In response to our post entitled ‘Which email marketing service is the best?’ we heard a lot of chatter about Mailing Manager; another email marketing service worthy of the list. It comes from a UK based company who launched the service way back in 1998. We love supporting other UK businesses, so here’s our review of Mailing Manager.
On logging in to the Mailing Manager admin panel you immediately see a huge array of options, which is always a good sign. There’s a nice initial dashboard, showing some important stats from the last 7 days and any important information from current campaigns. It also allows you to manage email lists or create a new email straight away. For those who appreciate things being clear and consistent as possible it’s a great start!
Mailing Manager uses lists to manage large numbers of contacts. It’s a simple but effective system that allows the owner to create differing sets of email contacts that may have come from different sources.
Lists can be created, copied, moved and amended whenever you want, from the contact list screen. You can view the members of each list and add or remove them as appropriate. There’s also the ability to ‘Log Events’ to any user, say if they’ve been particularly impressed with one email, or would like to be followed up with directly. This is an important part of any email marketing solution so it’s good to see Mailing Manager have integrated it so well.
You can view the statistics of each list individually too.
Another important feature of the Mailing Manager offering is the Custom Fields option. This allows you to create your own fields for each contact. This may specific to your industry. For example if the contact has already completed a certain certification. Evidently this means collecting more information from your customers to start with, but it will help you really target your email marketing process to the right audience at the right time.
Finally, the ‘Segments’ feature, which allows you to group contacts even more effectively. You might send one email to Males and one to Females. You could take it a step further and send a particular message to only Males under the age of 35. Mailing Manager makes this process really easy. It will save you a substantial amount of time filtering, creating new lists and generally researching your contact groups.
Email Campaign Management
The most important aspect of any email marketing product is obviously the campaign emails themselves. Luckily Mailing Manager has this covered with a range of features which will help any email marketing become more professional and, in turn, successful!
WYSIWYG Email Campaign Editor
Without a doubt the most important feature for newcomers to email marketing will be the fantastic WYSIWYG email editor that is fully integrated with Mailing Manager.
As you can see you’ll have access to all the usual suspects as far as formatting goes. There’s also the ability to upload your own files, as I’ve done with the Easy Offices logo in this example. You can also use the ‘Dynamic Content’ option to create really personal emails, using the custom fields which you can assign to your contacts in each individual email.
There’s a huge array of templates to get you started too, so you can rest assured that you’ll end up with a professional looking email! You can also use the excellent testing feature to check how your email will look to end users in a huge variety of browsers and email clients. (I hope you all know how important it is for your emails to be properly formatted on a mobile!).
Email Campaign Scheduling
You can schedule email marketing campaigns to be sent exactly when you want, either now or in the future. Again it’s something that can have a massive impact on your campaigns across different lists.
Custom Dynamic Content
Another intuitive function which allows you to create your own dynamic content to insert into emails. You can create these based on the fields that you’ve assigned to each contact. For example, we might know that certain users are most interested in London based offices. Therefore we’ll tailor the email to include content relevant to London. Some other users may be interested in offices in Manchester. Same goes here, we can choose to only assign relevant content to each individual person without having to create a new email campaign! Another real time saver.
Email Marketing Split Tests
You can also split (A/B) test the effectiveness of your emails within different lists.
We could, for example, see the effect of changing the images we use in our emails. We could send half of the list our control copy and the other half our new copy. In no time we’ll know which version was more effective. Repeating this process over and over again makes your email marketing more and more refined. Quite simply, that means better results!
As soon as you begin an email campaign, Mailing Manager will collect all the relevant information and place it into the statistics tab, which can help you make a much more informed decision on what’s working and what isn’t.
Autoresponders are useful as they allow you to create a series of emails that are sent out to new subscribers.
This could be in the form of a course, or ‘secret’ free content.
Again, Mailing Manager makes this extremely simple, allowing you to choose which contacts receive which auto responses. You can set them up to be sent (x) hours after a contact has signed up, which allows you to deliver them over a longer period of time. This is useful for keeping the conversation going with your contacts, not just sending them one marketing email then disappearing.
Stats are really important to an email marketer. You’ll need to be able to make decisions based on the information you’ve got. A lot of the time, that information will come directly from your email marketing software. Data driven decisions are going to help you become the email marketing guru you’ve always wanted to be!
Mailing Manager has a great range of statistics on recipients, open rates, bounce rates, CTR, and much more.
You can also export this information which we always find useful if you need to use it in an excel document or a presentation you’re working on.
There are a few other smaller things worth mentioning.
Firstly, many of the screens when browsing Mailing Manager come with email marketing tips included! Just like the example below:
Email marketing is ever changing. Hopefully the team at Mailing Manager will keep these updated so that you can ‘learn on the job’.
The support team are also worth mentioning, who were contacted briefly to check a couple of aspects of the program. The service was brilliant and answers provided in next to no time, which as you know, we at Easy Offices are incredibly proud of!
My only issue
A niggle we had while using the software is that the vast majority of the links clicked on to get ‘Advice’ or ‘Help’ with an individual field or function, end up linking to their support page.
Don’t get me wrong, the content in the support pages is really good, it’s just that it would be good to be directed straight to the page in question, not have to find it for yourself.
All in all, we are happy to say that Mailing Manager is a great choice for an email marketing solution.
The contact management is simple, effective and fast, which isn’t true of all email platforms! The auto responders work really well too and we’ve already thought of a number of ways to utilise them. The segments are really powerful too, helping target the right people with the right message. Plus you are able to get the stats for any given campaign pretty easily.
Of course, you need to explore all the options before making a decision to make sure you get the right solution for your business, but we’ll certainly be mentioning Mailing Manager to anyone who asks!