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Earn 18x The Revenue with Automation: Tips to Help Find Your Independence This Summer

Practical Marketer - Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Earn 18x The Revenue with Automation: Tips to Help Find Your Independence This Summer

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Email Subscriber Loyalty: 8 Video Ideas to Keep Them Engaged

Email Subscriber Loyalty: 8 Video Ideas to Keep Them Engaged

Practical Marketer • July 10, 2019

Video marketing is on the rise, and in the golden age of online content known as 2019, video isn’t going away anytime soon. Since email marketing is such a strong driver of sales, and video can drive all sorts of outcomes depending on when you use it along your sales funnel and what goal you’re trying to achieve, combining your video and email marketing efforts is a no-brainer. You see, video marketing isn’t just for raising brand awareness or funneling viewers to your website to get them to sign up for your email list. Video can actually be used to great effect over the entire course of your marketing funnel. As video can be used to attract new customers during the awareness stage, it can be used to engage web viewers on your homepage during the consideration stage, and then nurture prospects into becoming customers during the decision stage. That last stage is where video can be the most effective in your email marketing efforts. In your funnel, while you’re trying to build a relationship with your subscribers to get them to convert into sales, what you’re doing is providing them value to attempt to win them over. Sharing newsletters, tips, tricks, and discounts are all ways you can provide value to your subscribers, and video in your emails is a great way to combine all three while increasing click-through rates by 200-300 percent. Also, video not only increases a viewer’s decision to buy by up to 85 percent but 90 percent of customers self-reported that watching a video helped sway their decision, which is why you not only want to use video in your marketing emails but in your sales prospecting emails, as well. With that being said, here are a handful of video ideas you can add to your email marketing efforts in order to increase click-throughs, nurture more leads, and positively impact sales prospecting. 1. Share a customer spotlight video One of the first things you’re going to try to do when nurturing your email subscribers is proving your worth. You’ve done the leg work of proving your subscribers know who you are and are interested in what you have to offer, but they gave you their email because they weren’t ready to buy. Now, you need to warm them up to the idea of buying, and one of the best ways to do that is through social proof. By sharing someone else’s success with a customer spotlight video, which is a video that highlights one of your recent customers and a recent success story of theirs tied to your product or service, you’re providing credibility for yourself and awakening their imagination to the possibilities of what buying your product or service will look like. When viewers can visualize their future results, it becomes easier to accept the idea of buying. 2. Turn your frequently asked questions into an FAQ video A good deal of time spent nurturing leads in the decision stage also helps relieve your prospect’s fears and anxieties. They’re afraid of buying your product or service and losing money on something they’re unsure about. Answering frequently asked questions helps save your sales and customer support teams’ time, while also easing some of these fears and anxieties. To help the information land better, try turning those FAQs into an FAQ video, where you answer your prospective customers’ questions in a video format, either with a spokesperson talking directly to the camera or with voice-over or animated text. Because viewers retain up to 95 percent of a message after watching it, compared to only 10 percent retained after reading it, FAQ videos are not only more engaging to your subscribers but will help them hold on to the information you’re providing better. 3. Share third-party product review videos Along with answering customer questions, showing third-party validation is another way to help put aside your subscribers’ fears and doubts about your product. Your subscribers are going to be looking for reviews for your product or service anyway, whether it’s on Amazon, Yelp, or other places, so why not put their doubts aside by sharing product reviews yourself? You can find or commission a well-known reviewer to come to try your product himself or herself and film it as a product review video. You can even work with YouTube or Instagram influencers to create the video themselves and then share it in your email marketing once it’s complete. This will build more social proof, like a customer spotlight, while also answering viewer questions like an FAQ video. Call it a nurture two-for-one video! 4. Turn a recent event into an event video One smart way to continue to nurture leads in a subtle way is to film a recent or upcoming event and turn it into an event video. Whether it’s an event you hosted or an event you participated in, bring a camera crew and record the experience to show your company out and about and participating with the rest of the world. This creates outside validation that you’re a known brand offering a real product or service, and if you get positive reactions from the crowd at your event, what better way to use that than to share it with your subscribers who are on the fence? If others love it, by the law of attraction (or the unwritten laws of FOMO), your subscribers will start to lean toward jumping on the bandwagon, too. 5. Share popular social content videos in an end-of-the-week email If you’re already engaging in video marketing efforts, the bulk of your videos are probably showing up on your company’s social media channels. Your social media team might even share videos from around the web to engage your followers. In either case, you should track the response each video gets from your followers. One way to use that data is to re-share your top liked, most viewed, or most commented-on videos in a social content video email recap. By re-sharing social content, you get double the value from it, and you aren’t losing valuable videos with engaging content to the daily scroll. Since your social followers and email subscribers might make up different audiences, it’s good to have double the reach. Social content is so easy to miss - sharing a video both in social and in email means a higher chance that content is actually seen. This is especially true if you’re producing your own social content videos. Since video production can be expensive, it’s better to recycle and reuse videos, especially if they perform well. 6. Try a before and after compilation video to show results Another way to encourage those subscribers that are on the fence is to share the positive results of your product or service in action through a before and after the video. Like a customer spotlight or a product review video, this type of video helps your subscribers visualize their future after buying your product. Plus, by showing the before, you can remind customers of where they are now to encourage how much they can use a change. In particular, by rounding up a bunch of before and after footage and creating a before and after compilation of multiple success stories, you can show social proof and prove your product works for many customers, not just a select few. 7. Send personalized welcome, thank you, or customer support videos Personalized videos can be great for sales emails in particular. There are quite a few companies that offer these services, where you can customize the video to the name of the person reading the email, but even a personally recorded old-fashioned webcam or iPhone video from the individual sales rep can increase the positive results of your lead nurturing. As far as welcome, thank you, and customer support videos are concerned, these types of videos are more for delighting customers after they’ve made a purchase than nurturing leads, but by using the same tactics as a sales rep nurturing a prospect with a personalized video response, you can increase customer satisfaction that leads to further sales or referrals later down the line. 8. Any video in your email Videos in your email marketing increase positive results, whether it’s click-throughs, opens, or straight-up sales conversions. Even just including the word “video” in your email subject lines is guaranteed to increase open rates over those without it. If you aren’t currently producing your own marketing video content, find a video production partner to work with. If you’re leaving video content out of your email, you’re leaving more nurtured leads, more customers, and more money on the table.


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5 Tips for Successful Email Marketing Automation

5 Tips for Successful Email Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • June 26, 2019

Even though social media platforms take the cake in terms of digital communication, email still remains a pivotal part of the equation. No matter the scale of your business or the industry you operate in, email marketing can still make a difference for your lead generation and revenue. According to 99 Firms, over 90% average consumers use email at least once a day, while 39% of marketers never personalize their marketing emails, with 21% also neglecting segmentation. Even though the communication channel is highly relevant, most marketers fail to utilize its potential. This is where email marketing automation comes in as it will allow your marketing department to focus on sales pitch development rather than sending emails by hand. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several tips and guidelines which can help transform your email marketing efforts through automation and careful planning for higher engagement and conversion rates. Advantages of Email Marketing Automation Before we discuss how to make email marketing automation viable for your business, it’s worth discussing “why” you would do so in the first place. Automation doesn’t mean less creative input or control over your marketing campaigns – quite the opposite in fact. Automation eliminates mechanical tasks and tedium from the advertisement process, instead of allowing marketing experts to focus on what matters the most – the end user. With that said the benefits of email marketing automation extend to but are not limited to: Higher Emphasis on Content Your email’s content will always be the decisive factor in whether or not a sale is successful. With automation, your marketing department can pour their resources into writing and if needed utilize writing services to craft intricate sales pitches. An emphasis on content over email optimization due to automation will bring much better conversion rates and revenue to your company over time. Faster Turnaround Time A lot of time is spent on manual targeting, email delivery, and subsequent follow-ups without any form of automation present in the process. Email marketing automation will allow your team to create content faster and deliver it in shorter timespans than ever before. This can lead to much better engagement rates and brand awareness due to your company’s activity on the market. Streamlined Lead Nurturing Once you convert individuals into subscribers or one-time customers they effectively become leads for future nurturing. However, splitting your resources between lead generation and nurturing can lead (pun intended) to lower the quality of content on both fronts. Automation eliminates unnecessary tedium from the process and allows for much better audience management whether they belong in potential or existing lead pools. Tracking & Analysis of Opportunities Lastly, email marketing automation generally relies on a professional email marketing platform to streamline manual tasks. These platforms offer tracking and analysis opportunities for your benefit. Since no marketing campaign exists in a vacuum, this data can be used to refine your sales pitches and attract even more customers in the future. Tips for Successful Email Marketing Automation Now that we have a clearer picture of why email marketing automation is a game-changing addition to email advertisement, let’s talk about how to make the most of it. As we’ve previously mentioned, “automation” won’t take away your control over what content to send and to which B2C or B2B stakeholders. What it can do for you is that it can make the marketing process easier to manage and to offer tangible data for you to learn from. With that said, let’s dive into the ways to make your email marketing more successful via automation. 1. Start with Audience Segmentation The best way to start an email marketing campaign off is to segment your audience into different categories. There are numerous ways to do so, from gender-based segmentation to specific professional backgrounds or lifestyle choices. Audience segmentation will allow you to take full advantage of email marketing segmentation by letting you target individual groups within your customer base directly. Tech-savvy millennials will react to certain types of email content differently than the elderly stay-at-home population would. This will allow you to create unique content based on who you target and with that intent. Once your audience is segmented, you will have an easier time delivering content to individual email lists, adjust your tone and wording, as well as to offer different purchase incentives to different people for better engagement results. 2. Written Content Over Multimedia Embedding multimedia content into email marketing is not a good idea. Many people still use limited bandwidth connections or rely on slow and unreliable (pun intended) ISPs. In order to reach as many people as possible and get positive results from your email marketing automation efforts, make the content as lightweight as possible. Third-party hosting services such as YouTube and ImageShack can be used to upload and link your multimedia content into emails indirectly. This will add a sense of freedom and choice to your email’s recipient, increasing your chances at converting them into customers. Short-form, direct and informative writing will always carry more weight than flashy images or animation embedded into email marketing content for no good reason. Written content should always be sufficient for potential customers to weigh whether or not they want to give your brand a chance. 3. Incentivize Fast Engagement Your goal as an email marketer should always be to incentivize conversion as quickly as possible. In order to do that, you can use numerous sales tactics in order to push your audience into conversion. Exclusive sales offers, discount coupons, limited-time offers and other marketing tactics can be implemented into scheduled, automated email marketing content. Giving your leads a sense of urgency in terms of making the purchase decision is bound to bring better engagement results to your email marketing campaign. However, you shouldn’t rely on invoking a sense of urgency too frequently. Make sure that enough time has passed between “exclusive” offers for your audience to grow expectant of another chance to save money on discounts. Integrating these engagement incentives will result in much faster conversion rates from the moment of sending the automated email marketing content to your mailing lists. 4. Calls to Action are a Must Creating email marketing content without a clear takeaway for the receiver is a wasted opportunity. Most people casually read through promotional emails without paying too much attention to minute details. Make sure that calls to action find their way into your email marketing automation efforts just as the sales offers do. Anything from “Contact Us Now” to “Subscribe to Receive Exclusive Offers” works wonders. Create calls to action which correspond with your industry and the tone of voice you adopted for email marketing. Calls to action are an important element of email marketing since they give the readers a clear direction to act on once they have read your content through and through. Never send passive email marketing content without a takeaway or a direction for potential customers to follow up on. 5. Track, Analyze & Reevaluate on the Fly Lastly, the best way to utilize email marketing automation is to extrapolate data from your campaigns on the fly. As soon as you notice a spike in engagement, ask yourself why it happened. The same goes for a lack of engagement or whenever you receive more follow-ups or subscriptions than anticipated. This can be done to ensure that your email marketing brings the best possible results to your brand for the duration of each campaign. Once each campaign is over, you can go over the data in greater detail to learn even more about what worked and didn’t work with that particular content. Professional email marketing automation platforms offer extensive tracking and report features for your benefit, so make sure to use them to your advantage. Email Marketing Automation Mistakes to Avoid Now that we have a better understanding of how to create an email marketing automation pipeline and make the most of it, it’s worth pointing out some mistakes worth avoiding. Remember that automation will only help you with technical activities which don’t involve creative writing, personalized sales and customer’s psychology. In that regard, here are some of the worst offenders in terms of email marketing automation and why you should keep them in mind going forward. Lack of Personalization Highly curated emails with clear sales pitches can make your company look professional and well-organized. They can also make your brand come off as robotic, uninspired and lacking any form of personalization. Address your recipients by their names, last names or (at the very least) proper gender to make the email more genuine. Lacking any form of personalization will quickly make your brand come off as spam and result in no engagement at all. High Sending Frequency Timing is everything with email marketing automation, so make the most out of scheduled email delivery. Think about when your target audience is most likely to check their email during the day and aim for those hours. Don’t send multiple emails containing the same ads or sales offers to the same addresses. This is also a great way for potential customers to label your brand as “spam” which is a very difficult label to take off down the line. Working with Outdated Data Trends change, and with them, audience expectations are bound to shift from time to time. It’s important for your marketing team to stay in touch with the latest customer expectations, industry trends, and innovations which may help you craft better email marketing content. There is nothing worse than to market your company as a modern industry competitor only to use outdated trends and content people have long forgotten about. Automation for the Sake of Automation Lastly, automation has to be used in a smart and deliberate way. Don’t involve email marketing automation platforms into your advertisement pipeline for the sake of keeping up with your industry. Instead, think about the ways in which you can benefit from automation platforms, what kind of content you can deliver to your audience and how you will grow as a business as a result of automation. Make the most of what automation has to offer and your leads and revenue stream will reflect those goals. In Conclusion When all is said and done, email marketing automation is all about streamlining your content production and delivery as much as possible to make room for creativity and innovation. Don’t strictly rely on automation to bring results to you – instead, look for ways to eliminate marketing bottlenecks and create the best content for your audience. What are some of your experiences with email marketing automation? Do you use it in your email marketing efforts and to what extent? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to use these tips to your advantage whenever you run into email marketing trouble down the line.


