Email marketing is an important component in any digital marketing strategy. It helps the company familiarize its products and services with the target segment, and develop a bond with the customers. It is also the most rewarding form of communication that helps companies achieve their marketing goals.
According to DMA, the return on email marketing is £32.28 for every £1 spent. The Marketer Email Tracker 2018 points out that about 50% of the marketers can confidently calculate this ROI figure, while 19% are ready to determine the lifetime value of an email address.
The main advantage of email marketing is that companies can send direct, personalized messages to their customers. This helps them intimate their customers about new products and services, and at the same time, nurture a lifelong relationship with them.
Email marketing comes in various formats - newsletters, special offer messages and automated emails are just some of them. You can also track information on how your customers perceive your emails, how many times they open it, the links they click and so on. This form of marketing is such a huge service with so many options that you could consider migrating the service as it is, to the cloud. It could turn into a milestone for your business.
Scalability is a major issue if you think you could be content with your on-premises infrastructure. Especially when your company’s email list just experienced an impressive growth spurt. If you are sending more emails than ever, and to a larger audience, then it is time you considered migration. In that case, you can move to the cloud, and make sure you migrate all your data as well.
Migrating could bring your company substantial cost savings too, because you no longer have to invest in on-premise infrastructure to accommodate the growing email list. The biggest advantage of a cloud computing service worth its salt would be the pay-as-you-go pricing plan. You only need to pay for the resources that you use, and if you need to scale up, the service provider would provide the necessary resources. Similarly, if you are scaling down (for example, when a particular season is over), you can cut down on those resources.
The reliability factor is also there in a cloud service provider. You don’t have to update the software whenever newer versions are introduced. It will all be handled automatically.
Scalability and reliability - these are the two things most companies struggle hard to maintain. And these are the two main advantages you can enjoy from the cloud service. There are more benefits too. Let’s have a quick walkthrough of the benefits of cloud services.
Cloud-based email marketing services have the power and flexibility to help you overcome the problems faced with on-premise email marketing software applications. Have a look at the major advantages:
No need to hire dedicated IT staff – Once you’ve completely shifted to the cloud, you no longer have to worry about hiring people to manage the in-house infrastructure. And you can free the existing staff to focus on their goals. This would help the company grow, minus the hassles involved in worrying about the storage and resources.
Completely scalable - Scalability in cloud computing means arranging for resources that would help you use them as and when they arise. Companies can scale up and down as demand grows and subsides. Scalability applies to Memory, Network, Disk I/O and CPU. Moving to cloud entails both vertical and horizontal scalability, and that too automatically.
Always updated – It is the duty of the service provider to keep the infrastructure updated on a regular basis. When an update or release is ready, the vendor would push it, and send out notices to users.
No need to purchase software - The vendor will have dedicated hardware and software, so users don’t have to purchase anything for a software upgrade. So, you don’t have to buy email servers, or worry about whether you will have enough resources during a peak in demand.
Easy to integrate mobile applications - Mobile cloud computing solutions can be integrated easily with the software to meet even the complex demands of users. And this involves backend integration and connectivity too. It is possible to revise or build cloud applications with email integration and send them to a number of different devices, irrespective of operating system, with the help of cloud services.
Offers better service relationships – The cloud facilitates agility, mobility, better and quicker responses through PaaS, SaaS and IaaS. This leads to a lifelong commitment and deep relationship with the vendor.
Cloud adoption in email marketing is no longer the fad of the big names. Small to medium sized companies have begun to largely adopt cloud for their marketing requirements. Here are other reasons why you should follow in their wake too.
A huge cost saver - It is possible to convert your email marketing system to an operational scenario on a monthly or annual basis. Being a cloud-based email service, this cuts down the costs significantly from your capital outlay, and you no longer have to implement or maintain the environment/infrastructure (no application expense or minimal in-house server storage).
Flexible scalability – A cloud-based email service is flexible and scalable. Anytime you want to increase the email capacity, it will be done through the vendor as you don’t have to do anything from your side. It is possible to adjust the storage capacity, compute capacity (up or down) and adjust user license counts, as per your requirement.
Uptime improvement - No more worries about uptime or disaster recovery because it is all taken care of. The data will be stored safely through the multiple redundant sites, the result being much better than organizations still battling with on-premise solutions.
Makes administration easy – So, when you are looking for a cloud-based service, it would be good to choose a provider that guarantees an uptime of at least 99.9%. Problems in uptime could be disastrous as it could result in poor customer satisfaction, delay in purchase order, late productivity and finally, loss in revenue.
