Email marketing is one way to market products and services, reach out to visitors, engage with them, and turn them into customers. There are lots of e-mail marketing platforms to choose from, but the question is, what best fits your niche and caters to the needs of your audience?
In my case, I’ve been using several email marketing platforms, and each offered features I liked, and others that fell short of my expectations in that I didn’t always get to the right customers based on responses.
I’d have to admit that I haven’t found the perfect tool yet and I don’t believe there is because different software and platforms cater to different needs. So, you just need to find one that suits your needs.
Nevertheless, when searching for the right email marketing tool like Sendlane, there are several things you need to keep in mind.
Things to consider before buying an Email Marketing Software
Like all purchases, always consider beforehand what you hope to achieve in purchasing one.
What do you hope to provide and will the purchase be worth it in the long run?
Some of the questions that are worth asking would be:
First, do you need this new software or platform? How do your emails fit into your overall marketing strategy? Do you use different tools for each marketing feature, or would you rather that you have all the features you need in one tool? How would it affect your audience?
Second, will the platform allow you to customize your customers' experience based on your customers’ journey?
Third, will the platform provide you with insights on customer behavior, measure success, and allow for constant improvement in deliverability?
Lastly, how will this platform affect the overall efficiency of my team?
Sendlane: A Overview
Knowing my frustrations at trying to get to the right customers, a friend of mine recommended that I try Sendlane. Curious about this tool, I quickly visited its website and signed up for the FREE trial. (yay!)
Sendlane is a data-driven, intuitive and intelligent marketing platform that allows you to customize customer interactions based on targeted behaviors and allows you to discover those who are interested in what you have to offer. What you might find useful is its integration with other platforms such as Clickfunnels, Shopify, AR hive, and many others.
Now, let’s dive in and see what this platform has to offer.
Features & Benefits
After logging in, you’re immediately redirected to the dashboard and this is what it looks like.
The left side panel displays the features of the site that you need for your marketing business in one section, preventing you from the hassle of second-guessing where features are located on the site which could be confusing for you as a first-time user. The white text against the dark background is also easy on the eyes.
Another reason I found it convenient was that the site didn’t ask me to answer several questions before accessing the features of the site the way other sites do. I found it similar to the very powerful yet user-friendly search engine of all time – Google.
Next, clicking ‘Audience’ reveals a drop-down list as seen below.
Audience offers you sub-features that are as follows:
When you select Contacts it won't offer a list at first glance. If it's your first time signing in, you'll see the message, “You have no contacts yet.” You’ll have to add them when you click on ‘dashboard.’
Next, clicking on lists will allow you to access your list of contacts you can send emails to or if you have none yet, there are two ways you can add them. The first is adding a list by clicking on the blue new list button right down the middle. Clicking on the pink new list button on the upper right-hand corner of your screen will offer the same form that'll prompt you to name your list, add your sender details, and add a subscription reminder. After you've filled out all the details, select the create button.
This function allows you to use filters and send campaign emails to targeted contacts that has shown a certain interest or behavior only. Below is what the filters look like:
These are unique identifiers that can help you segment your audience based on activities per campaign.
This allows you to add more information about your audiences such as age or gender to help you personalize your messages even more.
It helps you create your sender profile.
This is a simple ‘do not contact’ list for spam, for those who’ve complained, and who’ve requested that you not contact them.
This is what you will see when you click on the Campaign menu > New Campaign…
With this interface, anyone can quickly learn how to create e-mail campaigns. You wouldn’t need to have a background in IT or have IT skills to get this task done.
In addition to this, you can monitor your campaigns with Tracking clicks and Google Analytics found under the Optional settings right beside your Campaign Name.
Preheader Text, on the other hand, is also called ‘preview’ text and is a good way to provide your readers with a sneak preview of your message to build curiosity and create an impactful impression.
The Email subject line field gives you the option for personalization as seen below.
What I liked most about this section is that you can quickly apply filters or segments for your audience at one go and not have to access another page to do it. You have all you need for publishing a campaign right here. How cool is that?!
And did I mention that I love the button colors? It’s not only because it’s pink but also because it makes an awesome contrast to the bright and dark sections of the page.
This is a series of e-mails that are triggered by a customer's behavior. When you click the New Automation button, here’s what you get…
A trigger could be any customer activity such as a user subscribing to a list, clicks or opens a specific email campaign. And just like other platforms, Sendlane offers various templates you can use depending on the purpose of your email campaign.
I'd say this is a highly convenient feature as it does away with you having to filter your contact list to send individual responses yourself. It’s straightforward and simple. You can quickly create what you want even without a tutorial. This is how user-friendly it is.
Moreover, Sendlane also gives you the option to start your campaign from scratch. This is perfect if you want to create your own campaign automation and have full control over it. Once done, you can always set your campaigns to active or inactive based on customer activity.
Another sub-feature I found interesting is the site’s ability to automate actions or communications based on customer activity with other platform integrations. Say for example, you could create an automated email if a customer clicked to add a product to his shopping cart on Shopify but didn’t check out yet. An automated email or SMS could remind him to finalize his order.
