Picking an email marketing service is no easy task.
The simple reason for that is the plethora of bulk email marketing services available. Each has its own unique strengths (and flaws), making it laborious and time-consuming for you to try each one out.
That’s why we took it upon ourselves to help make the choice easier with this guide.
A few highlights to expect include:
- Why you need to invest in email marketing
- How to pick the perfect email marketing service for you
- Our recommended email service providers
Let’s get to it, shall we?
3 Reasons You Need to Invest in Email Marketing
While email marketing may take the back burner to other forms of marketing because it’s nearly as old as the internet itself, an email marketing strategy is still your best bet when it comes to marketing strategies.
I’ll give you 3 reasons to prove it.
1. It Has One of the Best ROIs
Of all the marketing platforms available to the marketer, email marketing has the highest ROI – $40 for every $1.00 you spend. One of the reasons for this is simple – most of your subscribers are already warm leads.
Targeted marketing can’t get better than this.
Another reason for the high ROI is that bulk email marketing services are more affordable than most other marketing channels. In short, an email campaign is a low cost and yet gives you a very high return.
2. Not Affected By Algorithms
If you are looking for the most secure marketing channel currently available, email is it.
While it’s true that your website is a secure marketing platform by means of your superb blog posts, you still have to dance to Google’s ever-changing tune. In fact, Google changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year.
Social media? Well, a simple look at platforms like G+ that have been relegated to obscurity is evidence that social media marketing rises and falls with the most popular platform of the day. Need I talk about Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica saga? I think you get the point.
Email marketing is not affected by algorithms or people’s preferences, making it one of your safest bets when it comes to marketing.
3. More Personal
One of the buzzwords in marketing today is personalization. Prospects and customers want to feel “loved” by their favorite brands. And the best way to do that is to create personalized content.
That’s where email marketing comes in.
No other marketing channel affords you the levels of personalization that email marketing does. Personalization goes beyond addressing the recipient by name. It goes as far as creating and sending content that relates to your recipients. That’s why you need to choose an email marketing service that affords you the ability to segment and target your recipients so well, they’ll think every email you send is specifically for them.
So how do you go about choosing the most suitable email marketing software for your business?
5 Keys to Picking the Best Email Marketing Service Provider for Your Business
Choosing between bulk email marketing services is not at all like picking a pair of socks. Discarding a pair of socks and moving on to another is simple. Moving an entire email list to another service provider is, well, also simple. But there’s always a lot more than a hole (or stain) to consider before you do.
Let’s quickly look at 5 of the main factors to consider when looking for email marketing software.
1. Your Goals
While getting an email marketing software may seem like a daunting task with so many options available, it becomes easier if you have a clear goal for your email campaign.
The reason for this is that every email marketing software has its strengths and weaknesses. This makes some better than others in certain circumstances while the opposite becomes true if situations change.
In the same vein, your choice of email marketing software is largely determined by the complexity (or simplicity) of your email marketing goals.
So, what are your goals? Is it to get more subscribers? Is it to sell a product to a specific audience?
A determining factor in many purchases is budget. When it comes to bulk email marketing services, the budget usually hinges on 2 elements – the size of your list and the number of times you send out emails.
The Size of Your List
Most email marketing service providers price their plans according to the number of people you have on your list. Others, like MailChimp, have a free for life plan as long as you don’t cross a certain number of subscribers (2000 in the case of MailChimp). But one thing every business should do is grow. That means when looking for an email marketing software, you need to consider scalability. In other words, look for a provider you can grow with.
How Often You Plan on Sending Out Emails
Another factor when setting your goals is how often you’ll be sending out emails. This is because of other email marketing services bill according to the number of emails you send out.
The good thing is that no matter your budget, you can always find an email marketing service that’s right for you.
As already said, not all email marketing software is built the same as far as features are concerned. Most have a particular niche they seek to serve. For example, most beginner bloggers would find basic software like Mailchimp sufficient while advanced marketers would rather use a feature-rich email marketing service like Aweber.
While many of the more expensive options will offer features galore, you need to determine whether you really need them. In order to pick the most suitable service provider, make a comprehensive list of the features you need. Use this to filter out those that have too many or too little features.
4. Ease of Use
Having talked about features, it’s also important that you consider the ease of use of the software you are getting. After all, you wouldn’t want a case in which you spend a lot of time learning how to send out an email campaign due to complicated software.
