Wednesday, 31 January 2018

How to Use Email Marketing to Grow Your Business

 Using email marketing is one of the most important aspects of growing your online business because it allows you to build a loyal list of customers who trust you. It offers you the opportunity to upsell your customers on products or services you are not promoting on your website.

In fact, email marketing is so powerful that it can quickly bring growth to your business if you do it well. When you build an email list, you will have an entire community that is different from those who converge on your website. It means that they have willingly opted-in to receive more
information from you. You can endorse your products, recommend other products, and even sell them high-priced items.

Moreover, email marketing is a flexible and convenient way to grow your online business. However, before you start sharing anything with your subscribers, you have to do a test to determine how often you should market to your subscribers. You also have to test different kinds of email content to see which will convert well.

After reading this article, you should know what email marketing is all about and how to make use of it in growing your online business.

How to Setup Your Email Marketing Campaign


Step #1: Choose an Email Provider

The first step you need to take is to select an email provider. You can choose from several email providers with varying account features and fees. You may want to start with a free account to test things out first.

When you first get started, you will probably only have a small subscriber base; most start with less than a hundred subscribers. MailChimp is a popular provider that gives you the option to start with a free account. Once you grow your subscriber base past a certain threshold, you would have to upgrade to a paid account.

Another very popular email provider is Aweber. Aweber offers lots of features, and is very inexpensive which is helpful especially when you are just starting out. Aweber offers custom templates for a newsletter, automation of blog updates, creation of multiple lists, and other useful features. If you have fewer than 500 subscribers, you would start with an account fee of $19 a month for unlimited emails. Since Aweber also uses a sliding fee scale, the more subscribers you have, the more you pay.

Step #2: Setup Email Lists

In order to grow your business, you need to create an email list. Your blog readers can sign up for your email list on your blog to read more of your content or receive updates about things you don’t post on your blog. You need to focus on this list as it will be how you bring people into the foremost part of your sales funnel.

If you already have a client base, you should create a separate list for them. As clients, they will need more diverse content than new subscribers. Since you have already established a relationship with them, it will be much easier to offer them new products and services.

To make your email lists more successful it is important that you do not spam them with too much content. That is why we mentioned in the introduction that you should first determine how often you should market or send content to your list. Doing this properly will help you to retain your list members for a long time.

Now that you have a list in place, what are the things you can offer your subscribers?

You can offer your subscribers information such as tutorials, a guide, white paper, or a training course in a monthly newsletter. This is the sort of content your readers will be glad to have in exchange for their email addresses. You can use a collection of the posts on your blog to develop a tutorial or a training course or design a professional PDF file or a powerful PowerPoint presentation.

Another way is to hire a ghostwriter to write a white paper or a guide for you. Once you have this ready, you need to show your visitors how to get the guide or the training course by displaying it conspicuously on your website. You can do this by creating an opt-in form on your website.

Step #3: Creating Opt-in Forms on your Website

Now that you have learned how to create an email list and what to offer your subscribers when they join your list, you need a way to obtain their email addresses.

Depending on your email provider. there are different opt-in forms that you can create to obtain email addresses. Essentially, you should have at least one opt-in form on your website. The most popular is the sidebar opt-in form that goes in the right or left corner of your blog. Research shows that the right corner converts more than the left side so you might want to keep that in mind when selecting the placement of your opt-in form.

Another popular opt-in form placement is below every post on your website. This can be very effective because it can serve as a call to action. Your readers have just finished reading your post, and they can easily subscribe to see what else you have to offer or read more of your posts. This is where the guide or training course you have created earlier comes into play. Simply use a call to action such as “Subscribe to this blog and get free access to our guide/training course as well as exclusive information only available to subscribers.”

#4: Build a newsletter for your subscribers

While most of the content that goes on your website will automatically be available to your email subscribers, a newsletter takes things a step further by ensuring that your subscribers can have access to exclusive information only available to subscribers. However, you have to make this content unique and helpful.

If you want your customers to appreciate your content, make it a habit to send them the newsletter every month. Package it with lots of actionable, useful content—which you can easily come up. You will be providing value to your subscribers while growing your online business.


