The 10 Best CRM Tools for Small Business

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The 10 Best CRM Tools for Small Business

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Growing Your Email List With Chatbots

Growing Your Email List With Chatbots

Practical Marketer • October 28, 2019

As chatbots continue to grow in popularity, especially with the onset of AI-backed capabilities, their potential applications in the business realm continue to grow. According to Gartner, 55 percent of all companies will be using chatbots by 2020. Forrester research describes chatbot growth as “crazy,” stating, “Bots are easier to develop than apps, and they’re a way to reach customers where they spend a majority of their time.” One of the most pertinent uses for chatbots at the moment is in the automation arena. Bots are able to autonomously handle customer service conversations, answer questions, and gather useful consumer data. One of the most important components of this data is email. Although it may seem a bit old school, email marketing is still alive and well, and chatbots are one of the easiest and most effective ways to nurture that invaluable email list. Why Use Chatbots? Chatbots have become wildly popular, with more than 1.3 billion people using Facebook messenger bots alone. Drift’s State of Conversational Marketing report found people from all 195 countries use online chat. What explains this popularity? By all accounts, a chat is more convenient, faster, and more readily available than any other form of communication. As Forrester noted, these bots exist in places where customers are already spending a majority of their time — on social media and online. This makes chatbots an easy way to connect with users on a more personal level and provides them with a satisfying interaction. Chatbots are a great way to get your foot in the door and obtain email addresses to add to your subscriber list. If you’re not using chatbots to propel your email marketing campaigns forward, you might be missing out on a lot of potential leads. Why Use Chatbots? A quick note here - while chatbots are absolutely great in growing your email list, running a bot for the sole purpose of gathering emails can come across as pushy. The primary objective of your chatbot must be to provide customer service or gathering user\'s feedback. Capturing email addresses of your users is thus a desirable outcome of the value you provide. How Do You Get the Email Addresses? According to Optinmonster, “Email is a very personal thing. People aren’t going to give you their email address without a good incentive.” Chatbots allow you to target specific audiences and provide them with valuable, customized information. However, simply starting a chat is no longer enough to get users to hand over their email addresses. Using the “in case we get disconnected” line doesn’t cut it anymore. Users need to be wooed through relevant information, entertainment, and enticement. Provide Users With An Incentive In the digital marketing world, email addresses are like currency. In order to get users to hand over their email address, you must provide something equally as valuable for them in return. Chatbots can offer incentives that may benefit customers, such as ebooks, quizzes, podcasts, exclusive members-only content, product demos, promotions, or even trial offers on products. For example, if you have a chatbot for a clothing store, it can provide specific information about certain items, as well as provide advice such as fashion tips. The chatbot could then offer additional incentives like daily outfit inspiration, special offers, and discounts for users who provide an email address. In doing this, the bots have provided customers with enough value to incentivize customers to hand over their personal information. Ensure Bots Do What They’re Built To Do It’s imperative that your bots do exactly what they’re programmed to do and provide relevant information and answers to customers. Each message is vital to successful interaction and can mean the difference between an engaged customer and a disinterested one. An important component to remember is that users opt for chat communication because it’s faster, easier, and more to the point. Complicated messages or too many steps before addressing the main objective will likely disengage your customers. For example, the chatbot for Whole Foods Market is aimed at helping customers find recipes. The bots get right down to business, respond to their prompts, and drive the conversation to help users get exactly the kinds of food and recipes they’re searching for. The chatbot does what it’s supposed to do and aligns directly with the user’s expectations throughout the entire conversation. Don’t Ask For An Email Right Away The easiest time for a customer to say ‘no’ is at the beginning of a conversation. Don’t make the mistake of asking for an email address as soon as the conversation begins. Instead, genuinely engage with your users. An entertaining conversation can go a long way in gaining a user’s trust and keeping them interested until the right moment presents itself. Create bots with personality, like this sassy National Geographic chatbot. The longer a customer spends chatting with your bots and building a relationship, the more likely they’ll be to provide their email address at the end of the conversation. Begin by having bots ask for a user’s name and preferences, create an entertaining dialogue, and slowly work your way up to the big ask: the email address. Once customers have said yes to other questions and have engaged positively with a chatbot, they’ll be much more inclined to keep saying yes. Now That You Have The Emails, Where Do They go? Receiving email addresses is the most difficult task. But, once you have them, it’s important to have a system in place that will help you organize and use them effectively. There are many programs available that can integrate with Facebook messenger or other chatbots to funnel directly into creating automated subscriber lists. With the interconnection between these programs and your chosen email marketing platform, chatbots can build your subscriber list and send emails for your campaigns automatically. Platforms like Benchmark have the ability to take the emails your bots have gathered, sort through them, and send emails at the most optimal time, providing value to each user and ensuring the email addresses stay on the list rather than having users ask to be unsubscribed. Closing Thoughts Chatbots are a way to speak with customers in a setting where they’re already comfortable. The capabilities embedded into these bots allow them to intuitively interact with users, creating an overall positive customer experience. They create a perfect opportunity to foster a personal connection with users and collect valuable customer data, especially emails. In doing so, chatbots provide the perfect way to grow your subscriber list.


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5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Emails More Personal

5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Emails More Personal

Practical Marketer • October 24, 2019

Can you guess how many emails were sent in one day in 2018?  Would your guess be in the thousands or millions? Surprisingly, it is actually in the billions. In one day in 2018, there were 281 billion emails sent and received. Even more surprising is that number is expected to increase to 347 billion in just three years.  If your company is sending out marketing emails and you were already wondering how to stand-out, that number might not be what you want to hear. However, the good news is there are plenty of tips and tricks you can incorporate into your content to get noticed, read, appreciated and convert leads into customers. Personalize Your Subject Line  The first way is an old trick, but one that is still useful to marketers. If you made sure to get everyone’s first name when building out your email lists, this is one you can start using today. Now, you may be wondering if this still gets higher open rates, since you likely aren’t the first person your customer has seen add their first name to a sales email.  According to Experian, your customers are 29% more likely to open your email if their name is used. The study showed that personalized emails generated six times higher transaction rates. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get noticed and make your customer feel like you know them by name.  Take a Conversational Tone  Knowing what to say is the first part to writing a great email and the way you make it more personalized, is knowing how to say it. The tone of your messaging is an important way to stand out and shouldn’t be overlooked. Many sales emails that go out to inboxes everywhere take a more formal or sophisticated approach. That is not how people usually talk to their friends. You don’t have to make the tone too informal, but it is necessary to take a conversational approach to your content.  The easiest way to do this is to write like you would if you were talking with some friends. For example, use the word “it’s” instead of spelling out “it is” because when you read it out loud it usually sounds more awkward and not how people normally talk. You can also use words like “just” or even add in some emojis to make the email more fun to read. Let’s face it, people enjoy opening and reading emails from their friends more than they do from businesses.  Use Humor in Your Emails  On the note of emojis in marketing emails, another way to make an email more personalized is by adding in humor or some well-loved puns. Again, this is how friends talk to each other and it makes your content that much more fun to read. A lot of fashion and retail marketers are catching on to this trend and we aren’t mad about it. If you are going to get an email in your inbox in the morning, wouldn’t you rather it be something that brightens your day or makes you smile? Brands are now seen as more humanized, doing social good and they want to be seen as more approachable. They want more people to share their content, forward their email to a friend or post about them on social media. Brands want to build trust and they see the value. It’s a risk, but what if it’s one your competitors are willing to make? Of course, every marketing email message is different, so always make sure it is appropriate.  Segment Your Email Lists  Another great way to make your emails more personalized and feel less like a bulk email, is segmenting your lists. This isn’t something marketers always take the time to do, but it’s an important step if you’re also hopefully using email link clicks for tracking your leads. There are a few ways to segment your lists, but a popular one is by the target audience. If your company sells to a few different markets, organizing your lists will help you tailor your email marketing content. Let’s say you work with multiple industries, by segmenting your lists this way, you can write an email just focused on the interests and problems your product solves, just for them. When you are writing content for the masses, it’s more difficult to make your point. Use Automation to Send the Right Message at the Right Time Marketing automation doesn’t have to mean the end of email personalization. With so many affordable marketing automation platforms on the market, businesses that aren’t utilizing this technology are falling behind. Keep an eye out for specific buying signals, such as a demo request, email engagement or pricing page visit, and use those signals to trigger intelligent automations that will make your prospects feel like you’re reaching out to them on a one-to-one basis.  As a small business, you don’t have time to send one-off emails to prospects all day every day. Marketing automation allows you to put the processes in place to ensure that your outreach is nurturing leads through your sales funnel and never letting prospective customers fall through the cracks.  Email personalization is key to getting noticed in the overcrowded inbox. Using the tips we mentioned above, you can increase your odds that your prospects will open and engage with your emails – even when their inboxes are flooded.


