This post will help you cut through the noise and find the best email marketing tool. Matter of fact, here’s the answer.
#1 Tools that help readers recognize you as the sender
#2 Tools that reach readers when they have time to read your email
In that order because according to Pathwire, those are the top two reasons email users open emails.
#1 They don’t open if they don’t recognize who sent it
#2 They won’t open your email if they don’t have time to read it
Tools That Solve Those 2 Problems
For #1, the tool is your ESP settings – check your “from address.” Will all your readers recognize the brand or person in the “from address” field?
#2 Reading email is a routine. Most people do it the same way. Look at inbox, delete unwanted emails, then read ‘wanted emails.’ Inbox Mailers is the only tool that sends your email on time to land in the ‘wanted emails’ pile.
Inbox Mailers is the company that discovered the email-reading behavior. By tracking billions of email sends through our network of mega-mailers.
The rest of this post showcases more email marketing tools for all the areas that will help you get more opens, clicks, and conversions.
But work on those two vital factors above first, and you could save the rest of these tools for later.
Demo Inbox Mailers to learn pricing, how it works, and if your email list is a fit.
Oh, just so you don’t waste time searching for “the best time to send emails,” I’ve got your back.
It’s why I posted the 2 main factors at the top of this article.
Because “perfect time for email” searches will take you through SEO Hades.
1,400 words just to toss you a wild guess for the best time to send a marketing email.
Here’s proof: 5 different times I found while wasting my time Googling just now:
- “The best possible time to send an email is at 1 pm, with another spike in activity around 10 am.
- Monday mornings and Friday evenings could also be quite busy for some people.
- Thursday was the best of the weekdays in terms of the highest open rate.
- Wednesday is a great day to send if reply-rate is your most important metric.
- We surveyed over 300 U.S. email marketers and found the majority reported the highest engagement for their marketing emails occurred between 9 AM to 12 PM and 12 PM to 3 PM.”
Number 5 really going out on a limb. Most of the workday!
Email Marketing Aspects / Tools We’ll Discuss
If you’re still with me, great.
Below are the topics we’ll discuss related to the other email marketing tools you can use to ramp up your campaigns’ success after you’ve shored up the main two above.
- Initial technical set-up
- Subject lines
- Inbox previews
- Bad links
- Other tool rankings
There are technical issues to set up long before you send your first newsletter or email promo.
These email marketing tools help you check to be certain your settings are correct.
#3) DMARC validation
Yes, email marketing tools and authentication always involve acronyms!
More of these authentication services will be created as more and more spammers cause issues for legit mailers like you.
So it’s wise to put Spamhaus into your news feed.
Spam will Fry Your Email Campaigns
Forgot to mention this email marketing tool. The Spamhaus guide. Not a bad read, I promise.
It will help you avoid the spam folder.
So will the following tools.
- Double Opt-in system
- Solid welcome email
- Test send w/ instant spam feedback
- Spammy word check
- Unsubscribe link (big, obvious)
Bonus: Inbox Mailers has been used by some of our clients to warm up new domains 2x faster than it normally takes. Another reason to test the platform → 50% – 70% open rates signal to ISPs that you are not a spammer.
Quick tool notes…
Double opt-ins keep people off your list who are wishy-washy and might hit you with a spam complaint later. Confirming the initial opt-in helps ensure your subscribers truly want to be on your list.
Solid welcome emails set the stage. Readers will know what to expect in your mailings and when they will arrive.
#3 above is a simple but epic tool. I highly recommend it.
Spammy word checks can be sketchy. It is more accurate when your audience isn’t familiar with you yet or your open rates are low low low.
Why? You don’t have enough positive deliverability signals to overcome spammy words. If your open rates are soaring, ISPs will likely let most spam words from you (a trusted mailer) go to the inbox. Don’t push the envelope though.
Make it easy for uninterested subscribers to unsubscribe. No tricks or burying the unsubscribe link. Focus on those who are engaged.
Super Email Marketing Tool → Subject Line Testing
Prepare for a heap of helpful links I’m about to drop on you.
Subject lines get your emails opened. Be bombastic, energetic, mysterious.