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How to Use Social Data to Launch a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

How to Use Social Data to Launch a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Practical Marketer • June 21, 2019

Is email marketing dying? Last year, the Internet was full of articles and blog posts, where different experts expressed their concern about the effectiveness of email marketing. The main idea behind this claim is that email marketing is becoming obsolete due to the new (and arguably more effective) marketing strategies, like social media marketing. Yet, the death of email marketing is a rather bold claim. Email marketing is very much alive, which is proven by the recent stats by Optinmonster: 58% of people check email first thing in the morning Email marketing is still the most important content marketing distribution channel (according to the 91% of respondents); Reportedly, email marketing has 4400% ROI, which means that for every dollar you spend on your email marketing campaign, you’ll get $44 in return If we start comparing the effectiveness of social media marketing vs. email marketing, the latter one still gives a better and more even performance. Not only is it very hard to measure your ROI from a social media marketing campaign, but according to Optinmonster, consumers sign up for brand’s emails more often that its social media accounts. And, email has a higher open rate (22.8% across industries) and a higher CTR (3.71% across industries), compared to 0.58% overall engagement rate on social media. So, lesson learned – email marketing is alive and well, and does not perform worse than the popular social media marketing. Should Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing Be Separated? No. In this age of marketing, customer experience is the main target of any marketing campaign. And, with all the technology and resources available, achieving a complete customer experience cannot be put to practice without integrating various marketing channels. Thus, email marketing doesn’t exclude the use of social media, nor is it superior to what social networks can offer in terms of marketing. In fact, social media can help kick start your email marketing campaign by providing you with volumes of social data. Social…What? Simply put, social data is publicly shared information, which includes metadata that comes from social media users. Social data includes, but is not limited to the following: Time and location Language Biographical data Likes Shares Comments Shared links Clicks The main characteristic feature of social data is that it is dynamic, and it is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you’ll be receiving updated volumes of information all the time (to keep your marketing campaign closer to its goal). On the other hand, high dynamics of social data makes it hard to keep up with it. Yet, social data can help you find answers to many questions, including the ones that are concerned with the email marketing campaign. So, how can you use it? Let’s take a look. Applying Social Data to an Email Marketing Campaign 1. Analyzing and Growing Your Target Audience Social data can provide you with extensive knowledge of who your audience is, giving you a whole set of ideas on how you can apply it to your email marketing campaign. However, social data can do more than that. You can use social media channels to build email lists. And, vice versa, it allows you to take a closer look at who your email subscribers are to make your email marketing campaign more targeted. For instance, here’s how LinkedIn can help you with email subscriber analysis. If you go to LinkedIn, choose Connections, you’ll see a section where you can enter your email to add more people to follow. After you enter your email, you’ll see all the people that you have in your email subscriber list as LinkedIn users: Twitter has the same function, which allows you to take a better look at who your audience is, what their interests are, which eventually can be very helpful when creating content for your next email marketing campaign. You can also integrate social media platforms to redirect people to your email via a newsletter. For instance, Facebook call-to-action button can be designed in a way to help your Facebook followers contact you via email. How do companies benefit from it? Peter Jefferson, a marketing specialist at the international real estate company, says that switching from “Visit our website” to “Contact Us” via email helped the company boost their email marketing campaign. Doing so can help you redirect more potential subscribers to your email. However, you can draw even more benefits from it. All social media platforms have their own built-in analytics tools, which, among many other functions, allow you to track how many people used this CTA. You can also track their location, time zone, and other social data, which can be useful for your email marketing campaign. 2. Finding Content Ideas for Email Although social data mainly comes from likes, shares, and comments from across social media platforms, it can also be collected from various other sources. Marketers are in a constant hunt for email marketing ideas, especially when it comes to content. And, if you plan on sending marketing emails every day, your content should be really engaging. This has a lot to do with a positive customer experience, which is a goal of every marketing campaign. And who can tell you more about it than subscribers themselves? Surveying your target audience will provide you with social data which later can be used to generate content ideas for email. For instance, recently I participated in a poll from an interior design brand that I follow on Instagram: After a couple of weeks, I started receiving marketing emails from this brand, showing me the products, among which I could find those ones that the majority of people voted for. This is a smart move from a brand to see what their target audience on Instagram prefers, and then to offer them similar products via email. 3. Benefiting from Customer Support Your customer support service is another source of an ongoing flow of social data. As your customer support operates through various channels, including email and all your social media platforms, you can collect the data to help you launch your next email marketing campaign. Stats prove the effectiveness of customer support. According to Social Media Today, customers love communicating with brands via social media and the majority of them use social media mostly for this purpose. This not only contributes to the positive customer experience but also to the growth of your brand as those who have a good experience are 3x more likely to be a brand evangelist. In terms of email marketing, your customer support service can supply you with the data from tickets they receive via social media. This social data can help you find answers to some marketing-related questions, including how well your previous email marketing campaign was received. Let’s take a closer look at more benefits: Customer support has all the information on your previous email marketing campaign. Responses and feedbacks they get as replies to the emails is social data that can provide you with important clues as to what should be taken into consideration next time; Customer service also has to deal with customer portals (forums, discussion boards), which also offer social data that may play an important role in launching an email marketing campaign. In general, customer support receives a lot of feedback from customers, which can be converted into social data. Although the data that you receive from the customer service is raw and needs thorough analysis, it can potentially give you the answers and ideas you’re looking for. Try Social Data for Email Marketing Although marketers commonly use analytics tools to launch an email marketing campaign and measure its success, social data, obtained from social media and other channels for interacting with customers, can give answers to many confusing questions, including whom you want to target and what content you should put in your emails. Do you have experience applying social data to launching email marketing campaigns? What issues did it help you solve? Share your experience with us!


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5 Ways to Use Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Techniques for Lead Generation

5 Ways to Use Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Techniques for Lead Generation

Practical Marketer • June 18, 2019

People often ask, “should I be doing email marketing or social media marketing?” The answer is that you should actually be doing both! Your marketing efforts will be the strongest when you use both of these channels together. The biggest reason why a combination of these two channels is more effective than using either one of them by itself is that you will simply reach more people when you use them both. Your email subscribers are not necessarily your social media followers and vice versa. So, by using email marketing, you can reach people who don’t follow you on social media and by using social media marketing, you can reach people who are not on your email list. However, although you should definitely use both email and social media for marketing, email is the more important of the two. For every $1 that companies spend on email marketing, they average $38 in revenue. This is significantly higher than the return on ad spend on social media marketing. In fact, people who buy products marketed through email spend 138 % more than those who do not receive email offers, such as people who click on social media ads. Another reason why email marketing is so valuable is that you will actually own your email list and do not have to pay social media companies to communicate with your subscribers. However, social media is rented space. You will have to pay social media companies if you would like to advertise on their platforms. 1. Your Signup Form should be linked in your CALL TO ACTION button on social media pages/profile that helps grow your email list Adding a signup form on your Call To Action button on your social media pages/profile will help you to funnel people from your social media pages to your email list. By doing this, you can use your social media pages to bulk up your email list. This is a good example of a signup form you can add to your call to action button. To get the most out of your signup form, you should use an action word because people respond positively to these. You should also make sure that you clear and concise and promote a benefit, not the product. Further, to get people’s attention, you can ask a question. For example, “Do you want to improve your health with optimal nutrition? Sign up for our email list today to get regular product offers and information for our incredible nutritional supplements.” Another thing that can help is negative words. For example, you can say, “Stop wasting money with X, sign up here, and start saving.” Negative sentiment has been shown to increase click-through rates by 47 percent. Showing value is also extremely beneficial. To show value, you need to clearly express the value of going with your offer and quickly explain why a pain point may be relieved, why the person’s life may be improved, etc. 2. Engage your existing clients (and find new ones) on social media by uploading your email list on social channels Uploading your email subscriber list on your social channels is an excellent way to grow your business’s social media following and to be able to get more bang for your buck with social media advertising. All of the main social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. allow you to upload your email lists. Then you can simply follow or send connection requests to the people who are matches for the emails. Many of them will accept. Once they accept, they will start seeing your posts and your ads, and many will share them. This will help to grow your following even more. Custom Facebook audiences are also extremely helpful. With a custom Facebook audience, you can advertise to people who are a certain age or gender, or who have shown interest in your website or products, etc. This image shows you where you can find custom audiences on Facebook ads manager. Lookalike audiences are also extremely beneficial for growing your list. Lookalike audiences are audiences on social media who have similar characteristics, preferences, and habits to your existing customers. When you are creating a lookalike audience, you should focus on your most engaged audience members. This will help you to maximize your ROI. 3. Your regularly scheduled newsletter/thank you page campaigns should include social media follow us button for live updates notification When you add a social media follow us button to your scheduled newsletter/thank you page campaign, you can dramatically increase the number of social media followers that you get. It takes up to seven times to recognize a brand. You can speed up the brand recognition process by making sure that people from your email list subscribe and follow you on your social media channels as well. Include a button like this in your emails: When you post content on your social media channels, you should make sure that this content is different than your standard email marketing content. You want your subscribers to feel like they are getting different value on your social media channels than the value that they are already getting on your email list. Try to connect in a different way, with different information. Imagine where your subscriber will be when they engage the content and create unique content for each space. Give them a reason to follow you in both places. 4. Schedule campaigns for email marketing as well as social media posts Your marketing campaigns need to include both social media posts and emails. When you create your campaigns, 80 percent of your time should be spent on promoting your content and 20 percent of it should be spent creating it. Most marketers have this backward. This is because not all people who read content have the time at that moment to engage with it. So, if you post it again later, then there is a greater chance that your content will get more clicks and more engagement. When you are creating your campaign, you should keep a 360-degree perspective in mind. The goal is for all you to promote your content on all of your channels in order to increase the number of shares and forwards and to get maximum clicks and engagement. You should build your campaign around recent tweets/posts which have higher amounts of likes, shares, and retweets. These campaigns will most likely perform the best since they have content that has already proven to be very interesting to followers and subscribers. 5. Email marketing campaigns should include the announcement of an upcoming contest/rewards/deals that is going to happen on social media pages. Announcing your social media contests with email marketing will act as an influencer marketing technique/viral marketing. Rewards, contests, and deals all help to create a large amount of interest amongst your email subscribers. This is because people tend to love anything that can help them to get something for a reduced price. This is a good example of a Facebook contest post: This kind of content is often more effective for email marketing because the average person checks their email 15 times a day. So, it is essentially a guarantee that your email subscribers will see your marketing email with your rewards, contests, and deals content. However, social media posts tend to be frequently missed since they quickly disappear down newsfeeds and timelines. In fact, the average Facebook user only spends about 27 minutes a day on Facebook. So, this means that many of your Facebook users will not see your posts. Are You Already Using Benchmark Email? Make sure that you place the UTM tracking code for the links/page URL that you want to promote via both social media as well as email marketing campaign. This will help to track and allow you to filter the audience interest, geography, medium, demographic and other analysis for optimization. This will enable your campaigns to be much more effective and successful.


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Lessons Learned from Top Brands on How to Rock on Instagram

Lessons Learned from Top Brands on How to Rock on Instagram

Beyond • June 14, 2019

Instagram has gained a huge footing from various social media marketers thanks to its knack for connecting people. According to Forrester Research, Instagram is superior to every other social network when it comes to user engagement. Of the seven social networks reviewed, six had an engagement rate less than 0.1 %. Instagram was the only network with a user engagement rate of 4.21%. Nate Elliot, an expert marketing analyst, said that Instagram has 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter and 58 times better user engagement than Facebook. One of the most common way to increase reach on post is to use Instagram hashtags. Top brands are making the best out of this opportunity by coming up with imaginative and creative ways to popularize themselves. Here is a list of some top brands that will serve to help marketers gain inspiration for How to Rock on Instagram: Lesson Learned from Zappos: Go Beyond Your Product The most excellent thing about Zappos is that their Instagram feed is just so out of left field. No doubt that there are several images of handbags and footwear scattered here and there, but their feed is packed with some cute little gems. The lesson here is that businesses should not just limit the Instagram feed to photos of products. If there is any occasion coming up like Christmas, New Years, Easter, etc. you can put a relevant inspirational, attractive and funny image on the feed that will attract more followers and bring a smile on their faces. Lesson Learned from Asus: Capture That Follower A common mistake that even large brands often commit is treating Instagram marketing as a standalone campaign. The end goal of any of your marketing campaigns should be to either to build brand awareness, capture leads or make a sale. While growing your Instagram following helps you build awareness or even make a sale once in a while, it is worth remembering that relying entirely on a third party platform may not be a sustainable strategy. It takes one algorithmic tweak from Instagram for you to lose all your followers. Translating your Instagram following into a mailing or retargeting list must thus be top priority. The bio section of your Instagram profile comes in very handy here. It is ideal to have a custom landing page built primarily for your Instagram users. This way, when a follower clicks on the bio link and lands on your website, they may be channeled into your mailing list or remarketing group. Lesson Learned from Adidas: Selfie, Meet Personalized Shoe Adidas was the third most popular account on Instagram as of May, 2014 with close to 2 million followers. First place being was Nike (4 million followers) and second place was Starbucks (2.5 million followers). Adidas is allowing every sports fan to pull their favorite photos from Instagram and have them personalized as per their requirements directly on their ZX Flux shoes. This announcement generated a great level of user engagement on the Instagram post as well as on the video shared on Instagram persuading users to share their experience with personalized shoes. The lesson that every marketer needs to learn is that customers love to boast their creations and if posts can include personalized products ... there’s little better than that. Lesson Learned from Pabst Blue Ribbon: Take Your Brand Places Pasbst Blue Ribbon (PBR) embraces its Instagram feed with grace and humor rather than its hipster image. PBR’s Instagram feed doesn’t contain any photos of beer pong or group members, but rather it has wonderful and elegant pictures that people would like to share without caring about the fact that they like cheap beer. The lesson that every marketer should learn is that you can brand your product in historic landmarks, or any other beautiful scenic places, and there you go with thousands of comments and likes piled up on the feed.


