Email marketing has evolved significantly over the last few years. What started as more of a megaphone for your message has now become a smarter and personalized way to talk directly to your contacts, and a way to get insights into their interest in return. Email is now one of - if not the - most effective ways to interact with your audience. But with so many platforms and features out there, it can be difficult to pick the right tool to send your messages and engage with recipients. Here are the top features and functionality you should be looking for when selecting an email marketing platform.
Data rules when it comes to managing your marketing tactics, and knowing who opens and reads your emails is essential. Beyond the standard metrics like opens and clicks, look for a platform that gives you more insight into Who, What, Where, Why, and How your emails are being viewed. Look for a tool that tracks what gets clicks and what content is getting the most views. Some platforms can track the location where the emails are viewed - helping you know the best time zones to send or language to localize your messages to in the future. You will get varying clicks depending on the time of day you send your email and you may be able to track if the email was opened on a laptop versus a mobile device. Having this information gives you insights into your contact’s behavior and how they interact with your messages which is invaluable when planning future campaigns.
Pre-built campaigns and templates are great but if you can’t customize your messaging options, skip that tool. Look for features that let you brand and personalize your messages. Over half of emails are opened on mobile devices compared to desktop, so you need to consider being able to design your messages for mobile viewing. Let your audience know who the message is from by making your emails unique. Beyond the design flexibility, you want to use a platform with send and viewing options as well. Can you schedule your messages based on your recipient’s time zone? Will it score your leads based on their engagement, and automate nurturing? Does it allow for A/B testing? Can it adjust to different country’s data and privacy rules? Although these features usually come at a price, a robust set of options will result in a more successful campaign and ultimately a better return.
Ease of Use
All the bells and whistles can’t save a terrible interface. If setting up a campaign leaves you frustrated, it’s time to look for a different tool. Find a platform that gives you intuitive steps through a process, tooltips, or helpful tours/guides to their features and setting options. It’s not just aesthetics; get something that is practical and efficient. Consider it a plus if they have a knowledge bank with articles and tips to help you stay on top of trends and best practices.
Reputable and Reliable
You may think it’s obvious, but finding a marketing tool with good reviews is best. It’s very tempting to save costs and go for the “affordable” option however, this can end up costing you more in the long run. Beware of tools that advertise low costs for high-volume email sends, these often end up with terrible delivery rates, blacklisted IP addresses, or go straight to junk. Check within your marketing community to see what others in the field are already using and what they like about it. Do your research before you sign up and read reviews from other users. It’s also a good idea to request a free trial before committing to a platform.
When it comes to email marketing you need to consider what your priorities are and what the requirements of your organization are. From first impressions to loyal customers, your email messages will speak not only your message but will represent your brand and business too so find a tool that will elevate that message and build your business value.