Just be sure your email content matches the promise of the subject line.
Our #1 checker is SendCheckIt.
Omnisend has a solid subject line analyzer here.
CoSchedule isn’t for everyone but be sure to give it a spin.
Use all three – compare their scores.
Also, use your ESP’s A/B testing tool on two or more subject lines to find the best performer.
Here’s a pile of power words to test in subject lines also.
Last up is this headline checker designed to rank the emotion level of headlines.
Key – The world’s best subject line won’t help without…
Deliverability → Email Marketing Tools
Deliverability means your email lands in the inbox.
It doesn’t get blocked, you’re not being throttled, and campaigns aren’t spam filtered.
We talked technical set-ups already. That starts you on the right path.
To stay on the proper path, never lose focus on deliverability.
Protect your sender rep at all costs. If you’re using practices that feel spammy, please stop.
It’s not worth the risk.
These tools help test your deliverability before you send and hurt your rep:
- Your ESP may have a deliverability tool (like SalesForce)
- Detailed forensics (detailed but results may vary)
One more is MailTrap – lots of pricing plans. Yep, free option also.
Don’t forget Opens / Clicks are Great Deliverability Tools
Every marketing tool on the web won’t help if you can’t get high open rates and clicks.
True, open rates are unreliable with Apple turning the inbox over with Mail Privacy.
But don’t ignore open rates. Test a few emails at odd hours (3 a.m.). The percentage that open immediately could be bots. Also, ask for replies to your emails. You can trust a reply.
Interactive AMP emails can help engage readers and indicate more reliable open rates.
Clicks are still solid signals. Be certain you get the clicks you want though. Goals…
Want to boost deliverability? Use a few links of big interest and value to subscribers.
Want conversions? One link with the email focused on getting that one click. (Multiple CTAs are fine in that case, just have CTAs lead to the same place)
*Tools from above that help with opens are the subject line testers.
It’s amazing how many people don’t know about the Hemingway App.
And I’m shocked it’s still free to use.
Use it to ensure your emails are easy to read.
- No Hard-to-understand sentences. Please, NONE🙂
- No Very Hard-to-understand sentences.
Adverbs? Be your own judge. But the app isn’t fond of them.
Next tool for readability is a colleague or friend. Test your emails on them. Ask them to note which parts are not engaging or worse, confusing.
No humans to assist? No problem. Use The Writer’s Diet. Another readability tool. This email marketing tool makes your words and message tangible.
Vague words are frowned upon with this tool.
Example – “That.” Tough to avoid but good to practice cutting it out. Use concrete words when possible.
Last tool in this section is Dr. Clare Lynch – her quick writing tips via YouTube.
Be a better email composer in one hour. Spend two hours on her top-notch tips and we might hire you at Inbox Mailers.🙂 She’s awesome + concise.
If you don’t like writing, then you may be tempted to use new tech to help.
Great idea. AI writers can give you epic outlines. Bots are good at providing starting points.
Not great at writing yet. ChatGPT is nice. Still, a bot. Plus, finding an opening to use it is tough with demand to test it so high.
If you can afford a writer, hire one. You’ll be freed up to focus on marketing tasks only you can do – and those you prefer.
Writers can be found on Upwork and other freelance sites. Also ask for referrals from colleagues.
Note – Good writers may not be available at a moment’s notice. Their schedule will be packed with work, so seek them out weeks before you need writing help.
Now for seeing how your emails will look.
These tools let you preview campaigns before you smash send.
Keep in mind to check the checkers.
Do test sends to your Android device to see if the “Android mobile preview” on your desktop matches what arrives on your phone. Same with iPhone.
ESP has a preview you trust? Use their preview (if you checked the checker, remember?)
If not then try each of these email previewers to see which is most consistently accurate:
- Microsoft users (powered by Litmus)
- Email On Acid
- Mail Ninja
- Get Response
Remember, to check every email. Even if your ESP has the option to “duplicate” your last email that looked perfect.
As you know, one little accidental change can jack up a link color or font. Preview 100% of your emails to keep your brand’s look and vibe consistent.