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8 Email Deliverability Tips To Help You Get to the Inbox in 2020

8 Email Deliverability Tips To Help You Get to the Inbox in 2020

Practical Marketer • October 21, 2019

Wouldn’t it be great if every email you sent actually ended up in your intended recipients’ inboxes? While that’s certainly the goal when it comes to email marketing, making your way into someone’s inbox is often a lot easier said than done — especially with today’s rigorous spam filters. Okay, we know what you’re thinking: But I’m not sending spam. And while we get it, your standard email provider is usually more likely to err on the side of caution when choosing which messages make their way into the inbox and which messages fall into the dreaded spam box. It’s important then to optimize your emails so that they don’t set off any red flags, and we’ve got just the tips to help you do that. Read on for eight email deliverability tips that will help your marketing emails end up where you want them to. 1. Focus on Opt-In Subscribers It’s not just your conversion rates that suffer from emailing recipients who have not opted in to hearing from you. Email providers have pretty strict terms of service, especially when it comes to business communications. If you rent, buy, or otherwise obtain email addresses without direct permission, there’s a strong chance you’re going to get flagged as spam. 2. Clean Up Your Contact List Emails sent to non-deliverable addresses will result in a bounce back, and your bounce rate is one of the determining factors that email providers and internet service providers look at when qualifying your message. Fortunately, most email marketing providers make it easy to see which addresses are resulting in bounced messages. Be sure to check your contact list regularly for non-deliverable addresses and delete them so you’re not inadvertently increasing your bounce rate. 3. Target Your Messages Today’s consumers want to hear from brands, but they also want those messages to be personalized to their needs and preferences. Instead of mass-messaging your entire contact list with an email (which could end up in people flagging your message as spam or flat-out unsubscribing from future communications), segment your contact list so you only send recipients messages that they really care about. 4. Authenticate Your Domain Let email providers know that you’re actually who you say you are by authenticating your email domain. Taking this important step will help you jump the hurdles that providers put in the way of messages to ensure that they’re warranted, wanted, and don’t contain harmful material. To do this, we recommend authenticating through two different portals: the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), both of which will go a long way toward proving the legitimacy of the emails that your business sends. 5. Optimize Your Subject Lines Considering that 69% of email recipients report an email as spam based on its subject line alone, it pays to be careful when crafting yours. Some best practices for effective email subject lines include keeping it short, avoiding all-caps and exclamation points, and avoiding common spam phrases like “risk free” and “satisfaction guaranteed.” Make your subject lines personal too, since personalization has been shown to increase open rates.   6. Skip the Attachments Hackers and virus-spreaders often use email attachments to gain access to unsuspecting users’ computers. As such, any savvy emailer is going to know to avoid attachments in messages from senders they’re not completely familiar with, and email providers are going to consider an attachment a possible red flag. If you want to direct your recipients to a certain asset, opt for a link instead. 7. Keep Your Message Clean and Professional If you don’t want your email to be marked as spam then don’t write like a spammer. This includes being careful to avoid typos and grammar mistakes, as well as sticking to standard font types, colors, and sizes. This is good for asserting your authority in general, both with the people who are receiving your messages and the email platforms delivering them. 8. Make It Easy for Recipients to Unsubscribe Just because you don’t want anyone to unsubscribe your email doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make it easy for them to do so. Providing a clear “unsubscribe” link in your email helps designate it as legitimate. It’s also legally required in most countries, including the United States (see: CAN-SPAM Act). This link should be obvious, actionable, and easy to find on the page. In addition to being necessary for marketing compliance, it also makes sure that if someone doesn’t want to hear from you anymore they opt out instead of marking you as spam. There’s no single magic way to get your emails into the inbox every time (if there was, we promise we would tell you!). What there is, however, are best practices that can help all marketers increase their email deliverability rates. Follow the tips above and you should end up where you want to be more often than not.


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6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Mobile-Friendly Email Campaign

6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Mobile-Friendly Email Campaign

Practical Marketer • October 16, 2019

Smartphones are ubiquitous in today\'s society. Most people can\'t imagine going more than a few minutes without having their phones nearby. The widespread adoption of these and other mobile devices is good news for marketers who want to reach out to people in an accessible and effective way. You can send emails that people read and otherwise engage with on their mobile gadgets. That matters because: Many people receive push notifications from their email providers and are alerted to new messages immediately. Individuals often carry their mobile devices wherever they go and may be more likely to read content during downtime, such as while waiting for appointments. More internet traffic comes from mobile devices than desktop computers. Handheld devices let people engage with content during times when computer usage may be unfeasible, such as during road trips and at concerts, festivals and sporting events. Most of the world\'s population will solely use smartphones for internet access by 2025. You cannot ignore the rising popularity of mobile devices and should make creating effective campaigns for people who use them a priority. However, even carefully planned mobile-friendly email campaigns can backfire. Here are six blunders mobile-centric marketers should avoid. 1. Showing Insensitivity to Events One of the best practices for email marketing is to connect content to well-known events. You could even do it in a broad sense by talking about summer getaways when seasonal changes bring warmer temperatures, for example. However, trying to connect with people by talking about relatable things can also go wrong. Adidas learned that the hard way in 2017 when it sent out an email with the subject line, \"Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!\" Ordinarily, that would have been an effective way to reach out to people who trained for the big event and wanted to treat themselves to some new athletic gear. However, Adidas overlooked the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds of others. Although several years passed between the time of that attack and when Adidas set the message, the brand received flack on Twitter for its choice of words. [caption id=\"attachment_42254\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"956\"] Image Source: https://twitter.com/mikd33/status/854377690408906753/photo/1[/caption]   Adidas soon posted an apology on the social media platform and recognized the insensitivity shown in the subject line. [caption id=\"attachment_42258\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"935\"] Source: https://twitter.com/adidasUS/status/854422872944771073/photo/1[/caption]   Something that\'s both good and possibly bad about mobile email campaigns is that they can reach people all over the world in a matter of seconds. That\'s why you must be extremely careful to consider the possible ramifications of the words or phrases used, even if that means thinking about the consequences of common expressions. For example, people often say they survived a tough day at work, a drama-filled dinner with relatives or a marathon. Given what happened at the Boston Marathon in 2013, people were not ready to associate survival with the event — since some people there didn\'t live through it. 2. Subject Lines That Are Too Long or Overly Specific People may receive dozens or even hundreds of emails each day. If someone gets an email and immediately thinks, \"That doesn\'t apply to me at all,\" they\'ll likely get frustrated with the sender for cluttering up their inboxes. Sometimes, long or overly broad subject lines also get flagged as spam by email providers. The subject line above is an email sent to a person who signed up to earn money on the side by carrying out secret shopper assignments at local businesses. However, the requirements for qualified individuals are overly specific here — at least for a subject line. Participants must be within the given age range, plus be taking a trip to Arizona soon. Additionally, on a mobile device, the subject line got cut off after \"Help us.\" That means readers don\'t get to learn about the type of secret shopping opportunity, or how they could make more money by doing up to 12 assignments in a day, from the subject line alone. This email went to the spam folder even though the recipient signed up for the mailing list, too. It\'s difficult to say why that happened, but it could be that the two sentences in a row with exclamation points made the message seem like junk. You can avoid this mistake by making the subject line as brief and enticing as possible. Choose words to capture attention, and don\'t become so long-winded that people don\'t see most of the subject line in their email programs. Also, consider using segmentation to help people receive emails that apply to them. Going back to the screenshot example, a better approach would be to ask people how old they are when they sign up to receive messages from the company. Then, when the sender must recruit people who are a certain age, they could use segmentation to send messages only to people that fall within the desired group. 3. Too Much Data Without Supporting Visualizations Adding statistics to your emails can be an excellent way to position yourself as an authority or thought leader. However, readability is one of the hallmarks of a fantastic mobile email. Remember, people using smartphones or tablets digest the content on screens that are substantially smaller than what computers have. If they see huge chunks of text in an email, recipients will likely click out of it. However, data visualizations can make statistics easier on the eyes. In the business world, they support company leaders in making more confident conclusions about how to run their enterprises. Statistics show that 77% of organizations using data visualizations noticed improved decision-making. Visualizations apply to email marketing, too. If you\'re thinking about sending a data-heavy email, you might improve it by: Inserting an infographic that pulls the key points from a larger study Creating a pie chart that shows the top benefits people get from a product you sell based on a poll Including a line graph that illustrates the shifts in a trend over time Making a bar graph and using contrasting colors is another worthwhile method for email. Check out this example of a visualization that backs up the earlier information about how more people use mobile devices than desktops. It shows the email open rates for people on mobile or desktop platforms. [caption id=\"attachment_42257\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"949\"] Source: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/email-open-rates/[/caption] The company put this image in a blog post rather than an email, but you can immediately notice the eye-popping effects of selecting a red-and-blue color scheme. Visualizations make data easier to understand in most cases. However, for mobile specifically, long paragraphs full of statistics could overwhelm people as they read their emails. Think about using visualizations in an email to give a teaser of more available content. For example, you might provide a chart or two, followed by a link where people can download the full research paper containing the statistics cited in the email. 4. Using Clickbait Headlines Clickbait is headline content intended to get people\'s attention enough that they open the content and read further. Here are some examples of typical clickbait phrases and structures: This one food helped her lose 10 pounds in a month You\'ll never believe how much he saved on airfare with this trick The tax secret that led to a giant refund This common ingredient could help you fight diabetes The gadget that has everyone in the country talking Fight aging with this mind-blowing ancient remedy Clickbait headlines are familiar sights around the internet, but research shows they could decrease your email open rates. Using \"shocking\" and \"secret of\" in subject lines made people less likely to open them. It\'s also easier than you may think to emphasize shock value so much that it makes recipients feel frightened, then angry. See the email message below that BuzzFeed used to drive traffic to an article about people making mistakes on the job. [caption id=\"attachment_42256\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"949\"] Source: https://zapier.com/learn/email-marketing/email-marketing-mistakes/[/caption] The \"Hi, You\'re Fired\" subject line is enough to make anyone\'s stomach lurch with sudden dread. The BuzzFeed representative responsible for it confirmed that the message was one of the most-opened emails BuzzFeed had ever sent at the time. However, it\'s not difficult to see how using such a fear-inducing subject line could make people upset. They may even conclude that BuzzFeed betrayed their trust. Since distributing that email, BuzzFeed established a policy that focused on delighting readers first and foremost. It\'s best to steer clear of clickbait altogether in your mobile marketing campaigns. People are now so accustomed to it that it makes them weary. Moreover, the research above suggests it could make people less likely to open emails. If you do choose to use it, never use a strategy that makes you seem callous or out of touch with your users. It\'s OK to use urgency when warranted, such as when promoting limited-time offers. Just don\'t structure your headline to make people click out of anxiety or desperation. 5. Incomplete Content If you\'re working on a tight schedule or don\'t have enough team members to check emails before they go out, embarrassing oversights are more likely to happen. Recipients may think you\'re unprofessional or confusing. Take a look at this subject line from a band that sent out a message to tell fans about its upcoming tour. However, it falls short of the intended emphasis by merely saying, \"We are excited to get back on the.\" The \"We are excited\" part might make some people interested enough to click inside and read more. However, that\'ll likely only happen if they\'re devoted fans of the group who care about what happens in their career. If the subject line was complete, there\'s a strong chance it\'d make even more casual fans click to read more about the stops on the tour. Because this subject line example is not very long, this mistake was probably an oversight. Similar errors can happen if you include an image that should have an embedded link but doesn\'t. Humans always play a part in email distribution, which makes it impossible to avoid missing content altogether. However, you can substantially cut down on it by having a thorough quality control process. 6. Image-Heavy Emails Many people who receive emails on their mobile devices want to restrict the data used. Depending on the plans they have, using too much could result in them receiving surprisingly high bills. That\'s not to say you should avoid using images, but think about whether you could convey your message without them. Until now, we\'ve seen examples of what not to do. Here\'s how you can create an attractive email without the images that could eat up a person\'s internet data allotment. [caption id=\"attachment_42255\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"893\"] Source: https://www.practicalecommerce.com/Email-Marketing-3-Examples-Good-and-Bad[/caption] The branded header is the primary graphic element. Plus, several characteristics help this email stand out without lots of pictures: The email was sent shortly before weather experts forecasted a hurricane to hit the recipient\'s area. It had short, scannable paragraphs. A bulleted list breaks down the benefits of hiring Roto-Rooter. The Schedule Service button follows a call-to-action to encourage readers. See how you could craft an impactful email without letting large images do the talking? An approach like the one above is ideal when addressing mobile users. You tell them what they need to know without making them download pictures first. Making a Mobile-Friendly Email Campaign That Resonates The six mistakes mentioned here happen more often than people think, but you don\'t need to make them too. Use this list as a guide while creating and implementing a mobile-friendly email strategy people will love.


