The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Software

The Secrets of Effective Email Marketing

With 92% of online adults using email, email is ubiquitous, woven into the fabric of everyday modern life. But you probably already know this, because you’re likely one of the four-billion people that uses email today. In the world of marketing, specifically, email remains the heavyweight champion, responsible for nearly 300-billion business and commercial messages sent and received per day. This is why selecting the right email marketing software is so critically important — and there’s even more. Not only is email marketing the most effective form of direct marketing, it’s also the most cost effective. According to the Data and Marketing Association, email generates an average return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. 

As the benefits of email marketing continue to expand, the email marketing tips of yesteryear have become obsolete. The tactics that worked just a few years back don’t get the job done anymore, and the previous generation of email marketing service providers (ESPs) are becoming less competitive. Today’s email marketing platforms are all about reaching the right person in a contextualized and personalized way.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing has been around for over twenty years, and has been constantly evolving along the way. If you find the changes overwhelming, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll bring you up to speed on the newest generation of email marketing tools, and show you how they’re changing the game for marketers.

Email marketing is the practice of sending commercial email messages to your company’s opted-in prospects, contacts and customers. Marketing emails may be used to directly drive sales, build brand loyalty and help tell your story, recover lost sales (as in with cart abandonment emails), or accomplish any other number of operational objectives. Email marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) can measure all sorts of metrics, from overall campaign ROI to your company’s email list growth rate — an indication of just how dynamic email marketing (and email marketing analytics) can be. 

In the past, email marketing tended towards generic mass email blasts, the electronic equivalent of sending coupons or newsletters via direct mail to any addresses on hand. The modern email marketing strategy instead focuses on segmentation, personalization, optimization, and automation. The top email marketing platforms like Simon Mail can even go a step further, integrating email marketing into a larger cross-channel, data-centric experience that considers a customer’s journey across their entire lifetime. 

In the last two decades, email marketing has become the cornerstone of most digital marketing programs. The number of business emails sent per day is forecasted to reach 347 billion by the end of 2023. Of these emails, 18% to 22% will be opened, and nearly 2% will inspire consumers to click through.

These are promising numbers, and you can outperform them with the right email marketing software

How does email marketing compare to social media marketing? 

Since social media feels newer, flashier, and in some ways more far-reaching than email, you could be forgiven for assuming that the best direct marketing opportunities lie on social media platforms. That’s simply not the case.

Digging into the numbers, email marketing stats blow away social media engagement rates. In 2020, the average social ad click-through rate across all platforms was 1.6%; email was 62.5% higher, which is probably why 47% of marketers consider email the most effective marketing channel. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should skip social media marketing. On the contrary, the most innovative and disruptive brands on the planet take a cross-channel approach, using comprehensive data platforms like Simon’s CDP to create organic, unified messaging campaigns that reach customers no matter where they go online.

Reimagining Your Email Marketing Strategy with Email Marketing Software

The best email marketing software does what was formerly impossible: it allows companies to craft highly relevant, personalized communications that provide customers with the information they need at the moment they need it. You can target different segments of customers with emails that are crafted specifically for them, and you can set those emails to trigger automatically when certain events take place. Customer segmentation alone is worth its weight in gold. 

A proper segmentation strategy will significantly improve your overall campaign performance, improving conversion rates by up to 355% and increasing revenue by a mind-blowing 781%. What’s even more mind-blowing? Only 11% of marketers are actually doing it. That’s a lot of money being left on the table. 

The other primary strength of email marketing software is the ability to perform triggered email marketing. Triggered email marketing is a strategy in which customers are automatically sent messages based on certain events or behaviors. These might be event-based, such as when they sign up for a new account or surf away from your website, or context-based, such as a birthday or a change in location. Nearly every tracked event can kick off a triggered email, opening up endless opportunities to contextualize interaction with your customers.

By now, you get it: email marketing is extremely powerful — but it’s nothing without a powerful underlying data platform.

Email Marketing and the Customer Data Platform (CDP)

To understand how to take your email marketing to the next level, you have to understand one core truth: the key to building a great messaging program is powering it with rich customer data. It’s as simple as that. You need to know who your customers are, what they want, how they like to be communicated with, and what they need. Email marketing platforms offer powerful tools, but they’re ineffective without comprehensive customer data that can be connected to derive insights and drive successful campaigns. 

