Luis asks, “I’m in charge of our department news letter, which is meant summarize any major accomplishments of the core teams, as well as updates on new staff, awards, events, etc. Right now I’m using a tool that I don’t think is the best for the amount of content I need to send. To start it doesn’t give me enough data on links clinked, open rates, open times, amount of time opened, etc. It also doesn’t have layouts that are very customizable. Do you have something you’d recommend with versatile layout (most important) + strong reporting data. Free is better, but cheap is probably doable. Going to be trying mailchimp next, but used it a few years ago, and was not impressed.”
The big questions are how much you have to spend, how technically savvy you are, and what features you need. Some fantastic tools exist for integrated email marketing, along with many standalone email providers. Generally speaking, the more you do yourself, the less something costs. In this video, I review a few providers whose software I like including:
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode Luis asks I’m in charge of our department newsletter which is meant to summarize any major accomplishments of the core team as well as updates on new staff awards etc. Right now I’m using a tool that I don’t think is the best for the amount of content I need to send to start it doesn’t give me enough data on links clicked open rates open times amount of time open it doesn’t have any layouts are very customizable do have something you’d recommend with a versatile layout which is the most important strong reporting data free is better but cheapest probably doable going to be trying MailChimp next but used a few years ago and was not impressed okay so the big questions when it comes to email marketing software are How much do you have to spend how technically savvy you are and what features you need. There are some fantastic tools for email marketing out there along with them. Number of email provider Stamler providers and the world has moved very much to a SAS model on a lot of this so there aren’t as many standalone things now generally speaking, the more that you do yourself meaning the more that the software is sort of a standalone thing the less going to cost
so let’s talk about a couple providers that I think might fit the bill MailChimp is not bad
depending on how large your department isn’t how large this newsletter is you might be able to get away with just using MailChimp even at its free tier if it’s if I think it’s like under 100 or 200 contacts you should be okay they’re the same is true
trying to think HubSpot charges for the the email marketing portion so yeah so MailChimp would be a good place to start
you can look into Constant Contact, I still don’t like this offer. I don’t like the interface. It’s feel like it’s trapped in 2003.
But they’re they’re fairly well known Emma email marketing is fairly well known,
I would take a hard look depending on how technically savvy you are, take a hard look at the melodic self hosted marketing automation package. Now, this is marketing automation software. So it has contact tracking and re robust reporting. It has a very good email marketing feature. I like the fact that you can just dump your raw HTML into it and it will send it out
I pay about eight bucks a month to run my almost time we newsletter which sends to 25,000 people per send
a week and I use Amazon sex on the back end. But if you’re doing it internally within a company, you should be able to use your company’s own email servers as the sending mechanism that will avoid your email game trapped and spam and stuff like that. Here’s the catch with melodic it is
at the self hosted level very difficult to do because you need to be comfortable using bit Nami, which is a disk image for servers, you need to be comfortable self hosting your own server and you you can use Google Cloud or Amazon AWS or any other cloud providers. Or you can host it internally in your organization for free,
you know, parked it on a server within inside your firewall. But it is it requires technical expertise at the self host level, they do have a cloud hosting option, which is not not inexpensive. So keep that in mind as well. The other thing to do is check out some of the review sites. So this is an example this is G to crowd, which is a site that I’ve actually done a couple reviews on, done some on cap terror as well. And they have these lovely grids based on what they call market presence or how much data they have. And then the sort of aggregate of the reviews the way I read this chart and recommend that you read it for purchasing decisions as everyone in their cousin goes to the top right, who’s the who’s the top right? The highest satisfaction, biggest market leader?
Well, that’s good. If you want to work with the market leader,
you may not want to because of cost reasons, because the market leader will have market leading costs a lot of cases.
So what I like to look at is on the satisfaction scale, look in this lower right hand quadrant, who’s in here that is garnering high satisfaction but not necessarily big in the market, which means that you may be able to to get a much better value. So for example, there’s Emma robe, Lee open moves. So there’s a bunch of providers down here that would probably love to do business with you because they’re not up here getting all the attention. The same is true on the marketing automation front HubSpot up here and HubSpot will eventually cost you a lot of money Salesforce par dot and the Salesforce ecosystem in Marquette, oh, they will cost you a lot of money to start way down here, there’s a bunch of these much smaller providers, high satisfaction ratings, but not much market presence. So there may be a deal to be had there. So that’s an option as well,
I would avoid using templates within a marketing automation system, or an email marketing system. In terms of layouts. Ideally, you work with a
designer and a developer to build an HTML template. And then you edit that in anything that can edit HTML, Adobe dream, Weaver
Griffith blue Griffin, which is an open source package. If you are comfortable with the code itself, you can edit in any text editor. But having a designer build your own email template for you
means that you can then edit it in any package. And then when you’re satisfied, you just copy and paste the code right into whatever email system you’re using them that way, that’s not as an important feature because you just editing HTML. So real good example in in my almost timely newsletter, what I do for that is I write everything in the markdown line, which you can see here, and then I auto convert it to HTML. And then that has, you know, that does all the formatting stuff for me. Now, that’s a very technical way of doing and also my newsletters, not going to win a Design Awards. So
you will probably want to do something slightly differently. But the concept is the same I added offline tune it, I can preview it at any time in a web browser to see how it looks. And then when I’m satisfied with it, I can then go dump it just copy paste right into the email marketing system rather than the drain and mess with other people’s templates. Because I’ve never gotten that to look good and not as good. The other thing is, if you don’t have a designer, there are a ton of really good talented designers, online need to freelancers, there are design companies like 99 designs which will will do a template for 99 bucks or whatever so take a look around see who’s out there so you can craft the template that you want and then that becomes less of a consideration when you’re choosing the email service part at that point it really is down to the reporting but the cost and and and whatever the other secondary capabilities you need to have I would give marketing automation software a good look because
unlike just opens and clicks if you use marketing automation software, well you can deploy it on your website and track just those that that into people to see what content do they browse on your your blog,
our employees reading the blog, that’s something you would want to know
how engaged are they digitally, you obviously want to obtain permission and do all the required compliance things. But marketing automation software is good at telling you how effective your overall digital marketing is. And if you use it for employees, it tells you how engaged your employees are. So it’s an employee engagement tool for the digital space. So something to think about. Anyway,
if you have any other questions, please leave them in the comment. Please subscribe to the newsletter and the YouTube channel
will talk to you soon. Take care one help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights.ai today
and let us know how we can help you
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers (2019 Edition)