Tag Archives: email marketing

Email Marketing for Ecommerce

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You need to venture into email marketing if you want your ecommerce business to thrive in 2018. Competition is really heating up and you have to enhance your relationships with your customers and leads. You might already be using email marketing but with no specific strategy.

Use the tips below to come up with a clear strategy and increase your ROI.  Who are you trying to reach? Every email sent to your list is an opportunity to get personal with a potential customer. If the content you are sending does not resonate with your recipients or encourage them to take a certain action, then you are not doing much. How do you know your audience?

  • Check your customer data: dig in the data you have of your customers to find any trends relating to purchasing habits, location, and age and use it to communicate with your list.
  • Build audience personas: create several audience personas then reference and refine them over time.
  • Check data from social pages: if you have a social media page check its analytics about your audience. 

Build An Actual Strategy

Most ecommerce business owners never take the time to create an actual strategy for their email marketing campaign. Here is why you should strive to have one:

  • A strategy enhances your focus.
  • A strategy helps you know which methods are working and which ones are not.
  • A strategy promotes accountability.
  • A strategy helps you have clear goals.
  • A strategy can be created and improved over time.
  • You can hand a strategy over to someone else.

One of the biggest and most common mistakes in email marketing is sending only promotional and sales emails to your recipients. Other types of campaigns help to grow relationships and loyalty. First, map out the typical journey of a customer buying from you.

As a marketer you should know how to send emails throughout the buyer journey and move the customer along towards conversion. Your wording matters a lot in email marketing. Try to write like an actual person, with authenticity to connect with your audience. Add a voice, personality and style to your email. Keep this in mind when creating content:

  • Do not try too hard to be funny or clever.
  • Use active voice, for instance, “we are processing your order” instead of “your order is being processed.
  • Write the way you would speak.
  • Let a real person write your email.
  • Use emojis and exclamation marks if you need to.

When people feel that they are personally connected to your brand, they will want to visit your site and even make purchases. To personalize emails, include first names in greetings and subject lines, consider seasons and holidays, have special offers for different segments of your list, etc. Ask your recipients what they think of the customer experience in your brand.

When they give feedback, you will not be working based on assumptions anymore. In the process of asking and receiving feedback, customers will trust you more and you will be able to improve your business. 

Email marketing is the best way to promote your business online. About 80% of retailers have confirmed that email marketing is the most effective method of attracting and retaining customers. More than 90% of customers in the USA open their email everyday, which increases the purchase rate to three times more than social media marketing.

Running an email campaign might not seem like much of a task but having a strategy is crucial. You need talent and skill to make sure you are targeting the right audience, having them open your email and spend money. Email verification software is an important aspect of this entire process to make sure that your list is clean which will translate to a higher ROI and accurate metrics.

Use of artificial intelligence tools will support your efforts and help you with competition. AI programs can analyze huge amounts of data with more efficiency and accuracy than humans. With so much incoming data, they will identify patterns and trends that the average human eye cannot. The additional data gives an idea on how to enhance your email campaign.

A significant number of studies have proven that optimized subject lines increase the chances of users opening your email. 30% of recipients will open an email because of the subject line while 70% will mark it as spam based on it. AI programs use your subject lines to choose successful keywords. They compare your email open rates to determine which keywords work in the subject lines, which ones should be dropped and any improvements that can be made.

Persado and Phrasee are some of the companies already offering marketers AI platforms to suggest subject line and content ideas. It doesn’t matter the size of your email list, these companies have all the resources you will need to improve your email campaign efficiency even for smaller lists. The recipients in your lists have virtual habits, much like in the real world. Maybe they check their email in the morning, surf just before they go to sleep, or shop during certain breaks.

People are more likely to respond positively at the time they choose to open and reply to their emails. That is, users pick their own schedule and will most likely show interest at their preferred time of undertaking a particular task. AI platforms will take the load off you and assess your recipients’ preferred time of opening emails.

The platforms will also analyze the type of emails that get more positive responses at certain times of the day. Personalization has significantly increased open and response rates. There are many types of personalization such as adding the client’s name in the subject line. Another form of personalization involves sending content that is tailored precisely for a recipient’s needs. AI platforms automate this process, saving you a lot of time and effort. Email campaign planners should do themselves a favor and learn about AI instead of sitting and waiting. Get ahead of your competitors.

The online marketplace is ever changing. A marketing tactic can be effective today and obsolete tomorrow. Email, however, keeps outperforming all the other marketing channels. Why is email so powerful? What makes it stay in power? It is easy to overlook email as a marketing channel. You may not find it trendy and exciting like Facebook. But it has key advantages over other channels.

Take a look at the demographics of popular social media platforms. Women use Pinterest the most while Snapchat is for the younger generation. On the other hand, almost everyone has an email address.  People willingly submit their email addresses and they obviously expect to receive emails from you. The readiness of your subscribers naturally increases your conversion rates.

If Facebook goes down, you lose your entire following. Email marketing allows you to have your own subscribers. Use social media to boost your email list. Automated marketing technology keeps on improving steadily and that is why email marketing is so effective. Being able to customize a customer’s experience and send targeted content to consumers drives more conversions and sales for businesses. 

