I have a confession to make. I’m not a big fan of email. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat but let me quickly explain my reasons. That being said, I understand that having a strong list of followers who you can update and keep in touch with is important. But, please, please, whatever it is you are sending out, compose it with intention, in the spirit of your business.
No email marketing tool is going to save you from having 0 opens if your content isn’t good! And this goes for all online tools you use in your business.
If the purpose and soul isn’t there, the marketing tool will not bring it to life.
Assuming you have your email strategy in order now, this blog post lists four essential functionalities to consider when using your email marketing tool. Depending on where you are in your business, what you create, and who you target market is, you will have different requirements. At the end of the day, you want your email marketing tool to do the heavy lifting with menial and repetitive tasks.
Just to be clear, here I’m referring to emails that are automatically sent when a certain event is triggered, for example, signing up for a webinar or purchasing a product. Although all email providers have this functionality, different ones have varying levels of configuration complexity and you want to make sure you aren’t spending too much time in the setup.
Putting together the logic behind an email sequence in a launch or product purchase should first be mapped out separately (on real paper or in Google Drawing in Drive). Then, you want to migrate this to your email automation tool and test, before making it live.
Some tools that are known for the ease of use are MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and Convert Kit.
2) List Building and Segmentation
This is a very important functionality and what you should keep in mind here is the size of followers you are looking to attract. If you are just starting out, MailChimp gives you 2,000 subscribers, while Aweber gives you 500 to start off with for free.
If you are farther along in your business, you have paid options with more complex segmentation (or filtering). You want to be able to quickly filter through your contacts (returning/new customer, what product/service did they purchase, etc.) and create custom lists to target specific users. GetResponse has an interesting functionality that automatically moves contacts from one list to another when certain events are triggered. This is useful and can save you the time of doing it manually.
Again, it depends on the size of your following and the need to filter through the different user segments.
3) Pre-built Templates and Design flexibility
Depending on whether you have a design skills (or hire someone) having pre-built templates can be a lifesaver.
Many tools (like MailChimp and GetResponse) have a comfortable array of pre-built email templates. If you are working with a designer, having an easy to use email builder is important.
Other factors to consider are the complexity of your emails and what kind of content you are sharing. For example, if you business is centered around sharing videos, a tool like BombBomb might be right up your alley.
Don’t settle on what is the most popular; your online tools should be busting their butts.
Getting two tools to talk to each other is an added benefit that most aren’t taking advantage of, since it can really help you cut down on repetitive admin tasks. For instance, ConvertKit integrates with GumRoad, if you are selling products in that area. Or MailChimp allows you to track which emails are leading to site views in your Google Analytics.
Having more productive time to focus on our craft is what we all wish for and this is something your email automation provider can really help you with.
That’s it! You’ll notice that in this post I don’t lean toward any particular tool name; that is because there isn’t an easy, one-size-fits all solutions tool.
Every business is different and therefore has different needs. Switching email automation tools after a couple months (or years) of business is normal and, if anything, expected.
Paying attention to these key functionalities in your email marketing tools and choosing what serves you, can make a big difference in your business.
Thinking of switching your email automation tool and don’t know where to start. Schedule a free 15 min consult call with me and I can help guide you in the right direction.