Email Marketing top 5 advanced featuresPosted: June 15, 2010
There are plenty of Email Marketing services available in the market today. How do you decide which one is best for you?
- You could go to Email Service Provider comparison site like http://www.whichesp.com .
- If Google search throws up too many options you may want to search twitter for #emailmarketing to see which are the more savvy ones. Here is my twitter email marketing company list.
- You could look for great presentations, case studies on slide share, you tube scribd etc.
- Keep in mind the important reports that you will need from your Email Marketing efforts. Read this post here.
Depending on how big your operation is, whether you are a B2B company or B2C, how much customization you need and your integration with CRM system, choosing the right Email Marketing Service provider is not an easy decision.
In this post I want to highlight 5 key advanced features that may get overlooked under price pressures.
1. HTML email testing
- It is not very difficult to design an HTML email. Many ESPs have this option. Some allow unlimited image hosting, others charge a fee. What is important however that you should be able to test your email in various email clients. Look out for this feature. Trust me, you may have the simplest design but you will spend time figuring out why Outlook eats up your borders.
2. Spam Score testing
- Knowing that your email is getting caught in the spam is like a huge bonus. Testing your email against well know spam traps is a very good feature to have.
3. IP reputation features
- Get to know how many people are hitting the spam button on your email (yes even genuine subscribers do that.) This is possible if your ESP has feedback loops in place.
- It is very important to protect your IP reputation. Does your ESP support SPF and other email authentication features?
- Is your service provider a member of a well known direct marketing association? It may not be visibly apparent why this feature is important. But membership in the long run is a sign of strategic thinking and planning from the email vendor. I recommend that you should look for this feature.
4. Ability to Segment your data
- As you become more confident in your campaign skills. You will move towards creating more targeted emails and will need to create segments from your data. Not having this feature 6 months down the line will be your major headache.
- This also means that on your signup forms you should be able to capture the readers’ interests. A ready to use sign up form feature will be very handy.
5. A/B testing
- Again as you become conversant with different email templates, subject lines and content, there will be a point when you will want to get the most juice out of your emails. Will a two column format work? Which is the best place for the call to action in this design? Such questions can only be answered with an A/B test. This too is a must have feature.