Email Marketing Tools to Prevent Bad Links
Ever think how the links in email campaigns could affect your sender score?
e-shot.net: “Every domain you link to in your email will have its own reputation. Any time you link to a domain outside of your control, you actively take on deliverability risks. This is because your sender reputation (another major influencer on your deliverability) is partly based on the reputation of your domain.”
It’s true but often overlooked.
Each domain has a spam reputation and if you’re linking to a spammy site, this can hurt your reputation as you spread the link in email campaigns.
Google has your back with its transparency tool. Test links with it here.
But you can only check one website at a time.
When you have several links to test for spamminess / suspect reputation, use this bulk tester. Check 20 sites at once!
This post at Inbox Hacking (sponsored by Inbox Mailers) covers link worries in-depth. Learn how even safe links can hurt your deliverability.
Links are connected to the person who shares them. Don’t let unhelpful links waste your readers’ time.
Give them valuable links so they see your content in a positive light → on every send.
Want other opinions on the best email marketing tool?
Extended Email Tool Rankings
Investopedia ranked their top email marketing tools of 2023.
No shock, they found MailChimp to be the top dog overall.
- Free to start
- Vast integrations
All true and solid points. Anyone can afford MailChimp starting out. And it’s easy to understand.
A good way to get your feet wet when getting into email marketing.
Investopedia broke down email tool categories and gave the prize for email automation to Active Campaign.
- Plug-n-play email automations
- Sales process automations
- Easy personalization
Mailer Lite got the nod for easiest to use email marketing tool.
- No unnecessary bells and whistles
- Easy as pie drag and drop interface
- Clutter-free workspace
Mailer Lite provides mailers with more contacts than MailChimp for those needing a free email marketing tool. (No CRM features – which tiny businesses may see as a positive instead of a negative)
No shock Investopedia handed HubSpot the award for best overall marketing suite.
You can’t toss a rock and not hit a marketing person who hasn’t at least tried HubSpot.
I’ll mention the pros in case you haven’t though:
- Does any marketing task you can imagine
- Tons of tutorials – marketing concepts and software how-tos
- Email “health monitor”
The only complaint email marketers would have about HubSpot? It’s too good. So many features, it can overwhelm users.
However, if you can constrain yourself to the features you need, it is an amazing email marketing tool and full-on CRM.
It’s worth the investment of time it takes to set up (if you have enough customers or a list big enough to justify the time investment).
Affordable / Niche
Moosend was deemed the most affordable email tool.
They don’t claim to be HubSpot. They appeal to marketers’ wallets with low pricing. You can even choose how you pay.
No, Moosend isn’t desperate. They just understand some mailers can save money by paying by number of subs or by emails sent. Smart plan!
(BTW – Moosend doesn’t allow sends from Gmail or Hotmail)
What about the king of e-commerce emailing systems? Drip got tapped as the best in e-commerce class.
- Segmentation focused on shopping behavior
- Advanced workflows
e-commerce email marketing tools should have a different strategy than general email services. That’s what separates Drip in this rankings list.
By the way, Drip has a terrific email marketing knowledge base as well.
Speaking of email knowledge bases. Bookmark these…
My go-tos for research and updated email marketing alerts. And best practice hacks.
- Optin Monster (blog is A+)
- AWeber Blog
- Marketing Profs
- Media Post (like this one → brands that email the most)
- Inbox Hacking 2x weekly newsletter (we sponsor fyi)
Summary – Email Marketing Tools
Either you came to the end of this article on the second read. Or invested time on your first encounter.
Regardless, I hope you took the first two steps to heart.
#1 Ensure readers recognize you as the email sender
#2 The only perfect time to email is when readers have time to read emails
The first one is easy to check and adjust. The second one happens only with triggered emails using Inbox Mailers’ “inbox listening.”
Inbox Mailers instantly triggers your emails to arrive when readers are actively reading emails.
This tool can be combined with all the others mentioned in this article.
Email is just another part of a person’s day. Their routine.
If you adjust your email campaigns to their email-reading routine, you will get better open rates, higher click volume, and a jump in conversions.
Judge for yourself when you see 50% – 70% open rates.
With open rates like that, every other email marketing tool you use in your campaigns will be more effective.