Monthly Archives: December 2013

Businesses can sink or swim based on email marketing strategies

Businesses can sink or swim based on email marketing strategies

Email marketing is not a new phenomenon, but it is still one of the best ways to reach out to an audience and educate them about new products, discounts and sales. In fact, an email distribution list can be one of the most valuable weapons in the repertoire of the modern marketing team. 

New internet marketing trends such as social media might appear to threaten email as the predominant strategy, but according to Business2Community, smart companies will not abandon this old standby for years to come.

Not only is email marketing sticking around, it has shown to lead to increased sales over the past few years. While Business2Community did not disregard social media and marketing apps as sound strategies, they emphasized email as the primary tool businesses should use in their efforts. So why should marketers continue to utilize this method?

Who doesn't love to hear their name?
The primary benefit of email marketing is that it allows for an enhanced relationship between businesses and customers. This is because people love the feeling of being called by name, regardless of who does the addressing. Customers tend to be more responsive the second they recognize their name on the subject line. 

Business2Community drew the parallel of direct mail marketing to emphasize this point. Even when consumers receive a letter in the mailbox addressed directly to them, they experience a rush of anticipation that cannot be replicated by other forms of marketing. Campaigns that include details like customer location and buying preferences are much more effective as well. 

Creating this personal bond is exactly where email marketing excels over its social media competition. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer the excitement of a collaborative atmosphere, they can make people feel like they are just another name in a sea of customers. 

Business2Community said that companies would be wise to mix the best of both worlds by getting customers excited about trends through social media and then sending emails to emphasize their focus on personal treatment.

Email keeps things personal and professional
While there have been some pushes for companies to transition to using social media and text to reach customers on a personal level, Business2Community reminded marketers that most people prefer email as the platform on which they want to be reached by brands. 

Even though personal communication via email has declined 21 percent, compared to a 10 percent increase in social media and 20 percent increase in text message, consumers appear to prefer commercial email messages rather than through these other channels. Most people appear to not like mixing business and pleasure.

This preference has increased 5 percent since 2008 and represents consumer comfort with being reached by businesses over email compared to other methods of communication typically reserved for social interactions. Perhaps email has already asserted its dominance over these other outlets through years of connecting customers to businesses, according to Business2Community. 

Drive sales without slipping up
Email marketing is clearly a force to be reckoned with when it comes to customer engagement via the web, but it is still possible for companies to alienate their audiences through this platform, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Common email marketing mistakes include using poorly chosen stock photos or distracting layouts, sending messages too often or missing their target demographic.

To avoid these mishaps, Entrepreneur suggested that companies spend time segmenting their email marketing campaigns to create sets of messages specifically designed for particular groups of customers. This can be as easy as matching up the proper names of the recipients with their emails, including their locations or recognizing their age-bracket.

Email marketers get personal to ensure successful campaigns

Email marketers get personal to ensure successful campaigns

Internet trends come and go, technologies appear and fade , but what stays the same when it comes to effective email marketing? Determining strategies that stand the test of time is a challenge that business leaders tackle year in and year out. Clickz recently revealed what they believe to be the ultimate in email marketing wisdom, but will these tips remain relevant as the years pass by?

Smart marketers keep the customer's situation in mind
Email marketing has changed with the times, but the customer's desire to be acknowledged as an individual will always be there. Too many businesses opt for an impersonal, mass-distributed newsletter or promotional email that fails to make anyone feel like they are unique. Customer service is all about making the consumer feel respected, and this absolutely applies in the context of email marketing. Clickz reminded strategists to use every bit of personal information they gather in their email database to address customers as distinct members of the brand community. 

The key term here is relevancy. According to Clickz, this translates into understanding the customer. A well-crafted message will take into account a number of specific factors that will separate one client from the next, including purchase history, browsing preferences and other personal touches that will inspire a sense of urgency for the consumer. When promotional offers and product information are framed in a way that directly applies to the customer's situation, they are much more likely to respond in a positive way.

