- Infographic: Holiday shopping on Twitter
- 4 things to Tweet about this Halloween
- 5 influencer marketing myths holding your growth strategy back
- What businesses around the world can learn from Japan
- Device and conquer: Global consumers let their fingers do the shopping
- 5 ways marketers are building better brands
- 5 ways to increase your Tweet engagements with emojis
- 4 steps that drive success with personal branding
- How to create and use hashtags
- How valuable are your followers?
- 3 ways to tap into trending topics on Twitter
- How to: Advanced search on Twitter
- How Quick Promote can get you noticed on Twitter
- See successful followers campaigns
- Top hashtags and keywords to use for Halloween
- 4 ways businesses can use Twitter Polls
- How to get your Twitter profile ready for the holidays
- The holiday marketing calendar you need
- How a retail company increased holiday sales with Twitter
- Have your holiday questions answered by the experts
- How a startup found success with Twitter Ads
- 6 things to Tweet about this Thanksgiving
- What to Tweet about this fall
- How to use Twitter to increase foot traffic
- How to prepare your business for Cyber Monday
- How to tap into mobile trends and increase in-store holiday purchases
- How to create stand-out Twitter Ads this holiday season
- Small Business Saturday checklist: How to get your business ready
- Top hashtags and keywords to use for Thanksgiving 2016
- The top 10 trends driving marketing in 2017
- See how to reply to customers on Twitter
- #TweetHour recap: How to stand out during the holidays
- What to Tweet this winter holiday season
- How to: Make a Twitter Moment that shows off your year
- 5 tips to make your holiday promotions stand out
- How to incorporate video into your content strategy
- See how to Tweet about gift giving holidays
- Recap: Twitter Ads experts answer your campaign questions
- Top hashtags and keywords to use to bring in 2017
- 4 ways to use the New Year to promote your business
- Our favorite articles of 2016
- 10 tips for choosing the best graphic designer
- 3 ways to create a consistent visual brand on Twitter
- 10 tips for launching your first mobile app marketing campaign
- How to plan for success in 2017
- Periscope tips: a conversation with @BoopFashionista
- 5 ways to step up your brand in 2017
- How to do influencer marketing right in 2017
- Customer journey mapping: What you must know
- The secret to more effective paid campaigns? Better organic content.
- How to manage your Twitter Ads campaigns with Flightly
- February lineup: Your essential marketing calendar for the month
- #TweetHour recap: Building your personal brand
- What to Tweet this Valentine's Day
- 4 do's and don't's of Twitter images
- Want to build strong influencer relationships? Focus on ease and value
- Top hashtags and keywords to use for Valentine's Day
- Tips for entrepreneurs: A conversation with Larry Kim
- Courting an influencer
- 8 ways to energize your B2B content marketing strategy
- Interviewing marketing freelancers? Ask these 6 questions
- March lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- Hidden Twitter tricks from a social media manager: the media library
- How brands can reach a second screen audience
- Meet the awareness campaign
- 6 things to Tweet this spring
- Spring clean your Twitter profile
- How better quality whitepapers can improve lead generation
- Top hashtags and keywords to use this spring
- It's now easier to manage the payments and billing of your Twitter Ads
- 5 Periscope tips for your brand
- #TweetHour recap: How to leverage influencer marketing trends
- How to use Tweet threads
- 5 tips for writing effective Twitter Ads copy
- How to use Periscope 360 for your brand
- How to spread your message with the awareness objective
- April lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- 5 things to Tweet this Easter
- How to create evergreen content with lasting engagement
- What micro-influencers can do for your brand
- The psychology of shareable content
- Top hashtags and keyword to use for Easter
- 7 tricks to produce content on a budget
- Data-driven tips for B2B marketers on Twitter
- What is relationship marketing?
- Mobile shopping doesn't mean skipping the store
- Content marketing myths that businesses need to stop believing
- How to fill holes in your content calendar
- Are you ready to handle your next company crisis on Twitter?
- Who to follow for National Small Business Week
- Is your marketing strategy protected against changing buyer behavior?
- 6 articles to help you craft your Twitter strategy
- How to start a content marketing campaign with no money
- How to make announcements on Twitter that build engagement
- Twitter named one of the top trusted brands for social and digital marketing
- May lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- 4 must-read articles for lean marketing teams
- What you can learn from your agency's social media feed
- 4 articles to help your brand succeed with smart design
- 5 things to Tweet this Mother's Day
- Top hashtags and keywords to use for Mother's Day
- 6 things to Tweet when attending a conference
- How to choose your hero stat
- Why goals matter to influencer marketing success
- 5 interesting ways to share your brand story
- 5 tips for more effective influencer marketing
- 5 things to Tweet this June
- Why you should focus on native and video advertising
- 7 tips for creating engaging content every day
- Before you hire a video production team, answer these important questions
- June lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- Top hashtags and keywords to use this June
- Hidden Twitter tricks from a social media manager: Tweet scheduling
- 3 ways brands can harness video on Twitter
- How to use Twitter analytics to plan more impactful Tweets
- 5 things to Tweet this Father's Day
- 5 tips for responding to customer mentions on Twitter
- Is your company giving video the love it deserves?
