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Email Marketing Software

Email Marketing software enables the automation of email communication with prospects and customers. Organisations use Email Marketing software to increase the efficiency of their email marketing efforts, monitor the effectiveness of those campaigns, and manage mailing lists. Email Marketing services assist in the regular production of customer-oriented newsletters, the management of email templates for multiple campaigns or market segments, and ongoing customer relationship management efforts. Email Marketing software is related to Campaign Management software and Marketing Automation software. Find the best email marketing software for your organisation in Australia.

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Email Marketing Software Buyers Guide

Email marketing software is a tool that enables marketers to automate the delivery of targeted content to large lists of prospective customers via email. These lists may include service subscribers, group members, app users, website visitors, survey responders, competition entrants, or other stakeholders. A feature of complex marketing operations is carried out by content publishers, media organisations, and large ecommerce companies, this type of software is now being adopted by companies of all sizes and sectors. By automating email communication, marketing professionals from a variety of industries aim to boost the efficiency of email marketing efforts without technical expertise or substantial resource investment.

Used by more than half of the global population, email is the platform with the largest reach. So, it is also the direct marketing channel of choice for companies with computer literate users. This includes government, politics, manufacturing, FinTech, travel, hospitality, real estate, telecommunication, education, and health organisations. But email marketing software tools are also used by start-ups, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and SMEs in the creative industries, beauty, sports, and religion sectors. At its core, this type of software is designed to simplify marketing content delivery for organisations with a large customer base, whatever the field of activity.

Also known as email distribution or email campaign management software, these tools enable users to create, customise, send, and track email messages in bulk. In doing so, they create a reliable and dependable communications channel with subscribers. This, in turn, allows them to grow engagement with their leads, create a loyal readership, convert prospects, boost sales, and maximise ROI. They can compare key metrics like email open rates and click-through statistics to tweak their campaigns. They can also use event, demographic, and behavioural data to personalise their messaging even more, further boosting the effectiveness of their campaigns.

This kind of software can be of substantial value to both company and customer. As it can be used to target prospects already interested in their product or services, it benefits companies that aim to maximise efficiency and minimise waste. As for customers, it helps familiarise them with the service or product while avoiding brand fatigue. Accessible to people of any background, computer skill level, or physical ability, email marketing can reach a vast audience without imposing on their time.

Email marketing software often incorporates tools and technologies that go beyond content distribution. So, this type of software can find itself crossing over into other software categories. This crossover may include campaign management software, survey software, and marketing automation software. Some businesses seek to incorporate these tools in their contact management software or CRM software. Others choose an all-in-one marketing platform software that covers CRM, social, sales, and project management aspects. The functionality of email marketing software applications will vary depending on their intended use. But they all come with a few features specific to email marketing campaigns, as opposed to social media or text campaigns. Email marketing tools are expected to be able to help marketing teams fulfill these standard tasks:

  • Store, sort, segment, and manage customer lists
  • Draft, customise, store, and manage email templates
  • Create and distribute surveys. Collect and analyse responses. Draft and distribute newsletters to subscribers
  • Develop and run promotional campaigns
  • Streamline basic CRM aspects like customer communication and care

What is Email Marketing Software?

Email Marketing Software is any application that can automate email communication between businesses and their existing or prospective customers. Using these software applications, marketers manage their mailing lists, monitor and compare the effectiveness of various campaigns, and boost the efficiency of their marketing operations. Depending on the content of the email messages, they can be used to launch and promote products and services, build brand awareness, or boost brand recognition. Sometimes able to send tens of thousands of media-rich email messages at once, these software tools can support even large speed and bandwidth requirements for vast data transmissions. While some companies host these software tools and their databases on their premises for the sake of their security and convenience, many opt for the Cloud option instead. This enables company employees to access the data from virtually any device, and operate the software remotely. But whatever the type of infrastructure, email marketing applications are a faster and more reliable alternative to conventional, manual email distribution. With automated email delivery, companies can avoid transmission errors, duplicates, human bias, and scheduling mistakes. Using these software tools, marketers ensure that emails reach their intended recipients at the optimum time for opening, reading, and responding to their messages. Email marketing tools are self-sufficient applications that require very little input from users. The user typically selects the type of message to be sent to specific leads and then schedules the transmission with drag-and-drop commands rather than code writing. So, not only are these tools accessible to people without advanced programming skills but also to those with little experience in marketing operations. This may include professionals in education, healthcare, manufacturing, religion, government, construction, etc. Likewise, it can be used by large organisations involved in politics, hospitality, real estate, manufacturing, FinTech, and telecommunications to streamline operations within their marketing departments.

What are the benefits of email marketing software?

