What Is Square Marketing & Is It Right For My Business?
Email marketing remains one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reach customers, and I can’t think of a single business that couldn’t benefit from email marketing in some way. That’s because it is both low cost and versatile — you can use it for promoting a product, or you can create a series of emails to warm your customers up and keep them connecting with you.
While, of course, it is entirely free to send an email, the cost of the platform is highly variable, depending on what your business needs are and a few other factors. You can often send simple email marketing campaigns for no cost with many platforms — including Square — but to send out emails based on triggered events or target your list wisely, you’ll usually have to start a subscription.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can send Square emails for free and what comes along with the Square Marketing subscription. Then we’ll compare some other email marketing platforms with Square, so you can see if you’re missing any features you may want or if it is just right.
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What Is Square Marketing?
Square Marketing integrates with your Square POS so that you can send both one-off and recurring emails to your contacts. Because your Square Marketing syncs with your POS, you can target different types of shoppers with relevant messaging based on what they buy at your store.
Let’s discuss the different types of email marketing campaigns you can send and how Square’s email marketing features can support your goals.
Square Marketing Features
The Square email marketing subscription includes these core functions:
- Unlimited email sends
- Email designer to choose themes and styles
- Fully integrates with POS and Square Dashboard
- Automated email campaigns based on an event trigger
- Automatic email collection with payment and digital receipt approval by your customer
- Seamless coupon redemption
- Sales and campaign real-time reporting performance data
- Marketing Assistant bot helps guide campaigns and makes suggestions
When you use Square mail marketing for your campaign goals, you’ll find options under Blast Campaigns in the left-hand margin. Blasts go out to your entire list and include:
- Offering a coupon
- Sending a quick update
- Creating a newsletter
- Sending an event invitation
- Product or service announcement
Under Automated Campaigns, you have the option of setting up a simple workflow to reach customers after they take a specific action, triggered event, or period of inactivity in the case of a lapsed customer.
- Welcome emails
- A thank-you email after purchase or signup
- Bringing back lapsed customers
- Birthday or anniversary email
Free Email Campaigns For All Square Users
Square offers four free email templates to all Square users, whether you have a monthly subscription to the company’s email marketing service or not:
- COVID-19 updates
- Drive online orders
- Promote gift cards
- Collect payment or donation
Here is an example of a free email campaign I created under Drive Online Orders campaign:
Overall, Square email marketing provides a basic feature-set with generous template options so that you can target based on your goals.
How Much Does Square Marketing Cost?
Square marketing costs are broken down by the number of contacts, so you’ll have all of the features available no matter what price point you need:
- 0-500 Customer Contacts: $15/month
- 501-1,000 Customer Contacts: $25/month
- 1,001-2,000 Customer Contacts: $35/month
- 2,001-4,000 Customer Contacts: $45/month
- 4,001-9,000 Customer Contacts: $75/month
Square pricing continues to increase incrementally based on customer contacts.
If these plans seem like a little more than you need, and you’re only interested in sending an occasional marketing email to a smaller list, Square also offers a one-off email sending rate at $0.10 per email to your existing email contacts.
Keep in mind that Square offers four types of email campaigns to all Square users at no charge, which we covered in the section above.
How To Create A Square Marketing Campaign
Setting up an email campaign with Square Marketing is very simple. When I look at the Dashboard, what strikes me the most is how easy it is to find a ready-made campaign based on your objective. Each selection you make as far as goals guides you further into the process, with premade templates and designs already built for you. Square even adds suggestive text into the blocks that you can use or adjust. I can see how this would be particularly beneficial for someone if marketing or writing wasn’t already in their wheelhouse.
Below I’ve created a sample campaign, so you can get an idea of how the process flows from beginning to end.
Step 1) Define Your Objective
We are going to create a blast campaign to reach every contact with the same offer — a coupon. I’ve selected Offer a Coupon as our objective.
Step 2) Design The Campaign
After clicking the blue Design Campaign in the upper right-hand corner, I was taken to the email editor. I chose a floral design and am keeping all of the preset text Square offers to show you how simple the company makes it:
If you want more design freedom, you can also head into the drag-and-drop editor that’s accessed at the Blocks tab under Design Your Campaign. Since my goal is to highlight the simplicity in creating a campaign, I’m showing what you can produce with just a few clicks.
Step 3) Choose Your Audience
Next, you can choose to send to everyone on your list, or you can target certain contacts. You can see in the image below that you’ll also be able to share any promotion to your Facebook followers if you’ve linked accounts!
I’ve chosen to send my blast campaign to everyone on my list.
Step 4) Review & Send
The last and final step in sending your Square email campaign out to your customers is reviewing it. If you do not have a full email marketing subscription, as seen in the example below, you can opt to pay per email, or you can sign up for the free 30-day trial Square offers. I wanted to point out that you can also opt to resend the email if your customer doesn’t open it, and you can send a reminder email before the coupon is set to expire. Those send out automatically if you select that option on this screen.
As your email list grows based on sales, Square automatically begins segmenting into targeted email lists for you (e.g., new, regular, or lapsed customer).
How Does Square Marketing Compare To Other Email Marketing Options?
Square email marketing software doesn’t have some of the features you’ll find in some other types of email service providers. It is built with the end-user in mind — a busy small business operator or manager who doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to marketing. While you will have everything you need to create a myriad of email campaigns, you won’t be able to create customized segmentation through tagging or create complicated if-then workflows like you can with other options, such as Drip or Salesforce. You also can’t A/B test to compare approaches in messaging or design. That said, Square does do what it says it will, and that is to simplify email marketing. It accomplishes this well for the small business by syncing data with your Square POS and even offering you campaign suggestions automatically.
