498

ROI 3800%

Worth the click.

Check out 37 Email Stats to Blow Your Mind, published by Business2Community.

Best:

  1. email is 40% more effective at acquisition than Facebook
  2. ROI 3800%
  3. 78% of Gmail is read on mobile devices
501

Paid Traffic to Paying Traffic

Practical tips by Neil Patel; from headlines to offers, there’s an art to converting traffic.

The Simple 3-Step Process to Converting Paid Traffic Through Email Marketing

Most entrepreneurs who invest in paid traffic make one very critical error: They don’t know how to convert that paid traffic into profit!

If this is you, then pay attention: You cannot expect a positive ROI or a sustainable advertising campaign unless you learn how to master the art of converting paid traffic. While there are dozens of ways to convert paid traffic into profit, I’m going to focus in on just one: email autoresponders, meaning a computer program that immediately provides information to prospective customers, then follows up with them at preset time intervals.

If you put in the work on the front end and create a high-quality email autoresponder sequence, you will be able to convert paid traffic with almost no effort at all. While this may sound like an impossible task (if you have never created an autoresponder sequence before), it is actually a lot easier than you think.

So, here are three simple steps to creating an epic autoresponder series that will allow you to generate massive amounts of income . . . while you sleep. Sound like something you are interested in? Here are the steps.

  1. Make customers an offer they can’t refuse.

The first step to converting paid traffic through your email autoresponder sequence is to make your audience members an offer they cannot refuse. Specifically, offer a high-quality, free giveaway. You want the giveaway to be a no-brainer. You want it to be irresistible.

Creating a giveaway like this is actually much simpler than you think.

The key is, first, to know your market, figure out what one problem they want solved more than anything else, then create a giveaway that solves that problem. There are dozens of places where you can find the information you need to create your offer. Browse through books in the Kindle store related to your niche. Check out Reddit or Quora to see what questions people in your target market are asking.

For example, if you are in the health and fitness industry for men, you may find some of the biggest problems your market is asking to be:

  • How do I lose weight without losing muscle?
  • How can I gain muscle without spending thousands on a crazy diet?
  • I don’t have time for the gym; how can I stay healthy?

The list goes on and on. Based off these problems, you could create any one of the following giveaways.

  • A free video series titled How to Shred Belly Fat without Losing Muscle
  • An ebook titled Bodybuilding on a Budget: How to Gain Muscle, Get Huge and Turn Heads without Expensive Diets
  • A pre-recorded webinar titled Shredded in No Time: How to Get and Stay Lean for the Man on the Go

Pretty simple, right? Like anything in business, creating your irresistible offer is about identifying a problem and providing an effective solution.

  1. Craft compelling headlines.

Once you have successfully created a giveaway that people want and need, the next step is to create compelling headlines that actually generate a high open rate.

It doesn’t matter how good your giveaway is. If people sign up for your autoresponder series and then receive emails with poorly crafted headlines, they will take their free resource and promptly run for the hills.

While writing amazing headlines is a skill that can take years to master, you can get started today by keeping a few things in mind. First, you want to make sure that your headline is neither too long nor too short. Six to ten words seems to perform best.

It is important to realize that you only have a few words to pique your reader’s attention, get your message across and earn the open. Make sure that you utilize one or all of these six tips (in no particular order) to maximize open rates.

  1. Your headlines are specific and useful: People know what the email is about and what to expect.
  2. You clearly identify yourself: Make sure that in the first couple of emails the audience is very clear who is emailing them.
  3. Your headlines stand out: Use numbers, symbols and capitalization to grab the reader’s attention.
  4. Your headline is timely: Relate your headline to a recent event or issue pressing on your audience members’ minds.
  5. Your headline has a call to action: For some reason, people respond well when they’re told to do something. Use your next headline to bark out orders.
  6. Your headline is tested: Always split-test headlines to see what clicks (no pun intended) with your audience.

