Creating an email list to manage your contacts is one of the more important tools you can have in your toolbox.
The data in your social media accounts theoretically belongs to you. But it’s been known to happen on more than one occasion, that people have been locked out, blocked or deleted from social media.
That’s why it’s so important to cultivate an email list.
When you’re just starting out, your mailing list is pretty small, or maybe even non existent.
But pretty quickly, as you grow, your list of potential customers and subscribers will grow with you.
It happens quicker than you think.
How do you manage your contacts?
❓ Do you use a spreadsheet?
❓ Do you add them as contacts to your email application?
❓ Do you use a customer relations management (CRM) tool?
❓ Do you use an email service provider (ESP)?
Your best bet, as a beginner, is to sign up to an email service provider. There are many out there.
Many have a free package you can use to test the application.
Some give you other features like the option to create landing pages, pop ups, forms, a built in CRM and even a chatbot.
Deciding on which ESP you want to use depends on what your needs are, what your budget is.
But in addition, it’s important to ensure that you are comfortable with the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) the application provides.
If you have the time, it’s highly recommended to try out various tools and see which works best with your workflow.
But if you don’t have the time, I’ve done the research for you. At lest some of it.
I’ve tested 5 ESPs over the past few months:
I wanted to test their free package, their upgrade cost, the ease of use and the added features in the basic package.
You may be like many people use Mailchimp because it’s well known and it has a really good free package. When your list grows past those first 1000 contacts, or when you need automations that are a bit more complex, you may just upgrade because you're already invested.
That’s a great marketing tool on the part of Mailchimp. But really bad news for the users.
There are many tools out there that give you more bang for your buck.
Over the next few blog installments, I will share some of my findings, including a short review of each of the ESPs I’ve tried out, what I liked and what I didn't.
I hope you will join me.
P.S. if you’re looking for the TL:DR version and a spoiler: I choose ActiveCampaign as my ESP. I love their automations, their user experience and their customer centered product (plus a whole lot more).
Note: this article contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed are my own.