Just how much to invest in email marketing

The first question to consider, when planning an email marketing strategy is, what technology to rely on.

To serve the marketing Professionals, lot of offers always keeps running in the market. Where the emails are shot one time, reaching the customer at the various times can fetch more results. Instead of sending a onetime email, sending the offers to various categories monthly twice and sending repeated emails can be more cost effective on the business point of view. Keeping a standard short and crispy message will be more effective. Dig this for more details.

Of course, there is no one single answer: it really depends on the size of your database, the number of messages you intend to send, and so on. Let’s say there are three basic choices:

  1. Free platforms.

One of the many services available free of charge i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc. – used either directly on the web or through a Client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.

This is the simplest option, a primitive form of email marketing. In any case the main benefits are; these platforms are quick and easy to use, and their zero cost. Of course, the disadvantages lie in the many technical limitations that this service entails: almost no editing flexibility, increased deliverability uncertainties, a limited number of mail-outs, little or no analytics control…

This can be a convenient solution for people with small businesses or who are just starting up their email marketing activity and want to get some hands on experience. In any case, an essential piece of advice: make sure the email addresses on the list are put in blind copy – bcc.

Sure, it’s one of the communication ABCs but rest assure sooner or later you’ll come across a newsletter mailed-out in carbon copy, with all your email address in plain sight along with everybody else’s.

Support Cost: zero.

  1. Software.

Email sending software, such as Atomic, SendBlaster or GroupMail are much more sophisticated when compared to the free platforms, with: unlimited mailing list management, ample opportunities in terms of email editing and formatting, spam testing, precise control over bounces and analytics results etc.

Typically it’s used by small and medium-sized businesses – but not exclusively. Its main strength is everything gets handled in-house by the client i.e. the database is in your hands, and nothing gets outsourced. The disadvantage is that one must find a reputable external SMTP – paid or not – and your computer is tied up during mail-outs.

Support Cost: roughly between 80 and 200 euros – obviously this a one-off cost.

  1. Paid Services.

Paid services, such as ContactLab E-Circle, MailChimp etc – also known as ESP (Email Service Provider – differ from that of Software because they are outsourced services that can be managed online from anywhere, just like when dealing with webmail.

Their key feature is that the entire service runs on a server and therefore SMTP isn’t required: this ensures a good reputation and excellent deliverability.

Support Cost: it usually varies depending on the volume of mail-outs or depending on the type of subscription chosen i.e. monthly, yearly etc. To get a better idea, check out MailChimp’s price list.

 

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