Email marketing is so much more than just pitching your company to a potential client. It builds customer loyalty, nurtures leads, and increases direct sales, not to mention brand awareness every time a recipient clicks on your email. Sending bulk emails involves time-consuming processes, which include preparing a list, segregating it to subgroups, sending the actual emails, and creating feedback reports. Moreover, besides all this, email marketing also helps companies by automating their processes, while letting you split-test campaigns and measure ROI with clear metrics.
You can even observe in real time how the campaign is performing with the solution streaming key metrics as they happen. This allows you to change the campaign at once for a better outcome.
Moreover, email marketing tops the ROI rate, allowing businesses to generate a $38 return on investment for every $1 they spend on this type of campaign. As you can see on the table provided, this also outperforms other marketing strategies such as social media marketing, SEO, social PPC, and content marketing, among others.
Still on the edge, if you should invest in an email marketing tool? We’ve listed the top benefits that could help you choose a side!
Benefits of Investing in an Email Marketing Software:
Email marketing software is a cost-effective way to get in touch with your customer base, either to provide valuable content, promote your product or announce new offers or deals. The whole process of managing email campaigns can be tedious, but email marketing software addresses this pain point. Here are the advantages of email marketing software.
1. Efficient Email Automation:
Imagine sending 1,000 emails in one sitting? You will waste a lot of time sorting the addresses, pasting the message and sending emails manually. Once you have the message fine-tuned, email marketing software can automate the entire campaign process, from sorting recipients into groups to scheduling the emails and to generating feedback reports.
2. Market Reach Expansion Made Affordable:
So long as you have built a robust mailing list, email marketing software will allow you to a targeted market at significantly lower costs than traditional outlets like tv, print, and radio. Moreover, the audience is more targeted granting you built the list using opt-ins or follow a permission marketing strategy. Some companies start with a purchased list to get initial subscribers, but it is still best to build the list around your customers. As you expand the list with incentives like white papers and deals, the cost per email drastically drops, further increasing the ROI of email marketing software.
3. More Accurate Metrics:
None perhaps can give more detailed post-campaign analytics than email marketing software. It can generate key metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, forwarded messages, and engagement level. With a detailed feedback report, you can accurately calculate the cost-benefit ratio and account for each campaign’s budget.
4. Increased Customer Loyalty:
With email marketing tools, you can always be in touch with your customer base as these tools make it easy to launch various campaign series. You can provide content that matches the recipient’s interest, deals to spur repeat buys or simply update customers with the latest offerings or products. Email marketing software is your direct line to customers to nurture their loyalty, interest and possibly elicit more purchases. Likewise, they may forward your email to family and friends, thereby, extending your market reach.
5. Better Ticket Monetization:
Customer complaints sent to your help desk can be mined as additional contacts to your mailing list. As long as the issue is resolved and the customer is satisfied, including them in an email campaign may generate additional sales. This process is common in CRM, but if you lack that system, email marketing software is a good option.
6. Social Media Channel Promotion:
Most email marketing tools are great for cross-channel promotions as well as they can connect to your social media pages. For example, you can provide an incentive in an email message with deals if the recipient likes your Facebook page or post your hashtag. If you have a robust mailing list, this is one way to migrate subscribers to your social channels.
What Features Should An Email Marketing Software Have?
Email marketing software solutions are a heterogeneous lot, meaning they look nearly identical with a few minor variations. But these minor variations make all the difference. To get the most of your email marketing software, look for these features:
1. CRM Integration
Email marketing software is a fantastic option to help you automate marketing processes. However, you can truly take your company to the next level using an email marketing tool by integrating the software with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This helps to better align sales and marketing within your company, thereby resulting in more effective campaigns and eventually higher ROI.
Also, when you interact with customers, you discover additional data such as demographic, competitive information and pain points. By integrating your CRM system with the email software, you can update data in real-time, ensuring that records are up-to-date for the next campaign. For instance, you would be able to create email content based on CRM data such as previous purchases and profession to serve your contacts with relevant content.
AWeber, for example, can be connected to Zendesk, Zoho CRM, and more.
2. Analytics & Reports
Cutting through the clutter is the goal of most email marketers. To achieve this goal, data should be at the center of your campaigns, so your email marketing software should provide a detailed overview of how your campaign is performing with special emphasis on metrics that are delivering positive results.
