Use Personalized Email Marketing for Increased Profit

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Long before email marketers got in on the act, direct mail teams knew the importance of personalized content. Of course, email marketing took it to the next level since online platforms allow you to automate the process and send thousands of emails simultaneously. The whole point of personalized content is to make the customer feel as if you are talking to him directly; the most successful companies have mastered the art of telling prospects exactly what they want to hear.

An Untapped Market?

Despite the fact that Experian Marketing Services has released a detailed study outlining just how successful personalized email marketing is, only 30% of brands bother to attempt it. It was an all-encompassing study which focused on social integration, mobile, customer preferences and personalization in email marketing. The results were pretty astounding: the study found that use of personalized emails could yield a transaction rate and revenue per email that was 500% more than if non-personalized emails were used.

Using Personalization the Right Way

One of the simplest ways of personalizing an email would be to include the recipient name or reference something they have told  about themselves in the message. A more complex method would be to send different versions of your email with offers and products displayed to users based on previous browsing and purchasing behavior.

When you use a person’s name in the subject line, the recipient assumes that the email has come from a trusted source. Using a name within the email’s content improves conversion rate and is also shown to create brand loyalty with customers. Research has also shown that using a surname or even initials is deemed to be a step too far in terms of being a breach of privacy.

4 Steps to Effective Personalization

  • Create a Profile: Monitor and remember customer behavior.
  • Target: Set up some rules; for example, your targets could be people who looked at Brand X or Product Y 10 times, visitors who have been on the site for the last 3 months but have not purchased etc. You then tell the system the content you want to try out on each group of prospects.
  • Test: Gather data on your target segment and a control group and look at conversion rates, revenue, sales and size of basket.
  • Rinse & Repeat: Continue with this process and add any new information discovered about visitors. Also ensure your system doesn’t send the same content to customers time and again as this will frustrate and alienate them.

The cold hard facts state that personalized email will bring you success so if you are one of the 70% of brands that don’t utilize it, get started today!

Managing Inbound Leads & Email Marketing Automation

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Austin, TX, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing


By now, you should be aware that inbound marketing is the best way to turn strangers into customers and advocates of your brand. It has been the most effective way of marketing since around 2006 and is a great way to get traffic on your company website. Proper inbound marketing involves attracting, converting, closing and delighting prospects and is a proven method of generating leads.

Automation

Normally, a marketing automation system looks something of a mess because it focuses on clicks, email opens and other arbitrary data. As a result, leads will not exit the marketing automation flow until these actions are completed. If your leads achieve the marketing goal outside of the campaign, they will still receive the same automated messages which is extremely irritating.

With Response Wise, it is possible to create landing pages for email marketing campaigns and the result is that you capture information via lead forms that are automatically added to your Response Wise database. Landing pages are pages placed on your website that customers can link to from your email. Clever marketers know that this allows them to keep their email copy brief and funnel prospects to a page that has more information, images and a purchase option.

Once leads are added to the database, they receive an automated email which provides them with more relevant information about your company/products/services.

Triggered Emails

This form of email is one of the potent weapons in any email marketer’s tool box but is often overlooked. Triggered emails combine a custom template and user data to send an email message when a certain event occurs; in this case, the behavior of the recipient can trigger the email. The result is that your leads will receive emails filled with information they find relevant and details about products/services/special offers that they have an actual interest in. As you might imagine, triggered email marketing campaigns can enjoy huge success when done correctly.

When you have a host of inbound traffic, trying to do things manually can be time consuming. There is a school of thought which suggests that automating your communications from inbound traffic is expensive but this is not the case if you use the help of Response Wise. Besides, it is mainly a one-time cost to set up and you will be able to rely on automation to gently push email recipients down the sales funnel until they become a qualified lead. In other words, automation can do 80% of the work for you; all’s that left is to pick up the phone and try and turn leads into customers.

How to Improve Email Marketing Content for Mobile Devices

Posted on Apr 1, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

When it comes to producing mobile friendly content, most brands are still lagging behind in terms of developing email content design. According to research carried out by Response Wise in October 2013, only 12% of brands use responsive email design and only 10% use mobile-friendly design in their emails. Virtually all the rest stick with the tried and trusted email for desktop approach.

The trouble with this is the fact that Internet users are beginning to switch towards email opens on a mobile device. In 2014, mobile email could account for anything from 15% to 70% of email opens depending on various factors including your target audience. It is estimated that the average mobile Internet users spends 9 minutes a day reading emails, a figure that is sure to increase. Below, we quickly look at mobile email designs to boost open rates.

Responsive Web Design

This is actually an all-encompassing term for a number of different advanced design techniques which optimize renderings of an email for certain email clients or screen resolution. Adaptive web design involves using one or two pixel-width ‘breakpoints’ that will correspond to the screen sizes of tablets, smartphones and desktops so user experience is optimized regardless of the device he uses.

