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.

What I’d like to know is whether any email marketing software provider allows you send emails that look identical to if they were sent from Gmail. I find that the best newsletters are those that look like it came from a friend. If only Mailchimp or Aweber didn’t force their logos and HTML style in every campaign I imagine they’d get way better open and click through rates. Do you know of any services that do this?
When you share your opinions, avoid dipping into politics, religion, sexuality, and other topics where many people have almost fundamentalist views. If, however, you know that most of your audience shares your opinion on a topic that’s important to them, you can instantly seem more trustworthy by pointing it out because people trust people who are similar to them.
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:
Sending out emails is a seamless process. Just give your campaign a title, set your recipients, design your email and choose the time to send. Pick from twenty default templates with fully customizable options or upload your own. HTML-savvy users are going to be pleased with the advanced editing option. The editor also lets you add, delete, and rearrange sections of your email like text boxes, images, QR codes, social media elements, and Google Maps.
The enhanced tracking option links to your website through Salesforce or Google Analytics.  To use “auto-responders”, you must have a paid account – you can automatically trigger specific responses or segment users based on actions they take. After sending out your emails, MailChimp allows you to integrate your social channels to post regular updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Vertical Response is great email marketing tool for creating professional newsletters as it offers tons (over 700) of designs for email newsletter templates. It also has a lot to offer in terms of editing and integrations (e.g. various CRM software, survey software and more). Additionally, users can create landing pages, conduct A/B testing (e.g. subject line performance), test emails using the Vertical Response test kit and much more.
Purchased lists are ineffective, and they impact everyone else who uses Mailchimp, too. If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam. Some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past. When you use Mailchimp, your email is delivered through our servers, so if one person sends spam, it could prevent other users’ emails from reaching inboxes. But by forbidding Mailchimp users from using purchased lists, we increase deliverability for everyone.
Activation: A new user creates an account but, they do not use your product within the first 7 days. Create an  “activation” campaign that sends an automated email with their login information, steps on how they can get started and include a video demonstration for additional support. You can also invite them to a one-on-one meeting to walk them through the product and answer any questions they may have.
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