Smile.io reward programs launches new app integration with dotmailer

We’re excited to announce our integration with Smile.io, the platform that rewards customers for completing profitable actions. With a merchant base of 15,000 across the globe, Smile allows brands to create powerful, white-labeled, point-based programs that substantially increase customer retention and sales. These drive results by increasing customer purchase frequency and lifetime value, and by lowering customer acquisition costs.

Through the Smile app, rewards can be seamlessly aggregated into email campaigns to boost customer engagement. The first step is to sync your dotmailer address book. Members with existing Smile accounts will then be populated, enabling you to start sending personalized reward emails. Some of the data fields that can be used to customize emails include:

  1. Smile Points Balance
  2. Smile Referral URLs
  3. Smile VIP Tier IDs
  4. Smile VIP Tier Names

Best practices to run a reward program 

Segmentation

Using the aforementioned data fields, you can form targeted send groups according to highest VIP level and offer deep discounts to your prized customers. Conversely, you could create a hyper-customized email geared towards members with low smile points balance by showcasing a number of incentives they are missing out on. With Smile and dotmailer, you choose what perimeters to use – and you can be as creative as you like. 

Personalization 

Sending highly relevant messages tie into the practice of segmentation very closely. While you’re not grouping your contacts by any particular data set, you’re using that information to connect with your customers on a one-to-one level. You can customize your referral link and messaging when members refer their friends and family to your store. For example: “Matt, your referral link expires soon! Don’t miss out on your chance to receive a $25 gift card.” By addressing members by their name, or any other attribute, you’re in with a much better chance of standing out in their crowded inbox.

Additional tips…

Exclusive offers to VIP Tiers 

VIP tiers are an important aspect of effective reward programs; they are the defining strata for motivating customers to elevate their status. A special invite for events, new product launches or promotions for “gold” and “silver” levels is a nice reminder to customers of your program’s benefits, and acts as a hook to keep them coming back for more.

Refer-a-friend campaigns 

Sometimes a small reminder to your customers about the benefits of referring is all it takes to reactivate them. Send an email with their referral URL by simply building a “Has referral URL” customer list – and get them going.

Points balance reminders

The long-established points balance email notification is the mainstay of all reward program communications. You have to keep customers in the know about where they stand, how many points they’re away from next-level status, and remind them of the types of redemption available to them in order to keep them engaged. As routine as these emails may be, they weigh heavily on keeping your participants active in your programs.

To find out more about adding a Smile integration, get in touch with your account manager.

The post Smile.io reward programs launches new app integration with dotmailer appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 day ago from blog.dotmailer.com

dotmailer receives ‘Great User Experience’ title for email marketing software – from reputable business software directory

Leading business software directory FinancesOnline believes businesses and organizations can highly benefit from an email automation marketing platform that is both feature-rich and easy to use. FinancesOnline’s experts found this in dotmailer, thus they gave us a positive 8.8 score and bestowed to us their prestigious Great User Experience and Rising Star awards.

 

The Great User Experience and Rising Star recognition for online email marketing software is given to systems that have satisfied clients with well-designed functionalities alongside a user-friendly and intuitive interface. This can be attributed to dotmailer’s unique drag-and-drop template builder that allow users to effortlessly create impressive email templates within a few minutes. It was also one of the reasons why our solution was recommended in the platform’s ‘what is email marketing software’ guide.

 

FinancesOnline believes dotmailer’s throng of functionalities enables users to remain “on top of every single phase of their email marketing campaigns and other related activities.” Aside from easily creating emails, FinancesOnline said our software can help users “fully optimize their email marketing strategies and get the best results” through various services including, but not limited to, campaign management, creative studio and strategic services. With these, users can significantly boost click-through rates and grow their business.

 

Businesses are also safeguarded with dotmailer’s scalability and custom-built integrations. “As your business needs develop and become more demanding and diverse, dotmailer is more than capable of growing with your enterprise,” wrote FinancesOnline’s experts.

The post dotmailer receives ‘Great User Experience’ title for email marketing software – from reputable business software directory appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 6 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Enterprise Local SEO is Different: A Checklist, a Mindset

Posted by MiriamEllis

Image credit: Abraham Williams

If you’re marketing big brands with hundreds or thousands of locations, are you certain you’re getting model-appropriate local SEO information from your favorite industry sources?

Is your enterprise checking off not just technical basics, but hyperlocalized research to strengthen its entrance into new markets?

Before I started working for Moz in in 2010, the bulk of my local SEO experience had been with small-to-medium business models. Naturally, the advice I was able to offer back then was limited by the scope of my work. But then came Moz Local, and the opportunity to learn more about the more complex needs of valued enterprise customers like Crate & Barrel with more than 170 locations, PAPYRUS with 400, or Bridgestone Corporation with 2000+.

