Email marketing has evolved rapidly alongside the technological growth of the 21st century. Prior to this growth, when emails were novelties to the majority of customers, email marketing was not as effective. In 1978, Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) sent out the first mass email[1] to approximately 400 potential clients via the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). He claims that this resulted in $13 million worth of sales in DEC products,[2] and highlighted the potential of marketing through mass emails.
If you're inviting readers to download an ebook, for example, and you have a picture of the ebook included in the email, don't just hyperlink the text next to the image telling people to "download it here." Hyperlink the ebook's picture, too. People are drawn to images much more commonly than text, and you want to give your email subscribers as many options to get your ebook as you can.
Marketing emails need to be personalized to the reader and filled with interesting graphics. Few people want to read emails that are addressed "Dear Sir/Madam" -- as opposed to their first or last name -- and even fewer people want to read an email that simply gives them a wall of text. Visuals help your recipients quickly understand what the point of the email is.
Last but not least, we believe helpful support is extremely important specially when it comes to email marketing software. As we mentioned earlier, MailChimp support is not very helpful. You don’t even get phone support unless you’re paying them minimum of $299 per month whereas our #1 pick, Constant Contact offers helpful live chat, email, and phone support to all customers.
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. Strong stuff, which means determining exactly how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI should be a key criteria for most marketers before purchasing.
The biggest issue I have yet to resolve is the majority of clients I work with have customer lists in the the THOUSANDS, but have never embraced email marketing. Through personal experience with several of the platforms listed here they will not let you load your current customer list and start emailing. Even if the lists are validated and cleaned through a source like NeverBounce. With the new GDPR rules, they only want emails that have current, ongoing engagement. So in other words, even though you have been in business for years and have a list of current emails from current and past customers, you cannot load them in to these platforms with any success. This makes it very difficult for legacy businesses that now want to start communicating with all their prospects and customers.
You can add a little post-script to the end of your email copy, such as "Not responsible for your company's social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing." Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email, complete with subject and body text. That way, all someone has to do is enter their associates' email addresses and hit "Send."
Support availability is an important aspect to consider any time you purchase online marketing services, especially if you are a novice. Check if the email marketing software provider you plan to use offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, or email as well as comprehensive documentation. This is especially important when your marketing campaigns are time sensitive. You don’t want to end up not sending out your Black Friday newsletter just because of a technical glitch you weren’t able to fix.
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.

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