According to a report by MarketingSherpa, email marketing is the service most commonly outsourced by marketers. Choosing the right email marketing campaign provider can be a daunting prospect, especially in a developing market like India which is at a nascent stage.
Imagine for a moment that you are in the process of buying a dress for your wedding and are very pleased with your choice. But then, uh oh, the shop delivers your dress late, it’s not the right size; the hem is split at the bottom. You are undoubtedly going to blame it on your luck, but then on hindsight you realize you could have saved yourself a lot of stress. The same holds true for a picking the right email marketing service provider, pick the wrong one and you are in a lot of trouble but if you pick the right one, your outsourced service could add a lot of value to your marketing efforts.
Once you have decided to outsource your email marketing service, how do you decide on the right service provider? Here are some criteria that can be used to find the right match for your business:
Cost / Pricing: This is one of the key points to take into account as this varies with different providers. Before you even shortlist any service providers you need to decide how many emails you want to send in a month and how many subscribers you wish to target.
Support: A diligent email marketing service provider should provide help and options to get you started. Some providers provide 24/7 support but many fail in this point thus causing a lot of grief for your business. Checkout 5 Best Practices for Impactful Email Marketing Subject Lines
Compliance: The service provider must be 100% data and privacy norms compliant. This is vital in this day and age when there is such an outcry about data privacy as the last thing you want is a lawsuit against your organization. Governments have been trying to control spammers by implementing laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act. It is important that your email service provider complies with such acts.
Ease of Use: It is important to choose a provider that provides software with an easy to use interface. For example, many provide drag and drop newsletter creators which make it very easy to compose email newsletters.
Metrics: Your service provider should be able to tell you how successful the email campaign was e.g. which emails were delivered and which were not, and if not, why? The provider should also be able to measure open and click through rates.
Integration with Social Media: This is a relatively new concept but one which is becoming vital for businesses. With this feature, Facebook, Twitter and other social media links can be added directly into the emails, increasing the social reach of your campaign.
Cloud based (or not): Most of the email marketing providers are cloud based, but it is up to you decide if you want self-hosted or cloud based. Self-hosted can be made to fit your requirements but it needs technical skills to configure the system to perform well. Also an important point to note is if your service provider offers image hosting as that can be a useful feature if you need to use visuals to promote your campaign.
Proof of how important an email marketing service provider is can be proved by the example of the New York Public Library who after changing their providers saw in increase in the average open rate by 15.3% and the click through rate up by 11.8%. Checkout our eCommerce Marketing Automation Software to grow more business online.