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Email Marketing Solutions: Not all are created equal

In today's world where just about everyone is always on-the-go, email marketing offers a great and convenient way to stay in touch with your target audience. But you're likely always on-the-go, too – especially since you're, you know, running your own business.

So wouldn't it be nice if your email solution provider offered all kinds of valuable features to make email marketing work for you, versus the other way around?

Learning Series: Small Business Email Marketing #101

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What to look for in your email platform

At the very least, an email marketing platform should provide a way to manage your email lists, create email messages, schedule various release dates and times and track outcomes. While that may all sound straightforward enough, how well these features work can vary tremendously from platform to platform. Before signing on, it's also super important to determine the level and quality of customer service and technical support you'll be receiving when you hit a bump and need a helping hand.

To minimize headaches and maximize results, here are a few things to be sure to look for in a quality email provider...

  • Plug-n'-Play: Long gone are the days where you had install, update, and maintain complicated software programs to manage email marketing. Today's solution is cloud-based and as simple as "drag, drop, edit, stylize and send."
  • Real People, Real Knowledge, Real Solutions: While the platform needs to be fast and easy to use on its own, there are still times when it's useful to be able to talk to a human – ideally a super-helpful and knowledgeable customer service professional.
  • Best Practices: An email campaign is only as good as the overall marketing strategy it's intended to support. If your email provider really knows their stuff, they'll also understand how important it is to provide you with the latest and greatest in marketing techniques to insure that you're not just sending out emails – you're sending out quality ones that were crafted to align with all of the current best practices.
  • Try Before You Buy: Be wary of any cloud-based solution that doesn't invite you to take the app for a test drive before you buy. And while on the ride, look for a solution that can be customized to fit your needs, as well as one that's scalable and can grow as you grow.
  • Validate Impact: For email to be effective, you have to be able to track, measure and analyze your marketing performance metrics. Your data should also be viewable via multiple mobile devices and integrated with other marketing tools.

Why should you care?

Because email marketing is such a prominent component of any successful marketing campaign today, there will be a lot of providers competing for your business. Don't get lost in all the noise. Your time is important and so are your customers. The right email solution will respect both by offering you a platform that's as easy as possible to use and including robust features that ensure that you'll engage your customers.

Did you know?

...that Emma has a team of experts ready and willing to help you export current email lists, prepare compelling email designs, and productively launch your campaign? Founded in 2003, Emma has helped over 45,000 small businesses just like yours create awesome email campaigns. Plans are based on the size of your email list and can start as low as $45 per month.

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Other Small Business Learning Topics:
Email Marketing | Email Features | Email Personalization | Email Integration | Email Best Practices

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Note: This information has been compiled by the Knowledge Institute for Small Business Development (KISBD) for educational purposes only in order to convey a general overview of the options and related services available to small businesses in the subject areas introduced. Content is provided on an "as is" basis and is not intended to be an exhaustive representation, nor does it provide advice or create a customer relationship between KISBD and its sponsors,, its affiliates and any other organization named herein, and any reader.

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