Wow! Have you ever seen so many changes in an industry in such a short period of time?
Thanks to the internet, marketing was transformed overnight. All of a sudden you can reach more people in more places without an immense capital layout. That’s a dream come true. But it takes some getting used to, right?
And here’s the next step. Before businesses even had time to get used to, and become experts at, sending excellent marketing emails, social media appeared. That’s another platform that provides excellent advertising opportunities.
With so many mediums to pick from, you’re forgiven if you haven’t yet delved into the depths of email marketing. But if you don’t plan to, you’re missing out on sales and making an impact.
Learn what the best email marketing platforms are to choose the best for your business today.
Is Email Still Relevant?
You’re also forgiven if you think this marketing platform is no longer relevant. We all hate getting spammed with emails and with other communication tools at hand, it’s easy to think that email’s years are over.
But thinking this way could ruin your next campaign.
Here’s an irrefutable fact: Almost everyone in the modern world has an email address.
You need it for:
- Registering online profiles
- Doing business
- Getting accounts from service providers
- Validating your identity when registering on some platforms
This means that even people who aren’t clued up about technology will have one. You can get to almost anyone if you use email marketing correctly because many of the older generation may not be active on social media but will have an email address for practical purposes.
Ready to give it another try? Research proves that dynamic emailing can result in some of the highest ROI you can see in marketing campaigns.
So how do you get this right?
What Does Excellent Email Marketing Look Like?
The magic of email marketing lies in its versatility:
- You have a subject line that can attract attention
- An email body can contain as much or as little content you want to share
- You can use text, images and video at your discretion
This is contrary to many other online methods that often limit how much info can be displayed.
What should a marketing email look like? Imagine you’re the person getting it and you’ll know these features apply:
- A catchy subject can coax you into reading an entire email.
- You’d rather browse images than read long text, unless you’re interested in the topic.
- If there’s a video in an email there’s a higher chance of you opening it (so mention this in your subject lines).
- You want information but you don’t want your inbox inundated with it daily. Most of us simply don’t have time to work through it all.
Now all you have to do is work these features into your emails in future.
What Does Excellent Email Marketing Look Like?
So does this mean you need to sit for hours and design perfect emails? No. That’s what email marketing services are for and we’re going to help you find the perfect one for your specific niche & application.
Below we have listed the main things to think about when choosing an email marketing provider. They make email marketing easy, quick and even enjoyable. Most of all, they make it dynamic so your communication doesn’t simply travel all over the globe, but actually makes an impact when it reaches those inboxes.
Here’s what email marketing services should offer you.
Quality Email Creation
How adept are you at being creative? The ideal email marketing service provides templates so you don’t have to waste time on designing. You can simply add your information you know your clients need including:
- Links to your social media
- Links to website landing pages
Also, realize that the emails will be sent via the service’s servers too. The computers receiving these emails will identify where they are coming from.
It’s vital that they should not view the email as spam. Therefore, spam filters should not rate your email low on these elements:
- Subject line: Pick your words wisely, otherwise your email might be marked as spam.
- Content: This is your responsibility, so make sure you use good grammar and quality images.
- Metadata: This relates to the email marketing service and you must vet services to make sure their domain and embedded coding won’t prevent your emails from going straight to people’s inboxes.
- IP address: The service’s IP address shouldn’t be flagged as one known for sending spam.
You’ll be handling a lot of people’s contact details. Make sure the service allows you to easily add or delete contacts. You may also want to export them or place them in groups to customize your marketing.
Tracking and Measurement
The success of marketing lies in measurement. You must know how your latest campaign impacted people in order to make the next one more successful (or fix all the mistakes you made).
The email marketing service should provide feedback on:
- How many emails were opened
- What devices they were opened on
- How many people clicked on links inside the email
If you don’t know how people interact with your communication, how will you know if your marketing works? Without feedback it’s like tying messages to balloons and simply hoping people find them one day.
Here’s the most important features of all. I know many people who have purchased and installed email marketing services, but never use them. Why? Because they find them cumbersome, complicated and a waste of time.
Make sure you’ll actually want to use the tool you acquire.
So let’s start listing some of the best email marketing services so you can start reaching more people with your message.
