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Developing content for your email marketing campaigns can sometimes feel like it requires a crystal ball or a lucky streak to get things right. This notion holds especially true if your ideal audience falls into that powerful rising segment of youthful consumers who have both particular tastes and a discerning eye for content. To help your brand capture the attention of these shoppers, and the substantial amount of spending power they bring to the digital world, let’s talk about some of the best ways to optimize your content with Millennials in mind.

Why Millennials Matter

Before delving into the particulars of this process, you’re probably wondering why exactly these people – born between 1982 and 2004 – matter so much to your company’s inbox prospects. According to Yahoo’s Ryan Jenkins, it all starts with the fact that the balance of power is constantly shifting toward this demographic when it comes to expendable income.

Specifically, Millennials stand to have the most spending power of any generation by 2018. Outside of this trend, the people that fall into this range also stand to account for a staggering $2.45 trillion in purchases by the end of this year. Finally, no other generation is as tethered to its mobile devices as the Millennials, meaning that brands who are trying to ride the wave of on-the-go mobile marketing must account for the influence garnered by this type of shopper.

Think Culturally

Now that you understand why the Millennials matter, it’s time to cover what these viewers are looking for in terms of inbox content. As Shea Bennett of Social Times explains, these consumers can’t get enough of content with a heavy cultural orientation. While other players in the world of email marketing are trying to jam overt promotions in front of the Millennials, your brand needs to “get with the times” if it wants to really generate some buzz.

Whether you highlight how your product is relevant to social trends or regional events and gatherings, the big key here is to tether your content to desirable happenings and movements. Simply throwing out an email that’s nothing more than a thinly-veiled “buy me now!” statement isn’t going to cut it with this group.

Keep Things Short and Sweet

As far as the length of your inbox offering goes, Bennett goes on to point out that brevity is a powerful ally when it comes to the Millennials. In fact, Bennett reports that two in five Millennials will simply abandon your content if they consider it too long or boring. Considering how much time and effort you put into developing these offerings, it’s safe to say that facing down an outcome such as this one falls firmly into the “disaster” category.

During your content optimization sessions, ask yourself the following question: “Would my son or daughter read this through to the end?” If the answer is anything other than a confident “yes,” it’s imperative that you head back to the drawing board and see if the message can’t be trimmed or edited down to a more desirable length.

Build with Mobile in Mind

Another strong tactic – this time from Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Krattenstein – revolves around the concept of building with mobile devices in mind. As we covered earlier, no other generation relies on interacting with email marketing campaigns via mobile platforms as much as the Millennials, so creating accessible and refined content for these devices is a must.

Generating templates and email messages that offer up a responsive experience is a good start. However, if you really want to win on this front, you’ll need to constantly test the end user experience early and often across as many devices as possible.

Leverage Social Media as Much as Possible

Finally, Krattenstein notes that successful email marketing campaigns don’t just take place in the inbox. If you really want to squeeze out the maximum amount of value from these initiatives, then you need to get active on social media and jump right into the middle of relevant digital conversations.

Tweeting out interesting content, sharing your email messages via Facebook posts, and firing off sharable visuals on Instagram all make the cut. Naturally you’ll need to figure out which social networks matter most to your portion of the Millennial demographic pie, but the idea of the “more the merrier” definitely holds some weight in this strategy.

As you can see, building a strong relationship with the Millennials is both highly important and challenging if you’re not prepared for this journey. However, with this newfound knowledge guiding your way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t connect with these shoppers on a deep, meaningful, and lasting level.



At the end of the day, there’s a reason why email marketing is known as the best way to reach your digital audience – when you do things right, nothing else can compare to the results that come with this process. However, just because there’s seemingly limitless potential held within this practice, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to a happy ending. To generate a powerful following – and the sales that come with such a contact list – there’s plenty that needs to go right for your brand. With this in mind, let’s spend some time talking about five fast and efficient ways to give your email marketing return on investment (ROI) a healthy boost.

Power up your Subject Lines

Since the first thing your viewers see when a new email goes out is the subject line, Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Samson points out that there’s no better place to start this discussion than with this portion of your message content. In order to capitalize on the ROI gains found within your subject line, Samson explains that you need to hit on three key points.

