April 13, 2011 By Mark Mathson Leave a Comment Email marketing can be a great way to build a continuing relationship over time with past, current and future customers.
As you learn to make email newsletters and email communications to be more conversational, at the same time don’t neglect one important element is the email marketing ROI analysis. If you spend the time and resources to compile, write, edit, design an email you also need to know the return. Many ESPs also offer open rate tracking, but these have been found to typically be less valuable information as it may or may not be accurate. Watch how the links that you put in your email impact the traffic and sources to your website.
Unless your email newsletter is for graduate level academia shy away from grandiose, lavish language. Keep the calls to action toned down, not too many, otherwise watch your click through rates drop dramatically.
Email marketing for some businesses has always been the task that has been left to the end.
Email Marketing is a great way to keep your customers informed of your business activities and potentially gain more website visitors.
The Amazon example above illustrates a thorough and complex email marketing plan that is based on customer tracking, order history and customer trends. Email Marketing is an effective marketing method and if used correctly then you can achieve great results. About the authorOutbox4 Pay on Results MarketingGordon Brown is a multi-disciplinary designer specialising in web, graphic and digital media design and production. The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, which offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. Although consumers' communication habits have evolved with the rising popularity of social media and smartphones, brands are still turning to their dependable friend — email — to attract and retain customers and boost their bottom lines. There's no denying that email is showing signs of decline — the number of visitors to web-based email sites fell 6% in 2010 compared to the previous year, and email engagement declined at an even greater rate, according to a report from digital analysis company comScore. In response to these changes, brands are quickly adapting by combining email, social media and even mobile marketing tactics. And successful brands are doing just that — cross-pollinating email marketing strategies via email clients, social platforms and mobile devices.
Here are several simple, emerging email marketing methods with which brands are seeing success. Email recipients respond well to messages that borrow from current events and popular culture.
Built — a company that designs bags, cases and totes — took advantage of Groundhog Day to market to its audience in an entertaining way. The key to creating hyper-timely emails is planning and being nimble, says Christopher Stemborowski, associate communication strategist for marketing agency Oxford Communications.
Build multiple versions ahead of key events: In the same way that shirts are made ahead of the Super Bowl declaring each team the champion, you can design two versions of an email to respond quickly to the outcome of major events. Plan an email for an event that has an unspecified date: Snowstorms will happen each winter. Track trending online memes: In 2011, we have seen a #winning Charlie Sheen and a really excited Rebecca Black ready to have fun, fun, fun. Brands such as wine education and recommendation app Daily Grape and social media education company Social Fresh tweet timely messages to their followers regarding email newsletter release dates and topics. Blasting irrelevant content to your email subscribers is one of the biggest email marketing mistakes you can commit. When demographics play a role in which subscribers you target for certain emails, it's beneficial to screen subscribers as soon as they sign up for your mailing list. HARO, a New York-based service that helps reporters and sources find each other, is one company that uses this strategy (pictured below).
To personalize its marketing efforts, international chain Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen engages with email subscribers by giving them a coupon for free items on their birthdays. Blue Sky Factory's clients and other agencies' clients grow their email audience with the help from mobile devices. The first line of your email should never read, “If you are having trouble reading this email click here,” he adds. It's an exciting time for marketers to expand their traditional email marketing repertoire with new opportunities presented from social platforms and mobile devices. Many marketers have been seduced by social media advertising, perceiving it to be not only “cooler,” but also more effective than email marketing. However, as Southern lifestyle magazine Garden & Gun demonstrated in a case study for email management service Emma, email newsletters can actually be awesome, when handled correctly. The magazine and website have attracted a loyal audience thanks to the quality of its journalism, something that Kim Alexander, Garden & Gun’s digital media editor, also wanted the newsletter, Talk of the South, to represent. As the recent midterm elections demonstrated, virtually everything can be reduced to a zero-sum, adversarial battle. Just because email marketing might not be as “sexy” as social media doesn’t mean that the two can’t play nice. DIY Natural was borne of founder Matt Jabs’ passion for self-reliance and sustainable living. In an interview on the AWeber blog, Jabs said that combining social media with email marketing allowed he and his wife Betsy to transition from a passion project into a full-time business. Although he might not have intentionally set out to combine social media with email marketing when he launched the site, the fact that Jabs adopted the two strategies in tandem early on allowed DIY Natural to grow incredibly quickly. Matt and Betsy’s success just goes to show that you don’t need to rob Peter to pay Paul when it comes to email marketing. One of the most stubborn misconceptions about email marketing is that you need an entire marketing department to handle running effective email campaigns. Like many small businesses, Goat Milk Stuff wrestled with the desire to grow beyond small craft fairs and trade shows and their commitment to offering outstanding, personalized service to customers.
