We’ve all heard cynics proclaim that Email Marketing is a thing of the past, but is it really dead? Not even close. Email marketing carried out properly is one of the most powerful tools that marketers have at their disposal.
Did you know?
Email marketing is here to stay. The sooner you adapt to it, the better it will be for your business. In this article, you’ll find all of the email tools that you’ll ever need to run a successful email marketing campaign. So let’s get started:
To start out, you're gonna need a mass email marketing tool to reach the customers in your list. You can find tons of them on the Internet, but it can be overwhelming to filter through them all to find a good one. We’ve simplified your options finding this collection of the 11 best email marketing tools for businesses. My top three favorites in this list are:
MailChimp is my personal favorite email marketing tool; it gives you all the features that you need to run an effective email marketing campaign. The best thing about MailChimp is that with one click you can send out your email campaigns and update your Facebook and Twitter accounts simultaneously.
The emails designed on MailChimp can be tested by their Delivery Doctor to ensure that all elements of email design are error-free so it arrives into your subscribers' inboxes.
It has excellent design templates, kickass reporting features, and loads of flexibility. The takeaway is that MailChimp is awesome for both beginner and expert email marketers.
If you like funky campaigns, then you should definitely check out Mad Mimi ... they have lots of awesome designs that you can choose from. As fashion keeps changing, so does Mad Mimi; they’re constantly adding new features into their service.
Mad Mimi works with Google Analytics so they provide you pretty in-depth and detailed statistics and link tracking. You can find out how many emails were opened at what time by whom. Mad Mimi also allows you to incorporate as many as 39 social sharing buttons into your emails. It also allows 21 add-ons, such as Facebook Campaigns, Drip campaigns, and web forms, etc.
The interface of Mad Mimi may be a bit complicated for a beginner, but they’ve got lots of great tutorials and videos that help simplify the whole process. Overall it’s quite a powerful tool, and with a little bit of help almost everyone can use it.
AWeber is a great choice for people who’re new to email marketing. It has a user-friendly interface, lots of neat design templates, and great reporting features. Its autoresponder service is one of the best ones in the industry, and it even allows you to use your RSS feed to automate the sending of newsletters.
AutoResponders automatically send emails to your customers when certain events occur. For example, you may set up a Welcome Email for every new user that signs up to your site. You may also set up an Autoresponder series of emails on a particular topic such as ‘SEO Tutorial’. To keep your audience engaged, you can even set up autoresponder messages to wish your subscribers a happy birthday!
Email marketing campaigns can be greatly simplified by using an autoResponder service. All you need to do is set up your campaign, and then let your autoresponder service take care of the rest. The autoresponders even have built-in reporting tools that can help you analyze how well your campaign is doing. I loved Reviews.com list of the 4 best autoresponder tools.
We’ve already talked about how great Aweber is. That’s definitely first on my Autoresponder list. Here’s two more tools with superb autoresponders:
iContact has a really powerful autoresponder service. The thing I love about iContact is that it allows you to add a personal touch in your emails by customizing your subject lines and email body to include your subscriber’s name. This really helps in boosting the open-rates, as people love to be addressed by name in their emails.
If you have a premium account on iContact, you can also do split-testing - this allows you to send a subset of your list two versions of the same email and then compare which performed better. Then you send the rest of your list whichever version performed the best. It's a great way to optimize your open and click-through rates.
To sum it up, you can't go wrong with iContact. It has efficient functionality and amazing reporting features; definitely one of the best autoresponders around.
I love the GetResponse autoresponder service mainly because there is no limit to how many emails you can send in a day. It allows you to set up time-based and action-based campaigns based on any criteria that seems suitable to you. And with all that taken care of, you can focus on other important aspects of your business. GetResponse has an extremely flexible and user-friendly interface. Like iContact, GetResponse also offers split-testing to its premium users.
Mobile and tablet users can no longer be ignored by email marketers, because the number of smartphone users is increasing every day, and more people now check their emails on their phones as compared to desktop computers (Adestra). If you ignore the mobile segment, you’re potentially losing many customers.
At present, more than 74% of smartphone users check their mail on their phones (Gartner). This number is expected to increase to 80% in 2018 (Radicati) with the number of mobile users at a whopping 2.2 billion.
So the point is, it has become extremely important for email marketers to optimize their emails for mobile phones. I loved this list of 7 mobile email marketing tools. My top 3 picks are:
Not all email templates work well on cell phones. If you’re not using responsive email templates then it may cause all sorts of problems, like the screen may be too wide, thus causing the text to shrink and images to get bloated. Problems like this can kill engagement so it’s important to use mobile responsive email templates. Litmus has an awesome free collection of responsive email templates that you should definitely be checking out.
As mobile devices typically have slower download speeds, having a lot of images in your emails can seriously weigh them down. To overcome this, you can compress your image size up to 80% without sacrificing on image quality by using JPEGMini. In this way, you can seriously reduce your email load time while still giving eye candy to your subscribers.
