We Wrote a Book! Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer

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We Wrote a Book! Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer

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To Market to Men, First You Have to Understand Them

To Market to Men, First You Have to Understand Them

Beyond • June 8, 2016

British Comedian David Mitchell hosts a brilliantly funny series of outbursts, one of which talks about male grooming. To understand the quintessential mind of a man, listen to his rant about how marketing companies target the male audience in something as everyday as grooming products. With intelligent sarcastic disdain, Mitchell questions the use of aftershave, adding that it’s something “you’ve chosen, to smell pretty…like a girl.” He then digs into deodorant, where between the lines you can read that men use deodorant to lure the opposite sex – versus women, who use it to stay fresh. Next up are razors, and Mitchell draws up a mock campaign of a new razor – described with the same language and passion men use to talk about weapons. For Mitchell, the mind of a man is quite simple; it’s about being ‘manly’. And yet, the speech is delivered by a soft pudgy man child sitting on an oversized couch. For you, the question becomes: how do you market to men when they are just as diverse in their preferences as women might be? That’s actually a bit of a trick question. First, even women ultimately want the same things when it comes to certain areas in life. Every woman desires to be beautiful and will spend on beauty products even if their interests are otherwise completely varied. And in the case of the male species, men are going to want things simply pitched, whether they’re all brawns or all brains. Now of course, if your enterprise business caters to the alpha male, you’re going to need to adjust your campaigns. Similarly, if you’re dealing with another demographic, say mature fathers, then you’ll need to adjust your messaging for that too. All campaigns have to be adjusted of course, but when it comes to men the bottom line is to keep things simple. Simplicity doesn’t imply simple minds. This is where men and women’s brains differ. Women are natural multi-taskers, especially as they become mothers. Women, for better or worse, often entertain multiple thoughts or have parallel internal dialogues running through their mind at any given time. We’re able to jump quickly between things and then jump back. There’s a sort of neuroplasticity that men don’t have, which makes them the more single-minded, focused species. There’s more to understanding the psychology of men than just that. In recent years, there’s been a cultural shift about gender narratives. For women, it’s been about finding their voice. For men, it’s been about breaking older narratives. This is why Mitchell’s comedic rant is so on point; it shows how flawed older scrips for men are. Not every man is or wants to be Rambo. Breaking some of the older narratives including getting rid of the idea that men follow models. The film The Tree of Life is a great example of that. The father in that film (played by Brad Pitt) is the stereotypical harsh male that believes he’s the master of his household. His son (played by Sean Penn) grows up to be completely different. The nutshell here for us is that not all men subscribe to the same roles. But this is the sort of myth that is perpetuated in marketing campaigns that don’t understand men. We need to change that by first understanding the men who are your clients and customers.


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Mom Buying Power: Why Investing in Moms is a Brilliant Idea

Mom Buying Power: Why Investing in Moms is a Brilliant Idea

Beyond • June 8, 2016

Let’s face it, moms are the decision makers when it comes to almost anything that’s purchased for the home or family. This includes the men in the family, as women are likely to even influence if not control what they purchase. In fact, there’s a term for it now and it’s called “She-economy.” A report by Greenfield on women’s insight, also shares some incredible facts on the purchasing power of women across industries. For starters, women are the deciding demographic in 91% of new home purchases. Other industries and percentages women as decision-makers include: 66% Computers 92% Vacations 80% Healthcare 65% New Cars 89% Bank Accounts 93% Food 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals 58% of Total Online Spending Their total investment comes out to $20 trillion world-wide. But really, there’s more to the story, and it’s this. Women are waiting longer to have children, so if we look at the demographic of moms who have the most clout, it’s older women or more mature moms in their thirties plus. The reason for this is that by that age, they have a lot more discretionary income. We’ve paid off student loans and we’re likely in stable careers with steady earnings. So now you know moms have buying power in terms of autonomy and capital. The next question is, are you investing in them? There’s a good chance you’re missing the mark somehow. A March 2015 survey of 5330 mothers, done by FanFinder, showed that: 35% of mothers feel ‘pigeonholed’ by brands 46% feel marketing places pressure and presents unrealistic ideals 28% feel marketing to mothers is sexist 32% feel most marketing to mothers is patronizing 87% feel brands should incorporate fathers more in marketing Moms have one thing in common: they want to be understood. So when marketing to your mom demographic, you have to start by looking at what type of mom you’re dealing with: Working Moms Stay At Home Moms Millennial Moms Gen X Moms If you’re looking at working moms, don’t discount that there’s a good chance she’s the primary bread winner and maybe even a single mom. Working moms are typically motivated by two things: guilt and efficiency. There’s always a level of guilt that they’re not there enough for their children, so they’re going to be motivated by decisions that help enrich their child’s life and with decisions that can be made simply. These moms are a lot like Gen X moms (born between 1965 and 1980), who will use technology to offer a balance. This means this group will respond most favorably to custom email marketing campaigns. Stay at Home moms on the other hand will look for the bargain. With less income, they’re motivated by the bargain and they’re not pressed to be at places (the office) as moms are. This means that even they both types of moms have full plates, stay at home moms have more time to bargain hunt. Typically they bargain hunt across a brand’s social channels. Stay at home mom and millennial moms have that in common; they’re avid social media consumers.


