Email automation has revolutionized the way marketers target their customer base. When used effectively, an email automation platform delivers relevant content to customers at optimum times – and without the need for human intervention.
In fact, marketers suggest automation software is twice as effective at communicating, and generates twice as many leads as generic mass email blasts. This is due to the ability of marketing automation platforms to dynamically personalize messaging on a 1:1 basis.
Think about the way email marketing has been done over the past ten years. Brands would have large email lists of customers which would receive generic newsletter content or offers for products and services no matter if they were interested in them or not. This was the “spray and prey” approach to email marketing.
With automation, email has grown up and become much smarter. Gone are the days of mass emails without personalization. Now when a brand sends an email it’s triggered off of some action the subscriber took in a previous email, on their website or in one of their stores. If a customer makes a purchase in store, a brand’s CRM tool, like Salesforce, can communicate with email automation tools about when they purchased and in what location. This information can then be used to automatically send future offers and content that are specific to the type of products they are interested in.
But how do you make sure your platform’s providing you with the best possible results? We’ve compared three of the top email marketing platforms available:
As soon as you log on to Campaign Monitor, you’ll see the user interface is attractive and easy to use. With pre-built mobile ready templates, you can create fully customized branded emails with the drag and drop builder. For team with a developer on standby, Campaign Monitor gives you the ability to code your own templates as well.
One of the biggest advantages Campaign Monitor offers is the capability to create an unlimited number of lists in order to tailor, segment, and automate your email campaigns. The ability to individualize messages and segment email lists are the most effective personalization strategies for 51% and 50% of marketers, respectively.
Campaigns are easy to set up, too, and the software will automatically run A/B testing to establish what email designs, subject lines, and campaigns are driving the most results. This is further added to with the analytics available, providing you with insight into your email campaigns at a granular level.
The email marketing software offered by MailChimp is often a favorite among small businesses and bloggers, and this is largely down to the free option it provides.
However, upgrades are available for savvier marketers looking for something extra. Features include “Inbox Preview,” which allows you to see what your emails look like on over more than 40 different email clients. Free plans don’t include an auto-responder or analytics tools, and the reports generated by the software aren’t done in real-time.
Tracking tools, A/B testing, and advanced segmentation are available but these come at a cost. Another downside is the fact there aren’t any professional design services on offer with MailChimp, but if you’re a small business, the templates provided should be more than enough. And with the drag-and-drop interface, creating your own designs doesn’t involve any complicated coding or technical know-how.
Constant Contact is targeted toward businesses of all sizes, offering over 400 customizable templates for you to choose from. And with the drag-and-drop interface, making adjustments to your email or newsletter campaigns is incredibly easy. There isn’t an option for creating your own HTML designs, though.
Constant Contact does offer personalization with data such as name, birthday and anniversary autoresponders, but the platform lacks in its ability to create highly personalized customer journeys such as Campaign Monitor.
Choosing the Best Email Marketing Software
The best email automation platform for your business will depend on its unique needs. Some small businesses and blogs will find certain email marketing platforms to be too feature rich for their needs. Other business who are a bit larger or have more experience with email marketing want a platform that combines ease of use with the most advanced capabilities on the market. Be sure to find an option that you find easy to use, offers you enough personalization, and allows you target your customers effectively. Having this in place will allow you to enhance your communications and generate greater revenue.