Category Archives: Internet

Match Your Message to Your Market on Social Media

You may have a great message, but is it reaching the right people? Creating a great message is important. Making sure it gets to the right people, in the right way, on the platform where their attention already is, is critical.

Demographics and personas.

The first thing you need to get a solid grasp on is your audience (not in any way that will get you in trouble with HR). You need to really know and understand who your audience is. Hopefully, you already do. Ideally, you will have a wealth of background information and statistics, used them to work out personas and backed up your findings with a lot of analytical data. Then again, you may be at the start of the process and need to do all those things.

Personas are important in the creative process of getting a clear idea of the message that you need to write to match your market. A persona is a representative of your market. If you are marketing a new chocolate bar, you might imagine that your persona is a male child aged 13, who is a big fan of Boruto and is easily distracted. It’s a way to put a face on a 10- to 15-year-old predominantly male demographic. It also doesn’t tell the whole story.

Products and services may have a demographic that is more important than others, but a single persona does not represent your market place. A chocolate bar may appeal to young boys, but it will also appeal to young girls. It will also appeal to older men and women. Everyone loves chocolate. Young boys may account for 60% of the market, but that doesn’t mean you want to ignore the other 40%.

That’s why it’s useful to think of multiple demographics, and work up multiple personas. Where a young boy might care about action and excitement, a young girl might care about sharing. The older consumers, who are probably going to be the people who pay for it anyway, will have another set of concerns. They may be worried about the amount of sugar and fat in the bar, or if the products used in its manufacture are ethically sourced.

Put those together and make an ad where a team of ninja robots decide to learn a lesson about sharing and the importance of ethically sourced cocoa and milk, and you’ll get a mess (or a message that’s interesting for the wrong reasons). It’s better to work out what the different focuses of your entire audience are, and then work out different ways to get a message to those key markets.

 

Split testing is your friend.

One of the benefits of getting your message out on social media is the ability to test and change your approach continually. When you have settled on a persona and a focus for your message, there can still be different ways to realize it. Let’s take our chocolate bar and imagine that we are creating copy to appeal to our young female audience with a focus on sharing. Here are a couple of ways it could go:

  • Borrowed your sister’s favorite sweater without asking again? Say sorry by sharing your Hazleblast bar.
  • Jenny thought she didn’t have any friends. All it took was Petra to share her Hazleblast bar and it made her day!

Both are legitimate approaches. The first takes a more humorous approach and the second plays on emotions. Both target the 10- to 15-year-old female demographic and show the benefits of sharing the product. Which one is best? In fact, either of them could be the most effective. The only real way to find out is to split test them.

Let’s take Facebook as an example.  You can create two ads, which are exactly the same apart from the copy. You can set the split at 50/50 or whatever you like. Then you send your two ads out. Then you see which one has been the most successful. You can then test it against other copy if you have more ideas, or even change up the image, your call to action or even if you include emoji or not.

Through split testing, you can see your message evolve so it is the most effective at reaching your market. You are carrying out market research while you are growing brand awareness (or even selling your product).

 

Jumping from platform to platform.

Once you have defined the different areas of your audience, and split tested to find the best way to deliver that message to them – you still need to think about where you will reach them. You need to reach your audience where there attention already is, and on the device that captures that attention.

The younger audience is a good example here. Facebook doesn’t let people have their own accounts until the age of 13. So, while the split testing ad may have worked out well for the 13 to 15 year olds glued to social media, it still ignores a key part of that demographic. Although you would still want to advertise on Facebook, it might be worthwhile to extend out to websites or even in-app advertisements, because that’s where that particular audience’s attention actually is.

On a basic level – you need to think about how your message will appear on different devices. The copy on a desktop Facebook ad may take up more space than is available in an in-app ad. You always need to be aware of how your message will appear on a mobile phone, even if you’re creating the ad on a desktop computer.  Whatever device your message is being read on, you need to make sure that it is clear to read, clear to understand and has a clear purpose.

 

The medium is the message.

 There are a variety of ways you can deliver your message. It will always be accompanied by copy – but it could be a picture, a GIF, a slideshow, a video, a livestream, a 360 video, an interactive form… even through a game. When considering what medium to use to put out a message, you need to ask: (a) does it effectively represent my brand and (b) will it entertain my audience?

There may be evidence that people in the 12 to 15-year-old demographic may really respond and interact with live-streams, but unless there is a real way that a live stream can support your message and demonstrate the value of your product, then it’s better to choose a medium that works. A picture of two friends laughing a sharing a chocolate bar may be more effective than seeing how long it will take a Hazelblast bar to melt in the sun.

 

Once you’ve hit your target: retarget!

The last thing to think about in getting your message to the market is to consider what interaction they have had with your company before. People who have already interacted with your advertising, or visited the website don’t want to be given the same message over and over again. Not only can this lead to ad fatigue, it’s also easier to convert people who have already come part of the way along the sales journey.

Retargeting is a very powerful tool. Using things like the Facebook Pixel, you can automatically track the audience interaction. You can then set up a copy sequence, so that the audience can be retargeted with a message designed to push them along to the next level of your sales funnel. By honing your message to respond to their level of experience, you have a better chance of converting them.

 

Match your message to find your match.

People go on the Internet for two reasons: to have a problem solved or to be entertained. By matching your message to a persona, honing that message through split testing, placing that message on the right device and matching your message to their level of experience – you have a greater chance of them engaging with their message. They are more likely to be entertained as you are speaking directly to them, rather than to just anyone. Ultimately, you are more likely to solve their problem – whether it’s choosing a new chocolate bar or a new life insurance provider.

 

match your message to your market

The post Match Your Message to Your Market on Social Media appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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How to Create a Brand that Attracts New Customers Like a Magnet

So there you are – you’ve developed a marketing campaign designed to drive prospects to your website. The results have been pretty good and you have a lot to be proud of. The problem is that none of the new visitors are doing what you want them to. Whether it’s getting them to download an eBook, sign up for an e-newsletter, or buy one of your products, they aren’t converting.

If you’re like many people with this problem, the first thing you do is to examine your marketing campaign to find out what the trouble is. Are you targeting the right people? Are you sending the right message? Are you driving the clicks you’re looking for?

 

If you think the problem is with your marketing campaign, you might be looking in the wrong place.

What do I mean by that? There are two aspects to any successful marketing campaign. The first is to get people to click through to your website. The second is to get people to convert once they’re there.

If your click-through rate is within the acceptable range (about 0.5% to 5% for a Facebook ad, about 1% for a Google Paid Search ad, etc.), then your problem isn’t getting people to your website. Instead, it’s getting people to do what you want them to do once they’re there.

If they aren’t converting once they’re at your website, you could have a landing page problem. Or, worse yet, you could have a branding problem.

 

What is a branding problem? And why is it important?

When people engage with a brand, they do so for emotional reasons and then use logic to rationalize their behaviors after the fact. In other words, people instinctively interact with your brand for subconscious reasons, and then use logic to explain why they interacted with your brand later.

