Start 2015 Strong: Quick Wins For Email Marketers

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing

Start 2015 Strong: Quick Wins For Email Marketers

During 2014, it was obvious that email marketing’s momentum was growing and by the start of 2015, it was apparent that it is still the #1 form of marketing from an ROI standpoint. Over 90% of Internet users in the United States check their emails regularly so there are few faster ways to reach your target audience. The trouble is, competition is fierce so if you want to get off to a flyer in 2015, you need to follow these tips to ensure some quick wins for your email marketing strategy.

  • Include Video: You could see an increase of up to 40% on your monthly revenue by including videos in your emails. Click-through rates increase by up to 200% on emails when you include a video. As well as breaking up the text, videos are engaging and are attracting more traffic than ever before.
  • Go Mobile: Smartphones appear to be invading the Earth as consumers show a preference for shopping and browsing on their mobile devices. In fact, more people surf the net on a mobile device than from a desktop. As a result, you need to create emails specifically for email users taking into account the different screen sizes.
  • Brand Consistency: Generally speaking, you only have a couple of seconds to grab a reader’s attention so use a consistent look and format to ensure your subscribers immediately recognize your emails.

Add RSS Feeds: RSS updates are syndicated live web feeds and businesses that utilize them can quickly and effectively connect

10 Essential Email Marketing Tips For Local Businesses

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

 

If you run a local business, it’s likely you don’t have a large budget when it comes to promoting your company. Fortunately, email marketing is relatively inexpensive and can produce amazing results. Keep reading to learn some important tips if you intend on utilizing the power of email for your business.

 

  1. Create A Detailed Plan: The slapdash ‘send as many emails as you can’ approach no longer works. You need a plan that outlines your goals, target audience and the kind of message you want to send in every email.
  2. Segment Your Target Audience: This means dividing your email list into groups such as age and location. As a result, you will be able to create messages that appeal to their specific needs and reduce the amount of irrelevant content you send to each member of your mailing list.
  3. Write In The Second Person: By saying ‘you’ throughout the email, you add an element of personalization which allows the reader to connect with the message.
  4. Be Mobile Friendly: Since more than 50% of people read emails on a mobile device, it makes sense to tailor your messages for this audience. Otherwise, your emails will appear messy and hard to read.
  5. Create A Killer Subject Line: The subject line of your email can dictate whether it even gets opened. It needs to be short but compel the reader to see what lies inside. However, you must always make sure the email content matches the subject line.
  6. Keep The Content Relevant: The best way to ensure your emails don’t ramble is to write about one topic and break it down into sub-sections. Your content should be focused if you want to keep the audience’s attention.
  7. Be Concise: Few email marketing messages ever go above 400 words and many are 200-300 words. These word counts are a guide though; write until you have made your point, edit to remove unnecessary words and break up the text with paragraphs.
  8. Mix It Up: Not every email has to be promotional. For a nice change of pace, send informative emails where you aren’t overtly trying to sell something.
  9. Keep Testing: You should always look to improve the performance of your campaigns so test regularly. The information you receive should help you going forward.
  10. Make The Unsubscribe Button Easy To Find: The last thing you want is people on your list who don’t want to be there. Adding an easy to see ‘unsubscribe’ link at the end of your emails lends an element of trust to your company as well.

How To Ensure Email Marketing Is Effective In A Mobile World

Posted on Feb 4, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing


Recent research has shown that approximately 65% of all emails are opened on a mobile device which highlights the importance of making your marketing campaign ‘mobile friendly’. By 2018, 1.8 billion Smartphones will be in use around the world so you can either join the mobile revolution or continue wasting your time on old-fashioned approaches. Below, we highlight a few tips that should ensure your next email marketing campaign is suitable for mobile users and enjoys more opens and click-thrus.

