The first thing to understand about new customers is that they’re in a precarious position. They trust you enough to buy something once, but they’ve probably had bad purchasing experiences before and, subconsciously, they’re afraid you might be another company that fails to deliver. If you do come up short, it’s unlikely they’ll buy from you again.
Be thoughtful about what you’re putting out. If you run an IT firm and you think your audience might enjoy funny cartoons every week, make sure the cartoons are both on brand for your company, and that the content relates to your industry and its challenges that you solve. Images and illustrations that are completely unrelated to what you do probably aren’t going to help you very much; they’ll just be a cheap trick.

Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
Cuuver’s James Nuttall agrees that the subject line should be enticing. Saying, “No matter how great your content is, there is no point in writing any of it if the people you send it to aren’t tempted to open the email in the first place; the best way to ensure they do this is to have a subject header which grabs their attention and makes them want to check out the contents”.
With more than 224 million users across the country, you may already know the answer. Yes—we’re talking about smartphone users. A whopping 47% of people open emails on their smartphone, according to the DMA. That’s beats 37% and 16% of people who open emails on desktop and tablet, respectively. The takeaway is mobile experience is absolutely critical to a successful email campaign.
What we liked: Marketing automation is a little more sophisticated than other tools’, with options to build and even test various campaign workflows (e.g. based on page visits, email engagement, product purchases). Reporting is also pretty good, although it’s a little annoying that the free plan doesn’t give you details of who opened and clicked. Their paid plans are pretty affordable, starting at only $25 for 40,000 emails.
Likewise, there are also companies who sell "Email Marketing" or supposed opt-in email for much less than we do. All these companies are doing is SPAMMING people with your offer. These are the companies you see online selling millions of emails for $xxx. This is far less than what we even pay websites for co-registration data. Using these types of companies to email for you  will inevitably cause you major problems with your web hosting company and in fact can get your website shut down.
eTargetMedia stands for excellence in email marketing and full-service direct marketing solutions, leveraging over 20 years of industry expertise to deliver strategic and impactful results to our clientele. We have an unmatched commitment to email strategy and execution that is unrivaled in the industry. We offer targeted multi-channel marketing solutions that integrate leading-edge technology with intelligent, insights-driven planning and marketing solutions that integrate digital, direct mail, mobile and social channels.

Email is one of the most cost-efficient ways to reach consumers with marketing messages. However, consistently sending one message to an entire database of contacts is a strategy that will eventually diminish brand reputation, deplete an email list of subscribers, and hinder conversions. When it comes to email marketing, a “batch and blast” is no longer enough to get the job done.

In terms of relationship building, email marketing done well can be extremely successful. Whether it’s a monthly newsletter that comprises targeted information to nurture leads or a blog post, emails can provide an online resource for recipients, positioning a small business as an expert in the field through the posting of regular, insightful and relevant emails.
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’re a small business owner who’re just getting started with email marketing, then Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for you. It comes packaged with all the features that you’ll need to grow your email list. Plus, you can make use of their 60-day free trial without any contract or commitment. That way, you can experiment and get to know their tools before you actually have to start paying.


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.
Newsletters are different to other types of marketing emails, such as autoresponders (e.g. welcome emails), transactional or triggered/automated emails. However, they can sometimes overlap. Each has an important part to play in any successful email marketing strategy, so newsletters should be used to complement these emails, rather than being an alternative to them.
If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial and it must comply with the requirements of CAN-SPAM. If it contains only transactional or relationship content, its primary purpose is transactional or relationship. In that case, it may not contain false or misleading routing information, but is otherwise exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.
A GetResponse Email Marketing Benchmarks report found that the biggest spike in average opens is at 1 AM – but fewer than 1% of all emails are sent then. The highest average click-through rates come through around 9 AM. But again, just 1% of campaigns are sent at that time. It’s likely because we open our emails when we start our day, and again after lunch, and those emails are then top of the inbox.
Make it easy to subscribe. Post a signup form on your homepage, blog, Facebook page, and wherever else your customers and fans are already active. You might want to collect names and birthdays (for a special offer or gift) or invite readers to join groups, but don't go crazy with the required fields. A too-long subscribe form might scare people off.
One former client of mine started using Hubspot for about $50/month, but after adding a few extra features and growing his list he was soon paying $2,000/month which had to be paid annually. For many small businesses, there’s a big difference between $50 leaving the bank account and $24,000 – especially when other tools can offer similar (or better products) at a fraction of this amount.
I’ve always been a mailchimp user myself, and I have to say I really like their UI but I’m always open to new options. I’ve dabbled in a couple of the other email marketing providers like Pure360 – but find them so clunky and annoying to use (despite them looking really pretty and having great templates) that I always end up going back to good old mailchimp. I haven’t used GetResponse yet, I’ll give their free trial a shot :)
If sending thousands upon thousands of emails has taught us anything, it’s that personalization is the sure way to find common ground with your target audience. This can be simply mentioning them by first name (we can help you with that) or incorporating other relatable content into your email. Other ways you can boost your email campaigns are automation, testing, and responsive design.

