Once you know how significant email marketing is, you’d want to get straight into it!
“But how do I actually start?”
“Is there a software to automate the process? If so, which one do I choose?”
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
With a lot of email marketing software and automation tools out there, it can get kinda (very!) confusing. Obviously, you’d want the best features but with reasonable pricing.
So we’re here to break it down for you.
Before looking at any email marketing software, you’d need to do a few things first to figure out what you truly need.
1. Evaluate your business strategy
Each email marketing software has various packages and pricing. They differ in terms of features and/or the size of your email subscribers.
The general rule is that the more subscribers you have and/or the more features you require from the software, the more you’d have to pay for the service.
It’s tempting to go straight for the best features, but we’d recommend you to take a step back and see where your business is at.
Are you a small business or a corporate company?
How many customers do you currently have?
What value are you giving to your customers?
What’s your company’s growth projection?
These may sound like some serious life questions but you’ll thank us later!
Knowing where your company stands and the number of customers you currently have would help in determining which email marketing platform is the right fit.
Figuring out where you’re going with your business and what value you’d bring to your customers would help in eliminating much of the potential issues you might face with an email marketing platform.
In short, analyse your current situation and determine your future goals!
2. Decide the features you need
When you browse through an email marketing platform, you’d find that there are a lot of features — some of which you might not know what it’s for!
It would take time and experience to really understand the features and what suits your business, but we’ve picked out several to help you consider for a start:
- A/B testing or split testing
This is to compare two or more variations of an email to see which performs better. This feature may be limited in certain email software, but having it is useful for you to know which strategy works.
Most email marketing software does have automation that responds to a time schedule or trigger based on a customer’s behaviour. But as with A/B testing, the extent of which may be limited. A simple automation response should be good enough for a start.
- List segmentation
If your company deals with different types of customers, it’s better to consider a software that allows you to separate your email list. That way you’re able to tailor your email based on the different types and behaviours of your customers.
You’d need to know whether your target customers are reading your emails and taking action. Generally, all email platforms provide reporting but some might not be as detailed as others. So it’s important to decide to what extent you need the data.
If you’re fussy about template designs, then you’d probably need to consider the platform that offers a variety of customizable email template. But whatever it is, make sure it’s easy on the eyes!
Almost all email marketing software has some form of integration with other marketing software such as WordPress and WooCommerce. Again, it depends on your business strategy.
If for some reason you’re not satisfied with the current software, you’d want to migrate your list to a different one. Most software offer free migration only if you’re on the highest package. Otherwise, you might need to pay a fee. This may be less of a concern for now but it’s good to be aware of this feature.
- Customer service
We’d all want a smooth operation, and a good support system would mean a richer experience. All platforms boast about their great service so it’s worth the time to read the reviews, just to be sure!
It’s quite a lot to consider but it’s essential to know what you need to improve your marketing strategy. Having this in mind would help in determining which package to choose from and ensure that you don’t pay more for fewer features!
3. Determine your budget
Once you have analysed your business capacity and have an idea of what email marketing features you need, it’s time to look at the pricing.
Here’s where you need to be realistic. You can’t expect the greatest features if you can’t afford to pay for it. And it all depends on the size and potential of your business.
That’s why you first need to analyse your current business strategy and decide on the features suitable for your current needs. As your business grows, only then you’d take on more features that would help support it.
So if you’re starting out as a small business, it would mean that your number of subscribers is relatively small. In this case, you’d probably not need the list segmentation feature and settle for the limited A/B testing and automation.
As your business grows as a large company (or perhaps your business is already at this stage!), then you may opt for the list segmentation feature to manage your growing subscriber list that may consist of different types of customers. At this point, you’d also need a more advanced automation system.
We’ve compiled and compared several email marketing software and automation tools that may help you decide to use for your marketing strategy.
If you’re a small business or a non-profit organisation, MailChimp is a good start as it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Although the features are limited, we’d say it’s good enough for a start.
For us, we prefer ActiveCampaign. It’s one of the most affordable tools that are easy to use and provide an extensive range of features. Starting from $9 a month for up to 500 subscribers, it’s worth the try for even a small business. Larger companies would definitely appreciate the targeted email campaign whereby segmentation of contacts based on actions, location, behaviour and social data is possible.
If ActiveCampaign is a college student, it could be described as “An All-Rounder” in the yearbook. It’s favoured by many companies and has been dubbed the best overall email marketing tool!
Excited to get started on your first email campaign?
We’ve got your back!
From setting up the backend automation procedures to curating a series of email content for conversion, we’ll make your emails as exciting as receiving a handwritten letter complete with a waxed seal from your Spanish friend.
Just fill in your details below and we’ll talk over your grand marketing plan!