Series Posts: Practical Marketer

How To Grow Your Subscriber List Using Email Marketing Automation

How To Grow Your Subscriber List Using Email Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • December 5, 2018

You know how it goes - the bigger your subscriber list is, the better your email marketing campaign will turn out to be. However, with a less than stellar email list, your email marketing campaign is never going to skyrocket, even if it has huge potential. So, it always comes down to it - Where do you begin? And that’s the question that everyone cares about, because hey… all of us know that we have to work on our email marketing list but not a lot of us are aware of how to do it. Thus, today we are about to make this daunting task extremely smooth and easy by using a few quick email marketing automation tips. Ah! Now the real talk has started - email marketing automation. With the word “automation” attached, it’s a given that things are about to get interesting, not to say easier than ever. So, let’s begin! But, before we move further, let’s understand a bit what email marketing automation. So, What is Email Marketing Automation? Email marketing automation grows your email list and channels your email marketing process in the right direction. But you might think that it is what your regular email marketing strategies do. However, as opposed to the archaic email marketing, the automated email marketing process creates automatic email workflows that get sent with even a single trigger. Say, for example, imagine someone fills a form on your website or someone subscribes to your newsletter. The chances are that if the person gets instant engagement, he or she is likely to feel more inclined towards your brand. Now, if someone subscribes or submit their details on your website for whatever reason - they will immediately get a welcome email which can show them how to get started or what your blog routine is and more. And that’s the reason why everyone is so enamored with email marketing automation and the wonders it can do to one’s email marketing campaigns. Let’s have a look and see how you can grow your subscriber list using email marketing automation 1. Create a Plan Beforehand     Before diving head deep into the whole process, the best way to go about it, or anything for that matter is by creating a plan. So, always before taking things forward with your email marketing automation campaign, you have to have a blueprint ready. Eventually, the success of your automated campaign will rely on how ready you are and the fact that you have everything in place. Plus, you will need to figure out the data and some personal information regarding your target audience as well to create a personalized message. Have a look at how you can shape up your initial automated email marketing campaign: Send out automatic emails after a sign-up. Confirmation message after your website visitor registers on your website. Send re-engagement emails when you feel like you have almost lost the audience. Subscription renewal reminders with one-month remaining You have to keep track of these four simple automated messages, then you will be well on your way of making your automated marketing campaign a success. 2. Identify and Target Profitable and Productive Leads One cannot refute that automating your email marketing process takes a considerable amount of chunk out of your marketing budget. There are two ways to start your email marketing automated campaign. First is to just go about it mindlessly without any research whatsoever. This will save a lot of your time, right? Wrong! It will end up affecting you negatively in the long run because you will be wasting many of your resources without any positive results. However, if you choose a different path, a path that seems a bit difficult initially but makes things easier for you in the long run. That is, by identifying your most profitable and productive leads. For one, you can start by segmenting your list so that you are only sending emails to your productive visitors. If you don’t want to waste your time and resources on chasing unqualified leads, then segmentation is the key. So, start by segmenting who should you send an automated email asking for a subscription. A pretty common way of segmenting is based upon lead demographics, interests, behaviors and lead source. Apart from your own ideal customer profile or buyer’s persona and other demographics, you could consider these factors to segment your prospects: Is the prospect a former client? How can you help the prospect? What is the past record of the prospect? Is the client a total stranger? This was one way to segment people before sending out emails asking them to subscribe to your newsletter or any other thing that you require. These were some basic questions that apply to each and every one of your prospect. Now, have a look at these specific questions that might help you segment your most qualified leads: What is the problem that the prospect is struggling with? What profit can you accrue from the prospect? The number of employees the company has. The revenue that the company generates. Just follow these basic questions and note down everything and finally segment your list accordingly. 3. Social Sharing Not many B2B brands understand the importance of being visible on social media platforms. Many enterprises feel that social media sharing or simply being present on social media is for B2C enterprises. However, on the contrary, using social sharing buttons in your email messages encourages your audience to share your content on their network, hence growing your visibility and eventually your subscriber list. In fact, Facebook has with the recent API update. You can also post your newsletter directly to your fan page. It is actually a great way to give non-subscribers a glimpse into what they could be receiving, which might compel them into becoming your permanent subscriber. 4. Introduce Exit Pop-Ups Sometimes, all you need is one last chance to change your prospect’s minds. And that’s where exit pop-ups come into play. Don’t mistake these pop-ups with those annoying pop-up ads that everyone hates. They are a lot less annoying because, for one, they don’t open up a new tab or a window. Secondly, they are genuine and fun, juxtaposed to the click-bait ones. Using automation, these pop-ups sense the time when the visitor is about to take an exit, and immediately they see this pop-up asking them to consider subscribing one last time. You can further make your prospects’ decision easier by giving out coupon, ebook, or discounts in exchange of an email subscription. 5. Carry Out Automated Surveys Here’s the deal - customers want to be heard. But it is difficult for an enterprise also to engage with all their prospects on a one-to-one basis. In this case, you can take solace with surveying your prospects. It is best if you attach an automatic pop-up survey that engages the prospect at the last moment that they are just about to leave. You can gain subscribers by requiring an email address to fill out the survey, but surveys also give you the opportunity to learn more about existing subscribers. In fact, a lot of people will be flattered with this personal attention. And if not that, they will at least find it engaging and a fun way of giving out some information. Apart from growing your subscriber list, these surveys help you get a better insight into what your prospective customers want and what type of content they want to receive. 6. Analyze Your Email Marketing Automation Results After you have taken all the major steps in order to make your email marketing campaign a success, now is the time to analyze the results. Is your email marketing automation turning out to be a failure? Or is it helping you acquire hundreds and hundreds of new subscribers? How would you know unless you analyze your campaign? After all, you can’t solve a problem unless you know whether there’s anything to be solved in the first place. Apart from this, you have to keep track of what automated email marketing techniques are working the best for you. Is it the exit pop-ups? Or the survey form? Or anything else that you have been using to grow your email subscriber list. All these points clearly point out how email marketing automation can grow your email subscribers very swiftly and easily. If these were not enough, give this a read. Why Should You Adopt Email Marketing Automation? It’s basic human instinct to be inclined more towards a brand or an enterprise that showers you with some extra personal attention. And that’s where social media marketing, email marketing, together with automation bridges the gap. Automation of Email marketing helps the companies deliver the right message to their audience at the right time. With automated emails, you can have a better engagement with your audience and prospects. Get better insights into the needs of your audience. Higher levels of brand recognition.


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8 Ways You Can Use Messaging Apps to Boost Your Christmas Email Marketing Strategy

