Email marketing has evolved since its early beginnings in the 1970s when a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp sent a mass email to a few hundred recipients. Its novelty generated over $13 million worth of sales and heralded the birth of email marketing. Fast forward to today, 3.7 billion people use email and this will increase to 4.3 billion by 2022. This way, emails are great way for marketers to be in touch with their customers.
Contrary to the popular notion of email marketing being marketers ‘batch and blasting’ promotional emails to their subscribers, a lot of planning, testing and analysis goes behind an email marketing campaign. Even then, there is always a scope for enhancing your email marketing campaign and we have listed out 35 Tools to enhance your email marketing campaigns.
Preparing your email marketing campaign
Before you even hit ‘send’ you have a lot of preparation to do to ensure your email campaign is a success. There’s collecting emails and cleaning your database, designing your templates and coming up with the content for your email. Luckily, there are many tools available to streamline this process.
Email template production is not a task cut out for a single guy to handle, it is a collaboration of different teams. Involvement of multiple resources such as designer, copywriter, developer, marketer brings with the challenge of inter-dependencies. In a time-bound situation where a concept needs to be thought, designed, developed, tested and executed you need certain project management tools.
Sending an email involves a lot of tasks to be checked off so why not make a checklist of them. If you want a standalone checklist to keep on top of things, then try Forgett. This online form will keep you updated on progress when building your email.
With so much to organize within your email, you’re likely to have many people working on it – from designers to coders and content writers. Keep everyone up-to-date and on one page with Trello. It allows you to collaborate seamlessly, check-off different tasks, archive completed jobs and assign roles. It can be used across the world, so works if your team are remote.
A successful email marketer is the one who sends a relevant email based on the journey of the subscriber. Keeping track of thousands of subscribers is not an easy task without relying a good CRM software.
Aimed at real estate agents, Contactually offers a CRM platform that can vet your contacts. It’ll gather information from your email inbox, website and social media to help make messaging more targeted and to put all your communications in one place. So, your subscriber list and overall campaign becomes more organized.
Zoho is a multichannel CRM platform that collects multiple data from different touch points as specified and targeted by you. Additionally, for e-commerce industries Zoho also provides integration of your inventory as well as invoicing tools.
ESPs and Email Automation tools
Sending an email to all your subscribers at a time is difficult without an Email Service Provider and sending them individually based on certain trigger is not physically possible without automation. You upload your email template and your mailing list into ESP and send it simultaneously to all. By setting proper trigger in your automation workflow, an ESP sends specific email to your subscribers that satisfy a specific trigger.
Drip specifically assists eCommerce companies with marketing automation. You can design custom emails that are sent when a customer first purchases, when they abandon their baskets, or when they return to your website. It simplifies your sales funnel and has some impressive tracking capabilities – helping increase conversions.
When you want to mix things up, try E-goi to send out alternative marketing messages. You can break up an email campaign through SMS, push notifications or web notifications. Variety is the spice of life, so this approach will help increase engagement in the long run.
This is a free-to-use ESP targeted for small businesses and people with small mailing list with option to scale up for a small monthly fee. Equipped with a strong but easy-to-use email editor and automatic weeding for Bounces, SPAM & Unsubscribe, this is a good for those who are dipping their toes in email marketing.
All-in-one Email Marketing Tools
All-in-one platforms are those that have CRM, Landing Page builder, ESPs, Social media manager all under a single roof. Some of the prominent All-in-one tools are:
Mailchimp initially started out as an ESP for small scale businesses and now it has progressed to become a fully-fledged marketing platform. You can monitor the performance of your email campaigns, monitor the social ads as well as check out the leads on your landing page. One of the USPs of using MailChimp is that it supports Polls and survey embedded in emails. To learn how you can also do the same, check out the blog.
This is consistently voted one of the best marketing automation tools available. It can help streamline your email marketing through automated workflows, as well as manage an entire CRM and inbound marketing campaign. This makes your overall marketing more organized and in-sync, which will ultimately increase engagement and give a cohesive brand experience across all your channels.
