Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels out there: it makes $38 for every $1 spent, which translates into a pretty amazing ROI of 3,800%. Email marketing software can help you craft campaigns that convert more and drive revenue while cutting costs and saving money.
But while you know you need email marketing software, you probably have no idea how to wade through the many available solutions out there to choose the right one. What should you look for and how do you know which is the best email marketing software for your business?
Read on to find out what features and capabilities you should put on your list to help you choose the email marketing software that will transform your campaigns.
Easy-to-use and Intuitive
As a small business, you don’t have time to spend reading through manuals or getting extensive training from a software vendor on how to use any new solution. That’s why any email marketing software needs to be intuitive and easy-to-use so you can get up-and-running quickly with minimal training. Make sure you get clear on what features are critical for your business and what you don’t need so you get a solution that you will be able to use properly and get the most out of.
The more features you get the higher the price (normally). If you’re honest about what you really need then you are more likely to be able to choose an email marketing tool that is within your price range. It’s also a good idea to look for software that has different price plans, as this means you can merely upgrade your plan as your business grows rather than having to look for a new solution.
No piece of software can (or should) work in isolation. If you want to get the most out of your email marketing software then you need to pick a solution that integrates with your existing technology, especially your CRM. To send out your email campaigns, your email marketing software should pull your contact database from your CRM. From there, you can segment your list according to the criteria that work best for your business such as demographic information and lifecycle stage. Native integrations ensure smooth data flow between the different systems.
Industry and Country-specific
While a lot of email marketing tools have the same core functionality, some software has been adapted to the specific needs of certain industries, especially those where there are stringent regulations regarding the use of customer data, such as financial services and life sciences. Different countries also have different laws on data privacy, which means you need to look for email marketing software that has the functionality to ensure you are compliant with all necessary regulations and laws.
Reporting and Analytics
You can create the most beautifully-designed newsletter or marketing message with witty, intelligent copywriting and insightful content. But all that effort will go to waste if nobody opens it, clicks, and then converts. The only way you’ll know whether people are interacting with your newsletter is by tracking key metrics such as open rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and action rate over time. That’s why you need email marketing software that lets you keep track of all of this, as well as produces reports that provide actionable insight to understand what to do next.
What do you do if you are tracking your email campaigns and you find out something isn’t working? A/B testing lets you try out different elements such as content, images, subject lines, CTAs, and send times to see what works and what your customers like. Once you start to see patterns, you can do more of what is working to help boost open rates and conversions.
Once you’ve figured out what is working you can plug that into a template that you use again and again for your emails. This saves time as you don’t have to create each email from scratch, and reduces the possibility of errors as you’ve reduced the amount of manual data entry needed. The best email marketing tools come with pre-defined templates, and allow you to create your own. You can use multiple different templates for all the different types of marketing messages you send to your customers.
Batch-and-blast email marketing is dead. These days, it’s bad practice to send every single one of your email marketing messages to all your customers. The best email marketing software enables you to segment customers so they only receive messages that are relevant to them. This way, you prove yourself to be useful and that you are listening to what they want and like and, in return, they are more likely to covert. There are different ways you can segment customers. If they are existing customers, you can use past behavior and interactions with your company. If they’re new, you can use any personal and demographic information they’ve shared with you.
Which is the Best Email Marketing Software for your Business?
There is no one right answer to the question of which of the many email marketing tools out there you should choose for your company; it depends on the unique needs of your business. Before you start the process of choosing a solution, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve, what features are must-haves and which ones are more nice-to-have, any specific requirements you have, and how much you can afford to spend. Once you’ve done that, you can start to narrow down the options, ruling out some, and shortlisting others.
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