Last week, we wrote about the purposes of email marketing, as well as some of the advantages it has over other forms of marketing such as social media. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the advantages of using online services to managing your email marketing campaign.
What you want for your email marketing campaign is a service that lets you build email address databases, launch and track targeted campaigns, and be certain that you email reaches the intended recipient. Services such as MailChimp, Mailigen, iContact, and Constant Contact are able to deliver on all these criteria, but differ in some specific areas.
Because these email marketing services are constantly changing and adding features over time, we’ll leave it up to you to determine which best meets your needs and budget. This post will, however, familiarize you with the common key features of these email services.
The tools outlined below could make your email marketing efforts easier and more effective:
Database tools – Managing a large email list can be very difficult. Email marketing services let you create an email address database manually, but also offer links you can place on your webpages that let visitors voluntarily sign up for email updates. If they decide to unsubscribe, this is recorded in the database automatically. Automatic subscribe and unsubscribe functionality means managing your email list will be simpler, and less prone to inevitable human error.
Managing campaigns – Your email list will have people with different needs. In order to make targeted campaigns, you can choose to send emails to particular segments of your mailing list. For instance, a record label could divide their email contacts into fans of different genres of music. The label could send email blasts about its new jazz releases to its jazz fans, and classical releases to its classical music fans. This way, your audience will feel that your emails meet their specific purpose.
Newsletter Design – Some email service providers such as MailChimp offer a visual online editor that can be used to create the HTML and text layout of your email blasts. If you want help designing your newsletter, there are many design firms that are willing to create a custom template for your business that will work for your specific email service provider. Constant Contact has a marketplace where you can find designers and other service providers, including Kobayashi Online.
Mergetags – Mergetags are simple lines of code that let you customize emails to automatically add a name or other information to make your mass email seem more personal. Mergetags can be different between service providers, but they generally work by placing a tag like [NAME] where you want to put the recipient’s name. They are simple to get the hang of, and give your emails some additional authenticity.
Tracking opens and clicks – As we’ve written before, it’s important to measure your online marketing efforts, and it’s no less important to for email marketing campaigns. Many email services let you measure how many people opened the emails you sent, and how many clicked through to your website. Some services also offer integration with Google Analytics, so that you can monitor your email campaigns alongside your website’s visitors.
Making sure your emails are not considered spam – If an email service like Hotmail receives a certain volume of spam complaints about your email, they will blacklist your sending IP address and your messages will no longer be delivered to that service, eliminating a large segment of your list.
To help prevent Internet service providers from classifying your emails as spam, third-party email solutions will provide guidelines for its users to meet CAN SPAM regulation requirements, and warn or ban users who do not behave.
If a user misbehaves, third-party services generally have relationships with major ISPs to ensure the IPs used to send the messages aren’t blacklisted, helping ensure you and everyone else using their service can send marketing emails. Without a third party solution, you would typically have to contact the ISP directly to remove the blacklist.
Scheduling email blasts – Many mail applications allow you to create an email campaign, and then have it automatically delivered at a specified time. MailChimp lets you drop your message in inboxes around the world at an optimal time, such as when people typically wake up. This means that your message will be sent at 7pm in Toronto, and 7pm in Tokyo, local time
While it’s possible to execute an email marketing campaign using a regular email account, there are many advantages to using an email marketing service. Not only do these services make it easier to manage your campaign, but they also help ensure that the most people receive your messages as possible.
Need more help with your email marketing campaign? We’re here to help! Post a comment or talk with a specialist at Kobayashi Online.