If you use email marketing right, you can easily build different income streams for your online business. This ultimately will give you more capital to expand and grow your business. Pay close attention to the steps above, take action, and be consistent in your email marketing campaign.


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

5 Experts Share How to Market on Instagram (with Tips & Actual Examples)

According to predicted social media and content marketing trends for 2018, Instagram will overtake Facebook with brand engagement. If you’re a social media manager planning your marketing strategy for 2018, this is the perfect place for you to be. To understand the best ways to market on Instagram, I asked 5 Instagram marketing specialists the following questions.

1. Which 2 content marketing tactics would you suggest to Instagram community managers?
2. Describe 2 of your best Instagram marketing campaigns.
3. Share your 2 best time-saving tips for Instagram marketing.

Apart from suggesting the use of aesthetically pleasing images and relevant hashtags, experts on our panel also suggested employing a reliable social media management tool to save time on Instagram management.
Read further to see what else they had to say.

deborah sweeny

Deborah Sweeney

Expert advice:
Engage with other followers outside of the ones in your feed. Check in with some of your favorite hashtags to find new users. Like their photos, comment, and follow them to develop a rapport together.
“Here are some tips I recommends for successful Instagram marketing:
-Be mindful of where you place hashtags. Rather than clutter a post caption with tons of hashtags, hide hashtags in a separate comment or use line breaks after your comment that look like this: […].
-Use images that are aesthetically pleasing (not salesy or obviously stock images) and credit the photographer of the image if you did not take it.
-Engage with other followers outside of the ones in your feed. Check in with some of your favorite hashtags to find new users. Like their photos, comment, and follow them to develop a rapport together.

We recently started an Instagram Series called “Meet Our Team Monday” where we share a few pictures of a randomly selected employee and write a bio about them in the caption.
Our social media coordinators love interviewing the weekly candidates and have found that the office enjoys getting to know fun facts about their co-workers as well! It is also a great way for the employees to stay engaged with our social media channels and get excited to see who the next pick may be!
In order to save time while Instagram marketing, we encourage you create content in advance and schedule it to be posted through a social media management tool! this will decrease stress and help you to stay organized.”

Lexi Carter

Lexi Carter
Digital Content Coordinator
Southern Utah University 

Expert advice:
Curate more user-generated content to make your profile genuine and authentic.
“Follow Inspiration Accounts
Instagram can be used in such diverse ways depending on your industry. To discover the right tone for my captions and get ideas for content, I follow over fifty other university accounts. By dissecting other universities’ highly engaging posts, I am able to adapt and implement certain ideas into SUU’s Instagram strategy. Plus, I can quickly calculate engagement rates and compare SUU’s top posts to nationally-recognized universities.
Engage/Utilize Your Audience
Along with following accounts I want to be like, I follow my community and engage with them frequently. I’ve identified key influencers who organically promote events/programs/locations at SUU and around Cedar City and utilize their photography skills for our profile.
By curating user-generated content (and always crediting them in my caption), I cut down on the amount of original content my team needs to create. Our profile is also stronger because the photos are more genuine, organic, and relate directly to my audience.
Here are 2 of our best Instagram marketing campaigns –
School Pride & Location
In almost every post, we try to connect SUU to our beautiful surrounding locations or promote school pride. Our followers on Instagram range from current students, prospective students, alumni, faculty and donors, so by focusing on these broader themes we can reach our entire audience.
Here’s a snap of SUU’s football team winning the Big Sky Championship

Here are our engagement rates for this campaign
(higher education industry standard = 3.5%)
Cedar Sunrise: 15.5%
Big Sky Champs: 18.7%
Aviation Football Field: 10.7%
Campus Sunset: 14.6%
Thor Street Paint: 11.7%
Zion Student: 8.8%
T-Bird Takeover
Instead of partnering with student influencers on our main account, we have created an influencer account called ‘T-Bird Takeover’ (@tbirdtakeover).
Each week, a different student takes over, giving followers a glimpse into their life as a T-Bird. Students highlight their major and academic experience, campus events, study abroad programs, clubs, athletics, study strategies, jobs, etc.
The account gains dozens of new followers each week, mainly students watching their friends takeover or their department represented.
Here are 2 tips to save time while Instagram marketing –
Track hashtags to find content. People who are posting quality photos want them to be found, and so they include various hashtags. If you can identify what those hashtags are, you’ll easily gather user-generated content that you can schedule to post.
Utilize the bookmark feature. I have several folders I save posts to as I’m scrolling. The folder I use most is my SUU-specific posts. It’s so much easier to sort through the content I find and compare photos when it’s all gathered together visually instead of just by URL.
The other folder I use on a daily basis is my ideas folder. I save posts from other universities, companies, and influencers to inspire my photos or captions. Especially for holidays or trending yearly hashtags, it’s so helpful to be able to look back on the best ideas from other people and incorporate them into my strategy.”


