Out of all the communication tools; email is one of the most effective channels to attract, connect, and engage with customers. It is also the most popular way of communication despite different messaging tools emerging.
Why? Because most electronics nowadays require an email address to be used effectively. New Android phones need users to create a Google account to proceed. The same goes for iOS and its AppleID security feature.
For computers and laptops, email accounts are also required for optimized Google Chrome usage. As a result of that, there are 3.9 billion email users today – that’s more than half of the world’s total population. Not to mention most of us treat our emails inbox as a sacred space.
So when a notification pops up saying someone sent a message via email, we’re more inclined to open and read it. When it comes to marketing, email campaigns allow businesses and brands to connect to their customers and leads directly.
This leads to a 3000% to 5000% return on investment – meaning for every $1 you spend by sending a good email campaign, you earn $30 to $50 in return. But like online businesses carefully choosing which social media platform to promote their brand, you too should pick the best email marketing platform to drive more sales, generate leads, and maximize customer retention.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing An Email Marketing Platform
1. User-Friendly Templates
A good email marketing platform should include a feature where you can customize the appearance of your email campaigns’ content. It also should have premium email templates that are dynamic to different devices and pleasing to your users’ eyes.
2. Spam Checking and Compliance
Since you’re subscribing to an email marketing platform’s services, it should improve your email deliverability. It should check for words and phrases in your email’s subject line and content if they sell so that you may choose different wordings to get past spam filters.
3. Automation and Response Handling
Customers will interact with your website or brand by asking questions about your products and services. Your email platform should have a reply automation feature designed to answer Frequently Asked Questions.
Not only should the automation feature focus on answering questions, but it should also be automated to send emails on given hours of the day to target specific audience demographics for well-timed and relevant email campaigns.
4. List Segmentation
Speaking of user demographics, the email marketing platform you’ll use should have a list segmentation feature as well. This is to divide your customers based on their personal information such as location, age, gender, and preferred time to receive emails.
5. Scalable Pricing and Features
Before subscribing to an email marketing platform, it should have different prices according to how many features it allows. There’s no use for you to pay a premium if you only need to use a few marketing functions.
6. A/B Testing
The A/B testing function will help you experiment with different customer approaches and campaigns. For example, if you want to see which of the two email templates you’ve made functions better, the A/B testing feature will help you conduct a study. You should consider having that before deciding on which email marketing software to use.
7. Customizable Sign Up Methods
Not every person in the world has an email address or uses it. Some forget what their email address is and prefer subscribing to mailing lists via social media. Your marketing tool should give your customers that kind of signup convenience.
A well-timed pop-up signup form is also vital to expand your mailing list. That’s why an email marketing tool should be customizable to show a scroll-delayed pop-up, exit-intent pop-up, time-delayed pop-up, or a two-step pop-up.
8. 3rd Party Integration
To make your email marketing experience easier, your chosen tool should easily integrate with other analytic platforms, email delivery vendors, and content management systems such as Google Analytics, Mandrill, Mailjet, Postmark, WordPress, and Kajabi.
9. Survey and feedback
Aside from email marketing software having A/B testing to see if which of your campaigns perform better, the marketing tool should also have a feedback and survey system so you can ask customers for ideas on how to improve your brand, website, and services.
10. Subscriber/Campaign Insights
If you don’t want to use Google Analytics to see how all your campaigns perform, choose an email marketing platform with built-in and robust data reporting.
What Options Are Out There?
Ongage gives you the total control you need for all your marketing campaigns. You can set email launching schedules to ensure well-timed delivery, rely on 24/7 customer support through email, receive advanced real-time analytics for campaigns and subscriber insights, do advanced segmentation, and more.
MailChimp has many features, and the platform is integrated into Gmail Imports. It also has Google Analytics, and you can send unlimited emails every month. The only thing MailChimp lacks is an annual plan and a money-back guarantee. You’ll be paying a monthly fee with no refund in case their system experiences downtime or failure.
If you’re more into serious marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is your choice. You can set up as much automation as you want – follow-up emails, welcoming emails, triggered campaigns, and more. The only problem is, ActiveCampaign has too many features to choose from, which is convoluted and not very user-friendly.
It is best to plan first your email campaign approaches so that you’ll know which features of an email marketing platform you’ll need. This helps you save money by avoiding paying for a premium on subscriptions for features you don’t need.
Ongage possesses most of the things you’ll need in a reliable email marketing tool. They also have a customizable “Ultimate” plan. Your monthly subscription will depend on how many features you want to avail of for your business.
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@brett_jordan
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