Email marketing 101: how to choose a vendor

by 24 Dec 2014
One of the first steps in implementing an email marketing campaign is choosing the right software for your company’s needs.  

Among the expert-recommended service providers are:
•    HubSpot: “I’m pretty biased, but HubSpot has a terrific email marketing app – it makes it easy to design, send, and measure the success of email newsletters (and have them fully integrated with the rest of your marketing strategy,” said Ginny Soskey, editor of HubSpot content.
•    MailChimp: “I prefer MailChimp.  It’s nice, easy to create a template for email, and it’s very user friendly to create lists and forms for sign-up.  It also has a free level for the first 2,000 subscribers, which for most clients is sufficient,” said Sam Insalaco, digital marketing specialist and owner of theBrewRoom, LLC.
•    Constant Contact: “It has several of the same nice functionalities as MailChimp, but it hasn’t been around as long.  It does have event management, though, which allows users to create events and track registration.  You can also do social campaigns and run Facebook promotions, surveys, emails, and the like,” said Insalaco.  
•    Emma: In addition to MailChimp, Soskey recommends Emma as a standalone email tool.  “They won’t give you a high-level view of how email newsletters contribute to the rest of your marketing (which marketers should definitely be tracking), but as a point solution, they can be valuable,” she said.

Although these tech solutions need to be evaluated on an individual basis, Email Marketing Reports notes that it’s critical for businesses to follow through with obtaining one for the following reasons:

•    Subscribers can remove themselves at will, and “dead” email addresses are automatically eliminated from the list
•    New readers receive an automated “welcome” email
•    It’s easy to track analytics, such as which links were most popular and which target demographics clicked on them
•    Templates provided by vendors ensure that emails are legally compliant, customized to the reader, and avoid the dreaded spam folder

At a very minimum, experts recommend that organizations consider an add-on feature to their traditional email client that enables it to perform marketing and mass mailing functions.