You’ve heard, email marketing is the single most effective marketing channel, offering a return on investment (ROI) of around £40 for every £1 spent. So, you want a part of that but how do you get started?
You need an email marketing platform.
There is a myriad of email marketing platforms out there but first, let’s deal with this question. In “the old days”, people just used to send their marketing emails through their mail manager, typically, Outlook. Why don’t we do that anymore?
Because email marketing platforms offer a whole range of useful tools that can make your campaigns more effective, including details on soft and hard bounce rates, who has opened your emails, who has clicked on the calls-to-action. These platforms allow you to segment your audience by shared characteristics such as geographical location, age, interests. This allows you to target your campaigns precisely, so you’re sending people emails about items they’re genuinely interested in (which makes them less likely to unsubscribe and much more likely to buy!). Email marketing tools also allow you to tag contacts with labels to note how active and interactive they are with your campaigns. They also have reporting and analysis features which are far more comprehensive (and therefore useful to future campaigns) than anything found in straightforward mail handling software.
So, how do you choose which email marketing platform is the right one for you?
The most important first step is to determine how many contacts you’re going to be sending to and how often. This is because many platforms will have price points at increasing numbers of contacts, or limit how many emails you can send per month. You don’t want to pay more for than you need, but equally, you don’t want to start out with a system that isn’t going to be able to scale as you grow. Also, bear in mind what you’re selling: certain email marketing platforms are better for e-commerce or are tailored towards service-based industries.
When researching, check:
- Price breaks per number of contacts
- Monthly email send limit
- Responsive templates
- Segmentation/tagging facility
- Hidden extra costs such as adding users or for adding integrations
- Whether it offers/if you need a built-in CRM?
Most email marketing platforms will offer templates, bulk upload for contacts, scheduling tool and a level of analytics. If you want to get really serious about email marketing, look for tools that allow for A/B testing, advanced reporting, and automations. Automations save a lot of time as, once the flow is built, the customer’s actions trigger the next email they receive – you don’t have to touch or do anything.
Our Top Tips:
- Look for a platform that offers a free trial period so you can try before you buy
- Consider how many contacts you are likely to have within the medium term, and how many emails you will be wanting to send per month. It’s prudent to select a system bigger than you need now and you can grow into rather than having to change platforms in 12 months’ time.
- Consider whether having readily accessible customer support is important to you or whether you’re able to tackle learning the platform by yourself
- Integrations – if you want to look at Facebook Ads, or put opt-in / opt-out forms on your site, you’ll need a platform that supports these types of integrations. Also, look for a platform that integrates with Zapier which enables over 1500 3rd-party apps to connect and work together
If you would like some help selecting the email marketing platform that is right for you, we offer some free advice and a full consultancy service to help you make the right choice from the very beginning. Alternatively, if you’re looking to migrate your email campaigns from one tool to another, we can help with that too. Give us a call on 0203 828 7101 or use our contact form here.
Email-Postman – email marketing that delivers.
Shaun Reynolds has been specialising in email marketing since 2005 and in February 2019 launched Email-Postman. Since then, Email-Postman has helped over 90 clients build successful email marketing campaigns across a range of email marketing platforms. For further information or to discuss getting help with your email marketing, email us at email@example.com.