Tags: marketing

Spring Cleaning: 4 Practices For Email List Health

Spring Cleaning: 4 Practices For Email List Health

Practical Marketer • April 22, 2019

Building an email list can be an exciting journey to prospective email marketers. It does take a little effort, but the results can be magnanimous when the right practices are followed. As a marketer, it is paramount that you check your email list now and then to be sure they are in their best condition possible. One of the mistakes email marketers make is not being consistent when it comes to monitoring anomalies which are bound to happen, and as such, they keep wondering why their marketing efforts aren’t yielding the expected results. There are many ways to maintain the health of your email list, and one of them entails cleaning up your list, to know what you have there. Ask yourself;   Are there any inactive members?   Expired email address nobody uses anymore?     When you come across a situation whereby some emails are inactive or perhaps, bots, then do the needful by weeding them out of your list. In this article, you will be guided on how to maintain your email list health in four easy-to-follow steps. 1. Using Your Welcome Message To Your Advantage A specific practice which is known to set you on the path of conversion is to send a welcome message whenever a new subscriber opts-in to your list. An email marketing automation is triggered when a new member sign immediately in and it is advised you make it customized and personalized as possible. This is because potential converters want to be recognized as a person, not as a group. Learn how to Generate 320% More Revenue with a Welcome Email. It is also in your best interest to make sure that your email design is friendly and straightforward. Your color scheme has psychological effects and using them well can make a difference in your marketing results. Look for the best email designs and steal some ideas. Another methodology which is commonly used to convert potential subscribers to customers is by asking them to add you to their safe/approved sender list. Also, set expectations to ensure that you are keeping interested subscribers on your list. An annoying feature which subscribers hate is when they are unable to opt-out from your list. You have to make the opt-out button very distinct, to give the uninterested subscribers the option they seek. That is how to build a healthy email list. 2. Create A Preference Center According to Econsultancy, 66% of email recipients say that how often a company sends is their reason for unsubscribing. To be on a safer range, send emails occasionally. Too much can seem annoying and spammy to your subscribers. What Is A Preference Center? An email preference center is a tool that helps establish a healthy communication cadence with your email recipients. This tool aids your subscribers to manage their emails by giving them the option to control what they receive and how often they receive your emails. In the email marketing world, unsubscribes are inevitable. No matter how thrilling your contents are, some recipients are bound to use the opt-out button. Why this happens isn’t far-fetched. They probably felt overwhelmed with the number of emails they were getting and decided to take a break. The way out of this menace is to incorporate a preference center, by giving them a better option by giving them control over the content they receive and how frequently they want it. Apart from the reasons above, another advantage of having a preference center is to improve the overall customer experience, to keep CAN-SPAM complaints at bay and to help create a re-engaging opportunity. Time-Based Preference Center This tool is designed to help subscribers receive fewer emails. Not just that, you need to give them the option to go on a break whenever they feel overwhelmed or better yet, give them control over the number of emails they receive either on a daily, weekly or monthly. Content-Based Preference Center This type of preference is the best cause it gives the subscriber the ability to choose the kind of content that appeals to them. More like, a targeted content which they can never get tired of no matter how frequently they come. Not all subscribers want to see all the buck emails you send forth, by having this content-based preference center in place, you give them the power to see only their favorite and the most helpful. The truth is, some subscribers are more interested in your blog updates and not your promos or discounts, while some are more focused on promos and discounts other than the blog update. To make sure that your marketing efforts aren’t a waste, make sure you segment your subscribers appropriately. Benchmark email services are email specialists who help in your email marketing endeavor. 