In a post at the MailChimp blog, Goat Milk Stuff cofounder PJ Jonas said that while she and her husband Jim (and their eight children, who also help run the company) diligently collected emails during trade shows, they wanted to expand without compromising their business’ approachable, family-friendly values.

So, despite spending most of their time actually making their products, tending to their herd of goats, and somehow managing to run an eight-child household (seriously, bravo), Jim and PJ also manage to operate highly successful email marketing campaigns that offer their customers genuine value while keeping things simple – all without a formal marketing department in sight. So, now that we’ve learned some valuable lessons in how effective email marketing campaigns can impact different types of businesses, how do you go about launching your own? This data from Retention Science indicates that email subject lines between six and 10 words consistently have the best open rates. Of course, there are many other factors that contribute to the success of an email marketing campaign. Of course, what works for us might not work for you (see Bonus Tip #1), so be sure to experiment with the timing of your email campaigns to discover what times result in higher open rates.
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to improve your own email marketing campaigns.
Hey Jason,While I completely agree about email marketing at scale, two of the three examples I highlighted are of small, family-owned businesses. Hey Dan, Great article, I think you highlighted the effectiveness of email marketing nicely. Hi Shawn,I have to admit, I haven't heard of Mailify, but I'm glad you found the piece useful - hopefully your prospective clients will, too! Here are some basic rules to help setup a successful B2B email marketing campaign for maximizing the ROI.
To sum it up, email marketing isn’t rocket science, but its not that straightforward either.
When done right, it is very effective, when done wrong, it can annoy people or worse, hurt your brand’s image.
Yes, most email newsletters are more informational and less conversational, but that doesn’t mean that you can start a conversation with your readers. One of the most common email statistic information you can gather is click through rate, which is the number of unique individuals who click on one or more links in your e-mail expressed as a percentage of total tracked opens. Use tracking URLs to correctly tell your analytics software the source of the email campaign. The task that you want to do but just don’t quite get round to it and before you know it weeks have past and you still haven’t got round to it.
Sending your website audience an email re-assures your them that they have not been forgotten about. If you simply want to inform the client of recent business activity then you would expect that a person will open and read the email and possibly venture onto the website.
Ideally suited to small or medium sized businesses, his skills enable him to deliver dynamic, integrated design solutions incorporating a range of media.
Email actually drives a lot of the social web activity, through notifications, alerts and more.
Ultimately, brands still find email effective because it's inexpensive and universally accepted by people all over the world. On February 2, Phil the groundhog did not see his shadow so Built immediately sent an an email that read, "Nice Call, Phil! The messages, which encourage followers to sign up to be on the brands' mailing lists, include shortened URLs that lead to newsletter sign-up pages (pictured above). Visit Baltimore has a tab on its Facebook Page solely devoted to its "Get the Buzz Enewsletter" initiative (pictured below).
HubSpot's software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, e-mail, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe. Sure, it’s not quite as embarrassing as direct mail (which is somehow a $12 billion per year industry), but it’s pretty close. Then check out these three examples from some of the world’s leading email management companies to see what makes email marketing so effective. Far too many companies see email newsletters as another way to push sales, even though many people who sign up for a newsletter are not looking to actively make a purchase. With a diverse readership and an equally broad editorial focus, Garden & Gun focuses on everything from Southern heritage and culture to fine dining and trends in agriculture. According to the Emma blog, the subscriber base of the average email newsletter will shrink by 30% every year, but Garden & Gun has managed to actually increase its newsletter readership by 40% since partnering with Emma three years ago. As you can see in the screenshot above, the newsletter features advertising, just as the print and online editions of the magazine do. As a Garden & Gun reader myself, it’s one of the few newsletters I genuinely look forward to reading, and serves as a great example of how email newsletters can make everybody happy if they’re produced to a high standard and serve an editorial purpose. In fact, combining email marketing with a strong social media strategy can really pay off, as sustainable living blog DIY Natural discovered. Even in the site’s early days, DIY Natural was attracting a great deal of traffic – a fact that forced Jabs to seriously consider how social media could expand his audience, and how email marketing could help him monetize his burgeoning blog. In fact, I actually signed up for the DIY Natural newsletter as I was researching this article.
Don’t make an ass out of yourself and tank your campaign in the process – test early, and test often.
Like a good chili recipe, everyone seems to have their own preferred way of doing things, but when it comes to the “perfect” subject line, shorter is best – specifically, between six and 10 words.
Compare the open rate of these subject lines with that of subject lines between 21 and 25 words in length and you’re talking a major drop-off.
