Skip to main content

These days, social-media marketing is all the rage as marketers try to figure out how to capitalize on the millions of people using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs.

In many respects, e-mail marketing has been shunted to the sidelines, despite the fact e-mail is still very much alive and well as a way for companies to effectively reach consumers.

To get a better idea of what's happening, I reached out to Jeff Porter, who heads up the partner program with Toronto-based Eloqua, which runs e-mail marketing campaigns for clients around the world.

Story continues below advertisement

The first and most obvious question was whether e-mail remains a viable tool given all the attention on social media, and the fact marketers are starting to devote more of their budgets to social media marketing.

Mr. Porter says e-mail marketing actually plays well with social media because responses to the campaigns start to taper off after about 48 hours. But thanks to things such as status updates, tweets, blogs and Facebook "likes," he says e-mail marketers can make their campaigns last longer by simply embedding social-sharing tools into their e-mail campaigns.

So what separates successful e-mail campaigns from those quickly dismissed as spam?

One of the key considerations is relevance, which can be a challenge because what is relevant to one person may not be useful to someone else. Mr. Porter says the best marketers leverage both traditional tools to match interest to content such as industry, title and revenue, while also using people's online behaviour (or "digital footprint") to get a better idea of their interests.

So, how do you actually get someone to open an e-mail from a marketer at a time when people are so busy, and strange items in an inbox tend to get deleted pretty quickly?

Mr. Porter says it comes down to testing things such as subject lines, and of course to credibility, which is established by determining the right mix of frequency, content and personalization.

Special to the Globe and Mail

Story continues below advertisement

Mark Evans is a principal with ME Consulting, a content and social media strategic and tactical consultancy that creates and delivers 'stories' for companies looking to capture the attention of customers, bloggers, the media, business partners, employees and investors. Mark has worked with three start-ups – Blanketware, b5Media and PlanetEye – so he understands how they operate and what they need to do to be successful. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshUniversity and meshmarketing conferences .

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter