The email marketing industry also has a lot of different companies in the space. This can make it difficult to sort through all the various offerings, but it also leads to more specialized offerings. Businesses of any size should be able to find an email marketing service that suits their business needs and improves their overall marketing strategy. To find the right service, it requires thorough research and comparisons between software you think might work best. Take advantage of the free trials that many companies offer.
Your goals and objectives need to be different for whether it's an eblast (promotional email) or regular enewsletter. Eblasts are great for getting quick leads/sales, while enewsletters are better for staying top of mind, educating customers on new offerings, or providing helpful industry updates. I have found them to be very successful, but what works and what doesn't requires testing (of both the subject line and creative) and varies per business. Best practices for both types include have...
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The cloud certainly makes delivering email to your users easier but, for the vast majority of organizations, there's still going to be some setup required beyond simply activating the service. At a minimum, a domain must be purchased and configured to point to the new email host. The service provider can make this process very simple or they can make quite hard; this is something you should watch for in the provider's customer support forums as well as in our reviews. In most cases, there is a validation phase that will require some technical familiarity, though a few providers go so far as to walk even neophyte users through it step by step. Other solid services bolster excellent support with tutorial articles and videos that also walk you through the process. The worst will leave you to figure it out on your own.
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $5 per month to as much as $20 per month for a range of features. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few offer also money-back guarantees.
The Pro plan, which can have three users at a time, starts at $49 for up to 5,000 subscribers, while the Max plan starts at $165 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers. Committing to one year of service lowers prices by 18 percent, with a two-year commitment bringing them down 30 percent. iContact also offers the Enterprise plan, which supports up to 100,000 contacts. You'll need to contact the company to schedule a demo and obtain a personalized price quote.
Running in-house email servers does provide more control and wider customization as well as tracking and compliance for small to midsize businesses (SMB). But they require specialized on-site IT staff as well as the need to manually manage and support both hardware and software. A third-party hosted email service matches many of the advantages of in-house email without the expensive initial investment. The ability to manage the number of users, access the latest security protocols, and enjoy ease of connectivity and deployment of hosted solutions makes it a viable and competitive option.
Setting up your account usually takes just a few clicks. In most cases, all you need to do is to enter your email address and choose a monthly plan. If you are not sure which is the right email marketing software for you, it is advisable you request a free trial. Some platforms offer free trials to all new users. Just be aware that they usually ask for your credit card details. This means that once the free trial period is over, you will be billed for the following month unless you cancel in due time.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
What's the difference between them? One-off communications versus prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, email marketing tools are excellent for one-off communications. You can use these tools for the one time you'd like to send someone an automated email response when they join a subscriber list, on their birthday, or when you promote a new product. But marketing automation tools are better suited for prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, you can use marketing automation tools whenever you want to guide someone from a subscriber list to a product purchase. Or you can send thank you emails or send new product promotions—all without having to lift a finger after the workflow is designed.
A: With so many businesses using email marketing, it's important to make your email marketing campaigns relevant to your customers and subscribers. Selecting the service that best fits your business is the first step in helping your email marketing campaigns stand out. After that, you'll want to use segmentation and other email tools to best cater to the wants and needs of your customer base.
Things are probably more complicated than that, though. As a recent survey conducted by market research firm Statista clearly shows, email is one of the most popular apps for mobile devices across most organizations and even consumers. Given how many workflows, business processes, and just plain important communications take place over email, this is one area where you likely shouldn't skimp.
Pay attention to the amount of inbox storage available, because once you reach the cap, you’ll have to start deleting messages in order to receive more. Many free email services offer a terabyte or even unlimited storage, which is helpful if you tend to receive messages with large attachments, like image and video files. However, even a few gigabytes of storage gives you enough space to hold between 100,000 and 300,000 messages.
You can attach files up to 25MB and upload more than one at a time. Once they are attached, documents and images are displayed as thumbnails, so it’s easy to verify you’ve attached the correct files. When you receive attachments in an incoming message, these, too, are displayed as thumbnails so you can preview and sure they are safe to download to your computer.