Recently, a entrepreneur reached out to me, seeking my opinion on the best email marketing services for his business. It would have been easy to offer up a few answers and tell him to just choose the cheapest option —but at our Florida advertising agency, we’re also strategists, and we know there’s much more to it then choosing the company that’s offering the cheapest deal right off the bat.
In this case, this business owner was in need of advice to assist his startup with a small email list. His plan: to generate messaging via a weekly or monthly email newsletter. Sounds simple enough, right? Many people would have directed him immediately to MailChimp, an email marketing service that offers its services for free for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails a month.
And, indeed, MailChimp would be the best service had he been looking to never grow beyond 2,000 subscribers. But we’re marketers, and we know that one of the goals of initiating an email marketing plan is to gain quality new subscribers. There’s a reason MailChimp operates under a freemium business model —its team knows that once you’ve put in the work to build your email list up to more than 2,000 people, you aren’t likely to swap email marketing services because you’ve already taken so much time to learn all of MailChimp’s features.
[quote]When deciding which email marketing service works for your business, it’s important to think long-term.[/quote]Where do you expect your business to be in a year? In five years? If you’re a growing commerce business with a popular product, it’s likely that you’ll have well over 2,000 subscribers within the year.
So, which email marketing service is best for your business? Well, it depends on your business needs. Many of the email marketing services offer free trials, so it’s worth it to sign up with those and do some investigating on your own. That said, we understand it isn’t always realistic to do months of testing to choose an email marketing service.
Here are 6 essentials to look for when investigating the most appropriate email marketing service:
1. Templates: How easy is it to build a sleek, well-designed email? And, once you have that template, how difficult is it to optimize it? If you find yourself wasting valuable time trying to work out the kinks, then you might need to go with a different provider.
2. Analytics: What kinds of analytic data can the service give you about your customers? And, how easy it is to navigate the numbers? Does the tool offer suggestions to help you improve those metrics? Be sure to have a baseline familiarity with the service provider’s analytic features before you commit to the provider.
3. Mobile Optimization: How do your emails look when someone opens them on mobile or tablet? In some industries, more than 50% of email opens are on mobile or tablet (and that number is growing every day).
4. Service: How does the email marketing service support its customers? Even as a marketing pro, you probably still don’t know as much about email marketing than the team that handles your business’s email marketing. That’s why customer service is essential —an email marketing service with pro coaching can help you optimize your emails to get optimal conversion rates.
5. Pricing Plans: Which service provider can give you the most bang for your buck? Because there are so many variances in features and capabilities, it’s important to think long-term rather than going with the cheapest option. Figure out your goals, and then choose the best solution to help you reach them.
6. Ability to Grow: As your business continues to grow and evolve, you’ll become aware of the need for more and more features. Some email marketing service providers remain in close contact with their clients, adding new features regularly to keep up with changes in the email marketing landscape.
While we don’t want to advocate for any email marketing service that may not be right for your business needs, here are a few worth checking out.
Are there other things you look for when selecting an email marketing service? The team at our Orlando marketing agency wants to know! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.