E-mail Automation: Is Your Solution Old School or New School?


Building an E-mail list is one of the most important aspects of your business. You may have a huge social media following but without their email address and/or name, it is a recipe for disaster. Ask yourself this:  Not *if* but WHEN Facebook or another social media platform changes the rules, can you lose communication with your audience? Have you built an E-mail list to ensure you can always reach your audience?

Since you do not own these social media platforms, you do not control how things are run. You only have the ability to use them within the ever-changing rules. Now, that does not mean they are bad and not worth using but it does mean that you need to use them wisely. This is where building your e-mail list in your E-mail Automation tool comes into play.

Old School E-mail Marketing

Traditional E-mail marketing or what I term "old school" marketing focuses on "lists".  You may have a list for customers, a list for a webinar and yet another list for free PDF downloads.  These old-school systems may add a single e-mail address (or subscriber) to multiple lists.  Many of them have that single e-mail list count as multiple subscribers in your account because they exist on multiple lists!!

Managing these lists can become a nightmare.  Have you ever received a duplicate email from someone or an email asking you to purchase a product that you have previously purchased?  That sucks.  You lose a little confidence in the person sending you those emails even if the product is fantastic.  Does that mean that "new school" systems do not have this problem?  The answer is No, of course, they can but these systems make it easier to manage your workflows to prevent duplication.

As much as I enjoyed using MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Aweber and more, these systems are "old school".  They contain some automation and tagging functionality but at their core, they are list-based systems as displayed in the image below.  Remember the saying, "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater?"  If you have one of these systems and they are working for you, don't throw it out. I used all of these systems previously before I stumbled into the "new school" methodology.  I used them until I outgrew them or they did not meet my needs.

New School E-mail Automation

So what exactly is "new school"? New school E-mail marketing solutions focus on the contact or subscriber. They still have lists but typically, about the type of subscriber vs the action of the subscriber.  For example, you may have a prospects list, a customer and master e-mail list.  In my InfusionSoft and Drip accounts, I do not have a list at all, only subscribers.

An e-mail address or subscriber is only in your account a single time even if they are on multiple lists as with ActiveCampaign.  When a subscriber attends a webinar or downloads your free PDF offer (aka a lead magnet), you add a tag (or label) to their account.  If you download The Technology Roadmap from my site, I will add a tag "Freebie -> Technology Roadmap" to your account as outlined in the image below.

Management becomes easy because you design a workflow that triggers (or automatically executes)  because a tag was added or removed from a subscriber. Sometimes these automations are called Pipelines in Kajabi or Automations in Drip, etc.  They all function the same.

Which E-Mail Solution to Choose?

As anyone will tell you, it depends!!  I know, I hate that answer first and foremost, if your current solution is working, then keep it.  However, if you do not have a solution or you are looking to change, here are a few factors about each of the products to consider:

  1. Drip is the easiest to use, especially for those new to E-mail marketing.
  2. I have used ConvertKit for a whopping couple of days and while it is not as intuitive as Drip, it has power under the hood.  ConvertKit hides the complexity but only showing you what you need at whatever point you are in the creation process.
  3. ActiveCampaign is one of my personal favorites but probably because it was my first "new school" system. It is less intuitive but powerful.  You cannot go wrong with this solution.
  4. InfusionSoft also known as Confusionsoft is not for the faint of heart.  If you are new to E-mail marking and do not understand automations, sales funnels, lead magnets and more, then this is not for you, YET.  Even if you hire someone, it will be you that must define your sales funnels and business rules and at a $100/month, this is not where you want to cut your teeth.

Now, if you are still unsure, here are my additional tips that factor in money and list size:

  1. If you are new to E-mail marketing, I would recommend Drip for the ease of use that I mentioned above. Ensure you have something to sell soon so that once you have 101 subscribers, your product will pay for the monthly subscription as the cost to 101 subscribers is a big jump.
  2. If you are willing to spend between $30/month and are somewhat E-mail marketing/automation savvy, then I would try ConvertKit.  You do not need to be as tech-savvy or e-mail marketing savvy to use.
  3. If you are willing to spend between $9-$17/month and have a solid E-mail marketing/automation background, then I would recommend ActiveCampaign.  Why?  Because as you increase with subscribers, it is not as expensive as Drip and it is AWESOME!  It is less graphical when compared to Drip and ConvertKit but it is powerful. The complexities that you can outline in your automations is incredible.
  4. If you have a product to sell TODAY, money to spend $99/month and some time to learn (or hire), then InfusionSoft maybe an option for you.  took a leap with a list of 2 subscribers (yes, two...it is not a typo) and implemented it while I still maintain my $9/month ActiveCampaign account.  InfusionSoft does much more than E-mail but consider it the Holy Grail of E-mail/Business Automation solutions

Ready to Sign-up (Trials available)?

Here are a few of my special links for sign up. Some are affiliate links which means the manufacturer, not you, pays me a commission for recommending their product.  It does not affect your pricing. You can try options 1-3 and choose the one that works best for you.

  1. Drip - http://tmlee.tips/trydrip. Free for first 100 subscribers then $41+/month.
  2. ActiveCampaign - http://tmlee.tips/tryac.  14 day Trial. $9+/month paid annually for 0-500 subscribers (Lite Plan) then depends on the chosen plan.
  3. ConvertKit - http://tmlee.tips/tryck. 14-day Trial. Starting at $29+/month for 0-1000 subscribers.
  4. Infusionsoft - http://tmlee.tips/tryis. $299+ Onboarding Fee plus $50+/month for 3 months (0-500 subscribers) then $99+/month

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