Small Businesses Increase Marketing Budgets in 2017 [study]

More than half of US small-business owners anticipate increasing their social media budgets in 2017, according to a recent study by InfusionSoft. When small businesses (SMBs) were asked about the marketing channels they expect to increase spending on, 56% planned to up their social media budget, while a third planned to dedicate more resources to … Continue reading »

Email Continues to Deliver Strong ROI and Value [Survey]

Email audiences are growing, engaged and increasingly mobile. Despite rumors of its decline, email marketing remains a growing and highly effective channel for marketers. However, for continued success, marketers must consider how to optimize their email communications for mobile use, and ensure their message volume, frequency, and data-driven relevancy positively impact performance. A June 2016 … Continue reading »

What Tech Tools Do Marketers Use for Personalization?

Behavior-based data is critical for customized marketing content. Marketing technology can be useful for marketers looking to strengthen their digital personalization efforts. According to June research, well over half of senior business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers globally rely on web analytics software, customer relationship management (CRM) and content management systems to ramp up their digital personalization efforts. … Continue reading »

Email Engagement Rates [Report]

North American email engagement fell again in Q4 on a year-over-year basis, reports Epsilon in its latest quarterly analysis of clients’ email activity. The click-through rate of 3.2% was down from 4% during the year-earlier period and from 4.4% in Q4 2013, maintaining this metric’s gradual descent. Meanwhile, the average open rate stood at 30.6% … Continue reading »

Email Usage Habits [Survey]

Email service provider Adestra and Flagship Research surveyed US internet users under 35 and over 55 about their usage habits, and found that overall, 61% of them checked email, social media, text messages and voicemail before breakfast—including 39% who did so before their morning coffee. One in five respondents waited to check their messages until … Continue reading »

Preferred Methods for Brand Communications [Survey]

More than 7 in 10 US consumers would prefer to receive email communications from businesses over direct mail, SMS, and push messages, and the preference for email extends across age groups and genders, per an Adestra study. Boomers are more than 3 times as likely as teens and Millennials to favor direct mail, a result … Continue reading »

The Value of Inactive Email Subscribers [Report]

Inactive email subscribers are still valuable customers, reports MailChimp in an analysis of 6.6 billion sends through its platform that included 60 million e-commerce purchases and 40 million email addresses from retailers using its list segmentation and automation e-commerce features. Inactive subscribers were found to outperform non-subscribers across key metrics such as order frequency, retention … Continue reading »

Email Marketers’ Top Initiatives – 2016

Email marketers are much more focused on increasing subscriber engagement in the year ahead than they are on growing their list, per results from a recent StrongView survey, likely reflecting continuing gradual decreases in click rates. Improving segmentation and targeting ranks as the second-most important initiative for the email marketers surveyed, presumably as that will … Continue reading »

Marketing Plans and Budgets for 2016 [survey]

Business leaders are again confident in the general direction of their marketing budgets this year, reports Selligent and StrongView in newly-released survey. The good news is that 56% of respondents expect to increase their budgets. Email appears to be a primary recipient of increased budgets, according to the StrongView report and a separate study from … Continue reading »

Email Growth Trends [report]

Email volume grew by 15.5% year-over-year in Q1 2015 according to the Experian Marketing Services latest quarterly email benchmark report, marking the 10th consecutive quarter of volume growth and the 9th featuring a double-digit increase. This latest study highlights reactivation series (re-engaging with inactive subscribers), noting that while the first email outperformed the second in … Continue reading »

Email Subject Lines: Read Rates by Length [report]

Email subject lines is always of interest as marketers try to get through inbox clutter. A couple of recently-released studies provide some fresh data to review. (The following results will not apply to all readers, who are encouraged to test their subject lines.) A study from Return Path, based on an analysis of “9 million … Continue reading »

Most Valuable Marketing Automation Features [study]

Lead nurturing (52%) and analytics and reporting (51%) are the most valuable features of a marketing automation system, according to survey results from Ascend2 and its Research Partners. Previous research has found those to also be the most-requested features by buyers, although lead scoring, another highly-requested feature, was cited by few respondents as valuable to … Continue reading »

The Best Email Subject Lines and Emojis to Boost Open Rates [study]

Writing effective emails and subject lines can be challenging. Most companies send marketing messages several times per week so these messages need to be subtle and creative to ensure they don’t become repetitive or annoying. This requires intimate knowledge of the company’s tone of voice and the target audience, but we can try to broadly … Continue reading »