Shana Haynie
Co-Founder, COO
Vulpine Interactive

Expert advice:
Post videos and stories regularly. This is a more interactive approach that allows you to be more authentic with your audience.
“While every company has slightly different goals concerning their social media presence, two content marketing tactics I would suggest that Instagram community managers can use are:
a. Using a mix of original images and lifestyle pictures from high-quality stock photography websites.
If you are looking for high levels of engagement, professional photos often receive a lot of likes. While this is just a vanity thing in terms of business goals, Instagram’s algorithm likes engagement and will lift the rest of your account if you continuously receive a high ratio of likes to audience size.
b. Posting videos and stories regularly. This is a more interactive approach that allows you to be more authentic with your audience.
In an Instagram Case Study I recently published, I went into detail about how my agency gained 11,060 targeted followers, 933,000 impressions, and increased website traffic from Instagram by over 300% in 7 months for an eCommerce company (SixThreeZero).
The strategy wasn’t too crazy: we did a deep dive into the brand, their audience and their goals, and came up with a plan to shift their following towards an older audience to align with the people who are actually making purchases from their website.
At the time, they weren’t seeing much traffic from Instagram and they were targeting a much younger audience. But, by the time we parted ways, they were seeing 300% more site visitors and the follower age group had shifted by 10 years.
To do this, we focused heavily on the content, the hashtags, and the posting frequency.
1. We had our client create images with older people in them, and used the description to create engaging content that spoke directly to our main target personas. We also came up with an “every third post” schedule where we alternated between product, user generated content, and lifestyle posts, and this created a really cool column effect on their feed.
2. We did research into the most relevant hashtags to use for the industry, our brand, and reach / engagement, and used these in every post.
3. We kept the posting frequency to 2x per day, every day of the week, in our highest engagement time slots.
Another account that we’ve seen some really great results is also an eCommerce company that sells men’s and women’s sneakers. They came to use with a strong Instagram presence, and in fact, we didn’t take over any of the engagement, posting or content strategy. We just advise on content and run Instagram and Facebook paid ads to help them sell their product, drive traffic to the website, and grow their audience.
For a Halloween ad campaign we ran for them, we launched a slideshow and series of image ads aimed at selling a 50% sale for select shoes on the website. Based on $1,354 in ad spend, we generated $7,874 in revenue across both platforms.
While Facebook did generate the majority of the revenue, our Instagram followers grew rapidly during this time, and we had heightened engagement as well. Our top performing engagement Instagram ad received 17,000+ impressions, 113 link clicks, and 18 add to carts for around $50 of investment.
No one ever said that building an Instagram presence was going to be easy! Here are two ways to save time:
a. Use a social media scheduling tool. My agency uses one to help us plan out content weeks in advance. This is great if you have a strong strategy and have a ton of content that you want to get out there on a consistent basis. It also has some analytics included in the platformto help you figure out your best times to post, which hashtags are being used on your top performing posts, and lets you repost content that you find to your feed without leaving the platform.
b. Hire a virtual assistant to work on your account while you are busy doing other things like content creation. You can set a virtual assistant up with a process and instructions for targeting, and they can search out the appropriate accounts to follow and engage with. You can even supply them with templated messages to send out to specific groups of people depending on the goal you have in mind (follows, event attendance, website visitors, etc). I like to use hashtags and locations as a place to start, but the targeting will depend on your business.”
Harry Hugo Headshot

Harry Hugo
Goat Agency

Expert advice:
Ensure that you have engaging content that resonates with your audience.
Engaging content should be the top priority for Instagram community managers, so they should create content that is both entertaining and evokes emotional responses.
Content should also be posted regularly, across the newsfeed and stories to ensure you are a sustained voice in your followers feed.
The Malibu Campaign: We curated a ‘Summer Squad’ of 80 influencers to become brand ambassadors for Malibu. These influencers posted multiple times throughout the summer and created an always-on activation for Malibu. Influencers created high-quality, engaging content with Malibu merchandise integrated – positioning Malibu as the go-to drinks brand for the summer. As part of the always-on, summer activation, we had key spikes of activity around the festival season and ‘Pina Colada Day’.
This campaign drove:
152 influencer posts, 94,023 engagements, 2,300,743 reach, 1,241,881 impressions
The Jacobs Creek Campaign: We used a combination of Mummy Bloggers and lifestyle influencers to target the very specific audience. We ran the campaign on Instagram with two hero pieces of content hosted on YouTube to give Jacob’s Creek an abundance of aspirational and aesthetically pleasing content for their own channels. All influencers were carefully briefed to integrate Jacobs’ Creek into their very own Summer Moment to make the campaign look as organic as possible.
This campaign drove:
55 posts, 2,350,394 reach, 113,152 engagements, 697,415 impressions
Saving time is not always a priority for us, ensuring we have good content that resonates with the audience is of higher importance. However, pre-planning the content that will be posted and getting several shots that can be taken at the same time, but posted at separate times can save time on content creation.”


Julia Kennedy
Audience Development Marketing Champion
Museum Hack

Expert advice:
Reply as though your response could go viral.Don’t Treat your followers like a nameless, faceless mass. Take care of your audience by acknowledging their responses, answering their questions, and making them feel important.
Reply as though your response could go viral. This is the Internet — anything can be shared to the whole world at any time. It’s better to go viral for a stellar customer response than a snippy retort. Take your time when crafting responses. Social media feels like it should be fast, but it’s easier to take a moment to proofread your post and say it right the first time rather than correcting a mistake once something’s already published.
Don’t Treat your followers like a nameless, faceless mass. Take care of your audience by acknowledging their responses, answering their questions, and making them feel important. Create relationships! Don’t over-do it or spam your audience. Your fans and followers are more likely to engage with or share things they find important or informative – and no one likes it when you blow up their newsfeed.
Instagram takeovers can be cheeky and creative. They show a different perspective not only to your followers but your employees will feel like what they do is being valued. Do you have a group jetting off to an important conference? Is the sales team demoing a product in an interesting place? These are perfect instances to hand the Instagram account over to your employees. Let them post photos of their adventures and activities – whatever they think your audience will enjoy. This not only engages your followers in a unique way but allows your employees to show-off a little. Encouraging them to be proud of the work they do, makes all the difference.image3
Our SF Team took over our Instagram for Halloween to have fans pick the best costumes
We take tons of photos on our tours! To show them off, get some social proof, and to build the relationship with our tour-goers we re-post user submitted photos on a dedicated day, #TourPhotoTuesday. While a big part of the museum experience traditionally requires visitors being physically present to see exhibits and collections, audience engagement is no longer dependent on actually being in the museum. Social media gives organizations the freedom to extend the museum experience to a digital space and break down the physical walls, offering the opportunity to create their own communities of museum-lovers.
Save time by planning – set aside time to create a plan for the week, gather images, and create copy. Use whatever social media planner you use (we love Buffer) for easy quick reminders to post.”
Feature image via

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Is Your Business on Instagram?

