Let’s talk email marketing.
First off, what is it? When we reference email marketing we’re referring to bulk email sending (typically sent using email marketing software). These emails usually include ads, request business, or solicit sales/donations. In addition to increasing sales, they also help to build trust and brand awareness.
Email marketing is both efficient and cost effective, so no matter what size your company is, it’s a great way to stay in touch with clients and follow-up on potential client leads.
There are a ton of email marketing platforms to choose from -- so, in all honestly, selecting a platform is often about personal preference. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a few of the major players:
- IContact is an email campaign service that helps small businesses to larger senders. Their personal coaching, and award winning technical support sets it apart from other tools.
- Constant Contact (the most used platform in terms of customers) makes editing simple as 1, 2, 3. With the ability to drag and drop content into customized templates, you can create customize each template best for your consumers.
- Campaign Monitor Campaign Monitor is geared towards larger companies. It integrates with a ton of apps, and allows you to easily manage multiple accounts.
Other popular platforms include AWeber, SendinBlue, Benchmark, GetResponse and Vertical Response. But our personal favorite? MailChimp! MailChimp is a great choice for small business. It’s low cost and seamlessly integrates with popular web platforms like Squarespace and Wordpress. More than 12 million people and businesses are using MailChimp, and they send out over a billion emails a day!
There’s a few key features MailChimp has (though a lot of the other platforms do as well) that you should consider when shopping around:
Automation. Sending an onboarding series of emails? Need to introduce new subscribers to your business or organization? This feature is great for creating and sending out automated messages, without the headache! A certain behavior, like signing up, will trigger an email or series of emails to be sent -- without you having to do anything.
A/B Testing. This feature tests two different emails against each other to see which content performs best. Which subject line lead to higher open rates? Which image worked best? Both of these questions (and more) can be answered by this feature.
E-Commerce features. You can easily connect your online store to MailChimp, where you can set up product recommendations, track online orders, and analyze purchase data. These are powerful features especially for small retail shops or individual makers.
Advanced Analytics. This is the easiest way to track your performance! Monitor sales, subscribers, and revenue. Most importantly, you can integrate Google Analytics to learn even more about your campaigns.
Segmentation. Nothing can turn people off faster than receiving content they don’t care about. By using segmentation, you can break your email lists into different groups. For example, “potential customers” and “existing customers.”
Feel ready to pick a platform? Good! Because next week we’ll be back with more information on how to design your first (or a much better) campaign. We’ll go over things like how to design an eye-catching template, what kind of content to include, and how to write a solid subject line.
Not sure what platform will work best for you? Let us help you decide. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your top options and we'll help you decide what's best!