Series Posts: Beyond

Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Beyond • June 22, 2015

Google Docs can’t save your life … but it can sure save your business! Not only is it a handy tool for work, school, and personal work, but it is the perfect tool to use in this era where everything moves lightening fast. Several businesses have greatly improved thanks to Google Docs. As digital media is now the number one source to receive the latest breaking news, this spelled trouble for traditional print newspapers and magazines. That’s why several publications had to make the move from paper to web in order to survive in the industry, but it was a lot more difficult that it sounded. Journalists who were used to their own method of reporting and writing had to completely revamp the system to keep with the time-sensitive and fast-paced nature of digital media. Bangor Daily News, a Maine-based news site, had to quickly incorporate a new tool in the workplace that allows reporters and writers to work with ease. Online editor, William Davis, shared: “We picked Google Docs purely for its ease of use and its collaboration tools. We wanted a place where reporters could work on their articles easily from wherever they are — we have quite a few bureaus, and our reporters often file from events. The collaboration tools are terrific and have really proved useful, for example, when we’re editing articles on tight deadlines or when reporters are working on stories together. On Election Day we had three reporters at different campaign headquarters all working in one doc, and it went very smoothly.” As for the process going from story idea to web article, reporters begin their stories into Google docs and then drop them into the appropriate folder according to its category. Then the editors would read it and then move it to a copy-editing queue. Then finally, a digital desk editor reviews it before sending it off to Wordpress. With this system, Google Docs work as an assembly line factory, where all team members of different positions can come to work, find what they need, and pass along when finish. Not only is this more time-efficient, but also much tidier and less chance of losing documents. Just one of the many examples of how Google docs is a basic necessity to run your company. Equally important is how you can take advantage of Google docs to increase your brand awareness and strengthen relationships with your audience. With the Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration, you can transfer all information (spreadsheets, documents, data) collected from Google surveys, straight into your email list! The speediness of Google docs and marketing power of email…what is better than that?


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The Top 7 Tips For A Flawless Online Event

The Top 7 Tips For A Flawless Online Event

Beyond • June 20, 2015

Your online event should adhere to the same standards as network news broadcasts. Every aspect of the image and audio is carefully manipulated to ensure that the viewer receives an optimal and consistent experience right through the entire broadcast. Similarly, your online event should aspire to the same levels of excellence as your attendees will judge you in an effectively identical manner. You want to ensure that your audience is focused on the event presenters and the content being displayed. Some of the primary ways to ensure that you are successful in this task include: Set up a stationary background – Nothing is more distracting than placing your presenters with busy goings on in the background, or in front of a window where passersby can distract your attendees. You’re going to be far better off crafting your entire event in front of an interesting but static background to keep your audience’s attention focused on the delivery of the content, not the activities behind which are irrelevant to the event. Use headset mikes – True, many people wearing headsets look a bit goofy in online events, but it is a small price to pay for the considerably heightened audio quality you’re going to receive. If you are absolutely dead set against placing your mikes half an inch from the speakers’ lips, then invest in renting or buying a state of the art cardioid microphone which will help minimize the distracting background noise. Review all visible clothing – The patterns and accessories in the clothing that is worn by the presenters and is visible to the online audience can severely affect the success of your entire event. Tight patterns can create extremely distracting swirling moire effects, and sparkly jewelry can catch the light and make your entire online event look like you’re emulating the annoying constant lens flares in the recent Star Trek movies. Stick to solids in darker, neutral colors with a minimum of bling and your audience will thank you. Rehearse the technology – How many online events have been marred by the presenter not knowing where to click on their laptop to provide the next slide, how to plug in their microphone, or even which way the camera is facing? Take a page from the Broadway theatrical playbook and make sure that you have a full dress rehearsal run through to make sure that technical ignorance is not going to dynamite your online event. Obtain professional lighting help – Lighting a scene properly is both an art and a science which is not easy to master and your online event has an inherent indisputable obligation to correctly light its presenters or the entire event will suffer. Ensure that your lighting does not create any unusual contrasts such as dark shadows under the eyes, nose, and chin, or washouts where lighting sources such as windows overpower the controlled lighting and make one side of the presenter’s face look like half of a vanilla ice cream cone. Back off from the camera – Far too many online events are conducted by presenters who believe that unless the camera lens is more than three inches from their nose then they are too far away. This excessive proximity provides a comical fish eye lens effect and exaggerates your visual expressions. This is all fine and good if you’re doing a comedy routine, but extremely counterproductive if you’re trying to portray authoritative and sober knowledge and information… however, the most important and critical factor is… Look at the camera naturally – It seems the majority of online event presenters have a deeply-rooted psychological problem which prevents them from making eye contact with the camera. When a presenter avoids eye contact it makes them look shifty and insincere and therefore immediately loses the opportunities to build trust with the viewer. Staring like a hypnotizing Svengali into the lens is just as off-putting, so your presenters should be comfortable engaging the camera with the same level of eye contact as they would at a business lunch. If you apply all these top techniques your online event will be a boon, not a bust!


