Licensed Software Solution
By: Gabriela Linares- Vice
President, Marketing for ;
of software and hosting solutions.
marketing becomes a common tool for achieving marketing objectives, companies
may benefit from transferring these operations in-house. To conduct e-mail
operations in-house, companies require server hardware, Internet connectivity,
technical support, marketing strategies, and software to manage e-mail
communication. Since marketing messages essentially convey the identity and
character of a company, it is important to choose a reliable software provider.
control and lower costs are two major benefits for transferring e-mail marketing
operations to internal servers. By using a licensed solution, marketers have the
freedom to create, test, adjust, and implement all aspects of their campaign
strategy. Messages can be executed as often and whenever desired. Once a company
reaches a certain number of deliveries, it is more cost-effective to pay an
annual fixed cost than to pay a delivery charge for each message, commonly on a
Cost Per Thousand (CPM) basis. The pricing structure for licensed products is a
fixed annual rate, while outsourcing services charge both annual fixed and
variable rates throughout the year. Having
an in-house solution allows businesses to handle
the growth of their e-mail operations without the cost increase involved with
outsourcing. Compared to other more complex customer relationship packages,
licensing software for e-mail campaign management is quick to install and easy
software to execute e-mail marketing campaigns is best suited for large
companies and organizations with a supportive infrastructure and an Internet
Technology department that has basic familiarity with e-mail servers. The
installation and maintenance of the company network and the licensed software
that resides on it will require an experienced server administrator.
Attempting to run and configure the software without technical knowledge
may result in errors during the installation process and could lead to other
embarrassing situations. Most
companies that provide licensing solutions offer free evaluation of their
software. This allows potential customers to not only test the software, but to
also conscientiously decide whether outsourcing or licensing best suits their
needs and capabilities.
There are three main types of software for conducting e-mail list
- The e-mail list manager software stores e-mail
addresses, names, and list preferences. It automatically handles bounces,
integrates with databases, and personalizes messages. Among a list of
administrative features, list managers provide an automated way to subscribe
and unsubscribe, and to verify whether addresses are still active.
- The e-mail delivery software is the engine that
sends e-mail messages to the Internet – also known as SMTP server
software. In some cases, speed of delivery becomes an issue when sending
large amounts of messages. If
delivery speed is not a concern, it may be sufficient to share the
company’s e-mail server.
- Another class of software is the
management component, which works in conjunction with a list manager and
e-mail delivery software. Campaign
management packages offer easy-to-use web interfaces and provide reporting
and statistical measurements of recipients’ activities such as click-throughs on embedded URL links and messages received and opened up.
Advanced tracking features may offer options to define the level of privacy
for protecting customer data. The advent of campaign management software has
made it much easier for marketers to conduct e-mail marketing and evaluate
Create messages in text, HTML and multi-part formats in several
Track click-through and open-up rates
Monitor results online in real time
Create report charts online
Tracking charts can compare results among several campaigns
Download results and manipulate data in a database or Microsoft
Ability to share responsibilities among a team
Integration with a database to analyze recipients
When contemplating licensing software the number of contacts, frequency of
messages, and a speculative approximation of how much these figures will grow
over the next few years will determine the appropriate solution. Most software
license packages are offered in different sizes based on these numbers. It is
usually possible to upgrade or add capacity when needs grows.
If list requirements are minimal, list management software could
be used with the existing e-mail server.
If large amounts of deliveries begin to weigh down the servers,
network administrators should consider purchasing scalable SMTP software to
If a company requires detailed reporting of the results of its
e‑mail marketing endeavors, then a campaign management package is the best
Inquire about the vendor’s technical services. Does the vendor
provide training, support and consulting services? How do they provide support?
Is this service included in the annual fee? Does the vendor offer technical
visits? What other alternatives are offered for technical problems?
How long does it take to install the software and have it in
Does the vendor offer evaluation kits?
Some e-mail vendors offer hosting services as well as licensed
software. It may make sense to test the software by initially outsourcing and
then later purchasing the software, transferring the operation in-house.
Marketers may consider the option to have a full service agency conduct
their e-mail marketing campaigns for them. These companies will administer
campaigns from start to finish, in some cases even composing the messages.
It is a good alternative for those who do not feel confident enough to
license the software and implement the campaigns from scratch. However, the
turn-around time for preparing and delivering an e-mail campaign with an agency
may be slower and more expensive. Companies that do not disclose within their
consider licensing a product instead of outsourcing.
With a licensed product, companies have the freedom to conduct campaigns
when needed. E-mail campaigns can be organized quickly and respond to
contingencies. Marketers can easily
test approaches, measure results, and adapt their e-mail communications to suit
the company’s marketing strategies.
Copyright 2001 by L-Soft International,
Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission.