Whether you’re sending out newsletters, invoices or confirmation emails, a good mailing service is an important part of a uniform business approach. There are some fantastic free email marketing services out there that even agencies use (although they usually upgrade to the “professional” account with more tools and widgets).
There are so many options but with GDPR even small companies should now consider using these services as it helps with compliance. In the main they are scalable so as you grow you do not necessarily need to move provider, although it is always advisable to review your current processes.
Anything free does have a catch and it is normally the number of addresses you are sending to and how regularly. Another positive of the established provider, although it sometimes feel negative, is that they make you keep clean data, no dodgy email lists or sending to lots of generic email addresses.
Here’s a few examples of email service providers…
Mailchimp is probably the most established email marketing system thanks to its large initial “free” account which should suit most SME sized businesses. It allows up to 2000 subscribers (email addresses) and you can send 12,000 emails to these subscribers each month – thats a lot of communication for a small business!
The reporting on Mailchimp is pretty good too, you get a lot of useful data from campaigns and you can split test emails (i.e. to see if one one subject heading works better than another, or if a different time of day is more effective).
If you use any third-party integrations such as Shopify, Woocommerce and Calendly try using Drip. There free option is to a much smaller audience than Mailchimp (100 subscribers) but may be ideal if you are a small, boutique retailer or similar.
Benchmark is easy to use and allows 14,000 emails! It works well for Facebook and WordPress users. Its inbuilt photo editor is great if you are creating very visual mailers. Mass mailouts can be pretty pricey though and I’d love to know who sends 17,000,000 emails for $5,000 per month!
VirticalResponse is good for small databases where you use social media alot and want something integrated. Accounts can be linked to social channels and scheduled Facebook and Twitter posts can also be hosted. You can send unlimited emails to 300 contacts under their free account, and there subscription options aren’t too scary.
Sendinblue offers 300 emails per day with unlimited contacts and a large email template library for free. It has a brilliant contact manager and campaign tracking capabilities which you need to see what is working with so much time spent creating campaigns and executing them. Its best feature is the low cost upgrades where others tend to jump up in price.
One of our favourites in Constant Contact, which offers the first month free but then provides unlimited emails for £15/month. We like to flexibility of the design templates, the drag-and-drop feature, how easy they are to amen and the detailed reporting is very useful for future campaigns.
So give it a go, upload your database and look at how to can communicate regularly with your existing customers after all these are your “Low hanging fruit” they already love you and have bought from you! Perhaps start with a referral or recommendation mailout to help spread the word and offer them a discount or entry to a prize draw for helping you.
There are of course a number of dos and donts when it comes to email marketing. Campaigns can be very effective but time consuming, especially if you are new to it or have limited resources, so if you have any questions then please feel free to get in contact with Empower Marketing who can provide advice, run campaigns, develop effective newsletters or train staff.