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Resistance To Video Conferencing Can Affect Your Online Event

Resistance To Video Conferencing Can Affect Your Online Event

Beyond • June 19, 2015

Way back before internet video conferencing I engaged a colleague in Europe to get involved in a joint project. All of the details were meticulously discussed for months over email and in countless long distance telephone calls. When every imaginable trans-Atlantic duck was in a perfectly straight row, I emailed him the contract which reflected the agreement and he replied that he will be happy to sign it… in person. So could I just jump on a plane for a mere 25 hours each way (including layover) and fly a 12,200 mile round-trip, just so we could shake hands and sign? Although videoconferencing is much more integrated into today’s business world and can help allay these “impersonal” fears, many individuals still don’t consider the 2D version of a meeting to be real enough, and this factor can seriously affect your online event! Considerable challenges faced by online event producers A white paper prepared for server, application, and desktop virtualization corporation Citrix entitled Boost Your Image: Master The Three Stages of Video Conferencing Success included significant findings in the field of people-based challenges faced by proponents of online events. The top two statements by a wide margin which were used to resist engaging in a video conferencing event were “inability or unwillingness to use new technology” and “entrenchment of the current way to do things.” This resistance is especially worrisome when viewed in conjunction with the statistic that online event marketers and producers expect to grow their own video conferencing frequency to 6.3 times per month, an increase of 211% from just a couple of years ago. So it seems that the more event producers want to set up video conferences, the stronger the objections from the entrenched detractors. Europeans are more accepting of video conferencing than North Americans Geography plays a major role in the adoption of video conferencing as a valid online event medium. While only 15% of all Europeans and North Americans have never used video conferencing, that percentage increases by 50% in the Asia Pacific region. There are many other variances based on continental preferences in dealing with video conferencing events and it seems that Europeans are considerably more accepting of video conferencing based online events than their North American counterparts: Europeans are 35% more likely than North Americans to state that video conferencing helps them communicate more frequently. Europeans also are 24% more likely to conclude that video conferencing can save time than North Americans. Saving the inconvenience of travel is claimed by 19% more Europeans than their counterparts on the other side of the Pond. Europeans’ greater acceptance of video conferencing events is counterintuitive If by now you have concluded that you might want to shift your focus on marketing your next online video conferencing based event to the other side of the Atlantic, you might find that you’re going to be welcomed a bit more than in North America. It seems almost counterintuitive. Europe has a much greater population than North America, and the distances between major centers are far shorter. On a continent where travel is much more convenient you might think that video conferencing events would be shunned more than in the North American “thousands of miles between primary cities” geographical situation, but that would not be the correct conclusion. The leader’s behavior is the primary factor in video conferencing event acceptance Some of the factors claimed by video conferencing event attendees regardless of geographical location to make them less likely to be involved in ongoing online events since they have rated these aspects “distracting or annoying” focus on the leader of the event. The primary complaint is when the video conference leader has distracting mannerisms or gestures, followed by being in front of a distracting or cluttered background, does not make eye contact with the camera, is poorly lit, and acts as if they are unaware of the other attendees. It goes without saying that video conferencing events have been proven to be effective means of communication among far flung participants, but the wise online event marketer should be aware that not all potential attendees are equally enthusiastic.


