Found your article very informative especially as I am a novice in all this. We are about to launch a research centre in the UK and wondered which email marketing tool you would recommend. Having read quite a bit now online, I see a lot of the literature seems to concentrate on business users rather than non-profits. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
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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?
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.
Mailchimp makes it easy to design beautiful, personalized email campaigns and automations so you can build and strengthen your relationships with potential and existing customers. And with your online store connected, you’ll collect helpful e-commerce data for your customers—like order history, how much they spent, and whether they’re first-time or repeating customers—so you can send targeted campaigns that direct traffic back to your store and generate more sales.
Crystal is a communication tool that enhances your emails by telling you anyone’s personality. Using Personality AI, a new technology that employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict personality based on someone’s online footprint, Crystal can help you better understand your audience, increase your open and response rates, and see higher conversion.

In our email marketing software review roundup, we test the top email marketing tools available based on how easy it is to create emails, build subscriber lists, set autoresponders, and pull in other communication-based tools, such as social media management, and web analytics software. To that end, we selected Campaigner and Mailchimp as the best pure-play email marketing services. If you need a more complex tool that can build comprehensive workflows designed to automate the email marketing process, then we recommend HubSpot and Salesforce Pardot, which are better served as marketing automation tools.
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.
People who subscribe to your list are so interested in what you have to say that they’re willing to invite you into their inbox. This is a privilege. Honor it by letting them be the first to know about new products and sales. Or, go one step further like the company Oui Shave that asks its best customers to participate in product surveys and rewards them by making them beta testers for new products.
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 :)
When it comes to Zapier integrations, not all of them are created equal. Every ‘zap’ (integration) has two parts: A trigger and an action. For example, let’s say you want to build an integration so that every time someone subscribes to your mailing list (the trigger), they’re automatically added to a Google Spreadsheet (the action), this can be built in minutes using Zapier.
On a more basic level, AI improves email marketing mechanics such as A/B testing and smarter audience segmentation. This can have immediate benefits in terms of optimizing your marketing strategies for different customers and sending the right content to the right people. On a more advanced note, AI can actually optimize email content for specific audiences and product campaigns. Additionally, it can help with personalizing email content right down to the individual customer level, depending on how much information you can feed it from your CRM and sales systems. AI delivers strong capabilities, which means determining exactly how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI should be key criteria for most marketers before purchasing.

While email is the most mature (that sounds better than “old,” right?) form of digital marketing, there’s no shortage of marketing technology innovation in this area. Both startups and established vendors continue to develop new capabilities for formatting, targeting, sending, and monitoring the impact of email messages, as well as functions like list building, inbox management, video email, deliverability, branding, custom email signatures and more.
Send yourself a test email. Before sending an email to a list of people, send one to yourself. Read over the email carefully and keep an eye out for poor formatting or incorrectly sized pictures. Check the email in multiple browsers and use different devices to see if it works across different platforms. Click all the links within the email and make sure they are working as intended.
Instead of showing the same form asking for their name and email address, Hubspot allows you to identify this lead and show a different offer, or ask a different set of questions to learn more about them over time. This is called Progressive profiling – and it allows you to send more personalized email campaigns as you gather more information on your leads.
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.
Using Crystal’s AI email guidance, you can see the most effective writing style, subject line, greeting and call to action to make each message most impactful for the recipient. The best part is you can predict personalities in bulk so you can send hyper-personalized emails en masse, giving your recipients the information they need in the style they want, which will benefit engagement rates, in return. It’s like having a coach for every campaign.

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.
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

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.
Write a compelling subject line. The subject of your email will be the first thing that people will see when viewing it. Because of the immense amount of spam that exists, it's important that you draw the recipient in enough so that they open the message. The subject line should invite the reader to some benefit or include a sense of urgency which requires action. Avoid cliche marketing terminology like "act now" or "free limited offer" as these subject lines can make recipients feel suspicious and turned off. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less.[2]
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. 
Listwashing is the process through which individual entries in mailing lists are removed. These mailing lists typically contain email addresses or phone numbers of those that have not voluntarily subscribed. An entry is removed from the list after a complaint is received. Only complainers are removed via this process. It is widely believed that only a small fraction[citation needed] of those inconvenienced with unsolicited email end up sending a proper complaint. Because most of those that have not voluntarily subscribed stay on the list, and only the complainers stop complaining because they are removed, this helps spammers to maintain a "complaint-free" list of spammable email addresses. Internet service providers who forward complaints to the spamming party are often seen as assisting the spammer in list washing, or, in short, helping spammers. Most legitimate list holders provide their customers with listwashing and data deduplication service regularly for free or a small fee.
Combines personalization with automation so you can send personalized emails at scale through your own email client, and manage responses through your OutreachPlus inbox. Provides the ability to personalize both standard (name, company) and custom fields (industry, product interest), with full reporting of opens, clicks, replies, etc. Automatically stops all follow-up emails once a response is received.

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.

Choose an email blasting software or website. To send your email blast, you'll need to do research on popular email blast websites and choose one that works for your team. Consider the amount of training that would be required, if it automatically links to your current database or CRM, how much it costs, and how easy it is to use. Write down pros and cons of each provider and determine the blasting software that's right for you.


We’ve got every audience you need. Target businesses, new movers and homebuyers and residential customers. We have general lists that will give you a wide array of customers. But, if you’re looking for a specific type of customer, target your list by income, age and occupation. You can even narrow your list down to families with children and animal lovers!
People who subscribe to your list are so interested in what you have to say that they’re willing to invite you into their inbox. This is a privilege. Honor it by letting them be the first to know about new products and sales. Or, go one step further like the company Oui Shave that asks its best customers to participate in product surveys and rewards them by making them beta testers for new products.
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.
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