First, make sure that the subject line is useful, unique, urgent, and ultra-specific. Viewers don’t have time to waste on changes found within these headers, so get to the point and make sure it stands out in a big way. From here, try to identify your brand; it’s important that your audience knows exactly who is attempting to connect with them. Finally, great subject lines take these two attributes and add factors that promote trust and a rapport with the person on the other side of the screen when possible.

Show Empathy in Your Content

Once you’ve garnered that all important open via a strong subject line, Samson goes on to suggest that you continue to build goodwill with your readers by way of emphatic content. Making a point to highlight the fact that you’re willing to use this content to cover any questions, comments, or concerns regarding both the daily life of these audience members and your products or services shows that your brand is able to connect on a deep and meaningful level with consumers.

Avoid the Spam Filter

From a technical aspect, Eric Didier of MarketingProfs suggests that your brand can boost ROI by avoiding the spam filter. By avoiding “spammy” words both in your subject line and within your content, your email blasts can successfully bypass these filters and end up in front of your targeted audience.

Aside from succumbing to the temptation to use damaging words like “buy,” “free,” and “stop,” Didier also pinpoints coding errors as a way to trigger filtering on your messages. Before hitting send, make sure that your template functions properly on both mobile and traditional platforms. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when the response to this content is stymied due to unnecessary spam filtering.

Play to the Holiday

Is there an important or exciting holiday/event coming up in your region? If you answered “yes” to this question, then Social Media Today’s Veronica Taylor explains that you might be sitting on an ROI boosting goldmine. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or a more localized reason to celebrate, developing content that highlights these exciting times not only breaks up the monotony of generic offerings, it also helps your brand stand out while other organizations let these opportunities slips through the cracks.

Embrace the Mobile Future

Finally, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow from this look into boosting ROI, it needs to be the fact that embracing the mobile future of the email marketing world is vital to your campaign’s success. With more than half of all emails being opened on smartphones and tablets, it’s more important than ever before to get things right with your on-the-go customers.

Implementing responsive templates that shift to the needs of each device or platform, keeping message content brief and concise, and constantly evaluating the mobile experience from a critical perspective helps ensure that your brand is always on the cutting edge of this front of the email marketing industry and maximizing the impact of its mobile ROI potential.

Naturally, there’s so much more that goes into boosting ROI than just these five tips. However, if you’re strapped on time and looking for a few quick fixes to get things back on track in terms of extracting the maximum value from your email marketing operations, you’ll be hard pressed to find better tips that what we’ve covered here today. Once you’ve hit on each of these points and you’re ready to take the next step with your campaign practices, the sky is the limit in terms of your ROI potential.



By now, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme regarding statistics, data, and analytics in a lot of the helpful content on this blog. Considering how important these tools are to the email marketing process, this revelation should come as no surprise. After all, everyone loves a good figure or stat that helps support an email marketing decision or change. However, there is a growing number of voices in the community that claim these cold and calculating tools aren’t the only way to enhance your inbox content development and optimization.

Breaking down the Concept of H2H Marketing

So if there’s more to creating a winning email strategy than just facts and figures, what’s the missing ingredient? According to Gabriel Villablanca of Direct Marketing News, what most brands don’t mix enough of into the campaign process is the “H2H” marketing element.

H2H – otherwise known as human to human – marketing is all about answering a few fundamental questions regarding your customers and leveraging the power that’s held within these queries. Who are these people that open and read your emails? What are their needs and desires? And how can your organization create an email marketing experience that develops a strong emotional bond with these consumers? If you can answer these questions, Villablanca suggests that it’s only a matter of time before your brand stands as a titan in the inbox.

Why Bother with This Method?

For those of you who think that blending the power of H2H marketing with your established consumer data sets sounds like a lot of work, you’re not wrong. However, despite the hurdles that come with this approach, the Content Marketing Institute’s Andrew Davis notes that sparking these meaningful connections with your audience is well worth the effort.

The big takeaway from Davis’ piece on the subject is that in today’s ultra-competitive digital world, every connection counts and anything that helps differentiate your brand is well worth the effort. Basically, standing out in the inbox today and capturing sales requires more than just standard sales pitches and promotional gimmicks.