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Burns: From Beginner to Blogging Beast

Burns: From Beginner to Blogging Beast

Beyond • June 19, 2015

Blogging. Just the word alone induces fear. I have been advised that writing blog posts comes with a learning curve, along with everything else in life right: riding a bike, learning to drive, and your first year of college. Having just finished my first year at San Diego State University, I have been through one of the more difficult learning experiences and realizations: that nothing worth having in life comes easy. The same can be said about blogging. Great topics and ideas don’t just magically flow from your mind. You must experience success and failure to share your knowledge. Trying to write something that readers see as valuable is not easy. With that said I am going to provide you with a fly on the wall perspective of the beginning my blogging career. A proper introduction should be in order. My name is Nicholas Burns. I am 18 years old and am the summer intern here at Benchmark Email. As I mentioned, I attend San Diego State University and will be a sophomore in the fall. I have been fortunate enough to grow up in beautiful Southern California, where summer is more of a year round lifestyle than a three month season. I am your typical “SoCal Teen,” I surf, skateboard and love to be outdoors and at the beach with my friends. In the 21st Century, we know exactly where to go when we don’t know how to do something: Google. Naturally that’s where I went: “How to Write Your First Blog.” The information has provided me with the fundamental skills to blog. The one universal theme is to leave your fear behind and let your knowledge do the talking. Blogging is not about jargon and technical terms, it is about providing something a reader can relate to and use. One suggestion that I found to be useful across all the research I have done is to not worry how your audience will react to what you write. If your content is valuable and relatable, your readers will get the message. A valuable lesson from Neil Patel’s article titled, “11 Things I Wish I knew Before I Started My First Blog,” is that what goes on the Internet stays there. If you are lazy regarding the content of your blog, the consistency of traffic and how your readers view your blog, business, service, etc. will be sub-par. Like my parents have always told me, “Don’t post anything on the internet that you wouldn’t read in front of the whole school.” This advice can fit into deciding the content of a blog. Don’t write about it unless you would get up on a stage in front of hundreds of people and explain/argue your point. When writing blogs many readers do not know you personally and will potentially never meet you face-to-face, depending on the blog. As a result they could form opinions about you based on your writing and subject matter so make them worth reading. This is just the beginning of my blogging career. Throughout this series I hope to provide blogging advice and give you guys a front row seat to my transformation from a beginner to a blogging beast.


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Adobe’s 2014 Digital Marketing Survey Reveals Keys To Success

Adobe’s 2014 Digital Marketing Survey Reveals Keys To Success

Beyond • June 18, 2015

Adobe’s yearly Digital Marketing Optimization Survey is as anxiously anticipated by many online marketers as Christmas morning is by children with visions of sugarplums (and iPads) in their eyes. In the years that Adobe has been publishing this authoritative resource, it has provided countless critical insights into the state of online marketing, and this year is certainly no exception with a wealth of key statistics which can help guide your campaign to ever higher engagement and metrics. Statistics of significant interest to all online marketers The 2014 version of the Adobe Digital Marketing Optimization Survey polled more than 1,000 brand executives from across North America, Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Asia in a broad swath of organizations and industry sectors. The statistics which were generated by this comprehensive and up to the minute report are of significant interest to any online marketer anywhere. These findings include: The average conversion rate is 2.6% but 20% of top brands obtain rates higher than 4.5%. Automation increases brands’ average conversion rate from 2.6% to 3.6%. Involving multiple departments in the optimization process boosts the average conversion rate from 2.6% to 4.3%. Companies with a culture of optimization are able to double their conversion rate. The companies which receive the highest conversion rates spend more than 5% of their total online marketing budgets on optimization. The top converting companies are 43% more likely to use a broad range of targeting techniques. 75% of respondents claim that personalization is critical to their brands’ long term goals. 89% of all companies acknowledge that the use of customer behavior data for targeting purposes is increasing. Companies which are quantifying the improvement in the context of online sales or key website performance metrics via the personalization of their online experiences gain 19% more sales. 70% of all brands which have adopted testing are in the top 20%, while the bottom 80% includes the 54% which do not test. 91% of all brands who consider that focusing on mobile is critical to their cross-channel efforts are in the top 20%, while the bottom 80% includes the 33% who don’t consider mobile to be important. Mobile customers spend 400% longer in a tablet app and 250% longer in a smartphone app than on a website on the identical device. Global app downloads are on track to hit 300 billion (about 50 apps for every man, woman, and child on Earth) by 2016. These figures are well worth studying and analyzing in depth, as although cumulative results are not ever precisely linear, you can make a case that if you involve multiple departments and automate extensively, your average conversion rate could actually be boosted from 2.6% to 5.3%! The top 15 techniques utilized by top performing brands Top performing brands agree on the importance of various customer experience measurement and optimization tactics, stating that the top 15 techniques they rely on include: Website analytics – 89% Social media analytics – 53% Social sharing (icons on pages) – 47% Email optimization – 43% Customer reviews – 42% Mobile analytics – 40% A/B testing – 39% Onsite search – 33% Profile targeting – 31% Retargeting or remarketing – 29% Audience segmentation – 26% Onsite survey – 20% Multivariate testing – 17% Attribution modeling – 15% Automated recommendations – 13% Key takeaways on boosting your online marketing campaign results Some of the key conclusions that can be derived from these statistics for online marketers include: Determine your Key Performance Indicators quickly and rely upon them Let your clean and consistent data dictate your brand’s marketing priorities To benefit in the relationship-driven era of online marketing create unique, organic, and fully content-driven experiences Automate your efforts to ensure the greatest real time efficiencies Invest more in order to generate greater conversion rates Enhance your mobile e-commerce with geolocation data to serve up relevant location-based offerings You can never test, optimize and personalize too much! The extent and type of data which is included in Adobe’s 2014 Survey is meticulously collected and unwaveringly applied to logically and verifiably support these stated conclusions. The study is a treasure trove for all online marketers.


