Email was kind of like the earliest form of social media. It wasn’t “public” in the same way that Facebook and Twitter would become, but you were digitally communicating with other people—sometimes large groups of them at once—at the click of a mouse. Given how fast the internet moves, it’s honestly pretty remarkable how email has stayed with us to this day. And for some people, it still acts as the center of their personal online communications system..
There’s something special about receiving a personalized, long-ish-form message in your mailbox. It’s the tiny treasure hunt that has captivated people since before there was such a thing as a mail carrier or a post office – back when it was just one toga-clad man, a bit of wax-sealed parchment, and the open road.
Things have changed, but mail is still a big deal. Your marketing operation can’t do without it, and that means you need some tools of the trade. Start here with our top 8.
Can’t do a list of email apps without the big ape! MailChimp is a strong point of entry for beginning marketers who want to get into the newsletter game. Actually, it also includes a landing page builder too—along with list segmentation, A/B testing functionality, marketing automation, and plenty else. And that’s in the free plan! MailChimp’s mobile app, however, may be its finest feature. Writing a spontaneous email on the go, from your phone, and sending it to your whole list? Pretty great.
#2 Benchmark Email
The neatest thing about Benchmark Email is how it works in multiple languages, translating things like unsubscribe pages & email footers to bridge the linguistic gap. Why limit your business to English speakers only? Benchmark Email has all the standard stuff too, like strong templates, drag-and-drop message functionality, and it can automatically send emails about your blog posts via its RSS campaign option. For free, Benchmark gets you 7 emails per month to 2,000 recipients.
SendinBlue is the ideal tool for building different email newsletters simultaneously or keeping an eye on thousands of contacts over time (you can store unlimited contacts for free!) SendinBlue lets you add multiple details per subscriber and use them to craft custom lists for demographic targeting at maximum efficiency. This app works really well—obviously—for building those focused lists marketers cherish. The downside? You can’t send as many emails at a time as other apps typically allow. But the trade-off, again, is the ability to manage multiple contacts that you can divide up into narrowed lists. It’s not perfect, but what it does, it does better than most other apps on this list.
Mailerlite‘s strength is in its templates. Where a lot of email apps are fairly inflexible as far as design and customization, Mailerlite’s templates have a unique look to them. At the same time, however, each template still uses the same content blocks, signature, etc. This takes the potential complexity of a creatively open design feature and makes it remarkably accessible to new users.
TinyLetter is a simple, no-frills way to send out quick email newsletters, which is particularly nice considering that it’s free! TinyLetter allows you to create a form that users can access to sign up for your email blasts, and it includes options for a custom background and a letter archive of your older email content.
The nice thing about Campayn is how easy it makes the transition to an email newsletter app once you’ve already started said newsletter using Gmail’s BCC field – it Campayn simplifies this transition by importing contacts right from Gmail. In its free plan, Campayn includes all of its core features, so even free users are getting excellent value here. The dashboard displays the stats of all your most recent emails, and if you move beyond what the free version can provide, Campayn has a pay-as-you-go feature or a standard monthly payment structure.
EmailOctopus will allow you to send thousands of emails per month, and it’s another freebie on our list of favorites. For a fairly low price, you can actually send more than that using Amazon SES. With EmailOctopus, you can curate email lists, custom-craft your messages, and monitor performance stats. The EmailOctopus editor functions kind of like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, which makes it a bit easier to belt out a long email, but tougher to produce a really customized design like you’d get with a traditional drag-and-drop editor.
VerticalResponse’s free plan allows you to share your most recent email blasts through Facebook and Twitter, and it does this simultaneously alongside send-out of your actual emails. Vertical utilizes both email and social media as audience-generating platforms by helping you design a custom landing page and included quote boxes, coupons, image galleries, etc. For free, VerticalResponse sends out 13 emails/month to 300 recipients.