Email Marketing Tools And Strategies

When it comes to email marketing, there are a lot of different strategies and tactics you can use to engage your audience. If you want to build a successful email marketing strategy, though, the first thing you need to do is understand the tools available to you.

What are email marketing tools?

Email marketing tools are services that allow you to manage your email campaigns. They generally include features that help you do things like:

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Create landing pages that collect subscriber data and send automated messages (like welcome messages)

Build and send emails using templates or custom-designed emails

View analytics related to your campaign, including open rates and click rates

There are many different email marketing tools available today, with options for businesses of all sizes. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which service will work best for your business.

Before choosing an email marketing tool, it’s important to understand exactly what you’ll need from the service—so you don’t end up paying for features you won’t use.

Email Marketing: How to do it, Strategies, Tools, & Examples

Email Marketing Tools And Strategies

Each year the number of email users is growing at an astonishing rate. It is expected that by the end of 2022 there will be over 4.2 billion users. What these numbers show, besides that email remains one of the preferred ways for business communication, is that email marketing is still a highly effective way of reaching out to potential customers – if not essential in order to get the best out of a marketing strategy.

Considering the fact that there are over 293 billion emails being sent every day, it’s inevitable to ask the question. In a sea of emails, how can you make your business stand out from the crowd and get bigger sales by higher open and click-through rates?

  1. Get Personal – But Have Your Boundaries
    There’s no doubt that email personalization is a great tactic proven to have amazing benefits on your mail campaigns. According to Invesp, compared to non-personalized, personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates. The benefits even go further. An Epson research states that 80% of the customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides a personalized experience.

While it’s great to familiarize the relationship you have with your customers, you have to be careful not to cross the line. Overusing names will just make you look weird in your customer’s eyes and damage your reputation.

In a study conducted by YouGov, 32% of the participants stated that they don’t like personalized messages because it felt like they’re invading their privacy, while 29% stated irrelevance as their top reason for disliking marketers using their name in emails.

Here’s where having the right customer data can help a lot. For example, another option for personalization is to use general user data, such as birth dates.

An Experian research found out that birthday emails generate 342% higher revenue per email, 179% higher unique click rates and 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails. This looks like a pretty good reason to include personalization emails in your email marketing strategies, right?

Using custom data can help you in creating tailored campaigns
But, don’t forget that personalization is more than just mentioning each customer’s name in the email. There are plenty of other ways to do it and it’s up to you to test and see which option works best for your mail list.

  1. Keep Your Subject Lines Short
    47% of email recipients open the mail based on the subject line only, and those that are personalized are 22% more likely to be opened. This shows that subject lines are extremely important for your email marketing campaign’s success. However, statistics show that it’s not just the content you need to be careful about, but the number of the characters used as well. In fact, email subject lines with 6-10 words are those with the highest open rate. Another statistic that goes well in your advantage is that those subject lines with a sense of urgency or exclusivity give a 22% higher open rates.

Example of a short and relevant subject line
What seems to be a simple one-liner, can, in fact, take a lot of time to create the right one. Subject lines can either make or break your campaign’s success. So, the next time you’ll find yourself crafting one, keep in mind that the more you tell with less, the better the chances of a successful campaign you have.

  1. Pick the Right Time for Email Sending
    Timing is everything when it comes to the success rate of your email campaigns. You are surely aiming for improved open and click-through rate so choosing the time wisely is an element you should focus on. One more reason is that loyal users may want to engage with your content (share with friends or on social media, etc.). Having that in mind, you should use all the tools you can to determine what’s the best timing for them.

There is no one-fits-all time to send. A huge factor to consider here also is the type of business you own. Here’s a table that will help you find the perfect timing depending on your type of business:

Six business types and their optimal sending time by Sendinblue research
Six business types and their optimal sending time by Sendinblue research
On average, 51% of the companies are currently using automation, which is no wonder – there are countless marketing automation tools that can help you execute advanced multivariate testing in order to find the ideal timing for messaging your users. In return, this will save your business plenty of time and resources and will let you focus on the important aspects of your email marketing strategy.

With the help of tools like these, you can incorporate AI delivery, which basically means that the automation software itself learns what resonates best with your audience by tracking their actions. It takes a certain period (from the moment users enter your email list) to intelligently decide when the users engage most with your app based on previous behavior. Consequently, users will receive your messages at the ideal moment. This type of email optimization can definitely save you from investing time and resources into the wrong email marketing strategies.