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The Evolution of Email: How Email Marketing Has Changed Over the Years

The Evolution of Email: How Email Marketing Has Changed Over the Years

Beyond • June 18, 2015

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin The first email was sent over 44 years ago. The first commercial email for marketing purposes was sent in 1978 by a Gary Thuerk, Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp. Becoming the very first email marketing campaign, his idea was to promote his company’s machines to 400 users via Arpanet. It was a breakthrough event that won Digital Equipment Corp. $13 million in sales. In 1991, the internet become widely available to the public and new systems of communication were born, including “Hotmail.” A free service, it gave every single person with a computer access to a new untapped marketing territory. Email adoption and use was still a novelty though. Over the next decade, marketing was still done face to face, through the phone, printed materials and through the postal system. Email communication was still in its infancy. Most people communicated via phone or in person. A few relics of the 80’s might still send the occasional letter. That started changing a little toward the latter part of the decade. By the late 1990’s businesses more heavily relied on email communication as a supplement to other forms of traditional communication. Marketers, however, where catching on. Inboxes inundated with clutter and junk emails resulted in the introduction of the Data Protection Act in 1998, which required all email marketers to include an opt-out option. 2003 saw another round of email user protection laws and Europe started passing its own version of protective laws for email users. Who doesn’t remember the sound of AOL connecting with a dial-up? By 1998, just about everyone was on AOL – businesses, families, students. AOL helped bridge email to households making it a part of everyday life for just about everyone with network connection. But AOL did something else. In 2004, they started handing back user information to the email service providers. Hotmail and Yahoo quickly followed suit. It was the start of data gathering. The technology shift in the 2000s with the advent of social platforms in the mid 2000’s and smart phones in the late 2000’s meant that how people were exchanging communication shifted. While email marketing was still top contender, it was still struggling to vie for attention amidst a host of new social platforms. Social and email were two different worlds. The evolutionary leap in email marketing really arrived in the last five years. Email had to adapt in four key ways in order to mirror and compliment the creative and social shift that was happening digitally. Email now needed to be well designed; it needed to be social-savvy, integrating social strategies with email strategies; it needed responsive marketing intelligence with proximity marketing, A/B testing, and segmentation; and it needed be comprehensive, a fluid extension that adapts to how people are engaging. It’s done all those things and more. In fact, email has out-performed social in terms of use and conversion. It has taken on the face of social through social enterprise solutions that are an extension of email in social form. And finally, email marketing is now adaptable to all forms of multi-media marketing. You can’t say that about any other marketing platform.


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Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s 30 Best Tips

Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s 30 Best Tips

Beyond • June 17, 2015

I have made no secret of my absolute idol worshipping of one Dan Zarrella, who is known as the Social Media Scientist. In a field which is remarkably short of hard-nosed serious researchers cranking out reliable and verifiable scientific results, Zarrella has effectively adopted the mantle of the Einstein of online marketing. His superlative work in the arena of social media is that of legend, and it is always couched in layman’s language so you will never be confronted by a \"Chi Squared Test Of Homogeneity” “Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient”, “Box & Whisker Plot” or “Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test” (is that for vodka?). Through years at the feet of the undisputed master of Social Media Science, I have been grateful for his bestowal of many precious pearls of statistical wisdom, and have collected what I consider Dan Zarrella’s top 30 tips to mastering and dominating every major social network (All times Eastern zone.) Tweets which total between 100 and 115 characters are 34% more likely to be retweeted. Asking “Please ReTweet” is 12% more effective than “Please RT.” Tweets with exclamation points get fewer clicks per follower but more retweets per follower. If you identify yourself in your Twitter bio as an Official, you’ll have over 200 followers more than the average. Twitterers with a picture set have 850% more followers than the ones which do not feature any images. Tweets which contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted. Some of the best terms to use to boost your click through rate on Twitter are: via, please, check, rt, and @. Articles that mention Twitter obtain 230% more retweets than ones which mention Facebook. Using the word video will gain 28% more shares on Facebook, but 32% fewer retweets. Facebook posts with a high number of self-referential terms (me, I) get more likes. Posts which are either extremely short or long get more likes. Longer Facebook posts obtain more shares. Very negative posts get more comments than positive posts. The most shareable Facebook posts deal with sex. Now, is that really a surprise? The most shareable term on Facebook is: Facebook! Another non-surprise. The least shareable term on Facebook is: vs. Facebookers don’t like comparisons, apparently. Use a lot of verbs if you want more Facebook shares but avoid adverbs as they can cut your sharing rate by over 5%. Facebook posts which are written at a second grade elementary school reading level are shared more than 50% more than those written at sophomore university reading level. Likes peak around 8 pm and shares around 6 pm. Facebook posts on weekends receive more likes than those posted on weekdays. If you use digits in your article title you’re more likely to gain Facebook shares for it. The more you post negatively the fewer the number of your followers. The most effective posting frequency is every other day. If you post more than twice a day you’re chopping your page likes by 22%. The most connected terms on LinkedIn are: recruiters, networker, LION, monetization, connector, and salespeople. The least connected words on LinkedIn are: Jesus, pastor, makeup, technician, surgeon, and psychotherapy. Pinterest descriptions of approximately 200 characters receive more repins. The most pinned words on Pinterest are love, home, and things, but the most repinnable words are recipe, chicken, and minutes. Taller images are the most repinned ones. The best time to blog is 7 am, the best time to receive blog comments is 8 am, and the most views occur at 10 am. It pays to place an attractive photo as your primary image (Dan proves it with the one on his blog where he looks like a nerdy Chris Pine). If you are one of the very few social media marketers who is not a regular reader of Dan Zarrella’s work, now is the best time to jump on the bandwagon. You can bet that your competitors are absorbing each and every word!


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Benchmark – Zendesk Integration: Show You Care

Benchmark – Zendesk Integration: Show You Care

Beyond • June 17, 2015

You think it’s bad when a disgruntled customer is yelling at you through the phone, complaining about this and that, and all you are thinking in your head is: “wow, this guy is wasting his and my time ... why can’t he just leave me alone?!” Well yes, that is bad. When you put yourself in the customer’s shoes, it is just as bad, if not worse. After all, they were the ones that bought your product with certain expectations that were advertised, but they were not delivered. As the support team for your company, it is your job to make sure every customer is satisfied and happy. Yes, you are responsible for your customers’ happiness whether you like it or not…at least when it comes to being on the support team. One wrong move, or an outburst of emotional frustration can ruin the relationship and will lose you a customer forever. Super Office blog has gather some of the most outlandish customer service stories that from readers that will make you want to go down your entire customer contact list and give them each a hug A customer who purchased a printer was having trouble connecting the printer with her Mac, even though the company promised that connecting it to a Mac would not be a problem. After calling through to customer service and being put on hold for hours, the customer service rep responded with “Yeah, really not my problem lady”. The customer went to the nearest Apple store and connected the printer within minutes. A customer was on the lookout for a children’s book for her grandchild. She approached the customer service desk and asked where she could find the book. The clerk pointed in the direction of the children’s book section and responded with “It’s over there”, and then as the customer walked away, the clerk turned to her co-worker, in an aggravated tone “She didn’t even TRY to find it on her own”. The customer left the store and purchased the book at another bookshop. A customer went into a computer repair store and mid-way through being assisted, the clerk received a phone call, which he answered. Being polite and waiting, but with no sign of the call coming to an end the customer asked the clerk why she had to wait when she was there in person. The clerk’s response was that customers who call in get priority of over customers in store. The customer then went home and called the store from her cellphone. Each of these scenarios had a sad ending –the customers leave and go somewhere else. Do you really want that to happen to your business? So even if each and every one of your reps was polite as can be, they also need to be quick and always on their toes. A question that is answered in speedy time will always make the situation more pleasant. So even if your customers like to bombard you with questions from email, Facebook, Twitter, (insert social media name here), you can still efficiently answer each one thanks to Zendesk, an online software that pulls support questions from each source and into one window so that you can easily call or chat to assist them, without having to have a million tabs opened. Another way to show them you care is by sending them emails made just for them; welcome emails for newbies, a thank you and special discount for long time customers, etc. Use the Zendesk-Benchmark plugin to engage with your contacts and send them emails reassuring them that you are always here to help!


