How Do Online Marketing Tools Really Measure Up?

If you’re a businessperson, non-profit staff member or volunteer, or even just someone who wants to learn more about the marketing world, you’ve surely come across ads for a variety of online marketing tools. We’ve talked about Hootsuite and Buffer before. These are the two most widely used tools for use with social media marketing, but what else is out there to help with your other marketing needs?

Email Marketing

Marketing via email is quite a popular strategy right now, and for good reason. Through email advertisements and newsletters your business can reach a very wide audience. Emails are easy for recipients to share with others and you can even track the engagement that follows each send. The two most used email marketing applications are Constant Contact and MailChimp.

Both have pros and cons, but it really seems that it mostly comes down to personal preference. MailChimp (MC) offers a free plan (with limitations) and Constant Contact (CC) offers a 30-day introductory period with plans starting at $20 a month thereafter. With regard to features it really is an apples & oranges comparison. Both offer a large variety of templates: MC offers 80 and CC offers 100. They each offer a number of integrations (other apps that they work in tandem with, such as Facebook, Shopify, etc.) with MC at 700 integrations and CC at 450 integrations. Your need for the number of integrations depends on the demographic that you are trying to reach with your emails. Lastly, both offer easy navigation and come highly recommended. Our suggestion is to try each, make an individual comparison based on your needs, then decide. And in case you are curious, our choice is to use Constant Contact.

Marketing Interns

Who would have thought that someday you could hire a student to do marketing work for you without ever meeting them in person? GenM facilitates this. They have a community of students from all around the world who take on tasks that companies need help with. The companies get the help, inexpensively, and in turn offer a type of mentorship to the student. We loved this idea and it had been highly praised in several publications that we read regularly. However, once we tried it, we quickly found that it wasn’t for us.

The process begins with paying for a 3-month internship ($150) and setting up an individual profile…that was a surprise. Our intent was to go into this agreement as a company, but the plan requires that an individual lead so that there is a one-to-one mentorship, which they believe is more beneficial to the student. After adding your profile photo, email address, cell phone number, then answering a huge number of questions, you are provided with a number of suggested students. That’s when the fun begins! You are encouraged to download the app to your phone then pick 15 students, then narrow down to 5, and then reach out to those via a chat feature. The moment your profile is live you are available to any student, whether they pay attention to what you are looking for in an intern or not. We received emails, texts and notifications via the app all at once and basically non-stop from the get-go. It was incredible, and incredibly annoying! How were we to find the right student with all of these coming at us at once? But we pressed on…

We narrowed the pool down to 5 as suggested and reached out to them to set a conference call. Immediately two responded, one said that she could not meet at our first availability and she never responded when we returned with alternate times. The other set a conference call with us for the next day but never showed. And still all the while our email, text and app were going crazy, and most responses were from students who had no idea of what our need was.

Long story short, we canceled. Our hope was to find an intern who could help us with a market research project…something that we as small business owners had little time for but desperately needed at the time. We are sure that GenM has been a successful means for help to many, but we’d caution that you consider the process involved before signing up.

And there you have it!

Interested in trying out Constant Contact?

If so, let us know if Modern Roots Marketing can team up to get you started with email marketing or use the link here.

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