Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category

23 Terrific Email Marketing Guides

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Despite repeated pronouncements of its demise, email marketing is definitely not dead (just as SEO is not dead). According to recent research:

      • Email marketing statistics• For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
      • • 91% of consumers use email at least once a day. 
      • •  When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.
      • •  60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization.

However—as email inboxes get more crowded and both the sophistication and expectations of consumers and business buyers increase, marketers need to refine their tactics in order to build their opt-in email lists, retain subscribers,  and drive leads and sales through email marketing.

So what are the most effective tactics for building an opt-in email list today? What are the best practices to maximize open and click-through rates? What worst practices or pitfalls should email marketers avoid? What’s the best day of the week to send emails?

Find the answers to those questions and many more here almost two dozen expert guides to email marketing.

Email List Building Guides

Marketing Research Chart: 63% say registration during purchase effective for list building by MarketingSherpa

Daniel BursteinDaniel Burstein reports that most marketers struggle with growing their opt-in lists–but also offers tips from the happy minority enjoying rapid list building success. Among them: “63% of marketers found registration during purchase to be very effective…If you could start, or improve, only one element of your opt-in program this year, you should strongly consider taking a look at how you offer customers the chance to register for your list when they’re making a purchase. Only 41% of marketers are using this tactic to drive their organization’s email list growth.” Online events are also effective, while social media sharing buttons are at the other end of the scale, cited as “very effective” by only 9% of marketers.

10 Top Tips to Grow Your Email List by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas suggests 10 ways to grow your opt-in email list, from the common (offer a free ebook, or use a pop-up box–which he concedes is annoying, but they work anyway) to the less obvious (do some guest blogging, use annotations in YouTube videos, or use SlideShare Pro (“the premium version of Slideshare…offers a pop up box to capture emails and leads”).

4 tips for growing your email list by iMedia Connection

Monique TorresReporting, regarding the continuing importance of email as a marketing tactic, that “Fifty-four percent of organizations generate 20 percent or more of overall revenue through email marketing. For 21 percent of respondents, email marketing accounts for 60 percent or more of all digital business revenue,” Monique Torres presents four helpful tips for building opt-in email lists, including offering incentives for signing up, which may include content, exclusive access, tesimonials, or discounts.

Email List Growth: Marketers Rank Their Most Popular – and Effective – Tactics by Marketing Charts

It’s not surprising that, according to research from ExactTarget, a majority of marketers use tactics like placing a general email signup form on their websites, or signup forms specific to different sections of their sites. But among some findings that are less obvious, this post notes “While only 23% capture email during inbound sales calls, 71% rate this tactic as being effective.”

16 Ways to Capture Email Addresses for Your Email Marketing List by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura ClickFrequent best-of honoree Laura Click serves up more than a dozen helpful tactics for growing an opt-in email marketing list, from offering an incentive to sign up (“such as eBooks, webinars and video series”) and social media channels to digital ads, contests, and collecting email addresses at trade shows and other industry events.

How to Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers When Nobody Knows You by ProBlogger

Marya JanGuest author Marya Jan steps through seven common roadblocks to growing a subscriber list, and explains what to do instead in order to quickly build a large opt-in email list. For example, not providing an incentive to sign up: “the best opt-in offers are those that offer some sort of short cut of doing a task. A cheat sheet of sorts…a report, mini ebook, white paper or a short webinar works well.”

General Email Marketing Guides

10 email best practices to remember (Infographic) by iMedia Connection

Erik MatlickErik Matlick showcases an infographic detailing 10 best practices for effective marketing emails, from subject lines (punctuation is unnecessary; capitalizing all words results in higher engagement) to content and CTAs (questions spike interest and encourage click-through; orange and red are the best colors for CTA buttons).

11 Email Marketing WORST Practices by Bourn Creative

Jennifer BournShifting the focus from email marketing best practices to worst practices, Jennifer Bourn here helpfully warns marketers to avoid these potentially costly email mistakes, such as buying email lists (“This tactic is guaranteed to result in a lot of spam complaints, angry consumers, and damage to your brand”), using a bait-and-switch opt-in (“Don’t sneak your ezine in after the fact and trick new subscribers”) and buring out your list with over-mailing.

Personalized e-mails drive shoppers to buy—and buy more—in stores and online by Internet Retailer

Amy DustoWant your marketing emails to be more effective? Make them personal. According to Amy Dusto, “77% of online shoppers say they’re more likely to buy from a retailer when its e-mails are personal…and 82% of web shoppers say they’d likely buy more items from a retailer if its e-mails were more personally relevant.”

Email Deliverability: 8 tactics help you overcome rising B2B challenges by MarketingSherpa

Allison Banko“There are plenty of layers to permeate when it comes to deliverability. In the B2B market, those layers thicken. You bear a bulk of ongoing challenges including a longer sales cycle, complex reputation score hurdles and high employee turnover, resulting in multiple inactive email addresses.” To overcome these challenges, Allison Banko walks through eight tactics for improving deliverability specifically for b2b email marketers, from careful segmentation to optimizing emails for mobile devices.

Opt in email marketing: 9 Powerful eMail Conversion tactics from the Pros by Razor Social

Ian ClearyNoting that typical email conversion rates are significantly higher than for search or social media, Ian Cleary passes along conversion tactics from nine top marketing professionals, among them John Jantsch (use a bright color for your call-to-action button and “never use your call to action button color anywhere else on your site”) and Melanie Duncan: “Melanie has a great picture of her with a visual cue (i.e. she’s pointing to where you have to subscribe).”

Marketing Research Chart: Which day is best to send emails? by MarketingSherpa

Daniel Burstein (again) shares research on which day of the week marketers believe is most effective for sending marketing emails. (It’s Tuesday, followed closely by Wednesday.) However, he also points out the value of testing (as your mileage may vary), the importance of accurate measurement, and international considerations.

Email Marketing: What I’ve learned from writing almost 1,000 emails for MarketingSherpa by MarketingSherpa

Justin BrideganJustin Bridegan shares four key lessons from his email marketing experience, including the importance of providing value over just selling: “Your emails should be an ongoing conversation and always offer real value. Ask yourself, ‘Does this pass the ‘so what’ test?’ If not, then scrap what you have and start over.”

The 4 Pillars of Email Marketing by MarketingSherpa

Astutely noting that “If you focus on everything, you focus on nothing,” Daniel Burstein (once more) presents the four focus areas for presentations at MarketingSherpa’s email summit, along with supporting content. These focus areas included list building, design, automation, and integration (“The optimization of email integration tactics with social media, websites, mobile, offline and testing”).

5 Reasons Why Most Email Marketing Messages Get Ignored by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura Click (again) muses upon several reasons marketing emails have low open rates, including an excessive focus on selling (“Yes, it’s important to use email to sell. But, that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. It needs to be balanced with other compelling content”), boring content, and terrible subject lines.