 

     3. Ask for the sale.

The final piece to the puzzle is to master the art of offering value and know when to ask for the sale. You want to make sure that (at least) the first week or so of your email series is dedicated 100 percent to giving value without asking for anything in return.

This will build trust with your audience members, increase the open rate on future emails and make them more likely to purchase from you whenever you actually do ask for the sale.

Providing value in your emails is pretty simple. Just continue to help your audience solve problems related to the problem that you solved in the giveaway. I recommend that you send at least four emails that are 100 percent value-based before you ask for the sale.

And when you do ask for the sale, it is important that the product you offer solve a problem similar to those you have been solving in the email series. If your series is all about how your audience members can grow their business through content marketing, but you then offer an online course devoted 100 percent to Facebook Advertising, you are going to lose sales.

Keep your emails congruent, and offer as much value as possible.

Conclusion

Converting paid traffic through an email autoresponder sequence is not easy. But it is one of the best ways to start generating passive/residual income while building your brand and creating customer loyalty. If you can master these three steps, your business, and your marketing will never be the same.

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See the original article at Entrepreneur.com

793

Title Case & Hard Numbers

Two particularly usesful tips from FastCo.

4 Data-Backed Strategies For Writing Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

Required reading for anyone who writes email and wants to up their subject-line game to make sure the recipient reads it.

Even though many of us complain that our inboxes are too full, email is still one of the most popular ways to communicate. The average person sends and receives 123 emails each day, and that number is expected to grow over the next three years, according to the technology market-research firm Radicati.

With all of that volume, your best chance of being read rests in your subject line, says Anna Holschuh, a data engineer at the email platform provider Yesware. “We often make split-second decisions about dealing with email, and it’s easy to disregard a message based on a subject line,” she says.

Yesware’s data scientists analyzed 115 million emails for a full year to identify email subject-line strategies that work and those that don’t. “We looked specifically at most and least used words and formats in comparison to most and least effective,” says Holschuh.

“Quick question” is a highly used but poorly performing subject line.

With an average open rate of 51.9% and an average reply rate of 29.8%, Holschuh and her colleagues identified some important trends:

Avoid Questions

Got a quick question? Think twice before shooting off an email because it could reduce your chances of getting a reply. “Quick question” is a frequently used but poorly performing subject line, says Holschuh. When a question or question mark was used in the subject line, the open rate dropped from 51.9% to 41.6%. In addition, the reply rate dropped from 29.8% to 18.4%.

“Questions put people on the spot, and you’re asking a lot of an already busy, stressed-out professional,” says Holschuh. “You’re asking them to do work without providing value up front.”

“If the recipient is familiar with you or if you add context to your request on why it benefits the other person, it could be a different story,” she says. “But cold emails that put people on the spot don’t do well.” Instead of asking, “Are you the appropriate person?” for example, do your research up front and save the person’s time, says Holschuh.

When a greeting was used in the subject line, reply rate dropped down to 48.1%.

Skip The Personal Greetings

Greetings in subject lines, such as “hi,” “hello,” and “howdy” seem conversational and familiar, but they tend to reduce the open rate, especially when you don’t know the sender, says Holschuh. When a greeting was used in the subject line, it dropped down to 48.1%. In addition, the reply rate dropped to 21.2%.

“The technique was used to dupe people into thinking that the sender was an old friend, and it was overused,” says Holschuh. “It could be that our brain now recognizes these subject lines as an early warning sign of a sales email, and we delete the emails to avoid that first time we expected a personal email and were wrong.”

Save personal content for the body of the email instead of putting it in the subject line, Holschuh advises.

Use Numbers

Questions and greetings don’t do well, but there are other things you can do to catch the recipient’s attention. Subject lines with hard numbers have a higher open and reply rate, according to Yesware. The open rate increased to 53.2% and the reply rate went to 32%.