The benefits of email marketing platforms or software tools have much to do with their ease of use, and with their accessibility to users and customers alike. Email marketing software users don't require training or technical assistance to develop and run their campaigns; neither do readers in order to view and interact with the content. But there are also a few value-adding benefits to these tools. Here are a few notable advantages that are common to email marketing tools:

  • Reach and scalability: Email marketing is faster and more far-reaching than other forms of marketing, including word of mouth and paid advertisement. As such, email marketers can tap into much larger pools of prospective customers, and with far fewer resources. As the email content is shareable online and on social media through embedded social profile links, this type of campaign can foster interest in the product indefinitely. Also, it can be used to quickly adjust the scale of a campaign. For instance, with an email marketing tool, users can adapt to a temporary spike in interest due to a product launch, viral coverage, or trending influencer shout-outs.
  • User customisations and customer personalisation: Tailoring the content is a two-pronged process with email marketing software. On the one hand, this type of application usually lets users add branding, rich media, and themes that are specific to their company, making the content bespoke to them. On the other hand, users can also customise their messaging to make it relatable to the readership, be it a vast audience, small groups of customers, or individuals. Based on customer interests, behaviour, location, demographics, and other granular data sets, users can personalise the message with dynamic content. For instance, they can alter subject lines and greetings, include snippets of recently browsed products, and reference specifics like reward points and membership milestones. They can also tailor the content based on CRM data targeting or geo-targeting.
  • Real-time performance metrics: Having instant visibility into customer engagement and campaign performance is what sets apart professional marketers from the amateurs. Bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and unsubscribe request rate are just some of the KPIs marketers can visualise instantly with an email marketing tool to gauge engagement and performance. With instant, accurate, and quantifiable information fed through an email marketing software tool around the clock, marketers are better equipped to make decisions and reassess their strategies.
  • Versatility: These software tools can carry out every kind of email marketing campaign imaginable, including acquisition, promotion, retention, and newsletter campaigns. The content itself can be transactional, such as receipts, invoices, billing statements, and order confirmation emails. But users can also design them based on customer behaviour and their progress through the buying cycle. So, the software can produce and send onboarding emails, browse abandonment reminders, review requests, recommendations, password renewal notifications, reorder reminders, trial expiry alerts, anniversary renewal reminders, and cross-selling offers.

What are the features of email marketing software?

Email marketing software applications are as diverse as they are versatile. Features can include: confirming orders, mail verification and scoring, address book autofill, trigger-based actions, dynamic content, and A/B testing among others depending on the developer, intended market, and type of user. For those in marketing, public relations, travel, hospitality, eCommerce, and the media, these sought-after capabilities can give their companies an edge in a highly competitive environment. But when it comes to organisations in sectors like manufacturing, education, and healthcare, it's basic features that these companies count on and expect to make use of. Here are some of the must-have features of email marketing software:

  • Contact database management: Safely harvest and store sensitive personal information about email subscribers, prospects, leads, and existing customers in a centralised location. Email marketing application users must be able to build, import, and maintain these databases securely, even without a background in database management. This may involve harvesting contact information and other personal data automatically when website visitors, app users, survey responders or competition entrants fill in forms or access specific pages. The software must also operate in line with data privacy regulations, impervious to cyber-attacks and data leakage. To ensure consistency across departments, companies may opt for tools that integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
  • Customer segmentation: Group contacts based on standard demographic criteria, such as age, income, and location. Aside from these conventional demographic groups, sales and marketing teams can also use CRM tools to segment customers based on their acquisition source, interests, buying behaviour, and other data points, tailoring the content of the messaging to their needs. Using machine learning, marketers can then analyse other data sets and correlate them with specific actions, building unconventional groupings of leads to run hyper-targeted marketing campaigns on, including static and dynamic ones. For instance, they can run drip campaigns with personalised greetings and subject lines to prospects of a certain age, with a specific educational background, living in remote areas (geo-targeting), and who tend to buy their products only after having their queries answered.
  • Mailing list management: Create mailing lists with data grouped into relevant categories using the contact information harvested. Users must be able to access contact information for their customers and send emails to the entire mailing list or to sections of database entries. They must also be able to export their contact lists to spreadsheets available in well-known formats, such as .CSV and .XLSX.
  • Mass delivery of email messages: Send marketing content to vast numbers of recipients with as few errors or bounces as possible. Email automation tools should be able to flag up email typos and discrepancies, and ghost email accounts, spam traps, or abusive content before sending out promotional material en masse. This ensures that emails can reach recipients in the order of thousands simultaneously, with optimal inbox placement rates (IPRs), and without inboxes' recipients skewing performance results.
  • Template management: customise email templates with built-in features and drag-and-drop editors. Users should be able to add their company logotype, branding, colour themes, and layouts of choice to match their corporate identity. Whatever the scale of the campaign and the complexity of the email content, the email marketing platform should allow even novice users to make their mark using formatting features that they can place, mix, and overlay through drag and drop rather than writing programming language. They may also offer pre-stocked images, unlimited templates, landing page builders, and mobile accessible functions.
  • Anti-spam law compliance: Comply with electronic communications regulations that limit email marketing to individuals who agree to receive communication beforehand. Sending email messages comes with rules. As countries across the globe draft laws that make companies legally culpable for sending spam, it's important for companies to minimise errors, including email typos, misleading headers, and deceptive subject lines. Email marketing software can also help lend credibility to an email by mentioning verifiable information like the registered address of the business or the company registration number within email templates.
  • Subscribe and unsubscribe options: Give recipients the option to subscribe, unsubscribe, and resubscribe by embedding a relevant button or link in the email. Opt-out mechanisms are not only a sign of goodwill but also a legal requirement for any company engaged in direct marketing, according to current marketing and advertising laws. But the same function can be used to show recipients how to resubscribe, especially since there is often a lag between when customers opt-out and when they are taken off the mailing list. When there's a time lag, the unsubscribe form should mention the typical time frame for processing subscription requests.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics: Produce reports containing campaign KPIs, ideally with charts, graphs, and other visuals. Decision-makers need real-time key metric reports to assess the performance of their campaigns and take immediate action. Email tracking software can produce reports on delivery, bounce, open, click, and unsubscribe rates in real-time. They can also render these results in visual format, revealing patterns and trends that users would otherwise miss.

