This article will revolve around helping you with how to select a right email marketing software or services for your business.
What will you learn in this article?
- Why is Email Marketing Important for your business?
- What are the things (Must know tips) you need to see while selecting an email marketing software? Or how to choose a right email marketing software.
- What should be the approach to pitch your target Customers via email marketing?
- Few of the recommendations for email Marketing software basis their popularity as well as reviews available online.
I will be answering all these questions in the article to follow. If you have any concerns of anything that you would like to know. You can leave a comment below and I will try to cover that up as soon as possible.
Why is Email Marketing Crucial for your Business?
Before we proceed for as what all things we should be looking for in an email marketing software. It would be wise for you to know as how important or crucial it is to have email marketing as one of your online marketing channels.
Email marketing has become an integral part of any business you can think of, especially online business. Email marketing can’t be ignored as far as your overall marketing strategy is concerned. It must be one of the channels of growing your business. There are strong reports available online which proves the fact that email marketing is generating a good ROI for companies. One such report has been issued by one of the research companies MarketingSherpa.com (one of the reputed online research companies) which states that:
- 60% of companies say that email marketing is producing an ROI for them
- 32% of companies say that email marketing will eventually start producing an ROI
- 4% of companies say that it will not yield any ROI
- 3% other people say “Not Sure”
So these numbers are quite compelling that how email marketing is a crucial component of of your online marketing channel. It has to be a must in your list of overall online marketing strategy. Talking about the ROI % out of the email marketing efforts, some of the marketers reported more than 100% of ROI. And they were sending around 100,000 email every month to their users. This is a clear indication as how important role email marketing can play for your business.
You can read more on the research here: ROI Through Email Marketing.
How to Choose a Right Email Marketing Software?
So you know now why is Email Marketing is an important factor for your online marketing strategy. We should now be looking at as “How to Choose an Email Marketing Software. Or what all features or things we need to take care of while choosing an email marketing software.”
While we jump into as what all need to be looked into to choose an email marketing software it is advisable to keep note of below things:
- You have a proper plan for the future for your product or services and what you want to achieve with Email or Newsletter marketing system.
- It may be the case that what you have now may not be the ideal one
- Without having a proper plan or ideas, you wont be able to know what all features you will need in the longer run. So you wont be able to choose a platform fitting into your requirements.
So to continue, below are the main things you need to look while you are choosing an email marketing software or system.
Below is the summary of pointers that you need to look at and we will be detailing out these in the article.
Summary of what needs to be taken care of while choosing an email marketing software:
Integration with Contact Database You should be able to connect your CRM with the email marketing software in order to automate the process (to avoid manual intervention).
Features Should have below features:
- Can Spam Compliance
- List Segmenting
- Limits on emails per month
- Spam Checking
- Support System
Pricing It should make a business sense for you so you should have one that fulfils your need within the set budget for your business.
Integration with Products
You should be able to integrate the customers list who purchased a product or are likely buyers.
Email Template Options
If you are looking for pre designed email templates, then you should not avoid this option. Email marketing software should have plenty of well designed email templates catering to your requirements.
Responsive Reading/Viewing Options
The email template should be responsive so that email is very well viewed in various mobile devices as well else you will lose on revenue.
You should be able to track the progress as how many emails opened, how many bounced, how many landed in spam, how many clicked, how many registered/purchased etc.
Automated Response Handling
In the event a user takes an action so you should have pre-defined auto e-mailers for further action of users. Such as email verification etc.
Read Online Reviews
Before you go with any email marketing software, make sure to read reviews online.
Affiliate Marketing/referral marketing
This is an advance level features and is a must have so that you can get your product sold though your customers or your affiliates or publishers.
User Interface (Ease of Use) Make sure that the user interface is quite easy to use so that you can work on the same with no difficulty.
Free Trial/Demo Do they offer a free trial so that you can test it before you make a final decision?
Look for References You can look for reference in your professional business network either on Linkedin or such social networking site.
Email Retargeting You should be able to send emails to people who dropped out of the checkout page.
Let’s have a detailed look at what has been discussed in the table above.
Integration with Contact Database
Your email marketing software should be able to connect with your contact database. This way you don’t have to upload the list manually every time in order to send e-mailers to your users. The whole process has to be automated starting from the registration of the user till the further process (sending follow up emails etc.).
There should be no manual intervention in between else the purpose of having the platform will be defeated. So you need to make sure that this functionality is available with the email marketing software.
It is one of the critical factors that you need to take a look into. What all features are offered by the email marketing service provider should be noted. You should in-fact make a list of all available features and then compare it with what you need and does it fit into your requirements or not.
You need the system to be quite effective so that you grow the business. This is the system you will use to connect with your audience or your users. Below are some of the features listed which an email marketing system should have:
- CAN-SPAM Compliance: you need to be compliant with rules set by the CAN SPAM Act. You should be abiding by the rules so that your mails do not land into spam or your IP does not get into spamming.
- List Segmentation: it will make sense for you have separate list of users who are interested in different products or services you are offering. All that should be done in automated manner so that you don’t have to do the manual work for the same. This arrangement will allow you to send targeted emails with customized e-mailers or content so that you can convert them better.
- Restriction on No. of Emails per Month: Every email marketing platform or software places some sort of limitation on number of emails to be sent on monthly or daily basis. This depends as per the plan hat you have selected. So ideally you would want to have a plan where you don’t have any such restriction. So you need to look into this factor while going for a plan. There may be various plans basis the various features. So you need to make sure that you have the option of upgrading to higher plan and the pricing also is within your budget.
- Auto-Responders: this is a must have feature so that a pre-defined automated email is triggered whenever an action happens. Examples of such cases include verification email once the user has signed up with login details etc. Post that series of emails is sent to the user on regular basis depending on the status of the user [whether the user has converted or not].
- Templates: if you do not have the bandwidth of designing email templates or width to send pre-defined email templates then this is a good feature to have. This will allow you to send an email using one of your choice email templates.
- Spam Check: Does the system allows you check the spam rank of the email to be sent. This is the number that is given basis the content, title and the design of the e-mailer. System should be able to suggest you the fixes which will be required in order to ensure better delivery rate and the email is not marked as spam.
- Statistics: You should be able to check advanced reporting as how many emails opened, bounced, un-delivered, clicked, signed-up, sales generated etc. Basically a holistic overview of the email marketing campaign on real time basis so that you can gauge the performance of the campaign.
- Support System: You need to have good support system from the company. You also need to make sure the timings of the support and whether that matches with your timing or not. What all channels or ways the support is available and the turnaround time for the revert.
- Training/KnowledgeBase: does the company offer any sort of training to their users so that you can do better with your email marketing channel. What is the type of knowledge base they have for you etc. will be an added advantage to you.
This is not to mention however this is one of the factors that you will be looking at while choosing your email marketing software or services. You need to make sure that prices are worth the kind of features you are getting. There may be cheaper options available however if that does not meet your requirements then there is no point going with such service for cheap. Hence it will prove to be an expensive option. It can also be scenario that the initial plan is cheaper however upgrading to a new plan could be costlier affair as compared to other email marketing platforms.
Integration with Products
Integration with products allows the email marketing software to be connected to your products or services you are offering. So when a user signs up of purchases that product then that customer will be added to the list of segmented email.
This feature allows the email system to be connected to your products so that when a person clicks to buy your product or service online. They get added to a list in your email system. This feature will identify them as a customer who bought XX product. This list inclusion means they can be part of your email marketing system. You also want to look at whether you need this from the start or not. Some offer it as an add-on when needed.
Email Template Options
As discussed in the features section as well, you need to see as what makes more sense to you. Whether you are looking to send your own designed templates or looking to send pre-defined templates offered by the email marketing service provider. If you don’t need such service, then you can ignore such feature else this will be a very good option.
You also need to check whether this is offered along with the plan or you are opting or it is charged as separate service or add-on. With pre-defined email templates, you will be spared from the headache of designing your own email templates.
Responsive Reading/Viewing Option
With the increased usage of mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets most of the people open emails on their mobile devices. It has become essential for you to have responsive email templates else your marketing efforts will go wasted. Ultimately, you will lose customer and hence ultimately business. This is a must have feature so you need to check this option with the email marketing software company.
As discussed in the features section as well, without having a proper or detailed overview as what happened to your email marketing campaign or what was the outcome of the campaign set on the platform there is no use of the email software. You need to be able to view detailed reporting so that you know:
- How many mails landed Inbox?
- How many landed in spam?
- How many got bounced or un-delivered?
- How many email got opened?
- How many users clicks on the links (in mailer)?
- How many users signed up?
- How many users purchased the product?
- Many other data points as per your performance metrics.
Basis these data points you will be able to gauge the performance of the campaign and take essential measures. This will allows you to improve the performance of the campaign going forward. Some of the platforms do offer visual presentation of the data which looks good and becomes easy for you to read. You dont have to do the manual work on sheet to create graphics. w
Automated Response Handling
This is a feature which is very common and very basic. This allows you to send a pre-defined e-mailer upon an action. For example, you want to send the user a verification email once he signs up on your platform to verify the email ID. You can do that using auto responder. You can define your own rules as when and what to send to users upon an action. This will reduce the manual work of following up with the user.
Read Online Reviews
You have to make sure of the quality of the services from online reviews posted by users. There are some authenticated resources where you can check the reviews of the product of services. If reviews are good then you are good to go with the product, provided it is fitting into your requirements.
It is always good to read reviews about the product before making a final decision for email marketing software or service. It can save you from trying and testing to find out the best product you are looking for. Capterra.com, Producthunt.com, G2Growth are some of the websites where you can find reviews of email marketing software. Infact you can find any sort of B2B product that you are looking for.
Affiliate Marketing or Referral Marketing
Affiliate marketing or referral marketing (though is not part of the email marketing software but some of the CRMs do offer such options) is way you can get more sales. Sales are generated through your affiliate partners or your existing users. You will be paying some % of commission upon successful transaction.