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What Trends You Must be Aware of While Designing a CRM Strategy in 2019

What Trends You Must be Aware of While Designing a CRM Strategy in 2019

CRM • June 13, 2019

It is essential for businesses to create and maintain a healthy relationship with their customers. People in the management field already know as to how important it is to build a healthy customer relationship in business. Customer relationship management helps the company by creating goodwill in the industry. You can build goodwill in the market by addressing your customer’s problems in the market effectively. CRM system helps the organization with improving profitability and staying connected with the customers. Benefits of CRM Customer Relationship Management is very beneficial for an organization. CRM helps to manage your customer data in a single place, and it also makes the employees more efficient and productive by following customer history and continuously adding reminders for the important meetings and sales calls. It helps to speed up your growth process and manages your growing database. CRM centralizes the data, and all the processes become automated. Thus, it sends auto emails and SMS to the customers. This helps in building a long-lasting relationship with your customers through small but meaningful gestures, such as sending your customers wishes on birthdays and anniversaries and festivals. You can also find out where to make improvements in the business. CRM solutions also add value through business intelligence and data mining which in other words is known as data warehousing. Challenges in CRM The change from manual to automatic operations is one of the most daunting tasks that you can face during the implementation of CRM because not all employees are well-versed with the developing technologies. With software, you can never be too careful as there is always a risk that you can get hacked. Similarly, in CRM software the team who is using the software has to be extra careful while implementing the software. But if the employees are well trained and guided, they don\'t have to worry about their information being leaked. There is always a chance of getting hacked, but the trained employees can stop the hacker at the very initial stage so that no sensitive data gets stolen. The CRM tool will slow down your activities a little because now you will have to record the whole conversation that you with your customer on the phone or take notes. This will slow you down in the short term, but in the long run, it will be beneficial for the organization. CRM tool requires a significant amount of investment and businesses usually do need to make a large amount of investment for the company\'s growth. Because of the advancements in the technology field, the CRM software needs to be up to date in order to fulfill the needs of the company. And due to these software updates, training camps have to be set up so that the employees know how to use the software correctly. Major CRM Trends in 2019 1. Conversational AI-Powered CRM Artificial Intelligence combined with CRM will focus more on Informal CRM systems in 2019 and after. So many new developments have been introduced in the CRM world such as face recognition and text recognition, and one of the developments that are yet to be launched in 2019 is voice functionalities. A lot of new advancements will be introduced in the year 2019. Similar to the voice functionalities on smartphones, Salesforce Einstein is an AI-powered CRM that has voice recognition and enables organizations to get information using voice commands. Voice recognition is changing our lives, and our work lives as everything is becoming simpler. Just by using our voice we can get our job done very easily, and we can access information very quickly through the mobile phone or other gadgets. 2. IoT in CRM for Proactive, Predictive and Prescriptive Customer Service The future of customer service is IoT in CRM. One of the main factors of CRM is believed to be IoT because it will boost CRM in terms of CRM software having to work for better organizations and improving sales, customer service and satisfaction. For example, such integration has the ability to analyze information collected from all the devices that are connected and if there are any issues then fixing them on even the slightest level. Nowadays everything is getting connected to the network, and a lot of industries will get transformed and because of IoT in CRM. It will be able to manage this transformation as it will automate better customer service to solve queries quickly, efficiently and sometimes even before they occur. IoT will have a considerable impact on CRM in the year 2019 because as it will enhance and improve the functioning of CRM through a large amount of useful data that has been collected from customers and the potential customers. 3. An increase in Mobile CRM Usage A mobile CRM provides all the CRM capabilities on most of the devices that can be connected to the network. It is capable of real-time access at any place and any time. This trend will grow in 2019 because of advancements in the technological field. Mobile device usage is increasing day by day and because of that CRM user who use the system on their mobile phones and tablets will grow significantly as well. Increase in Mobile CRM usage means that the efficiency will also increase, users will have access to more accurate information, improvement in customer’s experience and eliminating the need to learn new software. About 90% of companies have a CRM system, and it is evident that these systems work on different varieties of devices and internet speed. 4. Hyper- individualization for Unbeatable CX The companies who have been using CRM systems for many years must be having a substantial amount of data in their systems, and that will help them to provide their customer with an unmatched deeply personalized customer experience. This trend will become quite evident in 2019. Deeply personalized or extremely personalized experience means delivering service where the customers feel valued and appreciated as the company understands them and know what the customers want and when they want it. Deep personalization will be very important in 2019 and the years after that, as it will give companies a competitive edge on customer engagement and experience. Collecting the right data instead of more data and trying to answer the question to why instead of what. 5. Deep Personalization The year where the companies will gather all the years of customer data to personalize experiences for their customers is 2019. The most important rule to maintain your customers is by making your customers feel valued. The trick is to target the needs of the customer before the customer itself, and you will make a lifetime customer. CRM has years and years of customer data, and it can be used to do that. The world is transforming into a place where customer experience will enhance to become the key differentiator, and extreme personalization is the most popular path to it. You should make use of the customer data that you have to understand your customer and identify what their needs, wants and preferences are and then customize the experience with the help of Artificial Intelligence to make them feel valued. You should read about how you can use SugarCRM to improve your company’s customer experience. 6. CRM and Digital Transformation in 2019 Digital presence already very apparent and it will become more in the future. The amount of information that is available is increasing day by day, and the decisions that the companies have to make nowadays have become more critical such as making sure that they are targeting the correct customer, at the exact time and with the exact offer. And all of this possible with the customer related data that is available through digitalization. In the year 2019, you need to have an expert understanding of your customers and potential customers and an excellent digital presence. This will help you in increased profits, strong customer relations and multi-channel experience. The digitally transformed companies have customers that are 60% more likely to test a new product or service from their choice of brand, 40% more likely to suggest your brand and 20% more likely to purchase a product from their preferred brand even though the competitor has better offers and discounts. Final Thoughts The CRM systems will become even more expensive in 2019 as the companies realize the significance of understanding their customers and not just knowing them. The technology that’s being used in CRM such as voice and mobile functionalities improves the customer experience as well as user experience. The trends for 2019 are: Those that give access to CRM to use technology more efficiently and also integrating the technology. The CRM that is so evolved today and indeed it will become more in the future as CRM is becoming very important for companies.  


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3 Priceless Email Marketing Lessons from Fatherly Advice

3 Priceless Email Marketing Lessons from Fatherly Advice

Practical Marketer • June 11, 2019

Dads. They offer an endless supply of awesomely terrible jokes. They amuse us with their habit of wearing socks with sandals. They keep us humble with their dictator-like control over the thermostat and light switches (everyone’s dad follows them around the house turning lights off … right?!). On top of all the funny little quirks they have -- dads give us some pretty solid life advice that can be surprisingly relevant in a wide variety of situations. In honor of Father’s Day, we’re reflecting on some of the priceless wisdom our dads have passed on to us. Specifically, we’ll examine how we can apply these gems of wisdom to email marketing. Priceless Email Marketing Lessons From Fatherly Advice #1: Have Fun My dad coached my brother and me in Little League baseball. His focus was never on winning -- it was about having fun. Sure, he taught my teammates, my brother and me the fundamentals. He helped us hone our skills and showed us how to get better at the game. At the end of the day, my dad taught us that all our hard work was for nothing if we weren’t having fun. That was an important lesson: that we should be smiling even if we weren’t hitting home runs. That’s an idea that definitely translates to email marketing. Sure, there might be times when it feels like you’re not winning. For example, when you’re just trying to get things going from scratch, or when you’re attempting to rebound after a stagnant period. Still -- as Tom Hanks’ character says in A League of Their Own -- “there’s no crying in baseball!” Similarly, there should be no crying in email marketing! When you find yourself feeling down, or uninspired -- think about what it is about your business that brings you joy. Why did you start doing this in the first place? Maybe it’s the satisfaction of knowing that you’re solving problems in people’s lives. Maybe it’s the joy of dreaming up new products and getting them to the market. Whatever it is, there’s something special and unique that drove you to do this. Channel that feeling, and infuse it into your email campaigns. How do you add that sense of fun into your email marketing? One way is to use humor. Now, a warning: In order to use the power of humor effectively, you have to be … wait for it! … funny. We all know this instinctively. Attempting to be funny and failing is far worse than not trying to funny in the first place. There are lots of places you can inject some humor. For example, your signup form, your welcome email, your unsubscribe page or anything in between. Check out these examples: Examples FUNNY SIGN-UP FORM From: Nerd Fitness Why it’s great: Nerd Fitness, as its wonderfully descriptive name suggests, is “a fitness website for nerds and average Joes.” The company stays wonderfully on-brand with this funny email list sign-up form -- which is jokey without becoming a joke. FUNNY WELCOME EMAIL From: Find Me a Gift Why it’s great: Casual. Congratulatory. And accompanied by a funny and memorable image. This welcome email hits all the high notes. It does a great job of introducing customers to the “quirky little world” of this service. FUNNY UNSUBSCRIBE PAGE From: 1-800-Contacts Why it’s great: Great unsubscribe pages do the opposite of what their name suggests -- they give customers a reason to stay on your email list rather than severing the inbox relationship. This sassy and surprising unsubscribe message from 1-800-Contacts sends out a subtle but powerful message: If you unsubscribe, you’ll miss out on some pretty amusing content! Another way to have some dad-approved fun in your email marketing is by using GIFs. Yes, at the end of the day, we are all like cats chasing laser pointers. Moving images are downright hypnotic! GIFs are great for emails for a couple of important reasons. First, they catch the eye and are much more fun than a photo. Second, they are very current, so they add some hipness to your campaigns. However, be very careful that you don’t overdo it -- or your email will end up looking like a bad MySpace page. Also, be sure to use alt-text -- the little description that describes what an image is either when you hover your mouse over the image frame or if the image fails to load. That’s another great place to infuse a little humor, by the way. Examples From: Ann Taylor LOFT Why it’s great: This subtle bit of movement creates an eye-catching surprise while keeping the message clean, uncluttered and totally on-brand. Who can resist the urge to unwrap a holiday gift that’s wiggling so invitingly? From: Moo Why it’s great: Sale announcement burnout … it’s real. How many emails do we all get every day screaming “Final hours!” “Don’t miss this one!” and such? Chances are unless a customer is further down your sales funnel already -- that is, looking to pounce on a discount or already about to pull the trigger on a purchase -- a message announcing that a sale is about to end could feel irrelevant at best and irritating at worst. Luxury business card printer Moo combats that vibe with this mesmerizing GIF. Priceless Lessons From Fatherly Advice #2: Always Do Your Best There was a second part to my dad’s big lesson about the importance of having fun. Sure, winning isn’t everything. But it’s important to always try your hardest and do your best. When the two lessons are combined, you get my dad’s attitude. For instance, he always wanted me to do well in school, but he was happy as long as I was putting my maximum effort into things. What does this idea mean in the world of email marketing? Stop putting pressure on yourself: Your email marketing does not have to be perfect. In fact, you should give yourself a big pat on the back right now -- just the fact that you’re doing email marketing gives you a leg up on much of your competition. (The fact that you’re taking the time to read an article about how to optimize your emails? You get extra credit!) Take this moment to realign your priorities. Focus on continuous improvement. It’s fine to have big goals, but don’t be discouraged by them -- email is all about the micro-wins. Break your objectives down to their building blocks. Yes, you want eyeballs and engagement. But to start with: Did you get people to open your emails? Great! Now you have a way to see who’s already interested in your content. Refine this data even further by A/B testing your subject lines and “from” names to improve open rates -- and to have even more fun. Next, take a look at whether your customers clicked through to your website. If they did, that means your content was compelling and your call to action was effective. That’s no small feat -- good work! To drill down even further on this data … you guessed it: test your calls to action (play around with the text, colors, placement, etc.), try different things with your content and switch up your design for even more fun. Finally, don’t miss the chance to follow through! You can track your customers from email to website for conversions or follow-ups. There are loads of great tools out there to help with this. Use Google Analytics to see what portion of the traffic you drive from emails is converting on your website. Use Automation to follow up based on links clicked or web pages visited. Priceless Lessons From Fatherly Advice #3: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know My dad built a career on relationships. And it took a while for me to realize this -- because kindness was an effortless part of his personality. It just came naturally to him. I grew up believing my dad truly “knew a guy” at every single place in the city of Chicago. We got special access to places at Chicago Bears games, the zoo and countless other places. Why did we get this special treatment? It was the result of my dad doing tons of favors for others without ever asking for anything in return. If he could put someone in touch with another person to help them out, he would. If he could be of assistance to someone, he would. He knew it would come back around to him at some point -- but that’s not what motivated him. The people who invited my dad to exclusive events and gave him special access behind velvet ropes felt like it was the least they could do for him. The favors flowed naturally -- but they never felt like repaid debts or calculated transactions on either side. I’ve taken that spirit with me to L.A. I’ve been able to help out countless friends as they navigate careers in this city. When I tell folks I was invited to 8 weddings in 2018 -- which is only a slight uptick from most years -- they wonder how I have so many friends. Well, I learned from my dad. Bringing it full circle back to email marketing -- what lesson can we learn from this? Most importantly: Your email list is your most valuable marketing asset. That’s no exaggeration. Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute, said it best: “Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort.” That’s the thing about your email list -- you own it entirely. So when you use it for marketing purposes, you have the key advantage of doing things on your own “turf,” so to speak. You aren’t marketing on rented space. Rand Fishkin, the founder of SEO firm Moz, said in his recent keynote speech at Digital Summit Los Angeles, that 10 new email addresses on your list are worth more than 10,000 new followers on social media. How can your email list be a thousand times more valuable than your social media followers list? It has everything to do with the ways we use each medium. Email messages are: Personal Goal-oriented Targeted As such, you can get an amazing ROI of $38 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. Bringing it full circle back to fatherly advice and the importance of leveraging “who you know” -- I’ll conclude now with five killer ways to maximize your email marketing ROI. First: automate your email marketing. Even the fastest typing, never-sleeping, most dedicated and methodical marketer could never hope to beat the sheer accuracy and convenience factor provided by automation. When you automate your email marketing, you take full advantage of your incredibly valuable email marketing list. The addresses on your list are worth their weight in platinum. Focus your energies on creating incredible content for your audience and constantly analyzing how they’re liking it. Make sure you have an incredible welcome email. We’ve mentioned before how important it is to have an on-brand, memorable and compelling welcome email. Use automation to have that message sent immediately once someone signs up for your list. You should make sure your conversion funnel is optimized. As you know, the conversion funnel is the path your customer takes from curiosity all the way to the sale (and hopefully raving to others about it). If you haven’t optimized your email marketing to take advantage of each distinct phase in your customer’s journey, you are truly leaving money on the table. Use dynamic segmentation on your list. This is another critical factor in the idea that “it’s all about who you know” -- because if a person joins your list as a prospect, but then later becomes one of your biggest customers -- you better be sure that your email marketing has adjusted to match that huge change. Dynamic segmentation, or the practice of constantly updating how your email list subscribers are categorized, is vitally important if you want to keep people engaged. It’s only by keeping a firm handle on people’s individual needs that you can hope to create compelling content that feels fresh, timely and personally relevant to them. Hone your timing. We’ve mentioned before that Tuesday through Thursday mornings are a great time to send an email, as a general rule. But taking that a step further -- what information do you have about the individuals on your email marketing list that might cause you to change or adjust that rule? For example, if you have a trip planning app where people enter their travel details -- don’t miss the opportunity to send out uniquely relevant content to your subscribers when they’re crisscrossing the globe, and adjust the send time based on local time zones. Or, for another hypothetical: If you’re an eCommerce retailer, you can track a customer’s interest in a product over time (by making note of when they favorite the item, add it to cart, ask to be emailed when it comes back in stock, etc.). Make sure you’re using the power of automation to send out perfectly timed, personalized content that addresses your customer’s needs and desires. That’s the kind of thing that closes a sale -- and builds incredible brand loyalty. Putting it All Together: Send Marketing Emails That Would Make a Father Proud This Father’s Day, there are bound to be a lot of cheesy ties, #1 Dad mugs and bottles of bad cologne given as gifts. We won’t judge if you’re giving one of those to your father or father figure this year. However, we do urge you to take a moment and be grateful for the incredible lessons that your dad -- and all dads -- have taught us about life, love and the art of email marketing. Have fun, always do the best job possible and nurture your relationships above almost everything else. Those are the best email marketing lessons that my dad taught me. Fernanda Brito - Mexico You must be hot or cold: you cannot be lukewarm with your decisions. Shresth Prabhat - India The best technique to use in the world of marketing is word of mouth. People will generally consider an option suggested by another person. It builds an unmatched reputation. Jason Ashley - USA It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around, so don\'t judge or question another\'s actions or who they are as an individual. Learn something from the uniqueness or actions of others, accept them as helping in your growth, even if it doesn\'t seem that way at that time. Juanjo Polo - Spain Take care of your family. Frieder Egermann - Germany It\'s not direct advice he gave me, but he showed me to be responsible and true to myself. Curt Keller - CEO He told, me that my lack of athletic success was ALL IN MY HEAD! I now agree with more than ever. Raquel Herrera - Spain If I have to say one piece of advice that my father gave me, it\'s about having common sense in everything that I do. It is very simple but very deep and important and applying in your daily life helps you to make a good decision. Ilich Lamas - Italy If things do not go your way, look at things from another perspective. There is always a way to change things. Tanay Chaturvedi - India Work smart but do not underestimate hard work. Lisa Fletcher - USA Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. It was his way to say don\'t always default to trust. Find out for yourself. Yersing Noriega - Guatemala Treat people the way you would like to be treated. Also, one act of kindness from you can change somebody\'s day! Yamile Flores - Mexico More than advice, I had his example. He woke up in the morning to go to his job and would walk. I saw him from the window walking away, and once I asked him, \"why you don\'t take the car?\" He told me because you have to go to school in it. He is a man who took his t-shirt to give it to his sons always. Irene Martinez - USA \'Sacrifices are temporary.\' My dad came to the US as an immigrant, and since his first day here he worked day and night to provide for his family. There was a time where I did not understand why my dad worked so much. But every time I asked, he would hug me and tell me Sacrifices are temporary. - Lo quiero mucho apa!! Sandeep Kumar - India Build/maintain relationships. Leticia Mottola - USA The \'no\' you already have. Go for the \'yes.\' If you don\'t try, you\'ll never know. Titi Bekaert - Belgium Be curious, be open-minded and stay rational in a world that has a lot to offer! Joanne Walker - USA You put in a good days work for a good days pay. Virender Mohan Dang - India This was not a direct advise to me but a cousin in my presence. We were visiting him a few days ago when he mentioned friction with a few family members, that he was trying to resolve the matters, and the lack of response from the rest of the family was frustrating. My dad told him \"No matter what they say or do, you maintain a good mindset\" (If I translate from the Hindi language to English it meant something like \'keep your level of thoughts high.\' Today when I saw a message from Andy to share some advice from my dad that could relate to email marketing, this incident popped out of my memory box. A lot of people see what others are doing when it comes to email marketing and hence try to achieve quick success by purchasing contact lists, sending over content that\'s just not relevant, and sending volumes that would trigger the anti-spam filters of various ISPs. To succeed in email marketing, one needs to keep a high mindset where they are patient enough to generate their own contact lists, work on the content that resonates with their customers, research various ESPs and the features they offer, work on warming up their IPs to help ISPs get acquainted with their sending practices, honour unsubscribes, and so on.  


