April 2, 2019

10 questions to ask when choosing an email marketing service

So, you’re considering an email service. Great! Whether you’re looking to change providers or you’re starting the process for the very first time, there is a lot to consider, and we’re here to help. 

First and foremost, you should begin with a clear understanding of the needs and the goals of your library. Are you starting a newsletter? Is your goal to increase attendance at programming or increase resource usage? 

Once you have your needs and goals sorted out, here are 10 questions to ask when choosing an email marketing service for your library: 

  1. What is the pricing model and what are the subscriber list limits? Some services offer free accounts with no subscriber limit, while others offer accounts that are free until you reach a certain number of subscribers. Some offer paid accounts with fees based on the size of your subscriber list. Some even charge based on how often you want to send an email. 
  2. Do they create an opt-in page for you that automatically updates every time you add a new subscriber group? Can you customize that opt-in page? 
  3. What metrics and reports do they offer and how easy is it to access the information? At a minimum, you’ll want to see your open rates, the number of clicks, and which links are clicked. 
  4. Do they provide an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe
  5. Do they validate the emails you upload? This is critical if you’re being charged by the number of emails sent; you want invalid addresses to be culled out. 
  6. Is it easy to make interest groups for audience segmentation? Is there any limit to the number of groups you can create? Think about the flexibility you’ll need to target specific audiences. 
  7. Do they provide templates, copyright-free images, and professionally designed graphics? Do those elements work well for libraries? Creating these on your own can be time intensive and require some design expertise. 
  8. Do they provide book and A/V jackets, title and author information, and annotations, or will you have to find those items on the internet? Are you easily able to build links to individual items in your catalog? 
  9. What kind of branding will they provide for your library? Will you need to add in your logo and library contact details every time you create an email? Will they help you with custom branding? 
  10. What level of customer service do they offer? If you need design help, do they charge for it? What if you get stuck while you’re creating the email; do they offer live chat and screen sharing? 

BONUS POINTS: Does the platform also provide a way to make matching print material such as bookmarks and event flyers? How about corresponding digital posts for social media posts and widgets for your website? Again, consider first your needs and goals, and then find the email marketing service that will best meet your needs and help you exceed your goals. 

Are you ready to try email marketing at your library? 

We created LibraryAware especially for libraries, so you’ll find thousands of library-specific templates and graphics. It also includes unlimited users and subscribers to meet your growing needs. Sign up for a demo today!

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Kathy Lussier is the Customer Engagement Coordinator for NoveList.





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