Categories
Linux Server Administration Tips

SMTP server telnet connection refused on Linux?

I was testing the WP Mail SMTP plugin to send emails in WordPress via SMTP servers but when it was trying to connect to the remote SMTP server, it kept getting error “Connection refused”.

So I tried:

telnet smtp.xxxx.com 587

To test the connection. Turned out my own server is preventing the outgoing request because of the permission denied error by CSF as I didn’t have enough privilege as an ordinary user of the server:

grep -i smtp_block /path/to/csf.conf

grep: /path/to/csf.conf: Permission denied

Needless to say, the telnet connection successfully went through to the remote SMTP server when I logged in as root.

So the solution is simple. Just add the user to /path/to/csf.conf for SMTP privilege:

SMTP_ALLOWGROUP = "mail,mailman,youruser"

That’s it. Now youruser is capable of connecting to remote SMTP servers.

Categories
Microsoft Windows Web Applications & Online Software

Office365 SMTP Send Emails as Shared Mailbox via smtp.office365.com

Go to Office.com admin center > Users > Active users.

Create a standalone user for the purpose of SMTP authentication, e.g. [email protected] with password XXYYZZ112233, as you don’t want to give the password of your existing users to apps (e.g. WordPress) that need to access your SMTP.

Edit the created account enabling SMTP authentication by Mail tab > Email apps > Manage email apps > Check “Authenticated SMTP” > Save changes.

SMTP account done.

Now, create a shared mailbox in Office 365 for the app to send email AS.

Go to Office.com admin center > Teams & groups > Shared mailboxes, and create a shared mailbox for your app, e.g. [email protected], with the newly created SMTP user as a member of it.

Wait 10 minutes or so for Office 365 to take this into effect so your new SMTP user [email protected] becomes a member of the shared mailbox [email protected].

Finally, you can use these as your SMTP details for your new app:

  • SMTP Host: smtp.office365.com
  • Encryption: TLS
  • Port: 587
  • SMTP Username: [email protected]
  • SMTP Password: XXYYZZ112233

And make sure to use the shared mailbox as From Email when you are sending, or Office 365 SMTP server will reject your request:

That’s it.

Categories
Programming Tips & Insights SQL / MySQL Tips and Tutorials

When to use NoSQL (e.g. MongoDB) and when to use SQL (e.g. MySQL)?

NoSQL is mostly about document databases while SQL is about relational databases.

  1. NoSQL vs. SQL
  2. Documents vs. Tables
  3. MongoDB vs. MySQL
  4. Property vs. Entity

The trick is 4: Property vs. Entity

Design your data models on a piece of paper.

Use MongoDB if …

If you see more trivial *entities* such as category, tag, brand, origin, etc. that are actually properties, go with NoSQL databases such as MongoDB because these are properties of documents. What you are trying to store is some kind of documents of these properties.

Use MySQL if …

If you see more real entities such as business, person, product, event, etc., go with a relational database such as MySQL because these are entities that should get tables on their own. What you are trying to store is a network of related entities.

Conclusion

Go with the solution that mandates the LEAST tables or document types so the structure is as simple as possible.

If you find the data structure becoming increasingly complex and difficult to maintain, you are probably using the wrong database technology.

Categories
Guest Posts Kavoir & Whatever

Content Creation 101: How To Start

content creation

Content creation can help any digital marketing strategy take off. If you’ve found your digital marketing efforts haven’t brought in as many new customers or promoted as many sales as you like, it might be time to take a look at your content. Creating content can sometimes be as simple as using photoshop to create a meme or writing engaging blogs that help customers learn. 

No matter how they create content, successful businesses agree that content is crucial to their marketing success. So here’s how you can start creating better content right now.

Write for People First

content creation

SEO is one of the most beneficial digital marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. However, content creation shouldn’t be about getting Google or other search engines to rank your content. Instead, you should write for your target audience, not Google, and then worry about SEO once you’ve written an informative blog post or web page. 

While SEO is an effective strategy to get your business in front of more prospects while increasing brand awareness, you can start writing content without worrying about SEO. Unless you’re an SEO professional or have hired an SEO agency, you shouldn’t worry yourself about the hundreds of ranking factors that will affect where you appear on search engine results pages. 