“We believe it’s the case because in this age of data, people like numbers and hard facts,” says Holschuh. “Metrics also offer credibility, and we saw that including numbers boosts open and reply rates.”

And Use Title Case

An unexpected finding was the use of capitalization. When senders use title case—for example: Subject-Line Story versus subject-line story—emails had a higher open and reply rate. Title case had an open rate of 54.3%, while lower-case subject lines dropped to 47.6%. The reply rate with title case bumped up to 32.3%, while lower case fell to 25.7%.

“It provides a sense of authority of what you’re talking about versus an informal tone that’s implied with all lower-case letters,” says Holschuh.

 

Stephanie Vozza

http://www.fastcompany.com/3062538/data-backed-strategies-for-writing-subject-lines-that-get-your-email-read

417

From a Person & A/B Test Frequency

Q&A: The Big Email Marketing Questions Answered

I recently participated in a Marketo webinar on Key Email Trends European Marketers Need to Know (that really all marketers need to know). We left some time for questions, and we received plenty of interesting questions on email marketing—from basic to advanced. It was interesting to see how similar these questions were and the common themes that arose, despite the different topics we covered.

Because we couldn’t address all the questions in the session, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this blog. I’ve grouped them into the categories of evaluation, growing and profiling your list, segmentation and targeting, and email frequency:

Email Marketing Evaluation

Q: What responses should I be receiving for my emails?

A: Although most marketers measure their email success with open and click-through rates, a practical tip is to combine these measures to look at the click-to-open rate (CTOR%). This shows you how effective your creatives and offers are for different types of campaigns.

To evaluate your email marketing campaigns in a more realistic way and identify ways to improve them, I recommend breaking out your overall responses by:

  • Type of email: Categorize your responses by the types of emails you send. For example, personalized, event triggered emails tend to perform better than untargeted newsletters or 3rd party email advertising (sometimes known as a solus emails), which can make the average meaningless if you group them together.
  • Lifecycle stage: Emails sent to recipients who are in an earlier stage of the customer lifecycle, like welcome emails, usually work better than emails to long-term subscribers, so you need to break these out accordingly.
  • Segment: Your response will naturally vary by how it resonates with different audiences, so break out your response by the different audience types.
  • Subscriber type: Determine how your responses vary by the subscriber type, such as between Gmail, Live Mail, and iCloud addresses and company addresses. This can help you identify delivery or rendering issues between each type.

Evaluating your emails with these factors in mind will give you a much better idea of the engagement your email campaigns are getting and how you can optimize them (if your email provider supports it).

Q: Given the increasing number of email clients that download images automatically, how important are open rates as a metric now?

A: Email open rates have always been potentially misleading since some email clients may block or download images by default or some users will change their preferences to automatically download them. Today, Gmail and Apple Mail on iOS tend to download images by default, so this doesn’t necessarily suggest interest in your emails, but more so that a reader has clicked on the subject line.

However, I believe that open rates are still relevant for comparing email effectiveness between recent email sends. Comparing open and click rates helps you measure the different types of email sends (outlined in the previous answer) to reveal which perform the best. Ultimately, what really matters is whether the emails you send are helping you reach your goals. For some marketers, one of the best measures of effectiveness is sales value generated per 1000 emails sent.

How to Grow and Profile Your List

Q: What are the best ways to encourage opt-in?

A: I recommend brainstorming alternative techniques for capturing e-mail addresses. Map out all the opportunities available for capturing a buyer’s information between your different channels and audience segments (shown in the matrix below) and use this to generate new ideas. Take a look at what you and competitors are currently doing and then do a ‘gap analysis’ to select options you aren’t currently using.

Q: Should I be using pop-ups?

A: Pop-ups are increasingly being used in many industry sectors, particularly retail, publishing, and travel. This is because, when well-defined and tested, they will almost always give you significantly more new contacts in your database. We discussed this in depth in the webinar, when I described how well they have worked for Smart Insights, increasing the conversion of visitors to leads by 35% on a site where we already use a range of prompts to encourage subscription.

