How to grow your email list the easy way, and which email service provider offers the best deal.
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Everyone has gone through this when you decide to make the move from fun hobby to an actual business. Do I need a professional email? Do I need my own domain? Can I just use Gmail? (yes to the first two, no to the last)
When you decide to take the leap and start your own business, you need to also start thinking about growing your following, your audience, and getting more people to be familiar with what you sell.
A big part of this is done through email marketing. Gone are the days where you pick up the phone and call people, or post ads on the newspaper (the actual paper, the one you hold in your hands), and send post cards around your neighborhood. Now everything is online.
In order to keep in touch with those who want to hear from you, you need an email service provider. You send out newsletters with updates, send out special discounts, coupons, announcements, you name it. This also gives you the chance to grow your email list. Because you absolutely need one.
To cut this story short, I have been using Flodesk for a few years and love it. But I have to admit, this ESP (email service provider), might not be the best choice for everyone. There are countless platforms and services out there and I tried quite a few. From Mailchimp to Mailer Lite. It’s cheap to sign up but so hard to navigate. My learning curve was at a snail pace.
So after much researching I found a couple I liked. While i decided to settle for Flodesk at the time, I had another really goof contender that I might even chance in the future. Enter Constant Contact.
If you’re are in the stages or finding your perfect provider, this blog then might help decide. I did a little research of the features they both offer, so you can take a look and see which one would work best for you. but first let’s talk about a very important subject:
How do you grow your email list?
There are several ways to do it. I’m going to tell you how I did it in this blog, then stay tuned for other tips coming soon.
When I had a coach a few years back, she told me I needed to give something away to people in exchange for their emails. It could be a guide, a “how-to”, a list of things, a short tutorial. Something that’s going to help your followers solve a problem. Sometimes the problem is not a real life altering problem. It could be as simple as “how to fold tees the easy way”, or a simple printable planner for weekly meal prep. Maybe not solving a problem, but maybe helping making some people’s lives a little easier.
Since my business is in art, that’s what I was offering. I was doing a lot of digital art on my iPad at the time on a software called Procreate. I was obsessed with creating brushes, and a lot of people think that’s what makes deigns looks so awesome. With that mind, I started learning how make brushes. I made SO many brushes I had to transfer some brush files to another driver because it was taking too much space on my iPad. My favorite set of brushes was a stained glass effect brush set. No one had anything similar at the time. I was so excited. So I decided to to list them for sale.
No one bought them. Zero people.
When I told my coach what happened, she asked more details about the brushes. And she was completely honest with me. She said “maybe those brushes are not as sexy as you think”. It was like a punch in the gut. And she followed up with “instead of selling them, why don’t you give them away? This could help you grow your list and you will see if your brushes are indeed in high demand”.
Even though i felt like I was giving away one of my arms, I followed her advice and announced to the world those brushes were free, and to download from my website. I made a quick landing page where people go there and download a free whatever they need in exchange for their email. Since the email was necessary to send them the brushes, people started pouring in.
Then my website crashed. It crashed because way too many people were going there for the brushes. I was giving away my best creation and people wanted them. Because it was free. My email list grew from 60 people to 650 people in 3 weeks. I was floored.
My email list has been solid ever since because I’m always connecting and communicating with them. Some people go (unsubscribe) and some new people come in. But the most important thing is, i have a growing list, and it helps keeps my business going, because they buy from me. It is cheaper to nurture current clients, then acquiring new one (think about all the extra effort on social media and paid ads).
Which email service provider is best?
Now that we covered the why you need a list, let’s dive in on my two best options (in my opinion) for email service providers.
I have been using Flodesk for a few years and love it. But I have to admit, this ESP (email service provider), might not be the best choice for everyone. There are countless platforms and services out there and I tried quite a few. From Mailchimp to Mailer Lite. It’s cheap to sign up but so hard to navigate. My learning curve was at a snail pace. And the more subscribers you get, the more expensive it becomes.
Keep in mind that the landscape of email marketing platforms is always evolving, so I recommend checking the most recent reviews and updates for the latest information, in case you decide to sign up later on.
Flodesk was gaining popularity as a visually appealing and user-friendly email marketing platform. Here are some key points to consider:
1. Beautiful Email Templates: Flodesk was known for its stylish and modern email templates that made it easy for users to create visually appealing emails without any design skills.
2. Ease of Use: It offered a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.
3. Automation: Flodesk provided automation features that allowed you to create workflows, segment your email list, and send targeted emails based on user behavior.
4. Pricing: While Flodesk was considered reasonably priced for its feature set, its pricing model was different from many other email marketing platforms. Instead of tiered pricing based on the number of subscribers, Flodesk charged a flat monthly fee.
5. Limitations: Flodesk might not have been the best choice for larger businesses with complex email marketing needs, as it was primarily designed for small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs.
Constant Contact has been in the email marketing industry for a long time and has established itself as a reliable platform. Here are some highlights:
1. Templates and Customization: Constant Contact offers a wide range of email templates and customization options, although they may not be as visually striking as Flodesk’s.
2. List Management: It provides tools for list management, segmentation, and contact tagging, which can be useful for targeting specific groups of subscribers.
3. Automation: Constant Contact has automation features for sending welcome emails, event registration confirmations, and more, but it may not be as advanced as some other platforms.
4. Reporting and Analytics: It offers detailed reporting and analytics to help you track the performance of your email campaigns.
5. Support and Resources: Constant Contact is known for its customer support, including live chat, phone support, and a knowledge base, which can be valuable for users who need assistance.
6. Pricing: Pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have, which can make it more cost-effective for small businesses with growing lists. Their lowest fee starts $12 per month at the time I posted this blog. Their next tier is about the same for Flodesk, with a lot more features available.
In summary, the choice between Flodesk and Constant Contact depends on your specific needs and preferences. Flodesk may be more suitable if you prioritize visually appealing email design and a flat-rate pricing model. Constant Contact, on the other hand, might be a better choice if you need more traditional email marketing features, reliable support, and list management capabilities.
When I signed up for Flodesk I knew of some of its limitations and honestly I was completely fine with it. I have been a member since their Beta version which means I was able to secure their initial price plan for $19 a month. Forever.
No matter what provider you choose you will see some pros and cons. The best way to decide is to go over its features and see which ones you can’t live without. I like platforms that are easy to get around. If I need to learn a whole other language to send one simple email, I’m out.
Good luck, and let me know what you think! Do you have a EMS already? do you like it? Let me know in the comments!