Marketing

Top 5 Best Email Marketing Platforms for Small Businesses

Email marketing in 2020 is experiencing a new round of development. However, like every year. It would seem: in the modern world there are so many social networks and communication channels, but the good old mailings do not lose their relevance and bring more customers and sales.

This is because 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from brands they follow at least once a month. And segmented emails account for 58% of the company’s revenue (according to HubSpot). Every dollar spent on email marketing will generate an average of $ 42 in revenue (DMA data, 2019)

Email marketing is one of the most effective and budgetary ways to gain the attention of new buyers, whet the interest of existing ones, strengthen relationships with them, or facilitate a purchase.

In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users. By 2024, 4.48 billion users are projected. In 2020 alone, 306.4 billion emails were sent and received every day. By 2024, the volume will grow to 361.6 billion letters every (!) Day (According to research by J. Clement).

Why it is important and necessary to use email marketing

· Increases customer loyalty, because the newsletter can tell you about brand values, new products and how your business lives.

· With the help of mailings, you can cover different needs of your business: sales, communication with customers or customer service.

· Simple and functional. Today’s mailing services are automated, straightforward to use, plus they have a wide range of features and a large library of templates. Most platforms have excellent reporting processing, unsubscription management, and possibly A / B testing.

· Personalization makes sales. In modern mailing services, it is possible to create different chains of letters for different customers, potential buyers and those who are simply interested.

· Automation tools remind you of an unpaid order, a forgotten item in the cart, or discounts. This, in turn, leads to increased sales.

· With email services, you don’t need to know how to write code. Your task is to correctly compose the enticing text and choose the visual.

· Templates developed by designers allow you not to miss the style and trends, but at the same time do not require hours of sitting on the creation of the letter.

· Competent segmentation allows in the future to offer customers relevant products and offers, information. Segmentation according to various criteria and previously performed actions (clicks, transitions or made purchases) always gives a result. In addition, your loyal customers will always be aware of promotions and new products.

· With the help of email newsletters, you can easily retarget to your website visitors, return customers who have left.

· Email surveys let you know the opinion and preferences of the audience.

· Newsletters are a great way to maintain brand transparency and brand presence in the client’s life. Email marketing can help you become your prospect’s friend if you take care of useful, quality content.

Criteria for selecting email marketing services

There is a separate category of email marketing services that are best suited to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Among them, we have selected five of the most adequate, easy-to-use and effective services, with decent free features that are ideal for small businesses.

When choosing the best email marketing services, we based our assessments on the service’s normal deliverability – not all services can guarantee that your emails will not go to spam.

For a good email newsletter, a variety of templates is important: for any task, taste, purpose. It’s important to keep the templates up to date – “outdated” 2005 design patterns will work against you.

For us, when choosing the best services, it was important to be able to segment customers into different categories. Plus an adequate lift price, affordable even for a small business, or a decent free version.

An email marketing service should have good reporting: deliverability, open rate, clicks, conversions, and registrations statistics. Reporting data is essential for the next successful campaigns and increased sales.

Ease of use: if you spend too much time or financial resources to understand the service, its effectiveness for your business automatically drops.

GetResponse

GetResponse has an excellent Russian-language version with a 30-day free trial. During this time, you can really assess how the service is right for you, figure out how to work with it, and even test mailing campaigns. GetResponse has a straightforward interface that is easy to navigate. Even without the involvement of a marketer, you can create effective mailing lists yourself.

Feature: the service offers a platform for webinars, you can create polls. Convenient to use for learning-related businesses. An integrated approach and integration with such platforms always pay off.

Pros:

  • Intuitive design
  • Free trial with all options
  • CRM-tab will be convenient for small businesses and those who have a long sale-purchase process
  • Convenient and easy to set up a personal account
  • Just edit emails
  • Russian version
  • More than 500 templates to choose from
  • RSS feeds – you can send your company blog regularly, for example
  • The service “knows” the best time to open – there is a function to program dispatch for this particular time
  • Tariffs start at $ 15 per month.

Minuses:

  • Long registration with a lot of data filling
  • Technical support often takes a long time to respond.

MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the time-tested and used services by many companies. In 2020, the service has more than 12 million users. Useful functions, block system, large selection of up-to-date templates. It is possible to combine and create your own templates – using corporate colors, fonts or images. The free version contains enough features for any business.

Feature: Gorgeous Analytics360 reporting – you can use it to calculate ROI, conversions and even profit. But Analytics360 is only available for pro accounts.