Q: What about the quality of the people from pop-ups?

A: If you use pop-ups to boost your subscriber numbers, it’s inevitable that there may be some decline in quality—but from my experience, they are still very worthwhile. To maintain the quality, it’s important to be able to profile visitors efficiently. Also, follow best practices to be sensitive to the user experience and don’t display a pop-up too quickly. You can address this by adding a time delay or detecting exit intent (e.g. when movement of the mouse to the navigation bar suggests users are about to leave the page).

Q: How much do I need to profile subscribers?

A: There’s a balance between asking for too much profile information and thus reducing the number of new contacts added to your database and not asking for enough. Identify two or three ‘killer question’ profile fields to ask subscribers that are most important for enabling your business to send more relevant emails. For example, at Smart Insights, we ask about the subscriber’s role, sector, and the number of people in the marketing team and then tailor our welcome emails based on the responses.

Q: How can I target better without asking too many questions?

A: A good rule of thumb for this is to ‘watch, don’t ask’ or ‘sense and respond.’ Instead of asking interruptive questions, monitor your recipients’ clicks to better profile them and understand their needs. Then, trigger follow-up communications accordingly. Some examples include:

  • Monitoring click-throughs to different types of content or offers within your emails.
  • Recording which content or offers are browsed on your website and then adding them to the individual’s profile.
  • Recording products or categories searched for and then following up with relevant information.

Over time, you should continue to add details about your buyers to gain a better picture of them by asking additional questions or tracking their behavior. For a B2B organization, I recommend defining a common customer profile (CCP), which includes all the data you could potentially collect in addition to the data you already have on a subscriber. I worked with one B2B organization that had three levels of profile and separate goals for each: level 1–basic contact information, level 2–position, market sector, and application and level 3–detailed information about standards and preferences.

Segmentation and Targeting

In the webinar, we looked at results from different research studies which revealed that detailed segmentation and targeting for email is still surprisingly rare. We also did a poll which showed that around 40% of the hundreds of marketers that attended the webinar didn’t target their audience. So, we received some interesting questions about how to get started.

Q: Where can I begin to improve email targeting?

A: Ideally, you want to start your targeting with a quick-win technique that is simple, but achieves the best results. Some options you could consider include:

  • Creating two (or more) alternative versions of your standard newsletter. For example, you could create different versions for larger or smaller businesses, staff in different sectors, or male or female subscribers.
  • Changing your welcome email content to be relevant for different audience segments.
  • Sending post-purchase emails to promote similar products or related products in different categories (cross-sell and upsell).

You can send these variations by creating distinct rules in your marketing automation or email system. This is a relatively quick win, and while it is efficient, it may not scale to multiple content types. This is where I recommend ‘dynamic content’ insertion (which I’ll cover next).

Q: How can I get started with dynamic content insertion?

A: With dynamic content insertion, you can add different content to a single section or block within your emails. For example, many emails have a ‘hero’ section at the top email, which often have the biggest impact because they are seen first. Dynamic content insertion will enable you to tailor images and text in this block to appeal to different audiences.

Once you roll this out, you can develop a dynamic content marketing model that gives better results. In the webinar, we looked at this personalized B2B email example in which a series of dynamic content blocks were displayed:

  • Hero block content varied based on lifecycle stage (new subscriber vs. engaged subscriber vs. lapsed subscriber)
  • Secondary block content tailored by product category interest
  • Tertiary block content varied by discounts and offers relevant for the audience

Frequency for Email Marketing

Take a look at this data gathered from UK email marketers that shows a huge variation in the number of emails they send every month.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/UK-Marketers-Email-Frequency-.png.png

Accordingly, if you send just one email a month to your subscribers, you might be under-mailing and missing out on opportunities. But, if you’re emailing your subscribers more than eight times a month, you’re probably sending too many emails and are in danger of being seen as a spammer. The next question will explore how to get the balance right.

