In this article, we’ll compare email marketing services and guide you on how to make the right decision. This is important because if you want to improve your website and you’re looking for the next strategy that will help you achieve your aim, email marketing can help you.
Whether you want to increase the traffic to your website or you want to increase sales of your product, you can’t go wrong by running an email marketing campaign.
Why do you think the saying ‘the money is on the list’ is so popular? Because it is very true. A website owner who handles their email marketing with levity hands does so at the peril of the website’s progress.
But you’re smarter than that and you will pay the utmost attention to the wonderful people who have given you their email addresses. Those addresses are simply gold mines.
According to a study by the Radicati group, about 2.5 billion people use email and about 196 billion emails are sent daily. Email is a big part of the online experience and you should exploit the advantages as a website owner.
According to Salesforce’s 2016 state of marketing report, 80% of marketers agree that email is core to their business.
To get the best out of your email marketing, one vital part you can never overlook is the role of the email marketing provider you choose for your website.
This is because you choose your provider according to your needs. The type of content you want to send to your email subscribers will determine your email provider.
This post is going to talk about the top email marketing providers you should consider for your website.
We’ll compare email marketing services such as:
- Active Campaign
But before we go into that, we need to go through the features you need to consider in an email provider.
1). How it groups your contacts
In the early days of email marketing, providers only offered list-based email systems. This only puts your contacts in a list. Today, email providers now offer tag-based systems that allow your contacts to be grouped according to the tags allocated to them.
The tag-based email system is more flexible than the list-based system as it allows for more targeted emails. For instance, you probably don’t want an email subscriber who has been on your list for a year to receive the same message from someone who just subscribed.
It’s similar to having a student who has been in a school for three years in the same class with a much younger new student. The lessons become complicated to take because they need different things.
This is why a tag-based system is more likely to serve your business more effectively as you can send different messages to different subscribers and even make automation easier.
Automation basically gives you more functionality on the messages you can send to your contacts. This helps you to send messages based on the behaviors of a particular email subscriber.
For instance, you can set a trigger that will add a subscriber to a tag. Let’s say one of your email subscribers visits three pages on your website that deal with how to Write blog posts, this can trigger a campaign that will send that subscriber more emails about how to write blog posts.
At the end of this campaign, you can introduce your product that will make your subscriber write like a champion.
In a post by popular blogger, Jon Morrow, he wrote about how automation makes it easy for him to send targeted emails to his subscribers and increase sales of his products and services.
Campaign monitor found that email with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened, and marketers have found a 760 percent increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
This underlines the importance of targeted emails. Of course, automation is easier and more efficient with a tag-based system rather than a list-based system.
3). A/B testing
When you start sending emails to your subscribers, it is important to test the effectiveness of the messages you send in how they convert. This is a form of experimentation that can improve your email marketing if you do the right tests.
There are many things you can test depending on your needs. You can test the subject lines of your email, content, or even delivery time. Doing these tests between two groups will show you which subject line or content gives you more leads.
This is an essential feature to consider as it can result in more leads for your business depending on how creative you are about it.
According to Campaign Monitor, A/B testing can improve conversion rate by 49 percent.
The interesting thing is that when you send an email, you also want to make it pleasing to the eyes right? Many times, you also want your email to reflect the type of content on your website.
For example, if your website is about food, you probably want your email templates to look different on a website that is about finance. Different email providers give different flexibility to their templates and the editor.
If this is a big factor for you, you’ll be able to pick the best provider for your website as we go through the providers in a moment.
There are some tools and services you use on your website that you will like to integrate into your email marketing. It is important to know if an email marketing provider supports these tools and apps.
6). Tracking and Reporting
What is the essence of an email marketing provider if you can’t track the performance of your email? Or get accurate reports about it?
This is an essential part of any email provider. You can track and get reports of data like opens per day, automation reports, number of new subscribers over a particular period of time, etc. Through these insights, you can see what is working and what is not working in your campaign. You can make changes where there is a need for improvement.
You need to send emails to your subscribers and track performance. Because this is one of the most effective ways of gaining customers for your business.
According to a McKinsey report, email is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter.
7). Customer Service
To choose an email provider, you must consider the quality of customer care and support being offered by that service.
The quality of the customer service could include the timeliness, number of options or videos or even the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) offered by the provider.
For any plan you intend to use, you must check your pocket to know which service can serve you best with the amount of money you have. The key thing to know here is that the amount you will spend on email marketing providers will depend on the number of subscribers you have.
There are other variations to this which we will go into as we examine the various email providers.
When you spend on an email marketing provider, it’s one of the best ways to spend your money. According to VentureBeat, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in return on investment (ROI). This is higher than other channels of marketing.
Without further ado, let’s examine the top email providers:
GetResponse is an email marketing provider that has been in service since 1997. With over 350,000 users, it is one of the biggest email providers that serve both small and big businesses.
Some of the features of using GetResponse include:
- A solid tagging system that allows tag-based automation. The automation is good and meets your basic automation needs.
