Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations. Email marketing strategies commonly seek to achieve one or more of three primary objectives, to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant's relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.

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.
We suggest sending an email at least once a month to keep your subscribers engaged, but don’t feel you need to commit to this immediately. And be sure to look ahead and plan accordingly if you think your sending frequency will change for special events and holidays—you don’t want to surprise customers if you typically send once a month but suddenly start sending a stream of emails leading up to a Black Friday sales event.
As soon as they’re added to your list, subscribers start providing a lot of useful information about their interests and buying behavior. With our signup forms, you can customize fields to collect everything from age and gender to interests and subscription preferences. Maybe you have customers who are only interested in receiving emails when there’s a sale on a specific group of products, or subscribers who would prefer biweekly updates to weekly ones.
Now that you know who you’re writing to, it’s time to think about your content. What do you want to say to your audience? You’ll want to send emails with purpose, that really speak to your subscribers, so always keep in mind what they signed up for. It might be helpful to outline some general content types you can include in your campaigns, so you can refer to it when designing your emails.
Have a clear purpose for the blast. Email blasting customers or partners is not an arbitrary task. Each blast should have a concise purpose before you begin to draft it. Determine what you're trying to deliver and how you want the recipients to react to the email. The blast's purpose could be enticing customers to purchase something, updating employees on a new project or initiative, or a newsletter to recap the month's events. Once you determine the purpose of the blast, you can work on making the message more clear to your recipients.[1]
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.
We suggest sending an email at least once a month to keep your subscribers engaged, but don’t feel you need to commit to this immediately. And be sure to look ahead and plan accordingly if you think your sending frequency will change for special events and holidays—you don’t want to surprise customers if you typically send once a month but suddenly start sending a stream of emails leading up to a Black Friday sales event.
What's the difference between them? One-off communications versus prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, email marketing tools are excellent for one-off communications. You can use these tools for the one time you'd like to send someone an automated email response when they join a subscriber list, on their birthday, or when you promote a new product. But marketing automation tools are better suited for prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, you can use marketing automation tools whenever you want to guide someone from a subscriber list to a product purchase. Or you can send thank-you emails or send new product promotions—all without having to lift a finger after the workflow is designed.
Your AWeber account can also integrate with the most well-known shopping cart tools, letting you add new customers each time they make a purchase on your website. If you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, you can visit AWeber Labs to build your own apps and time-saving tools through the AWeber API. With this kind of flexibility at your fingertips, you can really take advantage of customer data in order to better optimize marketing strategies.

In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.
A mailing list is simply a list of e-mail addresses of people that are interested in the same subject, are members of the same work group, or who are taking class together. When a member of the list sends a note to the group's special address, the e-mail is broadcast to all of the members of the list. The key advantage of a mailing list over a things such as web-based discussion is that as new message becomes available they are immediately delivered to the participants' mailboxes. A mailing list sometime can also include information such as phone number, postal address, fax number and more.

Sometimes very little, sometimes a lot. Hubspot, for example, may charge 10X more than most email marketing tools but they offer an all-in-one marketing & sales platform that includes everything from landing pages and live chat, to a social media management tool and CRM. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers an enormous amount of value while remaining one of the most affordable email marketing tools on the market.
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.
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.
Email marketing has evolved rapidly alongside the technological growth of the 21st century. Prior to this growth, when emails were novelties to the majority of customers, email marketing was not as effective. In 1978, Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) sent out the first mass email[1] to approximately 400 potential clients via the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). He claims that this resulted in $13 million worth of sales in DEC products,[2] and highlighted the potential of marketing through mass emails.
Effective email marketing campaigns are designed for all devices on which users can read their emails -- desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Email campaigns that are designed for mobile devices are especially important -- a quality known as "responsive design." In fact, 73% of companies today prioritize mobile device optimization when creating email marketing campaigns.
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