Traditionally, companies have used separate and disjointed tools to handle different marketing and data needs. They might generate analytics on customer behavior in one platform, use another to send emails, and another still for SMS. They may even handle a bunch of marketing tasks manually, such as running individual social ad campaigns on each of the individual social media platforms. That inefficiency is not only brutally expensive, but it also keeps those channels from working in unison, and creates new data silos that ultimately have to be painstakingly pulled together to be useful to marketers. That, in turn, lowers the potential ROI of marketing campaigns, and it makes evolving with the market and staying competitive virtually impossible.

Email marketers using the previous generation of email marketing service providers tend to have the same complaints, including:

  • We can’t get the right data into our ESP
  • We’re not triggering the right messages at the right time
  • It’s too difficult to experiment and test
  • We can’t integrate our email marketing software with our other marketing channels
  • We can’t create segments from real-time data

Customer Data Platforms increase marketing efficiency and decrease the complexity of marketing workflows, saving real dollars and real hours. They pull data generated from email marketing into the larger profile of a customer, integrating it alongside information about that customer’s purchase behavior, engagement with the brand on social media, and a wide variety of other customizable metrics. And it all plays well with the tools you already use, so you don’t have to stop what’s already working for you.

Why Industry Leaders Choose Simon Data as their Email Marketing Software Provider

Companies still using the same email marketing platforms popular a decade ago are finding themselves left in the dust. Next-gen email marketing software is powered by a best-in-class Customer Data Platform. 

Imagine that you run a clothing brand. Imagine that a customer clicks on a social ad for a new pair of jeans you’re offering but doesn’t go on to make an immediate purchase. So, your CDP identifies the customer and their action, and then automatically triggers a follow-up email with more information about the product they were interested in. And since the CDP has rich data about their preferences, it triggers the email during the week, but in the evening — since the data shows they never open emails on the weekend or during work hours. If they still don’t make a purchase, they get a coupon for 10% off sent directly to their cell phone via SMS. All of these communications are personalized for them, using their name and taking into account the communication style they respond best to. They buy the jeans, love them, and their long-term journey with your brand continues to grow. 

Now, imagine that all over the world your customers are having experiences like this at the same time, automated at scale, using an engine that works tirelessly behind the scenes to grow sales and loyalty. That’s how you foster lifelong relationships with customers, and that’s what Simon Mail brings to the table. 

Simon Mail is a fully managed end-to-end email service provider within the Simon Data platform. Simon Mail offers a simple, scalable email marketing platform built on a foundation of strong data powered by the Simon CDP. The results speak for themselves:

In one case study, Vivino, the world’s leading online wine retailer, used Simon Mail to interact with 30 million users, growing its email revenue by 200%. In another, BarkBox, a subscription service for dog lovers, leveraged Simon Data’s tools to reach out to customers who recently cancelled to invite them to reactivate, leading to a rise of 97% in year-over-year revenue

The Advantages of Simon Mail

  • Streamlined audience management. It’s never been simpler to manage audiences inside one super-powerful user interface. Customers experience hyper-personalized interactions and more relevant communications. 
  • Better email marketing analytics for better campaigns. Simon Mail offers global and campaign-level reporting for engagement, conversion, and other email marketing KPIs. Use the collected data dynamically to iteratively build more effective campaigns.
  • All the basics are where you need them. Everything you’ve come to expect from traditional email marketing service providers  is right there, only better. Segment audiences, follow customer journeys, schedule campaigns, manage unsubscribes and groups, and more. 
  • Unified data for a single customer view. Since Simon Mail is a part of the Simon Customer Data Platform, you have access to deep data about customer behaviors and history across multiple channels, not just their email list activity. 
  • Integrate your email marketing strategy into a larger cross-channel environment. With Simon Mail, your email marketing is a part of a broader, more organic system of communications between your brand and your customers across many channels, which can include SMS, social media, brick and mortar interactions, and more. 
  • Advanced experimentation and testing. Build dynamic, hyper-personalized segments based on multi-channel engagement and historic lifetime value, and test which approaches work best. Provide better feedback to your teams, and use the generated data to experiment further. You’ll be constantly improving.

Revolutionize the way you approach email marketing, generate industry-leading ROI, and grow faster than ever by tapping into a data-first platform like Simon Data.

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