Ask for the right information upfront: Great personalization starts way before you hit the ‘send’ button. It all starts with your sign up form. Without data such as name, company and location, you will be very limited with your personalized communication. Remember to only ask for the information you need, rather than the information you want. This is one of the ways that GDPR has impacted marketing teams.
Have a few different buttons on your email template: separate social media buttons that produce pre-written social posts linking to a webpage version of your email, and an "Email to a Friend" button that transfers the email into a compose window so your contacts can instantly forward the message. Just make sure your email has an opt-in button so each new viewer can subscribe to more emails from you if they like what they see.
Most email marketers around the world are legally required to allow recipients to opt out of emails they no longer want to receive. Contacts must be able to do this directly in the email message. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European data privacy act that went into effect in May 2018, doubles down on the opt-in side of this relationship. And purchased email lists are simply not compliant.
Each of those tactics requires different tools when it comes to creation of the source email, dissemination to specific recipients, and integration with other back-end systems, notably the accounting system, the customer relationship management (CRM) system, and possibly even the inventory management system. You can manage your contacts by simply keeping a list of names and email addresses, or you can create a complex database full of subscribers segmented by demographic slices and engagement levels. Which method you choose really just depends on how much of your budget you're willing to allocate toward the email marketing software that can give your company the features it needs.
For example, I can safely share that I listen to a lot of music, and I’m almost fanatic about sound quality. I might listen to an album with poor sound quality once, but I probably won’t go back to it. And to be clear, 95%+ of new recorded music has what I consider poor sound quality (due to an absurd standard of perceived loudness, which takes away natural dynamic range from the sound). That said, I’m not a hi-fidelity sound geek. I’m perfectly happy with my high-end studio monitors—I don’t buy $1,000 power cables, $5,000 CD-players, or $20,000 loudspeakers capable of playing back sounds too high for dogs to hear.

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.


A cloud-based email platform, SendGrid is a tool built to serve developers. It is known as the world’s largest Email Infrastructure as a Service provider. Users can quickly send out emails such as shipping notifications, email newsletters, sign-up confirmations, etc. Businesses can also track email opens unsubscribes, bounces and spam reports without the use of code. This email marketing tool also provides templates, scheduling and A/B testing. Email analytics can be viewed in real-time.
Alas, ESPs on shared IP addresses that don't require customers to use opt-in email lists typically suffer poor deliverability. Why? One customer's ill-gotten email address list can poison the deliverability of the other customers on that shared IP address. You're going to want to hitch your wagon to the light side of the email marketing force if you want your emails to actually get into inboxes.

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.
Will people understand what you’re trying to say? It’s usually better to avoid topics (or opinions) that are complex if many people are extremely passionate about them. For example, sharing almost any opinion about immigration policy is usually a bad move, unless your audience is unusually homogenous. You could agree 99% with someone and still piss them off by using the wrong term just because they have such a strong “either you agree 100% with us, or you’re our enemy” mentality. I once pointed out that I think it’s unacceptable to capture and torture people for years—especially if they aren’t charged with any crime, there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong, and they’re children. I got several emails back from people saying, “you have no idea what you’re talking about” or “you should stick to marketing and leave politics to people who understand it.” They took it as commentary on geo-politics. I just said I’m not okay with pointless torture of children. I thought we’d all agree on that.
We’ve got every audience you need. Target businesses, new movers and homebuyers and residential customers. We have general lists that will give you a wide array of customers. But, if you’re looking for a specific type of customer, target your list by income, age and occupation. You can even narrow your list down to families with children and animal lovers!
Give people a way to avoid more emails about the same offer. If you do a concentrated promotion for something, you might send lots of emails about it in a short time. Give people the option to avoid future emails about the offer. Just add a link to the end of the emails (e.g., “If you’re sure you’re not interested in [ offer ], click here, and I won’t send you any more emails about it this year.”). That way you won’t annoy people who aren’t interested in the offer now. You could argue that some of them might buy if they saw all the emails. Well, if you’re only interested in this month’s sales, send as many emails as you can. I just assume you want to have someone left on your list for next month.
Not only was this initial email great, but his response to my answers was even better: Within a few days of responding to the questionnaire, I received a long and detailed personal email from Matt thanking me for filling out the questionnaire and offering a ton of helpful advice and links to resources specifically catered to my answers. I was very impressed by his business acumen, communication skills, and obvious dedication to his readers.

Win-back: An existing customer is soon approaching the end of his yearly subscription. The customer hasn’t used your product in 3 months and you need a way to win them back and keep them for another year. Create a “win back” email that sends an automated email to all customers that are coming to end of their contract with a list of new product features and a short plan on expected releases in the next six months.
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