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.

Building An Email Marketing Plan For The Holiday Season

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing

 

The holiday season is a godsend for marketers as it is undoubtedly the #1 time of the year for consumer spending. Well over $10 billion is spent every Black Friday alone while Super Saturday sales are edging towards the $8 billion mark. As a consequence, email marketing teams go into overdrive and billions of emails are sent in November and December. Although your level of competition increases, great email marketing can make holiday season sales akin to shooting fish in a barrel; here are a few tips to get you started.

Specialized Segmentation

While you should always look to reward loyalty throughout the year, the holiday season has its own segments which need special attention:

  • Leads near the bottom of the sales funnel.
  • Last minute buyers who are desperate to find the ideal gift.
  • One-time customers; this especially relates to people who only tend to make a purchase during the holiday season.

Although email segmentation accounts for over 75% of email marketing sales, a large proportion of marketers don’t segment at all. If you want to beat your rivals to the punch, start personalizing your email marketing now.

Innovative Ideas

Regardless of how small your business is, you can come up with some great ideas. Get every team member to come up with 2-3 ideas and see if you can build on any of them. For example, you could reward loyal customers right before Thanksgiving or Black Friday with a ‘thank you’ message which comes with a special discount. Another idea would be to invite a select group of people to test a new product for free and ask them to leave reviews.

Be Aware Of Major Shopping Days

Consumer spending probably reaches its height towards the end of November and in the first week or so of December. This is because of huge holiday sales days such as Thanksgiving (27th November), Black Friday (28th November), Cyber Monday (1st December) and Green Monday (8th December). As you can see, there are four big events in the space of 11 days this year. Up your marketing input this instant if you want to be ready in time for the above events.

If you wish to be part of the multi-billion dollar bonanza that is the holiday season, you need to get your email marketing strategy in check. This means brainstorming for new ideas, crafting awesome subject lines and compelling content that makes customers want to choose your holiday specials over everyone else’s.

Making The Most Of Common Email Blunders

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

 

Email is the #1 communication tool for most working professionals which is why email marketing is such a successful technique. The problem with email is that mistakes are extremely easy to make and they can have serious repercussions. While minor mistakes hurt productivity, major mistakes can cost you valuable clients or even your job. This article is all about what not to do with email so when you’re about to make an email blunder, you’ll be able to pull back from the brink of disaster!

Sending To The Wrong People

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard about individuals or businesses who sent an email complaining about a client… to the client! The result was a lot of anger and lost revenue. In email marketing, another example is sending irrelevant content to people on your mailing list. For example, you may send an email with the subject line ‘Ladies Night’ to the men on your list. The simple solution is to double-check the ‘to’ field because it’s extremely rare to be able to retrieve a sent email.

The Wrong Tone

It’s risky to use email to be humorous or sarcastic because it’s too easy to misunderstand. A University of Chicago study recorded sarcastic or funny messages and transcribed them into emails. Less than 60% of the email recipients in the study understood the tone of the message. Therefore, leave out the sarcasm when sending emails because the recipient probably won’t ‘get it’.

Only Sending ‘Needy’ Emails

Most people only send emails when they need or want something. Successful email marketers know that what they send has to provide value to the recipient so they typically have email campaigns where the content is designed to inform and only the final email in the sequence tries the ‘hard sell’. When you successfully use email to nurture relationships, people will look forward to hearing from you and this will only help to drive sales.

Not Asking For What You Need

The recipients of your emails are not mind-readers so it is essential to make clear requests. In marketing terms, this means telling your mailing list precisely what you want them to do in a concise yet clear call to action. The modern consumer is a busy individual and doesn’t have time for puzzles and games; get to the point or lose another sale.

The email blunders mentioned above happen in everyday life as well as in the world of marketing. Use these tips for better email communication whether you’re contacting a colleague or a customer.

Start Your Holiday Planning Now

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most eagerly anticipated retail events of the year and both dates are a wonderful opportunity for marketing teams to prove their worth. While both events seem far away right now, you need to begin your holiday marketing planning as soon as possible because your rivals are certainly busy creating strategies.

To put into context what’s at stake, Cyber Monday 2013 resulted in sales of almost $2.3 billion and this figure is likely to rise since the 2013 figure was a 16% increase on the 2012 sales figure. Here’s what you need to do now to prepare for the holidays.

Create Strong Subject Lines

Though shoppers are motivated by deals, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on details of discounts to make up your subject lines. With so many competitors to worry about, your subject line has to distinguish your offers from the rest of the market which means creating headlines that appeal to the emotion shoppers have for certain brands. I would recommend avoiding the word ‘free’ in subject lines as this comes across as spam content. If you start now, you should have time to split-test before the big days arrive.

Market Research

You need a strong understanding of existing and potential customers so you better start researching this instant! While many marketers rate Cyber Monday ahead of Black Friday, it seems that over 80% of Black Friday customers want to receive email updates and almost 60% of them want mobile updates. Strategic use of the information you receive will help you profit from these shopping bonanzas.

High Volume – Short Space Of Time

Your holiday planning campaigns will involve an enormous volume of emails being sent out in a short space of time. For instance, you may need to send emails to 500,000 customers regarding a sale with a 3 hour window. Is your email infrastructure capable of sustaining this level of sending? If not, your recipients will end up getting the emails when the sales are finished.

Real Time Analytics

Too many email marketers make the mistake of thinking their emails will be safely in inboxes within minutes of being sent. However, most marketers will not get the requisite data to tell them if their messages are being sent out on time. Without access to real time analytics, your emails could be backed up in queues for hours without you realizing it. You must have this data to develop an effective campaign; this is especially the case when you are running time sensitive offers.

When performed correctly, email campaigns centered around holiday retail events can be spectacularly effective. As a result, you have to plan far ahead if you want to be among the most successful companies in your industry.

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