Gauging Your Current H2H Capabilities

Of course, simply stating that you want your brand to take on a more human element and expecting to see results isn’t exactly a strong plan. To really get off on the right foot, it’s imperative that you gauge your current capabilities and content practices. Specifically, critiquing your active consumer personas and previous email marketing efforts make the cut on this front. By sitting down and engaging in a little introspection within these areas, you’ll not only garner a better understanding of any inherent H2H capabilities in your current campaign, but also generate a better understanding of what you need to do to get up to par with this approach.

Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Next Campaign

Aside from ensuring that you know who makes up your audience and whether or not you’ve sparked any sort of connection beforehand, Deanna Baisden of Social Media Today also points out that it’s important to know your role in the inbox. In terms of creating a more humanistic approach within your email content, Baisden highlights three key roles – the informant, the creative, and the entertainer.

As the names imply, each slant on the H2H process aims to fill a certain void in the inbox that hones in on a certain need or desire found within the audience. The informant uses the stories of others and real-life situations to help enlighten and educate the person on the other side of the screen. This relationship often comes across as slightly more formal than the other two.

Brands that fill the creative slot seek to inspire the inbox audience with content that shows unique or intriguing response to concerns or problems. For those that take on this role, thinking “outside the box” definitely takes a spot at center stage. As for the entertainer, this approach is all about engaging your viewers with high quality offerings that fit the specific interests of the group. Humor is usually a big player in most campaigns that follow this path.

Figuring out which role to take on requires quite a bit of soul-searching on behalf of your brand. However, with this information in hand, as well as the rest of what you’ve learned here today, there’s no reason why your company can’t navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters of the inbox and reap the rewards that come with adding a greater amount of H2H elements to your campaign practices.



Coming up with unique and impactful content on a regular and consistent basis is far from an easy affair. In fact, if you’re not ready for the strain that comes with this process, you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with the demand for meaningful and engaging offerings generated by your inbox audience. To help keep your head above water, and ensure that you’re always a must-read member of the email marketing community, let’s spend some time talking about how content curation can add a new dynamic to your content approach.

What Is Content Curation?

Of course, if you’re not familiar with the term, chances are that the notion of content curation doesn’t spark too much of a response as you’re reading this post. With this in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the process, as explained by Kristina Cisnero of the HootSuite blog.

As Cisnero points out, the idea of content curation is all about sifting through blog posts and other pieces of content on the web and bringing only the best offerings to your target audience. Naturally, citation and proper referencing is a must when leveraging this practice, but even with these requirements, content curation can help keep your brand stay at the heart of the conversation – even when it’s not your content on display.

Sifting Through the Big Differences

It doesn’t take an email marketing professional with years of experience under his or her belt to see that the idea of promoting other people’s content is a big departure from the standard take on creating your own branded offerings. However, there’s other subtle differences that are worth mentioning when the conversation turns to a comparison between curation and creation.

For starters, heading down this path requires an intricate understanding of what other movers and shakers are doing within your industry. While creating your own content is often a more closed off experience, curating from other sites requires a significant jump in external activity. Additionally, curation also stands as an opportunity to promote other organizations and thought leaders, thus creating unique relationships and boosting the reach of your brand within the community.

Is This Process Right for Your Email Marketing Campaign?

Now that you’re up to speed with the curation process, it’s time to answer the big question – is this approach really right for your brand? According to The Content Marketing Institute’s Mark Sherbin, the answer to this query requires digging deeper into your overarching content philosophy.

Before allocating and curating content for your inbox messages, step back and ask yourself a few questions. Is it okay to showcase the work of others in your emails? Do you need to seek out permission for the usage of these pieces? Is there even enough content to curate in the first place? By answering these questions now, you can ensure that your brand gets the most out of this powerful take on the content development front.

Getting the Most out of Content Curation

Should you decide to take on the content curation approach as a way to switch things up with your email marketing audience and reduce the strain of constantly creating offerings for the inbox, Matthew Collis of The Huffington Post offers up a few tips to help you excel via this practice.

To start, Collis suggests that variety take center stage with your curation process. Bringing new voices and takes on industry issues and concerns to your audience is all about making a splash, so don’t be afraid to switch things up by leveraging a large selection of both authors and content types.

