How do you choose an email marketing program? As a virtual assistant for seven years, I’ve heard this question often. Or, the alternative, my email marketing program isn’t working for me, should I change systems? Unfortunately there is not a simple answer to these questions. You must first answer some questions about your business.
1. How many names do I have on my list? Some programs charge by the number of people in your database. So if you have 20,000 names you would want to look at the cost of a program with that in mind.
2. How many emails do I send each month? Once again, some programs base your subscription charge on the amount of emails you send each month. Even if you have a small list, of 1000 (for example) if you email them eight times a month you could easily incur a higher charge.
3. How do people typically join my list? If most of your opt ins come from your website, almost any program will work. If however, you need to add a lot of contacts manually as is often the case with speakers and networkers, you have to choose an email marketing program that will allow it.
4. Will I use my own template or a standard template? If you use a customized template designed for your business, you need to be sure the email marketing program you choose allows this and it is formatted correctly. Not set on a customized template yet? Most programs offer a variety of standard templates. Look for one with a wide variety to fit your needs. Note that most of the standard templates can be customized with your header or logo.
5. Do I enter my email blasts and newsletter or do I have a virtual assistant complete this task? This is an important question because it speaks to how user friendly the system needs to be. If you are tackling the task of creating, coding and sending all emails and you are not tech savvy, you will want a program that will be easy for you to use. However, if you write content and hand it over to your expert virtual assistant for set up and delivery, you have more options. (When narrowing down your list, I suggest you consult your VA regarding her knowledge of the program.)
These are basic questions to start your search. Keep in mind that price isn’t everything and look for quality in the service. Ask your colleagues and most importantly your virtual assistant for recommendations.
Still confused? HIT Virtual Assistants offers consultations and guidance. Contact us.