Being a small business owner or entrepreneur can be AMAZING.

You get to set your schedule, be your own boss, and feel that awesome sense of fulfillment and accomplishment when you hit a goal.

BUT.

It’s also a heckload of work.

Think about it – you don’t get to divide up tasks between different departments. You probably don’t have a large sales team. Chances are, at least at first, you’re doing all or most of the marketing yourself. And you’re likely in charge of operations as well.

There are a few things that you can do here to lighten the load:

  1. Find an enchantment spell that will bring household items to life and then train them to send out marketing emails.
  2. Win a lottery and hire a ton of employees.
  3. Invest in email marketing automation.

As fun as the first two options sound, I’m going to bet that #3 ends up being the winner for you.

What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation is basically like having an invisible army of helpers taking care of your marketing emails for you, so that you can focus on the 748 other things that you need to do to keep your business running at 100%. A good email marketing platform will let you upload, segment, and deliver timely messages to your list without wasting your entire afternoon. You can send welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, birthday emails, and customized promotional offers with almost zero effort.

Why use it (apart from the time benefits)?

  • Automation helps you provide a highly personalized customer experience
  • Personalized emails can radically boost conversion rates
  • Automated marketing is highly-scalable and offers amazing ROI

Note: If you really, really, REALLY love sending out emails manually, then stop reading now. The rest of this post isn’t for you, you beautiful weirdo. Keep on doing you!

For everyone else, let me break down a few of your options!

ConstantContact

You may have already heard of this option — it’s a popular choice for beginners because it is super easy to set up and use. It also has highly responsive and friendly customer support if you’re not really a technical person. Real-time reporting lets you know as you go how well your emails are performing. Their free trial offers 100+ mobile-optimized email templates to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that fits your brand.

MailChimp

If you listen to podcasts, you know all about MailChimp. But for those of you who missed out on season one of Serial, MailChimp is an email automation platform that offers a number of pricing options, including a FREE plan. With MailChimp, you can create emails, Facebook and Google ads, landing pages, and more. The A/B testing option is very useful, because it lets you try out two different designs and see which one gets the most clicks. Think of it as a popularity contest for your emails!

BombBomb

Maybe you were a theatre kid in high school. Maybe you always dreamed of growing up to be a film director. Maybe you want your marketing emails to LITERALLY speak to people. BombBomb lets you create and send out VIDEO emails. Pretty cool, right? But it isn’t just a Facebook Live for your inbox — the platform also includes lead-capture forms, taking you one step closer to making a sale.

Drip

Drip offers deep integration, which makes it easy to match up with your current e-commerce system. Shopify, WooCommerce, Thrivecart, 3dcart…pick your poison! The drag and drop email builder makes it simple to create gorgeous emails, and the platform also offers options to create tailored Facebook ads, text messages, and even send postcards in the mail. Crazy how traditional mail is a novelty these days, right?

Do you use automation for your marketing? What’s your favourite platform?

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