Tags: Social Media

The Ultimate Guide On Email List Building Using Top Social Media Channels

The Ultimate Guide On Email List Building Using Top Social Media Channels

Practical Marketer • May 13, 2019

Social media has become such a huge part of our daily grind. While these platforms demand their users to participate and interact, some business owners can barely grasp how to leverage their presence and convert their online exposure into revenue. In fact, according to TrustRadius\' survey, marketers that use the platform give more value in displaying an attractive set of vanity metrics than in striving to make their campaigns meaningful in a way that contributes to revenues, website traffic, or leads. Vanity metrics—social media figures that include followers, likes, comments, shares, or retweets—have been a long-used strategy to gain traction. However, these numbers can be easily manipulated, and thus, shrugged off as meaningless. So as marketers, how do you take advantage of your followers on these networks? Always use social media with the aim of encouraging your followers to join your mailing list. By failing to entice them to be part of it, you’re letting possible customers slip away. Remember: your goal is to not just attract them with a one-time, big-time offer, but to seek long-term relationships. What Is Email List Building And Why Is It Important? “Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them,” Co-Founder of KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, and QuickSprout Neil Patel once tweeted. To cite a success story, video editing startup Video Fruit had zero members to its list before beginning its journey. However, after 48 hours of aggressive e-mail marketing and strategic planning, the startup gained 205 email subscribers while generating $247 in revenue in two days. So How Do You Grow your Email List? For Shopify, one of the top e-commerce players today, the key is presenting to your audience the easiest way to get into your mailing list—all the while offering it in a creative and persuasive manner. This simple way is through the opt-in form. What Are Opt-In Forms? To make sure that your site visitors sign up for your newsletter, you need to have a strategically-placed opt-in form. Opt-in forms are the consent users give you, authorizing you to contact them for more information about your service or product. Where Can You Put Opt-In Forms? Opt-in forms should be placed where they will have the best chances of conversions. Think of it as your strategic position when going to war. This includes: Your header or navigation bar Since it’s above the fold, the header is an effective place to put your opt-in form, making it highly visible to all your visitors. Make sure that your call-to-action button contrasts with your overall site colors so that it would stand out. The text should also be compelling enough to encourage sign-ups. Your sidebar The most common location for opt-in forms, a sign-up CTA can also be placed on the top of your sidebar. This offers additional visibility on top of your header opt-ins. If you’re worried about aesthetics, you can place more ads under the opt-in form to balance the look of your sidebar. Your website footer The footer is an often-ignored space. However, studies show that site visitors scroll down a web page even before it loads. This then gives you the opportunity to optimize your below-the-fold area. The great thing about placing your opt-in form on your footer is that it acts as your safety net—if all else fails or if visitors do not want to go back to the top of your page to sign up, you can still persuade them at the bottom of your page. How Can You Grow Your Email List Using Top Social Media Channels? Now that you know how to encourage your site visitors to sign up for your service or product, let’s go back to social media—how it is revolutionizing the world and how you can use it for your marketing campaigns. On Facebook Here are ways for you to entice your Facebook fans into joining your email list: Offer freebies no one can resist You can place your links and offers on the left side of your Facebook page. Programs like Leadpages allow you to add special offers that you can then use to attract new clients. To make sure this is effective, you need two key components: 1) Offer freebies that will provide value to your followers; and 2) Always include a way for them to sign up to your email list. Promote your blog content to your Facebook fans Remember that the purpose of your freebies is to act as lead magnets. Regarding content, you can offer an info product, an e-book, or a helpful guide in exchange for their email addresses. Promote your content on your page, making sure that your opt-ins are placed within your blog content, placed on your side bar, or presented in a pop-up box. Use a Facebook call-to-action button On your Facebook page, the call-to-action appears right below your cover photo on the rightmost side. This button can be customized to suit your purposes. Simply hover over the button, select ‘Edit Button,’ then ‘Get in Touch with Us.’ Now you can choose from a variety of CTAs, which includes an option for your followers to sign up or subscribe as your regular follower. Promote a lead magnet in your Facebook Live broadcast Live videos are a go-to when people search for tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos, or immediate answer to their questions. This presents an opportunity to connect not only with your fans but also with potential customers. However, you shouldn’t stop there. During your live broadcast, promote your lead magnets that would then link to your opt-in forms. This ensures that you give your viewers an avenue to keep their connection with you. Create a Lead-generating Facebook Ad It always pays off to allocate some financing on ads as long as you know your audience. In the case of Facebook Ads, you’ll be able to target your exact demographic. If your message and strategy are right, you’ll see dramatic results almost immediately regarding gathering leads. On Twitter Like Facebook, Twitter is also a great platform for lead magnets. Moreover, the platform makes use of several features like hashtags, which are big traffic generators as long as you know how to use it. Use multimedia tweets According to a survey done by Twitter, multimedia tweets generate three to four times more engagement than a tweet in plain text. Multimedia content, which involves adding photos or videos to your message, is a good and simple way to spice up that tweet. Used pinned tweets to drive traffic to your landing page A pinned tweet is a highly clicked portion of your Twitter profile. So the more clicks you gain, the more website visitors you are attracting. By pinning a tweet, you’re boosting your site traffic and/or promoting your content—two avenues that you can use to lead visitors to an opt-in box. Create high-quality content Inarguably, content is a big booster for generating traffic. Sadly, some may have been doing more quantity at the cost of quality, thinking that numerous sharing and posting does the job. The key here is to keep providing relevant and valuable content to your followers, earning their trust along the way. Opt-in forms can be easily included in every blog post. Get active using hashtags and trends The hashtag itself is a way to draw attention. While it’s tempting to use more than one to target more audiences, more than two would negatively impact your engagement. When done well—that is, avoiding spam hashtags and using only the relevant ones in your niche—it will result in 21% more engagements and 55% more retweets. Optimize your hashtags to gain more followers, increase brand awareness, and lead them to your sign up form. Link everything to an opt-in page As the opt-in remains a crucial part of gaining subscribers, don’t forget to include it in every link. However, going back to the main rule, do not get obsessed with just vanity metrics. Make sure that you track the right KPIs and optimize it according to the data you gather. On Pinterest An advantage of Pinterest is that, unlike Facebook and Instagram that are operated by algorithms, Pinterest allows you to connect directly with your customers. Decide on the best free opt-in to pin on your page You can design and create your own opt-in for a more customized approach. But if you don’t have the resources for it, there are services that offer it for free. Once that you have an opt-in, link it to your email service provider and automate it, so it will be sent to each new subscriber who sees your pinned image. Create a “Pinnable Image” for your opt-in Several bloggers miss out on the advantages of creating pinnable images for opt-ins and attracting website visitors. To do this, have an image that has the right size (735 pixels by 1103 pixels), a readable title, and an eye-catching image. With more people finding your images captivating, the higher your chances are of repins. With more repins, you are then increasing your brand reach and the number of opt-in subscribers. Hide your pinnable image within your landing page Some people may prefer removing large images on their landing pages. You can always hide the pinnable image if you think it’s a big distraction to your website’s content. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to put the image in hiding status. Pin it again and again, everywhere on your board No one’s stopping you from pinning your opt-in so you can do it anytime and anywhere on your page. Not just on your board, but on a group’s board too This may play a crucial role in your aim of generating traffic. Just make sure you’re pinning to boards relevant to your content. Most importantly, follow the rules set by each board group to keep from being blacklisted. Remember To Segment Your Email List According to Red Stag Fulfillment, an emerging e-commerce industry player, people receive a handful of email that, citing recent statistics,  average worker receives 121 emails per day. This is exactly why there has been so much unsubscribing going on. Source: Red Stag Fulfillment According to Fluent, LLC, 57% of email users find the communication they receive “never” or “rarely” useful. About 29% said they “sometimes” find it useful, and only 15% said it was “always” or “often” useful. In contrast to the mainstream strategy of blasting emails, people take in information from emails that are relevant, timely, and necessary. As such, it is important to segment your email list after building it. By segmenting, you divide your contacts based on certain criteria and factors, such as geography, demographics, gender, job function, psychographics, and behavior, among others. Segmenting your subscribers helps you tailor-fit what specific deals they would like to receive and will catch their attention. As such, do not skip your buyer persona research so you can get to know your consumers more. Takeaway With the rise of social media use, plenty of brands stopped investing in email marketing, thinking that it’s an obsolete way of gaining followers and improving sales. This, however, shouldn’t be the case. Social media and email marketing can go hand-in-hand to increase the number of your newsletter subscriptions. Remember to consistently provide value to your subscribers. This way, they won’t unsubscribe and even go as far as recommending you to their family and friends.