Email personalization has greatly contributed to a rise in open and click-through rates. Marketing technology has made the otherwise tedious task of personalizing emails very simple. Advanced segmentation options have made it possible to tailor your email messages for specific consumer groups in your email list. The customer journey is not as simple as it used to be. Consumers use their smartphones to research a product and then use their desktop to complete the purchase.

Email marketing allows marketers to reach customers on various devices at whatever stage of purchase. Email has been proven to be very effective in acquiring leads and marketing automation has only made it better. It is simple to create a campaign geared towards new subscribers, welcoming them to your list. Email helps you convince a potential customer that your brand is the best.

Triggered emails increase the chances of closing a deal. Offering a valuable tool for deepening the relationship with existing customers. Send helpful guides or discounts to loyal customers via email. Email marketing is a safe investment for online businesses compared to paid search. It reaches more people and has more potential. 

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, it brings in $40, hence a better ROI than most channels. All statistics concerning email marketing are evidence of how effective it is. It is a requirement for anyone that wants more conversions.

Upcoming trends and technology promise a bright future for email. Google has shown confidence in email and is even investing in it. Video is a hot trend in digital marketing and it is now being used in email marketing. Artificial intelligence is responsible for enhanced segmentation and personalization of email. As it continues to advance, email marketing potential can only increase. 

How To Include Video In Your Email Marketing

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Video is the fastest and most effective medium of communication in marketing. It, therefore, goes without saying; that you have to use video in your email if you want to create brand awareness, educate your subscribers, or increase conversions. Emails with video stand out; they hook viewers and enhance engagement. They are more active and interesting to readers compared to plain text. Video communicates in less time and makes it easier to understand complex subjects. When viewers watch a video about a product, they respond more positively. An online video has better chances of becoming popular. When it is widely shared on social media, the brand is boosted. Plan Your Campaign; “Why this campaign?” always ask yourself that before you begin. That way, you can set clear objectives. For instance, to generate leads, announce events, create awareness, etc. and use these guidelines:

  • Have clear marketing strategies outlined for your campaign
  • Research thoroughly and understand your competitors
  • Figure out your target audience
  • Plan a marketing budget and adhere to it
  • Have a to-do list

For excellent results, go for high quality recording equipment. In addition, make use of video recording apps like Camera Plus Pro (iOS devices). Long videos do not appeal to the audience. Always go for short and interesting. Explore popular platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube for more visibility and sharing. Never send out your video before it is tested. Share it with friends and ask for suggestions. Create a series of videos; one long video is boring. Break it down into smaller videos and make a series. This keeps your audience interested and eager. Use the word “video” in your subject line; it increases the chances of users clicking on the email. Keep it short, clear, and actionable. Encourage the viewers to share the video and take action. Give your subscribers the freedom to play (or not) the video themselves. Single tap is always better than a double tap. Remove the need to open a new browser for them to view the video. Testimonials are highly valuable. Potential customers want to know what existing customers think. Add a personal touch; it builds users’ trust and engages them more. The following email service providers offer video email options and most of them do the heavy lifting for you.

  • MailChimp
  • VMatrix
  • BomBomb
  • TailoredEmail
  • Constant Contact
  • AWeber
  • Infusionsoft

HTML5 has numerous benefits such as improved functionality and a webpage video-playing feature. It plays a significant role in increasing mobile traffic. Animated .GIF and .PNG Videos are open standards just like HTML5. They play immediately when the email is opened. Although they do not support sound, they can drive higher clicks.

What Not To Do

  • Avoid “click here” and similar phrases
  • Do not use too many exclamation points
  • Avoid writing all content using uppercase
  • Stay away from dazzling colors
  • Less text in HTML email qualifies as spam
  • Avoid designing HTML email in Word

How To Grow Your Email List

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Did you know that your email-marketing database depreciates by approximately 22.5% each year? Your subscribers’ email addresses keep changing and you should take it upon yourself, as a marketer, to add fresh contacts to your list. 

Using Email

  1. Create outstanding email content. People will stay subscribed and even forward your emails to colleagues, family, and friends if the content is remarkable. 
  2. Encourage your list to forward and share the emails. “Email to a friend” and social media sharing buttons are effective if you want to access a fresh network.
  3. Conduct an online contest. This could be a giveaway where interested parties enter by submitting their email or signing up for the email list. 
  4. Create a number of email subscription types in order to send targeted content to relevant segments of your email subscribers. 
  5. Revitalize your stale email list by having an opt-in campaign. Is your list too old? Send an interesting opt-in message to the old list and encourage them to re-opt-in. 
  6. Incorporate a link to employees’ signature leading potential subscribers to a landing page for them to sign up for your email-marketing list.

With New Content

  1. Come up with a new lead-generating offer. This could be a free ebook where interested readers have to provide a valid email address to download the book.
  2. Have a free resource or online tool. The users will then be required to sign up with their email to access the tool.

