A planned start is half the victory..!!
When I say so, I mean that before starting up anything, you should have all the arrows in your quiver to hit your target at bullseye.
And in context of email marketing, what you can understand is that you should be ready with all the necessary resources and a perfect plan of action before starting up with email marketing.
When someone starts a new business or a firm and wants to try email marketing for it, he generally dives into free plans which certain email marketing services provide. Free plans tempt customers by different ways and a user believes he would get served free of cost.
But these plans are never free, they are designed to fetch new users, restrict them at some point or the other and then persuade them to buy the paid plans.
As an email marketer, you need to be well aware of all the catches of the free plans and so, I am explaining below in detail where these services put a barrier in your way and try to redirect you towards their paid plans. Stay tuned…
The List :
The first restriction they put is on the number of subscribers. At max, they allow a contact list of 2,000 to 2,500 subscribers.
No smart marketer does email marketing with such a low subscriber base like this, and even if he does, the contacts list exceeds this range within a month or two. And then again, you have to switch to their “premium” plans.
Volume of Emails :
Another variant of these could be a free plan upto 10,000 or 20,000 emails per month which you can send to unlimited subscribers. But this limit is also too short to sustain.
But till then you become used to the service and continue with its paid plans reluctantly, without comparing it with other services.
Combined Plan :
The most common of these plans is the combined plan. In a combined plan they allow you to send 10,000 to 20,000 emails to 500 to 2,500 contacts per month.
Now this is worst as here you are restricted for both, the contacts lists and the number of emails. I mean who would let these limits bind him forever.
Numerous features which are damn necessary for a successful campaign, are locked in free accounts of all email marketing services.
These features can make your email marketing mere a cakewalk but you are either debarred from them or you have to pay for them separately. In any case you can’t access them free of cost.
- Autoresponders – Autoresponders are quite a necessity in today’s automated world. You can’t send a welcome email to every new subscriber manually or can’t appoint a person just to send anniversary wishes. You need an automated feature, but majority of service providers don’t include autoresponders in their free plans.
- Analytics Tools – The analytics tool is vital for proper tracking and reporting of the sent emails. It allows you to understand your subscribers’ behavior and their chances of conversion. But to avail this, again you will have to switch to their paid plans.
- Image Hosting – Image hosting refers to storing images for your newsletters within your account. This saves you from juggling between your drives to find images required for a particular email. Again this service is unavailable in free accounts and you have to buy space to store your images.
- A/B Testing – A/B testing, one more important feature is also generally not included in free plans of email marketing services. This feature allows you to compare between two email layouts by sending them to two different groups and analyzing opens and clicks. The one with better numbers of opens and clicks is then sent to the rest of the list.
- Social Connect – Social connect is something which is more or less required in every sphere of existence. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ have become an integral part of our life and so can help a business grow better. But free plans of mostly all services are deprived of social connect too.
- Support – Most of the email marketing solutions don’t provide support for free accounts. Now this, I feel is the worst, I mean how can one judge the requirement of help and support on the basis of freeship or paidship.
All these features are both relevant and important for both paid as well as free users. Without them you can’t attain maximum efficiency in your email marketing campaigns. So neglecting them by taking up free plans can never be a good idea.
Sign-up Forms :
Certain email marketing services allow importing contacts through signup forms only. This can again be a pull back for a new business.
Since a new business is yet to gain trust among its customers, expecting it to add subscribers through signup forms may not be a good option.
After sharing this piece of information my question to you is – What’s the use of an Internet marketing tool if you can’t even use it at full potential..??
May these plans be free, but are of no use, I feel. You may save $50 per month using these plans but you can’t convert users with such plans. Taking up paid services won’t cost you more than 100 dollars a month, but surely would give you returns on your investments.
There are many email marketing solutions (like MailGet, AWeber, etc) that don’t show off free plans, instead they charge a modest and genuine fee and provide you all the necessary features required to execute value generating email campaigns.
So what I will suggest you is that don’t fall prey to these free plans, instead compare well between services, make proper plans, explore your resources to the fuller and then start up with email marketing.