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EasilyDo: Stay On Top Of It All

EasilyDo: Stay On Top Of It All

Beyond • June 7, 2016

Think about all of the things for which you use your smartphone. Calls, email and texting, sure, but what else? You calendar, the internet, social media. Shopping? Transportation? Business? These days the list can go on and on. EasilyDo is like having an assistant that lives in your phone. It integrates with all of the tools you use in your life to stay organized and get things done. We had a great talk on how the tools in your life can be used more efficiently. It\'s something all of us can stand to do.


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Marketing to Moms: Understanding Stay-at-Home Moms

Marketing to Moms: Understanding Stay-at-Home Moms

Beyond • June 6, 2016

Imagine a demographic of 5 million that is desperate for you to cater to their group. That demographic is stay at home moms. Further notes from a 2012 U.S. Census report shows that stay at home moms are mostly younger women under the age of 44. In recent years, many women have chosen to give up the briefcase in exchange for being able to provide value and a higher quality environment for their children and family. These women are a whole different breed from the average female consumer. They have heart and soul that is tapped into every day – that needs to be tapped into everyday. Along with their often touch decision to sacrifice career for family, they’re faced with cultural taboos and passive aggressive criticism from society. These are strong undercurrents that are part of the fabric of a stay at home mom. These are things your marketing department will need to understand. Here’s how you get to understanding what that means… First of all, stay-at-home moms (SAHM). There’s a sort of demeaning undertone that phrase has which implies they’re on the couch eating bon-bons, when in fact studies show that for all the work moms at home do they should be earning about six figure salaries a year. But that doesn’t happen and moms trudge on. That is the how you understand a stay at home mom: she’s not in the lap of luxury necessarily. She’s a warrior. There are other things you can call a mom - a homemaker or even just mom will do if you’re really focused on a niche community. Understanding this group is about more than a name though. It’s about a mindset. From low income moms to affluent moms, being a stay at home mom brings with it exhaustion and fatigue, even in the form of emotional and mental fatigue. People wanting to market to this demographic need to understand this. The first priority for a SAHM is the family, then the home, and then maybe at the end of the day it’s us. This is a pinnacle challenge for mothers. In fact, Helen Adourian Saman – a stay at home mom who recently launched a LuLaRoe shop from her home. On May 18th, 2016, Helen shared an amazingly personal story of how she got to where she was mentally, physical and emotionally as a mom, a wife and a woman. With two sets of twins, all of whom routinely pop into her videos, Helen gives you a rare and highly coveted insight into the mind of a mom. It’s about celebrating the small things, creating a community, being encouraging, and reminding moms to put themselves first along with family and home (which is easier said than done). Before you market to stay at home moms, you need to know what their life is like, what their goals and setbacks are. Helen is a great person to watch and get to know – think of it as your own focus group. She’s also super friendly – so if you do need a mom to run an idea by she’s a great go to source.


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Millennial Moms and the Social Media

