There’s a big myth out there on the market – “Your email service provider doesn’t matter, it’s all about the list you build and the email you send”.
While your subscriber list and the emails you compose are certainly big deals, your email marketing software or your email disbursement technique matters a big-time, too!
For a quick start, companies that send perfectly-timed automated emails are 133% more likely to deliver relevant messages that tend to correspond with the purchase cycle of their customer.
Also, automated email campaigns account for roughly 21% of email marketing revenue of a traditional business.
And, the effectiveness of those automated email campaigns highly depends on your email service provider. So, choosing the right one is kind of a big deal.
That said, in this article (and the next part of this), we’re gonna dive deep into email marketing software. Which one to pick, or should you rather manage an in-house email disbursement mechanism, how to judge an email marketing software and so on.
In short, I’ll make sure that you do the “Arranging the best email sending solution” part of your email campaign right.
Hello and welcome to this continuous article series on Optimizing email campaigns. This is the 4th article in the series, wherein the first 3 pieces, I talked about how to build a rich subscriber list.
Here’re the links, if you haven’t read those already –
With this one, we’re starting the lesson on the next section which is – “How to pick the best email marketing software or solution for successful email campaigns”.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
The First Question – Sending Email Internally VS. Using Outsourced Email Provider
When a business or a company thinks about doing their very first email campaign, or maybe even later, they often consider arranging in-house email sending solutions for certain advantages.
Some of the significant advantages they fall for are the privacy, the eradication of chance of their or their user’s data getting compromised, the control over the whole process and so on.
While there are significant advantages, there’re concerns too, which are arranging such solution need resources, maintenance, there are legal issues involved and thus.
So which should YOU do? Should you arrange your very own in-house email sending solution or rather go for a more simplistic solution to hire a service provider?
Well, the answer varies from business to business.
Below, I’ve broken down the advantages and disadvantages of both options so you can judge by yourself taking into consideration which advantages you prefer and which drawbacks you can live with.
When Data Privacy is Your Concern
Your email list, being a huge asset to your company, is also a big, big responsibility for you. This is the way your customers have placed trust in you.
Upholding their trust is an ethical responsibility of yours, also a key issue to maintain your company’s reputation, which can directly relate to your revenue.
That’s why many business organization hesitate to partner with a third party email disbursement software provide in the fear of getting their customers’ data getting compromised.
However, it’s not guaranteed that your customers’ data is 100 percent safe in your own server as well.
Because other than third party software selling your customers’ data or handling it not-so-carefully, data also gets compromised by hackers’ from their servers, which can happen to your in-house server as well – hacker’s don’t differentiate.
Though, the chances of your in-house server getting targeted by hackers are lower, as hackers target those servers that can bring the most rewards for them, which are professional service provider’s server, which usually tends to have much more emails than in-house servers.
So, what’s your catch, what do you do when data privacy is your biggest concern?
If your list of emails is too sensitive (I know it’s sensitive for every business, but for some businesses, it’s too much sensitive – like arms dealers), and you have the resources to arrange an in-house email sending solution, why not??
In other cases, hiring a good email provider is more cost and effort effective solution. It’s not always that your data will get compromised if your hand over to a third-party email software provider.
There’re many trusted ones that have a good reputation for ensuring the privacy and security of their clients’ data.
However, it’s important to pick a reputed and proven email provider for ensuring data security, even if it’s a little expensive. Because cheap email solution provider goes as aggressive as selling your data intentionally to make a profit.
Control & Flexibility into Consideration
Whenever you think of the terms control and flexibility, in general sense, you’re likely to get more of it from your in-house arrangement. When doing the process in-house, you’ve control over everything of the process.
Also, as you control the whole thing, you have the flexibility to change a thing or two upon your need. You have all the power to build and change unique features into your email sending solution mechanism to satisfy your unique business’s needs.
This may make sense on a case-by-case basis.
However, with the increasing competition in the market, email sending software providers are thriving for excellence and to make them competent, they currently offer a comprehensive set of features that are kind of enough to meet almost any company’s email marketing and sending needs.
So when taking control and flexibility into concern, a business should invest time to assume what kind of flexibility options or feature they might need now and near future.
Then do a survey on the popular email marketing platforms to make sure if they can offer those features or not. There are high chances are that you will end up discovering that what you need is not as specialized and unique as you thought!
Because famous email marketing platforms are there for a pretty long time and they’ve been requested for many custom features from various companies with special needs, which they’ve now made their regular features.
So the feature you think is unique for your business, might already be in their offerings. Thus it’s highly recommended to survey the market before making the decision to invest such a resource to build an in-house solution.
If you really don’t find such offerings from any reputed providers, then give a thought if it’ll be worth it to build an in-house solution investing resource to have that feature.
