December 16, 2013

How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Platform for Your Business

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Email marketing is a great way to promote products and services, advertise sales and stay connected to your audience. But given the vast variety of email marketing platforms out there, how do you pick the one that’s best for your business’ needs? When making this decision, there are a few important factors to consider.

Price. Services like Constant Contact base their fee on the number of subscribers in your database, whereas platforms such as EmailDirect base it on the amount of emails you send per month. If you’re a small business, you might want to start out with something like MailChimp, which is free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

Subscriber Management. Look for platforms that have an intuitive, easy-to-manage interface for managing your contacts. Some services let you send emails to highly segmented lists based on user history and information, while others are more basic. Depending on your business needs, the more complicated systems could either be extremely beneficial or a waste of time.

Design Tools. If you’re a novice in HTML, find a service that provides customizable email templates. If you have an experienced design team, get them involved in this stage of your research to make sure they can easily work with the system.

Reporting and Measurement. Learning your subscribers' habits is an important element of successful email marketing. When choosing an email marketing platform, make sure they provide statistical data such as click-through, open and bounce rates. Many services let you compare the success of emails over time and even provide this information in easy-to-read graphs and charts.

Don’t take the decision of choosing an email marketing platform lightly. By doing your research, consulting with your team, and demoing a few of the options before making a final decision, you can increase sales and connect with your audience more successfully than ever before. After you've picked a provider, don't forget to stay up-to-date with email marketing trends.

Megan Malone

Megan Malone is a former madison/miles creative specialist.