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How To Use Your Email List To Create Facebook Ads That Deliver

How To Use Your Email List To Create Facebook Ads That Deliver

Practical Marketer • October 16, 2017

Did you know that the average Click Through Rate (CTR) for Facebook Ads is just 0.9%? What if I said you could increase your Facebook ad CTR to 4% and above? Well, that’s exactly what you could do with email list Facebook ad targeting. This isn’t a hoax. If you want to start creating Facebook ads that deliver, you’re going to want to consider changing the way you target your audience. It’s no secret that the key to boosting the relevance score of your Facebook ad lies in your Facebook ad targeting. The more relevant your ad is to your target audience, the higher your relevance score will be, and ultimately, the lower your CPC will be. Just look at Adespresso who cut their CPC by $1.45 just by targeting a more relevant audience. So what better way to generate a relevant audience for your Facebook ad than by using an email list full of prospects which have already shown interest in your brand? Last year it was revealed that the costs of Facebook ads are increasing by 9% year on year. So there’s no better time to start managing your advertising spend better by utilizing your email list to deliver better Facebook ad targeting. So how can you do this? Generate A Lookalike Audience There are many ways to use email Facebook ad targeting to generate Facebook ads that deliver - but generating a lookalike audience is one of the most effective. When compared to a Facebook ad that utilizes a more common form of targeting, research has shown that lookalike audience targeting for some travel and online shopping companies lowered CPA (cost per action) by anywhere between 54%-70%. That’s a huge saving to make for something that takes only a matter of minutes to change. Lookalike Facebook ad targeting is also great for those businesses whose email lists still need some work. If you don’t have access to an extensive email list and the potential of re-engaging your current contact list is slim, lookalike targeting allows you to reach a much larger pool of prospects, just waiting to be converted. So what exactly is a lookalike audience? A lookalike audience is a group of people who have qualities similar to those in your source audience, which in this case, is your email list. You upload your email list to Facebook, they identify those users in their system and produce a new target list for you based on the common qualities and interests shared by your email list. That’s a whole new audience ready for you to convert. Sounds great, right? Here’s how to set up a lookalike audience: Upload your email list to Facebook Extract your email list and save as a CSV file. Enter the audience section of your Facebook ad and create a new custom audience by uploading your CSV file, as shown in the image below. Facebook will then identify all the users in their system which match with your email address list and use these users to create an audience for your ad. Your email list must have at least 100 contacts in for you to be able to do this, but Facebook recommend uploading anywhere between 1,000 and 50,000 contacts for best results. Generate your lookalike audience Once you’ve uploaded your email list and Facebook have successfully matched your list to their users, you’re ready to generate your lookalike audience. From the same tab as before, select ‘create a lookalike audience’ as shown in the image below. Select your source as the email list you have just uploaded and the country or region you want to target. Then you’ll need to select a percentage of that location that you want to target. You can choose anywhere between 1%-10% of the population, but the lower the percentage you choose, the more closely matched the audience will be to your current email list. [caption id=\"attachment_7567\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1310\"] It’s important to note that it can take up to 24 hours for Facebook to generate your lookalike audience.[/caption] And then you’re ready to rock. Continue setting up your Facebook ad by adding content and an image which will help you achieve your desired advertising goal. Remarket to Interested Prospects Did you know that only 5%-8% of customers are likely to convert on the first use of your website? That means there’s a massive 92%-95% of website visitors which you could be ignoring. And that’s where remarketing comes in. Remarketing does exactly what it says on the tin - it allows you to retarget the customers who once showed interest in your company. It’s a gentle nudge - a reminder that your brand and your product or service still exists. And it’s not a method to be knocked. In fact, research has shown that 70% of customers that are presented with certain types of remarketing ads will later go on to convert. So how can you use your email list to remarket to customers on Facebook? Identify those prospects with a genuine interest Use your website data to segment your email list into those who have converted and those who haven’t yet. You’re looking for those customers who have signed up for an account, your newsletter or requested more information but haven’t yet converted into a customer. But be realistic with your list. If your list contains prospects who signed up over a year ago and haven’t been active on your site since then - it’s likely they’ve already found another solution elsewhere (sorry!). Use this list of prospects in your Facebook ad targeting As with the lookalike audience, you’ll need to extract your prospect’s email addresses into a CSV file. Then you can upload this file to your advert account by creating a new custom audience, as earlier shown in image 1. Facebook will identify every user who matches with an email address on your list and generates a new audience for you. It’s unlikely you’ll get a 100% match rate - so don’t be disappointed if it only matches 40% of your prospects. Although your Facebook ad targeting is arguably the most important aspect of your campaign, you’ll still need to design an ad that will grab this audience’s attention. It’s not just as simple as putting a link to your website in front of the right customer. You’ll need to think of all the reasons why your audience might not have converted yet and base your ad around these factors. Perhaps you could offer an introductory deal or link them to a help section on your website to help them get started. You’ll need to figure out the best tactic for your business. Upsell to Your Active Customers Facebook ads aren’t only designed for attracting new customers. They’re also great for upselling to existing customers and keeping them interested. It’s likely you’re already contacting these customers by email - and that’s great. But this is all about brand awareness and the more a customer notices your brand - the more inclined they’ll be to convert. In fact, research conducted by Facebook found that using Facebook ads in conjunction with email campaigns will extend the reach of your campaign by 77%! So how can you use your active customer email addresses to improve your Facebook ad targeting? Segment your email list Your first step will be to segment your email list to create a group of active customers. But remember, what makes an active customer for one company, won’t qualify as an active customer for another. For example, for a supermarket, an active customer is likely to shop once a week. However, for a large technology company, an active customer could mean someone who shops with the brand once every few years. It\'s down to you to work out what qualifies someone as an active customer for your business. Once you’ve done this, extract their email addresses into a CSV file ready to be uploaded to Facebook advert manager. Generate your audience As with both lookalike audiences and remarketing lists, you’ll need to create a custom audience. Upload your CSV file, and Facebook will match as many of their users to this list as possible. Again, you’re going to need at least 100 contacts on your list for this to work. (Refer to image one if you need a reminder on how to do this) Figure out your angle Are you going to upsell or are you going to reward your customer with a discount? Are you going to share some helpful guides or launch a new product? Either way, you’re going to need to figure out what your aim is to create a Facebook ad that will keep this audience coming back for more. Now it’s your turn… Thanks for reading this guide. I hope you’ve learned a trick or two about how to use your email list to create Facebook ads that really will deliver. If you have any other tips for using your email list in your advertising plan, feel free to share away in the comments!