If you really need that feature and if it’s that crucial for you, don’t hesitate to go for an in-house solution.
If you can live without it or a provider already has such features, the decision is simple to partner with that third-party provider.
If You’ll Need To Integrate Data Frequently
Many business organization thinks of an in-house solution as they need to integrate new and updated data with the solution frequently.
Integrating new data in the email disbursement solution is easier when you have an in-house solution, rather than uploading every time to your email solution provider’s database.
There are many companies that update their email list very frequently, segment the list often based on the result of every email campaign, and segment the list by narrow margins with multiple aspects being in concern.
It can be tiresome to manually structure every new data gathered and segment the list depending on them and upload new list segments to an outsourced provider.
That’s why it’s maybe worth it to build an in-house email system of your own that has the ability to directly query lists from your integrated user database depending on parameters that you’ve pre-determined.
However, as with anything, building an automated in-house solution comes with cost and resource requirement. It’s not only the cost of development, rather such arrangement needs continuous maintenance.
So it’s suggested again to take time to evaluate if your data is so specific and whether you’ll need to alter it that frequently, and re-uploading lists every time to your third party provider will be time and resource-demanding or not.
As always, you need to determine the degree of your needs, and judge, if the additional investment to fulfill that degree of need, will be worth it or not, before taking the final decision.
Do You Need Useful Value Added Services?
Email marketing solutions these days are not stuck to building mechanism “just” to send bulk emails at once.
As time went by along with increased competition, they’ve introduced a lot of added features to enhance the overall quality of an email campaign, and their solution package as well.
These features are to improve the quality of every email you send, the list you maintain, the overall efficiency of the service.
For example, most of the reputed email service providers offer automatic list maintenance feature to maintain the health of your email list. Ensuring a healthy email list over time is one of the most key factors to successful email marketing.
This automatic list maintenance tracks things and takes action without needing continuous supervision. For instance, it’ll automatically remove the unsubscribed address, inactive addresses, addresses that bounce and so on to generally run and clean the list regularly.
A clean list consisting of genuine and working emails ensures you don’t spend money to send unnecessary emails that’ll never be read.
While most of the reputed email solution provider already have this list maintenance feature built in their system, maintaining list manually in an in-house solution can be really tiresome, time-consuming and not-so-effective.
While maintaining the list with provider’s automatic system is a streamlined and proven process, maintaining it manually in-house is messy.
Like this one, most of the reputed email provider has many such features that can really make your life easier as they cut down a lot of ‘resource requirement’ to do a particular task, with the mechanism they have to do those tasks automatically.
These providers have been in the game for a long time, and handled thousands of email campaigns, observed them closely to figure out what could make those campaigns more successful and efficient.
With their long research, they’ve introduced those features that take a lot of ‘Manual effort’ out of the equation.
And as you can understand, you won’t get much of these value-adding facilities in your in-house solution.
Is Cost/Budget Your Concern?
That probably is unnecessary for me to ask. Budget is always a concern.
So which is more budget-friendly? Outsourcing email solution or building one in-house?
Generally speaking, building a simple in-house mechanism looks cheaper to start with. As there are no monthly subscription fees, and building it for the first time is not rocket science either.
However, it’s not really as cheap as it seems. Because there are always need of a human resource to maintain an in-house solution. There are other overhead costs to build an in-house email sending platform.
On the other hand, partnering with a “QUALITY” outsourced email sending solution looks not as cheaper. There are good monthly or yearly fees that you’ve to maintain, also you’ll have to pay more depending on your heavier use.
However, these solutions are usually very easy to operate, so you’ll barely need to invest in human resource to keep this operating, which reduces the cost comparing to in-house solutions.
Also, these solutions provided tons on features to make every email campaign more effective and help you bring a way better ROI.
So, if you’re very tight in budget and can live without this additional ease and features provided by outsourced email solutions, building your own in-house platform seems to be the better option for you.
On the other hand, if you can stretch your budget a little bit to enjoy the ease-of-operation of email solutions and the more effectiveness & efficiency they bring to your campaigns, I recommend hiring a reputed outsourced email platform.
So Finally, In-House or Outsourced?
You tell me because it’s your business and you know it better – the limitations, the strengths, the requirements, the resources and so on.
My job was to break down both the options to you to make your decision making easier, which I hopefully did right above (or did I?).
According to your business’s ability to afford, the requirements from the email campaigns, the size of campaigns and taking other aspects discussed above into consideration, you need to take the decision.
And if you took the decision to hire an outsourced email provider, and wondering there are hundreds of providers so which will be good for you, and what things you should take into consideration to choose the right platform for you, I’ve got your back.
The next article on this series is dedicated to answering all your questions regarding picking the perfect email solution provider for you, along with some recommendations.