10 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Email Marketing Service

These days, the idea of running a business without taking advantage of email marketing is foolish, as doing so means you miss out on the single most powerful tool for attracting new customers and marketing to existing ones. However, you can’t possibly handle the task on your own – you need to rely on an email marketing service. And while there are many user-friendly and cost-efficient providers out there, the sheer number of choices can be daunting. If you want to know which one is the best for your company, you need to ask these 10 key questions:

1. What Are My Company’s Email Marketing Goals?

Just because email marketing is a powerful tool for any company doesn’t mean that you have to dive in blindly without defining your goals first. Each email marketing service provider is different and whether one will suit your company or not will depend on what your company wants to achieve with email marketing.

For example, online or brick and mortar stores might want to use email marketing in order to drive the sales via email. There are email marketing service providers that will allow you to create, send, and track basic promotional mails and even email coupons that will help boost sales.

On the other hand, a company that hosts events or merely wants to build a brand can opt for other providers, particularly those that integrate a digital invitation feature that will help get the word out on events.

Unlike other email marketing services, Emercury does not simply give you great looking templates for your newsletters and emails, we also aim to help you make more money with every publication. Click here and learn how to monetize your email list.

2. What Are the Costs?

Of course, since you’re running a business, the cost will always be a factor. When looking at an email marketing service provider, it helps to understand that pricing is usually billed monthly and is proportional to the number of subscribers your list has. One thing you might want to check out is if the provider allows an unlimited number of emails per month and whether the cost justifies itself within the context of your needs and budget.

3. Are They Offering Customizable Sign Up Forms?

In email marketing, it is generally better to customize your sign up form, as generic ones rarely encourage users to entrust you with the keys to their inbox. When choosing an email marketing service company, it is important that you look for one that offers customizable sign up forms, as not offering one is usually a sign that the provider is not worth your time. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but when choosing the best provider out there you have to make sure all the pieces are in place.

4. Self-Designed Emails or Purchase Custom Designs from the Provider?

This one mostly has to do with your needs and what it will cost with a provider, as opposed to being a requirement on the provider’s part, but most of the better known services offer a variety of free, professionally-designed templates that you can use and customize to fit your company’s look and theme. There are also some that charge a nominal fee for the same feature. The third option is to do the designs yourself, which is fine if you have a staff or an employee that can do it, but in general it is usually more cost efficient to get a template from the provider.

5. Will They Help In Planning My Email Campaign Strategy?

If you are new to email marketing itself, it is wise to go with the providers that offer professional campaign consulting services. Bear in mind that it comes at added cost that is dependent on the agreement with the provider, and will require you to talk with an account executive in order to negotiate the optimal rates.

6. Does the Provider Help Make My Mails Viewable on Different Platforms?

These days, the market is no longer the exclusive domain of desktop PCs. Mobile internet-capable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and ultraportables have surpassed the number of desktop users. What this means for an email marketer is that you need to ensure that your mails will look consistently across different platforms. Or at least, you need to ensure that they are readable. You don’t want important parts of the letter being pushed outside of the screen or the mail itself being too tedious to read due to the amount of scrolling.

A good email marketing provider will provide mobile-optimized templates that will help make your emails appear properly even on mobile devices. Most of the really good ones even provide them free of charge.

7. Do I Need Social Media Elements Built Into My Campaigns?

That’s a trick question, by the way. It would be foolish not to include social media elements into your campaign, considering that they are free and will help boost your reach. The only thing left to consider is whether your EMS provider allows social features. If they don’t, you might want to look elsewhere or at least take another look at what you are paying them, just to see if you’re really getting your money’s worth.

8. Image Use

A really good EMS provider should allow you to upload and host images and files for your email campaigns, as it is a vital piece to your campaign puzzle. What you need to verify, if they have them, is whether they are part of the plan or come with extra costs – and whether they’re feasible for your budget and needs.

9. What Kind of Customer Support Can I Expect?

This is not exclusive to the email marketing industry – when going with any service provider, you should expect good customer support. When choosing an EMS, you have to check if they offer free phone support along with 24/7 online chat. The nature of your business is that operations will go on 24/7 and problems can happen anytime, so you don’t want to run into problems without any customer support available. Don’t settle for automated systems being marketed as “24/7” support. You need actual knowledgeable people behind the lines.

10. What Types of Analytics Tools Will Be Available?

Lastly, you want to go for EMS providers that offer analytics and measuring tools. After all, the success of your campaigns can only be measured if you have a means of tracking and making sense of various metrics. You cannot do these things manually, so if an EMS doesn’t provide anything, it would be better to look for another company instead of trying to find a third party solution.

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