3. Perform Proper List Hygiene Up to 25% of your email list will drop off each year. This is because people often get new jobs and abandoned their email addresses. Some lose interest in your services and so on. If it is essential that you weed off inactive subscribers from your list. Check your mail reports, some subscribers aren’t engaging with your emails, and the reasons can be diverse. Bored with your emails Can\'t find the time Perhaps they aren’t even getting your emails To re-engage them, comment about removing inactive or unengaging subscribers – everyone wants what they can’t have. Another strategy which has been known to spill in the impressive result is trying out coupons or discounts. It works like magic. Other tips are using polls & surveys, asking trending questions they can quickly answer, etc. Try something unique, something zany and out of the fiend that they wouldn’t expect, while also trying to stay within your brand. Do this, and you will witness a spike in engagement. To build a healthy email list, follow the three points below Remove Inactive Subscribers: Like previously said, a lot of factors can cause your email subscribers not to engage with your post anymore. In that case, don’t hesitate to remove them from the list. The chances are that they will never convert to customers no matter how mouth-watering your offers are. In other words, they are eating up resources and become a burden to your performance metrics. After you have removed them from your list, you will feel the difference right away because you now have a full list of people who are interested in your services. List Verification This is a measure every email marketer is advised to indulge you, to make sure you are wasting money on useless contacts that don’t exist. This is one of the core practice you must not overlook in your quest to build a healthy email list. Many email tools come with their list verification systems or have partnered up with third-party solutions, so they don’t have to worry about the process too much. How often you verify your email list is dependent on the email sender. Do you blast emails daily? Irrespective if your email schedule, it is paramount that you check your email list once every 90 days. For a marketer who sends a newsletter once in a month, verifying your mailing list once in 6 months is ideal. Another pointer to look out for is your email report. Ig your marketing efforts aren\'t yielding the desired result, perhaps that is a sign to verify your list once again. Make It Easier To Unsubscribe To not fall victim to CAN-SPAM complaint, it is mandatory you have a distinct \'unsubscribe button\' that helps uninterested email recipients opt-out from your email marketing list. This act shows good customer relationship management. Only keep subscribers who want to be there, none should feel caged to your email services. Sticking to this rule will make sure that your emails don\'t get flagged as spam. That could spell doom for your business. What Benchmark Email offers is to help businesses to quickly and easily turn their most valuable marketing asset, their email list, into relationships and sales. 4. Customer-Centric Marketing This is prioritizing your customers’ needs over other factors, that is, making your customers your central focus and treating them like the kings they are. Without them, there is no business and that in turn can spell doom. This is the reason customers should never be joked with or taken for granted. Potential customers should not see you like a green monster who is out to drain them of their life-force – money. When you fail to project a selfless and emphatic personal to prospective customers, convincing them to take a specific action can become a daunting task. Never take your customers for granted. See through their view and make sure they get what they anticipated. Doing this right means more customers and recommendations from satisfied customers. Ways To Improve Your Customer-Centric Marketing Efforts Make sure your website is mobile responsive, fast and easy to navigate to avoid frustrating customers when they are browsing through your contents. Content is king, and if they are helpful to your customers and positively affecting their lives, they are satisfied which can lead to recommendation or referrals. Having good customer support is very necessary for marketing. This is what helps to rectify whatever issue or complaint a customer might have. If customer support is terrific, your customers will stick around. One of the best way to better serve your customer is to know and understand them. This is done by collecting as much data as possible and using them to your advantage. If you have data about their birthdays, sending a birthday greeting can mean the world to them. Other data can also help disclose their interest, thereby guiding you on the kind of content that leads to conversion. Lastly, always put your customers first, before your needs. When customers are convinced of your genuine and unquestionable urge to help, they will empty their pocket for your sake. Growing And Managing A-List Every email marketer aims to develop an enormous targeted list of people who will be interested in the services they have to offer. Building an email list does take some effort and planning. Here is a list of 15 Ways to Grow your Email List. Managing a list takes some work as well since you will always have to check list hygiene to weed out inactive or unengaging emails. When you work list management into your email marketing plan, it becomes routine. Learn how to Create and Execute Your Email Marketing Plan. Wrapping Up Building and managing a healthy email list is easy if you know what to do and the practices to follow. Ensure you weed out inactive subscribers, give your subscribers the option to control the content they receive and how frequently they are to receive them. Benchmark helps businesses quickly and easily turn their most valuable marketing asset, their email list, into relationship and sales. Get started free today.


