Email Marketing

I’ve used Mailchimp and SendinBlue, both free for a decent amount of emails per month, but their brand will be displayed in the footer. Currently, Mailchimp allows up to 2000 subscribers on your list and 12,000 emails per month, and SendinBlue allows unlimited subscribers on your list and 9,000 emails per month. There are many other free options out there, including Freshmail, Benchmark, VerticalResponse, Mailjet and Campayn, but for managing email campaigns without branding, you’d have to start paying a monthly fee, and that’s when you can open up your options and “compare the plans”, including other apps like AWeber, Constant Contact, GetResponse and ActiveCampaign. There are big differences in their offerings. A good place to start searching for software reviews is Capterra.

Another consideration is the sign up process. If you're a bricks and mortar business, then you may have little to be concerned about signing up for an account with MailChimp or SendinBlue. I didn't have to go through the process of providing a mailing (physical/postal) address. Or, at least I can't remember it. I think that for most Freelancer's working from home or across the globe, it would be necessary to provide a temporary mailing address or postal address for some apps. However, it is a bit of a challenge if you don't want newsletter and email recipients to view your regular home address. My suggestions is, if you don't have a postal mail box outside of your residence, investigate other reliable options. Some of the email marketing apps look great as a product, but may not integrate well with your website, or may have an outdated or non-existent plugin for WordPress. I'm currently researching this. Apps from countries outside the US seem to be ok. You may have to provide a contact number, but most let you sign up with a few details.

The main things to consider are design, scheduling, and message. With the design templates available in apps, there are plenty of choices about layout already made for you. All you need to do is drag and drop elements and add content to them. If you're more comfortable with coding, most apps include drag and drop HTML elements, or completely HTML based options. Your first emails will normally not be your best. Experiment and run A/B tests, if possible, to see what your audience responds to. It may be that your whole email needs an overhaul due to displeasing design/UX, scheduling cycle, poorly thought out aims, goals and key messages, or the manner in which you obtained their email address. Some businesses may ask you to complete a form providing your contact details and use these details without your implicit consent to send SMS and emails - this is spam. Or you may have an employer who buys lists and sends bulk mail - this is spam. The right message requires planning, not impulsive, inflexible thoughts. Consider the aims and goals of your message, the key message which has to clearly stand out from everything else, and the motivations of your buyers.

You may have heard about funnelling, lead nurturing or drip campaigns. Basically, these terms mean guiding and funnelling your buyer/customer through the sales/onboarding process. From the moment you receive someone's business card or sign up email, we need to make it automatic to capture their information and put their details into our email lists. From the first moment, we will make them feel safe and in good hands, leading them along our journey together. We want to engage people in familiar ways, that also capture their interest. In return, we gain trust and motivation to achieve goals together, or to provide information that enables steps towards success and empowerment. The end goal for both parties is often development. Businesses want to develop customer relationships, sales and revenue. Customers, who may be businesses themselves, want to develop skills, knowledge, and empowered decision-making, and make their jobs and lives easier, while they manage other tasks.

View an archive of a Cleancare fortnightly promotion email campaign I put together with limited quality media to work with. This is one of the first campaigns I did in Mailchimp, building upon a previous developer's work. Looking back, I can see that it was ok and I met the brief from the employer, so I'm happy with my efforts, but the visual aspects of the design could use a little improvement.