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Everything You Need to Know About Creating Irresistible Event Marketing Emails

Everything You Need to Know About Creating Irresistible Event Marketing Emails

Practical Marketer • June 5, 2019

Event marketing encompasses many strategies that get people to take notice, and email is undoubtedly part of the mix. Keep reading to learn how to create emails people can\'t wait to read. Why Do Event Marketing Emails Matter? Many marketers wonder if email is still relevant. After all, more high-tech ways to spread the word exist, ranging from virtual reality experiences to podcasts. But, various studies show email still gets results. The number of people with email accounts is growing worldwide. Plus, emails give senders opportunities to segment their information for certain groups. Concerning an event, you could send out targeted emails to encourage people to buy tickets, download the schedule or help them book hotels in the area. That level of flexibility means a well-run email campaign could be a valuable element that helps an event succeed. But, what separates an excellent marketing email from a \"just OK\" one? Optimize the Emails for Mobile Devices Research indicates most people read emails on mobile gadgets. That means event marketing emails should ideally have some mobile-friendly characteristics: Short paragraphs Headings or bullets to help make the content scannable No large images Fonts and sizes that are easy to read on small screens Links that take people to websites where they can learn more details later Not surprisingly, all or most of those best practices apply to online content in general, regardless of the device people use to read it. Whenever you format marketing emails or create the content for them, know that although not all of your readers will see the content on mobile devices, most likely will. Choose Subject Lines Carefully An email subject line may seem like a relatively unimportant part of the email. It\'s one of the smallest components, but marketers who don\'t craft their subject lines with intention will frequently find their content getting ignored. Several things could make an email subject line more appealing to the people who see it. Urgency: Use words and phrases like \"soon,\" \"act now,\" \"don\'t miss out, \"limited time\" and \"hurry\" to convey the idea that people need to read the email to avoid missing something crucial about the event. Personalization: Something as simple as including the recipient\'s name in the email subject line could bring the message to their attention. This strategy works best in cases when marketers already have well-established relationships with the people getting the emails. Otherwise, the subject line may seem too personal and a bit creepy. Offers: This part of a subject line works well with the urgency suggestion above. Free things and percentages off are perks that could make a person decide they need to respond to the email to take advantage of an offer they don\'t want to pass up. Brevity: The marketing industry lacks widespread agreement about the best length for marketing emails, but it\'s usually best to keep them short and sweet. If a subject line becomes too long, it\'ll get truncated. That could confuse readers or make them think the email is not worth their time. Emojis used sparingly or not at all: Although marketers need not avoid emojis for event marketing emails in all cases, they should remember how easy it is to misuse them. For that reason, it\'s not ideal to add emojis to the email subject lines of business emails. They could give the impression of unprofessionalism or that the sender is overly casual. People use emojis to add context to what they say, which can make them useful in short messages, such as texts. But, due to a subject line\'s brevity, you shouldn\'t have the reason — or room — to provide context yet. That said, if using emojis fits with your company\'s tone, adding one to an email could strengthen the brand and get potential attendees more interested. Understand Relevant Email Metrics Creating emails people want to read also means understanding what\'s working well and when there\'s room for improvement. Doing that involves getting a handle on industry benchmarks for emails. As a start, statistics say the open rate for the entertainment and events industry is 20.41 percent. Fortunately, getting the metrics is easy thanks to the aptly named Benchmark, an email platform that gives real-time reports about email campaigns, plus allows users to interact with a drag-and-drop interface to create beautiful emails with customization and attractive templates. Apply the Rule of Three Many memorable groups or phrases come in threes. There are the Three Stooges and the Three Musketeers, plus things people say, like \"Lights, camera, action,\" or \"Ready, set, go.\" Barack Obama\'s campaign team likely had that in mind when it came up with his \"Yes We Can\" slogan that ultimately led to two presidential terms. The focus on things in sets of three is called the Rule of Three. It applies to email marketing campaigns, too. The human brain likes patterns, and groups of threes stick in the mind exceptionally well. You could create a three-column chart that shows the different kinds of passes a person can buy for the event, or write a bullet point with the top three reasons people should think attending the conference is a worthy investment. When writing a longer email, consider splitting the content into three broad sections, such as Speakers, Workshops and Pricing. Speak to the Audience\'s Needs When people read promotional materials, they often ask, \"What\'s in it for me?\" That\'s why it\'s crucial for marketers to put themselves in the position of their audience and bring up the things that matter most to the people reading the emails. Here are a couple of ways to do that: For a new parents event: \"Take a much-needed break from diaper duty and spend the day getting hearing from experts who can help you overcome common child-rearing challenges. Also, get to know other new parents and swap tips with them in our networking zones. Can\'t find a sitter? No problem! This event is family-friendly, and you can get on-site babysitting for a modest fee.\" For an event targeting cybersecurity professionals: \"Today\'s cybersecurity landscape is rapidly changing, but this event gets you equipped for the future. Hear leading cybersecurity speakers at our keynote events, or head to a few workshops to get hands-on experience dealing with some of the newest threats. The event also has a testing center where you can take cybersecurity exams to earn in-demand certifications.\" Think about the elements that would most encourage your audience to attend, as well as aspects that could cause them to decide not to go. Then, address both sides in the marketing emails. Cost is something that might be a downside for some people, but highlighting early-bird discounts or providing a link to a letter a person could print out to convince their boss to cover the expenses could help. Set Expectations When people attend events for the first time, they don\'t know what to expect without having the perspective of a past attendee. However, adding a couple of quotes from those who\'ve been to your event before could solidify someone\'s decision to go. Be strategic about the placement of a testimonial, too. A quote from someone that says, \"This event facilitated invaluable connections and opened my mind to fresh perspectives from thought leaders. The best money I\'ve spent in recent memory!\" would work well placed directly above an embedded link or call-to-action button in the email people can use to purchase tickets. Alternatively, set expectations by including links in your email to videos that give short tours of the event facilities or show footage collected from past events. Or, a statistic that indicates the majority of first-time attendees purchase tickets year after year would make readers conclude most people felt the gathering was valuable enough to warrant becoming continual attendees, which is meaningful. Encourage People to Remain on the Email List The CAN-SPAM Act, which sets the rules for email marketing, mandates that all commercial messages should give recipients a way to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Having an \"unsubscribe\" or \"opt-out\" link in the footer allows you to remain compliant with this law, while also preventing people from getting upset when it\'s not immediately obvious how to remove themselves from the email list. But, it\'s also necessary to write emails that make recipients want to keep receiving them. There are several possible ways to do that: Mention email list subscribers are the first to get news about conference developments Feature speaker or vendor spotlights in each edition of the email newsletter Give promotional offers for local hotels or restaurants exclusively to email subscribers Position the email newsletter as a vehicle for getting all the need-to-know information without sifting through social media A useful event marketing email must provide value to the reader. People will want to remain subscribers if they view the emails as giving them something they can\'t easily get elsewhere. A Roadmap for Event Emails That Get Results There are no guarantees when it comes to creating emails that cause favorable responses. But, the information here gives you a framework to create stellar marketing campaigns for any events in your future.  


