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?

The takeaway here is that if you are to use personalization as an email strategy, do so in a meaningful way. It takes little knowledge or relationship to place someone’s name in your greeting. It shows far greater care to send personalized email that is specific to a recipient’s needs and history. Again, an example from my inbox, this email from Rdio dispenses with the formalities and simply provides an update on music I actually listen to.


There’s no denying that email is a huge part of our lives. We receive lots of emails every day – whether its for work, from friends or even from that webshop you purchased from three months back. It is and remains a great way of getting a message across to your target audience without being too invasive. Because email marketing is so effective, it’s role has only become stronger in recent years, even with the rise in popularity of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a result, there are several great email marketing tools available to choose from, many of which cater to the creation, design, distribution and analysis of emails used in email marketing campaigns.
Activation: A new user creates an account but, they do not use your product within the first 7 days. Create an  “activation” campaign that sends an automated email with their login information, steps on how they can get started and include a video demonstration for additional support. You can also invite them to a one-on-one meeting to walk them through the product and answer any questions they may have.
Here's another great example from Litmus of animation being used to create more interesting email marketing design. Unlike static text, the swipe motion used to provide recipients with a look "under the hood" of their email tool is eye-catching and encourages you to take a deeper dive into the rest of the content. Not to mention the header does an excellent job of explicitly stating what this email is about.
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.
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.

I’m currently looking for an email marketing service for a mailing list of about 80,000 subscribers. I run an information product business in the fitness industry with a large number of customers buying our ebooks and online courses every day. I’m particularly interested in GetResponse, although I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on the flexibility of their service for creating autoresponders, and integrating with a checkout service (we use WooCommerce).


Drip is a great tool for eCommerce businesses, bloggers and digital marketers (beginner or seasoned veteran). In addition to integrations with WordPress and WooCommerce, which make it easier for users to add sign up forms and capture leads, Drip has a lot of unique features that make it competitive. These fun features include list groups, smart email segmentation, and even some tools to help users to reach out to certain audiences. On top of that it is also a marketing automation tool, which means it goes beyond email blasts.
Reach Mail is great for business just starting out with email marketing. It offers a free package that enables users to create, schedule and send emails, as a well as a paid version that provides users with more customisation options. The free version is quite unique in the email marketing world as normally these types of tools are only free for a certain period. Reach Mail also includes a nice testing feature which enables users to test their email campaigns on a percentage of their subscriber list.
Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, health problems, joke contests), and the topic may range from extremely narrow to "whatever you think could interest us". In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, another form of discussion group that may have an aversion to off-topic messages.
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one software solution which includes email marketing tools combined with CRM and Sales. This software offers an easy-to-use email template editor so you can get campaigns up and running in no time – this includes templates for mobile. It also allows user to segment their contact list based on a variety of different factors including actions, behaviour, location and more. What’s also great about ActiveCampaign is that it integrates nicely with WordPress.
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.

