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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Sync 2,000 Contacts with your Benchmark Account for Free

Sync 2,000 Contacts with your Benchmark Account for Free

Practical Marketer • September 4, 2018

Should I be doing email marketing or [insert latest marketing channel here]? I’m sure you’ve heard, or asked, some variation of that question dozens of times. Our answer to every version of that question is the same: email marketing is never an either/or situation. You should combine email with all your marketing channels and business tools to maximize the power of each channel or tool. When all are working together, in the same direction, to further the narrative of your brand, your email marketing (and everything else) will be the most powerful. That’s why you should be integrating your email marketing account with everything else your business is using to help your business thrive. Well, folks. We have some good news. Sync 2,000 Contacts with your Benchmark Account for Free Our new partnership with PieSync will allow you to connect your email marketing account with 100+ business tools and apps … totally free! This is a special offer for Benchmark Email users that will allow you to sync up to 2,000 contacts with your email marketing account at no extra cost. That means if you’re collecting email address in your other business tools and apps, you can sync up to 2,000 of them with your email marketing account. Using PieSync with a different ESP, it would cost you $19/month to do. If your list is growing rapidly and you want to exceed the 2,000 contact limit, that’s a good problem to have! PieSync will automatically upgrade your account, so you don’t suffer a workflow interruption. Save Time and Do More Powerful Email Marketing Your time is valuable. Don’t spend it needlessly exporting and importing lists to and from your Benchmark Email account. PieSync helps you to maintain one, unified database across all platforms. This allows you to focus on the tasks that matter, knowing that this is going to happen automatically. By connecting your CRM, eCommerce, administrative apps and beyond, you can make sure all of your business tools and apps are working together to boost your business. With these connections, you can create automated follow-ups based on each tool and make it relevant to those customers. These automations can be triggered when someone is added to a list or by different behaviors and interactions with your email campaigns, website or other business tools and touch points. For example, if you’re using a CRM, you can add new leads and prospects to a specific list. When they’re added, it can trigger an automation to send aimed at converting them to customers. Or, if you’re using a tool for customer support, you can trigger automations to say after you’ve closed a ticket. You can request a review of the support agent’s performance or a customer testimonial if they’re pleased with your service. It works both ways too! If you have a signup form on various parts of your website, you can feed those contacts from your Benchmark Email account into your CRM to make sure they’re getting the appropriate follow-up. What is PieSync? It’s an integration with your Benchmark Email account that allows you to connect all the tools you use to help your business thrive. PieSync enables a 2-way, real-time data sync between your cloud-based tools and apps and Benchmark Email. Since a lot of contact information will be moving back and forth, you can rest easy as PieSync is GDPR compliant. How does it work? After you create the connection between your Benchmark Email account and another business tool or app, PieSync will automatically check to make sure your lists are up-to-date. You can set which of your lists is the master database, and you can choose between 1-way and 2-way directional syncing. For details on how to integrate your Benchmark Email account with PieSync, we’ve created a helpful FAQ. What’s Required to Take Advantage of This Special PieSync Partnership? It’s pretty simple and straightforward! Well, you’ll need to have at least one verified email address in your Benchmark Email account settings. If you’re already sending emails, you’ve already done this step. You’ll also be required to have at least one contact list in your Benchmark Email account. After all, what would you be syncing your contacts to without a list in your email marketing account? This one might seem obvious, but the contact data you’re trying to sync must include an email address. This special partnership is amazing, but it’s not going to scrawl drawings on a cave or send smoke signals for your contacts without email addresses. Wrapping Up So, you’ll know the answer next time someone asks you if you should be doing email marketing or anything else. Don’t just laugh at them. That’d be rude. We’re all clueless email marketers at one time or another. No. Tell them about how much more powerful email marketing and every other business tool are when you connect them to work together. If they ask for more information, tell them all about Benchmark Email’s amazing partnership with PieSync that lets you sync up to 2,000 contacts at no cost to your business. Have you been successful with integrating other business tools and apps with your email marketing account? Share your stories, tips and more in the comments below!  


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Best Welcome Email Subject Lines to Greet Your New Subscribers

Best Welcome Email Subject Lines to Greet Your New Subscribers

Beyond • August 27, 2018

The first email that you send to your new subscribers can work wonders for your relationship with them (first impressions are the most lasting, remember?). The fact that you have them on board doesn’t mean they’re ready to open and click on future emails, let alone trust you with their needs. In fact, they can use that first email to see if your business is reliable and trustworthy. So, capitalizing on this opportunity is crucial to set a foundation for a strong, long-term relationship with them. To help you roll the right digital welcome mat and increase the effectiveness of your email marketing, I’ve prepared a guide with the best welcome email subject lines that get clicks. Welcome Email Statistics To help you get a better understanding of why it’s so important to get your welcome email right, let’s quickly explore the experiences of other businesses through statistics: Welcome emails have 4x open rate and 5x click-through rate than other email marketing Welcome emails are the most effective email types for e-commerce brands So, as you can see, welcome emails are pretty special. And, as a marketer or a business owner, you know that a higher open rate and click-through rate equals more customers and traffic on your website. According to Asperian report on email marketing, 93 percent of email marketers use welcome emails at least monthly. Moreover, the report claims that welcome emails outperform regular promotional emails in terms of transaction rate and revenue per email as well. Subject lines in welcome emails are a big part of their success. It’s the first thing that the customer sees when the message arrives in their inbox, so it determines the outcome of the email even before the content is viewed. Besides, a lot of your customers expect you to send them a welcoming email! In fact, one report suggested that up to 74 percent of new subscribers expect to receive them as soon as they sign up. So, one thing is clear: you need welcome emails to improve your email marketing effort. Since subject lines are critical for the success, let’s see how you can master them to maximize the open rate of your emails. Welcome Email Subject Lines and Why They’re Good 1. Offer a Friendship The following email example comes from Holland & Barrett, a UK-based health retailer. The subject line in their welcome emails reads: “Welcome to Holland & Barett… Let’s get to know each other…” As you can see, they also used a bit of humor in the email to reinforce the message that the brand is looking to establish a friendly relationship. 2. Offer an Incentive Right Away The next example comes from Highway Robbery, a company that sells colorful robes. As you can see, the subject line they choose to go with was “Welcome to the Robbery (discount inside).” This choice clearly seeks to incentivize the viewer to open the email and see what kind of discount they can get (by the way, it’s 10 percent off the first order, which is pretty good for just signing up). So the takeaway here is that you can try to offer an incentive to your new subscribers to persuade them to open the welcome email. This also works for making the brand look generous. Another reason why this email is good because it stimulates to make a purchase in a non-promotional, sweet way. That’s good, because subject lines that sound too pushy and promotional will be deleted right away. 3. Represent Your Brand Clearly The style of communication with your customers matters, so you need to make sure that your own style matches the image of your brand. If you’ve established a certain style of communication, stick to it in your email marketing to avoid confusing your customers and making it easy to memorize your brand. A great example of representing a brand through communication style comes from KFC. The subject line of their welcome email reads: “Howdy, folks!” This phrase is a typical one used by the brand to refer to its customers. In fact, here’s KFC using the same greeting on its official account on Twitter. This works for well-known brands best, but can also be used for businesses trying to promote some slogans to help customer memorize them. 4. Show Immediate Value for Customers The following example of a great welcome email comes from HelloFresh, a UK-based company specializing in delivering fresh dishes to customers. Their site has an exciting tool called Flavor Generator which does exactly what its name says: generates recipes from different cuisines, including Indian, Italian, British, and others. Those who played the flavor generator for the first time are greeted with a welcome email like the one below. The recipient specified that they liked British food, so the email is all about that. It contains lots of free recipes of British food, which could be used by the recipient right away. This is a great example of a business showing an immediate value to the customer, in a really cool way. The subject line is good because it: Thanks the recipient for taking the time to play the flavor generator Provides an immediate value by providing recipes of the cuisine that the recipient is interested in 5. Praise the New Subscribers for Their Decision Many brands praise their customers and endorse their choice for subscribing to their newsletters. For example, a well-known fashion brand Rue La La sends out welcome emails with a subject line that reads: “This was a good decision.” The email immediately explains why the decision was good. For example, it says that the website has offers from best-selling brands at “jaw-dropping prices,” international shipping from USD 9.95, and multiple checkout options. And, of course, the email calls the recipient a “stylish friend,” which is also a way to connect with them on a personal level. 6. Tell Them Who You Are and Engage from Day One Check out the welcome email below. It was delivered with a subject line “You’re In. Welcome to Adidas.” It combines two powerful welcome email techniques: telling the subscribers about the essence of the brand and encouraging them to take action right away. The subject line emphasizes that Adidas is an authoritative brand and the phrase “You’re in” certainly seeks to make the recipient feel special and a part of a big family of sports lovers. As you can see, the content in the email supports the idea of the subject line. Adidas wants the recipient to think of the experience with the brand as a journey. The company is also encouraging the recipient to make the first purchase by providing a unique promo code to claim a 15 percent off. Some of the options for the first purchase are also provided to encourage the recipient some more. 7. Thank Your Subscribers A simple “thank you” is a powerful way to add a human quality to your email and begin building brand loyalty. Using this phrase in a welcome emails means that you want to show your new subscribers that you appreciate them. In the future, when a subscriber is ready to make a purchase, they will remember that you made them feel good from the very beginning of the relationship. Here’s an example of a welcome email along with the subject line that a Polish fashion brand Reserved uses to greet its new subscribers. Notice the address of the recipient: it says “Friend!” Reserved also provides a discount as another “thank you” for signing up. That’s also recommended to begin building brand loyalty and a positive relationship. 8. Use Emojis with Care! Emojis are fun, but you should use them carefully to increase the open rate and greet your new subscribers in the right way. Recipients can misunderstand the subject lines written without emojis because of the lack of non-verbal elements. It’s recommended to use emojis only when you’re including emotional words to make the subject line sound like a subject of an email from a friend. Let’s Recap the Best Practices Make it easy to understand. As you can see, all the words in subject lines in emails above are simple, one or two syllable words. In other words, they use simple, natural language and avoid complex words because it’s difficult to memorize them. Always focus on the needs of the recipients. The recipient is the center of the universe for you in this case, so you have to consider their needs if your target audience in the design of your welcome email subject line. For example, if English is not the native language of your recipients, find a translation agencies list to make sure that your message is understood. Keep it short. The average length of the subject lines in all examples of welcome emails in this article is 6.5 words. It ensures that a recipient can read the line quickly. Avoid ambiguity. Be specific and clear in your subject line because you don’t have all time in the world to attract the attention of the recipient. The Next Step As you can see, there are many different techniques to greet your new subscribers. If you’re not sure whether one option is hitting the right chord, feel free to test another one. In fact, create three different versions of welcome email subject lines and see what one performs best. And don’t forget to tell us about it in the comments below!