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How To Increase eCommerce Sales in Summer

How To Increase eCommerce Sales in Summer

Practical Marketer • May 30, 2019

With the arrival of summer, it’s not uncommon for some to see our sales numbers drop. Professionals are on holidays and private customers are busy enjoying sunny days and long evenings instead of browsing through online shops. As a result, online store owners have to work even harder to make ends meet, rather than taking some well-deserved vacation time without having to worry (too much) about the business. In this article, we want to give you some strategic advice and ideas on how to keep your sales up this summer without much extra work. If you prefer to see for yourself how you can put this into practice, please join our online workshop on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 at 10 am GMT /11 am CEST, where we will give you practical examples and step-by-step explanations. Let’s Get Started with an Example: The business: We own an online store selling handmade decorative items. The idea: We will offer a package of two products at a lower price than if they were to be purchased separately during the three summer months. The goal: Maintain and even raise sales while we or our staff are on vacation. Every year in summer, we detect that our sales decrease so we have thought of three ideas to get them back up: Make bundles of different products at a lower price than purchased separately. Create joint offers with partner companies offering added value. For example, teaming up with a sofa store by offering matching cushions at a reduced price to everyone ordering a sofa. Using traditional summer sales and combining it with other offers. The team liked all three options but decided to go for the first one, as it helped us to increment both the turnover and the product rotation. Also, it seemed to be easier to communicate with the clients than the other two. To implement our idea, we will use Automation Pro, which is a tool that allows our business to run on autopilot while we are away or otherwise busy. To start using this tool properly, we must insert the Tracking Code on all the pages on which we want to track our subscribers during this promotion. Tracking code: <!--JB Tracker--> <script type=\"text/javascript\"> var _paq = _paq || []; (function(){ if(window.apScriptInserted) return; _paq.push([\'clientToken\',\']); var d=document, g=d.createElement(\'script\'),s=d.getElementsByTagName(\'script\')[0];g.type=\'text/javascript\';g.async=true;g.defer=true;g.src=\'https://prod.benchmarkemail.com/tracker.bundle.js\'; s.parentNode.insertBefore(g,s); window.apScriptInserted=true;})(); </script> <!--/JB Tracker→ The code has to be inserted in the header of the pages to be tracked. Furthermore, I can integrate my eCommerce platform with Benchmark to import my contacts. Benchmark offers direct integrations with the following eCommerce service providers: WooCommerce Shopify BigCommerce 3dcart WordPress Volusion Recurly PayPal Stripe If your eCommerce provider does not appear on this list, you can also use the integration platforms Zapier and PieSync which are both connected with Benchmark Email. Once we have imported our subscribers we can work on our automation strategy, which will not only be aimed at our existing recipients but also at new subscribers. We will use three methods to attract new subscribers: We will design one of Benchmark’s special sign up forms and place it on our store homepage to attract new subscribers. No matter which of our sign up forms suits you best, don’t forget to insert the code of the signup form WITH the tracking code so you can track the subscribers’ behavior even before you sent them the first campaign. To get a higher volume of new subscribers we will also create several campaigns using Facebook Ads featuring our offer and import these contacts into Benchmark via Zapier. Last but not least we will create specific publications on social media channels (Instagram / Twitter / Facebook) that will take the people directly to the registration page in order to be able to purchase our offer. On the other hand, we still have our own existing database to which we will also send an email marketing campaign about the promotion. Let\'s Start with the New Subscribers The new subscribers will start their journey with a welcome automation. In this automation, we will provide the discounted product pack which we hope will be purchased by them. This welcome automation will contain leads that will become paying customers soon and others who may need a bit longer to make up their mind. For the second group we will design a follow-up automation, which consists of five steps: Day 1 - Why us?: Let’s give some good reasons why the subscriber should purchase from us. Day 3 - Remind our special discounted pack: In order to activate the people, we will let them know that our special offer is for a limited time only. Day 5 - Other offers: In case we did not hit the subscribers taste with our summer package, we will feature some other products and offers. Day 10 - 5 days countdown: We’ll inform our subscribers that there are only 5 days left to get our offer and that we only have very few left in stock. Day 15 - Discount ends today: This is the last chance to get our special summer bundle. During this tracking automation, we will move those who become paying customers, by purchasing the pack, into a separate list and will continue insisting those who have not yet made up their minds. The list with the new paying customers will trigger the feedback automation in which we will ask the clients for feedback and will try to find out how their experience was. There will be some other subscribers who have actually placed the package into their shopping cart but then finally not reached the payment confirmation page. As we do not want to let any sales opportunity escape, we will activate an abandoned cart automation to follow up on these special cases. And finally we are going to target all those who registered to receive the special offer, but finally did not purchase it, through Facebook using a special retargeting automation. This way will have a complete cycle of automation, designed for each and every case. Let’s not forget, that we still have our own existing database with subscribers we have been collecting day by day, and we will also include them in this strategy. Depending on whether they have already made a purchase or not, we can divide them into two groups: The first group (newsletter subscribers w/o any purchase) will be treated as the new subscribers and will be included in the same automation as those. The second group (newsletter subscribers with purchase) will receive a campaign with the new promotion and will be included in a follow-up campaign, similar to the one we have designed for the new subscribers, but less insistent. In our workshop on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 at 10 am GMT /11 am CEST we will show you step by step how to design a campaign with a similar structure. So if this article was a bit too theoretical or you just want to find out, how to put it all into practice, please join us. Don’t waste this opportunity to improve your skills in email marketing and automation. If you liked this post, please share it with your community and leave us your comments below.


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Growing Your Email List With Chatbots

Growing Your Email List With Chatbots

Practical Marketer • May 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. 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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Michael Barber: He Got It From His Mum