Make Sure Mobile Comes First

Don’t be like the other marketers who think it’s okay to create a regular email and offer a clickable link to a mobile friendly version. Since the majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, why prioritize anything else? The Response Wise template builder can help you control your email’s layout to make sure the text and images in the message fit within the space of a mobile device’s screen.

Even though there is responsive web design available, browsers such as Android don’t instantly adjust an email to fit screen width as they do for apps and websites.

Pay Special Attention To The Subject Line

When mobile users are scrolling through their emails, the see an inordinate amount of messages and subject lines and this information determines whether or not they open the email. The best subject lines are ones customized to the particular interests of a customer.

If a visitor to your website shows an interest in a certain item, the emails you send to that individual should deliver similar products/services or let them know that such items are on sale. You canutilize list segmentation to help create customized email marketing campaigns.

Focus On Readability & Maneuverability

The emails you send to mobile devices should be easily read even when the reader is distracted, clickable and scrollable with one thumb and visible even with the mobile device is held at arm’s length.

The call to action within the email should be especially easy to read and it is important to make sure the text isn’t too cluttered. Above all, you need to keep the ‘unsubscribe’ button far away from other buttons; on a mobile device, it is all too easy to accidentally click unsubscribe when reading an email.

Although creating an email marketing campaign for mobiles may seem daunting, the amount of affordable and easy to use tools at your disposal ensures you have no excuse for not keeping up to date.

5 Email Marketing Predictions For 2015

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Like chess grandmasters, successful email marketers are always looking to the future and planning several moves ahead. You will read a lot of contradictory information on this matter in the coming months but in this article, we will provide you with a definitive guide to what we think smart email marketers will be doing in 2015.
1 – Automation
According to a study by the Lenskold Group, almost 80% of successful marketers believe marketing automation is responsible for their increase in profits. Automate the right kind of campaign and you’ll see positive results with low volume. The key is picking the correct campaigns to work on and that’s something you need to figure out yourself!
2 – Segmentation
The process of splitting a database into groups with similar traits was hot in 2014 and will continue to be an email marketer’s friend in 2015. Segmentation is the understanding that not everyone is the same. For improved performance, send out the same email to your subscribers but look at the groups that respond best and also analyze how they respond to different themes in your messaging. Forget about averages and find out what really excites each segment.
3 – Emphasis on the Quality of Lists/Data
While marketers still want to see their list of subscribers grow, recruiting a more active list of subscribers will be the real goal in 2015. There is no point growing your list by 40% only to see a revenue increase by just 5%. If your list grows by 20%, you want to see revenues increase by roughly the same amount. For best results, ask subscribers to update their profiles; preferences from three years ago may no longer be relevant today.
4 – Strategy & Planning
Marketers will no longer reel off a host of goals that sound more like a wish list than a strategy. Email marketing strategies will be more specific than ever before as companies look to describe the desired outcome while outlining the ways to achieve it. Marketers will look for improvement in a couple of key areas.
5 – Regular Reporting On Analytics
Too many marketers have access to great analytics with no clue how to use them all. In 2015, they will not just monitor stats, they will report regularly. This will include writing down what worked, what failed and what questions have yet to be answered. The result will be a desire to learn the answers to unsolved queries and increased attention will be paid to metrics that really matter.
As you can see, the future of email marketing is detail! Marketers will no longer engage in haphazard campaigns; every step will be intricately planned and the result will be better customer engagement and improved sales.

5 Barriers To Loyalty & How You Can Overcome Them

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

For all the talk about ‘customer loyalty’ being an essential part of marketing, few companies ever launch successful loyalty programs. Most consumers see through transparent loyalty points/cards programs and believe it isn’t worth their while. So what are the real barriers to loyalty and more importantly, how do you overcome them? Read on to find out more below.

1 – The Feeling Of Being Overlooked

Existing customers quickly get fed up with companies offering great deals to ‘new’ customers only. This is an acquisition program that alienates existing customers and usually ends in disaster. Remember, it takes 10+ new and uncommitted customers to make up for losing a loyal customer. To overcome this, simply offer special rewards for loyal customers; perhaps offer freebies or discounts once they buy a certain amount of your merchandise.

