Be small and smart. As a small business, you may not be able to match the access to staff, time and resources that big brands enjoy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t match the results.

 is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, and it can be especially useful for small brands looking to keep up with big players in their industries.

The right email marketing strategies can help you overcome budget and staff restraints, allowing you to better connect with consumers despite functioning on a smaller scale. With the tips below, you can level the playing field by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns:

Get Personal.

Big brands often have access to large email lists, giving them a leg up when it comes to reaching potential customers. Your list may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as impactful. Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails, making them a must for small businesses looking to compete with the sending power of the big guys.

To be most effective, personalization should go beyond simply inserting a customer’s name at the top of the email. Instead, use data you’ve collected from your consumer interactions, whether that’s from their purchase habits, email click history or one-on-one communications, to send a campaign that speaks with the consumer about something they care about. Do not send the same thing to everyone. Try changing images and content as needed to tailor your message.

Take Hofstra Law School, for example. When talking to prospective students at law fairs, the school uses iPads and digitally collects data like name, campus, year in school, etc., then uses that information to segment their audience and personalize follow up emails. Sophomores receive messages letting them know when Hofstra will return to their campus, while seniors receive application information. The more targeted and relevant your emails are to your consumers, the more effective they’ll be at sparking engagement.

Automate it. 

Personalization is key, but without a large marketing team, it may seem daunting for one person. That’s where automation comes in. Email marketing automation monitors how your audience interacts with your emails, segments them based upon preset parameters (i.e. did they open the email? did they click the “shop now” alpari button?) and tailors future emails to each segment. Instead of manually monitoring click-thru rates and sending customized responses, the workflow does it for you. These automation workflows should feel like a logical conversation you’ve sketched on a whiteboard beforehand — giving you confidence when sending out personalized campaigns.

Keep in mind that email marketing automation doesn’t mean, “Set it and forget it.” You may not have to monitor it on a daily basis, but it’s important to continually check the progress of your campaigns to ensure your workflows are effective. Use workflows as a powerful foundation that you continually tweak so your audience gets relevant content and your business gets results.  

Measure It. 

Analyzing campaign success and determining ROI is incredibly important in email marketing. In small and big companies alike, the analysis of previous campaigns will help shape future strategies and tactics. However, the struggle for small businesses lies in finding the time to compare reports from a variety of tools to truly see the effectiveness of a campaign. To save time, find an email service provider that integrates with a variety of easy-to-use measurement tools.

My company, iContact, integrates your email campaign with Google Analytics, giving you a comprehensive view of the customer’s path from email to conversion. Instead of comparing opens and link clicks to the total number of site visits and drawing indirect conclusions, integrations show the conversions that are a direct result of your email campaign. You don’t need a full staff to analyze ROI if you let smarter tools tell the story for you. 

Look the part.

You can compete with anyone online. The digital revolution has allowed disruptor startups to compete with mainstream brands. Take Badass Beard Care, the organic beard and hair-care line that operates with just a 10-person staff but is currently stealing market share from well-known boutique brands. The truth is that businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size can send polished email messages to reel in the “big fish.” You can do this, too, and your secret weapons will always be professional-looking landing pages, responsive email templates and dynamic sign-up forms incorporated into your website.

Email marketing lets you learn from the big companies and move with the determined agility that defines small business.

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Email Marketing

Chances are, your subscribers don’t love making decisions (to buy, to attend an event, to try out a new restaurant, etc.) on the fly. And that isn’t too surprising – who does? We all love mulling things over, debating options, making lists of the pros and cons… basically, delaying the decision-making process as long as humanly possible.

But marketers are a naturally impatient species – we all want our audience to do what we’re asking them to do right away. After all, a delayed conversion is oftentimes a lost conversion, so it’s important that you get them to act now rather than later.

That’s why you need to convey a sense of urgency in your emails. Your subscribers are busy, distracted, and faced with an endless amount of options, so it’s important to light a fire under them they can only put out if they act right away (figuratively speaking, of course). Here are four elements of your email you can inject with a sense of urgency to ignite your audience into action.



