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Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.
High reach: When people join your email list (subscribe or “opt in”), you can reach them. If they just like your Facebook page, for example, it’s unlikely that they’d see many of your updates. Sure, not everyone opens your emails, but the numbers are heavily in favor of email marketing compared to other similar marketing tactics. I’d rather get 1,000 new email subscribers than 10,000 Twitter followers.
Non-promotional emails, on the other hand, will be less sales-driven and timely, and more focused on building relationships and providing value to your customers. While promotional email campaigns generally tend to yield a higher click-through rate, non-promotional messages allow you to see what interests your email subscribers so you can segment accordingly. You can follow up later with more targeted messages that help to nurture your relationship with these audiences.
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $3 per month to send out 500 emails per month in Zoho Campaigns to as much as $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts in Pardot. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few also offer money-back guarantees.
Mailchimp is a very well-known email marketing tool that integrates with popular apps and services like Salesforce, Eventbrite, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and SurveyMonkey. This inbound marketing tool allows you to easily sync your data from those services, import content from other sources, and learn how your campaigns are affecting your business. Along with reports to show you how well you’re connecting with your audience and how much money you’re bringing in, Mailchimp gives you tips for improvement. Mailchimp Mobile Dashboard enables you to check in from anywhere.
Each of those tactics requires different tools when it comes to creation of the source email, dissemination to specific recipients, and integration with other back-end systems, notably the accounting system, the customer relationship management (CRM) system, and possibly even the inventory management system. You can manage your contacts by simply keeping a list of names and email addresses, or you can create a complex database full of subscribers segmented by demographic slices and engagement levels. Which method you choose really just depends on how much of your budget you're willing to allocate toward the email marketing software that can give your company the features it needs.
GetResponse is an email marketing tool that helps businesses both maintain their contacts as well as coordinate professional marketing campaigns. It offers a very easy-to-manage database, users can create individual campaigns and manage multiple emailing lists within the software. GetResponse can also be used to build landing pages and surveys and publish newsletters on social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.
When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, "This email list is totally opt-in!" This means the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time -- the list provider, for example -- by filling out a form or checking a box to receive more content from that provider.
Dynamic segmentation – As alluded to earlier, you can’t just send out a generic message to everyone on your list. While basic demographic data can be used to segment your list, that’s far from taking the dynamic approach. Automation tools can help you segment your list as they go through the funnel, allowing you to send personalized messaging depending on their actions and behaviors.