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8/24/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

8/24/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

Beyond • August 24, 2018

Hey everybody! Sorry I missed last week\'s digest. To be fair, it was in the name of love. We kept the episodes rolling every weekday, while I was in Chicago for a couple of weddings. The good news is, my best man speech went well ... and we\'re back with the blog digest of our most recent episodes of the Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer podcast (my employers may question the order I placed those in). Growing a List: Location Location! Location! Location! We talked about the importance of timing last episode, but one factor in that timing is where on the page a signup form is located. Do you want your form above-the-fold, in the sidebar or the footer? Listen to find out. Growing a List: Popup vs. Standard Embed Signup Forms In this episode, we talk about the times you\'ll want to use a popup signup form or a standard embeddable one. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Learn when to employ each of them to grow your list. Growing a List: Exit-Intent Signup Forms If a visitor leaves your website without subscribing to your list, they may be gone for good. Don\'t let that happen! Catch them on their way out the door with an exit-intent signup form. Learn how in this episode. Growing a List: Freebies, Discounts & Special Offers Last episode we talked about the exit-intent signup form. There are a few different approaches you can take with that strategy. This episode discusses using them to offer freebies, discounts and special offers. Growing a List: Shopping Cart We continue talking about the different types of exit-intent pop-up forms by discussing the shopping cart. If someone places an item in your eCommerce shopping cart but doesn\'t make a purchase, you can catch them on the way out with a popup signup form. Then you can follow-up afterward to convince them to complete their purchase. Growing a List: Related Products Sometimes, consumers don\'t know what they don\'t know. They may have come to your site without knowing what they should be looking for, found something similar, but not exactly what they wanted. So, they give up and click to exit your site. Enter the Related Products Exit-Intent Popup Signup Form. Growing a List: Feedback The last of the exit-intent popup signup forms that we discuss is one for receiving feedback. If you ask a site visitor for feedback on their experience on your website, you may find out why they didn\'t decide to make a purchase. It will make your customers feel valued as well. Writing Compelling Copy to Grow a List: Voice In addition to touch points and timing, the words you put on your signup form matter when it comes to growing your list. Part of that is the tone or personality that your words carry. That\'s what is called the \"voice\" of your copy.


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Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know

Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know

Beyond • August 20, 2018

A lot of people are wondering what email marketing is and how it differs from marketing automation. Are they the same? They also want to recognize if their company is ready to switch.  These are the issues that business owners are facing. And this blog post will try to resolve all of these issues. Most of us understand how useful and vital email marketing is to your advertising toolkit. However, carrying out marketing automation could significantly enhance the performance of the email marketing technique you currently have in place. There are several distinctions between an email marketing and a marketing automation application. An email provider will give you the capability to send out mass emails and track open rates. However, it’s not scalable. With marketing automation, however, you can access effective functions like multiple campaigns, lead analytics, and scoring. These features are useful in making your email strategies far more calculated. In that case, if you solely depend on email marketing without marketing automation, you’ll never meet your expectations. You’re mostly likely confronting a couple of obstacles, especially as you expand. What difficulties could you be confronting with email marketing alone? It Takes Time That’s an email provider is incapable of doing automation or adjusting your campaigns. You need to do a great deal of manual work to make certain that your target market received the email blasts at the correct time. Within marketing automation, you can focus on producing multi-stage, digital campaigns to support your leads while you obtain various other work done. In fact, three-quarters of online marketers agree that the most significant advantage of having marketing automation is to save time. It’s especially true when marketing a rental property. Not just in marketing a property. You can also use it to boost your tenant retention while reducing your workload. With marketing automation, you can set up automated and perfectly timed messages to build better connections with your tenants. No Idea of What Leads to Follow-Up That’s because email marketing on its own cannot provide win-ready leads to your sales teams. The point you are tracking after sending a mass email is click through and open rate, and when your sales groups start doing phone call after the blasts, they could not be obtaining excellent outcomes because the leads you’re getting are not all set to acquire. And for a sales representative, there’s no larger wild-goose chase compared to ferreting out a lead that is not prepared to buy or who isn’t qualified. That\'s because only 25 percent of the leads are legitimate. And 50 percent of your leads are not ready to purchase. If you opt for marketing automation, you can see to it that sales are subsequent with leads that are sure to purchase. Besides, marketing automation systems could score your leads based on how they involve with campaigns or content. According to this study, four out of five users improved their leads through marketing automation software. And 77 percent of those users saw a boost in conversions. Can’t Maintain Leads That Are Engaged with Your Communications You can have a massive data source of leads that you are unable to utilize, and you seem like you’re having difficulty to ensure that they are involved. You send a number of blasts a month. However, you have no idea where your target audience is in the purchasing cycle or if your material is resonating. It takes a lot of time to develop an email blast, how can you be sure that your strategy works? With marketing automation, you can utilize lead nurturing, which enables you to sector out your data source and lead them via your channel by developing automatic campaigns that will maintain your leads involved. Difficulty Scaling Relying on standard email marketing isn’t scalable if you’re an expanding company. The more leads you have in your data source or campaigns you intend to run, the more time consuming it ends up being to develop mass blasts. However, if you integrate marketing automation into your marketing campaign, this issue will be significantly remedied. You could run numerous campaigns, produce lead nurturing programs, score your leads and attribute profits straight to every marketing program. Unable to Associate Revenue with Email Marketing Initiatives You intend to know how marketing adds to the bottom line. Likewise, you wish to know how you could boost your method and strategies each time you produce a campaign. If you are counting on email marketing alone, you are most likely to have a tough time linking your programs to your profits. Marketing automation offers you the functionality that can monitor your initiatives and supplies you with detailed analytics for every campaign. You can also sync up your advertising automation system to your CRM to give a more comprehensive metrics. With all these issues, should your company use marketing automation, too? If you are still unclear whether it is time to use marketing automation system, have a look at your organization and marketing methods. You should consider it if your consumer purchasing process lasts longer compared to a week. If sending out emails alone does not appear to drive sales, then marketing automation must be implemented. Your company might also benefit it if your marketing group requires a less complicated means to develop and send out targeted campaigns with a personal touch. If your marketing division does not have adequate time to do whatever they should do to make it with its existing resources, then marketing automation is needed. Marketing automation is also vital if you market various products to different demographic or if you wish to send out multiple messages to various titles and sectors. You also need marketing automation if your sales individuals are whining about the quality of leads that your marketing group is supplying. Another thing to consider is if you wish to know which campaign is the most reliable. And if you cannot tell if you need to be investing more money in marketing, you have to use marketing automation. Benefits of Marketing Automation This system allows online marketing professionals to prepare expanded consumer communications without calling for manual intervention. Marketing automation firms, like Benchmark, allow you to construct pre-programmed email series by using reasoning. If your consumer opens and reads an email message, then he/she is put right into a series tailored for email opens. Alternatively, if the client overlooks or removes the message, he/she is sent out one more personalized series. Along with email open, consumer activities, like clicking on a link, most likely to a webpage and completing a lead-generation type, immediately sort consumers into series designed to generate multi-step communications. Although email marketing tools can develop that first communication, they’re commonly created to funnel people into the consumer database, as opposed to channel them in and continue engaging with them throughout the sales channel. Takes Interaction Further Another distinction between the two remains how communications are developed. In email marketing, you can use layouts to assist your style and word your interactions Marketing automation tools, on the other hand, offer development tools. But these tools take communications a step further. The series of discussions or workflows can be custom-made. In that case, you can determine who gets what email and when based on client activities. The could be developed employing pre-designed layouts. You may pre-install workflow layouts that map a consumer’s actions from their email open to their initial acquisition to a second deal sent out. Workflow design templates consist of event invites and follow-ups, abandoned cart follow-ups and yearly birthday wishes, or consumer education series that magnify the depth of details supplied to consumers about business, specifically beneficial for B2B sales. Keep in mind that more than 50 percent of companies that use marketing automation outpaced their competition. Mumsnet, which is one of the largest parenting sites in the UK, utilizes marketing automation to personalize its message to the subscriber. Subscribers who registered for the site’s newsletter will receive messages throughout their pregnancy. It uses the subscriber’s due date as its trigger in sending emails. This method takes the interaction with the subscriber even further, from the moment she signed up. Lead Segmenting Marketing automation tools can track and recognize how customers connect with your message. They perform certain functions that email marketing tools can’t provide or don’t do. Marketing automation, for example, designates to your contacts to allow you to recognize how responsive they are to your communications. With these scores, you can segment customers into groups. The highest possible lead rating can be organized into lists that are likely to see more offers regularly. This could seem like an additional advantage. However, as your email list expands, you’ll count significantly on automation to sort and send your messages to your contacts. The smarter your lead score, the more timely your emails will come to be. The capacity to send a targeted message based on what you understand about an individual is excellent for consumers and prospects and business. If a person has a reduced chance of buying your product as a result of the budget, the more you can stay clear of pressing him/her to the sales discussion. Kissmetrics provided examples of marketing automation through lead segmentation. Opportunities to Improve As your automation system provides you with more data about how clients engage with your messaging, you will have the ability to take that knowledge and adjust when you need to send out communications. If a person has the habit of opening up messages at midnight on Wednesday, then your data will advise you to send them an email message at that time. Here’s a guide on understanding your reports to how to find out whether or not your audience is engaging with your messaging. Conclusion Marketing automation encourages multiple channel communications. These channel communications are increasing each day. One of them is your website, where you can release content for different visitors based on context. On-site conversations is another way to communicate with your audience. If you wish an omnichannel that lets you view those things, then marketing automation is your better bet. What do you think of marketing automation and email marketing? Which of the two would you use for your campaign?


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Man’s Best Friend’s Best Friend: Yo! Dog Walker’s Bob Morris

Man’s Best Friend’s Best Friend: Yo! Dog Walker’s Bob Morris

Beyond • August 17, 2018

Imagine coming home from a long day of work to find your dog excited to see you and well rested from a fun adventure with the dog walker … and the dishes piled up in your sink have been cleaned. Bob Morris, founder of Yo! Dog Walker doesn’t do that because he was asked. He does it because he cares and feels like it’s the right thing to do. Coming off a decade of touring around the country and across the globe with his band The Hush Sound, Morris found himself looking for a new adventure. What started as the realization that he could make some extra cash walking a neighbor’s dog along with his own has turned into a thriving business. He hired his friends that were also in and around the music industry to help them get some much-needed income in between gigs. Their creativity put to use in the fun updates they send their clients on walks or overnight stays. I don’t have kids yet, but I have a hard enough time leaving my dog even for a few days. The “pupdates” I receive brighten my day whether I’m out of town or just working a longer-than-usual day. You have to find the things about what you’re passionate about [within the business]. If you work hard and do the thing you don’t want to do for a little while, you can find people to do the parts of your business that are unappealing to you for the right price. 2:45 - Where the idea to start a dog walking business began 14:14 - On learning the business side of things 18:20 - Standing out in a crowded industry 25:50 - Understanding scalability and limits


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5 Reasons Why You Need Video to Make a Successful Newsletter