A recent survey by marketing firm Hashoff found that B2C social media influencers plan to spend most of their time on Instagram next year and increase their efforts on YouTube too. Many respondents also believed that Instagram offered the best tools for creators, beating out Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat. Get more information here.
According to Statista, by 2019, Instagram will surpass 111 million active users in the United States alone. Globally, 41 per cent of Instagram users are 24 years of age or younger. For B2C companies that consider Generation Z (born between 1998-2016) to be most valuable to their business, Instagram marketing is bound to take off in a big way.
How Instagram has grown
The photo-sharing app, created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion. From 30 million users back then to today’s 800 million monthly active users, Instagram has emerged as a leading networking and marketing platform.
Instagram’s business profiles and tools were first rolled out in mid-2016 to US, Australian and New Zealand companies followed by a global rollout at the end of 2016. As of November 2017, the photo-sharing platform has 25 million active business profiles and 1 million monthly active advertisers.
Like parent Facebook, Instagram makes money from advertising. Advertisements accounted for nearly 97% of Facebook’s 2016 Q3 revenue. According to Citi Research, Instagram could generate $10 billion in revenue in 2019. Playing catch-up will be Snapchat, whose revenue is estimated to grow to $3 billion. Though Instagram has more followers than Snapchat, Snapchat users spend more time on the site, hanging around for over 30 minutes on an average per day.
Important Instagram statistics
-Users spend five times more time watching video content than static content.
-65% of top-performing Instagram posts feature products.
-80% of users follow at least one business on the platform.
-60% of users learn about a business or product on Instagram.
-One out of five organic Stories attracts a direct message.
-User-generated photos have a 4.5% higher conversion rate, increasing to 9.6% upon interaction with the post.

Check out this article for more statistics.
Instagram marketing tips
New to ecommerce social media marketing on Instagram? Consider these opportunities:
Get your brand hashtag: Create #yourbrand #keyproduct and encourage followers to use them. Brand hashtags expand the reach of your posts and allow you to curate a single location for potential followers to discover your brand.
Generate user content: UPS has turned to its customers to fill its Instagram page with visually appealing images. Small businesses post content using #TheUPSStoreCustomerhashtag, which UPS shares to its account.
Use Instagram Stories: Businesses are using Stories in interesting ways. You can deliver special offers via stories, highlight behind the scenes activity or host a takeover (boost collaboration by tagging other accounts in Stories). As an early effort, reach out to influencers and build relationships with them.
Creativity pays off on Instagram. For attractive, refined and professional-grade photos, explore various photo editor apps to curate a toolkit that works for you. Have a look at these popular tools: Layout, Hyperlapse, Boomerang, VSCO CAM, Snapspeed, Afterlight, Aviary, Camera+ and Pro-Camera.

13 of the Best Brands to Follow for Instagram Marketing Inspiration

Instagram has become a critical part of social media marketing, after having acquired a large segment of social media users and an equally impressive amount of brand engagement.
In fact, as of September 2017,
-Instagram had acquired 800 million users, each of whom had followed at least one brand.
-Further, it was discovered that 75% of Instagram users who viewed brand ad posts were influenced to take action.

These encouraging trends, among others, have convinced social media managers from everywhere to include Instagram in their social media marketing. And some social media managers are excelling on the platform.
With a reliable social media management tool, like DrumUp, and the best visual marketing ideas, you can use Instagram to meet important business goals. This post describes how other brands are using Instagram, so you can use them as inspiration to create your Instagram marketing plan.
Here are 13 of the best brands on Instagram, along with descriptions of how they’re using the social media platform for marketing.

1. Tentsile

Tentsile’s Instagram identity is simple, elegant and impressionable. The brand shares beautiful images of their products within the setting of equally scintillating getaway destinations. This, with the brand’s Instagram bio in which it promises to grow 18 trees for every tent sold, make for a page worth following.
Create an Instagram identity that spotlights your main product, creates endless visual possibilities and communicates irresistible experiences.

2. Shake Shack

The restaurant industry plays the perfect fit for what Instagram has to offer as a social media marketing platform. Shake Shack proves this point, by using its Instagram account to share tantalising pictures of the burgers and shakes it serves. Shake Shack also gets creative and works humor into its posts from time to time, which is great for getting fans to smile.
Share beautiful, strongly positive pictures of your products regularly, so your fans begin to associate positive emotions with your brand.

3. Chobani

While the food manufacturing industry is very close to the restaurant industry, it can seem like a tougher sell on Instagram, especially when your company is focused on one product. But that shouldn’t limit your marketing possibilities. Chobani, for instance, sells Yoghurt, but the company has turned its Instagram account into a place for family dinners and warm, yummy recipes.
Try and find a visually representable use-case for your product that you can display on Instagram posts. Also focus your Instagram storyline on something that’s important to fans.

4. No Your City

A visual storytelling blog, No Your City has a lot they can do on Instagram. Since the entire blog is based on visuals, the brand has a never-emptying source of visual posts for Instagram. Since the posts are essentially recommendations of beautiful spots to visit or cultural events to take part of in cities, the resulting Instagram posts are naturally engaging.
Try and identify experiences related to your products that you can document and encourage your fans to try.

5. Chanel

Chanel’s most obvious approach to Instagram marketing would be to post pictures of photoshoots, runway shows and designers. But the brand has extended this list to include so much more. Chanel also shares sketches of new designs, pictures of celebrities wearing the brand’s clothes and lifestyle and experience based ads (videos and GIFs).
Get creative with visuals. You don’t have to limit yourself to product photographs; you can create GIFs and videos to entertain your audience.

6. GoPro


GoPro’s well known for its social media marketing. Built to help people “capture + share their worlds”, the brand has a pretty straight-forward approach on social media. They collect and share their users’ experiences on Instagram. In general, UGC is a strategy that works well on social media, and GoPo uses wide spaced subject matters, so every viewer feels included.
If there’s a way for you to collect UGC created by or including your product, you can save the costs involved in both creating and marketing content.

7. Divinity LA Bracelets

Divinity LA Bracelets beautifully demonstrates how context can transform your marketing. This brand’s main product is bracelets, and how they showcase bracelets in photographs is amazing. The subject of their posts is never the bracelet itself. It’s the story in the frame, and the bracelet is just one object that’s a part of the frame.
Your products don’t have to be at the centre of every story, as long as they make an appearance in the frame.

8. MAC Cosmetics

Cosmetics brands can simply post pictures of people using their cosmetics, but MAC Cosmetics takes it one step further. The brand posts beautiful close-ups of makeup ideas regularly, emphasizing the endless possibilities that customers have when using the brand. Further, the brand also posts tutorials on how to create the “Look of the day” and buy the guides and cosmetics necessary.
Instagram provides the best platform for selling products, by demonstrating their use and effect. Use this advantage.

9. We Work

We Work is a workspace that shares beautiful work experiences on Instagram. Although all of their works are focused on work, they bring humor, inspiration and positivity to the table. Overall, We Work has projected the image that theirs is a fun place to work, which is likely to attract the startup crowd that wants a place where they can experience that culture.
Talk about the experiences that your target audience cares about. Create posts that resonate with them.

10. Finfolk Productions

Colors are a critical part of Instagram marketing. You can make an impression on your audience just by choosing the right colors, and using them consistently across your Instagram posts. Finfolk Productions blue hues are beautiful and prominent in all of their fantasy-focused social media posts.
Choose colors that are representative of your brand and its identity. Focus on what goes best with your products and don’t be afraid to experiment with shades.

11. Brit + Co

Focused on sharing creative ideas for DIY projects, Brit + Co’s Instagram account is visually appealing, informative and highly shareable. The brand shares both video and photograph based DIYs on a regular basis, making themselves indispensable to their target audience, women with a creative spirit.
Visuals can also be used to convey important information, and any brand can use them to establish themselves as subject matter experts. You can even turn blog posts into Instagram posts focusing on the highlights.

12. National Geographic

National Geographic is famous for its breathtaking photographs. The brand posts several of these on their Instagram page, featuring their photographers and videographers and reaching new audiences through them. The brand also states facts about the stunning moments posted on their page to help their fans learn about nature.
Simple, high-quality photographs can help you increase engagement when paired with the right text.


If you thought that simple text on stock images couldn’t attract a large fan following, would prove you wrong. All of this brand’s posts are simple, visually appealing backgrounds with humorous or informative text on them. The brand not only teaches their fans new words, but also wows them from time to time by sharing the meanings of words that they never thought were “official” dictionary words.
Envision a concept that is enough to wow audiences, so you can get away with just creating simple text based visuals.

16 Email Marketing Tools You’ll Want for 2018

As the New Year rolls around, it's a good time to start incorporating new email marketing tools into your routine. But, who has time to try and test a bunch of marketing tools? Not to worry. Pinpointe has you covered.
We've created a list of 16 email marketing tools that we've vetted and believe are essential to your email campaign success this year. The tools are designed to save you time, help you create stronger emails, grow your list and give your response rates the boost they need in the New Year.