2 – Biased Data

It is very hard to collect data that is representative of your customer base without showing bias to one segment. Fail to engage the core customer with your loyalty program by making it difficult to sign up or utilize your card etc. means you won’t get a complete picture of your customers. A multi-channel approach is critical and you also need to get end-to-end behavioral data while also ensuring customer preference is subject to relevance.

3 – Using Customer Profitability As A KPI

Relying on customer profitability to discover their value is likely to be an inaccurate mode of measurement. For instance, is a customer who makes one purchase of $1,000 in two years more or less valuable than one who makes 10 purchases worth $800 in the same period? While the first customer spent more, the second customer is probably more ‘loyal’ and likely to use you when he makes a big purchase. You need to get a better understanding of customer ‘behavior’ to drive profit.

4 – Leaving It Up To Marketing

Most companies believe its marketing department is responsible for driving loyalty. However, for real success, only businesses where the CEO and executives are involved will succeed at becoming a genuinely customer-orientated organization which ensures the customer is #1.

5 – Opting For Loyalty Programs & Not A Loyalty Approach

In simple terms, a program can be part of a loyalty approach but a true loyalty approach is not part of any ‘program’. Instead, this approach should be the way you do business as your organization is dedicated to pleasing customers in a variety of ways. Companies that rely on loyalty programs will be dismissed as opportunistic whereas businesses with a loyalty approach will be deemed as ‘genuine’ by customers and this will lead to long-term loyalty.

In order to be a success, it is essential for a business to ask ‘how are we loyal to our customers’? To enjoy customer loyalty, you must place the customer at the center of your marketing approach instead of just adding in programs as an afterthought.

Kick Off The New Year With A Great Email Campaign

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to grow in popularity as companies continue to hear more about this form of marketing’s phenomenal ROI. Therefore, you need to remain one step ahead of your rivals in 2015 and the best way to do this is to form an outstanding email marketing plan. Keep reading for some important factors to take into consideration as you try and grow your brand via email.

Timing Is Everything

As you are doubtless aware, the recipients of your emails have different schedules so sending out a single email blast at once is instantly reducing the potential success of your campaign. You will need to embark on a relatively simple A/B test experiment to learn more about the best times to send emails to specific recipients.

You should divide your email list and send your marketing messages to the separate lists at different times. A review of the open rate results should help you discover more about the email habits of your audience. You will have to regularly test in this manner to determine the best time(s) to send your emails. Get this right and your open rate will skyrocket.

Embrace Mobile Marketing

According to this study, over half of emails are opened on a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone or Android. Bear in mind that these statistics are from 12 months ago and with our ever-busy lifestyles, you can bet this rate has increased even further in the meantime. As a result, you should be looking to send emails specifically designed for mobile devices. If your recipients open emails on mobiles that are designed for desktops, they will view a poorly formatted and hard to read email. If this happens, say ‘goodbye’ to a lot of subscribers!

Use Segmentation

Marketers now know the importance of personalized emails and segmentation is key. This is the practice of dividing your audience into groups or ‘segments’ such as gender, age and location for example. In 2015, marketers will look to target different sets of people with content tailored to their specific needs. The result is more relevant emails which will be appreciated by recipients. As a result, you should not only enjoy better open rates, you are likely to be rewarded for your hard work with extra sales.

Email marketing is deemed to be more important with every passing year and 2015 will be no different. The trouble is, ‘old’ forms of email marketing no longer work. Customers expect personalized content, emails to arrive to suit their schedule and want messages to be easy to read on their mobile device. Combine all of the above and you should be able to get your year off to a great start with a successful email marketing campaign.