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6 Ways To Make Your Cart Abandonment Emails More Interesting

6 Ways To Make Your Cart Abandonment Emails More Interesting

Practical Marketer • October 14, 2019

Online shoppers are notoriously fickle, and why shouldn’t they be? There are so many options and avenues at their fingertips that there’s no sense in wildly committing to the first products they see. The multi-step checkout process allows them to toy with potential purchases — chalk certain items down as likely buys while they look around for alternatives. From the standpoint of a seller, of course, this can be extremely frustrating. Just when you think you’re on the verge of making a sale — a site visitor having heaped their cart with products and taken the first step in the checkout phase — it all goes up in smoke. The interested party disappears from the site, leaving behind all those items. To combat this, every sensible online merchant automates cart abandonment emails to trigger when this happens. The goal? To tempt back the near-misses and turn those abandoned carts into sales. But they’re so common that they easily get dull and predictable. If what’s on your site didn’t do enough to hold someone’s attention, you won’t get anywhere with a boring email. So, if you want to optimize the results you get from your cart abandonment email campaigns, you need to make them more interesting. Here are 6 ways to do just that: Reiterate the Main Selling Points Very commonly, cart abandonment emails will simply list the items left behind and advise that they’re still on offer — handy for prospective buyers who simply got distracted and forgot to finish their purchases, but not much use to those who actually decided against buying (for whatever reason). It makes no sense to simply repeat a failed tactic. Regardless of the reason behind an email recipient failing to complete their order, you’re best served adding the big selling points for the listed products to their email. If they were already sold on them and simply had to leave for some emergency, the extra rhetoric won’t discourage them from continuing, and if they left because they decided otherwise, seeing the benefits clearly restated might just convince them that they were wrong to leave. Throw In Some Small Incentives There’s no shortage of competition in the eCommerce world, so retailers need to work extremely hard to stay viable. This tends to result in similar prices across the board — going too high will run you out of contention (people can easily shop around to find cheaper listings) while going too low will destroy your profit on items with razor-thin margins to begin with. The good news about that is that even a very modest discount can often be enough to convince someone to complete an order, particularly when it’s offered out of nowhere in a cart abandonment email. Or you could provide a different kind of incentive: a free gift included with the order, for instance. Be sure to make your presentation optimally appealing! Tell a Creative Story Most eCommerce site copy comes across as fairly generic. You have basic product details, key features, customer reviews, warranty details, and relevant images. The persuasive burden for a given listing is placed on the visual presentation in combination with the innate appeal of the product — which means that two websites offering the same item will have very similar pages. But you don’t have to settle for that, particularly in your cart abandonment emails. Even if you’re reluctant to get too creative with your on-page copy (perhaps fearing the consequences for SEO), you can easily get more relaxed with your email copy. Allow some whimsy to creep in. Tell them how sad you are that they didn’t complete your order and that your adorable office puppy is looking heartbroken. A little humor (executed well) can really get people on your side, leading them to want to support your brand with their patronage. Lean on FOMO Elements Someone looks at the products on your site, nearly buys them, then decides against it. There’s clearly no rush driving their actions (at least pertaining to your site in particular). If you email them to say something that effectively amounts to “Hey, these items are still here! You forgot them!” then you’re not changing that. You can change this using FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), the rhetorical powerhouse that readily compels us to take action because we’re worried that something great will pass us by. Instead of just listing the left-behind products, show their stock levels too, or simply note that they’re going quickly (even if they’re not). Lead the recipient to believe that their opportunity to buy isn’t indefinite. If they don’t act soon, their time will run out. Alternatively, Play It Cool FOMO is strong, but it doesn’t always work. It’s really a hard-line gambit: if they’re really on the fence about wanting the item, the effort to hurry them may well cause them to conclusively decide against it. But that’s not the only negative effect it could have, because it might also lead them to dislike your business in general. People don’t like feeling hurried. So if it’s more fitting of the circumstances, you can take the opposite tack and play it cool. Instead of leading them to think that they need to decide immediately, let them know that there’s no rush. They can change their mind whenever they want, and the great products (and great offers) will be there when they’re ready, no matter when (or how) they want to buy from you. After all, assuming you’re using a multi-channel eCommerce platform, there’ll be nothing stopping them from changing their mind in the middle of the night and ordering from their phone through a chatbot in a messaging application (unlikely, perhaps, but completely possible). This works as a display of confidence, shifting their perception of the situation and (possibly) driving them to want the products again. Think of a child refusing to do something they enjoy because their parent ordered them to — once that pressure goes away, they can make a free decision and follow their personal preferences. Recommend Some Comparable Items Suppose that nothing you do in your email, from restating the benefits of the abandoned items to offering a discount, has any effect on the recipient’s inclination to buy. They already made their mind up about those items, firmly concluding that they were no longer interested. But that doesn’t mean they lack interest in comparable items — maybe they just read some reviews and concluded that those specific products weren’t worth buying. To cater to this, try listing some recommended products along with the abandoned items. If the stats of your online store show that 40% of the people who view a particular laptop go on to buy a totally different laptop, then that’s an obvious inclusion in a cart abandonment email to someone who left that first laptop in their cart. Bonus: Get the Right Automation Tools Even if you have a fool-proof strategy for reigniting the interest of abandoned cart shoppers, you need the right tools to pull it off. Sign up for a free Benchmark Email account to test out our light email automation and learn how you can automate email follow-up and turn abandoned carts into fresh sales for your business. Sending cart abandonment emails isn’t enough in itself to make the most of your near-misses. You need to take the time to optimize them, setting them apart from those of your competitors — and these 6 tactics will help you do just that. (originally published on March 21, 2019)


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5 Foolproof Strategies to Help You Win More Email Subscribers