By writing content for your customers, you can provide them with a better experience on your website and build trust, which can help boost your SEO without putting all of your time and energy into it. For example, suppose you need to market your employment background screening company. In that case, you would write blog content for business owners who need to learn more about HR, hiring, and recruiting. 

That being said, SEO is effective, so you shouldn’t put off SEO for too long. If you have the resources to immediately begin SEO and want to watch your web pages crawl up the pages of Google, then there should be nothing holding you back. However, if you don’t have the resources to fund SEO right now, consider waiting until you can hire an agency that can truly help you. 

Consider FAQs

Content is meant to be helpful for your prospects and customers. If you’re not sure what to write about, consider starting with your customers’ frequently asked questions. You can go through a list of customer FAQs and begin writing short blog posts on those topics to answer their questions and start building trust. 

Consistently Create Content 

There’s no need to follow a strict content schedule, but you should always consistently publish content. Small businesses just starting may benefit from a fixed schedule that will keep them moving forward, but it’s not going to make or break your digital marketing efforts. 

If you don’t have a team helping you, consider starting small and creating content once per week. Once you’re done with the content, you can schedule it to be published and start working on the next piece of content. 

By getting into a groove, you can develop the habit of consistently writing content. 

Consider SEO General Rules

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of writing engaging content, you might want to consider going back and optimizing your content so more people can find it online. While there are over two hundred ranking factors, there are small steps you can take to improve your content’s SEO, including:

  • Frequently posting new content 
  • Writing at least 300 words
  • Correctly formatting blogs and web copy 
  • Linking to other resources

Of course, these are only SEO baby steps. If you truly want to maximize your budget, you’ll need to work with an experienced SEO agency. 

Don’t Forget Visuals

Visuals are content, too, and they are often more engaging than text on a page alone. You should always use images and/or videos to enhance your content. However, videos and images are types of content that can stand up well on their own. 

If you’ve recently written a blog about a FAQ, consider finding ways to add a visual aspect to the blog to break up long blocks of text. You can do anything from creating videos to infographics. Then, make sure to share those visuals on social media to make people want to stop scrolling to click on a link to your blog post. 

Repurpose Content

As you may now realize, there are many different types of content, including images, videos, blogs, and presentations. Consider repurposing old content and turning it into something new that can help you leverage the information you already have while presenting it in another way. 

Repurposing content can also help you maintain your content calendar without worrying about finding a new topic to write about every week. Instead, you can make one article into a video and infographic that can be shared on your social media to engage your audience. 

Consider Distribution 

If you’re already doing SEO, then you won’t have to work as hard to distribute your content. As your blogs rise the ranks of Google and other search engines, your content will be distributed to people who are already searching for more information about the topics your blogs cover. 

Whether or not you’re doing SEO, you should also consider other types of content distribution, including social media and email. After all, if you’re creating great content, you want as many people to see it as possible. 

So make sure you send all of your new content on a schedule to your email subscribers while also posting it organically on social media. If you want to truly get more eyes on your article, consider creating a sponsored post on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn. 

Get Help

If you can’t seem to keep up with your content schedule, then it might mean you need to hire a content creator that can write articles and work with designers to create visuals to supplement the articles. Of course, you can also hire a content marketing agency that can do everything for you so all you have to do is sit back and focus on running your business. 

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

Categories
Guest Posts Kavoir & Whatever

How To Proactively Manage Your Programming and Personal Lives

programming

Managing your business and personal lives can help you get more work done and lead a happier, healthier life. However, instead of cracking down on yourself to get more done in a day, consider giving yourself free time that can help you spend time enjoying life. Even if you love your job as a programmer, there are still some days you wish you could have more free time. 
Instead of choosing to spend more time on programming or your personal life, consider addressing your time management skills to conquer both. Believe it or not, you can get more work done without cutting into your free time. Time management allows you to create the perfect work/life balance so you’re not overwhelmed in any aspect of your daily life.

Time Management for Better Work/Life Balance

programming life

Everyone has their own way to manage their time. Many people have great time management skills, while others could use a little help and more time in a day. However, anyone can improve their time management skills to increase their efficiency and productivity as long as they’re willing to follow their method. 

