Monthly Archives: September 2013

B2B email marketing messages should continue to use custom content and segmentation.

B2B email marketing messages aren’t the same as B2C

Most individuals perceive email marketing lists to be the domain of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. However, business-to-business (B2B) online communications are being increasingly leveraged by firms that offer other organizations professional services. And while some of the same marketing tips and tricks apply for these business emails, there are a few key differences in B2B and B2C best practices.

For example, a recent article in Business 2 Community pointed out the need to avoid "NoReply" emails. This term is common among B2C companies and marketers, and communicates to recipients upfront that the email they're receiving is purely informational or promotional, i.e. there's no need to start a dialogue. However, as the news source notes, this is precisely the opposite of what B2B firms should be striving to do.

"Allow the recipient to reply directly to the email to open a rapport with you," wrote Business 2 Community. "This can be accomplished by redirects on your server or by bootstrapping the mailer to an active account directly (the former usually being a better idea)."

Additionally, the news source added that B2B email marketing messages should contain simple and quick links that the recipient can click on to learn more about your company, its products and how to get in contact.

Some best practices are consistent across B2B and B2C, though. ClickZ pointed out that even in B2B email marketing messages, companies will want to use segmentation and personalization to connect with clients on a deeper level. By customizing the content potential and existing clients receive, B2B firms can potentially garner more customers, boost revenues and build stronger relationships that can last over the long term.

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Psychiatrists are using online channels to connect with patients and their families.

Psychiatrists can use email marketing lists to promote blogs

Online technologies, such as business email marketing and social media, have opened up new avenues for physicians, psychiatrists and other care workers to stay in touch with patients and offer them helpful hints and information through an easy channel.

For example, Care for Your Mind is an online forum for individuals suffering from moods, their families and doctors to come together to discuss the status of mental health care and how changes introduced by the Affordable Care Act may affect them, Psychiatric News reported. The blog has already seen success, with nearly 5,550 total visitors – 1,500 of whom were directed to the site via external sources such as Facebook and Twitter.

Furthermore, the website is helping physicians and psychiatrists better aid their patients during a confusing transitional period in regard to access to insurance and the quickest methods to get coverage, the news source stated.

"I think that clinicians should go to the website for issues that are concerns for our patients," William Gilmer, a mood disorder specialist and associate professor of clinical psychology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, told Psychiatric News. "It helps us, as clinicians, to become better advocates and to help our patients become better advocates for themselves during this transitional period of our healthcare system."

Psychiatrists can further their reach with such blogs by employing targeted email lists. While many patients will be able to find the online help they need through networks such as Facebook and Twitter, not everyone has a presence on these websites. Instead, a majority of individuals still rely on email accounts as their primary mode of online communication, making email a critical channel for physicians of all specialties to engage with.

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With holiday shopping season around the corner, retailers are prepping their email distribution lists.

Retailers prepping email marketing lists for the holidays

With the 2013 holiday season primed to begin, retailers are already readying their email contact lists to maximize success. In fact, according to a recent article from Retail Customer Experience, store owners and ecommerce sites are preparing to kick off the shopping season before kids are even going door-to-door to collect candy. So, how are brands planning to stand out in the holiday melee?

Timing is everything               
A recent survey from Experian noted that nearly half (49 percent) of retailers plan on launching their first online holiday campaign before Halloween, yet most won't begin in earnest until two weeks out from Thanksgiving, MarketWatch cited.

The majority of retailers plan to funnel their marketing budgets into online channels, with 55 percent saying they will be leveraging their email marketing lists to reach shoppers. Some of the promotional tactics they plan on using within these messages include free shipping, e-coupons and deal-of-the-day offers.

Customizing the consumer experience               
One of the biggest trends retailers are expected to leverage is consumer customization, i.e. sending out specific deals, discounts and news based on customer purchase and browsing histories. According to the news source, while shoppers have now come to expect deep discounts – punishing those who don't offer them – businesses are looking for additional ways to catch their attention.

