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How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Software

 

Features, qualities, reports and price should all be taken under consideration when choosing your email marketing software

No matter how good the content of your email marketing campaign, no matter how big your mailing list,  if you do not have the proper software to distribute, and check the results, all the hard work will be in vain.

There are hundreds of email marketing providers and choosing the right one is a challenging not to mention a time consuming task. Acumen Consulting provides you with a simple and practical approach for finding the right software for your business.

 

Step 1.      Define what you need the email marketing software to do

Step 2.      Identify providers who are likely to fit your needs

Step 3      Evaluate the providers based on whether they fit your criteria

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED IN AN EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE?

Think about how you\'re going to use email to market your business and what types of messages you need and intend to send.  Some of the features that should definitely be included are:

 

1.    Ability to send E-mail newsletters

2.    Ability to deliver content to the blog through the email using RSS features

3.    Ability to send sales literature and product features as part of Auto response

4.    Ability to integrate with the sign up module, available as part of your web site.

5.    Capability to integrate with the shopping cart

Some software enables you to manage your campaign and check the statistics on another site, whilst others are programs that need to be installed on your computer. Think in advance what the best solution for your business is by taking into account how many people will use it.

Most email marketing software will have the following features:


  •   Easy management of subscriber lists
  •   Distribution of targeted emails i.e. ability to create different group of subscribers and post messages to each   group
  •   Easy subscription/un-subscription management
  • Sophisticated statistics showing number of the emails sent -  number of the emails opened - link tracking and percentage information on  ratios such as the ratio between the people who opened the email and those who received it – information on people who received email and who unsubscribed - people who opened it and those who clicked on a link or made a purchase, etc...

 

GET RECOMMENDATIONS AND CHECK REVIEWS

Ask fellow business owners how they\'re managing their email marketing campaigns and if you receive marketing emails, consider replying to their emails and asking them the software they are using.

You could also go through the reviews provided in online portals and look for any email software package that could meet all or most of your requirements.

Here are some comparison sites, just click on the logos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRY OUT YOUR CHOICES

You will be able to get a free trial software package for a limited period. Use this trial package to test all the features that were part of your check list. If you have any problem call the customer support for guidance. This way you could also check the service levels maintained by the company.

 

WHICH IS BEST EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE OR EMAIL MARKETING SERVICES?

This will depend on the level on email marketing required, time available to manage this activity and your ability to configure the software.

 

Email Marketing Software

Purchasing will require you to install and configure the software correctly. Once done it will produce the email marketing material and but manage recipients, create and edit the email message and send the email itself.

You will also be able to track your recipient\'s feedback - like who opened the email, which URL\'s were clicked on etc. These features require a connection between the recipient and a web server that collects the actions recorded. Most software is designed for a web server and will have this feature built in.

Another important point is the component and settings used to send the email itself, known as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Whilst there is an option to use your ISP (Internet Service Provider) SMTP, not all of the software packages will allow it. The alternative is to use an internal SMTP within the software package; but - some ISP\'s will block this option. Either way configuring your SMTP could cause problems dependent on the ISP you use. Obviously the ultimate speed at which the sending process can be accomplished will depend on your Internet connection bandwidth and, more specifically, it\'s uploading rate.

You also need to be aware of potential problems that your email will be \'caught as spam\' and not reach the recipients inbox? To avoid this you should follow the information given earlier in this guide.

 

Email Marketing Services

An email marketing service will let you start using email marketing without the need to install software and deal with all the associated technical issues. Apart from a host of email templates to choose from, an ESP (Email Marketing Service Provider) will offer services like: recipient management, content editing, email sending and, of course, the tracking of any reports and statistics. Most will operate delivery services at very high speeds and produce high quality reports removing the need to worry about SMTP, ISP relations, white listed servers, data gathering etc.

ESP\'s are easily accessed via your web browser and payment is usually based on the amount of the outgoing email - or the recipient list stored on the ESP\'s server.

Thus small businesses where time and human resources are scare are best suited to using the services of an ESP.

Click Here to find a list of Email Marketing Service Providers

 

 

The above mentioned articles can be found at http://acumenconsulting.biz/business-guide.php

This article was first published on Aug 2012 and may not necessarily match current events or current opinions and views of Acumen Consulting Ltd. The information contained in this article is intended as a guide.


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