So, you’ve made up your mind and decided to get into the email marketing game, have you? Well, it was about time! Email marketing is only one of the best marketing tactics a business can implement to stay on top of their game and on people’s minds with around 5 billion active email accounts so far (and the number keeps rising).
You’ve even done research and got a pretty good idea of what makes a good email – one that will make people interested and responsive:
1) Clear subject line
2) Appropriate greeting
5) Clear CTA
7) Easy-to-read font
8) Be straightforward
9) Send at appropriate hours
10) Forgo emails for calling (if you need to).
And now, you’ve come to the point where you need to choose an email marketing tool that fits your specific needs – and you are at the standstill. You may have heard of the tools like Hubspot, LeadRocket, SendGrid, Autoklose, Hunter, ContactOut, SendinBlue and many more, but with so many different options how can you choose? Even with some of the tools mentioned here, you have so much to consider – from all-encompassing systems to highly specialized tools – you must be confused about which one would benefit you the most if implemented.
Well, the good news is you don’t have you use just one, you can combine them if that’s what your company needs and finances allow. And we can also give you hints on what criteria to use to evaluate your options.
1) Email marketing features
You can assume that most of the tools offer the features you’d expect (pre-built email templates, multiple contact lists, a visual email campaign builder). But some go above and beyond with email A/B testing, automatic send-time optimization (to maximize your open rates) and little extras like support for inserting emojis into subject lines.
2) CRM & marketing automation features
Unless you’re a large enterprise, it probably makes sense to combine your email marketing tool and CRM (customer relationship management) system in one. This will save you time connecting them together & will make triggering automated emails to the right people at the right time a breeze.
If you want to save yourself hours of mundane repetitive tasks, it’s important that you can automatically connect your email marketing software to the other tools used in your business – from your accounting software to your CRM (if separate). The tools vary in the quality and quantity of integrations, but first, you should make sure you actually need everything a system is offering and then choose the appropriate one (or more).
4) Ease of use
While all email marketing tools advertise visual email builders & easy-to-use interfaces, some are better than others. There are those that truly make it easy and effortless to make an email marketing template look acceptable on a mobile device, while with others, you will lose your mind and half a day to do it. However, this might be one of those cases where you’ll need to start working with something first to see if it’s the right fit, but hey, that’s what free trial periods are for, right?
What good is an email marketing tool if 15% of your emails end up in the spam folder? You want your hard-written, customized and formatted emails to reach the people you want to, so making sure the tool you like has a high delivery rate as it is crucial for choosing and relying on it.
6) Email analytics
The faster you can determine what’s working (and what’s not) and adjust course, the better. Sadly, reporting is where many popular email marketing tools fail – making them practically useless if you are serious about your email marketing.
7) Cost & value
Some email marketing tools may seem affordable when you have just a few thousand contacts, but become quite expensive as your list grows. This is something to pay attention to if you plan to grow your email lists, so as not to be blindsided down the road if an email marketing tool eats up your profit.
The paradox with customer support is that the better the tool – the less you’ll likely use its support. However, the fact is that you might need it when you least expect it and that’s precisely the moment that can save or destroy all your email marketing efforts. Hence, it’s a make-or-break point to consider.
9) Security & compliance
If you have European citizens on your email list, you need to ensure that your email marketing tool of choice is GDPR compliant. By the same token, if you’re capturing particularly sensitive data (or are of a certain size), you may need to consider higher security standards. Therefore, security features and compliance standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, ISO, etc. may prove quite important when choosing email marketing tools.
Now that you have guidelines on what to look for and you are ready to start looking into implementing specific email marketing tools, make sure you are careful in evaluating both your needs and the tools’ abilities and restrictions. Only that way you will be able to choose the right one(s) for your (small) business.