EMMA – Sophisticated Email Marketing Tool

EMMA – Sophisticated Email Marketing Tool

Emma is a USA based email marketing platform with some nice, up-to-date features that give email marketing an air of sophistication without making the process too complex.

If you were thinking of launching a new Saas, (software as a service), package today you might think twice before deciding that email marketing was the thing to go for. Why? Well, because there is a lot of competition and a lot of it is very good!

With the likes of Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Infusionsoft, Maropost and many more out there with loads of top-end email marketing and marketing automation functionality, Emma certainly didn’t dodge a challenge when it decided to enter that space.

It also decided to adopt a name for their product that was fraught with danger as well – calling your product by a name that is the title of a Jane Austen novel which has been made into a film of the same name and which, along with a lot of famous people called Emma, seem to dominate Google’s first page listings, asking for trouble. Clearly the publishers of Emma didn’t talk in any depth to a branding adviser and can expect to pick up little online traffic from name searches.

It seems that there are actually two levels of the Emma product, Emma and Emma Plus, the latter having more sophisticated email automation facilities – and a much higher price tag. It is Emma Plus that I would consider to be up there with some of the sophisticated email automation packages mention above but a side-by-side comparison has yet to be done.

emma email marketing automation

Much of the website content used to promote Emma seems to suggest that it is geared towards e-commerce and offers integration with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms with the ability to send emails based on customer’s behavior both in mail and outside of mail, e.g. on your website.

If you are running an organisation that needs clever, good looking emails to support an e-commerce operation then Emma could be the one for you. The level of integrations is good, including Salesforce and Eventbrite plus many more so there’s a lot of scope for implementing a top-end email operation in your business.

The standard version weighs in at a starting price of $89/month whereas the more sophisticated Plus version will relive you of at least $369 monthly, (that’s the entry level rate and gives you the ability to work with up to 25,000 contacts and send unlimited emails). As 25K contacts is small potatoes for many e-commerce operations, the actual price paid could be substantially more.

Make a date with Emma
Nonetheless, this is an impressive email platform, with very strong design and presentation features in the bit that the customer actually sees – the email itself. I’d advise to to put Emma on your shortlist, but keep Jane Austen at a distance!

Emma

Where To Find It
http://myemma.com/
Product Type
Email automation platform
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes
Price
From $89/month.

FunnelMaker – Marketing Automation & CRM

FunnelMaker – Marketing Automation & CRM

FunnelMaker is a name that, you might be forgiven for thinking, describes a platform that offers a complete marketing funnel automation system.

It does not.

FunnelMaker is a very good, very comprehensive, CRM with limited email marketing capability but it is not a full blown funnel making system – which really makes the name “Funnelmaker” a bit of a misnomer. It’s a CRM that counts Salesforce amongst its integrations although I don’t have a clue why you would want to integrate with Salesforce or, more to the point, if you had Salesforce why you would also want to run FunnelMaker, when Salesforce have Pardot, which really is a marketing automation platform.

One feature of the FunnelMaker CRM that I liked a lot is the fact that it records all activities that have taken place for any given contact. So, if you sent a special offer email to a contact who had not purchased for a while, that would be recorded and could then be easily followed up on. The CRM also has an automated lead scoring system which looks very effective.

I would have expected to see integrations with the likes of Infusionsoft and Clickfunnels, which do have full-blown funnel automation facilities and powerful autoresponders and email sequencers, but they are, as yet, not there.

Another feature I couldn’t find is a landing page builder – an essential element of many automated marketing campaigns. Again, I didn’t see any integrations with the likes of Unbounce or Leadpages, both excellent landing page builders. This is a serious ommision in my opinion.

There is a library of email templates however, which seems fairly extensive but without good landing pages you are unlikely to be able to get the most from your email, (or any other), campaigns.

Now that more and more businesses realise that a well thought out automated marketing funnel is an important part of their digital marketing strategy, there is an inevitable increase in the number of online services designed to help them to build and operate one. As I explored the FunnelMaker website I followed a link for SEO services which seemed to take me to another part of the site which was full of pages with no content. I don’t think it is quite ready yet.

Neither, for that matter, is FunnelMaker. There is a free trial and there’s no harm in giving it a go but at the pricing level they’ve set I would have expected it to be a more rounded solution. FunnelMaker plans start at $149/month for the “Starter” which gives you up to 1,000 contacts and unlimited emails.

We’ve scheduled a full FunnelMaker review for the near future – watch this space.

FunnelMaker

Where To Find It
http://www.funnelmaker.com/
Product Type
CRM, Email automation & Funnel Building Platform
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – 14 days
Price
From $149/month – up to 1000 contacts.

ClickFunnels – All-In-One Sales Funnel Builder

ClickFunnels – All-In-One Sales Funnel Builder

ClickFunnels is a relative newcomer to the marketing automation and funnel-building space but they have certainly made a name for themselves in that short space of time. If you think that your Digital Marketing Strategy should include one or more sales or marketing funnels then and you don’t have an in-house team of marketers and developers then ClickFunnels may be the one for you.

ClickFunnels was designed from the ground up to be the only tool you need for building and operating automated marketing which includes Lead Generation, Email Marketing and Landing Pages for converting prospects into customers at an attractive rate.

