Small Business, Big Mindset

How to Choose an Email Marketing Platform

July 06, 2021 Muscle Creative Season 2 Episode 67
Small Business, Big Mindset
How to Choose an Email Marketing Platform
Show Notes Transcript

It might surprise you to hear this but: you don't need a fancy website and logo to get your business going…nor to grow it substantially.


Honestly, creating your email list is one of the most important things to do early on. Grabbing an email service provider and then creating a landing page or two, one with info about your offer and another to gate your lead magnet to collect email addresses of those in your ideal, targetted community. (I'll be doing a separate podcast episode regarding the technical and content side of lead magnets)


I looked at over 60 email marketing platforms (even I was surprised at how many email marketing platforms are out there) and whittled that list down to six for you to consider. Links are below. 

 In this episode I go over some soft and hard skills that your ultimate choice should have, a checklist of what to consider when you're looking at email marketing platforms:

  • ease of use
  • customer service
  • pricing structure
  • segmentation
  • automation
  • data analytics (see more on this in episode 58, "The 3 Email Metrics that Matter"


Here are some email marketing platforms to consider: (I am not an affiliate)


For an all-in-one toolkit to starting your online business including:

  • choosing a:
    • business formation
    • website platform 
    • email marketing platform
    • project management platform 
  • setting up a business bank account
  • managing a business alongside life

check out my digital course, "Online Business On-Ramp" here.

Erin Geiger:

