Email is a core piece of any effective communications program, providing a powerful means of connecting with your stakeholders and driving engagement. With the explosion in digital communications over the past decade, it’s no surprise that the result has been an ever-growing landscape of email platform providers. This wide range of options can be overwhelming, and we often see people choosing the incorrect tool for their needs.
The overarching term for these tools today is “email marketing software”, but this doesn’t capture the nuances of the category. Not all people using email tools are marketers.
So what is email marketing software? As the term marketing implies, the focus tends to be on prospecting, driving sales automation, and commercial revenue. Tools like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact fall into this category. They’re built for marketers, not communications professionals.
Many of the tools and features included in email marketing software are irrelevant to communications-focused teams. In our experience, things like attribution tracking, abandoned cart emails, or landing page builders aren’t necessary.
At Envoke, we believe that communications professionals need an email tool that’s designed specifically for their needs. Communication is about building relationships, establishing trust, and improving stakeholder engagement. What it’s not about is driving transactions.
If you’re a communications team stuck using a marketing email platform, what should you be looking for? Here are some of the top features that define what a broadcast email solution built specifically for communications professionals looks like:
- Compliance: The first item on the compliance officer’s checklist is often related to data storage. Failure to have data stored in Canada can be a deal breaker. Furthermore, Anti-spam legislation, like CASL, is only increasing in popularity across the board. Almost weekly we’re seeing new legislation pass in different geographies that define how organizations must manage communications with their stakeholders. Core to this is consent. True email communications platforms will enable anti-spam legislation automatically, letting you focus on your main function: communicating with stakeholders.
- Multi-department Management: Email marketing tools are used by, you guessed it, the marketing team. So, the need to manage email across multiple departments is typically an afterthought. We know that when it comes to communications, it’s rare that the function exists only in one department. True broadcast email communications platforms will allow you work across multiple departments, while keeping contact lists separate and branding and messaging consistent.
- Mandatory Emails: In our experience, communications teams often need to send emails that bypass someone’s opt-out status. Whether you’re a government organization communicating critical information to constituents, or an association that’s required to share information with members, mandatory emails are a must for communications professionals.
- Communication Preferences: We’ve established that communications professionals’ mandate is about building relationships, not driving transactions. If you’ve received any marketing emails (and we all have!), you likely had a difficult time finding the tiny, hidden “unsubscribe” link in the email footer. With tools like Envoke, you get a customizable communications preferences page that can be used in your quest to build relationships. Instead of attempting to trick people by hiding the unsubscribe, we recommend making it prominent and sending them to a preferences page that provides a positive experience for your stakeholders.
At Envoke, we’re constantly working to deliver the leading broadcast email platform, designed specifically for communications professionals. If you want to learn more about how our customers are improving stakeholder engagement with Envoke, you can browse customer stories here.
Ready to make a move to a true broadcast email platform for communications pros? We’d love to chat with you.