What It Is: Given the statistic above, referral marketing deserves a place in every business’s email marketing arsenal. This can be done as a simple plain text message asking clients to refer you to others in their network, or as part of an incentivized program like AirBNB’s (pictured above), which encourages recipients to share the email or offer with their friends and family.

I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.
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.
Uncommon Goods sent this email automation to share more information about the brand’s mission to make a positive impact on the world. They tell how they support ethical brands and artisans. It’s a great tactic for customer retention: One study from Cone Communications found that consumers are more loyal to companies that support social and environmental issues.
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.
While knowing what kind of an email to send is certainly important, it can be just as critical to know when to send an email. By using email marketing automation tools, in the form of advanced event triggers, you’ll be able to depend on the right emails being sent out to the right customers, at the right time. When a new customer subscribes to your newsletter, a client makes a purchase, a shopper abandons an online shopping cart mid-transaction, or any of a number of other events occur, your system will be capable of creating and delivering an appropriate email.

Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
Active Trail is an automated communications platform that focuses on SMS and email marketing campaigns. It has a user-friendly newsletter and email editor with a drag-and-drop interface as well as an advanced image editor. Additionally, Active Trail includes predictive delivery which helps users predict the optimal time to send emails to their recipients. It also includes ready-to-use sign up and lead forms, A/B testing and Personalisation tools.
Make it shareable. Send content that people want to share, and make it easy for them to do it. Sure, subscribers can forward your campaign to friends, but that's a lot to ask. Include a public link to the web version of your campaign so people can read it outside of their email programs, and consider adding Twitter and Facebook links to your newsletter, so readers can share your content where they're already active. When their friends start sharing and subscribing, you'll know it's working.
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.
What It Is: Sending high-value content helps your company in two ways: first, it reinforces your brand as an authority on your given subject matter. At the same time, you’re nurturing the leads on your list and keeping their relationship with you warm. That way, when you are ready to release a promotional message, your subscribers will be all ears.

AWeber is another popular email marketing tool with a number of great features. Using a drag and drop editor, users can easily create automated emails and make use of their high-quality autoresponder capabilities. Users can also create subscription forms and place them on the website, blog or Facebook page. Within this tool, you can pull up charts showing how many contacts opened emails or clicked on links within your message.
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.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.

You can shoot videos in BombBomb's app, upload pre-created videos, or pull in YouTube videos, then send them out as email newsletters with text and other details you want. Then, your contacts can reply with video messages of their own, recording a new video email online and sending it back to you through BombBomb. It sounds crazy, but might be the way to break up the monotony of text emails and get your contacts' attention.


Basic text-based email editors to fully designed HTML or JavaScript templates are just some of the features these packages can provide businesses. You can manage your contacts by simply keeping a list of names and email addresses or you can create a complex database full of subscribers segmented by demographic slices and engagement levels. Which method you choose really just depends on how much of your budget you're willing to allocate towards the email marketing software that can give your company the features it needs.
Tell subscribers what to expect. Whether you plan to send company updates, letters from the president, e-commerce sales, daily deals, or weekly tips, it's important to tell your readers what to expect and how often to expect it. Give them as much information as possible on your signup form, so they can decide whether they want to be on the list or not.

Our highly integrated approach to multichannel marketing provides added benefits for your company, as well. We can create a comprehensive marketing strategy that incorporates your branding efforts, print media, direct mail advertising, and online presence to create synergy and boost your visibility, online traffic, and sales. We deliver exceptional services that produce results.
One of the easiest ways to manipulate data is by throwing it into a spreadsheet. Almost anyone can then easily sort the data and quickly find similar segments. Vision6 lets you do this with your contacts, with a spreadsheet-like interface to filter your contacts. Instead of having to set filters and hope they pick the right people, you can see every field in your contact details, sort by the item you want, then select contacts and turn them into a new segment in seconds.
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.

Social media – the undisputed king in the marketing domain… And then there’s email. Think of it as a grandparent to social media marketing. Don’t be fooled, it’s still reliable if used the right way. Today’s marketers may not be as email savvy, nor do they consider it to be a “cool” way of contacting clients, however, it has stood the test of time and proven itself to be an effective method of communication.
The CAN-SPAM laws stipulate that you must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days, and that you cannot charge a fee to opt them out, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website to opt out.
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.
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one software solution which includes email marketing tools combined with CRM and Sales. This software offers an easy-to-use email template editor so you can get campaigns up and running in no time – this includes templates for mobile. It also allows user to segment their contact list based on a variety of different factors including actions, behaviour, location and more. What’s also great about ActiveCampaign is that it integrates nicely with WordPress.
A list is an easy way to offer something of value, sell a product or service, and not seem too obvious about it. A list gives a customer a subconscious message that your email is organized in a way that makes it an easy read. They'll be more compelled to open your email if they know ahead of time that they'll not be facing a wall of text. Add products or services to this list and you'll not only get them interested in opening your email, but you can showcase various products at the same time. Here are some good examples:
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