Email marketing is not new but can be one of the more effective tools for a company to use especially if your company is selling products online. A series of follow up emails to potential buyers can be very effective.
Additional great uses for an email marketing program include keeping in contact with potential clients, keeping in touch as well as updating franchisees in a franchise situation.
Marketing Buddah recommends Mailchimp and ConstantContact as the goto programs for email marketing. There are other programs out there but these two are the gold standard when it comes to email marketing.
Mailchimp is cheaper for the small business owner as they do have a free program that will send up to 25,000 emails in one month to a list of people less that 2,000. Also, if you are looking for ease of use Mailchimp hands down gets the node for the easiest to use email marketing program.
Constant Contact can be good for larger organizations and/or Franchise situations where the Franchisor wants to provide their franchisees with a fully supported solution.