8 Ways You Can Use Messaging Apps to Boost Your Christmas Email Marketing Strategy

Practical Marketer • November 27, 2018

Every year, the Christmas season brings a kind of frenzy unique to the season. According to Statista, Christmas is the largest economic stimulus worldwide. In the US alone, total holiday retail sales reach up to $719 billion. That’s about 23% of the total retail sales in the country, which is a little over $3 trillion. The internet has also changed the way people buy their Christmas presents. In 2018, holiday shopping e-commerce grew to 16.6 percent compared to the previous year. And many experts expect this trend to continue well into the future. As more people shift to online shopping, brands will also need to embrace new ways of marketing. Email marketing has always been popular. But the rise of messaging apps means that you\'ll need to rethink how you approach your strategy. Don\'t know where to start? Don\'t worry. In this article, we\'ll cover eight ways you can use messaging apps to boost your Christmas email marketing. Christmas Email Marketing Strategy: Email or Messaging Apps? For the majority of brands, email marketing is the standard for holiday marketing. After all, holiday sales account for 20% of all retail sales, according to National Retail Federation. Although emails have been a staple for many marketers, messaging apps have recently taken the spotlight. Apps like Facebook Messenger and WeChat have enjoyed steady growth in the number of users. Research also shows these apps have 20% more active users per month than social media sites. What\'s even more impressive is the engagement on messaging apps. According to a Frost & Sullivan study, mobile messages have a 98% open rate. Email marketing campaigns, on the other hand, have an average open rate of 20%. So, does this mean you should forego email campaigns altogether for messaging apps? Not necessarily. Ubisend reports that users are split when it comes to both tools. Email still wins as the preferred way to get in touch with a business, but only by a small margin. About 45.8% of users prefer messaging apps against 54.2% who choose email. 8 Ways You Can Use Messaging Apps and Email What if you don’t have to choose between the two after all? Yes, it’s possible to plan a Christmas marketing strategy that uses both channels. What the email lacks in urgency, your messaging apps can fill. And what messaging apps lack in space for content and offers, your email campaign can deliver. Here\'s how you can combine messaging apps and email to amplify your Christmas email marketing strategy: 1. Launch a Holiday-Themed Newsletter The Christmas season is a perfect time to get creative with your newsletters. You can start by launching a holiday-themed campaign covering your seasonal promotions. You can create an email marketing campaign to promote products right before Christmas starts. Or you could publish a short article about unique gift ideas and tips your subscribers can try. For example, Mothercare has created a holiday email campaign with tips and product offers for the Christmas season. You can also use messaging apps to remind people of your newsletter. This way, your newsletters are more likely to be read and even anticipated! 2. Promote Limited-Time Offers Every other business will have its version of a limited offer during the holidays. So how do you stand out? You can try showcasing products that are not currently available from competitors or retailers. Your subscribers will be more likely to buy your product if they know it\'s not available anywhere else. For example, Swatch created a campaign where users could design custom, one-off watches for Christmas. Again, you can use messaging apps to send notifications to your customers. This will lead to higher engagement with your offer. And, in turn, make your promotions more effective than if you were to send them via email alone. 3. Give Helpful Holiday-Themed Videos The Christmas season is such a hectic time for many. You can make it less stressful by sharing videos with solutions to common problems. For instance, you could share a video on how to wrap gifts, just like what Hobby Lobby did. If you sell items that need to be assembled, you can create a short guide on how to put those products together. Your videos don\'t need to be limited to products. Simple how-to’s on decorating the home and preparing for Christmas can also provide value to your subscribers. What’s great about this type of content is that you can publish it anywhere. Whether it\'s your site, social media channels, mobile apps, or email campaigns. You can also generate more views by adding messaging notifications to your campaign. A text messaging service could help you send timely messages to your customers even if you only have their email address. 4. Offer Custom Service to High-Value Customers Messaging apps provide several benefits to your Christmas email marketing strategy. But you can also use your email campaigns to tell users about how they can use messaging apps to access different services. For example, you can tell people to use messaging apps for a more personalized chat service. That\'s what lingerie brand, Agent Provocateur, did for their Christmas marketing plan. They launched a WhatsApp promo called, “Menage a Trois” for all customers. WhatsApp users could invite a personal shopper into a group chat to discuss Christmas gift-giving ideas for their partner. The result? 112 chats took place, which led to a 61% increase in website traffic and a 31% increase in store visits. Creating an email campaign that promotes a similar type of service can go a long way in boosting your conversions. 5. Give a Generous ‘Thank You’ to Customers Christmas marks the time of year when most businesses focus on enticing customers to buy discounted products. There\'s nothing wrong with that. But you can take a different approach to this occasion by thanking them instead. Show your gratitude by sending heartwarming emails. Express your appreciation for customers’ continued support. And let them know about any special offers they can take advantage of before the year ends. One example is what outdoor clothing brand Woolrich did. Their email campaign featured a thank you message. As well as warm holiday wishes, and information about their winter clearance sale. Attractive imagery complete with snowy views made the offer perfect for the season: You can take your thank messages a step further by sending them through messaging apps. Your messages don\'t have to be elaborate. A simple \"Thank for your continued support\" can make customers feel appreciated. 6. Cater to Last-Minute Shoppers During the holidays, it’s inevitable that some people will wait until the last minute to shop. You could design an email campaign for these folks. The campaign could showcase sale products and even provide tips on how last-minute shoppers can choose the ideal gift. Retail giant, Neiman Marcus, created a holiday email campaign to do that. The campaign explained their GiftNow service, which allowed last-minute shoppers to send a gift to their loved ones by Christmas: Each email included cool gift suggestions and videos about the service and provided a unique solution for a common problem. 7. Use Gamification Strategies Games will always pique our interest. So it\'s a good idea to add a bit of fun and excitement to your email campaign. You can do this by making use of interactive gamification. One noteworthy example of gamification comes from the creative agency, Two. In one of their campaigns, they sent an email allowing subscribers to take part in a Christmas tree decorating activity. Users were asked to share their designs on Twitter using the hashtag, #XmasHTreeMail. This led to an increase in social shares and email subscribers for Two. Using Messaging apps to promote your interactive campaigns can create similar results. You could even add exclusive freebies or prizes for those who win the contest. 8. Give a Sneak Preview Providing a sneak peek of your products is another good way to combine messaging apps and email. For example, you can create an email campaign to notify users about an upcoming product. You can also ask them to sign up for mobile notifications to get exclusive \"early bird\" discounts. Here’s an “early bird” discount holiday email from Current Catalog that offers 20% off Christmas cards if you buy them in September: Be sure to emphasize the Christmas theme in your emails. You can also mention how the product will be available in limited quantities because of the holiday rush. Takeaway Messaging apps are becoming a new way to reach customers. But this doesn\'t mean you should forget about email. We encourage you to use email and messaging together. Experiment with both channels until you find a winning Christmas email marketing strategy. Be sure to keep the needs of your customers in mind and ask for feedback whenever possible. With every iteration, you\'ll see an increase in your marketing performance. The ideas we shared in this article are great starting points, but they are by no means the only ways to use messaging apps during the holiday season. If you know about other best practices for using email marketing and text messaging during the Christmas season, let us know. Share your experiences and tips in the comment section. We would love to hear all about them!


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10 Email Newsletter Ideas to Boost Engagement During the Holiday Season