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Awesome Ways to Grow Your Email List with Facebook and Snapchat

Awesome Ways to Grow Your Email List with Facebook and Snapchat

Practical Marketer • July 24, 2017

It’s a question older than email marketing itself: How do I grow my contact list? Your list is one of the most valuable assets to your company. No matter the communication channel, you own your list. Nobody can take that away from you. With a return on investment for Email Marketing of $45 for every $1 spent, of course you want to grow your list! Consider Your Options There is no shortage of tried and true methods to grow your email list. Let’s take this time to get a little creative and consider what else is available to you. Are you getting the most out of the tools and apps you’re already using? With every new social media tool that debuts, the questions of “is email marketing dead?” soon follows. The opposite is true. Email marketing thrives in tandem with social media. It’s actually a new avenue to support and strengthen your email list. While it may sometimes seem like Facebook and Snapchat are engaging in an all out battle to the death, both are exciting options for growing your email list. The Power of Social Media and Its Users With each new feature released by a social channel, new marketing opportunities arise. Why? Because no marketer can ignore the numbers. The stats on Facebook are staggering: 1.9 Billion active monthly users 1.2 Billion logon to the platform daily 20 min is the average time a user spends on Facebook when they log on 4.75 Billion pieces of content are shared daily Over 16 Million Business pages on the platform Snapchat is rapidly growing each day: 300 Million monthly active users 100 Million daily active users 1.7 Billiion snaps are shared each day 30% of US Millennial Internet Users use Snapchat regularly 60% of college students would purchased from a brand off of Spapchat With all those users, some will surely subscribe to your email list. Right? Right. Let’s look at how. Harness the Power of Facebook You can promote your email subscription to your existing Facebook fans. To do this, you can put a signup form on a Tab on your Facebook page. You can best accomplish this with an iFrame app. Using the iFrame app, you can paste the HTML code of a signup form you’ve previously designed or even link the URL of a landing page built for gathering subscribers. The result will be a signup form that matches your branding, directly on your Facebook page. Once you’ve added a signup form to your Facebook page, you can also create ads to promote it. You can drive traffic directly to the Tab on your page that has your signup form with a simple ad. The best part, is that you can target to whom you promote your ad. When you’re in the process of creating your ad, you have the option to customize the audience for your ad. There, you’ll see the immensely valuable option to create a Lookalike Audience. That means you’ll target your ad towards people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable customers. Snapchat, Crackle and Make Your List Pop As Snapchat is still the relatively new kid on the block, it doesn’t hurt to take some steps to grow your audience there. Snapchat users have found many creative ways to share their snapcode: Print it out and put it on your storefront, car or anywhere! Set it as your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel Put your snapcode on your business card Simply forward it to your list of contacts (in a post on how social media can boost your email marketing, let’s not forget email can promote your social media efforts as well) Now, you can turn your new and existing Snapchat followers into subscribers. This can be done with the new attachment feature on Snapchat. The way this looks from a user experience, is that your follower can swipe up on your snap. This will take them to the website you’ve chosen. Much like Facebook, you can direct them to a landing page with your signup form on it. Tailor the page to your Snapchat followers and give them good incentive to subscribe. Also like Facebook, there are unique targeting options available to you in Snapchat. Using the Our Story feature, you can target your signup form snaps to a specific audience. This feature allows you to add a snap to a local story, whether it be a location or even an event. Adding a snap in Our Story means anyone watching the story for their location or the event they’re attending or following will see your snap. Snapchat has more recently added an option to view snaps from anywhere in the world. That’s right! Now your snap you’ve sent to build your list can even go viral. Go to a highly dense snap area or look for events in your area and upload snaps to the public story with your attachment. This will bring in new subscribers to your landing page. Don’t Forget the Details No matter what methods you use to grow your list, make sure to keep your lists well organized and segmented. Try not to group all your new subscribers together in one list. You can do this with the fields in the signup forms you’re using on Facebook and Snapchat. Or you can even create separate lists for each one. That will let you send campaigns tailored to the audience on each channel. Conclusion There are many creative and interesting ways that you can incentivize your social media followers to become email subscribers. The method you choose is the first step. Getting someone to subscribe to your email list is all about the “why.” Think of an email address as a currency. You better give value for the exchange. Otherwise, why would anyone signup? How Do You Grow Your List? Have you found effective ways to use Facebook, Snapchat or any other social tool that we didn’t discuss? Share your successes in the comments! We love to hear about what others are doing. If you’re inspired to put these ideas to use, signup and get started today.


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Using Email Marketing to Boost Social Media Followers

