Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests to personalize your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click through rate on emails by up to 50%.
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation and the number 698 fastest growing company in the USA in the 2017 Inc. 5000. As a digital marketing expert and in-demand public speaker, Lincoln is consistently named one of the top influencers in the industry. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Search Engine Land "Search Marketer of the Year" award. Ignite Visibility crafts custom digital marketing strategies for clients, including services in SEO, social media, paid media, email marketing, Amazon and more.

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).
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.
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”.
Forever Free is lacking when it comes to customer service. MailChimp provides customers with extremely comprehensive articles, videos, and other resources to make all the details of your email marketing easy. But for customers on the Forever Free plan, that’s where the buck stops. There’s no phone number to call if you’re experiencing difficulties with your service, and email support is only available for the first 30 days of your subscription. After that, you’re on your own.

The subject line is the first impression and will ultimately determine whether your emails are opened or not. Brainstorm several subject lines for every email you send and test two to three subject lines for every email. Over time, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t, and you can apply those learnings to increase the effectiveness of your email automation campaigns. Here are some best practices:
A. It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. Here’s how to make that determination: If a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message contains an advertisement or promotion for a commercial product or service or if the message’s transactional or relationship content does not appear mainly at the beginning of the message, the primary purpose of the message is commercial. So, when a message contains both kinds of content – commercial and transactional or relationship – if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it’s a commercial message, it’s a commercial message for CAN-SPAM purposes. Similarly, if the bulk of the transactional or relationship part of the message doesn’t appear at the beginning, it’s a commercial message under the CAN-SPAM Act.

What makes each of these newsletters work? It’s simple – each has been created with their specific audience in mind. Are your readers likely to be on-the-go? Make your email mobile-responsive, and your text short and succinct. Are they more creative, visual people? Focus on design and images. And if you have multiple audiences, tailored newsletters is the way to go.
Your AWeber account can also integrate with the most well-known shopping cart tools, letting you add new customers each time they make a purchase on your website. If you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, you can visit AWeber Labs to build your own apps and time-saving tools through the AWeber API. With this kind of flexibility at your fingertips, you can really take advantage of customer data in order to better optimize marketing strategies.
Create a time-sensitive promotion that relates to customers’ interests. Offer a discount on the same category of items that they bought in the week before. Living Social frequently uses expiring deals in their email automations, emphasizing how little time is left to snag the savings. They could take it a step further by offering personalized recommendations based on users’ browsing behavior.
Professional, cloud-based email marketing platforms like GetResponse offer plans based on the size of your email marketing list (number of contacts.) Basic plans start as low as $15 monthly, and provide features like email marketing, autoresponders, marketing automation, and landing pages – everything you need to start growing your business. But before committing, you can always try a free plan, and make sure it’s a good fit.
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!?
Mailgun is a transactional email API integration—a cloud-based service to send, receive, and track emails. It has excellent features for intelligent inbound routing, storage, and email validation. It simplifies the process of sending transactional or bulk emails. It has searchable logs. You can scale quickly. You can A/B test data. You can use tracking and analytics feature to manage emails.

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. 

Keep an eye on your stats. Most email newsletter services offer free reports that contain helpful information. Learn how to read and understand your reports, so you can use the stats to improve your campaigns going forward. Pay attention to your open and click rates, and identify any patterns that make those numbers go up or down. If a campaign receives a high number of unsubscribes, then try something different the next time.
Most email blast services restrict either subscriber or email numbers, and sometimes both, so pay attention to these amounts when deciding. All of the providers seem to restrict access to some features, so be aware of what is and isn’t included on their free plans. Also, most newsletter tools also put their own branding within your newsletters (usually a small badge in the footer).
By the late noughties ISPs had introduced a range of methods to protect customers from “unwanted” email. Windows Live Sender Reputation Data (2008) allows recipients to vote for whether an email is spam or not; Hotmail Sweep and Google’s Priority Inbox (both 2010), were created to help recipients de-clutter their inboxes. Introductions such as these have caused email marketers to be more strategic if they want to get their messages noticed. Around the same time reports released by several marketing organisations helped force marketers to focus on their strategies if they wanted to be successful.
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.
However, as email marketing developed as an effective means of direct communication, in the 1990s, users increasingly began referring to it as "spam", and began blocking out content from emails with filters and blocking programs. In order to effectively communicate a message through email, marketers had to develop a way of pushing content through to the end user, without being cut out by automatic filters and spam removing software.
Do you have an email marketing crush? We do. And it is Aesop! Their newsletters have everything you need – beautiful, simple illustrations, unique colors, and interesting content. In their emails, you can discover what to listen to, what to see, where to go. It has a very brief description, but if you want to continue reading, there is always a button for it.
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.
Why It’s Important: Magdalena Georgieva, writing for Hubspot, shares the following incredible statistics: “We took a look at 21 of our existing thank-you emails and found that, on average, they generated a 42% open rate and a 14% CTR. For comparison, we then looked at the generic marketing emails we’ve sent to one group of our buyer personas. The sample used here was larger – 131 emails – which, on average, generated a 12% open rate and a 6% CTR.”
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.
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.
It’s also important to look at what content has already done well for you. As this content will make a great addition to your newsletter. Amber Ooley from Thrive Internet Marketing Agency says, “I pull the top-performing blog posts and other content from the last week based on Google Analytics, website engagement, and social media shares. Then, I’ll craft it all into a consistent email template”.
According to Amanda Zantal-Wiener, writing for Hubspot, “In the email, The Bowery Presents pulled shows from New York venues – where I purchased tickets for many events when I lived there – for artists similar to the ones I saw live. And when I finally purchased tickets to see one of these artists in Boston? It re-personalized my emails to let me know about shows there.”
Along with bullet points, it’s necessary to create ‘a-ha’ moments. Jx Tan from Momentum Digital explains, “The aim of our newsletter is to engage and educate. Therefore, my team strives to provide a (1) visually engaging end-product and (2) provide “A-Ha” moments for subscribers who read our newsletter. We define “A-Ha” moments as combining data and insight to deliver actionable business value to our subscribers”.
Around this time, social media also had an impact on email marketing. Facebook launched publically (to anyone over 13 years of age) in 2006. By late 2007 the site had over 100,000 business pages, allowing companies to attract potential customers. Consumers could now interact with a brand through multiple channels; online, instore, Twitter, Facebook, email.
Relationship: Create relationships with your customers by speaking directly to them in targeted email marketing campaigns. Show them that as a brand, you value them, and recognize them as more than just a data point. To you, they are an individual with specific wants and needs. As a brand, you recognize that and want to tailor your offerings to them. By proving this to your consumers, you’ll improve your relationship with them.
Bulk email spam: Spam is any email sent for commercial purposes without permission from the receiver. This means that if you're sending emails to your friends, family and colleagues, it does not qualify as spam. However, if you're sending a batch of emails to people who never asked to receive them from you, promoting your latest line of shaving products, you're most definitely sending spam.

