Online Marketing made simple – EP 3: Email Marketing

Let’s keep it straight and simple: Email Marketing is a powerful way to connect with people. And yes, we do know: it is not as shiny and sexy as Social Media. But fortunately that’s the only problem. When it comes to comparing Email Marketing Software and Social Media as marketing vehicles and return-on-investment, Email Marketing is by far the most effective one. We show you.


Take me to the review


Start thinking about your own experiences. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? Ok, maybe your grandmother (mine has one, by the way). You probably receive a number of emails each week (oh boy, I sure do). And what do you do? You read them, get inspired by them (that means, in many cases, you buy something) and even look forward to the next one. Email is a part of our lives and it isn’t going anywhere with its near 4 billion users.


Besides, Email Marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your customers. Messages from friends, from work and from your favorite online shop are sitting next to each other. For this reason, Email Marketing works at its best when it is personalised. Emails can (and should always) be tailored to customer actions so that every communication is relevant to their interest.


Still thinking it is not something for your company? Let us give you 6 reasons why Email Marketing is a channel you can’t afford to ignore.


1) More effective than Social Media (for customer acquisition)


Don’t get us wrong – Social Media is extremely important for businesses’ marketing strategy. It is a great channel for interacting with your audience and building personal relationships with them. And therefore it is an important first step towards reaching better conversion rates.


But – when it comes to converting people into members, customers and supporters, Email Marketing is the way to go. A study by Custora found that customer acquisition via Email Marketing has quadrupled between 2009 and 2013. It accounts nowadays for nearly 20% of all customer acquisitions that occur online.


2) Personal and Customisable


In Email Marketing, what you’re doing is actually segmenting your audience into lists and sending each list a tailored email message according to your readers’ interests, in order to provide them something of value. On the other hand, when you write a post for one of your social media channels, you address your audience as a whole (“To all of our fans, we would like to say…”).


Using your email marketing software correctly allows you to address people individually, by name (according to research from Adestra in 2012, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 22.2% more likely to be opened), and split certain topics only for certain members of your list.


One important thing here: emails don’t have to be spam – and they should never be! If used thoughtfully, they can build loyalty and trust in your brand. It is a chance to speak directly to prospects, leads, current customers and even past customers, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them.


3) Email delivers your message


Imagine the following situation: you, a marketer, have to choose between adding a subscriber to your email list or gaining a new Facebook fan. What would you choose? Well, according to Forrester Research, the answer is easy: you should go for the subscription. And there are two key reasons why:


First, only 2% (!!) of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed, whereas 90% of your email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox. The reason for it? Facebook seems to limit the number of times your posts appear – an attempt to drive brands towards paid advertising.


This means if you post an update to your 10,000 fans, only about 200 of them will see it in their News Feed. What about the other 9,800? Well, they won’t take note of your message and the communication will fail. Alternatively, if you send an email campaign to 10,000 subscribers, at least 9,000 of them would receive it in their inbox. That is a 45 times difference. Forty five. Times.


Secondly, your email subscribers have explicitly told you they want to hear from you. Now think about the ads in your Facebook News Feed – did you ask those companies to market to you? More than likely, you performed a Google search or visited their website, what is totally different than proactively signing up for an email newsletter.


4) Email is measurable


Email certainly beats the competition from a measurability standpoint. With TV, you don’t know who is watching your ads. Neither with print. Even with direct mail, you can’t be sure that your mail has been delivered or read. With email it’s different. There is no guesswork in email marketing – when you use an email marketing software, you can track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed. You can easily get a picture of how your campaigns are performing, make adjustments and improve your effectiveness. You can even A/B test your emails!


5) The secret to Smartphone Marketing? Still Email


A study from Exacttarget reports that 91% of people use their smartphones to access their email. This compared to 75% of the people who use their smartphones for social networking. Besides, 66% of Gmail messages are opened in mobile devices. Not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy means you are missing out on a channel that a majority of the world uses!


6) Marketing to Millennials? Well, Email


With $200 billion in annual buying power in 2017, Millennials have become every brand’s coveted customer and email is the best way to reach them. Millennials check email more than any other age group and nearly half can’t even use the bathroom without checking it, according to a recent Adobe study.


That same study found nearly 98% of Millennials check their personal email at least every few hours at work, while almost 87% of them check their work email outside of work.


Email Marketing Software Review:


A) Active Campaign

ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing software and customer relationship management (CRM) suite with a foundation in email marketing. Targeted towards small-to-midsize businesses, the software is designed to help organizations build their contact lists, create professional emails, manage campaigns, track customer behavior and measure their marketing campaign performance.


ActiveCampaign’s email marketing and marketing automation applications include drag-and-drop email design, lead capture forms, social integration and tracking, lead segmentation, website tracking and email campaign reporting.




The first thing that you notice when you start using ActiveCampaign is how well-designed and intuitive the user interface is. It’s one of the only marketing automation tools that requires practically no training to understand.


ActiveCampaign integrates with over 150 different tools via their Zapier integration. While this enables you to connect ActiveCampaign with a huge variety of tools, you will need a paid Zapier subscription to access certain integrations.


For the majority of small business who don’t want to commit to paying thousands of dollars per year to try marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is a great option. Their pricing starts at just $9/month with no upfront setup fees.




While ActiveCampaign’s automation sequences are beautifully designed, their CRM and email builder is still lacking. Finding personal information on a lead in the CRM requires scrolling down a tiny window, while the email campaign builder feels like a relic of the 90’s.


ActiveCampaign doesn’t have any native integrations with third-party tools. While they do have a marketplace with over 300 apps and extensions, many of these require an additional ongoing cost.


Learn more about Active Campaign


B) GetResponse

GetResponse email marketing software and online campaign management platform helps entrepreneurs build targeted subscriber lists and send high-impact newsletters, video emails, and follow-up campaigns. It offers marketing automation, responsive email design, hundreds of ready-to-use email templates, landing page creator, and useful statistical analysis tools. Best for small/medium-sized businesses, and those just starting out.




GetResponse’s pricing is very affordable (and, unlike other services, stays affordable as your list grows). Their platform is easy to use, and importing your lists takes seconds.


They have 500+ well-designed email templates (all optimised for mobile), making it easy for beginners to create professional looking newsletters and autoresponders. Their customer support does a good job.


For more advanced users, GetResponse have done A/B testing very well. Whether you want to split test the body content, subject line, sender name, or even the time of day, GetResponse makes this really simple. They also have many off-the-shelf integrations with services like WordPress, Salesforce, PayPal, Zendesk, and Shopify.




Their form builder is below average. But it does the job. Secondly, there are a few things (like deleting a list) that are unusually hard to do. In fact, even after using GetResponse for a while, one might have to Google it to find out how to find the list delete page.


GetResponse have fantastic autoresponders and a good automation tool that allows you to automatically remove/move contacts between lists when certain conditions are met (e.g. removing a contact from a list called ‘leads’ when a lead makes a purchase). Beyond this though, their automation rules are quite limited.


Learn more about GetResponse


C) Benchmark

Benchmark is an email marketing software with an intuitive design, which is particularly important when you are new to creating email campaigns. You can quickly and easily drag and drop elements as you edit the included templates.




The offered templates are incredibly flexible. The software offers Google Analytics integration and pricing by number of emails and by number of contacts is also available. A very unique feature is that someone checks and approves your email before it is sent out to subscribers.




Their  phone support is limited, but they do offer live chat 24/7. There is no feature for social media or sales tracking. Some of the sent emails are often delayed.


Learn more about Benchmark


Final Verdict:


Get Response represents one of the more cost-effective ways to host and communicate with an email database. Its reporting and comprehensive split testing features are very strong. It also sends responsive emails and allows you to preview smartphone versions of your e-newsletters very easily. Besides, it comes with a useful landing page creator – although you have to either be on a more expensive plan to get the fully functional version of this. Last but not least, support is comprehensive and includes phone support.


Last Words:


As a marketer, you have many channels available to reach your audience, but with limited time and resources you need to prioritize your efforts.

For the reasons listed above, email marketing is by far the most effective channel to attract, engage and connect with an audience to drive sales and revenue for your business. It is the channel where direct marketers get the highest ROI ($39 for every dollar spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association).


Very important here is to avoid one of the most common mistakes in email marketing: not seeing it as an engagement tool.


Stay tuned for the Episode 4 of our course, “Inform yourself!”, where we will give you suggestions of where to find reliable and affordable material on online marketing to improve your marketing skills and complement our course.


Looking forward to see you next week!


PS: Don’t forget to share this content with your friends who might be interested in Online Marketing!

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