According to Email Marketing Reports, there are 1.4 billion online users today, and “according to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, E-mail marketing was expected to generate an ROI of $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010. As such, it outperforms all the other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs.” If this is appealing to you, it’s time to begin this money-making process known as E-mail marketing.

A large part of email marketing is finding the right software. If you know what different softwares have to offer in terms of features and installment, then you will be able to make the right decision for your company. There are three types of software you can choose from:

  • Hosted software: The company you purchase the software from will host the software for you. In other words, all you have to do is login on their website and manage your email lists from there.
  • Self-hosted software: You are responsible for installing the software yourself on your own server. This software requires a certain level of comfort and knowledge of computers, but is usually the cheapest option.
  • Desktop: Works only when your computer is on and the software is up and running. Not the most desirable software, but is sufficient enough for businesses who do not send a large amount of e-mails.

After deciding the type of software that works best for you, consider the different features each has to offer. Below is a list of the most popular and prominent features offered:

  • Automatic Responders: This feature allows you to create messages and then send them out when you feel it is appropriate. If you have new products launching or a countdown to an event, you can send these messages before that certain date.
  • List Division and A/B Testing: This is important if you wish to split up your email list into different categories and send different messages to each category. For example, if you have one product that may be useful to women and another for men, you can split up your email lists into these two categories and market different products to each.
  • Analytic tools: This is the best for evaluating results. You can see how many e-mails are sent, received, and opened and then decide from there which advertisements and/or messages are working, and which need to get the boot.
  • Social Sharing Capabilities: This feature allows businesses to share their E-mail marketing campaigns across their social networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, at any time. This gives you the “kill two birds with one stone” type effect, and with social media on the rise, is a wise choice when it comes to features.
  • Spam Checker: You know how much junk mail a person gets in a given day. This tool makes sure that you are not contributing to this never-ending landfill by checking your content.

E-mail Marketing is growing increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. Finding the right software is likely one of the most confusing parts of the whole process, so once you get these tips down you will be ready to go, and your message ready to reach thousands.
About the author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from postage meters to email marketing for Resource Nation, an online resource providing postage scales purchasing advice for small businesses and entrepreneurs.