10 Email Newsletter Ideas to Boost Engagement During the Holiday Season

Practical Marketer • November 26, 2018

The festive period is drawing closer, and customers are ready to spend big bucks on holiday gifts for their nearest and dearest. As specified in a new NPD Group holiday shopping report, an average customer will spend around $700 on holiday gifts this year. Another research by Adobe Analytics predicts that the U.S. online spending will be $124.1B during the holiday season, and the majority of customers plan to spend 57% of their holiday budgets online. For brands of any size, it means an opportunity to drive sales. What makes you any different from the millions of other businesses hoping for the attention? To stand out from your competitors, you should avoid being too salesy and pushing your customers too hard, and the best way is to boost engagement to draw customers’ attention to your business first. The good news? With the rise of eCommerce, there’s no need to waste your marketing budget on broadcast media, product placement, outdoor billboards, etc. Nowadays online shopping offers customers an easy way to discover and buy items: 96% of US customers have made an online purchase in their life and 51% of Americans prefer to shop online in 2018. Thus, sending email newsletters is a perfect way to connect with customers, communicate new ideas and events to subscribers who are interested in your product, and therefore advertise your brand. Moreover, email newsletters can boost engagement. Although Black Friday is considered to be the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season, it’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon and start a holiday sales campaign, promoting it in your email newsletter. To make the most out of your email marketing in the holiday season, it’s important to understand key principles of writing newsletters that get clicks and engagement. How to Write Email Newsletters for the Holiday Season Before your subscribers want to open and read your emails, making up holiday newsletters ideas is a waste of time. Thus, it’s important to know how to write email newsletters for the holiday season that will help you stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at key principles of effective email marketing: Focus on one topic idea. The rule is simple: one topic idea for one newsletter. Brainstorming your topic idea, keep in mind that it should be relevant to your readers. If you can grab their attention, it’s more likely you will make them want to read the whole newsletter. Write eye-catching subject lines. Since the number of consumer emails sent and received per day totals 111 emails a day, you can’t afford to get buried in the inbox. Thus, it’s important to write eye-catching subject lines that grab and hold customers’ attention. Forexample, you can include emjoiis: it draws attention, creates a sense of friendliness, and increases your open rate. Keep emails simple and short. The brutal truth: your subscribers are too busy during the holiday season to read your boring newsletters. If you want to make customers read your emails, keep emails simple and short. The main idea is to provide readers with interesting and useful information that can solve their problems. For example, it’s no wonder people are looking for gift ideas this period, right? Add visuals. Not only will images break up the monotony of the text, but they will also keep your audience hooked. Here’s the deal: the 90% of the transmitted information to our brains is visual and people are visually-oriented, so it’s easier for us to perceive images. Build your own festive holiday design. Most people love holidays, and we want to get in the holiday mood. And the easiest way to remind your subscribers of the holiday season is to create a holiday template for your newsletter. If you use holiday email templates, that’s great. If you build your unique festive holiday design, that’s even better. Stick to the holiday calendar. Once your perfect holiday newsletter is ready, it’s time to think when you should send it. Actually, there are many occasions during the festive period (Thanksgiving Day, St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, etc.), so it’s important to set a goal for your newsletter and stick to the holiday calendar. Create a sense of urgency. When you rely on the fear of missing out (FOMO), you encourage your subscribers to take an action faster. All in all, it’s in our nature to make impulse decisions when we feel we can’t miss out on something, Bombarding your subscribers with too many emails isn’t an option: spammy emails are the main reason for the majority consumers to unsubscribed from brand emails. However, if you’re lucky to make up holiday newsletter ideas that boost engagement and convince subscribers to take an action, you can bring your business to the next level. Here’s the list of email newsletters ideas to boost engagement during the holiday season: 1. Mention a New Product Launch During the holiday rush, customers are looking for new gift ideas for their nearest and dearest. Therefore, it’s perfect period to launch a new product that can satisfy their needs and wants. Before turning your subscribers into customers, you need to engage them, and introducing a new product is a great way to spark their curiosity. As specified in the Nielsen report,  63% of customers like it when manufacturers offer new products. For business owners, it’s a chance to generate a buzz around your brand and increase sales. For example, Lancome has created holiday cosmetics collection. With the limited-edition holiday beauty collections, the brand encourages their fans to surprise their friends and family with these gifts. Adding a call to action button, the brand provokes an immediate response and leads the subscribers to the landing page with the variety of gift sets. Since the company provokes potential customers’ interest, their subscribers are more likely to consider these products as an option. 2. Offer Deals and Discounts The holiday season is a period when customers buy things not just for themselves but also for their friends and family. Moreover, 6 in 10 holiday shoppers plan to take an advantage of retailers’ sales and discounts to make additional purchases. Thus, it’s the ideal time to send out special offers and discounts. The bigger your discount is, the more chances it will attract your customers’ attention. For example, it’s no doubt that J.Crew subscribers will hasten to click the newsletter to find out more about the sale. What can we learn from J.Crew? The combination of a great discount and tight deadlines is a proven way to encourage subscribers to take an action faster. But smaller businesses can’t afford big discounts. Selecting the appropriate discount rate can be difficult, so you’d better get math assistance from experts to set the right discounts, and therefore avoid damaging your brand or cutting into your profits. 3. Announce Social Giveaways The festive season represents the period of giving, and it’s a well-known fact that people love gifts. When you run a social giveaway, you build loyalty, brand awareness, and trust. Moreover, it’s a chance to enter an already-established community and promote your brand among your loyal customers’ friends as more than a half of customers say they are more likely to share a link to a holiday contest or giveaway. Running social giveaways is a waste of time until you have participants. The more people take part in your competition, the better for your brand. And the best way is to attract your loyal customers. Thus, Gillies Coffee sent a newsletter with the giveaway announcement. When you inform your subscribers about the giveaway, you provide them with a chance to win a great branded gift. As a result, they are more loyal to your brand as they feel you take care of them. Plus, you can implement one marketing technique and offer all participants a small discount as a bonus for their activity. 4. Offer Free Wrapping Who else wants to receive the neatly wrapped gifts? For the majority of people, gift-wrapping is a chance to get into the Christmas spirit. However, 52% of people dislike wrapping as it takes too much time. During the holiday rush, customers are pressed for time to wrap gifts. For brands, it’s a perfect chance to engage potential clients and stay one step ahead of competitors: offering gift wrapping is a perfect way to show your care. That’s what Jigsaw does, offering the clients an opportunity to save their time and budget and get wrapped gifts. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to charge for the service or not, but offering it is a great way to engage customers and attract attention to your brand. With gift-wrapping, you offer customers a convenience they will never forget. 5. Create a Holiday Gift Guide “A gift guide is one of the most powerful tools you can have during the holidays. It allows you to showcase your products, inspire shoppers, and stay top of mind throughout the season.” says Francesca Nuicasion, retail expert and content strategist at Vend. Esprit, for example, has created a simple holiday gift guide, based on their products. Not only will it hint their subscribers at what they can buy for their friends and family, but it will also promote their products in an interesting and engaging way. Since the holidays are coming closer, shoppers crave for gift ideas for their friends and family. When you provide subscribers with a holiday gift guide, you solve their problem and help them make a choice. As a result, it’s a powerful way to engage with your holiday customers. 6. Promote Giving Do you know that charitable donations increase by 42% during holiday months of November and December? For many people, the holiday season is a period of giving back.  When you organize a holiday giving program and announce it via email newsletters, you get the support of your subscribers. People want to be a part of something significant, so they engage in the activity with ease. Let’s take a look at Starbucks: If you’re a Starbucks fan, it doesn’t require much effort or time to take part in the holiday giving. At the same time, you become a member of something significant, so people are more likely to consider this coffee chain when it comes to getting their morning cup of coffee. 7. Announce Events To make the most out of promoting your products, you need to combine offline and online marketing, and hosting holiday events is a great way to sum up your annual results. Plus, it’s a proven way to engage your customers. Thus, you can announce events via email newsletters during the holiday season. Let’s take a look at a newsletter by CATT. This simple and short email informs the loyal customers about the upcoming event and invites them to attend an event. The good news? The recipients feel valued to be invited to the party. Therefore, it increases the loyalty toward the company and it positively affects the purchase decisions when it comes to buying holiday gifts. 8. Take Subscribers Behind-the-Scenes According to Forbes, authenticity is the main factor for building loyalty toward a brand. Moreover, it’s a way to positively influence customer perception. Thus, companies seek out ways to bring transparency to their brands, and taking subscribers behind-the-scenes is one of the options. Here’s the deal: Although CPW Dentistry introduces the team members every month, the company has put much effort into creating a special holiday edition, featuring their treatment coordinator, Lauren. During the holiday season, people want to get closer to other people. Thus, it’s a perfect time to give customers a look behind the scenes by introducing team members and sharing something personal. 9. Send Last-Minute Reminders When it comes to the holiday season, it’s considered to believe that most people jump the gun on buying gifts. However, 3 in 4 consumers said they backed out of a purchase at the last minute last year. For brands, it means they need to send last-minute reminders to help people make their holiday purchases on time. Here’s a little case study of this strategy in action by Amazon: Since customers are afraid of missing out something important, last-minute reminders persuade them to take an action faster. Moreover, these people are pressed for time to think much about the gift ideas, so they can make impulse purchase decisions to meet the deadlines. For brands, it’s an opportunity to drive engagement and last minute sales. 10. Congratulate Your Community Although businesses want to grow revenue during the holiday season, it’s also a great time to establish a good connection with customers, sharing your gratitude and warm wishes. Sending greetings to your customers is a great investment in your relationships: no matter what your product is, your customers want to feel valued. Thus, it’s important to send holiday newsletters with greetings. Just look at Barneys New York. With a short and sweet design, they just wanted to wish their community all the best. Think about it. When you greet your community on a holiday without trying to sell your product or service, you establish an authentic connection with your potential customers. In a Word The holiday season is the biggest gift-buying period, so it is perfect time for your business to drive sales. However, working in a competitive environment, it’s important to grab and hold subscribers attention to boost their engagement, and therefore stand out from other businesses. Thus, you need to lay a bet on email newsletter ideas that engage. The more engaged your subscribers are, the more likely they are to buy your product. Do you have another holiday newsletter idea that boosts engagement? Are you ready to engage your subscribers during this holiday season?


