6 Things to Consider When Comparing Email Marketing Service Providers

4 top email marketing service providers

Email marketing is a form of online advertising that many businesses use to better reach their target audience. It builds great rapport with existing customers, nurtures leads, and keeps a company’s audience aware of recent deals. Email marketing service providers offer a plethora of features, and businesses should compare their options. Here are six common features that can streamline the email marketing process.

1. Platform Usability
Choose a provider with a relatively easy-to-use interface. This alleviates much of the frustration that comes from bulk emailing. Some providers offer templates to simplify this process, which prevents users from having to generate their own HTML and deal with the hassles of coding. This can save businesses time and allow them to focus more on their marketing message than the back end of the process. That’s why companies such as MailChimp and Constant Contact are popular options and have millions of users. Also, make sure you choose a provider that offers hundreds of templates so you can pick one that best fits your company’s style.

2. Cost for Subscribers
When looking at email marketing service providers, take into account the cost for accommodating subscribers. While some businesses have a minimal number of subscribers, such as fewer than 500, others may have more than 20,000. According to We Rock Your Web, Constant Contact charges $150 for up to 25,000 subscribers, while StreamSend charges $60 for up to 20,000. Because pricing varies considerably, businesses should ensure that a provider can handle their subscribers for a reasonable price.

3. Image Hosting
Because well-placed pictures within the body of email content can grab the attention of subscribers and maximize conversions, many businesses want some type of image hosting. Although not all service providers offer this, many do. They vary in terms of how many MBs are offered and how much they charge. MailChimp offers unlimited image hosting, while Constant Contact charges $5 per month for 50 MB. If image-centric emails are a priority, then choose a provider with a favorable hosting plan in place.

4. Surveys
Understanding what a business is doing right and what needs changing is an important part of long-term success. That’s why surveys for public or private subscribers are a valuable feature. Email marketing service providers offer different answer formats like drop-downs and text boxes. Some will even automatically send data to a spreadsheet program for easy analysis. If this is important to your company, then choose a provider that includes surveys and has a reasonable pricing plan. Some providers offer a flat rate, while others charge extra money once a certain number of surveys have been filled out.

5. Support
The nuances and level of complexity of many providers also make support an important feature for businesses. Some providers offer 24/7 support from professionals via telephone, email, and instant messaging. Others offer tutorials and blogs that are routinely updated with recent information. According to Business News Daily, companies like iContact, Benchmark Email, and Constant Contact offer fairly comprehensive support.

6. Analytics
Many companies value a solid analytics program from a service provider. Having detailed data helps businesses spot patterns and make its email marketing efforts more effective. Find a provider with a fairly detailed analytics program in place or one that can integrate into Google Analytics.

You have a multitude of email marketing provider options. Some businesses only require the bare minimum without all the bells and whistles. Others need more features to capitalize on their subscribers. Regardless of specific needs, a provider’s platform should be simple to use, have plenty of template options, and be able to accommodate all of a business’s subscribers without breaking the bank.

 

Nick Mann

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