What's the BEST Email Marketing Service?

Discussion in 'Noob Central' started by gspot, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. gspot

    gspot VIP

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    Email marketing continues to be the mainstay of most online marketing programs. It's easy, fast, and inexpensive to send out an email to your customers and the metrics on open and click through rates make the tactic very quantifiable. So what's the best email marketing tool out there?

    Drumroll...and unfortunately the answer is the ever vague "it depends". I really do encourage everyone to do a careful analysis of the many email marketing tools available to determine what service is best for your specific organization. Competition among email marketing services is fierce not only on price, but also on features and functionality. Your decision should not be based on price alone. I recommend doing a weighted scorecard analysis before making a decision. A weighted scorecard takes some of the emotional factor out of choosing an application and helps you focus on the issues that really matter the most to you and your company. Here's how to do it:

    First, make a list of the issues and features that are important to you in an email marketing tool. While price is one issue; other issues could include: ease of use; ability to personalize emails; list management capabilities; reporting capability; creative options; social media integration; support/training; and more. Try to keep your list to 7-10 things that really matter to you. Once you've got that, step two is to assign a percentage weight to each of these issues. The total should equal 100%. This will help you focus on the features that are really the most important to your organization. So for one retailer, price may be very important and have a percentage weight of 50%. For another, price is important but maybe only 20% of the picture.

    Now you are ready to score your short list of potential email marketing services. As you review each marketing service within each of the categories, give it a score of 1-4. Then, multiply each score by the weight you've given to that feature to get your weighted score. Once you've scored each service in each of the categories, add up the totals. The service with the highest total score is the one that best meets your stated criteria!

    Following is an example of a scorecard for a fictitious "ABC Email Marketing Service":

    http://www.furnituretoday.com
     
  2. email-FX

    email-FX VIP

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    Gspot - thanks for reposting this great article. I couldn't agree more with the "issues and features " list, and I might only emphasize training on a given system a bit more. My thinking is that it may not matter how good the software is, if you are incapable of using it. I'd recommend asking to spend some time on the phone with a support rep that will actually service my account, and ask does this person understand the product? Do they seem capable of helping me accomplish my goals?

    Sorry, if this post seems a little self serving...
     
  3. nickphx

    nickphx VIP

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    If you're relying on a support person to do your mailing work.. zzzz
     
  4. email-FX

    email-FX VIP

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    No, I'm just saying that the value of receiving quality training so that you can go from not knowing to knowing what you are doing shouldn't be underestimated. Am I correct in assuming that not everyone knows what they are doing?
     
  5. nickphx

    nickphx VIP

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    At one point everyone was a noob. I supposed I've been fortunate enough to be self reliant to develop my own tools and work with other systems..
     
  6. gspot

    gspot VIP

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    yes LM you are correct in assuming not everyone knows what they are doing. However, relying on support is never a good thing, since most people in support or Am's (unless they are an active mailer) don't really know what's going on in the every changing world of email marketing. But yes, asking questions and finding out how a product can benefit you is highly recommended.
     

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