Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.
Active Trail is an automated communications platform that focuses on SMS and email marketing campaigns. It has a user-friendly newsletter and email editor with a drag-and-drop interface as well as an advanced image editor. Additionally, Active Trail includes predictive delivery which helps users predict the optimal time to send emails to their recipients. It also includes ready-to-use sign up and lead forms, A/B testing and Personalisation tools.
Most people don't think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.
Electronic mailing list servers may be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server, or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).
If you want your direct marketing strategy to drive more business, then quality data is your answer. From retailers to realtors, Experian’s data helps businesses of all sizes deliver data-driven marketing. As an original data compiler, Experian works with hundreds of public and proprietary data sources to reach over 98% of the U.S. with accuracy and precision. With Experian’s List Builder, you can:
Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it'll take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
Bottom Line: Constant Contact does a good job delivering solid email marketing capabilities in an intuitive and nicely-priced interface. However, the company is working hard to expand its capabilities, especially across other marketing channels and even media buying. Overall, it should be on any small to midsized business marketer's evaluation short list.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a predesigned template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
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.
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.
If you already have a pretty large database, you also likely have some contacts that have gone quite stale. If so, I recommend running a re-engagement campaign that can help you both scrub your list and prevent the kind of spam and IP issues I addressed earlier, as well as reawaken old contacts that might have forgotten about you, but would actually be great fits for sales.
Activation: A new user creates an account but, they do not use your product within the first 7 days. Create an “activation” campaign that sends an automated email with their login information, steps on how they can get started and include a video demonstration for additional support. You can also invite them to a one-on-one meeting to walk them through the product and answer any questions they may have.