Marketing is a crucial part of helping your business succeed. Now, when it comes to email marketing – is it still relevant? Absolutely! Sit back and relax, because in this article we will teach you everything you need to know about email marketing services.
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Why is Marketing Important for Your business?
While back in the day having good quality products used to be enough, now you need to provide more. People don’t buy just the product anymore. They buy the brand, the story behind it, the ads, the packaging. With the available amount of different choices, your product must stand out.
Marketing is key when it comes to bringing awareness to your brand. You need to understand, that whatever your niche is, it is most likely a very competitive market. Nowadays, you can buy anything and find any kind of services in a couple of minutes.
Good news is that the internet changed how marketing works. It is always wise to hire a professional, but nowadays you can do a lot yourself.
Is email marketing still useful?
Some might think, that email marketing is outdated in 2019. After all, social media offers great marketing options and can help you reach a vast audience.
Others might feel like email marketing is spammy. It can be if you overdo it, but when done right email marketing is an excellent tool for exposure.
Email marketing has a lot of great pros. Some of them being:
- It’s been around for a while and sure isn’t going anywhere. Regardless of their popularity, platforms like Google+ and Myspace died off. But emails? They have been around forever, and it sure doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
- Data analytics. Emails provide you with the ultimate control of your user’s information. It helps you to really know your customers.
- Emails are easy to use. With the vast amount of available tools, creating stunning email campaigns is fast and easy.
The bottom line is that email marketing, while old, is still very effective.
What are the best email marketing services?
The sheer amount of email marketing services might seem a bit overwhelming. When choosing one, you want to do it quickly and have the best option.
For this, we handpicked the top 5 best email marketing services. Let’s go through their pros and cons, best features and see what you can expect from each one of them.
Great delivery rates
Low price-performance ratio
Constant Contact is a great choice for small businesses and new brands. It is budget friendly and offers loads of great functionality. They have been around since the 90s and really have it figured out. All in all, Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service.
What really makes this software stand out, is functions that almost none of the competitors offer. For example, with Constant Contact, you get features such as event management, surveys, social campaigns, etc.
This service provides its users with over a hundred beautiful, easy to customize email templates. The email customization interface is very intuitive and has a great drag-and-drop feature. You can add in your own images, change the colors, fonts, placement of elements.
Constant Contact allows you to add in interactive elements. So you can have RSVP options, polls, etc. This is great for CTAs (Call To Action).
However, the design-builder has some limitations. For example, you can’t add in more than two columns, which can be a bit annoying. Other than that, it is your run-of-the-mill drag-and-drop builder. Fast and reliable – a great place to start.
One of the best features of Constant Contact is the easy to use analytics section. It allows you to get useful insights into your users and trace their behavior data. This is an extremely important and helpful tool. You can use this information to improve user engagement and boost sales performance.
Another great thing is the support Constant Contact provides.
What is more, if you’re completely new to email marketing, they provide amazing tutorials, webinars, and training to better your marketing skills.
A drawback with the campaigns is not having a spam tester. So when sending the campaign out, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope your email won’t end up in the spam folder.
If you need advanced automation – Constant Contact won’t be the best choice. There are cheaper options, such as SendinBlue, that offers the same level of automation tools.
Opens and clicks tracking
Social media sharing tools
Email-list building tools
Extensive functions with the free plan
Awesome template editor
Great data analyzing
High-cost paid plans
Limited email automation
MailChimp is the heavyweight champion of email marketing services. Usually, when someone is looking for an email service, MailChimp is the first one that comes to mind.
It’s due to great marketing and well-designed aesthetics, and high-quality service.
MailChimp offers competitive pricing too. With the free plan, you can send up to 12 000 emails a month and have 2 000 subscribers in your email list. As your business grows, MailChimp has options to buy out extra functionality in a pay-as-you-go manner.
Due to this, MailChimp is a great option for both small businesses and large corporations.
MailChimp is a web-based service, so you don’t have to download anything to use it. Regardless of it being a cloud-based tool, it works surprisingly fast.
MailChimp provides you with loads of how-to articles and various tutorials. So even if you’re not sure how a certain feature works you can learn how to use it quickly.
When registering with MailChimp, you’ll get a short questionnaire. This way, MailChimp determines what kind of strategies are best for you.
