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3/3/2010
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Social Media, Video Become Email Marketing Staples For SMBs

SMB email marketers are seeing results from incorporating more video and social media into campaigns; 64% have boosted conversion rates using video email.

SMB email marketers are seeing results from incorporating more video and social media into campaigns; 64% have boosted conversion rates using video email.Lacking the buzz of more contemporary marketing opportunities offered by micro-blogging (Twitter) and location-based social networking (Loopt, Foursquare), email marketing might seem a bit stodgy. That's lead to periodic predictions that the end of email marketing is near. These predictions underestimate the power of email, arguably the Web's first and most enduring killer app -- based on the results of the recent GetResponse Email Marketing Trends survey, email remains an adaptable and viable marketing tool for SMB digital marketers.

The lasting power of email is attributable to its powerful reach. According to Forrester Research, approximately 90% of Americans using the Internet use email as a "mainstream communication channel." However, social media and video are attracting users at a dizzying rate, if anything that growth is creating new opportunities for email marketers. Those opportunities combined a host of increasingly accessible online tools have allowed SMBs to adopt them at a fast clip: 80% plan to use video email in 2010 and 90% plan to use social media in email campaigns in 2010.

The bullish uptake on social media is hardly limited to email marketing however. According to the seventh annual Alterian survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals, 66% will be investing in social media marketing over the next 12 months. Moreover, 40% of those investing are shifting more than 20% of their traditional marketing budget to social media marketing. Belying these trends is the finding that 67% believe social media is increasingly important or critical to success.

Returning to email marketing for SMBs specifically, the GetResponse online survey was conducted by Implix in January and February of this year. It garnered responses from more than 200 SMB email marketers from an array of industries and global locations. Commenting on the findings, GetResponse founder Simon Grabowski said, "We were pleasantly surprised at the major uptick in SMB marketers planning to use video email marketing and social media integration in 2010. According to our 2009 study, video emails delivered close to a 100 percent increase in click through rates, so we know it works and expected the increase in use. But the 480 percent increase in planned video email use surprised even us!" He added, "Today's marketers are mindful of the importance of delivering relevant content and one-to-one messaging based on preferences and behaviors. It's all about putting the "human element" back into marketing through the use of video and social media conversations. Combining these interactive techniques promises to be a very successful strategy for our SMB customers!"

On video email marketing, more than 50% of survey participants claimed video emails can increase click-thru rates, a third believe it enhances brand image and increases customer loyalty, and 20% say it reduces support and training costs.

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For social media, the survey findings indicate a more than 110% increase in use of links to new messages on social media pages, an almost 110% increase is use of sign up forms on Facebook fan pages

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More than half of those surveyed plan to increase personalization in both targeting and in email titles and subject lines

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Almost three quarters of the marketers participating in the survey believed behavioral targeting could increase effectiveness to some degree.

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The complete findings of the GetResponse Email Marketing Trends survey are available for download here.

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Follow Benjamin Tomkins on Twitter @http://twitter.com/benjamintomkins Follow InformationWeek SMB on Twitter @http://twitter.com/infoweeksmb Get InformationWeek SMB on your mobile device @http://mobile.bmighty.com

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