How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Tool for Your Business
With an impressive $44 return on every dollar spent, using email marketing is a no-brainer. But what’s not as obvious is which email marketing tool you should use to make that kind of ROI.
Because let’s be honest:
Bigger isn’t always better.
Cheaper isn’t always less expensive in the long run.
And the most popular isn’t always the best to suit your unique needs.
Here’s how you can find the best email marketing tool for your business and set up every campaign for success.
What Will You Offer Customers via Email?
You can use email marketing for a variety of goals, from selling a product to driving blog traffic to sending surveys or requests for feedback.
How do you plan to use email marketing?
Pretty much any email marketing tool can do any of the above, but exact features can vary between provider. For example, if you use Typeform for feedback, MailChimp offers a direct integration, but A Weber relies on Zapier as a workaround.
If you’re an agency that offers email marketing services to your clients, you’ll also need to think about their specific goals and existing systems. They won’t be touching the email marketing tool themselves, so you’ll have to be confident in your ability to use it to achieve their objectives.
Who Will Create the Email Campaigns?
Though email marketing is largely automated, there’s still someone pulling the strings via building campaigns and translating insights. Most email tools are intuitive, which means that whoever is using them doesn’t need much experience. But it’s still essential to consider the user’s ability to learn the system forward and backward so that you can get the biggest benefit.
Their willingness to learn, their inquisitive nature, and their ability to test features and make accurate insights can all contribute to how much you get from your email tools.
What Features are Most Important to You?
If all email marketing tools were the same, there would only be a need for one. Every platform has its own unique advantages, which complicates the process of comparison shopping.
It’s easier to narrow the field when you already know what you’re looking for. Things like drag-and-drop editors make it easy to build professional emails with no coding skills. A/B split testing helps you get the best possible results by testing two versions of your email. Automating your email means less hands-on involvement in each campaign.
Email platforms have come a LONG way in the past few years and continue to offer more features and services. But try to stay focused and make your decision on what you actually need now and what you might need in the future.
Make a list of your non-negotiables. Email tools that can’t meet one or more of these needs don’t need any further consideration. The ones that check all the boxes should be shortlisted and explored more in-depth.
Compare Email Tools and Find Out What They Don’t Do
Email marketing are feature-rich, that much is certain. But looking at the sheer number of things they can do makes it hard to figure out what they don’t do.
Most people get pulled into the “shiny object syndrome,” where they’re focused on all the neat little features that actually have nothing to do with what they need.
Remember, not all email marketing platforms offer the same things. As you’re comparing platforms, start looking to see where their weaknesses are and whether those weaknesses actually matter to you.
Read User Reviews to Set the Right Expectations
On the surface, email marketing tools are formidable powerhouses. But there may be issues bubbling under the surface that you’d only discover the hard way.
Do a little online recon to see what other users have experienced. Have they seen widespread outages or delays? Does the provider offer ongoing support that’s quick and easy to access? Are they reliable and secure?
A bad review shouldn’t be a deal killer, just like a bad review of your own business doesn’t mean you’re a total failure. But seeing recurring issues and complaints in reviews could be a sign that you should keep moving.
Try It for Yourself!
The best way to see how an email marketing service works is to try it for yourself. Most email marketing tools will offer free trials if they aren’t free to begin with. Start your free trial when you have enough time to spend testing features and learning how it all works so that you can make an informed decision before you pull the trigger.
The user experience is paramount to email marketing, especially since you’ll have a mix of desktop and mobile users. Send yourself some test campaigns to see what your audience will see. Pay attention to how the email appears in the inbox, what it looks like when you open it, how much scrolling you have to do, and how long pages take to load when you click links.
Email can be the most powerful marketing tool for a website owner, provided you choose the right one for your goals. Take time to explore your options so that your investment will be nothing but successful.