5 Tips when Considering your Email Service Provider

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Choosing the Right ESP

I often see new entrepreneurs trying to work out their online tech by using free software providers. They get frustrated and overwhelmed as they post their questions online in many communities that they belong to. And everyone has a different opinion, which can become overwhelming. Too much information can certainly make it hard to make the right decision. And you don’t even know if this person is an expert who is providing you with their perspective.

In today’s podcast I will be talking about the top 5 tips when considering the right email service provider known as ESP, for your business.

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Do you Struggle with Tech?

 Have you ever doubted yourself, and wonder why you are making slow progress due to procrastination. One thing that I am certain about in business, and that is to make decisions quickly, test and measure by taking action, and adapt when necessary. The only way you will know what works for you in your business is by taking action, and to get stuff out of your head. There is nothing worse than being indecisive where you are torn between two ideas, and you go back and forth between them.

I have done this myself and it leaves me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Today it it different as I test out all of my ideas with my markets, before I invest a lot of time, money and energy into them. Once the idea has been tested, and I have validated that my audience is engaged with what I am offering, than I can start my strategic strategy around it.

Gosh I remember back in 2001 when I first started my business, and I had no idea around marketing. I wasted so much time developing courses, left feeling disappointed as my business survived but never really flourished. Today it is different and this is what this podcast is about, sharing my experiences in the trenches and the strategies that are working today.

Why is it important to select the right ESP provider and where does it fit into your business. Having an email subscriber list, is a list of contracts who have shown you that they are interested in what you have to offer. They exchange their contact information to get your free or paid offer in return. Now they are in your world, and your role is to build trust and a strong relationship with them, showing them that you are the expert within your field, and that you have the solution that will help them overcome their problem.

You will become their guide, and if is up to you to develop your email sequences, that will inspire, inform and engage wth them, to keep them interested in what you have to offer. 

The statistics tell us that email marketing is x 4 times more effective than simply social media. I personally know of business owners who have large followerings on social media, and still struggle to get those people to pay for their services. Social media is a good way to connect with your audience, however once you connect with them, it is important to bring them into your world via your email marketing campaigns.

Find out more about our memberships

Supporting online business owners to maintain a winning mindset and to grow a thriving online businesses, through connection, open discussions and support. You don't have to go alone. We are here for you

Top 5 tips when considering the right Email Service Provider for  your business

Tip 1


Integration

Firstly, before you select any software platform, it is important to take an overview of all the software pieces that will be needed to run your business online now. To begin with all you need is a ESP ( email service provider) and a computer. However as your business grows you will probably develop a website that has a marketing focus, and a e-learning platform, as you begin to release your courses and memberships. And the list will go on as your business moves to the next stage.

 Integration means will the different software platforms have the ability to communicate with each other directly, which removes trying to get alternative software to connect each piece. Begin with the overview of your business, and as you consider each software platform  see if they will connect easily. It is always a good approach to keep it simple, especially when you are first starting out and are on a steep learning curve as a new entrepreneur.  

Tip 2 

Customer Support

 Having customer support 24/7 via live chat is something that is not negotiable for me. Some entrepreneurs try to stick to a strict budget, and look for free versions of software. That may save you money, but it certainly increases time wasted and frustration as you try to work things out yourself. I have been online for 4 years now, and am very tech savvy, as I do all of my online development in my business myself. But I never choose free software, because if I am in a middle of a launch and something goes wrong, I want my support team there to help.

We can not do it all by ourselves and your customer support is a extension of your  team. And they want your business, so they are always glad to help and guide you. After all it is always good to go to the experts than posting on social media groups, hoping to find the solution, from people who in the end may just confuse you as you gain so many different perspectives.

They say too much information causes confusion. And when we are confused no decisions are made. It is a worthwhile investment to have this support any a keyboard away. 

