Create buyer personas. Understand who customers are and what they want at different points in the buying cycle, then target email campaigns to those different stages.
Focus on data quality. Request more information with each new offer (a tactic known as progressive profiling). For example, in the first interaction with a prospect, a marketer might request only a name and email address. The next time, it could request more information, such as company name and stage in the buying cycle.
Practice personalization—not just by using the recipient's name and title but by targeting content based on past behavior. Also, consider sending multiple messages within one email. If you include two or three snippets on various topics, recipients are more likely to find something of interest.
Identify recipients' preferences.(See Ask the Expert, this page.) When first engaging with subscribers, ask what product offerings they're interested in and through which channel they prefer to receive communications.
Integrate email marketing and social media efforts. Cross-promote email content on social sites, and include an opt-in module so social followers can request to receive email communications.