Helpful Tip: Respect People’s Privacy
Before we start I should remind you that certain guidelines exist when it comes to people’s privacy. After all, a person’s email address belongs to him or her and there are limits to what you can do with it.
Online security breaches have prompted governments and companies to put more security in place. One example is the EU’s GDPR practices that kick in at the end of May 2018. According to these regulations:
- You can’t gather or use people’s information without their consent
- The data must be held in a secure manner
- You must tell clients what you’ll use their information for
- You can’t simply share email addresses with other parties
This could include email addresses so you can’t simply send email marketing to anyone’s address you find on the web or obtain from a business partner.
Make sure you stay within the law. There’s a bonus to taking people’s privacy seriously: When you respect people’s privacy they’re more likely to read your emails than simply flagging them as spam in the future.
So before you load a contact onto one of the systems below, make sure you’re allowed to.
The Best Email Marketing Services Your Company Needs
Here’s a product designed by people who understand the challenges mentioned above. Not only do you get many templates and an easy management style, but this brand also provides excellent support. If you know you’re less technologically proficient than your competitors, you can still get this right:
- Use Livechat if you have urgent queries
- ConstantContact provides live and online training
- Resources such as documents with helpful tips can be found online
No wonder this is often called the best email marketing service around. And that’s why it’s one of the fastest-growing brands.
It’s quite user friendly and its design aligns with what most small businesses need. So now it’s not only large companies that can benefit from these tools.
- You get 1GB of storage space
- Free trial
- Social media tools come standard
- Free trial month available
- Three different paid for options:
- Lite: $5/month or more—you can send up to 10,000 emails
- Email: $20/month or more—unlimited email sending
- Email plus: $45/month or more—multiple users can utilize the tool and you can even do surveys
Here’s a tool that works for anyone from pro marketers to non-profit organisations that need support. MailChimp is easy to use, while offering many functions:
- Create emails
- Group contacts
- Add autoresponder features
The brand tries its utmost to make it relevant to today’s marketing by allowing you to time email sending according to a receiver’s time zone. Send it when you know your subscriber is in his or her office, ready for your message.
- Free plan with large scope
- Excellent support and training
- Integrates with known platforms such as Shopify and WordPress
- Free plan available even for up to 2,000 subscribers
- Paid plans: $10/month or more
This tool is more appropriate for individuals who are busy online such as bloggers or those with eCommerce sites.
You’ll love Drip for how easily you can add other handy elements that are available online, even if they’re not Drip products. These include:
- WooCommerce elements
- A signup form created in WordPress or through other software
The fact that you’re not limited in how you design your emails makes it attractive to those who have some experience with software or design. Now you can use that knowledge on this platform.
This service is also steps ahead of others when it comes to customization. You can reach a specific type of audience by using Drip’s lists and email segmenting.
- Excellent support from the brand
- Can use for free if you have 100 subscribers or less
- Excellent for beginners, but substantial enough for experienced marketers too
- Free option available
- Paid options with more features:
- Basic: $41/month
- Pro: $83/month
This one can work for almost any type of business as the features apply to both small and medium businesses.
Here are some features you’ll enjoy. Some apply to beginner marketers and others will be enjoyed by the experts:
- It can interact with other platforms such as WordPress
- Many user-friendly templates
- Effortless management of lists
- It can track your email impact and provide feedback data including graphs which you can use in the future
If you like drag-and-drop tools as much as I do, this is the email marketing tool for you, since that’s all you need to create your emails.
- 30-day free trial
- Monthly payments of $19 or more (escalating according to number of subscribers)
- Customized quote available for 25,000 subscribers or more
If you have a small business you should consider this in your list of the top 5 email services to try out. 100,000 other startups use it and it works!
Firstly, they’re very focused on providing quality service to their clients. They prefer you being informed about exactly what you’re purchasing, so they schedule half-hour meetings with clients at the start of a contract.
When you know the details, you’ll be able to use the program optimally, so it’s worth spending the time with one of their experts.
The program has everything you’re looking for, but they add these interesting extras:
- You can build forms to use on social media
- The brand also provides SMS marketing that can be used for surveys or promotions
- Lead scoring which rates your subscribers so you know who you should invest more time or emails in
With the diversity of services, you can enhance your marketing campaign by simply adding one tool to your company’s strategy.