Using Email Marketing to Boost Social Media Followers

Beyond • June 26, 2017

Marketing is meant to be a machine with all parts working toward the same goal. In most marketing departments, the parts are meant to make up the whole; at least, that is the ideal. The reality is very different. The reality is most marketing department processes and functions rarely support other pockets of activity. Take content, for example, the most time intensive marketing responsibility. Content should be an overarching umbrella that funnels into different purposes. One piece of content should be adaptable and have multiple functionalities so it can be adapted to social media, email marketing, blogs, and more. In this way, content is not only dictating how other marketing arms are fleshed out, but the content is also bringing these different pockets together. Instead, content tends to be scattered across the board. One thing is said on one platform and something else entirely somewhere else. What’s shared on the blog, of course, often makes it to social media platforms -- but not all social media platforms. First of all, content is not adapted to suit the style of each platform. What works on Facebook will not work on Instagram; and what works on Instagram is not going to cut it for Twitter. Let’s look at content the other way around. In fact, let’s look at your biggest organic content generator: social media. Filling the Social Media Follower Void If you have an active social media presence on any platform -- and you’re not pulling from the engagement and dialogue there -- you’re missing out on some major opportunities. One of those opportunities is getting more people from your email marketing list to convert as new social media followers. This is particularly important if you have a strong email marketing subscriber list and a loyal following there -- and are trying to build up your social media accounts. The most under-utilized way to bridge the gap is to integrate social media into your email campaigns, particularly newsletters. If you have a hot Instagram or Twitter account, take some of the best high-traffic posts and link to them in your campaigns. If there was a dynamic Facebook post the generate a riveting dialogue with followers, then summarize that with a headline and an invitation to join the conversation on Facebook. The point is to tease your subscribers with linked-back images of the chats that are happening somewhere else so you can funnel them to your social platforms. In fact, you can have an entire email campaign per week dedicated exclusively to social media chatter for the week. When it comes to social media, you want to keep this a weekly occurrence just because the news cycle changes so quickly. What’s relevant or hot today, may not be of interest to your followers next week, even if that social post is visually driven images from Instagram. Cultivating Social Media Followers from Email Campaigns The point is not to forget about one pocket while you’re working in another pocket. For starters, it’s highly recommend to center one entire email campaign is centered on a call to action for social media. It should be well-designed, clean and organized, as you see with the two examples. The one above for JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores is a fantastic example of how to focus on your niche audience. At the top of the email campaign, as you would also share at the top of a website, they list all the social media platforms they’re on. They understand their demographic is women who are inspired to create and get crafty. The best social media platform for that is Pinterest. If they were to focus on a second, maybe it would be Facebook and then Instagram. JoAnn’s chose to focus on Pinterest and paired it with a pinboard. There isn’t an excessive copy. The call to action is simply the pins, which they repeated in various graphic design elements throughout the email campaign. The example below is Bed Bath & Beyond. They have a cheeky theme about “getting into the swing of it,” paired with value for each platform. The value isn’t also a thesis, it’s about pairing strong visuals that direct action with language that supports taking that action. Interestingly, the email campaign weaves in elements of website design. The top two rows of categories mimic their website. This is smart. It reminds people what the brand is about but also is a non-verbal cue to shop. Building on that, there are other ways to get email subscribers to show. Try including social media links in your email sign up form as well as your email confirmation form. Your subscriber’s welcome email can also be broken up into two separate campaigns, the latter of which focuses exclusively on social media. Have a second follow-up welcome email focus exclusively on social is smart if your email campaigns tend to be spaced out, allowing your subscribers to stay engaged in other ways in between campaigns. Weaving in Your Brand Value When integrating your social media teasers into your email campaigns, the key is to keep in mind brand value. In other words, think of communicating,  “Here’s what you need and here’s why you need it.” That is how you go about drumming up your value. Ask yourself what’s the one thing you offer on your social platforms that make them pop out? Going further, perhaps there are multiple types of value. You might get great community engagement on your Facebook page. Perhaps your Twitter page scoops up the hottest issues. Instagram might be where you curate the best finds across the visual platform and repost on your Instagram account. Maybe your Instagram is where you capture your brand’s culture. The point is the value you have your social media accounts tends to be diverse, and each platform captures a different facet of your brand value. Now it’s time to bring that back home to your email campaigns. It’s Always About the Numbers [caption id=\"attachment_5960\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"620\"] Graph as seen on OptinMonster.[/caption] The people marketing higher-ups typically answer to are easily charmed by the appeal of social media. The engagement there is visible. The likes and the replies are visible, but that doesn’t mean they’re measurable in the same way you measure engagement on email marketing. Think of it this way: 5,000 subscribers to your email subscriber list is not the same 5,000 subscribers on your Facebook or Twitter page. According to Stuart Marler from Retriever Digital, “If you have 2,000 Facebook fans usually only 2-5 people will see each post you publish.\" The level of engagement on social media is typically very minimal unless you’ve boosted the post. Then there’s the issue of boosting a post. While a boosted post gets you more traffic, likes, shares, and replies, etc., that engagement very typically isn’t driven by people who like or follow your business page. They’re often one-offs, there because you’ve paid for a sponsored post. It’s not an accurate level of reach or fanbase, especially when not compared to what you get on email marketing. Let’s look at what you get when you post the same thing to social media, on a platform like Facebook, while also sending the post to your email subscribers. Thought leaders Ogilvy note that Facebook organic reaches an estimated 6% of a brand’s fanbase, whereas the average reach (open rate) for email is 22%. That is a huge discrepancy in numbers. The point is this, the level of followers or subscribers is not equal to the level of engagement had based on that number alone. Think of it like this: you can have 5,000 contacts on your phone but who picks up the phone when you call? When it comes to social media, the same relative theory applies. It’s a question of who’s there versus who answers the call. Coming back to the point, considering that you naturally have a higher rate of email marketing engagement, it’s smart marketing to drive that audience to social media. Not only do you want to make sure you are evening out the playing field with the same people accessing all platforms you’re present in, but you can also use your email subscribers to help boost social media engagement. Going back to the drawing board, think of how you can use this information to create a bridge to connect social media to your email marketing campaigns. Considering summer is ahead of us and is typically a dry spell for email marketing, this is a great time to go back and pull the best of what you have on social media into your email campaigns. In fact, a key theme during the summer could be to draw attention to the most pivotal conversations and shares on social media as one-off email campaigns that can be sent out daily. It would be curious to see how your numbers perform under this strategy, whether your social media followers go up and whether you’ve maybe even increased social engagement through this innovative way to think about your marketing platforms. Give it a try, have fun with it, and let us know how it went for you!