Get in the Right Mindset

It can be difficult to get into a good mindset about all of the tasks you have to complete in a day if you’re looking at being busy as a bad thing. Instead of thinking about how stressful your day will be, consider how great you’re going to feel when it’s all over. 

There are many ways to get yourself in the right frame of mind to start your day off right. For example, many people put on their running shoes and go for a long jog in the morning so they can start their day energized. Others prefer relaxing with a nice cup of coffee before they start their workday. Whatever you need to do to get into a positive mindset, do it before you start working so you can start the day off right. 

Prioritizing

There are many different time management methods for you to choose from. However, if you notice you have to work longer hours to get the same amount of work done as your coworkers, it’s time to switch it up. Consider prioritizing tasks that will take longer or those that are most important to you. 

First, start every Monday morning by listing out your programming projects and planning your schedule. Next, you can start branching out from these projects and list out the smaller tasks that are involved in them. 

Looking at your list, you can prioritize projects and tasks by their importance or deadline and understand how they relate to one another. If you see that you have multiple tasks under one project, you can tackle all of the tasks in that project to get it completed quicker instead of jumping around from project to project. 

Consider the Future

When you’re working at your desk on small tasks, you might forget about the larger project. However, by looking at the project as a whole, you can see how these tasks impact the outcome of something larger. 

At the end of the day, write down everything you were able to accomplish and compare it to your other list to see how many things you could not accomplish. Then, instead of feeling defeated, reorganize your list for the next day and look at all of the things you were able to accomplish in just eight hours. By continuously writing down and evaluating your goals, you’ll be more able to accomplish them. 

Get Small Tasks Out of the Way

Having a task list in hand is a great start, but if you want to plan your time better, you’ll need to set a schedule for each task, including how much time it should take you and when it should be completed. 

If you see a bunch of small tasks that all relate to one project, consider tackling those first the following day. For example, if you have to do the dishes, try doing them first thing in the morning so there won’t be any excuse for you to put that chore off at the end of the day. 

Chunk Large Tasks

Chunking is when you take something large and break it into smaller pieces. For example, if you have a large project due at the end of the week, break it up into smaller tasks you can accomplish every day. Over time, the small tasks you complete will equal one project. 

You can even chunk tasks at home. If you have to clean your bathroom, don’t look at it like you have to clean an entire room. Instead, look at the small tasks, such as cleaning the toilet, wiping down the counters, mopping the floor, and start accomplishing those one at a time. 

Stop Getting Distracted

How often do you get distracted at work? Most people get distracted quite a bit, whether it’s checking their phones or having a short conversation with a coworker. While distractions might not take much time at all, getting back into your work can. Constantly getting distracted and unfocused makes getting refocused more difficult, so it’s time to cut out distractions as much as possible so you can get more work done. 

Instead, set times throughout the day when you check your email or perform other tasks, and try to let your coworkers know when you’ll be focused so they won’t come and start up a conversation with you during those times. 

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking does not increase efficiency and productivity. Instead, it distracts your brain from correctly doing one thing. If you start a task, complete it before you start something else to start getting more things done in a day. 

Let Go

It can be difficult for programmers to end their workday. Many people want to finish up a task they’re on no matter how long it takes them to complete, which could be interfering with your personal life. If you ever find yourself working long hours, then it’s time to set some boundaries with your boss and/or yourself. 

At the end of the workday, follow your coworker’s leads, and go home. You can finish what you were working on the next day unless there is an immediate deadline. It’s okay to stay late at the office sometimes, but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. 

Matt Casadona | Guest Post Writer

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.

Categories
Business and Marketing

9 Things to Look for When Purchasing B2B Email Lists

Email marketing has been considered a great tool to create leads and enhance sales for years. A recent forecast of Statista declares that the global revenue of the email marketing industry was 7.5 billion USD in 2020, and it will reach up to 17.9 billion USD by 2027. Similarly, the number of email users is also growing daily, and this number will cross 4.6 billion in 2025.

Thence, these figures show that the future of email marketing is bright if you are using the right marketing approaches. However, in the absence of a meaningful B2B email dataset, it would be hard for marketers to achieve their goals. Therefore, this article shares a complete guide about things to consider while purchasing a B2B email list.

