5 Free Email Marketing Tools to Create Effective Campaigns in 2022

Three emails in a Gmail Workspace inbox

Contrary to what many may think, email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, the average order value of an email is three times higher than that of social media. It is thus no wonder that email marketing remains one of the specialisms listed in the digital marketing apprenticeship standard. Use these best email marketing tools and software to develop effective email marketing campaigns.

  1. Best Email Service Provider (ESP) | Mailchimp
  2. Best Email Template Builder | Stripo
  3. Best for Email Marketing Analysis | Google Analytics
  4. Best Email Copywriting Tool | Grammarly
  5. Best for Email Compression | Compress JPEG

Best Email Service Provider (ESP) | Mailchimp

Let’s start with the most essential: email service providers. ESPs allow you to send email campaigns to a list of subscribers using email software. Mailchimp is a great free one because you can split your subscribers up into groups and segments. This means you can send targeted emails improving click-through rates and conversions. In 2022, personalisation continues to be an important part of email marketing strategies, and email automation is a great way to achieve this. Email automation is available on Mailchimp and can be used to create effective drip marketing campaigns, ensuring you send the right message at the right moment to the right people. Other ESPs you could look at are Zoho Campaigns, which is free with up to 6,000 emails per month to 2,000 contacts, and Klaviyo, which is also free with up to 500 emails to up to 250 contacts.

Cost: Mailchimp Free includes up to 2,000 contacts, with 10,000 sends per month and a daily limit of 2,000.

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, implementation, specialist areas (email marketing), digital tools

A person planning their email workflow strategy on a whiteboard for abandoned cart emails
Email automation workflows can be directly created in Mailchimp

Best Email Template Builder | Stripo

Most ESPs provide a host of free email marketing templates, but they are usually basic newsletter designs. Stripo utilises drag-and-drop content modules to help you create HTML email templates, and is one of my personal favourites as you can set the branding for headings and other design elements. Additionally, each content block can be optimised for mobile. Using Stripo you can create beautiful email mock-ups and reuse the templates. Sections of your email templates can also be saved as modules, which can be dragged into new designs. Altogether, Stripo guarantees brand consistency across your email campaigns.

Cost: The free version of Stripo allows you to create two email templates and export 4 emails to ESPs per month

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, specialist area, digital tools

Best Email Marketing Analysis | Google Analytics

ESPs are great sources to collect email metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates and email deliverability. But, once a user clicks on a link and leaves their email inbox, ESPs can no longer track their behaviour. This is where Google Analytics comes in. Using UTM tracking parameters, Google Analytics can track where users came from, how long they spend on a page and whether they ended up completing a goal. As a result, digital marketers can calculate their return on investment for their email marketing strategy.

Cost: Google Analytics is free for small and medium-sized businesses

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Data, analysis, digital tools, digital analytics

Best Email Copywriting Tool | Grammarly

Have you ever sent an email and then realised there’s a typo? It can happen, but unfortunately, it could make your brand look unprofessional. While email best practice is to write copy in Google Docs or a Word Document, this can often be time-consuming. These word processors do not analyse the text for the tone of voice either. Grammarly is a writing assistant that does not only review your spelling but also your grammar, inflexion, and clarity of the sentences. The best features are Grammarly’s plug-ins that can be used in apps, word processors and, you guessed it, email clients. This ensures you can write easily readable and typo-free email campaigns even when time is of the essence.

Cost: Grammarly free checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Written communication, technologies

Best for Email Compression | Compress JPEG

If you have used an ESP before, you may have noticed a warning comes up when you try to import an image that is too big. The reason ESPs have these pop-ups is that emails over 3MB in size risk being flagged as spam. One way to reduce an email’s size is to compress the photos in it. Compress JPEG makes it easy to import or drop the files into its compressor. After the software compresses the file, you can download the minimised version. Any files uploaded on Compress JPEG are deleted after one hour because security and privacy are key to the operations of most businesses. You can also adjust the quality, and in turn the file size, manually. In addition to JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs and PDF files can also be compressed by clicking on the appropriate tab on the website.

Cost: Compress JPEG and its sister sites are free to use with unlimited file compressions

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Problem-solving, digital tools, interprets and follows

Screenshots of where you can upload the file, adjust the quality and download the minimised file format on Compress JPEG
On Compress JPEG, you can upload a file, adjust the quality and then download the minimised version.

Creating Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

As a digital marketer, it is important to understand the wide range of tools at your disposal. Using various email marketing tools will bring you one step closer to building and implementing a great email campaign that is sure to impress your line manager and EPA organisation.

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What makes strategic marketers so successful?

strategic marketer

Strategic Marketers directly influence the marketing plan to improve long term growth. The strength of your marketing plan is highly dependent on the business. How well everyone functions as a team helps strategic marketers to refine plans and outline paths to successful growth.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Peter Drucker

Execution and organisation determine the effectiveness of the marketing plan.

Questions strategic marketers ask themselves

These are questions strategic marketers ask before developing a marketing plan:

  • What is the objective?
  • Do you have a comprehensive marketing strategy?
  • What are the costs of the compared to the prices of products / services?
  • Who are the team leaders and teams responsible for aiding in the marketing plan?