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When Social Media Platforms Die, Your Email List Stands Strong

When Social Media Platforms Die, Your Email List Stands Strong

Beyond • January 31, 2017

Rule number one of any website design project is that you keep as much of your data and mechanics under one umbrella. Here’s why: If you’re building a website that relies on third-party apps and platforms to flesh that out, you’re compromising your ability to keep your website and data intact as those apps and platforms naturally die over time. Say you invest $5k in a website but then rely on a completely different third party app to build out the community forum -- what will you do if that third party forum app goes out of business? What will you do if they sell to another business that then changes pricing or the model itself? In any of those situations, your digital assets are completely compromised and beyond your control. It is not uncommon for even the most popular apps themselves to cut off from the third party apps they also use. In fact, Snapchat did exactly this recently. This brings us back to how else the same rule of security and data applies to our business in other - even lesser known - ways: our social media platforms. Third party apps aren’t the only thing to die off. Think of all the social media platforms that have come and gone. Sure you might not have used some of them but everyone used MySpace - and what happened when MySpace died out, changed it’s direction to once again be focused on music, and/or you choose to leave it for Facebook? What happened to all your contacts as they chose to leave and migrate elsewhere? Let’s look at some of the data concerns to hit just MySpace alone. After its decline, MySpace \"vanished\" user blogs. All that hard-won content and the engagement with it disappeared overnight for some people. It was particularly damaging to users who hadn’t saved the content elsewhere or relied on MySpace as their platform. The social media platform pushed for this move in an effort to \'modernize\' their platform. All that user history and critical records went in the blink of an eye without any notice or ability to retrieve content. MySpace and LinkedIn were also hit by hackers, an attack that compromised the login credentials for millions of users -- that then compromises their accounts. 427 million MySpace accounts were hacked and 100 million LinkedIn users were attacked, their info then up for sale to the highest bidder on the dark web. The 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report showed cyber security crimes as one of the biggest threats, costing an estimated $2 trillion by 2019. The fact remains, any social media platform is a target. The bigger the platform, the bigger the target it becomes. The same holds true for those social media platforms that might be attacked for political reasons and their policies when it comes to censorship. And if they have secured their walls against these attacks, there is still nothing to ensure that the company won’t change their method of practice or business, or sell to another company. This speculation is especially the case for Twitter and Facebook as they become more entrenched in political affiliations through management interests or investor interests. The point is, you can’t control the direction of the platform in the future, but you can minimize your damages. LinkedIn is a great place to start. LinkedIn, the biggest business social media platform there is, allows users to export their contact list which you can then integrate into your email lists. At the end of the day, your email list is the only real tangible asset you have -- the one thing that stays with you as platforms rise and fall. Having a list of engaged subscribers - especially subscribers you’ve been able to curate from social media as well in case those platforms fail -- is worth its weight in gold. This is the tribe of people who will stay with you even as the digital landscape changes. With Benchmark’s Automation Pro, you can set up a journey to optimize the lists and increase engagement with the subscribers. At the end of the day, it’s not just about having that list; it’s about how you use that list and how you maintain its integrity.


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How To Use SMM To Boost Email Subscription

How To Use SMM To Boost Email Subscription

Beyond • November 30, 2016

Business activity almost seems to come to a halt during the holidays. It noticeably starts around the holidays and continues through New Year’s Day. But this is also a prime time for using behavior patterns to your advantage by using social media marketing to boost email subscriptions. Think about it. What are you doing when you’re stuck in line at the mall while shopping for holiday gifts? You’re on your phone. What are you doing when you’re stuck in a car full of family headed on a long drive to visit family? You’re on your phone. And what are you doing once there? You escape the only real way you can...by being on your phone. With that in mind, one of your goals during this peak phone season is to gear your marketing toward boosting email subscription rates. Here’s how you can do that. You already know to create portals on social channels to your sign-up page. There should be a link on Twitter and a button on your Facebook. That’s lovely but that’s also like sticking a baitless hook in the ocean and hoping some fishes crashes into it. It doesn’t quite work. Instead of you want to look at the direction the fish are swimming in and cast a wide net. In reality, that means you appeal to people’s interest and you go to where they are. The standard practice is to create a white paper that appeals to your demographic’s interest and link to that landing page via social email. That landing page leads to a sign-up form with a promise of a product once they’ve signed up. The problem is no one is going to read your white paper during the holidays. They’re already bored by being in line, in the car, and stuck at the far corners of the earth at Aunt Martha’s home pretending they love their hideous presents. Entertain them. Turn your white paper into some top ten list, a video, a visual chart - something that captures their curiosity. Be funny. Be entertaining. And they will sign up. Use that same method to create content that is crafty and visually appealing. And use social media during the holidays to be a platform for entertainment and relevant news or product info as needed. People will be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be amused and entertained. This means content that meets this mark gets clicked on. Once on your website, they need to be directed to email beyond just a tab at top or bottom of the page and the obligatory pop-up. You should have 3 to 4 different styles of graphics that blend in with your content scheme, which then leads to newsletter signup forms. These are calls to actions that weave in with your narrative versus the jarring candy bars that seem almost spammy. And that’s really how to see social media especially during the holiday season; social media is the ocean and your smartly designed content and is the net.


