Email marketing, copywriting, landing pages, automation… These are all concepts you’re learning about as you set up your website and start building your coaching business.
But you might be feeling stumped on which email service to sign up with. There are a huge variety of choices and a lot of polarized opinions out there. Every article you’ve read indicates a different one is better and you feel uncertain of which one is actually going to work best for you as you grow your coaching business.
In this article, I’m going to let you in on the secret to effectively choosing a marketing service so you can feel confident in your decision. I’ll give you the top 4 services I’ve thoroughly researched and vetted for you. Then I’ll tell you the one that I personally use and recommend to my coaching clients.
If you only read one paragraph, read this one
I understand your confusion about marketing email services. There are so many to choose from and this technology is all new and unfamiliar.
Here’s the secret to choosing with confidence:
There is no right choice.
None of these services I’m going to talk about are massively superior to the others. They all offer nearly the same capabilities. The difference is mostly in the details and ease of use. Which of those details you like will be your preference.
Just understand that IN THE END, it doesn’t really matter which service you’re using for your coaching business. They will all be able to help you achieve your goal – to grow your practice and connect with clients.
Just pick one and go for it.
With that said, read on to see the differences between the 4 providers I recommend you consider, as well as which one I personally use and recommend to all my clients.
Aweber is the tried and true marketing service. It’s been around the longest, founded in 1998. It’s recommended for marketers who are just starting out because it offers a lot of options and is just very dependable.
Aweber is free for 1 month, then you pay about $20 for up to 500 subscribers. The cost goes up from there. You can find out more about their pricing tiers right here. They do collect credit card details up front on the free month, so just be aware of that.
If you’re a How to Be A Life Coach podcast listener, you’ll remember that Master Coach Brooke Castillo recommended Aweber because it allows you to turn off the double opt-in requirement for subscribers. Basically, that means they don’t have to go check their email to confirm their sign up for your newsletter.
The thing is, every marketing service offers the option to turn off double opt-in. So you don’t have to go with Aweber to get it.
I’ve set up Aweber for clients in the past and while I like the functionality, the interface (i.e. the website where you actually set up your lists and such) isn’t the most intuitive or modern to work with. It’s not as easy to use as our next option…
**UPDATE May 31 2019: I no longer recommend MailChimp to my life coach clients. They recently updated their pricing structure so that in order to send multi-step autoresponders email campaigns, you must be in their mid-priced tier.
Since there are other services that offer the same level of service for free, I recommend going with those over MailChimp.**
MailChimp is one of the most popular services out there for marketing beginners because of their Forever Free plan. As in, their basic plan is free for up to 2000 subscribers OR 12,000 emails a month, whichever comes first. You can pay to add on as you outgrow the free plan. They also offer robust report and analysis tools so you can see how you’re fairing against your industry.
That’s quite generous compared to other services PAID plans. It integrates well with WordPress and probably a lot of other applications you already use. And the interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
The biggest downside to the free plan is that the customer service is nonexistent for the free plan after the first 30 days, though MailChimp does provide documentation and troubleshooting guides to help. This downside can be huge if you’re just getting started and run into issues with setting up your list. To add salt to it, you’ll also have an ad banner on your emails with the free plan.
GetResponse is set apart because it has a very modern interface and a few extra bells and whistles like webinar capabilities. Their basic plan is $15 a month for 1,000 subscribers after a 30-day free trial, though you do have to buy their pro plan for $50/mo if you want access to the webinar features. GetResponse doesn’t require credit card details up front like Aweber, which I appreciate.
Part of the modern interface that sets GetResponse apart is their automation workflow visual. Basically, the area where you set up automatic emails to send to your subscribers is just more intuitive than other email services. On top of that, GetResponse has great customer service.
Because GetResponse has more features, it also comes with a steeper learning curve. It’s not that the website is difficult to navigate. It’s more about knowing enough to take advantage of all the options and tools that you’re paying premium for when you might be better served to go with something simpler when you’re starting out.
Last of the options I’ll discuss here is Mailerlite. This service offers 1000 subscribers on their free plan, which might seem skimpy when compared to other services. But once you start paying for subscribers Mailerlite is definitely more competitive than services like MailChimp. They provide email support for their free plan, too, so that’s a definite benefit over Mailchimp specifically.
One downside is that you still have a logo banner in the footer of all your emails. It’s understated, as is Mailchimp’s, but still – it’s there. You also can’t get super customized template or HTML editing options for your emails, but that’s not a huge deal. Simpler emails convert better, anyway. There’s also a case study that shows Mailerlite emails may have a better open rate than Mailchimp emails.
So which one is best for coaches?
Mailerlite is the email service that I use, and it’s the one I recommend (I’m not getting a kickback, I promise. It just works well).
It’s great to start off with and will scale well well with you at reasonable prices. With a simple interface, it will keep you, the excited entrepreneur, focused and help you avoid falling prey to shiny object syndrome.
Hope this was helpful. Let me know in the comments below which service you end up signing up with!
P.S. You need to be collecting email addresses, and that means choosing an email marketing service.
Aweber is tried and true But no free plan.
Best for beginners who want to pay a bit and have a few extra features.
MailChimp is super popular but offers zero direct support for their free plan.
Best for beginners who are prepared to invest some time figuring it out in exchange for a free plan.
GetResponse has a modern interface with some extra features.
It’s best for those ready to invest some money up front and can capitalize on all the tools it offers.
Mailerlite is what I recommend. It has a solid free plan and scales competitively.
The customer service tops all the other options.
Just remember: there is no wrong choice.