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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. [caption id=\"\" align=\"alignnone\" width=\"1400\"] Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know[/caption] 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 email 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 Channels Automation This system allows online marketing professionals to prepare expanded consumer communications without calling for manual intervention. Email marketing service 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 call to action 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 step by step 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 with optimised return on investment. 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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What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation?

Beyond • November 23, 2017

By now, you must have heard about marketing automation. Some may see it as a buzz-word of the moment, and some others may be taking it very seriously, but what is it and why does it matter? Marketing Automation refers to a piece of software that allows you to (as its name says) automate sales and marketing actions or processes. The scope of actions can range from: welcoming your new subscribers to even retargeting leads that may have gone cold. How far you go with it will usually depend on the nature of your business, and your creativity. What is true is that Marketing Automation makes repetitive marketing and sales tasks be performed with little effort. A statement that marketers agree with, according to VB insight, Three-quarters of marketers say the biggest benefit of automation is saving time. Other benefits include increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities such as upselling (58%). What can you do with it? I use this phrase more than I’d like to, but: The possibilities are endless. Nurturing your customers helps them be more engaged with your business or product and Offering them what you know is needed to convert them at the right time can be a game changer for your business or product. Actions like turning a one-time customer into a repeat customer, upselling, cross-selling, cycle-based selling, etc. Are strategies that if automated will not only give you more time to focus on getting new leads but always keep the machine going. Are you In need of customer feedback? You can take your marketing game to the next level by giving users that completed your survey a special ‘thank you’ offer, and even think of a reward program if they share your content. Conducting awesome strategies like these without automation would require a large amount of time and leave other important strategies neglected in the background. FOMA Fear of Marketing Automation in some marketers is very real and sometimes understandably so. Usually, when you hear of all the great things you can do with MA it can be very exciting, but for some, it can quickly get intimidating especially once they start thinking of the time they have to set aside to define things such as content and customer flows. Overcoming this fear is actually very simple, once you find out that: Four in five users increased their leads by using marketing automation software and almost as many (77%) saw an increase in conversions. That is a lot of saved time for sales and marketing. So, this fear may be depriving you of reaping great benefits that you could be in need of. Should you invest in Marketing Automation? Can Marketing Automation be beneficial to your business? In very simple terms: yes it can. Now, Should you invest in marketing automation? That’s for you to answer, but ask yourself before you decide: Do you see an opportunity to grow indicators such as the number of qualified leads you generate? Do you think you can get more from your customers by engaging in a smarter way with them? Do you see steps of your sales funnel that are neglected and need nurturing? A smart thing to do is to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value to help you understand how much you should invest in acquiring new customers and retaining them, our friends at Shopify did a great job on making a step by step guide on how to figure that number out. At Benchmark, if you already use Benchmark Email Pro you will have access to our automation platform: Automation Pro at no extra cost, all templates, all actions. We believe in how much it will benefit our customers that we have created a series of live weekly webinars where we answer all questions you may have about Automation Pro and marketing automation in general. Want to waste no time? You can chat with a specialist today.


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How to Move Your Emails From Gmail’s Promotions tab to Primary

How to Move Your Emails From Gmail’s Promotions tab to Primary

Beyond • September 17, 2017

Last year, in an attempt to make your email life easier, Gmail introduced the tabbed inbox. Its goal being to make sure you only see important emails in your Primary tab. Not very long after, marketers started complaining about decreased email open rates. Are you one of those worried your email campaigns are not performing as well? Then read on and discover how to successfully land your emails in the primary tab of Gmail’s inbox. There are several methods that have been tested, such as changing header format, using no more than one link or not including images, but none proved to be a a solution. One workaround is to tell your subscribers to do it manually in their Gmail account. How do you do that? It’s possible your email request to do so fails to reach the primary tab as well. Then, the best way out is to educate your customers on how to do this through your blog or through personal engagement. There are three ways to do it manually: Drag & Drop Method This is done by dragging the email from Promotion tab to Primary. It will then ask whether you want to make this change for future messages too. Click on yes to ensure that all message from that email address will make it to your primary tab. Right-Click Method (Control + Click on Mac) The second option is to right-click (Control + click on Mac) on the email you want to move and select the option Move to Tab and then select Primary. The same message shows up again, asking whether you want to make the change permanent. Be sure to click yes. Create a Filter Search for an address in the search box and click on the down arrow at the right corner of the search bar. Click on Create Filter with this search option. From this window you can select which tab you want your emails in. Using this advanced method, you can get your message in the tab you select. A few other suggestions: Address your reader by name. Keep the balance of HTML and text similar, increase interaction. Don\'t include more than one link in an email. Avoid RSS campaigns, as it gives a hint that it\'s not sent by a real person. You will also notice that the brands with which you are interacting always make it to your primary tab. ESPs can only make sure that your email doesn\'t go to spam by taking care of your email infrastructure, while the best way to reach the Primary tab is to make your subscribers set them manually. This move also ensures that they value your brand and are happy doing business with you.


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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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Checklist: how to filter your entire marketing department through how conversion heuristics

Checklist: how to filter your entire marketing department through how conversion heuristics

Beyond • May 23, 2016

Conversion Heuristics – the new formula in marketing – typically looks at your marketing experience with the goal being to drive conversion. But if you’re in marketing, you know that there’s a much bigger picture. Your day to day isn’t about the single point of conversion. 
Your day to day is about wrangling the beast that is your marketing department. So the question is how do you do apply the genius that is conversion heuristics to your entire marketing department? Contrary to how we’ve been talking about Conversion Heuristics so far, when it comes to your marketing department, you’re not going to be looking at the whole formula, but rather parts of the formula, with “a” and “f” being divided by the other variables in order to get c. So there’s a little bit of algebra and reshuffling of values, but the values are still the same. So now we have anxiety and friction as the first figures we tackle. The question is how do you tackle that in your department? In the consumer sense, “anxiety is defined as any psychological discomfort that a user experiences when they are visiting a website at any stage of the buy cycle. Anxiety results in no conversion action taken.” Your department can still be seen as a consumer, in the sense that your team members are consuming the back end of your brand – and that brand is defined by the day to day running of the business. I’ve worked in at least 3 different marketing agencies and I’d say that psychological discomfort is a pretty big player in any dysfunctional marketing department. That’s not to say that the feeling reflects your brand, company, values or even capacity. It means that if your marketing team is suffering psychologically – through stress, uncertainty, misdirection, etc. – then you’ve got an anxiety problem. Anxiety is still the symptom of a greater problem, and that great problem is friction. If your marketing department suffers from friction, then you’re going to have more than just anxiety to deal with. Other results of friction in this integral department include reduced sales, unhappy clients, and lowered productivity. Marketing departments are the mitochondria of any business; if it suffers so does the entire cell. So what exactly causes friction in a marketing department? Luckily, the answer to this is quite simple: processes. Processes, a necessary structure in even the most creative environments, allow for seamless communication between different parts. People know what to expect, how to behave, who to turn to. A process is a guide or a template of behavior that really takes the guess work and frantic communication – and subsequent errors – out of the equation. You know where you can be creative in marketing, and that’s in actually doing the work and coming up with the ideas. But a bulk of marketing work isn’t about being creative – it’s about managing creativity and expectations, and that’s where processes come in. Having a process in place reduces a lot of the anxiety among team members in a marketing department. They’re not being drained by what’s essentially unreasonable and unnecessary worry. Chances are you have a highly talented team, but anxiety in your department is going to hold back potential. Tackle the friction and you’ve tackled the anxiety.


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Getting More Mileage Out of Your Email Content

Getting More Mileage Out of Your Email Content

Beyond • January 11, 2016

Even a thriving enterprise can hit a content wall once in a while. While you’ve got all the right software, getting custom branded content that meets your goals can be difficult to source from time to time. Yet, there’s a way around this and it’s right in your email marketing campaign archive. If you’ve written original email content, you can turn that content into blog posts. Since your content was initially delivered via email, it’s still going to be seen as original in the eyes of Google – which means you’ve upped your SEO game. At the same time, you’re providing another content piece to an audience that might not yet be subscribed to the blog. To complete the rotation, you can also include an email sign up link within the content at the end of the post, mentioning that this post first appeared in your email campaign. On that note, anything that you’ve produced for email only can make it to a blog: podcasts, videos, and infographics can all be converted to blog content. Once you have it on your blog or perhaps even as a landing page, the next step is to weave it through social media channels to get both audience venues funneled in. There are a lot of benefits to repurposing content. First, it’s economically feasible. Instead of spending man hours or dollars creating new content, and making sure it meets standards, you can go back to something you already have. It can cost, for example, $700-1500 to create an infographic. So first, you should repurpose that infographic at every opportunity. Second, create an article out of it and share it as an op-ed, a guest article, your own blog, part of a campaign, or in another email campaign down the road. You can even create spin off content series from that infographic, with the goal being that you get as much as you can out of that content piece. Why You Should Repurpose Content Repurposing also helps you stay focused on a message by underscoring something that’s important to your organization or company. Any audience needs repeat exposure to a message at least three times before it becomes something they can remember, and seven times before they associate it with your brand. It’s a good rule of thumb to start getting in the habit of repurposing content, which means beginning to create an inventory of your content. This inventory should include the file name, the file, where it’s been published and have some keyword tags to make future searches a lot easier. Evernote is a great way to archive content quickly and easily, though I recommend just one account for all your content inventory needs, rather than having a notebook or a folder for content in another account. You can also create a content goal in order to measure where you’re at and what you’re producing, versus where it’s getting published and how it’s getting received. This elevates your content from just production to performance. It also helps you determine which content needs more mileage or which ones people might want to see converted into another form, such as a video presentation or an infographic, because it was a highly popular subject.