- Top hashtags and keywords to use for Father's Day
- What people want out of video content
- 3 ways to incorporate video into your everyday content
- Brand yourself — personal branding for business owners
- #TweetHour recap: How to incorporate video on Twitter
- 3 data-driven, engagement boosting ideas for lifestyle brands
- Need Tweet ideas? Here are 6 things to Tweet this July
- Repurposing your influencer marketing content for maximum value
- 5 data-driven tips for scroll stopping video
- Short video content: Creating a strategy for snackable videos
- July lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- Top hashtags and keywords to use this July
- #TweetHour recap: How to produce engaging video
- Video success story: MailChimp
- Need blog post ideas for your business?
- Creative, less-than-obvious ideas to promote your whitepaper on Twitter
- 3 reasons videos capture Twitter's mobile audience
- How do I create a blog editorial calendar that works?
- How to tighten up your content marketing strategy during a slow summer
- How to improve your Direct Message conversations with customers
- 7 articles to help you craft the perfect Twitter Video strategy
- How ClassPass does customer service replies
- 7 blog post ideas that will engage your readers every time
- August lineup: Key dates to help plan your marketing campaigns
- 6 tips for nailing your chatbot content strategy
- How to create personas and map content to the buyer journey
- 6 PR trends to check out in 2018
- 5 demand generation problems B2B marketers should be prepared for
- Organize your Twitter strategy around content pillars
- Artificial Intelligence: Terms marketers need to know
- Get help with Twitter Ads
- How often should I publish content? Content marketers on their cadences
- How to promote your Twitter chat
- 5 Twitter content formats that influence purchase behavior
- Customer care: 7 ways to provide stellar customer service on social media
- September lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- Defining your brand voice with Tweets
- Q&A: HelloFresh's Sr. Social Media Manager shares tips on developing your social strategy
- 10 creative ways to repurpose your data visualizations
- August roundup: Creative Tweet examples and marketing campaigns
- The do's and don’ts of hashtags
Email marketing strategies to drive ROI
Arrow down icon
- How to align Twitter content to your marketing objectives
- A thank you to our community
- Q&A: How fashion start-up Rothy's uses Twitter to drive brand awareness
- How to say more with short Tweets
- 3 reasons content is still king in the age of influencer marketing
- Get to know your followers with Twitter audience insights
- The 6 essential elements of an effective marketing strategy
- October lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- Everything you need to know about Twitter Moments
- 3 ways to build a brand narrative with short-form content
- September roundup: Creative Tweet examples and marketing campaigns
- 7 key steps to choosing the right social media influencer
- Q&A: How Sticker Mule creates Tweets that drive engagement
- The most important media and PR trends for 2018
- How to build an editorial calendar that gets results
- 5 brands that created Tweets for omni-channel marketing campaigns
- How to use GIFs to strengthen your brand
- 9 ways to turn ebooks into fresh content
- 3 things to consider when planning your 2018 ad budget
- Create a successful content marketing strategy
- Do you have a goal for your marketing email
- 5 effective ways conference presenters can use Twitter
- Content Marketing Institute shares blogging tips for B2B marketers
- Q&A: How InVision uses Twitter Ads for event marketing
- 7 ways to create Tweets that support your omni-channel marketing
- November lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- The pros and cons of AI in marketing
- The state of B2B content marketing 2018: Top stats and takeaways
- The power of branded illustrations and animation in content marketing
- 3 ways your brand can start leveraging Video Website Cards
- Creative roundup: Standout video campaigns from brands on Twitter
- Buffer shares how the role of a social media manager is evolving
- Budget series pt. 1: How to determine your paid social media budget for 2018
- Q&A: How a mobile app increases downloads with Twitter Ads
- 6 tips for a successful 2018 content strategy
- Gated vs. ungated: What content marketing pieces generate leads?
