Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and prospects, and it doesn’t cost much to run. The key to effective email marketing is to find the right platform and tools to support your needs.
There are several options for business-class email marketing platforms; here’s a quick look at what each one has to offer and the benefits of each one.
The AOL platform was originally designed for Internet use, so it comes as no surprise that it features prominently in the email marketing world. AOL offers both free and paid plans, and the pricing depends on how many users you have. In terms of features, the interface is easy to use and the company provides a wealth of helpful tools and resources.
AOL prides itself on being a pioneer in the email marketing world, and you can take advantage of that by signing up for a free trial account. You can then use their massive mailing list to reach customers and potential customers across the globe. You can even promote your products and services directly within the emails they send out. Finally, the AOL platform is compatible with all the top email marketing services. You won’t need a stand-alone email program to run your campaigns; everything you need is already provided.
Another email marketing pioneer, Hootsuite provides a self-service platform that makes it easy for users to create and schedule campaigns. This platform is ideal for businesses of all sizes, as well as professional marketers looking to engage with influencers and bloggers to grow their following.
What makes the Hootsuite platform special is its ability to integrate with other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as other email marketing platforms. So, if you’ve got an audience on one platform, you can take advantage of that to gain access to millions of other people. Plus, you get all the features mentioned above for free.
Another great option for businesses of all sizes, HubSpot provides marketing software designed specifically for small businesses. It’s a complete, stand-alone platform that allows you to create marketing material such as email campaigns, landing pages, and more.
HubSpot’s strength is in their flexibility, as their software can be customized to fit any need or industry. And since it’s completely integrated with other areas of your business, you’ll be able to take advantage of that. Plus, HubSpot is very easy to use, and their customer support is excellent. There’s a solid range of features available without having to pay for a premium account.
Founded in 1999, MailChimp is one of the older, but still going strong, email marketing platforms. Their stand-alone product is easy to use, and they provide a lot of features for free. With a free account, you can create automated email campaigns that won’t cost you a penny. Moreover, you can segment and target your audience using various filters and lists. Additionally, you can sign up for a free trial to see how easy and effective MailChimp is.
Founded in 2011, ConvertKit provides a stand-alone platform that allows you to create and send out automated email campaigns. It’s one of the more popular email marketing platforms, and for good reason; its free plan allows you to create unlimited email campaigns, as well as integrate with other services like Facebook and Twitter to gain more audience.
ConvertKit’s main differentiator is its ease of use. You can build out your entire marketing plan using their intuitive dashboard, without needing to know any code.
While the free plan allows for all of that, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to take advantage of the most advanced features. What’s great about ConvertKit is their customer support, as they’re very open to feedback and are generally quick to respond. Plus, because it’s a relatively new platform, there’s a lot of room for growth and expansion.
Created seven years ago, Campaign Monitor is the grandaddy of them all when it comes to creating automated email marketing campaigns. They provide a comprehensive free plan that allows you to create and test automated mailings. You’re not limited to just email marketing with their product; you can utilize it to send out mass text messaging campaigns, as well.
What sets the Campaign Monitor product apart is their focus on usability and integrations. Their software can be accessed from any device, and it’s designed for busy marketers who need a reliable tool to keep track of their email marketing campaigns. Moreover, their support team is extremely accessible, fast, and helpful. Lastly, the free plan allows you to try out the product before committing to a paid plan.
Active Campaign is hailed as the #1 B2C email marketing platform—and with good reason. They provide a comprehensive free plan that allows you to create automated email campaigns. What’s more, their pricing is very affordable, and the cost depends on how many users you have.
Active Campaign’s strength is in its ease of use. Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you’ll be able to quickly build out your email marketing plan using their intuitive dashboard. And if you’ve got tech savviness, you can even build out automated email campaigns that don’t require a single human interaction.
Pricing is flexible, and it depends on how many users you have. The more users you have, the cheaper the plan gets. There are three pricing options:
-Basic: Starts at $5 a month per user
-Pro: Starts at $10 a month per user
-Enterprise: Starts at $25 a month per user
The pricing above is per user and includes everything needed to run a successful email marketing campaign, including email marketing software, domain, and web hosting. This is important to keep in mind, as email marketing platforms vary in how much they cost per month, and some of them are more expensive than others. For example, HubSpot is usually between $10 and $20 a month, and if you’re just getting started, you can find cheaper options such as Campaign Monitor. Also, make sure you try out the free plan before committing to a paid plan, as these usually come with strings attached.
When it comes to features, most email marketing platforms won’t disappoint. These are the basic features you’ll need to get started:
-Email template designer: Easy to use, and it’s highly effective once you get the hang of it. You’ll be able to design and send out new emails with just a few clicks of a button.
-Marketing automation: Using automation and email scheduling to send out emails without needing to manually input information.
-List builder: An email tool that’s critical to the success of any email marketing campaign. You can literally build out your entire audience using this feature.
-Analytics: Accessible via the dashboard, this feature will allow you to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns. You can then use the data to make better decisions in the future.
The above features are available on every plan, but you’ll need to pay for some of them. As a general rule, the Enterprise plan will likely have all the features you need, while the Pro and Basic plans will still be missing some essentials. Remember, however, that the more features you have, the more you’ll need to pay for.
Depending on what you’re looking for in an email marketing platform, you’ll need to take into consideration how easy it is to use. Do you need a complex dashboard with lots of features and options? Or do you just need something simple to get the job done?
Apart from pricing, the interface is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing an email marketing platform. The best platform will make creating and sending out emails as simple and enjoyable as possible. Also important is how the interface handles itself when sending out large volumes of emails; does it crash regularly or is it stable and reliable?
On the subject of reliability, it’s important to keep in mind that all the software packages above are web-based, which means they’re accessible from any device with an Internet connection. If you’re relying on emails to generate sales, it’s probably best to look for a stable and reputable service.