Welcome to the Small Business big mindset Podcast, where we dive into tactical strategies to grow your business. And to make an impact on this world. A huge part of success is keeping your mindset and vision on track. So this is a major part of our process. And this podcast, let's do this. Hey, Erin here, welcome to the mall Business big mindset odcast. This week, I'm going ver how to choose an email ervice provider. So for many, his could be your first step hen you're looking to start a usiness which might surprise ou, because a lot of people hink, Oh, I have to get my ebsite up and running. First, hile you might be surprised to now that many email service roviders give you the option to reate landing pages. So you can asily choose an email service rovider. In order to start uilding your list. Like I lways go over and start sending our emails out. And then just reate landing pages for to kind f broadcast what you do and hat you're all about. And many f them allow you to make ultiple landing pages. Some of hem can be informational pages, ome of them can be sales pages, eally, a lot of them have a lot f functionality. So for many eople just starting out, I ecommend like Listen, don't get uper overwhelmed with verything. Don't feel like you ave to have a fancy website, a ancy logo, all this stuff going n. Like honestly, like creating our email list is one of the ost important things to do and ind of start building it early n. And so grabbing an email ervice provider and then reating a landing page or two, ne with information about ourself and another one or you now about your business and hen other one. That's more of a ead magnet, which I'm going to o a separate podcast episode. nd what lead magnet magnets are ifferent types of lead magnet agnets, how do you create them? hat tools do you need to create hem and all that kind of stuff. ut basically, a lead magnet is omething to where you get enerate leads, it's content hat generate leads content that our ideal audience wants and alues and they'll give you omething for it typically their mail address, right, it's ated, they have to give you heir your their email address n order to gain the content. So e'll talk about that in a eparate podcast episode. So but et's go over our email arketing platforms. And I robably will do a separate pisode on how to choose a ebsite platform as well. But I ooked at over 60 email arketing platforms, even I was urprised at how many email arketing platforms are out here. And I whittled it down o, I think around six for you o consider. And I will link to hose in the show notes. Right. o and I'm also going to go over ome soft and hard skills that our ultimate choice should have nd you know, kind of like a hecklist of when you're looking t email marketing platforms, ake sure that they have these hings, right. So we look at oft skills like ease of use ustomer service, and like ricing structure, and then some ard skills such as segment to egmentation, automation, and ata analytics, okay. So for ase of use, you're not going to se a tool, no matter how mazing it has been for others n your field, if it's confusing nd feels clunky, right. So as any if not all, email marketing latforms, offer a free trial eriod, take them up on this, so any of them do. In some, you now, you can get a like a eally good offer. Like it's here's one that I saw that you an get with special codes you an get for $19. For life, it's or float ask I believe, where ou can use their platform for 19. Instead of 30. I want to ay a month no matter how big our email list goes. So it's ot free, but it's a really it's pretty big discount, but a lot f them have free trials and hey usually like 30 day trials, ight? So So take them up on it nd test them out. And I've done his like i've you know, sign up or a few. And then you kind of rganize like a trial calendar, ight? So maybe on a Google heet or whatever tool of your hoice list. And now all the ifferent email platforms that ou are testing. And then you an test out a few at a time ight to sign up for their free rial and kind of go through ach and see which one feels est to you. Which one are you ost comfortable with which one as the bells and whistles that ou need and honestly you don't eed many bells and whistles specially when you're you're irst starting out. So put dates n your calendar of when each ree trial ends so you know when o cancel before you start etting charged. Then based on hose dates back into a schedule f which service you'll test out hen and make sure to write down otes as you go and leave ourself a day or two to review ll of your notes that you can ake the best decision of which service with you and your business best. Now, customer service is huge, especially if you're first starting out, because you might have a lot of questions as you go along, right? So you're going to look at, you know, their customer service options as well. And don't just look at what they offer, because they'll tell you like, Okay, this subscription price point includes a free, you know, customer service chat, this one might include free email. And then of course, the top tier usually includes email. So especially if you're, you know, if companies are using the enterprise level there, but you're going to want to test their customer service out just like you're testing their platform and the features, test out their customer service, right. So hop on their live chat, log a ticket, send them an email, and if they offer phone support, then yeah, give them a call. And if you're not sure what to ask, you can start by asking them to explain one of the one of the services they provide or, you know, look what makes them different from their competitors, it's a great way to test the knowledge of their customer service, you know, support teams, this, then you know, the level of support you're most likely be getting, if you sign up for their service. And obviously, you're going to take a look at their pricing structure, so many email platforms, they base it on the number of subscribers that you have. And you know, I go into that a little bit more deeply in my, my digital course. But because you want to scrub your list to make sure you only have engaged people on your list that you want to be there. Because as you'll see, when you're looking at pricing, they a lot of them do based upon the number of subscribers. So if you have an inactive unengaged list, you're paying for those subscribers that are doing nothing, so it's best to scrub your list and remove those people that aren't engaging, right. So if the price drastically jumps early on, or if the features you want aren't included unless you purchase one of their pricier packages, and might be time to move along and consider another platform. So like I said, I think MailChimp, I think is free, until I think you hit about 2000 subscribers, and then you have to start paying. And there are others like flow desk where you pay the same amount, regardless of a number of subscribers. So that's pretty cool. But you're going to want to look at each one to see what their pricing structure is. So you're also gonna want to use