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How Can I Integrate Social Media With My Emails?

How Can I Integrate Social Media With My Emails?

Practical Marketer • November 9, 2016

In this day and age when we talk about marketing—Digital and Physical—we know that content is a key component to drive results that help us reach our goals. In terms of tactics, we know that Email marketing has an ROI of $40 for each $1 invested and that social media is a powerful weapon when you need to get your content distributed. Another key for said success lays in having a Customer Experience orientation, meaning: creating an environment that allows your customers and the ones that aren’t yet, have the same experience each time they come in contact with your brand, no matter the channel. To achieve that, you need to combine different communication channels and media in an effective and creative way that maximizes your results. But, how do you start? 1. Define Where You’re Standing This is the year 2016 (no, really!), at this point of the game you should know that your email campaigns should contain at least links to your social profiles and that you should have an integration in place to let people sign up to your newsletter from your Facebook Fan Page,  if you’re not doing any of the two, ask yourself: where do you want to start? and what you need to get it rolling? A few ideas to get you started on the basics would be: Insert social media channel icons in your email Add a signup form to your Facebook fan page Define the social media goals that Email can help you achieve and vice versa Define which pieces of your content work better in any of these channels [caption id=\"attachment_2099\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1400\"] An example of social media buttons in an email campaign.[/caption] 2. Facebook ‘Like’ Button Embedded in Your Emails Invite your subscribers to click the Facebook ‘Like’ button for your content, without them having to leave your email campaign. This makes it easier for them to: share your content, refer you to potential new clients and even launch contests based on the total of Likes and Shares for the content you send them. [caption id=\"attachment_2102\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1200\"] The steps to include a \'Like\' Button in your email with Benchmark.[/caption] 3. Upload Your Lists to Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter A highly powerful method, to not only get in contact with your subscribers but to also understand them and get more from them, is uploading your lists to different social media channels. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others, allow you to upload your email lists and the possibilities of what you can achieve are as endless as your creativity, some ideas you can try: Create targeted ad campaigns to people that are already interested in your brand Create groups or lists of people so you can send targeted messages and special offers Connect with your clients and understand their online behavior, that way you can keep improving their Customer Experience [caption id=\"attachment_2100\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1400\"] Uploading a contact list to LinkedIn.[/caption] 4. Integrate Your Email With Your Social Media Channels Although there are integrations that automatically tweet or post your emails to your social channels when you send them, there are template integrations that pull your latest posts and data from your social profiles, making it easier for your followers to catch up on your social media activities right inside their inbox. [caption id=\"attachment_2101\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1400\"] Benchmark Email\'s social media template integrations.[/caption] Wrapping up So there you have it, whether you are an experienced marketer or someone who is just getting started you should know that the possibilities are endless especially in the digital world, I would love to hear your ideas and how you have integrated social and email or other questions you might have.


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New template integrations: eBay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook Events

New template integrations: eBay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook Events

Lean Journey Product & Design • May 16, 2016

Often, the novice marketer asks a question that goes something like, “should I be doing A or B in my marketing efforts?” No matter what A or B represents, the answer is never either/or … but all of the above. All our marketing channels are strongest when used in conjunction with one another. Our Benchmark Email template integrations make that incredibly simple. We’re excited to announce new template integrations for eBay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Events. eBay Bring more attention to your items for sale on eBay. Either promote one or multiple items with the eBay template option. That means you’re not limited to just the audience of eBay, but can also advertise to repeat customers, subscribers and more. Etsy Share the items in your Etsy store with your subscribers. Promote up to 15 of your most recent offerings with the Etsy template option. Help drive repeat business, get more eyes on the crafts in your Etsy store and sell more. LinkedIn Turn your subscribers into LinkedIn followers by sharing recent updates. Your company’s information and three most recent updates are included with the LinkedIn template option. Your LinkedIn followers won’t always be your subscribers and vice versa. This helps to close that gap. Twitter Convert your email subscribers into Twitter followers by sharing recent tweets. Up to five of your company’s most recent tweets are included with the Twitter template option. Even if your subscribers are already following you on Twitter, they may not be seeing all your tweets. Be sure they’re seen with the help of this integration. Pinterest Turn your subscribers into Pinterest followers by sharing your boards. Get more eyes on your boards and expand your reach beyond the platform with the Pinterest template option. Facebook Events Increase attendance to your Facebook Events by promoting them with email marketing. Advertise one or more Facebook Events with the Facebook Events template option. Plus, you get the added advantage of Benchmark Email’s real-time reports. That way you’ll be able to better gauge interest in your events.