Tool #1: Pixabay

Free image library

Every email needs a quality image (or two) to draw subscribers in, but they're often hard to find and expensive. Unless you've started creating your own image library by taking pictures of your employees and clients, you're probably turning to stock photo sites. And stock photo sites are pricey. Not to mention the images are sometimes cheesy, to put it politely.
Pixabay is a great solution. It's a FREE photo library that looks and acts just like the pricey stock photo sites. You can search the database and get dozens of great options with every search. You should add the photographer's name to your post, but other than that, the images are yours to use.
pixabay - email marketing tools

Tool #2: IM FREE

Free image library

IM FREE is another photo website you can lean on. The photos in this collection are professionally done and provide quality images for business concepts that are harder to visualize, like education or technology.
The database is searchable, but it's easiest to search via categories like Nature, Transportation or Lifestyle.
This photo library doesn't have the wealth of images that Pixaby does, but it's always growing. It's a good one to bookmark and keep an eye on, especially if you're looking for a more obscure photo.

Tool #3: Pinpointe's image library

Free image library

Pinpointe customers don't have to get photos from a third-party site, they can access an image library from their account.
As you're creating an email, all you have to do is click on the Image Library and you'll have hundreds of pictures to choose from. Forget searching, downloading, resizing and importing a photo. Simply pick the images you want and drop them into your email template. Done.
Pinpointe image library - email marketing tools

Tool #4: Rszr

Image resizer

How many times do you need to resize an image? Too many to count, right? Whether you're adding an image to your email or changing out the cover art on your Facebook page, marketers need an easy-to-use photo-resizing tool. You could use well-known, feature-heavy software like Photoshop, but if you just want a basic resizing tool, try Rszr.
Not only can you resize and save an image in a few clicks, but you can also do some basic editing like cropping or erasing part of a photo. It's the perfect tool for on-the-go marketers.

Tool #5: JPEGMini

Image compression

As you're creating an email campaign, file size might not be a top priority, but it should be. Image files are notoriously large and they can slow download times. If you're sending an email with a large JPEG, it could take additional time to load on a subscriber's phone or laptop. It's a pet peeve for subscriber's who want to view emails quickly.
Before you add an image to your email, or to any digital platform, use JPEGMini first. You simply upload the picture and it compresses the file for you. No quality is lost. The picture looks the same; the file size is just smaller.

Tool #6: Awesome Screenshot

Editable screen-grab tool

Need a screenshot? Whether you're showing customers how to do something online or want a snapshot of your own website for marketing purposes, use Awesome Screenshot.
This tool lets you capture the entire page, including the content that's "below the fold." In other words, if you need a snapshot of a website that you have to scroll through, this tool can do it. It captures it all. And, you can even edit the image afterward.
You can access the tool through its website or you can download it as a Google Chrome extension, so it's always on your toolbar.

Email brainstorming

Tool #7: Answer The Public

Brainstorming tool

Do you ever run out of ideas for email campaigns? It happens to everyone. You can only send so many coupons, right? When you're stumped for ideas, turn to Answer the Public. This website can help you brainstorm ideas.
Simply enter a keyword into the search bar and Answer the Public shows you what kind of questions people have surrounding your topic.
For instance, if an animal shelter is looking for ideas for their next email campaign, they can enter the words, "adopt a dog" into the search bar. Answer the Public provides a visual wheel of questions that people typically look up when they're planning to get a new four-legged friend.
Here's the "wheel of questions" that Answer the Public provides pertaining to the keywords.
email marketing tools - answer the public
You can use these questions to inspire email content. For instance, one of the questions is, "Why does it take so long to adopt a dog?" Create a blog post that answers this very question and send it to a segment of your list that's shown interest in pet adoption.

Email design

Tool #8: Canva

Graphic designer

To spice up your email, add a graphic. Don't have graphics skills? Don't worry. Use Canva. This online platform makes it simple for anyone – even those with zero graphics knowledge – to create stunning graphics.
Create a cool graphic for an event, upcoming contest or holiday sale. The options are endless. Here's a quick graphic created for an event using Canva: 
canva - email marketing tools
Yes, creating a graphic takes a little more time than just typing up a quick message, but visuals have the ability to draw a subscriber in and help them digest information faster.
Research from 3M shows people process images 60,000 times faster than text, which is why taking a few extra minutes to create a visual is a worthy investment.

