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10 Reasons to Use an Email Marketing Service

inboxMany small businesses use Microsoft Outlook or a similar email program when they start doing email marketing. The problem is that these applications were designed for one-to-one communications. They can work fine for sending email to a few dozen people. But using Outlook to help you send hundreds or thousands of emails to your customers is like using a speaker phone to deliver a speech in an auditorium. Email marketing can have a powerful impact on your business, and you need tools that are designed for the task. If you are serious enough about email marketing to pick up this book, you should consider using an email service like Constant Contact. Email services help you perfect your strategy, manage your data, design your emails, and track your results.

1. Look professional. Unless you’re an HTML programmer who knows how every email program used by your customers will render your code differently, you should consider using an email service provider to help you with elements such as colors, fonts, images, and page designs.

2. Easily conform to CAN-SPAM regulations. All reputable email service providers build legal requirements into their platforms so you don’t have to worry about compliance.

3. Learn best practices. Email service companies send a lot of emails. The best ones listen to their customers, study their customers’ results, and share the best practices with others so everyone can grow. Go with an email service that embraces the philosophy that when customers are successful, the company is successful.

4. Give customers and easy way to unsubscribe. Keeping track of the people who no longer want your emails is not only professional, it’s a legal requirement. Email services include easy and safe unsubscribe links in every email that automatically remove anyone who clicks on them and keeps track of your unsubscribed customers so you can’t inadvertently add them back.

5. List management. Sending email to a list professionally isn’t as simple as cutting and pasting email addresses into a program. Email services allow you to manage your customers’ personal information and preferences so your emails are customized and your subscribers are segmented into categories and interests.

6. Track results. If you want to see who’s opening, forwarding, and clicking on your emails, you need an email service that gives you tracking reports. Email services can also tell you which emails bounced, why they bounced, and which subscribers opted out of your communications.

7. Maximize delivery to the inbox. Your customers’ Internet Service Providers want to deliver wanted email while blocking unwanted email, so they pay close attention to the reputation of the sender when they decide whether to deliver or block emails to their customers. If you use an email service that is friendly to ISPs and blocks uninvited spammers from using their services, you’ll have a higher delivery rate. If you use your own email server to deliver your mail, you’ll start with no reputation at all, and you’ll probably experience average delivery rates.

8. Automate where appropriate. Email services are constantly developing new tools that help you to automate your strategy so you can spend more time with your customers. Automated features include signup forms that feed customer information into your database, auto responders that send selected emails after a specified event, and email templates that automatically lay out your content and brand elements into eye catching arrangements.

9. Cost a fraction of a penny per communication. Perhaps the best email marketing benefit involves the low cost of sending lots of emails to lots of people. Good email services pass these low costs on to their customers in the form of fixed monthly fees for unlimited emails or price breaks for large list holders.

10. Provide tools that impact your profits. Where do you turn when you need a library of stock photography, a way to archive your emails to your web site, or online surveys to help you understand your customers better? Any good email service provider will offer these tools and will be constantly finding ways to make your emails come to life and give you the greatest return on your investment in their products and services.

At this point your mind is either spinning with ideas on how to put these rules into practice for your business or you are wondering how to get started. The great news is that in both cases the answers lie in reading on! You may think that sending an email marketing campaign is fairly simple and you would be right. However, email marketing is not about sending email, it’s about getting people to read it!

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