personalization as much as you can. And so like, you know, at the very least, when you do grow your email list and you ask people for their information, in order to get, let's say, a download that you are offering, you're going to want to get at, I recommend you get their first name and their email address. Really nothing more. And it does depend upon your industry. Like if you're more of a b2b, you're trying You know, you're working with other businesses, and you need to know like their industry and maybe what other platforms they're using, you know, you might need some other information. But just know, the more fields that you have them fill out, the higher barrier to entry you are creating. So I always say, if you can get away with getting the first name, and then the email address, that's awesome, because then you can personalize the emails and any other correspondence that you are reaching out to them with, right, and then you have your email address, of course. So I'll go over data merges and segmentation. Very quickly these because we can get very complicated with these and the other kind of automated features that email platforms have. And maybe I'll do another podcast episode where I do a deeper dive. But basically, a Data Merge is pulling data from an email list into the email send. So the most popular one and the one that I recommend, like I said before, is the first name. So you can personalize the greeting to each person on your email list. And further within the copy, you can continue the personalization or driving certain points home. So if you subscribe to my email, you will notice that I always open it with a personalized opening. I greet the person by their first name. And I might within the body if I'm really trying to emphasize something. I might also like say it again, their first name as well to really drive that point for segmentation, oh, there's so many things, so many branches with segmentation, so many different ways you could use it. So it's a huge tool to leverage from your email marketing platform. So for example, we had I had a quiz is one of my lead magnet. So dependent upon the quiz results, I can segment the list and send a more advanced business content to a portion of the audience and then more beginner content to the other. Right so you can retarget a segment on your list based on emails they haven't opened. So I've done this as well. If they haven't opened an email, I'll resend the email just to that segment that haven't opened them or where they were or wherever they fell off your marketing funnel. You can kind of segment those two. And of course I segment them by like products they've purchased right so people who are subscribe to my email app membership, I will segment my email list based upon just people who are subscribers of that membership, right? So there's so many different ways you can segment your list to make sure that the, you're really targeting your content to the people who will leverage it the most. So, you're going to want to look at the plan options. Like I said, Here's just a quick list for you list takers, the plan options, maybe like templates that they have. So some of them have beautifully designed templates, so many for you to choose from others might hedges have a handful. So take a look at that, and what is best for you scheduling. So some of them, you can schedule your emails in advance, and maybe it's included in the free version, others maybe you have to pay in order to have that. And I will tell you, obviously scheduling your emails in advance is an amazing, super helpful feature to have. Because like, for example, the other week, we were in Oahu on our family vacation, and I was not about you know, to kind of like make sure I woke up in the morning at a certain time to send out an email. So I wrote it up and I scheduled it out before we left, it went out without a hitch. And so you know, obviously every week I do that, and so it's just really helpful to be able to schedule your emails out for, for further times. A B testing is another thing you might want to look at. Because you might want to a b test, maybe a subject line, or you know, it maybe should one email has images and the other one doesn't. So you do some A B testing to see what kind of content and formatting works best for your audience segmentation, we went over integration options, some of them will integrate seamlessly with your website or other tools, you want to look at that automation tools to make it a seamless process. You want to make sure it's simple and user friendly, especially if you're first starting out, you do not need another time sink or headache on your hands, performance and analytics. So I have a separate download where I kind of list out the email metrics that you really want to pay attention to and others that maybe you want to pay attention to every week, but they're not, you know, super crucial to look at all the time. Maybe innovative tools like a lot of these email marketing platforms. They're constantly trying to come up with new, innovative ways to help you grow your list in your business. So take a look at that customer service, like I said, and guides and tutorials. So some of them have pretty amazing tutorials, video tutorials, documents, you can download guides that you can take a look where they walk you step by step through all the different features that they that they offer. So there there appear to be hundreds of options when it comes to email marketing platforms, I honestly started making a list and get completely overwhelmed but I got to about 60 with no end in sight. And so I do have a list of all 60 so if you want to email me at hello at Muscle Creative comm I'd be happy to send it to you, if you want to do your own due diligence on those. But I I did the research and I have about six of them that I will you know i whittle down so I think that you guys should consider kind of saving you some time. So I have used MailChimp and I've now switched to kajabi as that is where my website is hosted and my digital chorus and my membership. And so I'm testing out kajabi is email marketing for some people, they love it other people not so much. kajabi is sort of new to the email marketing game. And they're always making improvements, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and testing them out. So we shall see. I will keep you posted. So yeah, I've heard mixed reviews on them for sure, but I will link to the other ones I think you should consider if you have any questions email me at hello at Muscle Creative calm, and I'll see you next week. Thanks for tuning in to the Small Business big mindset podcast. To keep the fun going. Check out our Facebook group start and scaling online business For even more free trainings and resources from fellow entrepreneurs. If you haven't already, head on over to Muscle Creative calm and click subscribe. Join our email list for weekly updates. And if you've enjoyed this podcast episode, check us out on your favorite podcast platform to follow us and give us a review. As always be authentic, bring an insane amount of value and keep Michigan