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eCommerce Email Marketing Integrations Perfect for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

eCommerce Email Marketing Integrations Perfect for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Practical Marketer • November 21, 2018

You’re leaving a lot of money on the table if your business isn’t engaging in Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions. In 2017, U.S. retailers saw a record $7.9 billion spent on Black Friday. They added another $6.6 billion in online sales on Cyber Monday, which was a new record high for online shopping in a single day. Sales aside, the number of people participating in Black Friday, 133.7 Million, is more than those who attend Disneyland (20.4 million). So, we can see that the opportunity is there for sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Case for Integrating eCommerce and Email Marketing First, let’s look at why email marketing can be one of your most effective tools during Black Friday and Cyber Monday: There’s an 106 percent increase in customer reactivation on Black Friday when compared to every other day of the year. On Black Friday, open rates (309 percent increase) and click-through rates (455 percent boost) explode in comparison to standard bulk email sends. Using email automation and a sequence of three emails can lead to an increase in orders to the tune of 90 percent. Email marketing led to the highest conversion rate (4.29 percent) on Black Friday in comparison to other marketing channels: search (3.04 percent), direct mail (2.39 percent) and social media (1.81 percent). It’s hard to argue with the numbers in favor of sending email marketing campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Let’s take it a step further and talk about why integrating your eCommerce tool can be even more effective this holiday season. Integrating with any third-party tool or app is a great way to grow your email list. However, when you can sync your email marketing and eCommerce, you’ll be able to get more data on your subscribers. This will lead to a better relationship with the contacts on your email list. After all, the ability to send targeted, relevant content has a major impact on the success of email marketing. That comes from properly segmented lists, which is best achieved when you have sufficient data on your subscribers. How much more effective are segmented email campaigns? Open rates for segmented email campaigns are 14.32 percent higher than their counterparts. Additionally, segmented email campaigns see an increase in click-throughs of 100.95 percent in comparison to non-segmented email campaigns. Your email list is your most valuable marketing asset. Especially when you can segment it in a way that allows you to send the best possible content to each and every subscriber. That’s how long-standing, meaningful customer relationships are nurtured. eCommerce Data You Can Use to Segment Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Email Campaigns There is a ton of data that you can use to segment your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns, when you integrate your eCommerce Store. First Time Customers If a subscriber is a new customer, they may not have had much of an interaction with your brand before. So, this is your chance to make a first impression and greet them with a warm welcome. A Welcome Email campaign should be standard for any email marketer. It sets the tone for your email marketing and let’s new subscribers know what to expect. This can be automated so that every single new subscriber to your list gets the same greeting. This welcome email from Ancestry.com does a great job of greeting new customers. It eases anxiety by informing them that it’s simple to get started and backing that up by showing them clearly what the steps are to do so. It also does a good job at maintaining their branding. For the holiday season, you can get your Welcome Emails into the holiday spirit with some simple design or template tweaks. You can even offer a discount for all purchases made before or during the holiday season! Repeat Customers Did you know that it costs fives times more to acquire a new customer than to get repeat business? If you know that you have recurring customers, you can create an email sequence that supports their repeat business. For example, Amazon and other retailers often offer a subscription plan for products you consistently use. Things like toilet paper and paper towels, bottles of water or anything else you always use. Those retailers offer a small discount when you create a subscription for those products. By being able to sync your eCommerce data with your email marketing tool, you have easy access to your repeat customers and can create campaigns dedicated to them. Top Purchasers or VIP Customers based on Milestone Sales or Order Numbers For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can reward your loyal customers. First, segment your email list from your eCommerce customers to discover your top purchasers. Then, you can create a loyalty reward campaign and send it to that list! What can you reward them with? Maybe it’s early access to your holiday sale or an exclusive sale just for them! It could even be a special discount just for your loyal customers. This Cyber Monday email from Wigs.com offers a discount to the members of their Loyalty Program. It even denotes their current status in their program and the points available to them. Make your loyal customers feel special and they will reward you with their continued business. Location Sometimes, you want to use a few fields as possible on your signup forms. That means you don’t always get location data from the get go. However, if you integrate your eCommerce data with your email marketing account, you can get location data in that manner. If you’re a restaurant with multiple locations or any other business with several brick and mortar locations, you can use your location data to send targeted email campaigns this Black Friday or Cyber Monday. This email from Kate Spade promotes their new line of bags and let’s their subscribers know the closest location to them. For your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, you can promote your sales for the day and let your subscribers know where they can go to take advantage of the promo. It’s especially an effective strategy if you’re offering an exclusive giveaway to the first 100 customers through the door on Black Friday. Inactive Customers Subscribers go inactive sometimes and so do your customers. Email marketing affords you an opportunity to re-engage those customers who haven’t come back for more in a while. There are a few tactics you can try to re-engage an inactive customer: Tell them you’re going to remove them from your list. Remind them that being on the list gives them access to sales and promotions and other great information. They can choose to opt back into your email campaigns and not miss out on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Incentivize re-engagement. Tell your customers that they’re missed and offer a small incentive to make a new purchase. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, you can give them an offer for Free Shipping or a percentage off their next order to bring that customer back into the fold. Send a poll or survey. If a customer hasn’t returned in a while, you can ask them why. You can even get creative with it. Tell them you’re putting together a gift giving guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and ask questions about how they’re purchasing for and various interests. This will give you great data and feedback for your holiday campaigns. Shopping Cart Abandonment It’s reported that between 50 and 80 percent of consumers leave items in their online shopping cart. That’s a lot of potential sales! Perhaps some of your subscribers didn’t convert after your Black Friday sales. It happens. It’s OK. You have a chance to complete the conversion on Cyber Monday. If you segment your eCommerce data by the abandoned shopping cart list, you can send a cart abandonment email to them for Cyber Monday. First Time, Last Time and Item (Last Time) Email marketing helps stimulate repeat business and you can keep customers in the purchase cycle with well-timed emails. One way to do this is by keeping purchase history data. With an eCommerce integration, you can see the first time or last time a customer made a purchase and send campaigns based on that information. This data can help show you when it might be time for a customer to come back for more. After all, a well-timed email with the right message is when email marketing is working at its best. How to Integrate Your Benchmark Email Account with WooCommerce Benchmark has many eCommerce integrations, perhaps none more powerful than our WooCommerce integration. All of the data points detailed above can be synced with your email marketing account to guarantee real-time, up-to-date data. You can learn more about our WooCommerce eCommerce integration in this helpful FAQ. Wrapping Up For Black Friday and Cyber Monday and holidays throughout the year, you can use your eCommerce data to send better, more targeted email marketing campaigns. Now that you know that strategies that you can put into action, we’ve also got free holiday email templates to help you along the way. Do you have any tips on integrating eCommerce and email marketing or for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Share them in the comments below!


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How You Can Use AI to Boost Your Email Marketing Strategy (And 3 Brands That Did It Right)

How You Can Use AI to Boost Your Email Marketing Strategy (And 3 Brands That Did It Right)

