That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
Thanks Kelly, Mailchimp have definitely come a long way with their UI over the years, it’s just their service that hasn’t caught up ;) I haven’t had the chance to play around with Pure360 as much as I’d like, but I’ve heard the same things echoed by several friends who use their service. Looking at their client list, I think they’re more aimed at large companies though.
The most advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows where you can specify triggers based on actions (such as opening an email or making a purchase) or on inaction (such as ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to be sent to segments of users, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. You can also move contacts into new segments once they have completed tutorials.

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.

Marketing automation makes it easy for you to follow up with customers and send the right email at the right time to subscribers based on how they are interacting with your website. Some email marketing platforms have basic marketing automation features built-in like the option to send birthday email messages automatically, etc. It’s worth taking some time to figure out the depths of marketing automation you need and your bandwidth for maintaining automation initiatives. These activities can take a big chunk of time to manage.
Check out Pure360 – from their website it seems like they have both SMS services and integration with Salesforce. I can’t vouch for their service as I’ve never used it, although I did used to live about two minutes from their offices in Brighton! The other option would be something like Infusionsoft. I’m pretty certain that they have SMS functionality, and would be very surprised if they didn’t integrate with Salesforce.

Starting at $49/month for 2,000 contacts, Autopilot is far from the cheapest option, particularly considering that Autopilot does not offer an in-built CRM. However, Autopilot is extremely intuitive and great for teams that need to collaborate on powerful email automation sequences. If we had to move from ActiveCampaign, this is likely where we’d go. 
I wondered, what are your thoughts on solutions like Mailigen, Vertical Response, Mad Mimi, and Campaign Monitor? I know there’s a never ending list of possible email software companies that you could compare, but these ones in particular interested me as they seem to offer many similar services to those that you mentioned. Have you come across them before, and if so would you advise using them over GetResponse?
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.
Wow such a detailed review! I have tried MailChimp before and I found it too expensive. After that i’ve signed up to Mailerlite and got hooked. It’s either free or cheapish depending on your subscribers’ lists. With other email software providers, you’d need to make an investment even if you’re running a small shop or a blog. And let’s be honest, not everyone of us can afford it :)

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.
“With recipients leading increasingly busy lives and a tendency to read emails on the go, there is a trend towards simpler email design, often minimalistic in style. Our attention spans are reducing and it makes sense that email design addresses this. We consume more email on our mobiles than ever, so a simpler design can be more effective as it is easier to scan quickly.

Creating a plan for your email marketing strategy may seem challenging at first, but by following the steps above you’ll have an effective and easy-to-follow email campaign plan in no time. This means you will be a lot closer to hitting your goals of increasing revenue, attracting new customers, and strengthening relationships with your existing audiences!


ToutApp is a great email marketing tool specifically for sales teams. It enables users to create emails fast and follow up on email marketing promotions (via a unique email and marketing tracking feature). Users can view opens, clicks on attachments (e.g. PDFs) and website links and when they’ve responded to an email all in one dashboard. ToutApp also functions as a lead nurturing tool as it allows sales teams to send content to the right people at the right time.
A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy. Intimacy is earned in real life, and it would appear to be the same way with email. Take this example from my inbox; no one has called me lowercase kevan l lee in years.
Reach Mail is great for business just starting out with email marketing. It offers a free package that enables users to create, schedule and send emails, as a well as a paid version that provides users with more customisation options. The free version is quite unique in the email marketing world as normally these types of tools are only free for a certain period. Reach Mail also includes a nice testing feature which enables users to test their email campaigns on a percentage of their subscriber list.
"I’m predicting that in the Year 2020, that there will be an uptake in robust, hypothesis-led A/B testing. A methodology of testing where the marketer leads the test by forming hypotheses and then uses technology to perform the test, rather than letting the technology lead the test - as was done in days of old. Let’s be honest – we’ve all been there. You feel that you ‘should’ run an A/B Split test and so go to your technology, select to run a subject line test and out of thin air and with no research or hypothesis, throw together two subject lines to test. And then become disappointed because there wasn’t a winner due to the subject lines being too similar.
Thanks for this article. It is super helpful. I have used quite a few different ESPs (Bronto, MailChimp, Constant Contact, dotmailer, Listrak and now Informz) and have my opinions about all of them. But I have always worked for e-commerce companies. I now work for a non-profit association and we need an ESP that integrates with our database, which is run on Aptify. The only ESP I have found that claims to integrate with Aptify is Informz (Higher Logic) and lets just say, the integration doesn’t actually work and the platform itself leaves a lot to be desired. So I was wondering if you knew of any other platform that might integrate with Aptify or be able to build an integration?
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.

Transactional emails (like an order confirmation) are best sent immediately after the purchase is made. Lifecycle emails—which are sent based on specific behaviors a customer exhibits—require a little more testing to get right. The best time to send an abandoned cart email, for example, can vary based on the reason for abandonment and your strategy for recovering those orders.
According to recent research from Radicati Group, worldwide email volume will reach 207 billion messages this year—more than half of those for business. The typical business user receives well over 100 emails each day. Email marketers are challenged not only to make their messages stand out in that deluge, but also to provide relevant, actionable information to targeted recipients.
This email from Amazon Local is short and sweet, with just one CTA: click through this email to tell Amazon what you like and dislike. That way, the deals they send you going forward can be more in line with what you're likely to actually want. What's wonderful about this experience is not just that they asked, but also how consistent the experience is from email to landing page. Take a look at the email below, and the landing page that follows.
Emma has tons of email templates to choose from, as well as drag-and-drop editor for custom designs. This is their main value proposition (superior design qualities). You can integrate this software with lots of other programs such as Google Analytics, Aviary and several social media sites. Reporting features are very easy to use and give a good overview of results.
Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as 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.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
Pricing: SendinBlue comes up with a unique pricing model where you are free to send about 300 emails daily and 9000 monthly. If you choose the 19 Euros/ Month plan option, you are allowed to post about 40,000 emails per month. For the 29 Euro/Month package, you are allowed to send 60,000 emails per month. Moreover, if you opt for 49 Euros/Month option, you will be free to send 1,20,000 emails per month.

Mailgun is a transactional email API integration—a cloud-based service to send, receive, and track emails. It has excellent features for intelligent inbound routing, storage, and email validation. It simplifies the process of sending transactional or bulk emails. It has searchable logs. You can scale quickly. You can A/B test data. You can use tracking and analytics feature to manage emails.


A tracking pixel is a snippet of code that allows you to track your subscribers’ activity across various channels like your website, landing pages, and newsletters. Then, you also have the option to send emails triggered by certain behaviors. So for example, if a subscriber goes to your site and checks out your product page, a tracking pixel can send an email with a special offer for the specific product the viewed.
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