Let’s take a look at how some of the other bigger names compare with Square, so you can decide if this suits your needs or if you need something with more bells and whistles.
Square Marketing VS Mailchimp
If you’re up for it, Mailchimp allows you to do a lot more than send a newsletter or create a simple email campaign. Mailchimp’s features are designed to extrapolate more data as your customers interact with your emails, landing pages, and social posts — and these are all included in the free plan.
Mailchimp’s generous free plan allows you to reach up to 2,000 contacts and is comparable to Square with providing basic reports and recommendations. One thing I like is that the first paid plan is only $9.99 and includes A/B testing, which can be a really cost-effective way to test campaigns and ideas.
You will also find a Mailchimp and Square Payments integration back in your Square Dashboard. If you do this, you can also sell directly from the free landing page and start selling online without a website. For more information about Mailchimp, read our full review.
Square Marketing VS Drip
Drip is a little on the pricey side, but it has a lot of features that help you dig into the data, and the whole platform is created with eCommerce in mind. Some of the customer feedback about Drip is that it can feel overwhelming because you’ll need to learn the platform to get what you pay for out of it. So if you don’t have the time to sit down and learn how to use all of the more advanced features, it is probably not the best option for you.
Where Drip truly shines is in the personalized campaigns you can create once the data starts coming in after you’ve set up your tagging and triggered events features. Through tagging and tracking, for example, you can learn exactly where your contacts go and what they’ve put in their cart. With that information, you can even set up automatic emails for triggered events, such as an abandoned cart or product promotion that fits with what they have browsed on your site. For these reasons, if you have an eCommerce shop and a bit of time to get to know the features, Drip provides a well-oiled marketing machine that is largely automated with plenty of data to dig your teeth into.
Square Marketing VS Sendinblue
If you have a more extensive list and want to experiment with more features, Sendinblue should definitely be on your list to consider. You can try this email marketing platform for free, and in fact, you can keep using Sendinblue for free at the lowest tier with limited features. And you can also test the service on all of your contacts on your list because the company doesn’t put a cap on contacts.
Sendinblue is one of our highest rated free email marketing platforms because it has an impeccable reputation on consumer review sites and consistently earns high ratings. A few of the most noteworthy features that the free plan includes are:
- Advanced segmentation
- Workflow editor
- Marketing automation workflows
You won’t find these features with Square’s email platform, and for the paid tiers, the features and customer reach are leagues ahead if you compare the cost.
Square Marketing FAQS
Because Square is such a large platform and evolves quite frequently, we find that Square customers have some common questions about email marketing. From cost to some of the finer details, these are some of the more popular questions we come across.
How Much Is Square Marketing?
Square marketing starts at $15/month, and for that, you can send up to 500 emails to all of your existing contacts. Every pricing tier includes all of Square’s email marketing features. For more about the features and cost, check out the beginning sections above in this post for more details.
It is worth mentioning again, however, that you can send a few types of Square Marketing emails for free, and these templates can be accessed at your Dashboard under the Marketing tab.
What Is Considered A Reachable Customer?
A reachable customer means that you can send them your email marketing communications. So who is reachable? Square keeps track of your reachable customers automatically in your customer directory, and here’s who you’ll find:
- Any customer you imported with an email address
- Customers who have visited you and paid with a credit or debit card and elected to receive a digital receipt via email
Will I Be Automatically Charged More If I Exceed A Certain Number Of Reachable Customers?
Your subscription pricing will increase as your contacts increase, as your cost is wholly based on reachable contacts. With that in mind, be aware of any changes in cost as your list grows. Additionally, for those who also use Square Appointments, your list is automatically merged with your customer directory, so this can also increase your monthly cost.
Does Square Marketing Work With Square Checkout?
Yes. When you add your customer email during checkout, the information is synced with Square’s email marketing software so that your reachable list grows with it. Additionally, when you use coupon promotions through Square’s email marketing, the code is also synced to apply with Square Checkout.
How Do I Cancel Square Marketing?
As a reminder, you can try Square Marketing 30 days for free, and if you want to cancel before you’re charged, or cancel any other time, it is very easy to do so.
View all of your subscription billing details by going to the Pricing & Subscriptions section at your Square Dashboard. Here you can unsubscribe by clicking Cancel Service. Square discontinues your subscription for the service on the first of the following month, so you will continue to have access through your current paid-up month. You can also pause your subscription under Pricing & Subscriptions by clicking Manage next to your subscription and then Pause Subscription.
Is Square Marketing Right For Me?
Square Marketing enables anyone who already uses Square POS to have a simple and easy way to start sending out emails to their contacts, but is it right for your business? I would be comfortable recommending Square to any business owner who is strapped for time and wouldn’t consider marketing to be in their wheelhouse. That’s because sending out a campaign with Square is just so easy to use and set up, with a lot of prebuilt promotions, templates, and even copy that’s already written for you should you choose to use it. And when you do want to customize your emails, Square has a simple drag-and-drop editor that allows you to play around with formatting.
If you aren’t already sending emails and you don’t have experience with email marketing platforms, Square is a great place to start. However, if you want to go a little deeper and need some advanced features, such as tagging, advanced tracking, and A/B testing, you’re probably better off looking at one of the other options included in this post.
For more resources on small business marketing, check out The Best Free Email Marketing Software Programs and How To Create A Successful Email Marketing Strategy.