Email marketing is still an effective way to stay connected with prospects, even with the rise of social media, to generate sales and market affiliate products for additional revenue streams. However, with the rise of social media and other forms of communication, such as text messaging, the way email marketing is done needs to change with the times to still be effective. Part of that change means making sure your email marketing service you use, also keeps up with the times. What should you be looking for in your email marketing service that will keep you updated to the ever-changing environment of the Internet?
1) Close integration with your blog
Your blog and your email provider should be closely integrated. Your service provider should have the option to automatically email your blog postings out to your mailing list whenever you add a new posting to your blog. A good service provider will allow you to pick how often you want to send these automatic emails out so you don't overwhelm you list. This feature saves you time in keeping connected with your mailing list while you are posting great content to your blog. Clever applications of this feature can practically automate a significant portion of your online business strategy.
2 Ability to customize email templates via HTML
This feature is fairly standard in most email programs. Your mailing list should allow you to add a custom header, logo and sidebar along the main content. It should also allow you to add images to your template and any number of links to your email (although you don't want to go overboard in this area). One last thing is that your template should automatically include unsubscribe and subscribe links and your postal mailing information.
3) Ability to separate mailing list members with unique tags
If you have a mailing list, and you receive signups from different sources, or situations, you will want the ability to tag where these different sources of signups come from so if you have a need, you can send email announcements to only a portion of your mailing list. The more you are able to segment your list, the better your return rate because you can connect more strongly with your list.
4) Ability to connect to your social networks.
Your email list should allow you to send broadcast emails out to your social network accounts as well when you send an email out to your mailing list. The networks that it should connect to should at the minimum be LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook. If others are available, it is even better. This feature keeps those in your social network circle up to date on what you are doing without leaving anyone out.
5) Customer Support
You will want a solution that offers 24x7 customer support through at least email, live chat or phone support. The best is phone support, then live chat, then email. If they only offer emails support, ask around for those that user their service and find out how long it takes for the customer service to answer support questions
When you have the right features in your email marketing program, you are able to reduce the amount of effort required on your part to implement your online business strategy. Taking advantage of these important features can increase your income, reduce mistakes in communication and generally make it easier to offload certain online marketing tasks to others as well. So the whole point here is really do your research when looking for a good email list service and don't take the first one that comes along because everyone else is using it and it seems easy at the time. In the long run, it will be harder. A stitch in time saves about 100 in this case.