Things to Consider When You Purchase B2B Email Lists

1. The Credibility of Email List Provider

The primary thing that matters a lot when you purchase a B2B email list is the credibility of the data vendor. To successfully run your email marketing campaign and get a high ROI, buying an email list from a highly regarded dataset provider is significant. In this regard, B2B companies should explore their working experience in a particular industry and reviews of their previous email list buyers.

By the way, for ease for B2B email list seekers, we are also representing one of the top B2B email list providers below:

AeroLeads—With renowned clients like IBM, Adobe and Gartner, AeroLeads is a superior choice to buy B2B email lists. It not only facilitates the users with email lists but also gives sufficient details about phone numbers, business addresses, etc. Its most popular data plan is ‘Climb’, and its monthly charges start from $149.

Usable Databases—If your target audience is from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and European countries, then The Usable Databases should be your primary choice.

It grants frequently updated email lists to B2B companies. The ROI rates of these datasets are also outstanding. With a money-back guarantee, this email list provider has been in business since 2008 and could be a good choice for B2B companies of all sizes.

PureB2B—This data vendor is also a big name in providing lead generation for B2B companies. Its lead generation section covers a variety of segments like in-market leads, B2B content syndication, B2B account intelligence, and much more. This globally renowned vendor has served 125 million technology buyers.

2. Check Regulatory Compliance for Email List

The data collection and usage laws are getting stricter day by day. Mainly, developed countries are trying to implement data privacy laws firmly. That is why it is essential to purchase B2B email lists from a vendor that offers a completely clean and compliant email database. First of all, it should be mentioned by the vendor that it gets the entire data with the permission of companies and doesn’t violate any data privacy law.

A data vendor should be compliant with the following rules & acts:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)This European Union’s (EU) law provides the legal framework for gathering and processing data of individuals & businesses that operate in EU countries. This data protection act firmly emphasizes data security, lawfulness, retention, accuracy, and storage limits.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)This California-based law secures the consumer data of people who live in California state. CCPA questions the companies on how they are using the consumers’ personal information.

CAN-SPAM ActThis act mentions that marketing companies can’t send commercial emails, phone calls, and SMS to businesses and individuals without their consent. If anyone reports against such marketing campaigns, then the responsible company or individual will have to pay a fine of $16,000.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)To deal with electronic threats, cybercrimes, and spam activities, Canada confers a legal cover to its citizens with the name of CASL.

There could be several other regulations and acts that B2B email list vendors should comply with. The violation of these acts can severely damage your B2B marketing campaign and business.

3. Selection of Right Database

Now, if we talk about the types of databases, it is always recommended to choose niche-oriented email lists instead of general-purpose datasets. It is hard to find the desired data from ‘fit for all campaigns’ like email lists. Secondly, it is also an excellent choice to pick a single table from databases because of its ease of use.

4. Frequency of Data Updates

To increase engagement, sales, and ROI, it is vital to update the email lists regularly. Yes, it has been seen that businesses frequently change their contact credentials. So, it is also important to know how often your email list provider conducts such updates. B2B email buyers must inquire about dataset updates and are there any charges associated with these updates.

5. Refund Policy of Dataset Vendor

Another thing that you must investigate is the refund policy of the email list vendor. You should immediately ignore the dataset provider if it is not facilitating you with a fair refund policy. On the other hand, it is vital to carefully read all terms and conditions associated with email list databases’ refund policies. If these conditions suit you, then you can proceed with them.

6. Avoid Cheap B2B Email Lists

Although many startups and SMEs have limited funds to support their B2B email marketing campaigns, and they are not in a position to go with big budgets. But to get instant results from email marketing campaigns, they should ignore cheap or free B2B email lists. These cheap lists are usually inaccurate and out of date. With an appropriate strategy, you can surely get an ROI of $36 on the consumption of every $1 with a good dataset.

7. Analyze Data with the Help of Samples

Purchasing a B2B email list from a trusted vendor is not enough. Sales teams of B2B firms should also ask for a sample to analyze the success, deliverability, and ROI of these emails. With the help of a sample dataset, you can examine the following things:

  • A sample email list will make you aware of the deliverability rate of provided emails. Good email datasets providers claim about 99% email deliverability rate and successfully send the mails into the target customer’s inbox. This claim could be investigated with a sample list.
  • A sample list also discloses all contact details that are going to be a part of your email list. It is good to get B2B email lists with the full name of receipt, rank in the company, address and further details.
  • You can also send emails to sample email addresses to know about the engagement, return on investment (ROI) and sales rates. However, don’t forget to use an attractive and concise template and subject line while sending such testing mails.
  • Email list buyers should also take an authoritative agreement from the vendor that the final email dataset would be similar to the sample data.

