Email marketing is an absolute necessity when it comes to your marketing strategy. But choosing the right software to support your efforts can feel like a huge commitment, so you want to be sure to get it right.
Ultimately, choosing the email marketing software that will work for your business means really understanding what each platform has to offer, and which one provides you with all of the elements that are absolutely essential for your particular needs.
Here's a few key questions to ask as you pursue the right email marketing software for your business.
Who is Your Audience?
I feel like nearly every blog I write always comes back to this question, but that is because it is such an important factor to just about every aspect of your marketing strategy. Without a clear understanding of your audience, and who you will be sending emails to, you will never be able to find the right match for your audience's needs.
Knowing who you are trying to reach can help you make a better decision about the tools and software you will need to appeal to that audience.
What Type of Emails are You Sending Them?
There are so many types of emails you could be using depending on your company that you must know what platforms are going to support your needs best. If your an ecommerce website, you're going to need an email platform that will support emails regarding orders, payments, etc. If your a B2B business, your going to be sending a different type of email. Whatever the case may be, knowing before hand what you intend to use this software for is essential to looking at the right products.
How Large is Your Database?
There are several different pricing models for email software, but a common way to charge customers is either per contact or per sent email. Either way, if your list is large, the pricing is definitely going to be different. And you want to be sure to select a provider than can support the quantity that you have, and still leave you with plenty of room to grow your database without breaking the bank.
You also want to be sure that the software is robust enough to house all of the data you have, because depending on your list's size, you may have already outgrown smaller providers, or be pretty near to outgrowing them.
What Kind of Email Templates Will You Need?
Do you have email templates designed and ready to go? Or is that something you are looking for as a part of your email marketing software package?
Trust me, not all email template builders are created equal. Some are very intuitive and easy to use even for the non-graphic designer / coder that I am. But other are far more complex and require a lot more coding knowledge than the average bear typically has. The other problem with this is it requires a lot more time than a fairly easy to create template builder.
So before you commit to any email marketing software, be well aware of the templates you will need to be successful. And don't be afraid to ask a provider to demonstrate their template tool before you buy!
What Additional Features Do You Need to Be Successful?
Do you need CRM integration? Are you looking for something that will host landing pages as well? What about your reporting? Do you need very specific metrics to prove your email's ROI? Do you want to send automated messages in response to very specific actions on your website or in your email campaigns?
These are all special features that require a little more pre-thought and more complex software. But it is better to think these things out now, and find the right fit before you get married to a program that simply isn't the best match for your needs.
With these questions answered, you'll be well on your way to beginning the search for your perfect email marketing software. Finding the right fit for your company's needs is essential to making the most of your email marketing. And remember that most company's will do a free demonstration of their software before you make your decision!