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.

Make the first three sentences of your blast catchy. The first couple of sentences within your email blast will determine whether the recipient decides to read the rest of it. The intro should draw people in with a sense of urgency or excitement. You can elaborate more on the subject line within your first sentence to give additional clarity to what the email is about, or you can create a sense of urgency and intrigue that compels them to open the email to learn more about the issue.[4]
Make the first three sentences of your blast catchy. The first couple of sentences within your email blast will determine whether the recipient decides to read the rest of it. The intro should draw people in with a sense of urgency or excitement. You can elaborate more on the subject line within your first sentence to give additional clarity to what the email is about, or you can create a sense of urgency and intrigue that compels them to open the email to learn more about the issue.[4]

No matter what you sell, you need to have a clear idea of who your audience is in order to effectively communicate with them. This might sound like an easy task—after all, one of your most important jobs as a small business owner is understanding your brand’s demographic inside and out. But Mailchimp lets you dig a little deeper to identify segments of people within your audience so you can send them personalized emails that help increase engagement and generate greater ROI.

Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce ($75.00 Per User Per Month and Up at Salesforce.com) and other CRM data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
Send the email. Once you've uploaded the contacts that you want to send the email to, it's time to send the email to the list. Go over the recipients one more time before sending the email and then send it out. Another option that you have is to schedule the blast to go out at a later date and time. This is a great idea if you may have to make last-minute revisions or want to choose a specific time to send it out.
Social media – the undisputed king in the marketing domain… And then there’s email. Think of it as a grandparent to social media marketing. Don’t be fooled, it’s still reliable if used the right way. Today’s marketers may not be as email savvy, nor do they consider it to be a “cool” way of contacting clients, however, it has stood the test of time and proven itself to be an effective method of communication.
Please forgive me if I missed this in some of the comments and replies, but I saw nothing on Infusionsoft or Marketo. I was expecting to see both in your analysis, but nothing was mentioned, save for the remark early on that Active Campaign has rocketed past Infusionsoft in the marketplace. Is it because you consider them outside the “Email Marketing” space which was the subject of your analysis?

Set your target audience. Audiences can be split up in a variety of ways including gender, age, geographic location, or buying habits. Before you send your blast, you want to make sure that you can segment people into different lists so you can target your blasts to the right people. Consider what demographic you want to target, and what they will need to fulfill your call-to-action.
If you want to code your own emails, you have the freedom to do so. But this is an advanced skill that requires a good bit of technical know-how. Here’s what you need to take the coding leap—whether you’re just getting started, wondering about the basics of HTML emails, or looking for a guide to coding them. We’ve also rounded up a few more resources you might need as you become a certifiable email pro. If you're considering another platform, check out our comparison guide before you make any decisions.
As a growing business, you may also be looking for a CRM solution, and you'll find that the more advanced email marketing services have begun to crossover into CRM. It makes sense: Both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers. A handful of these services are one-stop shops, either offering both email marketing and CRM out of the box or as add-on services.
We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
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