Email marketing is a direct and cost-effective way of connecting with your prospects, nurturing them, and turning them into your true customers.
There are several industry-leading free and paid email marketing tools available online, like Aweber, SendinBlue, and Convertkit. These tools make your email campaign more effective to reach out to your audience.
In this blog post, lets look at 10 Essential features of an Email marketing Software so that you can make a right decision while you are deciding the best email marketing software for yourself or for your company
Features Of Email Marketing Software – What A Good Email Marketing Software Should Offer?
While there is numerous email marketing software available in the market, it is important to check what type of email marketing platform you need.
Today, various email marketing services offer a high level of user-friendly interface and maximum control to their users. These email builders include the most intuitive email marketing platforms that marketers have with all the tools to create professional email campaigns themselves.
However, it is important to understand what type of Email marketing Platform you need for your business. Few may need only email platforms, while others may need CRM along with an email marketing platform.
With this in mind, let’s understand what features a bulk email sender should offer, which helps users take control and bring originality along with the brand value in their emails
1. Drag & Drop Email Builder
Drag and Drop email builders help create responsive email templates by quick drag and drop, which means that you don’t need any prior HTML or CSS experience.
Drag and Drop, Email builders, make structuring, styling, and adding information to the email campaigns easy for marketers.
Ready To Use Email Templates
Ready to use Email templates help you create email campaigns quickly.
By making small changes, you can comply with your brand rules and create consistency throughout your email marketing campaigns and other channels by controlling the content.
Using your email marketing software, you can also create Email Templates library that can be used in different business areas, subscriber groups, and campaigns
Transactional emails are automated emails, triggered by events, interactions, or preferences. These emails are also referred to as triggered emails.
For example, you go to an eCommerce site, add your favorite cloth to the cart, but somehow you do not make the purchase. You will receive an email from the eCommerce site to complete the purchase.
Email automation platforms that offer transactional emails being sent in real-time for customer interaction along with tracking links provide a great value to the websites that are in the eCommerce niche.
2. Landing Pages & Sign-up Forms, Pop-Ups And Exit Intent Forms
Landing Pages, Sign Up forms, Pop-ups, and Exit intent forms are fabulous elements that an email marketing platform should offer.
They help you grow your subscriber list and create marketing funnels that eventually help you get more sales or create loyal customers.
Let’s see then, what they are and why these elements are important.
Landing Pages In Email Marketing Software
The landing page is a web page that is aimed exclusively at moving your prospects down the business funnel. It is intended to turn the prospects into purchasers and enhance the sales process.
Landing pages significantly improve conversion rates and reduce costs per purchase. The primary reason they are widely considered to be good is that there is just a single goal that these product-specific pages are focusing on.
An email proves to be the best option for reaching prospects and motivating them to move towards our landing pages.
Thus, email marketing software providing landing pages is a better choice for all marketers operating in any niche.
Sign-up Forms In Email Marketing Service
It is important to have an email sign-up form on your website, blog, and other digital properties as social media sites to enhance the continuous and sustainable growth of the email subscriber list.
You can proactively increase your list 24 hours a day by giving visitors quick, easy, and efficient means of signing up for your email list.
Sign Up forms help you grow your email list, and thus, it should be a mandatory offering for an Email Marketing Software.
Pop-ups And Exit Intent Forms
Pop-ups offer an opportunity for the consumer to interact directly with the brand.
Often pop-ups work better than other events to grow a subscriber list because of their element of surprise and their interactive and immersive nature.
Again, Pop-ups are mandatory offerings that an Email marketing platform should offer.
For example, while you try to leave this page, you will have an exit-intent form asking you to subscribe!
Email Newsletters And Newsletters Templates
A newsletter contains any sort of news release that endorses relevant offers, articles, and information for the customer, often related to special deals or benefits.
Email newsletters are one of the most important among various digital marketing strategies to create brand awareness in the market and connect to your customers showcasing your brand expertise.
You can create weekly newsletters, monthly newsletters – highlighting the achievements of your brand, the top posts that you have published, or customer success stories. Such newsletters are a good way to increase traffic to your blog or website.
Email Marketing solutions that have ready to use email newsletters templates are a good buy for those brands that want to connect with their audience to build trust and enhance business reputation
3. Email Marketing Automation
Email automation lets you send personalized emails at specific times or based on particular actions to establish customer relationships. It helps us create a workflow of various actions performed using the email sends.
Producing great email campaigns takes a lot of effort, but it is not feasible to create specific emails for each of your customers. Email Automation helps here.
Let’s look at a few examples of Email Marketing Automation.
Welcome Series Email
Welcome series email is an automatic welcome email to all new subscribers who subscribe to your email list.
Welcome emails are a good way to thank your subscribers for signing up and introducing them to your business or allowing them to change subscription references.
Drip campaigns assist you in maintaining an email series timeline and keep your leads engaged by sending automated emails over a specific time frame.
You can automate your approach and maintain your brand’s value at the forefront of potential customers who are not fully ready to buy yet but are interested in your products or services, which makes them hot traffic.