Michael Barber: He Got It From His Mum

Beyond • May 24, 2019

We first crossed paths with Michael Barber during not one, but two, sessions and workshops he led at Digital Summit Los Angeles. There, we saw him host a four-hour workshop on email marketing that kept us riveted and again for a workshop on marketing lessons from his mum. We enjoyed him so much we asked for more and invited him to be our guest on the Heart of Business. We talk marketing agencies, what makes great content, the importance of email marketing and more. I think [email marketing is] one of the most under-served, less respected, least sexiest tactics that we have at our disposal, but it\'s one of the most impactful that we have. And I think for many, many years, it has been the one that marketers have just forgotten about and I worry, because it is an owned channel, that not only real people continue to be engaged in, but it drives an incredible ROI when you are very strategic and thoughtful about the campaigns and strategy that you produce around that tactic for your customers. Andy Shore: Hey everybody welcome back to The Heart of Business. I\'m your host, Andy Shore here as always with my co-host Daniel Miller and he\'s not here with me while I\'m recording the intro, but he\'ll be here for the episode, I promise, and we\'ve got an incredible guest. We say that every time, but this guy was so great when I saw him at Digital summit not once but twice that I had to invite him out of the podcast afterwards. We talk about being a marketing firm about email marketing, about creating gory content about speaking also. It\'s awesome things. He\'s a really great... Yes, we had a really good time talking to him. Before we get started, I wanna remind everyone about the Benchmark Starter Plan. If you\'re just getting started with email marketing or your list is small, you can do your email marketing totally free. And what\'s great about Benchmark is that as you graduate into a Pro Plan because email marketing is helping your business grow, all the tools are right there for you, you\'re not gonna have to switch another service, whether it\'s marketing automation, CRM, it\'s all there for you on the Pro Plan Check it out, benchmark email dot com. Let\'s get rolling. AS: So how do you doing today, Michael? Michael Barber: I’m well, just wrapping up, what is... What was a very, very long week, but a good one, so... And my mother is in town for Mother\'s Day. So that makes it even the better … very exciting. AS: Yeah, I\'ll ask you more about her later. I got to see your great session at Digital Summit LA that was all center around her. And I definitely wanna talk to you about that. But… I wanted to talk a little bit about Godfrey and everything you guys do there. MB: Yeah, so Godfrey. We are a team of 90 people we serve, mid-market industrial manufacturers and help champion the world-changing work that they do. It sounds about as un-glamorous, is what it is as an agency that\'s dedicated to B2B industries that are not necessarily the most sexy, but certainly super intriguing and gets to a variety of big initiatives with them to help bring both their products services and ideas to life. AS: Yeah, and you say It\'s not sexy … just reading the copy on your website you never know that I loved… We\'ve been really into the whole story, brand story telling of your marketing and just the line your industry is our purpose. It\'s how we make the world a better place, it\'s like, \"Oh these guys are great, they\'re doing awesome things.” So it\'s both the first gate it\'s just maybe not the sexiest things but we\'re championing that. I mean, it’s great. It\'s all about marketing, you\'re helping people be the heroes that they need to be. MB: Yeah, that\'s absolutely cool about the people that I get to spend my time between 8 and 5. it is that we are all... Not necessarily communication professionals at our core. Or should I say that I never probably... What motivated us to get into the communication space? We were builders, were developers. Some of us have a background in science and engineering, and we just happened to also be good at story telling. And so that provides a really interesting combination of people under one roof that do some pretty incredible things for the team of people that we serve. Daniel Miller: Do you guys have any specific focus? You focus more on branding you focus more on specific marketing channels. MB: Yeah, we are full service. But I will tell you that our bread and butter is strategy is really helping to understand the human truths and insights that we can pluck from better understanding our client\'s customers for 70 years. We\'ve done that. It\'s where clients come back to us we keep the team pretty lean in terms of execution, ally being able to work within all the different tactics or facets of what is a modern day marketing mix, if you will. So, some of our clients, we are executing full-service from PR, all the way through execution elements but for most of our clients, it begins with a strategy initiative, and then grows from there, depending upon what they decide to work with us on our work internally with their own team. AS: That’s awesome. And you mentioned everyone in the team coming from different backgrounds. What led you to Godfrey? MB: This is a really interesting question. I actually was a consultant for Godfrey for a number of years, and then in late 2017, the team there, the ownership team. Stacy and Aaron \"Stacy-wise and Aaron Mitchell at came to me and said, \"Hey we\'d like you to do this more often and work with us on different projects and I said, \"Okay we\'ll look at next year, and see what that looks like. We had a team of three working at the consultancy that I had founded many years ago called Barbara and Hewitt and Stace and Aaron on said No, no, no, we\'d like you to do this full-time here. And I said, “in Lancaster?” because at the time we were based in Southern California and Lancaster Pennsylvania is a very obviously different place than sunny downtown LA, where we were based, and within about a month, we had figured out a structure for how we were gonna combine the teams, and went from there. And I have been in a Lancaster for almost 18 months now. AS: That’s awesome. And what\'s that transition like going from growing your own business and consulting firm to transitioning to not being your own boss all the time? MB: I think the best way to answer this question is sort of why I decided to go from owing to helping a team and that is \"as I truly enjoyed the work I found very quickly within the first two years of owning my own shop that while I loved the work, and I love working with clients and figuring out the nuances and challenges of how they are connecting with their customers and clients. What I hated, and what kept me up at night, and what had me worried was legal, HR, accounting, and while I had two parents who had retired at the time that could help me with those challenges, \'cause they had owned a business for almost 30 years. I just didn\'t love all of the operational side of the business and I wasn\'t good at it, and I also didn\'t wanna grow the agency to a place where I would need to sort of add that operational layer to the team. And so this was just the right decision at the right time. And I love the fact, I loved the ability to work with the team on a day-to-day basis, and that\'s why I have found myself why I think I found myself wanting to make this a reality two years ago, was the ability to come in and continue to do work really did work with a team that I had respected and had the chance to almost date before we got married, so to speak. AS: Yeah, I totally get that, right out of college, I had started a music blog that ended up taking off a little bit and I got to do that for four years and it was amazing and when I started at Benchmark, I kind of balanced both for a little while but having a creative team around me and not having to do all the stuff that stresses me out and everything like that. I mean, it was such a much better experience and also helped me to grow in ways that I probably wouldn\'t have had a note. I\'m sure that would have been its own growth experience but it\'s nice to be around people that push you and inspire you and make you do better work MB: Exactly. As an owner-operator, you are challenged with, How do you split your time where do you invest that time given just how valuable time is these days? And I would just prefer to spend my time in the place that really drives me and excites me. And the good news is I\'ve got two other executives as a part of Godfrey Stacy and Ron who are the other sides of the brain, if you will stay leads the operational side of agency and are leading our account management and strategy teams, so, it\'s really great to have three individuals that split, get to split their time on focus and focus their effort on the teams where they have expertise and the areas that they enjoy working in on a day-to-day basis DM: That is so important. I think a day we were watching, I think it was a TED talk or some like that, and somebody was explaining the value of time and how they were trying to book Richard Branson to give some sort of a talk and they offered him a certain kind of money and they said no, and they came back again, with a higher amount and they said No. And it came back again and he said, \"Hire just kept saying No, and they finally say like, Why do I... This is an absorbent amount of money. Like, why won\'t you take... They said Look, it\'s not part of the three things that I need to do right now. This is what I know to be focused on you. This can be handled by somebody else, but it\'s not me. And just having that resistance of nothing pulling back, nothing taking a way no fame no money, no nothing, but staying so focused. I think that\'s what creates the success. And as a question to some of our listeners, here, I see that the chief creative officer what does that mean for the company, and for what you do with clients? MB: Sure, if you look around, first of all, I think it\'s a completely nebulous and ridiculous title. I just want to preface the answer to this question with that answer. It\'s a very fancy title. We love fancy titles and agencies. I will tell you, you can go look up what Chief Creative Officer means and the industry will look at it as, you own the creative voice of your agency. And that being the strategic and execution aspects of the creative that come out of your shop. I will tell you my role at Godfrey is just to help the 36 people on my team produced the best staff possible and that means one thing. Understanding what is the best thing that individually that those 36 people can contribute and helping make sure that they\'re the ones that are contributing that to all of the ideas to the concepts, to the tactics, and pieces of creative that we\'re bringing to life. I have zero background in creative, I am not a designer by trade, I spend zero amount of time in creative type positions in my 15-year career in this space. And so as a chief creative officer, my role is solely to ensure that they all have the tools and the needs met so that they can produce extremely, amazing, creative, innovative work for our clients. Do I get to play a loose role, and what things look like or how they feel? Sure, I tend to be the Mom test, if you will, the last person that they bring those concepts and ideas too, and I get to say yes, I sometimes say No and they say Yes, but... And they convince me otherwise, but my role is Chief Creative Officer is simply to ensure that 36 people inside that building on my creative team have everything they need, and the process in place and the right people on the engagements on the right clients to make sure we\'re bringing really strategic, the impactful work to our clients and make us the most sought after B2B shop in the world. AS: I. Know that roll all too well. Daniel plays that role for me, he\'s my boss, and he gets to hear my first worst ideas, all the times are the ones I know that I\'m almost pitching just to get a laugh out of him but from those seeds come the actual great ideas that we get to present to other people, and that\'s an important role to have. There is just like that last guard, that is gonna push you to get your best, make sure you have what you need and get the best out of you. It\'s, MB: Hey, worst ideas of the best idea is possible. And that\'s funny that you share that example because our executive creative directors who are near and dear to my heart, Scott Trevaw and Cliff Lewis they celebrate our greatest worst ideas on a regular basis, inside the agency. And what\'s funny is sometimes those really bad ideas are actually end up circulating something or germinating something amongst our team that actually ends up being something that is pitched. We literally just had this happen the other day. We have a new client and this is public knowledge. I\'m not sharing anything that is under NDA or anything, but e-Corp, which is a manufacturer of floors, industrial commercial floors, largely within the athletic space. These are floors you\'d find it and gyms or hotels, or in commercial gyms, big brand gyms and such. We are just going through concept phase with their team, and the way that we produce concepts is a very structured format has a specific process of how do we get to a concept that becomes something they\'ll be pitch in front of a client and Cliff and Scott lead that effort, and we bring disparate groups of people together to help develop those concepts inside the agency that could be a web developer and a copywriter that could be a designer and a strategist. It\'s typically two to three people from different parts, agency and they have a traditional creative brief and we give them them some time to start to turn on their ideas and we use cards to initially come up with what these ideas going to be, and then we all throw them out on the table, we start talking about them. And there happened to be one card sitting on a table, a week ago that literally turned out to be our copywriter in said Jen Marie said. Oh, it\'s the worst idea possible. It\'s X, Y and Z. and Cliff, you could see the light bulb turn. He\'s like that is definitely the worst idea ever. But it could be this. And it ended up becoming a concept that was pitched to the client two days ago, and they picked that concept. So I, the worst, best ideas are often the ones where it\'s celebrating and we do. I think some really interesting thing is to not only make sure that they\'re celebrated, but ensure that they potentially become something tangible because sometimes you can find really good ideas in bad places. DM: Yeah, …too often. So I think you can see the memes online all the time, of client expectations versus their budget kind of thing. How do you guys manage that? I\'m sure we have a lot of listeners that they manage their own clients that I\'m sure we all run into that problem to where client says I want this, this masterpiece build, but have a very small budget. Any tips on how you guys handle that to try to steer that conversation and always meet those expectations? MB: Sure, well, I think the first thing is that you have to be very transparent about what your expectation is an agency or a service provider is to your client, you have to say This is our expectation of the investment you\'re gonna make into our agency and we\'re very explicit about this, we have a number... A spend that we expect our clients to work with us for and we\'re trying to grow them, towards... If you can\'t make that number, you\'re not a fit for us because we have a very specific type of client that we\'re looking for. So I think it\'s about understanding you as the service provider, you as the business what is your ideal client and making sure that that client can meet those expectations. Now, that doesn\'t mean that things aren\'t gonna change in the relationship and that means that we as an agency do have to get creative about how we produce things, but that means we also have to be very transparent of what it takes to produce those things and I think that\'s where coupled with just the disasters that to cure the procurement team has done to the agency-client relationship, but we also, as an agency and as a client didn\'t do a good job of pulling back layers, and providing a little bit of an open promo of What does it cost for certain things to be produced. And so, I listen I can... We could spend all day on the procurement side of the conversation, so I\'m not gonna address that but what I can tell you is that the way that we have handled these sorts of situations when it comes to MS expectations and dollar value is simply to be as transparent as possible. It\'s one of our cultural touch stones. We try and be as transparent, we try and be completely transparent inside organization, we do the same for our clients, so we line item, here\'s why, and here\'s what drives those costs or Here\'s why the investment level is at the level that it is and if a client says listen while we only have this budget, we just have to get very aligned on Well what can we do within that budget? What are the things that can or cannot happen? There\'s no secret RESP... That making that success happen but what makes it easier? What makes the conversations abundantly less stressful is the transparency between the relationship of that client and your customer in this case our agency. DM: I think that\'s the philosophy of life. MB: This is true. This is true. This is very true. AS: We mentioned at the start that I got to see you speak, actually, not once, but twice, at Digital Summit LA. When did the speaking opportunities come into play for you? And is that something you enjoyed doing? MB: I love doing it. And I\'ve said for many years, that if I could afford to live on a teacher\'s salary, I would be a teacher. I love teaching, I love helping people get better at what they do because I was so abundantly lucky, the moment I was lucky from day one, my mom and dad moved to the United States in 1980, and then, promptly four years later had me so I\'m giving away my age at this point, but I I also I even I grew up in one of the greatest public school programs in the world, at was abundantly lucky enough and had parents that could help me go to college, at the University of Arizona and then just stumbled into a job opportunity with a guy, a little known guy at the time. name Jay Baer. And if you\'re not familiar with Jay one of the most well-respected marketers and maybe one of the best guys on the planet in our industry. Hay has written New York Times best-sellers, and just as an absolutely stellar human being. And I would not be where I am in my career and I think in life without the impact of him on my career. But that impact comes purely from a teaching perspective. If you worked for Jay. you understood one rule and that was... You were always a lifelong learner if you\'re not learning your diet. And I think he instilled that in every single one of his team members. And I just love that aspect and I just happened to always end up in a place where I had great leaders that were also teachers and so I take that very seriously and given the other path of me is that I love a very nice lifestyle. I know that I couldn\'t afford at the lifestyle that I enjoy on a teacher\'s salary, so I figure, Hey I can combine the best of those, both worlds by helping people get better at what I know best and also continuing to be able to afford that lifestyle. So the speaking thing really came out of this passion of loving the teaching aspects of the knowledge that I\'ve learned over the past 15 or so years and getting on stage, was just really by no fault of mine a happen-stance where Jay could not make a very small opportunity in Phoenix and just said, \"You should go talk to these people because I can\'t do it and... And you\'re really good at this stuff. So go, go do something on the stage. And I was like, \"Go do something on the state. What am I gonna talk about?” And that was 10 or 11 years ago, and I\'ve been doing it ever since and I just love being on stage and bringing a life, something that is, is equally entertaining, I hope and in forming at the same time. AS: Yeah, I have to give you credit. The reason I was in your email workshop is I\'m a content manager for an email marketing company and it was almost curiosity to the point of how someone gonna get people to sit through four hours of an email presentation, and you excelled the point that I wanted to come see another one of your presentation so I do have to give you compliments there … when you\'re planning for that long of a session, what goes into that planning of How am I gonna carry people\'s attention for this amount of time? MB: Yeah, this is a really structured process, so for me, when you\'re doing a workshop there a couple of key components and that is why does this matter? You always have to start. This is a very like Simon sent driven conversation. You always start with why, because if you don\'t give people a reason to sit there for four hours, they are not going to care. And let me tell you, literally the first thing that you could say that would be the worst possible thing is your own opinion, of why people should stay there. So I you have to back up that why with a global well-known resource or set of research that says this is why you should be spending time here. So the beginnings of that of any workshop for me are all ways setting up that why I then try and mix in. Usually here\'s everything that\'s wrong with what\'s happening with X thing, if you will, and I think you can start to see the pattern because you\'ve sat in that workshop. So start with the Y inject here\'s what\'s wrong, here\'s the problem, the challenge, that we\'re having and then here\'s my view. And here\'s why that new matters? And here\'s all the things you do to get to that view. This is not an unknown sort of framework. This is a very traditional TED-style framework, that\'s just stretched out. Thampson, Webster, who is another delightful, amazing speaker and also the former executive producer at TEDx Cambridge which is one of the most well-respected TEDx in the world. She talks a lot about this framework features of content on stages and it has everything to do with allowing people to understand why does this matter setting the problem of showing the problem than saying Here\'s the solution, and backing that solution up with Here\'s all the items that go with that solution. And so there\'s a very strategic framework to building out that workshop and I use it whether it\'s four hours long or whether it\'s something like that. You saw on your second session in LA, whether it\'s something that\'s 30 to 35 minutes long, yeah. AS: I don\'t know if you got to see a Fishkin’s keynote at the LA but the title is Four Horsemen of the Marketing Apocalypse in the first 20 minutes. Literally made you feel like... Alright, let\'s pack up everything and go home marketing dead, it\'s over, we\'re done exactly and then it\'s just like... But here\'s how you can survive and what\'s gonna be okay or how we got back. So just in terms of creating compelling content bring people in. You mentioned your mom\'s there for Mothers Day now, your entire session was lessons you\'ve learned from her and what other people can take from her where you\'re sitting down to create a session like that, and it\'s something so personal how you work that in. Did you talk to your mom about it? And I mean, just what\'s that ideation process like for you? MB: So I set this is an incredible question, I and I think you guys know the answer is already this comes from story. What makes compelling content is great stories, and I think too often we forget that fact, that is a fact. And I have always approached the work that I do on stage in that way, I try and source stories from my life and then build them into something, a framework, an idea and muddle around them and eventually, hopefully something percolates out of it. And by the way, there\'s been hundreds of ideas that I\'ve starting with stories, and I\'m like, \"Oh this is gonna be great this could be fantastic, I can see it coming to life and as soon as I get put some meat on the book that\'s like \"Oh that just falls flat. So, you\'re gonna throw away a lot of it. A lot of those stories that you start with or that you think are a germination for an idea that you bring to stage. But the mom idea, I think it\'s just something that works incredibly well, because it\'s relatable. My mom... My mom, not only brings the life lessons that provide this I think really nuanced framework to how we can think about customer experiences. But back it up with everything that she does, in life, and so it\'s a very honest, raw framework that she has that she has brought life in any number of life lessons through my life. But again, this comes back to this idea of what makes great content is great stories that serve that content. And so when I think about what\'s gonna come to stage regardless of whether it is a pitch we\'re doing for a client or whether it\'s something that I\'m gonna do in front of a marketing conference, it always starts with just thinking about things that are happening in my life and how that becomes relatable and then how can it be educational, and help people get a better grasp of what you\'re trying to say, or the point that you\'re trying to make and how it can impact the work that they do or the goal that they\'re trying to reach. AS: Yeah, when I first started creating content for benchmark and I\'m writing things like lessons from Game of Thrones or Mad Men, or all these things I definitely got different eye roles and I was like... No, that\'s... That spoonful of sugar that helps the lessons go down. And I mean you\'re using videos or your mom and I mean, teasing jokes and all those things that it certain what you\'re like. Oh, I\'m also learning something, I go. It’s almost surprise attack people with the education, but just like you said, doing the storytelling I\'ve... I think I managed to hone, that a little better. We just had a really fun Email Marketing Lessons from Star Wars, for May. The fourth. MB: Oh, I love that, I love that. AS: Yeah, I got to let my internet out quite a bit. It was about 7-000 words, MB: So it’s got some meat on the bones. AS: Yes, yeah, quite a bit. I was just like, \"Oh man, this one might have gotten away from me, but I\'m here for it. DM: Yeah, I so when it comes down to giving talks is email marketing, something that you normally give talks about or do you tend to vary the subject, depending on... On the different type of event? MB: It’s very by event. I focus solely on customer experience and email just because that\'s where my bread or butter is. Email is just something that\'s been in my life since the start of my career, and I\'m just a sponge for it. I love the tactic. I think it\'s one of the most underserved less respected least sexiest tactics that we have in our disposal, but it is one of the most impactful that we have, and I think for many, many years, it has been the one that people, the marketers have just gone about, and I worry, because it is an own a channel, that not only real people continue to be engaged in, but it drives an incredible ROI, when you are very strategic and thoughtful about the campaigns and strategy that you produce around that tactic for your customers and given the fact that we have the ability to integrate this, our data as organizations, our first party data and all these different tactics, we\'re doing from social and beyond, and content and understanding how we recognize existing and known users, that are coming back to our sites or apps and personalizing that experience. It all comes back to knowing who that individual is and behaviors of that individual is doing around and own piece of data like an email address. And I, over the last couple of years, we\'ve seen this renaissance happen and I just continue to be a huge, huge fan, and so, very often, in my day-to-day life, I\'m more concerned these days, with experience for the organizations and clients that we serve. So typically, I love to talk around those two core ideas experience and email DM: That’s great. So I think you hit something really important. We always tend to say that Your email list is your most valuable asset. Without that you can\'t really bring in sales you can, but it... It\'s one of the underserved most just forgotten about things. And I think it relates to as well, if we think about relationships, the new relationships are the exciting ones like, \"Oh a new sale, a new customer blah blah blah and then you kind of forget about all these other people that already purchased from you that maybe probably had a good experience that one single email can get a large percentage of those people to come back to the store experience new products and services. And I agree with you 100% that a lot of people tend to forget about that or they have it as the thing in their mind like let\'s say everything else up and then let\'s send out the email blast as they like to call it. Hate the word, blast anyway, and we talk it and we compare ourselves now a lot to social media, we tend to see that a lot of businesses do split their time between social media and email marketing. And one thing that we try to highlight here is that your social media list, your 20.000 Likes on Facebook, something happens to them tomorrow, they\'re gone. If you don\'t have that email is You don\'t really own that I\'m gonna say, \"Oh you don\'t really own the email list either the relationship is as far as the subscriber wants it to go if they describe that\'s it, but the power you have with that is, so underserved. And my question to you is, I guess, what do you see beyond that, the most valuable part of the email marketing that you think business is kind of put aside? MB: Oh man, I mean. Let\'s start with the topic that you just sort of chewed off there, which was on social. It just the connection to social itself, largely because we exactly as you said it, you\'re on rented land, when you\'re on social media, right, your likes, your followers, your those individuals that are falling, you across those profiles that\'s rented space. If they go away, they\'re gone now, I think we\'re all being a little bit blasphemous when we say that if they\'re gone, we\'re probably in an era where Facebook and the like, are not going away in a sort of a matter of moments, if you will, especially given just the pervasiveness at least Facebook by itself. I think in other social networks we could probably see that happen, but the connection to social is one of them. The value that you have when you have a relationship with a subscriber with a human being in their inbox and then the ability to connect the behaviors that they\'re doing inside that impact two things that you\'re doing within social is one big opportunity that I think that businesses don\'t understand. We\'re spending an inordinate amount of money on the ecosystem that is Facebook and Google\'s ad ecosystems, right? So Facebook\'s got Instagram app, the whole platform, WhatsApp, deepening that experience in the messenger and more of the private areas of Facebook and then under the ecosystem on Google, you have obviously all of their display media empire, the search Empire, all the retargeting empire Mentos. And he likes right? We can take the... Not only just if we have a relationship with that a subscriber and understand the impact of what they\'re doing or what they may not be doing with our email campaigns and then target them with very specific messaging in those two platforms based on those behaviors. We can also ensure that we are not marketing to people that are already our customers, right? So we\'re spending trillions of dollars a year, on marketing, new customer messaging to people that are already our customers when we could do a really good job of excluding them from those paid promotional messages because we have an understanding of who they are. So just the connection to social and email itself is just one area and of value. The next is just experience with your business and how you can personalize conversations with an individual, like a sales rep or you can customize a personalization aspects, on your digital property is like your app at or your website, right? By understanding and knowing that person is a logged in, logged out user or cookie-ing that you with some sort of tracking right? And then understanding the experience that you bring to life or a known subscriber, is going to be very different because you know the activities that they do in the behaviors that they take. So you can not only have the value from Social, you can also start to deliver an incredible experience with real-time face-to-face conversations with customers when you have that subscriber relationship and the digital experiences that you\'re creating for customers on your website, on your app or these experiences that you may be creating. So the value is so much more than just the relationship inside the inbox. It\'s also about all these different areas that we are seemingly trying to reach potential prospects, but also reach our current customers and make sure that, that conversation or that experience we\'re having with them is timely targeted and relevant and personalized for that individual. DM: I can totally see where you\'re the chosen one to give seminars and talks, and stuff like that. Your answers are complete. Wonderful... Good to hear. I agree, 100% and yeah, thank you for your support towards the email world and sharing that. AS: I was gonna say listening and being like, \"Oh we gotta pull some of these quotes and put a giant mega phone on top of the car Blues Brothers style and just drive around blasting them. But the good thing is, this is a podcast and everyone\'s gonna get to hear it anyways. DM: Something that you mentioned that, I\'m just kind of curious about changing gears completely. Keeping your paid customers your existing customers outside of some paid ads they may want. I know there\'s probably some specific ads especially, it\'s like a first time special like, Hey save 20%, off on your first purchase. You definitely wanna keep your existing customers out. But I\'ve read a lot from Amazon and some other marketing blogs that a lot of companies tend to show the same product, multiple times after the customer buys and that does encourage multiple buys or sharing of that product later on to friends and family. Do you have any experience on that or any take on that? MB: Yeah, I mean it is, it\'s purely I think especially from a sharing angle, I\'m not gonna say that I think the experience of re-targeting, for the sake of getting people to repeat purchase is something that we should be championing, because we are a society that is just driving they want of things and I\'m not a big proponent of that, so personally I would say I hope we\'re not doing that by driving things, but again, we have to run businesses, so I totally get it, and understand that it\'s a tactic that will provide value on this idea of sharing. I think that is an incredible insight. And I\'ve been reading some of those same articles and certainly something to me on is this, the power of word of mouth, and obviously Jay being my former boss and a guy who\'s written a book on this, right? It is second to none, it is the thing that is driving purchase right now. And so, yeah. Is it an interesting tactic to consider for how you drive board of mouth? I think yes, I just hope that we aren\'t making we are intentionally doing something to create that sharing mechanism to hit to create Tenali for that customer to share versus simply trying to drive them to repurchase \'cause I think there are much more smart ways we can be doing that without showing them the same ad that we should be showing to a net new customer. DM: That’s a gold nugget right there I agree, I hate it … I’m it\'s not gonna hate it but it just bothers me seeing the same the... So, that I purchased it makes me show it shows to me that that company was a little bit lazy with their marketing and their segments AS: I think is kind of the idea of the flywheel is almost been like jargon du jour lately, but as that\'s becoming people\'s more focus in terms of their marketing strategies, I think they\'ll learn what to do and not to do, from all of that and where the client is gonna get value from all of it. MB: Yeah and even worse, it not even what\'s hard is when you already are a customer seeing a product or service that you bought before and you do that eye roll motion of why am I seeing this ad? What is even worse is when it\'s a potential coupon or it\'s a promotion or something, and it\'s more than you got off potentially a couple of days ago, or a week ago, or six months ago, right? And we\'re so lazy that we can\'t even exclude customers, that literally just bought our product got less of a discount on that product and now you\'re showing them, if they just would have waited a week, they would have got potentially two times more of it. That those things... I\'m like how do we... How do we get that lazy that that\'s even a thing but it is... So just things that we have to tackle as marketers. DM: Yeah, I was at a conference where we were talking about AB testing pricing pages, and they were talking about the horror stories of pricing page that had huge totally different as something 50% different \'cause they were trying to test pricing out and customers that we\'re seeing both of them, because somebody screwed up in the ads and the email marketing. That is not a fun game for customer service will tell you that a... MB: No, it is not not at all. AS: Well, Michael, I really wanna thank you for spending some time and chat with us day liable marketing \"narain could probably to or up for hours but we won\'t. \'cause you\'re on the east coast, and it\'s Friday, so we just wanna give you a chance to let everyone know where they can find out more about Godfrey, and you yourself. MB: Well first I really appreciate the time and getting to spend a Friday afternoon with you two regardless of if it is Friday, afternoon and we\'re gonna go get drinks after this, but if anybody would like to say Hello, I\'m pretty much at MichaelJ. I am at MichaelJBarber. Pretty much everywhere online, so Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, you can find me by just using those URLS and then ending them with MichaelJBarber. AS: Awesome. If you\'re ever an event that he speak can\'t recommend going to see him enough. Thanks everyone for listening and thanks again to Michael for joining us bye guys.


