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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 predesigned 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.
Like social media, email marketing is a fundamental tool in almost any digital marketing campaign. Email marketing doesn't cost much to get started, and you'll find lots of choices to configure a solution for your company's needs. In addition, you'll achieve impressive engagement numbers when you use an email marketing service properly. Therefore, email remains a marketing favorite.
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We narrowed down our list by eliminating vendors that don't specialize in email marketing campaigns or that don't work with small businesses. Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services. We considered pricing when available. After narrowing the list down to seven, we contacted each company's customer service department and posed as small business owners.
Customer service: The best email marketing services provide support through phone, email and live chat. Our best picks also have vast knowledgebases and videos to help you understand every tool and feature. While customer service isn't an email marketing tool, elite customer service and tutorial videos help your business get up to speed with the service more quickly than other options.
“Email is still the most powerful way to communicate online,” says Jeff Goins in “Start Building Your Email List Now”. There are no Facebook algorithms to trick, sponsored Tweets to beat, or Pinterest-worthy graphics to create. You don’t have to rely on your reader’s ability to figure out something as technical as an RSS feed reader. Email is personal and direct:
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Just because your drip campaign is automated doesn't mean you can let it run unsupervised. You spent a bunch of time researching user segments, and it's important to readjust those segments and your strategy based on the results. If you aren't getting as many clickthroughs as you want, try rewriting your calls to action; if you aren't meeting your conversion rate goals with your sale-closing email, try more educational communications before asking any user to pull the trigger. Evaluate, adjust, repeat.
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And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $3 per month to send out 500 emails per month in Zoho Campaigns to as much as $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts in Pardot. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few also offer money-back guarantees.
The same goes for an entertainment app like Spotify—its team knows what music you listen to, and they can create targeted drip campaigns that email you whenever a frequented artist releases a new single, or when a new band in your favorite genre signs on with Spotify. Airbnb goes even further. Vero dissected Airbnb's automated emails that go out based on your browsing habits, and found that when Airbnb knows more about where you want to travel, its emails get more personal, and in turn more useful.
Can I buy an email list?
Additionally, we anticipate email marketing will become more personal as companies get more adept at obtaining and using personal data. Marketers will be able to pinpoint their customers' locations from wearable and mobile devices more accurately. They will then use that data to send targeted emails and personalized automated emails based on behavior, location and other personal information, and automatically reformat emails depending on what kind of device the recipient is reading the email on, like a smartwatch or tablet.
How do you get someone to sign up for a mailing list?
In addition to A/B testing, many email marketing packages now offer multivariate testing, which involves using multiple variations of a campaign to test which one performed best. Services that offer this feature include Campaigner and Mailchimp. Another thing to consider when looking for an email marketing platform is how the email campaigns can boost search engine optimization (SEO) for your organization. The right keywords can lead your subscribers from their email platform onto your website. Whether you're looking or a simple email marketing solution or one with full automation, there are several on the market to meet your needs.
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You can create a list of the emails in a spreadsheet with each email in a different cell of the spreadsheet. When you want to email them, just open the spreadsheet and copy the entire row of email addresses. Then, go to your Gmail and paste them into the "To" field. This will put all the email addresses into your outgoing email without creating them as contacts.
What are the rules of writing an email?
Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.
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Once we sent the email campaigns through the programs, we compared them to the original email we sent to make sure they appeared as we intended. We also rated services based on where they ended up. Some emails landed in the spam folder or the Promotions tab in Gmail, which we counted against the software. It's critical that businesses have their email campaigns end up in a person's inbox, so we felt that was a necessary test in the evaluation process.
Leads—a term you may remember from our Introduction to CRM Apps—are prospective customers, people who you think just might buy your product in the near future. They just might need a bit of hand-holding, or nurturing—sticking with them until they’re ready to purchase your product. Lead Nurturing can take many forms, like educating users on your service, helping them use certain features, or offering them free trials.