Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Getting Started with Email Marketing Apps: Why You Need One

October 29, 2014

You have a lot of options when it comes to email marketing solutions.

I’ve written a lot about email marketing in this blog, and I still believe that it’s one of the most effective ways to target the right customers and get your message across.

But I’m always surprised when I run across salespeople at conferences and learn that they’re still building their lists manually. Or worse – they’re just sending every sales and marketing email to every address on their lists. And they’re using the old direct-mail 1 or 2 percent is a good return method for evaluating their results.

Their perception may be that web-based email marketing applications are too expensive, too difficult to use, or just unnecessary.

They’re none of those things, and I strongly encourage you to investigate what’s available. I have my favorites, but your mileage may vary. What works for my company’s needs may not be right for you, so explore more than one. Take advantage of free trials.

They all share some of the same features, including:

Import of existing contacts. You don’t have to start from scratch. You’ll be able to upload your mailing lists in popular formats like Excel, or even from other apps. And if you don’t have a good contact list, you can get help building one.

Help creating eye-catching emails. Whether they’re viewing them on their smartphones, tablets, or desktops, your customers have a lot of email traffic. Yours need to stand out – both visually, and in terms of your content. Email marketing applications provide tools like templates to help.

Integration with social media. This is an absolute must for email marketing applications, and it occurs in a variety of ways. You’ll be able to cross-post emails to your social networks, create more comprehensive, real-time contact profiles, and encourage your audience to share your content.

Insightful reporting. Who opens your emails? What links do they click on? Who forwarded your email, and who made a purchase because of it? Which emails aren’t getting through, or are being ignored? Are pictures or text more effective? These are the kinds of questions that email marketing applications can answer.

Automation. Email marketing applications save time and keystrokes by automating emails that should be sent when they’re triggered by a customer or prospect’s actions. For example, new visitors can be sent a welcome message, and more engaged contacts can be sent emails based on their interests and website activity.

Integration with other applications. You can see by now that these apps scream to be connected to your other sales and marketing tools, from Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamix to HootSuite and NetSuite to Pipeliner CRM and Google Drive. Built-in integration and access to APIs provide a bridge to CRM software, in addition to numerous other application types.

If you haven’t explored any email marketing apps, I recommend you try out Constant Contact, VerticalResponse, and MailChimp first. You’ll wish you’d been using one for years.

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