When you’re just getting started as a virtual assistant, choosing which email service provider you’re going to use is probably not at the top of your list. And I don’t think it should be! But, eventually, once your website is set up and your social media accounts are active…it’ll be time to decide which is the best email service provider for you and your business.
What is an Email Service Provider?
Great question! Before we dive into which is the best email service provider, it’d probably be a good idea to figure out why the heck you even need one.
An email service provider (also called an “ESP”) allows you to communicate directly with people who are on your email list.
There are a few different reasons why you might want to cultivate an email list for your business:
- It’s the only form of communication that you own (compared to social media, which is owned by each of those companies)
- It’s a more reliable form of communication
- The highest percentage of your audience will see each piece of content you distribute (compared again to social media, where the life of a tweet is only 18 minutes)
- It’s more personal, because it feels like you are talking to your audience one-on-one
- You will get the highest percentage of sales from the people who are on your list
How to Use Your Email Service Provider
People typically join your email list through one of two ways. They either (a) sign up directly to join the list, or (b) they give you their email address in exchange for some type of promotion, freebie, or event.
I see both of these options used fairly often, but unless you’re a huge brand or someone extremely popular, it’s typically easiest to “bribe” people onto your list by giving them something in exchange. (That’s why sometimes you’ll hear a freebie called an “opt-in bribe.”)
Once you’ve got some people signed up to your email list, there are a few different ways that you can interact with them:
- Delivering a freebie (usually happens right after someone signs up)
- Newsletters (also sometimes called “broadcasts” or “campaigns” and typically sent out at least once per month)
- Automated sequences (these can either start after an event is triggered, or you can use them to create a free “email course” that someone specifically signs up for)
Popular Email Service Providers
Although sometimes it may seem like there are only one or two out there, the list of email service providers you can choose from is actually quite long!
The most popular ones out there for bloggers and small business owners include:
- Active Campaign
- Constant Contact
- Mad Mimi
Since that list probably looks a little overwhelming, especially if you haven’t decided on the best email service provider for you yet, I’m going to simplify it for you!
The top three that I am going to recommend to you today are: ConvertKit, Active Campaign, and MailerLite.
What is the Best Email Service Provider for a Virtual Assistant?
Now down to the nitty gritty! The recommendation that you’ve been waiting for!
Except…it’s a bit more complicated than that. I can’t recommend just one program as the “best email service provider,” because it all depends on you and your business!
What is going to be your best email service provider all depends on how long you’ve been a virtual assistant and what you plan to use it for. It also depends on your budget.
- If you’re just getting started out and/or you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend, MailerLite is going to be the perfect choice for you. It’s easy to learn, has a lot of great features, and it’s free (up to 1,000 subscribers)!
- If you have a bit of money to spend and you’ve been in business for at least a few months, ConvertKit might be a better choice for you. It’s automation rules make it possible to do more complex things than you can in MailerLite.
- If you’re an expert virtual assistant and you need an email service provider that has a ton of features and functions, Active Campaign is going to be your best bet. It’s like ConvertKit on steroids.
Still having trouble making your decision? You’ll want to check out my features comparison chart!