5 Reasons Why You Need Video to Make a Successful Newsletter

Beyond • August 15, 2018

With visual social media platforms booming all over the place, it’s easy to forget how powerful a good ol’ newsletter can be. I’m convinced that you don’t need me to remind you that there are direct channels to our audiences that can bring them valuable insights and special opportunities right to their inbox. You’ve surely learned how they can link you to your ideal clients and help you build a beneficial relationship with them all on your own. Of course, for that to happen, you have to deliver content that sparks their curiosity and makes it feel worthy to them. I wonder what that can be in today’s, video-dominated landscape? Well, I’m not being cryptic here. You need videos in your newsletters I’m sure you already know the power videos have for your business. The spectacular numbers about video marketing speak of a glowing future for an already established way of reaching out: people love videos, they don’t get tired of them, and they want more. Including them in your regular emails to your clients is truly a no-brainer. Leaving the considerations of how to include videos in your emails (there are fantastic tutorials on the Web about that), let me break down for you why you need to start putting videos in your newsletter to see its results soar and to revitalize your brand’s message to your audience. Videos build brand trust A fruitful relationship between you and your clients can only exist if they trust you. How can you make that happen? The most direct way is to deliver what you promise (AKA your product or service does what you say it does). However, there are other things you can do to boost their trust in you: showing that you understand the core problem that brought them to you, showing commitment with the solution, being transparent about who you are. Putting all your marketing cannons aimed at your audience to show who you are. You can accomplish all of those things with videos. Company videos that display your brand’s backstory, explainer videos that describe what you do and how can you help, videos with your products in action and testimonials of your happy clients are among the videos you can use to boost trust. All of them address your clients and prospects’ anxieties while making it clear that you know what they are going through, that you can help them, and that you have nothing to hide. A video approach with useful and insightful takes embedded in the emails they get frequently can reinforce trust and make them loyal to your brand. They’re the most popular type of content on the Internet When I talked about “spectacular numbers” before I didn’t overstate the true force that’s video marketing. A few figures that back me up on this: YouTube has more than a billion users (a third of the total Internet users) that watch a billion hours worth of video per day According to Google, mobile video consumption doubles each passing year Video will account for more than 80% of total web traffic by 2019 But that’s not all. With 90% of customers reporting that videos help them in making purchase decisions and with those same people saying that a positive experience with a video ad increases the likelihood of their purchase by 97%, the power of video becomes more than evident: it’s undeniable. You can take any conclusion you want from those numbers, but mine is this: if people are actively looking for more videos to watch (and they are telling us they love videos when it comes to business), then every marketer under the sun should be using videos whenever possible. They increase open and click-through rates It’s not just the (already huge) matter of videos being insanely popular and overtly compelling - they are also great for email marketing. With videos being as widely used as they are and with email being the tried-and-proven marketing tool that we all know and love, combining them was an obvious way to go. Even without the possibility of playing videos in the emails themselves, just the promise of a video inside hinted in the subject line is enough to see an increase in your open rate (some say that the increase goes from 7% to 13%). Many marketers would feel amazing about being able to get just that, but videos in emails can do something extra: they will boost your click-through rates. See, that inability to play the videos in the email’s body works in your favor, as the people getting the mail will want to watch the video, thus clicking on its thumbnail to go wherever you take them. Reports say that doing this will get your CTR up to 300%, which is huge! Provided that you do a good job with your video and the call to actions around it, you’ll have many more people getting your email\'s message - simply by adding a video! Check this example by Litmus: They added a Play button in the middle of their thumbnail to capture people’s attention, which made them click and access their site directly, in an engaging and organic way. Videos are more engaging and easier to consume than text and images I’ve already said that people love video but do you know why that happens? It’s because of the same thing that happens when you have to choose between the book or the movie adaptation: video is far easier to consume! According to recent studies, our brain is wired in such a way that it retains visual content far better than text. In fact, they say that an average viewer remembers 95% of a message when it comes in visual form versus the mediocre 10% of a text message. That’s because we process images way faster than words - it takes us 1/10th of a second to ‘understand’ an image. But that’s not all. Videos are better than just plain images because they are more “complete.” Videos add sounds and movement, which in turn make them more eye-catching, compelling and entertaining than a still image. This can be understood as videos being more engaging because their narrative develops in time while the image story is something you grasp in an instant. In this example, the folks at ReelWorks shared a video preview for their upcoming documentary “72 Hours” on their email newsletter, creating expectations and building up hype for its release. It’s one of the perks of being subscribed to newsletters: to be an insider and getting access to content before the general public. Videos have huge viral potential As attractive and compelling as they are, videos can quickly draw the attention of your audience. The increased impact of a video when compared to texts and images along with the videos innate ability to deliver messages quickly and effectively turn them into the chosen way for people to share those messages. Think about it. How many times this week alone have you watched a video someone shared with you? Heck, how many times did you do that today? Videos are entertaining, are easy to understand, can be enjoyed in under a minute and in almost any modern situation: you can watch any short video on your morning commute, on a work break, in your bed or even in that boring weekly meeting with your boss. And if a video strikes a chord (say, it’s very emotional, clever, or hysterically funny), the way it’s shared feels like a wildfire. A video has the potential of generating that “I have to show this to my friend/family/followers/whatever” feel that images and text are lacking. That’s the viral potential that’s like the Holy Grail - a viral video can put your name everywhere, and if you couple it with a great marketing strategy, you can reach people you’d never have reached before. Summing it up… I know that some of you may think that the majority of these five benefits don’t feel closely related to newsletters but that’s simply not true. The power of video for businesses is so immense that the mere promise of a video inside your newsletter can put all of these advantages at your fingertips. Besides, if you’re trying to maximize your visibility and your business, you are probably putting out videos on a regular basis. So, if the simple inclusion of your best ones in your newsletters has the potential to make this kind of difference, why wouldn’t you try it? With lots of studies and reports talking about how videos can change the face of any business and already-tried strategies to use them in email marketing, you have the path to take already laid out for you. The most popular content on the Internet today plus all the advantages of email you already know - it’s the winning combo you were waiting for!


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8/10/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

8/10/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

Beyond • August 10, 2018

Another week of our new podcast in the books! We continued our conversation focusing on growing your email list. This week, we took the focus from online to offline strategies. Sure, email marketing is in the digital realm, but your business doesn\'t exist there solely. Without further adieu, here are our next five episodes that discuss offline opportunities for growing your email list: Growing a List: Phone As we continue our conversation around growing a list, we take it offline for this episode and discuss using the phone to add subscribers. You\'ve already got potential subscribers on the phone, why not take a moment and ask them to join your list? Growing a List: In-Store We\'re still focusing on the various touch points for growing your list. We continue looking at off-line options by discussing opportunities to grow your list in-store. Growing a List: Events This episode continues our conversation on the off-line options for growing your email list with a look at events. Business events and expos give us an opportunity to interact with all sorts of current and potential customers. Use that to build your list. Growing a List: Print Ads t\'s important to remember every possible touch point when looking to grow your email list. You might not think of print ads as an opportunity to do that, but you\'d be incorrect. With QR codes, SMS or simply putting a URL, you can grow your list with this offline opportunity. Interns Ask Us Questions About Growing a List We made our interns listen to the first nine episodes on growing a list and then told them to ask us any questions that came up. After all, they\'re the resident Clueless Email Marketers in our office.


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The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing Automation