Here’s a great example. Have you ever bought something on impulse while you were in the checkout line at a grocery store? If you’re like most people, the answer is a resounding yes.

Why did you buy the product? At the moment of purchase, you probably didn’t know. It was probably just an impulse buy. But once you got home, if your spouse or other family member asked you why you made the impulse buy, you can come up with a bunch of logical, rational reasons why you bought it.

Why did you make the impulse purchase? Because of branding. And that’s why branding is so important – because it can help you convert more prospects into customers for reasons they sometimes don’t even know.

 

Tips and techniques to make your brand stand out.

Perhaps the starting point in any discussion about a brand is to define what a brand is.

There are hundreds of definitions for a brand, so I came up with one myself that has held up pretty well over the years. Here it is – a brand is composed of the spoken and unspoken messages a consumer receives about your product and/or service.

In other words, a brand is the essence of your company articulated through your logo, your ad campaigns, your color scheme, your tone of voice, your corporate culture … pretty much anything that touches the consumer in one way or another.

A good brand takes many years to develop, but there are some steps you can take to ensure that your brand is as attractive as possible right away.

Want to take a look at the steps? If so, check them out below.

 

Step 1: Look at companies within your industry and identify best practices.

If you’re like most businesses, you have 3 to 5 competitors who are about your size and who are competing for your customers. Visit each one of their websites and take an honest look at their messaging, their aesthetics, and their overall approach. If you’re in marketing, you’ll instinctively be drawn to the one or two best ones. Figure out what they’re doing better than you are … and copy it. Yup, that’s right, copy what they’re doing but put your own spin on it. (It’s not illegal, provided you’re not stealing intellectual property.)

 

Step 2: Look at companies outside your industry and explore their techniques.

The best companies work very, very hard to ensure their brands look pristine. A good place to start is to look at what Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and other top brands are doing with their websites. Examine what you like and what you don’t like about each website. Take note of the best stuff, and toss out the rest.

 

Step 3: Take an honest look at your own brand.

How does it stack up to the other brands? Are the other brands more polished? Is their messaging clearer? Do their websites hold together better than yours does? If so, keep re-visiting their websites for several days in a row. As you come back for another visit, you’ll start noticing more and more of the things they do to make their brands sizzle.

 

Step 4: Begin incorporating what you see from the best brands into your brand.

As I said, there’s no law against being inspired by your competitors and the best brands in the world. Keep an eye on what they do to differentiate their brands. In some cases, you’ll be able to incorporate their best practices into your own brand. In other cases, you’ll want to hire a marketing firm or a designer to take your brand to the next level.

Final point – remember, none of what we’ve just talked about matters unless you take action on what you’ve learned here. Don’t just read this blog post … instead, do the work.

By taking action and doing the work, you’ll end up with more prospects converting into customers. And that would be a good thing.

The post How to Create a Brand that Attracts New Customers Like a Magnet appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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ResponseCon Registration Opens Tomorrow

It’s nearly here! Registration for ResponseCon opens tomorrow (August 16, 2017)! Four two-day events in four cities across America make for great inspiration, learning, and networking.

  • October 17-18, join us in Boston.
  • October 19-20, come see us in Denver.
  • October 23-24, visit us in San Diego.
  • October 25-26, meet up with us in Austin.

All four events will feature the opportunities to learn from GetResponse experts and to become certified partners – giving you a way to earn more money with us and grow your business.

You’ll also have the chance to hear such marketing influencers such as Jamie Turner, Michael Brenner, and Andrew Davis.

Plus, get inspired by hearing how you can apply some of the successes from our customers to your own business. The people behind some of our case studies will be present as well, and you’ll be able to talk with them.

Early bird tickets will be available. Each ticket includes access to the full conference: keynote presentations, roundtable discussions, educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions. Plus, networking opportunities with some of the top industry professionals and your peers. Also included in the ticket price are lunch, snacks, and soft drinks – sustenance is important to help your brain stay focused!

Call your boss, get budgetary approval – do what you have to do. Tickets are limited, and you don’t want to miss out on being one of the first attendees of ResponseCon.

Join us on our EPIC four-city road trip. Registration opens tomorrow.

 

ResponseCon 2017 -- learn about 4 epic events in October

The post ResponseCon Registration Opens Tomorrow appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Beyond Demographics: How to Collect Valuable Subscriber Data

Subscriber data is the backbone of successful email marketing. It’s really simple – the better you know your target audience, the better you communicate with them. We often say that email marketing allows you to collect a lot of data about your subscribers. But what does “a lot” really mean? What kind of data should you take under consideration? In this article I’ll show you 3 email marketing data categories you can track apart from demographics.

It’s a fact, the amount of marketing data is already overwhelming and still growing. If you want to use it effectively, you need to carefully pick the information that has an impact on your business. That’s why we’ll start with bare minimum.

Usually, web forms with a single form field drive the most conversions. Take a look at the following example from Best:

 

example of simple opt-in form

Image 1: A pop-up form promoting a sweepstake. Clean design with a single form field and a clear call to action.

 

All you need to do in order to enter the competition is provide your email address. But an email address alone doesn’t tell much about subscribers, does it? You need more information in order to personalize further communication. Let’s take a look at a few data categories that will help you with your email marketing efforts.

 

Demographics

If you want to start building subscriber profiles from the very beginning (with the signup form), demographic data comes in handy. You can ask people about gender, day of birth, or city of residence at signup without causing much friction.

(if you’re interested in targeting your subscribers with relevant messages, here’s my article on how to start segmenting you list).

Here’s an example from Converse:

 

converse example of collecting subscriber data

Image 2: A pop-up signup form requiring email address and a date of birth (gender optional).

 

Some companies (e.g. Crayola) successfully use longer signup forms:

 

example of Crayola sign up form.

Image 3: Longer signup forms increase quality of your email list but might cause friction (some people won’t be willing to complete it).

 

But what else is there apart from demographics? Is there any particular data worth collecting?

Well, that’s subjective and it depends on the nature of your business. You need to analyze your business goals and determine a dataset that will help you run great email marketing campaigns yourself.

However, I suggest you to take look at the following data categories (I added a few examples in order to help you plan your own assets):

 

Interests

Interests or preferences are crucial for creating engaging content and building long-lasting relationships with subscribers.

People want to receive information they consider interesting, so when you inform them that you send emails based on subscriber preferences, they are likely to provide you with the necessary information.

Longer forms don’t need to be cumbersome. In order to make it easier for the subscriber, you can use checkboxes. Here’s an example from Stanley:

 

opt-in form example from Stanley that features interests

Image 4: A signup form designed to determine subscriber preferences: level of expertise and interests.

And one example from Pew Research Center:

 

Pew Research opt-in form example based on interests

Image 5: A signup form with checkboxes allowing people to subscribe to multiple email programs. Extensive, yet easy to complete.

 

As you can see, checkboxes offer multiple options without making it difficult to subscribe.

