How to choose email marketing software for your small business? It’s an important decision. The email marketing software you select will help collect leads from your website. That way you can follow up and nurture them through the sales cycle.
You’ll want to set up email lead forms on your website as soon as possible. But, with more than a few options to sort through, it’s easy to get analysis paralysis or choose at random.
Luckily it won’t come to that. I’ve gathered a list of top considerations for how to choose email marketing software for your small business. Refer to these as you weight the options. This will make sorting the winners from the duds a piece of cake. You’ll also avoid the painstaking process of later changing email marketing providers.
If you’re brand new to email marketing, read my article, “What is email marketing and how does it work?.” Then come back to this article to decide on the best software options for your small business.
Here’s How to Choose Email Marketing Software for Your Small Business …
Each email marketing platform differs slightly. Plus, they’re usually tailored to different businesses, like small business, enterprise, B2B or product sales. Your budget, list size and marketing requirements are also top considerations. Below, you’ll find 5 key factors to consider.
Many email marketing platforms come with a free trial for a given time frame. Meanwhile, some provide free service up to a certain number of subscribers.
Other marketing software charge by the number of unique email addresses. And further still, some email marketing platforms charge by the total subscriber count. So if you have the same subscriber on more than one list, the cost for that one email adds up.
Serious email marketers segment their email lists. This means you should have people subscribed to two or more of your lists. That said, the cost-friendly bet is to use a flat-fee service or one that charges by the number of unique subscribers. Meaning, you won’t get charged for subscribers on two or more of your lists.
If you’re just starting out, and don’t expect to collect thousands of leads, MailChimp and MailerLite are good choices. Aweber comes in as a close second, since its $19 monthly flat-fee is an easy sell.
Every email you send should look professional. This is true whether you’re emailing plain-text or want to throw visual elements into the mix.
You also need the ability to brand your email opt-in forms. They should match the look of your website. That way people know they’re in the right place if you direct them to a hosted landing page.
With this in mind, be sure the email software you choose gives you flexible design customizations. Some offer very limited tools. Affordable email software that does this well include Aweber and MailerLite.
How to choose email marketing software for your small business also depends on integrations offered. As a savvy business owner, you most likely use other software to market and keep track of sales. Email marketing platforms can usually integrate with these. But how many integrations they offer — and which ones — can vary.
Email marketing software might connect with a CRM like Hubspot or ZOHO. This way you can follow up with people who join your email list and track their lead status.
Shopping cart integrations like Shopify, WooCommerce or Squarespace are also common. Also, some link with pop-up software and social media. It’s always handy to have more ways to entice people onto your list.
The email marketing software you choose should link to the sales and marketing tools you already rely on.
Email automation is the scheduling of follow-up emails to be sent at a day and time of your choice. This handy function lets you send targeted communications to your email subscribers. Automations are usually triggered by an event. Examples are a new email subscription or product purchase. You can use automated emails to educate, follow up and warm new subscribers to your brand.
The best email automation tools can do more than schedule a campaign sequence. They use tags and custom fields and move subscribers between your lists. Top tier automations can also notify your sales team as a customer progresses in your sales pipeline toward buying.
Every effective email marketer ask themselves the same question: “What is the goal of this email?”. They also review the data after sending their emails.
You’ll want to closely monitor metrics reports on your …
- Conversion Rate
- Click Through Rate
- Return On Investment
- List Growth
But some email marketing platforms track more data than others.
While reporting is definitely something to consider, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. If you have your eye on an email marketing service, but it doesn’t have thorough reporting, you can always integrate Google Analytics.
But that’s not the only thing to think about. The second important reporting function is A/B split testing. This is the ability to send two slightly different emails to a sample group of subscribers. The idea is to see which email gets more engagement. The winning email is sent to the rest of your list.
Standard A/B tests check different subject lines, sender details, email content and different email designs. You can set the recipient sample size and criteria for the winning version. Your email marketing platform will send the winning email to the rest of your subscribers. From there you can review a report to see what works best for your audience.
MailChimp lets you test standard variables, as above. You can also test up to eight campaigns at a time. Meanwhile, Active Campaign lets you test your call to action and who your emails should come from. You can also analyze how you should format the From Name and which photos make the most compelling email.
Summing it Up
Email marketing software offers a lot of functionality. You can integrate it with your sales and marketing tools and design professional looking emails. It will automate publishing for you and track your marketing performance. But the quality of these functions can vary between email marketing platforms.
How to choose email marketing software for your small business depends on …
- your budget
- marketing goals
- and if you plan to use advanced marketing tools like integrations, reporting and split testing.
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