Pros:

  • Intuitive and accessible interface
  • Ample opportunities for creating letters and editing
  • Variety of modern and beautiful templates
  • Mailings leave quickly, it is possible to program the sending of letters for a specific time
  • The free version contains a full set of features. Registration is free and easy
  • You can send letters free of charge to the contact base of up to 2,000 people. And up to 12,000 mailings per month
  • Good reporting, analytics for each letter. Analysis by demographic characteristics, location, you can track the opening of links
  • Chains of warming letters can be formed
  • The ability to create landing pages, posts for social networks
  • Automation that is triggered by specific triggers. They are easy to create and modify.
  • The paid version starts from $ 10-15 monthly and up.

Minuses:

  • In the free version, all emails have a MailChimp watermark at the bottom
  • No Russian version, the whole interface is in English
  • Segmentation – sometimes difficult to deal with
  • In the free version, technical support is only via email.

UniSender

UniSender is a simple and easy-to-use service. You can sort out and send the first newsletter in just 15 minutes. The service allows you to send personalized letters. The segmentation processes are well-built, there are slightly fewer customization options than previous services, but quite enough for small and medium-sized businesses.

Feature: The service offers an unusual service – recommendations for setting up mailings (automatic) or turnkey email marketing services for your business for an additional fee. In addition, it is possible for a fee to order a customized template designed for you.

Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Sending 1,500 letters per month for free to 100 contacts in the list
  • Convenient letter constructor and good template base. Templates categorized by topic
  • Fast response from support 24/7
  • Russified version
  • Service algorithms deliver almost 100% of emails. In the standard tariff, the service will “prompt” how to correct the letter so that it does not end up in spam
  • There is a choice of email conversation templates
  • Script-level automation – you can chain actions and results
  • The service allows you to place special forms on your website to collect contact information
  • Ability to launch SMS or Viber-mailing
  • An animated internet assistant will help you send your first newsletter.
  • Service supports attachments
  • All basic analytics: deliverability, openings, referrals, unsubscriptions, complaints
  • You can automatically download contacts from the site, CRM, via API.

Minuses:

  • The cost of the paid version depends on the number of mailings and contacts. Starts at $ 7 per month with just 500 contacts
  • It can be difficult to set up automation on your own
  • Not the most up-to-date templates
  • Segmentation and automation are limited.

SendPulse

The main advantage of the SendPulse service is its extensive capabilities for automating mailings. Allows you to automatically create a chain of letters in response to the reaction of a client who read, clicked, registered or did not open the letter. Paid plans start at $ 5 and incrementally, depending on the number of contacts on your mailing list.

Feature: Customized subscription forms for push messages. Out-of-the-box scripts for message threads.

Pros:

  • It is possible to work with SMS, Viber and Web Push messages
  • Advanced automation of letter chains
  • There is a great tool Automation 360 – automatic newsletter creation
  • Intuitive template builder, many options for ready-made templates
  • The service uses SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and API to send transactional messages. Integrates with your shipping system
  • Detailed statistics and reporting on mailings
  • Free version for 500 addresses, you can send up to 15,000 letters per month
  • Preview of the letter on a mobile device.

Minuses:

  • Automation 360 paid version only
  • The segmentation of the contact base is rather weak
  • Sometimes mailings are blocked by the service for no clear reason
  • SMS, Viber and Web Push cannot be combined in one version, you need to automate separately
  • The free plan has a limited number of templates.

Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a good basic service for small and medium businesses. The free plan allows you to cover the needs of any business since the number of contacts is unlimited. There is a limit only for 300 mailings per day. If you are interested in more large-scale mailings, then the initial mailing service packages start at $ 25 per month. At this rate, you can make up to 40,000 items per month.

Feature: Sendinblue in the free version allows you to use CRM (only one configured automation process) and live chat.

Pros:

  • Simplicity of the interface
  • It is possible to create subscription forms on the site
  • Basic paid version already has A / B testing
  • Letters are sent at suitable hours. It helps improve openness and engagement with your potential customers.
  • Statistics can be viewed in real time
  • Decent automation: set triggers and better understand your audience’s actions, send personalized emails to customers in line with their previous actions
  • There is an opportunity to save on annual rates
  • Convenient preview.

Minuses:

  • Limited number of integrations
  • Works slowly
  • Sometimes problems with mail delivery
  • Limited Auto Answer Features
  • Not very diverse templates.

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