Email marketing, copywriting, landing pages, automation. These are all concepts you learn about as you start your coaching business and build your website.
But you might be feeling stumped when it comes to which email service to use.
In this article, I will help you choose a marketing service that suits your coaching business.
If you only read one section of this post, read this one.
There are so many email marketing services to choose from. And because this technology is new and unfamiliar to you, it’s understandable if you feel confused.
Here’s the secret to choosing with confidence:
There is no wrong choice.
None of these services is massively superior to the others. They all offer something similar, the only differences are the details and ease of use. And they will all be able to help you achieve your goal – to grow your coaching practice and connect with clients.
Just pick one and go for it.
4 email marketing services for coaches to consider.
There are hundreds of email marketing platforms to choose from, but here are the four I would recommend:
Mailerlite offers 1000 subscribers on their free plan, which might seem skimpy compared to other services. But once you start paying for subscribers, Mailerlite is more competitive than services like MailChimp (which I don’t recommend).
One downside is 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 a customized template or HTML editing options for your emails, but that’s not a huge deal. Simple emails convert better, anyway.
A case study also shows that Mailerlite emails have a better open rate than Mailchimp emails.
Then there is deliverability.
Deliverability of emails is massively important because sometimes your emails can end up in a spam box, never to be seen again. The great news is, Mailerlite’s deliverability is outstanding.
A study by Emailtooltester.com found that 96% of Mailerlite emails land directly in inboxes, winning their award for ‘Best Deliverability’ of all of the email services they tested.
And over the course of five tests, with a total score of 91.2%, it took the ‘Best Deliverability’ award for the ‘Five Tests’ category.
And only 2.3% of Mailerlite emails were likely to be marked as spam (which is pretty impressive)
So, when it comes to deliverability, there is no better emailing marketing service right now than Mailerlite.
To find out more about deliverability, read my article, How to ensure deliverability in your marketing emails.
Flodesk is one of the newer email marketing services and prides itself on being made for small businesses who prefer a ‘design-first’ approach. And there is a lot to love, including 30 sleek and modern drag and drop email templates, in-depth analytics, automation sequences to keep readers engaged, and an easy-to-use user interface.
You can start with a 30-day free trial, after which Flodesk costs $38.00/mo. It’s a stumbling block that might put you off, but you shouldn’t let it.
Flodesk also offers what they call ‘Unlimited everything, forever’. So, instead of penalizing you for reaching a certain number of subscribers or adding new features, you pay one fee and gain access to everything, including the Flodesk Help Center, which guides you through setting up your account, emails, forms, and workflows, forever.
As a new service, some users find a few features missing that other services provide, but with continual feature rollouts, you will pay more for less on other platforms.
And as for deliverability?
Well, as a new service, Flodesk was not included in the Emailtooltester.com case study. And after research, there is no defined answer yet to the deliverability of Flodesk emails.
However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid Flodesk, just be aware that without knowing deliverability results, your emails could end up in spam a lot more than the other services on this list.
But it might also mean you get more emails into people’s inboxes too.
Until Flodesk grows and has been around a little longer, we won’t know for sure.
ConvertKit is another new provider that offers a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers. And two further pricing options cost you either $25/mo or $50/mo, depending on whether you want additional options like a newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, or advanced reporting.
For many, the $25 option will be more tempting as it offers free migration from other marketing services, automated funnels and sequences, and live chat and email support (ConvertKit’s customer service team is excellent).
Automation, sequences, tagging, and list management are easy to master, so you can get sequences up and running super-fast. It has lots of advanced features that help you build your coaching audience and business.
And as for deliverability?
Well, in the Emailtooltest.com study, Convertkit came second in the deliverability stakes, with a massive 94% of emails landing in inboxes. Only 2.3% of emails were found to be marked as spam.
ActiveCampaign is a super-powerful email and marketing tool for coaches looking to take their marketing to the next level. And you don’t have to be an expert either.
Active Campaign provides plenty of explainer videos and next-step suggestions to remind you to complete tasks, which is helpful when you are still learning how to use the platform.
There is no free plan, but there is a 14-day free trial. However, that is not nearly long enough to learn and understand everything ActiveCampaign is capable of. This means you will quickly have to decide which of the three pricing levels is right for you:
- Lite: $15/mo
- Plus: $70/mo
- Professional: $187/mo
Each level has different options, including automated segmentation, event and engagement tracking, split testing, win probability, and lots more.
If you just want to send newsletters and emails, ActiveCampaign will probably be too expensive. But if you’re looking to:
- Add memberships
- Invest in eCommerce
- Market across multiple platforms
- Get the most out of its CRM (customer relationship manager) interface
Then ActiveCampaign is the most powerful tool on the market to help you do that.
In terms of deliverability?
Well, ActiveCampaign performs well there too, with 92% of emails landing in inboxes. So, although not quite as successful as Mailerlite or ConvertKit in the Emailtooltester.com study, it’s still a healthy score.
In terms of emails going to spam, only 2.9% went to junk folders, which again, is a great score.
Why I don’t recommend Mailchimp.
Although MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms, I no longer recommend it to my life coach clients. Their pricing structure means that you have to join their mid-priced tier to send multi-step autoresponders email campaigns.
Since other services offer the same level of service for free, I recommend going with those over MailChimp.
Its popularity among beginners is due to its Forever Free plan, allowing 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. And they also offer robust report and analysis tools, so you can see how you’re faring against your industry.
That’s quite generous compared to other paid plans.
The biggest downside is customer service is nonexistent for the free plan after the first 30 days, which is enormous if you’re just getting started and run into issues with setting up your list.
Yes, there is no wrong choice, and if MailChimp is right for you, go for it. But, personally, I feel there are much better options out there.
So which email marketing service is best for coaches?
The best option really depends on what you need it for.
Flodesk is a new service that is growing by the week. It’s best for coaches who don’t mind investing a little more in getting everything they could ever need – but are happy to wait for some of those features.
ConvertKit is another new email marketing service that costs a little more than others. It’s best for those who don’t mind paying a little more for excellent automation, sequences, tagline, list management, and customer service.
MailChimp is super popular but offers zero direct support for their free plan. It’s best for beginners who are prepared to figure it out alone in exchange for a free plan.
Mailerlite is the one I would recommend most for new coaches on a budget. It’s a solid starter option and the email service I use. It’s reasonably priced and has a simple interface that keeps you focused and helps you avoid falling prey to shiny object syndrome.
ActiveCampaign is the one I would recommend most for coaches who want to invest. It’s expensive and is a steep learning curve, but once you understand how it works, it will give your clients a customer experience no other email marketing system can touch.
Just remember: there is no wrong choice.
P.S. Remember to keep collecting email addresses and choose an email marketing service suited to your business and budget.