If you’re like a lot of small businesses and organizations, you may be using a personal email account — like Gmail, Outlook, AOL, or Yahoo — to communicate with a group of email contacts.
Chances are you’ve also noticed some limitations in what you can and can’t do with a personal email account.
One of the biggest limitations of using a personal account is in the design of your emails.
If you’re not a professional designer, it’s tough to create emails that actually match your brand and make your business look professional.
Other limitations include:
- Problems getting messages delivered: Has anyone ever told you they didn’t receive your email? Sending mass emails from a personal account can result in more emails being sent to the spam folder.
- Difficulty keeping track of your email contacts: Manually keeping track of new email addresses and people who have asked to be taken off your list can cause headaches and take up hours of your time.
- No understanding of who opened an email or clicked a link: You hope your emails are getting opened and read, but personal accounts don’t provide that information.
Email marketing services like Constant Contact are built to make it easy to create beautiful emails that drive real business results.
They have the tools you need to manage your email contacts and provide in-depth reporting tools to track important metrics like opens, clicks, and shares for your emails.
They also provide tools and training to help you stay compliant with important email laws, which are easy to violate if you’re trying to do marketing from a personal email account.
One of the best ways to see how an email marketing service can benefit your business is to try it for yourself.
You can try Constant Contact free for 60 days.
Still have questions about why an email marketing service is right for you? Here are 10 things you’re missing out on by not using a service for your email marketing.
1. You’re not prepared to send bulk emails
Many email accounts and most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit the number of emails that you can send at one time. This means that as your email database grows, you could run into more and more problems with getting your emails delivered.
Email providers like Constant Contact work diligently to maintain strong relationships with ISPs and establish reputations for sending permission-based emails. As a result, our customers see more of their emails delivered to their recipients’ inboxes, and less emails in the spam folder.
2. You’re putting relationships at risk
When someone joins your email list, they trust you to protect their information. They also trust that you’ll respect their privacy and give them the option to opt-out.
But as hard as you try to fulfill these obligations to your audience, when sending email using Outlook or another email account, mistakes can happen. Perhaps the biggest mistake is exposing your entire list in the To: line of your email.
Another mistake is failing to offer an easy way to unsubscribe. This can not only damage your reputation as a business, but can also put you at risk of violating email laws, which require an unsubscribe link in every message you send out.
3. You can’t host and manage your list from one location
An email marketing service hosts your email list and automatically performs critical list management functions. These functions include sign-up for new subscribers, editing capabilities so that subscribers can edit their own profiles, and the ability to unsubscribe with one click.
An email service will also manage bounced emails for you, differentiating between reasons for the bounce (including full mailbox, vacation message, non-existent address or blocked).
4. You’re on your own
Email marketing services like Constant Contact are built to make it quick and easy to do email marketing for your small business.
If you’re switching from a personal email account, we’ll give you the tools and training to help you get started — from uploading your existing email contacts to setting up your first email campaign.
If you do run into any problems or have questions about how to improve the look of your emails, simply pick up the phone and give us a call. Our award-winning support team is committed to your success.
5. You’re unable to deliver emails in the right format
Emails can display differently, based on the email client and device a recipient is using.
With an email service like Constant Contact, you’re able to send both a text and HTML version of each message you send out. This means that your emails will be delivered to your subscribers in the correct format every time.
In comparison, your email account can’t tell which email format each recipient is able to receive — which can make your email unreadable or send it to the spam folder.
6. You can’t create professional-looking emails that match your brand
With an email marketing service, you’ll have access to hundreds of professionally-designed email templates that make it easy to create great looking emails.
We handle the design work for you — you just need to customize the template with your colors and branding, choose the images you’d like to include, and add your content. These templates will make your message look great in any inbox, whether someone is reading on a desktop or a mobile device.
7. You can’t protect yourself from delivery problems
A good email marketing service maintains strong permission policies and has an active anti-blocking team working with ISPs on your behalf to ensure that your email is delivered.
At Constant Contact, we monitor all outgoing email to ensure that all major ISPs and corporate domains are successfully accepting your email. If there is a “blip” on the receiver’s end when your email campaign is being sent, an email marketing service makes continued attempts to send your email while quickly addressing the problem with the ISP.
8. You can’t see who opened or clicked
Using an email marketing service like Constant Contact gives you access to in-depth reporting to see key metrics like emails sent, opened, who opened, who clicked through, and which links they clicked on. You’re also able to see important details like spam reports, bounces, and opt-outs.
This will allow you to see what’s working and identify opportunities to make improvements, or identify potential issues that could put your business at risk.
9. You don’t have the newest tools and features
Here at Constant Contact, we have a team of people who are focused on staying on top of the latest trends in the industry. We provide regular updates and new features to enhance functionality, comply with the law, and optimize email delivery though ISPs.
In addition, we are members of groups like The Email Service Provider Coalition (ESPC). The goal of the ESPC is to provide unique and effective spam-fighting solutions that will optimize your email delivery and response and minimize the spam in your subscribers’ inbox.
10. You could be breaking the law
You don’t have the time or resources to stay up-to-date with the latest email laws and regulations. Unfortunately, if you’ve been using a personal email account to send your marketing emails, there’s a good chance you’re already in violation of some important laws like Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) and the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
Email marketing services like Constant Contact are responsible for ensuring that your emails are compliant with these legislations. We provide the tools you need to follow the laws, and let you know when there’s a change that could impact your business.
Don’t wait to make the switch.
Email marketing is the most effective marketing tool available to small businesses today.
Consider the following:
- 91 percent of U.S. adults like to receive promotional emails from the companies they do business with. (MarketingSherpa)
- 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase based on an email marketing message they’ve received (Direct Marketing Association)
- Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business attract new customer (McKinsey)
Republished by permission. Original here.
Photo via Constant Contact
More in: Online Marketing