Review: SendPulse Marketing Automation Platform

SendPulse

When it comes to generating email content there is no universal formula to make it work a treat. But there are email services that can at least simplify some content-related processes, and SendPulse is one of them.

What is SendPulse

SendPulse is an integrated marketing communications platform designed to provide users with simple but  capable tools to organize not only email marketing but also bulk SMS and web push notifications sending at an affordable price. Although the platform is relatively new, it has already proven its capacities in the field being recognized by The Next Web SCALE as one of the best startups for 2016.

Let’s take a look at the features of this tool that will be helpful throughout the processes of content elaboration, structuring and delivery.

Personalization

One way for businesses to keep subscribers interested and active is to put personal subscriber’s data to good use. This is essential to create a personalized and relevant content that will increase your conversion rates and build trust with recipients. But it is reported that 83% of marketers struggle with content personalization.

A good place to start with personalization is the subject line. Statistics show that open rate of emails with personalized subject lines is 29% higher compared to non-personalized ones.

The easiest way to personalize the subject line is to include the subscriber’s name in it. In SendPulse you can do this by adding a “Name” variable to the subject line. That way, if the “Name” variable for a particular contact is not empty the resulting email’s subject line will contain the recipient’s name.

Personalization can also be used for the text body. For example, you’re interested in subscribers who live in New York. You select the “City” variable and enter the name of the city. Then you type the alternative text in case the “City” variable is different.

This let’s you automatically send one of multiple predefined messages depending on the City variable value. One of them, for example, could mention free shipping, for the city where applicable, and the other could list shipping prices.

Resend to Unopened

Marketers spend so much time making and thinking through a great relevant content that it puts out of tune when the efforts are simply ignored. Thanks to “Resend to Unopened” feature, there is a possibility to automatically send the follow-up messages to users who haven’t opened the first communication.

All you need is to slightly modify the subject line to make it look different. To do this, you can use several tips listed below.

  • Subject line should not be too long. To make it mobile-friendly, it is recommended to use from 6 to 10 words.
  • There is no need to include clichés and phrases like “The best proposition. Only today” or “Don’t miss the sale/discount” etc., because such phrases don’t work anymore; they simply irritate the subscribers. Moreover, spam-filters aim to liquidate the commercial advertising, so it is better to avoid such spam-words and phrases like buy, free (for free), earn per week, take action now
  • Use special symbols or emoji instead of too many exclamation points and capitals.
  • Intrigue the subscribers with questions, incomplete thoughts or double meaning to encourage them to open the email.
  • Include names of real or famous people to evoke natural curiosity.

When you’re done, just go to the “Follow up to unopened messages” section, paste the newly elaborated subject line and choose the desirable sending time.

This will increase the chances that the content doesn’t go unnoticed.

Email Templates

When the content is ready, the next step is to structure it and make it look attractive.

In SendPulse you can choose one of four options available:

  • My Templates and Import where you can upload a new template from a file, URL or just paste the HTML-code;
  • Layout Template Editor where you can select the template layout and edit the email’s elements;
  • Existing Design Templates where you can find a big variety of ready templates divided by categories;
  • HTML Editor where you can create or edit a built-in template.

Before you start, make sure you are familiar with several basic principles of email formatting:

  • carefully select the fonts,
  • choose design headers that improve structure,
  • use color wisely,
  • adjust line height,
  • use dividers between text blocks, and
  • don’t forget about visuals.

This small tips will increase the email readability and ensure its scannability.

A/B testing

A good solution to stop wondering what text or visual content will gain the highest rates is the campaign A/B testing. A/B tests make it possible to identify the most effective components of the email based on open and click-through rates.

A/B test consists in developing two (or more) variants of an email with one different element. There is plenty of choice when it comes to the components to be tested:

  • CTA text and button
  • Headline
  • Subject line
  • ‘From’ line
  • Personalization
  • Design and so on.

One of the most famous A/B tests on the Web was carried out by Hubspot. The company tested the same email with one small difference – green and red CTA button.

The red button outperformed the green one by 21%. That is because the red color was more contrasting in that exact case.

Let’s take a look at how you would do this in SendPulse. Create a new A/B test, select the criteria to determine the winning variant (open rate or click-through rate) and set up all other global options as you like.

Next, create your mailing variants.

Choose the template you want and open it in the editor to make all appropriate changes. Let’s make a red CTA for mailing “A”.

Pulse

Save the template and go to setting up the mailing “B”. You can copy the first mailing entirely or choose specific data to be copied (Sender’s data, mailing subject, email body). Now just edit the template of the second mailing in the editor and make the CTA blue.

Save the template and move to the final step of the A/B test creation: select the required percentage of subscribers to receive each variant. Bear in mind that each version should be received by at least 500 users for accurate and statistically-valid results.

Check all the information, launch the test and wait for the results. Check the statistics both immediately after the test (several hours after sending) and a few days after it. In the end, the email with the highest rate is sent automatically or manually to the rest of the address book.

Automation

Automation of email marketing allows you to set up messages that will be automatically sent when certain criteria are met. These messages are also called autoresponders. Let’s explore in more details some of them.

Triggered emails

This type of email is a reaction to a specified trigger action performed by a subscriber.

Such emails are usually triggered by the following events:

  • a new subscriber joined the list;
  • a previous email was opened;
  • a previous email was not opened;
  • there was a click on a particular link in the previous email, or
  • a subscriber is celebrating their birthday.

Series of welcome emails

Obviously, this series starts with a confirmation email. To make sure that subscription is confirmed by as many users as possible, such email should be short and include the one and only CTA button with the text “Confirm”.

Alternatively, it can be a warm, simple and clear email text or a friendly email with an incentive to subscribe – discount or gift.

After subscription is confirmed don’t hesitate to send a welcome email. A small stimulus – According to statistics welcome emails sent immediately after subscription gain 10 times more transactions and revenue per email.

The main aim of this series is to start building the foundation for long-term relations with subscribers and to learn as much information as you can about them.

Some ideas for welcome emails include:

  • educational content or guide to familiarize a fresh-comer with your platform or services;
  • company-related content presenting its story, showing its behind-the-scenes life;
  • special offer highlighting the main benefits you provide a new subscriber with and encouraging the first purchase;
  • selection of the company’s bestsellers or purchase-related items.

The process setting this up is quite intuitive. Go to “Automation → Create an automated series” and select the suitable autoresponder from the options available.

Add as many emails as you want to the series and select the appropriate sending time: right away or after a certain time. Сlick “Save and launch”.

Automation features save time, increase customer loyalty and help to avoid mistakes and preheat the leads.

All in all, SendPulse is a platform that combines simplicity, easy of use and broad automation capabilities that are definitely worth trying.

, ,