Email marketing is one of the most dynamic and cost-effective ways to reach existing and potential new customers. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services and expand your potential reach with a soft-sell and relatively unobtrusive approach.
What exactly is email marketing?
Email marketing is more than just sending an email. It’s an intelligent form of targeted marketing that introduces news products, services, discounts and special offers to customers and contacts on your email list. It can be a crucial component of your overall marketing strategy, generating leads, selling products, encouraging sign-ups, strengthening brand awareness and relationships.
Email marketing and useful email marketing software will keep customers engaged with your brand between their purchases through different types of marketing communications. It delivers important marketing messages to targeted recipients who have already formed some sort of connections with your brand, either through a previous purchase, email sign-up or request for more information.
Why choosing the right email marketing platform for your business matters
If you’re looking to begin email marketing then having a reliable platform to deliver your marketing is essential. Different platforms offer a range of different features and benefits, with some being more suitable for some businesses rather than others. Some businesses will require more facilities and greater scalability, others will only need a streamlined set of features to help them deliver a basic set of marketing messages.
It’s important therefore to think about the kind of strategies you’re likely to employ when it comes to email marketing and how they will integrate into your wider marketing approach. As well as exploring the features each platform offers you should also consider how easy it is to use.
A complex email marketing platform with a multitude of features might be superfluous for your needs. Likewise, you should consider how your email marketing will develop over time, and how important it is that your email marketing platform is able to deliver increased email volume.
What criteria should a platform be judged on?
There are a range of criteria to bear in mind when looking at which email platform is likely to be best for your business. These include:
Ease of use
Firstly, how easy is it to use? Does it allow you to get started quickly and won’t require too much time spent learning how it operates. Errors can be costly and time-consuming to put right, so having an easy to use platform is a real advantage.
You should pay close attention to the range of features that each platform offers. Typically you should look for a comprehensive range of templates, as well as easy management tools. A good platform will incorporate good reporting software and offer integration with other tools you use such as WordPress.
Pricing should always be a key consideration when comparing platforms. They should offer an introductory trial option to give you the opportunity to try out the platform, assess its features and decide whether or not it’s suitable for your needs. Is the pricing structure realistic for your business over the long term?
A platform needs to take into account UK compliance requirements. Your email marketing needs to stay within relevant legislation and your platform should make it easy for you to do so by providing tools to encourage credible sign-ups.
It’s important to think about the likely trajectory of your email marketing strategy and how it might need to be scaled up in the future. Is the platform you’re considering flexible enough to allow your email marketing to grow?
What platforms are available?
There are a number of different platforms available and here we’ll take a look at each of them in more detail:
Email Blaster is one of the UK’s leading email marketing platforms. They make it easy for you to get an email marketing campaign up and running. By using drag and drop, importing your email database is a simple task. The online wizard also allows you to add data saved from any spreadsheet application.
Once you’ve added your database you can choose from a wide variety of free email marketing
templates. These allow you to add text and images direct from your computer, making it easy to personalise templates to suit your needs. Once you’ve compiled your email content, you can then hit send, or schedule the date and time of delivery that best suits your needs.
Crucially, Email Blaster makes it easy to keep a track on how your campaign is progressing. You can access information about how often your emails are delivered, opened, read, clicked and more. Charts and graphs help you assess how successful your campaign has been. Integration with mapping software allows you to locate where your customers are. All of this data can then be used to help inform the next stage of your campaign.
In terms of pricing, Email Blaster is highly competitive offering a range of packages based on the number of emails you will be sending per month. Accounts are free to open and you can try each of the packages for free.
Email Blaster also provides accessible, UK based support that is available when you need it most. To help you grow your email marketing lists it comes with a powerful subscribe app free of charge.
All in all, Email Blaster provides an easy to use and accessible means through which to start developing an email marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for an email marketing platform you will almost certainly encounter Mailchimp. They are one of the world’s biggest providers of email marketing tools and have a large marketing budget themselves. For this reason, many people opt for Mailchimp without considering some of the alternatives.
