Getting Started: Choosing the Right Email Marketing Software
So you’ve decided to harness the power of email marketing to help you make more sales through your WooCommerce store. Smart move!
All things considered, email is an unparalleled digital marketing channel. Email marketing can boost your brand in a big way, and most importantly, it can drive your WooCommerce sales sky-high.
But you can implement a solid email marketing strategy, and leverage many of the right tactics for that strategy, and still fail at email marketing. To succeed, you need to consider and act on one very important fundamental step, choosing the right email marketing software.
eCommerce Optimization Is Critical
First things first: Is your email platform optimized for eCommerce? Many email software providers integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce — and those providers should be at the top of your list.
Read on for some additional considerations.
List Segmentation Is a Crucial Email Marketing Capability
Subscriber list segmentation is a big consideration. You need the ability to segment your list based on the different stages of the buying cycle.
You will have “tire kickers” who like to shop but may never buy. You will have recent, first-time buyers. You will have seasoned customers and repeat buyers. You’ll have customers who are different ages, genders and live in different locations. Your email marketing approach to each of these segments will be different.
For example, if you sell apparel, you might find your male customers in northern Ohio are more interested in buying knitted caps in the winter than your female customers in southern Florida.
You want a targeted email marketing service that will help you market effectively to every segment of your list. You want to be able to cross-sell and upsell new customers efficiently.
Automation Is Important, Too
When your customers are making a purchase, they are prime candidates for additional sales. You want to send post-purchase thank you emails with messages such as “Customers like you also found these similar items very interesting.” This could lead to a lot of additional sales for you; sales you might otherwise lose.
The best email marketing software providers give you the option to automate emails for common scenarios like these. Other emails that successful eCommerce stores automate include welcome emails, and abandoned cart emails.
Jilt tracks cart abandonment target customers with automated win-back emails.
Bottom line: Choose an email marketing program specifically designed to help you maximize your eCommerce success by speaking to different types of customers in ways that are meaningful to them.
Scalability for Your Future Growth
If you are just starting your Woocommerce store and your email marketing journey, you may want a very basic “bare bones” free email marketing tool, but it’s quite possible your needs will change over time.
Will you want to get in a situation where you have to switch programs “mid-stream” in your campaign? Would you be better off selecting a program that may be a little more difficult to get started, but is more scalable and will accommodate your needs as your business grows?
Ask yourself these questions as you are making your initial selection of the right email marketing software.
Pricing That Fits Your Budget
Whether you are just getting your email marketing efforts ramped up, or have been at this a long time, you will want to take email marketing software cost into consideration.
Some email marketing tools are free up to a certain list size or number of emails sent. Those with a more robust feature set require a considerable monthly investment. Happily, many email software providers allow you to start small — even for free — and then pay more as you scale up.
Reliability: Get Your Emails Delivered!
This is critical. Especially from the standpoint of inbox message delivery. The world’s most persuasive, compelling email won’t help you if it never gets to your subscribers’ inboxes. The best email providers give you tips on making sure your emails are staying out of spam folders.
Customer Service and Support When You Need It Most
What happens when you have a time-critical situation and you need help from the company that sold you the email marketing software? You don’t just need it, you need it now!
When this happens, you will need your problem solved ASAP. This is not the time you want to get the unwelcome surprise that your email marketing software provider has really poor customer service. Determine the level of service and support before you make your final purchase decision.
Ease of Use: Make Your Life Easier
Whether you are new to email marketing, or you are a seasoned pro, you have no shortage of challenges running your business. Do you really want to be shackled to an email marketing software platform that’s a pain to use? No, of course not.
So look for a program that you find easy to use. It will make your day-to-day life in digital marketing a lot easier!
In light of these criteria, how will you come to the conclusion that a product is the best email marketing platform for your needs? Do your homework!
Seek out independent, third-party reviews, including end-user product reviews. Read the provider’s website, blog, and downloadable content thoroughly. Take full advantage of any free trial you are offered, and ask the customer support team relevant questions.
What’s the Best Email Marketing Software for You?
Now let’s take a look at some individual email marketing platforms and examine the pros and cons.
If you are just getting started with targeted email marketing, and want an easy-to-use program at an affordable price, take a good look at MailChimp.
“We use the premium version of MailChimp to send our emails,” says Stephen Hart, CEO of Cardswitcher, a payment processing comparison website. “I like its relatively simple design and layout, and find that it’s pretty easy to pick up if you need to teach new team members how to use it. It’s also not too expensive which for a startup like us, is really important.”
