|II. E-Mail Marketing – How Are Commercial E-mails Sent?
June 27th, 2009 by Missi
Now that you understand what E-mail Marketing is and how it should and should not be used, you’re ready to start blasting some e-mail right?
Before you can collect any information, you must have a system in place that not only collects this information, but stores the source of each signup, their IP address and the date of signup. Without these important details, you are left defenseless should someone claim (even erroneously) that you are sending unsolicited email. How can you do this? You can either bury yourself in a mountain of excel worksheets or go the smarter and more organized route and subscribe to an Email Service Provider (ESP). There are many different ESPs to consider and which one you go with depends on many factors, the biggest of which is your own technical expertise and e-mail marketing knowledge.
Software as a Service (SaaS) ESPs
SaaS ESPs are a great resource for e-mail marketing beginners because everything is step-by-step and most SaaS ESPs are not only very affordable but also have resources to educate the e-mail newbie. Some SaaS providers include Bronto, Campaigner, StreamSend, EMMA, EliteEmail, Constant Contact, iContact, Cheetah Mail,
When choosing an ESP, there are a few different factors to consider:
Is the fee monthly or annual?
How many e-mails are included with this fee?
Are e-mails attempted but not delivered (bounces) included in this figure?
How much if I send more than my monthly allotment of e-mail?
How many e-mail addresses can I store in my account at any given time?
Can I separate these into different lists?
Can I remove names based on a suppression (do-not-email) list upload?
Can I upload images to be hosted on the ESP’s servers? How much space do I get?
What percentage of mail is actually going to be received by my list’s ISPs and ultimately, my list?
How many users share one IP?
How often are IPs rotated and how often are new IPs acquired?
What are the ESP’s whitelisting practices?
What are the guidelines on content (if any) in the email messaging?
What are the Terms of Service?
What content if unacceptable through the ESP’s service?
As your list grows, can this account grow with you or will you need to open additional accounts?
If you need multiple accounts, can they be managed in one dashboard?
Are there any rate reductions for larger lists or more e-mail volume?
There are still quite a few products on the market today for the more technically-inclined marketing professional. Because these folks can Google with the best of them, I won’t post an exhaustive list, but there are a few important things you need to know before deciding to purchase a server-based ESP solution. Some of the advantages of a server-based ESP include:
Control over IP and IP rotation
Use multiple IPs or domains on a single mailing
Email Delivery Speed
E-mail Bandwidth Control
Many many more, but the greatest advantage of a Server-Based ESP is that you have full control over your e-mail campaigns – When they send, how they send and full control over e-mail compliance.
Keep in mind that to use a Server-Based ESP, you will need your own dedicated server with enough IPs for mailing. Not every web host will allow e-mail to be sent on their servers, so be sure to check.
Whichever solution you decide to go with, be sure to have your permission policy ready as well as the source of your e-mail list. Many SaaS ESPs and even some Server-Based ESPs will require this information.
Don’t have a permission policy? What is SaaS? ESP? Whitelisting? Suppression List? These terms and more, can be defined in layman’s terms over at EliteEmail.
Check in for the next part in our series – E-mail Marketing – How do I get Subscribers?