8. Utilize Email Verification Tools

To examine the authenticity of emails, you can also utilize email verification tools. These tools could be applied to sample datasets to verify email lists. B2B email marketing experts should benefit from the following email verification tools before purchasing the email dataset:

Kickbox Email Verification—This is an ideal tool to validate the email dataset with a RESTful real-time email verification API. You can also test these APIs for different applications, including Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, and Node.js. This tool only charges $5 to verify 500 emails, so you can easily use it to test your B2B email list sample.

BriteVerify—It is another reliable email verification tool that aids in improving the ROI and sales of your email marketing projects. For 5,000 verifications, BriteVerify only takes $0.0080 per verification. Its price per verification reduces with an increment in the number of email verifications. This platform also deletes the data after 7 days to keep your information protected.

SendGrid—With more than 80,000 customers, SendGrid is basically an email delivery service. But you can benefit from its email address validation API to examine the deliverability ratio of the sample email dataset. For a certain limit, you can use this service for free of cost. However, to verify unlimited email addresses, you will have to consult with their sales team to ask about the charges.

Emailable—It is also a good email verification tool that comes with 99% accuracy and 50+ integrations. This platform enables the marketing agencies to automate their email verification process to know about the deliverable email addresses. Emailable can definitely tell you the deliverability ratio of your sample data.

9. Formats to Download Data

Nowadays, email datasets are used for various functions and integrated with numerous email marketing tools. That is why it is also necessary to know what formats your data vendor supports to download the email list. Your email list vendor should support formats like CSV, SQL, MySQL, PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, WordPress, LaTeX, XML, YAML, and Single Table Format.

It is better to ask about the supported formats from the data provider before purchasing the email list. You can also inquire about the extra charges associated with particular formats.

This article covers all necessary aspects that you must consider before purchasing a B2B email list. Hopefully, these things will assist you in getting more leads and sales for your campaigns.

Categories
Linux Server Administration Tips

Put process in background by nohup command in Linux

For example, a command like this could run a few days if there are so many images:

tar zcf xxxx.images.tgz *

So it’s best to put it in background when started, by nohup:

nohup tar zcf xxxx.images.tgz * > nohup.log 2>&1 &

Categories
Linux Server Administration Tips

Whitelist server IPs for SSH connection against ERROR – ssh: connect to host port: Connection refused

If you have multiple servers you’d probably need rsync to transfer files among servers via SSH. An error like this, however, will occur when CSF protects the servers against malicious SSH connection attempts:

ssh: connect to host example.com port 9999: Connection refused
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [Receiver]
rsync error: unexplained error (code 255) at io.c(226) [Receiver=x.x.x]

The solution is very simple. Just whitelist each server IP on the other server and vice versa:

csf -a 1.1.1.1

Wherein 1.1.1.1 is the other server. And perform the same:

csf -a 2.2.2.2

On the other server.

That’s it. Now you can freely SSH from and to the 2 servers.

Categories
Business and Marketing How I Do Marketing

10 Best Mass Emailing Tools

Many studies have been done, all with the same results. The average email marketing campaign yields low conversion rates. Marketing Insider reports that only 1 in 5 of your email recipients are going to open your email, and even worse, for every 100 marketing emails you send, 3 will convert to a subscription, purchase, or just a click on a link. That’s only 3%.

As dismal as that sounds, mass email marketing campaigns cost less than other digital marketing methods, so the cost per conversion is less. To reach a profitable goal, it takes a lot of emails and work to pull off a successful email campaign. The good news is, you don’t have to do all the work. There are plenty of products and services to choose from to manage every step of a mass email marketing strategy.

After examining many of the options available, this article presents the 10 best mass emailing tools, their pricing, pros, and cons.

1. Sendinblue

https://www.sendinblue.com/

Sendinblue is an all-in-one tool for a small business. Its features include those you would expect to find in any email marketing tool, including A/B testing, analytics, reports, email editor, templates, segmentation, and bulk and transactional email delivery.

