158 Search Results: personalized

Creative and Personalized Birthday Email Campaigns

Creative and Personalized Birthday Email Campaigns

Beyond • January 31, 2017

People love feeling special. As a marketer or brand representative, this is a huge “in” for you. Whether it’s birthdays, births, or special victories, there are certain milestones in your client or audience’s life that you should always be celebrating. As your company grows, though, this is harder to keep up with - except for birthdays. Birthdays are a perennial opportunity, a consistent year date that will always have special meaning to your clients. This is the date that should also matter to you. Recognizing your clients’ birthdays gives us a chance to say “hey, look at me.” Of course, you’re recognizing their special day but that recognition is coming from you - so they’re also going to be recognizing you. This is a classic social media move: always wish people a happy birthday. Many times that just gets you on someone’s radar and/or it opens up a dialogue. This is where email marketing is more special. If you’ send your email subscriber a birthday email campaign - especially if it’s personalized - you’re able to send them a digital card versus what everyone else is doing, which is just sending them a message. Birthday campaigns can be automated. Put it in your project management system to set aside a couple hours at the start of each month or quarter and schedule email campaigns. The more personalized, the better. Even using someone’s name or getting their style down and sending them something tailored to suit their tastes shows you’ve taken the extra step as a brand. When sending a campaign you can offer a discount code or a freebie with purchase. If you’re able to, the best bet is to send a small gift that they can redeem by entering a special code on your landing page at checkout. It can have a $5 or $10 value, but it’s something they’re getting for free that triggers interest. Even just directing a consumer to your landing page to enter the code - even without purchase - will likely get them to make that purchase. However, it’s really about more than just the purchase. It’s about the brand and creating bonds with consumers. Sephora, a titanic makeup retailer, offers a pretty decent sized freebie. They offer a special “birthday cake” scented bath soap or bubble bath. For the retailer, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much they make a year. For recipients, it became a huge talking about and got people to sign up for the mailing list in order to get the freebie. There’s the real silver lining in giving away something in an email campaign - and that’s getting people to sign up as your subscriber in the first place. Even if you’re giving away something of small value to you, you’re gaining subscribers who are going to likely hang on in the long run, which means they will also be exposed to other email campaigns. And who said the act of giving is more rewarding than the act of receiving? If you plan it right, you can both give and receive for mutual gain.


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The Devil is in the Details:  Simple Ways to Creating a Personalized Customer Experience [Part 2 of 2]

The Devil is in the Details: Simple Ways to Creating a Personalized Customer Experience [Part 2 of 2]

Beyond • August 20, 2014

In Part 1 of “The Devil is the in the Detail,” we covered the advantages small business owners have over their competitors when it comes to creating a great customer experience. We also covered the first half of a six part list on simple ways how you can do this. Add to that list with the last three dead simple ways you can part business benevolence and reap a compelling customer experience. Don’t Hen-Peck Contracts I recently subcontracted a new corporate logo. The client has been on the roster for a while and comes back every now and again for some work. More importantly, this client always pays on time and can be trusted to communicate – which, if you’re a small business owner, know is pretty rare and valuable. The point of this story is that the client reached for work outside the terms of the contract, but rather than hen-peck the contract, we obligingly delivered exactly what they wanted. As I explained to the subcontractor who didn’t understand this process, “if you hen-peck the contract, you’re just looking petty. She’s not asking for that much more…so just give her what she wants and she’ll be happy enough to come back again.” Recognize the “Big Stuff” Birthdays, losses, new babies, charity drives. This is the important stuff – or in honor of Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, “that’s the good stuff.” Money will come and go but creating relationships is, at least for me, the most important aspect of my business. I always try to recognize the important stuff in a person’s life. Honestly, it doesn’t take a lot to do this. For example, I have a micro-business for custom handmade jewelry (an Etsy storefront called “Qahani”). Earlier this year I had a client who mentioned she wanted an order of earrings to go with her wedding dress. I didn’t just send her the earrings. I also sent her an extra little gift of jewelry with a personal not that it was a wedding gift from me. I can tell you, it meant the world to her. On another note, I knew an old-time client was having a particularly rough year…so for her birthday, I sent a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from the company. That also went over very well. Recognition comes in several different forms. The “big stuff” stuff in their personal lives is one of them. The other is recognizing business milestones. Have they won a recent award, accepted an invitation to join a local board of directors, or have they won an election for local council? Have they been featured in a magazine or are they celebrating their second year in business? These are important, especially if you had a hand in helping them reach this step. Here a simple card will do, or a bouquet of flowers for more notable achievements. Expenses incurred from client recognition can be written off as “gifts”. You should also step forward to recognize people’s lives without expecting any business in return. It’s not about getting the business…it’s about keeping the clients so that next time around, they’ll be likely to go with you – or that when they speak of you to their friends and colleagues, they’ll speak fondly and with favor. The reason recognition works like a charm is because most people don’t do it. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write a future post on – the lost art of basic business etiquette and manners. So if you’re one of the few handfuls that’s capable about giving without expecting anything directly in return, you’ll do well creating an exceptional customer experience. Be Willing to Have a Conversation Make time for your clients. Make it a point to reach out to them to get to know them as people. On the same note, never be to busy to have a quick 10 minute conversation with a client who’s reaching out to you …whether that’s about your company, their experience, or something entirely unrelated like new baby photos or tales from their last family reunion. Creating a connection with a customer as a human being is always ten times more effective than any marketing campaign you could throw at them. Also consider that sometimes that conversation can take place on social media, which is particularly true if you’re a digital company with no physical office or storefront and limited face-to-face time. Author Charles Bukowski once said that you’ve got to passionately love what you do. If you don’t love it, you’ve got to go and find something you do love. His reasoning was that unless you’re madly in love with your work, your work suffers. The same rule applies to you. It’s not a reasonable for you to expect to create a positive customer experience unless you’re passionate about what you do. Without passion, that dulled begrudging enthusiasm seeps through to the other end of the line. Creating a great customer experience all comes down to the details. It’s a question of being able to do the little things in a client’s life, outside of standard business practices, that helps create a connection between you, your company, and your client. It’s about stepping outside of the marketing wall and coming face to face with the people that make your business happen…and getting to know those people intimately. At the end of the day, your clients will love the great work you do, but you want them to also love the great people your company is comprised of.