5 Foolproof Strategies to Help You Win More Email Subscribers

Practical Marketer • October 3, 2019

The only way to expand a business is to invest time and money into marketing. However, how do you know which channel should you choose? Among tons of online marketing tools available today, there is one that has been around for as long as the Internet has been in existence – email!  Almost every modern person uses email for communication, work, education, and personal purposes. Being so widely-spread, this is one of a few channels that allow marketers to reach out to millions of Internet users worldwide. Thus, using it as one of your primary channels for online marketing has its purpose and potential benefits for your business. On average, a person spends about 28% of their working time reading and responding to the messages. This fact makes it a powerful marketing tool available to every business at literally no cost. Key Concept of Email Marketing Whether you are a dedicated manager, marketer, or entrepreneur, the main goal that unites all these specialists is to nurture and grow their businesses. Luckily, in the 21st century, there are numerous opportunities for advancement. Among tons of different marketing strategies, email marketing is often being undervalued. Many entrepreneurs have probably heard of this technique. However, most of them don’t realize its full potential and have no idea how to use it to benefit their businesses. So, exactly what is email marketing? In simple terms, it\'s a strategy that allows you to promote your business by using email as the primary channel. Here are some of the key goals that email marketing meets: Boosting loyalty among current customers; Attracting new clients; Sharing news and updates related to your business; Increasing awareness of your brand; Cultivating trusted relationships with current and potential customers; Providing information about sales/sending coupons to clients, etc.  These are only some of the goals that can be easily met with the help of email and the correct marketing strategy. Nevertheless, why do entrepreneurs neglect using this handy promotion tool?  One of the main reasons is that many people believe that email marketing is outdated. Indeed, there are plenty of modern tools, but does this mean that your business doesn’t need a solid email marketing strategy? Absolutely not! There are many ways to add some creative flair to a good old newsletter. You may not even need to provide brand new content every time. Try compilation strategies like Moz does with their “top tens.”Another example is short daily overviews provided by the bunch of geniuses from theSkimm. Life is too short for longreads anyway, they say! Though, the guys from Longreads may not agree. Otherwise, why would people sign up for their “Weekly Top 5s” or “Monthly books\" newsletter with reviews, excerpts, author interviews, and conversations on craft?  Email marketing is valuable in so many ways. First of all, it is one of the few forms of direct marketing. It is also much more price-efficient than almost any other channel. What other benefits does it offer to your business? Here are a few key pros: It helps strengthen the brand’s relationships with customers and build trust. It allows businesses to reach a wider audience and attract customers since 94% of users use email on a daily basis in the studying process, at work, and at home. It offers a pretty high return on investment and simple tracking of this indicator. In most cases, unlike other strategies and tools, email marketing costs less while the results still prove great. Knowing about the fundamental concept behind email marketing and its key benefits, now, you are probably wondering how to integrate it into your business model. At this point, it is crucial to understand that this form of marketing can bring excellent results, but only with the right strategy! How to pick it and make the most of your email marketing campaign? Below, we have collected the most effective ideas to get you started! Rethink Your Offer Let’s start with the basics – the first thing that holds you back from getting more subscribers is a weak offer. An offer that converts is the most significant part of your campaign. Not giving a compelling proposition, you’re being penny-wise and pound foolish. Therefore, if you are hoping to get more subscribers, the first move should be to rethink the offer you make.  There are a few tips that can help you make the offer more attractive to a user. First of all, it is vital to know your audience well. The better you understand the needs of a potential customer, the higher are the chances that you can make an offer that satisfies one\'s needs!  How to find out what a target client wants? Unfortunately, there is no universal formula for success. The most effective way to reach this goal is to conduct in-depth research and then keep experimenting with the offer until you get those high conversions. Another handy tip is to offer your potential customers something for free. Regardless of age, nationality, sex, and other characteristics, all people love free content, and businesses can use this to their benefit.  Let’s consider a few working samples of such techniques. You must be well aware of different giveaways that are being continuously conducted by many brands and bloggers themselves on various platforms. Offering a free template, service, or product in exchange for a client’s email address, you get more subscribers and also a unique chance to let the customers try your service or product. However, not only free samples can attract people. It is also of crucial importance to remember that anyone becomes more open once we receive some personal touch rather than obviously an automated response or a mail created by a robot.  A good example of following such personalized strategy can be the one used by the guys from The Conversation. Instead of seeing not that attractive “uk.newsletter@theconversation.com” near the subject line of each email one gets to know the name of the person who wrote it. Here are the samples - Annabel and Joe from The Conversation:  Together with a catchy subject line, you just can\'t resist opening the email composed by their business and economy editor, Annabel Bligh or outreach manager Joe Abrams!    Make It Mobile-Friendly With the overwhelming number of mobile devices in use today, it is vital for businesses to build their campaigns and resources for both desktop and mobile users. According to this study by Litmus, almost 50% of all email opens are done from a mobile device. What does this mean for your campaign? This basically means that if you don’t make your newsletters mobile-friendly, you lose that 50% of potential customers and, thus, miss a big deal of potential revenue. Waving bye-bye to almost half of your earnings just because of how bad your newsletters look on a mobile device doesn’t sound like a fair deal. Respectively, the better your messages look on different devices, the more subscribers you can get. Thus, don’t underestimate the value of mobile-friendliness! Subject Lines Subject lines are the most vital elements of every email! This is the only thing a recipient sees prior to clicking on a particular message and, thus, a subject line pretty much determines whether a person will open your letter or not.  Here\'s an example of an attention-catching subject line. True kings of the Internet entertainment industry, BuzzFeed writers seem to know everything about a subject line and a call to action. It is almost impossible to ignore the email with the line “Hi, You’re Fired.\" How can you empower your strategy with the help of subject lines? Here are a few tips to follow: Make it engaging – start with a phrase or offer that will immediately evoke genuine interest in the recipient; Keep it concise – you will only need a small number of characters to grab the recipient’s attention, so be sure to keep the subject line straight to the point and concise; Make it stand out – marketers have long been using additional tricks such as the use of emojis in the subject line to make it more eye-catchy! Let Social Media Enter the Game As we mentioned earlier, 94% of all Internet users have an email and use it regularly, which makes it a perfect channel for reaching out to a broader audience. However, the best results can be reached only when you empower your strategy with additional marketing forces such as social media. In 2019, a regular user spends on average over two hours a day on different social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others. Due to increasing popularity, social media platforms have became powerful sales and marketing tools for businesses. Now, these channels are on every marketer’s radar, so why lose an opportunity to benefit from them? By integrating popular social media links into your email marketing campaigns, you can complete two essential tasks: Spread the word about your brand Get more subscribers Both of these goals will allow you to reach the ultimate goals: growing your business and increasing revenue. Create the Right Conditions for Subscription Finally, the best strategy for success is simplicity! The more comfortable and simple it is to subscribe to your newsletters, the more people will do so. Therefore, our last tip is to create the right conditions for a quick subscription. How can you make it easy? We recommend businesses use these two simple tricks: Minimize the clicks. We all know how annoying it can be to have to click continuously in order to complete a specific action. Therefore, the fewer clicks a potential customer needs to make to subscribe, the better! Ideally, you should make a single-click subscription. Also, it is crucial to ensure that the button is noticeable. Make entering an email easy. When shaping the subscription form, you will face a few dilemmas, such as whether to ask just for an address or throw a few extra questions at your potential clients. The second option, without a doubt, will let you learn more about a new customer. However, it can be quite annoying and may scare some potential subscribers away.  Thus, we recommend businesses to hold on to their questions and make the opt-in form as straightforward as possible! Both these tricks work pretty well regardless of the business niche or profiles of your target customers. Final Thoughts Whether your potential customers are college students, retirees, young parents, or anyone else, email is a channel that different groups of people use on a daily basis. It is fair to say that every successful business should be running email marketing campaigns to expand reach and get better conversions! Creating a killer email marketing strategy isn’t that hard if you know your objectives and audience, and have a clear idea of what a good plan consists of. Hopefully, this article will help you get on the right track!