 

Behavioral

Behavioral data informs you about subscribers’ engagement, current interest, and funnel position. By tracking opens, clicks, and website activity, you can react fast to the current needs of subscribers.

The following email fragment presents different product categories. Based on the clicked links, we can assume product preferences.

 

bath and body works example of email based on behavioral content

Image 6: A fragment of an email from Bath&Body Works showing product categories.

 

Based on the links clicked in an email and visited URLs, you can run highly targeted campaigns presenting recently viewed products. Here’s a fragment of an email from UncommonGoods reminding me of the products I saw in the email and on the website:

 

uncommon goods email example

Image 7: A fragment of an email reminding of the recently viewed products.

 

Events like an abandoned cart are time-sensitive. You’d better act fast, if you want to win back customers who left your website without a purchase. Here’s a fragment of an email American Giant sends you when you leave an empty bag:

 

abandoned cart email example from American Giant

Image 8: An email reminder about an unfinished purchase.

 

Transactional

Transactional data allows you to track conversions and tie your email marketing activity to sales. You can use e-commerce data to segment your email marketing list and target your subscribers based on their purchase history.

You can use transactional data to run email marketing campaigns significantly improving customer experience. A simple email informing customers that their order is already on the way helps them estimate the delivery time.

Here’s a transactional email from Blue Bottle Coffee with a delivery tracking option:

 

Blue bottle coffee email example

Image 9: A fragment of a shipping confirmation email with a link allowing customers to check shipment delivery status.

 

You can also use transactional data to up-sell. Perhaps a few customers would like to a add something to their order before shipment.

An example from Dollar Shave Club:

 

dollar shave club example of upsell email

Image 10: A fragment of an email allowing to add products before the order is shipped.

There are, of course, many more ways to use transactional data. Based on the purchase history you can engage your customers and ask for an opinion about your products, create cross-selling and up-selling campaigns, and segment your customers based on the average order value, etc. Don’t be afraid to experiment and run A/B tests to see what’s working best with your audience.

 

Up to you

What subscriber data do you collect? What information allows you to run your email marketing campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments below and help us create a community of data-driven email marketers.

 

how to collect subscriber data

The post Beyond Demographics: How to Collect Valuable Subscriber Data appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Authenticity Matters: The Marketer’s Guide to Choosing Compelling User-Generated Photos

Marketers and writers of the world, let’s chat about something important, yet overlooked: The visuals that accompany our written work. If you’re anything like me, you probably just let out an audible groan. Bonus points if it startled the person next to you.

Visuals are usually left to the creative directors and designers in the office. But when those visually gifted folks aren’t around, we tend to slap a vaguely related microstock photo on top of our content and call it a day. Or if we’ve had a little more caffeine than usual, we’ll open Canva and spruce up the stock photo with a quote or headline. It’s not our fault when visuals aren’t our area of expertise.

Over time, though, I discovered that more authentic visuals can spur target audiences to click on and engage with your work — obviously an important goal. My perspective shifted even more after taking a Content Editor position at a photo-licensing startup called Scopio. As it turns out, user-generated content — or UGC — isn’t just a great tool for marketers and writers, but also for editors and designers. These visuals just feel more human compared to the ones you’d find on stock websites.

The problem? A lot of folks aren’t sure where to find great user-generated photos. Sometimes, they’re not even sure how to use them.

When it comes time to choose visuals to complement email campaigns, blogs, social media posts and other forms of written content, don’t be afraid to try something user-generated (or at least more realistic). Keep these pointers handy, too!

 

Give ’em something real

 

user-generated content example

Photo by Nazariy Kravchenko/Scopio submission

 

What kind of message is your image putting across?

There’s a reason why the “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” meme went viral, or why fast food chain Wendy’s pokes fun at the perfection of stock photos in their newest set of ads. The internet allows us access to a staggering amount of content. So over time, we’ve also become more skilled at detecting inauthenticity.

If your image of choice happens to be a typical microstock photo (think someone with a too-perfect grin framed by a heavily photoshopped background), that image just wasn’t created for anyone in particular. It was born with one goal in mind: To become a flawless, one-size-fits-all art piece.

If you’ve ever seen the same stock photo used over and over in marketing articles or on company websites, you’ve seen this concept in action. The Wall Street Journal noticed this embarrassing faux pas back in 2006, but stock photo sharing is still commonplace. If you don’t believe me, do a reverse Google image search on a free stock photo.

When choosing images for blogs, social media posts and other types of written content, it’s up to you whether your photo is up to par. Does it speak to your message? And more importantly, does it align with your audience’s goals and values? If you didn’t answer these questions with an instant “yes,” you might just want to switch things up.

For those who write for larger agencies, brands or companies, it’d definitely be worth it to look into a platform that helps you find and license user-generated photos and videos, as they tend to be more, well, real.

In fact, a study by Crowdtap and Ipsos Media CT noted that millennials find user-generated content 35% more memorable and 50% more trustworthy than other forms of media. And though this study looks at UGC as a whole, it’s a good indicator of the images we should be moving toward.

I see this at work every day. When companies, nonprofits, media outlets and others use user-generated content to tell stories, they end up with better engagement, click-through rates and ROI just by publishing something more relatable. That’s powerful.

 

Think “human”

 

 

user-generated content example

Photo by Carmen Ramirez/Scopio submission

 

Audiences respond to visuals that are more candid or human, meaning you’ll also earn more engagement when you use them. Think back to a memorable piece of writing or advertising that you’ve seen. It probably has a human element.

The visuals we use don’t have to carry the same weight, but they should feel real rather than staged — think groups of people planting trees for Earth Day rather than something resembling Microsoft’s classic “Bliss,” or a candid photo from a lifestyle blog instead of a posed family photoshoot.

The most obvious way to go about this is to choose photographs with faces. Back in 2014, a Georgia Tech study noted that posting photos with faces on social media upped the likelihood of receiving likes and comments by 38% and 32%, respectively. “It is widely accepted in neuroscience that face perception is perhaps the most highly developed human visual skill,” they wrote.

However, it seems that not all photos featuring faces are created equal. The Nielsen Norman Group suggests that while viewers on a web page pay close attention to photos of everyday people (in this case, portraits on a company’s “about” page), they make a hard pass on “stock photos of generic people” used to spruce up web pages. The lesson here isn’t that user-generated content is a cure-all for marketers — it’s that audiences sniff out inauthenticity more than we think, and it could help to feature something more trustworthy. Going forward, this data should spark more conversations about the effectiveness of stock photography versus UGC or in-house photos and videos.

If you want to avoid dead-end visuals, it’s as simple as searching through hashtags and keywords on social media and licensing a candid photo from someone. And if you have a bigger wallet to work with, try hiring a photographer to create the kind of visuals you’re looking for.

Even if candid photos with faces aren’t a good match for your content, there are other ways to use this to your advantage. Whether it’s a beloved Golden Retriever, a pair of hands holding sunglasses or an indistinct city scene, choose a photo buzzing with life to project authenticity.

Because after all is said and done, candid, real-life shots often resonate better than a still life or a frazzled-man-in-business-attire stock photo.

