An Email List Is A Valuable Asset
Did you know that you can create a valuable asset by having your customers sign up to receive emails from you? You can offer them deals and talk to directly to them (one on one) via an email program! One of the most important choices you’ll make when you embark on adding email marketing to your plan is which email list technology to pick. There are many very good technologies available from which to choose. In order to find the right one for your business, you will need to answer some very important questions.
1. How Will You Use the Technology?
Are you going to send out automatic messages to all subscribers such as an ecourse, or a regular, full-featured newsletter? Exactly what are your plans with your email list technology? You need to write down a list of the ways in which you hope to use the technology so you can determine which technology fits those needs. You can send out weekly notes, monthly sales, and special events. You can even get feedback from your customers through an email list.
2. What Is Your Marketing Budget?
As always, knowing your budget in advance is an important component of choosing any technology. It’s hard to pick anything if you don’t actually have a budget decided. Email list technology can be as little as free in some cases to hundreds of dollars each month. While it’s not really suggested you go with a free option, you have quite a scale to work with when choosing your budget. Many programs start with a free trial and low cost for a small amount of subscribers, but what you will soon discover is that you can create quite a bit of sales with a properly managed email list.
3. How User Friendly Is the Technology?
Once you find several options within your budget that offer the features that you need, take advantage of their free offers or low-cost sign-up rates to start a new account and test them out. Some software will be easier for you to use than others. It’s good if you know how to use it, and it seems intuitive to you. Also, check to see what type of training they offer new subscribers. Remember, this isn’t something you will be switching later, so try all the bells and whistles to see if it’s what you need.
4. Will You Outsource?
You might want to answer this question before the user-friendly question, if only because if you are going to outsource it’s probably better to get help before you choose your technology. If you already have a virtual assistant or online business manager, you might want to inquire with them to find out which email list technology they recommend. It’ll be easier for them to work with what they’re accustomed to. Be sure to ask them why they prefer it over another type of software. How would you outsource, you ask? You can have someone else work on managing the list, making the emails, and keeping it up to date.
5. What Is the Delivery Rate?
This is a very important thing to know. There are some software packages that you can put on your own servers which will not have as high a delivery rate as some of the email list technology that uses their servers instead of yours. Understanding delivery rate, and how this technology works, is going to help you make the best choice for your business. Some email providers block certain servers because they may produce a lot of spam, but many of the email list providers, such as Aweber, have “whitelisted” servers that allow their emails to be delivered at a higher rate. You need to ensure your emails are received because you don’t want to pay for something that doesn’t work right.
6. What Features Are Available?
* Sign-up forms
* Email newsletters
* Multi-list management
* Subscriber management
* Attractive email templates
* Allows HTML
* Autoresponder technology
* RSS to email
* Social media integration
* Tracking features
* Email marketing API
* Subscriber segmenting
* High deliverability rate
* Great customer service
* Fair pricing plans
The above is a list of various features that you might find offered with different email list technology out there. You’ll need to understand how you’re going to use the technology and how large your list will become to know which is best for you to choose. Once you answer all the other questions you’ll be able to know which features you need. Some of those things are foreign to you right now, but you should read on the websites about what they have to offer and what they mean so you understand all your options.
Know what you need before you start looking. Know whether you want software that is on your own server or if it can be a service that uses their server and understand how that affects functionality, price, and your own technology preparedness. I recommend and use Aweber, because it does all the functionality I need. An email list is valuable because it allows you to be in touch with your customer base at a moment’s notice and you are not subject to the whims of a social platform like facebook or twitter changing your reach and suddenly requiring you to pay for reaching your fans.