Millennial Moms and the Social Media

Beyond • June 6, 2016

When we think of Millennials, we think of technology addicted kids who are obsessed with selfies, snapchats and social justice. There’s more to being a Millennial than just that. In fact, there’s a whole other type of Millenial – the Millennial Mom. Millennial moms are women born between 1980 and 1995, who are very much shaped by the technology and culture of millennial youth. If they aren’t shaped by it, they’re a natural demographic in close proximity to the next generation to the point that they’ve seamless adapted into a Millennial mindset at home and in the workplace. So when these women become moms, they bring their forward thinking Millennial mindset to the table. These moms are socially savvy, utilizing between 3 to 4 social media accounts on average. Compare this with other moms who are on about 2-3 social media channels. These channels include Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as top three picks. Other choices will vary depending on the type of work a mom is engaged in. And from my experience, if you’re limited on resources and time, the two channels that are absolutely non-negotiable are Facebook and Instagram. That where you should be putting in all your social focus. Millennial moms are also internet savvy, which means they want to be able to use social media like they would Google. For you this means moving beyond trite inspiration messages as the pinnacle of your social media strategy, which is common among amateur or under-funded social media managers. Instead, focus on a content strategy that links website/blog content with email marketing, where social media is then use to plug these two high priority content sources. This way, there’s a plan that gets you the traffic,  conversion and brand loyalty that you’re after – but it also gets Millennial moms access to information in a methodical way rather than digging in the annals of old social posts trying to find that one post that mattered them years ago. Why does content accessibility matter? Because Millennial moms are high engagement and highly networked moms. They share info with each other, which means if they’re talking to another mom about a tip or resource, they don’t want to have to spend too much time to follow up by struggling to find the source of your brilliant content piece. Whether it’s website content or email marketing, or both, remember to make sure it’s mobile friendly. An estimate 79% of Millennial moms rely on smartphones to access social media. But that figure is only a portion of the picture. The other half of the picture is how often Millennial moms rely on smartphones to make online purchases – that figure rounds to 44%. So if you’re in the product business, you’re website absolutely has to be remote shopper friendly, especially in all email marketing campaigns that are guiding moms to the shop. If you’re wondering if your audience is Millennial, start by taking stock of clients or customers. There’s a good chance that shaping some of your customer or client experiences to favor the Millennial mindset is something that will help your business moving forward. Because even if you don’t have any Millennial moms in your roster right now, the next wave of clients coming your way will think like Millennials and want the same level of network and access.


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Understanding Your Email Marketing Reports

Beyond • June 2, 2016

Whether you’ve been doing email marketing for 24 hours or 10 years, understanding the important metrics in your reports is a crucial part. I come across this question often in regards to the many features our platform offers is, “What does it all mean?”Every marketer should have a sound understanding of these factors to enjoy the fruits of email marketing. I come across this question often in regards to the many features our platform offers is, “What does it all mean?” Every marketer should have a sound understanding of these factors in order to fully enjoy the fruits of email marketing. Benchmark offers five types of reports to help marketers identify their targeted and loyal audience: 1. Email Reports We offer real-time tracking of your email marketing and social media campaigns. It gives you the platform to understand your subscribers, clients and fans better with these analytics. Everyone likes to see high open rates and an additional increase in the traffic due to email click-throughs. Let’s also look to help understand what other metrics inform you and how you can apply it to identify your email marketing growth. [caption id=\"attachment_5622\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"997\"] Check this report to identify how many subscribers opened your campaign and, most importantly, who clicked on what.[/caption] The basics: Open rate: It’s pretty self-explanatory. This is the unique number of users who opened your email. Bounces: This includes the list of users who are temporarily or permanently unable to receive your emails. The temporary bounces, aka soft bounces, are due to a full inbox or a subscriber\'s service being unavailable. Permanent bounce, aka hard bounces, occurs due to fake or mistyped email IDs. Stay away from bounces, and remove hard bounces instantly from your list. Links Clicked: Check which link in your campaign received the most clicks and which subscribers clicked those links. Unsubscribe: This number tells you the subscribers who are no longer interested in receiving your campaigns. Make sure to update your database and refrain from sending any campaigns to them in future. Emails Forwarded: Check this to see how many really liked your campaign and have shared with their friends and clients. The click map feature will tell you what percentage of subscribers are clicking your call-to-action buttons. This can help you to design your next campaign with more targeted CTAs. Campaign Comparison reports:  This is a powerful feature that compares multiple sent campaigns on the basis of open rates, clicks, bounces, etc. This report can be helpful to understand how your subscribers reacted to your campaigns. With the geo-tracking feature, you can discover where in the world your subscribers are opening your emails. Easily segment lists based on time zones to make sure your emails are always delivered at the time you want. 2. A/B Test Reports A/B Testing is a common practice in email marketing.  With a very broad audience and a lot of content, sometimes it\'s hard to judge what words or style that a subscriber might like.  We want the contact to like the email so that they will open the email and continue to open future emails you send to them. But what subject line should I use?  What email format works better?  These questions will always be on the mind of an email marketer before sending an email.  The answers to those questions come in the form of A/B Testing.  Not only can you test the subject line, you can also test different emails as well. Reports of A/B Tests can be viewed under the Reports section of your dashboard. Select the A/B campaign for which you want to analyze the results. You can view the opens, bounces and forwards for that campaign. 3. Survey Reports This unique feature helps you to learn more about your subscribers. You can ask their opinions on various subjects and company developments. Benchmark allows you to create a survey in minutes to reach your audience on any device. You can host these surveys to your domain and embed them on any web page. Reports of the survey created can be seen under the Reports button on the dashboard. View the responses, export it in a PDF or reuse it for a new survey. Gauge the individual as well as overall responses that can help you to be even more successful in your future business endeavors. 4. Poll Reports Using Polls can help you discover what your subscribers like. Polls create better engagement with subscribers and your company. Similar to a survey, a poll can be distributed through your email campaigns or placed on your web page. Use a poll to find out what your subscribers want, need and like. Stats for each poll can be seen by clicking on each item under the poll name. You can view the percentage of votes received by each option in your poll. Polls give you the unmatched convenience and efficiency of direct, free engagement with your subscribers. 5. Automation Reports In 2016, we introduced this awesome tool to our customers. This practical tool for marketers has helped them to become a Precision-Oriented Marketer by keeping their email marketing on autopilot. The reports on automation journeys created by the users in Automation Pro can be seen under the Reports section of the dashboard.  The email reports are similar to the one which is available for your general campaigns. It is useful to understand which automation journeys are working for the product and which needs your attention. In Summary At the end of the day, email marketing improvements are based on a few important metrics which every marketer must understand. By following certain tips like maintaining an opt-in list, writing compelling subject line, maintaining streamline sending frequency can help you improve every metrics explained above.            


