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Email might not be the sexiest form of communication around these days what with smartphones and Apple Watches and pigeon-drone hybrids but it's still going strong in the business world.

In our recent email marketing census, 74% of marketers said they believe email still be one of the highest channels for delivering ROI in five years’ time.

But email marketing is far from easy, and anyone like me who ignores 99% of the stuff that lands in their inbox will know first-hand how competitive this channel can be. 

I thought it would therefore be good to take a look at some tools that can make the life of an email marketer much easier. 

MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms for a reason. Its interface is clean and simple, and it offers plenty of decent features on its free account.  

Mailchimp 

The best thing about this platform is how easy it is for email marketing beginners to pick up. The interface is ridiculously intuitive and Mailchimp publishes plenty of content to guide you through the process of creating an email campaign. 

Dotmailer

It’s probably worth mentioning the platform that Econsultancy uses. If you’re already subscribed to our newsletter then you’ll be aware of Dotmailer’s ability to create earth-shatteringly brilliant emails, obviously.

Dotmailer

With a simple drag and drop interface and great segmentation and automation features, this tool is another easy one for beginners to pick up but also capable of performing some of the more advanced email marketing techniques. 

Touchstone subject line analyser 

Getting your subject line right is crucial if you want to persuade people to open your email. Thanks to this tool you don’t need an encyclopaedic knowledge of subject line strategy to get it right. 

Touchstone subject line analyser

The results are based on a fairly impressive database of around 1.6bn tested subject lines, which means they must be fairly reliable, and on the free account you get six free database searches per month and access to all the same features as the paid accounts.

As always, however, don’t just rely on one tool to do the work for you. Use this as a guideline and then do your own testing to see what works best for your customers.  

Litmus Scope

The first thing that struck me about this tool is how easy it is to set up. You just drag and drop the ‘Scope it’ button into your browser toolbar and you’re ready to go. 

The tool lets you view desktop, mobile or text-only versions of emails within your browser. It also lets you see the code behind any email, which is handy if you see something you really like and want to know how it was created. 

Litmus Scope

The best part? It’s completely free.

VWO A/B split test duration calculator

This is another tool that makes an email marketer’s life easier. If you’re planning on doing a split test and you know how much improvement you want to see, this tool will tell you how long to run the test in order to get a significant result. 

There’s also a 30-day free trial on offer (limited to 1,000 visitors), so well worth trying out if you’ve not used it before. 

VWO A/B split test duration calculator

IsValid A/B split test significance calculator

You’ve completed an A/B split test: nice work. If you want to know how significant the results are you can run them through this simple tool and get a nice little visualisation.

IsValid A/B split test significance calculator

There are other tools out there that can do this, but I like this one for two reasons: firstly the visualisation looks good, and secondly it’s free to use. 

The Hemmingway app

On the Econsultancy blog we often talk about the need for simple language and sentence structure. The Hemingway tool is a great way to ensure your writing is easy to read. 

It highlights all kinds of writing faux pas, from the dreaded passive voice to using words so long or obscure they make you sound like a premeditatedly cantankerous prolix. 

Hemmingway app

Cliché Finder

On a similar note, you don’t want people to screw their face up in disgust when they read your email, so don’t fill it with the kind of tired old clichés you might find in the average LinkedIn ‘influencer’ article.  

For every cliché there is a much less annoying alternative. Just call a spade a spade and make sure your email does exactly what it says on the tin. 

Cliche finder

Cliche finder

Lyris ContentChecker

Navigating your way through spam filters is one of the most painful parts of an email marketer’s life. You spend an entire afternoon crafting the perfect email only to find that half your contacts didn’t even see it in their inbox. 

Lyris ContentChecker lets you submit your email copy and subject line and then gives you a spam score, which tells you whether your email is likely to end up in recipients’ junk folders or not. 

Lyris Content Checker

It’s well worth running your emails through a tool like this every single time, even if all your previous ones have made it through spam filters. Better safe than sorry. 

Sendforensics email deliverability test

This is another tool for testing whether your email will actually make it to its intended destination or end up scrabbling about in the junk with the PPI claims. 

This one offers more functionality in the form of detailed analytics along with industry and regional benchmarking. 

Sendforensics email deliverability test

The downside is you have to sign up for an account to get access to the tool. But it’s free to use so still worth a look.

