For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. With this strong of a return, it’s no wonder email continues to be a valuable channel for any business.
A well-thought-out email marketing strategy will drive revenue, but finding the right email marketing tools will allow you to effectively measure, test, and optimize your campaigns for even stronger performance.
With an endless number of choices, it can be overwhelming to find tools that are flexible enough to meet your business objectives.
Here’s a breakdown of the five essential email marketing tools to build a high-functioning email program.
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An Email Service Provider (ESP) is an essential tool for the creation and deployment of email marketing campaigns.
“With all the options available, it is important to make sure the ESPs you’re considering are evaluated fully to ensure that they meet the needs of your email program or your broader marketing program.”
— Peter Inthirakoth, Senor CRM & Email Strategist at Tinuiti
ESPs come in different shapes and sizes, but it’s important to look for one with scalability that works best for your business needs. Having too complex of a tool for your small or scaling business can be just as frustrating for users as being hemmed in by a lack of functionality.
Find a tool that meets your brand where you are and allows for growth over time, knowing that as your business grows, you should be open to exploring migration to larger or more complex tools.
A few things to consider in an ESP are ease of use, robust email A/B testing, advanced segmentation and data analysis, and—most importantly—strong customer support. Integrations with other software and platforms your business uses are also key to ensuring that your data is flowing to and from the ESP.
Whether it’s site activity, purchase data, or other shopping behaviors, it’s important you’re able to slice and dice the data within the ESP for better audience segmentation and campaign effectiveness.
The first step to list growth is identifying the right tools to capture email addresses.
“The most effective way to grow your list with high intent leads is via onsite email capture. Contacts who have already made it to your site have expressed interest in your brand and product, and are highly likely to convert if they are nurtured properly via email campaigns.”
— Kait Cummings, Senior CRM & Email Specialist at Tinuiti
Look for technology with a flexible design canvas that allows for customized graphics and various display options to meet your needs such as a:
- lightbox to capture the attention of new visitors
- a less-intrusive top or bottom banner
- or an exit intent pop-up to prevent shoppers from abandoning their session
You’ll also want robust targeting rules that allow you to target users by source, behavior, or onsite actions to put the right message in front of the right user at the right time.
Our team is a big fan of JustUno—a powerful lead capture platform that includes features like a design canvas to bring your brand to life without a graphic design team, e-commerce integrations to link to your shopping platform, and built-in intelligent audience segmentation to personalize your campaigns and convert more visitors.
With this all-in-one platform, JustUno allows you to not only create and design your campaign but also optimize the messaging through hyper-focused targeting rules to convert your site traffic into email captures.
If you’re sending out emails, it’s important that you’re running them through a rigorous QA process pre-deployment.
Running your email campaigns through rendering tests is an important step as it ensures your message will display properly for all contacts across platforms and devices.
It’s important to implement this tool during a QA process or else it can leave you open to mistakes, like emails not displaying properly in some clients, and awkward formatting in your email design—both of which are sure to land your message in the trash.
There are plenty of useful tools that can help you with testing the rendering of your email design, deliverability, and even the quality of your subject lines and email content. Litmus is one of the biggest names in email testing, and can help you preview your email across a wide range of devices and platforms.
You can also change or fix your code within the tool itself. Email on Acid is another big contender in email testing platforms, and a Tinuiti CRM & Email team favorite. EOA currently previews emails on over 90 different clients and devices with a new Dark Mode optimization feature for those users who might be viewing emails on a darkened device.
Most of us have faced the unfortunate reality of seeing our hard work go to waste when an email campaign lands in the spam folder.
Email deliverability tools can help brands see where emails are landing (inbox, spam folder, promotions tab), and if there are elements of their campaigns or program set up that are causing messages to be marked as spam.
With inbox placement and delivery tracking, your company can stay on top of your sender reputation and identify any placement issues such as blacklisting or email validation issues.
“The sheer number of factors to consider when it comes to deliverability can be overwhelming. Take the first step toward long-term deliverability health by getting a clear view of current inboxing to help key into areas for improvement.”
— Kelli Collins, Senior CRM & Email Strategist at Tinuiti
Email deliverability platform 250ok combines tools to plan, track, and analyze your program with not only email deliverability but also design preview, list validation, DMARC policies, and analytics all in one. With expert help along the way, your team can stay on top of email deliverability within a single-point solution.
Artificial Intelligence has landed in the realm of email marketing in the form of predictive analysis, dynamic segments, and other sophisticated personalization identifiers that can transform your email marketing.
Different tools can provide deep data of complex analytics to optimize their email campaign subject lines, send times, and use smart insights to tailor a personalized message to the right customers. Through AI optimization tools, email marketers can better understand their subscribers at a more granular level and give them what they want at the right time.
“An under-recognized benefit of using artificial intelligence to power your email campaigns is the ability to control margin. Predictive analytics tools can analyze a user’s level of purchase intent to help dictate the incentives served.”
— Mandi Moshay, Director of CRM & Email at Tinuiti
Advances in technology can amplify your email marketing success; it’s all about using the right tools for your program. Not only do they help to effectively execute a campaign, or help you identify ways to optimize, but the best email marketing tools are seamless and easy to use without adding more to your production time.