To start using the service, you can import your email list or create a new one. Both functions are beginner friendly and fast to execute.
The MailChimp interface is highly intuitive and predicts your needs. You can do most actions from the dashboard. View your templates, create lists, start new campaigns, check your analytics reports and more.
When you want to design an email campaign, you can choose from a couple of options. You can make a design from scratch, choose a pre-made template to edit or go with the “make announcement” segment.
The design editor has an easy to use drag-and-drop function. You can add in image groups, dividers, text, boxed text, social media icons for sharing, videos, codes, etc.
Every segment can be individually edited, which means you get the ultimate control of the design process. What is more, you can add social media posts to your campaign, to further increase how informative it is.
MailChimp provides you with extensive reports on your campaigns, automation, and so on. So you have the ultimate control over the data you collect.
However, MailChimp has limited automation features. For example, MailChimp’s automation editor is quite hard to navigate and isn’t very flexible.
Campaign sharing on social media
Easy to use
Limited email customization options
ConvertKit combines powerful automation with an easy to use interface, simplifying your email marketing campaign. It truly is one of the most powerful email marketing services, that’s great both for amateurs and experienced users.
This email marketing service is based on visual presentation. And we don’t mean just designing your campaign. Everything you do – from design to analytics – has a beautiful visual flow.
Not only is it easy to use, but it also helps understand how every step of the campaign affects your end results. It is very helpful if you want to have a deeper understanding of your client’s behavior.
ConvertKit automation tools help you to set up perfect funnel email campaigns, newsletters, triggered emails etc. It also helps analyze data. The auto-responders are easy to manage and allow you to effortlessly send drip emails.
Setting up call-to-action buttons with ConverKit is super easy. You can use JavaSctipt, HTML, WordPress plugins and other options for easy integration.
If you create a sequence with this tool, you don’t have to separately edit every single email. The interface allows you to make all the changes without leaving the sequence or disturbing its flow.
Segmenting emails is very straightforward – just edit the subscriber filters. This will allow you to easily choose who is part of which segment. What is more, you can write headlines and send out the one which resonates the most with your customers.
ConvertKit also has an amazing landing page editor. It lets you create a landing page even if you don’t have a website. You can utilize it for social media campaigns.
This email marketing service software works great with all the most popular ecommerce services, CMS, and membership sites too.
When it comes to pricing, ConvertKit offers a free 14-day trial, but after it’s over you’ll have to pay up starting from $29 month.
Tag-based subscriber system
Visual automation builder
Landing page builder
Good value for your money
Easy to use interface
Not the best customer support
Emails might take a while to be sent out
GetResponse boasts to be the easiest to master email marketing service. It has tons of pro features, and tools, to increase the quality of your email marketing campaigns.
Their dashboard is super easy to navigate and learn. On it, you can make quick actions like creating newsletters, landing pages, forms, adding contacts, creating autoresponders, etc.
You can immediacy see your statistics on the dashboard. From contact lists to statistics of your marketing campaigns – everything is visible at first glance.
Let’s say you want to create a newsletter. You can work with a drag-and-drop builder, or use their HTML source editor and code it yourself.
In the drag-and-drop builder, you can import a template or choose from one of many beautiful pre-designed layouts. They are categorized, so you won’t have trouble finding the one you need.
The editor itself is very intuitive and easy to use. On your right, you see all the elements you can change – text blocks, image blocks. You can add in ecommerce functions, social sharing icons, actions, snippets, etc.
Editing the template is very straightforward – you click on the parts you want to edit, drag and drop new elements, or delete unwanted elements.
A cool feature is that you can add images straight from Shutterstock. If you don’t have the right picture on hand, you can utilize the stock image site and get the one you need right away!
When it comes to creating landing pages, you can build a template yourself or use a pre-made option. Doing both is very easy and runs on a similar editor as the templates.
GetResponse is worth exploring for it’s landing page builder too! It really is the bee’s knees and overshadows similar tools offered by competitors.
Users can also easily segment their subscribers with the one-click segmentation tool.
Additionally, the analytics this service provides are superb. You can see precisely when and where subscribers take actions in your emails. You can use this information for future campaign design purposes.
GetResponse also shows data about each subscriber. So you can see where they signed up for your newsletters, what their locations are and what emails they engaged with the most.
