Even if an e-mail list has only a few hundred addresses on it, running it through your personal or organization’s e-mail marketing program provider is not a best practice. Internet service providers (ISPs) watch for high-volume mailings—if there is any suspicion that something is marketing-related (such as a large number of recipients), even the smallest organization’s list can be blocked. E-mail terminology calls this getting “blacklisted,” and it will freeze an entire organization’s (anyone sharing the @companyname.com hosting) e-mail system until the sender gets back on the ISP’s good sender list (or “white list”). Setting an organization up with third-party e-mail management software allows marketers to work with larger, compliant, ISP-friendly companies, and enables productive list management for scalability. The more prevalent e-mail marketing becomes, the more lists can climb into the thousands and require segmentation and optimized management. Setting up an e-mail management system early in the planning phases helps set the stage for a smart and successful e-mail marketing strategy success.
If collecting opt-in e-mail addresses is part of the online marketing plan, then partnering with an e-mail service provider such as Lyris, Constant Contact, Silverpop, Infusionsoft, AWeber, My Emma, VerticalResponse, or Responsys is a must. Even if a hosting provider has a pretty good bulk e-mail program, most of them have limitations when it comes to creating e-mail campaigns that are dynamic and trackable. If you want to generate dynamic marketing e-mails that, for example, reference past purchases or user behavior, the hosting provider’s off-the-shelf bulk e-mail program probably isn’t up to the task.
Be prepared to pay for a higher level of service, and reap the benefits.
If you want to track a particular e-mail recipient and move them through the sales funnel on an individual path (download this free white paper, attend this webinar, get this e-book, speak to a sales agent, and so on), you need customer relationship management (CRM) software. The level of sophistication and functionality (such as integration with an organization’s e-commerce data) will vary depending on the needs of the organization.