Email marketing is important to your marketing strategy. So important, in fact, we’re going to highlight the best of the best – top 5 email marketing tools for 2016.
First, let’s talk a bit about why email marketing is pivotal to your overall marketing plan.
Benefits of Email Marketing
In an email statistics report from the Radicati Group, we learn that more than 2.6 billion people worldwide use email, and they expect more than one-third of the world’s population to be using email by 2019.
The report goes on to explain that businesses send more than 109 billion emails to their customers daily.
Email marketing is simply one of the very best ways to get in front of your customers. With email, you have the ability to land right in your customer’s inner sanctum.
In an age of ultra-personalization, you can customize your email marketing to your customers’ needs and interests. You can provide them something of value that they appreciate. This makes your business top of mind when they’re looking to make a purchase.
One of the other great benefits of email marketing is that you can segment your audience into separate lists. This allows you to reach them with targeted content. For example, let’s say you are a swimming pool company, but you also sell grills.
You can send one email to your pool customers and one email to your grill customers.
The other benefit of email marketing is that it’s inexpensive. You can reach a large number of people at a very minimal cost.
Now, let’s look at the top five mail marketing tools for 2016.
The first thing that makes MailChimp the best of the best is their Forever Free Plan – a great tool for small business owners and non-profits.
With the free plan, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month if you have less than 2,000 subscribers. For many small businesses, this is a great number. You don’t have to have a contract or even provide a credit card. You can simply send emails as long as you stay below their specified threshold.
There are a few limitations with the Forever Free plan. You can’t utilize the autoresponder tool, spam related tools and several others. That being said, the plan is still great for those with smaller email lists.
They do have great pricing on plans for subscribers with more emails.
The next reason we like MailChimp is the wealth of free resources they provide. You’ll find countless videos and tutorials to help you learn more about email marketing. They even help you fine-tune your email subject lines with history and industry stats.
We also like MailChimp’s extensive analytics. You can view the basics, or you can dive in to really explore your open and click rates as well as your opens by location, bounces, unsubscribes and more.
They also offer the ability to compare your stats to others in the industry.
You’ll find Google Analytics integration with MailChimp so you can gauge your response after the email has been sent. Their tracking tools are top notch.
We also like the fact that MailChimp is constantly improving their service. Recent rollouts in 2016 include new features such as Inbox Preview which allows you to see what your email looks like in more than 40 various email, web and mobile clients and browsers.
They have also beefed up their autoresponders as well as the ability to market to abandoned carts on your website.
Their automation workflows now include an Abandoned Cart option to send emails to recipients after they’ve left their carts on your website. They’ve also added product recommendations, and they can pull in store products to send emails to customers based on interests.
Lastly, MailChimp has numerous integrations such as SalesForce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Facebook, Zoho and more.
The next email marketing tool we like is Campaigner. Very similar, and a bit costlier than MailChimp, we like Campaigner for the its large selection of email templates.
You’ll find a brightly colored dashboard with an intuitive interface. You can use their Smart Email builder that offers numerous templates and layouts, or you can code your own.
When it comes to templates, Campaigner stands apart. They offer more than 800 themed templates. You can also store your own assets in their media library.
We like the Smart Email builder because it provides instructions on how to add photos and links.
Campaigner has terrific reporting. You can also link to Google Analytics, but in Campaigner, you can see real-time results with a built-in refresh button.
You can also find support in many ways when using Campaigner, so this makes it especially easy for the beginner with questions. You’ll find support available 24/7 and even by phone which is a real bonus.
New in 2016 is the ability to link to Saleforce, send autoresponders and set up email workflows and chat live with support.
#3: Email on Acid
Email on Acid is a great tool for email marketers.
With this tool, you can say goodbye to switching between your email service provider and text editor when coding your own emails.
With Email on Acid, you can also do all of your testing right in their system. They recently launched an email editor making it very easy to create and test your emails right in one place.
Since it’s vital to know how your emails look in various email clients and browsers and on multiple devices, Email on Acid is an incredibly useful tool to improve your emails.
#4: Scope from Litmus
If, like many email marketers, you have an inbox full of emails you like, Scope is the email marketing tool for you.
Using Scope, you can review and share desktop and mobile previews of emails you’ve received as well as your own emails. You can use their Code Inspector to look at the email code and see what the other business did to make their email so cool.
You can use the Scope It Bookmarklet to scope an email from inside a supported web mail like Gmail, for free. This is a super tool to improve your own emails.
#5: Raven URL Builder
We’re getting pretty technical now, but if you’re going to do email marketing right, the Raven URL Builder is a tool to get acquainted with.
If you’re using Google Analytics to track your website visits, it’s imperative to know where those visits are coming from.
By using this URL builder, you can track the sources. For example, if you’re sending people to your website through a link in your email, you can use this URL builder to know if your email marketing efforts are working.
Now that we’ve looked at the best of the best – top five email marketing tools for 2016, it’s time to get started.
Pick an email service and start collecting sign-ups through your website. Create newsletters and targeted email blasts. Set up automated marketing starting with the welcome email.
Give some of these tools a whirl and test them out to see if they work for your email marketing goals. And, remember, email is the top way to connect with your customers.
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Image: Darren Coleshill