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The first step in marketing to women is understanding them

The first step in marketing to women is understanding them

Beyond • May 31, 2016

Now that you’re convinced that marketing to women is a golden idea, the next step is figuring out what exactly that means for your business. Some industries are going to be trickier than others. For instances your business may already have a strong female demographic built in, in which case you’re not starting from scratch; you’re not trying to figure out where these women are but just better reach out to them. In other cases, you might be trying to figure out if you’re your industry even applies. I guarantee you that every industry applies. If you can’t see it it’s because you’re still thinking technically. This is where catering to women is fundamentally different. Even the most technical tough as nails woman is still emotionally driven. We’re hard-wired to consider all aspects, all feelings, and all factors before making a decision. This means that to market to use, you need to first understand us. Let’s look at a couple of examples. One of the strongest news currents right now covers two things: addiction and prison. You’d think these are mostly male dominated areas, but think again. Both of these affect the families, and the family’s emotional welfare and larger decision-making falls under the domain of women. So if you’re catering to this market, consider how these two industries affect women – and not just the people at the receiving end of the legal system or those suffering from addiction. Let’s keep moving forward. Education is another big issue. This almost certainly falls under the domain on mothers who are the key decision makers. If you want to market to women here, the main thing is giving them security in their choice. So you’re not just marketing yourself like an education; you’d need to be surrogate parent that continues guiding and shaping the child, even if that child is now at a college level. Being a mother never stops and you’d ultimately have to think like if you’re marketing is aimed at mothers. Now what if you have an agency that offers creative services or professional advice. This might seem a little trickier but it’s really not. In this case you can’t really have a blanket approach but you can still have an approach. Here’s what would change. You’d need to consider each woman that you’re working with as a client. Consider their preferences and their communication styles. A case in point: there was a client contact who a marketing agency worked. This client was the main point of contact between the agency and the multi-billion dollar business. She was a fantastic lady but she was going through an immense amount personally and professionally. Her young child was diagnosed with leukemia and we later found that that she was facing a lot of non-cooperation and challenges professionally that prevented the marketing agency from getting the information and materials they needed to get the job done. Even though you have this information presented to you in a couple of lines, it took the agency over a year to figure this out. In the meantime, the client was frustrated and the relationship was tense. It didn’t need to be if someone just steps forward to cultivate a relationship with women to see what else is going on in their lives. Once the agency had this information, they were able to craft campaigns that helped out everyone and didn’t rely on information and material gathering from others. They were able to present campaigns that didn’t require frequent communication with the client. And everyone was happy, and the bond between the client and the agency grew deeper. The moral of the story is take the time to get to know your client, your audience and the women who make up your business. Not only is it good for business, but it also makes doing business easier. In the case of the marketing agency, it’s an agency’s job to understand psychology to do their business – to be effective marketers. And they were able to do that. If they can understand their client, they can understand the client’s audience. For any other business, your job is to understand your audience and doing that will take a level heightened interest in what motivates or frustrates them.