Mobile Aware Email Design

You can of course be more specific and adopt techniques that are specially designed for emails on mobile devices. This includes using a single column layout, including large images, buttons and text and ensuring that links are spaced out so that users don’t accidentally click the wrong one.

While these techniques end up creating emails that should function well across all screen sizes, it pays special attention to the needs of smartphone users. Already, major retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and JCPenney have gone down this route and enjoyed real success. Victoria’s Secret actually reduced the number of links in its navigation bar as part of its email content design plan; where there were once 11 links, now there are only 4. The result is a shorter message that is easier to read on a mobile device.

Generally speaking, the number of brands that utilize a particular marketing tactic indicates how successful it is likely to be but when it comes to email content marketing content for mobile devices, a huge number of organizations are behind the curve. This means you have a wonderful opportunity to get a leg up on your rivals in 2014 so implement mobile-friendly email marketing today.

Tracking Your Email Marketing Campaign Activity

Posted on Mar 25, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing


Once you have written your email marketing content and sent it to subscribers, your job is not yet done. You have to measure your ROI but it can be difficult to gauge the success/failure of each dispatch. If you really want to make the most out of your email marketing efforts, you need to measure your ROI regularly.

Begin this process by setting goals that are measurable and achievable across your company. For example, the content team’s goal could be to increase page views on content by 70% while the sales team may have a goal of generating 50 new leads a week. Identify these goals separately so you can measure the success of each one individually.

Using Analytics to Track

After setting goals, it’s time to choose specific metrics to track progress towards these goals including:

  • Open Rate: This is the most commonly used metric and refers to the number of people who open your emails. The trouble is, you can’t tell how many recipients actually read the messages. In order to get your open rate, multiply all opens by 100 and divide by the number of sent emails. For example, if you sent 10,000 emails and 300 were opened; (300×100/10,000) = 3%.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Your emails should come with a call to action button and the CTR is the amount of times recipients clicked the button. It is calculated in the same way as open rate and expert marketers know it is a far more important metric than open rate.
  • Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of email recipients that took the action you wanted them to take; that could be a ‘like’ on Facebook or an actual purchase.
  • Bounce Rate: In simple terms, this refers to the proportion of email addresses that didn’t receive the message you sent as it was returned by the mailer server/client. This not only hurts delivery rates, it may also damage your sender reputation.

 

Email Conversion Tracking

Once you track and review the above, you will have hopefully have enough marketing data to help understand your audiences and this will improve the quality of your email communications. Conversion tracking takes things a step further and finds out the recipient’s actions after receiving the email so you can find out the real success of your email campaign. To get the most out of conversion tracking, consider the following questions:

  • Where do recipients go once they click the link in the email?
  • Do they register for specific events, download content or complete a transaction?
  • Do the recipients go where you want them to go?
  • How much time do they spend on your website when that visit was initiated via your email marketing campaign?

When you use email conversion tracking correctly, you can discover what your target audience really desires and this in turn will improve any form of email marketing campaign.

5 Simple Ways to Combine Social Media with Email Marketing

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media


It seems as if email marketing performs better than social media; according to McKinsey & Company survey, email is approximately 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined! Of course, email marketing is just part of the equation and just because it is more effective than social media, you shouldn’t completely disregard the latter. In fact, integration of the two will provide you with an even greater ROI because of the potential wider net provided by social media. Below, we show you 5 ways in which you can combine the two for more customers.

  • Sharing: As you want more readers who are like your current audience, tap into the networks of your subscribers and ask them to share their newsletter with their social media ‘friends’.
  • Newsletter Updates: When publishing a newsletter from Response Wise, you can automatically post on social media when your newsletter gets published. It is customizable on Facebook and LinkedIn and you can even post a picture. The day before your newsletter is due to be released, post an update on your social media channels previewing the content and remind people that there is still time to sign up.
  • Use Links: Simply link back to your business website from your newsletter and your social media profiles. I would recommend that you send a link to a specific landing page rather than a home page. Consider the reasons why a social network follower would want to visit your website and ensure that you provide precisely what they are looking for when they reach the landing page.
  • Use Pinterest: View your latest newsletter and pick out an important image from it and pin in on one of your company’s Pinterest boards. Now you must link it back to the newsletter. Not only will this give you some welcome additional exposure, it is also a neat SEO trick as well.
  • Social Media Snippets: Another great way of getting newsletter subscribers to connect with you on social media is to take screenshots of positive customer engagement on Twitter/Facebook etc. and then use Snagit or a similar tool to take a snapshot of these conversations and include them in your newsletter. For best results, combine this with a call to action and enjoy an improved response rate.

Although you will perform admirably by only using email marketing, savvy businesses also utilize social media channels because they know that a combination of the two provides unbeatable results.

