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. 

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 might consider making the language in your alt text actionable, such as "Click here to download the ultimate content creation kit." Actionable alt text will essentially turn every linked image into another CTA. So, even if someone doesn't see the snazzy GIF of my latest offer (or if they hover their mouse over an image that does show up), the alt text will beckon them to click.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
These often compact agencies or single experts are specialized in email deliverability. Making sure that the email hits the inbox. They are able to solve deliverability (email goes to spam!) problems. Think about managing on-premise or their own servers, or otherwise once there is some real concern / problems with email deliverability, blacklisting, etc.
Effective email marketing campaigns are designed for all devices on which users can read their emails -- desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Email campaigns that are designed for mobile devices are especially important -- a quality known as "responsive design." In fact, 73% of companies today prioritize mobile device optimization when creating email marketing campaigns.
HostingFacts Team, Thank you for this comprehensive review of some of the most popular and well-used services. Over the last decade I have tried many and appreciate your perspective on each. I currently use GetResponse (as I’d not been as active and appreciate the price-value relationship for 1,000+ contacts. I know they’ve grown considerably and now offer many of the features of which you speak of other services you prefer. I would appreciate your updated 2018 review. THANK YOU!
Loved reading this! Which of these would you recommend so that I could set myself reminders on certain clients so that I can follow up with them in the future? I feel like I am doing a lot of extra steps that I might not have to do if I was using an actual marketing software. I am in the very beginning stages of getting my business out there and I would like to follow up with potential clients down the road with an email… is this a possibility or should I just keep using my excel spreadsheet!?
www.officeautopilot.com (Not Free - But 15 Day Free Trial): OfficeAutopilot is a real COOL tool with mind boggling features that goes beyond and Autoresponder service! The site is very user friendly and they get high deliverability. Apart from sending emails, you can set up post cards and can make pre-recorded phone calls. You can also process orders through their shopping cart. This awesome service does not come cheap but you can have a free trial.
This is a really good article and quite resourceful as well. I use an email marketing app called MaxBulk Mailer. It works great and I love it’s functionality. However, I have a difficult time using it to send mail messages to my Yahoo.com members. Yahoo has placed a block to deflect email marketing apps. I’ve recently been substituting by sending email to my list of Yahoo.com users through MailChimp. I like MailChimp, however finding a SMTP service provider who doesn’t conflict with messages sent to Yahoo users would be fantastic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.
For example, if you set up an autoresponder with an interval of 24 and you receive an email from user@example.com at 8:00 AM on Monday, the autoresponder immediately responds to the message. If, however, user@example.com continues to email you throughout the day, the autoresponder does not send another response for 24 hours after the initial email (in this case, 8:00 AM on Tuesday). If user@example.com emails you again after the 24-hour interval expires, the system sends them an autoresponse.
This article is informative, but it does not offer distinguishing features between the services covered (other than mailchimp is free). You seemed to go to great lengths to say good things about each – although I’m sure each services has positive aspects. I would have benefited much more from a rating of some sort of the various features of each service, or at least the pros & cons of each.
Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!

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.

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