Email marketing, when done well can provide meaningful, measurable and - most importantly - engaging content. This content, sent at the right time, to the right person will yield a high return in both maintaining and attracting valuable customers.
Gartner defines email marketing as "one of the most efficient, effective and measurable methods for communicating with consumers" and it is a priority for any company engaging in multichannel marketing.
Before deciding between the various offerings from IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and others, it's important to know the needs of your business, as some platforms listed offer email marketing as part of a holistic marketing solution while others are standalone platforms.
With that in mind, we've listed the top 10 email marketing platforms for 2016.
1. Best email marketing platforms: What to consider
When choosing an email marketing platform, businesses must first assess their needs, industry trends and whether or not email marketing is a viable and valuable marketing tool for them.
Email marketing offers businesses numerous advantages, the most obvious being customer engagement and user data. Email marketing also enables businesses to provide personalised creative content, provide real-time message responses and segment their user and customer database information. This is particularly important in retail as email campaigns can be twinned with automated responses following a sign-up or purchase.
The obvious drawback of email campaigns is over-populating consumers' inboxes. No business wants to be labelled as spam. So choosing not only a platform that addresses this problem but one that provides a 'best practices' as standard is a desirable move.
Businesses should also think about what to email out. Some businesses might opt for newsletters, invitation emails and surveys while business-to-business marketers will prefer platforms with advanced transactional email capabilities.
A good email marketing platform should provide automation, content management, social media integration and detailed analytics.
The bigger email marketing cloud companies such as IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe were built on acquisition with all offering a holistic marketing solution with email marketing products and solutions.
So depending on your businesses needs and the level of engagement required, email marketing is one, effective way to reach the consumer, if it's done right.
IBM Marketing Cloud provides email marketing capabilities with Silverpop, the company's flagship email solution.
Launched in 2015, IBM Marketing Cloud provides web, social, mobile and offline channel integration with real-time email responses available to keep up with company engagement.
IBM's product strategy leader, Jay Henderson says the Marketing Cloud provides "flexibility to connect in existing data sources such as IBM Campaign, Facebook and Twitter and promotes agility with click-to-connect partner integrations via IBM's Partner Ecosystem".
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