(This article was originally posted on December 1, 2014, and has been updated to be even more awesome!)Email continues to be one of the most effective methods of content marketing. You’re reaching out to people who want to hear from you, in order to give them information they’re interested in. What could be easier?
If you’re thinking of starting an email newsletter, or have one but want to make it easier, check out these tools from around the web. They’ll help you design nicer emails in less time, and track the results.
Create great emails
There are all kinds of online services at various price points that help you create stunning emails. Depending on the platform you choose, you can use their predesigned templates or make your own, track opens and clicks, test different subject lines, and manage your email list with ease.
If you have a small email list, check out Mail Chimp. It has a lot of great features, and if you have under 2,000 subscribers, and send fewer than 12,000 emails per month (that is, if you have 1,500 subscribers, you can send up to 8 emails to the entire list each month), you can use it for free.
Mail Chimp also offers a free Subject Line Researcher tool that allows you to test the effectiveness of different keywords based on actual open rates collected over time.
Stay out of spam folders
Email Spam Test is a free online tool that tests your emails through popular spam-filter algorithms to see how likely it is to hit inboxes instead of spam folders. You can limit your test to just the subject line, or test the whole email. Don’t use all caps and avoid words like “free” in your subject lines to keep yourself out of the spam folder.
Design cool graphics
You don’t need a degree in design to create great graphics. Canva is a free online graphic design tool that is really easy to use. You can buy their premium images and design elements for about a dollar each, but this is certainly not necessary since they have a robust library of free elements, and you can upload your own pictures. Then, just add the text, shapes, and other elements and you’re on your way to a beautifully designed graphic!
If you’re not a fan of Canva, or looking for more of a photo editor than a design tool, check out our list of free online design tools for veterinary practices.
Use attractive images
If possible, use images from your practice to help personalize your practice. If you have permission, you can use patient photos snapped during visits, or pictures from events that your clinic and staff have participated in.
Don’t have the right pictures? No problem! There are all kinds of places to get stock photos for cheap or free.
Purchasing images is a great way to get high quality photos for your emails at a reasonable price. By paying for them, you don’t have to worry about copyright and licensing issues. To buy images, just search for “stock images,” or try services like Getty Images or Shutterstock.
If your marketing budget isn’t large enough to afford stock photos, there is always our giant list of FREE images. As a note: when using free images, be sure to check the license restrictions on each individual image. The disadvantage of free images is that so many people are using them that the same photos are bound to pop up all over the place – so using your own images or putting your own spin on the free images in Canva is a great way to make them stand out.These tools will get you off to a great start in your email marketing.
While we’re on the subject of email newsletters, why not sign up for ours?