24 Tips for Responsive Email Design by Get Elastic

Linda BustosNoting that “43% of email is currently opened on mobile devices, headed towards 50% by the end of the year,” Linda Bustos explains how responsive email design works, and supplies a set of practical tips for design, content, and calls to action (“Make links look like links. Sound like Web usability kindergarten? It’s still important, especially since modern designs style links as colored text without underlining”).

Email Marketing: 7 Things You Should Do Before Hitting “Send” by The 60 Second Marketer

May AdvinculaMay Advincula walks through seven items to check before hitting the “send” button on a marketing email message, among them, covering the basics (“Do you have an easily accessible unsubscribe link?”) and keeping it simple (“Once your subscribers get past the subject line and open your e-mail, make sure the reason why subscribers have signed up for your e-mail is prominent”).

Simple ideas for integrating social and email by iMedia Connection

Drew HubbardDrew Hubbard contends that contrary to the notion that social media has “killed” email, in fact, “the explosive popularity of social networking is an opportunity to boost the effectiveness of email marketing.” He then details a handful of ways social media can be used to leverage email marketing efforts, such as encouraging sharing: “Remember back in the day when email marketers did backflips when subscribers chose to ‘forward to a friend?’ Well, with social networking, email subscribers today can choose to ‘forward to ALL friends.’”

Email Subject Lines and Copywriting Guides

Infographic: 10 Commandments of Email Copywriting by The Point

Howard J. SewellHoward J. Sewell shares clever and practical commandments for effetive email copywriting, from “Thou shalt not direct people to ‘learn more’” (“‘Learn more” is the worst possible call to action. It means absolutely nothing. What is it that you’re offering, exactly?”) and “Thou shalt use ‘you,” not ‘we’” to “Thou shalt not serve up multiple calls to action.”

Email Subject Lines: Words and Tactics That Boost Open Rates by MarketingProfs

Ayaz NanjiAmong other research findings detailed here, Ayaz Nanji reports that “Email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency, such as those that contain the words ‘urgent’ and/or ‘important,’ have open rates that are much higher than normal…(also) email recipients are much more intrigued by subject lines that contain positive solicitations rather than negative admonitions: Words such as ‘announcement’ and ‘invitation’ have significantly higher open rates than those containing ‘reminder’ and ‘cancelled.’”

Which Email Keywords Get the Highest Open and Click-Through Rates? by The Daily Egg
**** 5 STARS

Sherice JacobSherice Jacob notes that, as email inboxes become ever more crowded, “The competition is only going to get fiercer…now more than ever—word choice matters.” She then delves into research on how small changes in subject line word choice can make a big difference in results. For example, “save” vs. “sale”: “‘sale’ enjoyed an over 23% increase in open rates and over 60% in click-through rates, whereas ‘save’ flat-lined at 3.4% and -25.2% respectively.”

Email Design Awards and Inspiration

The 10 most innovative marketing emails of 2013 by iMediaConnection

Chris MarriottChris Marriott takes a close look at some of last year’s more effective email marketing campaigns, from best abandoned cart email (“Too many abandoned cart emails read along the lines of, ‘Hey dummy, you didn’t finish checking out.’ Not here. Bare Necessities strikes just the right tone with subject line, ‘Thanks for checking us out.’ That thought is repeated in the email itself, along with dynamically placed pictures of what was left in the cart”) and best coupon email (CVS) to best newsletter (P&G Home Made Simple) and best re-activation email (Clinique UK).

MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2014, presented by ExactTarget by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 STARS

Get design and campaign inspiration from the MarketingSherpa Email Awards winners in these 17 illustrated examples, including Dell’s Ultrabook program for e-commerce creation and design: “Dell wanted to support the launch and ongoing promotion of an innovative product. The main feature was a flip-hinge design allowing a user to transform the device from an Ultrabook to a tablet. Dell marketers saw an opportunity to demonstrate the key feature of their product using a unique approach – a short animated GIF. Touting high compatibility with email clients and browsers, this solution saw an increase in revenue of 109% against the quarterly benchmark for similar campaigns.”

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Two Database Marketing Principles to Increase Email Marketing ROI

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Guest post by Daniel Faggella.

Building an email list is vital for online business success. But it takes time, money, and work. Here are two strategies for optimizing the investment made in building a house list for email marketing efforts.

Principle 1: The Yellow Brick Road

Two Email Marketing PrinciplesWhen a prospect enters your world, via opt-in, by registration, by a first purchase… they should not be permitted to stray. Any entry point with you will lead them down a Yellow Brick Road (or “YBR”) – a series of explicit steps to get them to the highest customer lifetime value possible – while delivering maximum benefit to them (the customer).

This isn’t just about how much of their money can fit in your wallet (you can always get a bigger wallet, so that’s not a problem), but also how you can fit your product or service to provide for the customer.

Your YBR should be customized and tailored to the prospect, and flexible to adjust itself to their goals / desires / situation.

If you offer, let’s say, a software as a service (who doesn’t, these days), then let’s suppose that you’d like your YBR to result in the maximum monthly usage (and revenue) of your service, and prolonged / indefinite retention.

Suppose that your software allows users to detect loopholes in their databases or their own software, giving them the ability to patch up these errors before hackers take advantage of them. Regardless – you’ll be thinking about your YBR this way:

Think about the YBR like this…

“How can I identify the exact needs of the prospect, and the most profitable and valuable fit for our service or product – automatically?”

If I’m a small eCommerce site concerned about the credit card information of my customers, I’ll need to be spoken to much differently that a massive software company who is more concerned about their own proprietary software being hacked. If I’m a 40-person company, I’ll need to be communicated with much differently than a 40,000 person enterprise.

Can you determine the size of the enterprise on the front-end of your YBR (IE: the opt-in or appointment form)? Can you refer to other companies of my size (or in my sector) in email or phone communication?

Can you tailor your message to the phase of the funnel I’m in? For example – if I have downloaded the free version of your software but haven’t yet installed the tracking code, what would you like me to do next?

Determine all of the ways that people can make their first step on your yellow bricks, and lay out the ideal path to determine your optimal fit for THAT exact prospect, and move them, step-by-step, to the exact path to make that perfect match.

Principle 2: Routinize Your Reach-Out

When a prospect ends their automatic email interaction with you – they’ll often end up in the “bucket.” This is the database segment that you tried to get hooked via a string of emails – possibly phone calls – and potentially even mail pieces (though physical mail is rare for early-stage startups).

After a month of emails, phone calls, and no conversion (maybe even no contact at all), they end up in that big list of past leads that either gets totally ignored, or gets mostly ignored – interrupted only by random promotions or a vanilla newsletter.

OR – after becoming clients, the “push” for conversion stops, and again – communication simply stops or goes vanilla.

But WHY?

There is always another conversion, or another desirable action.

Maybe you current clients end up staying longer when they’re properly educated on your software, so selling additional consulting or getting them to a series of educational webinars would be tremendously valuable in terms of bottom line (with a much higher ROI than dropping dollars on putting new customers into a “leaky bucket” in terms of retention).