In most software, you will be able to access analytics via a dashboard. In the dashboard, you can see the following insights:
- Are subscribers using the mobile/desktop to read your emails?
- Do they print, delete, forward your emails?
- How long are they staying on the email page to read the content?
- What contents of the email are they clicking (heat maps)?
- Is it the male demographic or the female demographic that has a greater engagement in your target demographic?
The software may also provide insights on deliverability rates based on interactivity as to which links or buttons have been clicked inside the body of the email. All of that information helps you optimize your campaigns and improve your results over time.
MailChimp is an example of an email marketing solution that offers advanced analytics and detailed reports for every account. Users can refer to the interactive graphs to see how many people opened the email, click-through, deliverability rate, and more. They can also monitor trends to find out which emails bounced, and print reports for coworkers and clients.
3. CAN-SPAM Compliance
It has been a while since the US introduced legislation to prevent the spread of spam emails to inboxes of individuals. Make sure that your email marketing software complies to CAN-SPAM rules to maintain the reputation of your company as well as optimize email deliverability. Some software will analyze your email content and give insight on:
- Whether or not the message will be blocked by spam filters given the subject line and content
- Whether or not the email will appear as intended in all email readers
- The presence of broken links
- If the HTML looks legit or otherwise
A solution may also review the content of your message to discover if anything may cause it to be classified as spam by ISPs, ranking it on a scale of 0-10/ 0-100.
This kind of feature may be supported by a third-party company rather than the company that created the email marketing software. For example, GetResponse offers a spam checker that analyzes the number of links, types of links, form fields, headers, disclaimers, and spam words to ensure that your email passes the strictest anti-spam tests.
The feature of GetResponse, however, is supported by an external application powered by a security firm. The security firm provides the highest level of protection through the experience of anti-spam specialists and frequent control of network tests.
Automation is one of the main reasons why businesses invest in email marketing solutions. Look for software that features autoresponders; they can help you save money and time by automating several tasks for you. For instance, they can be set up to respond to every email with a reply that you have received the message and would respond at a relayed time.
Autoresponders are also a great tool for increasing conversions. A business may be offering a discount on a product/service when someone signs up on its website. The autoresponder can be used to send an email to customers with a message offering the opportunity to buy the product at the discounted price. If the offer proves to entice the customer the autoresponder becomes an effective tactic to draw the customer to make a purchase.
Likewise, follow-ups will help nurture relationships with people who are new to your mailing list by letting you address their queries about your business right away. Look at what happens when you sign up for a service like Zapier; an autoresponder sends an email directly to your inbox explaining what the company offers and even mentions the 14-day free trial. The content has been addressed by the company’s CEO.
While most email marketing tools have this option, Constant Contact is known to be one of the best in the market with respect to this feature.
5. Contact segmentation
Getting it right with segmentation is one of the most important aspects of email marketing. Adopting the one size fits all approach isn’t applicable to email campaigns. Therefore, you need to divide your subscribers into overlapping or separate segments or groups. You can select contacts by multiple fields in your email list to identify ideal sub-sections, and further narrow your segment focus.
Even if you haven’t segmented lists before, an advanced email marketing tool will allow you to create groups based on different conditions such as:
- Autoresponder engagement
- Purchase behavior
- Browser used
- Subscription message data
The number of conditions you can create groups on is limitless.
A study by Marketing Sherpa revealed that marketers using targeted emails over untargeted email campaigns enjoy a 208 percent higher conversion rate. Also, 40 percent of marketers who segment their lists enjoy higher open rates, and email list segmentation also results in higher revenue and better email deliverability.
eMarketer highlighted that key metrics (conversions, open rates, etc.) should increase with proper list segmentation. Subscribers are less likely to opt out if they’re not bombarded with messages during the time they’re not actively looking to buy but can be included into your sales funnel once they go into purchase mode again, for example, you created a segment by links shoppers click on.
Hubspot is one of the solutions offering list segmentation.
We all choose email marketing software with the aim of getting real business value through all of our marketing efforts. But as mentioned above, there are different features that work in combination to determine success. Select software that can grow with your business needs in the future.
What features of email marketing software are your favorite? Know of other important ones not listed here? Give us the feedback in the comments section.