10 Things Your Email Provider Should Offer

The Top 10 Elements of a Success Driven Email Marketing Platform

When considering a switch to a new email marketing platform, or reviewing the ability of the one you are currently using it’s always good to be able to cross-compare platforms, but that only works if you know what to compare based on. That’s why we built this list of the top 10 things an email marketing provider should offer.

Check it out and compare it with your provider – do they offer all of the items on the list? How capable are they in each area? Once you have this information, it will be so much easier to make your decisions.

1 – HTML Editors

One of the key developments of email marketing in the last few years was the introduction of HTML editors – an easy way to design email and landing pages. In contrast to the old, inflexible templates that email providers used to offer – where customisation was limited and instead focus was placed on using expensive in-house staff and/or agencies to create emails and landing pages using HTML coding skills, these new HTML editors allow for much more flexibility.

Designed with drag and drop functionality, a good HTML editor offers the ability to create flexible text boxes, button fields, image blocks & more. In fact, the best HTML editors allow for fully customisable functionality, with little to no limitations, as well as integrated tools for previews, testing image editing & more. Accessing each providers’ Editor to test it to see how it compares, and if it suits your purposes should be fairly simple – with most providers offering free trials or free accounts like ours. (FYI to test out our editor simply sign up for a free account by clicking here – inclusive of all of our tools, as well as 2,000 email sends per month to help you see whether our tool is right for you)

2 – Integrated Social Channels

Most email marketing providers nowadays offer some form of social involvement in the email campaigns they run. Typically this is in the form of social sharing buttons built into their HTML editor tools. By including social following / social sharing buttons and functionality into HTML emails and landing pages, your campaigns allow for a greater variety of interaction possibilities. This enables your audience to interact with your content with a greater deal of flexibility.

In addition to social sharing, however, the best email marketing providers also include an element of social posting – that is to say the ability to send out posts/tweets via your social networks through your email marketing platform. Sending these messages is designed as a method to complement your campaigns, and this is most easily achieved through the inclusion of merge tag functionality which links your social posts to your landing page or a hosted version of your email content. (To see this in action – run a test campaign through our software using one of our free accounts).

3 – Data Management Tools

Another item that makes my top 10 list is Data Management Tools. The best email marketing providers have the functionality for good data management built-in. This typically includes deduplication of existing contacts upon upload as well as an automated process that will update your existing contact database with the results of unsubscribes and bounces, as well as historical campaign information stored as a subscriber profile.

The more advanced tools on the market however include additional data management functionality such as segmentation – allowing you to build custom segments of your own lists for specific purposes. On top of segmenting data, it is becoming more common now to include email address verification tools with email marketing – typically via API integration at additional cost, but some providers like Campaign Connex offer this service built-in.

4 – Advanced Testing Possibilities

It is becoming common practice nowadays to include A/B testing in some form or another in email marketing software. Despite its commonplace appearance within email marketing platforms, however, it is still a vital element of email marketing success. With that in mind, it should be carefully reviewed to ensure that the type of testing available meets your criteria – whether this is a basic subject line / from name testing, or more advanced A/B testing to include send times, campaign content & more as Campaignconnex does.

On top of the post-launch testing possibilities, the best email marketing providers also offer Pre-Launch testing tools for activities such as “Inbox Previews” – these show you how your campaign will render across multiple different email clients, browsers & devices. On top of this, spam & link testing are becoming more & more essential to campaign success so look out for these tools in your ideal platform.

5 – Image Editing Software

Another key player in my top 10 list is Image Editing Software – usually something which is tied into HTML editors, but I felt it deserved its own spot on the list. Our Image editing software is great tools to have tied into your email marketing platform as these allow for a full-service product – no need to bring your own coding, or design tools, just use the tools in place.

These Image software tool can become a fantastic way to reduce your marketing spend, as well as reduce reliance on in-house skill with applications such as PhotoShop. Designed as a more user-friendly web-based version of Photoshop, our image editor allows for the same sophisticated level of customisation of images, but without the need for any design skills. Sign up and try it for yourself inside our editor by clicking here.

6 – Personalization

An absolute must-have for any email marketer, personalisation of campaigns has become a central aspect of all marketing initiatives. Whether you are looking for simplified personalisation through segmentation – i.e. creating 2 segments one per gender, and 2 campaigns – one pink, one blue to send out to your respective lists or something more complicated, personalisation is key to increased response rates.

On top of the segmented approach, look out for the ability to include personalised custom information into your campaigns. This could be something as simple as including first names into the beginning of emails/subject lines, or more complicated measures such as including the subscriber’s job function, geographical location & industry into the actual body of the email copy making use of clever custom merge tags.

7 – Advanced Reporting

It goes without saying that reporting is a central aspect of every email marketer’s requirements when it comes to selecting a provider. The most common metrics each email marketer requires to see regularly for each campaign are the open rate, click rate, bounce rate, delivery rate & unsubscribe rate. These email marketing metrics are central to measuring campaign success and should be delivered in real-time for an accurate review of campaign activities.

On top of this, using a tool like Campaign Connex will give you further 360-degree reporting, going beyond the click. Rather than just giving you the email statistics and forcing you to go elsewhere for further updates to consolidate into reports yourself, Campaignconnex collates details on social interactions and landing page behaviours for you, so you can see all the interactions from your campaign in 1 central marketing report, saving you time and money.

8 – Mobile Friendly Template Designs

Another incredibly important aspect of email marketing is ensuring mobile responsiveness for email and landing page templates. You should therefore ensure that the provider you choose uses an appropriate HTML editor that allows for mobile delivery of your campaigns, rendering beautifully across multiple devices.

In order to ensure this, you should make sure that your provider has the ability to preview your campaign across different devices, ensuring that you can always guarantee a beautifully rendered email/landing page, no matter who receives the campaign, and no matter which device they view it on.

9 – Flexible Execution Models

When it comes to executing your campaigns, your email marketing provider needs to give you flexible options in order for you to execute campaigns on your own terms. This means ideally providing:

– Scheduling campaigns to send at specific times

– Scheduling emails to be sent to different recipients at different times based on locations and timezones

– Sending on demand

– A/B testing on send times.

10 – Market Leading Customer Support

Perhaps the most important item on this list, I left for last – Customer Support. You may notice this pops up as a recurring theme across many of my blog posts, but the point still stands. Customer support is a central aspect of any successful product, regardless of its function.

In email marketing terms, this means having a customer support team on hand who can help you to make full use of all design tools, as well as alleviate any sending issues, payment/upgrade queries & more. With functionality like live chat, telephone support, and screen sharing, a good customer service team is always on hand to help you get the most out of your product.

The Bottom Line

Does your current email marketing provider tick all of these boxes for you? Does it also tick the desirable pricing box? If no to any of the above, then why not see whether Campaignconnex could be a better option for you?

Why not try yourself, Sign-up to Campaignconnex for your free trial today!

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