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Why market to women? Because of these jaw dropping marketing stats

Why market to women? Because of these jaw dropping marketing stats

Beyond • May 31, 2016

Several years ago the business world was buzzing about the rise of women bloggers. These were women who had something to say and they were taking to platforms like blogger and tumbler (now Instagram) to say it. What people missed out in all that conversation is that these women didn’t suddenly develop voices – they’d always had them. The only thing that changed was a medium through which to share that voice. Since then, the female market has completely dominated the scene. In some cases, entire new businesses have sprouted around women and their vision, while in other cases, companies have recognized the benefit of catering to this demographic. How a women chooses to express herself also comes through in her spending choices, which means women respond well to choices that reflect their interests. The most obvious group here is moms, who represent a $2.4 trillion dollar market. Beyond that… Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care. Women make 80% of healthcare decisions and 68 percent of new car purchase decisions. 75% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households. Women influenced $90 billion of consumer electronic purchases. Nearly 50% of women say they want more green choices, with 37% are more likely to pay attention to brands that are committed to environmental causes. There’s also the lesser considered fact about women’s increasing earning power: The average American woman is expected to earn more than the average American male by 2028. 51% of U.S. Private wealth is controlled by women. Women account for over 50% of all stock ownership in the U.S. Women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. While it may be younger women who are they primary target, businesses shouldn’t forget about the buying clout of older women. According to Mary Brown and Dr. Carol Orsborn, in their book titled Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer—The Baby-Boomer Woman, the the Baby-Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, “…represent[s] a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women.” It doesn’t end there. Move the needle further and there’s still yet another unexplored marketing. The lesser known market that’s completely revolutionized itself in the last year alone is the senior market. If you look at the way media and even senior magazines features aging individuals, you’ll see that they’re treated with dignity and a chance at a second life. It’s also a smart business move. According to Mass Mutual Financial, senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth. If you’re convinced, the next move is figuring out how to apply this to your growing business. The mistake would be to just blanket-target women. Rather, look at your female demographic in your industry, and even some of your female clients. How have you already been catering to those needs and how could you improve on that in your products, services and marketing?


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Online shopping: To market to moms, first you need to understand their lives

Online shopping: To market to moms, first you need to understand their lives

Beyond • May 26, 2016

The image of the modern mom has completely changed. Whether we’re working moms or stay at home moms, there’s one thing moms have in common, and that’s to reserve time and energy. As a mom and a marketer, I’ll let you peek into the mind of a mommy and show you exactly how we think and what we want. In the film I Don’t Know How She Does It, lead mom Sarah Jessica Parker is the quintessential career mom with a husband and two small children – and all the expectations to be the perfect colleague, wife and mom. It feels impossible, but moms do it. There’s a scene in the movie that gives you a hint into how she does it. She’s up late at night, laying in bed thinking about the long, borderline manic, list of things she needs to do. And there you have an inside look at the mind of the modern mom. This is where our mind is at: a long endless list of things that need to be taken care of. That is the life of the average mom. We have a lot to do and we don’t have a lot of time to do it. However, time alone isn’t the only great commodity. The other is energy. Anything we do is factored by two things: time and energy. In other words, how much time will it take and how much energy will be expended. Think of it as the lifeline bar that you see in a video game. With every hit, your guy’s life source gets drained. Moms are a lot like that. Before we engage or commit, we think how much will my energy be depleted by this? Enter online shopping. 
We love online shopping because it gives us control over our lives: It saves us energy. We don’t need to haul the kids, trek over to the shops, try to manage the kids, and juggle between all the choices – only to make the trip back, deal with now cranky children, and lug everything back home. It’s exhausting. It saves time. All that typically takes between 2-4 hours depending on what we’re trying to accomplish. It takes 30 minutes online. It gives control over the math and cost of a thing. Understanding what a mom’s life is like what what’s valuable to us will go a long way in knowing how to craft your marketing to suit our lifestyles. It requires ditching the soccer mom stereotype. For your business, this means catering to moms by offering functional online shopping options. But it goes beyond that. You’ll also need to generate a strong email marketing game so you can directly connect with your moms. And you’ll need to step up your social media effort because if there’s one thing moms are good at it’s being part of a network. Moms rely on social media to multitask and stay up to date on what matters to them. Their network also plays into their need to be efficient. Strong social networks mean that moms don’t have to hunt for information.


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Top 10 sales email subject lines to increase open rates

