Last week we taught you how to email your customers without making them hate you, and highlighted some of the best ways to engage your subscribers with material they actually want to read. This week, we’ll take it up a notch and look at some of the best email management sites for small businesses.
But first, you might be wondering why you even need an email management system. “Can’t I just send a mass email from my personal email account?” you ask. Well, I might answer, only if you’re cool with doing things in a ‘legalish’ way.
The fact is, due to various privacy laws, and that lovely CAN-SPAM act, there are quite a few requirements to sending proper marketing materials to a subscriber list. One of them is the mandatory ‘unsubscribe’ option in every email, and this might be hard to manufacture if you are building the email yourself.
So although you could build the email yourself, we’re big fans of doing things efficiently and easily, and in this case that means building your emails with management systems that will keep you in line with the law. And in order to get you emailing as quickly as possible, we’ve put together our top three favorite email marketing templates and management systems for small business owners!
Allow me to be your guide through the email jungle. First stop: MailChimp. This platform allows you to create email marketing messages by choosing from their wide selection of email marketing templates, and if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month, absolutely free.
The clean, simple designs will keep the focus on your products, and you can also easily import your social media profiles to make all email content tweet/postable.
Fixed templates not your thing? Are you an artist who needs to be free? Well you’re in luck because you can create custom templates on MailChimp that more closely reflect your brand and products.
Constant Contact wants to help you get better. Along with their tools and tracking services, they offer a support staff that will help you get the most out of their variety of email marketing templates and outreach plans. They will also help you grow your email list to a more substantial number of subscribers.
Constant Contact also makes it simple to integrate your Google Analytics tools, allowing you to track links as well as shares, clicks, and forwards.
iContact‘s many email templates, 567 at the moment, are highly customizable which means you can insert images and text pretty much anywhere you want, and still have it look like a professionally designed email.
iContact also makes it very easy to track the open rates of your emails to help give you a sense of what’s working and what is not. Additionally, unsubscribing is a breeze for your more disgruntled recipients.
However, when you get new addresses to add to your list, adding them is very simple. The interface also allows you to create multiple lists for segmenting your audience and creating more customized messages.
iContact makes it simple to schedule out emails as well, which can be useful for regular newsletters, or for creating multiple emails to promote an event. You can create and schedule out multiple emails to go out over a span of weeks in order to hype up an event or sale.
Whichever type of email marketing templates or management system fits your needs, keep in mind the cardinal rules of email etiquette: messages should have a purpose, and be completely error-free. And the more you can track your results, the better you’ll become at email marketing.
So what are you waiting for? Start asking for email addresses from your customers today, and verifying they want to opt in to receive news and deals from your business. The more customer loyalty you can build, the better it will be for the longevity of your small business.