SM Agency

SM Agency

About the Author

SM Agency is a full-service digital agency specialising in creating emotional experiences through marketing. We rely on the newest neuroscientific methodology and technology which allow us to get +97% precision in audiences’ emotional understanding and +250% campaigns performance growth. Our experienced team helps brands of any nature connect with customers at a deeper level and get the most out of their marketing campaigns.

Article by: Martin Angila


Can I tell you two fat lies spreading like a bushfire in the digital marketing world?

Email marketing is dead and has no future.

The email marketing tool you choose doesn’t matter.


A study by MarketingSherper found that 60% of marketers believe that email marketing increases ROI.

Another survey by the Direct Marketing Association concluded that email marketing generates $38 for every dollar you spend. This is a whopping 3800% ROI.

All these and other stats I haven’t mentioned implies that we’ll still have email marketing around for tens (if not hundreds) of years to come.

You need an email marketing tool to reach or engage your new prospect and existing customers.

The right tool should effectively manage your list and help you create email marketing campaigns that bring results.


Over-promising But Under-delivering


The only downside is that we have a lot of tools.  All promise to;

  • Give you high open rates.
  • Deliver perfect deliverability.
  • Take your business to the next level.
  • Take you to the moon so that your subscribers buy your product.


Okay, the last one was overrated. But you get the gist.


With all these promises slapping our faces, it’s tough to make a sound judgment. But It shouldn’t be so.

At the end of this piece, you’ll know the neatly-gritty details you should check in a marketing software before you take off your credit card. I promise not to talk about the obvious stuff like price.

You need to know the most concrete differentiators that helped companies like Harry’s (men’s grooming brand) get over 100k subscribers in a week.


Ready? Let’s check them out.


1. The Automation Power


The word “automation” is mainly used in affiliate marketing. Through automation, affiliates can make money while all their systems are on auto-pilot.

It’s the same idea in email marketing, but with a different approach.

Automated email campaigns increase relevancy. If you have an email marketing campaign, the automation triggers a specific email to be sent to your subscriber when he takes a particular action.

The magic is that everything is channelled to that one recipient. When you combine this with personalization, any email is like an arrow shot to tear your subscribers’ hearts until they take action.

Two things come to mind when we talk of automation – Autoresponders and Drip Campaigns.




There’re many definitions of auto-responders, but I’ll stick to Wikipedia’s description as it’s more explicit.

An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically answers emails sent to it. The automatic answer is triggered when a user sends an email to another email that has an autoresponder.

There’s considerable confusion between autoresponders and email marketing campaigns. So let me make it clear.

An autoresponder isn’t a tool but a feature on an email marketing software. Let’s take the example of Aweber.

Aweber is an email marketing software. You can use it to create an autoresponder. Aweber will manage your list, give you a sequence for emails, and the functionality for defining and setting up an email.

When it comes to choosing an email marketing software, your option should create an active autoresponder. An excellent example is ActiveCampaign.




Drip campaigns are automated email series sent at regular times intervals or after an event occurs.

You can set a calendar to deliver emails twice a week to thrice every month. Plus, you can set a system that segments your target market.

For example, let’s say that you have an ongoing promotion. You can set the system such that it only sends emails to the prospects who clicked your promotion.

To create drip campaigns, you must get an email marketing software that rhymes with your tasks. The software should be able to send emails based on the business rules you establish.


2. Personalization Potential of the Tool


I’ve subscribed to big brands in my areas of interest. But I soon unsubscribed from their mailing list. Not because their content is bad but because their emails lacked personalization.


Here are the mistakes they made in their emails.

They talked to me as a whole group but not as an individual.

They didn’t target my pain points.

They didn’t address me by my name which made me appear.
“less special.”


As soon as I delved deeper into email marketing, I realized that this wasn’t their problem. It was the tool they were using.

The bad thing is that they were losing subscribers for a mistake they didn’t make and couldn’t mend.


So what’s email personalization?


This is the ability to change the email content to match every individual’s behavior and preferences. It’s a powerful email marketing strategy that only a few tools can do.

Research has it that personalized emails have a transaction rate six times higherthan non-personalized emails.

Email personalization is not only about addressing your subscribers with their first name.  The aspect of personalization is about delving deeper to understand your subscribers. Get to know about their interests, the average order value, and brand preferences.

How much should you invest in Digital Marketing?

3. A Software that Makes your Life easier


Not everyone is an IT expert. Don’t choose an email marketing software that treats you like one.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro in email marketing or just starting to wet your feet, the tool shouldn’t make it a battle to promote your business with email marketing.


How to Know an Email Marketing Software Will make Your Life Unbearable


Old-Fashioned User Interface


A “rogue” email marketing software will make you pull your hair and shout, “why is it taking a decade to do what I want?!!”

The first sign that it’s a bad tool is a clunky user interface. Scrutinize it and read reviews before you pull out your wallet.


Bad Customer Support

Picture this. Your car breaks down in the middle of a busy highway. You call your mechanic, but instead of coming, he sends you the car’s manual to “help” you fix it.

That’s how the customer support for some companies behave. If their current customers complain about this issue, look for another option.


What’s the solution then?

Simple. Most email marketing tools have free trials that run for 14 days. Use this opportunity to test if your choice will make you happy.


4. Multi-Platform Capabilities


An effective email marketing campaign doesn’t work in a vacuum. It’s a part of a more massive push with different tools to create a marketing tornado to increase your ROI.

By different tools, I mean incorporating lead generation, paid search ads, and inbound calls. Your chosen software should be ready to team up with the other tools for effective marketing.

We’re no longer in the age where you had to use one tool to send emails, another tool to collect data, and another to make calls.

If you’re still in this foregone era, there’s a high chance that you won’t keep up with the stiff competition.

Today, every tool looks for another tool it can collaborate with to make operations user-friendly and convenient.

For instance, you can easily collaborate workstreams, a task management tool, with slack, a communication tool with your team. The duo make working easy and bring faster results.

An all-in-one marketing platform can be a game-changer. The software will allow you to toggle between different tools on the same platform.

This ability gives you a significant advantage against your competitors who are still doing it the old way.


5. Analytic and Reporting Capability


“Information is power only if you can take action with it. Then, and only then, does it represent knowledge and, consequently, power.”

Danie Burrus.


Apologies. The quote might not rhyme 100% in this context but there’s something I want you to take from the quote.

That is the power of having information at your fingertips.

As a marketer, what fuels your next campaign is the data you have at hand. This means that you need a lot of information about your prospects before you launch a campaign.

That’s why there’s tremendous value in choosing an email marketing software that will give you a detailed overview of your audience.

Most of the email marketing tools will give you analytics on their dashboard. Below are the common insights you’ll get.


The platform your readers use to read your emails, whether phones or a desktop.

If they delete or forward your emails.

Which kind of gender has more engagement with your emails.

How long they take to read your emails.


While these are helpful insights, you need a more powerful tool that delves a little bit deeper.

For instance, you also need to know the deliverability of the emails by knowing which links your subscribers have clicked on in an email.

Mailchimp has done a tremendous job in giving advanced analytics. It allows marketers to optimize their campaigns.


Final Thoughts


Committing to make a recurrent monthly payment on an email marketing software is an investment.

If you make the right decision, you’ll quickly get an email marketing tool that provides the best value based on your marketing automation.

Take your time to define your goals, your business, and understand your audience. Then get a tool that’ll give you $1 for each subscriber.

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