5 Important Email Marketing Considerations For 2014

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Even if your email marketing campaign efforts in 2013 were a resounding success, you will need to make improvements and adjustments in 2014 or risk being left behind. Below, we look at 5 ways to continue making money with email marketing this year.

1 – Subject Line Emphasis

The subject line actually consists of the sender’s name, the subject and a snippet of information. A good way to maximize this vital part of your message is to include the company name in the ‘From’ line and keep valuable space for the subject line itself. Always ensure that the most important point is in the first line of the body as this is what the recipient sees.

2 – Conversion Tracking

Finding out the channel that is responsible for a certain goal is tough so you need to look at ALL channels that contributed to each goal to ensure you don’t discount the impact that email marketing has on your success. Set up Google Analytics across your domain and use UTM tags on incoming links from email marketing; this helps you optimize your email marketing campaigns for profit.

3 – New Personalization

Personalizing messages is considered passé yet you can still enjoy success with this tactic by being creative. One business enjoyed a 35% increase in revenue by sending custom coupons named after the company they work for.

4 – Use Surveys

One of the best ways to increase your audience is by improving subscription rates on your landing page and blog posts. Using the ‘nudge’ or survey feature on Response Wise, for example, you can ask a simple yes/no question to begin the process of customer engagement and then ask a second question; those that answer positively to the second question can then be directed to a subscribe form. You can place a survey from a site like Response Wise anywhere on your site and it is possible to raise subscription rates by 500%!

5 – User Actions

Action based emails were already popular in 2013 and now they will dominate the landscape. Trigger-based campaigns increase your click-through rate and provide you with a raft of new ways to email your customers. These type of campaigns run automatically and permanently lift your conversion rate. When you automate an email marketing campaign based on the actions of recipients, you reduce the chances of making mistakes and increase your chances of attaining success.

If you are not already utilizing the above email marketing tactics in 2014, now is the time to start as an up-to-date campaign will provide you with the highest possible conversion rate.

Blog Content Marketing Strategies For 2014

Posted on Mar 4, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

About the only constant in the world of blog content marketing is ‘change’ and that’s precisely what is on the agenda in 2014. By now, you must surely be on the content marketing bandwagon along with an estimated 92% of marketers and if you’re one of the 8% who isn’t, what on earth are you doing? While it is important to note that the fundamentals of compelling and shareable content will never be altered, the channels, tactics and audience consumption of content will and below, we look at some of the key blog content marketing strategies for 2014.

Responsive Design

While it is easy to focus on a mobile-friendly blog content strategy, the reality is that you need to encompass a range of channels simultaneously. According to research, almost 90% of Internet device sales will be tablets or Smartphones by 2017 so you need a blog content strategy that addresses the changing consumption needs of your audience.

Responsive design is the ideal solution as it involves web design that can be viewed on any device. Rather than having a separate mobile site, you can use responsive design for a website that changes in size and readability according to the device being used to access it.

Link Earning

Google has introduced yet another algorithmic update called the Hummingbird and now the search engine giant takes into account context and conversational language in its rankings. Instead of creating dozens of pieces of ‘fluff’ content in order to link build, companies will be forced to create non-scalable large content projects in order to earn those links. The good news is that in-depth articles that provide value will outperform 100 small posts and also have the added bonus of marking your blog out as an authority in your niche.

Custom Content

Another important blog content strategy involves curating content from several top quality sources to create highly targeted posts. There are already a host of useful tools to help with this process including Custom Timelines on Twitter and Showcase Pages on LinkedIn. Instead of creating content about a topic in different formats such as emails, videos and blog posts, you can package it all together for an improved and highly informative experience that your target audience will love.

Blog content marketing must no longer be seen as just another part of your marketing strategy; companies need to realize that it is a vital part of building brand awareness, generating leads and gaining customers.

Is Mobile Commerce The Way Of The Future?

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

The short and simple answer to this question is ‘yes’! Mobile transactions have already caught on in a big way with many consumers welcoming the convenience they bring. Although privacy and potential awkwardness are some of the concerns raised by those not yet joining the mobile commerce revolution, it appears as if this form of payment will soon be an unstoppable juggernaut.

Mobile Penetration

It seems as if mobile commerce is already threatening to take over the world. A huge report relating to digital marketing looked at data from over 15 billion visits across hundreds of retailers. It found that the average order on a mobile tablet was approximately 20% higher than desktop orders. It’s also worth noting that owners of iPads tend to be in the higher earner bracket and are more prone to impulse purchases with their disposable income.

Higher Click-Through Rates

A company called Marin Software performed a detailed study on the click through rates of tablets, smartphones and desktop/laptops. The study covered the final quarter of 2011 and found that smartphones and tablets outperformed laptops and desktops by approximately 25%. Another company found that the click-through rates from mobile phones were actually 45% higher than on desktops.