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How To Improve Conversions With An Effective Lead Nurturing Email Automation

How To Improve Conversions With An Effective Lead Nurturing Email Automation

Practical Marketer • May 21, 2019

Have you ever bought anything online just from the first website you visit? No, right? You check out different websites, compare prices and offers, do your research and then finally make a purchase. Whenever someone hits your website, it doesn’t mean that they are ready to buy. In fact, most of such leads are either in the research phase, which implies that they want to know more about you or, they are in the consideration phase, which implies that they still need some time before making a final purchase. They need to be convinced why should they purchase from you. As per a survey, 50% of leads in any marketing funnel are not ready to buy. Hence, lead nurturing comes to your rescue to allow you to make most of these leads. Lead nurturing is just like dating. While dating, you are expected to understand your partner’s need, similarly, in this case, you have to understand your client’s buying process. Ideally, your leads should maneuver down the marketing funnel themselves but that is not true in reality. In the real world, you need to nurture your leads to drive them down the marketing funnel. You have to be their guide from the time they visit your website and then convert them into a lead, make them your buyer and finally your promoter. It is just like building and growing a relationship. Having leads is great but if you don’t convert them into sales, this is useless. As per a  study conducting by MarketingSherpa, it was found that around 80% of new leads don’t convert to sales. Marketo, a provider of automated marketing services found that companies that are able to effectively implement lead nurturing enjoy 50% more sales at around 33% less cost. Likewise, demand generation services company, the Annuitas Group observed that nurtured leads are likely to make 47% larger purchases. This is why creating a lead nurturing program is so important. Before we delve into how to implement lead nurturing into your marketing and selling process, let’s first understand what is lead nurturing and why is it so important? What is lead nurturing? To put in the most simple words, lead refers to contact with a potential customer also known as a prospect. Nurture means to care. Thus, lead nurturing is a process of taking care of your leads. It a process of developing relationships with the buyer at every stage of the sale cycle. Why do you need a lead nurturing program?   Lead nurturing is a crucial component for marketing success across all industries. Be it a B2B or a B2C company or a SaaS company, they all need an effective lead nurturing strategy. There is no point in having a lead generation campaign if there is no plan for effectively converting leads into sale. An effective lead nurturing campaign will - Boost Sales and Revenue. Modern customers are not only impressed by flashy websites and a strong social media presence. They consider these things as a bare minimum and look out for substance. They need to be assured that their best interests are kept in mind. As per a Demand Gen Report nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. Increase Staff Efficiency. An automated lead nurture system adjusts itself based on the communication of the prospect and minimizes the role of sales personnel. They only need to intervene at the last stage when the lead shows signs of purchasing. Shorten sales cycle. An effective lead nurturing campaign, drip appropriate content depending upon where a buyer is the sales cycle. When buyers complete their research and arrive at a sales-ready stage, sales won’t have to waste time in understanding their pain points and needs as they are already educated and these issues have been addressed beforehand. Bulldog solutions found that companies that invest in marketing automation solutions witness 70% faster sales cycle times. Minimizes Sales Leakage. To paraphrase an old adage: you always buy from the last person you speak to. For any product or service, especially B2B, that has a long consideration stage (anything more than a few weeks) the buyer will very often speak with multiple vendors and can easily forget those they encounter at the early stage of the investigation period. In these cases, lead nurturing is a powerful way to stay top of mind for those prospects and ensure, when they do finally decide, you are actively considered and not forgotten. Now since you are familiar with the concept of lead nurturing and its importance, the next step is to learn how to nurture your leads. One of the best ways to communicate with your leads is through emails. As per a survey by Merkle, 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications through email. Direct Marketing Association says that email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%. Lead nurturing through email marketing allows your brand to stay in constant communication with your prospects. Email Automation Emails are the most direct and cost-effective method to get specific content to a specific lead. However, imagine sending nurturing emails to all your clients manually. Well, you can do it for 50-100 leads but what about 50,000-1,00,000 leads. It will make your process massively slow and time-consuming. Automation helps you to send the right content to the right lead at the right time. You can just create a lead nurturing campaign through email automation and your job is done. You can focus on your core business and your leads will be taken care through email automation. Email drip campaigns can be complicated and intimidating. You are required to create a bunch of content and weave it all together to persuade your leads. Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to make email marketing for lead nurturing your magic tool to generate more revenue: 1. Send introductory emails. Start your lead nurturing camping by dripping a few introductory emails about your brand. For instance, have a look at this email from designbetter.co. It welcomes the prospects, brief them about what to expect from the brand’s emails. This is the first step towards engaging and nurturing the lead so if you provide adequate information about the brand it will help the lead to engage further. 2. Get to know your leads. After you have introduced your brand to the lead, it is imperative to figure out where your prospect is in the marketing funnel. The goal is to gather as much information as you can about your lead. To cater to the needs of your lead you should first know its preferences. You may gather all the information from your lead in the form of a questionnaire in exchange for a free download or a discount coupon. Once your prospects are familiar with your content and recognize its quality, they’ll be more willing to trust you with the information you need in order to receive something helpful in return. 3. Segmentation.  After you have gathered all the information about your prospects, you can move to the next step of the lead nurturing campaign i.e. segmentation. On the basis of the information received, categorize your leads on the basis of gender, age or whatever suits best for your company. In this example, Adidas segmented their list by gender in order to ensure their female customers received content that was most relevant to them: This will enable you to deliver exactly what your prospect is looking for. If you deliver great and appropriate content, your prospect is more likely to come back which in turn will provide you with more information and will let you segment even better, and the cycle continues. 4. Engage your leads.  It is not a golden rule that every time you only have to talk about your product. At times, you may send educational content which is likely to engage your prospects. For instance, Makaan does something in their nurturing emails that works like a charm: education. By sharing an interesting article with the reader they are providing value in exchange. 5. Automate email delivery. Did you know automation does not only assist you in saving time but also enables you to deliver content at the time and the day your prospect is most likely to respond? A well-written campaign is a waste if it gets at the bottom of your subscribers’ list. Research highlights that the time you send your emails has an effect on opens, click-throughs, and, yes, even revenue. When you schedule email delivery, your customers who reside in different time zone will also get emails at a good time. 6. Personalize. As per a survey by DemandGen, leads that are nurtured with personalized content convert into sales at 20% higher than those who aren\'t. The genius of segmentation and automation lies with your ability to deliver content that’s tailored to your individual prospects. This email from Robin Sharma is the perfect example of personalization. This email looks like the CEO is directly speaking to prospect and adding value without directing the sale. 7. Provide CTA. To engage your leads it is crucial to give them call-to-action. In general, CTA buttons out-perform text links, often because so many people scan emails instead of reading them. They should know why are you sending them an email, what are they expected out of it. Referring to the example above - the CEO wants the prospect to watch the video and tell the prospect the guide motivational videos he is making. The “play button” - call-to-action certainly stands out in the email. 8. Use visuals and graphics. Eye-tracking studies have shown that readers spend more time looking through images than reading text when they are relevant to the copy. So if you can align images in your email while educating your readers, the message will stick with them for longer and have a higher impact. 9. Add customer reviews. When you know a lead has been looking to buy a particular product or a service but hasn\'t actually made a purchase yet, then you may send it an email like what Casper has done. This will reinstate the quality of the product or the service the prospect is intending to buy. 10. Holiday Marketing. Holiday marketing uses seasons, festivals, etc. as a type of campaign to nurture leads. Both B2B and B2C companies take full advantages of running holiday-themed campaigns throughout the year. While drafting such an email you must keep it sweet and short. For instance, here Nykaa in its email campaign talks about 7 summer beauty favorite. By following these simple steps, you’ll are likely to tap into one of your greatest resources, building brand loyalty and awareness and generating more revenue than ever before for your company.


