Who would think that through a single marketing channel, businesses can observe a 3,800% ROI. That, when calculated, will be $38 for every dollar spent!
This underrated marketing channel would be email. It’s hard to believe but it is true. This giant average return on investment is one of many statistics on email marketing that has shown to be constant for many years now.
It’s often perceived that it takes too much time and effort to generate newsletters, handle a growing number of contacts, personalize messages and maintain the campaign progressing forward, holding even true for new start-ups and Singapore SMEs that want to focus on their main business. However, this does not line up with the statistics.
The average ROI wouldn’t be so sizeable and constant throughout the years if it were truly labor-intensive to run an email marketing campaign efficiently. The key is to find an email marketing service that suits your business. It is best to start now!
Here are our 5 recommendations accompanied by a short buyers’ guide to identify the perfect service for you.
1. Zoho Campaigns – Best for Simple Campaigns
Zoho Campaigns is a cheap, all-in-one email marketing service that has all the essential features. This is especially recommended for Singapore SMEs or startups that are on a tight budget.
Although it is slightly scaled down, don’t worry as it is not of substandard quality and can achieve most of what a 3-4 times more expensive email marketing service can. The accessibility provided is comparable with agile project management software like Trello and can be mastered, even by non-tech-savy users.
The ease-of-use is on par with agile project management software like Trello. Not only can non-technical users navigate Zoho Campaigns, they can master their domain.
Zoho Campaigns offer the following features:
- Pre-designed templates
- Drag-and-drop email editor
- Email Workflow Automation
- Email autoresponders
- Personalized emails through merge tags
- Real-time analytics
- A/B testing to test out two versions of your campaign
- Mobile version for accessibility outdoors
A thing to note is that Zoho Campaigns also has incorporation of popular ecommerce and contact relationship management (CRM) products.
Real-time analytics can help you get a sense of how your customers feel after each interaction through data visualization and allow you to improve from there. Despite integrating many of these features together, Zoho Campaigns will still be fairly simple to navigate and operate.
Here are the pricings offered by Zoho Campaigns:
- Email-based Plan: starting at S$3.75/month
- Subscriber-based Plan: starting at S$6/month
- Pay By Email Credits Plan: starting at S$9/month
Personally the Subscriber-based Plan is our favourite as it includes Workflow Automation and Autoresponders, which is not included in the other 2 plans. At S$11.25/month for 1000 subscribers with the Subscriber-based Plan, the perks will pay for itself many times over and will be worth for start-ups and SMEs trying to build and maintain their contact list.
You can also try the free forever version, which is only limited to 2,000 subscribers. However, you get a lot of marketing and content management features, as well as a free trial to see if you fancy the interface and want to carry on using it.
2. Mailchimps – Best for free email marketing services
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.
Mailchimp offers the following:
- an easy drag-and-drop email builder
- segmenting contacts into groups, including basing off geolocation
- simple tracking for analytics
- delivery times based on the user’s time-zone
You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Shopify, and many other platforms, making it eyeworthy.
Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large knowledge base with lots of tutorials. However, their support is often slow and no match to the quality of service that you get from other sites
Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send emails to up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is generally limited because you wont be able to access features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc.
You are also required to display their brand in your email. Last but not least, customer support is restricted to email only, which is acceptable if you’re a hobbyist, but as a business looking to go big you require a substantial and reliable customer support that you can rely on.
Their paid plans start from S$15/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.
However if you want unlimited audiences, advanced audience segmentation, multivariate testing, and comparative reporting, then you’d have to move to their S$420 per month plan.
What We Look at to Find the Best Email Marketing Service
Email marketing services are loaded with features and integrations to save time at each step of the campaign, which is especially important for SMEs and Start-ups that want to focus on building up their actual business.
Our favorite services save you minutes on tasks through drag-and-drop email editors, email automation and pre-built templates, which makes sending emails so much easier. These minutes will eventually accumulate to hours over time as you send out more emails with less effort required.