Using Social Media

  1. Use Twitter to promote your lead-generating offer. Promote a free resource like an eBook on Twitter and have followers give their emails to redeem it. 
  2. Promote an offer on your Facebook page that requires followers to submit an email address. 
  3. Somewhere on your Facebook page, include a call-to-action-button, preferably at the top. The button should link to a landing page which people access using their email addresses.
  4. Have links to premium offers published on your LinkedIn Company page. 
  5. Promote offers where users sign up using email on Pinterest. 
  6. Utilize your YouTube channel, if your company has one. Include URLs and CTAs in your videos encouraging viewers to sign up for your email list.
  7. Use your Google+ page for promotional offers. 

On Your Website

  1. Throughout your website have links that lead back to offers that need email sign up. Subscription options should be sprinkled all over the website. 
  2. When guest blogging, incorporate a CTA and links for readers to subscribe and join your list.

With A Partner

  1. Running a campaign on a partner newsletter or website will help you reach a new audience and it is a fresh source of addresses. 
  2. Join a partner and host a co-marketing offer like a webinar or ebook. 

With Traditional Marketing/Advertising

  1. Offline events such as trade shows are great places to collect email addresses. Later, send them a welcome email to confirm their opt-in. 
  2. Host offline events such as conferences, educational panels, and meet-ups, among other events, where you collect email addresses during online registrations. 
  3. Encourage prospects to opt out of traditional marketing campaign and opt in email communication.
  4. Host webinars online and collect emails during registration. 
  5. Utilize paid search ads and link back to a landing page.
  6. Include a QR code in your print marketing collateral for people to scan and join your email database. 

A 2014 survey found that email marketing has the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels when it comes to web-based businesses. Given the results of that survey, instead of wondering whether you should build an email marketing list you should be asking yourself how to create one right now. Content upgrades are the difference between a 6% and a 60% conversion rate.

This is how you do it: create a new blog post, write in-depth content, then offer your readers the option to access upgraded content when they provide their email. Take advantage of their interest in the topic. Send blog posts to your list in the hope that you will get click-through to your site and generate traffic. Although having multiple links may cause less clicks on the one you want, if they click on the share button you are likely to get clicks from several visitors (even if your subscribers do not click and read your blog themselves).

Engaging people more increases the likelihood of having them subscribe to your email list. Ensure that the prize is appealing and have value to your audience. Offer bonuses for referrals and guaranteed incentives for those that will not win, maybe a free resource. Almost all high-traffic websites have opt-in incentives.

It is usually a white paper, eBook, resource list, a free software tool or just any content. All these are incentives for giving up email addresses. Tests and experiments have proven that pop-ups cause a steady increase in subscribers even though they can be annoying. They are very easy to implement and their results are insane.

Social proof is a powerful tool. 63% of customers are more likely to buy from a highly rated site. It is more influential than saving money. In social proof, bigger numbers are more impressive. To make a bigger number, add the number of your email subscribers to that of Twitter followers, Facebook, and any other platform followers, then throw in the total number somewhere whenever you need to make a statement.

When you name drop big names, even people who are new to your area of expertise will not need to know anything else about you. They will assume right away that you are a guru. Strive to have just one credible name and work with it.

If your customers are happy and satisfied, they will want to spread the happiness to their friends and colleagues. Instead of just asking them, offer them a bonus they cannot resist. Why are celebrities paid crazy rates for endorsements? There is a lot they can do to drive conversions. To partner with the big shots you can:

  • Use the poster boy method 
  • Fill a need for a fee
  • Work with tomorrow’s influencers

Speeding up your site should be a top priority. 40% of visitors are likely to leave your website after two seconds of load time. A great webinar might only take 15 minutes to record. They are way more captivating than the usual videos because of their limited run time. 

A Beginner’s Guide To Successful Email Marketing

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Even with the rise of social media, email is still an important part of most people’s lives. So if you are an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for your business is build a lucrative email marketing campaign. Many people, however, have no idea how too.

Everywhere people look they are met with advertisements, pitches, and all kinds of interruption. Although you might think yours is unique, the reader, most likely, cannot tell the difference. Never forget the space that you are in and always have your best manners. Being in another person’s inbox is similar to being invited over to their house for dinner. If your host requires you to take off your shoes, you do not argue.

The same case applies to email marketing, it is their personal space and you have to be respectful. Acquiring permission is the first step to having a successful email marketing campaign. You need to have a sizable email list. You might do this by giving freebies, offering product updates, or a newsletter. There is no right or wrong way between the two, provided you express a clear purpose when requesting someone’s address. Make people excited to give their addresses instead of just writing, “enter your email for updates”. 

Great email service providers strive to ensure that major ISPs do not block your emails. They have no control of where your emails end up; spam box or inbox. Getting whitelisted ensures proper delivery of your emails.  You get whitelisted by having your recipient add you to their address book. Always give instructions on how to do this in every email. Set your expectations.

A strong call-to-action and consistent follow-up is the ingredients of a positive campaign. Do not promise to send out one email in a week and then send emails every day—deliver on your promise, whatever it is. Step in your reader’s shoes if you plan to pitch often. Your messaging should be consistent with the expectations you set. Always ask yourself what value you are adding.

The best newsletters, for most readers, are those that mix updates and messaging properly. When you are sending out a newsletter with images and product updates, try to include a friendly update or personal message. Instead of talking to your list only when you have something to sell, utilize autoresponder and schedule content for consistent delivery. It helps to be in touch and have a relationship with your list.