Q: What is the best frequency to send emails?

A: This is one of those ‘it depends’ questions since email frequency depends on the industry, audience, and what you’re looking to achieve. In retail, it’s common to email more frequently to prompt sales—at least weekly; whereas, in many business sectors, this may be considered too much.

Here are three techniques you can use to determine the ideal frequency for your business:

  • Test varying frequencies for different groups. This method will only be practical for larger businesses since it’s far more involved than A/B testing a subject line. You can classify a control or ‘hold-out’ group which has the original frequency and then create different segments for varying frequencies. For one financial services company we worked with, we originally set the frequency to be monthly and then increased it to weekly and fortnightly. In this case, we found that the increased frequency resulted in more product sales without causing a big issue with engagement or unsubscribes.
  • Vary frequency by individuals depending on activity. One of the biggest challenges of email marketing is inactive subscribers. For many businesses, a large proportion of their subscribers haven’t engaged with their emails in the last six months or even a year. While some would argue that you should still regularly email these subscribers to stay top-of-mind and increase the potential of sale, I would argue against this since you could be identified as a spammer, negatively impacting your email deliverability. Instead, if an email subscriber becomes inactive, you can try to win them back to start regularly engaging with you again, and then add them to a different email group that you mail less frequently, but hopefully, with more impact!
  • Vary frequencies throughout time using automation. This is a more sophisticated approach where individual frequency is controlled by the rules in your prospect or nurturing campaign. The emails you send to your subscribers depends on where they are in the lifecycle (new or older subscriber) and their behavior as they interact with different products and offers across your channels. Using this approach, you can increase email frequency (and offer a personalized message) when a subscriber shows more intent or engagement with your product.

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See original article by Dave Chaffey July 7, 2016

321

Personalization & Image

Good article re: email marketing basics in Marketing Bootcamp

Email Marketing: There’s a Good Chance You’re Doing It Wrong

Email marketing strategies aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be, and getting them right is more important than you might realize. Digital marketing trends come and go, but email continues to prove its staying power.

Related: Email Remains the Heart of Cross-Channel Marketing

Having a website, in fact, might be the only aspect of marketing more critical than email, but email’s high returns (about $44 for each dollar put toward email marketing) keep marketers increasing their budgets for campaigns.

The key is learning how to effectively integrate it with other marketing tactics.

The companies we work with that set up email marketing early often see better-than-average ecommerce conversion rates. The right strategies generate more revenue on a per-visit basis than those that don’t incorporate email ever will.

Employing reliable tactics helps avoid the kinds of blunders that the startup Honestbee saw during its recent campaign when it pretended to partner with an exotic merchant offering whale, panda and koala meat in order to raise animal rights awareness.

Readers weren’t impressed, and Honestbee faced a public outcry against the campaign even after revealing it to be fake.
Misguided tactics to avoid

Having a good idea of how your readers will respond to your messaging before you start planning an email campaign will help ensure it doesn’t meet a fate similar to Honestbee’s.

Here are a few email don’ts that will help you avoid alienating or annoying your subscribers:

1. Don’t send emails ‘just because.’ Many consumers believe that marketers overestimate how often people want to hear from them. Emails that lack practical, useful information come across as boring and spammy and lead people to unsubscribe.

Every message should grab attention and call readers to action. Customers appreciate it when every piece of your campaign is meaningful, and they’ll show their gratitude by purchasing.

This free template from HubSpot helps organize and optimize campaigns for maximum impact.

2. Don’t use sales-bait language. Emails with all-cap subject lines and blatantly pushy sales language (e.g., “20 PERCENT OFF TODAY ONLY!”) have worn out their welcome. People have gotten wise to email marketing gimmicks, and they know click bait when they see it.

Think like a customer. How would you feel if you received the email you just sent out? If your own subject line makes you think, “Someone just wants my money,” it’s time to get more creative.

