Email is not dead.
The rise of email has ushered in an age of more efficient, expedient and direct conversations than ever before. And perhaps it overdelivered on those promises with people get a lot of emails, on average 121 a day.
So it makes sense that there's an air of email backlash in the form of countless calls for its untimely demise–just think of all the products that have been marketed as the next inbox killer.
Despite the gloomy outlook, email has nearly 3x as many users as Facebook and Twitter combined, according to Kissmetrics. Not only that, the Direct Marketing Association finds that email marketing yields an estimated 4,300 percent return on investment, which blows all other channels out of the water.
But to really see that killer ROI, businesses need to move beyond manual outreach methods and buy into software designed for email marketing specifically.
With so many options, finding the ideal fit for your business can prove to be a time-consuming and overwhelming task. You may be tempting to settle for a recognizable name or popular system, even if it's not exactly what you're looking for.
That's why Software Advice helps businesses find their perfect match by providing a free directory of top email marketing software systems. Buyers can easily sort systems by industry adaptability, size of business, price and deployment methods, to name a few. They also include reviews from past and current users, so it's easy to see which systems are held in high regard by the marketers actually using them.
Top must-have email marketing software features:
- Lead capture: records contact information from web forms and landing pages
- Basic segmentation: groups contacts/leads by common characteristics
- Email templates: pre-designed, professional looking and easy to customize depending on audience
- Mass email delivery: sends messages in batches
- Drip (scheduled) email delivery: automatically sends messages over a scheduled period of time to nurture leads
- Open rate and click-through tracking: certainly not the only metrics, but important ones to track to ensure you are reaching out to the right audience with enticing content
- Reporting and analytics: provides reports/dashboards to measure campaign performance
Why is picking the right software so important?
Not too long ago, there were fewer options out there, and they all looked basically the same. Now we're seeing tools that really run the gamut–from your basic, stand-alone email marketing tools to much more powerful digital marketing automation systems.
With the right system in place, marketers can improve their efficiency through automation and smarter outreach with both analytics and lead segmentation. No matter the size or industry your business is in, saving time and money is a good thing.
It's all about working smarter, not harder. You want to be sure you're investing in technology that answers your biggest pain points. But how do you go about doing that?
Steps for successful software selection:
1. Do your research: Meet with stakeholders and team members to better understand your business objectives. Then carefully consider which software features correspond to those needs.
- Set a budget: Be realistic about how much you can allocate for this investment. It's easy to get swept away by all the bells-and-whistles out there, but nothing's worse than dropping a lot of dough on features you don't actually need.
- Get the scoop: User reviews cover the good, bad, and the ugly. Real-life users can uncover deal breakers that wouldn't necessarily come up in the sales pitch.
2. Try before you buy: Much like a test drive for a new car, you want to get a feel for the product in action. See if the vendor offers a free trial or product demo.
- Build a shortlist: Using Software Advice's email marketing software comparison tool, you can narrow down the best options and save yourself countless hours and headaches.
- Talk to an expert: If you're still feeling overwhelmed, schedule a FastStart Consultation with one of Software Advice's email marketing software experts. Give them a call at (844) 687-6771. They’ll walk you through a series of questions to generate a shortlist in less than 15 minutes and get you connected with vendors.
It takes some time, but brands that develop and implement email marketing strategies with the right tools tend to see huge payoff for their efforts. Despite the newer channels out there, email marketing remains the most effective way to encourage brand loyalty, nurture prospects into customers and turn customers into evangelists.
For more, check out these great excerpts from our chat with special guest @SoftwareAdvice: