Being able to market to your customers online has so many benefits.
It’s often much cheaper than traditional mass market media and you can track much more detail about who you are marketing to and who is actually reading or seeing your message.
There’s two kinds of email marketing that many smaller businesses primarily do.
1) Email through their email program and send emails to a list of email addresses using the bcc field or 2) Use a service like Constant Contact, which I use, to send out email messages and manage the subscriptions.
Many companies need more, however. They need a tool that can often integrate with their customer database and help them mine more data and sell more.
The Wall Street Journal covered a number of these tools in their overview: Market2Lead, Vtrenz, iCentera, Genius.com and Eloqua.
WSJ writes Of course, start-ups must carefully weigh which package — if any — is the most useful. Laura Ramos, a vice president at Forrester Research Inc. in Foster City, Calif., recommends judging software’s potential by three key criteria: usability, the ability to link up with databases of customer information and the usefulness of the data the software collects. For the first two criteria, that means giving the software a hands-on test to see if the staff is comfortable with it, and making sure it will work with the company’s database program.
Judging the usefulness of the data the program collects can be the most complex of the three criteria. Ms. Ramos recommends choosing an application that lets companies extract the specific data when they need it, rather than on, say, a weekly reporting schedule. By choosing a program that lets a company zero in on the data it needs, small firms can “focus on data that matters,” rather than getting overwhelmed by data, Ms. Ramos says. “Too much data can drown you.”
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