How to Build a Killer Email Marketing Tool for Your Small Business

Imagine your small business has been around for a while and you’ve built up a decent audience on social media. You’ve even started to gain some traction with blog content. But now you want to take your marketing strategy to the next level and figure out how to implement email marketing.

The problem is that you don’t actually have an email list – you’ve just been using a free email provider to send out occasional marketing emails.

So you decide to build a full-blown email marketing tool from scratch. How hard can it be, right? You’ve got a good idea of how to create an effective marketing plan and you’ve got some tech-savvy friends who can get the project done in a matter of days.

Well, as it turns out, it’s a lot harder than you think.

Here are some of the things you need to consider when building your email marketing tool.

Features

The first thing you need to do is figure out what features you need for your email tool. This will be highly dependent on your target audience and what you want to accomplish with your program. For example, if you want to generate leads, you’ll want to focus on integrating with various lead-generation platforms (like Infusionsoft, Sumo, and Pipedrive).

If your focus is more on engaging with your audience and fostering lasting relationships, you may want to consider looking at features like automated email campaigns, webinars, and social media campaigns.

Whatever your business goals and the features you need to get there, take some time to think about what your customers need. Then, match those needs with the features your software provides.

Design

A functional and aesthetic design go hand-in-hand. You don’t want to have a poorly designed piece of software that causes your customers pain while trying to use it. That’s just bad business.

So it’s important to take your time here and make sure you incorporate a variety of design elements across all platforms (website, mobile app, and desktop email client).

You want your customers to be able to easily navigate your website and find the information they need. But you also don’t want to sacrifice functional design for the sake of a pretty page.

Your email client should look familiar yet easy to use. You want to avoid any confusion or uncertainty when it comes to creating or sending emails. Your software should also incorporate a clean, modern look that draws in and keeps your customers.

Usability

Your customers should be able to use your product without any trouble. If they’re not, then you’re doing something wrong. You can’t expect your customers to have any background in technology and email marketing and have no trouble using your product.

Your product’s usability is crucial here. You don’t want sloppy code that causes errors or unexpected behavior. Also, give your customers a clear path to follow with step-by-step instructions. If you’re using an online product builder like Wix or Squarespace, there will be a large audience of potential customers who are already familiar with following visual instructions.

If you’re looking for an email marketing tool that’s completely free, then check out this list of the best free email marketing tools.

Security

Your customers’ personal information — like their name, email address, or phone number — is your biggest asset. It’s also the most likely to be stolen if you don’t take the right steps to secure it. Always keep your customers’ personal information safe and do your best to keep it from getting hacked. 

To that end, you’ll want to implement two-factor authentication (2FA) on your website. This will require you to have two different pieces of information in order to log in. One factor is something you know (like a password or a personal chip), and the other is something you have (like a fob or a mobile number).

If someone guesses your password or steals your laptop/desktop pc, they can get access to your email account and all your personal data. So it’s critical that you take the right steps to prevent this from happening. 

Features

The previous point covered features, but it’s important to also discuss the importance of having these features. One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you’re just starting is believing that all your customers will be tech-savvy and will know what they’re doing. That simply isn’t true.

Many people think that they’ll just need to create a simple email marketing tool and then use the platform to send out newsletters regularly. But that’s certainly not the case. Your customers will need support and guidance in order to use your product effectively and safely. So take the time to provide that support and guidance before you launch.

The more you can do to reduce uncertainty and confusion, the better. Some of your customers might not even know what an email marketing campaign is or how it works. So make sure you educate them before you launch.

For example, if you’re using email marketing to promote a new product or service, you might want to consider using a double opt-in where you ask people to confirm their email address before they can get access to the rest of your product or service. This way, you can be sure that you’re only sending out messages to people who actually want to receive them.

Cost

One of the most important things to consider when building your email marketing tool is the cost. As a business owner or marketer, you’re always on the lookout for new expenses. But if you decide to invest in an email marketing tool, you’ll quickly realize that the investment can be quite expensive. 

Depending on the size of your business, you might want to consider looking at the cost of a single employee’s productivity for a month. If you’re wondering what that would be, let’s say a marketing manager’s salary is $50,000 and they manage a team of 10 employees. That would be $500 per week or $62,500 per month. So, if they manage to bring in $2,000 in leads this month, that’s almost 4% of your total revenues.

Now, 4% may not seem like much. But if you look at it from the other side, it’s 4% of your total expenses that you can potentially free up to focus on growing your business. So, if you decide to go this route, it could very well be the right investment for your company.

Choosing the right features, design, and usability combine to create a simple and user-friendly email marketing tool. Now, you need to decide whether you want to go the DIY route and code your own platform or use an existing one.

If you go the DIY route, you’ll save a lot of money over time and be able to take advantage of the latest tech innovations that decrease friction and increase user-friendliness. The downside is that if you don’t have the time or skills to code, it can be difficult to adapt as your business grows.

On the other hand, using an existing platform means you can adapt as your business grows and increases in complexity. You don’t have to worry about spending too much time learning a new platform. Instead, you can focus on your customers and continuing to improve their experience.

Lifespan

Now, this isn’t something you need to worry about at all if you go the DIY route. But, if you decide to go the soft-sell route and use an existing email marketing platform, you need to be concerned about the lifespan of your chosen tool. If you’re not careful, these tools can become obsolete quickly as newer, better versions are released by the software company that makes it.

You’ll need to make sure you stay ahead of the curve by continually assessing the lifespan of your tool and upgrading accordingly. It’s a painless task to do this if you use a tool such as RapidMigrator, where you can simply click a button and the upgrade process will take care of itself. This way, you can continue to use the same email platform as your business grows without concern for compatibility issues or security breaches due to outdated technology.

The moral of the story is: don’t just look at the cost of a single employee’s salary when deciding whether or not to make an investment in an email marketing tool. Look at the entire cost/benefit analysis and see how much money you’ll actually make if you decide to use this tool.

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