Email Marketing is one of the main components of a business’s online strategy. The average open rate for an email campaign is 20-30% and is five times more likely to be seen by your customers than messages on Social Media platforms.

It gives your business the chance to engage with both new and existing customers promoting your business, its offers and products at a cost effective price.

There are 100s of recognised pieces of software out there offering click & drop templates, easy sending, automation and much more. We have picked our favourite few below...

The industry leading software for email campaigns, Mailchimp is recognised worldwide. Ideal for small businesses, it offers a forever free package (up to 2000 customers/12000 emails) which includes basic features, easy to use drag and drop templates. The choice for small businesses, the free version also allows segmenting, so you can tailor your message for different types of customers and their behaviours.


Like Mailchimp their forever free package offers up to 12000 emails to 2000 customers and 100s of templates to customise. Where Zoho stands out is the A/B testing that is included in the free plan, test different subject lines for each campaign and monitor them with Zoho’s more concise and in -depth analytics. Recommended for users looking for a more analytical and scientific approach to email campaigns.

An interesting option Email Octupus offers a free of charge ‘Shrimp’ plan where you can send unlimited emails to up to 2500 customers. This offers plenty of templates and great value for customers looking to produce a larger amount of email campaigns. However, there is a compromise the functionality is basic and there is no automation (paid customers only), prepare to be more ad-hoc and produce emails as and when you need to send out a campaign.

Benchmark is visually the most pleasing of all the email templates. They have 100s of simple, elegant designs that are easy to customise. Benchmarks functionality is limited with only very basic features but just tops Mailchimp and Zoho’s useage with 14000 emails to 2000 subscribers. Benchmark is the ideal software to make a striking impression and communicate to your customers in a contemporary way.

Freshmail on the surface does not match the heights of other providers with free plans only available for up to 500 subscribers. But where it differs from the others that emails can be customised and designed using several templates using their mobile/tablet app. Customise on the go and create aesthetically pleasing campaigns anytime, anyplace.

Mailerlite offers easy to use drag and drop templates for up to 1000 customers free of charge. As well as unlimited sends the tools provided in Mailerlite is comprehensive compared to the others mentioned in the list, personalising, segmenting and A/B testing and some automation features are all readily available in the free plan.

Email Marketing forms a crucial part of any businesses online marketing. A way to reach your existing customer database and win new business, it is one of the simpler forms of online marketing that many small businesses are missing out on.

Optimising your email campaign is the difference between your email being a resounding success winning business and being sent straight to the junk folder. 


Below are some of our top tips to help get your business started with its email campaigns:

Focus on the subject line. The subject line is the most important thing to consider, this is the first thing the recipient reads and is make or break for whether they open your email or chuck it straight in the junk folder. First things first it needs to be eye catching, test out your email subject lines and analyse which achieves the highest open/action rate.

Strive for inbox placement. A difficult one to measure, but not all email campaigns need to be actioned straight away, they just need to leave a lasting impression on readers. Just focus on the brand, the core product and services not super salesy jargon – you don’t want a reader to think it is spam and treat your email like junk.

Ensure the email is mobile optimized. Most email software will provide a mobile view of your email, ensure that it can be optimised for any device. Approximately 65% of emails are read on a smartphone/tablet (Marketing Land, 2017) so ensure your email looks the part on any device.

Personalise where possible. Use tags to deliver a personalised message to your customer, use their name, business name etc to give an email a more personal feel. People know emails are being sent to thousands at a time, but you don’t want to make them feel like another name of your mailing list. This encourages better engagement with readers!

Segment your email database. To go one step further and provide an even more personalised touch segment your database. Funnel down your customers and sort them by interests/industries etc into small niche mailing lists and send them a highly personalised email specific to their niche. For example, don’t just send your customers emails about workwear, filter the type of business and got a bit further.

Reduce text and optimize call to action. As much as Marketers hate it, people won’t spend a lot of time reading your email once opened – consumers decided within a split second if it is of interest or not. Be short, sharp & concise with any text to grab any attention. Focus on providing clickable calls to actions and leading them to enquire, order etc.

Make social sharing available. A simple but very over-looked one, ensure your email can be shared using Social Media buttons. Many email providers make this a simple click of the button. This helps grow the reach of any campaign you might send further than your customer database and reach potential new leads. Provide clear share buttons for your readers to engage with!