Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service. 

.GIFs are effective for images with simple graphics, limited colors, text images (like logos), etc. .GIFs usually are limited to 256 colors. But, it supports animation, so it is good for email design. Also, these files can be compressed into a smaller file size. Animated .GIFs do not support animation the way Flash files do, but allow you to add movement without much programming or coding. You can use jQuery to generate animated effects.
Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as we felt many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.
On a more basic level, AI improves email marketing mechanics such as A/B testing and smarter audience segmentation. This can have immediate benefits in terms of optimizing your marketing strategies for different customers and sending the right content to the right people. On a more advanced note, AI can actually optimize email content for specific audiences and product campaigns. Additionally, it can help with personalizing email content right down to the individual customer level, depending on how much information you can feed it from your CRM and sales systems. Strong stuff, which means determining exactly how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI should be a key criteria for most marketers before purchasing.
Liis, I couldn’t agree more with everything you say here. It’s such a motivating stuff . I can’t believe how far video has come since the early YouTube days. Social video is now such an important tool to modern marketing that my clients keep asking for more. The results really speak for themselves. I also love how more and more tools pop up (like slide.ly/promo and wevideo.com) to help make videos more accessible and possible for brands and companies of all sizes, not just the big brands. It’s been an interesting journey watching video grow up until now, but, I can’t wait to see what the future of video marketing will look like.

Sixty-five percent of business decision-makers visit a marketer’s website after viewing a branded video. It’s clear that quality and relevant video marketing content can dramatically improve your site’s SEO by driving people to your homepage. Additionally, video can enhance your conversion rates: HubSpot reports that 39% of business decision-makers contact a vendor after viewing a branded video.
Another good news is that your videos don’t have to be perfect. It’s the content that matters! Latest research shows that users are mostly put off by videos that don’t explain the product or service clearly enough. Low quality and poor design didn’t matter nearly as much. So it’s fair to say that video is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!

Some email marketers have also used "video gifs" as fallbacks for HTML5 videos. Unfortunately, while these will play on most email clients, the images are huge (think megabytes, not kb). The image quality is also fairly low, which is why while a few retailers tried these around 2008/2009, they’re rarely seen now. Other marketers have had some success with embedding YouTube videos in Gmail, but that's not a widely used tactic anymore. 

As you probably know, the most common workaround for embedded videos is to create a “fallback image”. This is a static image that users will see if they can’t view the video. Or you can just make an image that looks like the video, complete with the player controls at the bottom. While I was searching through several thousand emails to find examples for you, it was these static images that just looked like videos that were used 95% of the time.
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $5 per month to as much as $20 per month for a range of features. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few offer also money-back guarantees.
What's the difference between them? One-off communications versus prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, email marketing tools are excellent for one-off communications. You can use these tools for the one time you'd like to send someone an automated email response when they join a subscriber list, on their birthday, or when you promote a new product. But marketing automation tools are better suited for prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, you can use marketing automation tools whenever you want to guide someone from a subscriber list to a product purchase. Or you can send thank you emails or send new product promotions—all without having to lift a finger after the workflow is designed.
Hi, thanks for a great blog. In our office we have a debate going on about whether all of this video hype that we’re experiencing from basically everywhere today is really just, well, a hype.. In line with more and more companies using video marketing, text as we know it might fade out, pictures as we know them might fade out, but if everybody starts using video, what will then happen? Today, video is commonly seen as a way to stand out and capture users’ attention, but what if every brand start publishing video solely? Will we still want to see as much video? Will we need to capture the viewers’ attention in 2 seconds instead of 10? What do you think it requires for companies to succeed with videos and stay on top if everybody else is doing the same?
HTML5 is the latest popular language for embedding videos into emails. It offers significant benefits with rich media experience to viewers. With features like improved functionality and the video playing feature within web pages, HTML5 creates great interaction with the user. Another reason HTML5 is an advantage is that iOS devices do not support Flash.

