Email Marketing

Getting to the point in marketing emails

April 17, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

While many small business marketing professionals may be tempted to give subscribers a long read, one email marketing professional writes on Business 2 Community that subscribers don't want marketing emails to be as long as magazine articles or blog posts, so companies should look to get to the point quickly.

"It’s a very short-lived opportunity to grab attention and entice your customers away from the inflexible and controlled environment of their email inbox," the news source said. "Ultimately you should aim to get people out of their inbox and into an environment where you are in full control of the engagement (i.e. your website) in seconds. Once you get someone on to your site, you can track their journey, have greater control with how they engage with you and use this information to refine your future marketing activities."

Business 2 Community said to help get to the point via email marketing, marketers should segment the list and send only timely, relevant emails. Marketing professionals also should always bring the focus down to one deal or product, build a clear call to action and split test to make sure the emails are effective. Companies must always be thinking of converting sales and engaging users.

One company said product education and purchase reminders are also a great way to help with getting to the point, as they are both informative and concise. Marketing automation software can improve the delivery of these types of messages to ensure they are sent in a timely manner.

 

Improving conversion rates for email

April 17, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

Assessing two recent reports on business email marketing, online marketing strategist Jeanne Jennings surmised that the first and third quarters of the year are the periods in which companies will likely get the most out of their email campaigns.

In a post on ClickZ, Jennings said that by looking at the Q4 2011 Email Trends and Benchmarks report by Epsilon and the Email Experience Council and the 2H 2011 Global E-mail Deliverability Benchmark Report by Return Path, click-thrus have seen a big drop in recent years, but open rates have seen a fairly steady improvement since 2008.

Even so, she said every small business marketing department should be testing to see how they can improve open rates.

"Having healthy open and click-through rates helps with generating revenue, and if yours are dropping you should test ways to boost them along with testing other campaign elements (like landing pages), which are often closer to the conversion."

Companies should be testing marketing emails on a consistent basis to make sure they are getting the best return on investment as they possibly can.

 

Maximize email marketing through automation and mobile devices

April 16, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

Marketing emails are the backbone of marketing, writes digital marketer Amber Whiteman on ChiefMarketer.com. She says to keep the backbone strong, companies should look to make emails more relevant, use email automation and focus on mobile device platforms.

"To maximize [relevance] within key audiences, segment your readers to deliver targeted content," Whiteman writes. "You can segment them by company, products used, stage in purchasing cycle, specified areas of interest, or any other characteristic you are tracking. If you aren't already collecting important information about your customers, start now. The longer you wait, the less engaged your readers will become."

She said companies should also look to marketing automation software and CRM to automate emails and focus on mobile devices when sending, as more people than ever are using smartphones and tablets when checking their emails.

Practical eCommerce said companies need to know when users on their business email marketing list are mobile. This will help if a company wants to specify a relevant list just for mobile users.

 

Why average marketers don’t get into the inbox

April 13, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

Getting into the inbox of the consumer is everything that a small business marketing professional wants from an email program, but George Bilbrey, president of Return Path, said on MediaPost that there is a big divide between best practice marketers and average marketers when it comes to getting past email inbox filters.

Together, marketers saw a deliverability rate of 76 percent, according to the Global Email Deliverability Benchmark Report. Bilbrey writes that the difference shows when marketers following "better-than-best" practices are excluded, as the deliverability rate drops down to 71 percent. He said one reason is because spam filters are starting to tighten.

"Gone are the days when spam filtering relied solely on content to separate wanted from unwanted email," Bilbret writes. "Reputation filters have become sophisticated enough to block emails based on subscriber feedback, subscriber engagement, and a variety of other metrics."

Other reasons, he said, could include sender reputation declining and new marketers coming into the market. He writes that small business marketing professionals should always go beyond minimum best practices, keep tabs on emails and be sure to try their hardest to practice good business email marketing.

 

Things to put on the email marketing to-do list

April 13, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

With nice weather starting to peek its head out and the second quarter of the year starting, many businesses may want to take another look at their business email marketing plan. BtoB Online gives some tips for things to put on the email to-do list, including tracking email activity all the way to the conversation, even though Josh Boaz, managing director of digital marketing company Direct Agents, said few have been able to pull it off well.

“People would say they were focusing on the conversion tunnel, but didn't have the advanced email analytics they needed to see what was happening on the website after someone clicked,” he said, according to the news source. “A first touch might happen in email, but then subsequent contact might happen on the web, in social media [or] on the phone."

Other things to put on the list for small business marketing professionals include re-focus on customers that may have disengaged, take mobile devices into account with each email and launch campaigns that will look to retarget the message.

For those who have subscribed to a small business marketing email list and disengaged, MarketingProfs suggests asking people to update their profile, giving them offers they wouldn't otherwise get as incentive and asking them to re-confirm their subscription.

 

Reasons why email marketing will never die

April 12, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

While many have challenged the staying power of business email marketing, Megan Louw said on BizCommunity that nothing has taken email marketing's crown yet, and with good reason.

"It's universal," she writes. "Just about everyone who's online has an email account. Email works internationally and across cultures. Though Facebook now has some 600 million users, there are about 1.9 billion email users worldwide and that number is expected to reach 2.5 billion by the year 2014. "

Louw also said email marketing allows each party to take their time instead of having a rapid fire conversation, it has yet to have competition, it's easily controllable by marketers and it has very few constraints.

A recent study by Nielsen found that social media users also use email. In fact, the study shows that the more someone uses social media, the more they end up using email, with low social media consumers spending the least time on email compared with those who use social media a lot spending the most time on their email account.

Small business marketing departments should keep up with new email marketing technology, such as CRM and marketing automation software to help them stay ahead of the curve.

 

Marketers start to digitally test content

April 11, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

Business email marketing has improved over the years, with the increase in testing one of the major reasons for the advancements. A story on BtoB Online said that the formalization of testing at B2B companies has enabled marketers to get a better sense of which strategies are the most effective at attracting and retaining customers.

“We are all about doing rigorous testing,” said Scott Anderson, VP-customer communications at HP Enterprise Group, according to the news source. “On the digital side, everything is connected. So not only do we test digital content, but there is a requirement to amplify the message.”

Anderson told BtoB that his company set up "listening posts" to help monitor conversations about the company on social network websites, in user communities and across the internet. He said taking the top discussion topics and sentiment, and finding the top keywords, have been a focus for the company, which has been able to improve the use of these words and phrases by running tests on their effectiveness.

Shaun Mackey, an entrepreneur trainer, writes on his blog that essentially everything should be split tested by companies online, including ads, headlines, images and phrases. This should help small business marketing departments figure out what is and what is not working for them online.

 

Email shouldn’t be on ‘endangered’ list

April 10, 2012 | by Infusionsoft

While business email marketing had been perceived as a dead medium by analysts, Steve Olenski of the Marketshare blog on Forbes said it's still very effective and should be taken off of the "endangered" list.

"Email, like it’s physical counterpart direct mail, is and always will be for that matter, an extremely effective marketing tool," he said on Forbes. "But you have to remember that email is no longer tethered to a PC or a Mac."

Olenski looks at the 2012 Channel Preference Survey by ExactTarget, which shows that 91 percent of marketers use email at least daily, while 5 percent use it at least weekly. Another 3 percent said they use it less than weekly, with a mere 1 percent saying they never use email. In comparison, 57 percent of marketers said they use Facebook marketing daily, 13 percent said at least weekly and 11 percent said less than weekly. The rest, 19 percent, said they never use Facebook marketing.

While both marketing emails and social media marketing are effective tools, small business marketing professionals should look for ways to use both mediums to enhance their marketing efforts.