We’ll warn you right now that as you’re evaluating different email platforms, you’ll likely be tempted to focus a lot of your attention on which platform has the prettiest email templates. This is understandable. But unless you have an e-commerce company and are selling a physical product online, the truth is that the visual aesthetics of your emails are not the most important factor.

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Landing pages for webinars have a high email optin rate, according to research done by LeadPages.net. Here’s an example of what LeadPages’ highest converting landing page looks like: Webinars are often seen as more valuable compared to other free offers because subscribers get to interact personally with the host (especially at the end during the Q&A), plus it’s a limited time, live event. Other than building your email list, hosting webinars are also growing in popularity these days because they convert really well for paid offers, like with info product. One example of this is John Lee Dumas over at EntreprenuerOnFire.com who has largely built-up his multi-million dollar business up hosting a weekly webinar. But what if your email list is too small or non-existent to bother with hosting your own webinar, and you can’t afford to run ads either? That’s bring us to…

Where they can improve: The automation editor lacks a workflow view, so isn’t the most intuitive to use. List management isn’t the best, either – it doesn’t remove duplicates and lists are kept isolated from another. It also has one of the strictest acceptable use policies, and isn’t ideal if your business deals with affiliate marketing, healthcare products, real estate or novelty products. And it’s certainly not the cheapest provider out there – surprising, given its popularity (which just goes to show the power of great marketing!). Note – we’ve noticed that emails from MailChimp tend to go to Gmail’s Promotions folder.
The best way to grow your email list is by adding a “Pop-up.” I know, people are not fond of this but there are many case studies that prove that if a pop-up is used on the right places and at the right time you can accomplish huge success. This tool shows the popup that appears when your visitor is about to leave your page. For instance, when your visitor is about to click the back button, the popup appears and asks the visitor to enter his email address.

There are ways to make money online without a website but I definitely recommend the tried-and-true model where you make your own website. You can start your own affiliate website in three simple steps, with little expense, and without any experience. It’s so easy. In fact, as proof I built 100% of this site by myself without any experience whatsoever.
The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!
IF YOU HAVE NO OR VERY LITTLE CONTENT — use something called “success surveillance” as Andy Jenkins calls it, to spy on your competitors and other industry players. BuzzSumo, a free tool, allows you to do this. Simply type in a topic or URL of a website it and it will show you the top, most shared content. You want to look at which the headlines and topics that perform the best and then write something similar (but better).
Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
Click-through rate: The best marketing emails cause audiences to take action—either through a response to the email, or by clicking through to the sales page or piece of content you’ve shared. Look for an email marketing platform that tracks not only the total number of clicks but also how many users clicked through (accounting for those who may have clicked multiple links in the same email).
This article is informative, but it does not offer distinguishing features between the services covered (other than mailchimp is free). You seemed to go to great lengths to say good things about each – although I’m sure each services has positive aspects. I would have benefited much more from a rating of some sort of the various features of each service, or at least the pros & cons of each.
How is 7.5 okay? I think that it’s a great score, especially when you take into consideration that it’s an averaged score of several hundred people’s opinion… Shopify and BigCommerce (I don’t agree that they should have the same score) are very good builders. Yes, they are only for stores, and there are different free website creators that might take their place due to them being free, but they do their job very well. It’s better to be a master at a trade, unlike the other builders – jack of all trades, master of none.
Wix ShoutOut – Wix ShoutOut is an email marketing solution for small businesses. It allows anyone to create, send and share newsletters, invitations, sale promotions and product updates that work across all devices. The software features an intuitive editor, custom sign-up forms, contact integration, social media tools and stat trackers. wix.com/shoutout/email-marketing

One of the downsides of email marketing is that you are only able to reach the contacts that you already have. However, you can use social media to help you grow your email marketing list so that you have an even larger audience for your holiday sales. One way to do this is to promote your opt-in offers across your social media profiles. Consider offering some sort of incentive for joining your email list, such as a special coupon code.
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