Practical Marketer • November 9, 2018

While modern digital marketers have advanced techniques such search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising at their disposal for driving consumer interest, an old staple such as email marketing is managing to maintain its relevance. Financially speaking, email marketing probably still has the best return on investment compared to other digital marketing methods, which is why businesses of all sizes are still using it to great effect. And if you wish to take email marketing a step further, you can supplement your campaigns with artificial intelligence (AI) systems. AI is capable of analyzing vast amounts of data with speed and accuracy unmatched by human data analysts. The result of such an analysis is patterns and trends that would otherwise be impossible to detect, and which can be used to improve the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. By utilizing the power of AI, digital marketers can ensure that their emails will reach the right audience at the right time, with the right kind of message. To find out more about how email marketing has benefited from the introduction of AI, take a look at our guide in the post below. Auto-Generated Subject Lines The average consumer can receive up to a hundred emails per day. The majority of what is received gets classified as spam, but even if your marketing email manages to evade the filters, the odds that the consumer will end up opening it are slim at best. With an AI at your side, you can improve your chances by a significant margin. For instance, an AI could predict how likely it is that a prospect will open an email based on the subject line used, and it can even offer suggestions on which lines would work best. AIs can also help ensure that your subject lines are brand-compliant, a process that can otherwise take weeks to finish. Copy with Relevant Keywords If your targets end up opening your email, you are already halfway there to converting them. However, the other half of the journey is much more difficult to complete. This is where your copy comes into play. A good email copy has to engage the lead enough to take a CTA which will turn them into a customer. The secret to creating engagement is providing value to the potential customer. Finding out what each customer wants is not an easy task, but it can be streamlined through the use of AI. Such AIs can analyze the social media and web activity unique to each lead, and give recommendations regarding which keywords to use for maximum conversion potential. More Actionable CTAs The CTA is the final piece of the email marketing puzzle. Without an effective CTA, the lead will have no clue on how to proceed to become your customer, an outcome you want to avoid at all costs. The secret to making a good CTA is to provide an offer your leads wouldn’t want to pass up. Creating such an offer is easier said than done, but again, the AIs can help. An AI armed with sufficient data could determine the price points and products which are likely to entice a given consumer. As you keep feeding more data to the AI, it will become better at predicting which offer has the best conversion potential. Efficient Segmentation And Targeting Creating highly targeted emails is an effective conversion strategy, but sometimes you can’t afford this level of customization. What you can do in such situations is divide up your audience into segments, to retain some level of customization, while being able to target multiple prospects at once. Your audience can be segmented according to demographic, geographic, psychographic, or other kinds of criteria. This is a time-consuming process for humans and one that is prone mistakes, which is why email marketers began using AI for more streamlined audience segmentation. An AI can easily screen your customers to find the relevant data, and then use it to categorize them into clear groups, saving you time and resources better spent elsewhere. Scheduling Sending Times The times at which you send your emails is as important as their content. If you keep sending emails at inopportune moments, your prospects, leads, and even existing customers will lose patience and unsubscribe, which is an outcome you must avoid at all costs. Finding out the perfect time for sending an email is a time-consuming process because there are many factors at play, including the time zone they reside in, their daily schedule, their online habits, etc. Fortunately, AI systems are perfectly suited for collating factors of this sort into a single, coherent picture. An AI can pinpoint exactly the exact time when a subscriber is likely to open, as well as read an email, and it can do this for each and every person on your mailing list. This makes creating mailing schedules by hand a thing of the past. Streamlined Customer Lifecycle Marketing An email marketing campaign involves more than just sending batches of emails – it is a process of nurturing a consumer from lead to customer, and beyond. Along this journey, the target will take actions that are in line with your business goals, such as clicking on CTAs, visiting your website, or purchasing your items, but also those that are detrimental to your bottom line, such as unsubscribing to your email newsletter, abandoning their shopping cart, or stopping to follow your brand on social media. To get the most out of your email marketing campaign, you have to study customer behavior and send highly contextual emails throughout the customer lifecycle. With their ability to analyze large quantities of data in record speed, AIs is perfectly suited for determining when is the best moment to send out a particular kind of email, to a particular kind of customer. Use Cases of AI in Email Marketing So far we have been talking about the theory behind AI-powered email marketing, but that is not all there is to it. Many digital marketing companies are already using AI to power a wide variety of digital marketing campaigns, including email marketing. Now we can move on to specific examples of brands using these methods to improve the outcomes of their campaigns. Teleflora Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest holidays for online flower delivery services such as Teleflora. This company tends to send more than a billion email offers per year. And in order to make heads or tails of the mountains of data they gather on their customers, they use Bluecore, an AI-powered tool that matches customer data to products. They also use Custora, another AI customer analytics tool, which can create automated flags for delivering customized messages to customers at every point in the buyer’s journey. By using AI in email marketing, Teleflora was able to accurately match customers to products they were most likely to be interested in, and the company saw an increase of 50% in orders compared to previous years. Virgin Holidays Virgin Holidays is one of the bigger players in the field of vacation planning in the United Kingdom, with more than a hundred million holiday packages sold each year. However, when it comes to finding the right subject line for their email marketing campaigns, Virgin Holidays was struggling to find an approach that yielded the results they were looking for. They eventually chose to use Phrasee, an AI-powered language generation tool. Instead of spending weeks waiting for writers to come up with the appropriate subjects lines, and having them tested, Virgin Holidays simply forwarded their brand guidelines to Phrasee. Once the AI took over the process, the subject lines were both generated and tested automatically. And the results? A 2% increase in sales, which amounted to more than a million pounds. SecretEscapes SecretEscapes, another UK-based travel company, has an audience of more than 32 million subscribers in 23 different countries. The company makes about 70% of its sales from email marketing, and it usually sends subscribers two emails per day. However, SecretEscapes was having trouble finding an eCommerce solution that could keep up with the influx of data generated by subscribers with widely different backgrounds. That is until they found JetLore, an AI prediction system that can analyze customer data for the purpose of ranking each customer according to their interests, and then send relevant product and service suggestions based on those interests. The result of using JetLore was an increase in open rates, as well as higher revenue from an increased number of sales. Wrapping Up AI makes email marketing much simpler by allowing marketers to add value to the emails that go beyond just discounts and first-name personalization. This technology lets brands sustain the modern customer by translating the collected data into relevant, unique, and timely content for each individual customer. If you haven’t incorporated AI into your email marketing strategy yet, now is the right time to begin doing so for better in-the-moment personalization– and, ultimately, sales.


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Free Holiday Email Templates

Free Holiday Email Templates

Practical Marketer • November 7, 2018

The season to be jolly is right around the corner! That’s right! Holiday cups are back at Starbucks, Christmas music is already playing in every store you walk into. Decorations are right around the corner. It always feels too early to start celebrating the holidays, but it’s never too early to plan your holiday email marketing. After all, email marketing accounts for 20 percent of holiday sales, according to Mailcharts. Holiday Email Templates Who doesn’t enjoy spreading some holiday cheer? Benchmark Email helps you get your email marketing in the holiday spirit with dozens of festive holiday email templates. Here are some things to keep in mind when using a holiday email template: Stay true to your branding. Don’t make your logo a color your subscribers have never seen it before, just to match the holiday motif. Same goes for buttons and other colors that are consistent across your email campaigns. Dress it up for the holidays, but don’t become something unrecognizable to your subscribers. Keep it simple. Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be the house on the block with lights covering every square inch of the exterior and lawn with lights. You can’t look at that house without sunglasses. Don’t limit it to the template. Extend the holiday cheer to your subject line as well. That way it won’t be a surprise when your subscribers open your holiday email. Don’t just promote your sales. Promote your products too. A common mistake many businesses make is to only inform their subscribers of their promotions. That assumes they know everything you offer. Be sure to highlight your products too. The promo and the product together are the knockout combo you want. Templates To Automate Aside from the great holiday email templates available to you, we’ve also created strategy templates to let you automate your holiday email marketing. You can send a promotion and follow-up with your subscribers based on if they opened the email, clicked a link or visited a specific page on your website. Don’t wait for 2018 to take your email marketing to the next level. Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and close out 2017 strong. We also put together some tips and ideas for your Christmas and Chanukah marketing campaigns to be automated. Holiday Email Marketing Tips Now that you know how to pick the right template and what to do with it, let’s look at some strategies and suggestions for your holiday email marketing campaigns. Make A Plan Everything will go smoother for your holiday email marketing if you start with a good plan. Holiday emails campaigns sent in the first half of November tend to get the best open rates, according to GoDaddy. The first step in creating a holiday email marketing plan is to know which holidays you should be creating campaigns for. These are the big ones: Thanksgiving, November 22 Black Friday, November 23 Small Business Saturday, November 24 Cyber Monday, November 26 Giving Tuesday, November 27 Hanukkah, December 2-10 Christmas, December 25 Figure out which of those holidays make sense for your business. Don’t contort to uncomfortable, Stretch Armstrong-esque lengths to make all of these holidays work for your brand. You may also not have the time or resources to do campaigns for all of them. Be reasonable and focus on the ones that will work best for your goals. What emails should you be sending for any (or all) of these holidays? A sequence of three emails is your best bet for successful holiday email marketing: First, you should send an email to announce your holiday promotion. You can send this up to two weeks prior to your sale. Next, you’ll want to send a reminder for your holiday promotion. If you sent the first one two weeks out, the follow-up email should go out a week later (one week before your sale). Lastly, you should send an email the day off the promotion. This one should really create some urgency and get your subscribers to act now. Segment Your List(s) Relevance is key with any emails you send, but especially so with your holiday email marketing. Most inboxes are even more crowded during the holiday season making it all the more important to stand out. Email list segmentation or targeted emailing are your best bets for sending targeted, relevant content to your subscribers. You can use purchase history, click history, demographic or location data to sort your list in order to send the best possible content to each subscriber. Holiday Email Marketing Content Ideas Giving gifts to our loved ones can be difficult. We want to give them something that will feel personal and picked out just for them. But where to start? Many businesses create gift guides to help their subscribers choose the right gift for everyone on their list. One way to create a gift guide is to sort it by price. Here’s a holiday email campaign from Bed, Bath & Beyond that sorts their campaign into sections by cost. It makes it easy to find the right item for everything from office holiday parties to something for your loved ones. Another way to organize your gift guide is by who the gift is for. It can be gifts for him or her, your kids, parents, etc. If you sell products for kids big and small, you can even create a gift guide sorted by age groups, from newborns to those of us with an inner child that still burns strong. This holiday email from Target shows how you can make it easy to find gifts for all your nieces, nephews, sons and daughters. Outside of gift guides, there are plenty of other holiday sales you can use email marketing to promote. Some companies offer a special gift to the first group of customers through the door in the morning. For some businesses, this results in customers camping out to receive the free giveaway! What better social media buzz than a line of anxious customers braving the elements to come to your store. This Black Friday from Chan Luu executes this strategy well: Other than giving customers a percentage off their total, you can also offer free shipping for your online shoppers. That’s what J Crew did with a recent Cyber Monday campaign: J Crew also creates a sense of urgency by telling their subscribers that free shipping deal is for that day only. One additional way to boost your holiday email marketing efforts is to include a charitable component with your promotions. If all of the proceeds from certain items or total sales are donated to charity, it increases the likelihood that a subscriber will make a purchase. PayPal itself wanted to inspire everyone to donate to charities during the holiday season. They announced that PayPal would add 1% to any donation made to a charity during the month of December. In 2017, more than $8.5 billion was donated through PayPal, in part due to this holiday promotion. Share Your Tips Have you run a successful holiday email marketing campaign in the past? Or maybe a favorite one you’ve received? Share your tips in the comments. We love to hear them!


