The email marketing app marketplace is saturated with email service providers, and for good reason. Email marketing has a whopping ROI of $36 for every $1 spent—some studies even show $42 for every dollar spent—and to “email market”, you need an ESP. ESPs are email marketing services that allow an email marketer to connect with their audience. You may be thinking of Gmail or Yahoo Mail at this point, but they don’t exactly fit into this category. As Ipxo simply put it, “An ESP is software that provides you with tools to build email marketing campaigns”.
In its most rudimentary form, an ESP’s functionality includes sending your crafted emails as well as storing the email addresses of your subscribers for your convenience. However, the advancements in technology have enhanced the capabilities of ESPs, and now, in 2023, the features that ESPs are capable of having are revolutionary.
Assuming you are a small business looking to become more successful, the ESP you require is quite different from one that a large organization will likely make use of. Your chosen ESP needs to support your business needs by being cost-effective, providing you with accessible educational resources, allowing you to carry out data-influenced email campaigns, and scaling along with your business.
5 Best Email Marketing Services For Small Businesses
When it comes to email marketing services for small businesses, HubSpot stands out as a true powerhouse. It was founded in 2006 and has grown to become an industry giant known for its comprehensive marketing tools, and its email marketing capabilities are no exception.
If this is your first foray into email marketing or you just want to save yourself some time, HubSpot provides you with a wealth of templates to choose from. The templates are available in its email marketing software and multiple free e-books on its site. You can then proceed to tailor it to your specific email needs for your campaign. HubSpot also gives you the option of crafting your own custom templates so that you can create emails with or without designs that are more suitable for your brand.
Hubspot also allows you to personalize your emails for your subscribers. This marketing tactic is proven to lower the cost of acquisition by up to 50%, improve marketing spending efficiency by 10–30%, and boost revenue by 5–15%. It’s one tactic that you should endeavor to employ as an email marketer for your small business. Once you’ve sent those emails, you don’t have to worry if they’ll land in your subscriber’s spam box because HubSpot has a deliverability rate of 99%, one of the best in the business.
As I mentioned before, HubSpot provides comprehensive marketing tools that are perfect for every email marketer. They run a marketing blog that consistently ranks on the first page of SERPs and is one of the most reliable sources of marketing. Their blog provides effective marketing advice, case analysis of effective marketing tactics, informative e-books, the latest news and trends in marketing, and a wealth of other resources, especially relevant to digital marketers.
Additionally, they have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool in their suite of tools that automatically integrates with your email marketing software. For me, this is their most impressive feature. It makes it easier to optimize email campaigns and provide better customer service.
Before we get into MailDrip, let’s look at some drip marketing facts:
- Companies that excel at drip campaigns generate 80 percent more sales at 33 percent lower costs.
- Drip campaigns have 80% higher open rates than individual emails, and average click-through rates are up to three times higher.
- Implementing a drip campaign to automate email communications results in a rise of 34% in revenue.
- The effectiveness of sending relevant emails through drip campaigns is impressive; it leads to 18 times more revenue than regular emails.
If you don’t know, drip marketing is a marketing strategy that involves sending targeted, automated emails to your subscribers based on their (in)actions. Utilizing drip marketing in your email campaigns is one of the recommended best practices for email marketing, especially for small businesses. You can keep your business top of mind by developing personalized emails that target your subscribers based on things like demographics, likes, previous purchases, clicks on your website or email, abandoned carts, etc., and automating their sending.
Now, if you want to launch instant emails as well as email marketing campaigns that also focus on implementing a strategy as effective as drip marketing, MailDrip is the email marketing platform to look towards. In 2023, there are barely any brands, especially top brands, that are launching email marketing campaigns without a drip marketing strategy in place. All the personalized messages you may have received and emails that seem to always contain exactly the right product for you are all made possible through drip marketing.
To help beginners properly navigate the email marketing world and stay on top of trends, MailDrip runs a blog that covers essential email marketing topics and provides hints and tips for an effective (drip) email marketing campaign and the latest trends in email marketing. In addition, it offers video tutorials that help you navigate its website. MailDrip’s email editor also presents you with an email builder with options to create plain text emails, utilize customizable templates, and write or paste your code to build emails that suit your brand.
