- Posted by wainscot
- On April 11, 2014
We’re big fans of social media, but at the end of the day email is what will drive sales.
Just a few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post saying that local businesses, like doctors, should make growing their email list their marketing focus not growing their Facebook fans. Email marketing is effective. There’s an over $40 ROI (return on investment) for every dollar spent, on average, in email marketing. But sending an email from your normal email client (like Outlook) if not effective.
If you want to get the most out of using email as a marketing tool, you’ll need to use an ESP, or Email Service Provider. An ESP like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or StreamSend is a company that allows you to easily send out mass emails.
Here are a few reasons why you should use an ESP:
It’s all in the delivery.
At the end of the day, no matter how great your email LOOKS, none of it matters if it never reaches the recipient. Emails sent through an ESP are more likely to reach an inbox (though of course some will still end up in spam folders and remain unread) because ESPs are considered “trusted.”
You’re a pro!
You’re a professional, and you want your emails to reflect that. ESP’s offer pre-designed templates that you can customize for your emails. If you’re HTML-savvy, then designing a marketing email from scratch might be no problem, but for the rest of us, these templates make it easy to create a clean, colorful, and eye-catching email.
You can make it automatic.
Earlier this week, we wrote a blog telling you all about the benefits of autoresponders. ESP’s provide autoresponders that allow you to write a series of emails in advance and schedule them to be sent out at the date and time of your choosing. You’re a busy professional, so consider taking advantage of this. Sometimes you can’t get away from everything to send an email at 9am every Monday, but you can certainly block out time once a month to create and schedule a few emails.
Keep your inbox workable.
When you send an email directly from your Outlook email account, bounced messages will come right on back to your inbox. Do you really want hundreds- or perhaps even thousands of these messages popping up in your inbox? Sending via an ESP allows you to avoid that.
It measures up.
If you’ve read our previous blogs, then chances are you’ve caught on to the fact that we love numbers! When you send an email through an ESP, you’ll be able to see how many people received it, how many actually opened the message and how many clicked on your links to read your articles.
Your normal email client like Outlook doesn’t have this feature. Sure, you can see who responded to your message, but you won’t have any idea how many of them actually received it in the first place. Having these numbers allows you to compare and analyze what works- and what doesn’t- for your campaigns. Once you’ve measured, you can improve and keep testing. This will increase the number of people who read your emails and, ultimately, help boost your sales.
An ESP is a great tool for sending out mass emails to your customers and subscribers. Pricing strategies vary; StreamSend is based on the number of total emails sent–so five emails sent to 10,000 names would be equivalent to ten emails sent to 5,000 names- while Mail Chimp’s is based on the number of subscribers you have.
StreamSend’s pricing plans are based on total number of emails sent.
MailChimp’s plans are base on total number of subscribers.
Many ESPs have free plans- StreamSend lets you send up to 200 emails per month completely free- but even the paid ones are inexpensive, with some starting as low as $10 per month. For your next e-mail blast, consider signing up for a free plan from an ESP to see how it works, and once you figure out what you like, commit to a paid plan- it could be a worthy investment.