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What is email marketing software?
Email marketing software automates email communication between a business and its prospects and customers. These systems manage mailing lists, monitor marketing campaign effectiveness, and increase email marketing efficiency. They can be used to strengthen brand recognition, announce new product launches, and promote services.
Email marketing tools help marketing teams:
- Manage email templates
- Create customer-focused newsletters
- Send survey emails
- Run promotional campaigns
- Streamline customer relationship management efforts
The benefits of email marketing platforms
- Message personalization: Email marketing software lets businesses customize messages for unique audiences based on their interests, location, purchase behavior, and more. Users can address each customer by name, personalize subject lines, include previously browsed products, reference membership milestones, and add loyalty/reward information.
- Easily shareable: Marketing campaign subscribers can forward and share emails with their personal networks with a simple click, helping you extend your reach beyond your established audience. Most email marketing software lets users embed social media sharing buttons, extending your reach even further when subscribers use those sharing options.
- Measurable return on investment (ROI): Through email marketing platforms, businesses can track the effectiveness of each campaign by analyzing KPIs such as click-through rate, open rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rate. This lets marketers make data-driven business decisions and create strategies for upcoming marketing campaigns.
Typical features of email marketing software
- Contact database: Store information about email subscribers, leads, and customers in a centralized location. Some email marketing tools integrate with CRM software and/or other systems to automatically retrieve customer and lead data.
- Mass email delivery: Send promotional and other marketing emails to a large group of recipients and ensure correct delivery.
- Subscribe or unsubscribe: Give users subscribe and unsubscribe options for each email.
- CAN-SPAM compliance: Ensure that emails don't contain misleading headers or deceptive subject lines, and do include your business' registered, physical address as well as a proper opt-out mechanism.
- Mailing list management: Create email address lists and groups based on contact types. Users can send emails to the entire list or specific groups within a database, and export contact lists as CSV or XLSX files.
- Template management: Customize built-in email templates with your company's logo/branding using a drag-and-drop editor. Users can select templates based on theme, layout, or campaign type.
- Reporting and analytics: Track email campaign KPIs such as delivery rates, click-to-open rates, and unsubscribe rates in charts and graphs.
Considerations when purchasing email marketing software
- Integration with CRM software: Businesses should consider integrating their email marketing tools with their existing CRM solution, and look for systems that offer this functionality. Integration eliminates the need for double entry of contacts and ensures that leads and customer data is consistent across all systems. Most CRM solutions contain information about customer preferences, which email marketing software can leverage to generate campaign mailing lists based on demographics, interests, or past purchases.
- Mobile-optimized templates: A mobile-responsive email design ensures that customers can comfortably read your emails on small screens and navigate using appropriately sized buttons. When choosing an email marketing software, look for one that offers built-in mobile templates for your emails.
- Email automation: Email marketing platforms with built-in email automation capabilities lets businesses automatically send email to individuals using a preset trigger. Automated emails can be sent to welcome new subscribers, collect product or service feedback, inform them of upcoming deadlines/expirations, and offer birthday/anniversary gifts. If your business uses bulk messaging campaigns built on templates, look for this automation functionality while purchasing an email marketing solution.
Relevant email marketing software trends
- Voice technology will shape small and midsize business' (SMB's) email marketing strategy: With conversational user-interface technologies on the rise, customers are learning about the company behind a marketing email first, and then paying attention to the subject line. This makes it even more important for SMB marketers to build a strong and consistent brand image to encourage customers to read their email content.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will help draft effective emails: Email marketers are using AI tools to enhance email performance by creating marketing content that is neither too spammy nor too promotional. Machine learning automatically generates personalized emails that facilitate an engaging business-customer relationship.