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5 Creative B2B Emails You Hadn’t Considered

5 Creative B2B Emails You Hadn’t Considered

Practical Marketer • September 26, 2019

Need some inspiration when it comes to your B2B email campaigns? We’ve got you covered. The right email campaign can make or break your marketing efforts, especially when you’re running a small business on limited resources. From the content and substance of your emails to their design, each feature should be optimized to convert. And while you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you should always be aiming for creativity in every email campaign that you put into action. Below, we’ll give you a full picture view of some of the unique ways that you can use email to enhance consumer engagement and get you closer to your most ambitious marketing and sales goals. Try to focus on both the forest and the trees — considering how an email might function on its own but also as part of your larger marketing initiatives. After all, you’ve got big goals, and it’s going to take a cohesive strategy to meet them. So let’s get to it. Here are five of our favorite creative B2B email ideas for small businesses. 1. Activation Emails Just because someone is a customer doesn’t mean that they’re an engaged customer. B2B marketing is all about cultivating strong relationships that are sustainable throughout each stage of the funnel, even after a customer has made a purchase. That’s where an activation email comes into play, not just confirming with a customer that they’re ready to go but offering up valuable information that they can use to get the full use out of the product or service that you’re selling. Tip: Make it actionable. You want your customer to engage with their purchase as soon as possible, so remove any barriers that they might have to getting started by including links in the activation email to support, demos, feature explanations, and more. 2. Big Events & Promotion Announcements Email is a great way to spread the word about exciting upcoming events and promotions. Get multiple outreach opportunities out of one event by sending emails throughout the lead-up period, keep them short, sweet, and focused for maximum impact. This is a particularly good strategy for upcoming deals and product launches, since it builds anticipation and lets everyone know what’s happening when.  Tip: Instill a sense of urgency. Both the subject line of your email and the text of the email itself should make it clear when the event is happening and that the time to take advantage of it will be limited. 3. Curiosity Cultivation Sometimes the best thing that you can say is nothing at all. Tease new features, content, and promotions by sending out an email that hints something big has happened without saying what it is. Recipients will have to click-through if they want to learn what you’re talking about, which is a great way to increase traffic to your site and generate interest during a rollout. Tip: Less is more. The content of the link should be a mystery, but not the link itself. Instead of burying your curiosity-building text on the page, make it the sole purpose of the email. Aim for one image and one line of text, and let intrigue take it from there. 4. Re-Engagement Emails One of the most effective uses of B2B email marketing is to re-animate conversations with leads who have disengaged. While you probably gear most of your efforts toward engaging with active contacts, switch your strategy up by creating a campaign for your inactive contacts. Include a coupon code or some other asset of value so that you’re not just getting back in touch but getting in touch with something that can navigate a lead to the next stage of the sales cycle. Tip: Narrow your focus. Delineate a purpose for a re-engagement email that goes beyond simply building brand awareness (for example: getting more demo sign-ups, e-book downloads, etc.), and then include a clear call to action that drives recipients toward that specific conversion. 5. Blog Highlight Reels Give your blog content a chance to shine by sending out curated emails that direct to your most helpful posts. Remember: you’re an authority in whatever it is that your leads are trying to achieve. By sharing content snippets and then linking out to those pages, you further establish your expertise in the field all while getting more traffic on your site. Sounds like a win-win, right? Tip: Pick a theme. Center the blog posts that you choose to feature around a particular topic, which each post relating to that topic in some way. It’ll be more interesting than a standard blog round-up, and will also grab attention right away. As always, do your research. Look to what your competitors are doing and brainstorm off of their good ideas. Look within your own analytics too to see what’s working with your leads and what isn’t. Even with a small budget, you should have no trouble maximizing the utility of your email campaigns.


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10 Ways To Grow Your Email List As An E-Commerce Brand

10 Ways To Grow Your Email List As An E-Commerce Brand

Practical Marketer • September 19, 2019

So, you’re ready to start using one of the most effective marketing techniques ever: email marketing. However, there\'s a problem: your email list is too small. Luckily there are numerous tried and true strategies to help you grow it.  So whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for new ways to boost your subscriber counts, here are ten ways to grow your email list as an e-commerce brand. 1. Pop-Ups are your new best friends. Many people hate pop-ups. Why? Because they are annoying and your neighbor says they are annoying so they are annoying. Well, what makes them annoying? The thing is that pop-ups are perceived as annoying because of the ways they are misused by companies. For example, intrusive pop-ups that dominate most of your screen and are impossible to exit will definitely make you grunt. At the same time, having pop-ups appear every time a visitor lands on a new page is probably just as irritating. [caption id=\"attachment_41208\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"949\"] Source: Cygnett.com [/caption] The solution is simple. Make your pop-ups reasonably sized, valuable and provide an easy way to close them. Moreover, making your pop-up appear once or twice is more than enough for the visitor to make up their mind. Also, make the text concise and your call to action clear. 2. Discounts can work miracles. Discounts and coupons are a blessing from above. At least, that\'s what most of your potential customers are probably thinking and the way you should be thinking, too. Discounts are proven to be a very effective tool when it comes to nearly any action you want your online store visitors to complete. As long as you don\'t give too big of a discount, you won\'t be losing value. It\'s a win-win. Ask your visitors to select the products they are interested in and then offer them a relevant discount in exchange for their email address. They will probably be more than happy to do so if it means saving money. 3. People love free stuff. Who doesn\'t like giveaways? They give your potential customers a chance to get something of value completely free of charge. In fact, giveaways are the first thing you should be doing to get your brand discovered. With the help of social media shares, they can attract a lot of attention to your e-commerce business. Logically, if you have been looking for a way to get extra exposure, this is your solution. When hosting a giveaway, make sure that you do it with the help of a social media platform so that there are more people who get the word about it. In addition to that, make one of the requirements for participation subscribing to your newsletter and voila! 4. Improve your email content to keep them hooked. One of the best ways to grow your email list is to improve your email content in order to keep your current subscribers hooked. Just think about it. Even if you get many subscribers, your email marketing will be of no use as they will start unsubscribing due to the lack of quality content from you. A simple solution is to use an online writing service to save you time and start creating content for your emails.  Promotions, discounts, great visuals, and interesting articles - that\'s what makes a good email. 5. Don\'t overlook autoresponders. Another way to keep your subscribers on your email list is by implementing autoresponders into your strategy. First, you must research your audience and segment your list. Make sure that you have located at least these two types of subscribers: Transactional: Subscribers who have purchased from you, abandoned their cart, or registered for your store will receive one type of emails. Informational: Subscribers who want deals and content but haven\'t made a purchase will receive another type of emails. [caption id=\"attachment_41207\" align=\"alignnone\" width=\"1238\"] Source: https://www.mrclutch.com/[/caption] Once you have these sorted out, you can take into account other criteria of your choice and then start creating autoresponders for certain actions your subscribers complete. This will keep them engaged and prevent them from falling off of your email list. 6. Make them fight for it. While that might sound harsh, you must admit that contests provide an amazing environment for competition. Just like giveaways, they can attract a lot of attention to your brand and get you extra exposure. They should also be hosted on social media platforms, but the difference is that there is a bit more your followers need to do for a chance to win. Contests should have rules and requirements as well as a purpose - something that your followers must create that will then be judged. You can make one of the requirements signing up to your email. After the contest is over, give out prizes to the winners and provide a discount for all the participants. 7. Long live signup forms. \"Nobody canceled signup forms. You can have pop-ups and giveaways and so on, having a signup form on your website is still the standard for any email newsletter strategy\" says Estelle Leotard, Writer at WOWgrade. Truly, signup forms are often forgotten in the frenzy of looking for new ways of getting email subscribers. Still wondering how to grow your email list? Use signup forms! In order to make the form appear on every page your visitor goes to, add it either to the footer or header. You can also place it on the about and contact pages as well as at the end of your articles if you have a blog. [caption id=\"attachment_41205\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"791\"] Source: https://www.madfientist.com/[/caption] Another place to consider is a thank you page. This is the one your customer gets sent to after they\'ve completed a purchase or download. At this moment, they are more likely to sign up as they have already had a good experience with you. 8. Landings pages combined with email. Period. This is a truly genius idea, isn\'t it? Create a landing page with a great piece of content such as an evergreen article on a topic that is very relevant to your audience. Then, add an email signup form either at the end or at the beginning. Finally, drive traffic to the landing page with the help of ads or other methods. 9. Share the love. Actually, it\'s not only about giving shout outs to other brands or customers but also about collaborating with other similar e-commerce brands just like you. For example, you can host a massive or contest to create a giant email list.  Alternatively, you could guest post on each other\'s blogs or shout out each other on social media. The opportunities are endless! 10. Keep it old-fashioned. You may be wondering, \"What is the old-fashioned way?\" Well, it\'s simply acquiring subscribers through a purchase made on your website. Most people are hesitant to give out their personal information. They may have had negative experiences with other companies before they came across your store, so they may be not as happy to give you even as much as their last name. This is why most companies only ask for the first name and email address when someone wants to make a purchase. Just remember to tell your customers that you need their email to confirm their purchase. You can ask them for subscription later in that same confirmation email. All in all, growing your email list as an e-commerce brand doesn’t have to be that difficult. Once you figure out these simple tactics, you will be able to set up your email marketing strategy and start increasing your sales exponentially.


