One of the most important choices you’ll make when you embark on adding email marketing to your plan is which email list technology to pick. There are many very good technologies available from which to choose. In order to find the right one for your business, you will need to answer some very important questions.
1. How Will You Use the Technology?
Will you be sending out automatic messages to all subscribers such as an ecourse, or a regular, full-featured newsletter? Exactly what are your plans with your email list technology?
You need to write down a list of the ways in which you hope to use the technology so you can determine which technology fits those needs.
2. What Is Your Marketing Budget?
As always, knowing your budget in advance is an important component of choosing any technology. It’s hard to pick anything if you don’t actually have a budget decided. Email list technology can be as little as free in some cases to hundreds of dollars each month.
While it’s not really suggested you go with a free option, you have quite a scale to work with when choosing your budget.
3. How User Friendly Is the Technology?
Once you find several options within your budget that offer the features that you need, take advantage of their free offers or low-cost sign-up rates to start a new account and test them out.
Some software will be easier for you to use than others. It’s good if you know how to use it, and it seems intuitive to you. Also, check to see what type of training they offer new subscribers. I started out with Mad Mimi, and I still use them.
They are incredibly versatile, they allow you to utilize your own creativity (which you will know, if you’ve been following me for awhile, that this is hugely important for me!), and they are extremely cost effective. Their free option is fabulous, and you can use it for everything you need until you have enough subscribers that you need to upgrade.
4. Will You Outsource?
You might want to answer this question before the user-friendly question, if only because if you are going to outsource it’s probably better to get help before you choose your technology.
If you already have a virtual assistant or online business manager, you might want to inquire with them to find out which email list technology they recommend. It’ll be easier for them to work with what they’re accustomed to. Be sure to ask them why they prefer it over another type of software.
5. What Is the Delivery Rate?
This is a very important thing to know. There are some software packages that you can put on your own servers which will not have as high a delivery rate as some of the email list technology that uses their servers instead of yours.
Understanding delivery rate, and how this technology works, is going to help you make the best choice for your business.
6. What Features Are Available?
These are some of the things you should try to look for:
- Sign-up forms
- Email newsletters
- Multi-list management
- Subscriber management
- Attractive email templates
- Allows HTML
- Autoresponder technology
- RSS to email
- Social media integration
- Tracking features
- Email marketing API
- Subscriber segmenting
- High deliverability rate
- Great customer service
- Fair pricing plans
The above is a list of various features that you might find offered with different email list technology out there.
You’ll need to understand how you’re going to use the technology and how large your list will become to know which is best for you to choose.
Once you answer all the other questions you’ll be able to know which features you need.
Try to have a solid understanding of what you need before you start looking. You should know whether you want software that is on your own server, or if it can be a service that uses their server and understand how that affects functionality, price, and of course – your own technology preparedness.