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New to this? Read up on the basics of this very old and proven marketing strategy.
Is email marketing effective for your small business
Take a look at whether this is the right strategy for your business or not.
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How We Rank Software
We rank marketing software according to 5 major categories; vendor reputation, ease of use, functionality, pricing & partner program strength. We seek to bring to our audience the most reliable and user friendly software that anybody can use.
Robust & Highly Flexible
$19 - $149
30 Day Free Trial
$15 - $799
30 Day Free Trial
Landing Page Creator
User Friendly and Affordable
$11.95 - $29,200
Integration With 300+ Apps
Segmenting & A/B Testing
Drag & Drop Email Editor
Powerful and Simple
$10 - $400
iPad Subscribe App
Drag & Drop Email Editor
Simple and Affordable
$14 - $405
SMS & MMS Campaigns
Sleek User Interface
$29 - $3,999
Flexible Automation Rules
Landing Page Creator
$13 - $110
Landing Page Creator
$19.90 - $209.90
Private IP Address
Automation & Segmenting
Integrated Social Analytics
$9 - $415
Comprehensive User Interface
$9 - $1,300
Advanced Newsletter Design
High End Newsletters
What is email marketing software?
Email is a vital marketing tool for many businesses, allowing them to keep in touch with their customers. However, keeping up with subscriber lists and arranging emails to go to many recipients at a time is undoubtedly a hassle. That's where email marketing software comes in.
In short, email marketing software is software that allows a business to gather and collate customers' email addresses, whether through a newsletter sign up, purchase, inquiry or any other online contact with the business. The software also offers the business numerous tools for using those addresses to get in touch in a way that is relevant and engaging for each customer.
Email marketing software allows businesses to manage their email by using a variety of tools. Businesses of any size and operating in any industry can make use of email marketing software to manage their email lists. There are many different email marketing software packages available today, each with a range of features and tools for businesses to use.
Using email marketing software makes it easy for businesses to build email lists based on their interactions with their customers, be that when they specifically sign up for a mailing list, buy from them, book an event and so on. The software will collect the customers' email addresses and (in some cases) demographic details, and from there it's a simple process for the business to decide how to communicate with their email list.
With email marketing software, a business can decide which customers to contact, when, and with what kind of content. The end result is a managed email campaign that can be used for a variety of purposes, from building excitement about a new product to increasing customer loyalty.
Why use email marketing software?
Email marketing software is a smart investment for any business that wants to form excellent connections with their customers. In fact, research from global business insights specialists McKinsey suggests that email is much more effective at getting customers to convert than Twitter or Facebook.
One of the reasons email marketing is so effective is the high level of customization options many products offer. Gone are the days when an email list meant sending vaguely relevant information to any customer who had once had dealings with a business. The powerful email marketing options available today mean that a business can segment their email list by any number of criteria. These might include purchase history, demographics, favorite products, newsletter subscribers, people who have signed up for a giveaway such as a white paper, those who attended an event and so on.
Being able to target and hone email campaigns in this way can help a business to attract new customers, boost loyalty among their existing customers, and increase their revenue. Customers generally enjoy receiving emails – CRM specialists SalesForce estimate that 95% of customers who choose to receive a newsletter from a brand find that newsletter useful – which means a business can build up a good rapport using email.
Of course, emails only lead to conversions and more engaged customers if the emails are relevant, and that's where email marketing software really shines. Software can assist businesses in making sure the emails that go out are highly relevant to each recipient. In addition to this, email marketing software is generally easy to use and allows a business to set up each campaign once and then simply let the software do the rest, decreasing the amount of time and stress expended on sending out emails.
What to look for in email marketing software?
When choosing an email marketing software, the choice can seem bewildering. There are many different email software packages on the market today, and a business may well be at a loss as to how to choose the best one for their needs. Here are some must have features that any business should look out for when choosing an email marketing software:
Message automation – the software will send out the right message in response to a certain action such as a purchase or newsletter sign up.
Auto responders – whether they're set to thank a customer for an email or to send out a welcome to new customers, auto responders help get communication off on the right foot.
Recognizable sender address – a business needs to send out emails that are recognizably from them, not from a third party address.
Easy to use interface – ease of use and a short learning curve will ensure the software is both useful and usable.
List segmentation – not every customer will want to see every email, which is why the ability to segment lists based on a wide variety of demographics is a must.
A/B testing – A/B testing means a business can send out two different versions of an email and find out which one performs better.
Professional templates – a good looking and easy to customize template is the difference between a well branded professional email and an amateur looking one.
Easy opt out and subscription changes – customers should be able to opt out or change their subscription with no hassle, and no action required by the business.
List maintenance – as well as easily adding and removing names on each list, the software should automatically delete addresses that bounce.
Web forms – easy to use web forms that can be integrated with a business website make it easy for customers to sign up for a mailing list and for a business to collect their email addresses.
Mobile compatibility – many customers view their email on a mobile device, which is why mobile compatible templates that display well on any screen size are a must.
Tracking – businesses need to know how well their email campaign is working for them and whether they're getting the results they specifically want to get from it, which is why excellent tracking is an important aspect of email marketing software.
Integration with other software – from grabbing an email address when a customer makes a PayPal payment, to collecting the addresses of customers who signed up for a specific offer via the business' website, integration features make it easier to make use of the software in all aspects of the business.
Pricing packages – fair pricing packages that allow for easy growth make paying for email software much fairer and less costly for businesses.
Email marketing strategies, tips and tricks
Getting the right email marketing software is a must – by choosing the right software, a business is equipping itself with a powerful tool. But like any other tool, it needs to be wielded correctly in order to really do its job properly. That's where strategy comes in. A good strategy will turn business emails into powerful messages that connect just right with customers and ultimately strengthen customer relations and boost the bottom line. Here are some strategies that every business needs to try:
1) Make use of auto responders - Auto responders make customers feel valued and are a great way to start an email relationship. Their usefulness doesn't end there, however. An auto responder isn't a one time event, but can be set to send out a series of carefully constructed emails on a topic that interests the customer, helping to build a strong relationship.
2) Set up rule-based emails - Rule-based emails are sent out to customers in response to trigger events, and follow a “if x, then y” sequence. For example, a business might set rules following a sales email about a new product. Those that buy will receive a confirmation, while those that open but don't click through will receive a different email with a slightly different focus, and those that don't open will receive an email with a different subject line. Rule-based emails help a business to pinpoint content for maximum efficiency.
3) Write killer subject lines - A great subject line is everything. If it doesn't entice customers to open, the rest of the email is wasted. A good subject line needs to be concise and attention grabbing.
4) Give something for nothing - Customers love free content. Email marketing is a great way for businesses to send out excellent value content for nothing. From a free download to a series of tips and tricks (using an auto responder of course), free content lets businesses show their worth and value.
5) Offer excellent value - Talking of value, good value is in itself a vital email marketing strategy. Businesses need to carefully consider every email that is sent out and ask what benefits it has for the recipient. In what way does it inform, entertain or improve their lives?
6) Time it right - Businesses should keep an eye on send times and tally those up with the best open and response times. Research by Experian Marketing Services found that between 8PM and midnight was prime time for email opening, while Saturday and Sunday worked better than weekdays.
Top 10 Best Email Marketing Software Compared
You no longer need to be a IT professional to build email lists and send emails in bulk to your customers and leads. These days it's very easy with these email marketing software solutions below that anybody can use. You can setup a account with the below providers in several minutes and start building your list today. Many of the options below have free plans so you can test out their platforms first. Start building your email list today and experience the many benefits it can bring to your business.