The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • August 9, 2018

Email marketing automation is a well-covered subject because there are plenty of benefits which could be derived from proper automation. We know it can be a daunting task for owners of eCommerce websites, but this guide will make your foundation of knowledge rock-solid. In this article, I\'ll discuss the basics of everything from building an email list to the different types of emails that you should be automating. So, grab your notebook, because things are about to get factual. Your Main Email List I’ve observed that a lot of people still don’t know how to build up their email list correctly and this short primer should help you out. Getting People to Give You Their Emails In fact, there are many ways to get customers to give you their email addresses. If they have already made a purchase with you, then this should be a no-brainer. But, what if they happen to be browsing your site and suddenly decide to leave without making a purchase? This now becomes a problem. Fear not, because there are many solutions. You can give them a special offer via an internal ad on your website; this could be in the form of a discount or initial buyer offer. You could utilize some sort of lead magnet tactic where you give something away. If you have an eCommerce store that deals with specialty services or products, you can even have gated content that can only be accessed by giving away an email address. There are free plugins which help you do this, and you can integrate these with the eCommerce platform your store is running on. Segmentation and Varied Campaigns If there is one lesson that we have learned from account-based marketing (ABM), it’s the fact that customized emails work. Your current list or the list you are building also has to be segmented by demographics, buying power, buying propensity, geographical local and so on. This will help with the other automated emails that we will be talking about in the latter part of this article. Remember that people like personalization and custom campaigns. In fact, more than 70 percent of people prefer personalized ads that have been tailor-made for them. Email List Hygiene Practice good email hygiene; there are tools available that can help you with this. Check if the emails that you have are still working and are not just bouncing. This affects the integrity and the reputation of your email address. If it’s terrible, it hurts deliverability. Remember that email addresses are primed. Ensure that the email address of your eCommerce store is primed too and ready to send emails. Double Opt-Ins This is one way of ensuring that the email address that they gave you is valid. It will require the recipient of your email to confirm their email addresses. This way, you don’t send emails to fake addresses. Don’t Forget About the Quality of Your Content This is one thing that a lot of people frequently forget about. Make sure you have at least 500 characters in your email, so you do not get flagged for spam. However, you also need to make sure that your content is not too “wordy” for your ready or you will lose their attention. The trick is to utilize the other characters in your copyright notice or your fine print. Make sure you have enough pictures and graphics to keep the user on your page and make the email read worth their while. Types of Automated Emails Your E-commerce Store Needs to Send Automated emails allow you to properly engage with your customers and increase conversion and CTR sans the hassle. The beauty of automation is it creates a sales system that is automatic and is all-inclusive to make sure that every potential lead is maximized. Here is where the real fun begins. I recommend you use an application to automate the different campaigns that you will be engaging in. Benchmark is a great application that automates different marketing tasks. With software like this, it becomes more comfortable for you to start crafting systems on how to treat different kinds of user behavior towards specific email actions. For example, we see what happens when a user views or ignores an offer message that was previously sent to their inbox. After a particular amount of time, you can automatically send an email depending on the user’s behavior, i.e., if they opened it or not. You just have to set the system up, and you’re pretty much good to go. Systems like this make customer interaction and engagement an easier puzzle to solve. And, those are not the only good things you can do with automation. Here’s the good news. You can customize how much time passes before each action of the automated “email flowchart,” and you can even add a variable number of user actions. It’s a way for you to fully automate the messages that you send out to your customers based on their interactions. What you see is just a simple example of what you can do to automate your email response systems. This can vary per product or service that you have, and in some cases, you can even create flowcharts under your flowcharts. These flowcharts can then be further broken into the different market segments that you might have in your email list. In turn, it makes everything you do for your customers – even the automated emails that they receive – fully personalized. Personalization is the new game in digital marketing, and that is why this is so important. To further emphasize on this, I would even advise that every email that is received from the end of your e-commerce store, is automatically replied to, with an acknowledgment that’s apt to the matter being discussed. Abandoned Carts Just because a customer has left a cart doesn’t mean it’s over. Here’s how you can help them find their way back to you. Send an automated email an hour after they have abandoned their cart. If there has been no response, send an email 24 hours later. You can even include an offer in this email – only in particular cases.   Upsells Here’s an excellent way for you to get additional revenue after a sale has been made. Send an automated email of an upsell offer containing products that are relevant to the purchase that your customer made. If you draw on previous data, you can include items that have been purchased along with the previously purchased item from other customers. Follow Up – Post Purchase Sending an email after the first purchase is an excellent way for you to show your customers that you care about them. Include information about the product that they bought Thank them for their purchase Again, you can include a special discount for the next purchase to increase purchase velocity Follow Up – Engagement If you have customers that have not been engaging with your business for a long time, then you can set your application to send emails to dormant customers. You can include a return offer or the sort. Check out how Pinkberry does it. Something like this and personal always does the trick. VIP Customers Your VIP customers are customers that have had a history of many purchases and are always ready to engage with your business. You have to keep them on a separate list after they have been qualified to give them better promotions for their loyalty. Sending out an email to them now and then helps keep the relationship alive, and is also great for revenue. The welcome series is the essential automated email series that you should send to your customers. It’s the first time that you’ll be sending them an email and naturally, it should be automated. You need to send this as soon as someone subscribes. Remember our tips above? There’s a lot that you can do here. CTAs for social media should be included A special offer for the current season Offer them something to subscribe to your content Value Content This is syndicated content from your blog or team. It aims to inform rather than to sell. Aim to segment who your value content goes to depending on the demographics of the subscriber. Some content will be appealing to another group. You are aiming for brand recognition here. Harness the Feedback At the end of the day, you also want to collect information about the success of your automated email campaigns. It isn’t also wise to start using one campaign with everything, i.e., imagine a sort of response system for the demographics that you cater to. You should still be conducting split tests to determine effective campaigns. This means a couple of things. You will still be looking at your email CTR, your open rates and the overall engagement. So, there you have it- your beginner’s guide to automation. Now that you have the tools to get emails, know what emails to send and have examples of how to go about it, there is no stopping your eCommerce email campaigns.


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5 Hot Tips for a Clean Email List

5 Hot Tips for a Clean Email List

Practical Marketer • August 6, 2018

Ever thought about deleting your entire email list? No? Well, that’s exactly what pub chain JD Wetherspoon did in response to a data breach in relation to one of their email campaigns. As an email marketer you’re probably frightened at the thought of deliberately deleting your entire list, but at the same time, massive penalties for breaching email marketing laws are just as terrifying. While most of us won’t be deleting our lists anytime soon, we do have to educate ourselves about best email marketing practices - or face the consequences. By taking action now, you’ll dramatically reduce the risk that when tough data laws are passed, you’re streets ahead of the unprepared marketer.  Not only does a clean list ensure that your data is compliant with strict data laws in the US and abroad, but it ensures that your message is reaching the people who are interested in hearing it.   1. Build Trust From the Get-Go Before you even start on the fancy list-cleanliness side of email marketing, you’ve got to make sure your fundamental email marketing building blocks are solid. It might seem like a basic thing, but you need to have a professional email address to send your emails from. Afterall 75% of customer believe that building trust starts with this basic building block  “...a professional email address is the first step to prove you’re not a scam,” writes Jeremy Marsan, a business analyst from Fit Small Business. By establishing trust, you’ll be able to get and keep, the much coveted opted-in subscriber. If you want to avoid breaking laws such as GDPR, you have to make sure you’ve got the permission from your subscribers that they want to be subscribed to your list. This means ensuring that you’re subscribers have ticked an opt-in box that states they want to receive your emails. Double opt-ins are the best way to go for this. By having this in place, are you not only on the right side of the law, but you gain the trust of those on your list because they know you won’t be sending them unrelated emails, or selling their information on. 2. Integrate Your Apps Many businesses are using more than just an email marketing app, like Benchmark, to run their business. Your sales team probably has a CRM, marketing has another marketing automation tool, and customer care has a ticketing app. All of these apps contain prospect and customer data. But how can your email marketing list be up to date (and compliant) if say for example a customer emails customer care to unsubscribe, and customer care logs this but the data stays in their app? You could manually import/export this data, but that’s loads of manual work, and your lists are never really up to date. This is one reason to integrate your existing cloud business apps using a third-party platform such as PieSync, so that customer and prospect data are up to date and consistent across all business apps that you’re using. 3. Remove Duplicates Duplicates are truly a blight on any customer database. They deflate your email open rate and skew lead conversion metrics. Now, with new strict laws you need to be able to keep track of every record of your customers, but if you have “Robert Brown” in your email marketing registered as “Bobby Brown” in your CRM, you’re dealing with duplicate data, that’s difficult to detect. The best course of action is to dedupe your customer database. After you’ve finished integrating your apps together, it’s a good idea to take advantage of native deduping software. Most CRMs can detect duplicates, and Benchmark Email also has this feature. 4. Keep Data Fresh The days of keeping your legacy customer database to use for reactivation marketing campaigns forever and ever are over. Spring clean your customer database and remove old contacts. This will improve email deliverability, open rates, and reduce spam complaints. There are four types of customer emails you should prune from your email marketing list so that’ll it will stay healthy: confirmed bounces, soft bounces, hard bounces and contacts who have stopped opening your emails. Luckily Benchmark email has features in place that can help you easily cut these contacts out, so you can work with a clean email list. 5. Email List Verification You can use a service, such as Kickbox or BriteVerify, to send your list through list verification. While there may be an initial cost to doing this, you\'ll save in the long run. It will help you to reduce bounce rates and remove bad email addresses. It may also help you stay on a list plan longer without having to upgrade to the next level ... even while your list grows!