Many of the companies do offer affiliate marketing program and it has proved to be a good source of additional users. The cost or commission will be decided by you. The only thing required is to have a platform that can manage this bit. This is an advisable feature which you should be looking for. You can have this feature as a separate service or look for one which already offers along with the email marketing software.
User Interface (UI)/Ease of Use
It is one of the quite critical factors which should be considered while you are going with an email marketing platform or service. If you are not able to easily work on the panel and you have to learn things out in order to be able to work with the system, then it is a waste of time.
You need to have system or panel which is easy to work with so that you can work smoothly on the same. This will save you time as well as money (indirectly). There are some email marketing platforms which are quite complicated to work with as it is overloaded with lot of redundant features. You will never use most of the such features. So don’t get enticed with the features you wont ever use. You will ultimately end up paying more for no reason.
NOTE: so think in advance as what are the features you will really need and you will use them. Don’t get exploited with features which are not meant to be used by you as you will be paying more for not using these features. SO CHOOSE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE WISELY.
Once you have made up your mind for a software so it would be wise to test it out before you commit to the services. Almost all the email marketing software companies do offer trial or demo versions wherein you can test out their panel and the features with no cost involved. Some of the email marketing companies even offer free service upto a limited number of users (with limited features).
Look for References
It is a good idea to have your professional business network asked for suggestions as some of them may have used the system for their own use. You can check on Linkedin or FaceBook groups for suggestions or recommendations. You will get good advises from there or you can have it checked on some authenticated source of blogs.
This is one of the interesting features which is not offered by many of the email marketing companies however it is good to have such feature. You are able to re-target your users, using email marketing, who dropped out of checkout due to some reason. There are some specialised companies as well who offer this service. Ve.com is one such company that offers this service. This has proved to yield results with offering some sort of discount to your end user.
How to Approach for a Pitch to target Customers via email Marketing?
While this is not in the scope of this article so wont be discussing the same in much details but highlight few pointers which you need take care of. You need to keep note of below points while you are going to approach your targeted customer via email marketing.
- Don’t try to Sell: this is first and foremost thing that you should always keep in mind. If you try to sell your customers directly in the email they may unsubscribe from your list.
- Build Trust: Instead of selling your products or services, you need to send them informative articles written around your product or services. It should not look like as if you selling but sharing knowledge. This will connect your user with your brand of your service and they wont feel like being sold. Once the trust has been built the user will automatically jump on to purchase your product.
- Send Regular Articles: once the user has signed up for your services, don’t forget to send them regular articles (keeping in mind the 1st and 2nd points). Articles should be related to products or services the user has shown interest in.
- Don’t Spam: you don’t have to spam the user else he may get irritated and unsubscribe from your list.
These are few of the tips that you need to keep in mind while you are approaching your targeted customers.
Recommendations for Top Email Marketing Software
While there is a huge list of email marketing software available online. I will be sharing the complete list of top email marketing platforms in one of my articles to come further. I will be sharing some of the top email marketing software which are reputed and are being used by mass. Below is the list basis on the number of people using the software and their reviews. I have researched this online so you can rest assured of the list to follow:
|Company||Price Range (USD)||Free Trial||Countries|
|MailChimp||10 – 199||Upto 2000 Contacts||US, UK, Spain, BR, CA||Go To Website|
|Aweber||19 – 149||30 Days Trial||US, UK, CA, India, France||Go To Website|
|ConstantContact||20 – 45||1st Month Free||US, CA, India, UK, Aus||Go To Website|
|SendPulse||9.85 – 33 +||Upto 2500 Contacts||RU, Ukraine, US, DE, Belarus||Go To Website|
|GetResponse||15 – 1199||30 Days Trial||US, VN, BR, PL, RU||Go To Website|
|MailerLite||10 – 50||Upto 1000 Contacts||US, UK, Lithuania, PL, RU||Go To Website|
|MadMimi||10 – 1049||NA||US, UK, Spain, BR, CA||Go To Website|
|ConvertKit||29 – 79||14 Days Trial||US, UK, CA, BR, AUS||Go To Website|
|SendinBlue||25 – 66||300 Emails/Day||FR, US, ES, UK, IT||Go To Website|
|SendGrid||10 – 80||40K emails 1st Month. 100 email per day after 30 days||US, IN, BR, UK, FR||Go To Website|
So we have discussed in this article as why is email marketing is so important for your business. As the growing number of people using mobile opening emails on mobile phones so it has become quite easy for companies to target people. We also discussed about the ROI being received by companies via email marketing. It is falling in the range of 200%. So it makes sense for you to have email marketing as a part of your business online marketing strategy.
We also discussed as “how to select the email marketing software” for your company that fits into your requirements. You need to be aware of your requirements and then find the one that matched your requirements. Don’t go with an email software which is loaded with unwanted features. You also have to keep in mind the growth of your users list so choose a plan which is upgradable and is not quite costly.
We also discussed as how to approach your customers via email marketing. You need to win the trust of your customers by sending them informative emails around the product or services they are interested in. Don’t Spam. Keep it Simple.
Finally, I mentioned the top 10 email marketing software which are ranked basis the reviews as well as the number of users using the software.