Smart people had many additional suggestions in response to my last column, about applications that make email marketers' lives easier. The Email Diva has not included ESP and Deliverability offerings, as it would be too difficult to be both inclusive and impartial. This list includes tools to be used in addition to ESP and Delivery offerings, with priority given to the fabulous bargain. Let the helpful suggestions begin!
"[Other collaboration tools are] child's play compared to Zoho's suite of no- and low-cost Web-based apps (www.zoho.com). Zoho Projects and Zoho CRM are mind-bogglingly powerful in the range of features they incorporate -- and there are like ten other equally strong free apps."
"Wanted to mention CommuniClique (www.communiclique.com). It does everything that [other collaboration tools do] and much
more, and with one very big exception. It has built in click-to-talk, and click-to-conference VOIP, which means nobody has to pay those expensive cost of setting up a bridge for conference calls. It
works worldwide. It's very slick and easy to use and it has free 30-day trial with all features and functionality turned on. "
Split Rock Communications
"I use tinyurl.com for very, very long URLs in my emails, iStockphoto.com and LuckyOliver.com for quick stock photos. Return Path's campaign preview tools work great too."
Email Diva note: so many contributors cited Return Path's tools, I felt compelled to include a mention, even though it violates the "rule" (against praising the products of vendors that are also advertisers.) I also thought it very generous that Ben would mention these preview tools, since Mail Chimp recently launched Inbox Inspector (www.mailchimp.com/add-ons/inboxinspector/) its own pay-per-use bargain tool, perfect for SMBs.
"One site I almost can't do without is Email Reach (www.emailreach.com). Since we run our own email server here, and send around 30-40k messages per day, being able to properly test across multiple ISP/ESP's is essential, and Email Reach does that all in one place, and gives tips for sorting out problems."
Communications & Circulation Manager
"Another tool that I've been using for years and provides a tremendous productivity boost is Shortkeys (www.shortkeys.com). Basically it allows you to (very easily) program in some keystrokes that, when typed, produce a longer string of text. For example, here are a few that I use:
qem -> produces my email address
qp -> produces my primary password
qtha -> produces one of the subject lines I use repetitively in emails, 'thank you for visiting StationeryCentral.com'
qspan -> produces one sentence that I often add to the body of my emails, 'Note: The text in Spanish has just been added to help you visualize how this will look at the bottom of an email message.'
They have a free 'lite' version which allows you to store 20 of these keyboard macros. I've never had need for any more that this (you really need to have the keystrokes memorized to get the most out of this.) Besides memorizing the keystrokes, the only other trick is to create keystroke combinations that do not occur in normal writing - that's why all of mine start with 'q.'"
"For text HTML editing, I like Edit Plus (www.editplus.com). And here is a nifty online tool for generating inline CSS for email from website HTML Pages: http://code.dunae.ca/premailer.web/."
Tom Bartel, CIPP
Privacy & Compliance
Return Path, Inc.
"Let's not forget our favorite: www.EmailDataSource.com. Also: www.unsubcentral.com for CAN SPAM compliance, and www.lashback.com for unsubscribe monitoring and compliance."
Dylan Boyd, vice president of sales & strategy for eROI, provides these sites for spam/delivery monitoring intelligence:
and these for monitoring the competition:
The Email Diva is also compelled to offer WebCargo (www.webcargo.net) for sending large files. You upload your file, send an email to the recipient, and are notified when it is downloaded. This is particularly useful for delivering huge PowerPoint files that may be too large for many email systems, and for sending "registered email."
Many thanks to all who took the time to share their favorite apps. Wishing you all the time to explore these time-saving tools, and
The Email Diva
Send your questions or submit your email for critique to Melinda Krueger, the Email Diva, at firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions may be published; please indicate if you would like your name or company name withheld.