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Want To Start List Hygiene, But You’re Afraid To Start?

Want To Start List Hygiene, But You’re Afraid To Start?

Practical Marketer • August 5, 2018

In our daily work, we send email campaigns on a regular basis. However, we tend to not take any action once the campaign has been sent. We’re talking about list hygiene. Do you know that the various ISPs (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) know if you’re sending to an invalid email address and they can tank your deliverability? Yes, they can. For example, if after checking reports no action is taken in regards to bounces or email addresses that have not opened your last 30 campaigns, ISPs can start to block your campaigns with their filters. They will consider your emails to be from a sender that doesn’t take any action to improve results. That said, do you know what you need to remove? When we are referring to list hygiene, we’re talking about removing the hard bounces and email addresses which aren’t opening your campaigns. If you don\'t already know, there are three different types of bounces: Confirmed bounces. The email addresses that no longer exist and the sending server has tried to contact them three times, but the campaign has been able to be delivered. Hard bounces. These are email addresses that no longer exist. When they bounce three times, they turn into confirmed bounces. This could be due to a mistyped address, the domain no longer existing or the person who belongs to the email address no longer works there, and the address is no longer valid. Soft bounces. They are email addresses that temporally are inactivate. It has not yet been possible to deliver the campaign, but only temporally. Consequently, they are valid email addresses which should not be removed. What might the temporary issue be? It could be that the inbox is full of messages and the person cannot receive more emails until they free up space for it. Perhaps you sent a campaign outside working hours and got an autoresponder, or maybe the server has been down temporarily. These email addresses are not available for a period but when those issues are solved, they back to being activate. It might feel like you can’t see the importance of list hygiene, but we’ve made it easy for you to check the health of your list in your account in the reputation panel. This section will indicate a number between 1 and 8 which evaluates the status of your reputation. Do you know what reputation means? Reputation is a measure used for monitoring the behavior of your campaigns in regards to the spam filters and subscribers’ campaign interactions. It is precisely this interaction which will be improved with list hygiene. This is because you’re sending your campaigns to an email address that really exists and can actually open and click to your links. Similarly, if you remove the email addresses that have not opened your campaigns for a long time, you’ll be increasing the interaction for the rest of your list that remains. Furthermore, you can opt for a smaller plan and only pay for the subscribers that are opening your campaigns and through which you have chances to deliver your message. Please note that this won’t necessarily work with a new list as you likely won’t have enough data or bounces to make any major changes to the hygiene of your list. List verification may be more helpful to you in this instance, to remove things like mistyped email addresses. This is also solved by using double opt-in signup forms. In this blog, One Simple Way To Rescue Your Email Marketing Strategy we shared some ideas on how to increase your database. However, if the database is not current, or if you have never sent email marketing campaigns to it, your campaign’s reports will likely show a high bounce rate (in other words, more than 2%). Do you know what bounce rates you have? An email marketing account should have on average a 2% of bounces as the maximum. Additionally, list hygiene can be necessary if your list lands you in a spam trap. A spam trap is a trap used by ISPs to know which users are sending to a non-permission database or have a very old database. How can list hygiene be done with Benchmark? If you do not have a good control system in place to handle your contacts that you have removed, it’s possible they can be uploaded again into the tool. To solve this, the list hygiene would be: Login in your account Click on “Clean list” Select: confirmed + hard bounces Click on “Create New List” Once it has been created, you need to access the list and click on the three points. Select the option “Copy List” Copy to an “Existing List” and select “Master Unsubscribe List” In this way, we are blocking those contacts that are unuseful to be uploaded again to the tool. Keep in mind that this action is irreversible. If you have a good control system to handle your contacts to avoid your removed addresses being sent to, then the list hygiene would be from the points 1.1 to 1.3, and then click on “Remove from list” If a specific campaign you sent had a high number of bounces, and in that campaign, you selected multiple lists, following the steps above can be tricky. In that case, we recommend you to do the following: Go to Reports and click on the campaign Click on “Bounces” Select “Hard Bounces” Click on the three points and then “Export to File” Download the file and upload it to the “Master Unsubscribe List” If you have spam traps in your account, you should follow the previous steps and include the subscribers who have not opened your last 30 campaigns. The spam traps are in this group because they won’t be opening your emails. These are the four ways that we propose you keep your account clean of bounces to earn a high reputation. Now, you just need to choose the option that fits best with your needs and start doing it. If you need help with this process, you can contact your Email Marketing Specialist, or if you observe an anomaly in your bounce rate, such as a sudden growth in it, feel free to contact us before proceeding with list hygiene. We want to know what list hygiene practices have impacted your email marketing. Share your tips or results in the comments below!


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8/3/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

8/3/18: Weekly Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Digest

Beyond • August 3, 2018

Well, folks, we\'ve officially got a week in the books for Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer! For these first five mini-episodes, focused on growing your email list. These topics included why your email list is so important and why you should put effort into growing that list. Then we began looking at the individual touchpoints where you should be trying to build your list and some practical strategies for doing so. Introducing Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer Welcome to our new podcast! We\'ll be releasing daily mini episodes (minisodes) each weekday aimed at the Clueless Email Marketer. After all, we\'re all clueless until someone clues us in! In this first episode, we introduce the podcast and start a conversation on the importance of your email list and why you need to focus on growing your list. Growing a List: Homepage We kick off our series of conversations about how to grow your email list by focusing on the most obvious starting point: your homepage. Do you know where you should place a signup form on your homepage? You will after these 5ish minutes! Growing a List: Your Blog Your blog is one of the best SEO tools for your business. It\'s going to drive traffic to your site. Keep those site visitors coming back by converting them into subscribers. Growing a List: Other Website Pages We continue our conversation about growing an email list by looking at some of the other places to consider putting a signup form on your website. Know the highest trafficked pages on your site, so you\'re not missing opportunities to grow your list. Growing a List: Social Media Email marketing and social media aren\'t an either/or situation. You should always be using both and that includes efforts to grow your list. Listen to this episode to find out how you can use social media to attract new subscribers.