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The Definitive List of Email Spam Trigger Words

The Definitive List of Email Spam Trigger Words

Practical Marketer • September 17, 2019

Email marketing is as much an art as it is a science. You want your subject lines to effectively capture the attention of your recipients and entice them to click, but you also don’t want to risk being flagged as spam. Unfortunately, email platforms are becoming more intuitive by the day, which means if you’re not careful, your messages could easily end up rerouted before they ever even reach your readers. One of the easiest ways to avoid triggering spam filters is to choose the words you use in your subject line very carefully. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a rather exhaustive list of common email spam trigger words. Feel free to bookmark this post and consult back whenever you’re crafting an email message. Numbers / Symbols • 100% (including 100% free, 100% satisfied, etc.) • 50% Off • $$$ (including earn $, save $, make $, only $, etc.) • #1 • 4U • Billion • Join Millions • Million • One Hundred Percent • Thousands Greetings • Dear {name} • Friend • Hello Sales & E-Commerce • Act now • As Seen On • Bargain • Best Price • Buy • Buy Direct • Cheap • Clearance • Compare • Compare Rates • Discount • Fantastic Deal • Free • Great Offer • Incredible Deal • Limited (i.e. Limited Time Offer, etc.) • Lowest Price • New Customers Only • Name Brand • No Purchase Necessary • Offer • Offer Expires • Order • Order Now • Order Shipped By • Order Status • Order Today • Risk Free • Sale • Save • Shopper • Shopping Spree • Supplies • Why Pay More? Marketing • Ad • Auto Email Removal • Be Amazed • Bulk Email • Call • Click • Click Below • Click Here • Click to Remove • Compete for Your Business • Direct Email • Direct Marketing • Email Harvest • Email Marketing • Form • Increase Sales • Increase Traffic • Increase Your Sales • Internet Market • Internet Marketing • Marketing • Marketing Solutions • Mass Email • Member • Month Trial Offer • More Internet Traffic • Multi-Level Marketing • One Time Mailing • Online Marketing • Opt-In • Performance • Removal • Removal Instructions • Sales • Search Engine Listings • Search Engines • Subscribe • The Following Form • Unsubscribe • Visit Our Website • Web Traffic • Will Not Believe Your Eyes General Offers • Being a Member • Billing Address • Cancel • Cancel Any Time • Cannot Be Combined with Any Other Offer • Exclusive Deal • Financial Freedom • Gift Certificate • Giving Away • Guarantee • Have You Been Turned Down • Important Information Regarding • Mail In Order Form • Message Contains • Not Intended • Obligation • Off Shore • Offer • Opportunity • Per Day • Per Week • Priority Mail • Prize(s) • Produced and Sent Out • Purchase • Removes • Reserves the Right • Reverses • Score • Sign Up Free • See For Yourself • Terms • Terms and Conditions • The Best Rates • They’re Just Giving It Away • Trial • Unlimited • Unsolicited • Vacation • Vacation Offers • Warranty • We Honor All • Weekend Getaway • What’s Keeping You? • Who Really Wins? • Win • Winner • Winning • Won • You Are a Winner! • You Have Been Selected • You’re a Winner! General Finance • Affordable • Beneficiary • Big Bucks • Billing • Cash • Cash Bonus • Cents on the Dollar • Check • Claims • Collect • Cost • Credit • Credit Bureaus • Earn • Easy Terms • Extra Cash • Fast Cash • Hidden Assets • Hidden Charges • Income • Insurance • Investment • Loan(s) • Million Dollars • Money • Money Back • Mortgage • Mortgage Rates • No Cost • No Fees • One Hundred Percent Free • Pennies a Day • Price • Profits • Pure Profit • Quote • Rates • Refinance • Refund • Save • Save Big Money • Save Up To • Serious Cash • Subject to Credit • They Keep Your Money – No Refund • Unsecured Credit • Unsecured Debt • US Dollars Business Finance • Accept Credit Cards • Cards Accepted • Check or Money Order • Credit Card Offers • Full Refund • Investment Decision • Requires Initial Investment • Stock Alert • Stock Pick Personal Finance • Additional Income • Avoid Bankruptcy • Be Your Own Boss • Calling Creditors • Collect Child Support • Consolidate Credit • Consolidate Debt • Consolidate Your Debt • Debt • Double Your Cash • Double Your Income • Earn Extra Cash • Earn Extra Income • Eliminate Bad Credit • Eliminate Debt • Expect to Earn • Extra Income • Financially Independent • Get Out of Debt • Get Paid • Home Based Business • Home Employment • Income from Home • Lower Interest Rate • Lower Monthly Payment • Lower Your Mortgage Rate • Lowest Insurance Rates • Make Money • Money Making • Online Biz Opportunity • Potential Earnings • Pre-Approved • Refinance Home • Social Security Number • Your Income General • Acceptance • Access • Accordingly • Action • Amazed • Avoid • Beverage • Bonus • Boss • Cashcashcash • Casino • Celebrity • Chance • Claims to Be Legal • Congratulations • Costs • Diagnostics • Dormant • Extra • For You • Freedom • Get • Here • Hidden • Home • Info You Requested • Information You Requested • Junk • Leave • Legal • Life • Lifetime • Lose • Maintained • Medicine • Medium • Miracle • Never • Notspam • Open • Passwords • Phone • Presently • Problem • Promise • Remove • Request • Reverse • Sample • Satisfaction • Solution • Spam • Stop • Success • Teen • This Isn’t a Scam • This Isn’t Junk • This Isn’t Spam • We Hate Spam • Wife Adjectives/Descriptive Words • Affordable • All Natural • All New • Amazing • Certified • Cures • Drastically Reduced • It’s Effective • Fantastic • For Free • Guaranteed • Home Based • Luxury • Outstanding • Real • Risk-Free • Satisfaction Guaranteed Sense of Urgency • Act Now • Apply Now • Apply Online • Call Now • Can’t Live Without • Do It Today • Don’t Delete • Don’t Hesitate • Expire • For Instant Access • For Only • Get It Now • Get Started Now • Instant • Limited Time (i.e. offer, only, etc.) • Now • Now Only • Offer Expires • Once in a Lifetime • One Time • Only • Order Now • Order Today • Please Read • Special Promotion • Supplies are Limited • Take Action Now • This Won’t Last • Time Limited • Urgent • What Are You Waiting for? • While Supplies Last Variations of the Word ‘No’ • No Age Restrictions • No Catch • No Claim Forms • No Cost • No Credit Check • No Disappointment • No Experience • No Fees • No Gimmick • No Hidden • No Hidden Costs • No Interest • No Inventory • No Investment • No Medical Exams • No Middleman • No Obligation • No Purchase Necessary • No Questions Asked • No Selling • No Strings Attached • No-Obligation Variations of the Word ‘Free’ • Free • Free Access • Free Consultation • Free DVD • Free Gift • Free Grant Money • Free Hosting • Free Info • Free Installation • Free Instant • Free Investment • Free Leads • Free Membership • Free Money • Free Offer • Free Preview • Free Priority Mail • Free Quote • Free Sample • Free Trial • Free Website So there you have it! Your up-to-date, comprehensive list of spam trigger words. Will all of these words put your email straight into the junk folder? Not likely. Will avoiding these words guarantee that your messages won’t get flagged? Unfortunately, no. But knowing which words and phrases to steer clear of can certainly increase your odds of success. Of course, being thoughtful and more personal with your email communications while also utilizing an automated email marketing platform like Benchmark can also help you streamline your process and guarantee that more of those important emails are making it into the inboxes of your prospects and customers.


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Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

Product & Design • September 10, 2019

The combined company, Benchmark, will enable businesses to flourish with powerfully simple sales and marketing tools. Los Alamitos, CA - September 10, 2019  - Benchmark Email and Hatchbuck, leading SaaS (software as a service) providers of sales and marketing solutions, today announced they have merged, creating a global customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing automation technology leader.  The combined entity will operate under the Benchmark name and has U.S. offices in St. Louis and Los Angeles with international presence in 15 countries. Jonathan Herrick, previously CEO and Co-Founder of Hatchbuck will assume the role of CEO. Curt Keller, previously CEO of Benchmark, will assume the role of Chief Innovation Officer and Chairman of the Board. The newly merged company brings together 130 employees serving over 150,000 users in 15 countries and 9 languages worldwide.  With businesses rapidly adopting digital sales and marketing technology, the combination of Hatchbuck CRM and Benchmark email solutions will enable the newly formed company to better serve its customers and gain market share in an ever growing CRM and marketing technology market. By 2025 the CRM market is projected to reach nearly $82 billion and the email marketing market is expected to reach $22 billion (Grand View Research).  “Email marketing has always been a cost-effective way to connect with customers,” said Keller. “As SMBs invest more heavily in digital channels, they need a centralized place to track the relationships they’ve worked hard to build. We’re extremely excited about partnering with Hatchbuck to make CRM central to our robust email marketing platform.”  “Combining the two entities is a win for businesses on a global scale,” Herrick said. “Benchmark’s vision is to take our email marketing platform to the next level by incorporating CRM tools and making both facets accessible to small and midsize businesses. Hatchbuck’s expertise in the CRM space is going to be key to enriching Benchmark’s product offering.” “CRM software is the largest of all software markets and growing 12% year over year,” added Cliff Holekamp, Co-Founder and General Partner at Cultivation Capital. “The future is bright for Benchmark, and we are thrilled to support their success.” The new leadership team includes veteran SaaS leaders from both Hatchbuck and Benchmark that bring over 350 years of combined experience.  Hatchbuck and Benchmark will continue to operate as two separate brands and platforms and merge the combined best-in-class functionality into one innovative platform by 2021.  Portland-based Alkali Partners, a boutique technology-focused investment bank, served as an advisor during the merger process. The terms of the deal were not released. About Benchmark Benchmark Email offers an integrated, automated and robust feature set built to help the enterprise of any size. A powerfully simple and simply powerful email marketing solution designed to help you create and send compelling campaigns with ease. Learn more at https://www.benchmarkemail.com/. About Hatchbuck Hatchbuck is sales and marketing software for small businesses and marketing agencies. We help agencies and small business owners propel relationships into sales with all-in-one CRM and marketing automation. Cut through the clutter and complexity of bulky tools with a simple, affordable platform made for you. Learn more at https://www.hatchbuck.com/. Read the original press release here.


