Learn more about email campaign programs and discover which platform is best for your business.
Email remains one of the key strands of digital marketing, so it is essential to have a programme that enables you to reach out to people easily and efficiently. Email can be the first contact you make with prospective new customers or the means through which you maintain your relationship with your existing customers.
This blog post is part of a series on email marketing.
Choosing an Email Campaign Program
Email marketing campaigns work best when they are timely, personalised and targeted to specific groups of recipients. While you can manage a small marketing campaign with just a spreadsheet and a list of email addresses, there is a lot more you can do when you have the right tools.
Email campaign programs can help you to manage your contact lists and to connect with people in a more effective manner. You can create email campaigns that take individual customer’s preferences and purchasing histories into account. You can make your customers feel valued and treated as individuals.
The best email campaign platforms will make it easier to manage customer data and to coordinate your marketing strategy across different media. The program should help you to create effective email templates and to ensure they are sent to the right contacts at the right times. Some programs also enable you to set up automated responses for different scenarios.
Should You Use Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is probably the best-known email campaign program so it is often the first option that businesses will consider. If you’re new to email marketing then it can be a good choice as it is relatively straightforward to use.
You can use this platform to:
- Create customised emails for newsletters or marketing campaigns
- Segment your contact list by factors such as location to enable targeted email marketing
- Set up automated messages based on specific events, such as a customer failing to complete a purchase or showing interest in specific items
- Coordinate marketing campaigns across email, online ads and social media
However, there are limits to what you can do with Mailchimp so it may not be flexible enough for more advanced users. Recent changes have also caused some businesses to switch to other platforms. Mailchimp has begun moving away from its previous focus on email marketing, with new features being introduced without much communication or support for users. Mailchimp is likely to become more expensive for many businesses and it won’t be the same simple email marketing service as before.
Mailchimp currently provides a free plan for small businesses with up to 2000 contacts. The paid plans from $9.99 to $299.00 a month offer additional features and support larger contact lists.
Alternatives to Mailchimp: Comparing Email Marketing Programs
If Mailchimp doesn’t seem like the right fit for your business or it isn’t working for you anymore, or if you have increased your mailings, then it is worth considering the following alternatives.
Email Campaign Program – Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor provides a very visual, intuitive interface that makes it very easy to work with. You can create segmented contact lists for targeted marketing, track the interactions with your customers, and create automated email workflows for all kinds of scenarios. Analysis tools are also provided to monitor the effects of your email campaigns. If you want a straightforward email platform and you enjoy working with the largely drag and drop based interface then this can be a good choice for your business. Campaign Monitor starts at £9 a month for up to 2500 emails, with unlimited emails from £29 a month.
Email Campaign Program – iContact
The iContact platform is ideal for small and medium sized businesses. It provides an easy to use interface that includes useful tools for segmenting customer lists, split testing and tracking the performance of your email campaigns. The range of email templates is also particularly good but may not be sufficient for larger businesses. The support services are excellent but are of limited use to international users as the phone lines are based in US time zones. Pricing starts at $14 a month for up to 500 email subscriptions so it can be more expensive than Campaign Monitor.
Email Campaign Program – SendinBlue
SendinBlue gives you the greatest control, so it can be a good choice if you want to do more than is possible with the other platforms. You can combine email and SMS campaigns, send tailored messages based on many different events, and access detailed analytics on how your emails are being read. However, it takes more technological knowledge to make the most of the extra features on this platform so it might not be the right choice if you just need a simple tool. The pricing is based on the number of emails you send. You can send 3 campaigns a month to up to 2000 contacts for free. Paid plans range from £15 to £102 a month.
Picking the right platform will enable you to easily manage a cost-effective email marketing campaign that produces a real return for your business. It is important to compare the options and consider the needs to your business so that you can make the most of email marketing.
When you have selected your email marketing program, you might also be interested in A/B testing your emails to see which is more successful.