The three most crucial analytics are unsubsribers, click through rate (CTR), and open rate. Open rate tells you whether people read or delete your email upon receipt. A low CTR means your message is not getting through. A high unsubscription rate means you have a lot of work to do. Segmentation is splitting your list into targeted groups. Segmenting your list helps you send targeted emails. Your email list is a very valuable resource and if you run your email marketing campaign right, the ROI will be high. 

The introduction of the Internet has made email marketing an important tool for any business. However, most of the campaigns that people get in their inboxes are so poorly written nobody takes note of them. Learn what email marketing is, why and how companies should use it.

Email marketing is a type of direct marketing and it uses email to communicate to the audience. In general, any email sent to a customer, potential or current, is considered email marketing. Nevertheless, when being specific the term means: A merchant sending emails to previous or current customers to cultivate loyalty and encourage repeat business. Sending emails to try and win new customers or convince the existing ones to buy something.

Including advertisements to emails that other companies send to their customers. What are the key advantages of email marketing over traditional marketing? You can track the return on investment and when done properly, it is high. After search marketing, email marketing is the most effective method of online marketing. Advertisers have access to multiple email subscribers.

Almost all Internet users send and check their email daily. Through email marketing, marketers can send dynamic, relevant, and personalized messages. Transaction emails help businesses to automatically attend consumer events. The cons of email marketing include spam/rejection rate of the sent emails by the customers’ email program, which does not have a positive effect on the delivery rate of emails.

Email marketing is cost effective. It does not matter whether you use an email marketing agency or do it yourself; sending emails to thousands of consumers will cost way less than other advertising channels will. Emails usually target the ideal customer. Coupled with the cost effectiveness of this method, the ROIs of other direct marketing strategies have nothing on email marketing. Measurability and flexibility; analytics allow you see the responses to your emails making it easy to know what is working and what is not.

You can, therefore, modify the campaign as necessary. Dave Chaffey of Marketing Insights has a mnemonic, “CRITICAL”, for the success of email marketing. Creative pertains to the general design (color/layout/images) of your email. It helps to ask every customer if they prefer the emails in HTML or text.

Most people greatly prefer one to the other. Targeting is of great importance here. Make sure that your emails are relevant and personalized for each recipient to increase the chances of a positive response. Recipients want to know what’s in it for them. Offer them something and the chances of them responding will be higher.

Consider the time that the consumer will receive the email. The same goes for certain days or even months. Trial and error will help you know the perfect timing. Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is better than numerous methods of differentiated marketing or a single method of marketing. IMC involves having all aspects of a company’s promotion work together.

When it comes to copywriting, have every aspect planned out, from the subject line to the email signature. Sometimes, you do not have to put all links at the bottom of the copy. Experimenting with different attributes lets you know what works best for your business. For the emails to become sales conversions, direct your customers to the exact location you want them. 

Do you ever wonder if you are sending spam emails unintentionally? Are your email marketing tactics legally compliant?  Before you send that email to unsuspecting recipients, there is a lot of information you need to have. The following are laws in the USA concerning sent email and tips to make sure your email does not hit the spam folder.

The CAN SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act 2003 is the main law about commercial email. The law was passed in 2003 and it governs commercial email including bulk and individual emails. For your email to fall under this Act, it should have “the primary purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.”

The email should aim at marketing something. If your email contains relationship content or is transactional (it is not commercial) it should only comply with the Act part “…it may not contain false or misleading routing information…” You can get up to $40,654 in penalties. This Act has seven rules, each of which you have to follow so your email is not considered spam. Your header should not contain false information: identify yourself (the sender) accurately.

Your subject line should not contain lies/deception: it should truthfully show the contents of the email. Identify your message as an ad; your recipient should know straight away that you are advertising. Indicate your actual location: the included physical postal address should be valid. Let them know how to opt out; recipients should know how to opt out of your list.

Process their opt-out requests automatically; the recipient should be removed from your list within 10 days after opting out. You are liable, provided your name is there; even if you hire a contractor to send the emails, you still remain liable. For sending bulk emails, use an email-marketing provider and your emails will be likely to remain legal. The header information should be correct.

You need the recipient’s permission to send out the email. Avoid clickbait style subjects and remain truthful. Let your recipient know it is an Ad; according to the law, the email should be “clear and conspicuous”. Only you would know how best to ensure this.

Physical address and an opt-out mechanism; email marketing makes this easier. Both of them can be added to your default footer so they appear in all emails. It is harder to be compliant with the CAN SPAM Act when using Gmail, Outlook, etc.

Email Header information; this one should be easy unless you are using a fake account (which is very risky, so stop it if you are). Physical address; you can always add this using an email signature. Opt out mechanism; the most common method for doing this is including a text prompting the employee (recipient) to reply with “unsubscribe” if they do not wish to continue receiving emails. The CAN SPAM Act does not require you to add a legal disclaimer but they ensure legality and protect your confidentiality.

Email is not dead. It is a crucial component of any marketing plan and allows you to reach the audience conveniently when you need to. However, people receive countless emails in their inboxes daily, how do you make sure yours are unique? And where should an email marketing newbie begin?

