Imagine that you are the boss in a successful e-commerce company. Your sales are OK, but there is room for improvement. Your head of marketing thinks he is a Guru of Email Marketing, and email marketing does work for you, but you want more. You want your business to grow.
One day it appears that traditional email marketing is no longer enough for your business. That’s when you start researching for a new and more effective tools. Right?
Here is where Email Marketing Automation comes in. You can hardly find any other tool that would both be able to increase sales and reduce costs.
The BIG question here is HOW TO CHOOSE A PERFECT SYSTEM FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
Email marketing automation is not new to the game. There are a lot of providers, offering different features and a huge range of pricing plans.
Source Smartinsights Infographics
With that in mind, there are six things you should totally consider before buying a system:
1. How to get the System running Fast, Easily and Inexpensively
Integration is a major barrier to implementing Marketing Automation. First, determine how the system will be implemented. Carefully check integration options available.
The worst nightmare of any marketer is to spend time setting up campaigns and emails only to discover there is no easy way to install the system on a website, because there is no integration.
So your first step is to CHECK INSTALLATION OPTIONS.
The easiest way is to install an add-on / plugin for your CMS. It should be available for upload at your CMS Marketplace.
Here are the trends for E-commerce Usage Stats:
System providers usually create plugins for the most popular CMS solutions. In addition, CMS solutions have their own marketing automation with free ad-ons.
Many service providers also offer API integration. While this can be trickier, because you need to involve developers, it is still a good option.
2. Know How Long It Will Continue to Meet Your Needs
Chances are you’ll start using email marketing automation system that’s relatively simple. In a few months, or even next year, you likely will want additional features.
You should think ahead: Which email campaigns are you planning now? In a month? In a year? This will help you choose the right system to fit your needs.
This is very important given the time and money spent on selection and integration, you hardly want to switch to another system in a few months.
For example, some systems offer only abandoned cart recovery emails. So if that is the only thing you are looking for, you can save money because usually these systems cost less than those offering more email campaigns.
If you want to cover all, you should look for the services that offer a larger range of email campaigns available. You’ll have the possibility to set up campaigns according to any action your customer makes on the website.
You can also use purchase history, location, visited pages, mailing activity etc. to make your emails hyper-personalized.
Of course, all that stuff can be more expensive. But still worth it.
3. You Want to Know the ROI
When asked ”Where is the money?” you need to present a compelling case.
Following are statistics supporting the benefit of email marketing automation:
But if your business is like most, you will want to see results for your business. That’s why reporting is so vital.
If you are not planning to become a marketing monster, the following would be enough:
– Revenue reporting (total revenue from email marketing campaigns)
– Email reporting (open rate, click rate, unsubscribes)
– Customer report (who purchased)
– Campaign performance report (which email campaigns performed better and generated more revenue)
– ROI (return on investment), there is a handy Email marketing ROI calculator here.
Need more? You can implement additional analytics tools. Look for service providers that offer CLTV, Sales Funnel, Churn-Rate reports, Latency, etc.
4. How Much Will it Cost?
Everyone wants to pay less when it comes to choosing a system.
Email service providers use pricing models that typically bill clients using one of the following four metrics:
1. Unique website visitors
2. Number of users / customers
3. Number of emails sent
4. Additional Revenue
The first and second metrics are great, because you have a fixed price and there are no limits of emails sent or campaigns created.
The third metric is perfect if you have a lot of visitors, but are not planning to send many emails
(for example, only a welcome email and abandoned cart reminders).
The last one is the trickiest. It is a good choice if your emails are off the mark and there is no revenue. When you earn nothing, you pay nothing.
But just imagine for a minute that your emails are perfect (I really hope that’s the case) and you’ve gained $1 million in revenue.
Would you be ready to pay 5% of it? 10%?
I guess not.
So, before choosing a system, in order to be able to compare the Email marketing automation software pricing, check out the pricing model. Note that start-up companies always have better pricing, but greater risk.
Also, check if a free trial is available. It’s advisable to try any system before committing to a contract.
5. You Want to Know That Your Business is Safe
Any system you choose will have access to your subscribers/customer lists, your revenue reports, turnover, etc.
That means the company should have a proven reputation and be trustworthy.
Look for certified systems, those with a trademark.
In today’s marketplace, you’ll always find certified partners for your CMS solution.
TFM&A: 2015 Marketing Technology Report
Secondly, look for other users’ experiences. What can be more valuable than testimonials in choosing a trustworthy system?
The website may look great, pricing is very reasonable, the range of email campaigns is huge … but the feedback is awful.
You should carefully read all the feedback available, but not only at the service provider’s website. Be sure to go through the search engines and especially personal contacts. That is where the truth is revealed.
6. Know What You’re Getting for Your Investment
You are looking for an Email Marketing Automation tool, right?
But I doubt you’d mind if additional features were included.
These features could be anything from SMS to Push, Pop-Ups, a Landing Page creator, Product Recommendations and more.
Anything that would help you increase conversions is a plus.
When the pricing of systems is similar, free add-on are available and feedbacks are positive, additional features may help you choose one system over the other.
By the way, in terms of conversion increases, you should keep in mind this research report:
So now you are ready to choose a system for email marketing automation. Good luck!
I’m sure your boss will LOVE IT.