Maybe clients who never converted before are looking for more information – what kind of educational articles, videos, or case studies could they gain value from? Instead of having a sales team call “prospects” – why don’t they START with the prospects who opened the case study email – and clicked to read it? Do you think those prospects would be more qualified than those who haven’t opened an email in 3 months?

However, this database segment outreach ought not be random – but regimented. Just like prospecting (this is a kind of lower-cost prospecting, by the way), it must be a discipline – yet how rare that is ever the case!

Below are some examples that might fit different business models.

Security SaaS Example:

  • Once per Month – Put on a unique, case-study (social proof)-oriented, educational webinar for all current clients – soft pitch to add-on services and consulting.
  • Quarterly – Run a particular offer to all major unconverted prospect segments (by industry), including additional bonuses and incentives to join or sign up this week.
  • Weekly – Pick a micro-niche within your database, and run a two-email sequence to that segment (IE: all customers who have 500 or more employees, or all previous customers from the energy sector who cancelled your service, or all prospects who used a trade journal as a lead source yet have not converted), and tailor a specific offer, upsell, or cross-sell JUST to that segment, experimenting with what offers click with specific sub-segments. All opened emails will be followed up my a phone call for that same limited-time offer.

Fashion eCommerce Example:

  • Weekly – One email each Tuesday morning at 8:00am, offering an updated selection of new available lines, catchy / share-able blog posts, and new offers. Prospects and customers can be tagged for new “interest areas” based on what they habitually click on.
  • Weekly – Sub-select the buyers of a particular kind of garment, or brand of garment, and send out a one-or-two email blast about some special offers or bundles JUST for that sub-segment.
  • Monthly – Fashion expert interviews seem to perform very well on your company blog – so monthly include a major blog feature about a particular designer, as well as a clear offering for various new items from that particular designer.

Do you think that the strategies above would do better than “random emails to the database when we feel like or it think it will be a good idea”? Of course.

The idea is not just to set a regimen, but to experiment with MULTIPLE formats, and determine through qualitative and quantitative methods exactly which strategy seems to deliver the best long-term ROI.

Database marketing is not just about the automated front-end, and where it lands your prospects / clients once the automation ends. It’s also about the art and science of regular content, making “customer lifetime value” not just a matter of your initial front-end automation (which is important, and our first area of focus), but also on the “rhythm” of communication over time – lasting years and years for prospects and customers alike.

Daniel Faggella is an email marketing and marketing automation expert with an obsession for customer lifetime value. He runs CLVboost, a boutique email marketing consultancy in Cambridge, MA, and regularly speaks on email marketing strategy. His clients range from venture backed startup companies to eCommerce businesses to established brick-and-mortar businesses.

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24 Exceptional Email Marketing Tips, Techniques and Tactics

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Email marketing is like the car my teenagers drive (and you thought there were no original analogies left!)—it’s been around for 20 years and there’s nothing flashy about it, but it’s reliable, effective, and there’s at least a 50-50 chance it will continue to do it’s job for quite some time to come.

In spite of all the abuse of the medium that’s been perpetrated over the years either maliciously (in the case of spammers) or simply as a result of ineptitude by well-meaning but ill-informed marketers, consumers and business decision makers alike continue to be willing to exchange their email addresses for the promise of valuable information on a regular basis. But both groups have become more sophisticated; more wary of subscribing in the first place, and quicker to unsubscribe if they don’t perceive value in a sender’s communications.

That means email marketers need to be more thoughtful and creative in terms of attracting subscribers, crafting email subject lines that will lead to opens and click-throughs, designing messages that are distinctive yet clear on any device, and most importantly, creating content that both provides value to the recipient and achieves organizational goals.

How can you make sure your emails avoid the spam filter and actually reach their intended recipients? What are the most effective techniques for building an opt-in email list? How can you minimize unsubscribes? What’s the best day and time to send emails? How can you craft killer subject lines that maximize open rates?

Find the answers to these questions and more here in two dozen of the best email marketing guides from the past year.

General Email Marketing Tips & Techniques

The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words by HubSpot

Karen RubinThe key to maximizing your email open rates is to write great subject lines, but before recipients will even see your subject lines, your messages have to get by spam filters. Karen Rubin lists nearly 400 words and phrases to avoid in subject lines in order to improve deliverability, such as “order status,” “home based,” “lowest price,” “free offer” and, of course, “Viagra.”

Email Marketing: Avoid the pitfalls of a direct-mail mindset by MarketingSherpa

Adam T. SuttonAdam T. Sutton advises marketers not to treat email like direct mail, for example by avoiding segmentation: “In direct mail, segmentation is used to keep costs down…When email came along, direct mail marketers saw a bonanza. An email cost less than a penny to send. Companies stopped seeing the point in segmentation.” That’s the kind of thinking that produces spam.

10 Unsubscribe Page Best Practices by Betterment

Jason AmunwaWriting that “Catching your precious subscriber with one foot out the door isn’t the same as permanently bidding them arriverderci. Handled correctly, your unsubscribe page can actually snatch a loyal subscriber from the jaws of…whatever the opposite of that is,” Jason Amunwa lists 10 techniques to win back unsubscribers, among them giving your readers options (such as changing message frequency), letting them know you’re a person, and not using one-click unsubscribe.

Why you should measure email ROI by iMedia Connection

Mitch LapidesMitch Lapides explains why measuring email ROI (and not just metrics like open rates) is important, how to measure it, and the four main categories of factors that can affect ROI, such as list hygiene: “a high number of inactive users—subscribers who have stopped opening your emails but haven’t unsubscribed—can hurt your email deliverability. Between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of a typical email list becomes inactive each month. And it’s not unusual to find between 30 percent and 60 percent of an email list inactive, especially if an organization hasn’t removed inactive subscribers or run a re-engagement campaign in a few years.”

Answers to Your Top 11 Questions About Email Marketing by HubSpot

Allyson GalleAllyson Galle answers the top questions posed following a popular email webinar, such as: should emails come from the company or from an individual name (answer: it depends, test); how long should subject lines be; what constitutes a decent click-through rate; and what’s the best day and time to send emails?

7 Steps to a High-Converting Email Marketing Campaign by The Daily Egg

Sherice JacobSherice Jacob provides an “‘email marketing campaign checklist’ of how to not only launch a profitable mailing list, but keep subscribers hungry for more,” from creating your signup form and determining the optimal placement for it on your website to personalizing email subject lines and continually testing.

12 Things About Effective Email Marketing Your Boss Expects You to Know by Polaris B

Shelley PringleShelley Pringle shares a dozen best practices for effective email marketing, from having a clear goal for each message (“Every marketing email you send should include a call-to-action. If there’s no link in the email, you won’t be able to track or measure your campaign, including the open rate, and more importantly, the click-through rate”) and segmenting your list to focusing on benefits and keeping your messages brief.