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Best of the Heart of Business

Best of the Heart of Business

Beyond • August 3, 2018

Well, one week is in the books with our daily (on weekdays) mini-episodes of Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer and Clues for the Clueless CRM Marketer. Now that we have three podcasts, it seemed like as good of a time as any to look back on our original podcast, the Heart Of Business. With a little over 100 episodes released, the Heart Of Business has seen some awesome guests, who are doing (or have done) incredible things. We wanted to honor some of our favorites … and some of yours! The truth is, we’ve enjoyed every single episode we’ve recorded. It’s hard not to when you get to speak with people who are passionate about what they’re doing with their lives. Thanks to everyone who has ever been a guest on the Heart Of Business and all of you who have been listening all these years! Andy’s Favorite Episodes Diamond Dallas Page: Wrestling with a New Yoga Business If I’m being honest, a large part of why this was so special is because of the voicemail that was left for my by DDP himself prior to recording. My junior high self was squealing on the inside about this episode. He did not disappoint. Nick Uhas: Beginnings, Big Brother and Beyond You ask Nick Uhas how he wound up on Big Brother and you first hear about how he started wrestling in Junior High, competitive rollerblading and how he crashed a fraternity leadership summit in Mexico. Somehow, it turns into a story of following the path presented to you and gaining confidence in your strengths. There Is No Shot: ImmunoMatrix with Kasia Sawicka Kasia Sawicka is the Neo of ImmunoMatrix. The one that did what has never been done before. During a college experiment, Kasia stumbled upon a discovery that might have major implications across the globe. Through her findings, she has made a patch that can deliver medications through the skin at a greater rate than was previously thought possible. She\'s got a growing list of awards and accolades that boast the significance of ImmunoMatrix. Daniel’s Favorite Episodes All About.com That Podcast with Neil Vogel Neil Vogel is the CEO of About.com. He talked with us about transforming a brand, chubby babies and content. With Andy on injured reserve, Engineer Claude and Daniel took the reigns for this great listen. Siri, Will You Be On Our Podcast? You\'d think being the voice of Siri could be the coolest thing a person could do. Then you learn that Susan Bennett also toured the world with Roy Orbison. She toured with a guy that was in a band with a Beatle. How cool is that?! The answer is very cool, and Susan Bennett is just that. Learn about the life of a voice actor and singer and how one can be the voice of Siri without even realizing it\'s happening. Energized By Grid Modernization Engineer Tirthak Saha Tirthak Saha is only 26 years old. He\'s been recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30, worked with NASA on origami-inspired satellites and won American Electric Power\'s Spark Tank Innovation Challenge. You may not have heard of him yet, but he believes that will change. So do we. Most Downloaded Episodes (Your Favorites!) Drive Change: Social Justice is a Dish Best Served ... Literally It seems more important than ever to tell a story like that of Drive Change. A force for good in our society aimed at improving the lives of its employees, maintaining a conversation on social justice and serving delicious food. Drive Change brings its cause straight to the people taking its food truck, Snowday, on the move with a message. You see, the food truck employs formerly incarcerated young adults and gives them support, on the job training and assistance in achieving the future they desire. Did I mention the food is amazing? I don\'t have to because the awards are piling up ... as are the mentions in every \"best of NY\" list on food trucks. Drive Change co-founder Roy Waterman and his team deserve all the accolades their food has received and more. In a world of hashtag activism, it seems as important as ever to give a platform to the individuals taking action to work for a better tomorrow. 1,810 Seconds with 2-Second Lean\'s Paul Akers Paul Akers had to go to Japan to become fully immersed in Lean culture. Thanks to him, all of us need not leave our desks. To say we were excited to speak to Paul and hear his story is an understatement. His Lean Journey is one of positivity and joy, albeit not with a few bumps along the road. We talked to him about his own company, FastCap, and how they have benefited from implementing Lean. EasilyDo: Stay On Top Of It All 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. Most Played Episodes (More of Your Favorites!) The Fan Experience with Kevin Browning, Umphrey\'s McGee Not many bands can tour for more than a decade and a half and still bring something new to the table each and every time. Umphrey\'s McGee has delivered unique fan experiences unseen by most others in the music industry. We chat with Kevin Browning, who manages strategy and development for the the band. Listen along and see how you might conjure up some out of the box ideas for your business. Millennials & More with Michael Price Michael Price literally wrote the book on millennials. Hear how his book, What Next? The Millennial’s Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, came to be and why he felt he was the one to write it. Hear his thoughts on millennials, who they are and what they are capable of. You Can Dance If You Want To ... at Dance With Me Alex Samusevich co-founded Dance With Me Studios with Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars. He took a lifelong passion for dance and turned it into a business that also allowed him to share it with others. What started as a conversation about being able to pursue one’s dreams in business and in life that was uplifting and inspirational turned into a look at using what you have, creating great content and doing it all with a DIY approach. Tell Us Your Favorite Do you have a favorite episode that we didn’t include here? Tell us in the comments!


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How to Harness the Power of Emails at Every Stage of Your Buyers’ Journey

How to Harness the Power of Emails at Every Stage of Your Buyers’ Journey

Practical Marketer • July 30, 2018

Understanding the buyers’ journey allows you to get the database sorted based on their lifecycle stages namely Awareness, Research, Comparison, Purchase, Relationship Building, Retention and Advocacy. You can move your leads down into the sales funnel by nurturing them and convincing them to convert. The most commonly used lead nurturing tool is EMAIL - as it is scalable and cost-effective. However, if you want your email marketing strategy to work, you should understand that every campaign should be tailor-made to match the buyer’s journey. Let’s understand how you can utilize the power of email marketing at every stage of the buyer’s journey. 1. Awareness The first step of any prospect is Awareness. As the name suggests, this is when people get to know about your brand and your offerings. You can help your subscribers evaluate the product in the awareness stage. Send out emails that let them know about the benefits of your product and explain to them how your product would troubleshoot their problems. It is important to understand that customers purchase the solutions to their problems and not just a product. Make sure you entice your subscribers right in the awareness stage so that it is easier to take them further in the sales. After all, well begun is half done. See the welcome email sent by Heyo and how they have included the various tutorials of their solution to help the new subscriber with the contest creation. 2. Research Your subscribers are trying to figure out which solution is the best to resolve their problem during the research stage. It’s in this phase where you can leverage content marketing to educate the subscribers and build credibility for your brand. Examples of emails to be sent in the research stage: Various types of content resources You can have your content published in various formats, namely webinars, white papers, instructional videos, ebooks, slide decks, etc. As your subscribers might have distinct tastes when it comes to consuming information online, you can even ask your subscribers to choose the format preferences for receiving information. Content sharing the challenges faced by the subscriber You can share relevant case studies to explain to the subscriber about the similar challenges faced by fellow customers and how your solution helped to address their concerns. Content sharing actionable tips Your subscribers look forward to getting some valuable advice and actionable tips through the email. If your emails cannot deliver value to them, the brutal truth is that they would not want to hear from you. Content that convinces the subscribers that you offer the best solution A subscriber who is almost at the end of the research stage would want to know why he or she should choose your solution over your competitors. Convey your brand promise in such a way that they are eager to know more about you and are keen on buying from you. The email by Tinder cleverly informs the subscriber about how to use the App and entices them to try it at least once. No wonder, it is so popular among the youngsters nowadays… 3. Comparison After the research stage, comes the comparison stage. Leads who are in the comparison stage demand a special treatment and exclusive emails tailor-made for them. This is the stage where you should send out customer-focused marketing emails. Talk about your USPs and how you STAND OUT from your competitors. You can involve your sales team and schedule a personalized demo or meeting with the prospect. Here are some email examples to be sent in the comparison stage: Wanna schedule a demo? Need help? Have a look at the buyer’s guide. 5 reasons why our solution is the best match for you. It is not always necessary to send a visually attractive email. There are occasions when a plain text email can work better than an HTML email. Check out the below example. That’s plain text emailing done right! 4. Purchase The entire sales process is very much like proposing someone. If you goof up, you are likely to lose the sale. Make sure you do not disappoint your interested subscriber and offer them the resources that would warrant a pleasant shopping experience. Take a look at the type of emails to be sent during the purchase stage: Address the probable objection of the customer proactively. Guide the customers to use the product correctly. Once they make the purchase, send out a follow-up email to tackle the issues, if any. Check out how Code Camp has included a subscriber’s feedback, to encourage the recipient to do the same. (Applauds for the idea!) 5. Relationship Building and Retention The stages of relationship building and retention go hand in hand. After a customer completes the purchase, you should consider building a long-lasting rapport by using an emotional appeal in your emails. Doing so can help you retain the customers and enhance your customer lifetime value and loyalty. A regular email newsletter talking about new products, updates in your services, promotional offers and discounts goes a long way in retaining the customers by keeping your brand at the top of the customer’s mind. Chewy sends out an engaging feedback email to make sure that they can retain the recent buyer. 6. Advocacy Advocacy is the stage where a prospect turns into an evangelist. This implies that your customer becomes the brand ambassador of your business and helps you drive more sales. Word-of-mouth marketing works wonders for any business. In fact, it brings the best ROI and maximizes conversions. Consider sending rewards to ‘patrons’ in your elite list of customers to encourage them to purchase again. You can even leverage referral email marketing, which works towards retention of existing customers as well as the acquisition of new ones. Saying “Thank you” without any marketing or sales pitch also helps in getting evangelists for your brand. Check out the type of emails you can send in the advocacy stage: Refer us and earn a referral bonus. Allow us to serve you better by providing feedback. Mind referring us to your friends and family? Here’s 50% ‘elite customer’ discount for you. Thank you for choosing us. Lyft offers rewards to their top customers in their email with a catchy CTA that would prompt the user to take action and ride with them. Wrapping Up According to the 2018 report by Econsultancy, email has once again maintained its position as the most effective channel for marketers, with 74% rating its ROI yield as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’… And to use this channel to its full potential, email marketers ought to respect the stages of the buyer’s journey. There’s no other way out.