Other ways of making email marketing campaigns relevant for specific customers is to take advantage of any extra knowledge a business might have about a buyer. These bits of information could include age, geographic location, education or family and relationship status. Smart email marketers also shift the message of their campaigns based on world context such as weather, political circumstances or current economic situation. Clickz pointed out to strategists that there is such thing as too much personal information, however. Including details about how businesses gathered buyer preferences (such as observing internet history) can come across as creepy and intrusive.

Business strategically leverage channels according to audience
Clickz urged marketers to never underestimate the power of email marketing, especially in light of hype surrounding social media platforms as the next big trend. Simply because new channels of communication are available, businesses should not abandon their traditional methods by virtue of their being older. The article mentioned a client that still saw most of its business come from direct mail catalogs. Of course it would be unwise for them to get rid of this marketing strategy. The same goes for email as social media becomes more prevalent. 

With this in mind, social media platforms can be an excellent way to supplement email marketing campaigns, according to a recent article from Business2Community. The piece referenced a report from researchers ExactTarget that showed 77 percent of consumers preferring to receive sales and marketing messages via email. Regardless, social media can be an excellent way to get new consumers interested in a brand and sign up for an email contact list. 

Marketers can pique the curiosity of consumers by letting social community members know what is available for them when they sign up as email recipients. This can be as simple as posting a Facebook status that mentions an interesting exclusive available to members of the list. Business2Community also recommended that strategists experiment with offering different kinds of content based on the kind of campaign they're running. Video, slideshows and live webinars are just some ways to get online communities eager to opt-in on an email list. 

How to Avoid the Post-Holiday Sales Slump

Photo By: Quinn Dombrowski (Flickr)

Get your customers thinking about the next important shopping day to avoid the after-holiday sales slump.

How to Avoid the Post-Holiday Sales Slump

Pre-holiday sales numbers can be very exciting for retail businesses; post-holiday sales numbers… not so much! You might be throwing your hands up in the air every January, wondering how you and your sales staff can keep people spending money after their holiday shopping sprees. There are many ways to encourage your customers to keep spending money and avoid the annual post-holiday sales slump.

Segment Your Sales Data

Now is the perfect time to review what your current customers are purchasing from you and encourage them to continue spending money after the holidays. Take your sales data and segment it as you would your marketing data. Lump your customers into groups based upon their purchases and send them either a targeted email and/or mailer encouraging them to make additional purchases based upon their sales history. Of course your customers need the latest and greatest accessory to complement their most recent purchase. They just don’t know that if you don’t tell them about it!

Send Coupons Too

While you’re at it, make sure to send a coupon for that latest and greatest accessory, and make the coupon as good as you possibly can. Your customers are sitting at their computers as we speak, looking at their bank accounts with their heads in their hands. How on earth did they spend that much money over the holidays? You aren’t going to get the sale if you don’t tempt them beyond their wildest imagination. So send the coupon for the accessory and make them an offer they cannot refuse.

Switch Things Up a Little Bit

Are your customers still not biting no matter how tempting a deal you make? Okay, they’re over the holidays; after all, they’ve been hearing about them since before Halloween. We are never satisfied. We want summer to come because we’re sick of spring; we want fall to come because it’s too hot in the summer. Why can’t it be winter yet? It’s too cold! When is spring coming? You know exactly what I’m talking about, so if the sales segmentation and coupons aren’t working, move ahead to spring and tempt your customers with sales items sure to take them out of the winter blues and into the excitement of warmer weather and spring showers.

Switch up Your Stock Too

While you’re removing the visions of sugarplums out of your customer’s heads and putting in the visions of spring training and the Boston Red Sox winning another world series… of course I went there! Do some spring-cleaning, get rid of the holiday stock, and design new displays – brick and mortar and/or virtual – showing your customers the new items you’re offering. Send out emails and/or mailers, too, picturing your new stock to give your customers a reason to get excited about something other than all of the holiday items of which they have been over-stimulated.