Tips For Using Forward-to-a-Friend To Get New Business

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing

 

The Forward-to-a-Friend link that is now a feature of email marketing is proving to be extremely popular. By passing along readership, you share the message and of course, personal endorsements are an extremely powerful marketing tool. Here are a few tips to get the most out of Forward-to-a-Friend.

Make It Obvious

Place the call-to-action in an obvious place right at the top of your email AND in several other locations including the footer. Set up a Forward-to-a-Friend form that allows readers to easily enter the names of friends without having to think about it. The more work someone has to do, the less likely they are to forward the email. Placing multiple links is essential to ensure those who use mobile devices don’t completely miss the chance to Forward-to-a-Friend.

Don’t Stop At One

Your Forward-to-a-Friend form should have room for more than one friend. If you leave room for five people, there’s a chance the reader will add five friends. By only adding enough room for one person, you’re robbing yourself of the chance to increase your visibility. Set up your form so that friends will be listed in separate form fields and include subscription information for every friend.

Allow Personalization

When someone forwards an email to their friends, they almost always want the opportunity to add their personal stamp on it by adding something like “I thought of you when I saw this.” Therefore, it is a good idea to leave space for the reader to write his own personal message. You also want the email to seem as if it is being sent by the sender and not your business; this makes it seem like a friendly email and not spam.

Getting Them To Subscribe

Once an individual has signed up for your newsletter and forwarded to it his friends, you need the permission of these people if you wish to send them regular newsletter emails. As a result, you have to ensure that every forwarded email has a method of allowing the recipient to subscribe. The subscription instructions should be clear and lead directly to a sign-up form that is easy to fill in; indeed, your only ‘required’ data field should be the individual’s email address.

Forward-to-a-Friend is a feature that can generate hundreds if not thousands of new subscribers in a short space of time. Recipients of the invite will see that their friend recommended your company which automatically gives you a greater air of authority and authenticity in their eyes.

 

7 Budget-Friendly Marketing Strategies For Businesses Of Any Size

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

Attracting your target audience doesn’t have to be an expensive process. The Internet is the great equalizer insofar as it enables small businesses with a clever marketing plan to enjoy a similar level of exposure to a giant corporation with an almost limitless budget. Here are some cheap and cheerful ways to gain online exposure without breaking the bank.

  1. Video Marketing: YouTube is phenomenally popular and studies have shown that adding a video on there can cause your website to shoot to the first page of the Google rankings within a day of posting it. Additionally, those who see your video online are almost three times more likely to become a customer than those who don’t.
  2. Case Studies: Adding details of happy clients to your website is a great way to boost business. Simply create a standard information form and get past clients to fill it in. Make sure the client adds a comment on how happy he/she was with your service.
  3. Write On A Niche Blog: Identify up to five blogs you would like to be featured on, contact the owner and pitch a few ideas that will help add value to the blog. This helps spread the word about your company as you get to post a link back to your website as well as coming across as an expert in your niche.
  4. Get Listed On Google Maps/Local: This free listing adds credibility as customers know your business exists and is not another scam. It also helps you rank higher in the local search engine rankings.
  5. Content Curation: This is the process of compiling useful information before presenting it in a meaningful way while also organizing it around a certain theme. While this is not easy work, it is very rewarding as you can quickly create dozens of informative blog posts that enhance brand identity.
  6. Create An e-Book: You can now upload a digital book for free on Amazon as the online giant takes a slice of the profits. Your e-book should cover the burning issues in the industry and needs to be among your best work because ultimately, it is a lead generation tool that encourages readers to visit your website for more information.
  7. Endorsement: Find a local celebrity and get him/her to endorse your product/service. These individuals can be ‘regular’ people such as teachers or residents that have recently done something newsworthy. These people should be easy to contact and you can ask them to try out your service/product for free before leaving honest feedback.

In reality, there are dozens of ways to market for free or a relatively low cost online. The trick is finding your target audience and marketing in a manner which makes your company/service/product seem to be the most appealing on the market.