Sendinblue offers a free version that gives you 9,000 emails each month, but you can only send 300 per day. Their Lite version is $25/mo. The limit per month is increased to 10,000, and the daily limit is removed.

The Lite version includes A/B testing and advanced analytics. An important difference between the free and the Lite version is the option to remove the Sendinblue logo.

Pros:

  • Easy to use plugins for WordPress, Magneto, and other platforms
  • Simple, easy to use message creation tools
  • Simple and intuitive methods to select your recipients
  • Uses a machine learning-powered send time optimizer

Cons:

  • Creation tools lack features provided by their competitors

There are no hidden fees for longer contact lists. Their pricing structure allows you to send up to 20,000 emails per month for just $65, if 10,000 isn’t enough for you. With pricing by the number of emails sent, you can work with an extensive list, sending smaller monthly bursts to control your budget.

2. Elastic Email

https://elasticemail.com/

Elastic Email enables you to create multiple campaigns with different send times, scheduling, and more. In addition to great analytics, Elastic Email has a drag & drop editor, making it simple and easy to use their templates to create great-looking emails.

Elastic Email offers two plans, Unlimited and Unlimited Pro. The Unlimited Pro plan provides extra features not available in the Unlimited plan (i.e., extended logs, faster delivery, and webhooks.)

With the Unlimited plan, you can send unlimited emails to a list of up to 5,000 contacts for $15/mo. Between 5,001 – 10,000, the cost is $25/mo.

Pros:

  • High delivery rates
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Low price point for small and big companies

Cons:

  • The user interface is outdated
  • Some customers report high delivery rates while others report emails going to spam
  • Customer support needs improvement

3. Moosend

https://moosend.com/

Moosend has an award-winning user interface accessing a powerful email marketing platform. It manages multiple email campaigns, as well as multiple mailing lists. Moosend includes a built-in, intuitive editor to create your emails and newsletters.

Moosend offers a free option for up to 1,000 subscribers. With lists longer than 1,000, the price increases with the size of your list. For example, $10/mo supports 2,000, $30/mo for 5,000, and $125/mo for 20,000 subscribers. There is no limit on the number of emails you can send each month.

Pros:

  • Pricing is easy to calculate and competitive
  • Excellent customer support
  • Technical support is very responsive

Cons:

  • Not as many integrations as its competitors

For a small business just starting to build its customer base, the free plan provides all you need. As your business grows past the limitations of the free plan, pricing is easily calculated and competitive. When starting something new, you never want to leave money on the table. With Moosend, there is no investment required as you learn about digital marketing.

4. EmailOctopus

https://emailoctopus.com/

EmailOctopus is a low-cost email marketing tool. It is rated high for deliverability, which means more emails get through to your recipients. If someone doesn’t receive the email you sent during a campaign, it is an opportunity lost.

EmailOctopus includes great segmentation features, which helps you create segments within your list based on customer data. EmailOctopus provides segmentation at a price most new businesses can afford.

Pros:

  • High delivery rates
  • Spam complaints are rare
  • Integrated with Amazon’s SES web service

Cons:

  • Not competitive when it comes to automation features

5. Campaign Monitor

https://www.campaignmonitor.com/

The quality of the messages you can create with Campaign Monitor’s drag-and-drop builder will improve subscribers’ engagement and promote loyal readership, leading to more conversions.

Campaign Monitor does not have a free plan or a free trial. Their Basic plan is only $9/mo and allows up to 2,500 emails, but with limited features. Automated time zone sending, a countdown timer, and unlimited spam testing are available in the $29/mo plan, which is worth considering as it includes unlimited emails.

Pros:

  • The email builder creates memorable emails, increasing loyalty and conversion rates
  • Schedules timed email sends, increasing open rates

Cons:

  • No free trial or free plan
  • Templates for the editor are not free

6. GetResponse

https://www.getresponse.com/

GetResponse includes automation tools for small and big businesses and makes use of customer behavior data to improve conversion rates with personalized email messages.

GetResponse offers a free 30-day trial of any of their plans. Their Basic plan supports an email list of up to 1,000 for $15/mo. $45/mo supports up to 5,000. You only need their Basic package unless you are building a larger, integrated marketing team. The number of emails you can send is unlimited.

