However, a good newsletter tool doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are several providers who offer plans that are completely free. Even if you need expert features, and have an ever-growing subscriber list, your marketing budget may be able to cover this quite easily. For instance, if you want your email newsletters to reach 5,000 people in a month, you’re looking at somewhere between $25 and $45. And if your emails go out at irregular intervals you can use a prepaid plan, meaning you only pay when you actually send out a newsletter.
With a clean and minimalist design, Benchmark is one of the most user-friendly newsletter tools we’ve tried. What’s more, their free Starter plan gives you access to all areas – marketing automation, forms, surveys and reporting included – with a few caveats (you won’t be able to activate automations or A/B tests, for example, and sign-up forms will only allow you to add 75 subscribers a day).
Edit. Even editors need editors. When you're working on your publishing calendar, leave plenty of time for the editing and revision process. Once you send a campaign, it goes straight to the inbox, and you can't go back and update it. Newsletters contain meaningful content, and sloppy ones reflect poorly on the companies who send them. Grammar and style are just as important for email as they are for websites and blogs.
Gathering customer feedback via email works well for a few reasons. Your subscribers have already given you permission to contact them, which means they’re naturally more engaged than the broad audience you’d reach by publishing your survey on your website – and they’re more likely to have a vested interest in whatever you do with this information.
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Full-featured email apps don't have to be complicated and confusing to use. VerticalResponse proves that with its clean, simple interface that makes it simple to make beautiful emails and send them to your contacts. You can use its pre-made templates, add your own photos complete with filters, and then turn the templates into both emails and matching signup forms.
For example, retail email senders are often heavily focused on products so their newsletters will typically include a lot of product-focused content. But the amount of “product” in your newsletter will vary depending on your industry. Health and wellness companies, on the other hand, can focus on the “benefits” or lifestyles of the recipients more and provide related content that keeps exercise (the product in this instance) top of mind for recipients.
There are at least a few benefits of email marketing that make it the perfect choice for your digital marketing. And GetResponse offers a suite of email marketing tools designed to deliver tailor-made offers to your contacts when they’re most active. You can build an effective email marketing strategy in a just few simple steps, without breaking the bank.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
It’s easy to think of email as little more than a means of communication, but for businesses, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow an audience. According to a report by consulting firm McKinsey, email is 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. And marketing research group eMarketer finds that email campaigns have a return on investment that’s more than four times the ROI of search, display, or social media.
Unlike an email newsletter, a direct sales email has one goal: to drive sales and revenue of your product or service for clicks to your website. How you do this may vary with the specific content or tactic of your direct sales email, but the beauty of a direct sales email is that its purpose is simple. That also means that tracking its success is simple, either it generated sales…or it didn't.
While you can use the old batch-and-blast method to send out a mass email to your subscriber list quickly, email automation can help make your newsletter relevant by targeting interested customers. Email automation tools allow you to pre-make emails and schedule them, or deliver emails to subscribers based on their behavior, which is definitely a more desirable—and more successful—option than batch-and-blast.
Another tool built by AppSumo, List Builder is an email marketing tool that helps you build up your mailing lists. It captures (engaged) visitors right before they are about to leave with pops that are triggered by clicks and timers. It is a very easy tool to use as it has a drag-and-drop functionality and features that can be customised to your brand.
Best are the extra apps and tools that come along with MailChimp. MailChimp's mobile apps let you send emails, and check your stats, and add new contacts to your lists on the go. You'll also come to love its smarts that'll automatically find the best time to send your emails based on its data from everyone else's campaigns or your subscribers' time zones, automations that let you send emails based on your audience segments, a customizable form and landing page builder to gather subscribers, and new Mandrill-powered drip tools to send transactional emails from the same app.
The first is a welcome email with 3 key tasks you can accomplish in the software. Three days later, there’s another email asking what you need to get done and encouraging you to start using the product. Two days later, there’s an email talking about the Asana dashboard. The series ends with an email two days later, which highlights the calendar view.

Drip offers a very small forever free plan, along with a two-week free trial for the Basic and Pro membership levels. If you choose to continue service after those two weeks, then your card will be charged. There is a 30-day refund window from when you start your service, but it’s up to the discretion of Drip whether you will receive a full refund.

Carl: Yeah, absolutely. And then on the drip side, often times, when you create a drip, you want to, before you even map what the drip is going to look like, have a goal in mind. So what is your goal? In the example we shared with MailChimp, their goal was to get new customers onboarded and to get them to know about the different features that they offer.
Have you ever heard of email campaign feedback? Email feedback plays an important role in customer-centricity. By collecting this feedback within your email campaigns, you provide a platform for two-way communication with your customers where they can share their thoughts and perceptions of your email(s) and the information you’ve provided. In other words, you as an email marketer gain insight into what your readers truly value.
If you look around, you will find that many companies are targeting their email marketing by focusing on the location. Because geographical data is real-time data that you can use to send customized emails and avoid making the mistake of sending the wrong information. After all, you don’t want to send a California-specific offer to your New York based customers.

This tool provides multiple templates for almost every purpose, including; newsletter, greetings, promotion templates, giveaways, etc. With the intuitive visual editor tool, you can add your own HTML and CSS to give more personalized look. With the built in spam filter, you can cross check your template and make sure it doesn’t contain any objectionable material.

Not only is InVision's newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly -- which is especially important, because its newsletters are so long. (Below is just an excerpt, but you can read through the full email here.) We like the clever copy on the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, too.
Carl: Right, and so they’re giving you this information one step at a time to make sure you as a customer have time to process it and digest it. That’s much more user-friendly than just sending you like, “Here’s our startup guide”, in this like 30-page PDF. Right? So that’s the goal behind this email series that they have. Sometimes you’ll have companies who’s goal is to sell.
We just started using MailChimp because it seems to be the only one that offers a free account for small or new users. The problem is that there are so many steps for a potential subscriber to go through with both double opt-in and recaptcha, that we are getting at best complaints to worst, plain nasty comments posted on our Facebook page. We don’t know how many would be subscribers we lost because of this.

This Belgian newsletter provider do have a free plan for up to 1,000 contacts, with a pretty good level of access to different features, but there’s a lot that needs to be improved. For one, both their templates and editor are extremely outdated (ever seen an email that looks like it’s been put together in Microsoft Word? Then you get the picture). The reporting on the free plan is also a little scant – you won’t get data on opens, clicks, or contact activity. And their navigation is a bit clunky. In general, YMLP feels like a bit of a dinosaur compared to the other more modern-looking and feature-rich tools. It’s not one of the free email marketing software we’d recommend.
At EmailToolTester, we are suckers for good design, and that’s why we love online art retailer Society6’s newsletter. Each one feels handcrafted, with eye-catching illustrations and designs. There’s also plenty of interesting content for their artistically-inclined audience. We don’t even mind receiving their regular promotional emails, as they’re always so beautifully presented!
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