 

Go beyond static on blogs

 

user-generated content example

Photo by @veryjinjing/Instagram

 

Resist the urge to just write a few paragraphs on a blog post and call it a day. Instead, try including more actionable elements for your readers to glance at or play around with. This simple trick is often overlooked by writers, but can boost stats like you wouldn’t believe.

To create something dynamic, the first step is to give your readers some breathing space. That’s actually as simple as using relatable photos to break your writing up into digestible chunks.

Research from BuzzSumo supports this. After analyzing more than a million articles, they found that the golden ratio of pictures to words is about 1 image per 75 to 100 words. This magic number can also double shares on social media as opposed to articles with less visuals.

But don’t limit this just to photos. The actionable elements I’m talking about can be anything from an embedded Tweet to a gallery of user-generated content images sourced from social media, which could increase your pageview time by 90%.

Go ahead: Play around and find a solution that works for your readers.

 

Avoid legal grey areas

 

Photo by James McMinn Jr./Scopio submission

 

It’s safe to assume that most of us wouldn’t steal a painting or sculpture, brush it over with a few coats of paint it and sell it to an art gallery under our name. And even though digital photos should be treated with the same deference, stolen content is far too familiar in the era of social media.

If you’d like to edit and publish a photo or video you sourced from a social site, great! But be prepared — either have a watertight legal agreement drafted up for photographers to sign or try out a platform that does the hard work for you. This will help avoid the legal grey areas that could get your team in trouble and tarnish your brand’s image.

Embedding user-generated photos and videos is another option, but the effect can wear off after a while. You’ll have the freedom to creatively repurpose photos and videos if you can get the rights to them.

As the old saying goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry … Or in legal trouble.

 

In conclusion

User-generated content — including images and photography — can add an element of authenticity that encourages consumers to engage with and interact with your company… which can, down the line, lead to increased sales. Have you successfully incorporated user-generated content into your marketing? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

authenticity matters: how to choose good user-generated content

The post Authenticity Matters: The Marketer’s Guide to Choosing Compelling User-Generated Photos appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Using a Quiz to Double-Down on Your Leads

How just one question can transform your business.

“You will never know if you do not ask,” says marketing and sales whiz Trish Witkowski, “that is why quizzes and surveys are so invaluable: they help you get inside the mind of your target market.” That is just one of the valuable insights that Trish uncovered while researching the most efficient lead scoring strategies in the world.

You see, a year ago Ms. Witkowski set off on a journey to understand why some seemingly mundane businesses can generate massive success using simple (and often overshadowed) marketing tools: tools like email and surveys. (By the way, if you are interested in what she learned from Vegas Card Counters, read this article.)

“It is so easy to find yourself chasing audiences on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, but hidden inside your existing audience – your current prospects and customers – is the profit-producing insight you need to be exponentially successful,” Trish says. That’s right. All you need to do is dig deeper into the audience you already own.

 

The audience you already own

In Trish’s research, she sat down with several companies who’d leveraged their existing customers and prospects to find game-changing insights – insights that would propel their businesses to the next level.

“Some companies realized that if they homed in on a particular sub-segment, they could increase their margins and generate higher profits. Others found that a simple quiz could eliminate time-wasting sales efforts on tire-kicking leads to close bigger deals faster,” notes Ms. Witkowski.

“Unfortunately, most companies squander the opportunity to drive intelligent business insight from their surveys and quizzes because marketers make one massive mistake: they forget to make the survey or quiz about the customer,” Trish found.

It was a story Trish heard from an agency executive named Danyl Bosomworth in London, England that blew her mind.

 

The Taste Test and the multi-million dollar data point

A few years ago, Danyl Bosomworth ran a small education travel division inside a multi-billion dollar travel company. Danyl’s group sold travel and teaching experiences to college students around the world.

“Danyl’s sales and marketing processes were pretty traditional. Danyl’s team bought relevant keywords to drive prospects towards an opt-in form. Those that expressed even minimal interest received a high-quality direct mail brochure and a few days later a call from the sales team,” explains Trish.

The team’s approach yielded an industry standard 3% conversion rate. “Danyl knew he could do better, then just the industry standard,” Trish notes.

“Danyl and his sales team realized that a particular ‘type’ of person buys teach and travel experiences – people who like adventurous food, for example. So, they decided to develop a fun online quiz to test a prospect’s appetite for adventure. Danyl planned on using the new insight to attract and identify the individuals who possessed a few key characteristics they were looking for,” explains Ms. Witkowski. “Because if they could find those people, they could close more business.”

“The ‘Teach English as a Foreign Language Taster,’ or ‘TEFL Taster’ as it became known, started out as one question and grew to be about 15 questions,” says Danyl Bosomworth. “It became very interactive.”

For example, one question invited prospects to watch a video clip of a ‘teachers view’ inside an African classroom. At the end of the clip, the TEFL Taster would ask the prospect if the video made them feel excited, scared or nervous, or intimidated.

“We had audio clips and multiple-choice sliders even simple A/B polling questions. We collected all the data anonymously and only asked for an email address at the very end of the survey,” Danyl explains. In fact, Danyl’s team learned two valuable lessons:

  1. You will capture more data by asking for personal information at the very end of a survey.
  2. Even the anonymous data possesses value.

“Suddenly, Danyl had more information and insight into his prospects than ever before,” Trish says with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a real data-driven marketer.

“Overnight, they knew the ages of their prospects; they knew their food preferences and their language skills, they better understood whether they were the right fit for a TEFL adventure. Danyl could now quickly determine who would most likely pay for a teach and travel experience given the insight they had provided in the quiz,” Trish says.

The survey, in essence, was a goldmine.

“It did not take long for Danyl to refine their entire sales and marketing approach. In fact, only the most ‘qualified’ leads received the expensive direct mail brochure and his sales team focused first on the most viable leads. Suddenly, they were closing more deals, more often, more efficiently, at a reduced overall cost” says Trish. The Taste Test was working!

“We found that people who completed the entire TEFL Taster, received one lead tool (like the brochure or a specific product inquiry,) were 80% more likely to convert,” notes Danyl.

Before Trish told me about the unexpected, million-dollar outcome of The Taste Test, Trish revealed a few simple keys to expanding your audience understanding using simple surveys and quizzes.

 

The three keys to successful customer data expansion

 

1. An irresistible question

Using simple, even one-question surveys to expand your understanding of your audience can yield tremendous results. In Trish’s travels, she uncovered the story of a garden supply company that tried month after month to get more insight about their customers. “Their survey response rates were dismal,” explains a disappointed Trish.

“But they did not give up. One month, the garden supply team asked customers to tell them how BIG their garden was. (Who does not want to brag about the size of their garden, right?) Suddenly, the flood gates opened. People gushed about how big their garden was, what type of garden they grew, even how they created it. Finally, they had found the key to unlocking new insight,” says Ms. Witkwoski.

So, “look for an irresistible question your audience would love to answer,” Trish adds.