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The Devil is in the Details: Simple Ways to Create a Personalized Customer Experience [Part 1 of 2]

The Devil is in the Details: Simple Ways to Create a Personalized Customer Experience [Part 1 of 2]

Beyond • August 19, 2014

Small business owners have a definite advantage when it comes to creating a compelling customer experience. They can do what most other businesses can’t – and that’s to directly give their time and attention. Here’s where there difference lies between small business owners and their counterparts: big business can spend the money to offer amenities but those gestures are expected and often inauthentic – or taken for granted by wealthy clients. Stepping down a notch, most mid-sized businesses have surpassed their small business status and are so entrenched on scaling up, that they miss the mark on this one. For mid-sized businesses, customer experience isn’t usually a priority anymore. And that’s precisely what still makes the small business owner a contender in the marketplace; the small business owner can give exactly what customers today expect – a positive personalized customer experience. Unlike your competition, you don’t need to spend lavish amounts of money on creating a memorable experience for your customers. You just have to be a considerate business owner that’s willing to take the extra steps. Here are six ways I’ve done just that over the past few years, often with little to no extra effort on my part: Accept Your Failures You know the saying, “the customer is always right.” Well, what about “you’re sometimes wrong.” As a business owner, we’re forced to wear many hats all the while trying to balance some semblance of a personal life. Something is bound to slip through the cracks, and when it does, own up to it. If I’m late on copy because I was in the middle of a move or some other personal emergency came up, I own up to it and do my best to deliver next time beyond expectation. In one case, I completely forgot about a small piece of copy that needed to be written on a monthly basis. As an apology, I gave the client the next two months free. The freebie also taught me a hard and fast rule on never forgetting things – working for free for the next to months was a mini punishment that taught me not to make the same mistake ever again. In another case, for my micro business on Etsy, a vendor was over a month late in delivering a part to me, which made me that much more late in getting the piece of jewelry to the customer. Worse, the customer beat me to the punch and inquired on the status before I could explain the situation. In return, I gave the customer another beautiful piece of jewelry as a free gift, one that paired perfectly with the piece she ordered. She was completely blown away and sent me a personal thank you and left a positive feedback on the site. Mind Your Manners If your business is in service and you’re working with a team of people, you’ll always come across someone on the other side of the table that isn’t quite up to the task. Let’s face it, there are tons of incompetent people and there’s a good chance you’re going to get stuck dealing with a few of them. When it comes to that, always mind your manners. Never complain to your customer about this other individual, their short comings, or your frustration with them. No matter how much of an unskilled ape they might be, it’s your job not to stress out your clients in their dealings with you. Creating a positive customer experience, in this case, is also about eliminating hassle for your client. Everyone Loves a Party Aside from the fact that everyone loves a party, a once a year holiday party is a great way to welcome clients into your home and get more face time with them. Clients are more likely to attend a holiday party than they are to attend any other event you throw during the year. Holiday parties are more about coming together and less about you as a company or some other formal stuffy occasion for celebration. Holiday parties are also almost guaranteed to show a client a good time, and they’re non-committal (come for 30 minutes or stay for two hours). Plus, people are generally happier and more outgoing during that season – and the seasons festivities give you a natural opportunity to liven up the place with lights, trimmings, trees, and presents. It creates a positive overall experience that carries you well into the New Year.