Additionally, if you’re able to, try and add your voice to the conversation. Even little blurbs and responses to these pieces of curated content in your weekly messages can go a long way toward showing your readers that you are not only up-to-date with the latest news, but also willing to give your own take on the subject.

Collis also points out that tracking the response from your audience to these pieces can help you decide when, where, and how to optimize your curation approach. By listening to what your viewers have to say via feedback, as well as tracking clicks, your brand can refine and adjust the type of content – and the frequency at which it is sent out – in order to create a more enjoyable curated experience. When paired up with your unique offerings, it won’t be long before this supplemental take on content development has your brand standing as an innovator in the inbox.



More brands than ever before are using email marketing to reach out to customers around the globe – this is no big secret. However, just because awareness of this powerful tool is on the rise, that doesn’t mean that every brand walking down this path comes off with a distinct and memorable voice. To ensure that your brand’s style and tone stand out, let’s spend some time talking about the best ways to find your voice when creating content for your upcoming email marketing campaign.

Don’t Assume You Already Have a Good Grasp on This Process

In his look at finding your brand’s voice and generating unique inbox content, Business 2 Community’s Arek Estall points out that doing things “the way you’ve always done it” is one of the most dangerous mindsets an organization can rely upon during the content development phase. Yes, leveraging consistent themes and approaches from the past can be helpful – especially if you’ve already spent some time thinking about your content style and tone – but failing to explore new ground and try out new methods is a quick way to end up as a dull and unexciting option to your target consumers.

Build a Plan for Optimization

Once you’ve kicked the concept of “resting on your laurels” out the front door, Estall explains that it’s time to come up with a strong plan for your branded voice. How would you describe your company’s principles, brand values, and mission? Are these things that translate well to the inbox, or do you need to support this medium with content that goes beyond basic text and imagery?

Asking these questions isn’t easy; in fact, if you’re new to the process, this whole ordeal can be a little time consuming. However, by hashing out the overarching direction of your email content campaign, you and your team of marketing experts can then start filling in the details with content ideas and writing styles that support the chosen tone and image.

Create a Style Guide

If all of this feels like it’s too much to handle in just one sitting, Anne Marie Kelly of MarketingProfs suggests creating a style guide based on your findings during the planning phase. This document should seek to answer both technical and content direction-oriented questions, as well as serve as a guideline for specific style decisions.

Think of it this way: Should you find yourself wondering how to phrase a promotional message, or whether or not a topic is acceptable based on what you know about your audience, the content style guide should step into this situation and serve as a spotlight that points your brand in the right direction. At the very least, this type of guide can help ensure that you feel comfortable with a new approach to content by operating as a tool that was created via data-driven thinking and consumer insight.

Don’t Be Afraid to Audit

Kelly goes on to note that whether you use a style guide or keep the process a little more fluid, it never hurts to regularly audit your content and general take on your brand’s inbox voice. Depending on your target audience, the type of content that these people need and crave can change from time to time, so it’s okay to take things back to the drawing board if necessary. After all, isn’t staying proactive on this front a better call than ending up with dated or useless offerings in the inbox?

There’s always the chance that the audit comes back with no changes needed – which is definitely the optimal outcome. However, if and when the time comes for a change in your content voice or orientation, you’ll be glad you took the initiative and conducted a thorough and objective audit.

Communication Is Key

Finally, if you have any questions about which direction you should take your branded voice, don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted team of email marketing professionals. As Kelly and countless other industry thought leaders explain, having this kind of professional experience on your side can go a long way. Whether you’re new to the market, or just looking to bounce some ideas off of a seasoned expert, this support system ensures that your brand has what it needs to truly stand up and let its voice shine in the inbox. Considering how important it is to be heard on this platform, it makes perfect sense to get your brand’s voice in order as soon as possible.



By now, you know without a doubt that email marketing is the biggest player in the world of digital brand awareness. More consumers are connecting with organizations in the inbox than ever before, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. However, this process is far from infallible. To ensure that you get back on track for success in the event of an email marketing stumble, let’s talk about some of the best ways to revamp and reinvigorate your inbox campaign.

Put Your Tools to Good Use

Considering that email marketing is all about making the most out of modern technology, it makes sense to start this conversation off with a look at your digital tools and how best to put these assets to good use. As Jason McDonald of LinkedIn points out, there’s plenty of options to consider as you refine and optimize this content. From free subject line testers to HTML previewers that ensure your coding comes out clean and flaw-free, presenting a technically sound and attractive email shouldn’t be relegated to the territory of guesswork and uncertainty.

Get Personal

Outside of keeping your digital tools and practices in top shape, Business 2 Community’s Amanda Clark suggests getting personal with your audience. For some brands, this means personalizing content and leveraging the power held within your consumer data to make the email marketing experience more intimate and unique. If you don’t have this data to help guide your decision-making process, then now is as good a time as any to start surveying members of your list and utilizing other sources of “Big Data” and viewer information.

Free Stuff Makes a Difference

Perhaps the most powerful way to get back on track with your email marketing campaign is by giving away free stuff. Yes, on paper adding more costs to a failing endeavor seems like bad business. However, analyzing the situation from a more grounded and industry-relevant perspective proves just how wrong this initial assumption is when it comes to the inbox.

As Clark goes on to explain, few methods offer up as much potential for goodwill and immediate impact as a giveaway. Even if it’s something as simple as a coupon or test product, letting these customers and contact list members know that there’s something tangible and worthwhile waiting for them should they participate in this outreach initiative goes a long way toward restoring the impact of your campaign.

Re-Evaluate Your Timing

Another area that could be tanking your inbox operations comes in the form of poor message timing and frequency. Specifically, Direct Marketing News’ Andrew Corselli points out that even the best content around doesn’t stand much of a chance if you’re unable to get it out in front of viewers when they’re most likely to open the email.

Because of this reality, ensuring you always test new timing strategies and avoid resting on your laurels is not just recommended, it’s virtually essential. Sometimes making a switch based on shifting consumer needs and trends is a tough pill to swallow. However, when compared to the alternative – a failed email campaign – it’s easy to see that making the switch is well worth the effort.

Try a New Template or Email Approach

In some cases, it might be time to take your actual content back to the drawing board in order to get things back on track. According to Search Engine Journal’s Alex Bashinsky, one of the best ways to go about this is by trying out a new template or basic structure for your content.

Change for the sake of change obviously doesn’t make much sense, but just like testing out your timing and frequency, sometimes consistently exploring new territory can help uncover a theme or style that resonates more closely with your audience. Even if it’s something as simple as a new template for your base message, switching things up can go a long way toward catching the attention of your viewers.

Check the Quality of Your Contact List

Finally, take some time to guarantee that there’s actually someone waiting for your content on the other side of the screen. Far too often, brands that purchase or fail to maintain accurate contact lists end up firing off emails to dead end or incorrect addresses. Even if you’re not an email marketing expert, it doesn’t take much to see that either of these scenarios are literally “no-win” situations.

Thankfully, if you stay on top of monitoring and maintaining your contact list – as well as putting to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why your future campaigns can’t end up standing as shining examples of the true power held within this practice.



Sometimes, the biggest problem that comes with running a strong and consistent email marketing campaign isn’t found on the technical side of the process. In fact, once you’re set up with a strong and consistent platform, keeping this well-oiled machine in motion is actually pretty easy. Where most brands get tripped up is with the creation of their content.

While you might not feel the same pressure as Hemingway or Twain, facing down writer’s block when it comes to your marketing messages is never a good thing. With this in mind, let’s talk about five quick and effective ways to repurpose some of your old content. This way, you’ll not only get through the tough times when fresh ideas are scarce, but you’ll also be able to breathe new life into content that still has plenty to offer to the people on the other side of the screen.

Break down an Old Blog Post

At the top of the list of repurposing ideas, according to Search Engine Watch’s Salma Jafri, is splitting up old blog content and leveraging these ideas in upcoming emails. Considering that the value held within these informative and engaging selections, it makes sense to “spotlight” key points and concepts as part of your inbox strategy. The best part? For particularly relevant or poignant posts, you can pull multiple topics and excerpts to keep the excitement and intrigue flowing with your email marketing audience.