Top 10 sales email subject lines to increase open rates

Practical Marketer • May 26, 2016

You invest time drafting a perfect sales email pitch, inserting the perfect links and crafting the perfect CTA (call-to-action) for your emails. Is your time well spent? All this is a waste if nobody even bothers to open your email. This is where the importance of a subject line becomes the topic of discussion. Email marketing is still among one of the best method of communication with prospects, leads and customers. In the era of the crowded email inbox, before your prospects, leads or customers reads your email ... it has to be opened first. That’s why the subject line of a sales email plays a vital role. The more people that open your emails, the increased probability for sales. Hundreds of billions of sales emails are sent every day to grab the attention of the customer. How many unread emails are there in your inbox? 200? 500? Probably 1,000 if you have subscribed to countless mailing lists. People today get many emails daily and most of them go unopened. People are flooded with more information than ever before and have less time to soak it all in. Most of the emails are simply ignored ... unless they have a rocking subject line. According to a study on email statistics, 35% of recipients open emails based on the subject lines alone and 69% of the recipients report an email as SPAM based on the subject line of the email alone. There isn’t a silver-bullet subject line for a given subject, because what works for one business might not work effectively for another. Just think about this: will you open an email that has a subject line “Open Me” or “Hi” or “URGENT” or “Register to win FREE iPhone 6S+” or something similar? All such emails directly land in your SPAM folder. A bad subject line will get 5x less customers that open and read your emails. The best sales email subject lines should be creative, igniting the interest in the customers. They should have a curiosity seeking subject that is relevant to them, all while also being informative. Looking for some interesting and provoking subject lines for your sales emails that scream out “Open Me Now?” Then here are best sales email subject lines that will boost the open rates of your emails: “Need My Help?” or “Hoping to Help” The best sales people today are the ones who can help their customers solve problems. If your email lands in the inbox with an open-ended subject line like “Tell Me What You Have Been Struggling With” or “Tell Me Everything That You Have Tried and How Can I Help You” or something like “Hoping to Help” there is an increased chance for your emails being opened. Prospects get an idea on your willingness to be of service to the customers. “[Name of the Prospect], do you have 15 minutes for a conversation?” These kind of subject lines distinguish your emails from other marketers, because you’re asking a question directly in the subject line which addresses the person with his or her name. Personalized subject lines with a question in the subject help increase open rates. “We found you through [Name of the Referral]” or “[Name of the Referral] suggested that we connect” If someone referred you to a prospect, make sure to use their name in the subject rather than saving it for the body of the email. Using the name of the referral in subject line grabs a prospect’s attention right away and also gives automatic credibility to the sender for leveraging an existing connection of the prospect. A Subject Line With A Reply “Re” Many marketers use a “Re:” or “FW” in their email subject lines with an eye towards increasing their open and conversion rates. This is a clever tactic, as it exhibits a personal relationship with the prospect that you know them. However, once a prospect open the email and gets to know that they have been tricked and have not had any prior conversations with you this kind of an email subject line will not impress them. If you have actually spoken with them before and this is a factual reply then you can try removing the subject line as a whole and just including “Re” to increase the response rate of your sales emails. Email Subject Lines That Convey An Idea The Prospect Cares About If you are a blogger, an email with a subject “Idea for increasing unique visitors to your [blog name]” may intrigue you enough to click through the email and read it. Nobody wants to miss out on a free idea and the probability that prospects will open an email is greatly increased. Listicle Subject Line With Tips Or Ideas Listicle subject lines in sales emails are an effective and simple way to attract the attention of prospects.  If you are an email marketer, a subject line with “10 Best Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rates by 80%” will attract you more than a subject like “Email Subject Lines To Increase Open Rates.” Using numbers in the subject line makes a prospects aware of what they are going to read. Personalized Email Subject Lines with a Question: “Hi [Name of the Prospect], [Question the prospect is looking to solve]?” If James is a content writer, then an email with a subject line something like “Hi James, Do you know how to write compelling content that boosts traffic?” will surely motivate James to open the email as it addresses his problem. Subject lines with a question are a great way to compel people to open your emails, as prospects are promised that the email content is intended to guide them and help achieve a goal. “Don’t Open This Email” Human Psychology works just the opposite way. If someone refrains you from doing something, you always are keener on doing it. This subject line is the most simple and effective means to create curiosity among the prospects to open your emails. Email Subject Lines That Benefit the Prospect= “A [Benefit] for [Prospects_CompanyName]” If a company, “ABC Inc.,” has recently launched a blog and is looking to increase its subscriber base, then a sales email subject line like “Get your first 2000 subscribers to the ABC Inc. Blog” will invoke the self-interest in opening the email to find out what’s in store to increase the number of subscribers for the blog and help it grow. That level of personalization in the subject line is likely to catch the eyes of the prospect. Email Without A Subject Line / A Blank Subject Line Email Yes, you read it right. If you cannot think of any subject line and have been scratching your head for quite some time, then just type in your email body and hit SEND. According to a study by Sidekick, emails with an empty subject line are opened 8% more often than the emails that contain a subject line. Remember getting your sales email subject lines right or wrong can actually be the difference between your emails being opened and converting to customer or lying dead in the spam folder. The ultimate goal is to make your sales email subject line stand out. These are just some of the convincing sales email subject lines that will increase your email response rates. How you customize these subject lines based on your niche in order  to increase your open rates and click-through rates is up to you. What are your favorite sales email subject lines that have stood out for your email marketing campaigns? Chime in your thoughts in the comments below!