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The Complete Guide to Nurturing Leads with Email Marketing

The Complete Guide to Nurturing Leads with Email Marketing

Practical Marketer • February 19, 2020

So, you know you should be using email marketing, but maybe you aren’t sure how to get the most out of it. Nurturing leads through email isn’t always an intuitive process, and a lot of businesses make avoidable mistakes that reduce the impact of their outreach. So what’s the secret to effective email nurturing? As it turns out, it’s less about one magic bullet and more about optimizing your process and objectives (we know, way less exciting). In this article, we’ll provide you with the information your team requires to better nurture your leads with email marketing. 1. Have a CRM and Marketing Automation Software in Place Trying to send email nurture campaigns without a CRM tool and marketing automation software is like trying to steer a canoe with just a tree branch for a paddle. These platforms do a ton of the hard work for you, and they also make it a whole lot easier to get where you need to go. A CRM allows you to track your prospects’ behaviors, including what pages they’re visiting, what forms they’re filling out, what content of yours they’re downloading and engaging with, and any previous interactions you’ve had with them. This enables you to track and monitor behavior, so you can make your email nurturing campaigns more targeted and personalized. Marketing automation software, meanwhile, saves you time, money, and effort with your nurture emails. Set up your automated platform to send emails out for you instead of having to send them out on your own, and take advantage of templated options and designs that will make your emails more branded, more appealing, and more engaging. 2. Understand the Buyer’s Journey  It’s crucial to understand the buyer’s journey, both in general and in terms of how it relates to lead nurturing. And there are at least three main stages of the journey that you need to understand to better know your prospects. Awareness: When a potential buyer realizes a want or need for a specific product or service. Consideration: When a potential buyer has defined their want or need and is now researching a possible product or service solutions. Decision: When a potential buyer has figured out what their solution is and is comparing the available options to choose the best one for their needs. Keeping the buyer’s journey in mind helps you determine the kinds of content you should be creating.  3. Create Content A lot of companies don’t put nearly as much effort into content creation as they should. Valuable, high-quality content is the most significant part of successful email marketing. It’s what you’re sharing with your leads and what is, hopefully, driving them further along the buyer’s journey. Make sure you’re prioritizing the creation of original content, be it blog posts, guest posts, whitepapers, videos, or other diversified formats. Let the buyer’s journey be your guide for what to create and consult your sales team to determine the main point you want to address in each piece.  4. Have a Designated Person Send the Emails Automated or not, your emails should always appear to be sent from a real person and not a robot. Designate someone on your team whose name and contact information will appear in the signature of the email. This human-to-human connection is crucial, and an excellent way to build trust with your prospects.  As a good rule of thumb, have a sales rep serve as the contact so that if leads have a question or respond, they’ll already be connecting with the right person. 5. Create Drip Campaigns Drip campaigns allow you to put together a series of personalized emails that you can time and send out in a designated order. There are a lot of benefits to engaging this way, including the fact that they continually nurture your leads without inundating them with outreach. This is where understanding the buyer’s journey becomes very beneficial. Segment your leads by stage and send emails that specifically target their questions and objectives. For example, if you have a drip campaign geared toward prospects that are at the bottom of the funnel (i.e., closer to making a decision and more educated on your brand and solutions), send them case studies, testimonials, and other decision-driving content. By sending out this type of content at regular intervals, you stay top of mind while also showing off just what you can do.  6. Measure Results and Update as Needed Just as crucial as getting your content and timing right is utilizing data to adjust as needed. Once you start sending your emails, track specific email metrics to see how they’re being engaged with and what sorts of conversions they’re leading to — particularly emails that are part of drip campaigns. If an email isn’t getting many clicks or responses, tweak it with more updated and actionable content. Use the tips above to optimize your email nurturing strategy and turn more leads into buyers. You got this! 


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4 Steps to Writing An Email That Sells Your Product