The Same Goes for eBooks

On a similar line of thought, if you have an established eBook that might be relevant to your growing email audience, there’s no reason not to repurpose this content and offer it up to your readers in the inbox. Naturally, distilling this long-form offering into a series of interconnected messages can take a little more time and effort when compared to the work that goes into doing the same for a typical blog post.

However, this additional commitment can solve your content creation problems over a far greater period. Instead of developing one email, the repackaged message found within your eBook can span days or even weeks, thus capturing the attention of your inbox following and keeping these viewers eagerly awaiting the next installment in this ongoing series.

Leveraging Your Social Content

In terms of making the most of digital marketing overlap, Erin Everhart of Search Engine Land suggests tapping into your social media profiles as a way to generate message ideas and content. Whether you highlight a tweet, a post, or a pin of your own, or if you take this opportunity to help boost the reach of an industry influencer or respected voice, integrating social content into your email marketing plans is a quick and efficient way to tether these two powerful platforms to one another. For those who are willing to go the extra mile, there’s also the opportunity to keep this interconnected approach moving forward by promoting awareness of your email contact list via these established profiles.

Share Your Video Content

If your brand already has a stable of YouTube postings or on-site video content, why not incorporate this media into your next series of email blasts? Obviously it’s important to verify that this portion of your brand following has an interest in this type of content, otherwise you run the risk of sending these inbox viewers irrelevant messages. However, once you get the green light from your consumer data regarding the content preferences of your contact list, then you’ll have another type of medium to lean on as you continue to stand out from the competition.

Update an Infographic

Finally, the Content Marketing Institute’s Arnie Kuenn points out that infographics – when properly sized and rendered – can excel as a form of repurposed content. The big key to keep in mind on this front is that sending out infographics as part of your email content means updating these offerings from time to time. If you’ve ever worked with infographics before, then you know that this form of content requires the utmost care when it comes to data and information. The last thing you want to do is send out an email with dated – or flat out wrong – information standing center stage.

Naturally, you don’t want to rely solely on repurposing content from your digital endeavors as the fuel that feeds your email marketing fire. However, letting this practice guide the way from time to time can help keep things running smoothly as you continue to engage and interact with the people who make up your inbox audience.



With the mercury rising to higher and higher levels in thermometers across the country and air conditioners running on full blast, there’s no denying that one thing is on everyone’s mind; summer is officially here. Unfortunately, plenty of brands out there fail to take note of this trending topic and continue along in the inbox with a “business as usual” mentality. To ensure your brand stands out this summer and doesn’t get lost in the flood of generic offerings coming from the competition, let’s talk about five of the best email marketing tips for your upcoming summer campaign.

Go Regional with Your Content

According to Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye, there’s no better place to start than with regionally relevant content. Naturally, this can be harder for the bigger brands to pull off, but if you’re able to integrate references and relevant information about local events, happenings, and other topics into your content, then you have an opportunity to really stand out and capture the attention of specific communities. Even if you don’t dig into highly specialized neighborhood happenings, simply covering citywide events and other outings in a particular area can help keep the goodwill flowing into your brand image.

Talk about Summer Behavior

Similarly, there’s also the concept of tailoring your overarching content tone toward a more “summer-oriented” style and direction. Discussing gardening, getting ready for the beach, or any other seasonal behavior might seem a little out of place at first, but this approach falls right in line with a sound email marketing strategy.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everything you send out to your contact list members has to be related to a product or service. Sometimes, it’s okay to take a moment and talk about something – in this case, summer activities – that’s both relevant and interesting to your audience.

“Christmas in July”

Nye also suggests utilizing the “Christmas in July” tactic as part of your summer email marketing initiative. It might seem a little awkward at first, but creating a sense of urgency for the holiday season now is both effective and engaging; if you’re able to pull it off properly.

Essentially, a Christmas in July email campaign or sale needs to hit on two key points – encouraging the consumer to start holiday shopping early and offering real value to incentivize the process. If you’re not able to hit on these aspects of the process, then don’t be surprised when even the most well-crafted summer email content falls flat on its face.

