why you need an email service provider & how to choose one
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #48
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You might think that Gmail and Yahoo meet your needs, but think again. You’re going to want an upgrade once you understand what you can do with an actual email service provider. Plus, the three I recommend depending on what your current needs are.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
This is episode #48 of The Goodness Squad podcast and today we’re going to be talking about the tool that you have to master if you want to be able to make money while you sleep.
So what is this tool that makes it possible for you to make money while you sleep?
It is your email service provider. This one tool makes it possible for you to serve your people in a very personalized way, without you having to be there 24/7 taking care of everything.
What is an email service provider?
Let’s start with the very basics. I know that a lot of you are very new and just jumping into business and you might be wondering, “Why can’t I just send emails with Gmail? Isn’t Gmail an email service provider or Yahoo?” But no, this is not what I am talking about.
At the most basic level, an email service provider is an app or a tool that allows you to send emails to lots of people at once. If you tried to send more than a hundred emails using Gmail or Yahoo or any other email program like that, it’s not going to be possible. So in order to solve that problem, email service providers were created so that we could send emails to large groups of people at once. Since that time, they have evolved and become much more powerful tools.
Some of the things that you can do with an email service provider
#1 – People can get on your list without having to ever talk to you.
No one has to send you an email and say, Hey, I’d like to be on your email list.
I remember doing this 12 years ago when I first started an online business. I remember sending out emails to all of my contacts and saying, “Hey, I’m going to be sending emails about emergency preparedness. If you’d like to receive those emails, let me know.” And then people would send me emails back saying, “yes, I would like to receive those emails.” And then I would take their email and I would put it into a group inside of Gmail. And then every time I sent out an email about emergency preparedness, I would email that group. That worked fine until I had like 70, 80, 100 people and I could no longer do that.
So not only does it allow you to send emails to large groups of people at one time, but it allows these people to get on that email list. To raise their hand and say, “yeah, I want to get the emails you’re sending” without them having to ever talk to you and without you having to do anything.
So you’ll set something up once, you’ll create a form with your email service provider that you will put on a web page, your own or one that they provide for you. And then people can now go to that webpage, put in their own name and email address and they will automatically be added to a list of people who have said yes, I want you to email me. So that’s the very first thing that an email service provider will do for you.
#2 – They’re going to provide analytics.
This is not something that you can get inside of Gmail or Yahoo or these types of platforms. You need an email service provider to tell you how many people are opening your emails. How many people are clicking on your emails? What links are they clicking on more often? And who is opening more emails than other people? All sorts of analytics that can make it much easier for you to focus in your email marketing on what matters most and the people who are most receptive.
#3 – It will allow you to segment them into various groups.
So if you were to click on a link inside of an email that I had sent to you, you would be tagged as interested in email marketing. So now when I have a blog post about email marketing, a podcast episode about email marketing, a particularly popular Instagram post, a product about email marketing, an affiliate who does email marketing, any of those things – I know that I can send that to you because you are interested in those things.
This allows me to be less far less annoying when I’m emailing people. It allows me to always send them things that are helpful to them. So an email marketing platform allows you to segment people or separates them into interest groups.
#4 – Email marketing allows you to do all of this in a very automated way.
That’s why I started this episode by talking about making money in your sleep. I know that is kind of a hyped-up phrase, but it’s real. I remember the very first time I opened my email at 7 or 8 in the morning, and it said that I had made money.
I got an email back saying someone had purchased something from me. I was like “Cory, look! Look at this, hun.” I showed him my email, “look at this, I just made money and I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t have to be there.” It truly is an exciting feeling.
And with email service providers, once you understand how they work, they can become such powerful machines for automating important systems in your business. You can send automatic emails out when somebody purchases a product from you, you can send a birthday email out, or you’ve been on my list for six months, or you’ve been part of The Goodness Squad for six months. Then I can send you an email and say, “Congrats” and give you a little free tip or something fun. And I don’t have to do that. I just set it up at one time and it will automatically email you when you’ve been on my list for six months.
You can get extremely detailed with automation. We’re going to have a completely different episode that dives into automation. I’m not going to go really deep into that here, but it allows your business to be far more hands-off.
If you go to a specific page on my website, it triggers an email to be sent to you. Every time you leave a comment inside of my community, it triggers something inside of my email service provider that adds two points to your account points that you can then use to purchase products. For me, it really is a very powerful tool.
How do you choose a quality email service provider?
