Choosing Bulk Email Software: Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Spending Your Hard Earned Dollars
Building your list, distributing email newsletters and grow sales with email marketing is the hottest sales lead generation trend on the web today. Bulk email sending is one of the most quick and cost effective yet tedious processes around. Some businesses choose to outsource their email marketing tasks while others run email campaigns in house.
How do you choose the best software to send email newsletters at your own computer? Follow these tips to avoid spending your hard earned money for bad software.
Here are my Top 10 Questions to ask software selling company so you can reach your goals and benefit from email marketing:
- Once I purchased group email software, are there monthly subscription costs? If you have to pay monthly, you'll get the same features and capabilities for more money than if you paid one time only. Just an example. If you have a list of say 25,000 subscribers, you pay $149 per month using an email service provider. This makes $1788 per year vs. one-time fee of $349 for desktop email newsletter software.
- How many email addresses can I send the message to with your software? Ask the company about the list size limitation. If your mailing list is growing fast, you'll just waste your money if the program cannot work with large lists. And ask them if you need to upload your list to their server or database, or your list will be stored in-house on your own computer. It's important for your list privacy and safety.
- Does your email blaster have a built-in SMTP server? Ask this question if you don't have your own mail server you can send emails through and if you can't use your ISP SMTP settings due to email sending restrictions. If software does not support SMTP free delivery, or any other delivery method like Integration with Amazon SES API you could use instead, it simply won't work for you.
- Is your program capable of processing bounce email messages? If it's not, you'll have to spend more bucks for a bounce processing tool, or do this tedious task manually because you can't afford sending to invalid email addresses. You care about your email list validity and your email sender reputation. That's why ask the selling company if you will be able to easily process bounce email messages with their software and remove them from your list. Any reputable software must have bounce processing capability.
- Does your mass email software provide any kind of opt-in link? Never buy or harvest emails on the Internet if you don't want to end up on blacklists after a couple of sent emails. Ask the company if and how you will be able to collect opt-in recipients using their system. Probably they have some free tool or plugin you can use to place a sign-up form on your website or blog. If it's possible, wonder how you will be able to send email newsletters to your subscribers. Is there an export option? Or is their software capable of connecting directly to the subscribers' database on your server?
- Can I add the unsubscribe link using your software? Only software from reputable companies provide the users with CAN-SPAM laws compliant unsubscribe link when the recipient can unsubscribe with two mouse clicks. Ask the software developer company how the unsubscribe process is done. If they attach the unsubscribe link to a mailto: email address, you'll have a headache. Unsubscribe requests will come to your Inbox and be mixed with other messages. You'll need to look through dozens emails each day in order not to miss a single unsubscribe request. If software is integrated with an online email tracking service, ask if you can customize the unsubscribe page for your company brand and what else you will be able to track in addition to unsubscribe emails (for example, email opens, forwards, link clicks, email clients, countries etc.).
- Does your program allow easy email personalization? It's not a stupid question at all. They may advertise that their software has mail merge capabilities and that you can send personalized emails. So far, so good. Ask them if you will be able to create your custom fields to import the contact information to and merge those fields into the email. Then wonder if you can automatically attach a personal file to each recipient using their software. This is done with the merge capability too when you use the variable in the file name you want to attach. This way you can send a unique report, invoice, or any other file to each recipient on your list.
- Will I be able to share my address book with other software users in our office? It's very convenient when you can place the workplace (address book, email messages, account settings) on a shared drive and let several users use it without having to re-import the email list before each email campaign. Even better if you can create multiple workplaces inside the program and maintain unique email lists, accounts, and email templates in each workplace. Ask the selling company about this possibility. Don't you see the potential here? You can run email campaigns for third party companies and individuals and see the cash flowing into your pocket.
- Will I get any delivery reports? Best email sender software can not only show you how many emails were sent and undelivered; they can also send you all these stats via email. This way you can receive email delivery reports after each campaign. You can even set software to send the report to any email address you want, for example, you email the newsletter to the list and send the delivery report to your boss. Also, ask if you can customize the report or if it comes in the pre-defined format only. If you have to present the delivery reports to your clients, software capable of automatically create and send reports will save you much time and efforts.
- Is there any backup-restore capability? It has been our experience that users often lose everything including contacts, email messages, and account settings if their system crashes and they don't have any backup. So, ask if and how you will be able to restore your database if you need to re-install software or move it to a new computer. Best programs must support a quick backup-restore capability. If software does not have such an option, ask what files you need to backup in order you can restore your workplace quickly in the new program installation.
You want the best bulk email software that ensures your success in email marketing. Many cheap mass email tools are just a waste of time and money. If the price seems too low, remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. Do research and see if the company has a legal address or you are about to buy cheap crap from an anonymous seller that will soon disappear leaving you without money and support.
Make sure that software you choose fits your email marketing goals and target audience, reduces the cost and complexity of your email marketing efforts, and that the support will guide you every step of the way. Follow these tips to ensure you get what you pay for! If not, you could be headed for failure.
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