Gather and Organize Contacts
Once you create an Emma account, you gain access to their three main areas; Audience, Campaigns and Response. Within the Audience section, you can import and organize your contacts. You can start by importing an Excel document of your full contact list. Emma’s easy to use interface allows the creation of multiple groups, so you can send your newsletter to a specific audience within your larger contact set. Use groups to separate people by industry, status, location, and any other category that you may want to send a tailored newsletter to, without having to sort through your full list each time.
One of Emma’s handiest features is the signup screen creation tool. Emma will automatically create the code for a signup form, with any fields you choose, which you can paste into your website code. When your visitors submit the form they are automatically added to an Emma contact group of your choice. This feature makes gathering contacts easy with little time invested.
Emma Newsletter Templates
Emma accounts come with one custom template, designed specifically for your business. This template is a header and footer that match your brand. Emma then offers over 40 layouts for adding content within this template. Options include photo layouts with captions and multiple columns. Text and graphics can be easily added to any of the editable areas using Emma’s simple newsletter creation tool. Formatting tools (such as those found in Word) make text editing easy.
If you or your client wants a complete custom template and layout, Emma will take your design and build a working copy for you. Ideally, they take a layered Photoshop file. Emma falls a bit short here, as they don’t allow the user to create their own custom templates. A graphics file must go through them to creating a working template. Ideally, a user with HTML knowledge could design their own template and insert the necessary code to make different areas editable to add photos or text. Additionally, text areas cannot be pre-formatted to only allow a specific text size, typeface, or color. This would be a helpful addition for situations where the designer wants to control design details. Finally, their photo upload and resize tool only allows for several pre-determined sizes. Again, designers wishing to have complete control cannot set a custom photo size. However, photos can be resized to any dimensions beforehand and added to a newsletter.
Emma’s pricing is based on the number of emails sent per month. Plans start at $30 per month for 1,000 emails. This means you can send one email to 1,000 people, or two emails to 500 people, etc. Pricing then continues all the way up to $600 for 100,000 emails with custom plans available for larger volume. Pricing is certainly reasonable for smaller lists, though it is a concern that it can become a significant monthly cost as your mailing list grows. There is also a $250 setup fee, which includes the custom template. $50-100 one-time fees apply to creating a template based on a file you provide, which is reasonable based on the work involved.
Emma is clearly a great choice for sending email newsletters, especially for those with smaller mailing lists and looking for a simple design template. Options are limited for designers looking for complete control over a client’s formatting of text and images, but this would not be a problem if the designer were responsible for creating and sending each newsletter. While there are many ways to simply send a newsletter without Emma, the contact organization and statistics reporting complete an all-in-one solution.