A: Your business should aim to find a nice mix of promotional content and organic content. Much like a social media marketing strategy, you need to add value to the inbox or feed of your subscribers. If a customer subscribes to your emails, you'll want to send them emails that relate to them. This is where segmentation becomes valuable. Writing in a tone that matches your business's brand is also a best practice. If you stick to your brand identity and send emails that add value to your subscribers, you'll be in good shape.
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.

Nearly all free email services have inbox ads, so there’s that most services include. Since they’re all but unavoidable, look for services that make them less obtrusive. Some place ads to the side, so they don’t create too much distraction. However, some services place ads all around the inbox, making it difficult to navigate the program. Some free email services even allow pop-up ads that cover your inbox and require you to click out of them to access your messages.
Your efforts on social media may work one day but not the next for various reasons, such as changes to the site's algorithm. However, once a customer subscribes to your newsletter or emails, you're likely to have a long-term reader. Even if subscribers don't read your email, they'll probably see the subject line, which keeps your business's name fresh in their minds. By integrating social media with email, you can make the most of multichannel marketing campaigns.

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...
Professional email marketing software offers you the tools to track results so that you can better understand customer behavior. This allows you to set customized messages, as well as to A/B test your messages so that you can constantly fine-tune your marketing campaigns. Let’s say, for instance, that you want to find out which is the best auto-responder for your high-rolling segment of customers. You can set different options, compare auto-responders, and make an informed decision. Sendinblue also features marketing automation, and its wealth of plugin capabilities make it easy to maximize your email campaign.

The cloud certainly makes delivering email to your users easier but, for the vast majority of organizations, there's still going to be some setup required beyond simply activating the service. At a minimum, a domain must be purchased and configured to point to the new email host. The service provider can make this process very simple or they can make quite hard; this is something you should watch for in the provider's customer support forums as well as in our reviews. In most cases, there is a validation phase that will require some technical familiarity, though a few providers go so far as to walk even neophyte users through it step by step. Other solid services bolster excellent support with tutorial articles and videos that also walk you through the process. The worst will leave you to figure it out on your own.
Analytics and reporting: Once you send an email, you'll want to determine how it's doing. Most services provide a range of data, including how many emails you sent, how many of them landed in inboxes, the bounce rate, who opened your emails, and the number of clicks and opens by location. Click-through rate and open rate are two basic metrics all email marketing services should provide. Those are important metrics to track for businesses.  
Yahoo Mail gives you 1 terabyte of inbox storage (enough to hold 20 million email messages) before you must delete some to receive more messages. You also have a daily sent-message limit of 500 emails – five times more than most free email services allow, but less than Gmail. The Yahoo Mail app is also easy to use, with the same features available as the online account.
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. 
While pricing varies by provider, the cost structure is usually the same. Most email marketing providers charge a monthly fee based on contact list size, with a range of packages and plans. With this structure, most providers allow you to send out an unlimited number of emails each month and have enough different plans to fit into the budget of any business. 
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.
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. 

Segmentation tools: The most successful and professional email marketing campaigns make your customers feel important. To do this, you need to send only applicable content to each subscriber. With segmentation tools, you can separate your contacts into specific groups to ensure they only receive content that's relevant to them. Creating smaller email lists within your one large email list helps you target groups more effectively. Segmentation is an important email marketing tool.
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.
We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
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