To read more about how to improve your open rates, check out Retention Science’s full study here.
For sure, but we’ve also covered the best times to send email campaigns in the past, and we’ve found that Thursday mornings between 8-9 a.m.
However, just like anything else worth doing, it takes time, effort, and sometimes, making a lot of mistakes before you discover the secret behind the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices. As always, if something has worked for you that I haven’t covered, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Sure, not every small business will be able to replicate this kind of success, but they do demonstrate that it's not as difficult as one might think.

As for your question, I'd avoid the "hard sell" relating to your services, at least initially, as emails directly pitching something will most likely end up being deleted. Target Audience and Messaging – Get your audience profile bang on, who is that your are really targeting – Get to know their interests and possible actions.
Define your metrics upfront – Follow the industry standards, but by all means set your own benchmarks if required. Automate and Analyze – Use marketing automation solutions to automate your campaigns this automatically gives you access to reporting dashboards to analyze results. If you are not effectively using email marketing as a tool, then no matter how great a company your are or how great your product is, you are like to stand still not make much progress. If you are using closed-loop analytics and an email reader converts on your website then you can accurately show the source and how they got there. Your subscribers are expecting something, whether its more information that is available, or a way to find out more. When considering an email marketing campaign there are a number of questions you will ask yourself. Perhaps you want to send them an email that is simply informative about promotions, recent activity, company expansion etc. His portfolio demonstrates extensive experience of working with the local business sector in Ayrshire and Glasgow on a personal level. Email is a great complement to social in that it allows marketers to extend the reach of their messages and identify influencers on their list," he adds.
You can keep track of these popular memes by viewing the trending topics section on Twitter. However, claims that email marketing is no longer effective are simply not true, and any marketer worth their salt will tell you that email remains a cornerstone of their campaigns. This can result in low sign-up volumes, high rates of subscriber abandonment, and “newsletters” that are light on news and heavy on pushy sales tactics.
However, the ads aren’t intrusive and are highly targeted and relevant to Garden & Gun’s readership.
My wife and I share similar views on self-reliance and sustainability as Matt and Betsy, and we already make our own laundry detergent and other household items (including ghee).
Case in point, family-owned business Goat Milk Stuff, a business that sells – you guessed it – products made from goat’s milk. Instead, try answering questions about your field through content such as blog posts and including this content in a newsletter. Email marketing campaigns are actually very important components of every B2B companies marketing strategy. Design the messaging to suit the TA, customize it to your target audience preference – remember emails are not for mere communication but conversations and messaging. While the usual metrics are important, but go beyond the usual and explore all possible information available. Deploy your campaign at different times, tweak your communications, change your CTAs slightly. Most automation platforms or solutions present results in formats which are understandable to everyone in very quick time too. The email reader will interpret this as an active website that has real people behind it that makes the effort to keep the reader interested. Send an email with the promotion, grab the readers attention and attract them to visit the site to buy the product. I’d be very interested to see the CTR data of these ads, as I suspect it would be high in comparison to traditional website banners. As such, DIY Natural’s content is perfect for us, and exactly the type of content I’d like to see in my inbox every week. A large percentage of marketers will say that email marketing delivers a good ROI, and most CMOs will say ROI should be primary measurement of effectiveness.
Look at ways to starting a dialogue and engage your target audience with relevant and meaningful content. Check subject lines to avoid landing in the spam folder of your recipient, proof read your copy to avoid typos and spam triggers. The importance of analyzing your campaign effective is obvious as it helps you ascertain if your campaign is indeed achieving any ROI.
Do not run a one off campaign and let the relationship with your prospects fall apart post that. If the email content is of interest and attracts the reader to continue to the website then you have succeeded in gaining more website traffic.
There are many companies that use email campaigns that don’t meet their expectations because the email is has no relevance to the desired goal. But, what email marketing also does is solidify relationships and forge new ones and they also help gather data. In spite of its importance, many marketers still continue to make basic mistakes or fail in their campaigns effectiveness – more often than not it is only a basic lapse in planning.
An interesting, informational newsletter will probably be more appealing to a prospective client than the email equivalent of a coupon book. I recently bought new guitar plectrums from Amazon and since I am a loyal Amazon customer I received follow up emails. I'd also suggest incorporating an email signup process into your social media presence - make it easy for your social followers to sign up to learn more about your practice, then provide them with genuinely interesting content. These emails were interesting to me as they listed related items that might be of use to me. If they're following you on social media, chances are they're already interested in what you have to offer. It turns out I was looking for a guitar stand therefore the email was relative to my previous purchase and Amazon benefited from another sale.

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