Amazing, isn’t it?! I do know that not all email marketing platforms have this feature. Below is a sample screenshot if you choose to use the tool with other integrations from the Automation section.
Another smart feature that allows you to trigger an automation based on an action from different automation. I haven’t seen this yet in other email automation I’ve used. To add to this, viewing or reading capability is made more accessible with the zoom in and zooms out options found in the upper left section of the console. Besides, who wants to keep scrolling up or down while working on a campaign? Below is what you see when you click on this feature.
This is a website and event tracking tool which tracks your customers' activities such as page visits and then follows them throughout their entire customer journey. One requirement for this to work is for your customers to opt-in to your account. If they do, clicking and opening your campaigns will lead them back to your site.
This contains a drop-down for Conversion Rules and Events.
Sendlane allows you to use forms, banners, and pop-ups directly on your Shopify store as prospective customers browse through products. This is a good way to entice your customers to check out your products and for you to collect contacts. Thus, creating leads for your business.
This allows you to work on various activities for prospective customers who go on Facebook, Shopify, GoToWebinar, Miva and other sites. These activities include but are not limited to creating start, stop, and change ads, syncing your eCommerce store contacts and automate activities and communications, adding new subscribers to your email lists, and allowing you to create highly engaging content to get your message out to the world and maximize your profits.
An API is a set of procedures that create applications that access features or data of an operating system, software or other services. (source)
No worries, when you create your Sendlane account it comes with an API Key, API Hash Key, and Subdomain details so you can easily integrate your mailing list on your website.
Your account also contains your billing information such as your plan's status as to whether you're active or not, what pricing plan you're on, allows you to edit your payment method, cancel your plan or upgrade your automation details for email activation, pre-built automation funnels, customized web forms, and many more. Lastly, it also contains all your invoice details.
There’s a self-help option if you’re seeking answers on the site’s features and how to use them. Click on the pink speech balloon on the lower right bottom of the page. If you can’t find your answers, you can easily get help by clicking on Ask to chat with a live representative. I tried out this feature and was prompted to hold on until I got an agent to help me out. I thought I’d have to wait long for one. Luckily, I got one in seconds who not only answered my question but also offered links to additional information on the feature I was interested in.
What People are Saying
Here are some excerpts from people who’ve used this product.
If you’re still not sure if Sendlane would suit your needs, here are a few alternatives. Yes, you’re on the right path as I wouldn’t want you to decide on the fly.
Users are companies of all sizes in any industry. Sendlane, on the other hand, caters to digital marketers, eCommerce owners, and SaaS.
They're both priced at $25 per month and offer a free trial and the same features such as campaign management, email marketing, lead management, lead segmentation, and reporting/analytics. As opposed to Sendlane, Salesforce provides mobile access.
Where support is concerned, Sendlane offers 24/7 Live Rep support, meaning Salesforce only offers support during business hours.
Training resources are similar in that both have documentation, have live online classes, and training done via Webinars. Salesforce though offers training in person.
Users are businesses of all sizes and can run campaigns via various ad channels and email platforms under a single dashboard. On the other hand, Sendlane users are digital marketers, eCommerce owners, and SaaS.
Pricing for Mailchimp is less almost 70% that of Sendlane's price at $9.99 per month. Both offer free trials.
Features for both are the same and have analytics/ROI tracking, campaign management, personalization, and segmentation among many others.
Unlike Sendlane that offers 24/7 support, Mailchimp offers support during business hours only.
Training resources include documentation and Live Online for both platforms. Mailchimp though does not offer Webinars.
Primary users are small businesses on a tight budget but they do have a pricing plan for bigger companies. Sendlane, on the other hand, caters to digital marketers, content creators, and SaaS.
Pricing for ActiveCampaign is also less 70% at $9 per month. The price increase for both platforms depends on the number of contacts.
As far as installation goes, it looks like Jira is cloud-based like Sendlane is, and can be accessed via Windows and Mac PCs. Both cannot be accessed via mobile.
There are features that Sendlane has that ActiveCampaign does not have such as predictive analytics, real-time sales alerts, and sales reports. ActiveCampaign has social CRM.
I know there are many other email marketing platforms out there, but go ahead and check the features of the ones I’ve included here and see if they’re suitable for your needs.
Now that I've laid out most of Sendlane's features for you, ask yourself if you've encountered the same difficulties I had of not being able to get customers to consistently engage. Simply put, not all businesses are privy to their customers' activities and behaviors. This is information that’ll help make better-informed decisions. What can Sendlane do to help you with this?
First, it offers real-time analytics by monitoring customer activities or the entire customer journey. Second, once the information is in place, it's intuitive enough to help you customize and automate communication and activities for your customers. Lastly, integration with many other eCommerce sites and other platforms creates a more seamless means of communication.
Don’t just rely on what’s on here. Check out Sendlane and sign up for the Free Trial yourself (credit card details are not required) to learn if its features would suit your business needs.