Make Your Presence Known

As important as segmenting, targeting, and reaching out to your current customers is, do not just sit behind your sales numbers and hide. Get out into your community and make your business’s presence known. I cannot stress enough how important networking it. This is one marketing tool no business should ignore, no matter how big or small you are. Get out there! Meet people! Sponsor events, local sports team, have your own events… whatever it takes to get your business name involved in your community. If you build a community presence, they will come!

Have a Contest

While you’re making your presence known, throw a fun contest to entice people in your community to walk through your doors. If your business is strictly online, all the more reason to hold a contest on your Facebook page or other social networking pages. People love contests; they love to win things. Plus, they’ve just spent a ton of time and money on other people and they’re going to want to do something for themselves. Hold a contest to bring your current and potential customers into your business and get them spending money after the holidays!

SPAM filtering continues to plague email marketing efforts

SPAM filtering continues to plague email marketing efforts

Few things can be more infuriating for an email marketer than to find that their messages are ending up in SPAM folders rather than customer inboxes. As consumers have grown more aware of cyber security, SPAM filters have become more impenetrable and are causing headaches for email marketing campaigns everywhere. However, there are ways for marketers to improve their chances of reaching the coveted inbox without being tossed aside as SPAM, according to Business 2 Community.

Before the days of SPAM filtering, marketing campaigns functioned by blindly sending messages to any name on an email contact list in the hope that consumers will see them. These days, things are different, Business 2 Community explained. Marketers now need to constantly update their contact lists with new names in order to avoid sending message to inactive subscribers and developing a bad reputation with internet service providers (ISPs). It also is ineffective to send emails to accounts that are either rarely used or de-registered.

Testing message deliverability is essential
Once marketers have ensured they are sending to active accounts and are verified in the eyes of the ISP, Business 2 Community recommended that the next best option is to test whether an email will make it past SPAM filters. Before launching a major campaign, businesses should try a variety of platforms to ensure that their message gets through. Without adequate testing, countless resources could go to waste as thousands of emails never reach their destinations.

Business 2 Community suggested that avoiding major SPAM trigger words is another way for businesses to maximize the deliverability of their messages. Eye-catching words such as "billion" and "solution" were just some of the many triggers that sent otherwise innocuous messages into the SPAM bin. By making some minor adjustments to subject lines and email content, marketers could see a lot more of their emails reaching their desired destinations.

Tabbed inboxes create a new set of challenges for marketers
With the recent addition of Google's tabbed inbox, promotional emails are instantly lumped together in a secondary folder, which gets read much less frequently than the main page. According to KissMetrics, gaining access to the primary inbox is one of the most sought-after privileges in today's email marketing landscape. Most campaigns try to implement keywords such as "SMS" and "attachment" to reach the main box, while others try to get users to change their Gmail settings to circumvent the promotional tab.

Why segmenting email lists is necessary to drive business

Why segmenting email lists is necessary to drive business

While email marketing campaigns were once one-size-fits-all, times have changed and strategies need to be adjusted if businesses want to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts. According to Marketing Land, the main way marketers are doing this is by segmenting the subscribers on their email distribution list. Many companies are catching on to this trend and changing the way they approach email marketing accordingly. 

Marketing Land advised strategists to first focus on determining their best customers. This should be the segment that strategists put the most time and effort into. Loyalty should be rewarded, and the best customers need to made aware of their exclusive status. A friends and family offer is a great way for marketers to deliver that message. By giving privileged customers the option of extending their discounts and perks to their loved ones, businesses increase their chances of boosting brand loyalty.

Increase volume for those well-deserved buyers
All customers like to know that they are receiving special treatment. When businesses send their most valued buyers the option to sign up for an exclusive email chain, they open the opportunity to send more messages more frequently. Because these top clients have chosen to sign up, they are much less likely to become irritated by the increased amount of emails coming their way. 

