Email marketing is a key element in the marketing mix for most businesses. It is similar to traditional direct mail marketing at a fraction of the cost. Well designed email campaigns build strong customer relationships, generate leads, distribute newsletters and press releases, and promote targeted offers. The trick is choosing the right email marketing service for your business. Here are tips on what to look for in a service best suited to your email marketing needs.
Define Your Email Marketing Goals
Develop an overview of the digital marketing strategy for your company, including email and social media. Research the best approach for your industry. Retailers need a service that allows them to create and send promotional emails and coupons as well as track response via surveys and analytics. If your business stages events, look for an email marketing service with digital invitation and press release features.
Ease of Use
Look for an email marketing service that provides an interface you can easily understand. Most providers offer free templates for campaigns that do not require knowledge of HTML. The templates should have image-hosting features allowing you to drop-in your company's logo, graphics and colors. Check to see whether a fee is charged for image-hosting features. If you don't want to use a pre-designed template, some email marketing services offer custom designed templates for a fee. Be sure to look at rates for custom design services.
Once you've narrowed your search to the email services with the best features for your business, compare pricing. Expect to pay a monthly fee based on your total number of email subscribers. Rates start at about $15 per month for 500 subscribers and vary widely for larger totals, with figures ranging from $90 - $300 per month for 20,000 – 25,000 subscribers. Check pricing for surveys as well as for basic subscriber cost. Many providers offer a free trial period.
What type of customer support are you looking for? Do you need 24/7 support via phone or instant messaging? Or are online tutorials and blogs enough for you? Check our review of email marketing services for information on customer support from several leading providers.
Social Media Integration
Of course you want your email subscribers to have the option of sharing your marketing messages on a range of social media platforms. Look for providers that offer social media elements and tools in their services.
Detailed feedback from your email marketing service helps you see what works in your campaigns, allowing you to hone your message and mix of marketing tools for solid results. Some providers have in-house analytics programs while others integrate with Google Analytics.
Pick a Winner
Shop for an email marketing service with these tips in mind, and remember that marketing is a on-going process, not a one-time event. The right provider helps you deliver a consistent message to your target audience, growing your business and enhancing revenue.