Email marketing isn’t just about ‘knocking up’ a quick email and sending it out. If you’re going to spend time and money on creating an effective email marketing campaign, you need to know that you’re getting a return on your investment. That’s where email marketing software comes in.
All email marketing software is not created equal…
Once you’ve sent out your perfectly constructed email marketing campaign, how do you know if it’s garnering the right response? Are the recipients acting upon your call to action? Or is your e-mail being simply deleted and its message lost? This is where ‘Reporting’ software can help.
Reporting software allows you to analyse the responses you are getting to your e-mail marketing campaign. Good email marketing software has reporting functions as part of the package, but for a really detailed breakdown you should be looking for software that offers you at least some of the following functions:
- Links clicked – by link name and URL
- Bounces and unsubscribes
- Generate “Hot Prospects” reports to further target your lists
- Automatic list/address book generation from reports, for follow-up campaigns based on filtered results
- Website page and path tracking
- ROI tracking from email to website conversion, by numerical and alpha codes
In addition, email marketing software can also give you a graphical representation of your results if you are looking at international responses. Social bookmark views helps to track your social media exposure and to find out if you’re being ‘Tweeted’. If you are carrying out various e-mail marketing campaigns, good email marketing software should also enable you to compare these campaign results to find out what’s working and what needs to be ditched.
Some email marketing software allows you to generate ‘triggered responses’ for anything from a subscriber’s birthday to Series triggered emails (e.g. four-stage subscription renewal programme). Special ‘send’ features also allow you to stage your campaign over a longer period, generating the next level of e-mail marketing once a certain time frame has passed. This is ideal if your e-mail marketing has time-sensitive offers enclosed in the text, and reporting functions will allow you to see how effective the campaign is at any stage.
Customising your emails
The largest feature package on any email marketing software bundle will be the ‘Create’ features. These are a selection of features designed to make your email stand out from the crowd and lets you customise your emails to suit both individual recipients and your overall campaign. A good Create package should include:
- “Point and Click” technology allowing you to personalise your email content at the touch of a button
- Add external web links to your email content at the touch of a button
- ‘Refer a Friend’ link (a great way to generate new leads and to get your recipient to interact with your email)
- A good, comprehensive template Library that includes professionally designed generic templates
- An easy to use image resizing tool
- Add to social networks’ link (again, great for building effective links on your main site)
- A document manager that lets you link to and launch PDFs, and any other documents directly from your marketing emails
Another useful feature to look out for is a ‘Survey Builder’ that allows you to carry out online survey building with automatic, real-time population of response data into your lists.
If you’re serious about using emails and e-mail software as part of your online marketing strategy, you need to talk to a company that can supply you with email marketing software that works with you through every step of the process, from generating and creating emails right through to statistical analysis. Investment in the right software will show a rapid ROI and represents great value for money too, as you can use it repeatedly to refine your campaign and generate the best possible response.