Anne: How many "contacts" do you have on your list. Most plans charge by the number of contacts. Some charge by the total number of contacts, some by the contacts per list (which means you pay for duplicates if a single contact is on multiple lists due to your segmentation activities). As both Ray and Gee indicated, most email service providers will meet your functional requirements. I have used MailChimp successfully but switched to ActiveCampaign because of the marketing automation...
But your service provider isn't your only worry. If you've opted for any third-party email integration, like combining your email with a third-party customer relationship management (CRM) provider (such as Salesforce), that opens your company's email up to either data-snooping apps deployed by Salesforce or to any data breaches that originate with that service. So the more informed you can be about what's attached to your email service, how that data's being used and accessed and especially by whom, the better off you'll be when it comes time to send confidential email.
MessageGears is a hybrid email marketing system that combines the security of an on-premises system with the scalability of the cloud. The service connects directly to any local or remote database, data warehouse, e-commerce system, or content management system. There is no need to extract, transform, or load customer data into the system or to move or replicate data. Features include subject line previews and testing, spam testing, and automation, drip and trigger campaigns.

Delivra is an email marketing automation platform designed to ensure the right messages get to the right people at the right moment. The service features automation, a drag-and-drop editor, multichannel drip campaigns, custom and responsive email templates, triggered mailings, and analytics. In addition, Delivra integrates with CRM, e-commerce and web analytic programs.

I would like to read more of what you might have at the ready (all blogged subjects) that you might deem to be useful for me; for I will read all. And if you possibly had any insightful tips on ANYTHING that you might see as helpful, please reach out to me most graciously, or send me to where I should search. (Sorry, sounds like I am “breaking” one of the 11 tips, by “taking more than giving”)
www.constantcontact.com (Not Free - But 60 Day Free Trial): Constant Contact email services blends your email campaigns and your social networking campaigns into a single matchless and easy-to-use service. They provide an email marketing service with 400+ customizable templates and the option to insert text or your own HTML code into the emails. you also get a 60-day-free-trial with this email marketing service. 

“Third, tell me how it benefits me. I’m very very active in my charity work, but your startup is not a charity…”We thought you’d enjoy meeting young entrepreneurs” – bzzzzt. I DO enjoy meeting young entrepreneurs, I do it all the time as a matter of routine at conferences and through friends and so on. But if you’d like more than a friendly pat on the back and encouragement, then treat me like a businessperson – let’s find something that’s mutually agreeable. “If you could join us as an advisor, we’d be able to compensate you with stock options in a quantity appropriate to our stage of development.” – yay.”
Most companies offer tutorials and support for their services. Using the trial version of each program, we evaluated layouts and looked for things that would make the platform user-friendly. For example, are the icons easily identifiable? Is it apparent where to go to begin to build a survey and distribute surveys to users? How easy is it to create or change a survey? We found that the best survey builders allow you to quickly edit questions and rearrange the order of your survey without many additional steps. 
Pay attention to the amount of inbox storage available, because once you reach the cap, you’ll have to  start deleting messages in order to receive more. Many free email services offer a terabyte or even unlimited storage, which is helpful if you tend to receive messages with large attachments, like image and video files. However, even a few gigabytes of storage gives you enough space to hold between 100,000 and 300,000 messages.
Most importantly, if you hobnob with any other free Autoresponder or paid services and later on if you want a switch to Aweber, it can get difficult to import your list to Aweber unless with double-op-in again! Your list needs to be approved by their import specialists.  So if you are new and starting fresh -- start with Aweber. It is strongly suggested that you watch these Video Tutorials on Aweber before you decide on anything else.
One great way to protect data is by using email encryption. This feature can do wonders for protecting your organization's privacy and that of your employees, but it demands some investigation when you're selecting your provider. Is it built-in or do you require a third-party tool? Does it use common standards that the recipient can process? What about Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates? Are they included or do they need to be purchased separately? The best-in-class tools will not only make encryption easy for anybody to configure and use, buy they'll also make it easy for you to understand pre-purchase.