Tip 3

Your Budget

 Successful businesses are based on profits not how much they can make in a year. And keeping your overheads low is a good way to do exactly that. IN fact there is a good book called ‘Profit First by  Mike Michalowicz. Most of us have heard focus on your zone of genius and outsource the rest. And that is exactly why 8 out of 10 startup businesses fail.

 Because they spend more than what they receive. Know what you are spending on your business, and keep within your budget. That may mean that you don’t need all the advanced features for your ESP right now. I personally use Active Campaign and I love it as my ESP service provider.

 But I don’t need the sales CRM advanced features at the moment in my business, so I select a basic plan. Of course as my business grows and I am earning more profits I will explore upgrading to the advanced level. Therefore it is an advantage to have a ESP that allows you to use the features that are right for you now. I also highly recommend that when you are looking at your budget to work out the yearly costs of having that platform not the monthly.

It adds up over a year, so therefore you need to have a good balance of budget and ensuring you have the right features for you business now, so you can easily navigate and implement your business strategic strategy.

And remember as your business moves into a different stage, you can always change your ESP provider at a later stage. In fact most ESP providers will do the change over for you, as they want your business. Keep your costs low and only pay for the features that you are currently using today in your business. 

Tip 4

 Features that are important to you now.

Now one feature that you absolutely must have in your ESP provider is tagging and if you are just starting out landing pages an forms. Tagging helps you segment your audience and shows you who is interested in different aspects of your business. Let me explain a bit more about this as it is important and segmentation will certainly keep your email subscribers engaged.

Let’s say that I decide to create a free offer to get email subscribers contact details and the topic is around launching an online business. And when they download this offer my ESP provider adds a tag launching business. I have set up this tag so it let’s me know that this subscriber is interested in launching their business online. So I can then send out emails that are directly related to this topic which will increase my engagement and open rates, as I am giving them something that I have identified that they are interested in.

This segment may be called launching businesses. Then I also offer in my business another topic around empowering women to speak up and be heard. So I create a free offer around that topic and when they download it, I tag them as speaking up. Now I have a second segment in my list that I can segment around sending out topics about empowerment and communication.

As you can see if I set my business up the smart way to begin with, as it grows, it becomes so much easier to engage and send out the right content that will interest each subscriber segment. And of course then lead them into my workshops and events that require them to invest at a later stage.

Tip 5 

Reporting and Analytics

The way that marketing works is by testing and evaluating the results. And having the right reports and analytics will show us, what our market wants from us. If you can’t measure it than you simply don’t know what to change in your business. It is like walking around being blind folded and hoping that you take the right path. It is important to measure the open rates and click through rates of your emails. Start to notice the topics that get the most engagement, and you will quickly identify what to change and adapt to improve your results.

Many entrepreneurs are always focused on lead generation, and at times forget about how important it is to keep their email list fully engaged. These people who have subscribed have already shown that they trust you, by supplying their contact details. In fact I spend more time engaging with my subscribers than always generating new leads. I remember this important saying - It is not about how big your list is, it is about what you do with your list, and how you engage with each person. And in the upcoming podcasts I will be speaking about list engagement, so keep an eye out for some of my future podcasts.

In summary

  1. Integration - Look at the big picture first, and see if your ESP provider will speak with your other software platforms that you use in your business
  2. Customer Support - They are your team, and are the experts on that software platform - reach out to them - they want to keep you as one  of their customers
  3. Your budget - Remember Low overheads - Profits first - 8 out of 10 businesses fail due to financial reasons
  4. Features that are important to you now - Don’t paid for advanced features if your business is not using them right now - you can always upgrade later down the track
  5. Reporting and Tracking  - Know what is working in your business, and change what is not - If you can’t measure it, then you can’t make the right decisions based on evidence

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About the Author

lee 

Many online course creators simply don't know where to start, or feel frustrated and overwhelmed with so much free information available on the internet. We provide your course launch framework that keeps everything simple giving you the exact next step to focus on in your business.

So you can build a thriving online business that gives you the freedom and a lifestyle that energizes you every day.

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