Season-tailored marketing is an opportunity for every business in the world to boost sales and ROI. Some entrepreneurs have a well-defined year-long strategy for the purpose, taking advantage of every notable religious event, or secular tradition. Others prefer a last-minute type of approach, counting on trends more than anything else. For the latest, luck plays an important role in the success of a campaign, but there are also strategies that might help along. A well-targeted last minute email marketing campaign for example, a social media campaign and, surely, a traditional PR push via press releases, could help a great deal.
As far as email campaigns go, for the unprepared, who don’t use any email distribution programme, VerticalResponse has a very attractive special offer – a free trial that allows you to set up an email marketing campaign for 500 addresses. The offer gives you all the advantages of a paid account: over 700 professionally designed email-newsletter templates to choose from, 75,000 free images to choose from, free chat with an email marketing coach, sharing the newsletter on Facebook and Twitter for even more exposure, tracking and reporting, integration with Google Analytics and more.
VerticalResponse response is one of the top self-service email marketing, online surveys and direct mail service providers. It’s not the only one, services like ExactTarget, iContact, ConstantContact and MailChimp.
Each of the aforementioned providers have their own specials – if you are not interested in free trials and coaching, you might find useful MailChimp’s designer template offer, where a skilled designer will help you create that perfect email layout that speaks for your brand. If you care about numbers, MailChimp is the best. Their forever free plan lets you have 1000 contacts and send out about 6000 emails a month. To be honest, there could be nothing better for a small business owner. MailChimp + social media + PR push make a great recipe for success this season.
Or you might want to try ConstantContact’s 60 days free trial, with the difference that you cannot exceed 100 contacts without having to upgrade to a paid account. Compared to VerticalResponse’s 500 contacts, this trial has about 400 limitations.
Exact Target is a better fit for power users, with advanced skills – and from this perspective is better than any other provider. As such, pricing is not available online – you have to request a demo. But it’s used by power players like Volvo and Groupon, and that says a lot about their service.
There are far more providers that could make a good fit. My advice is to take advantage of the free trials, test the services and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Judge by service performance and customer support at the same time. This has to be timely, and courteous – you don’t want email marketing to be a pain that adds unnecessary stress to your job-routine. Email marketing should make your efforts lighter, and more profitable.