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.
Email marketing is a cheap and effective way to reach your customers, build a community and increase sales. The best email marketing software allows you to send professional emails with little design experience. It also enables you to create custom, automated email journeys, and help you create extensive customer lists with segmentation capabilities.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
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.
Talk Fusion is an all-in-one video marketing solution that features video email, video newsletters and sign-up forms. Talk Fusion's products run on both PC and Mac operating systems and can be viewed by users on any internet-capable device. In addition, you can create video emails on iPhone, iPad and Android devices using the Fusion on the Go mobile app. For video emails, you just choose a template, record or upload a video, and send. The service provides comprehensive, real-time reports that tell you who opens and reads your emails, what links they clicked, and if they forwarded the email.

Within 24 hours you’ll then receive a personal email from yours truly, with your very own click tracking link. (We use ClickMagick and MCBP as they are the industry's leading click tracking platforms). You can then watch as your clicks come in with highly detailed statistics such as geographic location, I.P. address, device type, browser type plus lots more detailed information.
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. 

During testing, we looked at the maximum size allowed for attached files. Most of the accounts we tested can handle between 20MB and 25MB, which is about six professional images or 10 snapshots taken with a point-and-shoot camera. It was also important for us to see a thumbnail of the file once we uploaded it, so that we could confirm we had attached the correct one.

Once we sent the email campaigns through the programs, we compared them to the original email we sent to make sure they appeared as we intended. We also rated services based on where they ended up. Some emails landed in the spam folder or the Promotions tab in Gmail, which we counted against the software. It's critical that businesses have their email campaigns end up in a person's inbox, so we felt that was a necessary test in the evaluation process.


A: With so many businesses using email marketing, it's important to make your email marketing campaigns relevant to your customers and subscribers. Selecting the service that best fits your business is the first step in helping your email marketing campaigns stand out. After that, you'll want to use segmentation and other email tools to best cater to the wants and needs of your customer base.
Email marketing is an essential component of a marketing strategy for any kind of business. It does not matter if you own a brick-and-mortar shop, or you sell your products via an e-commerce website. This marketing tool will allow you to better communicate with your customers, inform them about the launch of new products, attract them with customized offers, and much more. All this is done by creating an email campaign and sending out a carefully crafted email newsletter to your potential and existing customers and clients.
“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.”
Elastic Email provides comprehensive tools for handling any size of email campaign. With Elastic Email, businesses can create and edit emails using predesigned templates, drag-and-drop editors and raw HTML editors. Features of the service include email client and spam testing, A/B split testing, contact management tools, segmentation, triggered emails, detailed activity reports, private IP addresses, and custom branding.
Gmail lets you log into multiple email accounts at once and simply toggle between them without having to log out and re-enter your credentials each time. We found this to be a very helpful perk especially if you have a personal Gmail account and another dedicated to your work or home business. This multi-account feature works on mobile, too, so you’re always connected and can quickly access important email while on the go. It’s hard to attach files to outgoing messages using the Gmail app, though, since it only allows you to upload one file at a time.
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 revie... See Full Bio
Setting up your account usually takes just a few clicks. In most cases, all you need to do is to enter your email address and choose a monthly plan. If you are not sure which is the right email marketing software for you, it is advisable you request a free trial. Some platforms offer free trials to all new users. Just be aware that they usually ask for your credit card details. This means that once the free trial period is over, you will be billed for the following month unless you cancel in due time.
The Pro plan, which can have three users at a time, starts at $49 for up to 5,000 subscribers, while the Max plan starts at $165 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers. Committing to one year of service lowers prices by 18 percent, with a two-year commitment bringing them down 30 percent. iContact also offers the Enterprise plan, which supports up to 100,000 contacts. You'll need to contact the company to schedule a demo and obtain a personalized price quote.
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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