Keywords That Can Be Misconstrued as Spam [research]

Most words and phrases that trigger the spam alarm are obvious: income, urgent, Viagra; as well as congratulations, discount, make money. Those are among the many in categories such as retail, personal, and pharmaceutical thatmarketers should avoid, according to research by MailJet. But some spam-tripping words and phrases may be surprising. For example, FedEx, Paypal, … Continue reading »

Over 50% of Marketers to Increase Email Budget – 2015

Budget trends are going upward, says StrongView Director of Marketing Communications Jason Klein. The cross-channel solutions provider’s 2015 Marketing Trends Survey released this week reports that 54% of marketers expect to see bigger budgets in the coming year (versus 46% last year), and that one third of them are counting on increases of 10% or … Continue reading »

Top Email Challenges [study]

List growth and maintenance are among the top email marketing challenges for publishers. Today’s digital consumers have forced publishers to move some of their marketing efforts away from print and toward online and mobile. However, the September 2014 research report from FOLIO:, sponsored by Lyris, found that publishers were still struggling with email marketing—a more … Continue reading »

The Best Time To Send Email

Email open rates improved again this year, thanks to consumers’ ever-growing use of mobile devices to manage their inboxes. Yet key benchmarks such as click rate and transaction rate continue to decline. As it gets harder to cut through the inbox clutter, email marketers increasingly seek new ways to upgrade the relevancy of their communications, … Continue reading »

Health Care Companies Have the Highest Email Open Rates [study]

Health care and education companies see the highest average open rates among emailers, according to a new report from IBM’s Silverpop. The report found that on average health care companies see an average of 26.2 percent open rates for their emails and education companies see an average of 25.7 percent. The consumer services industry sees … Continue reading »

72% of Internet Users Check Email on a Mobile Device [study]

My.com has released a new email usage report, tracking how users engage with email. The data, from a survey of 1,000 American internet users, found that 72 percent of users check their email on mobile devices, including both phones and tablets. Of those respondents, 48 percent use Android as their main mobile platform, followed by … Continue reading »

The Future of Marketing is Automation

Email is one of the most widely used and established platforms and has long been the cornerstone of many business-to-business (B2B) marketing plans. Even as new digital marketing and advertising platforms, formats, and channels draw companies’ attention and budgets, email remains vitally important and is arguably more valued by B2B marketers now more than ever … Continue reading »

Email Newsletters – Top Source of Info For Global Executives [survey]

A majority of global executives rely on email newsletters for industry-specific news, details a recent survey from Quartz, with respondents as likely to be using email newsletters for information as they are industry and general news sites. Email newsletters also significantly outpace social media accounts as news sources, with social platforms generally used more for sharing than … Continue reading »

45 Words to Avoid in Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

There’s an art to writing a good email subject line and there are some things you’ll want to avoid. Consulting a number of experts and sources, in addition to some research, here is a list of words (plus the odd phrase or experimental bit of text) to avoid when composing the perfect marketing email. Your … Continue reading »

Email Marketers Spend 26 Percent of Their Time on Creative and Content [survey]

Marketing is becoming increasingly multichannel and relationship focused. Email is the glue that pulls together all of these different disciplines, tactics and partners, as well as being a direct channel to the customer. The Email Marketing Speed Imperative study, published by Econsultancy in partnership with dotMailer, looks at how the ease of use of a … Continue reading »

Landing Pages – The Key to Email Marketing

Three-quarters of marketing professionals worldwide use landing pages as part of their marketing efforts, according to November 2013 polling by ExactTarget. And more recent research suggests that these are becoming a key feature of email marketing campaigns. In a February 2014 study by Ascend2, more than six in 10 marketers worldwide said that landing pages … Continue reading »

Marketers Consider Email to be Core to Business Strategy [survey]

Converting online traffic into revenue and overall brand awareness emerged as the top marketing priorities in ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s 2014 State of Marketing Strategy survey. Over 2500 responses from marketers’ gloabally offered their insight into current and future marketing strategies and priorities for their companies. The results revealed some new and under-used marketing strategies for 2014. … Continue reading »

Email Marketing – The Best Time and Day of The Week To Send Emails [report]

For the second consecutive year, a report from Experian Marketing Services covering Q4 email activity has found that emails sent during off-peak hours – when the volume of emails was lowest – enjoyed the best response rates. According to Experian’s report, “volume definitely plays its role in performance metrics by time of day.” There are … Continue reading »