Instead, a personalized headline (e.g., “Happy Birthday, Nathan — Surprise Inside!”) connects with the recipient and stimulates curiosity.

3. Don’t say too much. Too much information kills conversions. If emails aren’t easy to understand and short enough to hold attention, overwhelmed readers won’t sift through them — and your call to action could get lost in the copy.

If you have a lot of information to send out, break it down into component parts to send individually in a “drip campaign.” If that’s not possible, embed links to allow readers to click-through to the information at their own pace.

For example, we used a customized drip campaign to increase KO Production’s subscriber base by 16,000 while also increasing site engagement.

4. Don’t trust just any old image to help your campaign. Images must complement your copy to avoid sending mixed messages. Too many or too few also hurt: Imbalanced ratios of images-to-text make your emails seem noisy. Worse, images that don’t load smoothly make your company look amateurish and unprepared to do business.

Because a one-second delay can reduce conversions by 7 percent, testing is a crucial step to take before sending out any piece of email marketing. Tools such as Litmus make it easy to preview your email across different platforms and formats, to see what needs improvement.

Chubbies really knows how to use images; its copy promotes the shorts its sells, but the images the brand includes also promote the kind of lifestyle its subscribers respond to best. Of course, the brand also makes sure its content displays consistently on every medium.

Email is going to remain a mainstay of any business that relies on digital marketing, and the revenue it generates can be well worth the effort.

If you tailor messages to your audience and choose your language carefully to ensure outgoing emails are intriguing, readable and full of valuable information, you can maximize revenue each time you hit “Send.”

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From Entrepreneur.com originally posted 6/1/16

406

ROI 4300%

Email WINS

Just in case you need more convincing, Business.com compiled some great email stats for us:

  • 91 percent of consumers check their email at least one time per day (Quick Sprout)
  • 66 percent of online consumers in the United States, age 15 or older, have made a purchase resulting from a marketing email (Quick Sprout)
  • 74 percent of marketers believe email will produce return on investment or has already done so (Pardot)
  • Email marketing yields a return on investment of approximately 4,300 percent (Direct Marketing Association)
  • For every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is more than $44 (ExactTarget)
  • Email conversion rates are approximately three times higher than social media (McKinsey & Company)
  • 95 percent of people who opt into email messages from their favorite brands from them useful (Salesforce)

See the original article from 2/2016

422

Conspicuous with Limited Info

Jesse Torres created some great suggestions for Entrepreneur.com to drive email opt-ins.  I have included excerpts of his post below.

4 Ways to Dramatically Increase Email Subscriptions

…A well-maintained email marketing program rises above the noise and filters and provides a return on investment (ROI) unmatched by other digital-marketing efforts…According to Campaign Monitor, “Even with the explosion of new technology, marketers keep coming back to email. The reason is clear — for 10 years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.”

Consultancy McKinsey & Company concurs, stating that “email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s because 91 percent of all U.S. consumers still use email daily, and the rate at which emails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher.”

… it seems that while email list building is critical for success, the manner in which emails are requested makes all the difference in building a strong list of prospects.  The following are four tips to help small businesses develop a strong email list building strategy.

  1. Make the email opt-in box as conspicuous as possible.

Website visitors demonstrate their interest in a product or service by way of the time they invest inspecting the website content. To the extent visitors like what they see, they are more likely to subscribe to an email list when asked.

A great way to attract new email subscribers is through the placement of conspicuous email opt-in boxes. A well-designed website provides visitors with ample opt-in opportunities through the placement of email opt-in boxes located strategically throughout each page. The greater the number of email opt-in opportunities, the greater the likelihood that a satisfied visitor will be convinced to subscribe.

…The key to growing an email list is to make the process as easy and pain-free as possible. Placing an email opt-in box at the top, side and bottom of each page keeps the idea of subscribing to top-of-mind, it eliminates the reader’s need to figure out how to subscribe, and it does not interrupt the visitor as the boxes are built into the design of the web page….

