Loved reading this! Which of these would you recommend so that I could set myself reminders on certain clients so that I can follow up with them in the future? I feel like I am doing a lot of extra steps that I might not have to do if I was using an actual marketing software. I am in the very beginning stages of getting my business out there and I would like to follow up with potential clients down the road with an email… is this a possibility or should I just keep using my excel spreadsheet!?
Again, “newsletters” are annoying to all of us. Who wants to read your “Memorial Day Newsletter”? (Even your mom is only glancing at it and that’s just to be polite because she loves you). However, emails with your voice, philosophy and insights that the recipient actually appreciates and is interested in? That’s an entirely different beast. That is what we are going for here. RIP newsletters, hello email marketing.
Carl: This is what newsletters look like and when they are used. On the flip-side, there are drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are basically a series of emails that you will receive over x period of time. As an example, here’s an email from our friends at MailChimp. You see here it says, “Number 1. Getting Started with MailChimp.” This email is all about using a template or how to create your own, inside their tools. So this drip goes out to any new MailChimp subscriber. So this is the first part of it, then a few days later, you’ll go ahead and receive the second part, which is about collecting subscribers and building your list.
I’m currently looking for an email marketing service for a mailing list of about 80,000 subscribers. I run an information product business in the fitness industry with a large number of customers buying our ebooks and online courses every day. I’m particularly interested in GetResponse, although I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on the flexibility of their service for creating autoresponders, and integrating with a checkout service (we use WooCommerce).
Email's important, but so is social and mobile—if anything, the two together are the new email. After all, your phone's always with you, and while you might ignore your email, you're unlikely to turn off your SMS notifications. So Mailigen lets you combine them all, so you can target your audience wherever they're most likely to check their messages.

You can design your own email templates or import an HTML page to send as an email, then use those templates for all of your emails. SendinBlue can also market to your users on the go with its integrated SMS marketing. With its site integration, you can see what your customers do on your site and what products they've purchased, then followup via email or SMS automatically or put them on new mailing lists based on their interests. And, you can use the same tool to let everyone know about your latest news and deals.


As a growing business, you may also be looking for a CRM solution, and you'll find that the more advanced email marketing services have begun to crossover into CRM. It makes sense: Both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers. A handful of these services are one-stop shops, either offering both email marketing and CRM out of the box or as add-on services.
In the example above, Fruit of the Loom encourages readers to follow the brand on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, this isn’t the only way to integrate email and social. Send out messages whenever you have new content you’ve published exclusively to your social feeds, launch a social contest, or have a particular social post gaining traction within your community.
MoonMail leverages Amazon’s cloud network to send their email and was built with volume in mind. Their free plan however is one of the most restrictive, with just 300 emails a month, and a daily cap of 1 campaign a day (with only 10 recipients per campaign). You’re obligated to use their own domain as the email sender address, and have no access to automations. Support and the ability to edit custom fields is also limited. Plus, we have to say their tool isn’t the easiest to use, with a lot of back and forth required to set up campaigns.
This data is invaluable when it comes to upsells and cross-sells. For example, if a subscriber purchases apparel for a certain team or school, Finish Line can recommend shoes or hats for that same team or school. To keep as many users engaged as possible, Finish Line also used their targeting capabilities across multiple platforms, including social media and display ads. 

Carl: And both of them have their place in your email marketing strategy. One of the things I wanted to mention when it comes to newsletters is that often times, you don’t have new things happening every week. Often times, you don’t have new products, new items to talk about every week. And the default to that, whenever the C-suite is pushing you to be sending more emails, or you yourself want to send more emails, it’s the default to promotions.
Send with Us is an amazing tool for sending transactional emails without the help of designers or developers. The tool facilitates creating drip campaigns with the in-built dashboard, ensures automatic inlined CSS at send time, allows previewing recipient’s inbox view before sending out the email, provides segmentation feature through built in-app or via API etc.
You’ve been sending out emails to your list of around 50-200 recipients that you’ve built up over the last few months, but Outlook isn’t quite cutting it anymore. Sometimes your emails get lost in the void that is spam folders, and then there was that one time you accidentally CC’d instead of BCCing! That sadly caused a few unsubscribes, which, of course, had to be removed manually.
What makes permission email marketing different is not just that you have the approval of the customer to send to them, it's that you, by getting permission, are sending email campaigns to people who really want them. Even with permission email marketing, every once in awhile a person who gave you permission will hit the spam button. But at least you have the proof showing your email service provider that you had permission and you followed the proper procedure.
Personalized, tailored content – if your email tool allows this, you can send content based on the reader’s interests and preferences (think of Amazon’s ‘Products we recommend’ newsletters, based on readers’ purchases). It’s a strategy that actually works – research has found that personalization improves click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%.
Know your spam rules. A lot of innocent people send spam because they didn't know any better. Read up on the CAN-SPAM act to avoid any trouble. Put simply, you're allowed to send bulk email only to people who specifically asked to be on your mailing list. If you collected email addresses for a lunch giveaway or an event invitation, then you don't have permission to send marketing emails unless you made that clear at signup. Include an obvious unsubscribe link in every email, and don't forget to remind subscribers how they got on your list in the first place.
Make it scannable. Your subscribers are busy people who get a lot of email, so it's safe to assume you don't have their undivided attention. Instead of one long block, break up your content into short paragraphs. Include subheadings and images to guide readers through your email and make it easier to scan, and add a teaser to the top of your newsletter to tell subscribers what's in store. If you're sending a long article, consider inserting a "read more" link so people can get to the rest when it's convenient for them. Your subject line should be to-the-point and easy to digest, too. You might even want to a/b test subject lines to see which ones perform best.

Wow such a detailed review! I have tried MailChimp before and I found it too expensive. After that i’ve signed up to Mailerlite and got hooked. It’s either free or cheapish depending on your subscribers’ lists. With other email software providers, you’d need to make an investment even if you’re running a small shop or a blog. And let’s be honest, not everyone of us can afford it :)
Smoking Chili Media’s Alistair Dodds explains that a compelling newsletter is a combination of content, as well as testing. Alistair explains their process as first they, “Draft ideas with the team based on best performing content on our blog from past weeks”.  Then they, “Draft ideas of best-curated content the team has read and which we feel will add the most value to our audience”.

As an email service that’s strongly geared to ecommerce, Omnisend has a lot of exceptional features, including automation workflows, the ability to automatically add your store’s products to your newsletters, and cool email add-ons like scratch cards and gift boxes. The bad news – none of these are available on the free plan. Regardless, the free plan is pretty hard to beat if you’re looking to send email in high volumes, with an allowance of 15,000 emails per month (2,000 per day). You also get A/B testing, website tracking, 24/7 support, deep reporting, and up to 3 forms/landing pages. Not bad at all.
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