Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.

Prefer to build your emails from scratch? Use Marketing Campaigns to develop new and unique email template designs for use with any of your Single Sends or automation emails. Whether you’re adding columns, changing fonts and colors or managing imagery, Marketing Campaigns makes it easy to ensure your email designs reflect your brand and provide a consistent experience for your users. Whether you prefer visual, drag-and-drop editing, HTML or a unique blend of both, learn about how our editing experience has you covered.
Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.

The downside of just making offers is that they’re not useful on their own. People on your list won’t receive any value from you unless they buy what you’re promoting, so they have little reason to stay subscribed. That’s why this email marketing strategy doesn’t work alone. And it’s why many e-commerce sites struggle to keep people interested. There are a few exceptions (e.g., Groupon) that rely entirely on making offers—but then the reason people joined the list was specifically to receive those offers.
The full-blown version of ActiveCampaign offers an all-in-one solution for a business to house it’s CRM, email marketing, deal flow, sales automation and more. With the offer of one-on-one training and onboarding, without the 4-figure fee that InfusionSoft requires, it’s a great alternative if you want to automate the way you keep in touch with your customers both new and old.
There are over 100 templates on our site, with many more inspiring examples available on the web. As you can see, the leading brands follow similar designs and include all the necessary parts set out at the beginning. The key is to ensure subscribers understand the message you want to get across.When picking the right theme, consider your audience and the content of the email. For multiple products, the ?Grey Matter? template is far more suitable than ?Tech Announce.?For the older, wealthier market, the ?Travel? theme is ideal, while ?Hero? is not quite as suitable.Each of these templates can be customized to your brand. We enable you to add your own logo, images, and content. Links and social media icons are already built in,If all else fails, we make it easy for you to create your own. Click here to sign up for a free DirectIQ account today!
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $3 per month to send out 500 emails per month in Zoho Campaigns to as much as $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts in Pardot. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few also offer money-back guarantees.
Emma has tons of email templates to choose from, as well as drag-and-drop editor for custom designs. This is their main value proposition (superior design qualities). You can integrate this software with lots of other programs such as Google Analytics, Aviary and several social media sites. Reporting features are very easy to use and give a good overview of results.

A safe email testing tool for staging and development, Mailtrap enables you to inspect and debug your email samples before delivering them to your customers. It helps you keep your email messages clear of spam filters and test HTML elements for compatibility with popular email clients. The Mailtrap blog also offers helpful information such as reviews of email deliverability testing tools.
Sending out emails is a seamless process. Just give your campaign a title, set your recipients, design your email and choose the time to send. Pick from twenty default templates with fully customizable options or upload your own. HTML-savvy users are going to be pleased with the advanced editing option. The editor also lets you add, delete, and rearrange sections of your email like text boxes, images, QR codes, social media elements, and Google Maps.
AWeber is another popular email marketing tool with a number of great features. Using a drag and drop editor, users can easily create automated emails and make use of their high-quality autoresponder capabilities. Users can also create subscription forms and place them on the website, blog or Facebook page. Within this tool, you can pull up charts showing how many contacts opened emails or clicked on links within your message.

"Why aren't millennials moving?" The subject line of this email campaign reads before citing interesting data about relocation trends in the U.S. Trulia doesn't benefit from people who choose not to move, but the company does benefit from having its fingers on the pulse of the industry -- and showing it cares which way the real estate winds are blowing.
No matter what the focus of your newsletter is, you can pull down content from blog posts or search the web to pull content from a variety of sources – Flashissue automatically summarizes this content for you. After populating the editor with a certain number of story summaries, you can change the headline and article descriptions in order to better personalize it for your readers. This allows a more tailored emailer, rather than just generic news.
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. AI delivers strong capabilities, which means determining exactly how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI should be key criteria for most marketers before purchasing.
The most advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows where you can specify triggers based on actions (such as opening an email or making a purchase) or on inaction (such as ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to be sent to segments of users, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. You can also move contacts into new segments once they have completed tutorials.
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.
This template is a favorite of our clients. The image led theme is perfect for apparel brands. The ability to add call to action (CTA) buttons can boost your conversion rates. It also has clearly distinguishable headers and footers, which can be used to maintain brand consistency.The clear social media icons enable you to extend the email’s reach. The overall design is good for the young, funky, and female crowd. If you’re looking to appeal to both genders, there are other color combinations available.Good For:
If none of the templates quite match what you are looking for, then you can create your own. We offer a ?Friendly Editor? option, where you can design an email from scratch.There are additional customization options under the ?Custom? tab in the template section of the site. You can import external templates and send through DirectIQ’s secure system.

Then, let's say you write 30 blog posts a month. That means you'd get 60 leads in a month -- 2 from each blog post. Now keep doing that for a year. The work you did to blog that first month will continue to drive leads throughout the year. That means you're actually getting 4,680 opt-in contacts a month by the end of a 12-month period because of the compounding effects of blogging -- not just 720 opt-in contacts (60 leads*12 months).
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

Are you willing to alienate people who disagree with your opinion? Sure, not everyone who disagrees with you will unsubscribe. But if you can’t take the risk of alienating a large portion of them, it’s better to avoid the topic. The only exception are friendly disagreements. For example, it can be a good idea to show your support for a specific sport team, even if you know many in your audience like another team. As long as they don’t take the sport very seriously, it can be just a fun thing to talk about. I could, for example, tell that I’m more of a dog person (we have two dogs) than a cat person. I have nothing against cats, but I like walking with dogs. I doubt almost any cat person will hold that against me.
While email marketing ROI is higher than that of social media, you’d be remiss if you’re not combining both. While keeping your brand top of mind is an obvious benefit of using email and social, the crucial data you can derive from both enables you to hyper-personalize your messaging and content. This makes integrating both an integral part of your social media strategy and vice versa.
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