No matter what industry your business or brand may be categorized as, there are certain important marketing practices that should be incorporated no matter what.
Email marketing is one of these because when you build an email list and use it to automate your follow-up, distribute your company newsletter or send out email broadcasts… it’s the best (and most cost effective) way to spur your audience toward action.
Email marketing is also a great way to create and foster engagement online with your community of customers that make up your target market. If you aren’t already using email marketing for your business, we highly recommend that you do!
And if you are looking for an email marketing platform, this post might help you wade through the clutter of information and learn more about different platforms that can help you. There are many email marketing platforms to choose from, but two of the most popular email platforms for Internet marketing are MailChimp and Aweber.
Some of the pros of MailChimp
One of the things that draws many users to MailChimp is the price…. You can get started for free if you have a small list (and who doesn’t like free).
The platform offers users the option of a trial period and then there’s also a possible option of getting the free service for up to 2000 subscribers.
If you are just beginning to build your email list, this is attractive to many brands and businesses because of the low cost option.
Some of the pros of Aweber
While it might not have the catchy name or the cute monkey lingo, Aweber is a great email marketing platform.
They have a reputation in the industry for having better tracking ability and also customer support than other platforms.
Another thing that makes Aweber the main choice for top bloggers like John Chow and ProBlogger is the deliverability. They have consistently high deliverability (meaning your emails will actually get to the inbox of your intended recipient)
When choosing the right email followup system, there are several things you will want to take into account, so we wrote this post as a guide…
1)Email Marketing Design
Design of MailChimp vs. Aweber
Design is a big part of email marketing so you want to think about this when choosing the right email marketing platform.
MailChimp provides the option where you can design your emails completely from a blank page or you can also use some of the pre-designed templates. There are lots of templates you can view to find the one that works for your needs.
MailChimp also offers users the choice of building their emails from a coding perspective so if you have mad coding skillz, this might be the way for you to go.
Aweber offers forms and templates as well which makes it user-friendly and visually appealing. If you want to do any tweaking to the bones of the email, you are required to go into the back end and re-work some of the codes.
Don’t just think about the look and feel of what you want your emails to be, but also think about the way you need them to function. Do you need popup signup forms, polls, or other elements? Make sure the platform you choose offers these things before you sign up, or worse pay for a subscription and then find out it doesn’t meet your needs.
Images are something to think about as well. Good emails are visually appealing and both MailChimp and Aweber will host your images as you add them into various emails.
You also will want to think about how you are getting your subscribers. If you are employing many different ways to promote your opt-in, you might want to consider tracking where the sign-ups are coming from.
In MailChimp, users are permitted to have a single signup form for each list of contacts. However, Aweber has no limit to the number of forms and allows you to keep up with each form based on the subscriber lists to chart your progress and growth.
2) Email Tracking
Tracking Your Email Results
If you are spending your time and resources on email marketing, you want it to yield results for your brand or business, right?
This is why it’s so important that you track your results.
Aweber lets users know who opens each email that you send and it also provides information about internal links that they might click on. MailChimp also offers this option.
So let’s say you are wanting to drive email recipients back to a page on your website where they are to make a purchase or click to opt-in for something. Aweber allows you to track clicks within each email you send and the link is displayed exactly as you input it. By pointing users directly to your domain, you can create trust so that users will click through.
If the email platform you use uses lengthy and garbled links, it might be harder to get anyone to click through since it doesn’t appear to be trustworthy or could be spam.
Aweber has the function of conversion tracking. When you sell products online and want to drive consumers back to your online store, this feature is helpful because it allows you to track how your customers get from an email back to your website.
3) Email Marketing To Engage Customers
Connecting with Customers
Email marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to speak directly to your audience by sending a direct message to their inbox. It is different from social media, where we can only hope for high probability that they see your messages. It’s much more direct and you can also directly measure the clicks and opens.
You will probably want to segment your list in a way that provides the right content to the right groups of people.
Segmenting Email Groups
Maybe you want to divide your list into groups such as these:
- First-time customers
- Repeat customers
- People who have opted-in but never made a purchase
- People who sell similar products
- People who have attended your events in the past
- People who signed up for events, but didn’t attend
It’s different for each person, depending on what products and services you happen to offer.
But when you segment your list, it’s helpful to be able to send similar or sometimes identical messages to each of them.
MailChimp doesn’t currently offer a way to send an email to multiple lists at the same time.
So if you have segmented your list and want to send them all the same message for some reason, you would be required to create copies of the email and send them individually to each list. This might take too much time and is a reason to consider Aweber.
Auto Response Options
It’s not enough just to send an email on occasion. You have to follow up too. Most email marketing platforms, including MailChimp and Aweber, offer autoresponse options you can set up and this provides more depth and structure to your email marketing.
MailChimp allows you to create autoresponders in a way that only certain email recipients will get a response. And this can depend on certain criteria, such as whey they signed up for your email list.
Aweber has a bit more complicated system where subscribers are assigned message numbers that coordinate with the emails they get. This can be tricky to maneuver depending on how many emails you are sending and which ones you want particular people to see.
But a benefit of Aweber is that you can easily track which email subscribers have gotten your follow up messages. This helps as you are building your longterm email marketing strategy.
4) Tech Support and Customer Service
When using any type of online platform for business, you’ll want to find out what type of customer support they offer. Hopefully you won’t need to use it (if everything goes smoothly), but the option is so important when you find yourself in a jam or something doesn’t go as planned.
Aweber provides its users with phone and email support options during regular business hours. MailChimp offers email support.
If you want phone support, Aweber might be the route for you…especially because there are always unforeseen issues that could arise.
MailChimp performs routine maintenance and often sends its users a notification that the service will be unavailable from time to time, but it seems like they choose times when there would be the least amount of usage (middle of the night, weekends, etc.).
If you’re uber-tech savvy, you might be able to troubleshoot on your own. But having the peace of mind that you can call on a tech support guru is great for users.
4) Safe & Secure for Peace of Mind
Email marketing can be tricky because you don’t want to send consumers anything that might harm them or breach security.
And most of all don’t send SPAM. We all hate SPAM so only send valuable content to your audience.
Some users have experienced set-backs with using certain email marketing platforms because their content has any type of appearance of being “spammy” or includes particular words that imply something that could be too good to be true.
Aweber is good for affiliate marketing because they offer ways to test your content and make sure it is compliant with their rules and regs.
These are just a few ways that Aweber and MailChimp stack up for your email marketing.
Ultimately you will need to evaluate all of these things and see what is the best fit for you and your business.
The best part about MailChimp is that it is free to get started if you have a small list, so if you are just getting started or you are on a tight budget you can’t beat that.
The best thing about Aweber is the deliverability and tracking, they can’t be beat in that department. (Which is proabably why so many top website and business owners use them)
As you are deciding which email marketing platform is best for you and your business, be sure to read all the fine print.
And don’t pay big bucks for something that might not end up working for you in the long run.
If you do have to switch from one platform to another, make sure to take your email contacts with you in the form of a exported CSV or TXT file.
And always back up your contacts just in case.
If you could use some help in this area, we’d love to talk to you!
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Our team at Loud Media Solutions knows how to create marketing strategies for your content and we can help you take advantage of your social reach to convert!
If you would like any help or have questions, contact us anytime.
Oliver and Sam
Co-Founders and Email Marketing Masters
Loud Media Solutions
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