10 Must Have Features In Your Email Marketing Software

1) Automated Bounce & Unsubscribe Management
As well as helping with email deliverability by reacting to bounce messages from ISP’s and ensuring you minimise spam complaints it improves the productivity of the marketing team who do not have to manually trawl through a mailbox of bounce messages and unsubscribe requests before deleting them from your list.

2) Open & Click-thru tracking
Knowing how many people and who is opening & clicking-thru obviously tells you how effective your message is. This information can then be used to target future messages based upon the recipients activity.

3) Spam Checker
Over 20% of corporate users utilise Spam Assassin, the open source filter. Many other corporate filters also use the Spam Assassin rules in their product.

Therefore having a report before you send the email showing how your email rates against this filter is vital.

4) Inbox Preview
Different email clients treat your email in different ways which can lead to your message being rendered incorrectly.

Viewing your message in a tool such as Maxemail’s Inbox Preview enables you to easily spot these issues and make the required changes to creative.

5) Email De-duplication
There is nothing worse than receiving an email newsletter twice. It is impersonal and unprofessional.

Make sure your email marketing software automatically ensures that duplicates are handled.

6) Inbox Seeding
If your list contains a large number of consumer addresses at places such as Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or Tiscali then running a spam score check will not give you an idea of whether they will deliver your email or place it in the junk mail folder.

You could set-up test addresses at each of these ISP’s but this is time consuming to check. A better method is to simply click a single button and then have an interface to see the delivery status in real-time.

7) A/B Testing
This is the ability to test different creative to samples of your list in order to work out the best performing variants. The main part of your list will then get the best performing version.

Differences in results between variants can be huge, even if it is simply testing fonts, subject lines or timing.
This could be achieved manually but there is always the risk that someone could receive multiple versions. Email marketing software like Maxemail prevents this.

8) Testing & Approval Process
Without adhering to a proper testing process emails can easily be delivered to your lists (or even the wrong list) with errors.

Make sure your email marketing software has the ability to test your email by allowing you to send a sample to your address or a seed list and ensure only your chosen users can approve a campaign for delivery.

9) Dynamic Content & Personalisation
The more relevant you make an email campaign the better the results. More than simply merging in a name, dynamic content is merging in whole blocks of content based upon the recipient’s profile. For example if someone has an interest in rock music an appropriate offer could be inserted while a classical music fan would have a different offer inserted. Each email sent could be entirely unique.

10) ROI & Conversion Tracking
Open and click-thru rates offer some indication into the success of your email campaigns but the real test of campaign success is how many people make a purchase or perhaps complete a request for more information in a B2B scenario.

While this tracking can be achieved to some extent with analysis tools this will require you to manually tag links. In addition a web analytics tool is not going to be as accurate as a solution integrated with your email tool as this holds all of the information about who the person is, what email campaign they came from and what link they clicked on. This ensures unique statistics are produced.

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