Sending email content at specific times helps small businesses improve email marketing campaigns.

A report from BlueHornet found that more than 56 percent of consumers subscribe to email marketing campaigns to receive content containing new product and service information. While more than 95 percent said they hope to receive discounts, there are other reasons prospects subscribe that companies can consider if they hope to generate more web leads and conversions.

Original website content makes an ideal part of email marketing campaigns. Aside from using site content updates to keep the messages fresh, this strategy directs recipients back to the website.

As is the case with most web marketing channels, the goals of email initiatives are to improve awareness for a small business and drive sales. While discounts can accomplish these results, many SMBs (perhaps rightly) worry that offering coupons or deals too frequently is unsustainable.

Including informative articles or blog posts, written as part of a content marketing campaign, in emails will keep recipients engaged and make them more likely to open the messages.

Email marketing can help companies gain insights into their target audiences as well. More than 38 percent of respondents said they are willing to participate in research conducted by the SMBs whose email marketing campaigns they subscribe to.

While informative content within emails can encourage clicks, trigger language in the subject line is equally important to influence prospects to open messages in the first place. ContentLEAD recently reported that creating subject lines that call for direct action or speak directly to recipients can help improve open rates.