Whether you’ve already got a mailing list of customers and contacts, or are planning on growing your list this year, there’s one thing that you need to ensure that you are able to use that valuable resource as effectively as possible – email marketing software.
Yes, you can email people one by one (or in groups via BCC) using your own email account, but it’s a time consuming process. With email marketing tools, you can create engaging and attractive emails and send them to a number of contacts without losing the ‘personal’ touch, as you can easily add personalisation (their first name, etc.) and ensure that only relevant and interesting information is sent out to your list. You can also automate repetitive email sequences, for example, if you regularly send out your price list to new contacts, or if you send out renewal emails asking people if they want to continue with your services after their contract comes to an end; by creating these email automations once, you can then ‘drop’ contacts into the automation (which takes no more than a few seconds) and ensure that they get all of the emails they need without any more input from you.
However, even when you’ve decided to invest in some email marketing software, there’s a number of tools out there on the market! With such variety available, it’s important to know what each platform can do so that you can find the right tool for you and your business:
- Hubspot – https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/email – This powerful platform does so much more than just email marketing. You can use it for social media marketing, for blogging, landing pages, marketing automation and email marketing (to name but a few of its features!). If you are using other Hubspot tools, it’s helpful to keep your digital marketing efforts in as few tools as possible, as this helps to ensure that your marketing team (even if it’s just you!) can easily view what is happening and what is planned and work more effectively together for an integrated, omni-channel approach. Hubspot can also be incredibly cost effective, and the basic version is free, allowing you to send up to 2000 Hubspot branded emails per month without cost (though you don’t have access to the full functionality of Hubspot at this price point).
- Mailchimp – https://mailchimp.com/ – also has a free option, allowing you to market to up to 2000 contacts using their simple drag-and-drop email builder. There are some basic automation tools available, meaning that you can set up autoresponders, or re-send content to non-openers after a certain period of time, but these are quite simplistic. The tool also provides access to some other useful digital marketing tools, from online surveys to a marketing calendar and social posting – again, helping you to keep your digital marketing efforts in a single, multi-functional tool.
- ActiveCampaign – https://www.activecampaign.com/ – is a powerful and effective email marketing tool that has the ability to grow and develop with your business. The entry price point is low, from £10pcm for up to 500 live contacts, and the platform is clear, comprehensive and user friendly. You can send out attractive one-off emails or newsletters, create impressive automations, integrate the platform natively (and via tools like Zapier) with numerous tools (from WooCommerce to Facebook Ads to Google Docs, plus hundreds more) to help automate time-consuming elements of your day to day life. The tool also features a chat bot type function you can add to your website (Conversations) and provides detailed statistics about the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.
- Keap – https://keap.com/ – is another powerful tool, but a little more expensive to purchase, with the cheapest version costing $79pcm (not including the $499 you are also expected to pay out for expert coaching, in order to develop your own, tailored sales and marketing playbook). All Keap plans include a CRM, sales and marketing automation alongside email marketing, the ability to take payments, capture leads and be able to access the platform via a mobile app. The Keap online support function is also useful, as you can chat online to their support team quickly and simply to address any potential issues you are experiencing with the platform.
- Keap Max Classic (formerly Infusionsoft) – is a comprehensive CRM with advanced sales and marketing automation and fully customisable campaigns. Like Active Campaign and Keap, it has a user-friendly, drag and drop automation builder that allows you to create highly tailored automations that ensure contacts are only served highly relevant, personalised content, and that your team are able to liaise with these individuals and convert them into paying customers as simply as possible. Tools like Infusionsoft are helpful if you have a very large number of contacts on your contact list, and want to be able to market to them effectively without having to rely on a ‘one size fits all’ approach to content and imagery. Pricing for Keap (from the basic level up to Max) can be found here: https://keap.com/pricing though you will need to speak to a company representative if you want to find out more about Keap Max Classic.
There are, of course, numerous other email marketing platforms out there too – including Sendinblue https://www.sendinblue.com/, Salesforce https://www.salesforce.com/, Campaign Monitor https://www.campaignmonitor.com/, etc., so before you invest in an email marketing tool for your business, it’s important to do your homework. This helps to ensure that not only are you able to find a tool that works for you and your business now, but also in the future as your business continues to grow and develop.