As a startup your manpower resources are limited. Your time is limited too, so there are some tools that become lifesavers. The best tools do cost money, but they pay for themselves by saving your time and by converting more readers into buyers.
The most popular tools are not always the best, either in terms of cost or features. You need to look at reviews and think carefully before you commit, especially to an auto-responder. There are other email automation tools that I think are essential and some of these are free for basic users.
Nouri.sh is a free email marketing tool that converts an RSS feed into an email newsletter that your users can sign up for.
RSS is a technology that most people are unfamiliar with, but most blogs still have an RSS feed. Some people would have you believe that RSS is dead. It isn't, and you can take RSS feeds and make them accessible to more people.
Nourish lets you convert multiple RSS feeds into a newsletter that you can send to people as usual after they subscribe. This gives you a newsletter similar to a Paper.Li one, with branding in the free option the same as Paper.Li.
You do not need a separate auto-responder because there is a built in email management system that sends up to 1,000 emails a month for free.
If yours is a small niche then the free Nouri.sh account is all you will ever need. There are paid plans if you need to send out more emails.
WiseStamp is a great way to make your company emails stand out. When you send emails to customers it would be nice to have a way to make them stand out from the crowd.
WiseStamp is simple to use under the Google apps platform. There are personal and company plans so there is a plan that is ideal for every situation. An entrepreneur or blogger can start off with a $4 a month plan with no branding.
All the plans gives you an opportunity to put your photo, phone number, social media contact details and promotional messages at the bottom of every company email you send.
Every business needs to communicate with its customers and potential customers on a regular basis. Yes, you can send emails through your webhosting service but there are problems. Emails are often opened on phones and tablets, so their design needs to be responsive so that they look good no matter what size of screen they are viewed on.
Free email services have limited or no analytics included, so you never know whether your messages have been opened or deleted. Free services also lack A/B split testing, so improving your open or click-through rate is largely a matter of guesswork.
An auto-responder is the best way to follow up with people who sign up to your email list. It allows you to send sequences of emails that you have carefully designed to lead contacts towards making purchasing decisions.
GetResponse is a superb email marketing system which costs less than other auto-responders and it offers more options than most.
It has email design and auto-responders as you would expect but it also has landing page design, A/B testing and powerful analytics. Everything is integrated into one interface, which makes it much easier to use than popular alternatives that do not have any integral landing page functionality.
Email design is easy by using and customizing any of the hundreds of responsive templates that are available to subscribers.
I am glad I am a blogger now rather than a few years ago because these tools all make my life so much easier. WiseStamp and Nourish are new services; early adopters will stand out and will be at an advantage, especially with WiseStamp. This is one of those tools you never realized you needed, but once you have it you would never be without it.
GetResponse has been around for a while and is becoming widely recognized among bloggers as one of the prime email marketing and automation services.
Over to You
How do you see these three tools being useful to you? Are there any other email marketing tools that you could not live without? Please share your thoughts using the comments section below.