December 6th, 2013

Email Marketing: Low hanging fruit for increased ROI

Email MarketingMarketing is central to every business’ success.  Email Marketing is one of the most used and least expensive marketing tools available today.  Why?

  1. Most of your current and prospective customers are online and have email.
  2. The cost of sending mass email marketing messages is extremely low.
  3. Messages can be tailored and targeted to specific audiences, vastly increasing response rates.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the sending of information to one or more current or prospective customers with the intent of “converting” by inducing purchase, increasing brand awareness, increasing brand loyalty, spreading the word, etc.  Often email marketing is a campaign consisting of a long sequence of messages that are sent out periodically:

  1. Offering discounts (e.g. coupons and special offers)
  2. Teaching the customer about your product and space (e.g. building your reputation as an expert they should go to for later purchase)
  3. Informing of changes and improvements to services, or new services and products (to induce further purchase or to have the word passed along to others)

Email Marketing Tools

In order to enhance your business’ marketing program with email marketing, you need:

  1. Software: Some program to compose and send your marketing messages.  E.g. LuxSci Spotlight Mailer is one such program that is hosted on our servers and accessible to you from any computer that has an Internet connection.
  2. SMTP Service: A service that your email marketing program will connect to for the sending of these messages.  This SMTP service will accept all of the messages from your program and deliver them to your recipients.

What makes good Email Marketing Software?

How do you choose what software to use?  There are many criteria, but some of the features that you should look for (and which are included in Spotlight Mailer) are:

  1. Composition: Easy composition of email messages
  2. Mailing Lists: Managing and segmenting your mailing lists
  3. Subscriptions: Tools for managing mailing list subscriptions, opt ins, and unsubscribes
  4. Deliverability: Tracking the delivery of your messages
  5. Analytics: Reports on how successful your campaigns are in terms of the numbers of people who open and read your messages

What makes a good SMTP Service?

Next, how do you choose what SMTP service to use?  Things to consider include:

  1. Provider: Do not send through your ISP or other regular email provider as you are likely to be limited in the maximum number of messages you can send and/or to be blacklisted.
  2. Limits: Choose a service that supports the number of frequency of messages that you need to send.  Do you have a customer list of 2000 addresses and need to send that blast weekly?  Be sure that the service supports that sending rate.
  3. Reputation: Choose a provider with a good reputation.  One that monitors its users and has strong acceptable use policies (AUP).  Some providers may have poor delivery rates due to blacklisting (e.g. spammers using their services and polluting the reputation of their IP addresses)
  4. Tracking: Choose a provider that tracks the delivery of your messages (so you can see what addresses are invalid and remove them) and integrates feed back loops (FBLs), so you can see what valid recipients indicate when they don’t want your messages, and remove them.
  5. Deliverability: The provider should support SPF and DKIM so your messages can be more easily identified as non-Spam and so they are more likely to be delivered into your recipients’ INBOXes.
  6. HIPAA? If you are sending email marketing campaigns that may contain PHI, be sure that you can send these messages securely so that you are in compliance with HIPAA.

LuxSci recommends its High Volume email marketing service, which meets all of these criteria and many more.

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