9 Must-have Features for Effective Email Marketing
With more than 347 billion emails expected to be sent and received in the year 2023, email marketing is believed to get more and more popular as a marketing channel.
Therefore, marketers must not leave a single stone unturned to use it to its maximum potential. If you are an email marketer, you would certainly be using an Email Service Provider to deploy your email marketing campaigns. It is quite likely that you are under-utilizing the tool and not using all the features that you have paid for. If you are using free email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, it could still be possible that there are some unused features lying dormant.
On the other hand, it is also possible that you are not able to make up your mind about which features to settle for.
To help you get the value for money and make the best out of your email marketing strategy, here are some features that you ought to employ.
1. Automation Workflows
Automation is hands down the most important feature in the world of email marketing. With the help of this feature, you can trigger emails whenever a subscriber takes a particular action. For example: Consider an ecommerce store setup. Now, email automation will allow you to send out a welcome email when a subscriber signs up or makes the first purchase. You can even send out a series of welcome emails to introduce your brand and ask for more information to personalize the future emails and enhance the subscriber experience.
You can set up an automation workflow that will help you send out transactional emails as and when an order is placed, confirmed, shipped, out for delivery, and delivered.
A series of automated cart abandonment emails can help you recover the cart and convert the opportunity into sales.
You can even send out re-engagement emails to subscribers who have not engaged with your emails in the last 90 days.
These emails would ensure consistent communication with your subscribers and build a better brand reputation.
2. List Maintenance Tool
Most of the email service providers come with the provision to add and remove email subscribers. This is a basic feature that should be invariably available in your ESPs. Additionally, it should also be able to remove hard bounces or invalid email addresses automatically and soft bounces after a certain number of failed deliveries. The ESP should make subscription changes requested by the user without any manual intervention. Some ESPs also allow their customers to set up list management rules to maintain a clean email list.
3. Segmentation Module
While choosing an ESP, make sure that they offer advanced segmentation with a user-friendly interface. You should be able to export the subscribers and their data to the lists and support all the automation permutations and combinations. Your segments should be generated in less than a minute without any technicalities so that anyone can use the feature irrespective of their technical knowhow.
4. Lead Scoring Models
As email marketing is sure to get more and more competitive in the coming days, your ESP should give you the facility to score the leads based on the kind of interaction and purchases. These lead scoring models will enable you to target the leads with more relevant information, thereby increasing the likelihood of driving conversions. Marketo is one such ESP and CRM tool that gives you the liberty to do so.
5. Landing Pages
Whenever you send out an email, you must bear in mind that it should have a landing page to go with it. The landing page should shed more light on the information or offer promoted in the email. If your ESP lets you build a landing page, it would make things easier for you while saving your time and resources. For instance: AWeber has recently launched their landing page builder which has an easy-to-use interface and all the necessary features that you would need to create a well-designed landing page.
6. Hassle-free Integration
To make your email marketing more effective, you must be able to integrate it with other platforms and services. Your ESP should offer platform extensions and APIs that can be easily integrated with your email marketing strategy irrespective of the sector you belong to. Whether it is social media, mobile apps, or push notifications, it should facilitate seamless integration with tools like Google Analytics, cloud-based tools or product recommendation tools.
7. Dedicated IP Address
A dedicated IP address is of utmost importance for businesses using email marketing to send out frequent communications as it allows exclusive access to your business for email deployment. If you have your own IP address, it will ensure optimum deliverability rate. If you want to choose the right ESP, make sure it comes with this capability.
8. Email Marketing Analytics
If you cannot measure the success of your email marketing campaigns, it would not make sense for your business. Therefore, your email marketing tool should have proper reporting features. Open rate, click-through rate, deliverability reports, and unsubscribes are the fundamental metrics you must look for, in the ESP.
9. A/B Testing Capability
An important aspect of email marketing is that you should be able to figure out what resonates the best with your target audience. A/B testing comes into picture here. It’s an added advantage if your ESP has this feature. If you have created a Mailchimp email template or a Salesforce email template, these ESPs have an in-built provision of A/B testing. They will let you create two variations of an email campaign and send them out to two different groups, which will in turn help you to determine the version that brings better results.
While email marketing is one of the most powerful channels to promote your business and bring maximum ROI, if you do not use all the features in the right way, it would not yield the outcome that you wish to achieve.
The tips and features shared here will certainly help you choose the right tool and get your email marketing work wonders for your business.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies that specializes in professional email template creation and PSD to HTML email conversion; they are a MailChimp email experts. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.