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5 Fashion-Inspired Color Palettes for Your Summer Email Marketing Campaigns

5 Fashion-Inspired Color Palettes for Your Summer Email Marketing Campaigns

Beyond • July 27, 2018

If you are anything like me, you have been following the summer fashion trends closely and taking copious notes. What is hot this summer and what are the biggest names in fashion wearing this season? It is an especially exciting time in the fashion industry, as there seems to be a constant disruption and turnover sweeping the industry. According to the Pantone Color Institute, a trend forecaster and consultancy, as color becomes increasingly important, designers are responding by featuring more shades in their collections. Vibrant and bold hues, but also new neutrals and more pastels, define the latest summer trends. At this point, you may be starting to wonder what fashion trends have to do with your email marketing campaign. Let me explain: as a marketer you should always look for ways to sustain and increase your competitive position. To do that, you need to stay on top of trends and what better place to look for what is trending than the runway. Fashion trends can always give you a clue as to what is popular at the moment, and this summer there has been some great inspiration coming from the runway. According to a 2015 study by Microsoft, the average consumer’s attention span has dropped to eight seconds. Considering that, on average, a reader spends about eight seconds on an email once opened. Given that small window of time, it is your job to capture your reader’s attention with all the tools at your disposal. Initially, what will capture your reader’s attention are visual elements such as design, imagery, and of course, color. More often than not, it is the color combination, in particular, that is the deciding factor of whether your reader will engage with your content or will lose interest and bounce. Understanding how colors affect one’s disposition towards your content is crucial to the success of your email marketing strategy. With the hot summer days upon us, warmer tones, brighter hues and the use of more colors are popular. This season can present a great opportunity to introduce some bold colors to your email designs, with a summer-inspired color palette. To make your brand more relevant and visible, I have prepared five fashion-inspired color palettes to bring summery vibes to your next email marketing campaign. Tropical Rhythms When I think summer, I think vacation, preferably on a bright sunny beach in an exotic location. Palm trees swaying to a light breeze and ocean waves dancing to a tropical rhythm. To capture this carefree ambiance, tropical hues and patterns have made their way onto the runway to become one of the hottest Spring/Summer 2018 print trends. Leading designers, including Fenty Puma, Michael Kors, Coach, and Gucci, artfully decorated their garments with tropical ornaments like palm leaves, pineapples, and hibiscus flowers. Inspired by this trend, I have created the ultimate tropical palette to bring a summer vibe to your next email campaign. The palette is bright and friendly, with an abundance of color variance and contrast. The most prominent hues include tangerine orange, palm green, dazzling pink, ocean blue and sunny yellow. To make sure the combination of bright and saturated hues is not too overpowering, pair this scheme with a deep tan or a neutral beige. This palette is ideal to add a fresh summery tone to your newsletter designs. Candy Sweet Pastels Anything with an ice cream hue is sweet for Spring/Summer 2018. A slew of delicate pastels came down Spring/Summer 2018 runways Victoria Beckham, Hermes, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace included. Challenging the increasing popularity of millennial pink, soft shades of lavender and mint have become the ‘it’ colors this summer. Pastel shades are the happier, lighter version of their original color and their simplicity will allow you to style them with other colors and prints. Pastel colors allow for other prominent elements such as text and action buttons to stand out in the foreground, while still providing a warm and cheery presence to the viewer. Choose from a variety of pastel pinks, yellows, mint, blue and lavender. One thing to keep in mind is, if not combined with the appropriate elements and colors, pastels can appear bland and unexciting. Be sure to accommodate a brighter accent color or an interesting font when opting for a pastel palette. Less is More Monochromatic Monochromatic is this season\'s most dominant color trend. This color scheme features one hue in a variety of tones. Even though this color palette may lack contrast, it provides a clean and polished design. From Victoria Beckham’s ice-cream pastels to Max Mara’s neutrals and Rihanna\'s Fenty x Puma eye-popping oranges, the Spring/Summer 2018 runways were a masterclass in how to work the look. For this color palette, I chose orange, to create a versatile spectrum with color options for every part of your design. Working with this single color palette will help you create a warm and exciting feeling. Bring the reader’s attention to your text by choosing an accent color; when in doubt, always turn to the classic black or white as your font color. And if you are feeling adventurous, you can try combining your monochromatic design with the previously mentioned color trends. Choose this color palette to bring cohesiveness and simplicity to a busy design. Bold Pigments & Neon Brights Summer is the season of bright shades, fluorescent colors, and saturated hues. From Tom Ford to Calvin Klein and Kenzo, designers are going all out with bright and bold designs. A rainbow of colors in their brightest varieties are sure to bring that warm summer style to your email designs as well. As we have seen so far, Summer 2018 is the season of experimenting with color. To stand out from your competitors, use bright and bold colors. Dare to use neons and bright pigments. You don’t need to rethink the entirety of your brand’s color palette to introduce some bold pigments to your design. Instead, pick a few colors as your ‘unofficial brand colors’ and use them for all your summer email campaigns. This will help you bring some excitement and novelty to your newsletter while adhering to your brand’s core identity. For this color palette, I have selected vibrant pinks, blues, ultraviolets, and yellows artfully spiced together! What’s Old is New Again 90\'s Eye-popping colors such as coral, hot pink, neon, are the highlights of the 90s. Nostalgic retro design is having a comeback this summer more than ever before. Designer brands like Versace, Tommy Hilfiger and Fila, are paying homage to the popular retro 90s trend. In incorporating retro elements into their designs, designers have brought seemingly outdated colors back into the public eye, inspiring an unusual and exciting color palette. This summer opt for bolder colors in unusual combinations. Vibrant colors communicate energy, excitement, and optimism, which make up the perfect ingredients to set the right mood and grab your reader’s attention. This color scheme features bright purple, opposite shades of blues, neon green, pink and yellow. Integrating this colorful palette with funky patterns and black outlines is sure to invoke the classic 90s aesthetic. The primary force driving this season’s fashion trends is the rebellion of designers against the plain, basic color schemes. Today designers are daring to explore new combinations of hues and pigments, and the result is an innovative, beautiful explosion of colors! Some of the most successful companies know the compelling reasons to prioritize design, and color, in particular, to increase the odds of success. Choosing the right color palette can help you make a meaningful first impression, enhance brand awareness, and help you stand out from your competitors. However, don’t forget to align creativity and strategy. When selecting a color scheme for your next email campaign, always consider its association with your brand. Whether you integrate any of these trends should be based upon careful analysis and consideration.


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