Getting Started with Email Marketing Part 2: Choosing an Email Marketing Platform

A 2012 study found that 85% of people go online to check email, while only 61% use the internet to check social media. Additionally, a recent survey found that 91% of people use email at least once a day. Furthermore, an Experian survey found that the average return for every $1 spent on email marketing is $44.25, and that 66% of people have made a purchase as a result of an email they have received.

So, if you're not already using email marketing, it's time to get started. Part 2 of my email marketing guide will focus on how to choose the right email marketing platform for your business. (If you missed Getting Started with Email Marketing Part 1 make sure to check it out, and don't forget to subscribe to my blog so you won't miss out on the rest of the series!)

Choosing an Email Marketing Platform

You want to choose an email marketing platform that will let you collect email addresses, send well-designed email campaigns, and provides statistics for you to measure the success of your campaigns.

Subscriber Management

Your relationship with your subscribers is the most important part of your email marketing. You want a platform that makes managing your subscribers as simple as possible. Look for a platform that offers a way to group subscribers so you can keep them properly organized. 

You want to organize subscribers based on their relationship with your business. For example, if they are already a customer then you should keep them in a group that indicates they have already purchased something from you.

Ease-of-Use

Your email marketing platform should offer the ability to easily add photos and hyperlinks to your email campaigns. You also want a platform that allows users to unsubscribe easily. Otherwise, you can run into complications with following the anti-spam act.

Detailed Analytics

If you are spending time and money with email marketing you should also be able to measure the success. You can also use analytics to understand the habits and behaviors of your subscribers so that you can reach them effectively. Look for a platform that provides analytics on:

  • The number of emails delivered - You might be trying to send emails to 1,000 subscribers and only reaching 500 so it is important for you to see the delivery rate
  • The percentage of emails opened - See how many of your subscribers opened the emails delivered to them
  • Click-through rates - Review the number of people that click through the link(s) in your email campaigns.
  • Forwarded emails - Track how many of your subscribers forward your emails
  • Bounced emails -  See the number of emails that bounce (there are multiple reasons that this can happen) and adjust your subscriber contact information to avoid future issues
  • Unsubscribe rate - Review the number of people who unsubscribe from your updates

Review analytics about 3-5 days after sending an email. After a few campaigns, you should be able to spot trends, and take the appropriate action to begin to optimize your campaigns.

Social Media Integration

Your email marketing platform should integrate with social media so that your subscribers can easily share your emails with their friends and followers through a variety of media.

Affordable Pricing

Email marketing is an investment and the pricing for platforms can vary greatly depending on your needs, the number of subscribers you have, and the overall features available through the platform. Pick a platform that offers what you need at a price you can afford.

If you use your email marketing platform properly it will save you time and ultimately make you money. In general you need make sure the platform has a way for you to collect email addresses, brand your emails, review analytics for your campaigns, and that they are compliant with anti-spam regulations.

Stay tuned for a post next week reviewing some of the popular email marketing platforms available. If you have any specific questions or want to add to my guide with your own advice, leave a comment below!