At least two types of mailing lists can be defined: an announcement list is closer to the original sense, where a "mailing list" of people was used as a recipient for newsletters, periodicals or advertising. Traditionally this was done through the postal system, but with the rise of email, the electronic mailing list became popular. The second type allows members to post their own items which are broadcast to all of the other mailing list members. This second category is usually known as a discussion list.
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?
But while automations are designed to take some of the work and effort out of engaging with your customers, your emails should show that you care. You should take time to research what your customers like to help make your emails sound human and personal. Above all, marketing automation is an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers.
The primary cost of poorly crafted or mis-targeted emails is lost business opportunities, though in extreme cases it can damage a firm’s reputation as well. But the potential payoff for effective email marketing is substantial; email messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by decision makers than online content, social media, or advertising.

Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests to personalize your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click through rate on emails by up to 50%.
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