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Inbox Placement Rates 2015: Detailed Analysis

Inbox Placement Rates 2015: Detailed Analysis

Beyond • December 31, 2015

A common point of failure for most of the marketers is why their campaigns didn’t succeed. Lack of awareness often costs email marketers in the form of lower open rates and reduced ROI. Every year Return Path does the analysis of inbox placement rate. Inbox placement rate measures the percentage of emails landing in your subscribers’ inbox and not in spam folders or otherwise undelivered. According to “Deliverability Benchmark Report 2015” published by Return Path, one of the five messages sent failed to reach the inbox. Email volume has gone up by 7% from last year, but only 79% of commercial emails lands in the inbox. Moreover, the global inbox placement rate has gone down by 4% compared to 2014. In other words, there are more and more emails but fewer of them reaches the inbox. Inbox placement rate by country The largest drop in deliverability is for the U.S., where inbox placement rate has gone down to 76% compared to 87% in 2014. Not reaching the inbox means one in four emails either go to spam or blocked by mailbox provider. Brazil has shown significant improvement as their inbox placement rate is up by 74% compared to 60% in 2014. Among European countries, only Italy has shown 2% increase from last year. Significant downfall in inbox placement rate was seen for Germany, France and the UK. However, for Spain rate remains unchanged. Australian marketers enjoyed higher inbox placement rate of 88% in 2015. Inbox Placement rate by industry  The report also provided stats by industry and most industries show declined or flat inbox placement rates. However, relationship-based industries such as health & apparel, food and beverage as well as insurance have maintained good inbox placement rates of about 90%. While manufacturing, software and the internet industry have also gained some improvement. Based on mailbox provider Interestingly, the report also revealed that deliverability is particularly worse with Yahoo Mail. Inbox placement rates have dropped by 13% this year and marketers find it tough to reach their subscribers. Gmail has maintained the same rate as emails were routed to the promotion tab. Campaigns that tried to bypass the promotion tab in order to reach the primary tab have often landed to spam folder. Marketers should stop this approach as open rates for the promotion tab have increased up to 20% this year. Why marketers are not making into the inbox? Analysis has shown that most marketers are not aware of the new metrics being considered by mailbox providers. For better inbox placement rates, they must consider these new deliverability rules. Low read rate by the mailbox receiver (26% of campaigns affected) – ISPs have indicated that their filtering decision depends on the percentage of mailboxes reading your email. Sending to subscribers that don’t engage can cause delivery issues. Spam Complaints (21%) – This is the oldest metric used for years and still hasn’t changed. A complaint is recorded every time a user marks an email as spam. In particular, mailbox providers look at complaints from live mailboxes and some feedback methods like Microsoft’s sender reputation data (SRD). Mailing to abandoned inboxes – According to the report, about 19% of campaign face this problem. If you mail to inactive accounts it gives a negative signal to the mailbox providers and tends to fall under into their spam filtering algorithms. Inbox placement rates fell in 2015 from 2014. Possibly because marketers have overlooked the recent evolution. The first step in conducting any analysis of campaign performance is to know how many emails never reach the inbox. By monitoring your inbox placement rate, you get a better understanding of your email campaigns and it gives a reliable platform to optimize your email program.


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Forecast: Top 4 Email Challenges Your Enterprise Will Face in 2016