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: Your sacred office space

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: Your sacred office space

Beyond • May 17, 2016

In the last post, I talked about how I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, where I found inspiration for a new way to look at content. As I was going through the chapters, I also found inspiration for my office space. An office space is really important to me. It’s where you spend the highest ratio of your day. It’s where you invest your time and energy. For me, I feel like that should really be reflective of who you are and it should be treated as a space for creation. This is why I’m a little horrified when I walk into a dull space or a place with harsh overhead lighting and industry carpeting. Is this really the best we can do for ourselves? We’re not machines. We’re living, breathing people. We’re organic beings that need to be in a space equally organic. I would say that while not everyone agrees with this rather new-age way of thinking about working spaces, it is the driving idea behind why we’ve seen a rise in creative office spaces: it’s a collective attempt to take back our space and inject humanity into the workspace. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helped with that. As someone who works in content, physical content rises up around me in to form of books, magazines, journals, papers and more papers. It’s never ending. Earlier this year I decided to take back control and slowly started digitizing as much as possible. But still, it’s a losing battle most days. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helps with that problem. Surprisingly, the book didn’t advocate spending a few minutes everyday tidying up, arguing that if that’s the case you’ll be tidying up forever. I thought that was rather refreshing. Instead, it recommended purging what hasn’t been used and isn’t necessary. It also taught you to look for red flags in your own thought process. So for example, if you’re saying “I’ll get to that soon…I still want to learn from it,” in response to some seminar material from years ago, that should be a red flag for “you’ll never get to it.” As a rule, we don’t revisit materials like that. Same goes for convention or expo materials, including flyers, business cards, brochures, print outs (and I’d say, even magazines and journals that we try to learn from). If you don’t get to it in a timely way, you’ll never get to it. This brings to me process. As a writer, I cannot just throw away very good articles and journals I could be learning from. I’m sure most of you have the same problem in some way or another. So this is my solution: make time for it daily. If that’s a collective meeting hour you all set aside to get together in one room to do this, then make it happen. If going through material needs to be your morning coffee ritual, then make that happen. The bottom line is, you’ve got to figure out a way to make your space your own, and functional in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. And that involves humanizing and personalizing the process too, but turning process into ritual. For me, that includes treating the space with the love and care I would my vanity or bedroom. And that is another tidbit from the book: decorate your space with special items. When you’re treating your space with respect, whether through cherished pieces of furniture, pictures, or knick-knacks, you’re personalizing that space. Once you’ve personalized it, that space becomes harder to violate even by you. It’s no longer just a spot to work in from 9-5; it’s a place for your craft, and it should inspire joy.


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: Tidying your content strategy

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: Tidying your content strategy

Beyond • May 17, 2016

As a veteran content strategist, it’s always refreshing to come across new content inspiration that can get you thinking differently about content. When shuffling through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I was surprised to find my newest source of content inspiration: tidying up. While I love things to be organized, I really take zero joy in domestic spring cleaning. I see it as a necessary annual burden that has to be suffered through. Reading through the pages on tidying up your closet, I immediately started thinking of content. When it comes to clothing, the book pitches a principle that serves as sort of a bottom line litmus test for every piece of clothing. The idea is that your clothing should inspire joy. Most of my clothing would fail that test. Clothing is just clothing to me. Content, now that’s a different ball game. When looking at my content game, I’m thinking, “Which of these pieces inspired joy.” Which piece, even after years of it sitting around after I was first excited about it, still inspires joy. So while obviously you might not delete old content like you would discard an item of clothing, the pieces of content that gave you joy are points on a map that guide you to what you’re really passionate about. Is there a running theme in what speaks to you the most? What did the process for putting that piece together look like? What made it so enjoyable and how would you love to revisit that? You might find that the act of collaborating sparked the most joy. Or perhaps you prefer creative or more technical pieces. Just like with clothing, it’s up to the individual, but either way you should start seeing a pattern in where you’re finding joy On the other hand, as you’re going through content, you could very well delete old content. There’s a very good reason why you might want to do that. As your content game has grown, you’ll find that your voice has changed along with your caliber as a writer or a content team. Some pieces just might not fit anymore. So you can either discard them and move on with the content that does appeal to you and reflect who are you as a brand. A third option is updating pieces. You may hate a jacket but might love to see that jacket turned into a vest; so you alter it. Same goes for your content. You might have been on the right track with a piece of content, but the work you put into it isn’t up to par with who are now. Instead of just deleting it, you could edit it. If you do take that route, be sure to indicate that the item has been edited.  I would say that you’ve already put so much time and effort into a piece and at some point that mattered to you – and it will still matter to someone else. Rather than just deleting it, just breath some new life into it so that it’s still reflective of you and your brand, and still repurposed enough for someone else to benefit from it. With the average content piece taking about 4-6 hours, it would be a shame to just throw it away as if it didn’t have any more value.


