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As marketers, we’re always on the hunt for content that engages us, teaches us something new, or just entertains us with interesting stories about our industry.

We put together this must-read list of marketing eBooks written by expert marketers from a variety of companies. These books examine the challenges modern marketers face, the effectiveness that marketing automation tools have, the best tactics to use when building a marketing team and much more.

Here are 9 awesome eBooks for digital marketers.

1. 24 ‘Baller’ Tactical Plays That Will Up Your Content Marketing Game – Content Marketing Institute

This eBook by Content Marketing Institute’s Jodi Harris explores different ways in which you can tell your brand’s stories through utilizing different platforms like social media, blogs, and email. Through research, they found that marketers struggle with seeing effective results from the various marketing tactics they use in order to reach their audiences. Harris walks through 24 useful tactics and even dedicates a full section to email newsletters. This guide is perfect for developing and optimizing your strategy for 2017.

“Email is an essential structure that supports and strengthens all of your other content efforts. It’s also one of the best techniques for building a subscriber base – which helps foster deeper engagement and lasting brand loyalty.

But just like any critical system, success with email is tied to proper maintenance and upkeep – if you fail to keep pace as consumption trends shift, even your most faithful followers may start to overlook your e-newsletters in their crowded inboxes, or opt out altogether.”

2. Email Marketing Strategy Challenges of the Modern Marketer – Campaign Monitor

After surveying hundreds of marketers at growing businesses, we found that modern marketers face 7 major challenges when it comes to their email marketing strategy. Some of the top challenges include engagement rates, customer acquisition, customer retention and email personalization. This eBook breaks apart each challenge in order to understand its importance, why each one is challenging and how marketers can overcome each one in order to create a successful email marketing strategy for the year.

“The key to engaging with customers is understanding who they are and what they are looking for and then engaging them in a personal, relevant way. Thankfully, the days of mass email marketing with a one to many message are being left in the past and today’s modern marketers understand the importance of using rich customer data to deliver customer journeys and messages that are timely, relevant, wanted, and unique to each subscriber’s interests.

The most successful marketers segment their audience into different groups. It’s important to grasp which subscribers are engaging with your email campaigns and why.”

3. The Definitive Guide to Conversion Optimization – Quick Sprout

As marketers, our hopes are that our readers will read our email newsletters and convert into loyal customers by purchasing our products or services. This eBook by Quick Sprout goes over the basics of CRO (conversion rate optimization), how to collect data and how to run A/B tests. While this eBook mainly focuses on web traffic, emails are an essential way to directing readers to your site in order to convert them into customers and/or subscribers.

“…testing is the key factor when it comes to CRO. Without testing, you’re left relying on your gut instinct to determine what will be more effective, but once you test, you know right away whether a change leads to an increase or decrease in conversions. It takes the guesswork out of knowing what you should say and how you should design a new web page.

The number of tests you can eventually run are endless. You can test different headlines, new value propositions, varying button colors, different call-to-action copy, and much more. Each change has the opportunity to impact conversions, and small wins add up over time.”

4. Marketing Automation For B2B vs B2C – What’s the Difference? – Campaign Monitor

This eBook reviews the basics of marketing automation and how B2C and B2B companies utilize these marketing tools in different ways. It analyzes the 3 core components of marketing automation (triggers, rules, and content) and how these components affect the different tactics used by B2C and B2B brands. This eBook also uses research in order in order to analyze why marketers prefer to use best of breed technologies as opposed to a single vendor marketing cloud solution.

“The power of marketing technology is in its ability to meet the specific needs of every organization so the reality that growing B2C and B2B organizations need different tools to achieve results is no surprise.

Today’s marketers need to be agile, testing their approach and changing direction quickly, to keep up with customer expectations. They want the flexibility to choose the tools they need — for customization, personalization, and automation.

Despite the lofty promises of big marketing suites, the future of automation for growing B2C brands is a well-curated marketing stack of hand-picked technologies that each does its job impeccably well.”

5. The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing – LinkedIn [gated]

This eBook focuses on how to create high-quality content in order to engage with your audiences. It will walk you through how to identify who your target audience is, how to create customized content and then how to effectively measure its success. This eBook tops out at over 100 pages and includes the insights of 10 expert marketing contributors.

“Back in the day, there were more green pastures. It was easier to get traction in larger, more general categories. Now, competition for attention is more intense in more industries. It’s more difficult to win attention for bigger topics because marketers and brands have already moved in, claiming the advantage in all three content marketing channels.