  1. Give Away Freebies
    Promotional giveaways cannot only significantly increase the number of subscribers, but they can increase your income as well. You might be skeptical as to why you should give away something free of charge, but this kind of promotional content is what many subscribers like and are willing to give you their email address in exchange for. Freebies such as templates and tools are the most popular with a 26% to 66% click-through rate.

Freebies giveaway can make your email list grow bigger
However, as much as you want your email list to grow bigger and bigger, there are rules to be followed, and by that, we mean the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act). According to the CAN-SPAM Act, when sending out an email, it should have a relevant subject line, your commercial email address at the bottom and an unsubscribe option in every mail – no exceptions.

Therefore, even though your subscribers gave you their email in exchange for a freebie, you still must follow what the law says, not just because of the legal consequences, but more importantly – because building trust between your brand and your customers is the #1 marketing strategy you have up your sleeve!

  1. Send Mobile-Friendly Emails
    Imagine sending an email that looks so good. But the moment you open it on your phone the images don’t show and the design looks bad. As a result, your subscribers aren’t able to interact. This situation can seriously affect your campaign’s success.

Here are some quick design tips that will help your marketing strategy to avoid the dislikes by your subscribers:
Create one-column mails
Place important text-centered
Have an easy-to-tap, call-to-action button
Use a bigger font size
Display small images
Mobile-optimized design is crucial for your email campaign’s success.
Example of a mobile-optimized design
80% of the Internet users own a cell phone and this number is even expected to grow over the years. That’s why you should never leave your email marketing strategy without a mobile-friendly design. Regardless of where subscribers check their email, make sure to always send emails that will be of high-quality.

  1. Segment Your Subscribers
    Segmenting your email lists speaks more directly and intelligently to your users. It gives them the right information at the right moment. If you do it right, the results will be certain. In their research about the power of segmentation for marketing campaigns, Optimove found out that target groups with up to 150 customers had at least $1.90 uplift per customer. The groups of 1,500+ had an uplift of $0.90 the most. This shows that the smaller the group, the bigger the range of possible campaign outcomes.

According to Lyris’s Annual Email Optimizer Report, businesses that use email segmentation experienced 24% higher sales. Subscribers want to receive relevant content to their likes and dislikes – since it creates a seamless customer experience. Taking this into consideration, it is crucial to properly segment your lists to maximize your engagement.

Email list segmentation results from a research done by Lyris, Inc.
Table with the results of an email list segmentation research
Some quick and easy segmentation strategies to help you in the process:
Segmentation on demographic data – One of the basic ways you can segment your list is to do it by demographic data (gender, age, location, income level, company position, etc.). If you are a clothing retailer, knowing the gender of your customers will be a piece of essential information. On the other hand, if you are a B2B software developer, demographics such as company position will be of great value.
Segmentation on email engagement – This may sound basic, but it truly has a huge impact on the overall results. The main metrics here are the open rate and click-through rate. Using this type of segmentation, you can designate active vs. inactive users (ex. Someone that hasn’t opened your email in 90 days). After creating this segment, you can target your inactive users by crafting a specialized re-engaging campaign.
Segmentation on past purchase – This is another simple but effective way to optimize your targeting. You can start by sending recommendations for similar purchases these users have made. Let’s say someone has purchased a hair product from your site. You can make an educated guess about when this product might run out and send an email to the very same user suggesting reorder ahead of time.
Segmentation on the position in the sales funnel – A valuable way to customize your messaging is to segment your users by where they are in the sales funnel. The point is, you can’t target those users at the bottom of the funnel with the same messaging as those who are at the top. If they are at the bottom – a group of brand-new subscribers – you should send more generalized messages offering a range of products or features. However, if they’ve already signed up and have already interacted with your content you can use that information, determine what they’re interested in and target them more specifically.

  1. Re-engage with Inactive Customers
    You will roughly lose a quarter of your subscribers every year if you don’t work hard to send engaging and relevant information. Email list decay is inevitable, but you can prevent it to a certain degree. So, how do you keep your subscribers active, or to put it in another way – how do you make inactive subscribers active again?

Re-engagement email campaigns, or also known as win-back campaigns, include sending a sequence of emails in order to get the inactive subscribers to interact with you.

Before you do this, you need to define what inactivity means to you:
What does being inactive means to you, and for what period of time? In particular, is it being inactive for a period of 3, 6 or 9 months? Think about what is it that your subscribers don’t do anymore that fits your inactive criteria. They don’t log in as much as before, or maybe they haven’t purchased anything in the last month?
Think about all the actions that your subscribers do or don’t do that fit your inactive criteria. For example, many companies try to engage with their subscribers as much as possible. This comes to the point where they send out too many emails and the subscribers find them not relevant. Also, never underestimate the power of good email design. If your emails aren’t user-friendly and mobile-optimized, then there is a risk that your email will be marked as spam, deleted, or even not opened.
When it comes to the right strategy, you need to answer the above-mentioned questions, then you can focus on creating the re-engagement campaign. There are many creative ways for executing the win-back. Some go for the “we-miss-you” type of campaigns, as well as discounts, and promo codes – or maybe even both.

