Despite its relative longevity, Email marketing continues to be the most popular form of online content marketing. According to inbound marketers Hubspot, investment in Email marketing will hit $2 billion by 2014. Gone are the days of sending out thousands upon thousands of “blast e-mails” to an un-targeted mass audience to sell a product or service. Businesses are now building sophisticated Email marketing campaigns to promote their best online content marketing collateral to a well-defined target audience of new prospects and existing customers. These campaigns offer a series of highly-coordinated emails that provide relevant TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content offers at the appropriate time in the buying cycle.

Here is a six-step approach to using Email marketing to promote your best content marketing collateral.

Set Goals

Set specific goals for your Email marketing. Begin by defining what you are trying to achieve with each campaign. Are you trying to promote a product or service to an audience of hot new prospects, or inform existing prospects about a new offer?

Having a clear picture of the ultimate goal of your Email marketing campaign helps to clarify your target audience, choose the content marketing collateral that speaks to their wants and needs, and inform which metrics to use to define success.

Define Specific Personas

Taking the time to create individual buyer personas forces you to really channel your target audience, clarifying both who you want to reach, and what you hope they will get out of your message. After all, if you don’t even know precisely who your audience is, it’s difficult to provide value to their lives.

Perform a Content Inventory

Review your existing content, and choose all offers relevant to your Email campaign’s target audience. Make sure everything syncs together, so you don’t have any mis-matches between your content and the needs and wants of your target audience. Make sure to coordinate TOFU, MOFU and BOFU content offers with the appropriate email copy. For example, don’t include a TOFU whitepaper with BOFU Email copy offering a free product demo.

Create the Email Copy

Don’t bog down the reader with too much detail. Most recipients receive a number of Emails on a daily basis, so it is important to be concise. Stick to the main points. Get your idea across. Conduct yourself in a casual manner. Don’t forget to loosen up: if you’re too professional in tone, a reader will get bored and loss interest.

Experiment with Timing and Measure Results

There is no guaranteed recipe for success when deciding how to space out the timing your Emails. Just remember that most sales inquiries are won by the first company that responds. Experiment with different times of the day and different time periods between Emails. The key is to track the results and adjust your timing accordingly. Keep in mind that different timing patterns may work for various target audiences.

Incorporate Social Media

By integrating social media marketing with your Email campaigns, you’re able to double down on your online content marketing conversion rates. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can be used in conjunction with Email to spread your company’s brand efficiently and effectively. Start by incorporating hyperlinked social share icons within your Emails.

Instead of using it primarily as a direct sales channel, many B2B and B2C companies now view Email marketing as an efficient and inexpensive way to promote their marketing collateral to new prospects and existing customers. Perhaps it’s time you do the same.