Basic email marketing tools

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One of the most important tools you need for email marketing is a reliable system you can use which will track and process bounced emails, ensure you are compliant with local spam laws, and allow you to track open and click through rates.

There are a number of great tools available to do this for very little cost. These generally fall into three categories – self hosted, web applications, or CRMs.

Self hosted

Self-hosted email solutions can be installed on your existing server or on a new, dedicated server. You have full control over the server configuration, and many of these are open source products, so there are no licensing fees.

The flip side of having full control over the server configuration is that you are responsible for ensuring that your platform is reliable: there are few things more embarrassing than sending an email to 50,000 email addresses and crashing your email server, making your links not work.

What’s hot: phpList, Omnistar Mailer

Web applications

“Web applications” is just a fancy way of saying that they’re essentially software as a service: the provider runs the software on their servers, taking care of server maintenance, ensuring configuration is setup to avoid spam filters, and providing support.

Many of these also provide advance reporting ensuring you can continue to optimise newsletters to increase open rates and click through rates.

They can look expensive, but remove the need to host your own email server, which can be difficult and expensive.

What’s hot: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response

CRMs

Many modern CRMs feature powerful tools for sending email. The advantage of this is that you can have live segments of data you can easily send tailored and dedicated communications to.

In addition, many of these CRMs now integrate with web applications, including Mailchimp, for the best of the web application and CRM approaches: more advanced statistics, trouble free email sending, and highly segmented email lists.

What’s hot: Dynamics CRM, CiviCRM 3.4 onwards

What tools do you use for your email marketing? Share them in the comments!

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