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14 Psychology-Backed Tricks for Effective Sales and Marketing Emails

14 Psychology-Backed Tricks for Effective Sales and Marketing Emails

Practical Marketer • September 5, 2019

Email marketing is still among the best marketing techniques. Despite what many marketers fear, 73% of millennials say email is the best way to communicate with brands. The practice is not going to die out any time soon. The driving force behind email marketing is psychology. You’re more likely to perform an action if you’ve already performed a smaller step. This makes people who have subscribed to your newsletter more likely to go deeper into the sales funnel. Besides, many subscribe with the sole aim of waiting for a discount to buy something later. Leverage psychology even more to supercharge your email marketing campaign. Here’s how you do that. Segment the audience You probably know that segmenting the audience is considered to be a standard practice in email marketing. But you don’t have to do it just because everybody else does. You have to do it because it works wonders for your campaign. Segmented emails bring in two-thirds of revenue. This is the case because people expect to see personalized offers. They don’t want to browse through everything you have on the list, they just want to read about what interests them. This is why personalized emails are opened 26% more often. What do you do to make the emails really personal? You get to know your audience with as much detail as you can. Here’s what you have to consider when segmenting the audience. Activity on the website Activity with the emails Social media activity Explicitly stated preferences With these four factors, you can deliver the content and products your subscribers want to see, making the click-through rate higher. But it’s not the only way of doing it. Create a subject line The subject line is the first thing your subscriber sees. Write a catchy line, and the CRT is going to skyrocket. Write a boring or a spammy one, and it’s going to plummet. Here are psychological tricks for writing a killer subject line. Mention a name Are you writing a B2B email? Business people tend to not have time to read every email they receive. Attract their attention by mentioning a name they’re familiar with. It’s perfect if they know you already and will open an email that mentions your name. If you’re sending a cold email, mention the name of a shared contact. Invoke urgency You probably know that many people buy based on emotions rather than meticulous calculation. What you may not know is that negative emotions sell just as well as positive ones. An urgent offer puts the customer in a state of stress. They need to decide on making a purchase now, or the discount will expire. Many people will choose to buy out of fear of missing out. Include a deadline in the subject line or the email preview to leverage this fear. Make a free offer Offering something for free is a classic strategy for making customers convert more. It still works, too. Subject lines that feature words “free delivery” receive 50% more clicks. Use this magic phrase to increase CTR. Invoke curiosity without being fishy Why do people click on your emails? Because they want to know what content or hot deals you have for them. Because they’re curious. A good email subject line has to evoke curiosity. A great subject line evokes curiosity in a subtle way, avoiding the Nigerian-scam-email curiosity. You don’t have to come up with fantastic ideas or promise something you can’t deliver. Often, it’s as easy as withholding the right information. Use this free tool to check what your subject line looks like on popular mobile devices.  Craft the email Now you have a great subject line that attracts clicks. The customer journey doesn’t stop there. You have to lead the users down the sales funnel. This involves doing two key things, grabbing readers’ attention and directing them towards a certain action. Here’s how psychology helps you do this. Place the logo in the top-left corner Grabbing attention starts with small details. One small detail like this is the very first thing you see when you open up the email. For many people, it’s the brand logo placed in the top-left corner. As left-to-right language speakers, we instinctively start looking through the email from the left corner, so placing the logo there increases the chances of being seen. Norman Nielsen group research suggests that brands whose logos placed like this have 89% more chances of being recognized. This both build the brand image and increases the chances of visitors reading your emails to the end. Even the big brands do it. Source: Really Good Emails However, some companies can pull off a quirky logo placement in their emails. Source: Really Good Emails Catch attention with the design 3 in 5 people check the “Incoming folder” on the go and don’t have the time to decide whether your email is good or not only based on the content. Make the template design appealing to the readers, and more of them will keep reading the email. Compare the price Price anchoring is the psychology marketing tactic that’s been working for decades in retail and can be used in your email. The thing is people don’t know how much your products are worth. If you only show the discounted price, they won’t make anything of it. It only matters if you compare it to the original price. Always show the original price of all discounted goods in comparison to the new price for a better effect. This email sure looks good, but it only mentions a 30% decrease in price with no numbers.  Learn from their mistakes and craft a better email. Source: Really Good Emails Personalize You weren’t segmenting the audience for nothing. You can’t personalize every email to every person, but you can use marketing automation to craft the perfect emails for different audiences. People who subscribed to you may only want one type of content or products in their “Incoming” folder. Deliver what’s relevant to each group, and you’ll increase the conversion rate. It’s not purely theoretic either. Personalized emails can lead to a six-fold increase in transactions. Show faces to invoke emotions A human face is one of the best ways to make readers feel emotion and associate it with your brand. This is why your email can benefit from a human face. But don’t put a cheesy happy face from the stock website in there. The emotion you’re trying to invoke doesn’t even have to be happiness, for that matter. In this Adidas email, it’s focus. Source: Really Good Emails Uniqueness and urgency Many people who subscribe to your newsletter seek a bargain. They want to get something unique for a low price. Their biggest fear? The marketing classic, FOMO, or fear of missing out. Show that the deal you’re offering needs an urgent decision. The urgency can be in the form of a promotion that ends in a day or the last 10 items in stock. If you’re doing a good job personalizing your sales and marketing emails, you can offer truly unique offers for different groups of people to make this psychology trick work even better. Keep it short, simple, and visual 61.9% of emails are opened on a smartphone. Many people who open them are checking the emails for only a couple of minutes when they’re on the go or getting prepared for a day of work in the morning. They don’t have the time to read a 500-words email. Keep the content short and express what you can with imagery. Don’t tell the readers how good the product you advertize is, show them a picture, describe the main points in a few words, and leave a link. Make these few words as simple as you can without compromising the meaning. It’s not “dumbing down,” it’s just making your email easily digestible for a 10 second’s read it’s probably going to get. Even the President knows this, this is why Trump’s speeches use the vocabulary of an eight-year-old.  Include a clear CTA In a perfect world, your subscribers will see a discount and head to the website themselves. In reality, they need a bit of instruction to make the decision easier for them. The discount seems fair, the button is right there, so why not do it right now? Besides, the CTA button is probably a part of customers’ perceptual set by this time. This practice is so widespread, customers expect to see one in the email. Don’t fail their expectations. Put a foot in the door The “Foot in the door” technique is extremely important in marketing, and email is the channel where this technique can be used best. The point of an email is not selling something upfront, it’s making the reader do a small action that doesn’t require that much dedication to your brand. Once they do it, they’ll be more likely to invest their time and money in a more demanding action like making a purchase. It takes multiple touchpoints to make a single conversion. Email can be the touchpoint you use to take your leads on a journey from sharing an article on Facebook to become a brand advocate. The bottom line It’s been a long read, and the fact you’re still here shows your dedication to your job. Now that you’ve learned how to make your sales and marketing emails more effective, from segmenting the audience to writing the body of the email, don’t stop there. Build your email list, and try creating an email yourself.


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What Email Marketing Integrations Deliver Scary Good Results?

What Email Marketing Integrations Deliver Scary Good Results?

Practical Marketer • September 4, 2019

There is more than just using an email marketing service to send emails. Email marketing services, though, depending on who you use, will sometimes have limited resources. Like in a scary movie, you want any tools you can get your hands on to get you get out of a sticky situation. In this case, you’d want all the tools you can get to help you successfully market to your subscribers. So here are some types of email marketing integrations that can deliver life-saving results. CRM Integrations There are many Customer Relationship Management tools out there, Zoho and Salesforce are just a couple out there. Many email marketing services may not provide a comprehensive tool to store and manage contacts. By using CRM, you’ll be able to view and manage your subscribers a lot more easily. Allowing you to create specific segments to target and send to. E-Commerce Stores It’s best to collect contacts organically and what better way to organically build your subscriber base than with an online storefront. E-Commerce, or conducting business online as you can imagine is the way to go nowadays. Integrating your email marketing service with your store, you can collect very strong subscribers who may open your emails and return to your store. Blogging Blogging as an activity is popular among businesses and casual internet users alike. There are also the \"in-betweens\" - casual internet users striving to make a living off blogging. There are others who use blogs as a launchpad to set up other businesses like eCommerce.  Regardless of which segment of bloggers you belong to, building a mailing list is of paramount importance. The idea here is simple - blogging is a high-engagement marketing activity that attracts prospective customers to your website. Integrating your blog with an email marketing platform allows these prospects to subscribe to regular updates from your blog.This presents a lucrative opportunity to build a targeted following that can be leveraged for conversion. Social Media Do you have a social media presence? You can gain a wider audience by posting or releasing your emails to your social media platforms. Integrations may allow you to easily post your emails automatically and You can gain a wider audience for your emails. It’s not trackable who and how many people may read your emails, but it could convince your fans to subscribe to your email.


