As part of your web strategy, email marketing should be used to take the user journey from your website into a journey of email touch points and possibly back to new web pages to continue the relationship and delivery of high quality content.
There are now literally hundreds of email marketing programs on the market that can be used and it is very difficult to know which one is best for you. The answer really is not simple and depends on the requirements of your business and the type of marketing strategies you want to implement. There are also some very limiting email marketing programs that should be avoided. This doesn’t seem like a large risk and it’s not financially, most are very affordable, however the investment of time in building your strategy, your sequence of emails and form integrations with your site can be considerable. So be sure to do your research and choose carefully.
Let’s start with some of the definite wants needs for your ideal email marketing program.
Ability to choose single or double opt-in.
Opt-in is a form on your site or facebook that allows people to enter their email and contact details. Single opt-in does not require confirmation via an email received in order to receive future emails. Double opt-in does require confirmation via the first email sent. You can customize your first confirmation email that is sent to the customer, but what if it ends up in their spam folder or they just miss your email for some reason. You can never send an email to them ever again. You can expect less than 50% of people will confirm your verification email. Yes it is the compliant way of doing things but to this day I have never seen a case of prosecution for spam resulting from entering another person’s email into database without permission. Many email programs require a compulsory double opt-in. It is okay to use this but if you want an effective email marketing it is not ideal.
Beautiful email HTML templates
If you want to send out emails with a brand presence it can save you a lot of money building your own HTML email templates. I personally don’t use templates and prefer personalized high quality content with less of a salesy feel, but it depends on your industry and what you are selling.
Email Auto-responders with multiple trigger sequences
Auto-responders are pretty standard nowadays with most programs but it great having an intelligent system that can take each user on a different journey of relevant information based on their interaction with each email. You can customized the user experience based on certain emails opened or not opened, links with in emails clicked, a time sequence or based a new interaction with your website. With some email marketing programs you can customize the user experience based on purchase history with ecommerce, web pages viewed, interaction with social media and much more.
Email CRM functionality
Some of the more advanced email marketing programs available today are including some highly effective CRM features for managing your email marketing lists. List segementation via tagging is one of my favourites and is much more effective than having completely separate lists. Aweber and the like use total separate lists which carries a lot of limitations I don’t have time to go into, however with one list segmented by tagging is a CRM feature that allows you to do customize the user experience for leads and customers. Using your email marketing to upsell products based on custom tags that represent user or customer interest is very exciting for experienced marketers. Some of the CRM functionality now available is impressive enough that you can just use your email marketing program to manage your entire marketing process. The higher end platform also integrate management and monitoring of your social media. Another great tool for some of email marketing programs is the ability to build great looking mini sites or conversion pages.
There are few programs we highly recommend if you want to manage many marketing aspects of your business.
[togglegroup][toggle title=”Infusionsoft”]Great for marketing automation and is my number number 1 recommended choice. Is expensive though.[/toggle][toggle title=”Premiumwebcart “]If you have ecommerce and want to integrate fantastic CRM, email and shopping cart functionality. My number 1 choice or recurring payments, offering coupons and a whole range of cool features. Can be expensive if you want all features.[/toggle][toggle title=”Office Auto Pilot “]A great alternative to Infusionsoft for those less tech orientated with easy to use functionality and a great tagging system. A less featured smaller brother is Sendpepper build by the same company for small businesses who can’t afford big brother and don’t need all the advanced CRM features.[/toggle][toggle title=”Get Response”]My number one choice for the less expensive very user friendly alternative to Infusionsoft. Has great auto-responder sequences, single opt-in however does have some disadvantages with unusual form code compatible with some websites. Get Response has a direct integration with both premiumwebcart and using Zapier also integrates with my two favourite CRM programs, Salesforce and Getbase.[/toggle][/togglegroup]  
For support on choosing a suitable Email Marketing Program, CRM solution, Payment Gateway or Shopping Cart, call our experts today for the right advice on building an automated online marketing system.

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