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How to Write Welcome Emails That Turn Subscribers into Leads

How to Write Welcome Emails That Turn Subscribers into Leads

Practical Marketer • November 1, 2018

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? Especially today, in the world of online business and communication, when a short attention span and content shock run the shots, and where tons of emails from dozens of brands attack users\' inboxes in the hope of loyalty and sales. But there\'s a catch: We spend hours and budget on planning and implementing stellar email marketing campaigns, test them, optimize them to align with consumer interests and needs... just to find out that most people don\'t want to see our marketing emails at all. In fact, only one-fifth of users open newsletters and business emails, which makes us lose around 80% of our target customers. Oops! The good news is, we can change that. Given that 72% of people still prefer communicating with brands via email, we marketers have a powerful weapon to turn subscribers into leads and make them look forward to our next newsletters: A welcome email. What Makes Welcome Emails So Powerful As you probably know, 3 out of 4 users expect to see a welcome email after subscribing. That explains the following — and quite encouraging for email marketers — stats from Soundest: It’s like dating online. Attracted by your profile and photo (read: your website, blog, or landing page), people express interest by \"poking\" (read: subscribing) you and waiting for you to meet their expectations. Now it’s your turn to take a step: write and send a welcome email that will \"wow\" them with your brand personality so they will look forward to your next letter, open and click on it, and therefore turn into your friends (read: loyal customers). A welcome email is your chance to: Make a first impression Introduce your brand Set clear expectations and the tone of your relationship with followers Get to know them better Stand out from competitors Motivate the target audience to become your loyal subscribers and, anytime soon, customers Crafted by expert marketing writers, welcome emails meet users\' expectations, guide subscribers, and engage them in communication to see and heighten their interest in the brand as well as learn their preferences. All this allows your business to move through a sales funnel successfully. To make welcome emails work, you need to engage your inner creative genius but yet follow some rules of web writing. Here are several techniques to try: What to Write in Welcome Emails As well as any other marketing instrument, a welcome email must live up to its task. What to write there? Here go options: Confirm the subscription and thank a person for choosing your brand. Tell how they can manage their email notifications. Give them a present for the subscription. Set expectations: share the information on what types of content they will get from your newsletters and how often you are going to send them. Ask subscribers to whitelist you. Introduce your brand and website. Introduce the sender of your newsletters, if you have one. Reveal your competitive advantage. Share some works and clients\' feedback. Answer all possible objections they might have. Invite them to follow your brand on social media. Bring them into the dialogue. (Ask to tell about themselves; therefore, you\'ll learn more about subscribers and understand what content they would like to get from you.) Case in point: The welcome email from Michaels includes several elements at once: it thanks subscribers, sets expectations, invites them to set preferences, and gives a present (discount) for building loyalty and better engagement. Here’s the full version. That from Peel asks to follow their brand on social media, sharing some user-generated content. It\'s a great way to build awareness and trust, making new subscribers feel their affiliation with the brand. See the full version here. And this one from Strava introduces the brand and tells how they can help a user, inviting to manage email notifications. The full version is here. It\'s all well and fine, but are there any particular language and design tricks to craft killer welcome emails? Yes! How to Write Welcome Emails Given that a great welcome email goes beyond the \"thanks for being with us\" stuff, your task here is to make subscribers feel excited about joining you. So, write a sincere, heart-warming, and personal email that will build a positive impression of your brand and tell people what\'s in there for them. How to do that? 1. Craft a subject line Welcome emails have the highest open rate among others. To increase it even more, nail subject lines accordingly. First, answer two questions: What\'s the goal of your welcome email? What action should subscribers take after reading it? Depending on these two factors, a subject line of your welcome email may differ but yet be concise, intriguing, inviting, and actionable. Tricks to use: Personalization. (Add a recipient\'s name to the subject line.) \"A question inside\" trick. (Add this phrase to the subject line, if relevant.) A surplus value. (Mention what\'s in there for subscribers: a gift, a discount, a bonus, etc.) Add emojis, if relevant to your brand voice and tone, but don\'t overplay. Emojis make a subject line more personal and human. Avoid spam words, preventing your emails from coming to users\' inboxes. 2. Make it short Your welcome email should be short and sweet. Consider 50-150 words, craft them into a catchy text with the most significant information at the beginning, and make sure it doesn\'t sound pushy. It\'s about welcoming, not selling. By way of example, here goes a short but clear and informative welcome email from Cult Beauty: Hint: Use active verbs only! Also, avoid colloquial expressions and other email etiquette mistakes. 3. Use power words Each word of your email matters. It triggers emotions, inspires readers, motivates them to follow you. Some words engage us, others — drive us nuts! Use that linguistic power for your marketing benefit, and write the right words in emails. Some rules of web writing to remember here: Stick to words everybody knows; avoid long words and sentences. Get straight to the point. Tell them what they get; don\'t tell about yourself. In other words, answer the \"So what?\" question. Consider your brand voice and tone. Read the text of your email aloud before sending. Make sure it has a rhythm; edit accordingly. The most effective words to write in emails are: you/your, now, because, new, thank you, guarantee, free, P.S., and limited. Also, don’t forget about a recipient’s name. Freedom seems to know that: Tip: Send emails from an actual person behind your brand rather than the brand itself. It builds trust, makes an email sound more human, and increases the open rate. 4. Format it like a boss Both plain text and HTML formats are okay as long as they work with your audience: the former looks more natural like it\'s a friend who sends this email, and the latter is more colorful and therefore catchier. Thanks to many email templates available, most marketers prefer crafting messages with colorful elements to make them visually appealing and help subscribers understand their brands better. Images and colors trigger emotions, help to process and remember the information faster, and build an impression of your brand. Did you ever wonder why so many brands had blue in their logos and email design? It\'s basic color psychology: blue is about trust, efficiency, and integrity; isn\'t that what we want to communicate with a welcome email? Like guys from Weebly do: See the full version on Pinterest. Sure enough, it doesn\'t mean you need to give up everything and change your brand\'s identity so it would have a blue color in it. Just think of incorporating some shades of blue into the color scheme of your welcome email to give it a little boost. 5. Add a stellar CTA Your welcome email won\'t work if it\'s a mere \"thank you.\" It stands to reason you need to add a CTA, but are you sure you use the right one? First and foremost, follow the rule: one email = one CTA. Make it obvious what you want subscribers to do. Second, make it concise and easy to find. And third, make it a button rather than a link, even if using a plain text style for your welcome email. Or, at least make that link of a different color. You\'ve got the idea: a CTA should draw the eye. 5 Secrets to Welcome Emails Optimization To get the most out of welcome emails, work on their optimization. First and foremost, send them as soon as possible to confirm subscription and let people know you are with them. When giving you their email address, new subscribers are waiting for the feedback to take further actions. So, grab the moment. Tip: Send the first welcome email within 5 minutes after subscription. People hate waiting too long. If you have a welcome email series, send the second letter in a day, and the third one — 2-3 days later. Also, use your brand identity in a welcome email. Choosing an email template design, consider colors and shifts that would help a user to visually identify your message with a website where he left an email address a few minutes ago. Monitor your subscribers\' actions and respond accordingly. Consider segmentation to understand who opens your welcome emails and re-send them to those who don\'t but with a different subject line. Also, it\'s worth trying to send a follow-up to such subscribers: chances are, your welcome email went to spam or failed to display right in a user\'s inbox. Known as reactivation newsletters, they are often used by marketers. Here\'s one from Buzzfeed, for example: Read the full version here. Just craft a text, relevant to your new subscribers, and make them know your brand is here for them. Optimize a subject line of your welcome email, either. It stands to reason that it\'s aimed at thanking and welcoming a new subscriber to your community, but some options are still available to encourage clicking:   Welcome to Benchmark! What\'s next? Thanks for joining us! Here\'s your 10% discount. Welcome to the Benchmark family! Donuts inside.   To avoid mug hunters using fake email addresses to subscribe and get discounts, consider a welcome email series where the first letter asks a person to confirm his email, and the second one comes with donuts to confirmed emails only. Checklist Long story short, here\'s your checklist to writing stellar welcome emails that will engage subscribers, build their loyalty to your brand, and turn them into leads: A familiar sender. It may be a particular person or a brand name, but a user needs to understand from whom the email comes. Appealing but relevant subject line and preheader. (Yes avoiding a preheader is among most common email marketing mistakes!) Well-timed content: greetings, thanks for registration, introducing a brand, etc. Clearly mentioned benefits for subscribers. Shaping the right expectations. Donuts for subscribers: promo codes, bonuses, discounts. Call to action. Social media subscription buttons. A link or a button, allowing users to unsubscribe from your newsletters. Sending a welcome email series, make sure it\'s consistent and meaningful. As far as 74% of new subscribers wait for your welcome emails, it\'s a window of opportunity to work with the audience for the sake of business. For this very reason, their writing and optimization require time and thorough preparation. But the positive result won\'t take long in coming! Do you send welcome emails to new subscribers? What tricks would you recommend to peers on welcome emails optimization?