While most businesses will have such suites in place, it often falls to the email service to provide an additional layer of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection. Our reviews found a surprising variance in this department, however, ranging from very robust to completely non-existent, so be careful. Since it's such a huge liability for business owners, this could be one of the most important factors in terms of background features. At the very least, it's better than filing an insurance claim or outright losing funds due to simple social engineering tactics.
Email marketing is the practice of sending various types of content to a list of subscribers via email. This content can serve to generate website traffic, leads, or even product signups for a business. It's important that an email campaign's recipients have personally opted in to receive this content, and that each newsletter offers something of value to them.
Running in-house email servers does provide more control and wider customization as well as tracking and compliance for small to midsize businesses (SMB). But they require specialized on-site IT staff as well as the need to manually manage and support both hardware and software. A third-party hosted email service matches many of the advantages of in-house email without the expensive initial investment. The ability to manage the number of users, access the latest security protocols, and enjoy ease of connectivity and deployment of hosted solutions makes it a viable and competitive option.
One of the most important compatibility factors to consider with email is the mobility question. How often do your employees need to access email via mobile devices? That's an important issue because most email hosting providers deliver some kind of web client usable as a default inbox. Almost all of these can be accessed via a mobile device, so if your employees don't need to access their emails on the road that much, then such mediocre clients are probably fine.
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. Strong stuff, which means determining exactly how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI should be a key criteria for most marketers before purchasing.
However, to create effective marketing campaigns, you need to find the right email marketing tools for your business. Some factors that impact your decision include the design and list-building tools, price and customer service. This guide includes our recommendations for email marketing software platforms, features we think are important, average costs and negotiation tips.
Design: Most survey software allows you to arrange your questions and tweak the layout. However, the best survey platforms offer additional tools to make your surveys visually appealing and are designed to promote your brand. Our best pick, SurveyGizmo, offers customizable templates in all its paid plans and individual URLs in the higher-priced plans. 

Finding the right online marketing tools can seem like a difficult task. Luckily, the best email platforms offer an unlimited number of messages and progressive pricing packages. This means that your bills depend on the number of subscribers. So, if you are a small business with a few hundred mailing list subscribers, you will only have to pay a small monthly rate. Constant Contact offers great price points for small businesses. You can even find an email platform that offers free plans for those who need only a limited number of features, like Benchmark. If you are unsure what your needs are, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go plan.
Hi Bernie, actually time plays 3rd priority position to how you get customers to open your email. #1 is the message - what are you saying to get them to open the email?- on the subject line. #2 is making sure the content gives your customer information and opportunities that engage them into action. #3 is the day or time of day. Then as some have mentioned.. TEST! Be prepared to try different messages and times to see what resonates with your audience. Make sure to choose a service...
We narrowed down our list by eliminating vendors that don't specialize in email marketing campaigns or that don't work with small businesses. Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services. We considered pricing when available. After narrowing the list down to seven, we contacted each company's customer service department and posed as small business owners. 
But your service provider isn't your only worry. If you've opted for any third-party email integration, like combining your email with a third-party customer relationship management (CRM) provider (such as Salesforce), that opens your company's email up to either data-snooping apps deployed by Salesforce or to any data breaches that originate with that service. So the more informed you can be about what's attached to your email service, how that data's being used and accessed and especially by whom, the better off you'll be when it comes time to send confidential email.
If you select Custom, a small calendar will appear. Use the arrows to navigate between months and click your preferred start date. Then, enter a start time at the bottom of the calendar, and select AM or PM from the menu. Finally, click anywhere outside of the calendar box to save the configuration and close the calendar. Your chosen date and time will appear next to the Start option.

Square offers email marketing services that allow businesses to create new customer profiles at the point of sale in order to build their directories; automatically add key customer information with a swipe, dip, or tap; and see the return on each email's investment in their Square dashboard. The service features customizable templates, automation, segmentation, automatic distribution lists and social sharing.

MailUp gives businesses the tools to send newsletters, promotional emails and transactional emails from one platform. The MailUp email and SMS delivery platform combines email marketing tools with SMTP relay for transactional emails and plugins for e-commerce, CRM and CMS systems. The service's pay-per-speed pricing is designed for midsized companies looking to scale their email marketing efforts.
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