Marketing online requires you have decent email software located on your own computer.
I wouldn't recommend using one of the free email accounts that are widely available online for marketing purposes. Maybe you can start with one, but if you are serious about your business, you will soon need to upgrade to something better. Using free Webmail accounts will brand you as unprofessional and get little respect since many are also recognized sources of spam. For the most part they are also much slower to use, resulting in you wasting a lot of time. Google's Gmail is perhaps an exception to some degree, although even that doesn't offer the flexibilty of your own email software.
99% of all email I receive from addresses ending @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com, etc., goes straight into the trash without ever being opened.
Do you want your email marketing message to suffer the same fate?
If you need to use a forwarding address, choose one that is less well known or use a service that provides forwarding only to help avoid you being thought of as a spammer.
I personally used the popular Eudora Pro email client for many years, which is both fully configurable and easy to use. An ad-supported free version is also available that offers full functionality and can be upgraded to remove the ads at any time.
I was so happpy with Eudora Pro that even though I had Mail, Apple's built-in OS X email software, it was still a couple of years before I finally got around to switching over. And although Mail is a great, feature-rich email client, there's still the odd feature I miss from Eudora Pro (although there are others in the Mail application that make up for it).
Professional email applications will provide you with more options and greater flexibility in the creation and use of the following:
- Multiple accounts
- Multiple aliases
- Multiple mailing lists
- Multiple filters
- Multiple stationary files
- Multiple signature files
- Automated replies
- Automated forwarding
For example, I have created numerous filters that check all my incoming mail according to various criteria and automatically open it or transfer it to a certain folder, print it or delete it, redirect it or even reply with any of my pre-written letters...
All without me lifting a finger!
The filters are set based on text found in the "To", "From", "Reply - To", "Cc" and "Subject" fields, or in the body text of the mail.
By specifying certain text to search for, you can filter mail that either contains or doesn't contain, starts with or ends with, is or is not, etc., your chosen text . They can even be used in combination using modifiers like "and", "or", "unless".
Pretty powerful stuff!
In case your thinking, "Yeah great... but what am I going to use all that for?" imagine the following scenario:
You use an online service to submit your website URL to 400 search engines. You have to give your email address. This leaves you open to a flood of emails from all the sites you've submitted to. You can do one of two things:
- Give a false email address - but then many submissions will fail because they require you to confirm your listing / email address.
- Use a specific alias just for search engine submissions - great flexibility and many options.
If you use a specific alias or account like firstname.lastname@example.org you can set your email program to filter all mail with that address into a "SE Submissions Mail" folder.
At the same time your email program can mark all the emails in this group that have "confirm" in the message body so you know they have a link you need to click on.
You could also have your email client open these messages ready for you to click on the link
If you wish, you can have your email software automatically delete all the emails that don't require a confirmation.
Of course, there are many more things your email client can do for you automatically. That was just a quick example off the top of my head. The point I want to make is simply that proper email software will not only make you look like a business, it will also make your life easier and safe you a lot of time