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Curated Content Marketing: Creating Stories with Social Media

Beyond • June 13, 2013

21st century marketing involves a lot of content. Great content is what gets your business noticed and talked about. But unfortunately, not all business owners are writers. There’s the option of hiring a writer, but a lot of small businesses don’t have the budget for a decent writer. Conversely, most business owners don’t have the time or patience to plow through the content development process themselves. If they do, it’s almost statistical that after a few efforts they give up simply because it’s something they struggle with. The alternative, and a popular one at that, is to curate content off of other channels. Some of the top apps to do this (in addition to the ones I discussed last week) include Storify, Pinterest and Tumblr. Creating Stories Using Social Media Developed in mind as an alternative mode of journalism, Storify lets you turn curated content into stories. Transform tweets, photos and blog content from various networks into creative content plugs. Storify has a really easy-to-use platform that lets you sync social media together. Once logged in, start by choosing a topic. Storify browses various outlets to offer you the best of what’s out there on your topic. Use the field results to weave together a story that’s practically been served to you on a digital platter. Best for: Businesses looking to create stories or offer news-worthy content. If you’re not in the business of original content creation, you can still use Storify to share relevant info/photos of industry-related happenings. Capture Audience Imagination with Pinterest Pinterest is a feast for your eyes, and first captured mine on Facebook where hoards of users were using it to share favorite images. It’s a virtual mood or interest board where you can share your favorite finds. It’s super easy to use, allowing you to collect and “pin” favorite finds as you browse the net. You can have individually labeled boards based on your various interests. The platform works primarily because a picture is a quick way to communicate an idea. It appeals to the imagination and it takes seconds to consume, as opposed to text content. Best for: Visual/design oriented businesses like graphic designers, artists, interior designers, fashion designers, e-commerce, etc. It’s best if you use it to showcase your own work but also include all your various interests and finds from other sources. Just like with blogging, no one wants to see just one narrow view, but rather an eclectic and inspired assortment of content that still stays true to a narrative or tone. Pair Blogging and Visuals with Tumblr Part blog, part mood board, Tumblr is a hot competitor to Pinterest. While Pinterest only really lets you plug visuals, Tumblr allows you to have an inspiration board but also plug in a humble blog via text along with quotes, links, chats, and audio/video content. As a bonus over Pinterest, Tumblr users can also use their own domain; since Pinterest isn’t a blogging platform, it doesn’t allow for the same personalization. Best for: Small businesses that target young adult consumers. The Good and the Bad of Curated Content Note that the downside of curating content is that you risk losing an authentic voice. Having a unique voice is essential to your branding and in making you stand out from the crowd. If you’re struggling to start, begin with curating content; after that, make an effort to mix curated content with your own original content. The benefit of pairing both original and curated content is that you show your audience you’re more than just about your own voice. You show you’re capable of original ideas but that you’re also in the know and willing to share great ideas from others.


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Online Marketing Tips: How to Get Noticed Online

Online Marketing Tips: How to Get Noticed Online

Beyond • December 30, 2011

Are you a DJ, a house cleaner, a landscaper or any local service professional who is trying to get more customers? Good thing you’re living in an era where there are countless venues available for you to market yourself. Here are some easy steps to getting noticed online. Prove You Exist! First, get your potential customers to discover you. How else can people avail themselves of the services you provide without advertising yourself? And whatever you do, don’t depend on word-of-mouth advertising. Although it comes in handy in the long run, there are many other ways that you can get your customers to know about you quickly and affordably. One of these is through social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. Another way is to join and list your business on e-commerce sites like Google Places, Yelp or Thumbtack (our company!). Aside from that, you can also publish yourself online by keeping a blog or a simple website that doesn’t require you to hire a web designer. Since the accessibility of social media and e-commerce sites takes competition in the market to a higher level, you would then need to take into consideration how to make the public get to notice you more. Among the thousands of professionals who are posting their services online, you need to provide more reliable information relating to you as a professional. Since customers only see pictures and read information online, they are wary about whom they will contact and hire. Here are some things your potential clients will consider: Create Credibility Customers want to know if you’re a legitimate professional. Provide information such as your certification, license, insurance and anything else that shows your credentials. Offer Great Customer Service The best way to gain customers is to provide excellent customer service. Let your customers feel they are valued by sticking to your promise and commitment to provide the services they need. Whether this includes technical support, a good attitude, smart knowledge or quality service, do it well and in a timely manner. Set Reasonable Pricing Remember that a reasonable price is not necessarily the lowest price. According to Whatis.com, “A fair and reasonable price is the price point for a good or service that is fair to both parties involved in the transaction.” This amount provides the best total value that compromises the delivery time, availability, payment terms, quality, quantity and service. Don’t under-price and don’t over-price. Guaranteed Service Other than quality service, customers feel safe getting services from you if you provide a service guarantee. This is the statement that clarifies what your customers can expect from you, as well as what you will do to alter the situation if your services do not meet their expectations. With this, your customers will be confident that you really will do the job right. Another way to boost your business is through a referral program. This marketing strategy will help you expand your network by giving incentives to clients who send you new business. You can do this by giving every satisfied customer a flyer describing your referral program. You can also mail out information regarding your referral program to your business contacts and inactive clients, or promote it through your email signature, blog or website. This is a great way to motivate your clients to keep doing business with you. They might also see it as a simple way of thanking you for the excellent service you provided, as well as a way to show your clients how you truly appreciate their confidence in your work. When you deliver high quality services to your clients, these clients can help you gain more business by providing great reviews. This is basically word-of-mouth marketing but in a written form. These reviews are a testament of what kind of service you deliver. And remember: No matter what else you do, you should always remember that excellent service is the best key to a successful business. Love your job, and do it well, and you will succeed.


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