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Email Marketing 8 min read

Email Marketing Services: 8 Key Things to Look For

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 15 Feb 2023

Every organization needs to attract and retain customers, but that’s no small task in today’s competitive environment. You’re likely going up against other companies with well-established credibility within your industry, so you’ll need to find ways to distinguish your company from others. One of the best ways to do so is through email marketing services.

Once an individual provides you with their email address and grants you approval to contact them regularly, you have no reason not to take advantage of it. However, you may find it challenging to launch and maintain effective email campaigns without some expert help. That’s where utilizing an email marketing service can benefit you, allowing you to reap myriad benefits while reducing your workload.

Of course, if you’re interested in bulk email marketing services, you’ll want to evaluate your options and compare specific features before signing up with a provider. With that in mind, here are a few critical factors to consider.

Automation Is Your Friend

A sketch-like image of an email

Gone are the days of manually writing each email and sending it to individual subscribers. Today’s email marketing services have built-in automation features that will make your life much more manageable. Many even include templates for promotional communications, reducing the need to continually craft new messaging. You’ll also find that these services will maintain your subscriber book for you, reducing your level of manual effort. 

You can also connect your email marketing service with the website, allowing you to contact customers who start to make a purchase but opt out before completing their payment (cart abandonment). With the help of an email marketing service, you can also customize emails based on a customer’s shopping history.

Look for Email Marketing Services that Use CSS

Plain-text emails have gone the way of the dinosaur (at least for professional businesses), and using simple HTML is no longer enough to differentiate your brand. While HTML can support mobile emails read on smartphones and tablets, a service that leverages the full power of CSS is what you want. A CSS message is compatible with almost every device, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

With CSS, you won’t need to worry about your message not correctly displaying on your customer’s screen. CSS can automatically adapt a message to fit a user’s device, eliminating the potential for unreadable communication.

Try Before You Buy

Unfortunately, email marketing costs can be high, especially if you don’t receive many choices from a service provider. However, if you’re a small organization with a few hundred subscribers, you probably don’t need an enterprise-level plan appropriate for large corporations or significant e-commerce retailers.

An email marketing company should offer scalable pricing that fits your current communication needs. If you only need to email your customers every few weeks or so, you’ll want a basic plan that isn’t overly expensive. 

Like any other major purchase, consider a try-before-you-buy approach. Many email marketing services offer free trials for a week or two, and you can (and should) try as many providers as possible before making your final decision. Doing so will allow you to find the provider with the most suitable features for your organization.

Don’t Ignore the Analytics

A chart comparing results for two emails

One of the best reasons to sign up with an email marketing agency is to leverage their analytics options. Without a full suite of analytics, you’ll never know how popular your emails are with your clients or whether they even read them. You won’t know how many people take action with your organization after reviewing a communication, like visiting your website or purchasing a new product or service.

A good email marketing agency should offer numerous email marketing benchmarks that provide helpful insights into your campaign’s success (or failure). Once you understand how your campaigns perform, you can make further adjustments to optimize them for even better results.

Adequate Subscriber Management Tools

There’s no easy way to put this: Manually overseeing your subscriber list is a colossal waste of time. Today’s email marketing tools handle subscriber management for you, eliminating the need to scrub your email list regularly. Instead, your subscriber tools will notify you when a customer’s email address no longer exists or if they haven’t opened an email from you in months.

Whatever the reasons for your subscriber’s lack of interest in your communications, you’ll want to remove them from your list if the problems continue. Typically, email marketing services will allow you to set up rules that automatically delete inactive email addresses.

Your email marketing management service should also be able to handle new additions and canceled subscriptions. If your service behaves as it should, manual interventions to maintain your list should be the exception, not the rule.

Provide Tools to Assist You with Compliance

Email compliance

In the early days of email, there weren’t many regulations that limited communications with customers. Companies could generally send as many emails as they liked, provided they had an accurate email address from a customer. However, the laws are catching up to today’s technology and seek to preserve customer rights while ensuring companies can still reasonably market their offerings.

In the U.S., companies must abide by the CAN-SPAM Act and other specific state regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act. Organizations with customers in Europe and the U.K. must follow the rules of the GDPR. All laws prevent companies from taking specific actions with a customer’s email address, such as selling it to a third party without the individual’s permission.

You don’t want to run afoul of consumer privacy regulations. A good email marketing management tool will include features that ensure compliance with the law and update your tools if countries or states introduce further legislation.

Provide Third-Party Integrations

Thirdparty API intergrations

You might already use various apps and subscription services to manage your business. As such, you should seek out an email marketing service that integrates with your other apps for maximum performance. At a minimum, your email subscription service should integrate with your website platforms (like WordPress, Wix, Shopify, or Squarespace). 

The more integrations your service includes, the better. When you take a more holistic approach to your infrastructure, you can improve the quality of your data and minimize the manual interventions you’ll need to take. 

So, when searching for the right service, make a list of the software and subscriptions you currently use and keep it handy during your search. Most email marketing services will include a list of integrations they support on their website. Compare them to your list, and carefully consider solutions that align with your current software suite.

Message Limits that Make Sense

Most email marketing companies limit the length of their messages or cap the number of messages you can send during a specific period. If you regularly send emails that are greater than 1,000 words long or you have thousands of subscribers, these limits are critical.

Make sure you consider the provider’s limitations before signing up to avoid paying extra fees.

The Right Email Marketing Services Have Features that Suit Your Needs

Not all email marketing services are created equal. You’ll find many services with features that don’t align with your company’s needs or that charge too much to make the service worth it. But don’t give up! With our helpful tips, you’ll find a service that can help you manage your subscriber list without breaking the bank.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed