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If your email marketing campaign is in dire shape, don’t worry; the doctor is in and ready to discuss the pain points that stymie your growth in the inbox. From content creation concerns to growing your list and finding new audiences, there’s plenty such issues that can hinder the development of even the most established campaigns. Thankfully, with a proper understanding, and some smart tips and tricks, you can overcome these pain points and continue moving forward with the most powerful marketing practice on the web.

Creating Relevant, and Enjoyable, Content

First up, Ayaz Nanji at the Marketing Professors blog notes that 42 percent of brands and marketers across the web struggle with developing dynamic and personalized content. If you’re an unfortunate member of this statistic, the best way to buck the trend is by setting aside some time for a content development overhaul.

To start this process, take a moment to review your latest offerings. By doing this, you can objectively pinpoint the problems plaguing your campaign, such as repetitive content or impersonal greetings. From here, making it a priority to put your contact list info, like subscriber names and locations, to good use in the personalization process, as well as trying to incorporate content that goes beyond basic offers and discounts, can help give this facet of your email marketing campaign a big boost.

List Maintenance

Also high on Nanji’s list of email marketing pain points, list maintenance requires a skillful hand to properly navigate. If you’re like most other members of the community that haven’t been around the block before, you probably subscribe to the notion that the bigger your contact list is, the better. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Sure, growing the number of people on your contact list should be a top priority, but growth for the sake of growth isn’t always right. Aside from the inherent risk of coming off as “spammy,” following down that path can lead to disgruntled or disenfranchised members that deliberately or accidentally mark your offerings as spam. If you have inactive subscribers and renewed outreach methods aren’t working, you’re much better off pruning these wayward members off the list and focusing on the consumers who are actually interested in your content.

Deciphering Analytics

One of the biggest keys to optimizing an email marketing campaign comes in the form of understanding and applying analytics to your development process. Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with bounce rates, opt-out rates, and the other terminology found in the email marketing, it might feel like you need to go back to college to truly understand how to put these stats to good use.

If you’re not able to wrap your head around these figures, or willing to put the time and effort into the process of learning the particulars of these offerings, don’t be afraid to connect with an expert who can help guide you along in your journey. Having a helping hand when it comes to analytics is a massive boon, even for established brands that aren’t new to the scene.

Making the Most out of Social Media

Social media and email marketing go hand in hand, so it’s only natural for one of the biggest pain points in the business to reside at this intersection, according to an industry report published by the experts at the Marketing Sherpa research page. In fact, this report notes that over 45 percent of brands find this process at least somewhat challenging.

The best way to maximize your time on social media is to dedicate your brand to rubbing virtual elbows with its followers. Pushing your email list and offers via mundane posts and tweets is one thing, but if you’re able to interact with these digital socialites and generate some organic and engaging conversation based on relevant topics, you’ll definitely turn this pain point into a strength in no time.

Finding New Audiences

Finally, the last pain point in need of some in-depth discussion doesn’t focus on starting your contact list, but rather what to do once you’re already up and running. Stagnation and stymied growth are real concerns, so it’s worth preparing for this situation, even if you’re currently on the upswing as far as growth goes.

To keep the momentum flowing in the right direction, place an emphasis on staying current with what makes your audience tick. By monitoring pertinent social groups and pages, as well as soliciting feedback via surveys and other inbox tools, you can keep track of what matters most to these shoppers, and even uncover gaps in content coverage and outreach that could lead to connecting with new audiences. When paired with the rest of what you’ve learned, dealing with pain points will become a thing of the past in no time.

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According to Mashable, close to 18 percent of global web traffic is mobile, but Mobile Action Land reports that only six of the top 100 corporate sites are mobile-ready. If they aren’t giving their websites the right treatment, you have to wonder what their email campaigns look like. It’s not hard to make an eBlast mobile-friendly, but with different resolutions, layouts and browsers from device to device, mobile-friendly just doesn’t cut it anymore. What’s the alternative? Optimization.