Drip campaigns in automated email marketing generally have an open rate of 80% higher than usual and click-through-rates, reaching as high as 300%.
A good example is the drip campaign series that gets kicked in when you subscribe to our blog!
Automated newsletters are sent at specific intervals to subscribers or in response to the actions of the users on a particular website, which are carefully planned ahead of time with a specific vision.
It is possible to send these emails on an individual basis or through an email campaign.
Email Automation helps marketers to design a fantastic email marketing campaign as long as they are willing to put in time, attention, and efforts in it. Email Automation enhances the experience of your email subscribers.
Why choose Email Marketing Service with Marketing Automation Feature?
Email Automation is an efficient way to market your emails, since you can use analytics to find the right audience, platform, and timing for your online business, maintaining your brand’s high-level thinking.
A good thing about email automation is that each campaign’s data can be used for measuring campaign efficiency and for finding out what works best for your business.
Email Automation features like Welcome Series, Drip Campaigns help create a personalized user experience that also helps you connect with your subscribers and build trust.
As long as you track your email marketing statistics correctly, in a short period, you should see gradual improvements in the metrics you track.
Thus, we highly recommend choosing email marketing software with Email Automation features.
4. List Management Features
Managing your email contacts in a list format and assigning them tags or segmenting them for a workflow is called List Management.
You can manage your contacts based on their behavior, purchase actions, interactions with your website, and thereby send them content that reflects their interests in a particular way.
For example, if a person has subscribed to receive email newsletters on gardening, then you can tag the subscriber in a ‘garden list’ and share newsletters with the subscriber related to gardening tips and tricks.
Let’s look at important aspects of list management.
Subscriber Management Feature
Subscriber management is all about maintaining a healthy list.
The inactive subscribers should be removed from your list regularly. You have to do this periodically, as the commitment of people can change over time.
Subscribers can lose interest in your business and become invaluable. It is better to delete them from your list when this happens.
Segmentation & Tags
Segmentation and tags are ways to organize your contacts in your subscriber list.
Segmentation refers to segregating email subscribers into mini-segments based on specific criteria.
Segmentation is typically used as a tailor-made approach to offer subscribers more appropriate email marketing experience based on their location, their interests, purchase history, demographics, and more.
Tags in Email marketing Software is a specific label you add to identify or segment a user or message. You can use Tags to add more information to your contacts.
E.g., you can add the following tags to your contacts like – Influencer, Prospect, Confirmed Leads, Needs Discount, New User, etc.
Once you assign tags, you can easily use your email analytics features to get more accurate and detailed information by allocating a tag.
List Importing feature
Whenever you migrate from one email marketing provider to another, list importing features gets important.
A single click list importing feature enables you to migrate your email list keeping your contacts intact.
Mailing lists are email addresses, and you can use them for your different campaigns. It is possible to import a .csv file of contacts from another email marketing service that you have exported previously.
Why choose Email Marketing Software with List Management features?
List Management features like List Importing, Subscriber management, Segmentation, and tags help you maintain a clean and healthy list over time. It allows you to remove inactive subscribers who do not open your email.
Segmentation and tags are very useful features that help you create targeted and personalized user experiences. Using segments and tags, it gets very easy for marketers to target subscriber as per their behaviors
Thus, the email marketing platform that you choose should have List management offerings.
5. Reporting & Analytics Features
Being a marketer, it is often challenging to follow up on all your email analytics. However, it is essential to monitor the performance of your email marketing campaigns in total.
By measuring your email marketing campaign’s performance, you can see how this compares with other channels (such as social networks, PPCs, content syndications, etc.) and set priority for the actions that are liable to drive more results.
You might miss valuable insights if you just look at the campaign by campaign and don’t measure engagement growth over time.
A better approach is to step back and examine which engagement and acquisition methodologies work better, which will eventually help you make informed decisions.
A/B Testing And Split Testing
A / B testing, also known as split testing, is a way to identify which campaign gets a better response in terms of opens or clicks from two options.
You have to design two variations for a single campaign in an A/B test and send them to a small fraction of your total audience.
Dividing the recipients into two halves, i.e. A and B will create a method of testing two different email copies on your target audiences.
The result is determined by the winning version, which can be measured by most open or clicks. The rest of your subscribers will then receive the winning set of this set.
Why choose an Email Marketing Software with Reporting and Analytics features?
Analytics features like Split testing or A/B testing help marketers with insights that tell if their email campaigns are working or not. These features help you track the results of your campaigns.
Once you evaluate metrics like CTRs, Open rate, and Subject Lines, it helps you to re-engineer your marketing campaigns.
Thus, every marketer who is doing email marketing should learn to read the insights that come from analytics, and they should buy only those email marketing services that offer analytics and reporting modules.
6. User Management Options
User management features allow you to assign different roles to your teammates. In case you are a team, and some people are working on email campaigns, User management helps to assign various roles the users can play – like Account Owner, Email Designer, Reports manager, List manager, etc.