Here are things to look out for in an email marketing service that will help you determine which service is best suited for your business:
One thing that is vital from an email marketing service is its easy accessibility by anyone on your team.
When navigating through the different sites, take note of the different pre-built templates and workflows offered. Some of them lose their supposed accessibility if you were to steer away from their intended ideas, so be sure you are willing and excited to use them.
An easily navigable editor is a huge advantage as it can be utilized straight away by anyone with no prior training, preventing any time wasted waiting for someone that knows the ins and outs of the editor.
Customer support, FAQs and documentation that allow users to solve issues and learn themselves are parts of a good email marketing service as well.
Some red flags to look out for are reviews that sight unhelpful and lacking customer support.
Email Workflow Automation
Different levels of tools from an email marketing service can help you automate different levels of workflows.
Basic tools can help automate welcome emails to new subscribers and other simple processes while a more advanced tool allows you to add conditions or triggers to further personalize emails to specific subscribers. This would require a lot of knowledge (habits and engagement) about your customers or target audience, which can be provided by well-established list segmentation features.
This will give you better and more streamlined conditions and triggers for your automation of emails and give your customers more emails that they are actually interested in.
Implementation with existing plans
Looking at your existing plans and how to implement a new email marketing service alongside is also important to think about. It can help to speed up processes alongside your current customer data sources and CRM software while having fewer problems going forward.
As a start-up or SME you would also have to think about the existing cost and whether or not the cost of this additional service is much more beneficial to your business than other solutions or marketing tactics like Google Ads campaign.
Some products, like Sendinblue, which includes their own CRM as part of the package, can be nice for companies that are looking to purchase a packaged service for their email campaign.
Your email campaigns will all be done for nothing if your email does not have a high deliverability rate.
Excellent email marketing services will see to it that your email has high deliverability in two ways.
On the frontend, they will craft attractive and absorbing subject titles and content, accompanied by quality pre-set email templates that complies privacy and anti-spam laws to ensure receivers would be enticed to even open the email.
They also allow you to manage subscribers to prevent your emails from going into their Spam folder and keep a clean list.
On the backend, they work with Internet service providers to ensure that your consumers’ IP addresses are not blocked. They also authenticate emails through SenderID, SPF, DKIM (https://www.sparkpost.com/blog/understanding-spf-and-dkim/)
Substantial email marketing services provide an array of tools to manage email subscribers. Here are some:
- Importing contact lists from CRMS and other databases
- Help form new relations with new contacts through pop-ups and landing page that will initiate a conversation with potential customers
- Maintain a clean list of subscribers through isolating non-active subscribers and possible spam emails that will reduce deliverability
- Segregate subscribers into groups based on conditions and triggers, including where and how they signed up, and many more.
Performance Tracking of your Campaign
Email marketing strategies have to be tracked to ensure that they are not redundant
It is important for email services to thus have the ability to track traditional KPIs like:
- Bounce rate
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
- Forward/share rate
- List growth rate
- Open rates
- Unsubscribe rate
By keeping track of these data, business will be able to adjust their campaign strategies from there to improve.
Many email marketing services offer A/B testing, which allows you to experiment on different versions of emails or subject titles to see what performs better.
More advanced email marketing services will connect traditional metrics to revenue, allowing you to see ROI per email sent and other metrics that are important to your business. They’ll also let you check the performance and quality of content with features like click heatmaps, which identifies which part of the webpage your customers are spending the most time at.
Although you would most probably have to spend more money for these features, they provide important information that is worth the cost.
Marketing automation software, like Pardot, provides models that let you visualize every touchpoint in the customer’s entire lifecycle on the website. Marketing attribution drives business growth and improves your future campaigns by highlighting key elements of every customer relationship.
Email marketing can be very effective in helping your business grow if done correctly. Web Delegate offers email marketing services and we at Web Delegate promise quality service and our best effort in serving you and your business. You can find out more here and feel free to contact us if you have any queries!