If you want to be a successful marketer in the year 2016, and you don’t have an email marketing strategy, you’re already behind. Whether you’re just getting started, or revamping your strategy, choosing the right email service provider is key. Your relationship with your email service provider will be one of the longest lasting, complex relationships you embark upon in your marketing career. There are several components you need to consider before shopping for an email service provider.
Whether you are in the business of fashion or food, there is an email service provider that will service your industry the best. Don’t be fooled; not every email service provider is the same, nor do they all offer the same services. There are specific platforms that cater, no pun intended, to restaurants and fast food chains. There are also specific platforms tailored to online retailers. Choosing an email service provider that has experience in your industry is key to running successful email campaigns.
Complexity of Your Needs
Now you need to determine the complexity of your email marketing campaigns. Are you a startup just learning how to communicate with your customers? Or do you want to expand your marketing efforts to an already large list? Determining how complex your needs are is essential when determining which platform you want to go with. Some email platforms are more advanced than others. Capabilities to consider are email automation, conversion tracking, reporting, personalized communication, and testing.
Clientele & Budget
The number of clients you will be marketing for, and your budget are two peas in a pod. All email service providers have a different pricing structure, and it is important to make a financially wise decision from the beginning because costs can increase as your email subscriber count does. If you are just starting out and have a small database, consider choosing an email service provider that charges you a small lump sum monthly based on your subscriber count. If you are a marketing agency or e-commerce firm that has several email marketing clients, consider choosing an email service provider that has a more dynamic pricing structure. In some cases, you can get a better deal on pricing if you have multiple clients under the same agency account. Multiple clients can bring down the cost per email send across the board for everyone.
Once you have evaluated these topics, start shopping! Demonstrations are great; the aftermath of endless follow-up phone calls from thirsty sales representatives trying to get your business is not. But it is a small price to pay for choosing a platform that you will use every day and for a very long time. Knowledge is wealth–choosing the right platform for your needs will make your job as an email marketer so much easier! So look around, schedule several demonstrations, and ask a ton of questions to make an informed decision.