While social media marketing is all the rage, studies indicate email marketing might be more effective. The number of customers gained through email marketing has more than quadrupled since 2010, even as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have ramped up their marketing platforms. Email offers a direct line of contact to your potential customers, and while people often scroll past social media posts that don’t interest them, most take the time to at least glance at all of their emails.
Building an email list and sending marketing emails is a painstaking task if you do it manually. Email marketing services can automate the process for you and keep things simple. The following tips can help you choose the right email marketing service for your business.
A few features should be mandatory for any email marketing service you’re considering. These include autoresponders, email scheduling, auto-unsubscribe, and a tracking option. Moreover, unless you prefer doing legwork yourself, the service should score high for ease of use. Remember they’re providing a service for you, and that service is to make it as easy as possible to build a list and send out emails.
Based on your needs, a few other features may be of benefit. For example, mobile optimization is important if your customers receive a lot of emails on the go. If your business maintains a large social media presence, consider a service that can integrate your social media with your marketing emails.
Most email marketing services charge a tiered monthly fee. Your tier determines how many emails you can send out per week or per month. For example, the most popular services offer monthly packages for $20 or under that let you send up to 500 emails per week. For larger businesses with robust email lists, monthly plans that allow for 10,000 weekly emails can run closer to $100. Prices increase from there for even larger lists.
The pricing variance between email marketing services isn’t huge, but for cost-conscious businesses, it is important to compare options to get the best deal. The first step is to estimate how many emails you’ll realistically send out per week — it’s okay to project into the future, since ideally your email list will grow over time. Then, compare pricing at this level, and go with the service that gives you all the features you need for the best price.
A Few Options
MailChimp, iContact, and Constant Contact represent a few of the top email marketing service choices. MailChimp pricing, as of 2016, appears to be the lowest of the three at most tiers, with a 500 weekly email plan starting at $10 per month and a 10,000 email plan for only $75.
While other services, such as iContact, are more expensive, they offer some exclusive premium services. One such service is customized email template design. With iContact, you can make the template of your marketing emails match your website design and iContact handles all the coding and graphics for you.