How to Combine Email and Social

Email and Social: A Killer Combo by ClickZ

Robin NeifieldRobin Neifield offers a dozen tips to help “integrate email and each of the major social properties,” such as, on Facebook, “Definitely use your status updates to tease upcoming emails—especially if you have an offer or promo. Provide a link so users can sign up for email if they are not already on the list.”

An inside look into the convergence of email and social by iMedia Connection

Wikus EngelbrechtWikus Engelbrecht offers “insights and practical tips on how to integrate and manage your cross-channel voice and leverage (email, social and mobile) in unison to get better results.” For example, create integrated messages: start by crafting “a short and sharp (email) subject line, at 50 characters or less; which should clearly state what your readers can expect from your email, what’s in it for them or what you want them to do as a result…By taking that message to the 120 character frame in Twitter, you can create more interest and clarify your call-to-action. Add a #hashtag and use a shortened URL to save on character count. A Facebook post gives you the opportunity to entice fans even more by expanding your message to 150 characters. Remove the #hashtag you used in Twitter and add a compelling graphic.”

Email Marketing Benchmarks, Facts and Statistics

Is Email Dead? Nope [INFOGRAPHIC] by eStrategy After Hours

David EricksonA great infographic to share with the “email is dead / social media is the future” crowd. Among the facts David Erickson shares here: three times as many people have email accounts as are on Facebook, and compared to Twitter the ratio is ten to one. There are 60 million Facebook posts each day—but 188 billion email messages sent. Email volume continues to grow, and more than half of marketers still say that email is popular in business.

Marketer Concern: Email Hit By Problems, Inbox Rates Drop by MediaPost

Gavin O-MalleyGavin O’Malley reports that less than four out of five marketing emails actually make it to the recipient’s inbox, and the rate is trending downward. He also explains why more messages are ending up in spam folders and what marketers can do to improve their deliverability rates.

Email Campaign Volumes Surge, Open Rates Stronger by MarketingProfs

Research from Epsilon shows that average email open rates increased in the past year,  while typical click-through rates fell slightly (from 5.5% to 5.2%). Among other findings: messages from banks and general retailers garner the highest average open rates (34%-36%), while emails from consumer publishers and apparel retailers are most likely to be ignored. By type, service-related emails have the highest open rate (46%) while editorial emails average 33% and marketing messages just 20%.

Infographic: Email open rates by time of day by MarketingSherpa

David KirkpatrickDavid Kirkpatrick shares an infographic that breaks down common patterns in email open and click-through rates to try to identify the best time to send emails. Among the findings: emails are most likely to be opened between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. and again between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Also, nearly a quarter of all commercial emails are opened within one hour after sending. After 24 hours, the open rate is near zero.

B2B Email Marketing Best-Practices and Trends by MarketingProfs

According to a study by Pardot, only 30% of B2B marketers use email as a primary lead generation tactic; most consider email to be a more valuable tool for lead nurturing. The majority of B2B marketers (65%) spend less than 25% of their budgets on email. Tuesday is generally viewed as the best day for sending B2B emails, and Friday the worst. And there’s more.

Email List Building Tips

25 Clever Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List by HubSpot

Andrew PitreConstantly adding new names to your subscriber list is crucial, because as Andrew Pitre reports, “your email marketing database degrades by about 25% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, they opt-out of your email communication, or they abandon that old AOL address they only use to fill out forms on websites.” He then offers more than two dozen tips to help keep your list growing, from QR codes and online contests to ebooks and videos.

5 Ways to Generate More Email Sign Ups by Duct Tape Marketing

John JantschJohn Jantsch steps through five tactics by building an email list, such as feature with content: “Many WordPress theme frameworks today (Genesis and Thesis) allow for what are being called ‘feature boxes.’ These feature boxes make it easy to place a sign up box at, say, the end of each blog post or top of your blog home page. Placing your email offer where people are reading and enjoy your content improves uptake.”

Email Tips for Lead Nurturing

6 Lead Nurturing Emails Every Business Should Send by HubSpot

Corey EridonCorey Eridon advises that “If you’re interested in starting or improving upon your existing lead nurturing campaigns, make sure you incorporate these 6 types of emails into your lead nurturing mix to help move your leads swiftly through the sales funnel,” including emails that are personal, that educate, and that help recipients improve some aspect of their lives.

7 Critical Things Every Lead Nurturing Email Needs to Communicate by HubSpot

Sarah GoligerNoting that “The idea behind lead nurturing is to provide your leads with valuable content that targets their needs and goals in order to guide them through your buying cycle until they are sales-ready,” Sarah Goliger serves up seven tips for more effective nurturing emails, from communicating to your prospects based on information you already know about them to putting the emphasis on helping your prospects—not yourself.

Email Design Tips

It’s Not You, It’s Outlook – The Complete Guide for Email Marketers by VerticalResponse Marketing Blog

Noting that Outlook has numerous problems rendering HTML emails properly–”If you’re an email marketer… you’ve probably encountered some form of Outlook error. Your email looks pristine on your shiny iPhone, Android device, or web-based email client, but suddenly blows up when you open it up in Outlook”–this post details HTML elements that Outlook does not support, and provides recommendations for work-arounds.

Creating Emails That Pop: Basics of Design & Layout by Litmus

Lauren SmithLauren Smith reviews the basics of email design: color, typography, layout, and device-awareness. That last consideration is easy to overlook, but “rather than focusing on creating emails that look great in one particular environment, emails should be optimized for all inboxes,” particularly since only 3% of recipients will typically bother trying to read your email on more than one device.

How to Write Awesomely Effective Email Subject Lines

14 Email Subject Line Hacks by ClickZ
***** 5 STARS

Brian MasseyNoting that “If our email is to be read, our subject lines must save our recipients from mindless autonomy,” Brian Massey lists 14 helpful “hacks” for creating compelling subject lines, such as shock and awe (example: “Media Measurement: Science, Art or a Load of Crap”), make up words (“The Making of Twittamentary”), and metaphors and similes (“Snackable Content: Working in a Bite-Sized Future”).

The Subject Line Strategy That Gets 541% More Response by AWeber Communications

Amanda GagnonAmanda Gagnon reports on an extensive test conducted to determine which type of email subject lines (clear or creative) perform better in terms of comments, tweets, Facebook Likes, traffic and subscriptions. And the winner is…

Use web analytics to choose email subject lines by WhatCounts

Christopher PennChristopher S. Penn provides step-by-step instructions one how to use Google Analytics data to identify high-volume, high CTR search queries you can test as email subject lines “to see if your audience is as interested in your emails as they are in what’s bringing them to your website.” Note that you’ll need to have your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts linked in order for this to work.