Even if readers have subscribed to your email-marketing program, you still need to outshine the hundreds of emails that flow into their inboxes and make sure yours gets opened. Captivating subject lines are essential to increasing open rates. Do not be in a hurry and skim through this vital process. It is also the first thing that your readers see.

For your email goals to be successful, you need to allow fans to subscribe to your emails. Include a subscription form in your website and on your business Facebook page, allowing customers to opt in your email list. Whenever you attend events, collect as many email addresses as you can. Your readers should know what they are signing up for. An ESP (Email Service Provider) will do a great job deploying your email blasts.

Email Service Providers help you create designed emails, view performance records, manage unsubscribe requests, and your address list. An ESP also offers you a collection of prebuilt templates making it possible for you to design emails without having coding skills. Almost half of your subscribers open their email on a mobile device. Consider your email audience while designing or selecting an email template. Most ESPs indicate whether a template is mobile friendly or not.

Do not make an email 100% about selling your product. It is a great opportunity to create a relationship with your audience and promote your brand. Balance promotional and informative content for you to have a trusting and loyal subscriber base. Have test accounts with the most popular email clients (Outlook, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo) to see how your email appears to different readers. Send a copy to each of your “testing addresses” before you send to your audience.

Email ending up in spam instead of inbox is a common problem. Subscribe to your newsletter using several email platforms with a testing email or your personal email. After sending an email, check your inbox, and if they land in the spam folder almost every time, you have a problem and you should contact your ESP.  What time should you send your email?

Should your name be in the subject line? You can only know the answers by experimenting because every subscriber base is different. Know what the law requires of you and adhere to it. For US citizens, there is the CAN-SPAM Act that governs sending out emails. Be consistent to keep the readers engaged and maintain a healthy relationship with them. 

Successful Email Marketing Strategies

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Even with the rise of social media, email is still an important part of most people’s lives. So, if you are an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for your business is build a lucrative email marketing campaign. Many people, however, have no idea how too. Everywhere people look they are met with advertisements, pitches, and all kinds of interruption. Although you might think yours is unique, the reader, most likely, cannot tell the difference. Never forget the space that you are in and always have your best manners. Being in another person’s inbox is like being invited over to their house for dinner.

If your host requires you to take off your shoes, you do not argue. The same case applies to email marketing, it is their personal space and you must be respectful. Acquiring permission is the first step to having a successful email marketing campaign. You need to have a sizable email list. You might do this by giving freebies, offering product updates, or a newsletter. There is no right or wrong way between the two, provided you express a clear purpose when requesting someone’s address.

Make people excited to give their addresses instead of just writing, “enter your email for updates”.  Great email service providers strive to ensure that major ISPs do not block your emails. They have no control of where your emails end up; spam box or inbox. Getting whitelisted ensures proper delivery of your emails.  You get whitelisted by having your recipient add you to their address book. Always give instructions on how to do this in every email. Set your expectations. A strong call-to-action and consistent follow-up is the ingredients of a positive campaign.

Do not promise to send out one email in a week and then send emails every day—deliver on your promise, whatever it is. Step in your reader’s shoes if you plan to pitch often. Your messaging should be consistent with the expectations you set. Always ask yourself what value you are adding. The best newsletters, for most readers, are those that mix updates and messaging properly. When you are sending out a newsletter with images and product updates, try to include a friendly update or personal message. Instead of talking to your list only when you have something to sell, utilize autoresponder and schedule content for consistent delivery.

It helps to be in touch and have a relationship with your list. The three most crucial analytics are unsubscribers, click through rate (CTR), and open rate. Open rate tells you whether people read or delete your email upon receipt. A low CTR means your message is not getting through. A high unsubscription rate means you have a lot of work to do. Segmentation is splitting your list into targeted groups. Segmenting your list helps you send targeted emails. Your email list is a very valuable resource and if you run your email marketing campaign right, the ROI will be high.

Email is not dead. It is a crucial component of any marketing plan and allows you to reach the audience conveniently when you need to. However, people receive countless emails in their inboxes daily, how do you make sure yours are unique? And where should an email marketing newbie begin? Even if readers have subscribed to your email-marketing program, you still need to outshine the hundreds of emails that flow into their inboxes and make sure yours gets opened.

Captivating subject lines are essential to increasing open rates. Do not be in a hurry and skim through this vital process. It is also the first thing that your readers see. For your email goals to be successful, you need to allow fans to subscribe to your emails. Include a subscription form in your website and on your business Facebook page, allowing customers to opt in your email list. Whenever you attend events, collect as many email addresses as you can. Your readers should know what they are signing up for. An ESP (Email Service Provider) will do a great job deploying your email blasts. Email Service Providers help you create designed emails, view performance records, manage unsubscribe requests, and your address list.

An ESP also offers you a collection of prebuilt templates making it possible for you to design emails without having coding skills. Almost half of your subscribers open their email on a mobile device. Consider your email audience while designing or selecting an email template. Most ESPs indicate whether a template is mobile friendly or not. Do not make an email 100% about selling your product. It is a great opportunity to create a relationship with your audience and promote your brand.

Balance promotional and informative content for you to have a trusting and loyal subscriber base. Have test accounts with the most popular email clients (Outlook, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo) to see how your email appears to different readers. Send a copy to each of your “testing addresses” before you send to your audience.