The win-back campaigns are often not so easy. But keep in mind that companies that invest in re-engaging campaigns in their email marketing see a $28.50 return on each $1 spent. This means that getting back inactive subscribers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.

Whatever your strategy is, you might send a certain number of emails and your subscribers don’t come back. In this case, it’s best to simply ask them about their email their preferences. Let them decide whether they still want to receive your emails. A cleaned-up email list is better for your email marketing success than spending resources on subscribers that won’t come back no matter your strategy.

The most powerful way to find out what works best for your business is to always test your email campaigns. This will save you typos, errors, bounces, and other kinds of troubles that could have been prevented should you sent out test emails prior to the official one.

Also, it’s important to note that testing isn’t something you should do occasionally, but rather continuously on-the-go. Testing different variations of the same email campaign will give you plenty of information about how your subscribers respond. You will know what works well, and what needs to be improved in your next campaigns.

Having so many possibilities that lead to growth and success is what makes email marketing both a challenging and exciting process. It is a great basis for creating well-planned strategies that will lead to generating higher sales – if executed the right way. Putting a substantial amount of effort into communicating with your subscribers on their way of becoming loyal customers is what’s going to put you in front of your competition.

free email marketing tools

Marketing trends and channels evolve over time. While some trends come and go quickly, one of the channels that has remained more or less the same is email. In fact, email continues to be the top channel for content marketing with both B2C and B2B marketers. 87% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use it to nurture their audience.

It can even help you amplify your other marketing channels such as social. With that said, marketers still face a ton of challenges in their email marketing efforts. One of these key challenges is simply the amount of time it takes to create a great looking email from scratch. Without efficient tools, marketers may end up spending a lot of time creating and sending out emails that don’t exactly look stunning. This hinders productivity while dragging down your email marketing ROI.

A lot of companies settle for this situation because they’re not ready to invest in a tool to simplify the process. However, email marketing tools don’t necessarily have to be expensive. You can find plenty of free email marketing tools that can help you save time and money.

If you’re looking for a social management solution to complement your email marketing, test out a free 30-day trial of Sprout Social:

Start your free Sprout trial

Read on for our list of the top free email marketing tools:

  1. HubSpot Email Marketing
    HubSpot, probably best known for their marketing automation platform, recently launched a free email marketing tool that can support a lot of a small business’ transactional email needs.

Whether you need to send kickback emails from lead offers, thank you emails after purchase, or just promote current campaigns, HubSpot Email Marketing’s free version can do that. One of the best parts of HubSpot’s free email tool is its ease of use. The tool features a handy drag-and-drop visual editor, and it also comes equipped with ready-made templates to get you up and running immediately.

What makes HubSpot Email Marketing stand out is, of course, its native integration with other HubSpot tools, such as the free-forever CRM. Once you start an account, you get access to both tools so you can create a centralized contacts database, organize it in lists, and manage and track email performance.

hubspot email marketing tool

  1. Sender
    Sender is one of the best free email marketing tools in the market with features to ensure deliverability. It lets you create stunning newsletters without any HTML knowledge. Just choose from a template and customize it with elements like images, videos and text. You can even personalize your newsletters for each recipient to create an even bigger impact.

Sender dashboard screenshot
Sender’s robust analytics feature is one of the top reasons why it’s on our list. It lets you track who opened your emails and clicked on the links, when they were opened and more. It even helps you build accurate buyer profiles based on your subscriber actions, so you’ll be able to optimize your existing email strategy and craft compelling offers.

  1. Sendinblue
    Sendinblue is a marketing communication platform that features both email marketing tools and additional functions such as customer relationship management and landing page creation. With over 70 design templates, Sendinblue’s email design functions make it easy to create a great-looking email. Plus, all of these templates are responsive, and you can preview your results to can ensure your design looks the way you want on any screen format.

After you design your email, you can use features like A/B testing and segmented recipient lists to take the manual effort and guesswork out of optimizing your campaigns and targeting your ideal audiences.

sendinblue email editor

  1. Omnisend
    Omnisend is a sophisticated ecommerce marketing platform that integrates all your communication platforms in one place. Its free plan includes only email, but it’s more than enough to support the email marketing efforts of small and medium businesses. It allows you to automate your email delivery using behavioral triggers and easily time your communications based on your customers’ convenience.