- Small Business Saturday 2017 checklist: 4 ways to get your business ready
- How to use content marketing tactics for internal communications
- Introducing Twitter Promote Mode
- 6 things you need to know to craft a compelling client Twitter strategy
- Learn how to create better Tweets with the Twitter Assistant
- Public relations trends: PR with visuals
- 2018 marketing predictions from the C-Suite
- Budget series pt. 2: How to allocate your paid social budget
- Simply Measured shares their social media listening tips
- Q&A: The marketing team behind @SimonBooks shares tips on creating impactful organic and paid content
- How to split the workload with your creative content agency
- December lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- Budget series pt. 3: How to ask for more paid social budget
- How to encourage user-generated content for your brand on Twitter
- 4 tips for providing effective customer support on Twitter
- 4 recurring hashtag trends that will make your Tweets more impactful
- 7 ways to maximize your online marketing budget
- How to get the most ROI from your branded content
- 5 brands that effectively use Twitter share their tips
- The secret to an effective hashtag campaign
- How to prove your content marketing success to your boss
- 5 articles to help your brand craft a 2018 marketing strategy
- 4 ways to build your thought leadership influence on Twitter
- UX and SEO best practices for multimedia content
- Evernote shares tips for getting organized in the new year
- Is your content creating the emotional connection your audience needs?
- January 2018 lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- Q&A: How B2B brand Airtable sees success on Twitter
- Boost your website traffic with these 3 social media tips
- Insider tips for creating a Twitter marketing strategy
- 7 useful insights you can learn from Twitter analytics
- 6 ways social media managers can deliver a great Twitter experience
- 7 research-backed ways to connect with Gen Z on Twitter
- How to measure demand generation: 13 expert tips
- February 2018 lineup: Key dates for Twitter marketers
- How to use social listening to leverage customer conversations
- Beyond vanity metrics: 4 ways to track how your Tweets are performing
Email marketing strategies to drive ROI
This article and expertise originally appeared in Business2Community. Steve Faber's firm, Most Pixels Marketing Solutions, specializes in email and content marketing.
If you’re using email marketing or considering it, there are several key things you need to know that drive long-term ROI. No matter what type of business you run, what vertical you’re in, or how your sales process works, email can help your ROI. There’s a reason it’s almost universally used by the most successful brands, large and small.
We help many kinds of businesses with email marketing. One of our primary focuses is helping contractors build their customer relationships and grow profitability. We’ve used an email marketing system, targeted at their existing customers as our primary tool. The journey has taught us plenty about what works, what doesn’t, and how to be more effective email marketers for our clients. Here’s what we’ve discovered about how to make email marketing more effective for businesses like yours.
Marketing challenges and the right email marketing system solves for small business owners
One of our clients helps small technology contractors with their businesses. About 25% have multiple locations, but most are single location enterprises. What we discovered while working with them for the last 4 years was an eye-opener. If you run or are responsible for marketing a similar business, our discoveries may be right up your alley. Even if your business is different in many ways, for example, you own 12 fried chicken franchises, an e-commerce store, or an aircraft interior panel manufacturer, many of the lessons still apply to your email marketing system.
Small business email marketing challenge 1: High intention, no time.
This is a biggie. Most of our customers are small to medium-sized businesses, typically with 25 or fewer employees and $5 million or less in annual revenue, although some are much larger. As such, there are plenty of multiple hat-wearers involved. The marketing director is usually the owner or someone else who counts a few other things as their primary responsibilities.
They have every intention of staying closely connected with their existing customers as part of their marketing function. Other day-to-day business operations intervene and keep them from any consistency if they ever send anything at all. Maybe they send a holiday mailer a few times a year, but that’s about it. To most small business execs, it’s an old story; 70 emails, 23 customer/vendor phone calls, 3 meetings, and 107 text messages later, the day’s end is long gone, and they still haven’t gotten to half the stuff on their day’s “To Do” list.
One of the first things to go by the wayside is any kind of regular communication to their past customers. Yes, they know it should be done, but so should addressing all those other issues that can have a much more immediate impact on their business. If it’s in your face, it gets your attention, and rightly so. An email marketing system can be a significant marketing time saver if you elect to do it yourself. If you outsource it, you’ll spend only as much time as you need to check your analytics (more on that later).
Small business email marketing challenge 2: Unsure what works best or how to go about it.
The other big challenge we’ve found is many small business owners have little marketing background. Sometimes they have little direct business experience. They started their firm after working at a similar one. One day they decided to strikeout on their own. Most were sales reps, technicians, programmers, designers, or project managers. Some had a combination of those roles.
While some have prior sales experience, sales is not really the same as marketing. Some sales reps do marketing as part of their job, though.
Marketing generates qualified leads that want what your business sells and is able to buy. Sales turn those leads into paying customers. A sales rep needs a steady stream of qualified leads if they’re to maximize effectiveness.
Many business owners don’t know exactly what works best to bring business through the door with the highest return on their investment in time and financial resources. For example, cold calling can be effective for talented, experienced sales reps, but it takes significant time. Those same sales reps would bring in much more revenue if they had a stream of qualified leads to work with. Sales and marketing activities that deliver consistently positive results and require minimal time and financial input are obviously preferred. This is doubly true for bandwidth-limited small businesses.
Small business email marketing challenge 3: They’re not copywriters.
Most of our customers are not copywriters and do not have one on staff. They’re not versed in the subtleties of crafting content that keeps their customers engaged long-term. They don’t know how to solve their problems boost desire, and have prospects take action when called upon. That’s vital in our case because a primary goal is for our clients to score new contacts from their old customers. The ultimate goal is to convert those contacts into contacts and ultimately into sales. For those owners or managers who can write compelling copy, see challenge #1. They simply don’t have the time.
What doesn’t work in email marketing
If business owners had dabbled in email marketing before, we’ve found 2 big mistakes they typically made that kept them from seeing the kind of success they were hoping for. As to what doesn’t work in email marketing, we are going to ignore the basics, like poor layout, cheesy graphics, and spelling errors. You’re not making these. The audience expects more from you.
Email marketing mistake 1: Sending emails that were primarily product, service, or company focused.
This is what email marketing means to many, especially to those used to retail marketing. It’s been the norm for many non-retail business too. Their emails were all about the new products from XYZ Company, all the arcane features, and why those products are so special. Images, yes, but just big product pictures, straight from the manufacturers’ stock, and product description (ditto). Some call this strategy “brochure marketing.”
The problem with that?
Others can sell those same products. Even if they can’t, a winning message is not about the product (yet), it’s about the problem and the solution. There is a place to talk about a product, but it’s very strategic, at the end of a sales funnel. Talking about a specific product and why it’s cool doesn’t deliver the small business’ audience any value, and value must always come first to build the relationship and maximize conversion rate.
“Product speak” only serves the business, except that it doesn’t, really. It’s a key reason behind email marketing failures. See closely related Mistake 2, below.
Email marketing mistake 2: Pounding their customers over the head with endless “Buy! Buy! Buy!” emails.
It’s all too common practice among email marketers. You’ve seen them too; probably the last time you checked your email. Your audience has too. They get that all day, every day from everybody else. Don’t fall prey to the temptation; your audience will just tune you out. Worse, unless you’re in restaurants or some retail verticals, that email style significantly increases long-term unsubscribe rates, and reduces open rates. At best, customers ignore those emails.
“Buy! Buy! Buy! this New 4K TV From Us Now! It’s Sooo Cheap!” “Sump pumps 25% off – Now only”
It highlights the need to target email marketing campaigns for specific audiences and markets. The promo style emails work well in the hospitality industry, where subscribers subscribed specifically to get timely specials and promotions. Having 2 for 1 chicken nachos tomorrow during happy hour? Yum, I’m on the way!
On the other hand. that style doesn’t translate as well to the software or contracting spaces, where the goal is long-term engagement, an eventual customer email or phone contact, and a consultative sales appointment. For example, when it comes to email marketing messages for custom AV or IT contractors, very few clients are going to buy a $80,000 system tomorrow because you just sent them an email today.
Think about it this way: Email marketing is just that; marketing. It isn't email sales. While selling directly from email messages can be highly effective in some spaces, we’ve found that it does not work well for technology, consulting, or building contractors. In fact, it can be a real killer.
Another reason blasting out specials doesn’t really work in the contractor market is simple. Customers aren’t buying components. In this case, our customers’ are contractors. They provide a solid value-add, and sell complete, installed systems. In most cases, their audience doesn’t know enough about exactly which components work with their system to know if that new network switch special the contractor just blasted out is even a good fit for their system.
Consultants work with businesses to strengthen their processes. Their prospects aren’t going to respond to “Buy Bombardment” either. They must demonstrate value first. Their consulting service is a large ticket purchase, not something bought on a whim because the price is 20% off. It’s about the value they provide and using email to help demonstrate that is what drives sales.
Here’s another example: How well would it work for a general contractor to offer a special on Glu-Lam beams? Not very well, probably. Who, but possibly other general contractors or framing contractors, would know if those specific beams would work for their project or what a good price would be? It’s all about knowing your target audience and ideal customer.
Email marketing mistake 3: Don’t make this one!
A common way many small business owners try to leverage content is simply using their vendor’s press releases as email newsletter content. Don’t fall prey to this one! Sure, it’s easy, but so is tripping over your feet. It can work for some highly anticipated products, but it’s a rarity. A big problem is those releases all lead back to the manufacturer. They stimulate interest; good. They make your audience go elsewhere, not to you, to get more info; bad!
The natural reaction to a press release on a product is going to the product manufacturer’s website for more info, even if you don’t link to it in your email.
If you do send out manufacturer press releases, add significant value to the basic release as part of your email. How does the release benefit your customer? How can you increase the value to them?