Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to nurture and grow customer relationships and boost sales conversions. Research has shown year after year that despite the number of shiny new options available to all of us in our digital marketing toolbox, the reach and power of email endures; and at Solamar, we see the results of effective email marketing with our clients every day.
Whether you want to jump into email marketing as a newbie or step up your email game this year, it’s important to choose the right email marketing software for your small business. There are tons of email marketing tools available at your fingertips, so trying to decide which one to use can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.
The team at Solamar supports a wide variety of email marketing software for our clients. Each tool has benefits and drawbacks, positive features, and annoying quirks to work around. Here’s a short list of our go-to tools:
MailChimp is a favorite among our small business clients for a few reasons, and it’s a tool that we recommend often. For starters, it’s completely free as long as your subscriber list size is below 2,000 contacts and you send fewer than 12,000 emails per month. It also has a fun interface and user-friendly features, such as pre-designed email templates and a drag and drop builder. You have the ability to segment your lists, automate your marketing based on a contact’s behavior, and easily integrate third-party apps to enhance functionality. Sending an email in MailChimp is easy, but lists can be tricky to manage and some of the more advanced features are not as easy to navigate for a new user as you might think.
iContact is another user-friendly email marketing software for small business owners. It has a simple contact management system, list segmentation and enhanced automation functions, and easy-to-use design options. Of all of the tools, its interface is probably easiest to navigate. The company also has a strong reputation for good customer service, which is always a plus in our book.
1Shoppingcart is a combined email marketing tool and shopping cart that is useful for business owners who need an inexpensive way to integrate email marketing with online sales of courses and information products. Among other features, it offers digital product delivery through email, affiliate tracking, and autoresponders. Though its interface is somewhat clunky, and the company’s customer service is friendly but not always as helpful as we would like, it gets the job done and continues to be a cost-effective option for online business owners who are not ready to make a bigger investment.
Infusionsoft is a powerful all-in-one sales and marketing software, and it’s our prefered marketing platform of choice at Solamar. It’s a top-notch tool for email marketing, but it offers much more than that — a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system with lead scoring, intricate segmentation and automation functionality, fully integrated online sales features, powerful reporting and ROI at a glance. If you are ready to make an investment in your email and online marketing, Infusionsoft will help you accelerate your success. While there is a steep learning curve, the company offers training and excellent customer service; and having a professional team like ours to support you is key.
Ontraport (formerly OfficeAutopilot) is similar to Infusionsoft in its email marketing, list segmentation, and automation capabilities. The company is not as well-established as Infusionsoft, but we have seen it improve significantly over the past few years. They are still fine-tuning functionality and working through some bugs, and you will not have access to as many third-party apps and integrations as Infusionsoft users. If you only want to use Ontraport for email marketing and you have 1,000 contacts or fewer, they offer an inexpensive option to get started, and then you can ramp up seamlessly when you’re ready. Its CRM is limited, particularly if you are a B2B company, but many consultants, coaches, and “solopreneurs” consider it a better out-of-the-box email marketing automation solution than Infusionsoft.
To wrap up our email marketing software roundup, here’s our advice in a nutshell: If you’re just getting started with email marketing — you want to send a newsletter and simple effective lead nurture sequences — we suggest you pick MailChimp. If you have an online business with a small list, and you’re not bringing in much internet-based revenue yet, we suggest 1Shoppingcart. If you have a growing list of email subscribers, a budget to support the cost, and you want to refine and truly optimize your company’s increasingly complex and sophisticated marketing funnels, go with Infusionsoft (but don’t necessarily count out Ontraport).
And, hey, if you’re using a different email marketing software, such as Constant Contact, Aweber, Mad Mimi, etc., they certainly aren’t bad options. We simply prefer to recommend the tools we’ve listed in our roundup based on our experience with clients over the years.
Need help creating effective email marketing for your business? We’d be happy to jump in and take care of it for you, so give us a shout!