- It has a very good A/B testing that allows you to test data like subject line, content, delivery time, etc.
- GetResponse comes with a huge library of templates across many industries. This gives you the ability to choose a template based on your content.
- It allows integration with 177 apps and services and with Zapier (which allows integration with hundreds of apps).
- It has a basic tracking and reporting feature.
- GetResponse has a very good customer support which includes email, phone, live chat, and a library of documents for any customer who might need help.
- GetResponse offers no free plan. It, however, charges $15 per month for 1000 subscribers, $65 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers, $145 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, $250 per month for 50,000 subscribers and $450 per month for 100,000 subscribers. It is the cheapest email provider based on price.
AWeber was founded in 1998 and has a user base of over 120,000.
The features of using AWeber include:
- It now has a tagging system but it is not as good as its competitors.
- AWeber offers automation but it is very basic and lacks the ability to tag subscribers based on their behavior online.
- A/B testing is absent on AWeber.
- AWeber has a large number of templates for customers.
- AWeber allows integration with 180 different apps and services, and also support for Zapier integrations.
- It has good tracking and reporting but with little automation.
- AWeber has a very good customer care with many video tutorials. It also has a toll-free number and live chat during particular hours.
- AWeber offers no free plan. It charges $29 per month for up to 1000 subscribers, $69 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers, $149 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, $392 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers and $792 per month for up to 100,000 subscribers. AWeber is expensive to use and you should avoid it if you’re working on a tight budget.
ConvertKit is an email marketing provider mainly created for professional bloggers. It was built by Nathan Barry in 2013.
The features of ConvertKit include:
- It uses a tag-based system that works well with segmentation of subscribers and automation of marketing campaign. ConvertKit provides very good automation for users.
- ConvertKit only allows A/B testing of subject lines.
- ConvertKit has very few templates and customization options.
- ConvertKit allows integration with over 70 apps and services, and also support for Zapier integration.
- ConvertKit has a simple tracking and reporting interface which is easy to use.
- ConvertKit has an excellent customer support with articles and guides for users. It also claims to have a 1 hour, 14 minute average response time.
- ConvertKit offers no free plan. It charges $29 per month for up to 1000 subscribers, $119 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers, $199 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, $379 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers and $679 per month for up to 100,000 subscribers.
ActiveCampaign started in 2003 and now serve many users.
Its features include:
- It offers an excellent tag system for organization, automation triggers. It allows users to build automation based on customers’ behavior.
- It has an excellent A/B testing that allows you to test campaign emails and autoresponders.
- It has a good selection of email templates.
- ActiveCampaign provides integration with 150 apps and services and also support for Zapier.
- ActiveCampaign has a very good tracking and reports that give the user the important information needed.
- ActiveCampaign provides excellent support for many how-to articles and videos. They also provide live chat during business hours.
- ActiveCampaign offers no free plan. It charges $29 per month for up to 1000 subscribers, $139 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers, $225 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, $299 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers and $459 per month for up to 100,000 subscribers.
MailChimp was founded in 2001 and is now the largest email marketing service by far with 15 million customers.
Its features include:
- MailChimp uses ‘groups’ and ‘hidden fields’ to segment subscribers. This is less efficient than tags. The automation on MailChimp is poor compared to other providers.
- MailChimp has an excellent support for A/B testing. It allows testing for subject lines, delivery time, and content.
- MailChimp has well-designed templates which is also grouped into different themes suitable for your type of content.
- MailChimp integrates about 700 apps and services which is far more than its competitors. It also allows Zapier integrations.
- MailChimp provides very good tracking and reports with comprehensive data.
- It provides many documents for users who have issues. Its customer support also has a ticket-based support system and live chat.
- The most attractive feature of MailChimp is that it offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers. And with full automation. Other plans include $75 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers, $150 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, $240 per month for up to 50,000 subscribers and $475 per month for up to 100,000 subscribers.
If you’re just starting a website and don’t want to add email marketing costs to your expenses, then MailChimp is the provider for you.
These are the top email marketing providers available today.
Picking an email provider is not an activity you can just do without much thought. This is why you must go through this post carefully to see which provider suits your business’ needs.
Choosing a provider will depend on what you want to achieve with your email marketing and how you intend to go about it.
There are many things to consider before you make a choice. You can be tempted to look at the cost only but I’lladvisee you not to.
If your email marketing provider helps you to make one more single sale, it could be worth the cost of the email provider. Of course, you should pick the cheapest if it meets all your needs but you should also think like a business person.
For instance, if you want to do a lot of tagging and automation with your subscribers, you would do well to use ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign. If you’re looking to save cost, then MailChimp or GetResponse would achieve that for you.
Having compared these email marketing services, which provider will give you the best return on investment? That is the provider you’re looking for.
Picking the right email marketing provider could give your online business the lift it needs and it could help you satisfy your customers (or subscribers).
It’s a win-win situation when you pick the right email marketing provider. Which email marketing provider suits your needs?