 

2. Look for small signals

Long surveys can be cumbersome. Think about mining your current wins for small signals that might lead to bigger success if you consistently ask the question.

“Danyl’s team used a hunch – the idea that if you do not like adventurous food might mean you will not be a good fit for a teach and travel experience in rural Asia – as the basis for the first version of The Taste Test,” notes Trish.

All you need is a hunch to get started expanding your audience insight. Don’t over complicate it.

 

3. Make sure there’s a benefit for the audience

“One of the reasons Danyl’s approach was so successful is that the quiz was positioned to help the prospect determine if a teach and travel experience was right for the prospect (not for the company),” notes Trish. “This is important,” she emphasizes.

Instead of asking the audience to tell you what they want or what they like, consider the reasons your survey will help your customer. “Position your survey as helpful for your prospect, and you will see your response-rates skyrocket.”

 

Unexpected new markets

So, what was it that Danyl uncovered with his Taste Test?

“Danyl’s new marketing tool did not come without its share of surprises,” Trish says. As it turns out, the quiz also yielded an entire category of customers that they had never recognized: “the mature adult in transition.”

“Yes, the quiz revealed one surprising new insight. The team discovered that college kids were not the only people who wanted to get away from it all while doing something good for the world. In fact, empty nesters, retirees, career-changers, and divorcees also wanted in on the action,” reveals Trish.

Armed with a mountain of new customer data brought in by a simple quiz, Danyl, and his talented team grew the size of the program by 30%, and the revenues tripled over three years.

That is success.

“You will never know if you do not ask,” reiterates Trish Witkowski. “What irresistable question are you going to start with?”

 

Meet Andrew at ResponseCon in October!

 

Use a quiz to double-down on your leads

The post Using a Quiz to Double-Down on Your Leads appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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6 Success Factors of Ecommerce Business Strategy

As an entrepreneur, getting into ecommerce is a significant step towards growing a business and increasing profits. For those who are just starting a business, ecommerce can potentially be the foundation of a profitable company. Whichever you are, know that ecommerce is not simply putting up your products online and hoping for the best.

There is a good bit of strategy that goes into making it work.  Understanding how ecommerce can affect a business is crucial in making it a success.

 

What is ecommerce today?

Ecommerce is now ubiquitous to business in developed countries, but developing countries have yet to catch up with its adoption. However, things have been coming along as ecommerce has started to grow in a big way throughout Asia, especially in China.

In the meantime, mobile has pretty much become the biggest thing in ecommerce these days. However, a lot of businesses aren’t converting to m-commerce fast enough to make the most of the mobile user base. With the ecommerce market becoming more competitive than ever before, this may change down the line, as businesses continue to find new ways to gain an edge.

There is also a future in subscription-based business models. Presently, there are already a number of online services that offers monthly subscriptions for a variety of things. Expect this business model to grow even more in the coming years.

 

Six factors in ecommerce success:

 

1. Regulation of product pricing

It’s natural for customers to compare prices between brands. It’s expected of entrepreneurs, as well, to be aware of how much competitors are charging for their goods. Fortunately, there are different tools available to easily see and compare prices of competing ecommerce websites, such as DataCrops and Import.io.

Various pricing strategies are employed to get the sweet spot in attractiveness and earnings, depending on the market and the kind of products being priced. For instance, one of the most common pricing strategies is keystone pricing, which is basically the doubling of wholesale price.

That usually works, but consider additional factors so the price is just right, not too high or too low. There is also discount pricing, psychological pricing, competitive pricing, value-based pricing, and so on.

 

2. Maintaining high quality products

For a long time, people had the notion that products from ecommerce sites were inferior quality when compared to products from physical stores. While much of that myth no longer exists these days, there is still a lot that must be done to convince customers that your products are comparable in quality as those found in malls and other stores.

Make sure you procure your products from well-known and trusted suppliers of high quality goods as well.

Your must uphold your standards consistently across the board. If you ever ship a subpar product to a customer, it will definitely be a blow to your business even if you have a return/replacement policy in place. Overall customer satisfaction is crucial to the business’ continued survival, and bad product quality can break your business down.

Keep System feedback transparent to the changes in input, and corrective action must be taken as soon as possible. This is a continuing process as there are always other ways to improve.

 

3. Improving store accessibility

The design of your ecommerce website (online store) must accommodate all types of customers. The online store is your main tool of communicating and transacting with them. It must be able to relay information fast and concisely to evoke the trustworthiness of your business to your customers.

Accessibility is of utmost importance as it helps your business be within reach to all sorts of customers; i.e. people of different cultures, people with disabilities, etc.  Being able to have your online store set to other languages can potentially widen your customer base, as long as they are a significant part of your audience. It may also be accessible to people with visual disabilities like color blindness and impaired vision, by using high-contrast visual theme and a larger font size for text.

There are also things you can do to make the online store viewed better by mobile devices, such as using responsive design and optimizing your images so they can load faster. The more you improve your website’s accessibility, the more people can potentially view it.

 

4. Making a wonderful first impression

Users know if they like a website or not by just a glance, and that first impression usually lasts. Making a good first impression is imperative in getting more customers in your online store. Make the best, eye-catching design possible, in order to entice people into coming in and making use of your ecommerce website.

Good web design has principles you can follow that will help you convince people to take a look at what you have. It should not be too loud nor too barren.  Everything on it should be easy to understand, yet maintains its own personality.

 

5. Securing your shipments

One of the main concerns with ecommerce for both entrepreneurs and consumers is the issue of security. With personal and financial information being handled online, there is always the potential for ecommerce websites being compromised and customer data stolen for nefarious purposes. This is especially true for credit card information that gets entered in online every single day.

Make use of SSL to secure your customers’ online shopping experience. SSL ensures that transactions and data are encrypted so that there is less of a chance for them to be compromised. Two-factor authentication is also a good way to further secure your online store, and adding other verification methods (without making it too hard for your customers) should help as well.

 

6. Taking advantage of m-commerce

 

mobile ecommerce business strategy

 

The mobile user base has grown exponentially over the last few years, thereby the need for online stores to become mobile commerce ready has become virtually mandatory at this point. If your online store is not optimized for mobile devices, then you are missing out on a lot of business.

 

Some of the things that make an online store optimized for m-commerce are things like responsive design with easy-to-use navigation menus, solid mobile search features, and easy checkout and payment, all done over mobile. You need not have a mobile app to do it, just have your website optimized for mobile if possible

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking to get into ecommerce, there is certainly no better time than now. With a public that has been getting more and more familiar with the use of ecommerce to avail of various products and services, we are going to see more amazing things through ecommerce for both entrepreneurs and consumers.

 

6 Success Factors of eCommerce Business Strategy

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Adopting Marketing Automation: Key Challenges and Solutions

The benefits of using marketing automation seem clear. Every year more marketers decide to move away from “spray and pray” campaigns and choose to automate their communication instead. But adopting marketing automation isn’t a walk in the park, as our research found.

