How to Improve Your Email Marketing With an Integrated Approach

    by Pamela Vaughan

    Date

    May 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM

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    As we've said before on this blog, the various channels you leverage in your overall marketing strategy should work in tandem, not in silos. When individual marketing channels -- social media, blogging, email, search, etc. -- work together to promote an offer, promotion, or even a full-blown campaign, they can generate even better results than they would have on an individual level.

    Email, for example, is one of those channels that is most powerful when it’s integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts. So let's review some of the different ways you can achieve integration between email and other marketing assets , such as search, social media, mobile, and analytics.

    Email & Social Media Integration

    Study after study shows that email strategies that integrate social media lead to better results. According to Aberdeen Research, 65% of the top 20% of B2B marketers in social media lead generation integrate email with social media, compared to the industry average of 51% .

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    Integrating social media into your email strategy is easier than you might think. Here are some
    tactics to help you get started:

    Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to Your Emails

    Adding social media sharing and follow buttons to your emails will extend the reach of your email sends beyond the recipients in your database, expanding the visibility of your content and brand. Make social media buttons a part of your email templates so recipients can easily share your email content with their individual networks.

    Leverage Social Media Insights for Email Sends

    Send targeted emails to subscribers who have mentioned you in social media. Using integrated marketing analytics ( like HubSpot's ), you should be able to see a list of email subscribers and leads who have mentioned your company on Twitter. In addition to responding to those highly engaged leads via social media, you could also send them a follow-up email with targeted information and content.

    Grow Your Email List Through Social Media

    Leverage your social media presence to give followers a reason to subscribe to your email list. For example, consider placing a call-to-action on your Facebook page or in a dedicated Facebook page tab . Make sure you demonstrate the clear benefits of your email subscription so you can convert your social media followers into subscribers.

    Email & Search Integration

    It's true: Optimized emails can help you get found in search. Many email tools, like HubSpot , enable you to create and host HTML versions of your emails on the web for people who are having trouble viewing email in their inbox. Not only is this web-based version beneficial for usability, but it also helps you boost your SEO. Knowing that an online archive of your email will exist, make sure your email content follows the same SEO best practices as your website and other content does. Use your best keywords and anchor text when constructing the body of the message. Ensure all images have alt tags and include social media sharing buttons to stretch the content further.

     

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    Email & Analytics Integration

    Today’s marketing should extend well beyond the boundaries of your website. As a result, individual analytics for your website, social media, email, and other channels just aren’t enough anymore. A multichannel view enables you to see how prospects are navigating their experience with you across various marketing properties.

    Marketing analytics data can answer cross-channel questions, such as:

    • How many people clicked through on your email but didn’t convert?
    • Of the people who converted on your website, how many of them came from social media?
    • How many opened your last email message?
    • Which results in more leads: PPC or organic search, email or social?

    Not only do integrated analytics reports show you the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, but they also help you get more targeted in your email sends. According to B2B Magazine, 37% of B2B marketers say lack of user data is the major obstacle to effective segment targeting . By exchanging single channel analytics for integrated marketing analytics, you can begin to segment your mailing list and send communications based on the lead’s history of downloads and pages viewed.

    In the screenshot below (of HubSpot’s Sources tool ), you will see that email and its analytics are only one piece of the inbound marketing puzzle. You need to look at the entire context in order to make smart decisions on segmentation and nurturing.

     

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    Email & Mobile Integration

    According to Return Path, 16% of all emails are opened on mobile devices , and this number can rise to 50% for some companies and industries . Creating a strategy that reflects the changing way recipients open and read emails is only going to increase in importance in the coming years. So what does it take to make your email strategy mobile?

    • Test your email templates to see how they comes across on different mobile devices.
    • Give your calls-to-action (CTAs) wiggle room – make sure buttons and links are easy to click for readers using touch screens.
    • Offer both plain text and HTML versions of your email .
    • Use descriptive alt text with all your images in case they don’t display.
    • Optimize for mobile on the landing pages and forms your email links to.

    HubSpot's marketing software automatically optimizes your emails and landing pages for mobile viewing, so if you are a customer, you're all set!

    This article is an excerpt from our free ebook, The Complete Guide to Optimizing Email Marketing for Conversions . Learn more about how to increase the ROI of your email marketing by downloading the ebook here .

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