Nighttime Shopping

We have the perception that mobile commerce will be successful because it is shopping on the move with consumers making purchases while riding the Subway. It may surprise you to learn that mobile commerce actually peaks at night because during the day, mobile users tend to spend their recreation time on social networks. Naturally, you also need to infiltrate social media but that’s another story.

Mobile Shoppers Are Focused

It has been found that the average keyword search on iPhones and Android devices is actually twice the length of a desktop keyword search. You may think that this is an indication of mobiles being harder to use. In fact, the search takes longer because those using mobile commerce are more focused on what they’re looking for. According to Microsoft figures, around 70% of desktop search tasks get done in 7 days or less. The same percentage of mobile commerce search tasks is performed in 60 minutes or less! Almost 90% of consumers using mobile phones to search for products/services will make a purchase in less than 24 hours. In effect, mobile commerce causes people to have a laser-like focus which is excellent news for online businesses.

Hopefully, this information will prove that mobile commerce is indeed the wave of the future. Realistically, it’s hard to see it slowing down any time soon as the number of smartphones and tablets increases and online shopping becomes even more convenient and all-encompassing.

Benefits Of Integrating Salesforce With An Email Marketing Provider

Posted on Feb 18, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Unless you are foolish enough to believe that you already have enough customers (and no company on Earth would ever think that), you need marketing to succeed and email marketing is one of the most cost effective solutions. Salesforce is a CRM that offers a host of options for companies looking to boost their sales and they also have an email marketing option which comes free when you sign up for their total package. However, there are limitations to what they offer since they are not a specialist email marketing provider. What Salesforce can do however is allow you to integrate with an Email Service Provider like Response Wise thus giving you the best of both worlds.

Volume

Salesforce is pretty restrictive when it comes to sending emails. No matter what package you choose, you’re only allowed a very limited number per day. When you choose their Professional Edition package, you are only allowed send 250 emails at a time so you would need to send 4 batches in a day just to get out 1000 emails. The Enterprise Edition allows you to send 500 emails at a time while Unlimited Edition users can send all 1,000 at once. When you integrate with Response Wise, you will be allowed to send tens of thousands of emails per day if that is your wish.
Marketing Automation

When you integrate Salesforce with one of its selected email marketing providers, you have the ability to send thousands of email messages without having to be present. Marketing automation also has the ability to dynamically add names or take them away from a distribution list which is based on pre-established segmentation formulas. You can use data from visit and behavioral patterns in order to apply formulas to leads. You can set up campaigns that involve sending emails up to 180 days before an event followed by automated reminders which are sent until the event has concluded along with a ‘thank you’ message afterwards.

Salesforce can provide you with an email marketing solution but if your company’s needs are more complex, you’ll need a dedicated provider, like Response Wise.

Deliverability Challenges Faced By B2B Marketers

Posted on Feb 11, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

All marketers face a challenge when it comes to delivering emails but it is an even bigger issue for B2B marketers. This is because they are forced to meet a set of unique deliverability rules for each domain in databases filled with hundreds of different sets of rules. On the flipside, B2C marketers probably have a database laden with freemail accounts so they can resolve issues with individual providers and settle any problems with a huge portion of their list with one single effort. Below, we look at some common B2B deliverability issues and how to fix them.

List Management

There seems to be a belief that the more emails you send, the more successful you will be but this is completely false. Since more than 10% of B2B emails are marked as spam and each email goes through a number of filters, it is best to manage your list and focus on quality over quantity.

This makes perfect sense because in B2B marketing, each potential client is a lucrative contract so you need to worry only about companies eager to do business. By sending out countless emails, you will end up with an inordinate amount of time wasters who you will be futilely chasing while using up valuable resources.

Complaints

We have already mentioned that a relatively high number of B2B emails are marked as spam and this can lead to complaints and damage to your company’s reputation. What you need to do is segment customers according to Job Title, Product Affinity, Downloads and Website Activity. It gives you clean leads from the beginning and the result is fewer complaints due to unwanted information. Companies that receive relevant content certainly won’t mark it as spam and are more likely to open and engage with the emails you send.

High Turnover

As there is high employee turnover in modern companies, it is likely that an employee leaves and the email address they use remains unused. As a result, you end up targeting a company using the wrong email address as it has been changed! The former employee often as the email address forwarded to him, receives your email and marks it as spam.

What you need to do is develop a reactivation campaign and this begins by sending emails asking the recipient if the right person is being reached. This should elicit a reaction whether it is a positive response or an ex-employee unsubscribing. You should use this kind of campaign to target inactive emails and find out if they are still in use. Then you can cut the cord if necessary and save time and resources.

B2B email marketing is more difficult than its B2C equivalent but the rewards can be so much greater when you get it right. Overcome the deliverability challenges discussed above and your business could have a very bright future.

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