5 Email Marketing Tips for Increased Open Rates

email marketing tips

Is your message blending in or standing out in an inbox filled with emails?

Email marketing has become an essential part of engaging and targeting prospects and clients online. In fact, eMarketer reports that 97% of small businesses use email marketing to connect with customers.   There are many aspects that make up an effective email marketing program, but today I’ll focus on how marketers can increase their campaign open rates.

Email content is essential, but getting people to actually open your email is a hurdle many marketers find hard to overcome.  A deep understanding of your customer base as well as their needs and habits for proper segmentation can be key in creating an effective email marketing strategy that produces high open rates.

Email Marketing & Social Media Interview: Kristin Hersant of StrongMail

Kristin Hersant As a long time and trusted marketing agency, TopRank Online Marketing gets to work with some amazing B2B technology and SaaS companies. One of those companies is StrongMail.  Today Kristin Hersant, VP of Corporate Marketing joins an esteemed group of marketers and thought leaders ranging from Guy Kawasaki to David Meerman Scott interviewed here at Online Marketing Blog.

Kristin is a firecracker of smarts and energy towards online marketing. Her company StrongMail is the leader in an array of email marketing and social media marketing services. Read on to learn more about the future of Email Marketing and its intersection with Social Media:

Please share a bit about your marketing background and StrongMail. What types of companies do you serve?

MarketingProfs B2B: Case Study on Email, CRM & Social Media

I decided to do a little liveblogging at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and picked this session: Why email CRM and social media have become the tools of modern B2B marketing where a case study was presented by Genworth Financial.

Joel Book from Exact Target introduced the case study:  Creating brand advocates is as important as creating brand awareness. [I would say more important. An advocate proactively shares the brand experience]. Funny, Google “brand tattoos” to see some serious brand advocate activity.

How are marketers using digital media to engage?

  • email + crm
  • email + social

Email and CRM help to automate interaction. Automation is the key because marketing staff and budgets are not increasing. In order to continue deliver personal and timely messages to customers, you need to automate.

5 Online Marketing Resolutions for 2010

We may already be a week into 2010, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to starting making resolutions.

Resolve to give your online marketing efforts a boost this year by recognizing areas for improvement and putting in place a plan to make positive changes.

To help you get started, TopRank Online Marketing has come up with New Year’s resolutions for 5 different online marketing channels: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Email Marketing, Pay-Per-Click and Mobile Marketing.

5 Tips for Effective Email Copywriting

Writing Effective Email CopyThe quality of email content is one of the core factors in determining whether an email marketing campaign succeeds or fails. But successful email copywriting is an art — rather than a science — making it different from most other forms of business writing. To start out on the right path, consider these 5 tips for effective email copywriting:

1. Focus on the subject line. The subject line may be the shortest piece of content to write, but it’s one your campaign’s most critical elements. The challenge is to create excitement for a special offer, provide enough information to be clear about purpose and convey a brand’s essence – all in 50 characters or less.

When writing your subject lines:

  • Create a sense of urgency. Include timely information to encourage subscribers to open the email.

How Social Media & Email Marketing Boost Customer Reach

For years, rumors have circulated that email marketing is dying and teenagers the world over have proclaimed email as, “something old people do”.  Email & Social Networking

Whether you agree or disagree that email has one foot in the grave, many online marketers are finding effective ways to leverage email as part of a social media marketing mix. Integrating email and social media was the topic of discussion at a session during the MIMA Summit last week with Loren McDonald, VP of Industry Releations, SilverPop and Brian Brown, Director of Modern Marketing, ideapark.

Social sharing options embedded in online content have helped increase distribution and reach for thousands of web sites. One of the most common ways email has been used in a social context is “Forward to a Friend”.  However, the tried and true ‘Forward to a Friend’ link has less than .1% CTR, so many marketers have taken it upon themselves to find a new way to circulate content amongst networks.

The Changing Face of Email Marketing – MIMA Summit

I must say, of all breakout sessions at the MIMA event today, “The Changing Face of Email” session was the one I was most excited to attend as it ties into what I love to do – email marketing. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long to dive right in as it was part of the Summit Kick-Off Breakout session: Deep Dive Discussion Series.

Jamie Schissler, Strategy Director at Avenue A – Razorfish, the presenter for “The Changing Face of Email” session shared with the MIMA audience that as the role of email evolves, so too will its impact.

So why will the email marketing strategies of yesterday not work for email marketing success today?

Marketing Sherpa Email Summit

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This announcement might be a bit early, but I think the last Marketing Sherpa Email Summit sold out pretty quickly. This is an event (in Miami February 24th-26th) that’s near and dear to TopRank’s marketing consulting services which are made up of: search, PR and email marketing. Out of those three “legs”, email marketing is by far the most productive in terms of ROI and conversion rates.

What’s great about this conference is that it’s all about email and nothing else. Sliced and diced into 3 tracks (BtoB, Advanced BtoC and Operations) as well as 5 general and 36 breakout sessions, there’s “something for everyone”, as they say. There’s also an opportunity to get “certified” as an email marketing expert through a package that includes both the Summit and an online course.

Email Marketing Tips

One of the most effective online marketing services TopRank Online Marketing implements for clients in addition to SEO and public relations is email marketing. Within our direct and email marketing practice there are several, very talented people responsible for this success. This article outlines some of the “whys” and high level “how to’s” of implementing a successful email marketing program.

In today’s ever changing and evolving world of blogs, IM, social networks and consumer disdain towards traditional advertising, it is a wonder how any marketing message reaches its intended audience. After all, each marketing message distributed is competing for the attention of its recipient with a multitude of other communication vehicles every second of the day.

Navigating a Marketing Dead End

A few months ago my husband and I were spending our free time cruising dealership lots after the dealerships had closed researching cars. However, we kept running into dead ends with dealerships who close their lots in the evening hours. Some of you might be thinking, “Why not shop for cars after hours online?”. We did that but still wanted to see for ourselves.

This got me thinking about how much business a dealership might be losing by not letting people cruise the lots in the off hours. We certainly didn’t take the time to go back to the dealerships during business hours, we just assumed they didn’t have what we wanted and kept on searching.

Optimize FeedBurner Emails

One nice option that FeedBurner offers is the ability to send out blog updates via email. This is a vital option as there are many more people that understand email but don’t understand feeds.

Just turning on email subscriptions is a good start. Customizing the email that goes out is even better. FeedBurner allows you to edit the subject, fonts, sizes, colors, message and add your own logo. There are really only a few options, but you can better brand your emails with the options available.

To customize your FeedBurner emails, log into your FeedBurner account and click on your feed. Then click on the Publicize tab and then Email Subscriptions in the left column. If this option is not activated, do so now.

ClickZ Web Metrics and Email Marketing Events

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Big conferences like Search Engine Strategies NYC are great when you can get your boss to splurge for a week away, but if you can’t, (shame on you) then ClickZ Events might be a consideration.

Next up on the ClickZ schedule is, “Web Metrics: an online marketer’s best friend, or worst enemy?” at the Hilton, NYC May 2nd. This event includes sessions from the likes of Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg “Turning Data into Dollars”, Heidi Cohen “Competitive Intelligence” and Jim Nail who along with Shane Atchison is presenting “How to Measure Blogs, Buzz, & Brands”. Sounds like a pretty good program to me. There’s an early bird discount for that one if you register before April 20th.