Your subject lines

Used sparingly and in the right context, subject lines packed with urgency can do wonders for getting your audience to open your emails. A couple of methods you should consider trying:

1. Pick a deadline. Urgency relies on the sense that time is running out, so deadlines are the perfect way to increase the urgency of whatever special offer you’re promoting. Times, dates, and phrases like “hours left” and “ending soon” do the trick. In this subject line, for instance,  makes great use of the phrase “expires tonight!” to compel subscribers to make use of a limited-time discount offer.



2. Use words in your  that invoke (some) anxiety. Think “hurry,” “now,” “go,” and “final.” We’re programed to get stressed out when faced with this sort of language; it tells us that we need to do a task right away and that waiting around isn’t an option. And setting apart each word with a period (like in this example from ) amps up the urgency even more.





Your CTA

This one might seem obvious, especially since the purpose of a call to action is… well, to call your audience to act. But you should pay special attention to the copy you use in your CTAs. Many marketers still turn to phrases like the dreaded “Click here.” (Remember: Over half of your audience won’t be clicking anything, they’ll be tapping on .) Instead, keep your copy urgent and specific, like in these CTA examples from  and .






Your email copy

The body of your email is a great place to include all sorts of urgent phrases – “final hours,” “ending soon,” “last chance,” and so on. Make those phrases the star of the show, and keep the supplemental copy to a minimum. It’ll gkfx怎样出金 take focus away from what you’re trying to get your audience to do and potentially distract them from taking action. That’s why in these examples,  and  keep the focus on big, bold phrases like “Final hours!” and “Gone in a flash.”






Your imagery and design

GIFs are a great way to inspire action – after all, we all feel a little itch when we look at a countdown timer or a ticking clock. Images speak louder than words, so allowing your audience to see the time slip away right before their eyes is one of the most effective ways to convey an overwhelming sense of urgency to them. We’re big fans of the stress-inducing GIFs utilized in these emails from , , and  – just looking at them had us wanting to act immediately!






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One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is how to engage with email subscribers. With so many email marketing companies competing for readers’ attention, it may seem nearly impossible to have someone read an email from start to finish. But, like Bill Gates famously said in 1996, “content is king.”

If an email contains compelling content throughout, it will drive subscribers to a higher level of engagement. Below are ways marketers can create and incorporate engaging content in an email campaign, from attention-grabbing subject lines to videos and interactive content.

Start with the subject line.

If a marketer wants to grab subscribers’ attention amid a sea of other marketing emails, they need to craft a great subject line. The majority of people read emails on a mobile device, and most mobile phone displays truncate subject lines at roughly 35 characters, so the subject line must be brief. Avoid redundancy, for example, including “June Newsletter” in your headline is a wasted subject line.

A subscriber receiving the newsletter already knows that it’s a newsletter, and that it arrived in June. The best approach is to use the subject line to highlight a few items from the newsletter and separate them with a vertical bar. For example, “2016 Email Marketing Tips | Social Media News.” The character cutoff also means marketers must put the most important information first. So, instead of saying “Purchase our newest products 50% off,” try “50% off our newest products.”

Write content that gets noticed

The body of the email is just as important as the subject line, so be sure the content lives up to the hype of the subject line. In addition to abiding by the basic grammar rules, here are some tips for writing engaging content:

• Don’t forget details. Assuming most people skim emails, including relevant details in the opening sentence is key to keep subscribers reading.

• Be concise. Similar to the subject line, it’s important to keep the body of the email concise. No one wants to spend a lot of time reading through an email.

• Include a call-to-action. Informing readers about a new product or whitepaper is great, but telling them to purchase the product or to download the whitepaper is even better.

• Keep it casual. A conversational tone is almost always the best choice for marketing emails. If you’re not sure how to write in a conversational tone, the easiest way to get started is to read your writing aloud. If you sound like a robot or a college professor, the tone is too formal. The best way to achieve a conversational tone is to use contractions and write short sentences.

• Get a second pair of eyes. Always ask someone else to read your work. Pick someone who can proof for grammatical errors and who’s not afraid to say, “This is boring.” Then use that feedback to write something better.

