In the age of modern business, email marketing is essential to success. Combined with social media marketing, a strong email campaign can draw customers to your business and build rapport with clients and colleagues. However, it’s not as simple as firing off a few messages to your subscriber list. Not only do you need to draw in subscribers with an attractive message, but you have to keep them interested so they don’t click the dreaded “unsubscribe” button. A quality email marketing service will provide you with the templates and tools that you need to not only create attractive emails but to easily manage your subscriber list and track your progress.
Set It And Forget It
Constant Contact's email marketing service will simplify and streamline your business. It provides multiple options for customizing your email marketing campaigns and planning ahead so you can focus on running your business. You have hundreds of templates to customize depending on your chosen audience and specific goals. You can even schedule emails ahead of time according to specific contact information. For instance, if you run a doctor's office, you can set emails to send messages to your patients on their birthdays or you can automatically track their appointment times and send reminders. You can link your existing contacts to the program and let the system do the rest. It will automatically update your lists when you get new signups, unsubscribes, or send to an outdated address. This way you can easily track how well your email marketing campaign is doing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer some basic features you might get elsewhere such as Google Analytics reports.
You Have to Start to Finish
Benchmark gets you started with a free plan that manages up to 2,000 subscribers. If you’re a small business just starting out, this might be exactly what you need. It sets you up with a customized signup form on your website so you can entice your subscribers. You don’t need to provide a credit card to get started and can wait to upgrade when your subscriber list surpasses 2,000. Benchmark offers mobile-friendly features so your emails can be easily read anywhere. You will also receive regular updates about how many people are opening and reading your emails. These stats will help you know what is working and what is not so you can hone your future strategies. You can easily edit your emails and photos with the handy drag and drop feature. Customizing and editing features will allow you to send unique emails that engage your audience. Unfortunately, Benchmark doesn’t allow you to transfer your contacts from an existing account such as Gmail, and the marketing tools can be somewhat glitchy.
Next Level Email Marketing
iContact offers two free trial options with various features. You can try basic iContact or iContact Pro without providing a credit card. iContact provides personalized customer support that will help you create a customized email campaign to best reach your audience. iContact lets you set email marketing goals and reach them with ease. You will get comprehensive reports about the success of your marketing campaigns and can track opens, clicks, and landing page views all in one place. You can also integrate existing campaigns so you can track everything. iContact even offers a Premier package that is an excellent choice for established large businesses in need of taking their email marketing campaigns to the next level. Unfortunately, iContact lacks some basic features that other email marketing services provide. You cannot transfer existing email lists, and it does not offer Google Analytics or integrate well with social media platforms. The photo upload limit is small, and your phone and chat support options are limited.
Email Like A Designer
Whether your email list is small or large, you will be able to customize messages and email blasts to draw in your target audience with Mad Mimi. Instead of providing an array of pre-designed templates to create your emails, Mad Mimi guides you in the design process to make emails unique. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert designer to create an expertly designed campaign. While Mad Mimi offers a lot of advanced features, it removes the fluff and leaves you with simple, straightforward emails that won't distract your audience. It automatically manages and updates your subscriber list and lets you schedule emails and newsletters well in advance. It will integrate with your social media and email lists and is easy to install on your website no matter which platform you use. You will receive comprehensive reports and know who is responding to your emails. You even get a list of add-on services that you can use to enhance your experience. Unfortunately, Mad Mimi doesn’t offer support by phone as they prefer online chat or email. Auto responders are limited to thank you emails when the subscriber first signs up, and it does not integrate well with mobile.
Step Up To Your Goals
Vertical Response is affordable and easy to use. It’s a great choice for any business no matter the size. It seamlessly draws in email subscribers with an attractive, straightforward form on your website or social media page. The newsletters, offers, and email campaigns that you send through Vertical Response can be interactive and draw people toward your business. They help you stay memorable in the eyes of your potential customers without appearing overbearing. When you first sign up, you don’t have to provide a credit card. Vertical Response relies on your success before you begin to pay for plans. You can send emails to up to 300 subscribers per month at a limit of 1200 total emails before you have to upgrade. It’s very easy to create professional-looking emails using the templates they provide, and your emails are easy to read and click no matter the device being used. You will receive comprehensive reports so you can track your progress and decide what is working best for your business goals. It is slightly more complicated than other services, but once you get used to it, its benefits are unmatched.
Email Marketing: In-Depth
Types of Email Marketing
Email marketing doesn’t just mean that you type up a quick email message and send it out to your customer list. It also doesn’t mean that you spam potential customers’ inboxes with unsolicited messages on a regular basis (although that is the route a lot of less than reputable businesses choose to take). Every message that you send to a potential customer/subscriber is considered a form of email marketing.
Depending on the type of business you run and the goal of the messages you send, you are going to use different types of email marketing.
Transactional emails: This type is set up in response to action on the customer’s part. If a customer makes a purchase on your website, signs up for your newsletter, or requests a follow-up to a conversation, it is considered a transactional email. You might set up an automated confirmation of the email sign-up or purchase or send a transcript of a conversation for the customer’s reference. Either way, these emails can be an opportunity to facilitate further communication with the customer and inform him of new products or services.
Direct emails: These are often newsletters and promotional messages solicited by the customer when providing an email address through a signup list. They are also unsolicited marketing messages that are sent when email addresses have been shared through affiliate companies.
Mobile email marketing: We know that a lot of people are checking their emails on their phones and tablets now, so it makes sense to create mobile-friendly email marketing campaigns. Mobile email marketing helps to reach a wider audience and capture the attention of potential customers.
You will probably use each type of email marketing in one way or another when you begin using email marketing for your business.
Before You Buy
When you’re choosing your email marketing service provider, you’ will need to take several factors into consideration.
Price. This is the obvious one. Many email marketing services offer a variety of plans. Shop the providers and their individual plans to determine which one best fits inside your budget.
Marketing Goals. Consider what you’re hoping to achieve with an email marketing campaign. Are you selling a product or service? Are you raising awareness for a cause? Are you promoting an event? Maybe you plan to do all three. When shopping for an email marketing service, find one that will help you meet your specific needs.
Available features. Peruse the website to find out what features each service offers and how they can benefit your business. Some features that are crucial for other businesses may not be necessary for yours and vice versa.
Check for Free Trial. If you have never used an email marketing service before or are new to it all together, find a provider who offers a free trial or free services until you reach a certain number of subscribers. This way you can test it out with no risk and make sure it’s exactly what you need.
Ask for a Plan. When you have narrowed your decision to just a few services, ask each to give you a rough plan for your email marketing strategy. You will get to see just how well you work together and whether or not each provider understands your vision.
Once you have considered all of the possibilities, you will be ready to choose your email marketing service provider. Take your time and learn all you can before handing over your credit card information.
A New Way to Sell
Gary Thuerk sent the first mass email in 1978. He sent it to 400 potential customers using the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Amazingly, this bold action brought in $13 million in sales for his company and brought attention to email as a viable marketing strategy. It wasn’t until years later that email became commonly used in households across the world. Spam became a huge problem, so email users began investing in blocks and filters to keep unwanted emails from reaching their inboxes. This made it necessary to change email marketing strategies so emails would actually reach potential customers. While many businesses still send unsolicited emails to potential customers, these emails are often based on the customer’s browsing and purchasing habits so they have a better chance of making the sale. Even so, this practice is frowned upon in the reputable business world. To avoid being ignored or blocked completely, many businesses are resorting to a subscriber lists. This way, they know that they are emailing interested parties who are more likely to open messages and click through to products or services. An email marketing service will not only help craft eye-catching, useful emails, but they will help gain subscribers.