Email ending up in spam instead of inbox is a common problem. Subscribe to your newsletter using several email platforms with a testing email or your personal email. After sending an email, check your inbox, and if they land in the spam folder almost every time, you have a problem and you should contact your ESP.  What time should you send your email? Should your name be in the subject line? You can only know the answers by experimenting because every subscriber base is different. Know what the law requires of you and adhere to it. For US citizens, there is the CAN-SPAM Act that governs sending out emails.

Be consistent to keep the readers engaged and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Anytime you are developing a newsletter, remember that you are crafting it for people who are curious to hear from you. Your newsletter is an awesome opportunity to make your loyal readers have an interest in your new book or business and maintain a relationship with them between publications. 

With that knowledge, here is a rundown of what you might want to include:

  • Clear publication and book details
  • A short account of the writing process or research
  • Current events or articles of interest
  • Behind the scene photos and/or information
  • Important links: social media links, subscribe/unsubscribe link, retailer links and author website links

There isn’t a definite rule about the frequency of newsletters but to be more effective, let it be regularly and consistently. Some people prefer to send them out more regularly when the publication date is around the corner because they have much to talk about with the audience. Consult your editorial and marketing teams and ask them to help you figure out the best time to share with your audience news of your book just before its publication.

No two publications are the same but the following general milestones are worth considering as content of your newsletter. Send your subscribers a message breaking the news of your book officially. In it; reveal the on-sale date, title, and the book jacket (if available). Share the official book description and anecdotes of your writing process.

Have your marketing team provide links for the readers to preorder the book. Note; wait until online retailers have your book information up before you make the announcement. Your editor might help you choose a short excerpt for your readers. The excerpt can be included in the newsletter’s body or just have a link that leads back to the full excerpt. You should always accompany the excerpt with retailer links for readers to easily order the book.

Remind your subscribers of your book release with a countdown email. This builds up excitement among your audience and reminds them where and how to get the book. Let readers know of any tour or event planned at publication. Reveal the locations and dates and even give links to the platform on which the event will be airing live. Send a newsletter celebrating publication and remind them about buying the book. Even after publications (or between publications) engage your readers regularly. It is not easy to find content to share with subscribers during this period. Hopefully these ideas will help:

  • Thoughts on the writing process and research
  • Short essays (could be unrelated to your publication)
  • The book you are currently reading
  • Your social media platforms
  • Giveaways/exclusive offers
  • Q&As with relevant personalities (like other authors)

The content you share in your newsletter may overlap with what you share on your website, social media, and blog, which is okay. Your newsletter should focus on crucial information or longer-form content. On social media, share content that may not be appropriate for a newsletter. Work hard to grow your subscriber list by making the subscriber button available in every newsletter; having a sign-up form in your website, utilizing social media, and making content more interesting. 

Five key steps to success at email marketing automation

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Email marketing today is a very different beast from ten or even five years ago. In the past, marketers had a ‘pot luck’ approach that would involve simply sending general email to their entire list and hoping for the best. Today’s subscribers are different, and they expect content to be tailored to them, and to not receive the same thing twice.

In order to live up to this expectation, we’ve seen a real growth in sophisticated marketing technology that’s easy to use, which can deliver this sought after experience. Email-based education courses are increasing in popularity as a way to educate prospects and new customers about products.

These courses require a specific set of emails to be sent in a certain order – this used to be a very complex task for marketers, however today, commonly available email marketing automation tools, such as Campaign Monitor’s, really simplify things. Here are some top tips for building an automated email series that’s perfect for your business

Start with the subject

It sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many companies miss this crucial first step: picking a subject that will resonate with your readers. You don’t just have to rely on gut instinct to work this out: look at your website and blog analytics to find out what’s performing well, or commission a customer survey to discover what topic areas people feel they’re under-informed on.

There are lots of businesses out there which can serve as an example for how to do this right. Take Buffer: as a social media management platform, they’ve got to educate their users in not just how to use their platform, but how to excel at social media marketing to begin with. Buffer curates a ten day email course on ‘becoming a social media expert’. The title says it all, describing the course’s content and appealing to the desires of the people they’re emailing.

Remember your classic copywriting rules

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing an ebook, a billboard or an automated email. Your emails should be a pleasure to read, and your writing should encourage your subscribers through your content with as little effort or friction as possible.

 

Remember these three helpful steps to write effective marketing copy:

  1. Problem
  2. Agitation
  3. Solution

This is called the PAS formula. Start off by describing a problem in the abstract. Then agitate that problem by linking it to a more specific situation that the reader can relate to. Finally offer a solution to the problem you’ve outlined. While following this structure, employ sensory words, evoke a reader’s imagination, formulate snappy soundbites and make sure you explain your argument clearly.

It’s not only an email course, it’s your product

If you approach it as if it’s just an email course, you risk putting it on a lower priority to your other projects. An automated email course for educating your users about a topic should be seen for what it is: a product.

This means you’ve got to market the email course as if it were one of your products, building an effective landing page, referring to it across your site and featuring positive testimonials from previous users.

