Email marketing is a powerful and affordable way to engage with your audience, build trust, and increase sales. Choosing the best email marketing service for your small business can be challenging. In this post, we share practical tips to help you make a decision and cover various factors to consider, including:
- Your goals and needs
- Your budget and pricing options
- Your email list size and growth potential
- Your email design and content preferences
- Your email analytics and reporting needs
- Your email deliverability and spam compliance
1. Your Goals and Needs
Before you compare different email marketing services, you need to know what you want to achieve with your emails. What are your goals and objectives? How do you measure your success? What are the key features and functionalities that you need?
Some common goals and needs for small businesses:
- Building brand awareness and loyalty
- Generating leads and conversions
- Nurturing relationships and retention
- Educating and informing customers
- Promoting products and services
- Sending newsletters and updates
- Segmenting and personalizing emails
- Automating and scheduling emails
- Testing and optimizing emails
Create a list of your goals and needs and prioritize them. This will help you focus on the email marketing services that can meet your requirements.
2. Your Budget and Pricing Options
Email marketing is a cost-effective marketing channel, but it requires some investment. Your email marketing service may charge a monthly or annual fee, a per-email or per-subscriber fee, or both. You may also have to pay extra for additional features.
To select the best email marketing service for your budget, consider the following:
- How much can you afford to spend on email marketing?
- How often do you plan to send emails?
- How many subscribers do you have or expect to have?
- How many features do you need or want?
- How much value do you get from each email marketing service?
Compare different pricing plans and options from various email marketing services and calculate how much they would cost based on your email frequency, list size, and feature needs. Look for email marketing services that offer free trials, discounts, or money-back guarantees. Also, look for an email marketing service that offers transparent and flexible pricing.
3. Your Email List Size and Growth Potential
Your email list is one of your most valuable assets. It represents your existing and potential customers who have permitted you to contact them via email. Choose an email marketing service to help you manage, grow, and protect your email list.
Some of the things to look for are:
- Easy and secure import and export of contacts
- Multiple ways to collect subscribers, such as forms, pop-ups, landing pages, etc.
- Ability to segment and tag subscribers based on their behavior, interests, preferences, etc.
- Ability to personalize and customize emails based on subscriber data
- Ability to automate and trigger emails based on subscriber actions or events
- Ability to clean and update your email list regularly
- Ability to comply with data protection laws and regulations
Choose an email marketing service that can handle your current email list size and future growth potential. Avoid email marketing services that limit your list size or charge high fees for exceeding it. Also, avoid email marketing services that do not respect your subscribers' privacy or consent.
4. Your Email Design and Content Preferences
Your email design and content are crucial for attracting attention, engaging readers, and delivering your message effectively. You need to choose an email marketing service to help you create beautiful and professional-looking emails matching your brand identity and voice.
Some of the features to look for in an email marketing service:
- A user-friendly and intuitive email editor
- A variety of templates and layouts to choose from
- A library of images, icons, fonts, and colors to customize your emails
- A responsive and mobile-friendly email design
- A preview and testing feature to check how your emails look on different devices and browsers
- A content management system to store and organize your email assets
- A copywriting and editing tool to help you craft compelling and error-free email copy
Choose an email marketing service to help you create emails that suit your style and purpose. Avoid email marketing services with limited or outdated design options or requiring coding or technical skills.
5. Your Email Analytics and Reporting Needs
Your email analytics and reporting are essential for measuring your email performance, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and improving your email strategy. You need to choose an email marketing service that provides accurate and actionable insights into your email campaigns.
Key features to look for:
- A dashboard and reports that show key metrics, such as open rate, click rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, conversion rate, etc.
- A breakdown and comparison of metrics by campaign, segment, time, device, etc.
- A tracking and attribution feature that shows how your emails contribute to your overall marketing goals and revenue
- A feedback and survey feature that collects responses from your subscribers
- An A/B testing and optimization feature that helps you experiment with different email elements and find the best combinations
Choose an email marketing service that can help you monitor and optimize your email campaigns. Avoid email marketing services with limited or inaccurate analytics or ones that do not allow you to export or integrate your data with other tools.
6. Your Email Deliverability and Spam Compliance
Your email deliverability and spam compliance are vital for ensuring that your emails reach your subscribers' inboxes and are not marked as spam or blocked by spam filters. You need to choose an email marketing service that can help you maintain a high deliverability rate and a good sender reputation.
Essential delivery and spam compliance features to look for:
- A reliable and secure infrastructure and network
- A dedicated or shared IP address option
- A domain authentication and verification process
- A spam check and score feature
- A whitelist/safelist and a blacklist/blocklist feature
- A bounce and complaint management feature
- Compliance with anti-spam laws and regulations, such as CAN-SPAM, GDPR, etc.
Choose an email marketing service to help you send safe, legal, and trustworthy emails. Avoid email marketing services with low or inconsistent deliverability rates or do not follow best practices or standards for email sending.
Choosing the best email marketing service for your small business can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By following these tips, you can find an email marketing service that meets your goals and needs, fits your budget and pricing options, supports your email list size and growth potential, matches your email design and content preferences, provides your email analytics and reporting needs, and ensures your email deliverability and spam compliance.
Remember, the best email marketing service for you may not be the best for someone else. You need to research, compare different options, and test them before deciding. You can also ask for recommendations from other small business owners who use email marketing services.
We hope this post has helped you learn how to choose the best email marketing service for your small business. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We would love to hear from you!
written by Anne Albright