Email marketing software offers the tools that will help you put your campaign on cruise control.  On its own, email is already a fast and efficient technology, but the backing of quality software adds to its power.  So what can you do with this type of program besides send people messages?  Create newsletters, press releases, custom design your campaign message and a whole lot more.  Email software is only as effective as the marketing strategy behind it, so here are four tips to help you use it effectively.


1. Get Your Mailing List in Order


A common trait of email marketing software is the ability it offers to create and manage a mailing list of contacts.  There are many ways to develop a list of prospects, including collecting email addresses at a book signing, retail outlet, industry event or other points of contact.  One of the most effective ways to acquire contacts is your website.  Simply create a form on your website that allows visitors to subscribe for your newsletter or email blast.  From there, you can create your list in an Excel spreadsheet or a simple word .doc, and easily import it to your email marketing software.  Some programs let you do all this from a single, centralized interface. 


2. Segment Your List


List segmentation is the key to establishing relevancy and targeted marketing.  When done correctly, it gives you the power to optimize your message so you can effectively cater to the specific needs of certain groups within your audience.  A quality email marketing software solution will allow you to easily segment your mailing list according to the criteria of your choosing.  For example, if specific group of visitors are interested in your consulting services, you can separate them from the group of people who simply pay a visit to check out your advertising solutions.  By segmenting your list based on these criteria, you can target both groups with customized messages that play to their preferences. 


3. Format Your Email Correctly


Most email marketing software applications are fully compatible with HTML, giving you the ability to enhance your message through rich graphics, images and even video if you choose to. Although the software grants these luxuries, you should know that text is still very important to your marketing message.  Aside from making sure your HTML is properly coded, you can prompt better formatting results by complimenting your content bullet points, sub headers and optimal white space, all of which enhances the reading experience for your subscribers.  A good software program will provide an environment that allows you to accomplish this with relative ease. 


4. Make the Most of Your Analytics


Web analytics is a big thing these days as it allows website owners to track and analyze visitor behavior.  The same technology can be applied to email and there are many software programs on the market that provide these capabilities.  In a nutshell, analytics gives you a way to understand what is working for your campaign, and what isn’t.  This is made possible by the ability you have to view reports that provide details on your open rates, bounces, clickthroughs and other vital statistics.  After taking a look at the results, you can immediately refine your campaign to deliver the best performance possible.  With an email marketing software solution that automates the analytical process, you can spend more of your time reacting to data rather than manually crunching numbers.

Jamie Colbs is a html email newsletter templates best practices activist advocate for Benchmark Email , a leading Web and permission-based email marketing service.

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