January 9, 2013, Issue #16

The ESP+++: Selecting the Perfect Email Service Provider (ESP)

What more tools that your email service provider should provide? Are your email campaigns providing better ROI? Do you feel happy to use the email software/application which you have? Are you having enough features in that system to use?

Now you will be thinking am I doing the email marketing in right way? Please take a look at the following point to understand how you can improve your email marketing to meet the goals and generate higher revenue.

CRM capabilities: You ESP system must support the CRM integration and enable to data warehousing and holding all customer data within the ESP for segmentation and automation. By having this option you can build good relationship with your customers, manage your work, automate email campaigns, schedule special email offers for each individual, send gift coupons and increase customer interaction to build trust and loyalty.

Mobile device recognition: Mobile email is very important and it gives 34% open rate according to new survey (Mobile email usage statistics) Create your emails with Responsive design using fewer images. Check for Android and iPhone exceptions and make it easy to read in both HTML and text formats. Then add geo-location tag to track them. Based on the user's customization for email visibility it will display text or HTML on their mobiles.

Measurement & analytics: Professional analytics system which gives complete details about your user activity. The ESP service should contain best campaign measurement and analytics software/application to measure and implement the campaign. The system should allow you to track and generate report for bounce rate, delivery rate, list growth rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, sharing/forwarding rate and ROI per email sent.

Dynamic content solutions: Based on particular user preferences, online behaviour, demographics and personalities the content should be personalised to match with each subscribers taste and provides individual interaction feel. The brain behind your dynamic content is your customer database details. If you have in-depth information about your customer then it's easy to create the relevant content to match with each subscriber's need.

Design & copywriting: All your designs and text have your own copy writes. The ESP should not use these designs or text for any other purpose. The ESP should not sell these designs or use for their own purpose also.

Automated campaigns: It includes lead nurturing, lead scoring and behavioural response marketing campaigns. You must have best User Interface to easily setup these campaigns in the system which you are using. The automated campaigns will enable you to get more ROI.

Segmentation: Your ESP should provide option to create lists and segment them. Because each customer persona is different from other and they all won't buy at once. So segment the data into different categories like existing clients, average paying, major clients (VIP), most recent visit, age, gender, based on demographics and geographies, last message date, CTR, open rate, spending habits, personal interests, financial, past behaviour, responders and preferences. This helps you to improve your email marketing reputation. Don't forget to reward your loyal customers.

Campaign optimisation: This is the most important part in email campaign. After doing all the stuff if you are not converting prospectus in to leads then the entire work what you have done its waste. Use email auto responders and create dynamic content to optimise your campaign. Send series of welcome emails with dynamic content and good offers along with free stuff to help prospectus to take right decision. Do A/B testing or M/V testing to evaluate and improve the campaigns.

Personalisation: As you use dynamic content you must get best personalisation options to send relevant mails to your segmented lists. Research says that personalised mails will increase 18 times more revenue generation compared to normal broadcast mails (Jupiter Research).

Social media integration: The Next generation marketing medium is social media. Integrate social media with your email campaign to get the best results of it. Some of the methods that you can use for this are, providing signup option via social networks, providing social sharing icons in email and asking subscribers to share, integrating email opt-in forms in social media sites, providing a subscription form in blog and making sure to get easy integration of social icons in email. The ESP should provide best options for this while editing default email templates are creating new one in the system.

Strategy & campaign planning: The ESP should also help to create email marketing strategy and plan different campaigns according to your goals. Some may also provide built in default options to select the campaigns and strategies which are created to match with particular industry. You will get an option to make changes to suit your organisation needs.

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