You know the names — Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram. You’ve likely heard the tales — viral posts, exploding marketing campaigns. Still, when the rubber meets the road, 140 characters doesn’t always cut it. When you have a longer message to send, you need an email.
Email may not be as flashy as a Tweet, but it can be remarkably effective. Question: How can you harness the magic of an old-fashioned email marketing campaign? Answer: With the right tools. Here are some of the best (free) email marketing tools that will help you convert leads into sales.
With the Free for Life plan, subscribers can send up to 10,000 emails per month, an amount far higher than what’s available with most free programs. By signing up, you have access to a huge array of features, including email templates for nearly every occasion and industry, photo editing, message tracking, and a code editor for users who are more HTML savvy. As your email list expands to an international market, Benchmark Email also translates your email footers and unsubscribe pages into a variety of languages, including Chinese.
With 15 million customers, Mail Chimp must be doing something right. The program allows you to build on your e-commerce marketing strategy by connecting with your online store. It also has integrated Facebook advertising, marketing automation, tracking analysis, and customization features.
While there are a plethora of paid features that are worth consideration on Litmus, there are some spectacular free options as well. In case you’ve ever wanted to know how other marketing geniuses pull it off, Litmus’ free program Scope will give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse. It also lets you review and share mobile and desktop previews of your own emails. A little apprehensive about sending an email without first previewing it? Putsmail lets you do just that. Simply enter your desired recipient list, subject line, and HTML to view a fully functional perspective of your marketing campaign. Though online forums usually have about as much information as your refrigerator, Litmus’ Community betrays the odds. There, you can communicate with other marketers who are tech-savvy and willing to help each other overcome the challenges of Outlook and Gmail.
VerticalResponse’s free plan allows subscribers to store up to 1,000 contacts and send up to 4,000 emails every month. While this number is much less than what other programs provide, it is a solid option for businesses that don’t have a wide circulation. Choose from a library of professionally designed mobile-friendly email templates, automatic email welcome messages to new subscribers, and analytics so that you know who opened the email and what links they clicked on in the email.
For people who appreciate simplicity, Mad Mimi delivers. It offers a free newsletter plan and simple email templates with a straightforward interface that makes email marketing very doable. Through an ‘Add Things’ feature, you can engage in RSS marketing, create web forms, and more… but it’s completely functional (and not overwhelming) if you choose not to as well. The program allows you to deliver up to five emails a month to 2,500 recipients at no cost.
Another user-friendly option that is intuitive for people who don’t necessarily know how (or want) to code, ReachMail lets you create an email marketing campaign within minutes. There is a myriad of reporting features to help you analyze what’s working in your efforts, as well as automated social media sharing, a spam checker, email list cleaning, and free email templates.
Sendloop is unique in that it allows you to send drip campaigns — that is, automated emails that go out whenever people buy a product, sign up to a list, or anything else — for free. It also provides detailed stats about your efforts so that you know when to stay the course or change direction. Similar to Mad Mimi, you’re granted five emails per month to a maximum of 2,000 people.
Selecting the right tool to craft your email marketing is just the beginning of the journey. You still need to create your emails, learn the apps, and build your list of contacts. It’s a lot of work, to be sure, but worth every minute if you use the right approach.