For small businesses and sole proprietors Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to attract potential customers, keep in touch with regular clients and other stakeholders (suppliers, associations, etc.).
Email marketing helps you build your brand, promote your products or services, offer discounts, promotions and valuable information (newsletters). The majority of the Email marketing platforms available offer similar services, such as: customizable templates; upload email address lists from Excel, Outlook, GMail, etc; integration with apps and Content Management Systems (CMS – Drupal, Magento, WordPress); surveys; embedded videos; social media sharing and the most important thing: Reports.
By tracking and analyzing your recipients’ behaviour (how many opened the email and in which devices, how many answered, forwarded it, clicked on the links, referred to your website, unsubscribe (opt-out), etc.), you will be capable of creating better marketing campaigns, with more appealing designs, compelling messages and calls to action.
But, with so many options in the market, perhaps you are wondering which is the best platform for my business? Well, it depends on your budget, the number of contacts you intend to reach and the amount of messages you’ll send monthly.
Here are some of the most popular platforms, that have been gaining adepts in the last years.
MailChimp is user friendly and if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month for free. No contract or credit card required. Plans with unlimited mails vary from $10 to $25 per month. No phone support for free accounts.
Features: Analytics, Email templates, recommendations on the best send time within 24 hours of your selected delivery date. Subscriber profiles: insights about each subscriber to see engagement and website activity. Send automated emails based on customer behaviour and preferences. Mail Chimp can be integrated with different apps and platforms such as Facebook, Google Analytics, Magento, Shopify, Joomla, WordPress, among others. Free unlimited image storage.
Constant Contact plans range from $20 (0-500 contacts) to $85 (5,001-10,000 contacts) for 10,000 you will need to ask for a quote. A free trial is offered and no credit card is required.
Drag-and-drop tool to customize your email templates; toolkit mobile app; schedule your email newsletter and use the social media tools to promote it; real-time reporting; image and file storage (free for up to 5 files, access to library of free stock image); integration with Salesforce, HootSuite, Outlook, Formstack, etc.
Campaign Monitor plans start at $9 for 2,500 emails to 500 people and goes up to $699 for unlimited emails to 50,000 people. You can create an account and take advantage of the free trial.
Features: Email builder; Email will automatically be optimized for both desktop and mobile email clients; integration with Google Analytics as well as CMS like Drupal and WordPress; Inline CSS; free hosting of your images.
Campaign Monitor does not impose a design restriction, “you won’t find any ugly ‘powered by’ logos or branding either”.
All Emma packages come with unlimited emails, costs vary from $45 per month for 2,500 contacts to $420 for 75,000 contacts. A 20% discount is available for non-for-profit organizations.
Customizable and mobile-optimized, templates; Drag & drop layouts and inline text.
iContact plans start at $10 per month for 250 subscribers. If you have 15,000 you will pay $109 monthly. They offer a 15% discount for annual payment. A free trial is available.
Features: Email templates; drag-and-drop message creation tool; tracking opens, clicks, and unsubscribes; add sign-up forms to your website; Customizable HTML email templates, etc.
Read more: MailChimp versus Constant Contact
By Aida Guerra, Founder & Digital Marketing Consultant, firstname.lastname@example.org