The full-blown version of ActiveCampaign offers an all-in-one solution for a business to house it’s CRM, email marketing, deal flow, sales automation and more. With the offer of one-on-one training and onboarding, without the 4-figure fee that InfusionSoft requires, it’s a great alternative if you want to automate the way you keep in touch with your customers both new and old.
2. Use Equal Amounts of Text and Images: Though it is important to use images to show your product or engender emotion, always remember that many email clients do not display images. Always make sure that there is an amount of text equal to the amount of space taken up by images so that users can know what the offer or product feature is without having to load images into their email browser.
Send people content they want. Email newsletter services offer features like groups and segmentation to help you make your content relevant to the people reading it. If you're sending different emails for different groups (for example, a nonprofit might send separate emails to volunteers, donors, and the board of directors), then you can ask people to check a box to join a particular group on your signup form. Segmentation allows you to target certain subscribers on your list without assigning them to group. If your store is having a sale, then you could send a campaign only to people near a particular zip code, because subscribers who live in other parts of the world don't need to know about it. You can also segment by activity, email clients, e-commerce data, and more. Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and engaged readers look forward to your newsletter and share it with friends.
After building lists, designing emails, managing campaigns, and poring over results for nearly 40 hours, we found that nearly all email marketing services offer the same capabilities: tools to help you grow your contact list, execute marketing campaigns, and analyze the results of your efforts. The differences are in the details, so we evaluated how easy it is for us to perform the same tasks on each service.
Touchstone is a great tool to test your subject lines virtually in real time. It not only enables you to create a virtual simulation of your subscriber base and uses a proprietary algorithm to predict likely open, click and bounce rates for the subject line you want to use, but also allows comparing the analysis against 21 billion emails as well as trends in your industry or sector.
For instance, I like getting the New York Times cooking recipes. My partner Steve enjoys getting updates on the latest shows added to Netflix. I would never want an email from Netflix telling me anything, instant unsubscribe! Does this mean Netflix doesn’t benefit from its email marketing? Of course not. I am not someone who enjoys their emails so their email content isn’t really for me. It also doesn't affect my use or enjoyment of their service so let’s dispel the fear that if someone doesn’t enjoy your email content they will not use your service. So whether you prefer Seth Godin’s marketing emails or Marie Forleo’s weekly videos, the point is that marketing emails are all about what you have to offer that your ideal customers want and need. Not what everyone wants.
If you've already tried another email newsletter app and want something different, you'll want to be able to move your lists and not have to start over from scratch. Sendloop lets you do just that with its migration assistant to import contacts from a number of email services or even a zip file. It can also import HTML email template you're already using.
That's great for your own emails, but even more helpful if your job is sending emails for others. If you run a marketing or design agency, you can build Campaign Monitor templates, white-label the app, and let your clients send emails through your account with your custom designs. Combine that with its easy-to-use automation tools, and it's a great way to help all of your clients do better email marketing.
If you were to discover a marketing channel that would allow your business to earn back $38 for every $1 invested in it, what would you do? The reality is that you probably don’t have to imagine. Chances are that your business already uses it. Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,800%, firmly setting it apart as the single most sound marketing-investment channel available. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every business is using it as effectively as it could be. After all, if the average ROI for email campaigns is 3,800%, then that leaves a lot of room for businesses to outperform and underperform, which means that the competition, when it comes to email marketing, is decidedly fierce.
John, Thank you for this comprehensive review of some of the most popular and well-used services. Over the last decade I have tried many and appreciate your perspective on each. I currently use GetResponse (as I’d not been as active and appreciate the price-value relationship for 1,000+ contacts. I know they’ve grown considerably and now offer many of the features of which you speak of other services you prefer. I would appreciate your updated 2018 review. THANK YOU!
Why It’s Important: Gregory Ciotti, writing for HelpScout, states: “Successfully utilizing customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need. Feedback guides and informs your decision-making and influences your product roadmap. It’s also essential for measuring customer satisfaction among your current customers. Getting a handle on how customers view your product, support, and company is invaluable.”
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
A/B test your headlines – For emails going to larger audiences, don’t be afraid to test different types of subject line. If you are contacting several hundred prospects at once via autoresponder, try a handful of different headlines to see which perform best. Software that supports A/B testing in a single batch is even more effective because you can keep all variables static except for the subject line.

Why It’s Important: Gregory Ciotti, writing for HelpScout, states: “Successfully utilizing customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need. Feedback guides and informs your decision-making and influences your product roadmap. It’s also essential for measuring customer satisfaction among your current customers. Getting a handle on how customers view your product, support, and company is invaluable.”
That's great for your own emails, but even more helpful if your job is sending emails for others. If you run a marketing or design agency, you can build Campaign Monitor templates, white-label the app, and let your clients send emails through your account with your custom designs. Combine that with its easy-to-use automation tools, and it's a great way to help all of your clients do better email marketing.

