What is the easiest way to create, send, share and track email newsletters online? There are plenty of CRM and email marketing tools to choose from, yet most entrepreneurs want automated marketing solutions to be simple, intuitive and robust.
Marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years. (Focus Research) While “59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue,” according to reports from BtoB Magazine.
Mark Andrew Hopkins the Founder of Recruiter Works explains, “Email marketing is still one of the most viable channels for both branding and customer acquisition.” And research suggests customers prefer it. “For 69.7% of US internet users, email is the preferred method of communicating with businesses, according to eMarketer.
So, which CRM and email marketing tools do small business owners actually prefer? Here’s a look at a few top picks and why they are a “win” for growing businesses.
Streak by Gmail – CRM for your Inbox
“I’ve been using MailChimp for years to send out periodic newsletter updates … The design and interface make MailChimp ideal and easy to use,” says Tim Ryan, Founder and Director at TAR Productions.
However, “Google Apps for Business, with the Streak plugin, has proved to be pretty powerful. We use it to send personal emails to a large number of contacts, clients and friends without sending it through MailChimp – which can add a level of distance. Using Streak we’ve found our response rate to be 4-5x higher when asking for direct feedback.”
Constant Contact – Outstanding Customer Service
“I use Constant Contact for all our clients,” Mike Munter, a Portland-based SEO and Online Marketing Consultant, explains. “The reason is their customer service is outstanding – friendly and helpful, every time. I had tried AWeber, but they do not offer phone support. Constant Contact is the leader, period, based on customer service.”
MailChimp – Makes Integration Easy
Jess Ekstrom, Founder and CEO at Headbands Of Hope relies on an email marketing solutions’ ability to integrate with other key channels. “The main reason we use MailChimp is the ease of integration to multiple channels: our Shopify website, our Facebook Page, and even the signup app they offer so we can collect emails via iPads at trade shows.”
Chris Mullen, Founder and CEO of Printkeg, echoes Ekstrom’s sentiments. “Mailchimp is easy to use, offers many quick templates, a buffet of features and is a trustworthy method of sending mail to small or large lists,” Mullen explains. “They are also compatible with tons of third party applications due to an extensive and open API and partnerships. We’ve grown our company from zero to over twenty thousand customers partially thanks to that system.”
Mad Mimi – The Best Value
“After trying several different solutions I have been using Mad Mimi since January of 2014. They clearly are the best value for me,” Russ Fordyce, Owner and Managing Director at Business Intelligence Group, explains.
“The #1 reason I picked Mad Mimi was their pricing structure was reasonable and it allowed for flexibility if my list grew or shrank… While other solutions may have some other features … I find that if I ask for information of their support team (via live chat usually) I get it very quickly. Frankly, that level of support is worth a bit more than I am paying!”
HubSpot –More Than Email Marketing
Sajeel Qureshi BBA, MBA, Owner and VP of Operations at Computan opts for a total solution when it comes to email marketing. “We’ve used many and have settled on HubSpot – pricey, but so much more than just email marketing. It ties into our content marketing and inbound marketing efforts,” he explains.
“We can send out scheduled follow-up emails that are targeted based on what our previous interaction with that contact was. Leads to way higher open-rates and less unsubscribes.”
InfusionSoft – A Total Solution That Scales
Nadine Larder, Founder of PrinterBees.com is convinced that a total solution can do more for any small business. “We use InfusionSoft as our CRM and email marketing tool and since implementing in 2011, we’ve grown from 1166 contacts in our database to 20,000 in just four short years,” says Larder.
“We’ve increased revenue by 472% and are getting a 4000% return on our investment. By automating our follow-up, we are following up on 100% of all leads that enter our database. Before Infusionsoft, we were using iContact, which does not offer the flexibility and robust features we needed to grow our business to the next level. Infusionsoft is the best because it allows us to build automated campaigns to meet our clients where they are in our sales process.”
Ultimately, “selecting the right email marketing application is a difficult decision. Each one has different features, drawbacks and price points. Keep in mind what your current needs are as well as your future goals,” Crazy Egg contributor Angela Noble, a designer and partner at Kovalent, explains.
“Once you have all your lists and data in one program, it may be a hassle to switch providers when you need a system with more features. Select a provider now that can grow with your business and subscriber lists in the future.”
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.