Mix it up

Adding a variety of content in emails enables marketers to connect with a broader audience. Here are some tips on how to best use different types of content:


How-to and tutorial videos are great ways to find a new audience, but there are many other ways marketers can use videos. Videos allow companies to humanize themselves and ultimately better connect with their audience. Videos showing employees engaging in some fun activity around the office or explaining their culture and corporate values are great examples.


Surveys are particularly useful in B2B marketing, especially if the majority of a company’s subscribers operate within the same industry. For example, marketers could conduct a survey about challenges in the service industry and share the results with those who participated.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download


Infographics are perhaps the most versatile type of content, because the format works well in newsletters, on social media and on company websites. Infographics also allow marketers to present statistics and survey results in an appealing, concise manner.


Consumers are sometimes faced with an overwhelming number of product choices, and buying guides can help them compare and contrast products without conducting multiple Internet searches. Include a link in the email to a guide on your website, and this can help keep a potential customer on your website, rather than leaving to find better information.

Creating engaging content takes time. Successful email marketers not only listen to feedback from their peers, but also monitor how their subscribers respond to the content, and are willing to make changes accordingly. Contact Virtual Focused Marketing for more information.


Cyber-thieves are sticking to email as their preferred way to trick victims into falling for scams, suggests a report.

The online crime groups were shunning mobiles and newer technologies in favour of phishing campaigns, said the report from Verizon.

The annual analysis catalogues more than 100,000 security incidents that hit thousands of companies in 2015.

Almost 90% of the incidents involved attempts to steal cash, it said.

The gangs were sticking to booby-trapped emails because they were proving increasingly effective, said Marc Spitler, lead author on the report.

And, so far, there was little evidence novel technologies involving net-connected gadgets or smartphones were becoming a popular attack route.

About 30% of phishing emails had been opened by people in targeted organisations in 2015, said the report, up from 23% in 2014.

And, of the scam emails opened, about 13% had been able to launch malware because staff had run the attachments they had carried.

This meant, said Mr Spitler, it often took just minutes for criminals to compromise the network of a targeted company.

“If an attack works, then it works very quickly,” he said.

“The phishing email typically leads to the installation of malware or the compromise of a user’s OANDA PC by some sort of malicious code that can establish control or persistence on a network,” said Mr Spitler.

Unfortunately, he added, although companies fell victim quickly, they could take far longer to notice they had been breached.

Statistics gathered for the Verizon report suggest 84% of the organisations questioned took weeks to spot that criminals had won access to internal systems.

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The Click-Through Catch-22

The most effective methods for boosting click-through rates are also the most challenging to implement.

Email marketing is kind of a big deal.

Marketers can leverage the channel to engage with customers in nearly every part of the customer lifecycle. Consider the following data from Ascend2 and Dun & Bradstreet NetProspex’s report “Email Marketing Trends—B2B Benchmarks for 2015”: Sixty percent of the 195 B2B business, marketing, and sales professionals surveyed use email to boost engagement; other main objectives include increasing lead generation (57%), improving acquisition and retention (43%), and enhancing lead nurturing (42%). And respondents seem confident in their ability to meet these objectives. In fact, 91% consider their email marketing somewhat or very successful at achieving company goals.

“Probably the primary reason why [email has] been so effective in a variety of areas like engagement is because most marketers are following best practices [of] opt-in email marketing—so people want to engage with them,” says Todd Lebo, partner and CMO of demand generation solution provider Ascend2. 

Of course, there are various ways to measure success. For most respondents, the key metric is the click-through rate. Indeed, 73% of professionals consider the click-through rate the most useful metric when measuring email marketing performance. Conversion rate came in a close second at 71%; open rate and email ROI—the next top contenders—significantly trailed behind at 42% and 40%, respectively.

Conversion rate and ROI are still important to measure, Lebo notes, but unlike click-through rates, they can’t always be clearly tracked. “Every email should have an objective of having some sort of action that a click-through rate can measure,” he says.

Although the click-through rate is the favored metric, it’s also one of email marketing’s greatest hurdles. In fact, more than half of respondents (53%) cite low click-through rates as the biggest barrier to email marketing success, followed by lack of effective strategy (42%), lack of quality content (33%), and lack of internal resources (32%). And while 41% of professionals say their click-through rates are increasing, more than one quarter (27%) claim that their click-through rates are dropping; nearly one third (32%) of respondents say their rates aren’t changing at all.