For example, some websites use static opt-in box plugins such as Conversion Insights’ Attention Grabber while others use floating opt-in boxes such as Hello Bar. Companies such as OptinMonster take opt-in boxes to the next level with options such as slide-ins, time-delayed pop-ups and even opt-in boxes that appear when the visitor shows signs of leaving the page (exit intent).

The golden rule of opt-in boxes is to offer the opt-in as often as possible without overwhelming, annoying or distracting the visitor. Keep it simple — and make the content the focus of the page.

  1. Limit the information collected.

Consumers are increasingly hesitant to give up too much information due to an increase in the number of media reports describing online information breaches. Collecting too much information may discourage visitors from opting in.

An email opt-in box that limits the information solely to email address will be more palatable to cautious visitors. …

  1. Sell it with social proof.

There is nothing like social proof to boost email subscriptions. Bar owners create social proof by keeping people in line. “If the line is that long, that must be the cool place to hang out,” say passers-by as they get into line.

Similarly, websites should make use of social proof to encourage others to opt-in. Social proof can be established by revealing a large number of subscribers, posting testimonials, showing an impressive visitor count or other statistic that demonstrates that people find the site valuable. With social proof, subscribers beget subscribers. The idea is to get visitors to say, “If they loved the content, I’ll probably love it too! Let’s do this!”

  1. Use freebies.

Successful email subscription campaigns make use of special offers. Visitors to a site may not be willing to give up their email unless the price is right. While financial gain is not necessary, some form of incentive may do the job.

A common approach is offering an ebook, white paper video or any other content that is of value to visitors. …

Website owners should see immediate results after implementing these four tips. The use of these techniques should convert a greater number of visitors, providing greater marketing opportunities and improved profitability.

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See the Original from JANUARY 21, 2016 

377

Alive and Kicking

Dan Newman recently argued email is “alive and kicking.”  An excerpt of that piece is below, which explains the evolution of email and how it is becoming more targeted and hyper-local.  That means ROI.

It’s evolving.

From newsletters to targeted offerings, brands can now monitor, measure, test and tweak emails to drive customer engagement. In addition, many new technologies show great promise of dramatically changing the email marketing game. Email will cease to simply be  a medium for communication and evolve into a platform that helps brands deliver cross-channel experiences.

In a recent MarketingProfs article, Liga Bizune explored some key email trends to watch out for, illustrating that this channel will soon be more than just a medium for communication.

Here’s a quick glance at some of them: (below points are not complete sentences so removed periods)

  • Wearable technology will change how brands communicate with email subscribers
  • Following email’s transition to mobile, the need to develop better and more creative content will become stronger than ever
  • Hyper-targeted, location-based email marketing will surface, thanks to the integration of proximity and geolocation applications into emails
  • Video will play a bigger role in email marketing
  • Predictive analytics will drive behavioral email marketing.

===

See the complete 11/9/15 Entrepreneur.com article by Dan Newman

432

Science: Timing, Design & Call to Action

Retailers begin winter holiday marketing planning the prior July.  Any holiday offers an opportunity to communicate a promotion or special event to your constituents, whether your an e-commerce play or B2B content creator.  Below are some great email tips to consider for all holidays — and timely as November approaches.

Top 5 Email Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Attention email marketers – it’s time to start preparing for the holidays!

With retail sales projected to rake in up to $965 billion between November and January, a 4% increase from last year, there is ample opportunity to get a piece of the holiday advertising pie. And according to Forrester Research, e-commerce alone is expected to bring in nearly $334 billion in consumer spend by the end of this year, meaning it’s of the utmost importance that your email marketing game is on point.

Crafting the perfect email campaign can have a huge impact on your bottom line in 2015’s last quarter. With that in mind, I’ve penned the top 5 email marketing tips for the upcoming holiday season so you don’t end the year with coal in your bank account.

