Email marketing may be a big part of your business (and if it’s not it should be). If you’ve got a newsletter, a blog, or product offers, a list of customer email addresses is a must-have asset in your business.
So you’ll want it to be in safe hands.
Choosing an email marketing service is an important decision for your business. In this week’s blog post, I’m bringing together the different factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your email marketing provider.
If you’re budget conscious, most providers will have a free option as well as a paid one. The question is, does the free option have the features you need? To learn more about the various features you’ll want to keep in mind, read the next sections.
Some providers may not have a free option but many have a commitment-free trial so that you can make sure it’s the right provider for you. You’ll want to take it for a test run before committing to a long term relationship.
Here’s a list of important features you’ll want to look at when evaluating different providers.
Testing is critical to help optimize your open and click rates. A split test allows you to try multiple components like subject lines, preview header text, and CTA buttons. Testing provides insights on what your audience prefers, and helps you discover which options are more popular among your audience. Split testing also applies to things like send times, email content and more.
Number of lists
How many mailing lists do you need? This will depend on your segmentation strategy, the different product lines you offer, and the types of campaigns you’re planning.
Flexibility of sending emails
You’ll want to make sure you choose a provider that allows you to send the volumes of emails you want to send, at the frequency you need? Can you schedule in advance? How far? Can they be staggered or offset to the recipient’s time zone?
In order to measure the success of your campaigns, you’ll want to look at how many people are opening your emails and clicking on your links. Also you can segment your messaging to send different emails to people who are either more or less engaged. You’ll need this info to develop strategies to increase engagement and click-throughs.
Most good email service providers come with a good selection of pre-designed email templates. This will help make your emails are visually pleasing without the need for design skills.
If you like to use images in your emails, make sure your image upload allowance is large enough. You don’t want to have to mess around with constantly deleting images to make space.
Most people read their emails on their phones. If an email doesn’t display properly on their phone, you’ll probably lose that customer. This is a must have feature, so just pass on by if a provider you’re considering doesn’t have this.
Not sure where to start? Try one of these:
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial
Drip lets you automate everything
ConvertKit is known for its simplicity
GetResponse has price plans organized by company size and number of contacts
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing platform
Mailchimp is known for its basic free-forever plan
Me? I was a loyal Mailchimp for 12 years. They are one of the most popular platforms, primarily because of their free forever plan and low pricing model. They used to have a lot of great options on the free plan but they recently restructured their model and those of us who had been on the free plan for a long time got royally screwed. In fact, their system massively let me down on three separate occasions. Because of that I decided it was too big a risk for me to stay with them.
For now, I’ve switched to ActiveCampaign. It’s not perfect, but it has the most important features I need, it’s easy to use, and I can scale with it into a more comprehensive marketing platform when I’m ready. It costs more than MailChimp, so that’s a drawback, but as long as I feel my business is safe I will be happy to pay an extra $40 every month.
Are you already using an email provider but thinking of changing? Are you not yet doing email marketing, but want to get started? The Tame Your Tech Facebook group has a great community and resources to help you make the best decision for your business. Join us and get a conversation started.
And if you haven’t yet launched your online product, download my free eBook “3 Pillars of a Successful Digital Product Launch”. I wrote it with business owners in mind because I know how difficult it is to juggle all the different aspects of managing a business, so I wanted to make a successful launch as easy as possible.