How to Choose the Best Email Tool for Your Wellness Business
Yes, it’s true, we spent all of January focusing on the importance of building your email list, and offering easy, actionable tips to make your emails focused and effective. And now it’s nearly March and we’re back again with more email-related guidance! The reason for that is simple: Building a healthy email list is one of the most important things you can do for your online business, and we want to make sure everyone in the Namastream family knows it.
Today, though, we’re branching off a bit from list-building and maintenance to focus on platforms. Most business owners stick with the emailing tool they know best, often one they worked with in a previous career incarnation. The top-tier tools all have their strong points, so it’s hard to go catastrophically wrong using any of them. But they all have weak points, too, and sticking with what you know might cause you to miss out on features and specialities that could benefit your specific business model.
With that in mind, we’ve done a side-by-side analysis of some of the most popular email tools, keeping wellness professionals in mind as we researched. Let’s take a look!
A new(ish) kid on the block, ConvertKit targets professional bloggers, authors, and marketers, but many wellness businesses adore it, too. It’s a truly robust platform that incorporates modern email-plus features like content upgrades and drip campaigns into its offerings as well as basic newsletter design capabilities.
Many users praise ConvertKit because the interface makes list tagging and segmentation a snap. You also have the ability to create custom opt-in incentives to match your content, insert after-post opt-in boxes to collect new subscriber emails, and track the performance of your opt-in offers.
This tool is over-the-top amazing for entrepreneurs who value customization. You can create tailored messages for new and existing subscribers based on their actions, build countless custom forms, and ensure that when subscribers take a specific action they will always trigger a related response. All of this adds up to an email experience that feels personal and intimate to the user. Definitely a good thing in the wellness field! (We use ConvertKit ourselves, so that should tell you something…)
The main pitfall? ConvertKit is so good at functionality that they skimped a bit on the design tools. Creating gorgeous, design-intensive emails will take a bit of time and tinkering. (Pro tip: here’s a great course to help you learn how to design a gorgeous ConvertKit template.)
COST: $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, with higher pricing tiers based on list size.
BEST FOR: Those who intend to use a robust list as their primary marketing tool, anyone who loves drip campaigns, more advanced email marketers.
WORST FOR: Hesitant newbies, folks who want to leverage their lists with minimal thought or planning, lovers of beautiful pre-made design templates, anyone reliant on RSS to push out blog posts (you’ll have to do that manually).
MailChimp is a legacy email tool that has done an admirable job of changing with the times. It’s got a clean, easy-to-navigate interface and the ability to handle the needs of both relative newcomers and more advanced email marketers.
The biggest complaint about MailChimp is that you may have to pay for your subscribers multiple times. If the same person is on several of your mailing lists, you pay for them once per list. But if you keep all your subscribers in a single list and simply group them by activity—like what they’ve purchased, what they’re yet to purchase, which automations they’ve already received, pages they’ve visited—you can get the same level of detail and only pay once. Many feel ConvertKit’s tagging feature makes this easier and more transparent, but the same functionality is there, if you’re willing to dig a bit. (Tagging in ConvertKit is just called Grouping in MailChimp.)
One of MailChimp’s superpowers is its ability to track the return-on-investment of each campaign. Meaning, after you send a carefully crafted pitch email to your email list, you can find out exactly how well it converted and how much revenue it brought in. You’ll be able to see how many sales you made and the conversion rate for each email. If your wellness practice focuses on streaming classes, this might not matter, but if you produce and sell ebooks or other digital products, it can be phenomenally helpful.
COST: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers/12,000 emails per month BUT remember that subscribers are “counted twice” if they show up in multiple lists.
BEST FOR: Users with online products to sell (and track), lovers of great design in emails, anyone who needs seamless integration with other tools (SendOwl, Instapage, etc.)
WORST FOR: Folks who aren’t wild about manual list analysis and maintenance.
The dark horse in the race, Mad Mimi is a subsidiary at GoDaddy that is absolutely ideal for newbies to email design and maintenance. The stripped-down, drag-and-drop interface makes it a snap for virtually anyone to create sleek, modular email templates and the “clone” feature means you can riff off your most-recently sent email to add on or shift focus. Mad Mimi offers some basic action tracking and a few glimpses at user activities, but is more focused on making elegant design accessible to all.
But the main reason that Mad Mimi is a great choice for wellness practitioners with simple lists and limited experience? Customer service is absolutely stellar. Send in a question and you can expect a friendly response from a real, live human within hours, often including a customized video created to explain the answer to your unique question.
COST: $12/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, with higher pricing tiers based on list size.
BEST FOR: Anyone who needs a pared-down tool that’s easy to use, folks on a tight budget, lovers of stellar customer service.
WORST FOR: Design-intensive email templates, entrepreneurs who need deep data on their users, anyone who wants a one-stop shop for email marketing that includes drip campaigns and more.
Mailchimp may be a legacy, but Constant Contact existed long before most of us even dreamed of opening our own businesses. Like Mad Mimi this platform prides itself on being incredibly easy to use, including both dummy-proof design and elegantly simple tracking functions. The company offers online training—including live chat, email, community support, and a vast library of resources—as well as live seminars in some areas, so the support is top-notch for anyone who needs guidance or answers to detailed, specific questions. Constant Contact also offers a library of stock images that are free for all users to incorporate into their templates and emails, and access to more stock for a fee.
Some simple segmentation, easy drip campaigns, and follow-up templates are available, as well as integration with Google Analytics which is handy for blog-reliant wellness practitioners. Constant Contact grew up alongside many of the social media tools you know and love, so it also integrates seamlessly with Facebook, Paypal, Shopify, Rainmaker, Rafflecopter, and many more. And if you’re a studio owner, you’ve likely used this tool in the past.
Although monthly pricing is high, Constant Contact doesn’t cap how many emails you can send to your lists each month. However, features like event marketing integration and coupon codes are all add-ons that push your monthly fee upward. Autoresponders—a key tool for multi-tiered campaigns—are also an add-on.
COST: $20/month for up to 500 subscribers, with higher pricing tiers based on list size.
BEST FOR: Wellness entrepreneurs who send a high volume of simple emails each month, newbies who learn well using online help tools and support, anyone who needs an attractive pre-designed template.
WORST FOR: Penny-pinchers, email experts who want real flexibility, wellness experts who focus on selling online products.
There are dozens of other email platforms out there, and many have tools and features that may be perfect for your specific needs, so please do your own research! It can be easy to go with what you know, or rely on a single rave review from a trusted colleague, but exploring your choices is essential. Keeping your email list in stellar shape and being strategic about how and when you email your subscribers can make a huge difference in your business bottom line. So do the legwork to make sure you’re using an email tool that will showcase your talents and offerings to customers, both new and old.