For business-to-business marketers, it's hard to beat marketing emails for effectiveness and return on investment, B2B Marketing Hub said. That is until the subscriber list gets fatigued of marketing emails. The website said there are ways to avoid inbox fatigue, and the main way is to give the customer something useful in each email.

"The trick is to deliver value with every email. Make it your first priority to inform or educate, with the offer – linked to the value-added messaging – almost playing a secondary role," the website said. "Generate useful content based on intelligence you gather from past emails and corporate blog post analytics. Your email marketing messages will perform better if you make them inherently valuable. Also, you’re building a case for the recipient to click a link and take advantage of your offer."

A recent eMarketer survey said 66 percent of U.S. subscribers ignore or delete promotional emails after receiving excessive digital advertisements, 28 percent said they are less likely to ever respond positively to a message in the future and 20 percent will even stop using the project altogether.

EMarketer said when it comes to these marketing emails, people prefer quality over quantity. Small business marketing professionals need to be careful with what they send out, as the wrong thing could severely harm their reputation.

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Marketing emails can be a great tool for any business, especially when coupled with marketing automation software, but companies need to build a good list of subscribers to have a good foundation for sales and growth, according to Entrepreneur.com. The website suggests reaching out to website visitors as a way to build a strong base.

"Perhaps the easiest and most common way to create a list is to integrate an email opt-in form into your home page," the website said. "To get attention, place your form 'above the fold,' so visitors can see it immediately and don't have to scroll down."

Other pieces of advice from Entrepreneur include adding an opt-in page on the company's "about" page, adding another one to the checkout price and integrating an opt-in function to the blog's comment section. These will all make it much easier for people interested to sign up for a marketing list. Companies can also present opt-in forms via a pop-up advertisement, although this may work against a company by irritating a website visitor.

GetBusyMedia gave some more creative ways to build a business email marketing list, including using social media, giving people the option to view samples of what they will receive and taking advantage of local lists to bring in more local customers.

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While many companies have looked to online advertising, others have found that small business marketing online may be far more effective. Business 2 Community said businesses looking to switch from advertising to marketing may not have to start from scratch, as there are ways to smoothly move from one arena to the other, such as turning print marketing to business email marketing.

"This can help your small business become more competitive and make your marketing more efficient," the website said. "For example, most email marketing platforms track items like click-through rates to evaluate what content performs best. This then allows you to focus more of your advertising dollars on lead generation and measurable online marketing."

Other ways to move to marketing instead of advertising is to go from offline coupons to online offers, use an analog guestbook to have people sign up for an email subscription list and move from comment cards to online reviews.

MarketingProfs reported last year that business-to-business marketers are moving from traditional forms of marketing to online efforts such as marketing emails. The top objectives, according to the website, is engaging customers and prospects, and driving sales.

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Sales and marketing departments are always trying to procure leads and bring in new businesses, but Entreprenuer.com said many don't know how much a new or regular customer is worth. The website said small business marketing professionals should look at how much customers are worth to figure out how many they should aim to bring in each month for an increase of sales.

"In order to figure out how much in gross sales a new regular customer brings you in a year, you need to define what a regular customer is," the website said. "Through a careful audit you can determine this information. Obviously, 'regulars' can range from several times a week or several times a year. So, set those criteria. For example, a typical fast, casual food operation may set that number at three or four times a month, while a more upscale operation may set it at three or four times a year."

The website said this regular frequency can be multiplied by the average check. From there, companies can look at what kind of targeted increase they want each year and how many regulars they need each year to increase sales.

ConversionAgent.com said bringing in a lifetime customer, who will likely make numerous purchases during the span of the business relationship, is a huge benefit for a company. Small business marketing teams should look at finding a good balance between nurturing regulars and bringing in new leads.

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Marketing automation software can be a great way for businesses to start moving leads into the sales pipeline, but many businesses run into some potholes or roadblocks along the way, according to ClickZ. The website said businesses can be derailed by many things, including believing the technology is all that is needed to be successful.

"Technology can only get you so far," the website said. "You can buy the most elaborate sound system for your home entertainment center; but if you struggle setting it up and turning it on and rarely entertain, then what's the point in even having the fancy system? When evaluating technology, you need to balance it with the right mix of people. You can't buy technology and expect to have your problems solved."

Other common mistakes made with an automation program include not researching what is needed to be done in the program, trying to go too fast too soon, not having enough content resources and not aligning the sales and marketing teams. All of these may mean the program isn't being used to its full potential.

One company said marketing automation can be a great benefit to the sales cycle, as it has lead scoring and nurturing tools to makes sure companies can stay on top of sales and keep customers coming back.

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For small business marketing professionals who are worried that poor business marketing emails may tarnish their reputation, an executive of an email marketing company said on iMedia Connection that there are many things that can be done to make sure the reputation stays pristine.

"First and foremost make sure that you have a clean list," he said on the website. "Are you sending to a large number of unknown users? If so, you've probably earned a reputation among affected ISPs as a sender that doesn't care about list hygiene. Are you receiving a large number of complaints from your subscribers? If so, you probably have a reputation as a spammer with both your subscribers and the ISPs."

Reputations can also be affected by the people and organizations a small business marketing team works with, so before partnering with another company for an email campaign, marketers should look into the prospective partner's history and reputation.

ChiefMarketer said in a world where consumers are hit hard by marketing emails on a daily basis, a good reputation is key for getting into the inbox and having a successful campaign.

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Adding video to marketing emails can do great things for a company, but Business 2 Community said that much like a great fishing rod doesn't necessarily make a great fisherman, the best video may not necessarily produce the best return on investment.

"As you look to integrate email into your email campaigns, one of the single-most important considerations is implementation – how will you integrate your video content within your email to maximize viewership?" the website asks, proposing that people use the "falsey," or a false embed of a video that will instead lead back to a landing page on the company's website.

By using this, small business marketing professionals should see subscribers visit their website more, have more conversation and viewing take place on the website where it is easier to keep track of and have full control of the website and user experience.

Videos in business email marketing has been pointed out as a very successful technique by the Web Video Marketing Council and Flimp Media, as they said 76 percent of marketers see increased click-throughs, 72 percent believe customers are more likely to convert and 88 percent reported a positive impact after implementing videos in marketing emails.

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Pinterest tips for small businesses

by Infusionsoft April 23, 2012

Small business marketing departments have created larger bases by using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and now Pinterest has popped up as another popular social media website.