Within the next year, industry experts estimate that the number of email users around the globe will pass the 4 billion mark. And the average user's inbox sees more than 120 emails coming and going every day.
That's a lot of potential customers for your small business, but that's also a lot of competition for your growing audience's attention. If you want your marketing emails to stand out in the crowd, you need email marketing software that drives engagement through savvy, responsive design, while also making list management simple and easy.
But the best email marketing platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs isn't always a crystal-clear choice.
How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Platform For Your Business
While every entrepreneur or small business owner has niche-specific requirements, several general best practices and strategies can help you navigate your choices. And there are many, many choices, from top picks like Flodesk to industry heavy weights like MailChimp, ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.
To find out more about the Pro's & Con's of other small business email providers, visit our blog article on 5 Email Marketing Providers Made For Small Business.
Below, we cover the essentials you need, in order to stand out from the crowd that is flooding the inbox of your audience:
1. Design-Savvy Email Templates
For example, a clean layout that aligns with your overarching brand makes your email content easier to consume. Specific button shapes can help drive clicks and engagement. Unique typefaces can create a certain emotional response to what the user is reading. And certain colours can help trigger specific actions.
Litmus surveyed a sampling of everyday email users, plus Adobe, Oracle and five other industry giants, to identify some of the biggest trends in email design this year. Some of the top email design trends included:
- More minimalist design concepts to better engage mobile users (27%)
- Integration of animations, such as GIFs (22.8%)
- Aligning email design with the brand's overall marketing strategy (22.4%)
The right email marketing software does it all, offering ready-to-use templates that have design best practices built-in for you. And the best platforms, such as Flodesk, take it a step further and provide drag-and-drop email builders so you can quickly launch your email marketing without needing to use Photoshop, Illustrator or any other technical design tool.
2. Responsive Handling For All Mobile Devices and Screen Sizes
The best email marketing software will ensure every single email you send to your customers offers responsive reading and viewing options.
This guarantees that your email design and marketing copy looks its best no matter if someone opens it on their laptop or on their smart phone.
According to Hubspot, 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and using a mobile-responsive email design can increase your marketing engagement by an incredible 15%.
With hundreds of different browsers and screen sizes to consider, it doesn't make business sense (or business cents) to attempt to do this manually. If your email marketing software isn't able to automatically handle mobile responsiveness, you're literally leaving money on the table as a small business owner or entrepreneur.
3. Smart Integrations
Whether you're a mom-and-pop shop just starting to dip your toes into e-commerce, or you're a seasoned marketing pro running a growing entrepreneurial empire, integrations ensure you're set up for the future.
From integrating your emails to your customer list, or tracking sales across e-commerce platforms, the right email marketing platform has plug-and-play compatibility with common CRMs and business platforms.
Even if you don't need it yet, having this functionality in your back pocket is fundamental for your business' future goals.
Why Flodesk Might Be the Better Option For Your Small Business
Flodesk satisfies all of the previously mentioned criteria, while avoiding many design drawbacks presented by competitors. This may be why more and more entrepreneurs and small businesses are switching to Flodesk for more beautifully designed email templates, and leaving the industry old-timers.
NOTE: Before we get any further, we wanted to let you know that we have a special limited-time offer.
If you sign up for Flodesk through our special affiliate link, you'll save 50% on your Flodesk membership — for the life of your membership! But this special offer ends very, very soon (as soon as they close off their beta!).
1. Flodesk Offers a Simpler, More Intuitive Interface
A common critique in other platforms, especially options like ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign, is the never-ending amount of technical options that you need to constantly be tinkering with.
Flodesk does away with all that, creating a clean and simple backend experience for business owners and entrepreneurs. This allows you to focus on what you do best — creating killer marketing copy and talking about your brand and your products — instead of worrying about the technical aspects of your marketing emails.
The only other email marketing platform that approaches Flodesk's simplicity is MailChimp, but MailChimp users often complain about MailChimp's limited email templates and design. Which brings us to our next point….
2. Flodesk Provides Visually Immersive, User-Engaging Email Designs
A drawback for almost every other platform is either its lack of beautiful, done-for-you email designs OR the unnecessary difficulty in customizing the templates it does offer.
Flodesk eliminates all of that. Each of its designs are visually rich and sure to catch your customer's attention, while also being modern, timeless and clean. Plus, they're truly responsive, so you're not alienating anyone who is opening your campaign on a tablet or smart phone.
Should you want to customize your emails, adjusting a template (or building your own custom design) is a simple matter of dragging and dropping different design elements until you're happy with the outcome. You don't need to be a HTML ninja to pull this off, and Flodesk even lets you add critical branding elements like logos and automatic social feeds, if you want them included.
Finally, many of Flodesk's email designs were created in coordination with successful entrepreneurs around the world, so you can focus on customizing each email to your brand while trusting that they meet industry best practices for customer conversion.
3. Flodesk Provides All the Integrations and Technical Requirements That Your Business Needs
Beyond a clean backend interface, beautiful marketing emails and a simple, beginner-friendly on-boarding experience, Flodesk also checks all the boxes on the technical front.
As we noted earlier, integrations are key. While Flodesk is continuing to work on native integrations, as of press time, the platform integrates with hundreds of third party systems via Zapier.
Flodesk also offers automatic email segmentation and tagging (so you ensure you're talking to the right customers at the right time), automatic re-engagement options (e.g. resending a campagn to a customer who didn't previously open it), and double opt-in features that keep your list clean and help you avoid the dreaded "spam" label.
Who Do We Recommend As the Best Email Marketing Platforms?
At Marketing Your Brand, we've worked with many email systems out there, and we have seen our clients struggle through different scenarios with every platform.
While every option has its pros and cons, the best fit for you depends on the goals and strategy of your marketing plan. However, we highly recommend Flodesk for all business owners who care about being visually immersive in order to stand out form the rest of the noise. In fact, we use it ourselves to send out our initial marketing campaigns.
Flodesk offers the foundational features that every business owner needs in an email marketing platform, while also being exceptionally user friendly. Plus, we have yet to see any other platform that offers the high-quality visuals and conversion-boosting design elements that Flodesk provides. It's simply an exceptional platform that makes emails stand out beautifully.
Flodesk starts at $39 a month. And unlike the industry old-timers, you don't have to pay more as your email list grows.
This makes Flodesk's pricing very competitive, but it gets better: Use our custom Flodesk link to sign up and you'll save 50% off of your Flodesk membership plan — for the entirety of your membership! If you sign up using our special link, you'll only pay $19/month for the rest of your membership with Flodesk.
But hurry: This special offer only lasts while Flodesk is in beta mode. Once they're out of beta mode, the price may go up (and this special offer is over). Sign up today to lock in your savings and see why Flodesk is the marketing platform small businesses and entrepreneurs are falling in love with.