Making an effective marketing plan

Competitor Analysis

Effective strategic marketers utilise competitive analysis and analytics to drive success. These tools helps provide search engine research and provides organic search marketing opportunities. Through well defined strengths and opportunities; a successful marketer will define the best possible way for a product or service to stand out.

Goals and Objectives

Clear goals and objectives remove the ambiguity from the plan. A well thought out plan will include deliverables alongside a clearly defined roadmap. Fine tuning these goals whilst working will ensure flexibility in the market.

Market Segmentation

Through segmenting the target market, customers can be targetted based on conversion success rates. Time and money are valuable assets and not to be wasted targetting the wrong customer segment. Determine who the product or service will be serving, and determine the demographics of this segment.

Multi-channel strategy

Developing your multi-channel strategy will drive a variety of traffic to your site, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Strategies can include email, websites, social media, SMS messaging, apps, SEO content marketing, and many more. These channels provide the strategic marketer with golden opportunities based on the situation and target segment. Having a flexible strategy allows you to adjust for success and maximise returns faster.

Budget Planning

On the topic of maximing returns, we come to budget planning. This step in our outline impacts the investment into your business. Having a well thought out budget allows you to reposition yourself in the market quickly. This improves cost-efficiency and reduces unnecessary expense.

Managing Data

From Social follows to email open rates, data can help inform your strategy. Driving an effective campaign takes effectively monitoring goals and tracking landmarks to achieve success. Using the AGILE methodology, we can determine effectiveness by pioneering new approaches.

Starting out your Career as a Strategic Marketer

Strategic Marketers understand their value extends beyond just their company. Finding the best career progression options can be a minefield. Specialising in your niche will improve your chances of success.

Starting out your career, consider a degree if you haven’t already got one. Alternatively, there may be more value in considering vocational routes depending on your situation.

A Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship may offer better experience in an increasingly hostile academic environment. For Strategic Marketers, further education is fantastic for demonstrating knowledge. However, becoming a Strategic Marketer is more than studying hard for exams!

Find out more about becoming an apprentice

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Digital marketing – How to connect with your audience on Social Media

A phone with social media platform apps with a text overlay how to connect with your audience on social media

There are many skills that will make you a great digital marketing apprentice, like running great email campaigns, getting the best out of paid social, or utilising SEO to name a few.

Social Media platforms offer a brilliant way to connect with your audience, here’s how it’s done!

Encourage audience participation

Create engaging content that encourages your audience to get involved!

  • Ask questions in your social media posts.
  • Make use of interactive polls and Q&A features on platforms such as Instagram Stories.
  • Run relevant competitions where the entry mechanism involves some kind of audience interaction.

Engage with comments and mentions as part of your digital marketing strategy

  • Get involved in conversation where people are talking to or about your brand.
  • You can manage relationships with customers on social media through written communication the form of social response. This can help you improve people’s perception of your brand by strengthening individual relationships with customers and enhancing & maintaining positive sentiment on social media.
  • There are sometimes risks when replying to negative, hateful or derogatory comments. There is the possibility of adding fuel to the fire and giving someone the opportunity to bite back. This could lead to a conversation to escalating in a negative light. However if you ensure brand responses are always helpful and sympathetic to the problem that a customer is facing – you can often turn a frown upside down.
A screenshot showing a customer interaction on social media and how social media engagement in digital marketing can turn a negative perception into a positive interaction.
In this image, a customer was unhappy with their experience on a training course from an accounting software provider. The comment was responded to with appropriate humour and demonstrates how you can turn a negative perception into a positive interaction by engaging with social comments.

Amplify User Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands.

Hootsuite – A Marketer’s Guide to Using User-Generated Content on Social Media

People connect with people! By amplifying UGC on your social platforms, you allow customers to become advocates of your brand.

  • Instagram is a great platform to highlight User Generated Content. If your customers or fans share relevant stories tagging you, these can easily be reposted onto your stories. This is an easy method to slowly introduce UGC to your digital marketing strategy as it doesn’t impact your usual posting cadence or the look of your Instagram grid that may already be well established.
  • Another easy way to introduce UGC is to make use of testimonials and reviews and repurpose these as social posts. Your future customers are likely to trust the voice of another person who likes your product or service.

Adopt an authentic brand tone of voice as part of your digital marketing strategy

Creating an authentic tone of voice can help you to humanise a brand and make more personal connections with your audience. A brand voice isn’t something that can be created overnight, it takes time to amplify this consistent tone on social media. Some companies such as Innocent Smoothies do a great job, recognisable for their witty posts and responses to customers.

  • When crafting written social content, rather than just typing or writing, say things out loud, then note them down. How you formulate sentences when you speak may have a much more natural, conversational tone. 
  • It can be easier to strike a more human tone when thinking less about grammar. For some, using contractions is a no go, however using contractions can read more naturally and less corporate or cold. For example : “We cannot take the credit for that, Lewis, but if you ever need accounting software stuffed with great features, you are in the right place.” sounds more monotone and automated than “We can’t take the credit for that Lewis. But, if you ever need accounting software stuffed with great features, you’re in the right place.”  

Here’s a great four part formula to finding your brand voice.

If you’re an existing Digital Marketing Apprentice honing your skills, or interested in taking the Digital Marketing apprentice route… We have something for you! An E-Book packed full of everything you need to know for your EPA interview.

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