Category Archives: Email Marketing Tips

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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Responsive email could boost click and open rates.

Responsive design – essential to email marketers?

As smartphones grow nearly ubiquitous, the ability to use them for virtually every task is increasing. No longer are these devices merely conduits through which to call your mom or boyfriend. Instead, they now enable owners to check their social networks, shop for gifts and check the weather.

It should come as no surprise, then, that mobile devices are treading on desktop computers' stronghold over email. In fact, recent research from YesMail found that nearly half of all emails are opened on mobile gadgets. With their smaller screens and lack of mouse, smartphones present a challenge for companies, requiring them to adopt new content strategies, - such as responsive email - for their email marketing lists.

What, precisely, is responsive email?                                                     
According to a recent article from The Next Web, responsive email is designed to boost engagement between businesses and customers through the use of questions, fluid layouts and images, and personalized copy, depending on the types of device being used by recipients. For example, the news source pointed out, while a firm may include numerous paragraphs of information and photos in an email meant to be opened on a computer, responsive design enables a much shorter message and call to action to be presented on a mobile device.

"While traditional emails generally feature fixed-width frameworks, multiple images and paragraphs of text, responsive emails adapt to the device viewport size and display content accordingly, often skipping elements like blocks of text to allow touchscreen users to read and respond calls to action quickly," The Next Web wrote. "Responsive techniques allow designers to hide, stack, expand/collapse or modify content to optimize content display in emails on smaller screens."

Additionally, responsive design incorporates more functional aspects, such as larger buttons to allow for easier clicks with the touch of a finger and content that works without image displays. 

Surpass other marketing channels                               
Email being already one of the top marketing mediums for companies and organizations as well as one of the most effective could surpass anything currently available if techniques such as responsive email were employed, Dan Smith, vice president of product at Outsell, told 1to1 Media.

While the strategy will require marketers to educate themselves on the ins and outs of a more complex marketing tool, it could spur higher opens, more clicks and greater revenue.

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Promote clicks with personalized email communications.

Ecommerce retailers: Personalize messages for greater success

Email distribution lists have helped ecommerce retailers reach shoppers more effectively than is possible with other channels. However, new research suggests it may be time for online sellers to update their business email strategies.

According to the latest Ecommerce Quarterly from Monetate, email marketing referral traffic and conversions rates leading to ecommerce sites have declined since last year. Specifically, while Q2 2012 experienced a referral rate of 3.75 percent, this figure dropped to 2.36 percent for Q2 2013. Additionally, conversion rates fell from 3.56 percent to 3.34 percent year over year.

However, ecommerce outlets that use email marketing shouldn't despair. The channel still remains the most effective in terms of conversion and referral, with only social improving year over year. Furthermore, Monetate suggested personalizing emails.

Amazon already does this, sending out marketing messages to consumers based on past purchases and browsing behaviors. Monetate termed this "open-time personalization," as it requires online businesses to behave more intelligently and responsively. For example, if a blizzard is in the forecast, this may be a perfect time for sporting goods retailers to mail missives advertising coats, boots and other weather-related gear.

Personalization may grow increasingly important, as the number of retailers opening up shop on the Internet only grows and begins to push into shoppers' inboxes. In fact, another study from Daily Deal Media reported that 71 percent of merchants tout email as their most effective marketing channel. However, only 17 percent are satisfied with their online marketing strategies.

A good place for ecommerce businesses to begin is with a comprehensive and targeted email marketing list. With this resource, online sellers can make sure their efforts to create personalized content aren't going to waste, and their messaging is being delivered to those most likely to open and click.

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Sales emails: You may be doing it wrong.

Avoid committing sales email sins

Writing a sales email and a marketing communication may seem to utilize the same components, yet the two forms of correspondence leverage email distribution lists in distinct ways. If sales associates fail to realize this when reaching out to leads, they could be greatly hampering their own efforts and those of their firms.

Fortunately, there are a few key strategies individuals can keep in mind when creating sales messages to avoid these missteps and realize success.

Depart from the prototype                   
According to a recent article from Business 2 Community, a vast majority of sales communications commit the same sins: They use a stereotypical introductory formula that has the individual state his or her name, the company he or she works for and the product being sold. However, nowhere within in this message is a personalized touch that shows the salesperson understands the prospect's problem or even how the product or service being sold can address this.

One of the first things a quality sales email will do is discuss the problem the lead is having, the news source explained. This will demonstrate expertise and encourage concerned individuals to continue reading. However, every problem needs a resolution. 

"In your second paragraph talk about how your service or product will solve the problem so that people understand you are the potential solution to their problem," Business 2 Community asserted. "Talk about your service or product in terms of the benefits rather than [its] features."

But this may not be enough to ensure recipients take the next step. With this in mind, sales associates should include instructions on what to do next. The news source suggested that firms avoid making this next step too complicated. All that needs to be provided is information on what happens next. If they call a certain phone number, will prospects receive more information? Will they be connected with a sales representative?

However, sales associates should avoid bombarding prospects with emails, according to Guru in a Bottle principal Ardi Kolah. According to Kolah, the over-use of this channel can create "cognitive overload," which inhibits decision-making capabilities by limiting the amount of information individuals can retain. Instead of reading through a message, recipients will skim the beginning and skip through the rest, diminishing the chances of succeeding with a sales email.

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Mobile devices are becoming a common email channel.

Boost business email success with mobile optimization

While email marketing lists continue to be critical tools for businesses looking to reach new clients and customers, the way in which these communications are being accessed is changing alongside technology.

More than ever, research is underscoring the importance of optimizing email marketing messages for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.

Mobile is a key touchpoint for consumers        
According to a new study from Yesmail Interactive, nearly half of all marketing emails are opened and read via mobile devices, despite a marked preference for using laptops and PCs to read promotional messages.

This lack of active engagement with mobile manifests itself through click rates. On a mobile device, 11 percent of recipients click on a message after opening it, compared to 23 percent when using a desktop computer, the study revealed.

However, these rates do fluctuate by industry, with consumer services – those businesses that provide a service but not a good, such as Groupon or OpenTable - seeing the highest mobile click-to-open rate at 19 percent, while financial services brought up the rear with 2 percent.

"The discrepancy between click-to-open rates means many consumers are disregarding mobile emails," said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive. "Brands need to implement mobile-first strategies that rely on responsive design, customized content and easily clickable calls to action. Otherwise, their messages will be deleted or go unread."

These findings cannot be ignored, despite the devices showing lower engagement. The number of consumers exclusively reading their emails via mobile device stands at 30 percent, while 61 percent of consumers consider these communications on their mobiles at least some of the time.

It's a very small screen    
When marketers begin to investigate how to optimize dynamic email communications for mobile devices, one of the most important considerations they will need to keep in mind is the size of the screen, which allows for less content and more dynamic calls to action.

Research from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey found 75 percent of consumers said they are "highly likely" to delete business emails if they don't load correctly on their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.

For companies that cater to a younger target audience, leveraging mobile devices will be key, especially as the study found 88 percent of millen​nials open email via mobile devices.