Category Archives: Email Marketing Tips

Study provides holiday email marketing insights

Study provides holiday email marketing insights

The holiday shopping season is vital for email promotions, with marketers filling the inboxes of their email contact lists with news about product releases, last-minute sales and a host of other offers they can take advantage of as they shop for their loved ones. As much stress as consumers find themselves under during this time, marketers are undoubtedly feeling the pressure, too, as they attempt the final, make-or-break push to achieve the return on investment their firms have been seeking.

However, there may be more flexibility when it comes to hitting end-of-year ROIs than many marketers believe. Email marketing solutions firm Custora recently released statistics that help put the holiday promotion rush into perspective.

Holiday customers not as valuable long-term
Don't value those who make purchases during November and December too highly: The Custora report found that holiday customer acquisitions have a lower customer lifetime value (CLV) than customers acquired during the rest of the year.

The drop occurs across marketing channels, the study found. Email had a relatively low 5 percent decrease in holiday CLV, while paid search dropped by 13 percent and display advertising by 12 percent.

Perhaps the decrease in CLV reflects the increase in the volume of marketing efforts over the holidays, with quantity being prioritized over quality. Noting that Forrester recently predicted 838 billion marketing emails would be sent in 2013, the marketing team at McKinsey emphasized in a recent post for Forbes that more personal emails are likely to be the most effective.

"Given this backdrop, it's no wonder why relevancy should be a priority for every marketer," the McKinsey marketers wrote.

Think mobile
On the other hand, failing to prioritize mobile sales may get marketers into trouble this holiday season. Custora found that on Black Friday in 2012, total mobile sales increased by 50 percent in a single day.

As such, it's imperative that marketers make sure their promotional emails and websites are mobile-ready, as customers will surely want to utilize these tools on their smartphones and tablets in order to make purchases.

Don't get stuck on Black Friday
That said, marketers can afford to take a wider-lens approach rather than focus exclusively on the day after Thanksgiving. In 2012, the four-day period between Dec. 1 and Dec. 4 brought in more revenue than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, Custora found, while the days between Dec. 10 and Dec. 13 were just shy of the two major shopping days' joint revenue.

Taking these insights into consideration, marketers can feel empowered to target their emails in a more sophisticated manner than they may have in previous years.

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Consumers reading more emails on tablets

Consumers reading more emails on tablets

By now, email marketers know they need to adapt to mobile to keep pace with the competition, as the contacts on their email marketing lists increasingly go to their smartphones not only to read email, but also to check social media, surf the Web and scope out new brands and products. 

Of course, smartphones aren't the only mobile devices on the market: The acclaim and attention that Apple's recent release of the iPad Air garnered demonstrates just how popular tablets have become in recent years. Since these bigger devices resemble small laptops arguably more than their smartphone cousins, many users are going to tablets to perform many of the activities that were previously reserved for desktop computers – and email is no exception.

iPads lead the tablet trend for email
There's no denying the impressive rate at which consumers are turning to their tablets when it comes time to read emails. Movable Ink's recent U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report found more than 15 percent of all email opens occurred on a tablet in the third quarter of 2013, a marked quarter-over-quarter increase from Q2, when tablets made up less than 13 percent of total email reading.

The device that has seen the greatest portion of the growth of tablet-based email reading is the iPad. Apple's popular devices accounted for a stunning 14.29 percent of all email opens, leaving just 0.9 percent to Android tablets, the Movable Ink study found. That dominance stands to reason: iPad use alone grew by 10 percent between the second and third quarters of 2013.

With these statistics in mind, marketers can better focus their efforts. One of the difficulties of crafting mobile-friendly email campaigns is creating layouts that will look good across operating systems. When designing with the tablet in mind, however, prioritizing iOS over Android and other platforms may be an effective strategy.

Emails read on tablets create more conversions
Furthermore, considering how your emails will look on tablets offers rewards that are too great to overlook, as return on investment is particularly high among tablet-based email reads. 

Email marketing solutions provider Yesmail Interactive recently performed a study that revealed 56 percent of all mobile Web-based sales initiated by a marketing email were carried out on an iPad. Compare that to the iPhone's 26 percent and Android's 18 percent of mobile email-driven purchases, and the need for greater focus on how emails look on tablets becomes even clearer. Furthermore, iPads accounted for 25 percent of all mobile click-throughs and email opens, the study found, suggesting that customers may be much more responsive on tablets.

As such, marketers must begin to consider how they are going to take advantage of the convenience and pleasure the devices offer consumers.

"Emails opened on mobile have a better chance of reaching consumers at the right place and right time during the busy holiday shopping season," Yesmail President Michael Fisher noted. "Marketers should recognize that 'mobile' doesn't always equal 'smartphone.'"

Using tablets to increase your exposure
In a post for Tab Times, Softweb Solutions Senior SEO Executive Jagadish Thaker highlighted how marketers can take advantage of tablet technology to generate customers.

"The increased use of tablet devices has greatly transformed the way businesses interact with their customers and with each other. It is necessary to know how consumers leverage their devices in order to deliver a better customer experience," he wrote.

Thaker recommended firms strengthen their mobile presence to make themselves more visible, engaging social media and creating apps. He also pointed out that it's essential for firms to make sure their websites look good on mobile.

Given the high click-through rate among users who read email on tablets, it's particularly important to make sure that the landing pages to which your emails link are mobile-ready.

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Multichannel marketing can help dentists spur success.

Dentists partner social media, business emails for success

Marketing and dental practices may not seem to have an obvious relationship, as many people believe dentists get new patients merely through word of mouth. However, multichannel marketing, including business email lists and social media, is enabling those who care for teeth to be more effective in reaching new and existing patients.

Spurring practice growth                                
Especially in an uncertain economy, maintaining current relationships with dental patients while concurrently seeking new connections is critical to practice success. A recent article in Dental Economics explained how marketing methods, such as social media and utilizing email marketing lists, can help dentists and their staff accomplish these goals.

For example, many practices are utilizing blogs and email communications to effectively share simple information about healthy habits and care, let patients know about changes to services and disseminate photos, videos and fun facts, the news source explained., This type of content can help dentists differentiate themselves from other local practices.

Dental Economics explained that these channels can additionally be leveraged to "promote new dental technology and cutting-edge products and services sold in your office, share in-depth information about specific treatments performed or promote community events."

Partnering with social media                   
Email distribution lists can also be used to promote dental practices' social media accounts on networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. While the first two sites may seem easy and obvious choices, the ways in which dentists can leverage Pinterest may not be so clear.

According to the news source, there are many ways that dentists can  use the pin-board, photo-sharing website to help current patients and appeal to new individuals.

"For example, your dental practice may pin items such as 'Top 5 Ways To Keep Teeth Healthy,' 'Teeth Whitening Techniques' or 'Foods You Can Eat While in Braces,'" Dental Economics wrote. "If they agree, using your patients' before-and-after dental photos can create valuable content on Pinterest."

These efforts can also be used to reach out to patients who have been relatively inactive. A recent article in Dentistry IQ encouraged practices to designate one staff member to be in charge of contacting patients who have not been seen in 18 months or more. Email can be one way to catch their attention or remind them that they haven't been by to have their teeth checked out in awhile.

Email lists for marketing can be used to unobtrusively reach out to patients and underscore the importance of dental hygiene.

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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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