There’s been a lot of discussion around email marketing tools on this blog already, so I’ll focus on key questions to help you select the right email marketing tool for your business. With so many email marketing solutions on the market today, how do you choose? What’s the secret for finding the best email marketing tool for your business? The trick is to think about what you are trying to achieve with your email marketing programs, then find a solution that helps support those goals and matches your budget requirements.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to figure out which email marketing solutions can work for you.
What Is Your Budget?
If you’re budget-conscious and want to keep costs low as you send emails to customers, there are many self-service tools that allow you to keep in contact with customers and prospects. These solutions are usually monthly subscription-based and allow you to send out a specific number of emails to customers in a specific time period.
Many of these tools offer trial programs that allow you to try the first month for free to ensure that you like the tool. If you are just beginning to build out your database of customers and are new to email marketing tools, some of these easy-to-use subscription based solutions may be just right for you.
Tools like MailChimp, Vertical Response, and MyEmma are typically under $40 per month and can give you a great opportunity to talk to your customers consistently yet offer you basic email functionality, newsletters and ongoing correspondence capabilities.
If you’re in a mid to large organization, and have a budget to work with, you may find that comprehensive marketing automation tools like a Marketo or Eloqua could provide you a complete solution from demand generation all the way to closing the sales loop.
What Type of Functionality Do You Need?
What type of email marketing activities would you like to accomplish with your email marketing tool? Are you looking to do basic emails to customers and prospects and invite customers to key events and webinars? Do you require integration with social media channels? What about templates – do you want an easy-to-use email template that will prevent you from spending a lot of money on purchasing a designer to create a template? As you narrow down and refine your functionality needs, you should be able to identify tools that can help you do the marketing tasks you need to reach customers.
What Are Your Reporting Requirements?
If you’re looking for a completely integrated solution with lead generation all the way to a closed loop sale, you may need more advanced email features such as the ability to do an auto responder, drip campaign or nurture campaign features. Tools that have a comprehensive solution typically require a bit more IT integration and training and may take more time to set up in your business and get running.
If you have a desire to nurture leads and do sophisticated reporting once you send your email to your customers, you may want something that is more automated. Marketing automated solutions can be more expensive, depending on the solution but can provide you with a complete process for generating new leads and then continuing to personalize your message to those leads in a systematic way and with more intensive analysis. Some marketing automation tools tend to be more expensive and geared toward a more enterprise audience.
Once you’ve asked yourself the questions above and have a list of your needs and requirements, try doing a search for the top ten rated tools in your budget category.