All posts in Email

Analyzing Email Marketing Benchmarks

The MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report provides some revealing insights into the email marketing trends over the last year, and provides insights for potential opportunities in the coming year. At more than 200 slides long however, the information is a little dense.

We encourage you to look at the original report to form your own impressions but to make things easier to manage, we’ve outlined three key insights we feel are the most applicable and beneficial for Business-to-Business organizations.

1. Measure the Right Metrics:

Some responses revealed a disconnect between strategy and tactics when it comes to email metrics. In aggregate, measuring engagement was seen as a higher priority than post-click conversion, but high engagement and high conversion were not always correlated. In fact, one response suggested engagement rates were highest in “knowledge sharing” pieces, while these same pieces also resulted in the lowest conversion of leads to sales.

“The most engaging content for our customers is knowledge sharing, but that tends to produce the least amount of sales leads.”
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What do I do? Ask yourself if the metrics you track are telling you what you want to know. If you want to know how many leads you generate from social media, you have to track more than the number of re-tweets. Remember, impressions do not necessarily equal sales.

2. Quality Content Is King:

Most responders (two thirds!) agreed that delivering quality content is a priority in email marketing, but nearly one third of responders noted that creating this content is presenting a problem. The inability to consistently generate relevant content was one of the biggest challenges faces by Business-to-Business organizations.
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Oddly, only a third of responders integrate the company blog (a potentially huge content source) with their email program:
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What do I do? If you can, supplement premium content like white papers or studies with lighter content like thought leadership pieces or guest blogs. This can fill the content gap and also give your subscribers one more point of connection with you, strengthening your relationship.

3. Make the Move to Mobile!

The responses around mobile point out a huge disconnect between what B2B customers want and what their corresponding organizations provide. One in four B2B users report viewing email on a mobile device and yet only 40% of B2B organizations design their emails to render differently and only one out of every six organizations integrates mobile marketing into their email campaign. Talk about a missed opportunity.
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What do I do? Even if you have already started the move to mobile, further integrating mobile into your email marketing efforts is a surefire investment. The percent of users accessing email through a mobile device increases monthly, so passing up this opportunity is just self-sabotage.

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These insights may seem obvious based on your experience, or they may be completely revelatory. The interesting thing to note was the consistency of answers to the majority of questions. In most cases, for better or worse, there was consistency among B2B organizations in terms of priorities, challenges, goals, strategies, short-comings and even individual metric measurements. In other words, they’re all doing pretty much the same things in the same ways, mistakes and all. But this insight also provides a perfect starting point for correcting that course, outlining a clear path for improvement in B2B email marketing.

The Changing Role of Marketing Technology in 2014

Foundational systems emerge encouraging a focus on people and data.

The past eighteen months have seen a considerable investment in the marketing technology space. From large software acquisitions to public offerings, many are attempting to grab a piece of this fast growing industry with considerable market space still up for grabs. Continue reading →

Email Management – 15 ways to take control of your inbox

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Are you frustrated with your inbox?  Does finding a message in your inbox take longer than several minutes?  Do you use your email as a to-do-list, storage area or reference system?

The prevalence of email at work presents several challenges when trying to remain productive.  Inboxes can be stored as electronic filing cabinets, sometimes containing hundreds of messages with no structure or organization.  The process of cleansing your inbox can be daunting, especially if you are accustomed to working in a reactive mode.

To help you process your email more efficiently, we’ve outlined 15 effective email management tips to help you take control of your inbox:

  1. Create an email schedule
  2. Read it, answer it
  3. Unsubscribe to e-newsletters
  4. Turn off social media notifications
  5. Eliminate spam
  6. Delete messages that have no value
  7. File, flag and set reminders
  8. Use filters, folders and rules
  9. Avoid selecting “Reply All”
  10. Enable an out-of-office response if you have limited access to email
  11. Delete duplicate emails and earlier portions of email chains
  12. Turn off signals that alert you to a new email message
  13. Archive old email
  14. Set aside specific times throughout the day to review your inbox
  15. Clear out your inbox daily

Once you have significantly reduced emails in your inbox, commit to sorting through new email right away.  Process your email several times a day, don’t just check messages.  Read the subject line of each email to help determine what  email to open.  Make a decision on each email – delete it, forward it to the appropriate person (and then delete it or file it), quickly reply (if you can do so in a few minutes), flag it for follow-up or file it for reference.  Delete any messages you do not need to read or keep.  Deal with each email as you open it.

Remember, email should not be the catch-all for work communications. If email is not the right way to answer the message, treat the message need as valid and describe what other channels should be used instead.  Sometimes a quick phone call or face-to-face conversations are more practical to clear up any confusion or confirm details.

Managing email overload frees up a lot of mental space, allowing you more time to accomplish your daily tasks.  Avoid the vicious cycle of email overload by enabling a daily time slots to process your emails.  Prioritizing emails will help you keep up with critical actions and due dates, improve your response time and help avoid messages falling through the cracks.  For more information on email management download our free white paper.

Is your email inbox out of control?  What methods do you use for organizing your email and emptying your inbox?