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4 ways companies can transform their email marketing strategies

In today's crowded high-tech climate, it can be difficult for businesses to decide how specifically to reach out to their customers. In the old days, options were fairly limited - they could make phone calls or send mail, and that was about it. Now, the menu includes mobile apps, social media interactions and more. The picture has become muddled.

There's a line of thinking today that for most marketers looking to maximize customer engagement, the email inbox should be featured front and center. Email might not seem like the best option - but according to Forbes, the beauty of the channel is that it interweaves well with a number of other communication outlets. That's the viewpoint of Charles Gaudet, founder of PredictableProfits.com and author of "The Predictable Profits Playbook."

"Email is most effective when it is properly integrated with direct mail," Gaudet stated, according to the news source. "By having email and direct mail compliment each other, you can create a marketing campaign that doesn't read as junk or spam. Coordinating online and offline marketing pieces ensures your business is at the top of their mind when your customer is ready to buy. That's the real power of email marketing."

That being the case, there are numerous companies looking to improve their email marketing effectiveness and thus get a leg up on the competition. Here are a few strategies they're trying:

Pushing for reader engagement
The goal of email marketing is to encourage people to take action - so marketers are being sure to put that "call to action" everywhere. Lively words like "subscribe now!" and "order today!" are being used early and often, and for good reason.

Offering free products
A free giveaway, even if it's just a small one, can be a great way to encourage people to click, read and interact. It might require an initial investment, but it's a great way to get a solid foot in the door with people who might potentially become customers.

Linking to content marketing
Content marketing is all the rage. Blogs, news articles and social media sites have become great tools for engaging with customers. The beauty of email is it doesn't need to exist in a vacuum - you can use marketing emails to link to other content and keep people in the loop.

Making reading easy and fun
The more effort you put into your email marketing content, the more impactful it's likely to be. If you take the time to inject interesting language, lively graphics and other appealing elements, that should help. In a competitive marketing climate, every little modification has a chance to make a big difference.