There are so many out there and to be quite frank, I don’t think that you can really get this wrong. I don’t think that there are well-known email service providers that are going to do a terrible job. I simply don’t think that they exist anymore.
This has become such an important piece of so many businesses, and there is so much competition that anyone who offers an email service provider, anyone who wants you to join and be part of their email service is forced to compete and to continually improve and meet the needs of their consumers.
But there are three email service providers that I personally have a lot of experience with and highly recommend.
But let’s start with the one that I don’t love.
Now, again, if you use this email service provider, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I don’t think their business is doomed, but I personally do not love MailChimp.
I have logged into MailChimp a handful of times over the last year or two, as I’ve worked with clients who use them and they have definitely improved from where they were when I used them 9 years ago. But MailChimp, in my opinion, is more difficult to use and less robust than the other three platforms that I’m going to recommend to you. The reason why MailChimp is so popular is that it is free until you have 2000 subscribers. And I get that free can be enticing.
#1 – MailerLite
I don’t think you’re going to ruin your business if you decide to use MailChimp, but I want to tell you or encourage you to use something called MailerLite instead. And here’s why – it is still free up to your first 1000 subscribers.
If you do email marketing right, once you have 1,000 email subscribers, you should be making at least $1,000 a month, so you could pay for your email service provider at that point. So I don’t think that the 1,000 versus 2,000 really is that big of a deal, but MailerLite is easier to use than MailChimp. And it definitely offers more automation.
You will not use all that automation on day one. It can be quite a mess and quite difficult to move from one email service provider to another. So it is wise to choose one that can grow with you. So this is why I love MailerLite, especially for brand new beginners who are looking for the least expensive option.
#2 – Convertkit
ConvertKit is more expensive than MailerLite. It starts at $29 a month at the time of this recording in October of 2020. So that’s significantly more than $0. But I believe it is easier to use than MailerLite. And it has more robust communications than MailerLite.
For most of you, I believe MailerLite will do 80% of what you ever want to do. But if you plan to get into memberships, e-courses, then I would suggest not starting with MailerLite because it will be a hurdle. It’s not that you can’t move over, but it will be a hurdle later on.
Now you could always start with MailerLite, get to the point where you’re making a decent amount of money, and then just pay someone to move you. I recently switched email providers, I switched from ConvertKit to a company called Drip. I know how to do it, the tech doesn’t scare me, but I still paid someone else to do that for me, because it is just a very tedious process. So just know that going in that it can be difficult to move later on.
#3 – Drip
So the third email service provider that I just mentioned is called Drip. They are slightly less expensive than ConvertKit. It starts at $19 a month. I believe they are more difficult to learn how to use than ConvertKit or MailerLite. But their automation is the most robust I have ever experienced.
One of the pieces I love most about Drip is that they automatically track how much money each and every email I send has earned me. It’s crazy. They have so many analytics, so much automation that you can create and tweak and perfect that. If you really like that and it doesn’t overwhelm you, then Drip is the way to go. If you are going to get overwhelmed and you’re not willing to hire out your email automation, then I suggest that you stick with ConvertKit or MailerLite.
So let’s summarize this, which of the three that I recommend is best for you.
- If you are brand new and the most important thing to you is to keep it simple and be able to learn it quickly, then go with ConvertKit.
- If you’re brand new and the most important thing for you is to save money, then go with MailerLite.
- If you are experienced with email service providers and you have an idea of what I mean when I say automation and it doesn’t scare you, then I suggest you go with Drip because there is no limit to the automation that you will be able to create.
If you have questions about email service providers and which one is right for you, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to DM me on Instagram with your questions about email service providers and I will answer them to help you pick the one that is best for you.
If you want help setting up automation inside your email service provider, that is what’s going to be going on inside of Tech School. This season, I will be adding tutorials for all three email service providers, and I will be there in Ask Me Anything to answer any questions that you have, and even to log in to your email service provider and help you create the automation that you were looking for.
If you are interested in enrolling in Tech School in order to get the help you need to set up your email service provider correctly, head on over to TheGoodnessSquad.com/techschool.
In the next episode, we are going to be addressing the most important thing you need to know if you want to be able to get people onto your email list. Email marketing is not going to do you any good if no one wants to be on your list, if no one wants you to email them. There is one very important step that you need to understand very, very well if you are going to be able to build an email list full of high quality, engaged subscribers.
That is what we’re going to be talking about in podcast episode #49, I’ll see you there.
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