How to Write the Perfect Subject Line [Infographic] by Litmus

Justine JordanAlthough she acknowledges that “there’s really no such thing as the perfect subject line—or, if there is, it must be hiding with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster,” Justine Jordan nevertheless takes a shot at that process with this helpful infographic. Among the tips: ask questions; keep subject lines short (40 characters or less if possible); focus on being relevant, specific and timely; and always be testing.

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102 Compelling Social Media and Online Marketing Stats and Facts for 2012 (and 2013)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

With 92% of companies now incorporating social media into their marketing efforts, it’s no longer sufficient to just “be there” on social networks. Today’s most effective marketers are optimizing content across channels, coordinating search and social marketing activities with traditional PR, and measuring their web presence and performance with sophistication.

Social Media and Online Marketing StatisitcsThe first step to improving digital marketing results is to understand the emerging trends and best practices. This post, along with 79 Remarkable Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012 and 87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012 previously published here, provide a solid foundation for that understanding.

What do buyers really want from social media marketers? What’s the key to generating more inbound marketing leads? What is the source of the largest share of social traffic to websites? (It’s not what you almost certainly think.)

Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here in over 100 engaging and intriguing social, search, content, inbound, email,  mobile and other marketing stats and facts from the past few months.

25 Social Media Facts and Statistics

1. While 76% of marketers believe “they know what their consumers want” in terms of social media content and interaction, only 34% have actually asked those buyers. (e-Strategy Trends)

2. At least on the B2C side, there is a disconnect between what marketers think consumers think is important and what consumers actually value. Marketers believe the highest consumer priorities on social media are insights for buying decisions (59%) and customer service (58%). Consumers actually place the highest value on deals and promotions (83%) and rewards programs (70%). (e-Strategy Trends)

3. B2B buyers are most likely to share useful vendor content via email (79%), followed by LinkedIn (53%), Twitter (39%) and Facebook (18%). (Earnest Agency)

4. While three-quarters of marketers consider measurement of social media impact important, 70% say that measuring those results is difficult. (Marketing Charts)

5. 79% of marketers measure website traffic from social media, and 68% track engagement metrics on social networks, but just 26% measure the relationship of social media activity to leads and sales. (Marketing Charts)

6. Just 4% of marketers said their companies were “very effective” at measuring social marketing in 2012. While 47% felt somewhat good at social measurement in 2011, just 38% said the same in 2012. “Nearly half of respondents (47%) feel they or their companies are either not very good at social marketing measurement, or do not measure well at all.” (Marketing Charts)

7. Ever feel frustrated and less productive than you’d like to be at work, even though you’re working hard and putting in a ton of hours? There’s a reason for that! Interruptions (like email and social media) are messing us up. Consider:

  • • The typical worker is interrupted once every 28 minutes on average.
  • • 28% of the average work day is spent on interruptions and recovery time.
  • • 45% of workers believe they are expected to work on too many things at once.
  • • And tasks done in parallel take on average 30% longer to complete than those performed in a sequence.

(Visual.ly)

8. Everyone knows women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, but how about on other social networks? Women make up the larger share of users on Facebook (58% to 42%) and are a slightly larger share on Twitter (52% to 48%) while men are the predominate users of LinkedIn (63% to 37%) and Google+ (71% to 29%). Furthermore, half of all Google+ users are under 25 years old. (iMedia Connection)

9. Social CRM is still confusing. Only 16% of companies say they currently have a social CRM system in place. 21% plan to implement such a system in the coming year, but another 17% “don’t know what a social CRM system is and why businesses need it.” (Convince & Convert)

10. Only a quarter of all U.S. small businesses (20-99 employees) and a third of midsized companies say they use social media “to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way.” Another 20% of both groups say they use social media, but in an ad hoc manner. (eMarketer)

11. Despite growing interest in the concept of social business, less than 20% of U.S. companies have integrated social media with their customer service, sales, or product development processes. (eMarketer)

12. Worldwide, 86% of companies have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, while just over half use YouTube and Linked and only slightly more than a third have a presence on Pinterest and/or Google+. (eMarketer)

13. More than 80% of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) plan to increase their use of social media in 2013. Not suprising, considering that 87% of SMBs say that social media has helped them either somewhat or a great deal in th past year. Of those using this channel, social media accounts for 32% of SMB marketing activities. (Marketing Charts)

14. Okay, so most marketers have now embraced social media. But why? 84% of marketers say they use social media to “reach customers at multiple touchpoints,” while 62% want to reach customers where they spend time and 56% say that “customers expect them to be on social media.” (Marketing Charts)

15. Still, not every small business should be using social media—or at least not using it as they are currently. 79% of small business owners on Twitter post just once per day or even less frequently, yet one out of three want to spend less time on social media. These business owners would be best advised to either spend their time on other tactics or hire someone who knows and enjoys social media to interact on their businesses’ behalf. No deposit, no return. (Leaders West)

16. Social media may be good for 99 things, but lead generation ain’t one of them. According to research from MarketingSherpa, just 12% of marketers rate social media as “very effective” for lead gen while 27% say it is “not effective.” The only tactic that fares worse is print advertising (9% very effective vs. 30% not effective). (B2B Lead Blog)

17. Which social network sends the largest share of website traffic? The answer is…unknown. Literally. The well-known social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit account for, combined, on average, less than half of all social traffic. The majority (as much as 70%) is “dark social”—links shared through email or instant messaging that generally get lumped in with “direct” traffic in analytics programs like Google Analytics. (The Atlantic)

18. The most popular social media sites for distributing B2B content are LinkedIn (used by 83% of B2B marketers), Twitter (80%) and Facebook (also 80%). After that, it falls off sharply; 61% use YouTube, 39% are on Google+, 26% utilize Pinterest (really?) and 23% share content on SlideShare. (MarketingProfs)

19. Using social media boosts website traffic: companies gain a 185% lift in Web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook likes, and businesses with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers. (MarketingProfs)

20. 92% of U.S. companies now use social media in their marketing efforts. (Heidi Cohen)

21. Different social media channels serve different purposes. Blogging is generally seen as most valuable for SEO, YouTube for content marketing, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn most helpful for branding and engagement. (Heidi Cohen)

22. Globally, eight different social networks have now reached the 100 million user mark. Three of those (Weibo, the fourth-largest social nework, RenRen at #5 and Badoo at #7) are primarily used by non-English speakers. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

23. The average user spends nearly seven hours per month on Facebook, but just 21 minutes on Twitter, 17 on LinkedIn, and only three minutes on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

24. Social media now accounts for 18% of all time spent online, and the average American spends 6.9 hours per month on social networking. But we are spending less time on the phone, sending/reading email, and watching TV than we did just a few years ago. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

25. One-third of CEOs fail to consider their compananies’ social media reputation when making business decisions. (The Backup List)

12 WPO, Inbound and Content Marketing Stats

26. Leads from inbound marketing cost on average 61% less ($135 vs. $346) than outbound marketing leads. (Earnest Agency)

27. Though it varies across industries, of course, 24% of overall marketing spending last year was on digital/online marketing. Social media and SEO together account for 70% of that spending. (iMedia Connection)

28. Blogging generally gets the largest share of inbound marketing budgets, followed by social media, SEO (if calculated separately from blogging) and PPC advertising. Most outbound marketing spend is on telemarketing, followed by direct mail and trade shows. (iMedia Connection)

29. 57% of companies say they generated sales through their blogs, and an identical share have closed business through LinkedIn. 48% have generated customers through Twitter and 42% through Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

30. Why web presence optimization metrics are vital: half of marketers say tightening integration between social media and traditional marketing is a key goal for 2013, yet nearly a third identify that as one of their top social marketing challenges, and a whopping 57% way measuring social ROI is a challenge. (Convince & Convert)

31. 9 out of 10 marketers say they measure social presence (e.g., number of followers and fans) and social media-driven website traffic, but only about half measure share of voice and sentiment. (Convince & Convert)

32. Need more evidence that measuring social media ROI is hard? While about 90% of all companies do some form of social media marketing, just one out of eight measure the revenue impact directly from social media. (eMarketer)

33. The two biggest challenges faced by B2B content marketers are producing enough content (cited by 29% of marketers) and producing the kind of content that engages (18). Only 2% of marketers say that finding trained content marketing professionals is a big challenge. (MarketingProfs)

34. More content = more leads. On average, companies “with 51-100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1-50 pages.” What’s interesting though is the differential is larges for very small companies (those with less than 10 employees), likely because larger companies make greater use of lead gen tactics like tradeshows, webinars and video. (Polaris B)

35. Lots more content = lots more leads. Companies with 101-200 web pages generate 2.5x more leads than those with 50 or fewer pages. More landing pages and more blog posts also mean more leads. On average, companies that have published 200 or more total blog posts generate 5X as much traffic as those with 10 posts or fewer. (Polaris B)

36. Inbound marketing leads cost on average 62% less than outbound-generated leads, and the “big three” inbound channels—blogs, social media and SEO—all cost less on average than any outbound channel. (Polaris B)

37. The financial services (75%), insurance (50%) and software (50%) industries are the most advanced when it comes to having separate content marketing strategies for each channel through which they distribute content. Companies in these industries are also the most likely to have formal content marketing editorial calendars. The automotive (14%) and banking sectors (14%) were the least likely to have separate strategies in place. (MediaPost)

8 SEO Stats and Facts

38. SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation for B2B companies. 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead gen goals, followed by social media (21%) and pay per click (20%). Not surprisingly, 98% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase SEO budgets next year. (Marketing Charts)

39. SEO also has the biggest impact on B2C lead gen. 49% of B2C marketers rank SEO tops for impact on lead generation, followed by pay per click (26%) and social media (25%). (Marketing Charts)

40. Agencies do SEO better. 21% of marketers who work with agencies on SEO report being highly satisfied with their program performance, compared with 11% of those who do SEO in-house. (Marketing Charts)

41. 78% of Internet users say they use the web for product research, and almost half (46%) of all searches on the average day for information on products and services (iMedia Connection)

42. Search is as popular as ever, but the percentage of searches actually done on search engines declined slightly in 2012 (by about 1%). More searches are taking place on websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and on Amazon.com, which is the top destination for product search). Still, organic search on search engines drive 50% of all referring traffic, compared to less than 8% for social media. (MediaPost)

43. SEO is rated as the most effective lead generation tactic, with 34% of marketers calling it “very effective” while just 7% say it is not effective. The next-most-effective lead gen tactics are paid search (32% vs. 9%) and webinars (30% to 6%). (B2B Lead Blog)

44. Demand for SEO skills has never been greater. SEO job postings on job board indeed.com increased 1900% last year and people with ‘SEO’ in their LinkedIn profile have increased by 112%. Still, few SEO jobs pay six figures. (Conductor Blog)

45. The largest number of SEO job openings are in New York and San Francisco, with Boston at #5, Austin at #11 and my own Minneapolis at #12. (Conductor Blog)

3 SEM Facts

46. Think AdWords isn’t important? For “commercial” searches on Google, actual organic links can take up less than 20% of the screen real estate and links. (Founder’s Blog)

47. Agencies do SEM better. 20% of respondents working with agencies for PPC report being highly satisfied with their program’s performance, compared to 15% who manage pay-per-click programs in-house. (Marketing Charts).

48. Search (paid and organic) is a leading driver of new customer sales, while email matters most for repeat business. Social media isn’t a significant driver of either type of sale, though of course it is vital for support SEO, brand image (which leads to higher PPC click-through rates) and customer service. (Marketing Pilgrim)

3 Email Marketing Stats

49. There are 62 billion emails sent every day. The average worker receives 112 emails and spends 28 of his or her time on email each day. (Visual.ly)

50. Email is the most common lead gen tactic, used by 81% of marketers. (MarketingSherpa)

51. SEO drives traffic, but email drives conversions. While 43% of marketers say that organic search drives the greatest volume of traffic to their websites, only 29% say that traffic converts at the highest rate. On the other hand, though just 22% cite email as their largest web traffic generator, 25% say those visits convert at the highest rate. (MarketingSherpa)

7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts

52. Just 139 of the Fortune 500 corporations maintain public-facing blogs, only 29 more than in 2009. (e-Strategy Trends)

53. Only 185 of the Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) had a blog in 2011, down from 250 firms in 2010, despite the fact that 92% of all companies with blogs say it has been successful for their business. (e-Strategy Trends)

54. Meanwhile, 55% of small businesses have a blog. (Leaders West)

55. On average, companies that publish 15 or more blog articles per month generate five times more Web traffic than companies that don’t blog at all, and those that blog 9-15 times per month generate three times more traffic than companies that don’t maintain blogs. (MarketingProfs)

56. Companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all. (MarketingProfs)

57. 57% of companies that blog have acquired a customer through their blogs. (Polaris B)

58. Blogs are the core of social media marketing. Among companies that use social media in their marketing efforts, 59% rank their company blog as critical or important to their business, higher than any other social sharing site or network. (Heidi Cohen)

8 Facebook Facts and Statistics

59. There are one billion posts per day made on Facebook. The average user spends nearly 7 hours per month on the social networking site, and one out of every five pageviews on the Internet is on…Facebook. (Visual.ly)

60. Three out of four American moms use Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

61. Facebook accounts for one out of every five pageviews on the Internet. It’s used by more than half of all people in North America, more than a third of all citizens in Australia and New Zealand, and more than a quarter of the population in Europe. (iMedia Connection)

62. Of Facebook’s one billion-plus users, 57% access the site at least occasionally from mobile devices. The most popular operating systems for mobile Facebook access are iOS (26%) and Android (21%). (Jeff Bullas)

63. Among Facebook marketers, 64% have used Facebook Events to inform fans about online or offline events, making this a far more widespread tool than display ads and targeted posts. (Marketing Charts)

