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.
However, as email marketing developed as an effective means of direct communication, in the 1990s, users increasingly began referring to it as "spam", and began blocking out content from emails with filters and blocking programs. In order to effectively communicate a message through email, marketers had to develop a way of pushing content through to the end user, without being cut out by automatic filters and spam removing software.
Presentation is everything, or so they say. With this old adage in mind, we’ve compiled our best tips for anyone who wants to send emails that subscribers click into a handy email design guide. We cover each facet of design: content, templates, identity, color, images, layout, fonts, and calls to action. Design is as much science as it is art, and we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.
Marketing emails need to be personalized to the reader and filled with interesting graphics. Few people want to read emails that are addressed "Dear Sir/Madam" -- as opposed to their first or last name -- and even fewer people want to read an email that simply gives them a wall of text. Visuals help your recipients quickly understand what the point of the email is.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was passed by Congress as a direct response to the growing number of complaints over spam emails.[citation needed] Congress determined that the US government was showing an increased interest in the regulation of commercial electronic mail nationally, that those who send commercial emails should not mislead recipients over the source or content of them, and that all recipients of such emails have a right to decline them. The act authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient.[19] However, it does not ban spam emailing outright, but imposes laws on using deceptive marketing methods through headings which are "materially false or misleading". In addition there are conditions which email marketers must meet in terms of their format, their content and labeling. As a result, many commercial email marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the act. A variety of older systems exist that do not ensure compliance with the act. To comply with the act's regulation of commercial email, services also typically require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses that may not have given valid permission.[citation needed]

Among the obstacles a small business or online seller has to face is finding a cost-efficient way to market their brand to a wider audience. That’s where email marketing comes in. Whether it’s your grand opening or your company is already well-established, an effective email marketing plan is key to promoting and growing your business, increasing revenue, and selling more stuff.
Promotional emails are one of the most economical ways for any business to connect with customers. Research shows a message is five times more likely to be seen through email than on social media like Facebook or Twitter. That’s why musicians use email marketing software to share their performance schedule with their fans, non-profits use it to get donations and photographers use it to promote their portrait services. It just works.
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.
Double-check your email blast. After you've written your email blast, you should go over it again for grammar and spelling errors. An excellent way to help you edit your email is to send it to colleagues to ensure that there aren't any factual or grammatical mistakes, and to make sure that the messaging stays on brand. Ask people on your team to look over your blast and provide you with feedback.
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $3 per month to send out 500 emails per month in Zoho Campaigns to as much as $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts in Pardot. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few also offer money-back guarantees.
The full-blown version of ActiveCampaign offers an all-in-one solution for a business to house it’s CRM, email marketing, deal flow, sales automation and more. With the offer of one-on-one training and onboarding, without the 4-figure fee that InfusionSoft requires, it’s a great alternative if you want to automate the way you keep in touch with your customers both new and old.
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?

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.
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.
Understand the statistics. Click-through rate or CTR is how often customers click on links contained in your email. There is also a conversion rate, which tracks how many people took action after clicking your link, as well as a rate for how many people opened and read your email. Many email blast software will have these metrics built in. Do not make things in the email blast confusing or complicated as it can prevent people from taking action or even reading the blast.
If you’ve connected your store to Mailchimp and turned on e-commerce link tracking for your campaigns, you can view purchase data for your subscribers in campaign reports, subscriber profiles, and on the account dashboard. Your reports will show you how much money your campaigns and automations make, as well as total orders and their average revenue.

Sample review: “After using it (Sortd), you’ll be hard-pressed to imagine this tool isn’t going places. Create custom columns, such as ‘To-do,’ ‘Follow Up,’ or ‘FYI’ — the possibilities are nearly endless. Then, when an email comes in, simply drag it to the appropriate column. You can even set reminders, add notes, or change the title of the email. You can also set individual emails to “snooze” so that they are relegated to the bottom of your list until the snooze is over, at which point it pops back up at the top.” — B2B PR Sense Blog
I’ve always been a mailchimp user myself, and I have to say I really like their UI but I’m always open to new options. I’ve dabbled in a couple of the other email marketing providers like Pure360 – but find them so clunky and annoying to use (despite them looking really pretty and having great templates) that I always end up going back to good old mailchimp. I haven’t used GetResponse yet, I’ll give their free trial a shot :)

I’ve always been a mailchimp user myself, and I have to say I really like their UI but I’m always open to new options. I’ve dabbled in a couple of the other email marketing providers like Pure360 – but find them so clunky and annoying to use (despite them looking really pretty and having great templates) that I always end up going back to good old mailchimp. I haven’t used GetResponse yet, I’ll give their free trial a shot :)
Think targeted marketing when determining the demographic selects for your mailing list. Who are your best customers? A direct mailing list performs better when you target your prospects based on the demographics of your current customers. Our online mailing list service allows you to define your mailing list by age, income, gender, length of residence and more. Each list contains different demographic selects.

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]
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
Once you know where you stand in terms of campaign performance for your industry, you can start taking steps to improve opens and clicks with tools like A/B Testing. Low open rates, for example, could indicate that your subject lines aren’t enticing people to open your campaigns. Follow our tips for writing an effective subject line to come up with a few variations, then run an A/B test to see which one gets the most opens.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a review website. Molly also runs About.com's Android site and contributes to DealNews and other online publications. Follow her on Twitter @bloggingmolly.
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.

Watch the growth of your list. Is your email list growing or shrinking? If more people are unsubscribing than are registering to your list, it's a good sign that you need an entire strategic overhaul on your email policies. If there are a lot of people unsubscribing it could be because your content is not relevant to the people that you're sending it to. In this case, try to segment your list differently or change the type of content that's being delivered through your email blasts.
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:
×