Email marketing is the Rodney Dangerfield of social media marketing: it don’t get no respect. Yet it’s incredibly important. “Liking” a company on Facebook, after all, is a lot less intrusive than giving them permission to send you personalized emails. Our email inboxes are the holy grail of all marketers. In point of fact, many of the smart social media marketers today (secretly) use social media to drive email newsletter signups. And, have you ever noticed (or wondered) why when someone you “subscribe” to on YouTube posts a video you get (WAIT FOR IT) – an email? Or when you’re mentioned on Twitter you get (WAIT FOR IT) – an email? Many of the major social media platforms also (secretly) rely on email to keep nudging users to come back.
In that spirit, here are the top ten best free tools and resources for email marketing!
Email Marketing Tools
- Email Subject Line Tester – Since subject line quality is often a critical factor in email message deliverability (especially for mass marketing email messages), use this handy tool to test your proposed email subject line before clicking Send. It grades your subject line on over 20 factors using a traffic light analogy (green, yellow, red) and provides clickable links to display short definitions for each factor.
- Small Business Guide to Email Marketing – Interactive step-by-step flowchart to email marketing. Comprised of key questions and linked resources from around the web with more information. Thorough and well-done.
- Email Preview Tool – Despite the ubiquity of HTML, neither web browsers nor email clients or email services render HTML-based email messages the same way. After you’ve created your HTML-based newsletter or other communication, paste it into this tool to see how it will display in web-based email services like Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo and email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird.
- Untorch – This is an email / viral promotion tool. You establish a ‘freebie,’ and then this tool gives you code that requires users to ‘share’ your freebie to get it. Service is not free and charges by the campaign per year.
- HTML to Text Email Converter – Since some of your email newsletter subscribers prefer text vs HTML-based email messages, it’s important to send both HTML and text versions of your mass email messages so their email client can display the format they prefer. Use this handy tool to quickly convert your HTML email newsletter into a format your text-based email subscribers will appreciate.
- CSS Inliner Tool – Since some email services and email clients strip out important elements like head and style from HTML email messages, it’s important the styles in your email messages appear inline within your markup. Use this handy tool from MailChimp to convert your HTML email messages to a more email friendly format.
- Email Spam Checker – Another tool to check the deliverability of your (mass) email messages before sending, this one from Contactology. This one provides a useful HTML option, and assigns a score which assesses not only message deliverability but also the likelihood it will display correctly across all email readers (including webmail such as Gmail and Yahoo).
- Lyris ContentChecker for Email – Since even mass email messages with good intentions can be flagged by spam filters, it’s important to avoid subject lines and verbiage which will prevent your messages from getting to their intended recipients. Though multiple factors comprise email deliverability, suspicious content will almost never evade detection. Use this handy tool to check your email messages for deliverability, because you can never be too sure.
- Email Blacklist Check – The IP address of the email server from where email messages are sent is important in determining if they ultimately arrive at their destination. IP addresses of email servers used to send spam are blacklisted, preventing other, legitimate messages sent from the same IP address (but different domains) from successful delivery. If you suspect your email messages aren’t reaching their intended recipients, enter the IP address of your email server in this handy tool to check it against over 100 DNS based email blacklists.
- New Email Test – Want to see what a proposed email message will look like in your inbox? Use this nifty, free tool to test your email messages. Testing is the key to successful email campaigns.