64. 90% of small businesses are on Facebook, and roughly two-thirds post more than once per week. (Leaders West)

65. All of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have now established Facebook pages for their brands. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

66. Facebook grew 18% in 2012 and accounted for more than half of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

6 Twitter Stats

67. There are 400 million tweets per day on Twitter. A million new Twitter accounts are opened each day. The average user spends nearly and hour and a half on the site each month. (Visual.ly)

68. Twitter now has more than 500 million users worldwide, including more than 100 million in the U.S. Twitter’s second-largest user base is in Brazil. (Jeff Bullas)

69. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Twitter access is via Twitter.com (web access), while 16% of use is mobile and 10% is via Twitter clients like HootSuite and TweetDeck. (Jeff Bullas)

70. What’s the most popular marketing tactic on Twitter? 30% of marketers report using hashtags tied to specific campaigns, while 26% use Promoted Tweets. (Marketing Charts)

71. Twitter grew 55% in 2012 and accounted for 15% of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

72. 42% of companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter. (Polaris B)

6 LinkedIn Facts

73. LinkedIn has more than 150 million users, but less than 20% have reached the level of having 500 or more first-degree connections, and only 8% are using the paid premium version. (Jeff Bullas)

74. Also, only 51% of LinkedIn users have “complete” profiles, and just 52% spend two hours or more per week on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

75. The most popular use of LinkedIn is for researching people and companies (77%). Other popular uses include building relationships with industry influencers (50%), finding job opportunities (38%) and increasing brand recognition in the marketplace (37%). Just 28% of companies say they have generated identifiable business opportunities on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

76. The most popular marketing tactics on LinkedIn are the use of LinkedIn groups (cited by 33% of marketers) followed distantly by InMail messaging (14%), LinkedIn Events (13%) and LinkedIn ads (10%). (Marketing Charts)

77. LinkedIn is the most powerful social site for driving B2B sales. Pinterest is most valuable for driving B2C business. (Heidi Cohen)

78. Want to connect with top-level executives? 26% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on LinkedIn. Less than 8% are on Facebook. o% use Pinterest. (Heidi Cohen)

3 Google+ Statistics

79. Google+ has more than 400 million users, with 100 million accessing the site each month. The typical user is a male in his late 20s with a technical position or background. (Jeff Bullas)

80. Google+ users tend to be more technical than Facebook users. The top three brands on Google+ are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; on Facebook, the three most popular brands are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks. (Jeff Bullas)

81. 12 of the top 15 interest categories on Pinterest are related to commerce, including jewelry and accessories (#1), flowers and gifts (#2), food (#4), books (#7), travel (#8), apparel (#11), home furnishings (#14) and toys (#15). (Jeff Bullas)

3 Pinterest Facts

82. Mothers are 61% more likely to use Pinterest than the average American. Pinterest ranks as the #1 “family and lifestyle site” for moms – ahead of Disney Online. (iMedia Connection)

83. Pinterest’s user base is 79% female, and Apple-centric. The iPad is the most device for mobile access (55%), while an additional 17% of mobile access is through the iPhone. (Jeff Bullas)

84. Pinterest grew an astounding 379,599% in 2012. The biggest driver of growth was pins of food photos. (AddThis Blog)

6 B2B Marketing Facts and Stats

85. 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they are ready to make a purchase, they will find a vendor. 81% use search, 59% look for peer recommendations, and 41% read content from “thought leaders.” (Earnest Agency)

86. For purchases over $10,000, 70% of buyers review four or more pieces of content before making a decision. (That actually sounds quite low, doesn’t it?) The most popular type of content: white papers, read by 88% of buyers. (Earnest Agency)

87. Traditional marketing tactics are not dead. 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. (Earnest Agency)

88. 75% of B2B marketers use SEO for lead generation. 72% utilize social media, and 54% have embraced content marketing, while just 15% of marketers say they are using mobile marketing. (MarketingSherpa)

89. B2B marketers are spending more on content marketing. “On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing (in 2012), up from 26% (in 2011, and) 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.” (MarketingProfs)

90. The most popular B2B content marketing tactics are the use of social media other than blogs (used by 87% of B2B marketers), articles on their own websites (83%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%), followed by case studies, videos and externally published articles, all at about 70%. On the other end of the scale is gamification, used by just 11% of B2B marketers. (MarketingProfs)

3 Video Marketing Statistics

91. 75% of senior executives watch videos on business sites every week. 65% go on to visit a vendor’s website after watching a video. (Earnest Agency)

92. 71% of American Internet users watch online videos; 28% do so on a daily basis. (iMedia Connection)

93. YouTube is the world’s second largest social media site, with 800 million unique monthly visitors, and the second largest search engine. (Heidi Cohen)

6 Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

94. Of the four billion mobile phones in use globally, more than a quarter (27%) are smartphones. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (iMedia Connection)

95. The top online uses of mobile phones are gaming (61% of users do this), checking the weather (55%), maps and search (50%) and social networking (49%). (iMedia Connection)

96. Despite the growing popularity of local mobile search and social activity, only 3% of U.S. small businesses use geolocation services. (eMarketer)

97. Mobile marketing is “becoming mainstream” for small to midsized businesses (SMBs). 18% said they were “very likely” and 31% “somewhat likely” to incorporate mobile elements in their advertising and marketing efforts to reach potential customers in the coming year. Meanwhile, 7 in 10 plan to either maintain or increase spending in this area (Marketing Charts)

98. Is mobile marketing effective for lead generation? The jury is still out. In a recent survey, 15% of marketers rated mobile marketing as “very effective” for lead gen while an identical share said mobile is not effective. (B2B Lead Blog)

99. 30% of all the time spent on mobile device use is on social networks. (MediaPost)

And Finally, 3 Other Miscellaneous Online Marketing Stats

100. While 45% of all B2B businesses have now implemented some type of marketing automation software, less than 20% of SMBs have done so. However, smaller companies that have embraced marketing process automation are nearly 50% more likely to report revenue growth above plan than those that haven’t. (MediaPost)

101. Half of all employed people in the U.S. have been with their current employer for less than five years. The average tenure for all employees is 4.6 years. Professionals in architecture and engineering (7 years) and management (6.3 years) tend to have the longest tenures, while occupations with the shortest tenures include food service (2.3 years) and sales (3.4 years). (westXdesigns)

102. Social media crisis management in crisis? More than 10% of companies report they will not take any action to respond to a damaging article or social media post. Worse, less than two-thirds of B2C executives and just 43% of B2B leaders even believe their companies could respond to a negative post within 24 hours. (The Backup List)

 

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17 (of the) Best Email Marketing Guides of 2011

Monday, February 27th, 2012

As figures below show, email marketing remains a vital element of modern B2B and B2C marketing programs. More than four out of five internet users check their email first when they go online for business each day, and nearly three-quarters check email six or more times per day. Email messages generate 15 to 20 times the response rate of traditional paper direct mail—while costing much less and being more environmentally friendly.