Vertical Response hosts your email newsletters on the Web forever, so you can share them via a unique URL.  Upload your contact list by dragging the CSV file onto the screen. They also offer Salesforce integration, direct mail postcards, and online surveys. The free plan is for up to 1,000 subscribers. The paid program begins at $26.40 per month for up to 2,500 subscribers.


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.


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.
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.
Let me start by saying we do not partake in e-mail farming (using automated programs to scour the internet and grab any e-mail addresses they find). Instead, we gather e-mail addresses legitimately, in a manner similar to how one may acquire direct mail addresses – when a person volunteers their contact info. For e-mail, this can happen then a user signs up for a website (think Expedia or Buy.com). The form they fill out often includes a check box allowing users to opt out of receiving e-mails from the site's partners. These websites sell newly acquired names on a weekly basis to reputable e-mail marketing companies.
What they should improve: It's probably more of a feature than a bug but definitely one of the things I don't find ideal – you're completely dependent on Amazon SES. Because of that, the setup process takes a lot longer than for other newsletter tools. You have to register for two different services and Amazon requests a lot of information from you.
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.
Thanks for the article, it was also interesting and inspiring to see your other ventures in diverse fields. Would like to connect 1:1 in the near future. Meanwhile, even I had done a similar comparison as I myself handle email marketing for my organization. Do check it out as well as for the readers of the blog since it covers 2 additional players.
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
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.
We were impressed by GetResponse’s customer service. After finding an error in our account registration, we called the support line and were helped immediately by a representative who was extremely polite, understanding, and who never tried to upsell us. Maybe it was just compared to MailChimp’s lack of service options (email support is only available for the first 30 days of the Forever Free plan), but we found ourselves particularly grateful to have our concerns addressed promptly and personally.
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.
In 1978, Thuerk sent an email promoting DEC machines to 400 users via Arpanet. What would have then been a complete novelty for recipients (receiving a sales/marketing message direct to their computer’s inbox) resulted in $13 million worth of sales for DEC machines (and a few complaints!). From the start, email launched itself as an effective channel for direct marketing.
Bulleted lists make it really easy to see the value in something. “Pull basic business data and put it in with some bullet points, highlight upcoming product changes as well as the outcome of previous changes, highlight one feel-good story from customers/service providers, and include some directional tips on improving customer satisfaction”, says Alan LaFrance from Lawnstarter.
The subject line is the first impression and will ultimately determine whether your emails are opened or not. Brainstorm several subject lines for every email you send and test two to three subject lines for every email. Over time, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t, and you can apply those learnings to increase the effectiveness of your email automation campaigns. Here are some best practices:
Many email newsletter software vendors offer transactional email support, which gives companies the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. There are also software vendors that offer specialized transactional email marketing services, which include providing targeted and personalized transactional email messages and running specific marketing campaigns (such as customer referral programs).[citation needed]
Bulk email spam: Spam is any email sent for commercial purposes without permission from the receiver. This means that if you're sending emails to your friends, family and colleagues, it does not qualify as spam. However, if you're sending a batch of emails to people who never asked to receive them from you, promoting your latest line of shaving products, you're most definitely sending spam.
Whilst a bulk email marketing approach can have a positive effect upon click-through rates or overall traffic levels, what is this worth if the traffic is not of the right quality? There is no point spending money on generating traffic that isn’t going to convert into a sale, or whatever your end goal is. Targeted email marketing can deliver the relevant, high-quality traffic you need to improve chances of conversion.
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