Using the keywords email marketing or email marketing UK etc. and a host of companies appear; UK and overseas located. Each of these companies is offering a similar type of product, although with hugely varying levels of service and it’s the case that, based upon the inquiries received at Email Blaster UK from potential clients, there is a certain level of uncertainty about email marketing services – what it can do and can’t do. It’s probably because email broadcasting is a relatively new form of marketing that there is a degree of confusion and in particular, misunderstanding of what can and cannot be achieved using this route to market.
An Email marketing software service will offer three basic services as a mandatory minimum – ie without all of the three, it isn’t an email marketing service. These three essentials are;
- Function to send a large number of emails relatively instantaneously.
- Function to provide an upload facility of an email list – a list containing the email address and (usually) the full name of all contacts. The uploaded list can be in a variety of forms; excel, access, word, CSV and the email marketing software will sort and file the data.
- Function to create an email. Using various levels of design facilities – templates etc., depending upon the quality and sophistication of the service.
These basic functions cannot be replicated without using an email broadcasting service. Sending tens or hundreds of thousands of identical emails from a single source in a very short period of time is not possible – in fact usually in breach of contract of service with most ISP’s for business or domestic customers using a normal broadband connection. ISP’s monitor email volumes emanating from each IP and will immediately block an IP with a higher than normal send volume. This is to protect customers from hi-jacking of a PC by a Trojan implant.
So the first requirement is; to have high speed internet connection and appropriate ISP service agreements that allow internet marketing broadcasting, computing hardware that is specifically configured to service high speed bulk emailing (well outside the standard specifications of most office/domestic computers) and file capacity to securely store millions of data with high speed access software
The second of the minimum requirements is to provide upload and storage of large files of email list data. The most advanced email marketing software is now fully cloud based (such as Email Blaster UK) which means that all uploaded files and all operating software are operated on the master servers of the provider and can be securely accessed, manipulated and controlled remotely from any internet access point anywhere.
And of course, the third minimum requirement is to provide the function to create an email; usually using template masters already created by the service provider and ready for the user to copy and paste text, graphics, logos etc. straight in.
So the basic service provided by email marketing software is; upload your own email list, create an email, send the email to you email list.
The additional features offered by the more up-market systems make the difference. These can be many and varied, the most common being; template libraries with easy edit and insert software, email list cleansing software that searches through an email list and filters out duplicates, corrupt addresses, likely spam addresses and analytics software that provides data on the effectiveness of a send – number of delivered, opened, link clicked etc.
More sophisticated systems include some incredibly fancy features – an example is Email Blaster UK’s Geo-locate; software that provides the geographic location of any identified recipient. The quality and simplicity of the user interface is also vitally important. How easy is it to drive through the processes of setting up, creating and sending an email? A service that provides high levels of sophistication will contain some very complex coding and ensuring that this can be driven simply is not easy. Email Blaster UK calls it simplexity – a simple control driving a complex engine.
What email marketing is not. What can it not be used for.
This is an interesting subject on its own and I cover this in my next blog. Watch this space.
Email Blaster UK