite a stir. One of the most important email marketing tips to keep in mind is that while the concept has been around for years, your strategy and approach needs to move with the times. There are people in the know who believe Drip might just be the future.

Drip has features that the traditional tools can only dream about, such as creating workflows and adding specific code for specific events. If that phrase is sending you into a cold sweat, don’t worry. The tool is incredibly easy to use and is aimed at people with zero coding knowledge. The workflows are a simple matter of drag and drop. These allow you to set up different emails for different customer actions. Whether they’ve abandoned their shopping cart or just bought every product you have, the software will send the perfect email.

Drip also provides way more analytical data than the more traditional options. This gives you instant information on which leads are worth focusing in on. In fact the only real downside is price. All that added functionality doesn’t come cheap, and the basic package is $49 per month. Why not take the two-week free trial offer and see what you think? 

Other options

The three email marketing tools mentioned above cover the best known, along with one of the newest, most cutting-edge options. But there are plenty of other contenders out there worth considering. These include the following:

  • ConvertKit is a provider with a small business feel that many users find comforting. Subscription costs are based purely on the number of subscribers – everything else is included and unlimited. The design looks quite basic, and the tool doesn’t have all the functionality of Drip, but it is well worth considering if you are just getting started in email marketing.
  • Infusionsoft might be better known for large scale corporate marketing, but its email marketing package is aimed squarely at small businesses. Prices are higher than other options mentioned here, but keep in mind that the package offers more than just email marketing. You also get unlimited landing pages, CRM functionality and more.
  • Aweber offers a flat rate that will provide capacity for significant growth, so is a tempting alternative for a rapidly growing business. It is also one of the more heavily data-driven tools, and provides a wealth of statistical information and management reports.
Which is the best email marketing tool for you?

There are plenty of things to consider in order to answer that question. These include the size of your email list, the complexity of the email marketing campaign and, of course, your budget. There’s no-one-size-fits all solution. If you decide you could use some expert help in choosing the right software to get your email marketing campaign off to a flying start, get in touch with us.  We are here to help. 516-883-3851.

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