As a health & wellness professional, you want to be of service, transform lives AND make consistent money in your business.
To accomplish this, you must consistently provide value AND promote your services.
I know it’s not good to have regrets… yet my one BIG regret is not learning how to use email marketing while I was still in school.
I’m a big advocate for students in health and wellness certification programs learning more business tools, including email marketing as part of their curriculum or as additional learning. Because you are, at the end of the day, running a business.
Emails can be thought of as long-term relationship-nurturing tools. So, that means that your email list is the lifeblood of your business — IF you know how to leverage it.
Social media is great but even now in 2018, you can’t sell on social media the way you can through email. So if you aren’t converting social media followers onto your email list you are leaving money on the table.
Whether you run an online or offline business – you must learn the art and science of email marketing. I know I’ve shared all kinds of list building tips and strategies with you over the years – like these ones.
But once you’ve started building up your list, which platform are you going to use to facilitate all of the communication, nurturing, and yes – marketing of your services, programs and products?
In this article, we’re going to go over the Pros and Cons of four of the most popular email marketing systems currently being used by health & wellness entrepreneurs.
But first, I thought I would clarify something… I know you’ve heard, and I’ve probably said to you myself – that the money is in the list.
While this is often the case, be aware that you can have a huge email list, and not make a dime from it!
Plus, there’s a BIG difference between sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter and email marketing.
It’s all well and good to have a friendly, trust-filled relationship with your tribe by sending out your feel-good newsletters. But, ultimately – you’re also trying to make money with your list!
What is the difference between email marketing and a newsletter?
An email marketing sales funnel is a well thought-out (and well written) sequential series of emails created with the intention of converting a prospect into a client. You accomplish that by building rapport, educating and motivating the prospect.
Think of email marketing as transactional, and that a sales funnel email sequence should play out like a story.
Your email sales funnel should be mapped out like a story and include educational and motivational content that takes the prospect on a journey. Go ahead, be vulnerable and get personal – I sure do all the time!
An email newsletter, on the other hand, is more like a traditional newspaper.
It is published on a regular schedule and contains loads of free high value content and resources with very little sales promotions.
Read more about differentiating the two types of emails in this article.
Now that you know WHY you should be doing email marketing in your business, whether online or in a physical practice – let’s help you decide which system you should be using.
What does a good email marketing system have?
Having a professional way to deliver your business emails is important.
And, if you aren’t conscientious about your choice of platform, you might end up paying more money for fewer features, and crappy deliverability – which can cause you to lose more money.
A good email marketing platform should allow you to do the following:
- create highly engaging emails
- manage your contacts/subscribers
- track the performance of your campaigns
- ensure that your emails do not end up in the spam folder (or dreaded Gmail Promotions folder) – we all know how frustrating that is!
- easily create “workflows” with multiple paths and actions
- use segmentation tools
The ability to segment or subdivide your list(s) into different groups is essential. This allows you to interact with client(s) based on their unique characteristics and behaviours.
Now that we know what a good system should have, let’s see how four of the most popular ones measure up against each other.
MailChimp is probably the most well-known of the email marketing systems we’re comparing because it’s the only platform that offers a truly FREE PLAN, and not just a free trial – as the others all do.
In general, it has an interface that’s very easy to use with some great tools and additional tech support such as via email, live chat, and quite an extensive resource base with how-tos, videos, and tutorials.
It integrates well with WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, EventBrite, and many other commonly used platforms.
MailChimp offers a “forever free plan” which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. Their paid “growing business” plans start at $10/month.
Cool extra feature – they’ve recently done away with the necessity for a double opt-in and they’ve added autoresponders to the forever free plan.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform geared toward professional bloggers, marketers, and content creators like authors.
This platform allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms, and their autoresponders allow you to “drip” your emails out.
Plus, you can segment your lists into those who are interested and those who have already purchased.
Many integrations are available such as WooCommerce, Shopify, ClickFunnels, LeadPages, and WordPress.
This platform offers support via email, and like MailChimp, also has an extensive knowledge base with some great resources to get you set up.
Cool extra resource – step-by-step instructions of how to switch from other email systems, including all of the ones we’re comparing 🙂
AWeber is another one of the most popular email marketing service providers. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.
You get access to drag & drop email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights and reporting.
AWeber integrates with many popular platforms and apps such as WordPress, PayPal, WooCommerce, Stripe, and ClickBank – for any of you affiliate marketers out there.
Cool extra feature – gives you access to all of the platform’s features even in the basic paid plan.
ActiveCampaign comes with all the tools you will need to create smarter email marketing campaigns, combining your email marketing, automation, with CRM (customer relationship management) and sales.
This platform comes with an easy-to-navigate email template editor and mobile friendly signup forms. It also allows you to segment your list based on your subscriber’s actions, and behaviours.
Like all of the other platforms, it integrates very well with many third party softwares including WordPress.
As we mentioned in the free tech tools post, this one is our fave, and while I have recommended AWeber in the past, we’re now fully on board with ActiveCampaign over at WBH Headquarters.
Comparison of the features that would matter most to your health business:
** I’ve included mailchimp in this because so many people use it. While it has gotten somewhat better over the years and has similar features to the other platforms it’s clunky and does not come close to a platform like Active Campaign for the ability to integrate with ClickFunnels and segment your list. We don’t recommend MailChimp, though the choice is ultimately yours of course. Do yourself a favour and start right from the beginning. It will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Ultimately, the best email marketing platform for your business will depend on factors such as:
- the size of your list – or the size of the list you’re going to have! I recommend starting from the beginning with the right platform instead of having to switch everything over after 6 months or a year when you’ve outgrown the basics.
- which integrations you require
- whether you require marketing automation – which you do if you want to be successful in online business!
Final Thoughts on Choosing an Email Marketing System
No one email marketing system (no matter how great all the features are) is probably going to tick every single box when it comes to your specific marketing needs.
Your website will still be separate, you may also have a separate online scheduler (but one that’s hopefully integrated with your website), add in your landing (or squeeze) pages, and then of course there’s your social media accounts…all existing independently.
With this in mind, you want to have as many of these points of interaction connected with your email marketing system.
Like I said, there’s a bit more to the decision than you might have first anticipated but hopefully I’ve given you some tips to guide you, and you’re well on your way to mastering the art and science of email marketing – starting with a great platform.
Comment below and let me know which email marketing platform you are currently using and if you love it.