In our survey, we’ve asked more than 2,500 marketers around the globe about the top challenges they saw when adopting marketing automation in their companies.

Having collected the data, we decided to ask some of the brightest minds in the marketing industry about why they thought those elements caused such a struggle and what could one do to overcome them.

Below you’ll find the chart showing the results of the above mentioned research, along with the comments from marketing experts and practitioners like Michael Brenner, Kath Pay, Erik Qualman, and more!

Once you’ve read them, please share your thoughts with us.

What were the biggest marketing automation challenges for your company and how did you overcome them (or how are you planning to overcome them)? Are the results from this study in line with what you’ve experienced?

Let us know in the comments below.

 

Top marketing automation adoption challenges – GetResponse report

 

Key challenges and solutions

1. Securing budget (36.1%)

Michael Brenner – CEO of Marketing Insider Group

Marketers’ biggest struggle with marketing automation is securing budget. And this is true despite the fact that we rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel. Imagine if all our marketing efforts (time, budget, people) were directed at the programs that deliver the greatest impact.

Instead, too many marketing organizations are focused on checking the boxes. We do what our boss thinks might work. We create brochures for the sales team that get thrown in the trash. We run banner ads because the brand team asked us to. The main reason we struggle to secure budget is that we don’t measure the impact of our marketing activities on our business. Too often we forget to ask if our customers really want or need the things we invest in.

Email marketing works because our customers have to opt-in and they have the ability to unsubscribe. This forces us to really focus on creating valuable content that helps them. So we need to measure these results and learn how to present the business case for marketing automation in business terms that executives can understand.

 

Kath Pay – CEO of Holistic Email Marketing

I believe the problem lies in a couple of places. Firstly, 36.1% say that securing budget is a problem, yet only 15.1% have an issue with lack of buy-in/vision from the senior managers. There is a big discrepancy there and shows that a good percentage of senior managers have bought into it, yet aren’t allocating the budget. In my experience this is simply because marketing automation has been sold as a tactic, which sounds good, but without any specific business case as to what problem it will solve, and therefore the managers are hesitant to invest into it.

If, however, you went to the C-suite and said “80% of our database is made up of one-time buyers and we could make X% more revenue with a second purchase program to convert them into buying a second time” or “PPC is costing us $xx.xx and we keep paying for people who have already visited the website or signed up to our newsletter and therefore we should implement a robust first purchase program in order to not only convert these people into being customers but also reduce our PPC expenditure”, you’d provide clear persuasive reasoning that would get the C-suite’s attention.

This then brings us to the next issue, which is implementing marketing automation because they know or think they should implement it. If a customer journey and data insight review was performed, this would clearly show the missed opportunities that could be resolved by marketing automation – with the aim of solving business problems and achieving business objectives. Most marketers want to implement it because they believe it will free them up and make their life easier. This is not a reason that the C-suite will readily buy into, but resolving business pains will. And this business case can be put together by reviewing the customer journey and the data. I know this because we do it all the time!

Another example could be that, if you mined your data and found that people who spend an AOV of $xx.xx and have bought three times are more likely to go on to being your best customers with a high CLTV, then you could build a case to implement a third purchase program targeting those who have this AOV and have bought twice.

So don’t implement marketing automation because you think it’s a good idea or everyone says you should. Try and align it to your company’s business objectives and speak to the C-suite in the language they understand.

 

Erik Qualman – #1 bestselling author and motivational speaker

For many organizations and companies marketing automation is a new frontier. Like any new frontier this is a new line item on the budget ledger and it is often a challenge to secure funding for it.

If you are the person attempting to secure budget the key is to remember that this is a new destination and you don’t use old maps to get to new destinations. Remind your executives of this and also remind them that you are glad they are pushing back as pioneers get pushback.

Pushback is a signal that you are actually pioneering. You are blazing the trail. Help walk them through that in the long term this will actually reduce cost, improve customer experience, and make the company more human, not less, by automating redundant tasks and allowing employees to have real conversations with the customers.

Be patient and frame items in words they already gravitate toward: revenue, customer service, and cost reduction.

 

2. Quality of customer data (35.3%)

 

Andrew Davis – bestselling author and keynote speaker

It’s not surprising to hear that the quality of customer data is such a large barrier to finding success with marketing automation. In an age where “big data” is all the buzz, you’re much more likely to find success in small data points that point to major insights.

For example, I’m a proponent of “progressive registration”. The simple idea that lots of small choices from your email list over time can paint a really powerful picture of your customers and that’s where you’ll find actionable insight.

Instead of trying to marry all of your data together in one place, start by using small email interactions to trigger new insight. For example, if you send an email with two video choices to watch – one designed for audience A to watch and one designed for audience B, use their click choice to set a custom field.

For example, if one video is for C-level executives and the other is designed for entry-level tacticians, use marketing automation to set a custom field, like “C-Level=Yes.” Now, you can start to segment your list and provide new paths for those who’ve self-identified as C-level.

 

3. Knowledge to set up different types of automation, e.g. rules, lead scoring (35.2%)

 

Dave Chaffey – CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights

Our research found that there were 5 major problems of marketing automation which were rated at a similar level, with around one third of businesses experiencing each challenge. I was personally surprised that securing budget was the highest rated challenge, since most businesses will already be investing in an email marketing service. Many of these services now including highly capable marketing automation features as part of the fee, so it should be possible to overcome this problem by switching vendors, although this requires planning and an investment of time.

The other challenges require recognition of the issue and then putting in place processes to overcome them. Developing specialist knowledge inside the business is also important. Some vendors have better levels of advice and support to develop these, so you should consider the level of support available from your vendor. Alternatively, you can use an online education platform like Smart Insights, which offers advanced advice on email and marketing automation.

 

4. Producing engaging content and communication (33.9%)

 

Jamie Turner – author, speaker, and the CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com

There are two key issues many marketers face regarding content.

The first is that there is a huge amount of existing content on any and all topics already, so it’s getting more and more difficult to break through.

The second is that most corporations are reluctant to put in the extra effort to get their content to break through.

Those two issues — the huge amount of content and the resistance corporations have about going the extra mile — are interrelated. That means if you solve one of them, you’ll solve both of them.

There are three secrets to breaking through the clutter with your content:

  • Target niches: By narrowing your audience, you actually increase the odds of your content breaking through. So, instead of writing a post titled “7 Secrets to Get Your Blog Posts Shared” you would hyper-target the post so that it reads “7 Secrets Every Accountant Should Know to Get Their Blog Post Shared.” By hyper-targeting, you actually increase the odds of breaking through.
  • Take a contrarian viewpoint: If everybody is saying one thing, then you can stand out by taking the opposite point of view. For example, if everybody is writing posts about what a great CEO Steve Jobs was, then you should write a post saying, “Why Steve Jobs Was One of the Worst CEOs of All Time.” That approach can help you break through.
  • Use paid ads to promote: Most businesses have been led to believe that they can break through the clutter by promoting their posts organically. While that’s still true in some cases, more and more businesses are realizing that they have to pay in order to expand their visibility. (We can thank Facebook for that trend.) Don’t be afraid to use paid ads to promote your best and most viral posts.