4 Steps to Writing An Email That Sells Your Product

Practical Marketer • February 6, 2020

These days, having a digital storefront is a necessity -- not a luxury. But, having an online place to transact your business isn’t enough. If you want to keep your business in the black, you need warm traffic full of people ready to purchase. Out of the numerous marketing strategies out there, when it comes to selling your products online, there’s one that stands the test of time (so far) -- selling through email. Whether you’re wondering how to sell an online course, SaaS product, or physical event, there’s something to glean from these four steps on how to write an email that sells your products. 1. Segment Your Email Using the 5 Stages of Awareness The first step to writing an email that sells is to make sure you’re writing and sending emails to the right audience. But, how do you make sure your targeting and messaging are on point? By segmenting your email list using the five stages of awareness: Really unaware - people who aren’t actively looking for a solution and don’t know they have a problem Problem-aware - visitors who realize they have a problem but aren’t hunting for a fix Solution-aware - browsers which understand they need a solution to their problem but haven’t actively researched options yet Product-aware - people who have done some research and are aware of the options for solutions to their problem Most aware - prospective customers who are actively seeking a solution to their problem, have done their research, and want to choose a solution It’s important to distinguish your audience between these five stages because your messaging needs to match their stage. Otherwise, it won’t resonate with them and, worse, instead of hearing cha-ching for earned sales you’ll hear... crickets. If you doubt the power of segmentation, find proof in the numbers. Marketers have seen as much as a 760% revenue increase by segmenting their email campaigns. What’s more, segmented email campaigns also have a 14.32% higher open rate than campaigns that aren’t segmented, so it’s worth taking seriously. While there are several ways to segment your email list (e.g., by demographics, location, preferences, interests, action taken, et cetera), be sure to include the five stages of awareness in your groupings, which allows you to write copy that addresses that stage. The reason why addressing your recipient’s awareness stage works so well is it matches your reader’s trust level to your email copy. It takes time to build trust among your readers, so make sure you’re offering the right value at the right time.  For instance, if you offer one of your products to someone who’s in the “problem-aware” stage, they’ll likely snub your offer. Whereas someone who’s in the “most aware” stage will more likely be ready for your offer.  Additionally, the better you are matching your audience’s trust level with your email copy and offers, the more they’ll trust you. And trust is certainly something that’s becoming a scarcity among brands these days. Sadly, trust declined in 10 out of 15 business sectors from 2017 to 2018. (Image source) Plus, a staggering 81% of consumers claim that trust is an important part of their purchasing behavior. So, if you’re looking for a simple marketing strategy for your business and don’t know where to start, building trust by segmenting your consumers according to their needs is definitely a solid foundation.  It’s not enough to just say the right thing; you have to say it at the right time, too. And that’s especially true for your subject line. 2. Conquer Your Subject Line Your next step is to nail your subject line, which is a tall order because a lot is weighing on a well-written subject line. So much so that 47% of email recipients open your email based solely on your subject line.  On top of that, there are certain words to avoid, like \"newsletters,\" for example. It decreases your open rate by 18.7%, not to mention, there\'s also a list of email spam trigger words you should avoid. (Image source) A tip for getting your email subject line right is to aim for less than 20 characters, which can score you an open rate of 18.5%, according to a study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. (Image source) If you include a number in your subject line, your open rate scores a 1.3% boost in open rate and 2.2% lift in reply rate. (Image source) Also, title casing matters. If you write a subject line in title case, it should beat out your sentence case and lower case subject lines in both open rate and reply rate. (Image source) I could go on and on about the best email subject line formulas, best practices, and trends to help you optimize your subject lines. But, there’s nothing more reliable than testing out your subject lines.  A good place to start is CoSchedule’s email subject line tester, which pumps out a score for your subject line and gives you tips on how to improve it, once you submit your subject line into their form field. For extra reassurance, try using Send Check It’s email subject line tester, which simply grades your subject line. The moral here is to follow the best formulas for writing your subject lines and be sure to test your subject lines. You may be surprised by the results. 3. Educate Your Audience Our advice on writing your email body centers around educating your audience and delivering value. Why? Educational content is king. Check out how Harvard Business Review educates its email recipients by simply including blog article content in the body of the email. (Image source) An effective way to educate your email readers is to get into your audience’s shoes, empathize with them, understand their problems (within their specific awareness stage, of course), and teach them how to solve their pain points. As you focus on educating your audience, try to also personalize your emails. When your message is personalized, your emails can see an 18.8% average open rate and 21.1% click rate. On top of that, personalized emails deliver six times greater transaction rates, so it’s worth tackling. On a technical note, try to keep your email concise and between 50 and 125 words, which tend to get a response rate above 50%. To make sure your email copy is readable and easy to digest, use this free Hemingway App by simply copying and pasting your body text into the app and improving the highlighted “hard to read” and “very hard to read” sections. (Image source)  Formatting aside, the important takeaway is to focus on teaching your audience how to solve their problem, which positions your brand as a reliable expert on your topic.  4. Include A Distinct CTA Our final step for writing emails that sell your product is to include a distinct call-to-action (CTA). A powerful way to get your readers to click your CTA is to, yet again, make it more personal. Personalized CTAs are so powerful; they can surge your conversation rates by 202%. If you don’t have fancy software that lets you create smart CTAs, it can be as simple as including your recipient’s name near your CTA, just like Marie Forleo does. Another way to write a distinct CTA is to be as specific as possible, so your reader knows exactly what they’re getting into if they click your CTA. Take Suiteness’s email CTA for example. By including a button that reads “Plan ahead & save,” their recipient can expect to go to a booking page from their email. (Image source) Also, rather than use the overdone “shop now,” “book now,” or “read more” CTAs, write something unique that represents your brand. A simple copy update from “Get it now” to “Gimme” increased Sumo’s conversions by 182%. (Image source) Another way to make your CTA stand out is to include a button that visually stands out from the rest of your email, just like Made In’s “let’s cook!” CTA button in red. (Image source) All in all: Make your email CTA irresistible to click by personalizing, being specific and unique, and visually standing out. Better monetize your email list by following the four straightforward steps listed above, and see your email marketing results soar.