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 3 Rules you should ditch

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 3 Rules you should ditch

Beyond • May 17, 2016

When I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I read it with the intent of sorting out my personal space. I have pleasantly surprised that plenty of the tips could be something that I could take to my business space as well. Something else was even more noteworthy: some rules were great for a business application and some rules were just the polar opposite. So if you have read my other post on how to apply these rules, then this one follows next; this post is on what not to do. Previously we had a chat about what rules to follow, and they included visualizing where you wanted to end up and also getting comfortable with discarded what doesn’t work. Now here are two rules from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that you definitely should not apply to your business. The first rule is to avoid being dead set on is “visualizing your destination.” You might be a bit confused. How can this rule be included here when it was included in a rule to follow in the prior post? It’s simple. The idea of a destination is troublesome for some people. Some of us can imagine a rough framework of where we want to go, and we can bend and be flexible as we move forward. Then there’s the rest of us. While some of us are flexible, others are dead set on a path and it’s hard for them to find flexibility. Say you’re sorting out your space, either spatially or digitally, and you find that something just doesn’t work anymore. You may have a plan, a set visualized destination, but as you’re going through old files and thinking about your work, you realize there might be a new idea. It would be a new way of doing something simple or it can be a side pet project that you want to explore. Whatever it is, being flexible gives you the chance to explore it. A fixed mindset is definitely not something you want; you want a growth mindset. This is typically true in business and personal development, and it’s no less true in our scenario here. This brings us to our second point: aim for perfection. You definitely do not want to aim for perfection. The fact is, perfection doesn’t exist. When you’re aiming for perfection, try instead to aim for quality control that sets some standards versus the business equivalent of a Mona Lisa. The third piece of advice you should ditch is, “don’t change the method to suit your personality.” You should absolutely change the method to suit you. After all, your business is about you. If in the last year something hasn’t worked for you, why would you stick with it? Whatever didn’t fit you last year in business, needs to go so you can make room for new inspirations, new processes, and new ways of exploring your business. If you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is there any other tip you thought would work great for your work environment? We’re curious to hear your thoughts!


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 2 Rules you should follow

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 2 Rules you should follow

Beyond • May 17, 2016

On any given day, I’m working on at least three different projects from my home office – and I’m also often working remotely. Spring cleaning your work space takes on a whole new meaning for me. Recently, I heard about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book that takes the Japanese principles of reductionism and applies it to your life. Of course, the scenario is a little different since I’m not trying to sort out my day to day home life; but the rules still applied to my business life. Before You Start, Visualize Your Destination One of the pieces of advice shared in the book was to visualize your destination. When you spring clean your home – as just about everyone has – you know you imagine how you want it to look. The same goes for your workspace, but it should be about more than how you want it to look. It should be about emotion and aesthetic. Ask yourself how you want to feel when you’re in your office? What do you want to be able to do better? It a change in the space going to be about how something looks, feels, or how it can be used – and maybe all of the above? Personally, when I’m sorting through my space, it’s always about function too in a digital space. For me, it’s going to mean adding on some new organizational tools to help my day to day process flow better. Or maybe I need more digital storage space so I can archive and digitally access everything I need? Discard First Visualizing your destination can also involve how you do business. Perhaps you’re trying to improve productivity or efficiency? If that’s the case, then policies and processes that don’t work for you need to be discarded. This is easier for start-ups and harder as start-ups move into enterprises. Yet even at an enterprise level, you should still be flexible enough to experiment with new ways of doing things. Throw out what doesn’t work so you have room to try something new. One of the key principles in the book was to give yourself greater joy in life. The same should hold true for your work space. And if that’s the case, get rid of what doesn’t give you joy. If for some reason, that joyless aspect of business is an imperative, then find a way to make it a bit more fun and personal. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up mentions that you can’t tidy up if you never learned how. If that’s your case, start somewhere and start small. If that isn’t the case for you, then know that keeping the process of discarding as a regular activity in your business is something that will help you stay flexible. When it comes to tidying up your business, do what works for you – and enjoy the process. This is about you and what you want in the year ahead and it a process that should be enjoyed.


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