 

5. Measuring effectiveness (32.9%)

 

Daniel Brzeziński – COO at GetResponse

Adapting new marketing technology is never an easy process. Especially when it’s meant to be used by different teams who have their own long-term objectives and KPIs. You can see it very clearly in the case of marketing automation, which – among many things – is meant to break down the silos built by sales and marketing departments.

Seeing the results from our study, it’s not a surprise that budget is the top challenge marketers face when they first adopt marketing automation in their companies. It’s directly linked to the other challenges mentioned, notably to the problem of measuring results.

Teams responsible for running marketing automation campaigns need to figure out the shared criteria for measuring their effectiveness. They need to find a common ground and understand each other’s objectives. Measuring campaign performance by the number of generated leads may be sufficient for the marketing team, but understandably, it won’t be good enough for the sales department.

Gather your team, get them to sit down and list all the essential metrics and requirements for reaching their objectives. Be clear about what makes a marketing-qualified and sales-accepted lead, and be open to re-evaluating this after some time. Plan your campaigns, always having the lead acquisition cost in front of you, along with the CLV you get from each of them.

Then getting the buy-in from your CMO or securing a budget should no longer be a challenge.

 

Where to start

Regardless of whether you still haven’t decided if marketing automation is the right fit for you or you’re already thinking of what you’ll do with all that extra time and resources, you’ll want to come prepared when the time’s right to launch it in your company.

So before you jump right in and hope for the best, take a moment to get familiar with these best tips for getting started with marketing automation, and learn how to measure the ROI of your automated campaigns.

Good luck with your campaigns!

 

adapting marketing automation

The post Adopting Marketing Automation: Key Challenges and Solutions appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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How to Craft an Effective Contact Us Page to Improve Conversion

Our digital properties are our windows to the online sphere. These websites, mobile apps, forums, and communities help us communicate with prospective clients from around the globe. The Contact Us page, being the major point of connection with these visitors and clients, needs the utmost attention. Of all the interaction points and forms present on a website, the contact form is the most important avenue which lets the users get in touch with you directly. To improve the conversion rate of your websites, you need to craft the almost perfect Contact Us page, ever.

With conversion forms, you can generate high-quality leads for your site. In fact, a form seems to work best when you present the visitor with an offer that they can’t resist. Listed below are a few tips through which you can craft an effective Contact Us page to improve conversions.

 

1. Use an awesome contact form

The contact form is the most important element of your Contact Us page. One must never think of not using a contact form simply for the sake of inconvenience. A beautiful design and layout will complement your efforts to increase your website’s conversion.

 

2. Be quirky

Work is no more a hush-hush and serious part of our lives. Companies worldwide are seeking the fun factor to get more and more customers onboard. In fact, humor is the new click-bait. Make sure to use content that leaves a different impression on the visitors. However, being quirky won’t mean using absurd components or baseless doodles on your Contact Us page.

3. Don’t be selfish; lend a helping hand

 

help your customers with a stand out contact us page

 

The Contact Us page is a way to interact with every kind of visitor that might visit your website. From customers to job seekers, from salespersons to media people and more, you must remember that you are designing the contact form for a wide spectrum of users.

When visitors are trying to fill a contact form on your website, use highlighting and field focusing to guide them through the procedure. If they happen to get distracted, the approach will be useful to easily bring them back, where they left. Another way of guiding them can be through the in-line validation. Some JavaScript can inform the users if they have entered an incorrect Email address before they submit their query.

Ghost texts can be entered the field to let the users know what would go there. You could even hint towards formatting the ghost text. For instance, if the ghost text for the phone number says (xxx) xxx-xxxx, it would encourage the people to fill up the form in that format. You would notice your conversion rate rise by reducing this friction.

 

4. Use subtle but powerful calls to action (CTAs)

We know that the Contact Us page is specifically about contacting a website owner. However, many site visitors may be just casually surfing through your website without any intention of an engagement. As a website owner who is looking forward to seeking some great conversion rate, it is imperative for you to create some value for these visitors.

An ebook, a podcast, a newsletter; giving these away for free can help you create value for your curious site visitors. These giveaways can also bring these people back to your website; hence increasing the engagement and conversion rate of your website.

 

5. A visual story of the company’s timeline will capture the readers

Even the best of the contact pages can be boring. In order to provide it an edge over others, you can present a visual story of your business’ timeline to help the users feel connected with the purpose of your Contact Us page. This visual story can contain an interesting infographic, a mind-map or just a simple PowToon video.

 

6. Promote your social media channels

 

use your contact us page to promote your social media channels

 

Social engagement with the site visitors and the existing clients is crucial. Hence, make it a point to share your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. on the Contact Us page of your website so that users can stay updated with whatever new is happening on your end.

 

7. Be accessible; leave clear contact details

Points of contact need to be uniformly stated on the Contact Us page of your website. However, if there is a change, make sure that you update them on the website, your social media channels and send out informational emails.

 

8. Stay simple and classy

In many situations, the simpler elements defeat the complex things. The Contact Us pages are one such thing wherein the simplicity brings in a higher chance of people filling in the form. It is important to remove unnecessary content and form fields to enhance the conversion rate of the business website. You can measure the changes in conversion that you notice after eliminating these. You would see it moving in the right direction.

Don’t automate everything, but if you are doing so, just make sure that things sound human! Tell people about the average time they should wait up for your response to their queries. Always maintain the same tone of content throughout the page so that users feel connected.

 

9. Build trust

 

build trust with a strong contact us page

 

The user is taking time out of his or her day to connect with you and therefore it is imperative that you create trust on the contact page. You should ensure that the people know that you are there to help them for whatever they need. Be clear about what would be done with the information that you have collected. Let them know that their information would not be shared with partners or sold. They need to be assured that their personal information is completely safe with you. These things would create trust and increase the chances of a user reaching out to you.

 

Bonus tip

 

don't forget to optimize your contact us page for mobile users

 

The number of people using mobile phones to access the web has grown remarkably over the years. When designing the Contact Us page and the form, you must also keep the mobile users in mind so as to make it easy for them to use your forms. When you think about the mobile users first, you could also take the important user interface decisions.

 

In a nutshell

Think of all the different users who visit your website to take away some value or establish a purchase. The Contact Us page also helps you in getting your hands on new business opportunities or getting a potential partnership inquiry. Whatever it is, this page is worth spending some time on.

Designing a perfect Contact Us page with great content and an even better contact form isn’t a very big task. Just a little inspiration from some of the industry’s best websites can help you find what you are looking to offer.

Being simple and vocal with your content for this page is the key, So, always make sure that you create an awesome contact page which is easily accessible, greatly compiled and interesting to go through.

 

create an effective contact us page for better conversions

The post How to Craft an Effective Contact Us Page to Improve Conversion appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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The 6 Emails Every Small Business Needs to Send ASAP

Despite popular belief, you don’t have to be a marketing mastermind to send great emails as a small business.