Furthermore, MailDrip has a tiered pricing plan with the option to access most of its features, like intuitive analytics, unlimited subscribers, list segmentation, etc., for free, which is cost-effective for your small business and scales along with it.
3. Constant Contact:
Constant Contact is an email marketing platform that is specifically made for small businesses, and it excels at simplifying email marketing. It provides its users with a wide range of customizable templates, a beginner-friendly interface, and an email editor that is easy to use. A first-timer to email marketing or a small business owner can easily navigate their way through Constant Contact’s email editor.
Recently, Constant Contact joined the AI wave and has integrated it into its email editor. This can come in handy for you as an email marketer for a small business. With their AI option, you can easily sidestep writer’s block, save time by automating your work, or, if your inexperienced mind is constantly struggling to find the right words when it comes to drafting content, you can utilize it to generate content like catchy email subject lines and email copy with keywords that drive conversion. This fits their theme of simplicity for small businesses rather well.
Though Constant Contact’s marketing automation features are not as advanced as those of its competitors, it’s not an issue that will affect your small business’s marketing returns. Besides, it makes up for it with its top-tier analytics that help boost efficiency. Constant Contact provides you with valuable metrics like mobile and desktop open rate, which allows you to analyze which device your subscribers are usually opening your emails in and tailor your content towards responsiveness in that device, click rate, click-through rate, etc. It also gives you in-depth engagement reports and campaign comparisons to help you understand how your campaigns are doing with one another.
Additionally, you can subscribe to Constant Contact’s newsletter for hints and tips. If you need additional help, Constant Contact’s vast customer support resource is available to you.
If you are a small business that carries out communication and transactions over multiple channels, your best bet is Brevo. It allows integration with up to 150 leading digital tools like CRM, CMS, e-commerce apps and sites, etc. You can conduct your business over social media channels like WhatsApp or send a targeted SMS to your customers using Brevo.
It also provides you with the option to create sign-up forms right in your Brevo account. Forms and surveys have been used long before relatively advanced analytics options came to email marketing services to gauge the impact of your campaigns on your subscribers and understand what their feelings towards your business are. They are a very accessible way for small business owners to gain insight into their subscriber’s likes, dislikes, expectations, etc., especially since advanced email analytics options are usually located behind a paywall. In addition to the forms, another feature it provides that is relevant to small business owners is the option it gives you to create landing pages in your account. This saves you the added cost of paying to host a website by instead hosting it on your chosen email marketing platform, which in this case is Brevo.
For its pricing plan, Brevo offers you a free plan with features like unlimited
importation of your contacts and an automation limit of 2,000 subscribers. If you would like more features, you can opt for the other paid plans, which can be easily adjusted (i.e., the price) for your needs. For example, the Starter plan starts at $25 per month to send 20,000 emails a month. If you would like to send, say, 80,000 emails a month without upgrading to the Business plan (which starts at $65 per month), you can adjust the Starter plan to send exactly that amount but for $35 a month instead. Another unique feature of its pricing plan is the pay-as-you-go option. If you don’t send messages to your contacts regularly or you send bulk messages once in a while, you should choose this plan. It allows you to buy as many credits as you need to send emails, chats, SMS, etc. to your contacts.
ConvertKit is designed with content creators and bloggers in mind. It is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice important features to be low-cost. It takes care of most of the email marketing work, allowing creators to focus on creating.
There are ready-made templates available, and you can create your own branded templates too, though you should keep in mind that the number of email templates available is very small compared to its competitors. The stand-out feature of ConvertKit is its built-in e-commerce feature. You can put up products you want to sell and collect payments all in ConvertKit. You can also receive donations from your subscribers on this platform. You can also market your products and advertise your projects via landing pages that can be created and launched using your account.
ConvertKit has a rare list segmentation feature that is especially helpful and makes your work less cumbersome. It does this by removing the need to manually segment your subscriber list or create a new list every time you want to launch a new project and instead allowing you to segment your mailing list using tags from just one list. ConvertKit is also free for your first 1,000 subscribers.
Each of these options brings its own unique strengths and drawbacks to the table. Whether you prioritize user-friendliness, budget-friendliness, or advanced automation, there’s an email marketing service here to meet your needs.