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5 Customer Retention Emails You Should Be Sending

5 Customer Retention Emails You Should Be Sending

Practical Marketer • October 29, 2018

For eCommerce business owners, email marketing is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers. Having a strong customer retention strategy is crucial for boosting conversions and revenue. Through email marketing automation and the delivery of consistent (and valuable) email marketing campaigns, you can keep customers coming back to your site for years to come. In fact, research shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, as opposed to the 5-20% of selling to a new one. As a result, 80% of businesses rely on email marketing for customer retention, with 56% considering it the most effective method for doing so. With this in mind, you’ll want to curate a formulaic and intriguing email marketing campaign that will keep your clientele engaged. There are five specific kinds of emails you must include in your email marketing strategy for ultimate retention. #1) Welcome Email Set up a welcome series for new subscribers/shoppers. A friendly introduction will go a long way, and a welcome email provides you with an opportunity to engage with them in numerous ways. You can ask them to specify their product preferences so that you can send them email suggestions on what to buy. You might also include a first-time buyer discount. Welcome emails are also a great way to invite shoppers to follow your social media accounts. If possible, even consider including a live social feed in the email to entice them. If properly composed, welcome emails can elicit a significant boost in revenue. Experian found that welcome emails generate three times more transactions and revenue than regular promotional emails. #2) Abandoned Cart Cart abandonment in the e-commerce world is all too common, which is why setting up an automated abandoned cart email flow can be your saving grace. Abandoned cart emails can easily be set up through email marketing automation platforms and e-commerce software, such as Shopify. The real key, however, is how to make these emails appealing. The first thing to note is the importance of timing. Business Insider found that the quicker you send an abandoned cart email, the better. Sending one within three hours delivers the best results, including a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate. If a shopper does not respond to the first reminder email, consider sending a follow-up. Secondly, you’ll want to compose an intriguing subject line. Consider something along the lines of: “Don’t let someone else snatch up your items!” “Hurry! Your cart is about to expire.” Indicating a sense of urgency when sending the final abandonment reminder email will increase the chances of a conversion. #3) Thank You Email Make sure to thank your customers. For everything. For purchasing, leaving a review, being a loyal shopper. Simply saying thank you will show that you keep track of their patronage – and recognize that they chose your site. In this email, you don’t need to sell or market anything – although it may behoove you to offer a thank you discount. The best thing about thank you emails is that they generate double the open rate of one-off standard marketing emails, and take half the amount of time to create. #4) Personalized Promo Email While it can be effective to offer a mass promotion, the key to customer retention is offering personalized promotions to your loyal customers. These include, but are not limited to: return customer discounts, birthday discounts, and frequent buyers discounts. Not only are you offering shoppers a monetary incentive, but you’re personalizing the kind of discount/messaging based on a specific milestone. Another effective promo tactic is the anniversary email. Reward customers that have been subscribed to your newsletter for a year (or more) with a small discount on the date of their subscription anniversary. Personalization is the future of email marketing, with personalized emails delivering 6x more revenue, according to Experian. #5) Re-engagement Email Don’t let your subscribers go dormant. If you notice that there are users who have not opened/clicked through your emails in a long time, segment those users and send them a re-engagement email. Some effective subject lines for re-engaging users include: “[Name], we miss you!” “[Name], it’s been a while…” “Long time no see, [Name]!” By personalizing these email subjects with the subscriber’s name and keeping them conversational, your subscriber will be curious about what lies inside. Win back their loyalty with a special offer or even just some info about recent changes made to your site (i.e. lower prices, new stock, updated shipping incentives). Marketing Land states that 45% of re-engagement email recipients continue to read subsequent emails. Other Considerations When composing an effective email marketing strategy, is important not only to consider the content of the emails but the supporting factors. Timing, subject lines, and frequency are all additional considerations that can contribute to the success (or failure) of your open and click-through rates. Personalizing subject lines, sending emails in the morning, and sending them often are all helpful tips for higher-converting email campaigns. However, keep in mind that these can vary by industry. eCommerce business owners should engage in A/B testing to see what subject lines or times work best on their subscribers. From there, you can begin to hone and evolve your customer retention strategy – from the welcome email all the way to the re-engagement email. In turn, you should be rewarded with an increased revenue and loyal customer base.


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3 Ways to Write Engaging Emails that Sell

