Out of all available online marketing methods, email marketing is said to have the highest ROI of them all, with one study putting it at 4300%. This ROI is possible because sending thousands of emails costs very little, and it can easily be combined with customer relationship marketing to send personalized messages. The challenge is finding an email marketing platform that allows you to achieve that ROI while minimizing the work involved.
While some people might assume that there is little that separates platforms, they’d be surprised. As a matter of fact, the choice of the platform alone could dictate how successful their campaigns are, even if they do everything else right. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing platforms for small and medium businesses and what they have to offer.
Mailchimp is one of the biggest players in this industry and has gained a solid reputation over the years. One reason is that there is a free version of it available, and there is no time limit on it. The rates also stay affordable as you grow your business. This makes it a popular choice for bloggers and small businesses.
Mailchimp has some social media integration and a reasonably sized email template library. It also allows you to run A/B testing of marketing campaigns and send segmented emails. With Mailchimp, you can send out messages at a set time based on the customer’s time-zone. It also provides customers with email auto-responders and offers a number of app and service integrations.
However, Mailchimp is not the only tool out there. One of the issues people have with Mailchimp is how limited it can feel. This is because it has a fairly low cap on the number of emails you can send on each plan. Also, their basic version, while being practical to some and one of the main reasons why so many end up signing up, doesn’t have many of the important features like send time optimization, advanced segmentation, or multivariate testing for instance. So, don’t expect it to take you very far.
Mailerlite made this list because it is one of the few other email marketing services with a free email marketing plan for small mailing lists. You have to pay once you hit a certain threshold on emails sent per month or the size of your subscriber base.
Mailerlite has an easy to use interface. This is true even for business processes like setting up landing pages and creating pop-up forms. There are some advanced features, such as allowing you to automatically resend messages to people who didn’t open the email the first time they received it. It is features like this that explain why 90% of Mailerlite customers are small businesses versus 70% of Mailchimp customers.
If you are torn between Mailerlite and MailChimp, then PieSync’s review should help. It gives a rundown of the differences between the two email marketing platforms. It discusses the features each has and explains when you should go with one or the other.
Constant Contact is one of the biggest email marketing platforms. It is still growing, too. It is easy to use out of the box. You can manage contacts, email campaigns, and templates and your calendar from within Constant Contact, and it has tons of built-in social media sharing tools.
Constant Contact gives you access to a free image library you can use when you need to insert graphics in your emails. There is also a massive database of email templates for various niches. It integrates seamlessly with online ads and e-commerce modules and has good customer support.
The biggest issue with Constant Contact, however, is that there aren’t any automation tools. That’s a drawback given how much you pay for it.
GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to create landing pages with it and send out marketing emails via a drag and drop interface. It also has advanced features like list segmentation, A/B testing of marketing messages, and auto-responders.
GetResponse is unique for allowing you to host webinars through the platform. It has better than average data analytics. For example, its Perfect Timing tool will mine your email campaign data to tell you when the best time to send the next one will be, and nearly everything is very intuitive.
This tool is a great choice for mid-sized businesses. It is also ideal for those who are selling their expertise via webinars or want to use webinars as a perk for those who signed up for their email list. Also note that pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have, not per list.
Most email marketing platforms will hold email lists and let you blast a cookie-cutter template to your followers. However, you need something better if you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.