When choosing email marketing software, it is crucial to follow the motto "strategy first, technology second" so that the procedure does not lead to a technological dead end. Therefore, define in advance as specifically as possible how the email marketing should be structured. Ask yourself questions like: What types of emails should be sent? Which campaigns should be automated? Which departments are involved? Are approval processes required?
Don't be blinded by the usual buzzwords, like artificial intelligence, 360-degree marketing, hyper-personalization, when evaluating. Instead, check which functions are relevant for your business model.
Data protection and data safety
All providers emphasize data protection and compliance with the GDPR in their marketing and sales documents – or who would say that they are violating the legal requirements? However, experience shows that these statements cannot always be relied upon. During the evaluation, you should therefore check as comprehensively as possible whether the requirements of the GDPR are fully met. Critical questions here are, for example: Is the consent to advertising sufficiently documented? Can personal data be completely deleted?
Connection to the existing system landscape
Emails to shopping cart abandoners, automated reactivation campaigns, birthday emails, etc.: If smart email marketing is to be set up, data from third-party systems is required, for example, the CRM system or the shop system. For the evaluation, it should therefore be determined which systems are to be connected to the email marketing: Where is which data located? How is the data automatically synchronized? The integration of the email marketing system is often a major cost driver. However, if the "homework" is done in advance, nasty surprises in the form of additional costs can be avoided.
Market maturity and future security
Another aspect that should be considered in an evaluation is the market maturity and future security of the respective provider. It is important to get a comprehensive and clear picture:
- How long has the company been in the market?
- How many employees work for the provider?
- Is the focus on CRM / email marketing or is it just one of many lines of business?
- Have there been major advances in product development in the past?
- And what does the roadmap look like for the coming months and years?
Total cost of ownership
The pure shipping costs can be predicted relatively well, but at least in larger scenarios they are only one cost block of many. In addition to the distribution, you should therefore consider the following factors for the calculation:
- How high are the costs for the integration or for the connection to the existing systems?
- Do employees have to be trained?
- How many email templates and signup pages are required?
- Do additional modules (e.g., for automation or similar) need to be purchased?
During the evaluation, it can be helpful to seek an exchange with the provider's customers and, if necessary, to call in external consultants.