Doesn’t matter what you’re creating, you can easily switch to viewing the mobile version. Everything is mobile responsive on GetResponse.
Overall, GetResponse really delivers what they promise. It is one of the best email marketing services.
Great selection of templates
Responsive email designs
SMS and email automation
Limited pre-made templates
SendinBlue is one of the most popular email marketing services. It is cheaper than most professional email marketing tools, but is it as good?
Well, with SendinBlue you can make professional looking, responsive emails. It is the all in one solution for marketing – not only can you send out emails, utilize SMS marketing for your business too.
SendinBlue has amazing accessibility, which helps new users learn how to navigate their services quickly. This creates a smooth start and helps use features to their fullest in no time.
The interface of SendinBlue is easy to use. However, it is a bit outdated and sluggish. Especially when it comes to the email builder.
The builder is a run-of-the-mill, drag-and-drop but has a few limitations. It can be slow and takes a while to figure it out. There are preset elements that you can work with. The layout can’t be modified as much as some users would like.
A big downside to SendinBlue is that the drop-and-drag builder is only available with paid plans. You can test it out in the free trial. Sadly it has a limited amount of templates.
SendinBlue has extensive subscriber segmentation. That is an excellent option if you want to send personalized emails.
You can set up automation with the free plan, which compared to MailChimp is a big step up.
When it comes to creating campaigns, SendinBlue has it covered. You start off like in any other email marketing service – name the campaign, and put in the details. Advanced users can add in features like tags, unsubscribe links, etc.
In email campaigns, you can see how many campaigns you have already sent. It also shows stats like recipients, openers, clickers, and the unsubscribe count.
The automation workflow helps create multi-step and multi-channel campaigns, expanding your marketing possibilities. It has a lot of impressive options. You can create awesome trigger campaigns that are based on contact data.
If you are an advanced marketer, you might feel limited by the lack of available integrations. However, the pricing compensates for what this service lacks.
With the free plan, you can send out 300 daily emails. If that is not enough, you can upgrade to the paid plans which start at $25/mo.
Great reporting tools
Responsive Customer Service
Landing page editor
How to Choose Email Marketing Services?
With the many available options, choosing an email marketing service might be a daunting task. These are the factors for you to pay attention to when choosing the right tools.
Email marketing features. Pay attention to the actual marketing options the services offer. Sure, most of them have functions that would suffice any small business owner. However, some offer more functionality than others. Pay attention to those.
- Cost and value. A big price tag doesn’t mean that the tool will be good. Some services are very popular and the first choice most people make without researching. That means they can keep a high price tag without increasing the value you get for your money.
- Ease of use. Always keep in mind that if you’re not an advanced user, you need something very easy to navigate and use. Sure, some services might offer extensive functions but will you be able to utilize them all and most importantly – utilize them correctly.
- CMR & marketing automation features. Connecting customer relationship management with automation features is the best way to maximize your results when it comes to email marketing. Make sure the service of your choice offers this.
- Analytics. Without clear data reports and analytics, you won’t be able to know which strategies work best. Analytics help you understand subscriber behavior, helping improve your campaign.
- Support. Customer support should always be on top of your list when choosing any service. If you run into any problems while using email marketing services, customer support will be there to help you out.
Email Marketing Tips
It is clear that email marketing is extremely useful when it comes to growing your business and increasing sales.
But to use email marketing services successfully, you need to keep a few things in mind. Let’s say you chose to follow the email marketing funnel plan. What are some of the factors that can make your strategy succeed?
Let’s go through a list of tips to help you start out.
Optimized emails for a mobile experience
You need to make sure, that both your website and emails are optimized for different platforms. Fact is, that more and more online actions are done via mobile devices.
While desktop usage is still high, multi-platform actions are taking the lead. This means that users base their actions on both desktop and mobile devices.
However, smartphones allow people to browse the internet on the go. So if your users receive an email that isn’t optimized for mobile devices, they will ignore it or even delete it.
This immediately reduces your chances of converting subscribers into paying customers.
An important factor of a successful email marketing campaign is knowing your subscribers and emailing them information tailored to their needs.
Sending one email to all 1000 of your subscribers might be a mistake.
You can’t appeal to all of your readers with the same content. Everybody has different needs and interests.
