You'll have often heard in Internet Marketing circles that, "The money is in the list." For that reason, building up a list of email subscribers forms part of most online businesses' Internet Marketing management strategy.
Having been an employee with several email marketing platforms over the years, I thought I'd share my head on various criteria for making a smart option for a service provider.
To begin with, know that ISPs (Isps) have the interests of the customers in your mind. To them, spam is anything the subscriber doesn't want in his or her inbox.
Therefore, deliverability of the emails will partly be based on your own reputation, because the ISPs perceive it. Would you build a relationship together with your subscribers, creating expectations and meeting all of them with relevant, value-added content?
However, it's also based on the reputation of your e-mail marketing service provider. Will they take an active role in meeting CAN-SPAM guidelines and building win-win relationships with ISPs?
It's worth finding this out, because all the great content on the planet has limited value if much of it goes undelivered.
In my experience, AWeber remains a leader in this regard.
Capability and adaptability
The various email marketing platforms all have their own strengths and limitations.
Do you have a single email list, and want to create a short (five messages or less) autoresponder series for brand new subscribers? Something such as Constant Contact may go well for you.
Do you want the ability to create multiple, unique lists inside a single account? Is it important to you to definitely be able to segment these lists, so that you can adjust your marketing messages to subscribers' behavior? Would you like a platform that may integrate along with other service providers, for example 1shoppingcart.com? AWeber may be the best service provider for you.
Do you sell multiple products and want a particularly robust system that ties together a shopping cart software, email marketing platform, POP email options, calendar, task management, and more, in a single, cloud-based solution? InfusionSoft could be the answer for you.
Naturally, the very best solution is going to depend on your individual needs. The main thing is to consider what your needs are...and what you anticipate these to be in a couple of years. Because it's a fairly major undertaking to migrate your subscriber list from one service provider to another, you need to find a solution that's sufficiently robust, without swinging too much in the opposite direction and overbuying.
Ease of Use and Quality of Training
This is highly subjective, obviously, but listed here are a couple of things to consider when you're deciding on the service provider for the email marketing branch of your Internet Marketing management plan.
How do you learn best? For example, do you like to learn by reading instructions or by watching videos? If you prefer live training (for example, by webinar), is this offered? What support will the provider offer that will help you hit the ground running with their service? Is that this included in the monthly subscription fee, or does training incur one more fee?
Another place to look is around the service provider's blog, should they have one. The quality of the content there can provide you with hints by what you can expect later.
Quality of Tech support team
Finally, you need to be assured that when you are stuck, effective assistance is available.
A terrific way to check on the other people are saying about a service provider would be to do a keyword search within the major social networking channels. It's not necessarily a red flag if a issue is noted. In fact, it's particularly enlightening to determine how the provider handles it whenever a problem does arise.
Other things to think about may include whether technical support is included in your subscription fee, what the support hours are, and where the support relies.
For instance, if you are on Pacific Some time and your e-mail marketing platform's live tech support team is available 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, that's something you want to be aware of. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it is good to know ahead of time. As another example, if you're going to incur one more cost for live technical support, does it involve a separate monthly fee, or are you able to pay through the incident?
Making the decision
If your Online marketing management strategy includes email marketing, you want the answer that provides the very best combination of features, ease-of-use, cost, and support. With some good planning and research, you can uncover the best answer for your unique needs.