You can utilize its comprehensive audience insights to send out more relevant email marketing messages. Design attractive newsletters using time-saving features like the Product Picker, which lets you select all the products you want to include in your email. You can also include scratch cards, discount coupon codes and gift boxes to further optimize your email performance.

Omnisend dashboard screenshot

  1. SendPulse
    SendPulse advertises itself as a multi-channel marketing platform, but its email marketing feature is the most popular. It comes with a ton of professionally-designed email templates that you can easily customize using a drag-and-drop editor. You can then set up these customized emails to be automatically sent out at the right time based on user behavior, event trigger and other variables.

SendPulse’s subscriber rating feature is an excellent way to identify your most valuable subscribers. It lets you analyze the open and click rates as well as the read and unread rate of each subscriber. You can even set replaceable text fields to personalize your emails by name, gender, date of birth, age and job role.

SendPulse subscriber rating

  1. Benchmark Email
    Benchmark Email is a great option for an email marketing tool to design responsive emails that look great no matter which device they’re viewed on. If you need to add images to your email, you can even edit the image right on the platform. The email editor lets you add effects, stickers and text to effectively send across your message.

You have the option to choose from tons of pre-designed templates based on industry, type and occasion. For the more HTML savvy, you can even use the code editor to build emails from scratch. The dual view feature lets you see your email design as you’re editing it, which simplifies the whole email creation process.

Benchmark Email responsive design templates
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  1. Mailchimp
    Mailchimp is a leader in email marketing tools that you’ve probably heard of. Their free plan provides you with basic email marketing features such as email creation and scheduling. What makes this a great email marketing tool is its smart recommendations feature, which provides you with valuable audience insights to optimize your marketing efforts.

Designing emails on the platform is easy using the Content Manager, where you can store your images and files for easy access. Mailchimp lets you automate your emails at crucial steps of the buyer journey, so you can easily send out welcome emails, order confirmations, abandoned cart reminders and more.

Mailchimp content manager screenshot

  1. MailerLite
    Sophisticated features like the landing page builder and the pop-up customizer make MailerLite stand out among free email tools in the market. In addition to the basics like the drag-and-drop email builder, the tool comes with a rich text editor and a built-in photo editor to create stunning emails.

MailerLite email customizer
You can create responsive landing pages to match the emails that you send, which will improve your chances of driving conversions. You can run split tests on different variations of your email to see what works best to drive clicks and conversions. MailerLite also provides you with a comprehensive campaign report that contains important stats like click rate, unsubscribe rate, open rate and more.

  1. Mailjet
    Mailjet comes with intuitive and collaborative tools to help you build effective email marketing campaigns. Customize any of the pre-designed templates and create responsive emails to impress any recipient no matter which device they’re using. If you work with a team, you’ll love the platform’s real-time collaboration feature that allows for seamless collaboration.

This email marketing tool also lets you add dynamic content so you can create personalized and relevant emails for each recipient. This helps you get much better results out of your email marketing campaigns. You can also integrate the platform into your CRM and easily manage your mailing list through a single dashboard.

Mailjet contact statistics

  1. Moosend
    Moosend is an excellent email marketing tool that lets you automate repetitive tasks and saves you time. You can design behavioral email campaigns based on your subscribers’ information and/or activities. You can use its advanced segmentation feature to send highly accurate emails to each recipient, increasing open rate and click-through rate as well as ROI.

This tool provides you with a detailed campaign performance report so you know exactly how to optimize your campaigns and get even better results. You can even integrate it with some of your favorite apps to seamlessly pass on vital information between different tools. It’s also one of the only free email marketing tools that won’t include its logo in your emails.

Moosend email performance report

  1. EmailOctopus
    EmailOctopus is a simple email marketing tool that runs on the Amazon SES infrastructure. While the free plan doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other free email marketing tools on this list, it does allow a lot more emails per month than most of them.

You can send out unlimited emails from as many email addresses as you like. This makes it the perfect solution for a small agency or entrepreneur representing other brands. It also integrates with third-party apps like MailOptin, WordPress and Zapier so you can seamlessly exchange customer data between different tools.

EmailOctopus email performance report
Bottom line
Most of these free email marketing tools come with robust features even without the need to upgrade to a paid plan. Small businesses and marketers should be able to make the most of them while saving time and money. Even if you need to upgrade to accommodate your business needs, you’ll find that many of the paid plans are affordable and flexible enough to fit your budget.

If you’re just starting out your efforts on this channel, check out our email marketing guide for more ideas on how to get the most out of your tools.


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