One of the pillars in marketing for any kind of business is the in-house contact list. You can always contact the people who know about you and want to know more about your business. But how can you personalise your communication to your audience, so that the right people get the right message at the right time?
Or put differently: You don’t want to send the same message to all contacts in your mailing list. Because then the people in your list don’t feel addressed and your message is not going to convert.
The answer is marketing automation. Traditionally, marketing automation providers have offered email marketing tools. In the meantime, many have added additional channels such as SMS, web push, and other instant messengers.
Esputnik is a representative of the new breed of marketing automation services. Its service allows you to send and manage campaigns across multiple channels:
- web push notifications
- mobile push notifications
Esputnik was launched in 2012 in Ukraine. It now has offices in France, Russia, UK, and the USA. The R & D office is located in Ukraine. At the time of this review, Esputnik serves more than 60’000 clients around the globe.
Pros and cons of Esputnik
As many in the marketing automation space, Esputnik also is a cloud-based subscription service. It allows you to create and manage marketing campaigns over multiple channels.
- Very intuitive user interface so that it’s very easy to use
- Multi-channel automation with SMS, web and mobile push, and Viber
- When some information is missing in the contact fields, you can configure dynamic content to hide incomplete and thus confusing blocks in your email communication
- You can limit the batch size of your campaigns
- You can schedule when to send your campaigns
- Insights into your contact list, with activities of your contacts, how your list grows, and subscriber engagement
- If you want to add a subscription form to your site, you need to request the form and it will be built for you. You can’t build it yourself.
Who is Esputnik for?
If you’re invested in communicating with you’re audience the way they want to be talked to, Esputnik with its many features is an interesting option. You can reach your customers where they are. Moreover, based on the interaction of your audience, you can personalise your message to the individual contact in your list.
Esputnik user interface
You don’t need to have your credit card at hand when you sign up. But in contrast to other services, Esputnik asks not only for your name and email but also for your mobile number.
Once you’ve created your account, you’re welcomed by the onboarding tutorial. The onboarding is a nice touch, but not really needed since the interface is designed to be very intuitive. It’s uncluttered and straightforward. Everything is placed so that you can get the task at hand done without having to click through endless menus and submenus.
Creating a campaign is a little different, as you have the choice to send it.
For this review, I’m going to concentrate on email. You’re going to first select the template for your campaign. Esputnik has a giant template gallery that is categorised by industry. You can also search the gallery by title.
All templates are mobile-ready. Once you’ve found your template, it’s time to customise it. The email builder is a drag-and-drop editor. If you’ve worked with a drag-and-drop website builder, you’ll find your way in no time.
Esputnik goes beyond what any “self-respecting” email marketing automation provider should do. It not only lets you personalise your message with the name of the recipient but also from events and interactions of your user that it captures. This is very helpful when you have little or no information in the contact fields. In this situation, you’ll want to hide incomplete blocks by configuring dynamic content.
When you’ve finished customising your email, it’s time to configure the settings of your campaign. Esputnik gives you useful hints when you’re writing the subject line of your campaign and you can annotate your campaign with Gmail Promotions Annotations. Not only can you select which segment you want to send the campaign to, but you can also determine the batch size, set the annoyance level, and schedule when to send.
List management, segmentation, and personalisation
Managing your contacts is a walk in the park with Esputnik. You can add as many fields as you need for your contact and it will also show you all the activities that they have done. These events are then used for your segmentation.
The CRM is well thought out. You have predefined filters to quickly see active or unsubscribed contacts. There’s an advanced filter where you can see your contacts filtered by channels, fields, orders, etc. Segmentation is what helps you send the right message to the right person at the right time.
The powerful automation is included in all plans. It’s not just a linear autoresponder but you can define the triggers (events that will launch the automation), conditional steps, and actions that need to be done when certain criteria are met. Esputnik offers you 5 automation templates that you can tweak or you can build a new automation workflow from scratch.
Once you’ve integrated Esputnik with your website so that it can monitor all the events, it then can also give product recommendations for your website. That is if it’s an online store. It also integrates with the do-it-all tool Zapier.
Esputnik gives you detailed reports of how your campaigns are fairing. It also gives you insight into the activities of your contact, how your list grows.
Even though Esputnik is easy to navigate and use, it can still be a tad overwhelming with its many powerful features. In this case, you can use its well organised and searchable help centre. If you want human contact, you can chat, email, or request a callback. The chat support team usually answers within minutes.
You likely find Esputnik has a learning curve with its many features especially with the breadth of logic it offers for setting up a journey. There’s a well organised help centre offering guidance from getting started to the integrations with videos.
As you see in the pricing, Esputnik caters to small businesses to large enterprises. Their pricing structure is grouped by which channel you’re going to use.
Is Esputnik right for you?
With its many powerful features, namely automation and CRM that is contact management and segmentation, Esputnik is a solid tool that will help you save much tedious and repetitive manual work. It comes with a myriad of useful features to help you avoid annoying your audience, improve your campaigns as well as glean insights into the behaviour of your audience.
It only has one notable drawback: You have to request Esputnik’s development team to build a contact form for you. But according to the developer team, a subscription form editor is in the works and should be ready by the end of the year.
The most important point is to understand the journey of your users and then to build the appropriate funnels. If you want to learn more about automation, join our mailing list to get more tips and tricks about funnels and automation.