• They’ve built the domain authority through links (search optimization)
• They’ve built a large list of subscribers (email marketing)
• They’ve built a following on online networks (social media)

The best content marketers combine search, social and email marketing. But it’s not too late. The things that make it hard to compete against them will eventually make it hard to compete against you.”

6. The CMO’s Guide To Hiring For Content – Contently [gated]

Before you are able to send out awesome email campaigns to your target audiences, it’s important to have creative writers and strategists on board to help brainstorm ideas and power original content. Sometimes, we ask our employees to wear too many hats when in reality, they would be more successful putting all of their energy into one role that best suits them. This eBook by Contently’s team of marketing experts walks you through how you can build an effective content team no matter what industry you are in or how large your organization is.

“One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to hire someone as part of its content team without considering whether that person is equipped to execute within the company’s larger marketing strategy.

“What I usually see a lot is the organization has not enabled enough transition time,” said Baron Manett, former senior vice president of Ariad Communications and founder of Per Se Brand Experience. “I see an organization make an announcement, ‘Okay, we’re going to focus on content marketing. And hey, Debbie, yesterday you were the senior brand manager. Starting Monday, you’re going to be the director of content.’”

7. How Marketing Automation Stacks Up – Campaign Monitor

We surveyed 500 marketers at mid-size businesses to see if they prefer all-in-one cloud marketing solutions or more simple and tailored solutions that seamlessly deliver on the investment. In this guide, we analyze the different factors that busy marketers take into account when purchasing a marketing automation tool and how these marketers measure the effectiveness of their software solutions. Some of these factors include usability, flexibility, cost and how these solutions contribute to a company’s ROI.

“Busy marketers don’t have the time or budget to implement all-in-one marketing clouds. We need simple, tailored solutions to keep up with the competition and heightening consumer expectations. We need affordable tools that deliver on the investment. We need technologies that integrate with one click.

The power of marketing technology is in its ability to meet the specific needs of every organization. Despite the promise of big marketing suites, the future of automation is a marketing stack of hand-picked technologies that each does its job incredibly well.”

8. Retail Reinvented – DMN [gated]

This eBook focuses on B2C companies, exploring different methods that retailers can use in order to engage with their audiences in a personalized way. It reviews how these strategies should vary by device as the digital space continues to evolve at a rapid pace. It also focuses on data analytics and the insights you should gain through your marketing efforts and how to best utilize those data points in order to connect with your customers.

“Further complicating the conversion process [when engaging a potential customer] is that a majority of people visiting an e-commerce site aren’t going there to make a purchase — they’re going there simply to research. Brands need to focus on engaging these customers across the buying journey, says Joakim Holmquist, director of digital marketing for EPiServer, a WCM platform. ‘When we see conversion rates for e-commerce hovering at about 2%, it means that 98% didn’t complete that conversion.’
It’s important that brands nurture the other activities customers engage in when visiting the brand’s site. ‘Even if consumers didn’t decide to buy at that point in their journey, you still need to give them a great experience,’ says Holmquist.”

9. Build a Mighty Email List With Attractive Lead Magnets – MarketingProfs [requires paid membership]

This eBook is perfect for companies who are looking to build out extensive email lists of high-quality prospects. It explores the different ways that you can develop your own “lead magnets” in order to grow your email outreach and convert more customers. It focuses on how to prove that you have the solution to your readers’ problems through using effective and personalized email marketing campaigns. While this eBook requires a paid MarketingProfs’ membership, its expertise and insight are invaluable to the modern marketer who is eager to build stronger email lists.

“Hello, stranger; please give me your email address.”
What kind of request is that? It’s not a very compelling one, is it?
“I’d like to offer you massively helpful advice to solve a problem that’s killing you. All I need is your email address.”
Now that’s more like it.
That’s a lead magnet…
Offering lead magnets is a vital part of the content marketing formula that builds your email list—and, in turn, effectively builds your business. In this 36-page guide, you’ll learn about lead magnets, how they can make your marketing more magnetic, and how you can use them to build a higher quality email list that delivers more business.”

Wrap up

From content marketing strategies to conversion optimization, these eBooks review the ins and outs of digital marketing and the topics that many marketers have top of mind.

Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, building effective email lists, hiring a strong internal team, personalizing email campaigns and purchasing marketing automation tools are concerns that we all aim to nail.

For more helpful eBooks and resources check out the Campaign Monitor Resource page.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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