How to choose email marketing software
There are many things to consider when you have chosen email marketing as your preferred method of marketing. Before you think of your content or your mailing list, you need to find the perfect software for the job. There are hundreds of companies out there who will offer different email marketing solutions. Some can be integrated with your current CRM system, and others are standalone programs.
Some systems will only help you send emails, and some will offer a full report breakdown. So where do you begin? What are the key features you should look for? Read on young email marketer…
Find the right approach
First of all you need to decide what you want from your email marketing campaign. Are you looking for website hits? More sales? Or just brand awareness? List your ideal features and results that you’d expect from a software package, and then narrow down your search based on overall expectations.
You’ll then need to list the ways in which you intend to use email marketing software. Do you want to send only emails? Do you want a full report of the statistics following a campaign? Are you looking to pay someone to do the hard work for you? Or have you already downloaded a template that you’re looking to upload? Consider these points before you being researching a software program.
Integrated software or standalone
As mentioned, some email marketing software can be integrated with your existing CRM, but this will be more expensive. Some email marketing tools are online, meaning you can manage your campaigns and see the statistics on one site, or you may need to install software onto your computer. Think about how many people will use the software, how many emails you want to send, and what your end result should be – and this should help you decide if you need an online or standalone tool.
Features of the email marketing software
The features of the software are the main things you should consider, as this will differentiate email marketing software providers from one another. If you do not have the right tools, then you have the wrong software. You should be looking at software that includes:
- Easy management of your subscriber lists
- Distributions of segmented lists
- Easy unsubscribe management
- Sophisticated statistics that show – the number of; emails sent, emails opened, people who unsubscribed, people that clicked a link or made a purchase etc. Again, this functionality of the software and what you can access is dependent on your budget. More money spent on email marketing = better software = higher ROI.
Email marketing software reports
Good email marketing software will automatically generate a report after your campaign has been sent. This is important to know whether your campaign has been successful or not. Of course, you don’t have to choose a tool that includes reports, but it is advisable.
The price of the software
Set a budget and find software within the budget. Consider how the software provider will charge you. Is it monthly? Pay as you go? Or cost per email. There are lots of options out there; you need to find one suitable for you.
Try them out
Once you know what you’re looking for, and how much it will cost, it’s time to try some software packages out. The majority of email marketing software providers will offer a free trial and a demo to set you up. Ask questions, even if they seem silly to you, and test sending emails to yourself. Find a software program that you feel comfortable with and pick your favourite two or three.
Gather some more opinions
Ask co-workers and friends for their opinions on the software. It may be useful to ask those members of staff who will be using the software to give it a go themselves. Ask them what they think of the usability, speed to send, value, and overall satisfaction of the product. What may seem easy to use to you may not be to someone else.
Do some more research
If you still can’t decide which program is for you, research the company. Get on Twitter and find out what others users are saying or read online reviews. A great email marketing software provider may be terrible at customer service, and that is something you need to know before you hand over any cash.
Overall email marketing can be an incredible tool in your marketing strategy. When armed with the right email marketing software, a good plan and some creativity, you’ll be able to contact your customers in a meaningful and effective way.
How did you find the perfect email marketing software? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below: