When it comes to email marketing, there’s no denying how powerful this channel can be.
According to a 2019 Campaign Monitor report, for every US dollar you spend, you make $ 42 – an astounding return on investment.
As you scale a business, you may have relied on personal or business email providers like Gmail and Outlook in the past. However, they are unable to manage large volumes of email and provide the data necessary to track performance.
This is where a bulk email service can come into play.
Discover the top features you should find in a bulk email service and the best providers out there.
What is bulk email service?
A bulk email service is an email provider that allows you to send bulk email to your subscribers. It is common to use bulk email services for newsletters, promotions, and company announcements.
A bulk email service will help you reach a large audience and cultivate them one by one. Not only do you get direct access to your customer base, but you can also track the performance of your emails and test different methods to increase clicks and conversions.
While traditional advertising methods like print and direct mail can generate a high return on investment (ROI), understanding how consumers interact with your materials can be difficult. With a bulk email service, you can find out what attracts consumers and what elements lead to higher conversions.
Additionally, many bulk email services offer automation tools – think workflows and sequences – that you can use to push leads down the funnel and keep your current customers.
Using personal or business email can work for the first few months after starting your business, but quickly becomes ineffective as it grows.
Reasons for sending bulk emails
Not sure if it’s the right time to try a bulk email service? The first question to ask is, “Is our brand investing in email marketing this quarter / year?”
If the answer is yes, this is your sign to invest in an email service.
Here are some examples of when you would bulk email your subscribers:
- Sales promotion – Suppose you want to promote discounts on certain products or services. Sending a bulk email to your subscribers is a great way to generate sales.
- Newsletter – Do you want to send exclusive content to your subscribers? Then a newsletter is the way to go.
- Product updates – A great way to announce a new product feature or line of products is by email. You can include previews to create excitement and include call-to-action (CTA) conversions.
- Announcements – Do you update your hours, prices or services? Or maybe your policy has changed. Notifying your subscribers by email is an effective way to get the news out.
Every email you send to subscribers should consider your goals, audience, time and day, personalization, and compliance with data protection laws.
Top features in the paid or free bulk email service
- Tracking of user behavior
- Drag and drop tool
- Email segmentation and personalization
- Split tests
- Design templates
- High email delivery rates
Want to invest in an email marketing service but aren’t sure what to look for – here’s your guide.
These are the top features that you should look for in any bulk email service. Some of these features are only available in a premium package. However, others are included in the standard or free version.
1. Tracking user behavior
The main tool you need for any bulk email service you choose is reporting. After all, what good would you spend your time designing and sending emails if you can’t see how they’ve turned out?
You should be able to keep track of key email metrics such as:
- Opening rate
- Unique clicks
- Click-to-Open-Rate (CTOR)
- Click Rate (CTR)
- Unsubscribe rate
- List growth rate
- Bounce rate
You may also be able to track revenue per subscriber and revenue per email using email providers with advanced reporting capabilities.
2. Drag & Drop
A drag-and-drop tool makes it easy to design your emails. This intuitive feature allows you to select an item from the sidebar, e.g. A picture, quote, or button, and drag it to a section of your email.
This saves you time as you can determine the best flow for your email and move things around.
3. Email segmentation and personalization
Segmenting your email ensures that your emails reach the right people at the right time.
You should look for a bulk email service that will allow you to segment your subscriber list based on:
- Actions taken in the email
- Purchase history
- Type of subscriber (e.g. prospect vs. current customer)
By segmenting your list, you can get higher engagement rates because the content is more relevant to your recipients.
4. Split tests
Split testing, also known as A / B testing, is a great way to understand what is resonating with your audience.
This feature is especially useful when you’re struggling to generate high open rates and get subscribers to convert.
By testing different subject lines and elements in the body of your email, you can see which works best.
As you scale your email list, the name of the game is automation.
For example, suppose you have a content offer and want to send a series of emails to leads after they download the offer. With an automation tool, you can select in advance which e-mails should be sent in which order and on how many days in each e-mail.
Once you’re set up, automation does all of the work for you – it takes care of your subscribers and puts them on the buyer’s journey.
With this hands-off approach, you can focus on strategy instead of worrying about sending out emails. It can also become impossible to follow the stage of each subscriber in the journey and to send the appropriate email.
Automation can take the guesswork out of the process.
6. Design templates
If you’re like me, designing isn’t your forte. So when you’re designing an email, get all the help you can get.
Having a design template based on the type of email you plan to send can not only save you time, but also ensure that you are following email best practices. This is especially useful if you have limited experience designing emails and are just starting out.
The nice thing about a template is that it’s a foundation. You can customize it to suit your needs, but it provides a blueprint to work against.
7. High email delivery rates
Imagine working so hard on an email campaign that it never reaches your subscribers’ inboxes. Frustrating, isn’t it?
This is why it is important to check your carrier’s email delivery rates. You want to choose a service with high email delivery rates that are close to 100%.
Best bulk email services
1. HubSpot’s email marketing tool
HubSpot lets you create, customize, and optimize your emails without any coding or design experience.
You can send up to 2,000 emails per month. This does not include test emails to check functionality. The platform offers a user-friendly interface and tools like a drag-and-drop tool to easily design your emails, tokens to personalize each email, and an A / B testing feature.
In addition, you can create custom reports based on the data you want to collect and analyze.
The best part? It’s free.
As the name suggests, the platform is designed to help you get more conversions and generate more sales.
ConvertKit is known for its advanced automation tools including custom email funnels, smart filters, and link triggers.
In addition, the platform has a delivery rate of 98%, which ensures that your emails always reach your subscribers. Additionally, the average open rate for ConvertKit emails is a staggering 30%, according to their website.
ConvertKit offers a free version of its platform up to and including custom pricing for enterprise-level businesses with over 365,000 subscribers.
Mailchimp is a great email service for those who are just starting out with email marketing.
The platform offers a user-friendly interface and over 100 templates to choose from.
Their free plan lets you send up to 10,000 emails per month to 2,000 contacts – a great option for small to medium-sized businesses. As your business grows, you can scale to the premium version, which includes unlimited audiences, multivariate testing, and advanced segmentation with up to 200,000 contacts.
If you have an ecommerce business, consider drip for your email marketing.
The platform offers pre-made email templates that you can customize to your liking and an easy-to-use workflow builder for automation.
In addition, you can schedule automation based on the actions of your subscribers. For example, view a product, exit the cart, and make a purchase.
With Drip, you can easily integrate your online store (like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce) to simplify data collection and create more targeted emails.
Prices start at $ 19 and increase depending on the number of subscribers.
Insycle does not fall under the list of email providers. However, this software works with providers like HubSpot and Mailchimp to keep your contact list clean.
One of the downsides to a subscriber list is the potential for duplicate contacts. Not only can this affect your metrics (and, consequently, your data), it can make your emails difficult to customize.
With Insycle you can clean up your contacts in bulk, merge duplicate contacts and avoid overwriting data.
Knowing what to look for on an email service is half the battle. Now that you have a list of key features and a few tools to choose from, you can find a platform to grow your email list and generate income.