Email, snail-mail, fax, phone…the mediums for communication these days are almost endless. But as your Rolodex gets bigger, how can you manage who gets what and when? An email marketing automation platform.
However, the number of automation options on the market can be dizzying, and sometimes it’s hard to know if each platform’s capabilities even match your organization’s needs.
Here are 4 features to hone into when starting your search.
You don’t want your emails to look like everyone else’s so customizability is key when choosing an email marketing platform. Most platforms offer templates to choose from, but don’t stop there when it comes to your research. How many colors or fonts are available? Does the platform provide you with a database of stock images to include in your emails?
When it comes to customizability, you also need to consider ease of use and your technical capabilities. Some platforms allow for high customizability – but only by coding directly with HTML or CSS.
2. List Segmentation
List segmentation is one of the most important, and amazing features of email marketing platforms. Think ahead of time about what factors you may want to segment your list by. For some, buyer persona might be more important, and you’ll want to segment by geography, job title or age. For others, the ability to segment based on past actions, like opens or clicks, will trump any other feature.
Regardless of how you decide to segment your list, an email marketing platform should make this easy and intuitive.
So you’ve sent out your campaign email, and now it’s time to sit back and wait for a response. Wrong! Your email marketing automation platform should provide you with all of the necessary analytics to give you the chance to make the next move. General open and click rates will let you see how successful your email was – but dig in a little more!
Who opened your email? Did they click on anything once it was opened? How long was the email open for? These analytics allow you to gauge how well your marketing efforts are going, but also provide important sales information. Not all platforms are the same—be sure to find one that gets down to the details that matter most.
4. Integration with your CRM
Sales teams have moved beyond the Rolodex, and are using sophisticated CRM systems to keep track of contacts, leads and potential opportunities. As marketing teams push relevant collateral out the door and into prospects’ inboxes, it’s only logical to make sure that these two systems are integrated.
Not providing sales with campaign analytics, like who clicked and opened your email, deprives them of insight that helps them to do their job. When searching from an email automation platform, make sure that it can integrate with your CRM platform, and find out exactly what you get from that integration!
Of course price is always an important factor – but don’t let it be the only one. Make sure that what you’re paying for will be of-value for you.
The search for new technology always has the potential to be stressful, but if you know what you’re looking for, and the questions to ask, you can be sure you’re making the right decision.
What features do you think are most important to an email marketing automation platform? Write us below in the comments field, or send me an email at kcarlson [at] Corporateink [dot] com.