Access for remote workers - The cloud-based service makes it possible for you to hire people from anywhere in the global, and ensure their productivity. This is because the mails can be accessed from anywhere and on any device. The only thing needed is a device and internet connectivity. This would give your team all the freedom to work, do their digital marketing and communicate with the audience easily.
The effective approach for cloud migration would be by optimizing existing applications and a good number of organizations prefer this approach. However, this journey is not without difficulties, so you can look at the 6 Rs to make the process smooth and quick.
Rehosting strategy is also known as Lift and Shift. This usually happens when most of the applications are rehosted. Several companies use this method and find it really cost saving. Rehosting means redeploying the applications on to a cloud-based hardware environment, and making changes in the application’s host configuration. It is only natural that the migration from on-premise software to the cloud has to be done seamlessly and without loss of data.You can consider the lift and shift migration in that case, especially if you have an enterprise level application. It is much easier to migrate the bulk of your application portfolio through the lift and shift migration model. More on this model is detailed in the next section.
Re-platforming is a good one but it does have its challenges because the PaaS market is still at its nascent stage. However, this strategy is useful when you need backward compatibility, where the developers can reuse certain resources like development frameworks, legacy programming languages and existing caches of an application’s vital code.
This is where you drop the old strategy and move to the next one. Repurchasing can also be seen as moving to a SaaS platform like Salesforce or Drupal. This is more suitable when there is a change in the business function quickly.
Refactoring or Re-architecting is the process where you reimagine how the application is architected and developed. This strategy would be most effective if you want to move from a monolithic architecture to a serverless one. It sure is an expensive move, but will definitely help you with a better market fit.
In other words, it means not using the unused applications anymore. You can save money because you no longer have to maintain those applications. On the other hand, you can devote those IT resources for other money grossing apps. Obsolete applications can also turn into security hazards if left as it they are.
When you apply the Retain strategy, it means you either retain the application or do nothing to it. You can migrate only what is important to you on the business front.
What are the major things that come into your consideration during migration - time and cost, right? So here is the good news. A successful lift and shift migration will make maximum use of the infrastructure and utilize the management features of the cloud to ease the process of migration economically.
In the lift and shift model, you can move the existing applications or services to Azure’s virtual machines. The networking configuration and the operating system itself will be the major advantages in this kind of method.
However, it is also important to remember that not all applications or services would be suitable for the lift and shift migration strategy. Some of them can be too difficult to migrate, and problems such as the following could crop up: licensing issues, hardware requirements, incompatibilities and so on. In order to make the information gathering process smooth, you need to go through something known as the information gathering process. Through this, you will know which applications will be easy to migrate and which is the most cost effective one. This is the first step in identifying the best candidates for lift and shift procedure to Microsoft Azure.
The Azure platform is adding features and services constantly, so as the new capabilities come online, the costs will also change. So that means, if the applications are not presently candidates for lift and shift, then the chances are that they will be in the future.
The process for identifying the candidates is actually a multistage filtering process. The team from your company will look at the application or service, and then create a list of all the hosting resources it needs (including physical and virtual devices). This resource list would help you gauge the viability of the candidate while in the Azure cloud. If the particular application doesn’t meet with the necessary criteria, then you might have to consider an alternate migration approach. The ones that meet the criteria will be moved to the cloud and maintained.
You can use Mailjet on Azure for your email marketing needs. Mailjet is a global email service and infrastructure provider that helps you to send, track and deliver your emails through a single platform. It’s scalable and cost-effective too. Mailjet’s RESTful API and state-of-the-art tool kit makes it easier for developers, marketers and systems to get the best out of how you reach your customers. You can track the emails in real time, and monitor how they perceive them.
We’ve adopted cloud-based email marketing at Cabot and have found it extremely advantageous from the business front. The following benefits make a compelling case to shift email services to the cloud.
Security – Cloud service vendors can address the security and support issues that companies are afraid of.
Portability - Allows for portability of data, but to avoid vendor lock-in, you can avoid proprietary formatting. And for code portability, you can use DevOps tools.
Prediction – You can predict compatibility issues while migration and correct the same.
Intelligence – Cloud migration comes with an intelligent migration service.
Easy to plug and play – It is almost as easy as a plug and play service, provided you go through the multistep filtering process.
Cloud based email services are definitely more rewarding than the traditional server-based email marketing services. You can reduce administrative costs, free up staff and other resources to focus on business goals. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the scalability factor anymore; no more worries about limited storage hassles.
It is true that the process of transitioning isn’t a piece of cake, unless you exercise due diligence, and do a complete check of the company’s offerings. However, the advantages of corporate cloud-based email outweigh the challenges any day.
So, have you audited and prepared your workloads and applications as a preliminary step for Azure migration of your email service? If not, you can get in touch with Cabot Technology Solutions to know more.
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