While sometimes the phrase “the simpler the better” comes into play, this phrase usually stays out-of-play when it comes to a marketing campaign. When it comes to getting your company name out there on the Internet, the flashy, fancy, feature filled tactics usually do the trick. Unfortunately, this can become very confusing, especially when it comes to email marketing.

Once you have decided to join the rest of the world and start an email marketing campaign, you will need to buy email marketing software. You will find that there are many different choices of software to choose from, included hosted or non-hosted, and many varying prices. However, one of the most important things to take into consideration when looking into this software are the different features each has to offers. There are many different features you can choose from that can be intimidating, but once you know what each feature entails you should find your decision much easier.

If you have no idea what you might need for email marketing software, don’t worry because below is a list of the most popular and notable features you will be prompted to choose from:

Common Email Marketing Software Features and Their Functions

Auto Responders – If you want a message sent out before a certain date, this feature is important. For example, if you are counting down to a launch of a new product or have a promotion coming up, you may want to set up an email message just before the launch or promotion. This feature allows you to set up these messages early, and also allows you to send automatic welcome emails to those who signed up for your email list.

A/B Testing and List Separation – In any company, you will have customers with different needs and wants; therefore you may want to email different things to these different people. This feature allows you to do this. Probably the biggest use of this feature is by companies who want to send different messages to frequent customers versus new ones.

Analytic tools—This feature is the best when it comes to analyzing the success of your email marketing. You will be able to tell how many emails are received and how many are opened. These results can help you determine which messages are working and which are better left forgotten.

Social Sharing Abilities – More or less, this feature allows you to kill two birds with one stone. If your software has this feature you will be able to share your email marketing campaigns with different social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. The number of users of social media is growing, so with this feature you have even more chances to get your customers to see your message, no matter what the social medium.

Spam Regulator – This tool protects against the worst thing that could happen to your email marketing campaign—the trash. A spam checker will check the content of your message and make sure it will not automatically fall into the “spam” section of a customer’s email.

Templates – This feature is great for the real beginner or for someone who knows nothing about design. With a template you can copy and paste images and messages without having to worry about how the email will look when it is sent out to customers – the template will do that for you.

One of the best things you can do when you are out on the email marketing software hunt is write down a list of must-have features and features you can do without, and the list above will give you a great start. If you know what you are talking about, you will have no problem getting the best bang for your buck, and your company will be dressed for the ball, putting those plain-Janes to shame.