How To Create A Confident Elevator Pitch

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

The legendary ‘elevator pitch’ is a 60 second overview of the product/service you’re trying to sell. Your goal is to catch the listener’s attention in this short timeframe and it’s a challenge for even the most experienced marketer. The key is to be concise yet compelling; you need t remove the fluff and leave only substance but how do you accomplish this?

There are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to developing a masterful elevator pitch which I outline below.

Know Your Goal

What is the objective of your elevator pitch? Are you looking to inform possible clients about your organization or do you have a brilliant product idea you want to pitch to a company executive? Perhaps you simply want to develop a snappy speech that helps explain what you do for a living? Whatever the goal, identify it before writing your speech or the result will be a garbled mess.

Explain What You Do

A great elevator pitch is basically a condensed version of outstanding web copy. Begin the pitch by outlining what your company does and focus on the problems you solve for customers. Now is a great time to throw in a relevant statistic because people are often impressed by a few facts and figures.

What Is Your USP?

Your Unique Selling Proposition must come shining through when making an elevator pitch. This highlights why your organization and its services/products are different from everyone else’s. It’s best to add in the USP after explaining what you do as it will carry more weight. Remember, the modern consumer is spoiled for choice so your USP had better be special.

Involve The Listener

Everyone likes to feel included so the second your USP has been mentioned, ask the listener a question about themselves (or their company if applicable). It’s best to ask a question that has a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and make sure you’re prepared to answer!

Consider what you want people to remember most about you and your company. Above all, your pitch should excite you when you rehearse it. If you aren’t amped up afterwards, how can you expect your audience to be? After writing your pitch, practice it relentlessly and cut out any parts that don’t flow seamlessly. While most experts recommend an elevator pitch of 60 seconds or less, if you can nail it in 20-30 seconds, you have a better chance of hooking the prospect.

 

 

5 Conversion Metrics That Make All the Difference in Your Marketing Campaign

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, News, SEO/SEM, Social Media

No matter how good you think your marketing campaign is, you need conversion metrics to find out the extent of your success or failure. There seem to be dozens of measurements used by marketers but I have narrowed it down to 5 of the best.

1 – Bounce Rate

This shows you how many people leave your website more or less immediately after arriving on your landing page. A high bounce rate indicates you have been unsuccessful when it comes to determining your target audience. Your keyword strategy may need work and perhaps a lot of visitors are landing on a sales page when all they want is information.

2 – Repeat Visitors

The modern online consumer has all the power and uses it to perform research before considering a purchase. While you may feel as if ‘new visitors’ is the all-important metric, returning visitors are more likely to purchase from you. Why else would they keep coming back? If nothing else, they like your website and the information you provide; the next step is to push them down the sales funnel.

3 – Impressions

This refers to the number of people that see your ad once it becomes live. Impressions will show if you whether or not your ad is reaching the audience size you are hoping for. It is an important metric when it comes to increasing brand awareness. If you are hoping to improve your number of impressions, your main goal will be to ensure prospects see your company name.

4 – Abandoned Cart

This is the percentage of purchases that are abandoned right before completing the sale. It is very frustrating and if you have a high abandoned cart rate, it’s imperative that you find out why. In most instances, you will need to make the checkout process even faster; if a customer has to overcome too many hurdles, he/she may decide it’s not worth the effort. See Amazon for an example of an effective checkout system.

5 – Conversion Rate

I have saved the most obvious metric for last. A conversion is an action that has value for your business. You may be trying to convert visitors into email subscribers or existing subscribers into paying customers. The bottom line is that you need to bump this figure up. If you have earned 5,000 impressions and have converted 700 people into customers, this means your conversion rate is 14%. Whether this is an acceptable rate depends entirely on your niche.

To enjoy success in marketing, you need data analytics. I recommend using Google Analytics as it offers detailed analysis and a wide variety of important metrics.

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