Respect your readers’ bandwidth

Think about how much time you personally spend reading emails from your favourite brands. Even if it’s a brand you really like and purchase from regularly, chances are you only spend a few minutes or even seconds engaging with their email content on a weekly basis.

Design your email courses with this in mind: don’t overwhelm your readers with more content than they can handle, as you’ll run the risk of turning them off permanently. Once they’ve made the mental note that your emails are ‘too long’ or ‘too frequent’, it can be difficult to reverse course.

Keep emails short, and be transparent with subscribers over how much email traffic they can expect from you. Take a careful look at data such as link clicks at various points in the email to try and build a picture of how long subscribers’ attention really lasts, and design your future email courses accordingly.

It doesn’t end with the last email

By the time your email course has concluded, in all likelihood the majority of subscribers who were present at the start will have dropped out by the end. It’s therefore really important that you do something productive with that thin segment of people who are still engaged, still wanting more.

Invite them to share the course on social, and recommend additional courses they might like. Ensure that the last email in the course is continually updated with your upcoming content marketing efforts like webinars or ebooks: the important thing is not to leave them hanging.

Email marketing courses can give your existing content a whole new lease on life, and many marketers simply aren’t aware of how easy they now are to create and manage. Done well, an educational email series can draw in new prospects as well as keep existing customers engaged, making it a highly valuable item in the digital marketer’s toolkit.

Source:

http://www.fourthsource.com/email-marketing/five-key-steps-success-email-marketing-automation-21568

A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

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Do you remember hearing that? It’s one of those legendary pieces of Internet history formed when the road was still being paved and we were foraging our way through the wilderness of what was the original World Wide Web.

Although times have changed and AOL no longer sends CD’s in the mail, we can still thank them for introducing us to email and our addiction to it.

These days, we’ve replaced that message with Tweets, likes, and status updates, but that doesn’t mean that our affinity for email is any less. In fact, because of the noise that is social media, one could argue that the inbox has become our virtual dojo, our place of solitude amongst the chaos.

This is why, as an entrepreneur, I believe that building successful email marketing campaigns has never been more important than it is now. But there’s a problem; most people don’t know how to do it right. So in the interest of furthering best practices and helping you succeed as a business owner, let’s get back to the basics and talk about how a great email campaign is built, from the ground up.

You’re in their house

People are inundated with interruption, pitches, and advertisements everywhere they look, and though you might think yours is special, there’s a high probability that to the reader, it looks the same as the rest. This is why it’s important to remember where you are, and use your good manners as a result.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so. It’s the same with email marketing, so before we begin I’d simply like to remind you to be on your best behavior at all times and remember…you’re in their house.

Phase I: Getting Permission

Of course, no email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started, so first we’ll need to focus on building a sizable email list.

There are many ways you can do this of course. Some prefer to give something away for free while others simply offer a newsletter or product updates.

I can’t tell you which is the right or wrong answer in this case, but I can tell you that it’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address. This is where a strong call to action comes into play, and copywriting is super important.

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Are you going to spam me?
  • How often will you email me?
  • Will I get discounts?
  • Will I get a first crack at your beta?
  • Will you send me relevant offers or more junk?

These are the kinds of things you’ll need to address if you want to be successful in phase 1. Simply posting “enter your email for updates” isn’t going to get anyone excited to do so. Instead, consider sharing specifics:

This is why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder sequence, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of it.

The initial follow-up email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself and detail what you plan on doing with your new subscriber’s email address. It’s better to be long-winded and detailed than it is to be quick and unobtrusive, but if you can pull off quick and concise then more power to you.

From here, it’s simply a matter of living up to their expectations.

Using the Autoresponder

As a marketer myself, one of the issues I run into most often is that I forget to talk to my list until I have something to sell. Obviously, this is not ideal.

This is where an autoresponder can save you, and why I recommend scheduling content to be delivered on a consistent basis over the course of several months.

For example, Copyblogger offers a newsletter titled “Internet Marketing for Smart People,” and it contains a dozen plus great pieces on how to market better as an online entrepreneur. I can’t remember when I signed up, but I do know that I’ve received an occasional email at least once per month over the past 6 months.

The benefit of that is when you do need to announce a new product or sale, you can count on the fact that you’ve already been in touch, having built a relationship over several weeks/months, and are much less likely to annoy your readers. Of course, it’s important to schedule your autoresponder sequence on specific days so that you know when you can afford to send an email. More than one per day and you’re probably mailing too much.

Source:

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/beginners-guide-email-marketing/

Why You Need to Use AI in Email Marketing Now

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As more and more software passes the Turing test — ensuring indistinguishability from humans versus robots — artificial intelligence (AI) will become more and more integrated into our lives (and our email).

Though still in the early stages of growth, the amount of AI that will be woven into marketing campaigns in the years to come will be truly astonishing.

Pushing Limits of Personalization

One of the biggest advantages to using automation and artificial intelligence in email marketing is that it enables developers (and marketers) to dedicate resources to creative elements and efficient messaging for each segmented vertical within a campaign.

Each year, personalization tops lists as a pain point for marketers and developers alike, most often because of the amount of data needed to make an informed decision, coupled with development and testing time for the most accurate readability and deliverability.