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How Content Fuels Your Email Marketing

How Content Fuels Your Email Marketing

Practical Marketer • January 23, 2020

It’s the classic question: which came first, the content or the marketing? Some may say that you can’t have a successful email marketing strategy without first creating the content that will sustain it. And while it’s really up to your team, process, and goals to determine how you go about prioritizing one over the other, it’s undeniable that content plays a significant role in shaping your email marketing plan — and its performance. Email marketing content often gets short shrift. There’s a tendency to undervalue the importance of email copy, or at least to give it a bit less care and oversight than you might something like a blog or white paper (though, as you’ll see, there’s a lot of overlap between these various content strategies). And while it’s undoubtedly true that emails usually differ from other content formats in terms of tone, the stakes are just as high. In this post, we’ll go over the importance of email marketing for your inbound marketing strategy and how good content is the fuel that keeps it healthy. Effective Email Marketing Starts With Strategy Email marketing is about more than just letting subscribers know what you’re selling. Your strategy needs substance, variety, and engaging content. When you put together a strategy with those three elements at the forefront, you’ll build beneficial brand awareness, stay top of mind with your prospects, and, most importantly, engage, nurture, and convert. But again, your approach is crucial.  When you craft the content you’ll be using in your email campaigns, you have to know what your audience craves. Knowing what they’re questions are, who they report to, what they don’t understand, and why they may want to use your services will help you create content that they can use and benefit from. It also ensures you’re personalizing your approach, which will ultimately move your leads through the customer journey. So, when putting together your email strategy, keep content at the heart of it. Include not just what you want to achieve with prospects at each stage, but exactly how you’re going to use your content to get there.  Content and Email Drip Campaigns Email drip campaigns are the epitome of personalized, educational outreach. Content for these campaigns depends on who the recipients of the message are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.  Prospects at the top of the funnel who are engaging with you for the first time will require more basic content that describes what it is your company does. Content like welcome emails and basics on your industry and services will service your leads at this stage best. Meanwhile, prospects further down the funnel will benefit from in-depth content that answers their need-to-know questions, content that differentiates you from your competitors, and shows what it’s like to work with you. Content and Email Newsletters To stay top of mind with prospects and continue to spread your brand’s thought leadership, you should keep them in the know on relevant news about your company and any content that you’ve recently published. Your blog content is great for email newsletters because it’s continuously updated and shows your leads that you’ve got a lot of knowledge to share.  With that said, vary the types of content you share in your newsletters. Linking to blog posts is great, but you’ll also want to diversify by including videos, images, user-generated content, and surveys to keep your email newsletters interesting and engaging.  Content and Promo Emails Content is necessary for your promotional emails because it’s what you’re promoting. You want compelling and highly informative content to be what drives your promotion, and you want to make sure you do whatever you can to create excitement around it.  A new guide, a long-form piece of content that’s gated, or a webinar are just some examples of content to promote. The reason being, these are all pieces of content you’ll want to see the most downloads or sign-ups from, so a dedicated eblast will be that extra necessary push.  By bringing together informative and actionable copy and compelling visuals, your promo emails will get more eyes on the content you’re promoting and inspire more people to act. As always, make sure that the content you are promoting applies to the people you’re sending it to. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar on how agencies can prioritize content marketing, send your promos to your segmented agency list. It’s just another way of personalizing your approach and ensuring you have a higher success rate.  Content truly is the fuel for your email marketing tactics. If you plan your email marketing with a clear understanding of what content you’ll need and how you’ll be using it, you’re sure to delight your subscribers and see better results from your efforts. 


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The 6 Types of Emails You Should Be Sending

The 6 Types of Emails You Should Be Sending

Practical Marketer • January 22, 2020

Are you knocking it out of the park with your emails? Any marketer would rarely answer yes to that question. No matter what your strategy looks like or how effective you think it is, email marketing mistakes happen, and results can always be improved.  A successful email marketing strategy goes a lot deeper than just a casual message to your subscribers once in a while to let them know you’re still around. If you want to create emails that engage, delight, and convert, you need to be diversifying your efforts with emails that span a range of formats, purposes, and frequencies.  Below are six essential types of messages you should be incorporating into your email strategy, and why they’re beneficial for not only you but your subscribers as well.  1. Newsletters Email newsletters are crucial for building brand awareness and loyalty, and a great opportunity for marketing teams of all sizes to increase engagement with their audience. Whether you send newsletters weekly, monthly, or just once a quarter, use them to provide a round-up of your most recently published content, as well as a place to highlight any new promotions, offers, or events. Why they’re great: Think of your email newsletters as hubs that can direct subscribers to other valuable digital resources. A well-done newsletter will drive more traffic to your website, grow your social media community, and increase your sales. Not too shabby for what some consider to be the most basic form of email marketing. 2. Lead Nurturing Drip Campaigns Drip campaigns roll out targeted content to your subscribers to gently guide them along the sales funnel. We recommend having segmented lists for prospects in each stage of the buyer’s journey so you can reach out to them with resources that answer their unique questions and needs. And because they’re automatic, drip campaigns save you time in the long run.  Why they’re great: Drip campaigns are incredibly useful when it comes to staying top of mind with your audience, including re-engaging with prospects who might have gotten distracted somewhere along the funnel. They also help ensure that the content you put a lot of work into creating (blog posts, webinars, infographics, guides, etc.) actually ends up in front of who it’s intended for. 3. Transactional Emails Marketing doesn’t stop at the point of sale. Transactional emails, which include digital receipts, shipping confirmations, and personalized post-sale product recommendations, deliver relevant information to your customers while also giving you a leg up when it comes to getting them to keep coming back again and again.  Why they’re great: Transactional emails fill in many of the gaps that often result in people becoming one-time customers. On top of providing need-to-know information, they also increase customer engagement and build trust — both of which are essential if you want to keep your customers around. 4. News Updates It’s okay to toot your own horn! News update emails call attention to anything exciting that’s going on with your company. Next time you win a big award, have an upcoming conference that your CEO will be speaking at, or secured additional funding, let your subscribers know about it. It helps contribute to your brand authority and continues to secure their faith in your partnership.  Why they’re great: With all of the competition out there, it makes sense to use email marketing as a way to increase brand integrity and authority, and news updates do just that. For the best outcomes, send them only when something big happens — everything else can be mentioned in a newsletter. 5. Milestones If you’re using a CRM, then chances are you’re monitoring key information about your customers, like their birthdays or anniversaries. So why not put all of that data to use with milestone emails? These creative and personalized campaigns recognize important occasions to drive conversions and make your customers feel appreciated. Why they’re great: You know your customers matter, but they need to know too. Milestone emails remind your subscribers that you care, and can include assets like personalized coupon codes that lead to future purchases. 6. Promo/Offer Emails Everyone loves a good deal, and promo emails are just the vehicle to share your most recent exciting offer. Why? Well, email marketing is one of the easiest ways to share deals and offers with your audience because they’re already enrolled and engaged with your messages. And, they’re a great way to get more eyes on a newly released piece of content, like a whitepaper or guide. After all, why create something if you’re not going to show it off? Why they’re great: These types of emails get more eyes on your most valuable campaigns and content and can inspire thought and conversions that might not have otherwise happened. So, change up your email marketing this year. Introduce a few new types of email messages into your campaigns and see how well they engage and delight your subscribers. Keep track of your results, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your approach. 


