Email marketing tools provide powerful customer contact channels
As with most marketing activities, the Internet offers much more than merely implementing a digital version of paper-based systems. The email system linked to special email marketing tools can run an entire campaign that combines advertising, mail shots, customer tracking, sales conversion, and after-sales service. Check out these recommended email marketing tools to bring your marketing drive into the Digital Age.
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing tools over traditional, paper-based methods is that you can merge your customer data with the actual delivery system. You probably have a contact list in your home email system that allows you to create different email groups and note address and name data about each contact. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp expand the contact list feature to become mini customer relationship management tools. Rather than just noting a contact’s name and address, you can make notes about communications and sales to that customer in MailChimp. The system also allows you to create workflows to direct different groups and individual contacts to different email campaigns, setting up a series of emails to be sent out at specified intervals. MailChimp allows you to create graphic-rich emails, and, as with most email marketing tools these days, you can access the service from your smartphone.
HubSpot produces software for digital marketing. The company’s products include an email marketing tool. As with MailChimp, HubSpot’s email marketing tool includes a graphics editor to enable you to create the layout of your email. You can “merge” contact data with your email templates to create personalized emails. HubSpot’s email marketing tool has a lot of similarities with MailChimp’s offering. Like MailChimp, the system produces analytical reports and enables each contact’s communications and actions to be recorded. You can set up a workflow to sequence a series of emails to different contact groups and preview your emails with text in-boxes. One great advantage of the HubSpot email marketing tool is its ability to integrate with other HubSpot tools like HubSpot CRM and Sidekick. These enable you to integrate your presentation, sales and after-sales service into one customer contact database.
AWeber is an email marketing tool based on autoresponders. An autoresponder is an automatic response to an incoming email or entry into a database. If you ever sent an email to a company and immediately received an email saying, “Thank you for contacting us; a specialist will contact you shortly,” then you have dealt with an autoresponder. As the name suggests, autoresponders are principally designed to respond to an initial incoming email. The very first email can be a post from a form on your website. You then set up a series of emails to send over a period of time to lists of different contacts. Because the entries in your contacts list are usually generated from a name and email address entered into a web form, you are unlikely to capture much information about your potential customers through AWeber. This email marketing tool includes HTML email formats and a library of email templates. AWeber offers a one-month trial for $1. After that, a subscription to the service costs $19 per month.
4) Constant Contact
Constant Contact is very similar to AWeber in that it is an email marketing tool based on autoresponders. The tool includes an email editor and a series of timed autoresponders to send an email campaign as a series of mails spaced over specified intervals. The service costs $15 a month, with a discount for prepayment. You can get a one-month free trial of Constant Contact.
Infusionsoft’s package involves a lot more than just an email system. It includes scheduling, team management, shopping cart and payment collection software as well. Consequently, it is much more expensive than the other email marketing tools in this list. Plans start from $199 per month and go up to $379 per month.
6) Exact Target
Exact Target is a division of Salesforce.com, so its main package is called both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Exact Target Marketing Cloud. It doesn’t sell a stand-alone email marketing tool but integrates email functions into a wider bundle of sales and marketing functions. The email section of Exact Target Marketing Cloud includes an email editor, a contacts database, mail group managers, and sequenced email campaigns.
Emma offers the best email presentation options of all the email marketing tools on this list. It particularly aids the design of mobile presentation, which is increasingly important in the modern market. As with the other email marketing tools on this list, Emma offers analytical reports, and they are beautifully presented. Like MailChimp, Emma offers analysis reports and alerts through a mobile app. Two distinctive attributes of Emma are its mobile capabilities and its look and feel, both of the user interface and the email creation capabilities it offers through its email design tool.
MailChimp and HubSpot probably offer the most comprehensive utilities for managing an outbound email campaign. AWeber and Constant Contact would be your best choice if you want to drive your email marketing by autoresponders. Emma probably has the best facilities for reaching out to a mobile or social media audience, and is perhaps more attuned to businesses catering to the youth market. These five are pure email marketing tools. Exact Target and Infusionsoft offer email functions as part of integrated packages, and you would have to examine each in detail to decide whether you need all the other products each company’s bundle includes.
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