While the improved technology of spam filters has virtually rendered mass cold email blasts obsolete, email marketing still remains at the forefront of any integrated online marketing plan. Maintaining a steady drumbeat of updates and notifications on your company’s opt-in list is crucial where lead nurturing is concerned. At the start of my tenure as a marketing professional, I ran through a series of tests that increased open rates from 10% to upwards of 30, 40, 50%, and clickthrough rates from 0.05% to 8-10%, simply by fiddling with subject lines and streamlining the email content to include single, direct calls-to-action. I build all emails I send out in HTML, and all have a text-only backup for emails that are received on mobile devices.
Online Events / Webcasts
Webcasts (or webinars, if you prefer) are fantastic for demand / lead generation, especially for B2B businesses. I managed the promotions for an enterprise software company’s webcasts, and, depending on the subject and audience appeal, ran them either in-house via GoToWebinar.com, a subset of GoToMeeting.com, or using an external vendor whose visitors are in the same roles as those we were targeting. I have seen statistics that range from a small event, some 20 people for a very specific, technical discussion, to upwards of 700 registrants for a broad subject that appealed to all levels. Both types have their strengths; while some of the broader webcasts obviously are preferable for lead numbers, the smaller, more detailed type often attracts those who are most inclined to buy your product. A healthy mixture of both broad and narrow subjects is always preferred for any integrated marketing campaign with an online focus.
I wrote a blog post detailing the use of webcasts within a marketing campaign, entitled Webcasts: Marketing the Interactive Way.