When businesses offer exclusivity, they need to follow up on their word. Marketing Land reminded marketers that these customers expect to be rewarded when they commit to taking on more emails in their inboxes. By delivering on their promises with exclusive promotions, discounts and deals, businesses are more likely to satisfy their favorite customers and retain them as their most reliable buyers. 

Targeting seasonal and inactive customers
Although businesses would ideally maintain their holiday customer base year-round, Marketing Land explained that they cannot deny the effectiveness of honing in on the seasonal crowds to get the best marketing results. Companies should time their email marketing campaigns with upcoming seasonal events and tie together offers that would appeal to customers during a specific time of year. This will bring in more seasonal business and likely remind once-a-year customers to come back during the off-season. 

If marketers still have the addresses of old customers on their email contact list, it is a great idea to reach out to them and try to spark interest once again. Customers might be pleasantly surprised by a campaign reminding them of their positive shopping experiences with that company. While some customers have made up their mind not to shop with a brand again, it can never hurt to try, pointed out Marketing Land. 

Other benefits of segmenting an email marketing campaign
A common complaint about email marketing methods is that they don't appeal to people personally. By segmenting campaigns, marketers are in a much better position to develop customized content to consumers based on their experiences with the brand. According to Business2Community, sending tailored emails to every customer is out of the question, but segmenting is the next best choice.

Recipients of email with a personal touch are much less likely to unsubscribe. Business2Community asserted that these details can be as small as including a zip code with nearby branches. This will keep customers engaged and attentive to any new emails sent their way. Segmenting campaigns doesn't need to be complex, and the benefits can really pay off in the long run. 

Too many businesses develop an email database only to have it wither away as customers continue to unsubscribe and file complaints. Marketers who segment their campaigns can expect to hold on to their hard-earned email addresses. 

Is email marketing still a relevant strategy?

Is email marketing still a relevant strategy?

Email marketing is one of the oldest techniques on the Internet to reach out to customers. As technology has progressed leaps and bounds since the invention of the Web, new strategies have emerged. Are methods such as search and social media taking the throne as the main way for businesses to market their products? According to a recent article from Digital Journal, nothing has changed quite yet. Email marketing is still the top choice for strategists trying to maximize the exposure of their company's products and services. 

For consistent, effective customer engagement and communication, Digital Journal stated that the best choice for marketers is still email. In fact, one of the main uses for social media pages is for companies to gather email contact lists and focus on marketing campaigns with those databases.While social is a great way for businesses to get their names out there, email is where customers receive the necessary information, exclusive offers and discounts that will convert them into return buyers. 

How has the email marketing game changed?
Whereas email marketing was once a cut-and-dry business choice, strategists nowadays treat it like a science. Digital Journal cited market segmentation as the factor that brought email marketing to the next level of precision. Collecting data and targeting specific demographics with tailored messages lifted email marketing out of the dark ages and allowed recipients to feel that they were personally addressed by their favorite brands and updated about their preferred products. 

Marketing strategists have also made an effort to cut down on the total amount of content that their target audience receives in an average email. This quality over quantity approach has allowed businesses to maintain the relevancy of each message and has been shown to keep customers interested in receiving more mail in the future. Mobile viewing was another element that Digital Journal emphasized will be a critical point moving forward in email marketing. Because over 50 percent of email viewing occurred on mobile platforms last year, businesses cannot overlook the importance of optimizing their messages for this format.

It's about the little touches
Personal details are separating successful email marketing campaigns from failures. In a recent article from Business2Community, contributor Lisa Gulasy examined the differences between two order confirmation emails that helped her decide which brand she preferred. Unsurprisingly, the businesses that crafted a fun holiday message became her top choice.