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How to Build an Effective Email Drip Campaign

How to Build an Effective Email Drip Campaign

Practical Marketer • January 15, 2020

Drip campaigns are crucial in educating, nurturing, and converting your prospects. They’re the star player in your overall marketing and sales game, so assembling them must be done with a lot of thought, care, and strategy. You also need a firm grasp on what makes your prospects tick so you can fill your campaigns with targeted content and the right message, which will move them through the funnel more seamlessly.  Drip campaigns have this annoying habit of seeming like a very confusing strategy, one with a lot of moving parts and factors that ultimately determine their success. While it’s true that a lot goes into them, they’re actually a huge time-saver, and putting them together doesn’t have to be such a headache.  We’ll cover all of the basics that you need to know about drip campaigns, including the benefits that they offer your marketing strategy and how to put them together effectively. So don’t grab the Excedrin just yet. The Benefits of an Email Drip Campaign When it comes to marketing, every minute matters, and every strategy has to deliver. So let’s get into the weeds a bit on the beneficial reasons to invest time and resources into drip campaigns.  1. Personalized Content Personalized emails result in transaction rates that are 6x higher than non-personalized emails. The whole point of drip campaigns is to offer your audience a consistent stream of touchpoints, filled with personalized content based on what they need and where they are in the buyer’s journey. Each email within a drip campaign works off of each other, offering a little bit of content each time that is meant to help solve a problem your prospect is having.  2. Steady Progress Drip campaigns aren’t designed to push leads through the funnel faster than usual. Instead, they guide them at an even pace, gradually helping them become more informed and moving them closer to a decision. As I mentioned in the previous point, each email is meant to work off the one sent prior. They’re designed to assist you with creating a steady progression for your prospects, informing them more and more with each email, hence moving them through the funnel at a controlled pace they’re comfortable with.  3. Smarter Leads An educated prospect is a better prospect. With drip campaigns, you’re providing ongoing education for your leads, proving your worth, and building trust. The result is a well-informed lead, and we all know that a knowledgable lead makes for a strong, long-lasting customer relationship.  Okay, now it’s time to get started. Enter: email automation software, of course. When paired with an effective CRM, the right automation platform can help you track and analyze your prospects to figure out where they are in the buyer’s journey and segment your lists for your drip campaign. It will also allow you to put together the drip campaign and automate it for marketing ease. How to Build an Email Drip Campaign Putting together a drip campaign is a lot easier than you might think, once you have the right tools. Follow the steps below and create a campaign driven to convert. Step One: Tier Your Prospects To make sure the right content is sent to the right people, you need to segment your prospects based on where they are in their journey. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that might look like. Leads — Awareness phase. Leads are anyone who visits your site. Their level of knowledge regarding what you do is most likely low.  Prospects — Awareness and consideration phase. Prospects are anyone who downloads something on your site and subscribes to your email marketing campaign. They may know a little bit more about what you do, but they’re still learning more about you. This is where your email drip campaigns come in to play.  Opportunity — Consideration phase. When a prospect becomes an opportunity, it’s because they’ve asked for a demo of your service or product. They are now seriously considering working with your company.  Customer — Decision phase. Customers are obviously anyone who decides to partner with you and use your service or product. You’ve done it! You converted a lead to a customer!  Closed/Lost — Anyone who qualifies as an opportunity but then decides against moving forward, for whatever reason. Womp, womp.  MIA — Unresponsive opportunities who go dormant after requesting a demo. Super womp, womp.  There’s an opportunity within each of these classifications to engage (and re-engage) in a way that moves the relationship forward. To do it, move on to step two. Step Two: Create Content for Each Stage Collaborate with your sales team and your account team to gather insights on the pain points of people in each of the classifications mentioned in step one. What do they want to know? What don’t they know already but should? What might they be confused about at this stage? Once you’ve workshopped a bit and built audience personas for each group, get to work creating content that addresses their unique wants and needs, or start assembling your existing content that fits within these areas. Think broadly, focusing on general content that can be useful for each type of lead/prospect, including gated resources, manuals, webinars, and blog posts. Having this content on hand will give you a good base of educational materials that you can then put to use in your drip campaigns. Step Three: Segment Your Lists You’ve tiered your prospects already, so now it’s time to create your actual email lists. Create a list for each tier, and make sure to automatically enroll new prospects into the most appropriate list for their current stage.  How you do this depends on how your marketing automation software helps you qualify your prospects. Some allow you to take into consideration a lot of factors, like actions they’ve taken on your site, the industry they’re in, and the size of their company. But at the end of the day, you should have segmented contact lists that you can easily connect throughout each campaign. Step Four: Craft Your Emails Once you’ve got your lists segmented, start putting together the actual email series for your drip campaigns. To make it easy on yourself and your team, you may want to tackle just one prospect tier at once. Start small while you get your footing and see what works, and then adjust accordingly.   Make sure you create engaging email content that will delight your prospects. You want them to enjoy reading your emails and look forward to opening them. Don’t forget to add links to your existing content so that you can make these more personalized and helpful.   Step Five: Check In to Measure Success Let your drip campaigns run their course for a few months, then check to see how well they’re performing. Focus on how well they’re able to move prospects through the funnel and see if your sales team is getting any feedback for improvement. Also, look at click-through-rates, open rates, and conversion rates to help determine overall success. Sometimes, something a simple as swapping in updated and/or otherwise enhanced content will be enough to overcome hurdles. Remember: drip campaigns are ongoing strategies. Tweak your practices and your content as needed, and always use any associated data to help evolve your campaigns. Soon, you’ll have a drip campaign that operates — and excels.