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Patriotic Marketing Tips For Your Enterprise From Tipsy Elves

Patriotic Marketing Tips For Your Enterprise From Tipsy Elves

Beyond • June 15, 2015

If you’re as big a fan of the show Shark Tank as we all are here at Benchmark HQ, you probably recall the guys from Tipsy Elves. $1.35 million in sales got the Sharks attention and they left with a deal from Robert Herjavec. Since the show has aired, they’ve boasted $8 million in sales on a Shark Tank update. No, we didn’t decide to interview Tipsy Elves for a Christmas in July piece. We’d melt wearing an ugly Christmas sweater here in sunny Southern California in July. They also have an awesome patriotic clothing line that’s perfect for the 4th of July. With that in mind, we knew they’d be the perfect company to offer some 4th of July marketing tips from one enterprise level company to yours. We’ll get to that. First, I had to fanboy a bit and got some other great tidbits out of Evan Mendelsohn one of the founders of Tipsy Elves. On how their marketing has changed since Shark Tank: “We focus more on capitalizing on PR opportunities. Pre Shark Tank, SEO was one of our largest drivers to the site. If you Google “ugly Christmas sweater” we ranked in the top two position. Now it’s more about maximizing the benefit we get from any sort of PR, press opportunity, TV appearance and that sort of thing.” On the best advice they’ve received from their Shark: “Robert always has the mentality that you have to be all in on your business. The difference between being all in and being half in will make all the difference in how quickly you can grow your company and ultimately how successful you will be.” On why 4th of July is a prime opportunity to sales and promotions: “There seems to be a huge surge of patriotism. People have always been proud to be an American, but it seems more so now than ever. Speaking to people during the key American holidays with unique and fun products has been a big success for us. People always want to wear something fun and stand out during the holidays.” Without further adieu, here’s the four patriotic marketing tips from our friends at Tipsy Elves: Remember what Independence Day is all about We often find our e-commerce counterparts forget about the meaning behind various holidays in lieu of whatever special they are promoting. Independence Day or “Fourth of July” celebrates our independence from Great Britain and marks the nationhood or “birth” of our country. Knowing this can lead to some fun email subject lines that will resonate better to the recipient. Rather than a boring subject line that reads “Independence Day Sale,” try “Celebrate Our Country’s Birthday With Our Biggest Sale Yet.” Something more fun will likely lead to higher click through rates and better conversions. Know your customer and speak to him/her You can’t be everything to everyone. A key to our success at Tipsy Elves has been to know our customer and speak to them, and continue to make new and unique products that speak to them. We’ve of course been tempted to expand our product lines in a thousand different directions, but our best product lines and strategies have been the ones that speak to our core demographic. Dig into analytics, attend tradeshows, and really understand your customer so that you can adopt a voice and product or sales strategy that speaks to these customers. You don’t know what you don’t know While this philosophy applies to many things in life, we’ve found it especially true with marketing channels. There are so many marketing channels out there and new ways to bring customers to your website. Try them all. We didn’t even have an email list last year and now email marketing is one of our key channels. Some will fail, and some will succeed. But you have to try them all to know which are best for your business. Sometimes it’s when you aren’t trying to sell, that you sell. Keep it fun. Sometimes the harder you try to sell, the worse you sell. And the opposite holds true. Some of our best emails from a conversion standpoint have been the ones that tell a story or keep things fun and lightweight. Rather than list product links in your email, tell a fun story about your products. This is especially helpful during a fun holiday like the 4th of July. People want to be entertained more than they want to shop. If you can be both their source of entertainment and shopping, you’ve got a good thing going on.


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