3 Ways to Write Engaging Emails that Sell

Practical Marketer • October 26, 2018

The modern consumers can best be described as a “fickle,” thanks to the rise of e-commerce. A significant number of customers still patronize the traditional brick and mortar stores, but the majority has been swept off by the e-commerce wave. Online marketers are in constant search for efficient and effective marketing strategies that convert readers into potential customers. One such approach is e-mail marketing. Why Is Email Marketing Important? A study by Chen examining the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty in interactive e-service settings established the importance of emails in such interactions. Georgieva shared similar sentiments in their comprehensive eBook on introduction to email marketing by citing evidence showing that finance and shopping had above average webmail views (49% & 48%) compared to other industries. The evidence illustrates the penetrating force associated with email campaigns. Companies consider emails to be among the most powerful marketing channels. Therefore, the size of your email list demonstrates how far your reach and thought leadership stretch. Email marketing campaigns should be used as a holistic approach to educating contacts about the company or brand. This way, you are able to build and enhance business relationships with previous and current customers, encourage customer loyalty, acquire new customers, and encourage the sharing of company advertisements. You cannot afford to be in the lower bracket of the competition. Email marketing is a dominant form of communication, and a recent survey showed that over 70% of people preferred a business to contact them via email. However, there is a hurdle for email marketers to navigate. Statistics show that an average customer gets at least 100 emails daily, opens only 23% of them, and clicks through a measly 25. Very few emails are getting the level of engagement sought after, making the prospect of a phone call or even a deal unlikely. Therefore, to crush it in sales, you need top-notch emailing skills and knowledge. This is of paramount importance to avoid falling into the trap of committing either of the two email marketers common mistakes that can cost you a lot of money: Giving away too much content without achieving the sales selling objective. Doing too much selling without giving away sufficient content. Here are 3 ways you can go about developing an engaging email that can sell you and your brand: 1. Make the Email Short or Easy to Read You should master the dos and don’ts of email content. Make sure to come in useful in the email by avoiding content that wastes people’s time such as talking about your client list. An effective sales email has 5 major components: subject line; opening line; body copy; closing copy; and signature. The sections are what you need to make your email concise, a weapon every salesperson needs to make sure anyone reads their emails. Most prospects targeted by your email are busy and have no time for novel-long email describing your product. Keep the email short and sweet. You should be driven by the understanding that it is possible to make a deal and close a sale in one single email. In instances where a long email cannot be avoided, formatting is the key to effective delivery. Make use of distinct, headline sections, bold important information, and use bullet lists. The objective is to make the email scannable and enable the reader to get the information they need with ease. The image below shows the same pizzeria promotional emails. What is your response to seeing and reading each? It is uncalled for to hit your audience with a giant block of text that is unreadable. As a salesperson, you depend on prospects actually reading the emails you send out to have any chance of eliciting a positive response. 2. Sell Using Your Signature Having unnecessary information about the company on the email can be boring for prospects. Such a signature has no benefits to the sender or recipients of the email. No credibility; nothing interesting; and nothing being sold. To sell using your signature you need to pitch your other product or service offerings. Strive to capture the readers’ interest by including links to recent company webinar, relevant press articles, case studies, or anything else that adds credibility to the email. Where possible, add YouTube link to a video that displays a thumbnail. Researchers from MIT have established that photos containing people are the most memorable. Similarly, psychologists found out colored photos to be more memorable than those in black and whiter.  Thumbnail of a speech video in the email signature potentially triggers interest to watch the whole video, which in turn leads to the positive feedback that can translate to sales. Therefore, you can exploit this feature to get the company’s marketing to existing and potential customers. A signature must sell both the sender and the company. It should increase the amount of engagement from the readers of the email. Little effort is needed to come up with such a signature. You should keep updating it with content that is already available. 3. Get the Emails Opened A typical buyer\'s inbox is congested with uninteresting and boring emails. How can you prevent your emails from being drowned in the noisy inboxes that Google tabs have made even worse? Email designing skills are critical here and seduction is the weapon of choice! Use the email subject line to pique the interest of the readers. It should be short and concise and devoid of “spammy” words. The subject line should promise readers something good. Specific knowledge of what will be learned or how you can make people happier, more informed, or succeed in business motivates them to read more about it. Power words that are emotional or bizarre and numbers can be used to generate curiosity by attracting the wandering eyes of the readers. Get out of the box by not adhering to standards such as an optimal subject line. There are no average readers. The trick is to build a personal relationship with the readers who would become accustomed to your emails and anticipate them because they recognize the name of the sender. Engage the readers through personal touch, avoiding automated greetings, asking questions, and addressing them in the second person. Lindsay Kolowich argues that it is inherent to talk about the benefits of the product or service rather than its features in the email. As an email marketer, you may understand the value of your email, but the recipient or customer has no idea of such value. It is up to you to explain to them. Now Make Your Emails Engaging The past few years have witnessed a revolution in email marketing. The exponential increase in the number of consumers with preferences for online shopping presents prospects for marketers to deploy similar platforms to target this growing market. Most emails are uninteresting and boring, which gives you as a salesperson an opportunity. Each of the three tips discussed herein can increase the prospects of your email being opened, read, and clicked. Take the initiative to stand out from the competition.


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How To Use Interactivity In Your Holiday Email Campaigns To Get Better Engagement

How To Use Interactivity In Your Holiday Email Campaigns To Get Better Engagement

Practical Marketer • October 16, 2018

Do you know the US spends a whopping 3.4 billion dollars on Halloween costumes alone? Now imagine how much you can leverage it through your holiday email campaigns. In fact, not only Halloween but, holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday Cyber Monday, etc. are also a great way of engaging customers and driving conversions. With 52% of customers checking their email every few hours, well-crafted email campaigns can provide great value to your subscribers and help fuel sales as well. Are you doing enough to engage your customers better this holiday season through your email campaigns? And, whatever holiday email marketing strategies you implement, ask yourself - Is it helping you stand out amidst your competition? Especially when it’s holiday season and chances of accelerating revenues are very high. This is where including interactivity in your holiday email campaigns can come in handy. Yes, it is one of the top email marketing trends doing the rounds of an email campaign. Interactivity in emails wouldn’t only pleasantly surprise your subscribers but also help in their better engagement. Here\'s how you can do it: 1. CSS Animation is the Key Incorporating CSS animation within your holiday email marketing can be a great way of delighting customers and improving their overall user experience. A CSS animation works towards changing the CSS properties of an animation at regular time intervals. These intervals are specified by certain keyframes which decide the style of the elements and work towards facilitating its animation and transition property. Moreover, CSS animations are not only scalable but are also load in quick time. This makes the overall animation experience smooth for customers and works wonders for their engagement. See how EmailMonks makes use of CSS animation for sending its Christmas wishes. To experience the interactivity, click here. 2. Make Way for Videos One of the best ways of capturing the subscriber’s attention is making use of videos within your email campaign. It gives you the opportunity to deliver diverse content to subscribers within a quick span of time. In fact, interactive emails with videos increase conversion rates by 86%. So, include some relevant, creative, compelling and enticing videos within your holiday email campaigns and see how it takes your interaction with subscribers a level up. Look how Rentalcars.com wishes its customers with a creative video in email: 3. Say Hello to GIFs GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a powerful way of engaging customers.  Since it is somewhere between static images and videos, it manages to give subscribers a unique experience by grabbing their attention instantly. It is lightweight, so it does not hamper the loading speed of the email. Try including GIFs in your holiday email campaigns to make it stand out amidst competition and ultimately drive more sales and revenue. 1973’s Christmas email is a great example of using GIFs creatively. 4. Incorporate Add To Calendar Option Add to calendar option is a great way to enhance your click-through rates and engagement. After all, subscribers will go ahead with your email campaign only when you will give them something enticing enough to click on. So, while designing your holiday email campaign, don’t forget to include an add to calendar option. This way, when you send your customer a holiday specific email, it will give the customer an option to add it to their calendar. This, in turn, will remind the customer not only of the holiday but will also encourage to do holiday shopping with your brand. Simple yet effective – that’s how an option to add to the calendar can help you scale your business in the holiday season. 5. Make Use of Scratch Cards Scratch cards help increase the curiosity level of subscribers. It is an impeccable tool to increase engagement. The customers have no idea what they are going to get. So, naturally, it will encourage them to click through your email and discover your offer or any kind of promotion that you have included in your holiday campaign. It is a great way of separating yourself from competition and enhancing customer interaction. See how Forever 21 makes use of a cool scratch card for its Black Friday email campaign. 6. Incorporate Countdown Timers Countdown timers can work a great deal in making holiday email campaign more dynamic.  It doesn’t only captivate a customer’s attention with its motion pictures but, also creates a sense of urgency by incorporating strategies like free shipping deadlines, time-sensitive product promotions with messages like “the stock will be over soon”, “the countdown begins” etc. So, try these countdown timer emails and see how it increases the visual interest of your customers while engaging them in a better way.  Remember, countdowns are exciting and make people impatient. Hence, make sure you leverage it this festive season and boost your sales. 
7. Engage with Gamification Gamification is considered to be the ‘in thing’ for millennials, but its admirers go much beyond. Hence, leveraging it for your holiday email campaign can be a smart marketing strategy for you. All you need is an interesting game within your email and enhance customer engagement. Further, you can even include surveys and feedbacks in the form of a game and work towards improving interactivity by giving a world-class gaming experience to your subscribers. Taco Bell makes use of its creative streak with this Christmas gamification email: 8. Give Cinemagraph a Chance GIFs, videos and images work well for customer engagement but, it is cinemagraph that can make your holiday email campaign top-notch in no time. Since a cinemagraph works towards highlighting a single element of an image while keeping the whole of it static, it works wonders in driving the customer\'s attention towards a particularly critical part of the email. 9. Increase Interactivity with Kinetic Emails Kinetic emails which are created by combining GIFs and key frame animation together takes interactivity to an altogether new level. It is a very impactful way of giving a seamless visual experience to customers within the realms of their inbox. All a customer needs to do is click on a call to action and experience your email content visually just the way Wiredmessenger did it for its Halloween email campaign. Imagine including one such email in your holiday campaign too. It would certainly increase your engagement and click-through rates by keeping the customers hooked for a long time. In fact, your interactive and creative approach would not only help retain the existing customers but also attract the new ones as well. Final Thoughts Interactive emails can help you have an edge over competitors and pave new avenues of success for you. It is a creative and innovative way of engaging customers. So, make use of the above-mentioned interactive elements in your holiday email campaigns to give your customers a beautiful and long-lasting experience while escalating your traffic and conversions.


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