Our email inboxes are a very cluttered place. If developed effectively, email marketing campaigns can stand out amongst the clutter, and give your business the extra edge it needs. They are a useful way of connecting with potential customers, introducing them to your content and drawing them onto your site. Email marketing software helps make the job easier.
They allow you to automate some of the workflow: sending email templates according to a pre-set timeline, rather than requiring a manual input. If you’re a business that sends multiple email campaigns a week, this is especially useful. You no longer must invest large amounts of time into hand building emails, as current technology is able to pull content directly from website RSS and deliver them straight into customer inboxes.
Within this, there is the option to segment content. This is often according to your audience. Different data will be sent to different demographics (information on fashion for females versus cars for males, for example).
The most important feature
But the feature which, if you ask me, trumps all other features, is A/B testing.
If you’re debating whether one subject line over another is going to be more effective, email software allows you to test them. It will send out a small percentage with different subjects and measure what the open or click rates. The rest are then sent out in the format of whichever subject line received the higher response.
When it comes to picking a software to use, there are many options. So how do you know which is the right fit for you?
This largely depends on the size of your business and what features you may or may not require.
Choosing the right email marketing software
Adobe, for example, has developed a very sophisticated software which is suited to enterprise level organisations.
For smaller businesses, especially those developing their own emails, I personally recommend Campaign Monitor or Mail Chimp.
Although Campaign Monitor is on the expensive side, it integrates well with other software you may be using.
Mail Chimp, on the other hand, offers great functional features. This is especially useful when managing things like time zones. If you’ve got a big international audience and you tell it to broadcast at 7:00 AM, Campaign Monitor will broadcast at 7:00 AM local time for the account that’s broadcasting it. Mail Chimp will look at what the 7:00 AM time is for your audience.
At a base level though, both software options are very similar.
The thing to look for is how each integrates with what you’re already using and what you want to achieve.