Segmenting your emails helps you to keep readers interested and increase your chances of making a sale.
You need to do is analyze reader data and segment them into categories. This will generate more opens and help with engagement.
Automate email campaigns
To better user experience, utilize trigger based emails – automatically sent messages based on user behavior.
Most common of these are “welcome”, “thank you” and transactional emails.
A good example is “abandoned cart” emails. Let’s say you’re browsing an online shop, put an item into your cart but you’re still not sure if it’s worth buying.
You leave the store and in a couple of hours receive an email from the store offering you free shipping for the item left in the cart.
This might convince you to buy the product, right?
There are amazing email marketing services that will help you set up the trigger emails easy and fast. You can send out promo codes for shipping, special discounts and other special offers, which will increase your chances of making a sale.
Newsletters are one of the best email marketing strategies. There are plenty of options to utilize.
First of all, to make an excellent newsletter, open with a call-to-action. You only have a few seconds to grab your subscriber’s attention. So make sure that your opening line is engaging.
Make your newsletters personal. This is where email segmentation comes into play. Personalizing your newsletters doesn’t mean you need to use your reader’s name. You should appeal to their personal interests.
Provide readers with value. Don’t spam your subscribers with irrelevant content.
Send out your newsletters at crucial moments. Special offers, sales, new products, updated content. It is called a “newsletter” for a reason.
And most importantly – deliver what you promised. Once you have your readers attention, don’t disappoint.
Always remember to try out different subject lines. This is probably the most important section of your newsletter. The subject line has to be attractive enough for subscribers to open your newsletter.
Email Marketing Funnel
Spamming people will do more harm than good. Instead, create a relationship with customers and grow it with time.
Before making a purchase, people do a lot of research. Customers need to be convinced, that your products are the best fit for them and your brand is trustworthy.
You can achieve this with a strategy called a marketing funnel. The theory says that the sale is made in a process called funneling. It goes from bringing awareness, building trust, to maintaining a relationship with your customers and then making the sale.
How does it work? Here’s a step by step guide, with a specific example to help you understand the concept better.
Let’s say you’re a photographer who wants to start selling courses, webinars, Adobe Lightroom presets or just cameras.
Increasing Your Visibility and Building an Email List
First, you need to have visibility. For that, you should have an excellent online presence – a website, social media accounts, etc.
With this, you will be visible and build credibility at the same time. Having a photography blog where you show of your work is a great idea – this will show off your work and show your visitors that you know what you’re doing.
From there on, you need to build your email list. This is the first and most important step to having a successful email marketing strategy.
Some people try their luck in buying emails. However, we never recommend this shortcut.
Another thing you should avoid is adding emails to your list without the owner’s permission. You want to have a list of people, who are actually interested in your services. Otherwise, your emails will be marked as spam and all your hard work will go to waste.
Using the email marketing service of your choice, add a signup form on your website, social media, etc. People who are interested in your services will be able to voluntarily sign up to your email list.
What is more, you should offer free opt-ins. You could, for example, provide your readers with a free PDF tutorial about exposure. Users will get a useful freebie in exchange for their email. This will build your email list and generate trust with your users.
Sending out Emails Tailored to Your Subscribers
Now that you have an email list, you use one of the email marketing services and send tailored content to your subscribers. This will help maintain a relationship with your customers and earn loyalty.
You need to break down your email list to smaller groups, depending on specific criteria. If you offer different opt-ins, see which subscribers got which freebie. This will help you determine better who is interested in what.
Don’t forget triggered emails. These are a great way to remind your subscribers about yourself.
- A welcome letter to new subscribers
- Abandoned shopping cart email
- Reminders about inactivity
- Newsletters tailored accordingly to interests
Offering Your Paid Services
With time, you can start sending emails about your paid services. Your subscribers are already interested in learning about photography – you know this because they downloaded your free PDF.
So you start showcasing paid services, which are available for your subscribers to purchase.
With an email marketing funnel, you convert your readers into paid customers. Build trust and convince your audience, that it is a good idea to spend money on your products.
Marketing is extremely important to a business. Some think that email marketing is outdated and not very useful. However, that couldn’t be further away from the truth.
There are plenty of email marketing services to choose from. While they offer similar tools, some services are better than others.
It is important to choose the best email marketing service for you, as you need a tool to fit all of your needs.