B2B Marketers to Increase Content and Mobile Budgets in 2014

Content marketing is coming to the forefront this year. According to a December 2013 study by Advertising Age, three-quarters of business-to-business (B2B) marketers planned to up content spending in 2014, and just 1.3% said they would decrease their content budget. Digital is fueling the rise in content marketing, with B2B marketers planning to increase spending … Continue reading »

Marketers Top Digital Priorities For 2014

Marketers have two main digital marketing priorities for 2014, according to ExactTarget’s newly-released “2014 State of Marketing” report. Given a list and asked to identify their top 3, almost half of the respondents pointed to driving increased conversion rates (47%) and increasing and improving brand awareness (46%). Data figures prominently in the survey – 29% … Continue reading »

2014 Marketing Budget Planning [survey]

9 in 10 “business leaders” plan to either increase (46%) or maintain (47%) their marketing budgets in 2014, according to a survey from StrongView. A mix of B2C and B2B companies primarily headquartered in North America evaluated their spending plans across a variety of programs. The results reveal strong support for a variety of digital … Continue reading »

Mobile and Email Small Business Marketer’s 2014 Wish List [infographic]

With 2014 quickly approaching, many business professionals are planning to change their marketing strategies. Below are the top marketing objectives of small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs). Source: Direct Marketing News According to the j2 Global Forecast Survey: • 28.16% of small business professionals say increasing their online presence, such as setting up a website or … Continue reading »

How to Boost Email Open Rates

Email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency, such as those that contain the words “urgent” and/or “important,” have open rates that are much higher than normal, according to a recent report by MailChimp.The analysis also found that email recipients are much more intrigued by subject lines that contain positive solicitations rather than negative … Continue reading »

Email: Volume Increases and Weekend Mailings See Better Results

Brands continue sending more and more emails, according to the latest quarterly email benchmark report from Experian Marketing Services, which details a 12.7% year-over-year increase in brands’ email volume during Q3. That’s the third consecutive quarter of double-digit increases, with each quarter also registering an uptick in open rates. Meanwhile, further data from Experian indicates … Continue reading »

Marketers Increase Video Use Across All Channels

Brands are spending money to peddle their products in online TV shows and other digital programs – in fact, video ad spend rose about 42% this year to reach $4.12 billion. But many marketers are finding that online video can also be extremely useful in helping communicate to potential customers about the products and services … Continue reading »

Personalized Subject Lines Key to Higher Email Open and Click Rates [study]

Does email personalization have an effect on open rates? Research released earlier this year MailerMailer suggested that personalized emails tend to see higher open and click rates, although the same study last year found the opposite result. Now, new data from MailChimp supports the case that personalization can drive higher email open rates. Measuring the … Continue reading »

Most Popular Tactics To Grow Email Lists [report]

Email marketers have a variety of goals for their campaigns, ranging from selling products and services (62%) to generating leads (52%), driving site traffic (51%) and driving brand awareness (51%), according to a new report from ExactTarget. With respondents saying that the quality of their subscribers is as important as overall ROI when gauging their … Continue reading »

Are You Taking a Cross Channel Approach to Marketing?

Many online marketers are missing the boat on customer-centric marketing. They value long-term relationships, but don’t follow through. Online marketers top marketing goals: • Growing long-term relationships with customers. • Enhancing the customer experience across channels. Per Forrester Consulting reports released this month. Marketers should coordinate marketing campaigns that reach individual customers across multiple channels, … Continue reading »

More Marketers Are Using Online Video In Email Campaigns

Marketers are using video to support their marketing efforts in a number of areas, per the Web Video Marketing Council, ReelSEO and Flimp Media in a new study, with the vast majority reporting positive effects. While survey respondents most commonly report using online video as part of their website marketing content (83.9%) and for YouTube … Continue reading »

Marketing Emails Get The Most Clicks On Fridays. Tips For Marketers [Study]

Friday’s worldwide marketing email click rate is 4.9% Email inboxes worldwide receive the largest influx of email marketing material on Tuesdays, according to an October 2013 study by GetResponse. The email software company found that 17.9% of a week’s worldwide marketing emails were sent on Tuesday, followed by 17.3% on Thursday and 16.6% on Monday. … Continue reading »

Which Email Tactics Work Best For Brands [report]

Email practices – from signup to unsubscribe – have significantly changed over the past 5 years, details Return Path in a recent study. Brands are asking for less information at sign-up, are more commonly starting their relationships with a welcome email (but less frequently with an offer), and are making the unsubscribe process easier. But … Continue reading »