The biggest issue with making a mobile-friendly email campaign is the user experience. To be friendly rather than optimized means that the email will display the same – or close to the same, hopefully – on a computer and a mobile device smartphone or tablet. Everything on the mobile view will display significantly smaller, and often text is so small it borders on unreadable, making the inclusion links to those ever important landing pages absolutely useless. Technically, a mobile-friendly email is perfectly functional, but it will require a lot of pinch-and-zooming at the least.

Some other issues with mobile-friendly email campaigns have to do with compatibility. Most smart devices don’t display images in email right away, and when the option is selected these images are known to load very slowly or break entirely. Overall, it’s something like repairing a broken plate with tape: It will hold together, some people even swear by it, but it’s definitely not the best tool for the job.

Optimized for Mobility

Optimization is significantly more in-depth, but the end user experience is leagues above a mobile-friendly eBlast. A few lines of custom CSS and HTML code can go a long way to making sure your campaign displays correctly on all devices, regardless of resolution. Where a mobile-friendly email simply shrinks everything to fit even the tiniest screen, a mobile-optimized email is fully responsive and uses a liquid layout. Where images previously floated left or right of the text and shrunk down to the size of a thumbnail, now they fit the size of the screen and appear between paragraphs and lines, assuring the image is both large enough to be seen and not at risk of overlapping with anything important.

While full mobile optimization requires the help of professionals, there are a few things that you can do to prepare your eBlast for the optimum treatment:

Think about your subject line. Keep these under 30 characters to assure that all words will be displayed on a mobile device, and make sure they’re going to get the reader interested.

Use that pre-header text, and use it well. Keep this under 50 characters (or assure no more than 80 characters between subject line and pre-header), and put as much consideration into this as your subject line.

Make your call to action a graphic. Textual links work well on a computer, but for a touch-based device it’s better to promise something a little bigger. Apple recommends an area of no less than 44 pixels square for links on touch devices.

Make sure your website is ready. This is possibly the most important aspect of mobile email marketing. If your campaign is directing readers to a landing page that isn’t responsive and optimized for their device, they’re going to close the browser and move on to something else. Make sure that your website is just as optimized as the email campaign you’re sending out.

While a mobile-friendly eBlast is better than only designing with full-size computers in mind, going the extra mile with your campaign to optimize it for mobile view will generate more customer engagement, more response to your offers, and a definite higher ROI. Take your time and get it done right.
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We work with a lot of e-tailers and while we are honored to help them with their email marketing, we understand that the topic of SEO is equally as important to them.

Getting good traffic through the search engines is so important. After all, if people don’t find YOU when they search, then they’ll potentially find your competitor.

Even hear at Elite Email we get a ton of our traffic through natural organic (which means ‘not paid’) search engine results.

One thing we always talk about at our weekly SEO meetings is where we rank for a bunch of different terms. Although it is difficult to get a truly accurate measurement because it varies by location/data-center, we can get a general idea.

The coveted #1 spot is always the goal, but just how much more important is the #1 spot to the #2 spot or any other listing on page 1.

A recent study from Optify shows some pretty staggering results that paint a clear picture of just how big the difference between #1 and #2 can be in terms of your click-throughs.

Websites ranked number 1 received an average click-through rate (abbreviated to “CTR”) of 36.4%, number 2 had a CTR of 12.5%, and number 3 had a CTR of 9.%. Those are some pretty serious differences for just an inch of screen real estate on the results page.

According to Optify, being in the #1 spot on Google is the equivalent to the TOTAL of all the traffic the sites in the #2, #3, #4, and #5 sites will receive.

If your site is not yet ranking well in the search engines, then shooting for the #1 spot on a competitive term can be an ambitious goal. You should definitely start by just striving to be on the first page. But, as you can see in the chart below, as you climb to the top of page 1, there are some pretty substantial advantages.

Organic Click Thru Rate by Search Position (Optify data)

Click Through Rates of Google SERP's based on Optify data

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