Email marketing can be a difficult world to navigate, but you’ll be okay if you steer clear of these three email marketing... continue reading
Email marketing can be a difficult world to navigate, but you’ll be okay if you steer clear of these three email marketing programs.
These software programs have effectively replaced the direct mail (or some may prefer to think of it as junk mail) campaigns that we are all familiar with. If you don’t have an email marketing campaign, then you may be missing a huge sales opportunity. In order to know which email marketing programs you should avoid and which to choose, begin by thinking about what you want out of your software:
What To Look For
What makes this article somewhat difficult to write is that what makes a software program something to “avoid” can come down to a matter of preference. Depending on your business and your needs, we all may want or prefer a different email software program over the next. But here are some things that you should really think about when you’re looking for email marketing software.
First, you want the emails to be easy to develop. You want features that make it fast and easy for you to create effective and professional looking emails. Look for things like an integrated HTML editor and template libraries.
Next, you want to make sure that the program that you choose can automate workflow in a number of different ways. Preferably you should be able to crate a few different email lists within your mailing list and then determine just what kind of emails, and how often emails, are sent to those recipients.
Multilingual capability and bounce handling are to other things that are a “must” when looking at these types of programs. Remember that the internet is global, which means not everyone will be reading your emails in English. You want the program to allow you to create emails in a number of different languages. As for bounce handling, there’s no point in sending emails out repeatedly to bad email addresses. One, this may flag you as a spammer to any ISP and two, it’s just a waste! A good program will keep track of bounced emails and delete any bad email addresses as necessary.
You want for the program you choose to give your recipients the ability to subscribe and unsubscribe, and you want to also have some sort of email metrics available to you. Not all email programs have similar analysis tools, however, so make sure that you choose a program that has metrics that you can use and understand.
Now on to the email programs that you should probably avoid if you want to run a successful marketing campaign:
This program isn’t awful, but for the price that they charge, you can definitely find a better program for your money. The data entry capabilities do allow you to completely customize all of your contacts. It’s easy to see exactly who your contacts are, and you can write down everything that you know about them there. But really, when it comes down to it, who cares? The interface is messy. It’s hard to navigate. It’s downright annoying. If you want to get anything done quickly with Multiemail, it just isn’t happening.
There are other drawbacks to which make this program less than “stellar.” The Message Editor is severely lacking compared to other email marketing programs. For instance, only a plain text option is available rather than HTML. There aren’t a whole lot of email formatting features available to you, and you can’t import images into the program. It’s incredibly limiting when it comes to actually customizing your emails, so it’s best to keep looking for another, better program.
What really draws people to this product is the price. Being under $50 to purchase, it is definitely one of the least expensive email marketing programs out there. Now this program is slightly better than Multiemail in that it does allow you to customize emails. You can import HTML pages, hyperlinks, images, text, and you can use a whole lot of different formats too. Another nice feature: it has a thesaurus and a spell check feature, something which a lot of the more expensive email marketing programs don’t have.
When it comes to most features though, this program is lacking. There also isn’t a whole lot in the way of reporting tools, so if you are a novice or more advanced user, the stats that you get from WorldCast will be almost useless to you. They do have the basics, such as the ability to see how many people have unsubscribed or subscribed, and the number of emails not sent, but other than that, you’ll get nothing.
What really makes the program frustrating is the fact that the interface is difficult to navigate. Once you go through the setup wizard and choose to send either “plain text” or HTML emails, good luck trying to find a way to use which ever you didn’t choose with the initial setup.
This isn’t a horrible program, but unless you are new to email marketing and are just starting up an email campaign, you will be very disappointed with this product.
3. e-Campaign 8.0
Rounding out the lot of them is the best of the worst, e-Campaign. This program isn’t horrible. One thing that everyone will tell you is a real plus when it comes to this is that it offers a multi-threaded email delivery engine, meaning that you will be able to put a stop to any SMTP server time-outs. Not a whole lot of email marketing campaigns offer that. Editing or adding an email address is more difficult than necessary, and all of the icons on the interface are small, hard to see, and do not come along with function descriptions. You’ll need to take some time getting to know this program.
What really sunk this email marketing program into our “bad” list is its reporting features – which are pretty much non-existent. Yes, you’ll get a report showing you all of the failed emails and successful emails that you sent out, but apart from that error log, there’s not a whole lot more going for it. You can find similar programs with the same feature set and which offer more reporting features for the same price.