Email Marketing Software Defined
Email Marketing is a form of direct marketing that utilizes email as a way of efficiently distributing information and marketing materials such as business email newsletters, advertisements, promotions and fundraising materials to prospective customers. Email marketing software (also known as email marketing services, email marketing solutions and email marketing programs) uses an online interface to simplify the process of creating and sending emails to contact lists of any size. These online interfaces provide the user with templates, designs and email creation wizards aimed at simplifying the bulk email marketing process from beginning to end. Nearly all also offer an easy way for the user to gather contact information, and the user can generate reports at their discretion to evaluate how their email marketing campaign performed.
Why use email marketing software?
There are numerous advantages to using email marketing software versus any other form of advertisement.
Cost: When compared to other forms of marketing such as direct mail, magazines or printed newsletters, email marketing is less expensive.
Targeting: Save time by organizing your email list to only target specific, potential customers while still enjoying the benefits of having low marketing costs.
Reporting: Email campaigns can be tracked and analyzed. With email marketing the user gains the ability to track customers all the way from when they first open the email, to when they finalize their transaction.
Timing: Email marketing campaigns can be created and delivered in a matter of minutes ensuring your materials will still be relevant.
Accessibility: A mass email marketing service allows you to actively get your message out to your potential customers, instead of having to wait for them to visit your site.
Advanced Functionality: Specific responses can automatically trigger responses such as sending a predetermined email message or updating a customer's profile information.
Email Marketing Software Industry Benchmark:
Industry Benchmark: After reviewing plans with all the email marketing software providers on our list, we came up with what we consider to be "Industry Benchmark."
Professionally designed templates
Autoresponder for initial email
Imports contacts from CSV, TXT, manual entry, cut & paste
Offers 5-10 MB of image hosting
The ability to remove contacts & create do not mail lists
Form to add to your website, which enables people to sign up for your mailing list
Automatically remove those who have selected "unsubscribe" from your mailing list
Reports which display statistics on sent, bounces, spam Reports, opt-outs, opens, clicks, and forwards
The ability to view reported data in graphical representation
The ability to export reports
Phone, live chat, and email support
Email marketing software key features
When reviewing email marketing software providers we looked at the following features:
One of the most important aspects of email marketing software is how you actually create your email. You should look for a service that offers hundreds of templates which to choose from. With these templates, you want to make sure to find ones that are extremely flexible and allow you to edit them easily. On top of flexible templates, look for a service that has a WYSIWYG editor, which means “What You See Is What You Get” and allows you to view your email as your readers would. While most email marketing companies offer a WYSIWYG editor, some services rely on the customer knowing some HTML coding. Other important features of Email Creation include the amount of space offered for adding images and the ability to remove the vendor’s logo from your email.
Many email marketing services allow users to import their contacts through Excel, TXT, or CSV files. You might also want to import your contacts through email services like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, or through Microsoft Outlook. Several email marketing companies will even let you import from an Excel document. Determine which file formats you need to import your contacts easily. We also recommend choosing an email marketing tool that allows you to cut and paste contacts directly into their system. Click here for a list of email marketing tools.
In addition to Email Creation, the most important aspect of email marketing software is whether your emails actually reach their recipients. For Email Deliverability, you should look at what kind of spam checker your email marketing service has, whether it’s Spam Assassin, which will automatically test words and phrases that usually get flagged in spam filters, or an actual person who will approve your email before it is sent out.
Looking at the reports offered by your email marketing company allows you to gauge the performance of your email campaigns and compare them with either other recent campaigns or against recent campaigns in your industry. The standard statistics displayed in these reports are opens, bounces, click rates, forwards, open dates, and unsubscribes. Reports can appear as numerical stats or as graphical representations. When evaluating email marketing services, it might be helpful to choose a service that allows you to integrate Google Analytics, a service that generates stats about your subscribers’ traffic from your email campaign or to create an A/B test campaign, which is a testing option that gives you the opportunity to test key features of your campaign in order to improve your email marketing strategy.
Customer Support is always imperative when choosing an email marketing provider. While informative FAQ sections and beneficial text and video tutorials are incredibly helpful, as are both live chat and email customer supports, we recommend looking for a service that also offers phone customer support. In order for customer support to be effective, their representatives must be very knowledgeable and wait times should be short.
Email marketing vendors employ two different types of pricing structures: contact-based pricing and email-based pricing. Neither one is necessarily better; it depends on your email marketing needs. Contact-based pricing typically allows you to send unlimited emails to all of the email addresses in your contact list, although some email marketing providers will set a limit on the number of emails you can send per month. Email-based pricing is either pay-as-you-go or charged monthly and is determined by the amount of email credits you wish to purchase. Each email credit allows you to send one email regardless of how many contacts you have uploaded to your account.
To read more about our testing methodology please see our company review process or read our email marketing reviews.
Why Use Email Marketing Options?
Email Marketing Options was created as a result of the difficulties we encountered when researching different email marketing services. We found a number of different options and features (which sometimes require additional fees) that were created to suit different email marketing needs. We help you to fully understand the differences in pricing systems and other relevant data so you can make an "apples to apples" comparison of the different services and select a provider so you can get back to business. We are committed to providing a quality resource to individuals and small business owners that will save time and alleviate the frustration that we ourselves have experienced. We also review top online fax providers on FaxCompare.com with side-by-side comparisons of service plans from eFax, MyFax, RingCentral and much more.