MailChimp is a fantastic place for beginning marketers to get started. Their “forever free” plan allows you to create a list on MailChimp for free as long as your list is under 500 users. When you’re just starting out, that’s more than enough. If you don’t want to start paying for autoresponders yet, go ahead and give MailChimp a shot, it is a great first step as an email marketing tool.
One of the first questions new (and even experienced) marketers often ask is: “What’s the best autoresponder service or email marketing tool?”  Autoresponders and email marketing tools are some of the most important parts of your business. You use it to follow-up with customers. To keep people coming back to your site. To build loyalty. To make sales. Yet the answer is often not so clear cut. Do you want the highest deliverability possible? Do you want to import offline contacts? Do you want to integrate your list management with a shopping cart? Do you want to spend $20 a month or $500 a month? The answer to these questions all yield very different answers. Here are the top 10 autoresponder tools on the market, along with who they’re for and what they’re capable of.
“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.”
Data protection is another key email security concern. Inboxes often contain GBs of business-critical and personal data, so not just hackers but also legitimate marketing companies can make big money off mining email data—and this sometimes includes the very company that is providing the email service to you. Fortunately, most companies, including your hosting provider, are pretty good about keeping out of private data, but it's important to be aware of when these policies have failed. Security breaches are commonplace and it's important to know how your data is being managed. To protect yourself, be sure to inquire about data safety capabilities on the provider's side, especially around encryption and malware scanning. But be sure to implement additional measures on your side, as well, including encryption for those using local email clients as well as deploying personal virtual private networks (VPNs) to folks accessing their email from multiple locations.

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.

Product Price Overall Rating Inbox & Folder Settings Composition Tools Security Tools & Filters Conveniences Help & Support Ease of Use Daily Message Limit Mail Collector Mobile Service IMAP Support Inbox Storage Message Translator Import Social Media Contacts Aliases Spam Filters Suspicious Account Activity Alert Secure Sign-In Phishing Blocks Virus Scanning View Attachments Average Upload Time Multiple Image Upload Auto Reply Conversation View Max Attachment Size Pop-Out Window Standout Feature Task Calendar Custom Themes Video Chat Chat/Instant Messaging FAQ Email Support Forums
Support availability is an important aspect to consider any time you purchase online marketing services, especially if you are a novice. Check if the email marketing software provider you plan to use offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, or email as well as comprehensive documentation. This is especially important when your marketing campaigns are time sensitive. You don’t want to end up not sending out your Black Friday newsletter just because of a technical glitch you weren’t able to fix.
The most flexible email marketing services offer per-email or pay-as-you-go pricing. While pricing based on your number of contacts is ideal for businesses that regularly send emails, per-email pricing is better for companies that only occasionally send them. Some providers allow you to consult with their email marketing experts for help designing templates and setting strategies for an additional cost. 
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.
Support availability is an important aspect to consider any time you purchase online marketing services, especially if you are a novice. Check if the email marketing software provider you plan to use offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, or email as well as comprehensive documentation. This is especially important when your marketing campaigns are time sensitive. You don’t want to end up not sending out your Black Friday newsletter just because of a technical glitch you weren’t able to fix.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
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.

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


A: Businesses have different needs, and email marketing services have different strengths. If you're going to pay to utilize an email marketing service, you should pick the one that best fits the needs of your business. If you're running basic email marketing campaigns, the least expensive options might make the most sense. If you're a major company sending emails to thousands of people, you'll want an email service that can handle that workload without many errors. Picking the right service can help you make the most out of this marketing solution.
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. 
Post initial setup, a primary concern will be the log-on issue. If your organization is fine with a separate log-on for your email provider, then this step will be quick. However, that's not typically what businesses want or users expect. In general, users expect to sign onto their desktops and have their email and file sharing sign-ons happen as part of that one-step process. Not surprisingly, this is called Single Sign-On (SSO) and it's enabled in one of three ways: through the use of a back-end directory service like Microsoft Active Directory (AD); an identity management service, like Okta (one of our Editors' Choice winners in that category); or several compatible web services that include SSO along with other apps and email services, like Google G Suite Business and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (two of the top providers reviewed here). Which method you choose depends on how your business is configured today and your long-term cloud services strategy. It's definitely a conversation you'll need to have either with your in-house IT staff or your outside IT consultant.
ProtonMail is a basic email service that is easy to set up because it doesn’t ask for any personal information. You just pick a user name and password, and you’re set. Be aware that some features – such as mail collection and the ability to sync across multiple devices – are only available with its paid email service. But the free version does have email encryption, which is important if you send messages with sensitive information you want to protect. ProtonMail automatically unencrypts the message when it reaches the recipient’s inbox and is opened.
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