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Use Tools and Technology

Email Marketing Resolutions

Make Better Use of Your ESP's Features
Email has come a long way since the days of text-only messages and dial-up internet. The same can be said for the email marketing industry as a whole. Today, email service providers are equipped with a host of features that can help marketers greatly improve deliverability, better gauge their performance, and engage their audiences more effectively.

For example, Benchmark Email offers video email capabilities that enable marketers to communicate with one of the most powerful engagement mediums in the online space. This feature gives you the ability to take the videos of product demonstrations, tours and special messages you shoot for customers, to post on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Blip, and share them in the email channel.

It is the savvy marketer who stays up to date on the latest apps and tools in the industry. This should be an incentive to avail yourself of all the features your ESP provides and to take advantage of them. Keeping yourself in the know not only gives you an opportunity to make drastic improvements but also identify which features are worth the time and offer something that can truly benefit your marketing efforts.
Take the Social Plunge
From direct mail to mobile, email marketing has the reputation of being an excellent fit for a variety of other marketing tactics. One method it has shown to match up with extremely well in recent times is social media. If you have yet to add a social element to your email campaigns, this is definitely something that should be on your list of resolutions.

Following are some ways you can integrate social media with your email marketing efforts and expand your reach:
Create a Presence in the Social Networking Space -There are literally hundreds of social networks live on the web, and many of them can be of great value to your marketing efforts when used correctly. Whether it is with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or a combination of the three, create a profile and build a presence for your business in the social networking space. This presence will grow your audience and connect you with new contacts.
Integrate Your Signup Form - Remember earlier when we talked about taking advantage of list building opportunities by making an effort to acquire new subscribers wherever possible? Well, the same mentality should be applied when establishing your presence in the social space. If you have a fan page for your brand on Facebook, create an opt-in form so people can easily sign up right on the network. If you are networking via LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure all your published posts have links that direct readers to the signup form on your website.
Be Consistently Active - Having a successful run with social media calls for you to be active and consistent on whatever network you have chosen to establish a presence. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of social networking, but it also works to your advantage by giving you the opportunity to market your products or services, initiate conversations with your audience, and showcase yourself as an expert in your niche.
Share Your Email Content Socially - The sharing concept that started with social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, and Reddit has recently spilled over into the email marketing sector. Benchmark Email and other ESPs now have features that make it possible for your readers to share your email content with their respective communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks by simply clicking a button. These social sharing buttons are easy to use and offer too much potential to not include in your marketing plan for the New Year.
Social media is arguably the hottest commodity on the modern internet. Facebook alone has well over 500 million active users, while Twitter sees more than 50 million tweets going through its network on a daily basis. Even LinkedIn, which is the lesser known of the major social networks, now reportedly has more than 75 million users. These numbers are proof that consumers are deeply embedded in the social web – all the more reason for you to take the social plunge and use these services to expand your marketing reach.
Use Technology More Effectively
Technology becomes more advanced each year, and each year it delivers more innovative concepts businesses can leverage to take their marketing efforts to the next level. As a marketer looking for ways to improve your position in the market and enhance the customer experience, it is essential to capitalize on new technology as it is introduced, and take advantage of some of the trends that may have passed you by.

There are all sorts of technologies available to help you bolster your marketing efforts inside and outside of the email arena. Some popular examples are the Get Social app currently being used to connect the blogosphere to the social networks, the TweetDeck service that allows users to integrate their social networking activities, and a variety of iPhone, iPad, and Android apps designed to help businesses increase productivity and work more efficiently.

Not all innovation is right for everyone, so whether it is mobile apps, cloud computing or virtualization, make sure the technology you adopt is suited for the business before investing the money and time on implementation.