- The brand provides training
- Many different services including SMS
- User-friendly tools
- Live chat support provided
- Free trial
- Lite: $9/month
- Plus: $55/month
- Professional: $129/month
- Enterprise: $229/month
- Note that these costs are paid annually.
Here’s another one for the bloggers out there. It also works for particularly well for authors and marketers because you can add features that will improve your impact and grow your audience:
- Add email signup forms so you know who is really interested
- Make offers as incentives to garner more followers
You can easily create lists so you don’t send someone an email about something he or she already purchased or took part in.
That’s what you want: Customized emails so the receivers know you’re not simply sending the same thing to thousands of people on a list. It’s customized to where they are in their journey with you, your company or brand.
Basically, many of your marketing activities can be automated so you spend less time on this aspect of your business. Less time, more impact? That makes sense to me!
Just note that there’s only a 14-day free trial available.
- You can get discounts if you make annual payments
- Many templates you can customize
- Provides live-chat support
- Different packages:
- Customized according to number of subscribers
Here’s one you should look at if you’re in the retail business. Bronto is designed to automate certain activities that eCommerce and other retail entities often need.
A huge focus is on creating lists and groups so you can send out product info, sale information or promotions to certain subscribers who will find it useful. It wouldn’t make sense to send info about men’s deodorants to all the grandmothers on your list, would it?
Note that this tool is designed for large corporations, so small businesses may find it less relevant.
- Can customize it to your needs
- Integrates with Magento and Netsuite
The word you’ll use most often if you pick this tool is EASY. It’s truly designed to be user friendly, even if you’re new at this game.
These easy-to-use features will turn you into a pro marketer:
- The drag-and-drop designing makes it possible for anyone to create striking designs that will catch the reader’s attention
- There are many automated procedures so you don’t have to plan how to do a campaign; the tools help you put it together
- Tools, such as response forms, that are essential in an email campaign make up part of the templates you can use
The platform also has most of the useful email marketing features already mentioned such as enabling you to create groups of contacts that will benefit from certain emails. Only send what you know will give you a ROI.
No wonder its tagline is “The Easiest Email Marketing”. It’s very simple to use, but still dynamic for any kind of business, since the different packages offer unique features.
- Excellent support via email, phone or live chat
- Training provided in many mediums such as videos
- 30-day free trial is available
- Free trial: 30 days
- Email—designed for beginners: $15/month
- Pro—designed for marketers who want to grow: $49/month which includes webinars for up to 100 attendees
- Max—designed for pros: $165/month which includes consulting services
- Enterprise–$1,199/month or more which includes deliverability consulting
This platform caters for many different types of digital marketing, so you can be sure the brand knows what consumers want.
In terms of email marketing you gain access to:
- A user-friendly dashboard
- Designs that focus on making emails customer-centric
Since top companies such as Puma use this, you know it works, but note that it doesn’t have a free trial option, only a demo. Make sure it’s what you want before you commit to one of the packages below.
- Simple to use
- Services can be customized to your needs
- No free trial
- Customized options
Here’s one for the creative ones among you. Shutterstock Editor is all about visual marketing. The brand understands that many consumers respond to what they see, not necessarily what they read.
That’s why they’re more focused on allowing you to use images in your designs than many other services mentioned on this list.
But Shutterstock Editor doesn’t simply allow you to use their own images, you can upload your own too. With a database of over 100 million pictures there’s no end to what you can create. Because it’s designed for using images, it’s perfect to make your logo stand out and boost your branding.
It’s not the most user-friendly tool, and the company isn’t solely focused on email marketing service. They therefore also use third-party services.
But if you want a creative marketing campaign you’ll have fun with this. And if you’re really proud of a certain design, why not use it on social media too? You can publish it directly from this platform.
- Allows for creativity
- Excellent source of images
- Integrated with social media
- Customized plans available
- Ongoing projects starts at $29/month
- Team packages start at $379/month
- Enterprise packages are tailormade for large organizations
- Single use starts at $49
Note that the number of images you have access to is determined by the package you pick.
Have you found your new marketing tool on this list? Take your time in vetting the different tools to find the perfect one for you. Do you realize you can’t ignore email marketing any longer? It could be the key to effective marketing you’ve been looking for.
Remember, the prices quoted in this article are what you’ll have to spend to increase your revenue. But it’s not an expense, it’s an investment.