Only Influencers: Email Marketing Answers

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News, jobs, and opinion for email marketers

Email Acquistion Special Edition

Part 1

This week I asked the Influencers if they would like to write a blog post on Email Acquistion. The response was so great, I've decided to break it up into two editions. This week we feature Lindsay Wagner who discusses how FierceMarkets converts web visitors to subscribers, Tobias Schremmer who gives some tips and tricks he has discovered from his work at MarketingProfs and Michele Karrlsson-Willis gives us the perspective of acquiring email address in order to move customers to paperless billing.

And of course the usual jobs, articles, press releases and other information that is important for email marketers to know this week.

Your intrepid Editor,
Bill McCloskey

Converting Web Visitors into Subscribers

by Lindsey Wagner

One of the most productive places to capture email addresses is on your company’s website. People who are browsing your products and information are demonstrating their interest, so you want to make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter or email list while they’re engaged.

At FierceMarkets, a digital B2B publishing company, anywhere from 30%-80% of our email newsletter list growth comes from converting web visitors into subscribers. In this article, I’ll share what’s working for us, and hopefully you’ll be able to apply it to your organization.

If you visit one of our publication websites, you’ll probably quickly notice the number of subscribe ads we have on the page to promote our email newsletters. We have no less than four signup areas on each of our content pages, and we sometimes push it to five.

We want to make sure that we can convert a visitor into a subscriber at every point in his or her journey down the page. Starting from the top, we have two signup ads near the headline, in case reading the headline is all it takes to convert someone.
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How Do You Go Paperless Without an Email Address?

A guide to effectively gathering email addresses for the eBilling space

by Michele Karrlsson-Willis

Getting end customers to go paperless is a focus for many companies and one of the easiest ways to do this is ask them to switch off paper for their bills and receive an electronic version instead.

Companies today spend a lot of time and money developing electronic billing solutions to reach their end customers. For all of the effort that is put into developing the solution, a somewhat unequal amount of time is actually spent focused on collecting customer email addresses.

As you can imagine, your solution can be great but if you do not have customer email addresses as the gateway to electronic communication, the project will not be successful.

Gathering email addresses for billing purposes is more involved than any initiative put in place for email marketing. Merely capturing a name and email address is no longer an option, as you need to tie that address to the customer on record. However, it does not have to be a complicated endeavor. Maintaining a clean, updated email database is a critical strategy in continuously increasing your paperless adoption rate, but where to start? The two most important strategies are:

  • Develop a solid email collection plan
  • Leverage every customer touch point

Develop a solid email collection plan:

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Acquisition Email Marketing Tips from the Trenches at MarketingProfs

by Tobias Schremmer

Each week here at MarketingProfs we ‘press send’ on up to 25 different 3rd party emails from our advertising partners. We’ve been doing so for over a decade. MarketingProfs started in 2001 and built up entirely organically a list of mailable email addresses that stands at over 300,000 today. In 2013, we deployed over 10 million such acquisition emails. So, having seen literally hundreds of advertisers trying thousands of offers has given us a great portal into what works in B2B email marketing. For context, our audience/list is comprised of digital marketers who have signed up to MarketingProfs to receive daily tips and ideas for better online marketing.

Subject lines. We’ve found the sweet spot to be 46 characters or LESS. (That last sentence was 57 characters for reference). Our sales op guy wrote a good piece on subject lines last year in this MarketingProfs article. That doesn’t mean a longer subject line cannot work well; but it’s a pattern we’ve noted. Also, we’ve seen subject lines that use their first word/s to describe what’s inside can work well. For example: “[Download eBook] Create Contagious Content That Begs to Be Shared” was a good subject line that one of our clients actually used. Note the use of brackets, we are seeing that tactic more and more, it seems to help the email stand out and improve opens. In general, we recommend creating a sense of urgency and a dash of intrigue. Most of all, TEST! Too often subject lines are an afterthought, with so much time/effort spent on the creative, colors, copy etc. In our trenches, it is still sadly pretty rare that a client proactively performs a subject line test.

Offer. Email offers with one simple (and clear) call to action are winning, especially when benefits to the reader are well presented. Here are the broad categories of offers we see:

Free Content. By far the most common offer in our realm is the good old “free whitepaper,” comprising some 70% of the advertising offers we push out. More often called “eBook” or “Guide” these days, free downloads are the workhorse of B2B lead generation. I’m often asked if shorter pieces get a better take-up rate than longer form (under the logic that nobody has time/willingness to read anymore), and there isn’t a simple answer. A few of the best performing pieces of content to our audience have been long (15+ pages). I tend to fall more on the side that B2B prospects are more likely to give up that important contact info if they see that the free asset they are trading their data for is substantial. Overall for this category of offer, we are thrilled to see click rates holding up (over 1.5%) year in and out. Anecdotally, we hear clients generating anywhere from 25% to 50% landing page conversion rates (e.g. % of clickers who complete the reg. form and download the content).

Webinars/Virtual Events. Another typical B2B marketing tactic, webinars and their cousins virtual events represent approximately 10% of the offers we put through. Click rates are only about half as strong as free content, but for many clients a webinar attendee rates a higher lead score. A few clients have found success combining a webinar offer with a link to free content or even a trial, though as discussed below, every extra option you present to a busy skimming reader can reduce response.

(continued on the Only Influencers Website)

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