By: Emily Taibl, Sweeny Conrad, PS
Email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers, stay top-of-mind with referral sources, and nurture your current clients. If done correctly, you are sending your contacts info that they want at the stage of the buyer’s journey that they are at. The trick is rising above the noise, and rather than blasting folks with generic content, personalizing their message and keeping them engaged.
I probably do not have to sell you on the merits of email marketing, but here is a fun fact: 70% of website visitors visit once and never return. With solid email marketing campaigns, you can reach out to those prospects and keep a conversation going.
While email marketing is not a new technique, many of the email platforms continue to evolve and now offer more complex, personalized options so you can create great campaigns that can be very effective.
When looking for an email marketing platform, consider the following:
- Pricing: Hey, we work with accountants, so budget is key. Many email services offer free versions that are a great way to test the platform and may even provide enough functionality to meet your needs.
- Automation: With so many things on our plates as marketers, the more automation capabilities a platform has the better.
- Updates: The world of email and online marketing is constantly evolving. I like to look for platforms that show frequent updates and “what’s new.” To me, that is a sign that they are keeping up with evolution.
- Ease of Use: For me, it has to be easy to use. I do not have time to sit on hold with customer service to figure out why I cannot get my headlines to bold. Which leads me to…
- Customer Service: I have used a number of platforms where there are no quick fixes for my fairly simple issues. Email marketing tends to be a time-consuming project, so it is important to know that you can get someone to answer your questions in a knowledgeable, timely fashion.
Now that you know what to look for, here are a few of my favorite email platforms of 2019:
Mailchimp: Mailchimp has been around for a while, but it is still one of my absolute favorite platforms to use. With plenty of amazing functionality at the free level, it is easy to navigate and create beautiful email campaigns. One of the other important features of Mailchimp is that it has a ton of other features including integrations, the ability to create landing pages, and great automation functionality.
Constant Contact: Constant Contact is the most used email marketing service for small businesses. It allows you to specify industry and level of email marketing experience. Plus, you can pick from a variety of customizable email templates to create the perfect look. Constant Contact will give you a 60-day trial with full access so you can see what you think. Pricing options vary from $20 to $95 per month.
HubSpot: HubSpot is what I currently use for CRM, automation, and email marketing. As a marketing department of (until quite recently) one, I love that HubSpot is a one-stop shop. You can create forms, drip campaigns, calls to action, link ads to email and more. I do find, however, that my ability to design in HubSpot is limited. I usually rely on their designers to code the design for me, where in other program–even with my limited design knowledge–I could create beautiful emails.
ActiveCampaign: Like HubSpot, ActiveCampaign covers all of the bases. It has full CRM, marketing automation, and segmentation functionality. Less robust than HubSpot, ActiveCampaign is much more cost-effective and can be a great solution for smaller firms. One drawback is it does not currently offer any native integrations.
Thomson Reuters Checkpoint: Thomson Reuters also offers email marketing services that are created specifically for the tax and accounting world. To find out more, you can visit their website here https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/en/accounting-solutions/firm-marketing-growth and request a consultation.
These are just a few of the many great email marketing services out there. Do you have a favorite? We would love to hear from you! Let us know in the AAM forum.