Email and social media play well together. 81% of marketers are now using social media to expand the reach of their email content, as businesses that combine their email and social media efforts see faster list growth and higher click-through rates than those using email alone.

With that in mind, what are the best practices for combining email with social media marketing? What are the most effective tactics for growing a relevant opt-in subscriber list? How can marketers determine the best frequency for their email campaigns? Write subject lines that increase open rates? Avoid common mistakes that make their messages less impactful?

Find the answers to these questions and many more here in some of the best email marketing guides, articles and blog posts of the past year.

Email Marketing Tips & Tactics

How Uncoordinated Emails Can Kill Off B2B Prospects by MarketingProfs

Ardath AlbeeFrequent best-of honoree Ardath Albee explains how email programs can go wrong when a customer or prospect receives email messages from multiple departments for different purposes, and the efforts are improperly (or not at all) coordinated–and how to avoid losing subscribers as a result.

Common HTML Email Design Mistakes by In The Box

Noting that “While HTML emails may appear to be miniature web pages, they possess a unique set of quirks and limitations,” Chelsea Rio details six common email html mistakes (e.g. over-reliance on images, particularly large images) and how to avoid them–assuring that what you intend is what your readers actually see.

20 Tips for developing a Successful Email Marketing Campaign by Web SEO Analytics

Dimitris ZotosDimitris Zotos provides 20 helpful email marketing tips here, from using A/B testing (to test styles, colors and fonts in order to optimize your subscription page) to having clear policies about privacy and sending frequency to adding sharing buttons to make it easy for readers to share your content.

5 cardinal rules of email etiquette by iMedia Connection

Writing that “businesses need to be mindful of a few best practices before engaging via email, as it is a very personal channel and one misstep can cause a customer to hit the unsubscribe button,” Craig Fitzgerald presents a few simple email etiquette rules such as respecting frequency: “You don’t want to over-saturate email inboxes, but you also don’t want consumers to forget about you.”

6 Tactics to Determine B2B Email Frequency by Mass Transit

Adam Holden-BacheAdam Q. Holden-Bache passes along six methods for determining the right email frequency for your audience, so that you maximize potential returns without over-communicating and alienating your subscribers. For example, check your metrics: “If you see open/click rate drop-off and lowering conversation metrics, that will tell you that recipients aren’t responding to your campaigns. If you see steady or increased activity from your emails, then its likely you’re campaign schedule is at worst at an acceptable level.”

5 Tips To Dive Into Email Metrics by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Reporting that “when trying to communicate with prospects, organizations are using e-newsletters most (72%) vs. social networks (48%) and blogs (46%),” Nathaniel Cramer advises email marketers on how to take action based on common email metrics list open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates.

The State of Email Marketing (Infographic) by Constant Contact
***** 5 STARS

Discover why email marketing remains popular, based on hard data: 74% of online adults say email is their preferred form of commercial communication. 83% report that email is the “first tool they check when going online for their business each day.” 72% say they check their email six or more times per day. And “even Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that email is the first thing she checks in the morning and the last thing at night.”

How to Write Effective Email Subject Lines

How to Write Better Email Subject Lines by The Lunch Pail

Patti RennerPointing out that “Email marketing is only as strong as its open rates,” Patti Renner explains the “5 C’s” or great email subject lines and throws in some additional tips, such as keeping it short, avoiding redundancy (e.g., “If your From line includes your business name, your subject line doesn’t need to repeat it”) and using acronyms and jargon carefully.

The 4 Words That Will Get Your Email Opened by Copyblogger

Sean PlattSean Platt reveals what these four words are, what kind of results they can generate, why they are so effective, and how to support those words in the body of your email message, no matter what type of product or service you sell.

Best Practices for Integrating Email and Social Media Marketing

5 Email Marketing & Social Media Musts For 2011 by iMedia Connection

Curt KellerCurt Keller offers some outstanding guidance on how to integrate email and social media marketing activities, such as “Run through your social media presences with a magnet, grab every comment that praises your brand to the high heavens, and stuff them in your next email: either as a section or as the focus of an entire newsletter.”

Email Plus Facebook Marketing: Fresh ideas from FreshPair by MarketingSherpa Blog

Daniel BursteinDaniel Burstein interviews Lindsay Massey, Marketing Director at Freshpair about integrating Facebook and email marketing activities, because as Lindsay notes, “We look at email and social as great complements to each other, and we definitely don’t see email as ‘dead.’ After all, how does Facebook notify you that you have new comments or messages? Email!”

How to Grow and Manage an Opt-In Email Subscriber List

10 Effective Ways to Get More Email List Subscribers by KISSmetrics

Sherice JacobSherice Jacob provides 10 tips to maximize the quality of subscribers on your email list, not just the quantity. Included on her list: make your submit button interactive, encourage readers to forward your newsletter, and offer special deals to new subscribers. Not included (thankfully)–displaying an annoying pop-up box to new site visitors.

21 Awesome Ideas to Grow Your Email List by HubSpot Blog

Michael Redbord lists almost two dozen “ideas for offers that can help dramatically increase the size of your email list and lead conversion volume,” such as education (eBooks, whitepapers, buyer’s guides), free stuff, and online tools (e.g. ROI calculators, “grader” apps).

You Bought a List… Now What? by iMedia Connection

Gary HalliwellGary Halliwell shares five tips for effectively using and managing a purchased list for B2B marketing purposes, starting with effective planning: “List buying should be part of a larger strategic plan. Lay out the full plan on a whiteboard, and include everything from initial touch-point, to sales accepted lead, to closed deal. Define the metrics that help you track success of your campaign over a reasonable amount of time.”

The 7 High-Converting Places to Add Email Sign-Up Forms to Build Your List by Social Triggers

Derek HalpernDerek Halpern identifies seven places (well, six places plus, in Derek’s own words, “The Dreaded Lightbox Pop-up…The Lightbox sign up form is a GREAT way to grab emails. However, depending on your niche, it may not work. In some niches, the light box pop-up can KILL your conversions because it’s annoying.” Pop-up boxes suck.) to add an email signup form in order to maximize subscriptions.

Mobile Email Marketing Tips

Mobile Email Marketing – What You Need To Know by Modern B2B Blogs

Maria PergolinoContending that “Originally thought to be more effective for B2C markets, mobile email marketing is fast becoming an effective way to communicate with B2B prospects and boost lead generation,” Maria Pergolino outlines four key best-practice areas for mobile email marketing, including formatting (it’s “best to send critical email marketing messages as text instead of html allowing the email to be readable on any mobile email client”) and design considerations.

How to Create Mobile Friendly Emails by Site Reference

Misti SandefurMisti Sandefur reports that “31% of people view their personal emails on their mobile phones,” and that figure is increasing. She then provides seven tips for creating mobile-friendly emails, from creating a mobile-specific template and keeping subject lines short to sticking with single-column, left-aligned text.

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