E-commerce Link: E-mail Solutions
A guide to deployment options and decision-making
Does e-mail deployment bewilder you? Many marketers quickly settle on a solution, but then wonder what other choices are available. Others know they want to regularly communicate with customers and registered prospects, but don’t know where to start.
As marketers, you have several options:
• Develop your e-mail system internally.
• License e-mail software that allows you to manage deployment in-house.
• Work with an application service provider (ASP) to provide an online platform so you can manage the majority of functions involved with sending e-mail, including list selection, loading creative, and sending and viewing campaign reports.
• Employ a full-service e-mail deployment vendor or agency to manage everything related to a campaign. Many full-service vendors also provide strategy, creative and modeling services.
Several companies offer a hybrid model that combines both ASP and full-service for the times a marketer needs additional help.
When making the in-house versus outsource decision, consider:
• your projected send volume;
• the amount of control you require for database and e-mail systems;
• whether you need integrated marketing from multiple databases; and
• whether you have a CRM system in place.
An In-house Solution
Unless you mail millions of names, it probably doesn’t make sense to build your own solution. This is a major undertaking, and requires you to handle internal consulting and systems integration with all databases, marketing and customer service systems. You also need service personnel dedicated to quality assurance, programming, deployment and network monitoring, as well as the proper hardware, software and network bandwidth.
There are external solutions that can be licensed and installed on your servers. And there are several good software packages available. Most involve a license fee, a sending fee based on volume, and an ongoing maintenance fee for upgrades and enhancements. These packages have varying degrees of functionality.