The solution to this is twofold. Add captions to every video you upload and make sure your visual content is eye-catching and appeals to your audience without relying on audio. To illustrate, if your video is for surfers, setting it on the beach with surfers in the background will instantly make it more appealing to that audience as they scroll through the feed.
Also, even if HTML5 videos can be viewed by more and more email users, there’s still going to be a significant group of users who can’t view embedded videos. Hopefully in a few years this group will be less than 10% for users, but we have to do our email marketing with the technology we have now. Because of that, we need to create an alternative for everyone who can’t see the videos. Fortunately, there's a great alternative to embedded videos. It's been widely tested, too.

This course is for those of you who don’t just want to learn how to get more views but how to convert video views into business sales. You will learn how to create better video marketing campaigns, avoid challenges in using video marketing and implement simple principles to maximize results. This is great for anybody who has a direct online business, entrepreneurs who want to make the most of online videos for branding and sales, advertising and marketing folks who want to deliver ROI and value for their clients. Created by Sorin Constantin who is an Online Entrepreneur and Network Marketing Professional.
Sometimes businesses get so caught up in producing riveting content that they forget to prioritize branding. Sure, you need viewers to enjoy your videos, but they still need to understand the connection between the content and your company. If they don’t see the connection between the topic and your product – or, even worse, aren’t clear on who made the video – then their interest will fizzle out.
Pam Neely has been marketing online for 15 years. She's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a New York Press Award. Her book "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List" is available on Amazon.com. Pam holds a Master's Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University. Follow her on Twitter @pamellaneely.
Unfortunately, animated gifs don't work in Outlook. All you'll see of an animated gif in an Outlook client is the first frame of the gif. While that's a significant limitation (especially for B2B marketers, who usually have a larger percentage of Outlook users than B2C marketers), there is a work-around. Just create a first frame that also works as a static image.
Will you publish a miniseries about wine-making as you start your own micro-vineyard on YouTube? Users publish over 300 hours of video content hourly on the platform — often hailed as the granddaddy of video platforms. However, Facebook is on the rise with its video streaming. Remember that 49 percent of consumers connect with video streaming on Facebook.
Liis, I couldn’t agree more with everything you say here. It’s such a motivating stuff . I can’t believe how far video has come since the early YouTube days. Social video is now such an important tool to modern marketing that my clients keep asking for more. The results really speak for themselves. I also love how more and more tools pop up (like slide.ly/promo and wevideo.com) to help make videos more accessible and possible for brands and companies of all sizes, not just the big brands. It’s been an interesting journey watching video grow up until now, but, I can’t wait to see what the future of video marketing will look like.
To make your videos as memorable as possible, ensure that you’re keeping them in line with your brand strategy. This means keeping colors, fonts, logos and voice the same in your video marketing as they are in your blogs and articles. While videos do things text content doesn’t, users should still be able to recognize the style and format of your brand’s videos online.
Lighting can also be a game-changer. Use natural light whenever possible, but if not, consider using direct lamps to provide optimal lighting for the person or object you’re filming. This will help you control shadows and contrast. On the other hand, using basic three-point lighting will help give your subject more dimension and overall make your video quality look more professional.
If there’s one thing that entices everybody when it comes to video, it’s YouTube views. What better than start off with this course about YouTube marketing to get 1 million views! Created by Alex Genadinik, this Bestselling Course has been taken up by 3,500+ students and has an awesome rating of 4.7 out of 5. So for all those looking forward to building a strong & successful YouTube channel, getting a lot of views and eventually monetise it to earn money via YouTube, this course could be the best for you. 

Reading your article, I’m amazed at the statistics you mentioned. I didn’t realize the impact a single video could have on a business. Marketing will always bring more traffic to your site but having videos does even more so. It’s impressive that when seeing a video of a product, 74% of those people will buy what they watched. I’ll be sure to tell me friends with business about this article so they can boost their customer viewings!
Email marketing solutions run the gamut from basic text-based email editors to fully designed HTML or JavaScript templates. Leveraging email for marketing can take several forms, so some packages will attempt to address all of them while others will seek to specialize. For example, some businesses might decide their most effective marketing tactic is a value-add newsletter delivered to a gated community of subscribers. Others might want to tie their emails directly to their product and sales engines, providing special offers and deals to recipients.
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