Pros:

  • Most features are available in the Basic plan, including automation
  • Easy setup
  • Works well with affiliate marketers, allowing cold lead emails
  • Offers an affiliate program

Cons:

  • Does not offer a free plan
  • Needs better analytic data
  • Limited automation capabilities

7. Constant Contact

https://www.constantcontact.com/

Constant Contact is a great solution for smaller businesses with simple email marketing needs. Real-time tracking tools report who’s opening, clicking, and sharing your emails. Constant Contact includes customizable, responsive templates.

Constant Contact does not offer a free plan or trial period. Their starting plan, called the Email plan, is priced at $20/mo for a list of 500 subscribers. If you need email automation, the Email Plus plan is $45/mo, also for a list of 500. Their pricing is based on the number of contacts on your list. The Email plan for 2,501-5,000 subscribers is $65/mo.

Pros:

  • There are a large number of templates available
  • Clean and easy to use interface
  • A dashboard providing key metrics to plan your next campaign

Cons:

  • They do not offer a free plan
  • The UI is outdated
  • Difficult to access old campaigns

8. AWeber

https://www.aweber.com/

AWeber is best suited for individuals or small businesses growing their subscriber lists. AWeber provides analytic tools to track everything. They have an award-winning support team providing assistance via phone, email, or chat.

AWeber offers monthly, annual, and quarterly plans. They all provide the same features, the only difference being the number of subscribers. They offer a free plan for up to 500 subscribers. AWeber has a Pro plan starting at $16.15 billed yearly, $16.33 billed quarterly, and $19 monthly for up to 500 subscribers. The Pro plan costs $49/mo for a list between 2,501 – 5,000.

AWeber allows unlimited emails with no hidden caps. You can try any plan for free or 30-days, but you have to provide payment information before your trial period begins.

Pros:

  • Free plan for up to 500 subscribers
  • Includes an email auto-responder
  • No caps on “unlimited” number of emails each month
  • No hidden costs, or as they say, “no funny business”

Cons:

  • In many cases, template designs are outdated
  • Support for A/B testing needs improvement
  • Cannot include or exclude multiple segments in a campaign

9. SendGrid

https://sendgrid.com/

SendGrid is a Twilio company. SendGrid benefits from the extensive support organization Twilio has created. SendGrid offers many product and service integrations, an award-winning API, and actionable analytics.

SendGrid offers a free version supporting 100 emails per day. Their plans are all email-based. They have an Essentials plan for $15/mo for 50,000 emails and $30/mo for 100,000 emails per month.

Pros:

  • Manages unsubscribe emails
  • Displays an email reputation indicator
  • High delivery rates

Cons:

  • No customer surveys
  • Limited automation functions
  • Free tier uses shared IPs – one bad actor can result in your emails being blocked
  • Only keeps 3 days of email history by default, extra charges for more extended history data

SendGrid’s free plan will cover the needs of most individuals or small businesses. Because the free plan uses a shared IP with others on the free plan, you are at risk due to a complete stranger’s poor email practices or a company sending 50,000 spam emails each month.

10. iContact

https://www.icontact.com/

iContact closely follows anti-spam and opt-in requirements. This is helpful for a business or individual just starting their email marketing plans, saving them from making costly mistakes.

iContact offers a 30-day free trial. No credit card is required. Plans start at $15/mo for a subscriber list of up to 1,500. The prices increase based on the number of subscribers in your list. With iContact, you can send unlimited emails to the subscribers.

Pros:

  • Support for drip campaigns and segmentation
  • Provides an email auto-responder
  • A low-cost solution for basic email marketing

Cons:

  • There are hidden charges based on add-on features
  • No “ala carte” pricing – you have to subscribe to a plan just to get one feature
  • Templates are designed mainly for sales teams
  • Needs more integrations

Summary

The factor that will drive most decisions when considering a mass email marketing tool is the cost. If you have an email list of 5,000 or less, paying based on the size of your list works well. You can send unlimited emails to any or everyone on your list any number of times each month. If this model fits your needs, Moosend would be a good selection.

