VerticalResponse offers an email software program with excellent tools for creating a professional newsletter, especially if you have images that you want to dress up with special options. It integrates with several email and CRM programs and offers an API for further compatibility. However, it does not offer the best sending tools, making it a less-attractive choice for businesses wanting to create targeted campaigns.
The dashboard of this newsletter software is deceptively simple, taking you directly to a message tab or a contact tab. Most email marketing programs display the latest campaigns and general success reports. However, the sidebar has task buttons which are convenient to use, and if you want reports, you only have to click on the campaign to see them.
The templates are far simpler than those of other email marketing applications we tested, but they are easy to modify. For instance, you can change the look of and add or subtract elements, so you can create something that works for you. The text editor is average, but the image editor impressed us. It offered enhancements, stickers, focus manipulation, contrast and saturation features that let you do to the newsletter what most other email software would expect you to do in a separate program.
The contacts section was VerticalResponse's weakest area. First, it has set fields for contact information, and no options that we could find to modify or add them. This can be a problem if you want to segment your list for special campaigns that are not focused on common parameters. For example, if you owned clothing stores in three states, you could do state-specific campaigns, but not campaigns targeted at women unless you manually created a new list outside the software and loaded it separately.
Another problem we had was getting our emails to deliver to Gmail. This was a common issue with about half the newsletter programs we tried. Emails sent by several other programs ended up in Gmail's promotions folder, and a few of the template-made ones never delivered at all. However, with VerticalResponse, neither our HTML-created nor the template-derived newsletters showed up at all. If you have a lot of Gmail addresses in your list, test the email before sending it out to your full list.
The help-and-support button takes you to the knowledgebase on the website. You can also find the live chat and phone support links on the website. Both have business hours, with live chat also operating on the weekends.
At first look, VerticalResponse seems like a simplistic email marketing software application that might not have the tools you need to create effective newsletter campaigns. However, once you dig in, you'll find it has a lot to offer in terms of editing and integrations. If you need to create segmented lists for specialized campaigns, however, this is not the best software for you.
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