Are you considering email marketing? If so, chances are you need help deciding on the best system for you. How do I know? Because there are a ton of systems out there, and many of them are pretty good! How do you find the best email marketing system for you, then?
First — why do you need an email marketing system?
- Check out our recent post on why follow-up matters.
- People today do TONS of research before making a buying decision.
- Based on the two previous points: you need a way to stay top-of-mind with customers.
An email marketing system will allow you to stay in touch, follow up, and convert that interested prospect into a valuable customer!
Okay — now that we’ve established the need for an email marketing system, let’s talk about finding the best email marketing system. This is important because people check their emails multiple times each day; with a strong email marketing system, you will have the opportunity to monetize your email list in multiple ways, by:
- following up,
- building a relationship,
- and building trust,
- so that people will begin to buy from you!
When choosing an email marketing system, you want to be sure that the system supports the following:
1. Content editor is easy to use and quickly produces professional looking emails, which you can customize to match your brand. This way, you won’t need an expert on staff to handle email campaigns; you will be able to create professional content quickly and easily.
2. Tracking and stats (both at a campaign level) to allow you to see what’s working and what’s not, as well as individual details so you can follow-up if desired based on specific actions (opens/clicks). By keeping up with these details, you will no longer waste time on marketing efforts that are not working — all your time will be focused on efforts that works, and prospects that need your attention.
3. Marketing automation that can send a series of emails based on conditions, e.g. a newsletter sign up gets different emails than a new lead (learn more here). Let’s be honest: many of us do not have the time to sit around drafting emails all day. This is why you need an email marketing system smart enough to send emails for you, based on a given set of conditions.
4. Integrates with your CRM system so that you don’t have to double-enter and can segment emails based on fields in CRM, allowing you to send different emails based on how recently someone did business with you, what they purchased, their industry, and can also feed statistics back to your CRM for further action. This will both save you time for the tasks that matter most (i.e. building relationships and closing deals), as well as allow you to focus on the specific actions and data that will lead to more sales.
In addition to these system capabilities, you will also want the ability to send the following types of emails:
- Weekly/monthly newsletters
- Marketing offers (sales-oriented)
- Informative emails (product/service related)
- Event invitations
- Social media promo
Once you find an email marketing system with these capabilities, keep in mind that you should take several factors into consideration — don’t just choose the system with the best price! You want a system that has:
- A strong track record in the industry
- High email deliverability rates
- Excellent customer service
- Education/training provided
- Ease of use
- and Features that add professionalism, eliminate manual effort, and get better results!
For the reasons above, we highly recommend Zoho Campaigns. In and of itself, it’s a solid competitor head-to-head against other leading platforms. What makes the biggest difference though, is the integration capability if you are a user of either Zoho CRM or Zoho Creator.
Integration is a must if you want to get past the basics.
Without integration, you run two separate silos of contact information, one in your CRM and one in your email software. You may be able to get by with a monthly dump of one system into the other, but you will never be able to set up automation that just works simply by additions and updates to CRM.
Without integration, you could do a monthly export/import and then run a simple newsletter. The monthly export/import takes a bit of time, but is doable if it’s a monthly one-off.
For those who integrate though, much more is possible – for example your sales team adds leads to CRM and then Campaigns can initiate an appropriate follow-up campaign based on their industry, lead source, and whether or not you have an open opportunity with them. This set-it-and-forget-it approach takes a one time investment of creating follow-up content and then just works, with returns like an annuity rather than always trading additional time for further results.