There are many ways to make a website or a blog an effective communications tool for businesses. I think you would agree with me that the days when websites merely function as online brochures are over. Sure, you could just have a static page telling people what the company does and how great their products or services are. But this will usually just go ignored. People want interactivity. People want something engaging.
According to Google Analytics the average website keeps a visitor for about 20 seconds before they navigate elsewhere. And most of the time, when users leave your page, they forget to come back. They forget you ever existed.
What can make your audience visit you frequently and stay a little bit longer? Aside from your site being interactive, you have to help out people by telling them what’s happening on your side of the forest! Tell them what’s new and why it’s important for them to know. A handful of popular blogs these days offer newsletters. While a lot of savvy blog users already read updates on their RSS readers, there are still a lot out there who appreciate being sent updates by email.
And this is where an email marketing service would come in. These applications can be useful as newsletters or as public relations tools.
Email marketing systems are usually applications or services that can send email en masse to target audiences. This can be for purposes of sending out newsletters, promotional materials or other messages to opt-in subscribers. Such software would usually contain a database of contact information, campaign statistics, and reports.
Of course, these can also be used for bulk, unsolicited emails, but that would depend on the intent of the sender, too.
There are about 20 million results for “email marketing software” on Google, and if you’re in search for an effective system, we’ve been approached to try out one such service by Omnistar Mailer.
OmniStar’s Mailer service was created with efficiency in mind, with the aim of helping businesses reach out to customers effectively without having to funnel money towards administrative employees who spend countless hours sorting through spreadsheets and emailing clients.
Now I’ve used several Email Marketing Systems for the past 5 years. And one of the very first things I look out for are the following: a free trial and/or a money-back guarantee, immediate installation and quick support responses, and an interface that’s easy to operate.
I tried an OmniStar demo account and to tell you frankly, my first impressions were “clean”, “uncluttered”, “organized”, and a “pleasing workspace”. Check out their Admin Main Page below.
I think this Admin Page tells a whole lot about what’s under the hood. It’s not scary, nor undaunting even for the first-timers. Now let’s see the other areas and find out what makes OmniStar useful.
OmniStar Mailer has numerous features that will surely address your personal or corporate needs. While it tries to offer the best features available, OmniStar stands out by understanding that not all would immediately understand the use of such tools.
They have conveniently placed a Getting Started Wizard to immediately get you developing your first newsletter. I think that is very important. They have taken that extra step to make you understand what steps are needed to get you on your toes.
Installation & Set-up
I’ll have to say it’s easy. Once you sign up, OmniStar will send an email to you explaining the steps needed for you to get going. You will need to download the application software and install it on your webserver. Your clients or future subscribers do not need to download anything at all. However, if you have problems with the installation process, you can also request a free install by their engineers, which I think is very very cool!
Setting up your subscriber database is very easy too. I have a small mailing list of 3,000+ saved in CSV format. OmniStar works well with it and took me a few moments to get all my subscribers in and active. They have said that they’ve worked with lists that are as huge as 250k subscribers. Not bad at all!
Ease of Use
Because of OmniStar’s uncluttered interface, I personally loved using it. Important areas are easily understood and provision for easy navigation was excellent. They offer quite an extensive FAQ and 24-hour tech (telephone or email) support! Great!
There are just many tools to help you build your first spectacular newsletter. It is very easy to add/customize your project with your images/pictures, texts, hyperlinks, special characters, anchors, lines, table, time, date, post/sub scripts–the works! Alternately, you can also choose to develop your newsletter as an HTML file using either DreamWeaver or FrontPage, and then import that whole page into OmniStar to send it out.
OmniStar offers in-depth reports on every email campaign you send out. For example, if your email contains links, OmniStar will tell you which of your subscribers clicked on those links. It will generally track every click your subscriber makes on your emails.
A very important matter to me. When I shoot my arrows, I’d like to know if I am hitting the target or not!
I can say that OmniStar’s web based email marketing software is within the league of useful and user-friendly Email Marketing Systems currently available. It’s almost turn-key, scalable, robust, private and secure (because it runs on your own web servers) AND is intuitive to a great degree. It just has all the standard things I would look out for in these systems. I would just mention 2 things though
- That the application price of US$257 per website is a little “out there”, but with all the bells and whistles OmniStar offers, the price may be “just right”.
- When I entered the search key “report” in their knowledge database… their system doesn’t seem to know what “report” means.
Finally, Omnistar Interactive has offered all readers of this blog 20% off by simply entering the promotion code devlounge when you order Omnistar Mailer.
Other than that I’d tell you to go get your FREE demo account right now and give this baby a test drive. We’re all on the semester of the year where there’s just several holidays every month. You’d need OmniStar to catch on that holiday fever!
Disclosure: The above review was done upon the request of OmniStar, and written by guest poster Jim Reyes, who is a regular contributor on Splashpress Media blogs Blogging Pro, Froodee, Gadzooki and Forever Geek.