“It’s hard to get people’s attention,” Lebo says. “There’s a lot of noise now.”

How can marketers fight stagnant and falling rates and get consumers’ attention? According to the report, including a meaningful call-to-action offer is the most effective way to increase click-through rates for 65% of professionals. Respondents also cite list segmentation for targeting (51%), message personalization (44%), and testing and observing (33%) as other impactful methods. As Lebo puts it, the secret to a successful email strategy is ensuring that it’s customer focused.

“When you’re sending out an email, for example, it should be more about providing value for readers than trying to pitch yourself,” Lebo says. “Obviously, all marketing is about obtaining a sale, but you first have to build that loyalty by having high quality content…It’s the first step of getting a sale.”

Then again, the most effective tactics can often be the most challenging to implement. “Proving that you’re providing value and truly building loyalty with your audience is a challenge,” Lebo notes.

And the numbers agree: 43% of respondents say segmenting lists for targeting is the most difficult method to execute to boost click-through rates, and one third say the same for including meaningful call-to-action offers (33%) and testing and optimizing (34%).

So, what’s a marketer to do? Lebo recommends focusing more on list quality and less on list quantity. “The size of your list really is an irrelevant metric,” he says. “It’s more about the quality of your list [and] how engaged that audience is to your brand. As you follow that path to click-through rates, you can have a smaller list that’s much more targeted and much more engaged with you and that will be a much higher value. As you start looking at your click-through rate, you’re going to have more success.”

He also advises marketers to be patient with their subscribers and to see where they are in their customer journeys.

“If you’re introducing somebody to your brand and you’re jumping out right away with offers to your products before they decided that they need the product [or] that they trust you as a provider, then you’re not going to be as successful,” he says. “Having the patience to build at a program, to look at your marketing funnel, and [to] provide emails and content that address the specific levels of the funnel is probably one of the most critical elements that marketers need to address.”


Shorter Subject Lines Up Engagement

Email Marketers have 11 more days to take advantage of the month with the highest click-through rates

The marketing platform Retention Science analyzed over 1 billion emails sent in the past two years to pinpoint what types of emails incite higher engagement rates. The company claims that the emails were representative of a cross-section of retailers and brands, and were normalized to account for various sample sizes.

The Holidays Are Key for Email Marketers

Email marketers preparing for the holidays should take note that click rates are highest in October (30%) and November (27%), according to Retention Science. Unsubscribe rates are also at their lowest in November (4%) and December (5%).

Retention Science states that this is likely because consumers are on the lookout for deals during the holiday season. Indeed, emails with percent-off deals are 38% more likely to be clicked.

Consumers are most likely to unsubscribe from emails in August (28%).

Subject Lines Should Be 5 To 10 Words

Shorter subject lines directly correlate to an increase in open rates, according to the report.

Email subject lines that range from six to 10 words have the highest open rates (21%) overall, while subject lines with five words or less followed closely behind (16%).

Retention Science states that open rates dramatically fall when subject lines are over 10 words. Subject lines ranging from 11-15 words have an open rate of 14%, while subject lines ranging from 16-20 words have open rates of 12%. Emails with subjects of 20 or more words had the lowest open rate overall (8%).

This is mostly likely tied to mobile, as more than half of all emails are now read on a mobile device. Many email providers, such as Gmail and Outlook, even limit mobile subject lines to a certain number of characters.  

Marketers should condense longer subject lines to ensure that their wording is not cut off when being read on a mobile device or application.

Email Etiquette Matters

Punctuation also affects email open rates and increases open rates by 9%, according to Retention Science. The study also reported that subject lines with question marks are 44% more likely to be opened than emails with exclamation points.

78% of consumers say email etiquette has an impact on their decision to engage, according to a recent study by Fractl and BuzzStream.

FoxType Labs recently released an online etiquette tool for email marketers interested in checking the tone of their emails.

The new tool analyzes sentence tone and structure to grade emails on a scale of 1 (impolite) to 100 (polite). The company aims to help writers correspond in friendlier tones and offers a free Gmail plugin for users.

Via:Shorter Subject Lines Up Engagement