Measure, tweak, and repeat: Use A/B testing to acquire data on how well your targeted email marketing campaigns work. How many people open your emails, click on links, what content engages them, etc. You can then use that knowledge to improve future campaigns. Tip – make small iterative changes to A/B test and apply successful results to other segments.
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.
We added individual contacts, copy and pasted groups, and imported files to find out how simple it is to build your email lists. If you’re just getting started with email marketing, this may not seem important, but if you’re migrating large numbers of subscribers from one email service to another, the ease with which you can import contacts will save you significant amounts of time and energy.
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.
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.
Instead of creating a new email from scratch every time, use a pre-defined newsletter template to save time and help maintain a consistent brand image. When someone selects a template to use as the basis of their email design, they are free to make changes and edit as they see fit—however, those changes will only take place in that email, they do not affect the original template.
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”.
There’s no denying that email is a huge part of our lives. We receive lots of emails every day – whether its for work, from friends or even from that webshop you purchased from three months back. It is and remains a great way of getting a message across to your target audience without being too invasive. Because email marketing is so effective, it’s role has only become stronger in recent years, even with the rise in popularity of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a result, there are several great email marketing tools available to choose from, many of which cater to the creation, design, distribution and analysis of emails used in email marketing campaigns.
If subscribers haven’t responded to our first email sequence, introduce a meaningful discount paired with a compelling message to make a return visit. How big of an offer can you make that won’t tank sales? It could be a discount, free gift with purchase or even product bundle. Keep your margins in mind, but if there’s a time to offer a steeper discount than usual, that time is now.
ConvertKit is a very easy-to-use email marketing tool, “built by creators, for creators”. This somewhat newer tool helps marketers, bloggers, writers take their email lists and grow their business through forms, trackable data and automations. It also has very digestible reporting for subscriber acquisition, an extensive knowledge base and email support.
We strongly suggest that you get permission from all of your subscribers before sending emails, especially with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation in effect. And most email service providers, like VerticalResponse, require you have permission before sending any email through their service. The only time you don’t have to warn readers about ads? If everyone on your list has agreed to receive your emails.
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.
As you consider building your own email list and sending periodic emails to engage potential clients, think about this: How do you feel about the emails you get that you do enjoy? Can you be that for someone else? Of course, you can! I stay subscribed to a handful of email lists that give me consistent value—personally and in business. Many are from people who inspire me from what they do. These are people I like being reminded of and thinking about once in a while for inspiration and motivation.
Email design matters in any successful email marketing campaign. If your emails look terrible, that reflects badly on you, and can make people stop reading. With more people than ever reading emails on mobile devices, it’s important to use a responsive email template so your email resizes automatically whether people are reading it on a phone, tablet, or desktop.
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:
It’s easy to assume that marketing success depends on the number of people you’re reaching, but an effective email marketing campaign also depends on the recipients themselves. That means you should regularly evaluate the quality of the subscribers on your lists to make sure they’re still worth engaging. After all, sending repeated messages to someone who isn’t opening your emails will quickly turn you into more of a nuisance than an asset.
In 1991, the introduction of the Internet completely revolutionised how everyone would live, work and play. For marketers across the world it opened the door to a new way of mass communication. When Hotmail (then known as HoTMaiL) launched as the first free web based email service it gave marketers a whole new way to reach customers. Previously email was only available to students or employees. The introduction of personal email addresses (that were free and available to all) transformed direct marketing.
Litmus is an email marketing tool that is primarily focused on testing and tracking your emails. This software offers a web-based drag-and-drop editor so marketers can easily build their own emails. They also have a large selection of customisable templates to choose from. Once emails have been built, previewed (in mobile/desktop) and sent out to your contact list(s), you can make use of their detailed engagement summary reports (including open rate, deletions, how long email was open, geolocation and more).
Another newsletter provider traditionally known for sending transactional emails, MailJet has evolved into a more complete email service, although their features are still relatively basic (statistics, for instance, are still in beta). Their free plan is generous in terms of capacity (unlimited contacts and up to 6,000 emails a month, with a 200-email daily limit). It’s a little less generous in terms of access, however – premium features like automations, segmentation and A/B testing are only available to try out for free for 30 days.
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”.
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:
Similar to MailerLite, you have restricted features available on the free account (e.g. advanced segmentation and delivery by time-zone). But you still have a more generous subscriber amount, and it’s just as user-friendly. And most importantly, you can't use their email or chat support. There's also a small ad banner in each email you send. (Review)
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.
9: Integrations – If you want to save yourself hours of mundane repetitive tasks, it’s important that you can automatically connect your email marketing software to the other tools used in your business – from your accounting software to your CRM (if separate). In this section, we compare which email marketing tools have the best blend of quality and quantity of integrations.
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Whatever form your newsletter takes, know it’s just one of many touchpoints. But it’s the most direct way to speak to the people who may be your clients someday consistently with no marginal cost. Focus on delivering value to them—even if there’s only 10 of them at first. For most service businesses just two or three new clients for the year is such a big payoff that nurturing a small list of interested subscribers thoughtfully is completely worth it. However, if you sell low cost products then quantity is important and building a huge list would be your goal.
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.