Email marketers seek a new year's plan

Email marketers seek a new year’s plan

The holidays are without a doubt the easiest time for email marketers to get their messages across to customers, but all good things come to an end. Even though sales across industries slump as the new year plods along, there are ways that marketing strategists can continue to use email as a method to attract new customers and make conversions. According to a recent Clickz article, marketers need to use their beefed up holiday email contact lists wisely and make sure that they can turn seasonal shoppers into loyal customers year-round. 

A sure way for businesses to set their emails apart from the slew of discounts customers receive is by taking the opportunity to educate consumers on new products or services. Customers who know more about products are more likely to buy them, Clickz noted. Offering plenty of information without being directly promotional will encourage consumers to read up without feeling pressured to buy. When they finally get offered that discount, they will know everything they need to go ahead and make the purchase. 

One way to educate customers is to provide information about products that they just bought, highlighting features and benefits that they might not have known about at the time of their purchase. Keeping a steady 'drip' of informational emails will keep the customer engaged without drowning their inbox with content, causing them to ignore future emails. Clickz reminded businesses that this will also make the customer feel like they are constantly getting more out of their purchase and associate a great deal of value with that particular brand.

Cross-promotional emails can be effective
Once a customer begins to receive their drip of emails, businesses should start incorporating information about products that supplement or enhance the customer's purchase to start guiding them toward their next buy. This can be especially useful after the holiday season when people get acquainted with new and unfamiliar products. Testimonials can also be an asset to companies that have a wealth of user support from social media or feedback forums. The subtle promotional value of reading another customer's positive account of a product can be a major factor in getting someone to make a purchase.

This is the time of year that people receive new hardware platforms that need many accessories and corollary products. This goes for computers, tablets, smartphones, game systems, home theater equipment and everything in between. When a customer buys one of these core items, smart email marketers will take advantage of their desire to get the most out of their user experience by offering them the latest additional gadgets or downloadable features. Clickz encouraged companies with these business models to be persistent in their email marketing to keep customers interested. 

The state of email marketing today
Although email is one of the classic staples of Web use, it is still a prominent way that companies reach out to their new customers and keep old ones coming back. A recent Mobile Marketing Watch article featured an infographic from analysts Monetate that explored why email marketing is still a viable and profitable marketing strategy. In the typically slow months of April to June of last year, email marketing was shown to have higher averages of add-to-cart rates, conversion rates and page views per session than both search and social media channels. Customers still respond to these newer methods, but not as much as industry hype would suggest.

With an 18 percent increase in retail email volume from 2011 to 2012 and a predicted $2.5 billion spent on email marketing campaigns by 2016, the practice shows no sign of slowing down. Businesses will likely always be able to rely on going straight to the customer's inbox.

7 New Years Resolutions for Businesses

PHOTO: / Photo By: Mathias Erhart (Flickr)

Ring in your business’s New Year with some fiery resolutions sure to be profitable.

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Businesses

When it comes to business, your New Year’s resolutions aren’t going to be losing weight or quitting smoking. They could be exercising more, however. Exercising your business’s market outreach and position within your community, that is. The New Year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your business and make some resolutions to ensure that you ring in a profitable New Year. Here are some resolutions for you to consider.

Resolution #1: Start an e-Newsletter

If you aren’t already sending a regular e-newsletter to your potential and existing clients, start doing so. If there is one facet of email marketing of which I am truly a fan, it is e-newsletters. These are the perfect marketing tool to establish a human connection with your customers by letting them know what’s going on with your company and your employees. E-newsletters are also the perfect way to solicit new business. You can use them in your email marketing campaigns to try to lure people away from your competitors and through your cyber or brick-and-mortar doors. How do you do this? Again, by sending a brief, but fun e-newsletter allowing people to connect your company with the faces that make it the success that it is.

