Blogging. Social. SEO. TripAdvisor. Now email marketing? When will you have time to run your business?

Besides hiring someone, the next best bet is to use an easy tool.

The good news is that running a basic email marketing effort is not all that difficult. The extra-special-amazing news is that effective email marketing is possibly the HIGHEST ROI marketing activity that exists! In fact, data from research company Experian says that the average return on email marketing is 44.2x. (I’m not mathematician but that’s a LOT of x!)

First things first, make sure you pick a tool rather than mass emailing people from your current email account using BCC. If you do this, there’s a chance your email accounts (and those associated with your business) could be marked as spammers. You can trust my painful experience when I tell you that this is NOT a fun headache to deal with.

My favorite provider is Active Campaign which in my opinion wipes the floor with MailChimp, the brand that most operators use. Active Campaign is easier to use for me, has MUCH more powerful features and is built with marketing in mind. I love it. MailChimp is trying to play catch-up but the word has gotten out about Active Campaign so much that most of my email marketing friends can’t maintain a conversation for 5 minutes without mentioning it.

It’s also cheap. At time of writing, you could use Active Campaign for free for a list of 2000 people if you accept their logo at the bottom of your emails. If not, you could just go with the $9 per month plan for 500 people. That being said, MailChimp tends to integrate much better with WordPress so you have 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other.

More powerful tools for major heaving lifting are InfusionSoft, HubSpot and Ontraport. They offer more power than ActiveCampaign but will run you $250+ a month, can be ugly and also are difficult to use – without an expensive consultant to help you. I’ve never used these tools – I’m happy with ActiveCampaign – but if you’re doing revenues of $250k+ you should check them out.

Some tour booking software providers will give you some capability for email marketing. It’s nice to make use of this first, but specialist providers of email marketing software will do a better job for you if you’re looking to step things up a notch. If you’re just going to send the occasional ‘hello’ type of email, stick with whoever you’ve got.

Here’s a few basic providers:

ActiveCampaignMailChimpCampaignMonitorConstantContactaWeber.

 

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