When it comes to using your new email marketing service provider, one thing that has to be on top of the ease of use list is integration. Getting a new email client doesn’t mean you should revamp your entire system. The email marketing software you get should integrate and sync with your current system – easily.
5.Security and Support
With the recent rise in data breaches, security has become a greater concern than before when it comes to email marketing. That’s why when looking for an email marketing service, security has to be part of the equation.
Data breaches not only lead to a loss of confidential information, but they also lead to the loss of your reputation as a business. No one wants to deal with a business that is vulnerable.
While most email marketing software has good security protocols, you will definitely need to get a client that has a more robust security system in place if your business handles sensitive data. Basic firewalls just won’t cut it is as they are easy to hack into.
In the same breath, support is also crucial when looking for an email marketing service provider to invest in. Nothing is as frustrating as an email campaign gone wrong just because the provider couldn’t provide support at a crucial time.
DIY Email Marketing Service Vs. Email Marketing Agency?
While this does not really have a bearing on the type of email marketing platform you use, you may want to consider whether you want a DIY email marketing solution or whether you would like to outsource to an email marketing agency.
Both have their own merits depending on the size of your business, the complexity of your email campaign, and many other factors.
To put in perspective, if you are a small business or have a small list, the DIY approach is better for you. That’s because you have fewer “moving parts”. On the other hand, larger businesses with complicated email campaigns are better off outsourcing their email marketing. This frees them up to focus on the core aspects of their business. Besides, large campaigns are best handled by professionals.
Now that you know the steps to take in deciding which email marketing service is best for you, let’s briefly look at a few of the best on the market.
4 of the Best Email Marketing Services You Should Consider
If you’re on the market for a new email marketing client and need an email marketing pricing comparison, this section is just for you.
Although Drip is a newcomer to the world of email marketing, it’s definitely defining the future of email marketing. Ease of use, advanced automation and segmentation, and a handy workflow builder are just a few of the features that make this email marketing platform stand out.
The only downside to this feature-rich email marketing software is that the features are so many it can be overwhelming at first.
Drip has a free plan that allows you to have a maximum of 100 subscribers. After that, their pricing starts at $49/month for 2500 subscribers.
Aweber has been called the email marketing software for serious marketers, and that for good reasons. Besides being loaded with a lot of useful features, it also excels when it comes to data and analytics. And that’s what every successful email campaign needs.
Aweber’s pricing system is also as easy to understand as the user interface, making it a top contender for the best email marketing service. Unfortunately, Aweber does not have a free plan. However, they do give a free 30-day trial if you’re interested in taking it for a spin. Thereafter, pricing starts at $19/month.
Mailchimp is probably the email marketing software that most people start off with. It’s basic, easy to use, and most of all offers the best free package on the market.
Forever free as long as you are under the 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month threshold. For many bloggers and small businesses, that’s probably more than enough for their first email campaigns. Once you reach your limit, pricing then starts at $10/month for the next 500 subscribers. From then on, you pay $5/month for every 500 additional subscribers.
The one major drawback that Mailchimp has is that it’s limited in terms of features, particularly when you want high-level automation.
Although Mailchimp is basic and easy to use, it’s pretty good at what it was designed to do – grow your email list. And the templates (you can even create your own branded ones) make it easy to design any type of email.
4. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is another “beginner-friendly” email marketing software that is fast gaining popularity. Although it seems basic when compared to advanced software like Drip, it still comes with many features that can help any business reach its email marketing goals.
Like Mailchimp, Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing services as far as affordability goes. Pricing starts as low as $20/month with unlimited emails. You do get a free 60-day trial too.
If you’re running a small business or you have a small list, your choice will probably boil down to Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact. Depending on your goals, both can serve you well. However, if you need some extra features, Constant Contact will serve you better.
Email Marketing Service Providers – Every Business Needs One
Whether you are a brick and mortar business or an e-commerce store, you can’t do without email marketing. Because of that, you can’t do without an email marketing service provider.
While they all seek to make it easier for you to relate with your customers, they go about it in their own unique way. So go ahead and do your due diligence to pick one that will suit your business model and its goals. It should be easier now that you know what to look for.
Had any experience with an email marketing service?
Drop us your views in the comments!