Mailchimp provides three different versions of its platform: Forever Free, Growing Business and Pro. The key difference with each of these versions is the number of contacts and emails you can send each month.
The free option provides an accessible way to get started but without any analytical tools, it doesn’t offer you any means to monitor how your campaign is doing. As a result, you can end up wasting a lot of time and energy on fruitless campaigns.
Mailchimp offers a range of integration features, including a FacebookAd option, but many of these may be superfluous to most small business users. One factor where Mailchimp loses out to some of the competition is its very basic automation options. Without automation you’re left doing much more of the work.
In terms of support, Mailchimp is US based so what support it does offer may be difficult to access. Overall, Mailchimp may be a decent option for the occasional email or newsletter, but if you’re intending to use email as part of an integrated marketing strategy then other options are more suitable.
Sendinblue started out as a digital agency. They developed their email marketing platform when they identified just how difficult it was for small to medium sized businesses to develop effective email marketing strategies. It contains a comprehensive set of features, including CRM, marketing automation, transactional emails, SMS, landing pages and Facebook ads.
Their free plan gives up to 300 free emails a day, along with 60 days of free (US based) phone support. Their paid plans begin at $25 dollars a month for 10,000 emails.
The plans are low cost and the platform is accessible and easy to use. Unlike Mailchimp, Sendinblue offers a comprehensive automation feature. On the downside, the free plan is very limited in terms of the amount of emails you can send, offering more of a platform taster than a realistic means by which to develop an email marketing strategy.
The newsletter templates perhaps look a little dated and the available choice is limited. If you want to expand your available templates you will need to upload your own HTML. Also, the system can feel a little slow at times.
All in all, Sendinblue is a budget option that offers a basic service for people starting out with email marketing. It now looks and feels a little dated and as a US based platform, isn’t tailored to the UK market.
OptinMonster is a lead generation tool that allows you to integrate email sign-up forms on your website. It can be integrated with a range of email marketing platforms. Starting out as a WordPress plugin, it’s now an adaptable cloud-based tool that allows you to create and manage email sign-up popups without having to rely on WordPress.
OptinMonster has an easy to use interface, which makes creating email sign-up pop-ins relatively straightforward. It allows you to create a variety of different campaigns, from small pop-up boxes to whole screen fillers, as well as slide-ins, floating bars and a sidebar form.
While OptinMonster does offer a range of tools that make it easy to set up sign-up forms, they do have their limitations. While OptinMonster has simple intuitive UI, and its design editor doesn’t require any coding knowledge, it doesn’t offer any internal analytics to help you assess how your pop-ups are performing. It also still works best with WordPress.
While OptinMonster offers an achievable means for businesses to grow their email marketing lists, other options may be preferable, not least lead generation tools designed specifically to work with the email marketing platform of choice.
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing platform that promises to get users emailing quickly through its easy-to-use features. It’s targeted primarily as small-to-medium sized businesses and offers a range of tools that they may find useful.
One of these tools is its campaign tracking analytics which give the user the ability to assess how any particular email is performing. These are available at every pricing band. The design feature includes drag and drop graphic elements as well as one-click access to a stock image library.
In price terms, Campaign Monitor is one of the more expensive options, with a $9 a month basic package that allows for just 500 emails a month. The potential for customisation is limited and its direct support channels are lacking compared to some of its rivals.
That said, Campaign Monitor does have some benefits for small businesses looking to quickly establish an email marketing campaign. As another US based platform, it may have some drawbacks for UK based companies.
An effective means to communicate with customers
Email marketing provides a simple and highly effective way to communicate with customers. Email marketing platforms make it easy to create and manage an email marketing campaign offering a range of templates, analytics and other tools to simplify the entire process.
Email Blaster is a UK based company offering email marketing solutions with high-levels of support and great functionality to businesses of all shapes and sizes across the world.
You can find out more about Email Blaster, what makes it different and how it could benefit your business right here. If you’re ready to get started then why not sign up for a free account today?