Marketing is the collection of activities that businesses perform in order to acquire and maintain clients and promote and sell their products and services. Traditional marketing has included practices such as direct mailing, telemarketing, radio and television advertising, and billboard advertising. E-marketing, which refers to the use of marketing strategies on the Internet, includes using email as part of marketing campaigns and ongoing customer contact. An email marketing solution is a collection of products and services that help a business to organize and produce its email marketing.
In choosing the best email marketing solution, the top consideration should go to finding a reputable company who is guided by both the letter and the spirit of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) of 2003. The CAN-SPAM act includes requirements for sending commercial email, and information on how email addresses can be collected. It also defines commercial spam. Since consumers don’t know all the ins and outs of the act, it is important not only to comply with it, but also to not even arouse the idea in people’s minds that you might not be complying with it. Therefore, care is needed, both the avoid arousing the ire of customers and to avoid getting in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission. A firm that shows awareness of this may be your best bet.
Other considerations in choosing an email marketing solution will partly depend on finding a good match between which tasks you want to hire out and the packages that various companies offer. Standard features include templates for emails and newsletters, email scheduling, opt-in forms, email delivery issue management, and Google® Analytics integration or another statistics program to help you analyze the results of your emails. Make sure to review the support options. Typical options include a knowledge base with help articles, live chat, and phone support. Some firms offer an account manager or a service team, but these options may incur additional charges.
Of course, in choosing the best email marketing solution, cost will be a consideration. You may wish to try out several demos before making a choice in order to gain assurance that you are spending your money wisely. Also, check out the training and support to make sure that it will meet your needs. Finally, be sure to look at all of the plans offered, even if you think you will be choosing a basic plan. This will make you aware of options that you won’t be receiving and help you gain a better understanding of the possibilities offered by an email marketing solution, as well as contribute to your plans for the future.