Ever wish you had a way to communicate with your audience without getting on social media? Maybe you're ready to create a digital product or course to generate some passive income? Or perhaps you want some more flexibility in your schedule so you're looking to find a way to automate some parts of your business?
If you are vigorously nodding your head "yes" then you're probably in the market for an email marketing system. Your email marketing system will enable you to set up forms, collect email addresses, manage your email subscribers, send out emails, and automate parts of your business.
With numerous email marketing platforms available in the market, the selection process can be overwhelming. That's why in this blog post, we'll discuss how to identify the best email marketing platform for your specific needs, along with key features to consider.
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What to Look for In an Email Marketing Platform
Choosing the right email marketing platform can be pretty overwhelming. It's hard to know which features you need to have in order to help your business run more smoothly and which are just "nice to have". Let's take a look at some of the key features to consider when choosing an email marketing platform:
Email Campaign Creation: The platform should offer an easy-to-use email editor that allows you to create and customize emails using templates or a drag-and-drop interface. Look for the ability to add images, text, buttons, and links.
Contact Management: Effective contact management is crucial. The platform should enable you to import, organize, and segment your email lists based on various criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or interests.
Email Automation: Automation features allow you to set up automated email sequences based on triggers like user actions or specific dates. Look for options such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and birthday greetings.
Reporting and Analytics: Comprehensive analytics provide valuable insights into the performance of your email campaigns. Look for data on open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and other relevant metrics to evaluate campaign success.
Personalization: Personalized emails lead to better engagement. Look for features that allow you to dynamically include subscriber names or other relevant data in your emails.
Forms: Forms allow you to collect email addresses. Can you create forms within the platform, and then share or embed the link elsewhere?
After confirming that the platform includes the key features you are looking for, it is important to consider your individual requirements and objectives. Here are a few things to consider:
Integrations: If you are using a specific piece of software, is it important to you that you are able to directly integrate your email marketing platform (instead of having to use Zapier to connect the two)?
How many email subscribers do you have? Some platforms increase the monthly price based on the number of subscribers you have. If you plan on having more than 5000 subscribers, you'll want to pay close attention to the monthly fee, as it can get hefty!
How many emails do you plan to send each month? Some email marketing platforms limit the number of emails you can send or charge more based on how often you send out emails.
How much do you want to spend? You'll find a range of packages ranging from free to $150+ per month, based on features or number of subscribers
Before making a final decision, it's a good idea to test the platforms you're considering by signing up for free trials or demos. This will give you a hands-on experience and a better understanding of how well each platform aligns with your business's specific needs.
Here are some of the most popular email marketing platforms:
Flodesk is a good option if you're just starting out. It's an affordable service ($38/ month) with an easy drag and drop email builder. Flodesk’s email editor is what put them on the map. It’s easy to create branded emails that look professionally designed. No worries if you don’t consider yourself a designer—there are plenty of beautiful templates to help you get started. However, I've found that there are some limitations to Flodesk, which is why I use (and exclusively recommend) ConvertKit in my business.
Why I Exclusively Recommend ConvertKit (Especially If You Plan On Selling Digital Products)
ConvertKit offers powerful automation capabilities, allowing you to set up automated email sequences based on user actions or specific triggers. For instance, when someone purchases my Passive Income Playbook they automatically get an email delivering the ebook, and a follow up email a week or so later to check in. This is essential if you're selling a digital product, because it gives you the ability to deliver your product without having to do any hands on work. ConvertKit integrates directly with my shopping cart software (Thrivecart) so I don't need to set up any complicated Zaps or third party connections.
2. Metrics & Reports
I'm a numbers and data kinda gal. I want to be able to look at things like open and click rates in each of the emails I send so that I know what's working and what needs to be tweaked. Email marketing takes a lot of time, so you want to make sure your efforts match up to your results! I also like to see how many new subscribers I get each month, and what form or link they clicked to opt in to my list. I can do all that easily inside ConvertKit, whereas other platforms don't have all those capabilities.
3. Legal Compliance
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is a U.S. federal law that sets the rules and regulations for commercial email communication. Did you know what one of the provisions of this law is that you are required to have a physical address (where you can actually receive mail) at the bottom of your marketing emails?
So you can either use your actual home address (um...no thank you) or you can rent a PO Box for $5-150 a month. Neither one of those felt like good options to me, so I was thrilled to see that ConvertKit has a physical address that you can use to satisfy this requirement. Plus, if anyone actually sends you mail to that address, ConvertKit will scan it to you!
I love that ConvertKit allows me to stay legally compliant without giving out my home address or incurring the extra expense of a PO Box.
4. Sell Your Digital Products for FREE!
If you're looking to sell digital products, you'll want a way to handle payments and deliver your awesome ebook or course to your customers, right? There are lots of different course hosting platforms and shopping cart software programs that will do a fantastic job for you. However, you'll have to pay an additional fee to use these. Sometimes, when we're just starting out creating and selling digital products, money is TIGHT. We don't have an extra $25/month to dish out.
Good news - you can avoid this with ConvertKit! All you'll have to do is set up a customized check out page, connect your payment processor, and ta-da! You're all set to share and sell your amazing product.
To recap, picking an email marketing platform is an important decision for your business. You've got a bunch of choices out there, each with their own set of features, prices, restrictions, and capabilities. But there is no "perfect" platform out there, and only you can decide works best for you and your business. ConvertKit has helped me grow my business but I'd recommend trying a few different platforms out to see which one feels best for you!
Feeling pumped to kickstart your email list now? Let's do this! 📧🚀
Click here to try ConvertKit for FREE up to 1000 subscribers!