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The Anatomy of an Effective Email

The Anatomy of an Effective Email

Practical Marketer • January 8, 2020

For every dollar spent on email marketing, you get $38 in return. That’s a lot of ROI for one strategy. But, before you hit send, there are various things you have to keep in mind that ensure your email is built effectively.  A successful email is much like the human body. It has various parts that all need to work together for it to function and operate smoothly as a whole. The anatomy of every effective email includes at least seven specific components that should be present, all of which will encourage people to open it, engage with the content, and eventually convert. So to get it right and see that sweet ROI, here are the necessary components that comprise the anatomy of an effective email:  1. “From” Field The “from” space is an essential piece of real estate because it can immediately initiate trust. Never set up your emails to be sent from a generic address. Instead, have the “from” contain the name of someone within your organization, preferably someone from your sales or marketing team. Next to the subject line, the “from” field is where most people look at before opening the email. And the easier it is to identify the source of an email, the more likely it will be opened. 2. Subject Line As we alluded to in the previous point, your subject line is the second opportunity to make a good first impression. 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. If you don’t engage here, people will not be opening your email, which means you have zero opportunity to convert them. The body of your email can contain the best information in the world, but if the subject line is boring, they’ll never see it. A few tips to remember when creating subject lines: Don’t overuse punctuation (ie. !!!! or ????). Keep it short. No longer than 40-50 characters. Don’t use all caps. Don’t repeat the “from” label. 3. Content Content is the meat of the email. It’s everything, and it starts with your preview text. The preview text is like the sidekick of your subject line because it’s meant to provide more context and further compel readers to open the email. It should grab attention and get people engaged.  The body of your email is where you provide the primary messaging and information for your readers. It must create value for the consumer and cause them to take action (we’ll get to that specific part later). Make sure that whatever you’re promoting has your brand voice tied to it, is concise, and is presented in an easily digestible way. Make sure this content is personalized by addressing specific pain points and provides aid based on where the recipient is in the customer journey.  Commit to quality and send content that people actually want to read. It’s just as easy to fail an email campaign if your content is boring, or worse, rife with errors.  The content should also vary. Don’t send out the same campaign over and over. A/B test subject lines and content to see what people respond to. Then create more of it. A company newsletter is usually the best place to start if you’re scratching your head on content.  4. Call to Action One of the most important parts of your email is where you ask people to “do something.” This is your call-to-action (CTA) and is what leads to conversion. Whether you want people to make a purchase or simply fill out a survey, you need to request it somewhere in the email.  When writing the content, ask yourself, “what do I want people to do after they receive this?” It doesn’t have to be a purchase. If it’s a survey, don’t forget to include a link where they can fill it out.  The idea is always to make the CTA clear and concise, so people aren’t wondering what to do next. One of the most engaging ways to do this is to include an easily clickable button that redirects people to your exact destination. 5. Visuals/Design We have all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but it’s no different when it comes to email marketing. Using an image in an email appeals to the recipient’s visual nature. It makes it easier for them to receive information, it gives character to your emails, and it can break up the written content.  Don’t neglect visual components like color blocks or graphics. And make sure you give thought to the overall design and layout of your emails. Visuals play a big part in branding, and having them be consistent with the look and feel of your other digital assets and collateral is a must.   6. Mobile-Optimized At this point, there’s no excuse for not having mobile-optimized emails. We already know that people are glued their phones, and with recent studies showing that up to 77% of emails are opened on mobile devices, the deal is sealed. You must be optimizing your emails for mobile. If someone receives an email they can’t read on their phone, they’re not only going to neglect reading it, but they may even unsubscribe from all your future email messages.  7. Analytics Any email campaign you send out must always be measurable. Evaluating the performance of your email marketing strategies is critical to understanding what works and what is failing.  An effective email will have a high open-rate and click-rate, and if you measure a campaign and both of these metrics are failing, it’s time to make some changes. When reviewing your email benchmarks and making adjustments, make sure you play around with A/B testing, the day and time you’re sending your emails, and frequency. These can all play a part in the overall effectiveness, and that’s what matters most.  So, when putting together your next email newsletter or campaign, make sure you pay mind to the seven pieces of the email anatomy mentioned above. Don’t neglect one over the other, as all are needed for well-functioning, successful email. 


