Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to enhance your small business’s growth. However, if you don’t do what it takes to send highly personalized emails to your list, you’ll find it difficult to see real profits. After all, how much can email marketing really do for you if you’re sending out the same email to all your list? All of your customers are not the same so why should they all receive the same email?

No matter what your opinion of mass emails is, I guarantee there are at least a few you actually enjoy receiving and do get real value from. The only emails that are annoying are ones that don’t pertain to you or your situation and needs. And as someone who sends them myself, I can assure you that we absolutely want you to unsubscribe if that’s the case. Nobody wants to annoy you with their business emails!


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.


A. If an email advertises or promotes the goods, services, or websites of more than one marketer, there’s a straightforward method for determining who’s responsible for the duties the CAN-SPAM Act imposes on “senders” of commercial email. Marketers whose goods, services, or websites are advertised or promoted in a message can designate one of the marketers as the “sender” for purposes of CAN-SPAM compliance as long as the designated sender:
Personalized, tailored content – if your email tool allows this, you can send content based on the reader’s interests and preferences (think of Amazon’s ‘Products we recommend’ newsletters, based on readers’ purchases). It’s a strategy that actually works – research has found that personalization improves click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%.
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.
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:
Presentation is everything, or so they say. With this old adage in mind, we’ve compiled our best tips for anyone who wants to send emails that subscribers click into a handy email design guide. We cover each facet of design: content, templates, identity, color, images, layout, fonts, and calls to action. Design is as much science as it is art, and we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.
One of the advantages of email marketing is that it can be used to connect with a varied selection of individuals and audiences. On the other hand, because it is so versatile, there really isn’t any single set of best practices that always result in effective campaigns. Therefore, the ability to test email campaigns with built-in testing tools can help you determine what is effective, and what belongs in the spam folder.
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).

Every subscriber on your list is different, with different needs. So the last thing you want to do is take the one size fits all approach. Think about it, will it be appropriate to send a promotional email to men, when it actually appeals to women? Of course not. There’s little to no chance that every subscriber will be interested in the different types of products you sell.
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.
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.
Check out this simple example from YouCanBook.Me, an online scheduling and booking tool. The email educates users about the product itself, specifically, its new features. Those who actively use it benefit from the information, while those who don’t use the tool see how the team is continually making improvements to and developing the product, which may pique their interest.
Drip is the perfect solution for you if you’re an eCommerce merchant who wants to convert your visitors into subscribers and customers with intelligent marketing automation. Drip is more than just a typical email marketing service. It lets you have deeper conversations with your customers and send emails at the right time by understanding their purchase intent and behavior.
CakeMail is an email marketing tool intended for small businesses that makes sending out emails very easy. All users to have to do is title their new campaign, set up list of recipients, give their email a design and select a time to send it out. There is also an advanced editing section which is great for users who are more experienced with HTML. CakeMail can be integrated with Google Analytics so users have access to detailed reports on insights such as open rates, unsubscribe rates, click and bounce.
For a self-hosted app to send beautiful email newsletters, look no further than Sendy. It's a PHP and MySQL based app that runs on your own servers, and it shouldn't be any more difficult to setup than a new WordPress install. Once it's up and running, you can create rich email newsletters with your own templates, use autoresponders to automatically send emails, and track stats on your email marketing.

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).


Mailchimp is a very well-known email marketing tool that integrates with popular apps and services like Salesforce, Eventbrite, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and SurveyMonkey. This inbound marketing tool allows you to easily sync your data from those services, import content from other sources, and learn how your campaigns are affecting your business. Along with reports to show you how well you’re connecting with your audience and how much money you’re bringing in, Mailchimp gives you tips for improvement. Mailchimp Mobile Dashboard enables you to check in from anywhere.


The ability to track onsite events makes ActiveCampaign unique from other services. For example, you can track custom event calls from within mobile apps, billing apps and more. All your customer data will be organized in a sales CRM that gives you a complete picture of your customers. You can use this data to create highly effective marketing campaigns and followups.

