Which email marketing platform should I choose?
Whether you’re seeking an effective way to communicate with your existing customers or a method to transform your prospects into sales, email marketing is a valuable tool to include in your marketing strategy.
If email marketing is a new avenue for your business, or you’ve got some experience and are interested in finding a new platform, we’re here to help you take the next step.
For further information on the benefits of email marketing and how to get it right, check out our “Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing”. You can also get in touch with our email marketing experts to find out more about how we can help your business.
Whilst there are some free email marketing platforms and packages available, these may bring about considerable limits as to what, when, and how you email your customers. These are worth bearing in mind as a starting point for email marketing. However, if you’ve already got an established database, you’re probably better off considering paid packages and platforms.
One of the first steps you should take when selecting an email marketing platform is to identify a sensible monthly budget. This figure will depend on a variety of things including your wider marketing budget and the KPIs you’re looking to set for your email marketing. You should ensure that the budget is reasonable to allow for a good return on investment. It should also give you some breathing space to find your feet with email marketing. Don’t forget that it can take time to see great results!
Once you’ve got a rough monthly budget, take a look at the packages available within this. All of the popular email marketing providers work on different pricing structures, so ensure that you pick one that is well-suited to your needs as a business.
One important thing to look out for is whether you are paying based on the number of contacts stored or the number of emails sent. Let’s say you have a particularly large database and would like an email marketing platform to store these contacts. However, on a month-to-month basis, you’re likely to only be contacting 1/3 of them. In this example, you’ll want to find a platform with a large amount of contact storage but with a smaller allowance of delivered emails per month.
Other common features included in email marketing packages are daily sending limits, automation features, and customer support. Review the plans carefully and find the most cost-effective for your business, without limiting how powerful your email marketing can be.
Some of the best platforms often offer much more than just email marketing. Mailchimp is a great example of this which offers regular email marketing services such as automation, plain text emails and a drag and drop editor. However, Mailchimp also offers a range of services not typically associated with email marketing such as landing page creation, paid and organic social media ads and printed postcards.
Whether these features will be helpful for your business is something you should consider carefully. You may be able to adopt just one platform for a number of your marketing activities, saving you both time and money. Or, you may be paying for a package that includes these services but do not benefit your business.
Nobody enjoys using a platform or website that is difficult to navigate and full of frustrating glitches. Before you begin paying for your new platform, we’d recommend doing some research and reading reviews. You can often find many helpful walkthrough videos on the platform’s website or YouTube which will give you a good indication of how the platform works. Many providers may also offer a free trial so you can find out whether the platform is right for you.
Pay close attention to the platform’s drag and drop email editor, a tool used by most email marketing providers. This tool is a simple way to build an email, allowing you to drag, drop and edit different sections of your email. The tool should be a simple way to create an attractive, on-brand email in little time at all. You’ll be using this editor a lot, so ensure that it feels intuitive and comfortable to use.
When handling any customer or client data, you want to feel assured that your information is in safe hands, so it is key that you select a provider you can trust.
Take a look at the level of customer support offered within your selected package. A live chat or quick email response is often helpful if you encounter any small issues or hiccups with your account.
An email marketing platform that is compatible with the day-to-day running of your business is the key to an efficient email marketing process. To explain this further, let’s take a look at an example:
Marie owns an online shop where she sells bespoke, homemade candles. At the online checkout, customers are asked whether they would like to receive her monthly newsletter in which she often provides them with exclusive discount codes and special offers. Thanks to the compatibility between her website and her email marketing platform, customers who sign-up are automatically added into her database along with their email address and a ‘tag’ that informs Marie that they arrived from her website.
Previously, Marie used an email marketing platform that wasn’t compatible with her website. This meant that she would frequently need to manually upload the list, taking up valuable time. Sometimes, she would forget to do this and would lose out on retaining customers as a result.
In this example, we demonstrate one way that you may wish to synchronise your email marketing platform with other areas of your business. As well as your website, many of the most popular email marketing providers can integrate with your social media channels, event registration providers, eCommerce platforms, CRM systems, and more.
Our Favourite Email Marketing Platforms
At redPepper, we’ve got great experience in using a range of email marketing platforms. To point you in the right direction, here are some of our favourites and those most recommended by other industry professionals. For more advice on email marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today.