Tool #9: Bomb Bomb

Video email

Adding video to your email can add a personal touch. Bomb Bomb is a tool you can use to record a quick video for your customers and engage them in a way that text can't.
This tool is especially helpful for sales teams who work best face-to-face. Create a video to check in on your existing clients, or record a special welcome message for new clients. Remind clients about an upcoming appointment with a quick video or remind them about an approaching deadline.
Bomb Bomb makes it simple to record a video from your laptop and insert it into an email. Once subscribers open your email, the video starts moving instantly, which encourages customers to open it. 
Give it a try, and see how you can incorporate video into your email marketing strategy.

Spam detection

Tool #10: Mail Tester

Spam scoring tool

Even the most reputable companies can send an email that gets trapped in a spam folder.
Without knowing it, you may have made choices in your design or text that spam filters don't like. Adding too many images, using spam words or accidentally including broken links in your email can keep your email from inboxes.
Before you send your email, put it through a spam checker to make sure your email is delivered. You can send a copy of your email to Mail Tester and you'll get a spam report. The report shows you what to fix to pass through spam filters. It's a simple step that ensures your subscribers will see your email.

Tool #11: Pinpointe's spam checker

Spam scanning and scoring

Pinpointe users can run a spam test right from their account. Just create your email and run a test with just one click. You'll get a spam score and a report that shows you how to improve it. It might suggest eliminating spam words or changing your subject line from ALL CAPS to lower case. Once you make the suggested changes, run the test again to make sure spam filters won't flag it.
Having the spam checker accessible while you create an email is a big time saver. You don't have to leave the site to know if your email is "spammy."
Pinpointe Spam Checker - email marketing tools

Email automation

Tool #12: Pinpointe's triggered emails

Automate emails

If you're still sending emails manually, it's time to move into the modern area of email marketing and use automation.
With Pinpointe, you can pre-make emails and trigger them to send automatically based on a specific time or behavior. For instance, if a subscriber RSVPs for an event, that action can trigger a confirmation email that thanks him or her for signing up and reiterates all of the important information.
You can also schedule emails to arrive in a subscriber's inbox on a specific date.


Tool #13: Google Analytics

Next-level metrics

As you create and send emails, you have to gauge your success by checking your analytics. Most email service providers give you access to data like, open, click-through and conversion rates.
That's a great start, but if you're ready to use grown-up metrics, turn to Google Analytics. With Google Analytics you get next-level data that gets down to the granular level.
If you're using a reputable email service provider like Pinpointe, you can link your campaigns right to Google Analytics for a streamlined switch.
Accessing in-depth data helps you make changes to your email campaigns that can dramatically improve your response rates.

Tool #14: Google URL Builder

Link builder for Google Analytics

When you add links to your emails, create the URL in Google's URL Builder. By doing so, you can help Google Analytics track the success of specific campaigns.
You'll be able to see which email drove the most traffic to your website, or how many subscribers signed up for your newsletter after receiving a special offer.
Basically, you get more detailed data by building individual links for each campaign.

List growth

Tool #15: Woobox

Contest tool

Hosting a contest is one of the easiest ways to collect new email addresses. However, hosting a contest can be time-consuming if you don't have the right tools.
To help manage the contest and the contacts that come in, try Woobox. You can create giveaways, photo submission contests, fun quizzes – you name it. 
You can also use Woobox to create a customized Facebook tab that features products, encourages fans to shop or direct them to your newsletter sign up form.

Tool #16: Hello Bar

Sign up banner

Sit back, relax, and collect email addresses from your website with a Hello Bar. The Hello Bar is a small bar that sits at the top of your website and encourages visitors to sign up for your email list.
It's a great alternative to a pop-up ad, which can sometimes turn visitors off. The Hello Bar isn't annoying or disruptive, it just sits at the top of your site. It's usually a bold color to draw visitors to it. The purple bar below is an example of a Hello Bar.
hello bar - email marketing tools
There you have it. With these 16 tools,  you'll get your year off to a great start.