More and more organizations are seeing the possibilities email marketing could bring to them. There are several ways to get started with email newsletters or to further professionalize your email marketing.
Meanwhile, there is a worldwide market with specialists who create and more importantly deliver email messages. Can you send email marketing messages without a specialized partner? An introduction to a world that goes beyond just sending an email newsletter.
Sending email newsletters, where to start?
There are several ways to get started sending email newsletters and bringing email marketing to the next level . Some organizations choose to build their own e-mail solution. Others prefer the e-mail newsletter solution integrated into their existing CRM or CMS solution and then there are organizations who will work with email tools that allow them to send newsletters from their own server. More and more organizations find their way to an Email Service Provider (ESP), but what are the benefits of working with an organization that focuses entirely on email marketing?
The main advantages of working with an Email Service provider:
- In almost all cases ESP’s offer a web-based solution, which means there are no investments required in hardware. And you can also access your e-mail marketing activities from anywhere with just an internet connection;
- Flexible database registration and -marketing options, which enable you to collect and register email addresses in accordance with applicable law and regulations. These databases can also be enriched with behavioral data like clicks and opens from your email newsletters. Almost every ESP provides options for recipients to adjust their own profile information;
- Support in creating and preparing e-mail marketing campaigns, email marketing programs or e-mail templates. Many ESPs have people working in support departments or can offer help in working with their solution and platform;
- Multiple, and often out-of-the-box, integration capabilities allowing you to integrate your emails with your website, CRM or CMS solution or any (web) application;
- Possibility to easily add social media in your e-mail messages without any technical knowledge. Some email tools also provide the ability to take advantage of innovative features. For example the social media counters (article in dutch) in newsletters or real-time imaging capabilities;
- An optimized sending platform maintained and managed by the ESP is designed for delivery of email by the largest and most important Internet Service Providers. Don’t worry about the deliverability or things like Return Path certification, DKIM or other technical stuff, the ESP can manage it.
Handeling feedback and spam complaints
Many marketers and marketing managers have the false idea that email marketing is nothing more than sending out their monthly or weekly newsletters. This is perhaps the most visible part of email marketing, but nowadays there’re a lot more (and perhaps more important) factors to take into account.
For example the delivery of email newsletters in the inbox instead of the spam box. Specialist knowledge is required for that, do you want to build this knowledge within your organization? Further examples are things like the feedback of internet providers for spam complaints and the registration and active use of behavioral indicators like opens and clicks of the recipients. Or what about cross-selling opportunities in transactional e-mails? All things an ESP can facilitate or support you with.
Why an Email Service Provider?
For many organizations ESP’s are still uncharted territory and many others believe they don’t need an ESP. We’re just sending some newsletters, why do we need help with our email marketing newsletters? We can just generate that bit of HTML on our own.
The question is whether you’re really only looking for a newsletter solution, or for a partner who can also help you to advance in the field of email marketing. A partner who can help you to get not in the spam box, who can show you that email HTML is totally different than HTML for web pages. Did you know for example that your newsletter might look different in each email client? This occurs because the HTML support among email clients currently varies widely. But a email marketing specialist can create an email template optimized for rendering all mainstream email clients.
Newsletters without HTML knowledge
An ESP offers you a natural solution to your primary need, a solution to send newsletters. Although almost every ESP will offer you software which enables you to send email newsletters on you own, often even without HTML knowledge, many ESPs will offer you also the opportunity to manage your campaign completely. But an ESP offers more.
Consider the possibility of designing email templates that display correctly in the most used e-mail clients, as above. Or advice for the design of strategic email marketing programs. If you are working with an full-service ESP you get access to a newsletter module, but you are also working with a partner who helps you get your email marketing to a higher level.
You do need a partner for your email marketing!
Could you send email newsletters without a specialized partner? Yes you can, make it easy on yourself to do it right. There are many disciplines necessary to maintain an email platform. Build a relationship with a partner who will help you. Just like you do in other areas. There are more than 300 ESP’s out there and counting. There will be one that gives you the right feeling and suits your needs. But how do you find your ideal ESP? Maybe this can help you.