10 points to consider when choosing an email marketing company

Choosing the right email marketing company is essential to the success of your email marketing campaigns. Without the perfect company, you may find that the reports do not give you enough information, the service isn’t top notch, or your email campaigns are not getting the attention they rightly deserve.

If you don’t pick the correct company from the start, you may be stuck in a contract with a provider that is not right for you, and you’ll be wasting money each and every month.

With the right email marketing company you will have support when you need it, and will have access to strategic advice when you need it.

Email marketing can gather very impressive returns when done correctly, and is still one the world’s most popular forms of marketing.

Here are the top 10 things to look for when choosing an email marketing company (Tweet This!):

1. Deliverability rates

Deliverability is one of the most important features of choosing a provider. This will affect the number of emails that actually reach the inbox, no matter how many emails are sent. Emails can sometimes be caught by spam filters, or bounce back if a provider does not have a good deliverability rate.

2. Pricing

Of course, what all customers of any product want to know is the price. Think about your overall marketing budget, and how much should be spent on email marketing each and every month. Think about how much you are hoping to return if the campaigns are successful. Consider your aims and objectives before choosing a provider. Remember: for every £1 spent on email marketing, a whopping £21.48 is returned (Econsultancy).

3. Importing lists

Here in the UK, importing bought or cold data lists is a legal email marketing practice. However, if your company is based in the UK and you are looking to use a US company or another based abroad, their laws will be different. You cannot upload cold lists in the US as this is against CAN SPAM regulations.

You should also consider what type of format you should use when uploading your lists. Most companies will ask that your lists are in CSV or Excel format. Look this up before signing up with a provider.

4. In depth reports

In depth reports are one of the main reasons that email marketing is so successful. The majority of email marketing companies will offer reports, but the depth of the reports can fluctuate based on the individual companies. Look for companies that give you the basic metrics, such as subject line split testing, open rates, and click through rates. But if you want to go one step further, look for a provider that will help you understand how engaged your contacts are, and which type of campaigns are turning them on. You then target your campaigns based on their behaviour, and that is key to a successful strategy.

5. Cloud vs. Self hosted cloud icon

Would you like a provider that stores all information on the cloud? Or would you prefer to host the solution yourself? The majority of senders used cloud based solutions, simply for peace of mind that a support team can help you out when issues arise. If you want to integrate your email marketing with your CRM, self-hosting may be for you.

6. Image hosting

Free image hosting is useful feature if you plan to include a lot of images in your email marketing campaign. It’s much easier to use a provider that allows you to host the images on their server, rather than using a third party company such as Flickr or Photobucket. Email marketing companies follow strict data protection laws and will securely store your images and your data.

7. Spam scoring tools

A spam scoring tool will help you understand if your email will get caught in spam filters upon entry into the inbox, which should prevent headaches before sending.

Find out if your provider offers spam scoring as part of the campaign builder, or if it is a separate service. Some companies will offer this as an additional cost, but you will begin to understand which areas of your campaign flag up spam complaints compared to others.

8. Limited number of lists

Some companies will allow you to upload an unlimited number of contacts but will limit the amount of lists you can have. Lists are important when using segmentation or when you want to split your list based on behaviour. If a provider limits the amount of lists, or charges extra for additional lists, you’ll need to know the figures before proceeding.

9. List segmentation

Following on from point 9, you’ll also need to find out if your provider supports list segmentation. You’ll need to be able to segment your lists based on location, emails opened or products bought. This allows you to send targeted campaigns.

10. Drag and drop template editor

If you want to send visually impactful emails, you’ll need to have access to a simple system. If not, you’ll need to use a designer to code in your HTML. The design of your email will catch the contact’s eye if done well, or will make them delete the email If done incorrectly.

Look for an easy to use system. A drag and drop editor is perfect for those who have no HTML or coding knowledge.

Top 15 Up-sell Opportunities at Christmas
Decisions decisions: Should you use Plain text or HTML in your email marketing campaign?
Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts