Why every small business should have an auto-responder, even if you don’t use it much yet… and how to get one of the best out there for FREE
Ultimately, these tools, annoying as they may be, especially for cash and labor-strapped dogooders, can help us educate, nurture and inspire, and in the end, can be the vital difference between selling our cause or falling into obscurity.
Some people hate marketing emails, and I understand. Sometimes I feel these tools are supposed to connect us, but they drive us further apart. I spend a chunk of each day deleting emails from GOOD CAUSES just because I don’t have the time.
Even with all this said, email automation should be a part of your toolbox. Think of your email as a multivitamin. People will expel most of it, but their bodies will benefit if they need the nutrition. Send content that seeks to improve the world, and the rest will take care of itself. ~ Andy
There are so many great Saas products on the market these days… It’s a problem! That’s probably why Benchmark Email has taken care to supercharge its tool.
The most distinctive features are the email builder and the extensive email template library. Benchmark will be a great choice if your organization is focused on delivering strong branding.
The ability to publish and email surveys is nothing to sniff at either.
According to the sign-up page, the FREE tier allows you to:
It seems like a no-brainer to me!
These are the marketing tools that. It givescon-men targeting “newbies” don’t want you to know about.
A trend in software-as-a-service products today is to bring maximum functionality and the best combination of features all into one tool.
Vbout is pursuing this holy grail with a powerful combination of email marketing, landing pages, social media tools, and ways to experiment and visualize customer journeys.
This last feature, the customer journey tool, is a diamond in the rough, giving you the power to visually map different buyer persona journeys and refine and optimize them as you gather more data.
The basic plan starts at $90/mo.
But there is a FREE trial. Take Vbout for a spin
Mautic is a personal favorite of mine; Mautic is an open-source marketing and email automation platform that remains dedicated to making a full-featured product available for FREE to everyone through itsprovide, self-hosted solution.
Build unlimited conditional email automation sequences, upload email templates or choose from their free selection, publish built-in landing pages, track contacts across social media, and much more.
Sounds great. Are there any CONS to Mautic?
WARNING: There are problems with using free and open-source software as robust as Mautic.
If your list isn’t at the vital core of your business and your company isn’t too large, Mautic is still an excellent tool (I use it), feature-rich and flexible, but if you want to avoid the occasional bug, you might want to keep shopping.
A common theme running through most email automation tools here is the ability to segment email recipients automatically based on behaviors. Drip is one of the most accessible platforms (and one of the cheapest) to destroy your competition and dominate your niche e-commerce universe.
Primarily geared toward e-commerce, Drip offers a well-designed and appealing user interface, offers integrations and is FREE for your first 100 subscribers.
Build your email list fast. Take a tour of Drip here!
As one of the surviving veterans of automated email campaigns, MailChimp has a big head start on many of its competitors and is still one of the most popular email automation services.
A couple of years back, MailChimp was looking a little behind the curve, but it’s back on the bleeding edge now, thanks to an array of new features to keep up with and surpass its competitors.
• E-commerce sellers will rejoice- MailChimp integrates with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, allowing you to quickly get to your subscriber’s inboxes with those fantastic offers.
• Behavior-based automation sequences with built-in segmentation rules to turbocharge your customer’s journey to purchase.
• Instantly launch Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads! This one is a massive time-saver.
• two mobile-friendly plug-and-play landing pages come standard.
• A mobile app, analytics, integrations, and more!!
Get started with MailChimp today!
Does sending a large volume of emails to many subscribers as cheaply and conveniently as possible sound like something you could get used to?
Email Octopus is very transparent about their not-so-secret sauce: They take advantage of dirt-cheap send rates via Amazon SES by asking you to create a managed account for them in your AWS account. By letting Amazon be the SMTP provider, Email Octopus simplifies their service and reduces your costs.
Thanks to this strategy, Email Octopus is FREE for up to 2500 subscribers!
Are there any CONS?
This tool IS NOT for beginners who are not ready to learn. Email Octopus DOES provides email automation software, including –
• List Management
• Campaign Creation
• Email Template Storage and Use
Email Octopus DOES NOT provide:
• Email Templates (You must import your HTML templates)
• Create an Amazon AWS account
• Integrate Email Octopus with Amazon SES (they provide instructions)
• Configure your Amazon SES instance, including domain and email verification
• Activate multi-factor verification and user permissions
If this is something you’d love to geek out on, sign up for Email Octopus now!
An oldie but goodie email marketing platform, Aweber is for those who want to keep it simple, kind of.
Forget about complex segmented automation flows and focus on the basics, sending people emails containing offers and information that you think will make their day.
The world’s most savage marketers love and trust Aweber.
Needless to say, this collection of tools only begins to scratch the surface of all the available tools online.
In closing, I call your attention to Moosend, a platform with a solid industry standard offering. They stand out with an extensive email template library and a certain… je ne se quoi.
If you want to enjoy a thoughtfully designed UI and are a sucker for flat design, this email automation tool may keep you engaged and make it easier to get things done.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, MooSend offers three months free, and you can send to up to 5000 subscribers during the free trial!
After that, 5000 subscribers will only cost you $10 per month!
On the opposite side of the spectrum from Aweber, ActiveCampaign is a tool that has it all, combining a full-featured email automation marketing platform with a built-in CRM (find out about great CRMs here…)
In addition to everything you would expect with an email automation tool, the marketing automation tools inside ActiveCampaign works like an enterprise solution, but for a pittance. Attribution allows you to track the customer lifecycle from social media to ad campaigns to your emails.
Setting complex multi-step goals is possible and manageable with this tool.
Messaging is powerful with ActiveCampaign, enabling you to message across the internet, virtually everywhere you communicate with people.
But the unique element of ActiveCampaign is the built-in CRM. Instead of using integrations and jumping back and forth between one application, you can automatically tag and send qualified subscribers to your sales cycle CRM based on behaviors and scoring.
Plus, if you’re an agency, join the partner program, and you can white label the platform and resell it under your brand!
As a new online business, especially one hoping to use the machinery of business to effect positive social and environmental change, you need great tools. Here’s a rabbit hole of an index to help you save time and effort finding all of this yourselves….