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You Can be an Email Marketing Supergenius #116

Picking An Email Server
Issue # 116

1> Does It Do What You Need?
2> Can They Get The Mail Through?
3> How Much Time Will It Save You?

1> Does It Do What You Need?

You want an email server to give you features that improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Most of them handle the basics well: managing subscribers; sending multiple versions for text, HTML, and AOL; and basic results tracking. Shop around for the features that help you do better marketing. Look for advanced tracking and reporting, sophisticated data management, and rich media capabilities. Pick a company that has enough features for your near-term needs — and don’t pay extra for bells and whistles you’ll never use.

2> Can They Get The Mail Through?

Nothing’s worse than sending a great email campaign and finding out that it got gobbled by spam filters. Ask your hosting company what they can do for you to improve deliverability. Do they have relationships with the major ISPs? Do they have a senior executive in charge of delivery issues? Do they kick spammers off their servers? Run away quickly if the answer is “no” to any of these questions (or if they won’t answer at all).

3> How Much Time Will It Save You?

In the end, any decent email list hosting company does pretty much the same thing. So pay attention to what’s going to matter the most to you in the long run: How much time does it save you? Test out a demo of the interface, play with the features, and make sure it’s easy to use. If a missing feature or a complex screen annoys you a little bit now, it will drive you mad when you’re stuck with it. Look for features that automate the tasks you hate.

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