Offer up a Seasonal Giveaway

If you’re not looking to run a sale, but rather generate some excitement via a giveaway or contest, Jonha Revesencio of The Huffington Post points out that the summer season offers up the perfect timing for this tactic. A surefire way to win big on this front is by blending in practicality to the process.

As Revesencio goes on to explain, people can really appreciate offerings that fill a practical need during these hot summer months. Even if your organization doesn’t offer up a product or service that fits in line with this mentality, that doesn’t mean that branded sandals, sunglasses, and other giveaways can’t fill this void.

Give Summer Tips and Health Advice

Finally, if you’re all out of other ideas, don’t be afraid to send out an email that’s a little more educational in orientation. The rising temperature comes with plenty of perils, so a simple and straightforward tips and advice edition of your weekly brand newsletter can go a long way toward keeping your audience informed and safe.

Whether you cover information regarding sun safety and extreme weather warnings, or simply decide to focus on lawn-care advice and other relevant summer discussions, setting aside the promotional content for a day is a powerful and effective tool for bonding with your valued following. The best part is that this tactic extends to other seasons as well, so you’ll never have to worry about coming up with something to write about when the fall, winter, and spring months pop up on the calendar.

At the end of the day, staying seasonally relevant – especially during these hot summer months – is all about finding new ways to transfer value to your audience. This basic premise is the guiding light behind email marketing, so finding creative ways to incorporate summer and other major yearly events into your campaign approach ensures that you’ll always be relevant and engaging.



If there’s one thing you can count on in the digital world, it’s that most communities on the Internet love a good argument. When it comes to weighing the merits of email marketing and social media against one another, this adage holds strong with endless debates promoting both sides of the discussion. Unfortunately, for brands that are trying to fit both of these processes into an optimized and streamlined marketing strategy, this constant arguing doesn’t come close to answering the big question on everyone’s mind – which path is better for your company? To answer this dilemma once and for all, and ensure you’re not wasting a single dollar of your digital marketing budget, let’s delve into the benefits of both email marketing and social media management to see which one comes out on top.

The Power of Social Media

Since we primarily deal with email marketing, let’s start off with the challenger to the throne, social media. As marketing expert Jeff Bullas explains on his personal blog, there’s plenty that social media management has going for itself in terms of reach and potential benefits. For starters, there are currently over 2 billion active social media accounts on the web.

If you’re looking to dig a little deeper, this equates to a daily total of 4.5 billion likes on Facebook, 500 million tweets on Twitter, 70 million photo uploads to Instagram. Google+ also has an astounding 5 billion +1 button hits in this same time-frame. Needless to say, in terms of activity, it’s hard to deny that the world of social media is virtually humming with prospective clients and other interested parties.

Making the Case for Email Marketing

Of course, email marketing has plenty going for itself as well. In his look at the virtues of reaching out via the inbox, Stewart Rogers of Venture Beat points out that some sectors of this approach – namely mid-size businesses – enjoy an average return on investment of around 246 percent on the initial cost that goes into email marketing. For the smaller and enterprise-level businesses out there, these statistic still hits a more than impressive level of 183 and 117 percent, respectively.  As Rogers so eloquently puts it, email marketing is still the king when it comes to sheer impact, even if social media is a more expansive platform.

Which One’s Better for Your Brand?

So with this knowledge on hand now, it’s time to drop your social accounts and go all in on email marketing, right? While this kneejerk reaction seems right, Business 2 Community’s K.C. Claveria explains that it’s not exactly the best way to approach the situation.

Yes, email marketing offers up the biggest bang for your buck. In fact, Claveria points out that it should stand as the centerpiece of your digital strategy if you’re truly looking to maximize your impact with potential clients and consumers. However, email marketing operations truly thrive when you nurture and support these campaigns via secondary methods – like proper social media management.

Moving Forward with a Smart Plan

In order to get the most out of these two complementary outreach tools, it’s time to rethink your take on the discussion. Instead of worrying about which one is best, try to focus on promoting both platforms to the best of your abilities. As Pamella Neely of Web Marketing Today suggests, this all starts with finding simple and effective ways to integrate social media with your greater email marketing plans.

For instance, finding common ground between your inbox and social consumer segments can serve as the impetus for developing content for both groups. Once you have these offerings in hand, don’t be shy about letting each branch of your online community know that access to other similar selections can be had by joining the opposite platform. Acknowledging both outreach methods via your blog keeps this newly integrated trend moving in the right direction.

