The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
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.
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.
If you want to code your own emails, you have the freedom to do so. But this is an advanced skill that requires a good bit of technical know-how. Here’s what you need to take the coding leap—whether you’re just getting started, wondering about the basics of HTML emails, or looking for a guide to coding them. We’ve also rounded up a few more resources you might need as you become a certifiable email pro. If you're considering another platform, check out our comparison guide before you make any decisions.

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.


At worst, you might think I’m a bit weird for caring so much about sound quality. Or you might think I’m really weird if you knew that my loudspeakers are computer calibrated to my room. Or you might question my priorities if you knew I set up my office, so that my desk is nearly in the middle of it… mainly to be able to enjoy music better. But we’re all weird in some ways (and I’ll let you think this is the weirdest thing about me).
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 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.
Your AWeber account can also integrate with the most well-known shopping cart tools, letting you add new customers each time they make a purchase on your website. If you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, you can visit AWeber Labs to build your own apps and time-saving tools through the AWeber API. With this kind of flexibility at your fingertips, you can really take advantage of customer data in order to better optimize marketing strategies.
Litmus is an email marketing tool that is primarily focused on testing and tracking your emails. This software offers a web-based drag-and-drop editor so marketers can easily build their own emails. They also have a large selection of customisable templates to choose from. Once emails have been built, previewed (in mobile/desktop) and sent out to your contact list(s), you can make use of their detailed engagement summary reports (including open rate, deletions, how long email was open, geolocation and more).

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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