This program is the most popular on the market, especially with startups and small to medium-sized businesses. It has a free option that accommodates up to 2,000 list subscribers and 12,000 emails per month with no shortage of useful email marketing tools.
Its automation features include welcome emails, abandoned messages, and product recommendations. Automation makes it an ideal choice to integrate with eCommerce programs, including Woocommerce, and here’s some great news: MailChimp’s integration with Woocommerce is free!
Plus, MailChimp’s robust segmentation, A/B testing, reporting, and personalization features make it easier for you to optimize your email marketing results.
Keep in mind that the free option, although it may be right for some customers, offers support (email only) for a 1-month period. There is no tech support option after that.
ConvertKit targets their email solutions toward creators of content, music, and art. The service offers customers the ability to create custom forms to offer incentives, and tag and segment users. On the back-end, you can view your email marketing funnel as a flow chart with their visual automations tool.
The company has more than 80 integration partnerships, notably with WooCommerce and WordPress. It works with the tools many eCommerce businesses already have.
The company is aware that many potential customers may already be using a different email provider, so they have created guides on how to switch your account over from the main players.
ConvertKit charges based on the number of email subscribers your business has. Their lowest-priced plan, for customers with 1,000 subscribers or fewer, is $29/month — which includes email and live chat support. They offer a free 14-day trial to test out their services.
A moment ago, we talked about how important it is for you to choose an email marketing platform designed to support your eCommerce efforts. Drip is just such a program. It is specifically engineered with automation features to help you enjoy more success with your WooCommerce store. It offers a host of integration options including Facebook ads, payment systems, etc.
Drip offers you a free, 14-day trial. After that, you can subscribe to three different tiers of service, including the basic plan that allows unlimited emails for up to 2,500 users for $49 per month. You also have a money-back guarantee with every plan.
One potential drawback is some startups and small businesses might find the basic plan price point too expensive.
GetResponse describes itself as “An All-In-One Online Marketing Platform To Grow Your Business”. It offers subscribers the ability to do email marketing, create landing pages, and hold webinars.
It gives users scalable automation features including the ability to build intuitive workflows. You can also use the GetResponse eCommerce tools to track cart abandonments, website visitors, and successful purchases. GetResponse also integrates with Woocommerce.
You have the choice of four different pricing plans, from basic/beginner to enterprise level. The most basic pricing plan offers a list size of 1,000 users for $15 per month. It gives users a free 1-month trial, no credit card needed.
Keep in mind that GetResponse’s most basic plan does not include eCommerce or CRM integration, or most of the platform’s automation features.
Constant Contact is a successful, well-established company that has been in business for over 20 years. It has a number of features that can help make email marketing much easier for you, including an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editing tool and over 100 email templates which you can access with the free trial. It also integrates with Woocommerce.
Constant Contact’s solid automation features include welcome emails for new subscribers and the automatic re-sending of emails that did not get opened the first time they were delivered.
No contracts are required and Constant Contact requires no credit card for its 60-day free trial. Once you join, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, with a discount of up to 15 percent. The most basic program is $20 per month for 0 to 500 subscribers.
One caveat: This plan does not include email automation or subject line A/B testing.
ActiveCampaign offers email marketing must-haves like templates, segmentation, dynamic content, and robust reporting. They have also branched out into other important customer engagement touchpoints.
The service can act as a sales and CRM platform, with tools to automate the sales funnel, including integration with major email services. ActiveCampaign has also developed lead scoring and win probability to help sales teams prioritize more efficiently.
ActiveCampaign also provides SMS messaging and on-site messaging setup.
The full-funnel service helps you be more consistent with your customer messaging, and make sure no one falls through the cracks.
ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial.
Smart Approach, Successful Business
As online marketers, you and I have different needs, situations, and circumstances. Even so, we can all benefit from a solid email marketing strategy backed by the right tactics and tools. Choose the right email marketing software for you as part of a smart approach to digital marketing, and be prepared to see your sales skyrocket!
Try a Managed eCommerce Hosting Solution
Armed with the tools available from Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce Hosting along with some creative thinking and the right email marketing software, you can start targeting your audience more easily through email and winning more sales today.
Want more news and updates like this straight to your inbox?
Keep up to date with the latest Hosting news.