If you plan a one-time email blast using an extensive list, such as every email in the Yellow Pages, paying by the number of emails is the better option. For these types of mass email events, Elastic Email or Sendinblue would be excellent choices.

Any of the email marketing tools we looked at will work for your business. From practically any list, you can tailor precise delivery dates and times to send personalized messages targeting specific segments. You can track your emails, measure performance, and make immediate adjustments to improve your success rates.

The real value from these products is the time you will save and the frustration you won’t experience. Executing a mass email marketing campaign requires a lot of planning and many steps in the preparation, delivery, and tracking stages. Focus on your business and leave the email marketing to the experts.

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Guest Posts

What is Code Signing? How it Works?

Background

Times have always been changing, bringing newer opportunities and challenges for us to explore and learn more. It is a similar case with technology, we have experienced a steep spike in technological evolution over the last few decades, this has come with its own set of challenges. We are seldom buying software products we need from physical stores. Everything has moved up to the web and more recently all services and products are turning cloud-native.

We download products and services from the internet. Therefore, the safety, security, and authenticity of software products and services procured online are important. To give you a broad overview, code signing solves the trust issues generally associated with software products. Whether you are a thriving software development organization, service provider, budding entrepreneur, or a start-up, you must acquire code signing certificates.

What Is Code Signing and Its Significance?

Code singing is a best practice that every technology professional or enthusiast should prioritize in their line of software development. Whether you are a software developer, company, or an end-user, you will experience code signing and its importance in your day-to-day life. It is a digital signature issued to your software programs by a Certificate Authority (CA).

Software developers and publishers use the hash function to encrypt and sign-off their code. The signature not only authenticates the software program but also covers the intellectual property (IP) of the product. Software codes that are not code-signed can raise eyebrows and often prone to malicious activities.

Unsigned code-based programs show the Unknown Source dialog box, if you choose to proceed then you are agreeing to risk your systems. Often the software programs that are not code-signed are blocked by anti-virus installed on your system.

Code signing generates trust among your clientele. Assures them about the authenticity of your product that it is not carrying any malicious program. Therefore, you cannot publish a certificate to yourself. Cheap code signing certificates are also not available off the shelf, you need to submit your request for a code signing certificates to one of the trusted CAs, which are as follows:

  • Custom
  • Entrust
  • GlobalSign
  • Sectigo (formerly Comodo)
  • Digi cert
Code Signing Types

Before we dwell on how code signing works? Let us take a quick look at the types of code signing certificates issued. There are two kinds of code signing certificates:

  • Standard
  • Extended Validation

Standard: The standard code signing certificates are the type that displays Microsoft SmartScreen warning message to your customers. The warning dialog box persists until you gain enough market trust via downloads and a reduced number of defects.

Extended Validation (EV): The EV code signing certificates are obtained after a detailed verification. Post EV, users do not experience frequent warming messages.

The Code Signing Process

After thorough verification, CA issues a code signing certificate which is a public and private key. Use the key to sign your software products and secure the code. The keys are valid for a limited period, provide legitimacy and authentication to your software products.

You must be curious to know how the code-signing process flows, see the following steps for a quick understanding:

  1. You start by deploying a software product with a trusted code signing certificate.
  2. The product code, if code-signed, carries is a digital signature ( a hash mark).
  3. When the software product is downloaded and you agree to proceed further, the digital signature is displayed.
  4. On your clients’ machine, the public key is used to decrypt the signature and ascertain the code signing certificate-based authentication.
  5. The hash values are validated, if the validation is a success, then download and further usage are allowed by client-side systems.

Note: Any hash mismatch results in an error message that prompts users to stall the usage. This is subject to user-side security and protocols.

Since the process is known to you now, let us try to sum up how to code singing works.

  • If you are a publisher, then you apply for a code certificate by sending your requirements to one of the trusted CAs.
  • Choose the type of certificate you want, CAs will do verification of your documents, digital, and physical addresses.
  • After detailed verification, if the verification is successful, you can generate a hash executable file that you can append to your software programs.
  • Use the private key to encrypt your code and prevent hacking and other malicious cyber activities.

You can now download the product with trust and confidence. The public key issued to your code signing certificate decrypts the hash. If the public and private keys match, you can use the program. The successful match only affirms that your software product and its code is safe to use. The program is code signed, without any hacks by unverified users.