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Marketing

How to Choose an Email Marketing Software

by
Kelly Jacobson
on
Feb 18, 2021
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Welcome to the wonderful world of email marketing.

You’re here, because you have a list of contacts who’ve opted into receiving information from you, yet you haven’t sent anything.

You may also be here to consistently communicate with your buyers, if you’re an ecommerce company. 

You may even be here because you want to better nurture leads through gentle sales reminders. 

Or because you have an event coming up and need to keep in touch with attendees or vendors. 

No matter the reason, email campaigns can help with all those common pain points. The best way to get started is with a reliable, low-cost email marketing software.

If you’re new to purchasing a platform, you likely have a few questions about how to choose the best email marketing service. 

Mirabel’s Marketing Manager is here to walk you through a few questions to consider during your buying process. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s the cost of a new email software?

According to WebFX, the return on investment for email campaigns is extremely high. In 2021, you earn an estimated $44 for every $1 spent on this strategy.

The statistic speaks for itself: Email marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Plenty of programs offer tiered pricing structures, so you can find the best fit for:

  • Your overall marketing budget 
  • The size of your contact list
  • The frequency of emails you plan to send 
  • Any additional features you might want

When considering the cost of a brand-new email marketing software, add up other marketing expenses. You’re likely spending valuable dollars in Google Ads, PPC campaigns, paid social media ads, and other SEM strategies. 

You might also be investing in communications, project management, graphic design, or content management software. Calculate your entire budget and figure out where the numbers of email marketing fit in before committing to a software.

SuperOffice (www.superoffice.com) ran the data: “Email marketing outperforms all online marketing strategies, including SEO, PPC, and content marketing. [It’s] the most effective marketing channel and for every $1 you spend, you can expect a return on your investment of $51.”

Is there a free trial or free version?

Lots of email software companies offer free demos of their product. Demos are great for a deeper understanding, but they don’t move your marketing campaign forward right away.

A free trial is a great option. It’s a test run to see the following:

  • User experience. Is the software easy to navigate? Without prior knowledge of its interface or how email works, an easy-to-use software is key. A user should be able to flow from one step to the next without questions.
  • Design options. Does the program offer a template gallery? Can you add your own branding? Does the software leave its logo or watermark on email designs? Can you create calls-to-action or add videos/gifs without compromising the load time or deliverability?
  • Supplemental features. Designing an email is only part of the strategy. Remember those additional features mentioned before? A great marketing software will offer complementary tools to create the best campaigns. Look out for add-ons, such as:
    • List segmentation
    • A/B testing
    • Drip campaigns
    • Workflow automation
    • Drip campaigns
    • Unsubscribe and sign-up forms
    • Email address verification (like Clean Your List)
    • Spam score
    • Mobile and tablet previews
    • Analytics, including open, click-through, deliverability, unsubscribe, and spam rates as well as specific links clicked
    • Subject line and preview text
    • Image and video compressions
  • Usefulness. Overall, a free trial will demonstrate how useful a software will be to you. If it offers all the design, deliverability, and analytical features in an easy-to-use platform, you might want to consider committing to software.

Email Marketing Tip: If you’re researching “how to choose an email marketing software,” don’t purchase one right away. If a free version is unavailable and/or you don’t want to sign up for a free trial, ask for a demo.

What features should I look for in an email marketing software?

If you’re new to email marketing, you should be on the lookout for the basics. Most software will offer:

  • A drag-and-drop editor and template gallery 
  • Opt-out/unsubscribe forms
  • Campaign analytics and reports
  • Personalization tokens
  • A/B testing
  • Scheduling and direct send capabilities 
  • Mobile preview 
  • List segmentation

It’s a bonus if a low-cost email program offers more robust tools, such as workflow automation, drip campaigns, deliverability management/spam scores, tablet preview, among others.

If you’re an expert email marketer or part of a large enterprise, you’re likely looking for an all-in-one software. A unique tool, like an email heatmap or automatic subject line A/B testing, is standard to more experienced marketers. 

You’re probably looking for features to round out your entire marketing campaign. For example, landing page builders, SMS and chat integrations, social media and content calendars, or ecommerce-specific specialties

This feature comparison from MailerLite (www.mailerlite.com) details key components to the best email marketing softwares in the industry.

Email Marketing Tip: No software is going to offer everything you need and/or want. To supplement your platform, check out a few third-party tools for design, verification, and more.

Should the email platform integrate with other apps?

Because most platforms expand into other aspects of digital marketing, app integrations are almost expected.

As mentioned before, email often goes hand-in-hand with SMS or text message marketing. It works well with ecommerce apps for digital payments, subscriptions, and inventory management.

So, should email marketing software integrate with other apps? 

Absolutely.

In fact, Mirabel’s Marketing Manager, which offers the simple Email Builder, integrates with Zapier (www.zapier.com) to automate workflows and reach data from over 3,000 other applications.

The affordable digital marketing software integrates with other digital giants like MailChimp and Unbounce, as well as all the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram). 

It connects to business necessities like Google Suite, Evernote, Slack, Trello, Webflow, and SurveyMonkey. Mirabel’s Marketing Manager even connects to major CRMs like HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Keap.

What kind of support will I get?

While email campaigns are digital, they still need to be set up by people. Ensure that your marketing (and possibly sales) staff understand the basics of email best practices. Prepare them for the potential of handling new software, but not without some help.

Most, if not all, marketing platforms come with a support package. The pricing structure will usually determine the kind of support they’ll offer.

Support from software consultants usually comes in three forms: In-person/video/phone, email, and live chat

HubSpot, a leader in CRM and marketing automation, offers a great example of live chat support. This particular chat is available to all website visitors and is automated unless prompted for a software consultant.

Some support packages have time limitations, too. For example, if you have a basic version of the software, you may get only email support plus one hour of in-person/video support.

If you upgrade to a premium version, you might get all forms of support with unlimited time. This is also known as priority support. 
It’s also really important to ask about onboarding and training fees when inquiring about support. It’s rare that a marketer can go into a new software and use it to its full potential without some guidance. They’ll need to watch videos, take courses, and talk to software consultants — all for a price. 

Choosing an email software isn’t an easy task, but as evidenced by the numbers, it’s well worth it. The ROI on these digital campaigns is higher than other strategies, proving email to be a lucrative yet inexpensive option.

To learn more about email best practices and how a campaign should look, download our Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing. Click on the button below to learn more. 

A Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing

A free white paper with tips and best practices to help make your email marketing efforts successful
Download it now

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