What to Ask Before Choosing an Email Marketing Tool for Your Business

It seems like almost everything these days leads to ends in decision fatigue. Which show should you watch? Where should you order takeout from? Which moisturizer is best for your face?

Well, unsurprisingly, the market for email marketing tools is no different. 

One simple Google search of ‘email marketing tool,’ you’ll probably get a results page that’s flooded with promoted ads, questions to ask, recommended searches, and blogs on blogs of recommended tools. Seriously, one blog alone has a list of 40 (!) recommendations for email marketing tools.

What the eff are you supposed to do with that? Get overwhelmed, probably.

So, if you’re in the market for an email marketing tool – and need some guidance along the way – we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should be asking yourself before you choose an email marketing tool for your business.

What’s my experience with email marketing?

Let’s be real for a second: Email marketing can be intimidating AF. How do you know what to send and who to send it to? What do you even say to your audiences? What if they never even open your emails?

We get it, there are a lot of questions that come up along the way. Luckily, there are email tools out there that can help you along the way. 

If you’re brand-new or new-ish to email marketing, look for features like drag-and-drop builders, pre-built campaigns, and pre-made email templates. These types of tools are likely more intuitive and can help teach you the ropes of email marketing…while also helping you execute email marketing. 

On the other hand, if you’re more experienced with email marketing, you might not need a tool that’s as elementary. If you need something with tons of capabilities, search for features like multi-channel campaigns, automated workflows, and advanced customization. That way, you can hit the ground running with more sophisticated emails and marketing campaigns.

What types of emails will I be sending?

There’s virtually no limit as to what kinds of emails you can send. But establishing this ahead of time will be crucial in choosing the right email marketing tool. Think in terms of:

  • Newsletters
  • Launch emails
  • Product offer announcements
  • Sales + promo codes
  • Event announcements + registrations
  • Welcome emails
  • Email sequences (welcome sequences, abandon cart sequences, post-event sequences, etc.)

Here’s why it’s important: Say you’re just planning on sending a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter to your subscribers. If that’s the case, you don’t need a costly tool that can do more complex sequences – you just need something that’s simple and straightforward. 

But if you’re planning to send all sorts of emails – within all sorts of sequences – you need a tool that can help you create and deliver at all levels. Something else to look for here? Automations. One of the best features you can look for in an email marketing tool is automated sequences. That way, you’re nurturing leads without lifting a finger!

How many people will I be emailing and how often?

This question essentially comes down to budgeting and how much you’re willing to invest in an email marketing tool. That’s because most email marketing tools base their pricing on the number of subscribers you have – and sometimes even the number of emails you send per month. So, if you plan on growing your lists over time, you should check the affordability of the next price tier(s).

Be wary of some sneaky price models, though. Some tools will actually count your subscribers twice! For example, if you have Subscriber A on List 1 and List 2, they’ll be counted as two subscribers. As a result, the number of your subscribers will be inflated…and possibly the cost along with it.

Speaking of lists…

What type of segmentation will I be doing?

Some email marketing tools, like Mailchimp for example, limit the number of lists you can have within your subscribers. So, if you’re looking to do really targeted segmentation, you’ll need a tool that doesn’t limit you in that realm. 

In fact, tools like Drip and Flodesk make it easier to segment your lists – even when you migrate them over from an existing tool. You can simply add and remove tags or group different subscribers to keep your lists organized as you grow them!

What level of customization do I need?

Levels of customization depend on your individual wants and needs. Some tools allow you to change things like colors, images, fonts, and more. Others, like Drip, require some additional coding to get super-detailed customization. 

When you’re test-driving email marketing tools, make sure you double-check which elements of your emails you can customize – and which ones you can’t. If you only need a few points of customization, that’s great! But if you need more detailed customization and functionality, make sure you know how to create it on the backend (or hire someone who does).

What other capabilities do I need from my email marketing tool?

If you’re newer to email marketing, sometimes you don’t even know what you need until you need it. Some tools are super straightforward and simple, which is enough for some! For others, you might want or need more. Some of those features and capabilities might include:

  • A/B testing: This lets you test different elements like subject lines, so you can test and learn to create more successful emails.
  • Third-party app integrations: Double-check that your email marketing tool will support any current apps you use, like Zapier or Shopify.
  • Analytics and performance data: Data can help inform so many things – what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve.
  • SMS text messaging: Building multi-channel campaigns can enhance branding and the success of your campaigns.
Hey! Check this out.
6 Week Email Launch Plan