By using the software directory provided by Capterra, it is possible to delve further into the highlights and unique selling points (USPs) of the many specific email marketing tools featured before proceeding to invest in one. Thankfully, with the filters available above, users can save a great deal of time and effort trimming the list down to a few worthy candidates and then pinpointing that one tool on the shortlist that is a perfect match for their business.

What should be considered when purchasing email marketing software?

When considering which email marketing software tool to purchase, it's worth approaching this query from a variety of angles. After all, the final choice will determine the range of campaigns users can run, the type of content they can develop, and the safety and security of their transmissions across the ether. Here are some of the basic features that users should consider before before they make up their minds and settle on this kind of software application:

  • Mobile optimisation: Readers can access their inbox faster and more often from their mobile devices than they can from a PC. They can also read the content more comfortably and privately on smaller screens, provided the content is displayed with the appropriate formatting, frames, buttons sizes, and flip effects. To maximise the reach of their campaigns, marketers should optimise their content for mobile device users, even on cloud-based applications with inherent mobile-friendly features. This involves testing the layout and the content for mobile-friendliness and accessibility before committing to buy the software, and before every campaign launch. Any email marketing software with a mobile-responsive design option, such as built-in mobile templates, should be a serious contender.
  • Email and SMS automation: Automation capabilities take the effort out of tedious but time-sensitive marketing operations. Based on event triggers, these automations might involve sending welcome, feedback, exclusive offers, or reminder messages automatically when readers subscribe, convert, or reach a milestone. For businesses that want to run perfectly timed, user-specific bulk messaging campaigns alongside their regular promotions, email marketing software may be the solution. The software is especially effective if it can use bulk messaging tools to complement email campaign development, alongside web push notifications and other conversion incentives.
  • Integration with CRM and eCommerce software: Contact databases and mailing lists offer a limited view into the company's interactions with its customers. By comparison, CRM and eCommerce platforms offer a broad – if not complete – view of customer preferences, interests, demographics, disposable income, and past purchases. Being able to see the bigger picture is an advantage for a variety of reasons: it provides consistency across datasets, it prevents double entry errors, and it facilitates customer profiling. Integration with eCommerce platforms also makes past purchase information more reliable.

Today's most relevant email marketing software trends go hand in hand with the growing needs of consumers. As these trends emerge and develop, marketers must not only keep up but also stay one step ahead of them. The mark of a forward-thinking company is the flexibility with which its email marketing tools can adapt to changing lifestyles. Notwithstanding budgeting constraints, companies should heed these trends when they select their email marketing software:

  • Shift to voice technology: Customers are having their emails read aloud, either at home, on their phones, or from their smart wearables. As they sift through their inbox using a voice assistant, they are less likely to lock eyes on a specific email, especially if it's not recent. This makes it essential for marketers to use consistent branding, eye-catching email favicons, and engaging subject lines. It also means that companies must place greater importance on their image before engaging with customers.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): With AI and ML, companies can formulate their content so that they strike a balance between salesy and useful messaging, in a way that maximises engagement potential with every customer. AI can help draft rich media, interactive surveys, and relevant offers through geo-targeting and behavioural analytics. Marketers can also use ML to continuously improve customer experience through baked-in algorithms, predictive analytics, and tweaking based on past failures. For example, they can use lessons learnt from a mass unsubscribe event to instruct the campaign builder when to stop sending emails.
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): Two of the most exciting technologies to emerge in recent years, AR and VR come with a variety of applications in email marketing. As various devices and operating systems embrace these technologies, marketers are also finding it easier to leverage this type of content in their email campaigns. For instance, they can embed QR codes or 2D images in their email messaging to trigger AR content so that readers can view 3D objects popping out when they hover over or click those triggers. For readers who wear VR glasses and other devices, a VR compatible email could transform their shopping experience into one similar to in-person buying.
  • The rise of social media: The tug of war between the need for privacy and the need to socialise online can only work in social media's favour, as sharing data across social networks continues to be ubiquitous. Companies can harness data and engagement by simply embedding social media buttons in their email campaigns. With mobile and SEO-optimised content, they can leverage the benefits of a global audience, such as having an online presence in perpetuity. However, they would also be subject to more scrutiny and the risks that come with it.