Creating an effective, visually interesting, and valuable email marketing campaign can be a difficult task for even the most seasoned marketer. Between ensuring your code is correct, your newsletter renders accurately on a variety of platforms and that your hard work isn't being blocked by spam filters, there is a lot to worry about. Don't let these concerns keep your newsletter from being as effective as possible, or even worse, deter you from putting the power of email marketing to work for your business. Below you can find some of the most effective tools for lightening your burden your email campaigns provide your business the highest ROI possible.
What It Does: Premailer helps convert HTML designs into email-ready inline CSS.
Why You Should Be Using It: If you have a fantastic HTML file that you want converted to inline CSS for your email campaign, finding the time to define style elements can cause what was once a beautiful, perfectly designed email to devolve into a mess. Premailer allows you to simply copy and paste in a HTML code and does all the hard work for you. Even better, you can tell it to go the extra mile and add tracking codes, remove unused tags or comments, create a plain text version and check link elements.
What It Does: The Litmus email tester allows you to see how your email looks on a variety of different platforms.
Why You Should Be Using It: So you've just spent an afternoon coding the perfect email. You send out your test, open it in gmail and it looks great. You send a version over to a friend and they tell you it looks awful. What's wrong? Emails render differently depending on what email platform is used to open them. What looks fantastic on gmail might look awful on Outlook. Using Litmus' email preview feature you can avoid this issue altogether. Just plug in your email code to the tool and give it a couple of minutes. When it's done, it will show you previews of your email on more than 30 different email platforms, including how your email will look on mobile clients. Using this tool you can be absolutely sure that your email is going to look perfect to everyone who opens it.
What It Does: This handy tool takes your subject line and email source code and runs it through various spam filters, link trackers and other quality control standards to give you a spam score that tells you how likely your email is to be stopped by a spam filter.
Why You Should Be Using It: Sometimes it is difficult to tell where the line is drawn between helpful emails and spam. Ideally, every good email marketer wants to bring value to their email list while also bringing value to their brand. Using a tool like the email spam test will make sure users who are on your email list get your content, and not their spam box. As an added bonus, the email spam test "SPAM Score" will make you think about the quality of your newsletter - ideally making good email marketers optimize their content to get the best score possible, ensuring their audience doesn't choose to unsubscribe to content they receive - thinking it's spam.
What it Does: This handy tool will let you see how your subject line looks on a variety of different email platforms. Just plug it in and immediately see what your audience sees when your newsletter arrives in their inbox.
Why You Should Be Using It: Finding the perfect subject line can be a difficult process. A lot has been written about the kind of copy you should use to get audiences to take action and actually click through an email. This can be a difficult problem to solve for even the most seasoned email marketer. What isn't difficult is making sure that your entire subject line is visible to your audience. Even the most catchy and effective subject line is totally moot if your audience can't read what you're trying to say. Using the subject line checker will make you absolutely sure that the subject line you spent hours thinking up is actually seen by your audience.
What it Does: Da Button Factory helps you create pretty and professional looking cta buttons quickly and effectively using both plain image formats (.png, .jpeg, .gif) and CSS background.
Why You Should Be Using It: If you have the resources to dedicate a designer to create fantastic visuals for your email campaign, then creating a clear and actionable CTA button is no problem. However, if you can't find the time or resources to design a CTA button this tool is a great option. An email's CTA is undoubtedly the most important part of any email campaign. A button that has great color, font and engaging copy can bring users to your website in droves, whereas a simple hyperlink in the body text of an email would fail miserably. Using "Da Button Factory" you can choose your text, fonts, font size, button color, shadow, style, border, and button size, exporting it to your email code. You can't go wrong making an effective CTA using this tool, unless you use their "SF Arch Rival" font.
Email marketing can be a difficult proposition for marketers who aren't well versed in the world of html or css. Coding can be difficult and getting the right layout can be a lengthy process. Using these tools can help cut down the time spent on email marketing projects and make marketers feel confident that the end product is of the highest quality - sure to bring in massive ROI for any business.
What are your favorite email marketing tools? Let us know in the comment section below or by tweeting us at @BFMweb.