Effective email marketing frequently involves teamwork and efficient user management, which enables each member of the team to own various parts of the email campaign process.
Usually, User Management Features come with higher plans of the Email marketing service, and it may not be required for all. However, if you have a team and your list size is large, it is good to buy a plan of email marketing software with user management features so that the tasks can be split.
7. CRM Features
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM software is used to arrange and track valuable customer information and analytics, providing all the necessary tools to collect and manage data on customers or prospects of your organization.
It is a widely used and essential software that gives marketers access to information to help them focus on their campaigns.
CRM examples are – SFDC, Zoho CRM, HubSpot, Freshdesk, etc.
The process of contact management is to acquire contacts and add contact information to your marketing automation platform.
Contact management begins with the ability to transmit unique content and super-target marketing messages.
The objective of contact management is to enable highly personalized marketing content to be generated and delivered.
When you acquire contacts who are willing to receive your marketing messages, and after sorting them into groups according to specific interests and attributes, it becomes easy to contact the lead with the right message at the right time
For example, you have a software product that you are selling, and you have received a contact through Linkedin Ad you have run where Contact has filled up a sign-up form.
Contact Management features of the CRM will ensure that the Contact gets added in the CRM with the right details and in parallel, activities like Drip Campaigns or Phone calls can be initiated.
In The language of CRMs, Opportunity management is all about managing the various leads that have now become your customers.
For each customer, a CRM generates a unique ID that is termed as an opportunity. You then create tasks and assign those tasks to users in your team to manage the opportunity.
For example, you can assign an opportunity to the Sales team to make sure they can contact the opportunity to contact sell the product.
SMS marketing is a way of sending specials, vouchers, promos, notifications by organizations through highly-targeted opt-in text, and permission-based messages.
The benefits of SMS marketing are different and vary depending on your industry and your usage.
Email leads are the contact information that you collect via an opt-in form. These can still be promoted using permission marketing via the Email channel and other channels.
These leads usually share their email address in exchange for an offer via an opt-in method.
Why Choose an Email Marketing Platform with CRM features?
CRM features help you manage your customer relationships in one single place. With the help of CRM, you can centralize your contact information, including notes and meeting information, and attach relevant documents.
You can manage all the customer details in one single place and use this information for effective communication. CRMs + Email Lists are a powerful feature that allows you to reach out to your customers based on the tags you have created.
CRM also allows you to create and assign tasks and add deadlines. You can club email automation with CRMs and reach out to customers with drip campaigns.
CRMs may not be required for all, but in case you have an online business where you sell a product or service, CRMs are essential software.
8. Easy Integrations with Third-Party Apps
Email marketing is one of the most used services to promote your business. According to VentureBeat, email has the highest ROI apart from any marketing channel available.
By Integration of tools with email marketing solutions, the data can be available to you to segment your lists, trigger autoresponders.
Various tools, like CRM, Billing, Landing pages, and E-commerce tools, can make your business flow successfully.
There are several tools available that can help you integrate your business into email marketing solutions.
9. Advertisements Features to run Ads
Facebook ads are a service offered by Facebook to marketers for showcasing their products or services all over Facebook’s platform based on location, demographic, and profile information as long as they follow the set of specific guidelines.
Facebook ads are targeted to users.
The platform works on the concept of CPM (Cost Per Mile), where you will be charged for a thousand impressions of your advertisement.
Re-targeting for Remarketing starts working once the visitor clicks on the ad or visits the website because they leave a sort of tag or get “cookies”.
The idea behind remarketing works by searching the generated lead around the web with the relevant offer that was clicked or viewed upon.
To retarget these visitors, a code is placed at the website visited by the user, and your ads will be tracked around the web by that cookie user, be they on any social media platform or a different website.
So it’s not a coincidence or a “fate,” if you see a recently visited website at the end of the bars or top banners of other sites of the new restaurant, that is Remarketing.
Various email marketing software offers their email marketing platform to run Facebook ads and run the retarget ads along with email marketing features. This enables marketers to have a complete 360-degree view of their campaigns using the same email platform.
This is not a ‘Must have’ but it is good to have feature for hardcore marketers who are into Facebook advertising.
10. Pricing Plans – Fully Free, Paid or Freemium
Generally, a majority of the email marketing providers available in the market currently offer Forever FREE plans while few offer free trial plans for a limited time. The free pricing structure entirely depends on different providers, respectively.
On the expiration of the trial period, it becomes mandatory to switch on to the paid version to continue using the services.
However, some email marketing providers do offer FOREVER FREE plans which allow the users to explore and try multiple functionalities of the service but in a restricted manner.
These plans come with no expiration date and tend to give minimal results which definitely can be opted for initial use but are not recommended if the users plan to scale their campaigns.
Thus, while you are just starting, you can start with an email marketing provider like Aweber, Convertkit, or Moosend that offers a Forever Free plan for a limited set of subscribers.
If you are looking for a trail plan with all features for a little tie, then Constant Contact is a better option to start with.