The world of digital marketing is very variable, at least apparently, with new tools, techniques, and technologies emerging almost daily.
That complicates things, especially when we need to select an email marketing software.
We can find hundreds of email marketing services, most of them with similar features.
The truth is that the needs, the real needs of companies, are not so different from each other.
This can lead us to a very homogeneous sector, but in which we can also see suppliers offering features that are only effective in particular cases.
Entrepreneurs need to understand their priorities or needs very well, in order not to incur unnecessary expenses and, even worse, to waste money on resources that they don’t need.
In this article, I explain what, in my opinion, are the features you should look for when comparing email marketing services.
So you can choose what you really need, without spending more than you owe, without losing essential functions.
Let’s get started?
- 1 · Email marketing hasn’t really changed much.
- 2 · What has changed in email marketing?
- 3 · A proper marketing plan is essential.
- 4 · What are we going to use email marketing for?
- 5 · Resources you will need in your email marketing software.
- 6 · Of course, a professional email marketing software will offer many other features, such as:
- 7 · But wouldn’t the more advanced features set us apart from the competition?
- 8 · In summary
· Email marketing hasn’t really changed much.
You have undoubtedly heard of many email marketing techniques.
You can find many guides, videos, and ebooks on these techniques, as most of them really work.
► But do we really need them all?
No, I don’t say that they are not useful, what I mean is that we should analyze our needs very well, to decide which technique we will use, but mainly which email marketing software will be useful for our strategy.
The reality is that it is very likely that in 99% of cases, we will not be using most of the features offered by many email marketing services.
Have you ever stopped to think about how most of the emails you receive were created?
If we think about most of the emails we receive, we will see that the vast majority use:
- A few images
- And some links
The truth is, not much more than that. You can see an example of a newsletter here:
The truth is that I never received emails with dynamic effects, with drop-down menus or anything that fanciful.
And very rarely do I receive a video in an email.
However, an email like the one described above would be entirely effective for your target audience.
What about an automated series of emails?
To be honest, I believe that most users don’t know how to use this feature properly and most of these series become ineffective.
► With all this, we can conclude that:
In fact, the email marketing features that we need to have in our email marketing services have not changed excessively in recent years.
What was working a few years ago, at the marketing level, is still working today.
There is no need to invest in expensive email marketing tools.
If they try to convince you otherwise, check to see if the difference in ROI will be significant or if it is really indispensable to your branding strategy.
· What has changed in email marketing?
What has changed are the strategies for working with email marketing.
With a growing emphasis on the subscriber, in creating lasting relationships that allow us to sell our products, more than once, obtain positive ratings and recommendations, in addition to improving our brand image.
All of this doesn’t require complex and expensive email marketing features or functionality.
All we need is:
- An effective digital marketing strategy
- AND a system that allows us to maintain continuous contact with customers and potential customers
The first point depends on us.
And the second is offered by any email marketing software.
· A proper marketing plan is essential.
The first thing you should consider is what you will really need.
We will typically use it together with other tools and strategies:
- Content marketing
- Google AdWords
- Social media
- Advertising on external sites
All of this will generate a lot of traffic that will reach our website and sales pages.
As we said on previous occasions, it is quite tricky, in most cases, to sell in the first interaction, so it is vital to create a lead magnet or use another strategy to generate a list of prospects.
And here we find a point that is worth highlighting:
► The email list should be correctly segmented, using a strategy to increase web traffic.
In Adwords, Facebook and other ad configurations, we will have to set up a segmentation to attract leads.
And we need to work with content management and social media strategy so that the traffic we are generating is from people who may have an interest in our products or services.
To create an email list with subscribers potentially interested in what we are offering.
This will save resources, as we will not have to segment prospects again in the future.
· What are we going to use email marketing for?
After identifying the reasons why we will need an email marketing software, it will be easier to find the best solution for our needs.
The main reasons would be:
- Maintaining contact with potential customers
- Closing sales
- AND fostering loyalty.
We can achieve that with a clear email marketing strategy, but we will have to define the frequency of campaigns, create relevant content with information about our products or services, in addition to allowing direct contact with the company, if necessary.
If we think again about the emails we usually receive, we will see that many of them have not been personalized to the extreme.
Except in specific cases of companies with almost unlimited resources, such as Amazon.
We usually receive very general email marketing campaigns, and there is no reason why we should not do the same because they are still very effective:
- As long as the email list has been segmented correctly.
Ok, but what should we look for when selecting an email marketing software?
That’s what we’re going to see now.
· Resources you will need in your email marketing software.
At this point, we will detail the features that I consider really important for your email marketing.
► Free trial account
Like any other software, it would be ideal if we could test it before spending money on it. So, we can be sure that it meets everything we need.
In the case of Mailrelay, the free account allows you to send up to 80,000 emails per month, which is enough for many small companies. In addition to that, you can use it for as long as you need our email marketing software, or upgrade to a paid package only when you need more credits.
In addition to sending emails for free and a trial account, we would also need:
► Review statistics to analyze the results of email campaigns
Like any other marketing strategy, email marketing requires analysis and optimization; therefore, we will need statistics for:
- Open rates
- links with more clicks
- URL performance
- Geographic locations
- Who opened the campaign
- Who clicked on the links
This will allow us to work better on our campaigns over time and optimize our results.
► Basic customization
Something basic, like including the name of the subscriber in the subject line, could help us to improve our open rates, so it is a very interesting feature that your email marketing software should offer.
You may think this isn’t relevant, but addressing subscribers by their name really helps to improve engagement with your contacts.
Another very interesting feature and that can be useful would be the option to create autoresponders.
This can help us to send a welcome message to a new subscriber, offer a promised discount, or any other lead magnet, and thus increase the confidence of our subscribers.
► Support and high delivery rates
If you want to send a newsletter, you will need technical support, at least to get started.
And, of course, we need to deliver our emails to our subscribers.
If we have a free account, we can test the email marketing software, as we mentioned in the first point.
· Of course, a professional email marketing software will offer many other features, such as:
Subscriber filters, A/B testing, campaigns using an RSS feed, comparisons of statistics between campaigns, subscription forms.
At Mailrelay, you will find all these resources and much more.
But, as we said throughout the post, we must focus on the features essential for our company and digital marketing strategy, because if we start working with an email marketing software that we don’t know, we will end up spending a lot of money paying for resources that we don’t need.
At this point, I can only recommend that you try Mailrelay and discover all the features it can offer.
We hope you’ll create your account.
· But wouldn’t the more advanced features set us apart from the competition?
If you are 100% sure that you can create more engagement with your target customer type through different strategies, such as video in emails, you could choose to spend more money to get these resources.
However, in most situations, this is simply not the case.
By definition, people have very little time to make decisions and, of course, there will be very few people who will spend a lot of time marveling at the technological innovations included in your emails.
But a brief email, with relevant information and a CTA, is still the best option for most situations.
The same occurs with automation; many entrepreneurs use this feature just because they think it is “cool.” But the reality is that many strategies would work without this tool.
Many of these messages are annoying, especially when you sign up for a newsletter and start receiving an endless series of emails.
· In summary
We should never forget what we said before; we will use email marketing to:
- Keep in touch with prospects
- Close sales
- AND foster customer loyalty
And therefore, we don’t need extremely advanced features, but a correct strategy to guide our customers during the purchase process.
Keeping in touch, maintaining interest, constantly impacting, and creating trust, this is what we need to do.
Translated by Micheli.