Email marketing has proven to be an effective form of marketing. It offers businesses reach, at low costs and is flexible. However, to really succeed in email marketing, choosing the right software is absolutely vital. Now, there’s lots of software to choose from, and I could just tell you to Google it right? That could work, but it most likely won’t. Why? Most likely because software’s differ from one another as some help your business accomplish different objectives.
An email marketing software is a tool that allows you to collect email subscribers, upload lists of contacts, design professional looking emails, send out emails and analyse results. If you have a large contact list you want to communicate with regularly, you’re better off using an email marketing software for ease.
In deciding what choice of software to go with for your business, here are some factors to consider.
It’s important to manage your email lists effectively….and no! I’m not talking about Excel. It won’t cut it; you don’t want to spend all that time and effort generating leads, only to lose them. Your best bet is to get a CRM software (Customer relationship management). This helps you automate processes such as updating lists, categorizing customers etc. This also allows you to generate targeted mailing lists, or selections, based on almost anything from location, interest, professional position and customer category.
Now, before you make a choice on what software to use, you’ll want an email marketing software that integrates seamlessly with your CRM , so you can manage that precious customer data, while also having an overview of key metrics (open rates, CTR) to see which campaigns are performing better than others
If you’ve studied your analytics, you have to ensure the email marketing software you eventually choose is optimised. Now, let’s say 80% of your subscriber lists are likely to read through your email on a mobile phone, you would want to make sure that the software you choose has templates that are optimized for mobile. You wouldn’t want someone receiving your email on mobile and it doesn’t open correctly. That can decrease your click through rate significantly and in the future reduce open rate of emails.
This factor depends on the size of your mailing list. If you are sending out maybe 500-1000 mails, you can handle responses manually. If your business is running a large campaign, then you should invest in an email marketing software that has the option of sending automated responses
After sending out a batch of emails, you’d love to know how they did. Every marketing software has their own way of collating and showing analytics, some analytics contain details more than others.
All hands are not equal and so are email marketing software’s. Some are more expensive than others, not only because they are seemingly better, but because they have built a reputation over the years and are being deployed by top companies. However, I am in no way implying that the more expensive an email marketing software, the better it is, that is not necessarily the fact. Also note that some e-mail marketing softwares charge based on lists while others charge by subscribers. This means that some charge you based on how many subscribers you have, while others charge you for how many lists you have. if you have one subscriber on more than one list, you’ll be charged more than once for that subscriber. Most Email marketing softwares start you out on a trial basis and some softwares are free to use provided you have below a certain amount of subscriber. However, if you also looking to grow your subscriber base, then it’s important to make sure that their pricing plan will fit with your budget when time to make payments come.
Aesthetics matter a lot to some businesses more than others. For example, an E-commerce business or online fashion house will want to use an email marketing software that provides more creatively designed templates and that offers several different options, to prevent having repeat themed emails sent out. Consider a software that has a number of theme’s to choose from, also it should allow for customization
When a new user signs up for a service you offer on your website, or places an order, how do you follow up on this person?
If you wait to do it manually, it will consume time and your efforts. With automation, you can have an email sent out each time someone takes an action on your website.
Automation also works when you preset some segmentation to your lists, like sending birthday greetings, or emails to subscribers. You want to make sure that it’s easy to use and has the capacity to do what you need it to do.
Segmentation & Personalization
Nowadays the most successful e-mail marketing strategies use segmentation and personalization. This makes sure emails are relevant to customers on the buyer’s journey.
From the above image, campaign A was sent to Rick, while campaign B was sent to Jim. They both belong to segmented lists hence why they received different emails from same brand. Through list segmentation, the brand found out that those things peculiar to Jim are different from what Rick likes. So instead of sending out same messages to them, the brand composes different emails based on what each person likes. This way Rick gets to see what he likes from the brand and so does Jim.
This is a make or break factor in choosing an email marketing software, You want to make sure that the customer help desk is always on hand to help you get through any issues you might encounter. Do they offer just email as a means of customer contact or they have a live chat as well. Will they call you, or even answer your call whenever you call them?
It’s always best to choose options that show enthusiasm in reaching out to you, educating you on the product, and helping you each step of the way in understanding how to use the product. Apart from price and functionality, this is another major factor that should determine what option you do choose.
Email marketing software recommendations
This is one of the most popular options around. Over the years they have built a reputation of efficiency and aesthetics. This has endeared them to many huge brands, especially e-commerce businesses. MailChimp is very easy to use, has a drag-and-drop email design tool, pre-built automation programs and a nice variety of integrations. This software offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers (automation included) and their paid plans start as low as $10 per month and goes up to as much as $200 for professional marketers. It is a great tool for beginners and professionals alike. When it comes to Analytics, MailChimp integrates with the likes of Salesforce and WordPress. The platform also work seamlessly with Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter Pinterest and Instagram. You can also place adverts from within MailChimp, on Google, Facebook and Instagram.
They offer a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers which include automation and their paid plans start as low as $10/month for up to 2,500 subscribers. They are great at email automation.
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world. They pride themselves as a valuable marketing tool that helps small businesses level the playing field in the battle against big business. It is also easy to use and beginner friendly. You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, drag and drop customizable email templates, and more.
Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools. They also offer good support and a vast library of resources. Constant contact has a 60 day free trial period. After that pricing starts for as low as $20/month, prices are also based on list size.
Now that you have a better idea about Email marketing tools and how they can benefit your business, if you’re ready to get started with sending email campaigns, feel free to contact us here
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