This tool will provide real-time analytics, so you’ll instantly know how engaging your email campaign is. It will also tell you what links and content are performing well. Again, with the aim to increase click-throughs and conversions.
11. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor offers a drag and drop email editor along with hundreds of professionally-designed email templates and allows create personalized customer journeys to constantly engage different audiences. Additionally, you can also include content blocks that would dynamically fetch data at the time of email open to provide customized information without much tinkering in the back-end.
MailerLite is designed for people of all skill levels. It removes the complexity of creating newsletters and campaigns with easy-to-use, yet powerful features. MailerLite offers all the bells and whistles a business needs like segmentation, automation, popups, and landing pages. Yet, they manage to keep it super simple and fun.
When it’s time to take your email marketing to the next level, Omnisend is the platform for you. Offering sleek automation that includes several channels, sign up forms, landing pages, popups, segmentation, and behavioral targeting, Omnisend is a complete marketing suite for when you want to truly build a relationship with your customers.
Lead Generating Tools
PageModo is a simple tool that allows you to convert a pre-existing Facebook page into a landing page-style format. That way, you can collect leads via your Facebook and add them to your email list.
15. Hello Bar
This WordPress plugin provides an opt-in form to encourage email subscribers that’s less obtrusive than an annoying website pop-up. It can integrate with email campaign tools such as MailChimp, to automatically send subscriber data across. Marketing influencer Neil Patel is a fan, so it’s well worth a look.
What better way to encourage email subscriptions than through a competition? Rafflecopter enables you to run sweepstakes and giveaways – and drastically increase your email list at the same time.
17. Clearbit Connect
With 3.7 billion people on email, sometimes it’s a challenge to find the right address. Especially if that person is a high-ranking exec or CEO. Clearbit Connect can help, by finding the right contact in a company to email. It can provide other relevant details about a contact as well, including their job role and how long they’ve been at a company. The majority of this is publicly available data, so you shouldn’t fall foul of GDPR rules. But Clearbit does offer EU suppression that will stop some functionality that breaches GDPR.
Leadfeeder allows you to track visitors to your website and gather relevant information on them. Using this, you can send more targeted marketing, including emails that in turn should increase your open and click rates. It can integrate with most CRM systems and email marketing tools.
Building your emails
Content is king, and your email needs it to be engaging. Sending an email is only half the battle, the next step is to get people to open and click on it. These tools will help your emails stand out from the crowd.
Canva is best known for creating stunning images for social media. But it can be used to design and edit images for your emails. From something as simple as adding a logo, to creating a branded infographic, Canva is an easy-to-use option for people who aren’t full-blown designers.
The Adobe suite of tools is part of every designer’s kit. There are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Muse, InDesign and many other pieces of software to suit every design need. If you’re serious about designing your emails then you’ll need to invest in Photoshop, and perhaps Illustrator as well.
Another great site in order to search for stock photographs is Pikwizard. Here you can choose to either use the image as-is or edit it in Design Wizard (in-house tool) to add your own flair.
Less of a specific tool and more a range of resources, for stock photography without the price tag it’s worth checking out the free stock photo sites available online. Unsplash will give you artsy, social media worthy images, whilst Pexels is more classic stock imagery.
This handy tool allows you to reduce the size of any images without making them go blurry or stretched. Your file sizes generally need to be small in an email so that it loads quickly – especially since many people view emails on their mobiles. Using JPEGmini, you ensure that any visual elements of your email will appear quickly.
An interesting tool that implements AI to create personalized subject lines that sounds human while constantly learning your audience for improvement. Additionally, it supports multiple languages and provides custom tailored algorithms to create your brand voice.
Bells and Whistles
Opting for a vanilla email template is not going to help your brand stand out off the crowd. The following tools can help you add some innovations in your email to improve user experience.
If images aren’t appealing enough, consider using video. BombBomb offers you the ability to record a video and send it via Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce and many other email providers. There’s also an app available for on-the-go recording. Using video has been found to increase click rates by up to 300%.