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What To Do When Your Welcome Email Lacks Soul

What To Do When Your Welcome Email Lacks Soul

Practical Marketer • May 16, 2019

Research shows that we form our first impression of someone within 27 seconds of meeting them. E-meeting someone is exactly the same. Well, actually, it’s much faster; consumers can make a snap decision about whether they like your company or want to read your email in a matter of milliseconds. That’s why your welcome email needs to shine. A welcome email is a perfect chance to make a great first impression on your brand new subscribers. However, crafting an enticing welcome email is easier said than done, especially if you’re not a natural writer or you haven’t got the time or budget to hire someone to make it sound good. The danger of writing a bad welcome email is that your brand can come across as too aggressive, too dull or just plain weird. It’s the email equivalent of standing in the corner of a party not talking to anyone and clutching a bowl of pretzels as if it’s a safety blanket. If you’re worried about how your welcome email is being perceived, then don’t be. Here are a few of our top tips on what to do when your welcome email lacks soul. Keep It Simple A welcome email is (or should be) the very first communication between your company and a subscriber. Take this opportunity to wow them, but also introduce yourself in a chilled way, like this well-toned welcome email from Virgin America: You don’t want to scare your potential customer off before they’ve even bought anything. Throwing a shedload of irrelevant, unnecessary information at them in the very first email you send is too much. Say you’re at a party; it’s essentially like meeting a new person by the fridge and then diving headfirst into a monologue where you proceed to tell them every intricate detail of your life. At the soonest chance, your poor new acquaintance will down their glass of wine and make a run for it. Keep it simple: sometimes, just a friendly hello is enough to start off. Be clear and concise — introduce yourself, say thanks for signing up, and include a call to action. The rest will come later in other types of emails as you start to nurture a meaningful relationship, but for now, minimal is best. Tell a Compelling Story If you think your welcome email lacks soul, then a surefire way to inject some is to tell your subscribers a story. Storytelling is a powerful tool for connecting with consumers, marketing your brand and selling your product. By storytelling in your welcome email, you can create an engaging, emotional narrative that draws your audience closer and creates a shared experience between them and your brand. You can do this in a number of ways — by telling them the story behind how your business began, introducing them to the team, mentioning customers you’ve helped already or even including a snap of the office dog. Design brand Ugmonk used storytelling in their welcome email to make their copy creative, authentic and emotive: Think of writing a welcome email like writing a book. You need compelling characters (your team or your customers), a killer plot (your brand origin story), and some decent writing. This blog post from Jericho Writers on how to write a book details the components of a great story pretty well — and applying these points to your welcome email will help you treat your email content in a more creative way. This is what will strike a chord with your subscribers; vibrant, emotive storytelling will persuade readers to like you, which will lead to trust, which will lead to conversions. You can even embed a fun introductory video if you want — visual storytelling is a really effective way of capturing your subscriber’s attention and injecting some fun and personality into your email. The key is to be heartwarming, funny or uplifting; you want to capture their hearts as well as their email addresses. Get Personal and Start Conversations Getting personal will ensure that your welcome email has plenty of soul. You can do this in a number of ways. Firstly, setting a friendly, conversational tone will set your readers at ease and make them more inclined to carry on the conversation. Back to that party analogy; when you meet someone new at a party, you want to make a good impression. You’d try to be friendly and engaging because you want them to like you, right? It’s the same with a welcome email, except in this circumstance you’ve got potential sales riding on this conversation. When you’re writing your welcome email, try to channel this genuine person-to-person interaction. People want to get to know you. They want to know the faces behind the brand — it makes your company seem more human and more relatable, rather than just being a faceless corporation. HelloPrint got it right when they added this awesome introductory section to their welcome email: Be personable; sign your email from the real people in your team that will be looking after your customers. A warm, friendly introduction like this stops you from being anonymous and allows customers to put a face to your brand. If you use an email marketing platform to craft your emails, you can also make the most of personalization to address the recipient in their name. It makes it seem like your email was written just for them, and will be much better received than a generic “hello customer” email ever will. Neil Patel explores some other killer methods of email personalization that will propel your email marketing. Make an effort to get to know them too: ask them to fill in a short survey or questionnaire detailing the types of emails they’d like to receive, and the topics they’re interested in. This will help you to create targeted content that they are more interested in, which will generate a higher click-through rate for you too. Creating a natural connection with subscribers will help you to build a loyal community around your brand. You may feel like your welcome email lacks soul at the moment, but it’s easy enough to turn that around if you put some love and care into your writing. By injecting some emotion, personality, and simplicity into your email, you can ensure that your new relationship with your subscriber gets off to a good start; where you go from there is up to you.


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The Ultimate Guide On Email List Building Using Top Social Media Channels

The Ultimate Guide On Email List Building Using Top Social Media Channels

Practical Marketer • May 13, 2019

Social media has become such a huge part of our daily grind. While these platforms demand their users to participate and interact, some business owners can barely grasp how to leverage their presence and convert their online exposure into revenue. In fact, according to TrustRadius\' survey, marketers that use the platform give more value in displaying an attractive set of vanity metrics than in striving to make their campaigns meaningful in a way that contributes to revenues, website traffic, or leads. Vanity metrics—social media figures that include followers, likes, comments, shares, or retweets—have been a long-used strategy to gain traction. However, these numbers can be easily manipulated, and thus, shrugged off as meaningless. So as marketers, how do you take advantage of your followers on these networks? Always use social media with the aim of encouraging your followers to join your mailing list. By failing to entice them to be part of it, you’re letting possible customers slip away. Remember: your goal is to not just attract them with a one-time, big-time offer, but to seek long-term relationships. What Is Email List Building And Why Is It Important? “Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them,” Co-Founder of KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, and QuickSprout Neil Patel once tweeted. To cite a success story, video editing startup Video Fruit had zero members to its list before beginning its journey. However, after 48 hours of aggressive e-mail marketing and strategic planning, the startup gained 205 email subscribers while generating $247 in revenue in two days. So How Do You Grow your Email List? For Shopify, one of the top e-commerce players today, the key is presenting to your audience the easiest way to get into your mailing list—all the while offering it in a creative and persuasive manner. This simple way is through the opt-in form. What Are Opt-In Forms? To make sure that your site visitors sign up for your newsletter, you need to have a strategically-placed opt-in form. Opt-in forms are the consent users give you, authorizing you to contact them for more information about your service or product. Where Can You Put Opt-In Forms? Opt-in forms should be placed where they will have the best chances of conversions. Think of it as your strategic position when going to war. This includes: Your header or navigation bar Since it’s above the fold, the header is an effective place to put your opt-in form, making it highly visible to all your visitors. Make sure that your call-to-action button contrasts with your overall site colors so that it would stand out. The text should also be compelling enough to encourage sign-ups. Your sidebar The most common location for opt-in forms, a sign-up CTA can also be placed on the top of your sidebar. This offers additional visibility on top of your header opt-ins. If you’re worried about aesthetics, you can place more ads under the opt-in form to balance the look of your sidebar. Your website footer The footer is an often-ignored space. However, studies show that site visitors scroll down a web page even before it loads. This then gives you the opportunity to optimize your below-the-fold area. The great thing about placing your opt-in form on your footer is that it acts as your safety net—if all else fails or if visitors do not want to go back to the top of your page to sign up, you can still persuade them at the bottom of your page. How Can You Grow Your Email List Using Top Social Media Channels? Now that you know how to encourage your site visitors to sign up for your service or product, let’s go back to social media—how it is revolutionizing the world and how you can use it for your marketing campaigns. On Facebook Here are ways for you to entice your Facebook fans into joining your email list: Offer freebies no one can resist You can place your links and offers on the left side of your Facebook page. Programs like Leadpages allow you to add special offers that you can then use to attract new clients. To make sure this is effective, you need two key components: 1) Offer freebies that will provide value to your followers; and 2) Always include a way for them to sign up to your email list. Promote your blog content to your Facebook fans Remember that the purpose of your freebies is to act as lead magnets. Regarding content, you can offer an info product, an e-book, or a helpful guide in exchange for their email addresses. Promote your content on your page, making sure that your opt-ins are placed within your blog content, placed on your side bar, or presented in a pop-up box. Use a Facebook call-to-action button On your Facebook page, the call-to-action appears right below your cover photo on the rightmost side. This button can be customized to suit your purposes. Simply hover over the button, select ‘Edit Button,’ then ‘Get in Touch with Us.’ Now you can choose from a variety of CTAs, which includes an option for your followers to sign up or subscribe as your regular follower. Promote a lead magnet in your Facebook Live broadcast Live videos are a go-to when people search for tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos, or immediate answer to their questions. This presents an opportunity to connect not only with your fans but also with potential customers. However, you shouldn’t stop there. During your live broadcast, promote your lead magnets that would then link to your opt-in forms. This ensures that you give your viewers an avenue to keep their connection with you. Create a Lead-generating Facebook Ad It always pays off to allocate some financing on ads as long as you know your audience. In the case of Facebook Ads, you’ll be able to target your exact demographic. If your message and strategy are right, you’ll see dramatic results almost immediately regarding gathering leads. On Twitter Like Facebook, Twitter is also a great platform for lead magnets. Moreover, the platform makes use of several features like hashtags, which are big traffic generators as long as you know how to use it. Use multimedia tweets According to a survey done by Twitter, multimedia tweets generate three to four times more engagement than a tweet in plain text. Multimedia content, which involves adding photos or videos to your message, is a good and simple way to spice up that tweet. Used pinned tweets to drive traffic to your landing page A pinned tweet is a highly clicked portion of your Twitter profile. So the more clicks you gain, the more website visitors you are attracting. By pinning a tweet, you’re boosting your site traffic and/or promoting your content—two avenues that you can use to lead visitors to an opt-in box. Create high-quality content Inarguably, content is a big booster for generating traffic. Sadly, some may have been doing more quantity at the cost of quality, thinking that numerous sharing and posting does the job. The key here is to keep providing relevant and valuable content to your followers, earning their trust along the way. Opt-in forms can be easily included in every blog post. Get active using hashtags and trends The hashtag itself is a way to draw attention. While it’s tempting to use more than one to target more audiences, more than two would negatively impact your engagement. When done well—that is, avoiding spam hashtags and using only the relevant ones in your niche—it will result in 21% more engagements and 55% more retweets. Optimize your hashtags to gain more followers, increase brand awareness, and lead them to your sign up form. Link everything to an opt-in page As the opt-in remains a crucial part of gaining subscribers, don’t forget to include it in every link. However, going back to the main rule, do not get obsessed with just vanity metrics. Make sure that you track the right KPIs and optimize it according to the data you gather. On Pinterest An advantage of Pinterest is that, unlike Facebook and Instagram that are operated by algorithms, Pinterest allows you to connect directly with your customers. Decide on the best free opt-in to pin on your page You can design and create your own opt-in for a more customized approach. But if you don’t have the resources for it, there are services that offer it for free. Once that you have an opt-in, link it to your email service provider and automate it, so it will be sent to each new subscriber who sees your pinned image. Create a “Pinnable Image” for your opt-in Several bloggers miss out on the advantages of creating pinnable images for opt-ins and attracting website visitors. To do this, have an image that has the right size (735 pixels by 1103 pixels), a readable title, and an eye-catching image. With more people finding your images captivating, the higher your chances are of repins. With more repins, you are then increasing your brand reach and the number of opt-in subscribers. Hide your pinnable image within your landing page Some people may prefer removing large images on their landing pages. You can always hide the pinnable image if you think it’s a big distraction to your website’s content. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to put the image in hiding status. Pin it again and again, everywhere on your board No one’s stopping you from pinning your opt-in so you can do it anytime and anywhere on your page. Not just on your board, but on a group’s board too This may play a crucial role in your aim of generating traffic. Just make sure you’re pinning to boards relevant to your content. Most importantly, follow the rules set by each board group to keep from being blacklisted. Remember To Segment Your Email List According to Red Stag Fulfillment, an emerging e-commerce industry player, people receive a handful of email that, citing recent statistics,  average worker receives 121 emails per day. This is exactly why there has been so much unsubscribing going on. Source: Red Stag Fulfillment According to Fluent, LLC, 57% of email users find the communication they receive “never” or “rarely” useful. About 29% said they “sometimes” find it useful, and only 15% said it was “always” or “often” useful. In contrast to the mainstream strategy of blasting emails, people take in information from emails that are relevant, timely, and necessary. As such, it is important to segment your email list after building it. By segmenting, you divide your contacts based on certain criteria and factors, such as geography, demographics, gender, job function, psychographics, and behavior, among others. Segmenting your subscribers helps you tailor-fit what specific deals they would like to receive and will catch their attention. As such, do not skip your buyer persona research so you can get to know your consumers more. Takeaway With the rise of social media use, plenty of brands stopped investing in email marketing, thinking that it’s an obsolete way of gaining followers and improving sales. This, however, shouldn’t be the case. Social media and email marketing can go hand-in-hand to increase the number of your newsletter subscriptions. Remember to consistently provide value to your subscribers. This way, they won’t unsubscribe and even go as far as recommending you to their family and friends.


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