Once you have picked your template, it’s important that you test it on all browsers (for both mobile and desktop) to ensure that it works. You can test out your campaigns easily by using the Litmus Email Testing service.
While this may seem like a hassle, it can really save you from a lot of trouble in the long run. Most importantly, it'll increase your email conversion rates, which means more money in your pocket. You should test your campaigns periodically (or at least when you change a new template) to ensure that your emails are responsive and that they look great on smaller screens.
You can find loads of awesome email marketing templates if you just know where to look for them. Here’s a great list of websites that provide free email marketing templates. My favorites are:
They have 10 free responsive email templates that you can use, moreover you can also design your own templates using their super-easy template builder.
Marketingship has an extensive collection of adaptable and responsive email templates.
Email on Acid provides an awesome responsive email template, and they have a blog post that explains how to use it too. This makes it very easy for beginners to adapt it to their templates.
Email Marketing Tracking Tools track your activity and help you to understand the behavior of your email campaigns. Manually this could take hours or maybe days, and that is too much for anyone with a business to run.
Email tracking apps help you determine what the optimal time is to send emails to your contacts, so that they get maximum focus and attention. You can find out who has read your email, at what time your email was read, and other important data that help you determine the most convenient time to send out your emails. I loved Goran’s list of the 6 best email tracking tools. My three favorites in the list are:
Sidekick is basically a super hero when it comes to email tracking. It doesn’t just notify you when your emails get opened, it also gives you detailed stats explaining what device was used to open the emails, from what location, and how many times the email got opened.
With Sidekick, you get such precise stats that you can even tell if the email was opened on-the-go, while travelling, or if the email was forwarded. Awesome isn’t it?
Yesware is one of the best email marketing tracking apps out there. It has a powerful real-time analytics system that allows you to get detailed insights on how your content is doing, which formats and templates are working better, and what are the optimal times to send out emails.
With Yesware, you can track your performance and later use that data to improve the efficiency of your campaigns. How cool is that?
Because I'm a Gmail user, I love MailTrack. It’s a small, free, and simple Gmail extension that lets you track whenever someone reads your email. It only takes a couple of seconds to install from the Google Web Store, and it does exactly what it advertises. The only limitation with MailTrack is that it only works on Gmail accounts, and not other email providers (yet).
APIs are very helpful when it comes to email marketing because they typically don’t cost much, they’re reliable, and most importantly they’re easy to use. Orlando compiled an awesome list of email marketing API tools that you should definitely check out. My favorites in the list are:
Mailgun boasts itself to be THE API for email developers; it’s awesome because it gives you a lot of flexibility. There's great tutorials with lots of example in different languages (Ruby, PHP, Python, etc) to help you learn how to craft, send out, and track your transactional emails.
Postmark is another fantastic email marketing API tool; it's user-friendly and efficient, comes with great documentation that use the API functionality, and helps you send out quality transactional emails with ease. My favorite feature in Postmark is their credit-system ... you only pay for what you use and not a penny more!
I love Elastic Email because not only do they have great customer service, but they also reward loyalty. The longer you stay with them, the less they charge you. Heck, they even allow you to send SMS :)
Even if you've designed the best email marketing campaign possible, it’s useless if it doesn’t make it to your customers’ inboxes. There are hundreds of things that could cause your emails to end up in the Junk/Spam folder instead of the Inbox. If that happens, you have lost your lead before you even begin making your pitch. This is why you should always use a good email deliverability tool before you start sending out emails. The best three I came across are:
I've talked about the awesome email template offered by Email on Acid, now let’s talk about its powerful spam filter and blacklist test tool. They test your email against 23 of the most popular spam filters, and provide a detailed report. They even check stuff like DKIM and SPF.
Lyris Content Checker is completely free and it tests the HTML and plain text content of your email to give you a score which determines the likelihood that your email will reach inboxes or not. If you get a zero you’re good to go, but anything above 3 means trouble, so you should change your content and try again. The tool checks for common spam words and phrases.
I saved the best for last! A list of email deliverability tools wouldn’t be complete without Winning Email now would it? ;) Just go to our home page and enter your domain name, then we’ll give you an email deliverability analysis in seconds. We won’t just leave you hanging by telling you what is wrong with your emails (if anything comes up), we’ll also tell you how to fix it.
If you want a more detailed analysis shoot us an email and we can dig in further. If there’s anything stopping you from getting to your subscribers' inboxes, we'll do our best to find it and help you improve it.
So that's it! Hope you found some of these tools helpful for your marketing efforts. What are your favorite email marketing tools, and why do you like them above the others? Leave a comment below to let me know :)
Memuna Umber from Winning.Email
Memuna is a MBA student who loves learning about marketing, specifically email marketing. She brings a lot of great experience to the Winning Email team and her passion for technology and communicating with people makes her a perfect fit.