Another way to grab attention is to use a countdown timer – this is particularly effective if you’re offering a limited-time sale, discount or event. MotionMail offers free countdown timers that integrate with most email marketing systems. The urgency is likely to increase click through rates and conversions.
If you struggle to keep on top of all your email marketing, social media, blog and RSS feed then let Feedblitz help you. This all-in-one service will convert your RSS feed and blog updates into email newsletters and automatically send them to your subscribers. You can segregate your mailing lists, so people receive only the most relevant content, as well as share via social media and schedule emails to send.
Stuck with writer’s block? NewsletterBreeze will curate content for your email in under five minutes. It collects the leading industry news and will work with most email marketing software.
Testing your email
An untested email client is a one-way ticket to ruin your brand reputation. The following tools are to check how an email template is rendering and how it can improve. For more in-depth analysis, there are some standalone tools to consider.
Litmus is one of the best ways to test your emails across any device. 40% of consumers use multiple devices to access the Internet, so your email needs to look right on all of them. It will also make sure that your email isn’t classed as spam by the major email companies. Litmus will also provide some spam and subject line testing, along with optimising your landing pages.
29. Email on Acid
This catchily named company goes beyond email opens and clicks to provide a heat map of where in your email most caught the eye. It also tells you whether someone has read, skimmed or deleted your email. This is vital to creating engaging content over the long term, as you can prioritize parts of your email that performs well. Eventually this will lead to higher engagement and clicks.
This handy tool will grade the effectiveness of your subject line, depending on how compelling it is and whether it’s the right length (based on industry standards). Getting the right subject line is crucial to increasing your email open rate. Better still, the tool is completely free.
Checking Deliverability & SPAM check
Simply copy and paste your subject line, subheader and email copy into this online tool and it’ll warn you if your email will trigger spam filters. Plus, it will tell you what areas you should change to avoid being relegated to spam. Of course, nobody really opens their spam folder (or trusts the content inside) so avoiding being classed as spam is a surefire way to increase your opens and clicks.
Competitor Analysis Tools
Subscriber preferences dictates the type of content they expect in the emails. By studying how your competitors are performing, you can make improvements in your own emails and these tools help you conduct competition analysis.
Owletter is a competition analysis purely designed for emails. It will collate all your competitors’ emails into a user-friendly dashboard, so you can see at-a-glance what other companies are doing (and maybe copy a few of their better ideas!). It also frees up your inbox for the important stuff, instead of clogging it up with endless newsletters.
Beetle email caters to a wide variety of brand from different industries and curates emails from them. The USP of this tool is that you can also suggest for brands if not available in their database.
This new tool uses data to determine the best send times for your email. It will track when your target audience are usually online, ensuring that your email is seen by the most people when it is sent. Naturally, this helps to increase open rates.
Intercom works within other marketing channels, such as apps, to send email messages to users. For example, if you wish to promote an event to app users or help someone who is having trouble using an app, Intercom will let you send email conversations within the app itself – generally giving a more unified, timely customer experience.
This free tool will tell you if your email is opened and read by a recipient. Admittedly, you might not want hundreds of ‘read’ notifications to flood your inbox, but for the select few (like the CEO of a Fortune 500 company) you can tell if they have read your message.
Related to this is Mailzinger. When you send an email campaign, you might not want to receive hundreds of out-of-offices or replies to your inbox. Mailzinger will let you set a time when it delivers your campaign responses, instead of constantly interrupting you throughout your workday.
It also has a powerful email alias feature that creates a unique email address for each campaign. That way, you will instantly know what campaign a person is responding to.
Tools are there to help you, use them
There are many good tools available at competitive pricing to make your email marketing easier, more effective, and engaging. It’s worth spending some time to figure out what tools work for your needs.
You can bet your competitors probably are. Businesses that fail to use today’s email marketing technology will find their emails gathering dust in inboxes. Or worse still, the spam folder.
Izaak Crook is the Content Marketing Manager at AppInstitute, a SaaS App Builder platform that allows anyone to create their own iOS and Android app without writing a single line of code.