First, think about how you will deliver emails to your audience. Most companies start by choosing a credible email marketing service provider. The are hundreds of providers to choose from, including MailChimp and Constant Contact, which have dominated the space for a while. Newcomers in the field, including Drip and Klaviyo, are focusing on segmenting and automation. Segmentation and automation have become a huge shift in the email marketing world, and more marketers are looking for providers that can personalize emails based on subscriber behavior as they move about the digital world.
Most important is choosing a provider that has a good sending reputation, meaning that the provider has strict rules about who gets to use its platforms. This essentially means no spammers allowed! You’ll find that many email providers will monitor your performance as a sender when you first join. It’s also important to choose a provider that’s easy to grasp and that you or your team will want to use.
Most providers have basic functions, such as creating campaigns, but you will want to choose a platform that also has advanced features like segmentation. When it comes to segmentation, your provider should offer the ability to tag and group your subscribers based on their behaviors and preferences. This can be as simple as tagging people who found you via Facebook, or purchased men’s shirts versus women’s shirts. Similarly, by segmenting subscribers based on how frequently they’d like to receive emails, you can avoid sending emails too often to those who prefer to hear from you less. This will help reduce unsubscribes in the long run.
Most email providers have analytics capabilities, but based on your business needs you will want to use one that carves out the data that helps tell the best picture for your organization. This will vary based on your business. At the very least, you should make sure your platform can report on open rates, click-through rates, and, if relevant, conversion (or purchase) rates. More on this below.
As far as design goes, most email providers come with pre-designed templates to get you started. These are basic drag-and-drop templates that allow you to place text, images, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons in your email. Email providers are keen to provide you with templates that are their highest performers when it comes to conversions, so it’s usually a good idea to start here. However, you may find that you need to add more customized elements to match your brand to your emails; in this case, you can hire an email designer/developer to create a customized HTML design to be used in place of the provided templates.