Apart from being a very versatile and comprehensive toolset, ClickFunnels has another major advantage – it is driven along, day to day, by its ultra-enthusiastic founder, Russell Brunson. Here is a man that truly, deeply, believes in what he has created and is selling to businesses all over the world. Just take a look at his introductory video for ClickFunnels and you’ll see what I mean, (it takes a few minutes but it’s time well spent and gives you a good idea as to how funnel building should be done):

ClickFunnels is a powerful tool that will be the ideal choice for small to medium sized businesses everywhere. There are more powerful solutions out there, at a considerably higher cost and if you are handling more complex marketing processes with high numbers of contacts then you may well have to look at those too. In the meantime however, ClickFunnels will give you a free trial for 14 days which ought to be enough to convince you one way or another.

If you do decide to subscribe to ClickFunnels after the free trial then plans start at $97 per month but bear in mind that this includes hosting charges and all the tools you will need – including very good tutorials, lots of templates and examples and a great help and support service.

ClickFunnels

Where To Find It
https://www.clickfunnels.com/
Product Type
All-In-One Funnel building system
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – 14 days
Price
From $97/month.

ActiveCampaign – Email Marketing & Automation

ActiveCampaign – Email Marketing & Automation

As the demand for sales and marketing funnels and automation grows, there are more and more solutions like ActiveCampaign appearing on the market.

Some of those solutions are affordable only by the largest of organisations whereas others are realistically-priced options for the more modestly sized enterprise.

One such, very reasonably priced platform, is ActiveCampaign. With a starter plan priced at just $9 this really does put marketing automation within the reach of all small businesses.

Marketing Automation - Small Business Email Sales Marketing Automation (1)

This puts automated marketing sequences such as that shown above into the marketing arsenal of all sizes and types of business without the need for more complex systems like Infusionsoft, Hubspot and Marketo although it should be emphasised that these more complex (and expensive), systems,  can handle much more involved campaigns.

ActiveCampaign

Where To Find It
http://www.activecampaign.com/
Product Type
Email & Marketing Automation
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options including a low entry level personal plan for $9/month allowing up to 500 contacts.
Free Trial Available
Yes – 14 days
Price
From $9/month.

Mail Chimp – Email Marketing Made Easy

Mail Chimp – Email Marketing Made Easy

There are many email systems on the market but none so well known perhaps as MailChimp. It’s a nice catchy name and a nice catchy product which is, without doubt, the market leader at its price point.

The price can, in fact, be zero if your contact list is less than 2,000 and you need to send less than 12000 emails per month. Those parameters will cover many small businesses until they get established and the upgrade to a paid plan isn’t too painful – they start at $10/month.

Mailchimp email marketing features

MailChimp packs a lot of features into it’s system but please be aware that many of them are only available with paid plans.

In addition to all the list building, email authoring and analytics that you might expect MailChimp also includes basic marketing automation tools that enable you to send follow-up emails automatically if certain criteria are met.

There are plenty of email templates to choose from and designing a really effective email is achievable even for the beginner. If you are using other applications, such as an online e-commerce store for example, chances are that MailChimp will have an integration for that product which enables you to truly automate your sales process. Shopify, Magento and Woo Commerce are among the e-commerce store packages which are supported.

 

 

 

 

 

MailChimp

Where To Find It
mailchimp.com
Product Type
Email service provider
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options plus a free account option
Free Trial Available
Yes
Price
From $10/month.

IFTTT – If This Then That

IFTTT – If This Then That

IFTTT is a clever tool that lets you automate lots of Digital Marketing and other tasks and processes.

IFTTT Overview

IFTTT has been around for a while now, I remember being introduced to it when I was looking for a tool to help me with social media marketing and, in particular, automating the submission of posts to social sites. That time I eventually settled on Hootsuite, after also considering Buffer,  and still use it to this day, but I really missed a trick with IFTTT as it does rather more than just automate posts to social sites.

Luckily, friends in the business pointed out the error of my ways and I went on to be an avid user of IFTTT although the nature of my business meant that my usage was really confined to tasks related to automatically posting to social sites and not much else.

IFTTT Review Image

Just a few of the thousands of possible IFTTT “Recipes” useful for Digital Marketers

So what is IFTTT?

The “dictionary” description would be something like this;

IFTTT is a service that enables you to set up sequences of events that are triggered as a result of changes or events taking place on various web-based applications including, but not limited to, Social Media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as blogging platforms such as WordPress and BlogSpot, (Blogger).

These procedures are collectively referred to in IFTTT parlance, as “recipes” and, upon becoming a member of IFTTT, (which is free of charge), you can either set up your own recipes or use/modify those that others have made available. There are existing recipes available for you to accomplish just about any task you could ever think of so the need to write your own is not that great but if you wanted to the process is relatively simple and well documented.

A Few Examples of IFTTT Recipes:

  • Automatically posting a WordPress blog to social media sites
  • As above, but with Blogger posts, (it is also possible to include Tumblr and Weebly blog posts in recipes like the above but I haven’t done that yet).
  • Other recipe ideas include:
  • Those trading on Ebay can set up alerts when a certain type of item is listed.
  • Those interested in a product on shopping sites can be notified when a price drops.
  • Music lovers who use Spotify can automatically add their favourited tracks to a Google spreadsheet.
  • Gmail users can set up alerts for when a mail is received from a particular sender.

IFTTT Pricing

It’s FREE. You might as well use it. Here’s the link: https://ifttt.com/

IFTTT

Where To Find It
https://ifttt.com/
Product Type
Automated Online Processes
Paid/Free
Free
Free Trial Available
It’s free, always
Price
Free