Social media advertising campaigns, direct contact during industry events, offering educational materials to increase knowledge and awareness – these are just a handful of ways by which companies in various industries try to reach their audiences and, consequently, increase their sales. Particularly eagerly, companies choose to send regular newsletters (educational and sales-related) or personalized messages in response to a customer’s action (e.g. abandoning a shopping cart, viewing a product, etc.). An appropriately sized email marketing platform can effectively help them in this task. Below, we explain what exactly this area includes, as well as point out the most popular solutions available on the market, which are worth testing.
Email marketing platforms – table of contents:
What does email marketing consist of and what are email marketing platforms necessary for?
E-mail marketing is an area of a company’s advertising and promotional activities that involves sending messages to specific groups of recipients that are tailored to their needs and interests. Thus, it constitutes one of the communication channels used by companies in various industries to, among other things, promote products or services, educate customers or build relationships with recipients. It includes such important processes as:
- creating a database – that is, collecting contacts for people who agree to receive messages from your company (e.g., after downloading a publication, as part of signing up for a newsletter on the first visit to the site, to receive a discount code for purchases),
- segmentation of the list of recipients – people in the database are divided into groups based on selected criteria (including behavior, demographics, and shopping preferences), which allows for delivery of more personalized (i.e. tailored) messages to specific recipients,
- content creation – the messages sent may contain information about new products, special offers, industry news, and tips (all depending on the diagnosed needs of the customer and the area in which you operate), but care should be taken to ensure that they are presented in an interesting and useful way,
- automation – using the right email marketing platform makes it possible to automate many processes, such as sending welcome messages, responding to specific subscriber actions or campaigns based on the customer lifecycle,
- analytics and optimization – thanks to analytics tools, you can track message opens, clicks, conversion rates and other metrics to optimize your campaigns based on them and adjust your strategy to achieve better results (according to your goal).
The best email marketing platforms
A particularly interesting aspect of the issue at hand is automation, which is usually performed when using specialized tools such as email marketing platforms.There are several solutions available on the market that have been developed both with this function in mind only, as well as those that offer this type of automation as only one of the available options. Below we discuss 3 of the most popular tools you can employ to streamline your processes.
- a free package to get the business off the ground (2,500 newsletters per month, maximum 500 subscribers),
- plans at reduced prices (30 or even 50%) for foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
- expanding the offer to include, among other things, creating landing pages, adding forms and pop-ups, or conducting webinars (one tool for multiple purposes),
- free spam checking tools,
- a free 30-day trial period.
Mailchimp is undoubtedly one of the most well-known email marketing platforms – mainly because it’s suitable for businesses of all budgets. It offers an easy-to-use wizard for designing newsletters (using the drag&drop function), and at the same time, it also offers several ready-made templates, which make the process of preparing messages for sending much easier.
Moreover, it provides tools for segmenting the list of recipients, automating campaigns (sending personalized messages based on customers’ actions) and analyzing results. At the same time, it is available in a limited free version (the ability to send only 1,000 emails per month), which is a sufficient package for small businesses or companies using the program for internal purposes (company newsletter).
GetResponse is an email marketing platform that is very similar to Mailchimp in terms of features. This is because, with GetResponse you can send personalized messages based on your customers’ actions and according to the segmentation you’ve performed, while also getting detailed analytical reports. However, this solution is distinguished by the following:
Freshmail is one of email marketing platforms with plenty of capabilities. You can create messages (either on your own or with the help of ready-made templates, of which there are more than 200), segment recipients or tailor messages to the customer’s purchase path, to name a few. Freshmail also has the functionality to conduct A/B tests (comparing message variants to choose the one that works best). What else characterizes Freshmail? As with GetResponse, you can take advantage of a free trial period (lasting 14 days).
After that time, you can switch to a plan depending on the number of recipients. What’s more, above 50,000 recipients the company offers individual contract terms, in addition to the standard available plans.
Email marketing platforms – summary
Each email marketing platform discussed above offers similar features and experiences, supporting businesses in different industries with automation, but has unique capabilities and advantages that set it apart from the competition.
So it’s worth spending a moment to test each one out (especially if they offer a free trial period) and see which one works best for you. When making your final decision, you should consider – in addition to the sheer functionality and intuitiveness of the tool – your individual needs, the size of your company, your marketing goals or your potential for collecting contacts (i.e. the nature of your industry – more or less niche), among other factors. We hope now it won’t be hard!