And it’s not just me saying! There’s raw data on email marketing’s supremacy:
- According to a study made by Gigaom and Extole, email is considered the best tactic for many companies to promote their products. The study is based on survey responses from 300 marketers in the U.S. The result shows that email is used regularly by 86 percent of respondents.
- Also, according to data from Radicati, there are four billion email accounts worldwide and the number is estimated to increase to over 4.3 billion in 2016.
- Need more data? ExactTarget says that 95 percent of online consumers use email. And 91 percent of them use email at least daily.
Best email marketing services & tools compared
To help you get started with email promotions and email marketing for your business, I’ve compiled a list of the best website-friendly and beginner-friendly email marketing tools and platforms. Now, what I mean by that:
- website-friendly – you can integrate them with your website freely, and especially if it’s running on WordPress, which we greatly recommend; WordPress is the most popular platform of them all, being used on more than 30% of all websites,
- beginner-friendly – ninja coding skills are not required to use any of these platforms.
The following tools will help you keep your audience updated with what you’re doing, and hence grow your business over the long haul.
It lets you send and track emails, manage subscribers, view analytics, create nice email templates, and setup autoresponders. With MailChimp, you can create campaigns that will handle sending emails every time your blog gets updated. Also, it lets you create highly customizable sign-up forms and sign-up checkboxes with various forms on your site, e.g. your comment or contact forms.
The easiest way to handle the integration with your website is with the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. The installation is simple and you’re being guided through every step of the way.
It comes with a free membership option that covers all the features. There’s just one restriction: there’s a limit of 300 emails per day. Price-wise, SendinBlue offers competitive plans at: $25, $39, and $66 based on the number of emails you’re sending every month.
The email builder available in SendinBlue is functional and super-easy to use. Everything works via drag and drop and doesn’t require you to have any design skills.
SendinBlue has its own WordPress plugin that takes care of basic website integration. It offers a lot of options and comes with all the features you would expect it to have. Setting up the plugin is easy for everyone.
OptinMonster integrates with all of the popular email marketing services (like the ones mentioned above), and lets you create forms in order to catch your visitors’ attention and convince them to subscribe to your list.
One of its coolest forms is the exit intent pop-up, which allows you to “catch” the visitors exactly when they are just about to leave your site. OptinMonster achieves this by tracking mouse speed and the visitor’s gestures.
Integrating OptinMonster both with your site and the email marketing tool you’re using is very simple. All you need is to just go through some basic options screens and select the right settings. The panel for building forms is also very user-friendly and doesn’t require any design skills. There are also a lot of templates to choose from when building your forms.
OptinMonster comes with a free plan allowing you to test things out before committing to spending any money.
It specializes in sending newsletters and posting notifications or autoresponders in a beautiful and personalized way. You can drop your posts, images or social icons in your newsletters. You can also change fonts and colors quickly. This is a simple newsletter solution for WordPress, that can manage all of your subscribers.
The free version is available if you have maximum 2,000 subscribers, and it scales nicely from there.
Integration with WordPress is truly painless. Just install the main MailPoet plugin and you’re good to go.
First, it’s a landing page builder. This means that you can use it to create great-looking landing pages meant to convince your visitors to subscribe to your list.
There are a handful of modules in LeadPages. For instance, LeadBoxes. It allows you to create your own two-step opt-ins. Through it, you can turn any link on any website into a link that displays a popover subscription form when clicked. Also, LeadPages generates a LeadLink which lets subscribers join your list or sub-list, and also subscribe to a webinar with just one click.
After that, you can also have LeadPages send welcome emails to your new subscribers and get the on board with whatever your business/website is about.
Lastly, you can integrate LeadPages with other email marketing services (like MailChimp or SendinBlue).
Integrating LeadPages with your WordPress site is straightforward, too. Once you sing up, you get access to a special WordPress plugin that will take care of everything.
LeadPages start at $25 a month, which should be more than enough for most users.
SendGrid started as an SMTP solution, first of all. We talked about SMTP some more in our other post. Meaning, you could use it only to send emails based on specific triggers happening at your website. For instance, you could use it to send shipping notifications, messages related to a customer’s shopping cart (triggered based on the user’s actions, etc.).
Right now, though, you can also use it to send classic email newsletters, acquisition emails (meant to help your sign-ups among the visitors who have opted for your emails but haven’t yet converted), retention emails, and more.
Integrating SendGrid with your WordPress website can be done via the official plugin or through direct API calls (for more advanced setups).
There’s a free plan available with SendGrid that allows you to send 40,000 emails for the first 30 days, and 100 / day after that. If you’re sending up to 100,000 emails a month, the “Essentials” plan is going to be ideal for you ($9.95 / month).
As you can see, there’s a lot of variety in the world of the best email marketing services and tools. There are email sending tools, email opt-in tools, SMTP tools, and even solutions for building effective landing pages.
The best thing you can do here is to probably get started with the solutions on this list offering free plans. Experiment with those, see what you think of them. If any prove to be useful for your specific requirements and the things you’re doing in your business, you can always scale up if need be.
When it comes to email itself, though, it’s still the one thing people don’t get tired of and continue to use. That’s because it’s private, safe and offers a simple way to contact everyone.
And for you, email marketing is what helps you send announcements, promote your work and create more intimate relationships with your audience. So start using it in your business and the results will show up sooner than you think.
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:
References:  http://go.extole.com/GigaOM-Research.html,  http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Email-Statistics-Report-2012-2016-Executive-Summary.pdf,  http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/91-of-consumers-use-email-at-least-daily/
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