Email marketing is one of the most successful marketing activities to build into your ecommerce strategy. It usually has the highest conversion rates, the lowest costs and can be a fantastic way of engaging with both existing and potential customers.
However, finding the right email service provider can be hard. There are many tools on the market which offer varying levels of functionality and flexibility.
What should you be looking for in an email service provider?
#1 – An easy-to-use email campaign builder
One of the first things to look at could be how easy the campaign builder is to use. Whilst you may be making the decision of which email provider to use, it may be other members of the team who will create and manage your email campaigns.
A clear and simple campaign builder will help you brand your email campaigns effectively, and provide an excellent customer experience.
An easy to use campaign builder will make everyone’s lives easier and reduce the time needed to onboard and train your wider team.
#2 – Comprehensive automation and workflow features
The traditional email strategy of ‘batch and blast’ no longer works. Modern email strategies need segmentation and workflows to offer a personalised customer engagement strategy.
Some email service providers offer simple automations, whilst others offer more complex data-driven workflows.
Even though you may not use all of the comprehensive features that the tool will offer, you may grow into them as your brand continues to experience high growth.
#3 – Built-in integrations with your ecommerce platform
It makes sense to prioritise an email service provider that has easy built-in integrations with your ecommerce platform.
Some providers are ‘baked in’ to Magento to make the integration easier, and others have Shopify Plus apps to help you get set up quickly.
It can sometimes be costly and take longer to set up if your email provider does not have a quick and easy integration.
#4 – Advanced reporting
Retailers now have a plethora of data available and many email providers can use this data to offer advanced reporting and dashboards.
Depending on what your targets are, you may want to look at an email provider that can offer custom reports, alerts and more.
#5 – Wider marketing and engagement tools
Whilst your focus may be on looking for an email provider, many email platforms also offer wider marketing and engagement tools such as on-site personalisation, SMS campaigns and more.
This extra functionality will allow you to effectively communicate with your customers at more touch points, and cover the wide spectrum of the conversion funnel.
These features are good to grow into and can often be an easy add-on to your core functionality.
#6 – Strong delivery rates
Email providers will have various delivery rates and whilst on the most part, they will all be similar, you want to make sure that you use an established and trusted provider with strong delivery rates.
You want your emails to be delivered and not sent to spam folders.
#6 – Excellent team support
The final thing to look for is excellent team support. Depending on your package and plan, you may be able to take advantage of the email platform’s customer service team.
Even if you have an in-house team and work with a specialist agency, you may still need the expert advice and support of the platform you are using.
Some email providers offer more support than others, but it is worth understanding exactly what support you think you may need.
Working with expert technology
There are some fantastic email platforms out there including dotdigital, Klaviyo and Emarsys. It is worth drawing up a list of your needs and working with your ecommerce agency to find the right agency for you.