4 Options to Automate your Email Marketing
Your business has harnessed the power of email marketing and conversions are flowing from all corners of the globe. As crucial as your campaigns are, you don’t want to lose valuable days setting them up when you could be searching for more leads and closing more sales. When your business reaches a certain size (and even small businesses should take a look!) automating as much as you can of your email campaign becomes essential.
The only program to appear on all three of our guides, MailChimp has a low barrier to entry but is used by lots of large businesses. It integrates well with most sales software (Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua) and other third party apps.
Make sure your emails get sent at the same time around the globe, and design sophisticated workflows based on customer behaviour – or use some of the pre-existing workflows bundled with the program. As the full feature set is included on every paid account, MailChimp is the lowest cost option to really dig into automation features. It doesn’t scale as well as others on our list however, and if you have a large amount of contacts you might be better going with a different option.
Pricing: From $10/month for all features, $150/month for up to 25 000 subscribers
Free Trial: No free trial, up to 2000 subscribers free.
Like MailChimp, GetResponse includes all features and unlimited email on every paid plan. Non-coders will like the slick drag and drop interface for easy design of responsive emails; hundreds of templates and thousands of stock photos are included, although some of them look quite dated compared to other platforms, and will need tweaking. Where it beats MailChimp is in its scalability: Larger numbers of subscribers end up being cheaper, although both allow unlimited numbers of emails.
The automation and testing features offered by GetResponse are easily the best of the low-mid cost platforms. Up to 5 different messages can be split tested, compared to 2 from MailChimp, and complex auto-responders can be set up around subscriber characteristics and behavior.
One main advantage of GetResponse is that as well as custom emails, you can design custom landing pages for your campaign links, an easy way to pick up conversions from users who might find your main site too cluttered. The same drag and drop editor can be used to create these landing pages almost instantly.
Pricing: From $15/month for all features, $145/month for 25 000 subscribers
Free Trial: 30 days
A recent arrival to the email marketing world, DotMailer has amassed a large base of satisfied customers in a very short time. Its automation feature set is large, varied, and intuitive, requiring much less time to get started than Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
The user segmentation is very powerful, setting up different workflows based on customer behavior and timings through your system, giving your campaigns laser precision targeting.
Pricing: On request
Free Trial: 30 days
If you’re looking for premium features (and willing to pay premium prices), take a look at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Acquired as ExactTarget mid-2013, it has now been folded into the Salesforce software repertoire.
The automation possibilities are nearly limitless, and this might trip some users up as the interface is not the most intuitive. Documentation is similarly not as thorough as it could be, although the Customer Support are always on hand and helpful. Really, this program requires commitment and training to get around the steep learning curve and get the most out of its features, but it’s a market leader for a reason.
High prices and training requirements might put you off at first, however literally days of processes can be automated and streamlined, at large scales the savings are apparent.
Pricing: From $1250/month for full Automation Studio features
Free Trial: No, but you can request a demo
As your business grows, you might find your business outstrips a simple email service provider. Do you feel you’ve grown beyond what we’ve included in the guide? Take a look at powerful full sales platform programs like HubSpot, InfusionSoft, and Marketo. If you don’t feel they make sense financially yet, remember many email programs (MailChimp especially!) are designed to integrate with other programs and try and mix and match the features you want.
At higher levels of email marketing, the learning curve becomes steeper – take the time to train yourself and your employees to get the full value of a program during the free trials before deciding to go with another option.