SenderScore.org

SenderScore gives your IP a rank from 0-100 against millions of other IPs. 0 means you’re untrustworthy compared to other IPs and 100 means you are trustworthy by comparison. 

Senderscore.org

Rebump

This is another free one. For the extremely busy (read: forgetful) among us, following up every email you send often doesn’t happen. 

Rebump keeps track of whether your emails have been replied to and then sends a personalised follow-up message if needed. 

Rebump

I do have slight concerns over automated email copy, but I can see how this tool could save a lot of time when it comes to basic follow-ups that only really need to remind the recipient of the original message. 

FollowUp.cc

This is another simple productivity tool that can make your life easier. FollowUp can track opens and schedule future emails, and it can also send you reminder emails to save you cluttering up your inbox or calendar. 

FollowUp.cc

Essentially it takes the manual work out of keeping track of the people you’ve emailed and when to follow up. 

It comes as a free plugin for Chrome and according to the description it works on any email platform. 

BrandMyMail

The clue is in the name for this one. This tool helps you make your emails look pretty. Or ‘on brand’ if you want to be all marketing about it. 

BrandMyMail

Again you don’t have to be a seasoned designer or technical genius to use this tool, so it’s a good one for anyone starting out who wants to make a positive first impression on their customers. 

MailChimp HTML to text email converter

This tool is another free one, and you don’t even need a Mailchimp account to use it. 

Just copy and paste your HTML email into the box and instantly get it converted to plain text. 

MailChimp HTML to text email converter

Rapportive

Not necessarily a marketing tool in itself, but this simple plugin for Gmail shows you the LinkedIn profiles for your contacts so you can instantly see who/where they are and what they do. 

Look, it's Econsultancy Deputy Editor Christopher Ratcliff! I'd better network him immediately...

Rapportive

Want to learn loads more about digital marketing and see what other brands are doing? Book your ticket for the Festival of Marketing 2015 now.

Jack Simpson

Published 31 August, 2015 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

252 more posts from this author

Comments (9)

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Zsofia Kerekes

Zsofia Kerekes, Content Marketing at Whisbi

SideKick is a good alternative of Rapportive

over 1 year ago

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Julia Putnina, Web Ops / UX Manager at The Co-operative InsuranceEnterprise

What about http://8seconds.net/ . I've used it for MVT and A/B testing, found it easy-to-use both setting up and reporting.

over 1 year ago

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Arun Raghav, Content developer at Velocity

Email marketing is very important in this tough competitive business environment. Emails are still one of the most widely used formal communication medium among various business organizations. They are still used to send bulk messages to influence targeted customers about your brand and business organization. But, in order to increase the appeal of your email, you need to advertise your email messages well with the help of other communication mediums like social media, banner advertisements and such other methods. Using web analytics and testing tools can also play a significant role in improving the conversion rates of your business emails.

over 1 year ago

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Niraj ranjan, Founder at grexit.com

Excellent article, Jack. That's a useful list you've got there. Such tools ensure better CTRs by helping your content stand strong in the crowd. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at grexit.com)

over 1 year ago

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jason william, Student at 10001

I am currently using mailchimp on my site http://webvaluecheck.com/
I was generally looking for some better alternative, thanks for sharing this list Jack.

over 1 year ago

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Mark Stockton, Owner at Developing The Web

Cliche Finder is a genius idea, as is the likening to the rubbish that gets posted on LinkedIn these days.

over 1 year ago

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Alexandru Rada, founder at Vibetrace

Hi there.

Email marketing just evolved from sending blast emails to remarketing and personalization.
I would also recommend Vibetrace.com, especially for ecommerce businesses. While Mailchimp is good for any situation, in ecommerce you need some features not found in other places:
- automatically include products inside emails;
- advanced segmentation based on ecommerce activity/history/profiling
- add dynamic content (algorithms to populate emails and site with the right content)

Thank you for the article.

over 1 year ago

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Victor Wood, manager at ccc

I don't agree that MailChimp is the best email marketing platforms. Personally I prefer GetResponse cause it's so easy to use and intuitive.

over 1 year ago

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David Swift, CEO at SwiftERM

What about considering http://www.SwiftERM.com the only fully automated email remarketing SaaS in the world for ecommerce, it's won awards and is integrated with Trustpilot?

about 1 month ago

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