Email marketing is a cost-effective way to both engage with existing customers and attract new ones, especially through targeted newsletters, which help bolster a company’s online presence.
A huge range of tools to help companies send email newsletters is available, ranging from desktop solutions to installed systems on the company server.
At the entry level are things like Outlook and bulk email software. While these are free or have a small one-off charge to purchase, Denise Cox, lead consultant at email software provider, Newsweaver, says they’re generally not the best choice as there can be problems with design and delivery and they lack the ability to measure click-through and open rates.
Cox believes email service providers (ESP), even entry-level options, to be the best choice for SMEs.
“You have a good chance of looking professional, rendering well in the inbox, and arriving in the inbox – and having some idea of opens and clicks,” she says.
Entry-level ESP options with off-the-shelf templates, small volume limits and limited reporting start at around €25 a month.
A top-end ESP offering, meanwhile, would include the capability for intricate dynamic content, massive mailing lists management, the ability to send triggered messaging and abandoned cart capabilities. The cost of a top-end option would generally be in the four-figures per month bracket.
Another option is to have an agency take over the email marketing activity.
“These charge on a per-campaign basis: they design the creative, write the copy, build the specific template for the mailing, deploy the emails to your provided lists and provide reports to you after on results,” says Cox.
A further, and more expensive, option would be to install a mailing system at server level.
This article orginally appeared in Owner Manager, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2011