For example, some firms will be sending out business emails with tailored gift recommendations for existing customers. This can also work for how they offer discounts. If a shopper regularly purchases cooking supplies throughout the year, this may be a prime time to send him or her an email with a special coupon for these goods, and this can have a lasting effect, Retail Customer Experience noted. 

"Marketers who come up with creative ways to connect with customers this holiday season will not only increase sales in Q4, they'll also improve brand loyalty and continue to enjoy the payoff in 2014," stated the news provider.

To get started, it's important for retailers to take a hard look at their email marketing lists. Have they been updated recently? How active are recipients? Is it time to get help from professionals in the business? The answers to all of these questions could make or break a brand this holiday season, as pressure to see high returns increases.

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Email lists can boost effectiveness of communications.

Email marketing lists attract engaged consumers

Marketing channels have a tendency to rise and fall quickly with the whim of the public. One medium, though, continues to prove itself to be a mainstay – email. However, a new study suggests there's room for improvement in the field and the tactics currently being leveraged. 

According to research from Kentico, high-quality email marketing lists are able to capture and retain respondents. In fact, 37 percent of respondents subscribe to 1-5 email lists, with 31 percent receiving messages from 6-10 lists and 14 percent fielding communications from 11-15 lists. Of those 31 percent on 6-10 email lists, 48 percent read 75 percent of the messages they receive from their lists. Furthermore, email lists are able to hold the attention of consumers longer than unsolicited messages, with 57 percent remaining on one for 1-3 years and 22 percent staying for 4-6 years.

There are a number of mistakes, however, that marketers should keep an eye on, as they could be the difference between messages being read and being marked as spam.

  • Timing is everything: The study reported that 38 percent of respondents will mark a message as spam if they are emailed too often.
  • Content is king: Presumably, you're emailing shoppers who would be interested in your products and services. This doesn't mean you can produce boring and unengaging contact. Do this, and risk being tossed.
  • Maintain professionalism: Make sure business emails don't contain simple errors and typos. Proofread to make sure you have the basics covered.

And don't forget to go mobile. The number of consumers – regardless of demographics – checking their email is growing, reaching nearly half of all users, a survey from Yesmail found. If you fail to optimize desktop messages, you could be doing so at your own risk, EcommerceBytes explained.

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Creating email press releases are an art.

Don’t commit these faux pas when emailing press releases

A comprehensive email distribution list can help businesses and organizations reach new and existing customers to distribute different types of information. One of the most important types of communications firms send out may just be the press release.

The basics of a press release                            
Not all information is noteworthy and requiring – or even deserving – of being featured in a press release. However, if you're looking to notify consumers of a new product, service or company change, this could be the perfect venue as it gives customers a snapshot that can pique their interest to learn more.

The relative shortness of the communications medium can create added pressure for organizations to catch readers' attention and hold it. 

"In a job interview you have just a few seconds to make a first impression and it needs to be a great one," said Tyler Ragghianti of PR NewsChannel in a statement. "You get even less time with a press release. You have to hook a consumer, reporter or editor quickly otherwise the release gets tossed in the trash, deleted or ignored. It's as simple as that."

Common mistakes to avoid                                   
There are a million little ways organizations can commit a faux pas and render their press release less effective. Yet recent research from PR NewsChannel identified a number of the most commonly made mistakes in the business.

For one, oftentimes companies try to be everything to everyone, but this just isn't possible. You can't target anyone by attempting to appeal to everyone. Instead, organizations should find their audience niche and speak to them, according to PR NewsChannel.

Secondly, don't get fancy. Trying to get into the nitty gritty details of a complex product may be interesting to some, but for the majority of recipients it could end up looking like a bunch of jargon. Find your message and articulate it in a clear, straightfoward tone.

Business 2 Community adds that organizations will want to be wary of over advertising. While press releases are promotional by nature, they don't need to beg for business. Organizations should focus on providing information on their products or services and let that do the talking for them. This is much more likely to impress recipients and make them feel like business partners rather than walking, talking wallets.

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