How to Pick the Best Email Marketing Software

So, you’re on the edge of starting an email marketing strategy but are completely overwhelmed by the software choices out there. Which is the best? Which is the best for you? We’re here to help and walk you through the most important, most critical criteria to consider before signing your life away to an email marketing software company. Goal Setting Before you start down this potentially thorny path, figure out exactly what you want out of your marketing campaign. Always start with the mission of your business. What do you do? What do you provide? What kind of experience you want your future subscribers to have?

So, without further ado, here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing an e-marketing software:

What do you want to achieve out of the email blast?
Where do you want to drive traffic to? Website? Physical store location? Social media sites?
Do you want to inform your subscribers about industry trends and news?
Do you want to use the email blast as a way to announce new products?
How about offering promotions, discounts or coupons?
Do you want to have to ability to receive subscriber feedback through surveys?
Ultimately, also consider how an email campaign will affect your bottom line. Will it increase sales? What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to raise brand awareness, grow your customer base or reach new markets?

Best Practice

Essentially, lay out clearly and thoroughly what you want out of your email marketing software even before looking. This will help you make an informed decision while supporting your business.

Okay, all that is covered, let’s move on to what to really look for in email marketing software. As with anything business-related, put your potential vendor through the paces.

Criteria 1: Is it easy to use? Time is valuable. Your time is valuable.

Ensure that whomever in your business ultimately uses the new software is easy and doesn’t chew up their time.

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Email marketing software systems aren’t meant to be clumsy. Get in and get out as fast and effectively as possible.

Criteria 2: Can you customize it? Are there standard email design templates? What about a function that allows you to create

Some businesses may one need, and quite frankly, want a standard email design template to work with.

But not having the option to customize templates is a big no-no.

Even if you don’t use it immediately, having the option down the road to customize is incredibly valuable.

Best Practice

After you’ve selected your e-mail marketing software, take the time to customize. Design your email marketing campaign to reflect your business. Since, if this is your first foray into the awesome world of email marketing, then start off with a bang and on the right foot.

Criteria 3: What is the cost? Is there a flat rate, say, for monthly or yearly use? Is the price depended upon the number of subscribers in your list? Are you able to create a plan that works for your bottom line?

Is there a clear upgrade system that is laid out and understandable?

Use the example of mobile phone carriers: many customers are shocked when they open their bills because of all the hidden charges. The best email marketing software companies lay out all of the costs upfront rather than playing hide-in-seek.

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Figure out internally how much of your overall marketing budget is allocated to email marketing. Keep in mind, industry insiders are saying that for 2011, budgets are increasing from email marketing campaigns because of their incredible return on investment, effectiveness and total value.

Criteria 4: How is it managed? How easy is it to access your account? Can you change or update your email marketing campaign on the fly?

Is there any oversight from the email marketing software company into your account?

Essentially, how easy is it to get in and out of your account?

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Know that you’re in charge of your account. If you want to get into it at, say 3 AM, can you?

The next part of our series dives a bit deeper into the criteria to consider when comparing email software options. is a leading provider of interactive marketing software and services for organizations worldwide. SimplyCast’s all-in-one solution helps users automate email, survey, event, SMS, fax, Twitter and autoresponder marketing needs to effectively reach customers on their preferred mode of communication.

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