Your campaign can be completed once you select your recipients and other campaign-specific details. In the Content section, you’ll find an incredibly useful WYSIWYG editor used for HTML content. Add images, drag and drop items, format text and copy/paste any text you want in your email. Want this layout and format to be used by default for every campaign? Save to Library and you’re covered.
This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Drip is the perfect solution for you if you’re an eCommerce merchant who wants to convert your visitors into subscribers and customers with intelligent marketing automation. Drip is more than just a typical email marketing service. It lets you have deeper conversations with your customers and send emails at the right time by understanding their purchase intent and behavior.
We dug into dozens of the most popular email newsletter apps, picked out their best features, listed their base monthly pricing, and put it all together in this roundup. We ensured every app in this list can organize your contacts into lists, add new contacts easily via a signup form or integrations with other apps, send beautifully formatted messages in a half-dozen clicks, and analyze how your email performed. And, they almost all integrate with app automation platform Zapier to add new subscribers from your store, contact forms, and address book automatically.
Let’s face it, your audience wants to see quality content that gives them the needed knowledge and help. Putting in a little effort to send messages that resonate with your target audience will increase your chances of being profitable. Relevant content also helps your email recipients remember your content, and makes them spread the word about it. In the process, making your brand more recognizable and easy to connect with.
Transactional or relationship content – These are usually receipts of payment, shipping notifications and so on and facilitate or provide updates about an already agreed-upon transaction. These are exempt from most of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act, although they cannot contain any misleading or inaccurate routing information (i.e. the “To” and “From” fields, plus the email address and domain name must clearly show who the email is from.)
Where they should improve: While their templates are mobile-responsive, they could do with a wider variety (although you can always find and use your own templates). And they’re missing features such as A/B testing, which come as standard in most other tools. In our tests, they also had one of the lowest rates of deliverability out of all the providers.
Given the robust features at the planning and execution phases of email campaigns, we had high hopes for MailChimp’s analysis and reporting — and we weren’t disappointed. Reports include all the standard performance indicators, but it also includes analysis pulled from the millions of emails sent through MailChimp. This enables you to see how your campaign stacks up against the industry average, a level of detail that’s rare among free services. Add to that an integration with Google Analytics and an interactive map that shows where in the world your emails are being opened, and you’ve got a service that seems impossibly comprehensive for a free plan.
MailChimp may be the first email newsletter app you think of it you spend any time listening to podcasts—or have ever seen any of its monkey-themed shirts and hats. But beyond the swag, MailChimp is an app that's serious about helping you send better emails. You'll find everything here from a drag-and-drop email editor to rich subscriber profiles that track your contacts' interactions with your emails.

The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.[4]


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.

A premium feature that you won’t find with any of these providers is marketing automation, so it’s worth taking that into account. It’s often also not possible to access advanced reporting with most of these free accounts either. So if you need this kind of sophistication you may need to open up your wallet. You can get an idea of prices, and compare them between providers, with our newsletter cost calculator.
Targeting doesn’t just apply to location or age. One of its key benefits is your ability to target those at different stages of the buying cycle with the content that is most relevant to them. At its core, the buying cycle has three phases – interest, research and purchase. Say you sent an email to someone at the ‘interest’ stage that invited them to visit your website for a quote. This could look like a hard sales tactic and really put them off your brand.
Along with presenting your customer with relevant and useful content, use your email newsletter as a chance to bring one of your products or services into the limelight while listing its benefits and driving consumers to a point of sale—whether it be on your site or at a brick-and-mortar (and in some cases, both). Essentially, you have a captive audience here—carpe diem!

That's the great thing about the wide variety of email newsletter apps available. Whether you want to send a curated set of articles weekly to build a following around a topic, or need to send thousands of personalized messages for your multinational corporation daily, there are email apps to fit your needs. You can start simple—even with a free email newsletter app—then grow into the advanced email marketing features the top newsletter apps offer.


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.
This is very typical to newsletters. So whenever you check your inbox and you look at the emails you received from different companies, most of the times, those are the emails you’re looking at. They’re just newsletter emails that either went to the entire list or the majority of the list. This is content that is relevant either today, or for the season, or for this week and that also includes special promotions as we saw here earlier, new announcements, things that just got out the door.
A premium feature that you won’t find with any of these providers is marketing automation, so it’s worth taking that into account. It’s often also not possible to access advanced reporting with most of these free accounts either. So if you need this kind of sophistication you may need to open up your wallet. You can get an idea of prices, and compare them between providers, with our newsletter cost calculator.

Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as we felt many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
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 :)
When you create a Mailchimp account, we automatically set you up with a no-cost Forever Free plan. This option allows you to experiment with our tools and figure out how to best use our platform. So if you’re just getting off the ground, this is one less cost you have to consider. You can remain on the Forever Free plan as long as you have 2,000 or fewer subscribers across all lists in your account.
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.

Alot of email marketing companies will charge several hundred dollars or even thousands of dollars more than we do to send out your emails. This is because many of these companies are simply purchasing the list from the source companies like ours to send out your emails. They will purchase from us then add their markup and end up selling our email marketing service to their end users. As such, it is very hard for businesses to make money by email marketing with prices so high. Cut out the middleman and use our email marketing service direct from the source.


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.
Every subscriber on your list is different, with different needs. So the last thing you want to do is take the one size fits all approach. Think about it, will it be appropriate to send a promotional email to men, when it actually appeals to women? Of course not. There’s little to no chance that every subscriber will be interested in the different types of products you sell.
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