Resolution #2: Increase Your Community Presence

While you’re setting up your e-newsletter outreach campaign, get out there and get involved in your community, as well. Sure, people can get to know you through an engaging newsletter, but they’ll get to know you even better if your company has a local presence that can be seen offline. Make certain your business is registered with your local Chamber of Commerce, but don’t stop there. Get involved with your local charities, sponsoring events and volunteering to spread the word that your company cares. Get involved with local sports teams, as well, including little league and middle and high school teams. Again, this shows the parents of the athletes that you are an active member of their community and take an interest in what’s going on. This is sure to get people through your business doors.

Resolution #3: Touch Base with Your Employees

The New Year is the perfect time to reconnect with your employees. Your employees are your business’s bread and butter, and if you think otherwise, your fourth New Year’s business resolution should be to get therapy! Take time out of your busy schedule and touch base with each of your employees. If you can afford it, take each one to lunch individually. Find out what’s going on inside their mind, what their business goals are for the New Year, and what you can do to ensure they achieve them. You’d be surprised how this simple gesture will make your employees happier and more productive. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Resolution #4: Clean House

I don’t mean literally clean your business space, and I don’t mean fire a bunch of your staff either –unless you really need to, I guess. I mean clean your cyber house. If you haven’t already, New Year’s is the perfect time to invest in an offsite cloud storage space to back up your company’s electronic files. You need to ensure your company’s data is properly backed up at all times, especially in the winter if you do business in inclement areas where power outages and other weather-related issues are prevalent. There is nothing worse than losing everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve, and that includes losing your electronic data. Clean your data house, including your inbox, and get everything backed-up to a secure outside server. This ensures the data is safe should something happen to your in-house equipment.

Resolution #5: Take a Look at Last Year’s Mistakes… and Move On

I could’ve made this resolution to set your annual business goals, but… um… everybody knows that! Instead, while you’re setting your game plan for the year, take a look at what didn’t work the previous year and – drum roll, please – learn from it! What did your company do last year that failed miserably? More importantly, why did it fail? Until you can determine what doesn’t work, you just might keep spinning your wheels with marketing campaigns and business strategies that don’t work. Instead, learn from your mistakes and retool your campaigns and strategies to avoid making them again in the New Year. You just might find that your past mistakes are the springboard for your future business successes.

Resolution #6: Do Something Fun Each Month

Who says that work can’t be fun? Part of creating a positive working environment is engaging with your employees and allowing them to engage with each other. Company fun shouldn’t be left to just the annual holiday party. Why not have a monthly – whatever – where everyone, and their families, can get together and just chill? Perhaps a company potluck luncheon, or maybe take the afternoon off and go bowling. Have a business sports team. During the summer months, a company picnic at the park costs you nothing, especially if each employee’s family brings their own food. Downtime is equally important as uptime, and a group of people who work and play well together make for a cohesive group of people set on achieving the same business goals.

Resolution #7: Write an e-Book

You own a business because you’re an expert in what you do, so why not write an e-book to show potential and current customers how much you know your stuff. It doesn’t have to be a 300-page novel. It can be something short and sweet, strutting your business knowledge in your particular industry. You can generate additional profit on the side if you decide to sell your e-book, or you can use it as a marketing tool by providing access to the e-book at no charge. Another perfect way to market your business is combine Resolution #1 with this one. Purchase a new email list of potential clients and instead of sending them an e-newsletter send them your e-book!

Retailers supplement email marketing with social media

Retailers supplement email marketing with social media

Having a reliable email contact list can be one of the biggest weapons in an online marketer's arsenal, but is social media on its way to replacing email marketing as the primary way retailers reach their customers via the Web? According to a recent report from AllBusiness Experts, social media is an invaluable channel of communication but not as critical as a well-planned email marketing campaign. Businesses should take social media hype with a grain of salt and rely on their traditional email marketing solutions. 

The main reason that email should remain the primary focus of businesses' online marketing initiatives is that it shows a much better return on investment than its social media counterpart. AllBusiness Experts cited a post on Forbes from McKinsey and Company that revealed email marketing products convert more than 40 times the number of customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. While social media efforts can be optimized to produce greater results, the disparity between the two methods is still a large one. 

