How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Suite (CRM)

If you’re looking to launch a new product or service and want to make sure that your email marketing efforts are optimized, then you need to make sure that you’re using a marketing automation platform that’s right for your needs.

We’ve outlined the top things to consider when choosing a CRM to help you make the right decision.

Features Are Everything

CRM software is a huge investment and you shouldn’t rush into purchasing the first or second-best solution that you come across. Make sure that you do your research and read reviews before committing. A good CRM will offer you a variety of features that can help you automate your marketing process and track the results of your campaigns. Some good features to look out for:

  • Automation: Does the software allow you to create automated emails or social media posts based on certain triggers (e.g., when a sale is made, when a new lead comes in, etc.)?
  • Campaign Tracking: Does the platform log the performance of each individual email marketing campaign (e.g., opens, clicks, etc.) so that you can analyze and optimize future campaigns?
  • Segmentation: Can you map your leads/customers based on their interests so that you can send them relevant content (e.g., products, blog articles, etc.)?
  • Interactivity: Does the platform allow for users to respond to content through automated emails or social media posts (e.g., ‘Thanks for your interest. We have a special offer for X customer. Would you like to learn more? Click here to opt-in for more information.’)
  • Live Chat: Does the platform offer live chat support so that you can speak with customers immediately after they’ve submitted a form or asked a question?
  • Dashboards: Are dashboards available that provide you with key performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates for each campaign?
  • Mobile Marketing: Does the platform integrate with mobile marketing apps (e.g., Flurry, Mailchimp, or HubSpot) so that you can send targeted push notifications to users when they’re on the move?
  • Social Media Marketing: Does the platform integrate with social media marketing platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram) so that you can effortlessly share blog articles and product updates to social media channels?
  • Email Marketing: Does the platform integrate with email marketing services (e.g., Mailchimp, HubSpot, or Constant Contact) so that you can send automated emails with relevant content (e.g., offers, discounts, etc.) to past, current, and prospective customers?
  • Web Analysis: Is there any sort of analytics tool that tracks the performance of each individual website (Vizualize, Mixpanel, etc.) as well as offers key performance metrics (e.g., traffic, revenue, etc.)?
  • Bloggers: Does the platform provide you with a pool of talented content creators who can write and create compelling blog posts for you to promote your products or services?
  • PDF Export: Does the platform offer any sort of PDF export so that you can email marketing documents to interested parties? (e.g., receipts, invoices, etc.)
  • Data Visualization: Can you visualize key performance metrics in a clear and concise manner (e.g., using charts, graphs, tables, or maps)
  • Data Export: Does the platform offer any sort of data export so that you can load up your database with the information you need for reference (e.g., product manuals, warranty information, etc.)?
  • Multi-Language Support: Does the platform support multiple languages (e.g., English, Spanish, French, German, etc.)?
  • Payment Integrations: Does the platform offer any sort of payment integration (e.g., credit cards, PayPal, etc.) so that you can accept online payments for your goods and services?
  • Geolocation: Can you track and target mobile users by their locations?
  • Attractiveness: Does the platform have any sort of rating feature (e.g., Like, Dislike, or Favorite) that allows users to give your product or service a thumbs up or down?
  • Reviews: Can you get reviews for your products (both good and bad reviews) from previous customers who have used your product?
  • Contact Form: Is there any sort of contact form (e.g., hidden field, dropdown menu, or button) that allows users to easily contact you?

If you’re looking for a simple yet highly effective email marketing platform that offers a lot of flexibility, then take a look at HubSpot. With HubSpot you can create various types of emails (e.g., marketing, sales, and support) that are completely personalized and relevant to each recipient. Plus, you can schedule your emails to go out at any time you want.

On the other hand, Constant Contact offers a complete all-in-one solution for small business owners who want to keep their inboxes clutter-free and want to make sure that each email sent out is relevant and compelling. With this solution, you can set up automated email templates that can be modified and personalized with a few clicks of a button.

Ease Of Use

CRM platforms are not designed for computer novices. Just because you’ve never used a specific tool before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t avoid it. Some good CRM tools are quite complex and require a little bit of customization in order to function properly. Make sure that the tool is easy to use and configure so that you can simply send out a campaign and start tracking the results. If you’re looking for a more complex tool, then consider an enterprise-level solution that offers in-house training or takes advantage of online tutorials so that you can take the tool for a spin right away.

Cost

One of the main things to consider when choosing a CRM is cost. Just because you have a limited budget doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the first or second best solution. There are plenty of CRM tools out there that offer a free trial, so you can test out the tool and see how it performs before you commit. Additionally, some CRM tools offer free add-ons or discounts for students and startups.

Support

Finally, make sure to check out the support options before you make a decision. Just because a tool is widely used does not mean that it is constantly supported by the developers. In order to ensure that you’re not left in the dark with no one to turn to for help, make sure to look for an established brand that already has a good reputation and is known for providing timely and effective support.

The bottom line is that not all email marketing tools are created equal. Make sure that you do your research and read reviews before purchasing a specific tool. Keep in mind that each solution has its perks and quirks, so try out a few different tools before you make a decision. Once you find the one that works best for you, you’ll be able to implement an email marketing strategy that will boost your business and the businesses of those you care about.

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