Customer Experience News & Trends

6 ways to get more out of e-mail for less

E-mail marketing is mainstream, with 46% of small businesses using it and 36% planning to start within the next 12 months. Yet few are satisfied

with the technology or solution they’re using, suggests a new report,  “Small Businesses Put E-mail Marketing to Work,” by Hurwitz & Associates.

No one is completely dissatisfied. For example, 48% of companies surveyed were either unsatisfied or neutral and 37% were somewhat satisfied. But only 15% were very satisfied.

E-mail marketing: Don’t accept second best

Given the huge number of vendors today, you don’t need to settle for second best or somewhat satisfied.

What can you do to get more out of the e-mail provider or vendor you choose?

With so many providers hustling for business now, consider shopping around to look for packages that combine ease of use, quality customer support and a good price. Many providers offer free 30-day trials and month-by- month subscriptions.

Ask potential vendors these questions, suggests Hurwitz’ s experts:

  • “What can you do to help me get productive as quickly as possible?” No one has a minute to waste these days so ask about phone support, online tutorials and Web casts.
  • “How fast can I set up a campaign?”
  • “What type of ongoing support do you provide? Is there 24/7 support? Do you have FAQs?”
  • “Can you suggest other businesses like mine whom I could talk to for advice? Do you have an online forum or community where users share tips, successes and questions?”  For example, (one of the sponsors of the study) has an e-mail marketing resource center where customers can connect with other businesses.
  • “Is there an automated unsubscribe process to help comply with CAN-SPAM regulations?”
  • How can I best target different customers or segment my lists?”

How are small businesses using e-mail?

Just over 50% of small businesses are already using it to send newsletters, about 18% are using it to send announcements and sales and promotional offers, while other companies send invitations to events and survey customers.

Julie Power is editor in chief of the Internet & Marketing Report.

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