 

As AI technology expands to become more and more like a human brain, developers can be confident in the speed and accuracy of allowing a machine to fine-tune campaign lists and personalize the content to nearly each and every person within that list.

Enhanced Creativity

AI can help email developers craft more creative functions and designs into an email, such as the recent Minesweeper interactive email that went viral, while marketers benefit heavily from the ability to thoughtfully compose copy and analyze data to make more effective decisions.

Email service platforms such as MailChimp will increasingly improve their algorithms making it harder to ensure the maximum deliverability. Enhanced personalization and accurate list segmentations are quickly becoming one of the only ways to reach consumers, and artificial intelligence can provide both.

Critics of AI in business frequently cite job loss as an adverse conclusion to implementation of automated procedures, but a study performed by two Oxford researchers found this might not be the case for email marketers and developers specifically.

While “email marketer” isn’t an ideal job category for this study, it did find that data-heavy professions like research and development had a greater chance of being outsourced, while the creative aspects have very low chances of diminishing in a world owned by artificial intelligence.

The traits that make developers and marketers unique, such as originality, fine arts skills, social perceptiveness, and persuasion are not features that can be transferred to a machine, regardless of how well that machine performs as a “human.”

Deeper Insights

Thus, artificial intelligence should be seen as a primary tool to do the job more authentically.

Machine learning tools such as Boomtrain, Conversica, and others will help optimize original, creative and persuasive campaigns created by humans.

These tools will quickly adapt to provide optimizations for the types of campaigns a subscriber sees, the cadence and timing of each campaign, and maximization of value and revenue for each specific subscriber.

Marketers can then spend more time understanding what subscribers need on a deep level to create the most persuasive campaigns, and use the “out-of-the-box” thinking that makes their marketing copy special.

Human-driven analytics will then be more about identifying which programs work and less about how to deliver emails accurately. Likewise, developers will be able to tackle more creative development habits and interesting design implementation, in addition to continuous testing practices that enable the AI program to do its job.

Good, Not Perfect

While AI can offer predictive content, maximized subject lines, and generate compelling offers, it still can’t guarantee the email in question looks perfect in every inbox. Businesses may put their trust in algorithms and AI to develop emails, but campaigns will still need to go through a QA process before delivery.

Developers will quickly learn that continuous email campaign testing for email going through an AI program is an essential step. Like general web development agile principles, continuous testing should be a part of each organization as they develop more automated and artificial intelligence programs in their marketing efforts.

About the Author

Justin Khoo, a senior email developer at Email on Acid, writes about email techniques and new innovations. He has been involved in many aspects of email over the past decade, everything from building webmail clients and email campaign services to coding HTML emails.

Source:

http://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/why-you-need-to-use-ai-in-email-marketing-now/

Email marketing in the age of social media

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Social media has firmly cemented its place as a vital marketing tool and has evolved to be much more than just a platform for posting photos and sharing life updates. At the same time, email marketing has grown more important to marketers and has the highest return on investment of any channel.

Both email marketing and social media have their strengths and benefits, and marketers need to focus on how to make the two work together rather than prioritizing one over the other.

Email vs. social media

Social media platforms rely on email for certain functions, like welcome and confirmation emails and password resets. Traditionally, you need an email address to even register for a social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook.

There are more than 2.6 billion email users worldwide, almost twice the number of daily active Twitter and Facebook users combined. This presents an opportunity for marketers to increase traffic and revenue through a platform many users already have and are familiar with. In fact, email is almost 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.

The biggest difference between sending an email versus a social post is that subscribers can only engage with your email if it makes it to their inbox, whereas you hope to send a tweet or post an update during an optimized window of time for maximum exposure. But even in the most cluttered inbox, the email itself has a longer shelf life than any instantaneous social post.  

Leveraging social media

When it does come to social media platforms, marketers should think of them as creative outlets — and as an opportunity to provide fresh, fun messages in an easily digestible manner for their customers and target audiences, not to replace email marketing.

Remember MySpace? That platform is proof that even our favorite social media networks today can end up irrelevant in a few years.

But while social media has experienced its ups and downs, it’s undeniable that it’s a revolutionary and modern marketing tool. And even better, it’s easy to integrate into email.

Use your social media platforms as a way to promote email content and link to your social profiles within your email.

Additionally, social channels are great for communicating with customers and target audiences quickly, and email allows for and fosters greater longevity of the relationship that was built on the social platform.

Marketers can use social media to get in front of a potentially wide and targeted audience actively looking to discover interesting content and ideas. And from there, they can use email to communicate directly with the people who are interested and have opted in to receive more content.

Focus on both

Focusing on two separate marketing tools can be difficult, but email marketing and social media go hand in hand.

Additionally, both social and email are affordable marketing strategies that produce high engagement and conversion rates.

Marketers should spend time developing strategies that play off both email and social to reap the combined benefits. Marketers can do this by cross-promoting key messages and top-performing content across all channels, social and email, to increase followers, subscribers and grow your brand.

Marketers need to balance the focus between email marketing and social media and use both marketing tools to complement, not compete with, each other. When that balance is achieved, you can maximize the effectiveness of your entire marketing program.

Source:

http://marketingland.com/email-marketing-age-social-media-190205

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