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The 7 Best Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses We’ve Ever Heard

The 7 Best Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses We’ve Ever Heard

Practical Marketer • August 28, 2019

Email marketing looks a little bit different when you’re a small business. With fewer resources to work with, you can’t afford to just throw a scattered strategy at the wall and see what sticks.  Small business email marketing requires a coordinated, cohesive plan that optimizes your network, your budget, and your marketing mojo. And for that, you want to focus on the practices that are guaranteed to stretch your efforts as far as they can go.   You’ve got a few major goals when it comes to email marketing: Maximize your open rates Maximize your click-through rates Actually make it into your recipients’ email inboxes (this one is a biggie) So how do you do it? We’ve compiled seven of the very best small business email marketing tips we’ve found around the web to help you ace your inbound marketing strategy and get more bang for your email buck. Incorporate these tips into your own practices to start seeing results fast. 1. Never Buy Email Addresses “Unless your company is in the middle of a merger or acquisition, you\'re not going to come across a high-quality email list you can purchase. If it\'s for sale, it means the email addresses on it have already been deemed non-responsive or unqualified for marketing outreach.”  Source: Hubspot You know that feeling you get when you receive a promotional email from someone you didn’t ask to hear from? It’s not a feeling you want to replicate when it comes to your own business and your own potential customers. Purchased email lists may provide you with a lot of addresses, but that very rarely equates to high-quality leads. Plus, if any of the recipients are in Europe, you’ll be violating the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) by not having them opt-in first. Resist the urge to purchase email addresses and instead focus on cultivating your own list of opt-in contacts. 2. Take the Guesswork Out of Subscribing “This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many small companies–from consulting businesses to corporations–have a regular email newsletter but do not have a place to subscribe for emails on their website.”  Source: Blue Corona Speaking of building that opt-in list, make it as easy as you can for people to sign up to receive emails from you. The more barriers you have in place, the less likely they are to follow through. Have an active “Subscribe” link in a clear and obvious place on your site, and don’t require too much information to sign up — just a name and email address is sufficient.  Equally important: make sure the “Unsubscribe” button is obvious on your website and in your emails, too. The CAN-SPAM act requires all of your recipients to be able to unsubscribe within your email. 3. Optimize For Mobile “According to Litmus, more emails are read on mobile devices than they are on PCs. In fact, statistics show 54% of emails are read on mobile devices. If you don’t optimize your email campaigns to be appealing and digestible across multiple devices, you stand to miss out on new sales, new customers, and new website visitors.”  Source: Pardot With more than half of emails read on mobile devices, it’s crucial that your messages are designed to have the same impact on small screens as they do on large ones. Everything from texts and images to links and ads should be formatted for both desktop and mobile, and you should test your emails on both devices before sending them out to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation. 4. Offer Something of Value “If you want to increase your user engagement metrics, your campaigns need to add value without creating work for your readers. Customers get waterboarded with promotional emails every day. They get distracted. And you lose them – even though they wanted to stick around.” Source: ActiveCampaign General company updates may be interesting, but they’re not enough to keep people opening your emails over and over again. For that, you need to provide tangible value, such as a coupon code, free asset download, personalized content, contest entry form, or some other benefit available only to subscribers. A free download or 5% off a future purchase is a small price to pay for a funnel-driving conversion. 5. Avoid Spam Filters “Spam filters use a long list of criteria to decide whether or not your campaign will be placed in a recipient’s spam folder. The list of spammy criteria is constantly growing and adapting.” Source: Mailchimp You’d think a quality email from a quality company would keep a message out of spam, but it’s not always the case. Pay close attention to the features and actions that help you avoid spam filters, including:       Clean and proper HTML coding       Good text to image ratio       Having an entirely opt-in subscriber list Always test your emails before sending to make sure they’re not going to spam, especially when you make changes to your template design. 6. Integrate Social “Increasing the number of people who see your link will increase the number of people who click on it. So, be sure to extend the life of your email by adding social sharing buttons.” Source: Hubspot Have your emails do double duty by driving traffic to other platforms — particularly your social channels. Add social share buttons, include a pre-written tweet that recipients can share, and make it easy to find and connect with your brand on all of your social pages. The more you can diversify where your marketing happens, the better chance you’ll have of turning new leads into new customers. 7. Keep an Eye on the Competition “If you want to make your email campaigns more successful, it could be helpful to see how your local competitors are handling their email marketing campaigns. Subscribe to their email lists and see what type of content they’re including, promotions they’re offering, what kind of emails they said, how often they send a newsletter, and what elements they included in their email template design.” Source: Blue Corona A little market research can go a long way. Subscribe to your competitors’ email lists to gather ideas and better optimize your content to beat theirs. Pay close attention not just to what they send, but when and how often. And while you shouldn’t be outright copying anyone else’s strategy, there’s no reason you can’t use their emails to inspire your own inbound marketing efforts. At the end of the day, your content should be all yours — different from your competitors’ content and designed to be more impactful. There’s no one secret that will make your small business email marketing more successful. The trick is to incorporate many different tips and strategies that are specifically designed for small business growth. The ones above are a great place to start, so if you’re not following these tips already, now is the time to put them into practice. 


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Using Marketing Automation to Improve the Customer Journey

Using Marketing Automation to Improve the Customer Journey

Practical Marketer • August 22, 2019

Today’s marketers wear a lot of hats. They’re content creators and data miners. Social media mavens and email experts. SEO researchers and influencer investors and anything else that they need to be in order to help their brands stand out in the right ways.  Just as the digital age has made the customer journey more robust (and frankly, a bit more complicated), it has also made the role of a good marketer that much harder to define. Effective marketing is no longer just about getting results — it’s about optimizing and capitalizing on every single customer behavior so that you can thrive in a hyper-competitive marketplace. And that’s where marketing automation can really help a marketer excel.  Marketing automation is becoming increasingly indispensable for both fueling and improving the customer journey. Through automation, brands can stay in touch with their customers more efficiently, and nurture them to the point of sale with targeted communications, promotions, and ads. It’s a good thing, too. With so much to do, the more marketers can automate, the better - especially when it leads to improved results.  So how can marketing automation enrich the customer journey and push prospects further down the sales funnel for your business? Let’s take a look. Awareness Stage The awareness stage is at the very top of the customer journey funnel. At this stage, you’re focused less on targeting individual customers and more on lead generation efforts. Marketing automation makes that process a whole lot easier, which is a major plus if you’ve ever had to sort through endless contact lists, pull out leads manually, and contact each one at a time.  What to try: Automated lead generation software that aggregates contacts for you, combined with email marketing. Automated lead generation software scans relevant platforms like your social media pages, PPC ad data, and inboxes to sort out relevant leads, append any missing contact information and deliver them to you in a more palatable format. From there, you can use email marketing automation to reach out and introduce your business. Try to target your outreach as much as possible by tailoring your message based on what you know about a lead’s demographic and geographic data. Lead generation tools we love: Datanyze, Lead Forensics, Prospect.io, Clearbit Consideration Stage This is when customers are just beginning to search for solutions to their problem, and when they are first considering your company’s product or service as a potential solution. The primary marketing objectives at this point are giving your lead all the information they need to proceed to the next stage of the journey and positioning yourself as a preferred alternative to your competitors. Quick but personalized communications can give you a competitive edge and instantly help you make a good impression. What to try: Automated workflows that spring into action the second a customer performs a certain action. An automated workflow can start at any behavior of your choice, such as when a lead signs up for more info or asks your on-screen chatbot a question. From there, workflows can be set up to perform key tasks that guide a customer further into their journey. For example, if a lead asks a chatbot a question and then disappears, the workflow can be automated to send them an email thanking them for their interest and asking if they need more assistance. It can also be triggered to send them a unique promotion for whatever product or service they were inquiring about. Most marketing automation tools feature the ability to build out workflows, sometimes referred to as automation campaigns, to prepare for a wide variety of contact engagement.  The key to making workflow automation work at this stage is to personalize all triggered communications so that customers get real, quantifiable value out of your follow ups. Chatbot and workflow tools we love: Drift, Intercom, Hubspot Decision Stage The decision stage is when you can turn a lead into a paying customer. Ramping up your marketing with automation enables you to cover your bases and make as strong of an impact as possible. Strike the right balance, and you’ll come off as actively engaging, not overly pushy. What to try: Drip campaigns that trickle out content to keep your product or service top of mind.  Drip campaigns fall under the umbrella of automated email marketing and function similarly to automated workflows. You send out an email, and depending on what action the recipient takes, a second email is automatically triggered. This goes on until a point of sale, or until the recipient stops engaging. You can use drip campaigns to do a lot of things that may lead someone to a purchase, including sending reminders about abandoned shopping carts, offering recommendations, and sending out promos and coupons. And because your drip emails are automated, you won’t have to write each of them out manually. Create your email templates, choose your triggers and your frequency, and you’re good to go. Automation tools we love: Benchmark, ActiveCampaign, Hatchbuck No two customers are the same, and neither are two customer journeys. Marketing automation can take your leads down a personalized path that shortens the road to conversion. Ready to get started with marketing automation? Benchmark can help.


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