Email marketing software has been around for so long – launched circa 1995, so just about forever in internet time – it’s easy to forget that it still works. To survive, it has adapted and differentiated to meet diverse needs. Businesses of all sizes and markets continue to leverage the reach and effectiveness of email marketing solutions.
Although the functions and capabilities have evolved, the original ability to reach the right customer, at the right place, at the right time, with the right message has delivered reliable and beyond exceptional ROI.
From basic and simple to costly and complex, email marketing software now comes in many shapes and sizes. The goal is to find the best fit for your business.
If 10:1 is considered exceptional ROI, what’s 38:1?
The above metric alone presents a compelling case for integrating the best-fitting email automation software into your existing marketing solutions. On average, email marketing produces anywhere from 3,800% to 4,300% return on investment.
To get some perspective – digital marketing experts consider 5:1 or 500% a good return on your digital marketing investment, and 10:1 or 1,000% ROI is exceptional.
In the age of the experience economy, every engagement through every channel and at every touchpoint is another facet of creating exceptional CX. Providing great content via email is an easy way to reach your customers and, ideally, brighten their day just a little – a positive moment (and association) among so much noise and negativity.
Connecting with customers through email marketing with special offers and personalized content increases return visits to your website, so it follows that e-commerce sales increase as well.
If you build it, they will come (back)
By building and using your email list and customer profiles in a respectful and responsible way – taking care of customers’ data and sharing meaningful, valuable content – you build trust while reaching your customers without being creepy. Brand loyalty is built on trust, which goes a long way toward earning valued lifetime customers.
When choosing the best email marketing software for your business, important considerations include:
- Cost (of course)
- UI, ease-of-use, functionality
- Integration capabilities
- Segmentation and automation
- Data security and GDPR compliance
- Customer support
Cut to the chase: What’s the cost of email marketing software?
How much does it cost? It’s usually the first question, and rightfully so. However, we often miss the best answers by simply asking the wrong questions or giving up too soon on the right ones. Don’t sell yourself short by making the question of price the only one.
As with most purchasing decisions, making price the sole determining factor can backfire and leave you with buyer’s remorse, not to mention wasting time and money. To partially quote Ben Franklin: The pain of an improper fit remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.
Whether you go with the best free email marketing software for you or decide to pay a monthly fee, weigh the pros and cons of other features to confirm the optimum compatibility with your business. Email marketing companies realize that you still have a budget, so most of them offer tiered payment options to fit a range of scopes and budgets.
But do your research. Read reviews. Ask colleagues. Take advantage of free trials and demos.
UI, usability, and functionality in email marketing software
The best software developers have thought about you as the user so that you can think about your customers and focus on their needs, not waste time figuring out how to use the tools. Intuitive user interface design translates to efficiency, saving you time and money.
Several platforms feature drag-and-drop email construction for quick and easy custom content creation. You can also craft emails from scratch or customize readymade email templates with compelling content for different points along the customer journey. Social media integration allows the customer to further engage as a loyal brand advocate.
Seamless integration into your existing sales and marketing solutions amplifies the usefulness and efficiency of your email marketing software. The best ones reduce or eliminate the repetitive manual work of creating email campaigns, segmenting customer groups, and customizing and integrating consistent messaging across platforms and channels.
Segmentation and automation
Segmentation saves hours of tedious manual data management and more effectively targets the right customers, with the right message, at the right time. Customization and personalization of your email marketing campaigns becomes much more efficient and effective, leading to greater open and conversion rates.
Bulk and automated email marketing sees increased effectiveness when you can schedule emails to be sent at peak times for increased open rates. Some will automatically resend an email if the first is not opened. Use analytics to find that fine line between an effective nudge and annoying bordering on spam, as 57% of consumers say they will abandon a brand for unnecessary spamming.
Want deliverability? Email marketing software is the answer
The whole point of creating engaging content is for it to be seen by your customers. Some email marketing software has better deliverability rates than others for any number of reasons. Optimize your deliverability rates by using analytics to gain insights and helpful tips for avoiding the spam filters.
Data protection and GDPR compliance
While you no doubt have your customers’ best interest in mind, the incentive to take care of their data has never been stronger as fines are handed down for data breaches and other GDPR violations. So be sure to confirm the GDPR compliance of the email marketing platform you choose. On one hand, not being GDPR compliant could cost you dearly, and, on the other, compliance can be a competitive advantage.
Many email marketing platforms provide analytics allowing you to track the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. From delivery and open rates to click and conversion rates, you can learn the strengths and weaknesses and make data-driven adjustments.
Email marketing software offers potential ROI that’s too good to leave unrecognized
BREAKING: Software doesn’t always work the way we expect it to or the way it’s supposed to. Check into the software company’s customer support reputation. Waiting for assistance while your email marketing campaign is dead in the water can result in unforeseen and unnecessary cost.
Like marketing apps and other digital marketing solutions, email marketing software is not universally suited to meet the needs of every organization. It’s worth taking the time to research up front to avoid later regret and lost revenue for a hasty, ill-informed decision.
Finding the right fit for your business will help you simplify and optimize your email marketing campaign strategy for maximum deliverability and open rates, which lead to increased sales conversions, freeing you to focus on delivering a great end-to-end customer experience.
The ancient internet art of email marketing offers potential ROI that is too good to leave on the table.
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