Many businesses fumble their email marketing strategies because they try too hard to reinvent the wheel. While you certainly don’t want to play the role of copycat against your competitors, there’s serious power in the tried-and-true emails that small and medium-sized businesses have been using since the dawn of email automation itself.

Think about it: building a solid list of subscribers ultimately comes down to consistency. The more emails you have in your marketing arsenal, the better. If you vary your strategy in terms of the types of emails you’re sending, you can regularly blast awesome messages to your list without breaking a sweat.

Perhaps it’s time to start implementing some fresh templates to help kick start your business’ email marketing campaigns. The following six types of emails apply beautifully to business ideas from retail to ecommerce and beyond. Meanwhile, you can set these types of messages on autopilot with the help of a smart marketing automation system.

So, where can you start?

 

1. Keep ‘em hooked on coupons and deals

If you aren’t offering your subscribers some steep deals and discounts on a regular basis, you’re inevitably shooting yourself in the foot.

Think that your list will see such messages as spam? Think again. In fact, over 80% of people opt-in to email lists specifically to receive coupons.

Simply put, discounts are an expectation of your subscribers, and businesses that deliver will inevitably see more engagement with their lists. There’s no reason why your deals need to be equated to spam, either. As long as you set clear expectations for your list in terms of discounts, you’re golden.

This example from Threadless is a classic in-your-face deal that’s difficult to miss:

 

 

Likewise, coupon codes such as this one from Foundry are also fair game for businesses looking to show their lists some love:

 

 

How often should you blast deals and discounts to your list? According to our industry data, frequency varies anywhere between four and twelve monthly emails depending on your niche.

As a rule of thumb, always be testing and try to keep your deals as topical as possible. For example, retail businesses will regularly want to capitalize on holidays and other time-specific deals.

 

2. Don’t ignore your welcome messages…

 

A simple welcome can go a long way.

Especially in a day and age where your subscribers are bombarded with marketing messages, welcome messages are too important to ignore.

Seriously. Smart email marketing isn’t always about being the loudest voice in the room, but rather the friendliest. Starting your campaigns with the right greeting not only sets the tone for future messages, but also signals that you value the attention of your subscribers.

Welcome messages come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s a well-crafted welcome from Zillow which sets a positive tone and provides clear actions for new subscribers to take:

 

 

Welcome messages are among your business’ most important autoresponders, ultimately representing your first impression with your list for the long-term.

 

3. …and the rest of your autoresponders

 Rather than spend your time manually chasing each and every subscriber or lead, small businesses should instead put as much of their marketing as possible on autopilot.

After all, three-quarters of marketers who take advantage of marketing automation note that saving time is a key benefit. Meanwhile, those same marketers generate 80% more leads and 77% more conversions by not doing all the legwork themselves.

Autoresponder messages should be the cornerstone of any small business looking to keep their list engaged, but many struggle with ideas. Fortunately, there are plenty of autoresponders you can send to keep in touch with your base such as…

  • “Thank you” messages upon making a purchase or completing an on-site action
  • “We miss you” messages that provide stagnant or quiet subscribers a reason to get back in touch with your business
  • Loyalty messages which reward subscribers with deals or content based on their previous interactions with your business (think: spending a certain threshold, birthday messages, and so on)

The common thread between all of these autoresponders? A positive tone.

This seriously simple “thank you” from Wistia is more than enough to give subscribers a thumbs up for making a purchase:

 

 

Seriously. Minimal, text-based messages combined with a well-segmented list allow marketers to keep in constant touch through evergreen autoresponders. Once you craft these messages the first time, your email solution will do the rest of the heavy lifting for you.

 

4. Use newsletters to keep customers in the loop

Here’s some food for thought: your subscribers are likely going to sleep on your on-site content unless they’re either…

  • Social followers or
  • Email subscribers

Pretty obvious, right?

However, consider that 90% of people would rather get updated by a business via email versus social media. This is exactly why email subscribers are so powerful versus fickle social followers or random on-site traffic.

And that’s exactly why newsletters are so valuable, too.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“I don’t have time to come up with a newsletter.”

Here’s the thing, though: if you already have any sort of blog or on-site content, you have the makings of a newsletter. Bear in mind that the function of a newsletter is to keep your list in the loop, nothing more, nothing less.

Some of the most popular newsletters out there are little more than content recommendations. Check out this short but sweet example from Medium’s daily digest which suggests relevant content to users:

 

Medium's daily digest example of small business emails

 

Yeah, it’s that easy.

A well-done newsletter is all about repackaging what you have already created rather than creating a bunch of new content.

Quotes. Factoids. Fresh blog content. You name it.

For example, CoSchedule’s newsletters primarily consist of a “featured” story from their blog along with some additional relevant posts:

 

CoSchedule example small business emails

 

Newsletter are a quick and easy way to deliver messages to your base without having to create anything inherently new. With a snappy subject line and relevant content, you’re well on your way.

  

5. Show some love with subscriber-only offers

Your email subscribers represent your hottest leads and most loyal customers. As such, it’s your job as a business owner to show them some serious love for giving you their undivided attention.

Oftentimes, exclusive deals and lead magnets are what drive subscribers to our lists in the first place.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rewarding your list through exclusive deals or content. That said, it should be a priority of any business to make sure that their lists feel like they’re getting the sweetest deals as a gift for being a subscriber.

For example, flash sales and free shipping codes (like this one from Chubbies) are what keep subscribers in the world of ecommerce glued to their inboxes:

 

 

No deals? No problem.

Apply the exact same rules to subscriber-exclusive tips, tricks, and educational content. As long as you butter up your list to help them feel like they’re getting the five-star subscriber treatment, you’re definitely on the right track.

 

6. Check in every now and then

News flash: you don’t always need an excuse to check in with your subscribers.

When your messages become too laser-focused on offers and deals, it’s easy for subscribers to lose sight of the fact that you represent more than just a business.

Simple check-ins or questioned poised to your audience are an essential but overlooked type of message for modern subscribers. Again, sometimes it’s nice to move away from the noise of marketing and simply touch base with your loyal followers.

Here’s a simple check-in message from pro blogger Jeff Goins who regularly pokes the brains of his audience with straightforward questions and requests:

 

Jeff Goins, writer, example small business emails

 

It’s never a bad idea to ask something of your list if you fear that they might be growing cold. Have a question? Want to say “hi?” There’s no reason to be afraid to do so if you’ve made a personal connection with your list.

 

What kind of messages are you sending?

 If you feel like you’re blasting your base with the same messages again and again, it’s probably time to switch up your strategy. By sending a variety of emails from deals to check-ins and beyond, you better understand what’s working and what isn’t in terms of your email marketing strategy. In addition, you ensure that you always have something fresh to provide your list and make you message heard above your competition.

Which of these types of messages do you think are most important to your audience? Let me know in the comments below!

6 emails every small business needs to send

The post The 6 Emails Every Small Business Needs to Send ASAP appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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