You have a product to sell and you’re looking for a way to spread the word about it. You decide to try email marketing and SMS marketing, which seem to be the two most popular methods of marketing nowadays. You want to pick the right tool for the job, however; therefore, you do a little research and find out what are the best platforms for sending out email and text messages.
Not all email marketing platforms are created equal, and neither are all SMS marketing platforms. You want to pick a tool that is going to be simple to use, offers an array of features, and is going to be affordable. With the right platform in place, you’re going to be able to build a solid foundation for your email marketing and SMS marketing campaigns.
Features You Should Test For
There are a number of features you should look out for when selecting the right marketing platform. Some of the most important things to consider are:
- Reporting: Does the platform offer good reporting so that you can track the success of your campaigns easily?
- Integrations: Does the platform integrate with other programs or apps you might already use? For example, does it connect to Salesforce, MailChimp, or Google Analytics?
- Email deliverability: Does the platform make it easy to send out mass emails?
- SMS marketing functionality: Do the emails and text messages that you send through the platform have the same functionalities as the ones you receive from your competitors?
- User interface: Is the platform easy to use?
- Storage: How much space does the platform offer for storing emails, documents, and other types of files?
- Pricing: Does the platform offer an affordable pricing plan? Do they have a free version that you can try out before committing to a paid plan?
Choosing An Email Marketing Platform
If you’re looking for a tool to manage your email marketing campaigns, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to cover the basics of getting started with MailChimp.
If you’re unfamiliar, MailChimp is a popular SaaS (Software as a Service) company that provides email marketing platforms for businesses and individuals. Since their launch in 2010, they have evolved to provide an all-in-one platform that allows customers to successfully send regular and mass emails to their contacts. Businesses like HubSpot, Volusion, and WPForm use MailChimp as part of their marketing strategy and over 90 million emails are sent through their platform each month. If you’re curious, you can read the MailChimp reviews to learn more about their service.
One of the main advantages of MailChimp is that it provides a free trial so you can see how the platform works and does not work for you before deciding to commit. You don’t want to sign up for a service that you think is great but after trying it out you discover it doesn’t offer the functionality you need. With the free trial, you can access all of the features and see how they work for yourself.
Here are the top 10 features that make MailChimp one of the best email marketing platforms available:
- Scheduling: You can easily set up automated email campaigns that will send out notifications and updates to your contacts as soon as they’re approved by Google or Apple. This feature alone makes email marketing and scheduling incredibly simple. You don’t need to worry about forgetting or making a mistake because it’s always within reach. You can also create reminders and stopovers to ensure that your messages reach your contacts more frequently.
- Reports: You can monitor the performance of your entire email list and create customized reports that will assist you in making future optimizations to your email campaigns. You’ll have all the information you need in one place so it’s easy to keep track of everything. The platform provides a variety of useful reports that can help you identify any patterns or trends that may arise from your email marketing efforts.
- Personalization: You can take advantage of the large amount of data available to you and create customized emails and text messages that will appeal to your contacts. You can choose from a variety of templates, colors, fonts, and other customization options to ensure that each message is as unique as possible. This will make your contacts more engaged and assist you in improving the open-rate of your emails.
- Geotargeting: You can target specific segments of your contact list and send out different types of emails based on where each person is located. For example, you can choose to send out emails with useful tips for parents of newborns or young children who live in London but you don’t want to spam people living in remote areas such as the Arctic Circle. You can also choose to send out emails at various times of day so that your contacts receive them when they’re most likely to interact with your message.
- Segmentation: You can take advantage of all the data you have about your contacts and create customized lists of people who match criteria that you choose. For example, you can choose to create a list of your best customers and then send them a special announcement or a discount code for your product. You can also choose to create a list of people who live within a certain distance from your office and send them an invitation to a networking event that you organize.
- Campaigns: You can create multiple email campaigns and assign each one a different theme and objective. For example, you may want to create one campaign to promote a new product and another for customer service updates.
- Content Calendars: The content calendar is one of the most useful features of a content strategy guide. Having a template of upcoming events and deadlines that you can refer to throughout the year is vital for keeping track of all the content that is due to be sent out. If you choose MailChimp, you can easily create a content calendar and ensure that you always have fresh and unique content to send out to your contacts.
- Analytics: The platform provides several different types of analytics so that you can track the success of your email marketing campaigns. You can choose to view statistics such as delivery rates and response rates for each contact. You can also choose to view aggregated stats that will include information about the entire list such as the number of messages that were sent and the amount of revenue generated. The choice is yours.
- Dunning: You can choose to send out a series of emails to increase the chances of a response. Sometimes called “email blasting”, this feature allows you to send out a mass email to all of your contacts or to a selected group of people who meet specific criteria. You can use the tool to send out a series of emails until you reach a viable open-rate or you can manually go through and choose to email people who have not opened your messages previously. Once you reach a satisfactory open rate, you can stop sending out the emails and use the remaining outreach to find new prospects.
- API: In case you want to integrate with another tool or app, the platform provides an Application Programming Interface (API) that you can use. If you choose to integrate with Salesforce, you can use their API to pull data into a dashboard and analyze it. The API is extremely useful for clients who want to keep track of their email marketing campaign because it provides a way to easily export data into a spreadsheet for further analysis.
- A/B Testing: Does the platform offer an A/B testing feature so that you can test different versions of your email campaigns to see which one performs the best? This feature alone makes email marketing and personalization incredibly easy because you can quickly change the content of a message or the offer and then re-send it to see what happens.
- Pricing: Does the platform offer an affordable pricing plan? Does it offer a free version that you can try out before committing to a paid plan?
Choosing An SMS Marketing Platform
SMS marketing, or short message marketing, is the practice of sending out text messages to your contacts. You can use the messages to promote products or services, encourage people to go to your website, or just send out a quick reminder to encourage people to do something. One of the most popular SMS marketing platforms is Twilio.