Finding the best email marketing platform for your business
If you're a business manager, you already know the importance of email marketing – they build customer relationships, keep customers engaged, and are great for community-building. You also know the best email marketing platform is one that suits your (both time and money) budget, your goals, and your target audience.
While a digital agency’s email marketing services are a fantastic hands-free option, here's what you need to know about the top email marketing companies if you decide to go it alone.
1. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor was built with the designer in mind. The templates are versatile, allowing you to customise emails beyond simple colours and fonts. You can add images, videos, new buttons, and even change up spacing and dividers. This email marketing platform uses a ‘drag and drop’ builder so that you can build your campaigns visually, as well as ensuring your emails always display correctly, no matter the device.
The selling point of Campaign Monitor really lies in its personalisation tools. The platform gathers user data, allowing you to personalise each message – a bonus point toward customer engagement. It also boasts social media integration, and your subscribers can share your campaigns across Facebook and Twitter.
Campaign Monitor integrates with Google Analytics, giving you the tools monitor your email marketing campaign for conversions, social media shares, click-through and site traffic. If one of your marketing goals is international reach, the platform also offers a feature that allows you to track where your subscribers are based.
The basic package, which allows a limit of up to 500 subscribers and 2,500 emails, begins at a reasonable $9 per month. But if you’re aiming to target a larger audience, Campaign Monitor can edge on the pricier side. While the platform offers 24/7 email and forum support, it doesn’t yet have a live chat function. Phone support is available for premier customers.
AWeber offers great tools for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s a fantastic email marketing option if you don’t want to think about design and focus on content. There’s a huge range of templates for you to choose from. They're all clean, professional, and include the essentials, like call-to-action and social media buttons.
If you prefer to segment your email list – say, if you're going to target more than one time zone or audience – AWeber might be the email marketing platform for you. AWeber’s list management tool is super easy to use, and saves you worrying about manually scheduling your emails for different lists and times.
If your online business is powered by WordPress, then good news. AWber was built to integrate seamlessly with the WordPress, and also boasts integration with top social media and eCommerce platforms.
At $19 per month, AWeber isn’t going to break the bank either. This starter package limits you to 500 subscribers, but allows unlimited emails. Plus, they offer a 30-day free trial, so you can test-run before you commit.
AWeber is also known for its great customer support functions, including live chat, email, and phone support, on top of a library of webinars and tutorials.
MailChimp is incredibly user-friendly, and great for those who want to get their message out there without maxing out time on technicalities or design. If you’re a small business, or have limited resources, MailChimp might be your answer to email marketing.
It allows you to break up your subscriber list according to time zones, and does all the work for you with its handy geolocation tool.
MailChimp’s email templates are easily colour-customised, and optimised for social media sharing. There’s also a visual newsletter building tool, which is good news if you don’t have a background in HTML. However, font styles are limited to MailChimp’s in-built fonts, so it may not be for you if you’re looking for a platform with more design freedom.
Because of MailChimp’s popularity, it’s built to integrate easily with top eCommerce, analytics, and social media applications. Like Aweber, MailChimp’s integration with WordPress is incredibly user-friendly.
But the real bonus when it comes to MailChimp is the cost. They have something called a ‘Forever Free’ plan, where you can send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers, without paying a cent. Paid plans begin at $10 per month for extra automation features. Email and live chat support are available 24/7.
The top email marketing platforms at a glance
|Customisation||Popular Integrations||Basic cost||Support|
|Facebook, WordPress, LeadPages, PayPal, Shopify.||$19 per month
(500 subscribers, unlimited emails)
|Live chat, email, phone, webinars, tutorials.|
Build-able templates, customisable HTML, logos and headers, colours and fonts, spacing.
|Facebook, Salesforce CRM, Shopify, WooCommerce, Xero.||$9 per month
(500 subscribers, 2,500 emails)
|24/7 email and forum support. Phone support only for premier users.|
Colours, images, buttons, custom fields.
|Facebook, WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Eventbrite.||Free
(Up to 2,000 subscribers, 12,000 emails)
|24/7 email and live chat support.|
These email marketing companies are the biggest players in the game. And, while all great choices, 'the best', as always, comes down to what suits you. Are you looking for something more customisable? Is your target database big or small? How much of your budget are you willing to allocate to email marketing?
An alternative is to reach out to a full-service digital agency. They can help you get started with a simple set up, or go beyond and manage your entire email marketing campaign. If you need to hit the ground running, working with an agency may be the best option for you.
We’re a digital marketing agency in Melbourne that focuses on outcomes. Talk to one of our specialists today.
Digital360 on 15 May 2017
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