It’s hard not to take the unsubscribes personally at first, especially for service-based business owners pouring their heart and soul into content. When you see people leave your list while you’re still trying to gain confidence and footing, it’s demoralizing. But it also doesn’t matter at all. In fact, it’s great. The people leaving aren’t right for you anyway, so they’re really doing you a favor.

ModCloth sends an email after users have had a live chat session on their site. They also humanize the brand with a photograph of the customer support rep, including information about her hobbies and where she’s from. The brand solicits feedback about users’ live chat experience, and they can then use that data to improve the support they provide and ultimately drive more sales.

Sometimes very little, sometimes a lot. Hubspot, for example, may charge 10-20X more than most email marketing tools but they offer a built-in landing page builder, social media marketing tool and much more. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers an enormous amount of value while remaining one of the most affordable email marketing tools on the market.
Why It’s Important: Gregory Ciotti, writing for HelpScout, states: “Successfully utilizing customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need. Feedback guides and informs your decision-making and influences your product roadmap. It’s also essential for measuring customer satisfaction among your current customers. Getting a handle on how customers view your product, support, and company is invaluable.”
You can use its built-in email designer to customize your email style and build templates for both your newsletters and your routine transactional emails. You can segment your lists, and run A/B tests with up to 10 versions to test anything about your marketing that you want. It's a handy way to handle all of your company's emails from one service, letting your developers send messages from your app the way that's easiest for them while also letting designers and writers update emails without having to dive into code.
A/B test your headlines – For emails going to larger audiences, don’t be afraid to test different types of subject line. If you are contacting several hundred prospects at once via autoresponder, try a handful of different headlines to see which perform best. Software that supports A/B testing in a single batch is even more effective because you can keep all variables static except for the subject line.
How you communicate with your customers speaks volumes about you. That’s why CreateSend helps you produce quality, professional emailers using a library of templates. Enjoy the results you want without the hard work: you can choose from more than 20 free templates OR if you prefer you can request our custom-design service for a totally individual approach.
Email marketing is a simple and proven strategy to promote your business. It attracts new customers and helps maintain close relationships with loyal customers. There's a long list of email marketing services available today and most operate at relatively low prices, with packages to fit every business size and need. It's just a matter of determining which features and tools you need and how much you're willing to spend.
Remember, most visitors won't read your entire email but will simply scan it, looking for clues to quickly answer their questions. For best results, use short blocks of text and bullets to make your message easier to scan. A call to action should be visible "above the fold" - that is, within the first screen full of information that the reader will see. Make sure that any links are clearly formatted as clickable links. If you're using images for links, make sure they look clickable as well (for example, a button that contains the words "more information" or "order now").
“You guys are great, I've been looking for a long time for something to boost my internet business, but I didn't have a lot of the internet skills! With your system it was easy, almost like a walk in the park, no click, respond, click, respond...of a normal setup! With your directions I could do it (and that's really saying something!) Your staff is always prompt and friendly when responding to questions and I appreciate that. When you run a home business, time is money. Most of all your price just can't be beat and I'm recommending you to all of my co-workers. Keep up the great work!!”
This is supported not only via the written content in your email and the fact you’ve sent it only to the relevant demographic, but also the fact that targeted emails include the most relevant links to your website. Sending an email to someone in the ‘research’ stage with tailored content is great, but if the links to your website included direct them to the ‘request a quote’ page, this could damage the relationship. However, include a link to your ‘guides’ section or a page of case studies will help them form an educated opinion.

If you don’t have implied permission to email a person, then you’ll need express permission to send them campaigns. Express permission is granted when somebody specifically gives you permission to send them email campaigns, likely by entering their email address in a subscribe form on your website, or entering their details into your in-store newsletter subscribe form.

Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!


Everything's simpler in Mad Mimi. The email editor helps you search for stock photos, the audience tab shows all your contact details in a tabbed table similar to a spreadsheet, and its social tool lets you add your social profiles to every email automatically. And if that's not enough, click the Add Things button to add a form builder, RSS-to-email tool, drip campaigns, personalization tools, and more. That lets you make Mad Mimi an email newsletter with just the features you want.
Even if you’ve already got a long list of emails for clients and prospects, you should never stop adding to it. Especially since it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. For example, make sure your list is always growing passively with a signup feature on your website. Subscription forms should be on your home page, blog page and everywhere else you can fit it without taking away from more important content.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.

Asking a question is a subject line technique that works well because it gives the customer something to think about. Your question should be something on almost every customer's mind. And by opening your email, they're answering that question through their interest. You can even answer the question in your subject line. Here are a few examples of question-type subject lines:


Why It’s Important: Gregory Ciotti, writing for HelpScout, states: “Successfully utilizing customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need. Feedback guides and informs your decision-making and influences your product roadmap. It’s also essential for measuring customer satisfaction among your current customers. Getting a handle on how customers view your product, support, and company is invaluable.”
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