There is no doubting the fact that running a business takes a huge amount of time. Even the owners of the smallest and quietest businesses would attest to the fact that between administration, financial and budget record keeping, staff or resource management and customer or client service, they have little time for anything else.
Marketing and advertising is a time consuming task which many business owners find themselves struggling to manage as they are simply too busy. The prospect of being so busy you have no time to advertise might sound like an ideal solution but without adequate growth and planning, a business is doomed to fail or plateau.
Many business owners are turning away from traditional advertising methods such as television and radio and are instead turning to new methods such as email marketing which offers them a much more time-effective solution but is also proven to be more economical and give a better ROI.
Despite the fact that email marketing is more appealing in terms of the amount of time it takes to have a positive effect, many business owners still find themselves struggling to find the time to dedicate and for this reason, many turn to email marketing software which allows them to reduce the amount of time and effort they need to put into email marketing in order to have the desired effect.
When choosing email marketing software, it is necessary to look at a number of key points:
Integrated or Stand Alone?
Many email marketing software solutions can be integrated into the current server. Although this option can be more expensive, it can also have a number of benefits such as taking your newsletter or email content directly from your word processing programme and in effect doing all of the hard work for you. Although many business owners find this method beneficial, others prefer the idea of “ironing out any creases” in their email as they hit the send button personally.
It almost goes without saying that if a programme doesn’t have the right features or tools for you then it is of little or no use to you, so it’s well worth working out what you want, need and expect from software before you commit to anything. At the very minimum, email marketing software should allow you to manage your subscriber lists, should allow you to target your emails by separating subscribers into different groups (this allows you to send out certain messages to certain customers which might appeal more to them and their personal needs), and also allow your users to opt out if they no longer want to receive emails from you.
A vital part of any marketing campaign is the ability to assess its effectiveness and many email marketing software applications are able to provide frequent reports on delivered emails, those returned and any results as a result of the emails (such as clicks to the website, purchase of goods or replies to calls to action). This can be invaluable in assessing and planning the next part of your strategy.
Barry Barnes is interested in all things digital, and blogs at Email Marketing UK on marketing strategies, email software and digital news.