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5 Ways to Kickstart Your Email Marketing This Year

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Email Marketing This Year

Practical Marketer • December 19, 2019

There’s no doubt that consumers prefer emails when it comes to brand updates and marketing. More than half of consumers check their personal email accounts more than ten times a day, and 99% of consumers are checking their email accounts at least one time per day. That\'s a lot of chances to connect with tons of people, as well as one of the reasons emails are the most effective ways to engage with consumers. With more than 59% of marketers reporting email marketing as their number one source of ROI, it makes sense to put extra effort into your campaigns. So why not make sure that your 2020 email marketing strategy is off to a great start from the get-go? Here are five of our top tips for breathing new life into your emails and maximizing their performance and returns. 1. Start With Great Content Content is always going to be king in the marketing world. After all, the whole point of content is to communicate a specific message — right? Putting content at the top of your priority list makes a ton of sense when it comes to optimizing your email marketing efforts, and it’s one of the biggest things you can do to boost engagement across the buying journey. High-performing email marketing content has a couple of critical features. To start, it’s well-written and original (this is a biggie). Poorly edited copy, overly wordy copy, and boring copy are all going to turn off your subscribers. Great content is also personalized to specific prospects based on where they are in the sales cycle. This helps you improve the utility of your outreach and better appeal to the right customers at the right time. Also, make sure you have a clear and specific CTA so your emails can convert.  2. Automate Wherever You Can Email marketing involves a lot of rote tasks. It also consists of a lot of highly specific tasks that the human brain isn’t always ideally fit to undertake, such as data-driven segmentation. Enter artificial intelligence, which has become an increasingly integral part of effective brand-to-consumer messaging. With a marketing automation tool, your business can create emails more efficiently and put data to use for more conversion-friendly marketing. Use it to do everything from pinpointing the optimal days and times to send your emails to creating customized contact lists for better targeting and segmentation. And don’t forget to use an email autoresponder, which can engage with consumers at important stages in their journey to move them along the path to purchase.  3. Know Your Metrics Every business is different. The email marketing metrics that a business tracks for success may be relatively standard from brand to brand (think open rates, click-through rates, and so on). However, it’s your individual goals that inform these metrics and help you best determine where you need to go and how you’re going to get there. Ultimately, you need to understand your own metrics — not just the general ones the inform successful email marketing — in order to determine how well you’re performing. You may be doing this already, but as we enter a new year, go back in, and audit your protocols to account for your most recent analytics. Not only will you have more accurate metrics to go on, but you’ll also be able to refresh your team on what your big goals and intentions are. 4. Go Big Create campaigns, not just individual emails. There’s a tendency with email marketing to silo messages and let whatever topic, product, or service you’re trying to cover at the moment be the overarching theme you’re getting at. But for truly effective email marketing, you want to think big picture. We’re going for the whole puzzle here, not just the individual pieces. The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to restrategize. As you go to the drawing board, focus not just on what topics and ideas you want your subscribers to engage with but how they all fit together. See if you can work in more cohesive, campaign-driven practices, too, like creating more drip campaigns. Your audience might not notice the difference, but you will. 5. Be More Accessible If you’re not already designing emails with accessibility in mind, now is the time to start. This broadens your pool of potential leads and is also part of fair and inclusive communications. Some easy places to start: go for bigger fonts and cleaner backgrounds, and work on maintaining a clear and identifiable structure to how you arrange the content within your emails. Another tip is if you’re using video in your emails, make sure they’re captioned so hearing-impaired subscribers can still engage with the video and pull information from it.  There’s always something that you can do to improve your email marketing efforts. Take advantage of this transition to a new year (and a new decade!) to spur your strategy and encourage your team to find innovative ways to do more and do better. A simple kickstart might be all that you need to start exceeding your goals.


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