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.
Ultimately, it boils down to a balance between cost, features, and risk. It's always tempting to simply jump on the lowest-cost solution, but the fact that email is ubiquitous keeps this from being the smart play. It's nearly impossible to escape using it, which means your users, your customers, and the guts of your business have all come to depend on it in different ways. You need to discover those ways, evaluate them, and then choose a service that either meets or improves on them. This takes time, discussion with your IT staff, and some investigation; these are steps you don't want to skip. Otherwise, you'll pay for it later.
When choosing a free email account, you want to look for a few characteristics to help you determine which one is best for you. The accounts will differ in how much email storage you get, what the interface looks like and how it can be customized, and what types of advanced features are included, like messaging, filters, and the ability to import other data.
According to Mitch Stephens, a security consultant for Emagined Security, email attacks are the most common internet threat. “An attacker can send a link that looks similar to another link you are familiar with,” Stephens told us, and when you open it, you’ll see a site that looks legitimate and asks for your login information. Once you enter it, the attacker then has your credentials to log into the real site and gather even more personal information. These are known as phishing schemes, or phishing attacks.
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.
Emma provides email marketing software for organizations of all sizes. It offers tailored editions of its platform for businesses, franchises, retailers, universities and agencies. Emma's professional edition includes a drag-and-drop editor, the ability to send unlimited emails, real-time analytics, audience segmentation, automated emails, and integration for various CRM, e-commerce, event, survey and social tools.
Bronto is a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform for midmarket and enterprise organizations. An advanced marketing automation engine with solutions for browse recovery, recommendations, shopping cart abandonment and powerful e-commerce integrations, Bronto helps commerce marketers grow revenue through targeted email, mobile and social marketing.
Email outreach is a powerful way to build early momentum for your Indiegogo campaign. We find that it plays a critical role in raising the first 30% of your funding goal from your Host Committee (see below) before you officially launch your campaign. This way, when a wider audience visits your page, they’ll see your project already has a strong base of support and will feel more comfortable contributing to it themselves.
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.
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.
Obviously, it takes more work to create and place guest posts, but it’s worth it if the publication is aligned and authoritative. We found a way to create additional value with this as well by working with internal HubSpot experts who wanted to get their thoughts out on a given subject. For example, here’s a guest post that Blake Toder wrote for the Usabilla blog:
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
Email services typically charge between $2 and $10 per month for their paid services, depending on how much mail you need to send and receive. The biggest differences between free and paid email services is the size of the files you’re allowed to attach to outgoing mail, how many emails you can send per day, how much backup and inbox space you’re given, and the level of customer support you can access. Most free email services give you enough inbox and online backup space combined to hold hundreds of thousands of emails, but they typically limit the number of email messages you can send in a day to about 100. This is plenty for most people using an email account for personal use. But if you have a home business or know a lot of people you need to email every day, then it may be worth purchasing an email account with unlimited outbound messaging.
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce.com and other CRM data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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It is also necessary to study email alternatives as part of your email service setup plan. Email is the standard way to communicate and it is familiar to most users, but it isn't always the most effective or expedient method. Email can be slow, result in delayed responses, and messages are rarely read to completion. Because of this, many businesses require additional "collaboration" tools, that various email services also include, in order to fill the communication gap more effectively.
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.