Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dive Into Email Marketing with these Suggested Vendors

So, you have decided that you might want to include email marketing as part of your web strategy, or that you just want to know more—well we are here to lend some insight!

Email marketing services can be an effective way to get the word out about your company, and can turn what may be a daunting task into something efficiently manageable.  It's important to ensure at the very outset of evaluating email marketing tools that the services meet the legislated standards for spam.  This means the service should have automatic opt-out for people on your lists and opt-in is considered even better, otherwise you run the risk of having your messages reported as spam and thus your email blacklisted.  All of the services we discuss below comply with these standards.

Vertical Response is a great option for small businesses who send few messages out, but want a full featured solution.  What sets them apart from many others is that they offer the option to pay per email sent—ensuring that you only pay for what you use.  Additionally, they make it simple to integrate with different social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and Vertical Response offers the ability to produce an opt-in form that you can easily embed on your website or blog, making it easy for interested parties to sign up for your communications.

iContact offers a wide variety of features and options for creating and tracking a successful email marketing campaign.  Similar to Vertical Response, Icontact offers the ability to easily create sign-up forms that you can embed on your website.  It is very user-friendly, and they offer great support by phone, email, or live chat if you happen to have some questions. iTheir impressive collection of over 500 template options ensures that your campaign will maintain the appearance of your brand.  All in all, iContact offers plentiful features and comprehensive support.

Pinpointe is designed specifically for people who focus on Business to Business (B2B) customers. It has a unique set of tools that can help you design a powerful email marketing campaign. The monthly price is $29—much higher than many other management tools. But with features such as surveys, embeddable opt-in forms for your site, behavioral targeting based on recipients click history, and easy to edit templates, you can quickly have a professional B2B email marketing campaign ready to blast out to the masses!

As with many things, there are a plethora of email marketing management tools out there.  Our list here is really just a starting point for you so that you can research these vendors and others like them to ensure you select the product and service that most effectively can help you reach your business objectives.   If you are on the hunt for a new Email Marketing vendor, first create a list of the 'must-have' features and identify your criteria for selection  - such as price, so that when you heading into the research phase you are armed with the knowledge to speak with vendors and understand their answers.
Mary Camacho is the author of The Internet Plan. Buy the book here!


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