4 email marketing platforms for small businesses

With a mind-boggling array of email marketing platforms available – each with a huge list of features – which ones should you consider if you’re a freelancer or small business? 

We’ve come up with a few recommendations for you (four, to be exact), based on what we think is most important when you’re running a small business.

Let’s start with how to evaluate whether a platform is suitable for your needs.

What should I look for?

If you’re a freelancer or small business, there are a few key things you should look for in an email marketing platform. They are:

  • Customisable templates
    A library of easy-to-use templates to make your emails look branded and professional is a must. A decent drag-and-drop editor will enable you to assemble each of your emails in the shortest amount of time.

  • Segmentation
    Emails sent to everybody tend to speak to nobody. Make sure you choose a platform that enables you to easily segment your mailing list, and send targeted communications.

  • Integrations
    Many email marketing platforms will integrate with your other tools, such as PayPal, Shopify, or WordPress.

  • Automation
    You may not need complex automations, but even simple things like sending out welcome emails as soon as someone subscribes can make all the difference to your conversion rate.

  • Flexible pricing
    Look for a platform that lets you upgrade or downgrade your package as needed. Pay particular attention to any limits on the number of contacts. Most small businesses want to grow their email lists without being charged exponentially more to upgrade to a package that allows a larger list.

Which email marketing platform is right for me?

As with all marketing tools, there’s an endless array of choices when it comes to email marketing software, but here are four that fit the criteria we’ve talked about:

  1. Mailchimp
    Mailchimp is arguably the best-known email marketing platform amongst small businesses, and for good reason: it’s highly user-friendly, making it easy to create your first campaign. If you have fewer than 500 contacts, you can sign up to their free plan – although you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want to remove the Mailchimp branding from your emails.

  2. MailerLite
    This platform goes beyond email marketing, with features that allow you to create and host landing pages and customisable pop-ups and forms, as well as paid newsletters. There’s an extensive library of templates and advanced segmentation and automation tools. Better yet, you can use it for free if you have under 1,000 contacts!

  3. HubSpot
    HubSpot’s email marketing platform is merged with its CRM and sales tools to enable you to send personalised communications to customers and prospects at every stage of the journey. According to their website, “you can use an email subscriber’s lifecycle stage, list membership, or any information in their contact records to automatically serve up the most relevant subject lines, content, links, attachments, and calls-to-action.” You can send up to 2,000 emails a month on their free plan.

  4. ConvertKit
    If you’re a blogger or social media creator, ConvertKit is a great option. Not only can you send emails and generate landing pages and forms, you can even use it to sell digital products and subscriptions without a website. Audience tagging makes it easy to segment your marketing list, and send tailored communications – many of which you can automate. You can sign up to the free plan if you have fewer than 1,000 contacts.

These recommendations are only the tip of a very large iceberg. Some platforms are better suited to certain businesses than others: for example, if you’re in Ecommerce, it’s worth checking out Drip

As with any choice of tool, it comes to a mix of personal preference and the features and price point that are best suited to your business.

For more help with your digital marketing, get booked onto one of our free social media courses, buy the bestselling social media book, or talk to our team.

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