Forecast: Top 4 Email Challenges Your Enterprise Will Face in 2016

Beyond • December 24, 2015

Be prepared to up your email marketing game as we head into 2016. This last year also showed an incredible leap in email evolution, with the biggest game changer being the advent of wearable technology. In 2016, the challenges include (1) growing your list, (2) retaining your list, (3) understanding the psychology of mobile, (3) video, and (4) turning the tables by focusing on marketer needs. Starting from the bottom up, the common ground challenge faced by all enterprise level marketers is to grow their email marketing list. The solution is lightboxes, but even lightboxes come with their own challenge. You’ve probably seen a lightbox before. They’re the sometimes annoying boxes that pop up before you’re able to access a page fully. It asks you to take some action, which is usually signing up to the email list. However, not all lightboxes are the same. The best was – the ones that don’t annoy or frustrate but do trigger enthusiastic conversions – are the ones that are well designed and creatively presented. So the 2016 challenge isn’t just making sure you have a lightbox, but making sure you’re has a strong visual and branding element that acts as an invitation rather than promo or spam. The next challenge is going to be making sure people don’t opt out your subscriber list. Ensuring you’re retaining your list means you’re going to need to think like them. Your audience is always on the go and that is only going to change in 2016 and there’s an increased demand on attention with less and less time to give out. Understanding this means creating content that is mobile friendly and (more over) why mobile is so hugely popular; it means understanding the psychology of mobile. Accessing emails on mobile is huge, and partly because it’s also something you can quickly rifle through while in line or waiting for a meeting to start. But mobile messaging is about more than just punctuated communication or mobile-optimized communication. It’s about giving people something to engage in during that short window of time. The answer here is video. Videos are huge on Vine and now even on Instagram. So why not take it to your email marketing campaigns. Not only is video more engaging by cultivating a more intimate connection with the reader, but it’s also a lot easier than writing out copy. Save the copy for the content that matters and toss in videos into your campaign. That said, mobile is about more than just what your readers are doing. The supreme 2016 trend turns the attention to the sender and not just the receiver. 2016 is going to be about how you the marketer engages in an email campaign. So when it comes to mobile, mobile is going to be just as much about how you can send out email campaigns on the go and how easy it is to do that. So as you venture in to 2016, consider your email marketing goals and your email marketing frustrations as a marketer. Your game plan should include benchmarks for each quarter that meet both goals and make the process easier for your team.


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Catapulting Your Event Marketing Calendar in 2016

Catapulting Your Event Marketing Calendar in 2016

Beyond • December 24, 2015

Now that maximizing the event potential of your annual Christmas party is behind you, it’s time to focus on events for 2016. If you haven’t already eye the event playing field for the next year, now’s the time to do that. For companies still in a start-up mode, it’s likely that you’re still in raw attendance mode. Your goal is to attend a seminar or conference in the next year and build your team’s skill sets, maybe get a few new clients. For enterprise organizations, the goals have changed. You might (should) still be building on your team’s skill sets, and you’re probably more aggressively looking to build up the sales funnel. No matter which option you’re routed for, the steps you need to take to effectively engage in the event marketing world will look similar. How much you can take on will depend on your willingness to commit to creative solutions. Networking During the Event, Before the Event Scope out who is going to be there and reach out to them in advance. Once an event has started, it’s almost impossible to get anyone’s attention since everyone has their own agenda. You’ll likely also be overwhelmed by your own agenda. That said, the best way to take advantage of the other attendees is to plan ahead and set some time apart. Most event organizers will have a list of attendees that you can use. You can also go on social with the official event hashtag and throw it out there on Twitter to see who is interested in meeting up. You can host several smaller intimate 15 minute coffee-breaks which also helps keep you from feeling lost at a larger event where no one really knows each other and it feels like the first day of school in a new place. Host a Lecture or Discussion Hold a panel or a lunch seminar to draw in a larger crowd of people. This can be something informal like a social gathering or if you’d like it can branch off on a topic you’re knowledgeable in. In order to not step on the toes of the event organizers, it’s best to do this after hours and off-site. This is a prime opportunity for you to stand out from other attendees, especially if you’re looking to score clients. A great and effortless way to do this is to host a comped breakfast and a happy hour on different days with a limited number of guests. Take to social with the invite, extend it to anyone you want to network with, and let the event organizers know too. As long as you’re not stepping on their turf in space/time, they’ll likely be more than happy to blast it to the network. Offer a Write-up or Launch an Event-Specific Email Campaign Nobody wants to take notes – They’re two ideas that can be rolled into one or played out on their own. The event organizer would love a write-up on the event from an attendee. They’ll be enthused about your offer and it gets you additional post-event exposure. Industry blogs will feel the same way. You can also host a post event email campaign that summarizes key points from the event. If you pair that with direct quotes and professional photographs, it’s something I’m confident event organizers would be happy to market for you. The goal here is to get subscribers to your email list. If this play sounds good to you, create an event-specific landing page and some print outs directing people to that page. And of course, post it to social too with the appropriate hashtags. Whether you’re a start-up or enterprise operation, every business is eager or exposure, brand awareness, attracting viable partners and new clients. However, to be successful in doing any of that, companies need to realize that ‘show time’ starts months before the event and continues through and after it. A solid email campaign can tackle that problem, but an email campaign paired with the other three strategies can get you noticed by event organizers as well. That’s really the goal here – to rise as a thought leader in the event so that you’re able to stand out from the crowd.


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