Email O’Clock

Timing. Is. Everything. With so many consumers hitting the shops this season, they will be relying heavily on their mobile devices to present them with the best, and most timely, email offers.

Whereas many once relied on deals being publicized in their town newspaper, the access to mobile devices and the increase in online shopping means consumers are pushed deals earlier and given the opportunity to participate in a sale prior to the actual holiday.

It’s important to understand the unique timing that takes place during the week before a holiday and on the actual holiday. My advice is to time your emails to correspond, or be slightly ahead of, the main media push. Send your holiday email offers at least a week in advance of the big day, and make sure to send reminder emails afterwards.

Timing is also crucial when considering replies. Holiday email campaigns should always have real-time reply capabilities built in. Real-time replies can take shape in the form of a subscriber taking action with your email, such as clicking on a “learn more” button, and then receiving an auto-generated relevant follow-up email containing more information about your brand or offer.

Arts & Crafts

Creative is key. Your email is one of hundreds of thousands that your target audience will receive over the next few months. And the last thing you want is for yours to be deleted upon inbox arrival. My advice: work with your creative department to craft compelling, festive content. If you don’t have an in-house creative team at your fingertips, look into outsourcing creative from an agency that specializes in multi-channel marketing approaches. An agency’s experience with both advertising and creative best practices can save you the headache of falling victim to technical issues that could have a negative impact on your campaign’s performance. This is particularly important when it comes to time-sensitive campaigns, such as those that are for 24 hours only.

In terms of aesthetics, remember that a clean, simplistic email design is more likely to produce an action from a consumer versus a complex, multilayered email that will eat up the battery life of a mobile device. In fact, too many images in one email typically result in low CTR.

Note that creative utilized should complement the “from” and “subject” lines. The end goal of creative is to persuade the reader to take action, so if what is promised in those lines is falsely advertised, viewers might be compelled to quickly delete or worse, unsubscribe from your list.

Call Me Maybe

Speaking of action, a call to action should be included in every email. Specifically, the option to click-to-call. This tool enables potential customers to easily contact your business via a one-step dialing process, meaning those who want to take action NOW can do so without working hard to find your number and dial it themselves. A click-to-call in your holiday email campaign does the work for your readers and in my experience, will help generate more leads than emails that don’t encompass this convenient function.

Click-to-call is a crucial component of every holiday marketers’ email toolkit and especially useful for those direct marketers looking to sell a unique product or service.

The Perfect Holiday Recipe

Bear in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers with an influx of sales-heavy emails during the next few months. I suggest experimenting with a balance of content versus sales emails to understand what works best for your target audience during the holiday season. This doesn’t mean that your content emails can’t mention your seasonal campaigns altogether – make sure to tie in those promotions when relevant. Content can take the form of recipes, a holiday greetings card, home decorating and more.

Merry Mobile

Lastly, and perhaps most important, is ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly. It’s no surprise that prior to (and during) holiday shopping trips, consumers are looking to their mobile devices for the top email offers in their inboxes. Data points in this direction, with internal analytics where I work, at Matomy Media Group, showing that 50-70% of merchants’ marketing emails are being read on a mobile or tablet device. Coupled with Goldman Sachs’ forecast that mobile commerce will jump to $626 billion in 2018, proves the importance of meshing mobile and email.

Note that 65 percent of all email in the US is now opened first on a mobile device. Take advantage of this device segmenting by sending email offers with key words such as “[INSERT HOLIDAY] SALE!” or “[INSERT HOLIDAY] – 30% Off Online Only!” Phrases such as “Early-Bird Special” or “24 Hour Sale” work well too.

Keeping mobile top of mind will improve your lead generation and customer acquisition numbers.

A holiday email marketer who follows the above strategies will ensure their campaigns reach the right consumer, at the right time, with the right offer, during the busiest time of the year.

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Original on Business2Community OCTOBER 26, 2015 by Daryl Colwell