This blog post was contributed by Juli Cummins, Digital Media Marketing Coordinator, a2z, Inc.
At a2z, we have tested and utilized a number of third party services for delivering email marketing campaigns to our clients’ end users. Today I would like to review one such service – Vertical Response, an online email marketing software that is a good option for small and medium sized businesses. Though its services are fee-based, it offers 10,000 free emails per month to approved non-profit organizations.
While the service offers a suite of online marketing tools, I will focus my review on the email marketing tool, as this is what I use the most.
Vertical Response offers a number of email drafting tools to complement all levels of skill sets. Beginner level users can choose to build an email using the Email Wizard, which provides access to pre-built email templates. Alternatively, savvier users can opt to build their email using their own HTML code.
Each design method offers the option of including social media links to allow for forwarding to a friend, and sharing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. A time-saving feature in the design stage is that the text only version of your email can be generated automatically. You can also personalize the email for each recipient by adding merge fields like name, password, and many more.
Now on to testing your email… Vertical Response is definitely one of the fastest services I have used when it comes to sending test emails. In addition, you have the ability to send a test email to a mailing list and not just individuals. This is an important tool if your email includes merge fields that you want test before campaign roll out.
Also on offer are a number of list management tools. One of the most useful features is that it automatically handles duplicate entries in your lists; however there are times when this can create more work. There are also sophisticated list merge and suppression tools that can be extremely helpful when trying to customize your email messages and target specific audiences. Unsubscribe requests are also handled routinely through the software, saving you a headache.
Once your email is sent you can effortlessly track the open, click through, bounce and unsubscribe statistics. These statistics are updated in real-time and there are useful visual reports that can be downloaded for sharing these stats with colleagues or clients.
Vertical Response also offers tools for Social Media Marketing, Event Management, Online Surveys, and Direct Mail Postcards. Using these services may provide additional focus to your marketing efforts. Finally, I love that there is a mobile app available that allows me to manage our marketing campaigns while on the go!
In summary, I recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a user friendly marketing email delivery tool.