Increasing use of mobile platforms is another reason why retailers are sticking to their guns and going with classic email marketing strategies. AllBusiness Experts showed that 91 percent of mobile users check their email at least once a day. At such a high rate of exposure, businesses would be making a mistake by failing to implement their best possible email marketing strategies and optimize them for smartphone viewing. 

Retailers are revisiting the email contact list
Despite a lot of industry discussion surrounding the role of social media in the next generation of marketing initiatives, a recent report from Internet Retailer suggested that online vendors are only increasing their emphasis on email marketing. The news source cited a study from marketing analysts Monetate revealing that retailers sent almost 23 percent more emails to inboxes this Q3 than last year's. Buyers are also making bigger purchases when they click on email offers, as retailers' average order value increased from $93.43 to $100.48, a leap of 7.55 percent.

Email marketing efforts are certainly bringing in a lot more business than they used to, although social media is bringing in some big sales for retailers across the board. Internet Retailer noted that the Monetate study saw a 26.13 percent increase in the average order value of purchases resulting from social media marketing. Businesses should balance the two, but email marketing reigns supreme for the time being. 

Email marketers craft new ways to quickly convert customers

Email marketers craft new ways to quickly convert customers

If there is one thing marketers have learned since the rise of the Internet, it's that email is one of the best ways to reach out to a customer base. Even decades after the first email was sent, marketing strategies have not changed drastically. Many businesses have chosen to keep the same tactics in place for years without an issue. However, according to Business2Community, there are a number of methods email marketers can use to optimize their efforts

For many email marketers, offering unique content for customers to enjoy in their inboxes is a way to gain support and make conversions. This is a broad category that can include anything from a guest blog to a free video series. Providing something that will engage customers' interests is often the best way to encourage brand loyalty. Instead of customers seeing promotional emails and quickly deleting them, sharing fun and interesting content will have people looking forward to receiving emails from a business. 

Related to the topic of original content is the rise of the free ebook as a way to keep customers excited about getting emails from a particular business. Not only will customers feel like they are receiving something more special and of higher value than a typical blog or slideshow, but they will also devote much more time and attention to an ebook, absorbing plenty of information about an industry or product. Writing a free ebook is a small investment for a marketing campaign that will make customers feel valued while providing them with lots of quality information. 

Always giving customers the option to opt-in
Smart email marketers never miss an opportunity to provide customers with the choice of signing up for a bulk email contact list. While opt-in email boxes typically appear in hard-to-find corners of a company webpage, Business2Community reminded strategists that it never hurts to always have the option available in every email. This will give customers a chance to sign up for different email chains, receiving new offers and instantly doubling the amount of exposure from your company.

Although they might appear bothersome, having a pop-in box in a newsletter can be a great way to convert customers on the spot, especially if the box pops up 30 to 40 seconds after the user first clicks onto the page. This will give the reader some time to read through some of the material and educate themselves on a product or service. Chances are high that if they are still reading the same page after 40 seconds that they have more than a passing interest in whatever a business has to offer. 

Webinars and SlideShares are two additional options that Business2Community advised email marketers to utilize in their newsletters. Webinars allow customers to gain a personal connection with a marketing representative as well as virtually meet with fellow brand enthusiasts from around the world. This can be an invaluable tool to create customer loyalty, especially when email marketing can seem so impersonal. SlideShare can also provide an interactive experience for customers that would rather not scroll through a long newsletter that looks the same throughout.

The classic format should not be overlooked
While gimmicks and tricks saturate email marketing discussions, strategists cannot underestimate the power of a well-crafted newsletter, according to a recent LifeHealthPro report. Contributor Josh Mellberg reminded marketing specialists that an effective newsletter will have a clearly identified readership, concise content and honest, poignant subject lines. Marketers should also actively promote their newsletters instead of letting them sit in customer inboxes. The new content should also be featured on company websites and offer plenty of links to other promotions.