Additionally, you can also incorporate social share buttons on your email content as a way to help the truly stellar messages go viral with new online audiences. Even doing something as simple as using Facebook’s built-in opt-in feature can drive more traffic to your email contact list.

The big point to take away here is that as long as you’re willing to explore new territory, there’s no reason why you can’t bolster the reach of your inbox initiatives with the support of savvy social management practices. Considering how important both are to your digital prospects, it’s easy to see why getting behind these approaches can do wonders for your connection to the consumers that matter most.



Our President and CEO Robert Burko was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his email marketing expertise. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Robert joined Buckner to discuss effective email marketing and how you can build the best marketing automation program.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation [Full Interview Below]:

TechnologyAdvice: One of the best aspects of email marketing is the ability to reach customers directly, in the ways they want to be reached. Can you talk about that?

Robert: The catchphrase around the Elite Email office is, “We achieve success when we send the right message to the right person at the right time.”

That’s truly the secret ingredient of effective email marketing. The nice thing is that you do get so much data, so the answers are out there. For example, if you try to sell me women’s shoes, I’m not going to buy that. If you try to sell my wife men’s suits, she’s not going to buy that.

So you have to know the email you’re sending out to your audience is important, but when they open that email, it also has to be incredibly relevant. If it’s not, they’re not going to open it in the future, and they’re certainly not going to buy anything. There’s no way you have a mailing list where every single person has the same demographics.

That’s why we made it so easy on a lead email to segment your list in all these different ways, so you can send this version of your email to that group, and another version of your email to another group.

So, we’re seeing a huge trend in terms of that relevance and the nice thing is it benefits both the recipient, who is now getting better emails, and the business, who is now converting more, because people are actually engaging and clicking that “buy now” button.

TA: What are some of the most important strategies to think about as you create the best marketing automation campaign or program possible?

Robert: Marketing automation is great, everyone loves things on autopilot. The one thing I hear from business owners and marketing managers around the globe is that they don’t have time. That’s the commodity we’re all missing. It’s so scarce these days. So when you automate a process, you are essentially getting back some of that time —  and it becomes measurable, which is great.

The mistake people make is when they try to automate a process before that process has been refined, and before that process has been polished.

So I always say the first thing you want to do is really focus on your actual emails. And even a step before that is to focus on where your leads are coming from. Who is getting these emails? Where’s the data coming from? Is it a lead captured from your website? Is it a trade show? How are you funneling people into the machine? We always talk about feeding the machine. How are we feeding our marketing automation machine?

So we have to know where the data’s coming from. Well, to know where the data’s coming from, we have to stop and say, “How do we speak to these people? What are their pain points? What are they trying to accomplish? What are their goals?” Because now you have to build emails that really speak to that.

So we know where they’re from, we know who these contacts are, we know who the subscribers are. How do we build an email that A, has the right subject line that’s going to make them want to open it? Because people can skip over it if it doesn’t look captivating. And B, once they do open your email, how do we put super relevant content in that message that they’re going to want to engage with?

And so much testing is needed at this phase before you start automating it. Because if you don’t have the right subject line and you automate it, great, you’re going to get less opens throughout your entire marketing automation software program. So I always say, “Spend some time A/B testing your subject line.”

Send out a newsletter and give 10 percent of your audience one subject line, 10 percent of your audience the other subject line, and see who wins. The key thing is actually seeing what comes out ahead. Because now you know the winning subject line.

Now lets talk about content strategy. It’s amazing how many emails I look at where they’ve completely forgotten the call to action. Or they’ve neglected that people read left to right, top to bottom. So the most important part of the email is the top left, and the least important part is the bottom right. And, every email you send out is mobile optimized. It need to look great on mobile, on tablet, on desktop, everywhere.

And it has to be strategically sound in terms of what are we trying to achieve? How do we push them through our funnel? What is our call to action? You have to test and refine it. Because once you create the gold standard email, when you go to automate it, you know you have a best in class marketing automation program that is rooted in sending out highly effective emails.

Listen to the entire show below in order to hear the full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.

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