Building a robust email list is everything for marketers and business owners. The better they communicate with their audience, the more revenue they will generate. However, you might be surprised to know that a lot of people who have a business think that they can simply collect new email addresses and send out messages from any email client. But does it really work this way? If you are collecting and storing names and email addresses for marketing, you’ve got to be compliant with a number of anti-spam regulations like the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act), the CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation), the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and others. According to these regulations, every marketing email needs to have an unsubscribe link; subscribers must have actively opted into your list; and so on. So, let’s talk a little about what you need to do to build a quality list of subscribers, be legal and compliant, and do everything easily and with minimum effort.
To manage your email list effectively, you need a good autoresponder software. What is it? It is the software that stores your email addresses allowing you to reach the inboxes of your subscribers and communicate with them 24/7. To choose the best autoresponder, first of all, you need to:
When I was looking for my first autoresponder email software, someone advised me to start with a quite expensive autoresponder company that offered a huge range of services. Soon I realized that even though it was an awesome company, I didn't use most features they provided. So if you are relatively new to email marketing, consider using some free autoresponder.
Of course, if your budget allows for it, you can start with paid services with advanced features. Before you sign up, find out the total cost of implementing and running the platform. Because in addition to a subscription fee, a vendor might also have hidden fees or associated costs involved.
Regardless of whether you want to choose your first email marketing service provider or are willing to make the transition from an existing one, you need to consider some important aspects. After a little research, you will be able to find an email marketing automation software that suits your organization's needs.
Here are a few things to consider:
How long the company is in business is a huge factor that needs to be considered. The longer they work in this field, the better relationship they created with ESPs like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. It means that the chances that your email will be marked as spam are pretty law. That is why it is preferable to choose the company that has been in business for at least the last seven years.
Before you sign up, pay attention to their website. If it isn't appealing and easy to navigate, it is likely that you won't be able to create and send out nice, clean, and modern emails.
Try before you buy. Most providers offer a free or inexpensive trial version that will allow you to test the functionality.
Now that you understand the three main things to take into account when deciding between different email marketing platforms, the next thing that you need to find out is what useful features they offer.
Mailing list segmentation is the process of dividing subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria, such as demography, customer personas, interests, the sales cycle phase, etc.
By doing so, you will be able to send more targeted and relevant autoresponders to each segment to achieve better results.
A good marketing automation platform will offer seamless integration with your CRM platform. This will help you save a lot of time because you won’t need to manage any CSV files. Also, ask the vendor to provide you with a full list of integrations that are possible for their software if this information isn’t available on their website.
Forms are an important part of lead generation. To collect email addresses and grow your list, you should be able to add a sign-up form to your web page; and then to introduce yourself to new customers, and keep in contact with them using email automation.
A trigger is an action that starts automation. For example, when someone subscribes to your list, abandons a cart, or purchases a product from you, they receive an automated email. An ideal email marketing automation software should offer a wide selection of preset automation types with built-in triggers along with an option to create custom automation with your own triggers.
Although watching some of your recipients unsubscribe from your emails is never a pleasant thing, the unsubscribe page builder gives you the opportunity to make the unsubscription process smoother and more tailored to your audience. Customize any detail from the background image and content to buttons and links.
It is essential to measure your rate of success consistently. A quality email marketing platforms can provide you with customizable reports which will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign from different sides.
Look for a provider that offers modern, professionally designed, and easy-to-customize email templates. This will allow you to create and send beautiful emails without having to deal with any HTML or CSS.
Now let’s investigate some of the best email marketing service providers together.
Today, there is a crazy amount of autoresponders for email marketing like MailChimp, InfusionSoft, GetResponse, AWeber, ConvertKit, and many many others. Good news is that if you can’t afford investing money in your email marketing, you can start with a free version. Ideally, if a platform has a free trial version, list segmentation option, unsubscribe page builder, intuitive UI, triggering options, analytics, and excellent reputation. Choose wisely and good luck!
You might also want to read our blog post “How to effectively use autoresponders for email marketing.”