Email Volume Growth Trends

The average email subscriber gets 416 commercial messages per month, says Return Path, and that number may just get higher. The latest quarterly email benchmark study [download page] from Experian Marketing Services indicates that email volume grew by 17.9% year-over-year in Q2. That follows an 11.6% increase in Q1, a relatively modest 5.4% bump in … Continue reading »

Email Open and Click Rates, by Hour Scheduled

MailerMailer recently released its latest “Email Marketing Metrics Report,” a study rich in data and based on 1.4 billion email messages sent last year. One of the most interesting topics for email marketers covered in the report is how scheduling affects open and click rates. The study takes a look not only at open and … Continue reading »

How To Optimize Your GMail Campaigns

With over 400 million users worldwide, there’s a good chance many of your email subscribers are accessing your campaigns in Gmail. Optimizing your emails for specific email clients can help get your messages delivered and read. Emails that display the way you design them helps ensure your marketing efforts are much more effective. With the … Continue reading »

Gmail Tabs: Why They Help Email Marketers [report]

Curious about Gmail’s new Tabs feature and how it has impacted your marketing emails?  With Tabs, Gmail users are actually reading more of their marketing email. Read this new ReturnPath Report to learn about the early impact and implications of the email experience with Tabs. Take your marketing to the next level. Outsource to BersonDeanStevens. … Continue reading »

Best B2B Platforms for Reaching Customers and Prospects

A recent survey from ABM asked B2B media users which media types they rely on for decision-making. The study also contains some interesting results from the marketer side: which platforms do they think are most successful in creating awareness among existing customers and generating targeted leads of prospective new buyers? It turns out there’s quite … Continue reading »

Personalized Ads – What You Need to Know

Email, social lead preferred personalized ad formats Personalizing digital ads has become a priority for marketers, as data has made them better able to segment and target their consumer base. And in general, consumers have shown a fair amount of receptivity to these personalized ads. In an August 2012 survey from ChoiceStream, 35% of US … Continue reading »

Email Subject Line Keywords – What’s Most Effective

Emails with the word “alert” in their subject lines have a 38.1% higher than average open rate and 61.8% higher click rate, according to a recent study by British marketing firm Adestra.The keywords “free delivery” (+50.7% higher open rate, +135.4% click rate) and “bulletin” (+15.8%, +12.7%) also performed very well in the email campaigns analyzed. … Continue reading »

Behavioral Marketing Delivers [study]

According to new research by Silverpop, with Forrester Consulting, today’s buyers control the buying process far more than today’s vendors control the selling process, a phenomenon that affects both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers. Buyers seek the information they want online, on the Web and in social channels, as well as in the “real world.” Today’s … Continue reading »

Email Beats Social for Influence and Conversions [study]

While Facebook may allow online influencers to reach large numbers of people, email is more efficient, as a larger proportion of the people reached via email actually become customers, according to a new study of social referral marketing campaigns by SocialTwist, titled “The Connected Consumer: Brand Advocacy Trends from 100+ Social Campaigns.” SocialTwist looked at … Continue reading »

Which Tactics Work Best For Email Marketers? [study]

Email is a critical outreach channel for most B2C and B2B marketers. While creating content is always a challenge, other tactics that can help email marketers achieve strong results—including segmenting and optimizing the email message—are also some of the most difficult to pull off. Putting relevant content in front of the appropriate audience is key … Continue reading »

Email Subject Lines, Which Terms Work and Don’t Work [study]

Adestra has released  its latest email subject line analysis report, looking at the keywords and phrases that fare best and worst across a number of sectors. With email volumes on the rise and clutter an issue for recipients, having a strong subject line is as important as ever, particularly as consumers rate the subject line … Continue reading »

Small Biz Increase Use of Digital Marketing, Due to Customer Acquisition Successes

The biggest change in how small businesses go about their work this year as opposed to 5 years ago is through their use – or increased use – of online marketing tools, according to results from a survey sponsored by Constant Contact. Indeed, compared to 5 years ago, the adoption of various online marketing tools … Continue reading »

Leads in 2013: Content Marketing, Retargeting Fastest-Growing Channels

This year, many marketers’ lead prospecting aims are focused primarily on finding new customers, while relatively few are looking only to retain current or reactivate former customers, according to Chief Marketer‘s 2013 Prospecting Survey. Marketers are ramping up their use of prospecting tools across the board, and while email remains the most common prospecting channel … Continue reading »