Why Email Marketing?
If you didn’t know, email marketing is still one of the more effective ways to reach your customers, whether you are a local business, an ecommerce store or internet marketer. I have worked with multiple companies and find each one has pro’s and con’s depending on the type of business you run. What I have discovered if you ask anyone, is the email marketing platform they use, will be the one they recommend to everyone. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all, and finding the right fit is key. In the end, there is only one platform I will actually recommend against, and I will explain why.
Depending on the shopping cart you are using, you want to find an email platform that works and integrates with your shopping cart. This allows you to automatically add customers to your list when they purchase. Without this functionality, you will only be able to “bribe” them into your list. As a customer you are allowed to market to them. In most cases, my go to is Mailchimp as it integrates with practically every cart in existence from BigCommerce, to 3dCart, to Shopify and others. Your best bet is to see who integrates already. For example, Aweber, a tool I also use integrates with Shopify and GetResponse, another powerful autoresponder, integrates with core commerce.
If you are a traditional internet marketer, I always suggest one of two platforms, either Aweber, or GetResponse. Both are very robust, integrate well with wordpress and integrate with just about any membership softwares available whether you are using DAP, Wishlist or others. Add on top of this, they are both very friendly to internet marketers and MLM’ers. In addition they have easy to use autoresponder set up, tons of tutorials and very pretty sign up forms for your website compared to others.
If you are a local business, your needs are different than an online only business. Because you meet customers in person, go to shows and expos and have more options to capture emails, I usually steer my customers to Mailchimp. First, you can import customers so if you want to do a simple sign up sheet and import it later, Mailchimp allows it. Chimpadeedoo is a free app on the iPad that allows customers to sign up right from your iPad. It integrates well with both your website and as a Facebook tab. I am testing MadMimi at the moment which has a nice interface as well but doesn’t have the iPad app like Mailchimp. GetResponse also has something similar for free to Mailchimp but Aweber you have to pay a monthly fee to an app company.
So what to choose?
If you are an internet marketing or MLM distributor, GetResponse or Aweber.
If you are an ecommerce company, what platform does it integrate with. usually Mailchimp is your best bet.
Shopify – Mailchimp, aweber
BigCommerce – Mailchimp, icontact
3dCart – Mailchimp
CoreCommerce – Mailchimp, GET Response
If you are a local business, try out mailchimp or possibly madmimi.
The one company I do not suggest is Constant Contact. I have used it several times for existing clients and while it is easy to use and I am sure they have good customer service, the platform is extremely weak compared to its competitors. This includes autoresponder capabilities (only 1 autoresponder sequence allowed), lack of additional fields (dates for example) and kinda ugly website integrations. But, they do a ton of marketing so instead of spending money on platform development, they spend it on marketing and ads. The unfortunate part is they are owned by single platform but I have to suggest mailchimp to all my restaurant clients.
Are there others?
You bet, but unfortunately I have not used all of them so I can not pretend to tell you which ones work. I have heard decent things about iContact which integrates with many shopping carts, but it seems they limit the number of autoresponder sequences you get. What I do know that choose the best one that works for you. Try them out below.