“How to Select The Best of Email Marketing Tools” written by Mike Marko.
There are a lot of stand-alone email marketing tools available in a wide variety of price ranges to choose from. A lot of these “email marketing tools” do a great job of helping you manage thousands of email subscribers, and create and deliver emails.
But how do you know what is the right fit for you and your needs?
Selecting from Different Email Marketing Tools
In order to understand whether a particular system will work for you, there are several key features that you need to evaluate. I’m going to walk through several things you need to compare before ultimately coming to a decision.
First Things First: How’s the Fit?
Probably the most important thing to consider when evaluating email marketing is how it fits into your business’ big picture. If you really want to really take advantage your email marketing tools, you should integrate it with your website. In my opinion, the main purpose of a website is to collect emails for your email list. If you are not doing this, you are missing a huge potential.
It’s also really important that you take the time to find a system that offers a smooth integration. Otherwise you won’t be able to grow your business as quickly as you could.
Beyond the integration with your website, there are some key points you need to look at when comparing email marketing tools.
You want your selected email marketing tools to help you remain compliant with the laws. For example, the Federal CAN-SPAM legislation includes only a few, easy-to-implement requirements for commercial email, but most people don’t know what they are. For example, an unsubscribe link that automatically updates user preferences should be a part of any email, and it should be fool-proof (automatic) to use.
Email Marketing Tools Should Make Email Creation Easy
The web-based email marketing tools should offer features that make it quick and easy for you to create the emails. At the very least, look for:
- Easy-to-use integrated HTML editor that makes writing email similar to using a word processor;
- Libraries of email templates;
- An email previewer to make sure the emails look good on different platforms;
Bounced Email Handling
If you send repeated emails to bad email addresses not only is a waste of resources, it’s also a good way to get mistaken for a spammer. The email marketing tools you are looking at should track bounced emails and automatically purge bad email addresses from your email list.
HTML and Plain Text
If you send an HTML email to a subscriber who’s email tool can’t display HTML, it will looking like a jumbled mess to them. That is a quick way to have your email end up deleted. Your email system should support a multi-part mime email format, with a separate text version that will be sent to subscribers who can’t see HTML emails.
Subscriber-Controlled Subscribe and Unsubscribe Functionality
In addition to your email containing an unsubscribe link in order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, your email marketing tools should be able to do more than a simple “click here to unsubscribe”. Your email should be able to give subscribers the chance to not only unsubscribe, but also to update the subscribers preferred subscription email, etc.
Easy to Read Email Metrics
Your email marketing tools should be able to present key information in an easy to read format. It should be able to show:
- How many emails bounced;
- How many emails were opened;
- How many people click through the image to your audience final destination;
- How many people unsubscribed.
Your Email Marketing Tools Decision
Addition things that your email marketing tools should be able to:
- Immediately give access to subscriber-only web content when a new subscriber joins online, and to immediately send basic membership materials by email.
- Standard templates for email campaigns that could be prepared by a graphic artist and kept for reuse in the email system. Newsletter authors could then later use the template, add some content, and then send to subscribers.
- Using email and your website in combination with good email marketing tools can be a lot more effective than if either was used alone. You can have calls to action in the email to click on a link, which will take them to a specific page in your website.
- Easily show exactly how many emails were sent in the email campaign or broadcast, how many bounced, how many were opened, how many recipients click a link on the email, and how many unsubscribed. It should also be able to easily reveal a list of recipients, with the action each took. Future emails could be based on the actions taken on previous emails. For example, a special mailing could be sent to those who clicked on your, which could indicate that they are interested in your offer.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider, so you need to take your time. Choosing the right of email marketing tools for you and your business can have a significant impact on your business results.
To learn more about these email service providers, check out our Aweber vs GetResponse Review.
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