If you’d like to keep in touch with our support team through online chat or email, upgrade to our Essentials plan starting at $9.99 a month. Whether you’re hitting a roadblock with an email you’re writing or want more information about how something works, help is available around the clock. And when you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, we have plans for that, too.
PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant.
Drip is a great tool for eCommerce businesses, bloggers and digital marketers (beginner or seasoned veteran). In addition to integrations with WordPress and WooCommerce, which make it easier for users to add sign up forms and capture leads, Drip has a lot of unique features that make it competitive. These fun features include list groups, smart email segmentation, and even some tools to help users to reach out to certain audiences. On top of that it is also a marketing automation tool, which means it goes beyond email blasts.
Like social media, email marketing is a fundamental tool in almost any digital marketing campaign. Email marketing doesn't cost much to get started, and you'll find lots of choices to configure a solution for your company's needs. In addition, you'll achieve impressive engagement numbers when you use an email marketing service properly. Therefore, email remains a marketing favorite.
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.
Are you willing to alienate people who disagree with your opinion? Sure, not everyone who disagrees with you will unsubscribe. But if you can’t take the risk of alienating a large portion of them, it’s better to avoid the topic. The only exception are friendly disagreements. For example, it can be a good idea to show your support for a specific sport team, even if you know many in your audience like another team. As long as they don’t take the sport very seriously, it can be just a fun thing to talk about. I could, for example, tell that I’m more of a dog person (we have two dogs) than a cat person. I have nothing against cats, but I like walking with dogs. I doubt almost any cat person will hold that against me.
Calls to action explicitly suggest the next step you want the reader to take after reading your email, along with the means to take it (usually a link or button). The CTA represents the driving goal of each campaign. It’s what your emails are driving subscribers to do, whether that’s purchasing a particular item, reviewing a recent purchase, or something else entirely. Here are our tips for email CTAs:
Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, health problems, joke contests), and the topic may range from extremely narrow to "whatever you think could interest us". In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, another form of discussion group that may have an aversion to off-topic messages.
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.
Want your link testing stream-lined? Put the email through a landing page test and within minutes, you’re going to get an overlay of that email with complete results for every link. The ESP tracking report inserts a tracking pixel in your email and you get subscriber data such as how and where the email was opened, how much time the user spent time reading it, and if it was organically forwarded or printed.
Give people a way to avoid more emails about the same offer. If you do a concentrated promotion for something, you might send lots of emails about it in a short time. Give people the option to avoid future emails about the offer. Just add a link to the end of the emails (e.g., “If you’re sure you’re not interested in [ offer ], click here, and I won’t send you any more emails about it this year.”). That way you won’t annoy people who aren’t interested in the offer now. You could argue that some of them might buy if they saw all the emails. Well, if you’re only interested in this month’s sales, send as many emails as you can. I just assume you want to have someone left on your list for next month.
Thanks Kelly, Mailchimp have definitely come a long way with their UI over the years, it’s just their service that hasn’t caught up ;) I haven’t had the chance to play around with Pure360 as much as I’d like, but I’ve heard the same things echoed by several friends who use their service. Looking at their client list, I think they’re more aimed at large companies though.
Sample review: “See what happens to your emails after you press send…you’ll know exactly when they opened your email and whether or not they clicked on your link. BananaTag will even tell you whether they’re on their desktop or mobile device. And best of all, your email appears NO different to your contacts. All of the tracking is done seamlessly without any change in the user experience.” — BuzzBlogger
Calls to action explicitly suggest the next step you want the reader to take after reading your email, along with the means to take it (usually a link or button). The CTA represents the driving goal of each campaign. It’s what your emails are driving subscribers to do, whether that’s purchasing a particular item, reviewing a recent purchase, or something else entirely. Here are our tips for email CTAs:
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
There’s no denying that email is a huge part of our lives. We receive lots of emails every day – whether its for work, from friends or even from that webshop you purchased from three months back. It is and remains a great way of getting a message across to your target audience without being too invasive. Because email marketing is so effective, it’s role has only become stronger in recent years, even with the rise in popularity of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a result, there are several great email marketing tools available to choose from, many of which cater to the creation, design, distribution and analysis of emails used in email marketing campaigns.
A very popular email marketing solution, Campaign Monitor provide its users with an easy-to-use drag and drop email builder as well as a drag-and-drop segmenting tool (to create different campaigns with different contacts). Using their email template, users can customise emails to fit their brand. This email marketing tool also offers A/B testing to optimise test subject lines, sender details and email designs.
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.
This email from Amazon Local is short and sweet, with just one CTA: click through this email to tell Amazon what you like and dislike. That way, the deals they send you going forward can be more in line with what you're likely to actually want. What's wonderful about this experience is not just that they asked, but also how consistent the experience is from email to landing page. Take a look at the email below, and the landing page that follows.
A safe email testing tool for staging and development, Mailtrap enables you to inspect and debug your email samples before delivering them to your customers. It helps you keep your email messages clear of spam filters and test HTML elements for compatibility with popular email clients. The Mailtrap blog also offers helpful information such as reviews of email deliverability testing tools.

Not only is InVision's newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly -- which is especially important, because its newsletters are so long. (Below is just an excerpt, but you can read through the full email here.) We like the clever copy on the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, too.

"To tell the truth, it’s not so much a prediction as reporting what I am currently seeing….and in my opinion it’s way overdue. There are multiple reasons as to why it’s taking off now, but one of the main reasons I’ve found is that email is finally being appreciated as a high ROI-delivering channel and people want to ensure they’re not leaving money on the table.
Reach Mail is great for business just starting out with email marketing. It offers a free package that enables users to create, schedule and send emails, as a well as a paid version that provides users with more customisation options. The free version is quite unique in the email marketing world as normally these types of tools are only free for a certain period. Reach Mail also includes a nice testing feature which enables users to test their email campaigns on a percentage of their subscriber list.
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.

Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.


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.
"Segmentation tactics are going to take a big step forward in 2020 as modelling based on recency, frequency, and monetary value becomes easier for brands to embrace. Some marketers are embracing it to better manage their engagement rates and improve their deliverability rates, especially at Gmail. Others will embrace it to better match email frequency to engagement levels and to maximize customer value. More segments and more dynamic segmentation is the future of targeting."
Your campaign can be completed once you select your recipients and other campaign-specific details. In the Content section, you’ll find an incredibly useful WYSIWYG editor used for HTML content. Add images, drag and drop items, format text and copy/paste any text you want in your email. Want this layout and format to be used by default for every campaign? Save to Library and you’re covered.
Thanks for the article, it was also interesting and inspiring to see your other ventures in diverse fields. Would like to connect 1:1 in the near future. Meanwhile, even I had done a similar comparison as I myself handle email marketing for my organization. Do check it out as well as for the readers of the blog since it covers 2 additional players.

Dynamic segmentation – As alluded to earlier, you can’t just send out a generic message to everyone on your list. While basic demographic data can be used to segment your list, that’s far from taking the dynamic approach. Automation tools can help you segment your list as they go through the funnel, allowing you to send personalized messaging depending on their actions and behaviors.
×