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Nature vs Nurture: “Hybrid” Email Marketing Tool

Posted on 2.28.2010

The Nurture Institute last week launched e-Mail Assistant, an email marketing and campaign management tool aimed at campaigns of 1,000 recipients or less.

Unlike other “spray and pray” email marketing solutions that use a fixed email address or alias to distribute campaigns, e-Mail Assistant provides a hybrid approach, combining a SaaS-based platform that integrates with Microsoft Outlook. Each campaign is centrally managed via e-Mail Assistant, but the actual delivery utilizes individual sales personnel’s Outlook application to send outbound personalized email messages which are unobtrusive to the sender and fully transparent to the recipient.

e-Mail Assistant aims to simplify email marketing for organizations by hosting CAN-SPAM compliant campaign messages, templates and customer/prospect databases. It also manages opt-outs and provides tracking and analytics. The software is designed as a campaign tool that can support a series of email messages. However, users have the flexibility to determine whether or not recipients get all or a specific subset of the messages within a campaign. The salesperson can edit the list and insert personalized greetings and text to customize each email message before it is sent. 

Perhaps most interesting about the solution is that when an email from e-Mail Assistant is opened by a recipient, the respective salesperson responsible for that customer or prospect is immediately notified with an “Activity Now” message by e-Mail Assistant. This feature allows sales personnel to focus their attention on the most promising leads and proactively respond. Additionally, as recipients open email campaigns, e-Mail Assistant tracks all activity such as opens, clicks and forwards. These analytics are maintained by the e-Mail Assistant and made available to users via a secure Web portal.

“We offer a ‘software plus services’ approach to creating targeted email marketing campaigns,” explained Eric Rabinowitz, president of The Nurture Institute. “With e-Mail Assistant, we not only provide you with a superb tool to implement email marketing campaigns, but ensure that you have the right messaging strategy and plan in place to achieve better results. We like to think of it as the difference between merely joining a fitness center versus utilizing the expertise of a personal trainer. The latter delivers personal attention and tangible results faster.”

The pricing however is what may shock you. e-Mail Assistant is priced per campaign and can cost $195 for just 500 email recipients and up to $250 for 1000 email recipients. You're not really paying only for the distribution however. As part of the set-up process, Nurture Institute create customizable HTML template(s) for each campaign, so that hands-on yield better results than other email marketing solutions. Alternatively, customers can author their own messages for e-Mail Assistant.

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