Now, when I’m thumbing through industry tips and tactics, I’m better able to identify when a recommended practice is stemming from an SMB mindset and falling short of enterprise realities, or is truly applicable to all business models. My goal for this post is to offer:

  • Examples of commonly encountered advice that isn’t really best for big brands
  • An Enterprise Local SEO Checklist to help you shape strategy for present campaigns, or ready your agency to pursue relationships with bigger dream clients
  • A state-to-enterprise wireframe for initial hyperlocal marketing research

Not everything you read is for enterprises

When a brand is small, like a single location, family-owned retail shop, it’s likely that a single person at the company can manage the business’ Local SEO, with some free education and a few helpful tools. Large, multi-location brands, just by dint of organizational complexities, are different. Before they even get down to the nitty gritty of building citations, enterprises have to solve for:

  • Standardizing data across hundreds or thousands of locations
  • Franchise relationships that can muddy who controls which data and assets
  • Designating staff to actually manage data and execute initiatives, and building bridges between teams that must work in concert to meet goals
  • Scaling everything from listings management, to site architecture, to content dev
  • Dealing with a hierarchy of reports of bad data from the retail location level up to corporate

I am barely scratching the surface here. In a nutshell, the scale of the organization and the scope of the multi-location brand can turn a task that would be simple for Mom-and-Pop into a major, company-wide challenge. And I think it adds to the challenge when published advice for SMBs isn’t labeled as such. Over the years, three common tips I’ve encountered with questionable or no applicability to enterprises include:

Not-for-enterprises #1: Link all your local business listings to your homepage

This is sometimes offered as a suggestion to boost local rankings, because website home pages typically have more authority than location landing pages do. But in the enterprise scenario, sending a consumer from a listing for his chosen location, to a homepage, and then expecting him to fool around with a menu or a store locator widget to finally reach a landing page for the location he’s already designated that he wanted is not respecting his user experience. It’s wasting his time. I consider this an unnecessary risk of conversions.

Simultaneously, failure to fully utilize location landing pages means that very little can be done to customize the website experience for each community and customer. Directly-linked-to landing pages can provide instant, persuasive proofs of local-ness, in the form of real local reviews, news about local sponsorships and events, special offers, regional product highlights, imagery and so much more that no corporate homepage can ever provide. Consider these statistics:

“According to a new study, when both brand and location-specific pages exist, 85% of all consumer engagement takes place on the local pages (e.g., Facebook Local Pages, local landing pages). A minority of impressions and engagement (15%) happen on national or brand pages.Local Search Association

In the large, multi-location scenario, it just isn’t putting the customer first to swap out a hoped-for ranking increase for a considerate, well-planned user experience.

Not-for-enterprises #2: Local business listings are a one-and-done deal

I find this advice particularly concerning. I don’t consider it true even for SMBs, and at the enterprise level, it’s simply false. It’s my guess that this suggestion stems from imagining a single local business. They create their Google My Business listing and build out perhaps 20–50 structured citations with good data. What could go wrong?

For starters, they may have forgotten that their business name was different 10 years ago. Oh, and they did move across town 5 years ago. And this old data is sitting somewhere in a major aggregator like Acxiom, and somehow due to the infamous vagaries of data flow, it ends up on Bing, and a Bing user gets confused and reports to Google that the new address is wrong on the GMB listing … and so on and so on. Between data flow and crowdsourced editing, a set-and-forget approach to local business listings is trouble waiting to happen.

Now multiply this by 1,000 business locations. And throw in that the enterprise opened two new stores yesterday and closed one. And that they just acquired a new chain and have to rebrand all its assets. And there seems to be something the matter with the phone number on 25 listings, because they’re getting agitated complaints at corporate. And they received 500 reviews last week on Google alone that have to be managed, and it seems one of their competitors is leaving them negative reviews. Whoa – there are 700 duplicate listings being reported by Moz Local! And the brand has 250 Google Questions & Answers queries to respond to this week. And someone just uploaded an image of a dumpster to their GMB listing in Santa Fe…

Not only do listings have to be built, they have to be monitored for data degradation, and managed for inevitable business events, responsiveness to consumers, and spam. It’s hard enough for SMBs to pull all of this off, but enterprises ignore this at their peril!

Not-for-enterprises #3: Just do X

Every time a new local search feature or best practice emerges, you’ll find publications saying “just do X” to implement. What I’ve learned from enterprises is that there is no “just” about it.

Case in point: in 2017, Google rolled out Google Posts, and as Joel Headley of healthcare practice growth platform PatientPop explained to me in a recent interview, his company had to quickly develop a solution that would enable thousands of customers to utilize this influential feature across hundreds of thousands of listings. PatientPop managed implementation in an astonishingly short time, but typically, at the enterprise level, each new rollout requires countless steps up and down the ladder. These could include achieving recognition of the new opportunity, approval to pursue it, designation of teams to work on it, possible acquisition of new assets to accomplish goals, implementation at scale, and the groundwork of tracking outcomes so that they can be reported to prove/disprove ROI from the effort.

Where small businesses can be relatively agile if they can find time to man-up to new features and strategies, enterprises can become dangerously bogged down by infrastructure and communications gaps. Even something as simple as hyperlocalizing content to the needs of a given community represents a significant undertaking.

The family-owned local hardware store already knows that the county fair is the biggest annual event in their area, and they’ve already got everything necessary to participate with a booth, run a contest, take photos, sponsor the tractor pull, earn links, and blog about it. For the hardware franchise with 3,000 stores, branch-to-corporate communication of the mere existence of the county fair, let alone gaining permission to market around it, will require multiple touches from the location to C-suites, and back again.

Checklist for enterprise local SEO preparedness

If you’re on the marketing team for an enterprise, or you run an agency and want to begin working with these larger, rewarding clients, you’ll be striving to put a checkmark in every box on the following checklist:

☑ Definition of success

We’ve determined which actions = success for our brand, whether this is increases for in-store traffic, sales, phone calls, bookings, or some other metric. When we see growth in these KPIs, it will affirm for us that our efforts are creating real success.

☑ Designation of roles

We’ve defined who will be responsible for all tasks relating to the local search marketing of our business. We’ve equipped these team members with all necessary permissions, granted access to key documentation, have organized workflows, and have created an environment for documentation of work.

☑ Canonical data

We’ve created a spreadsheet, approved and agreed upon by all major departments, that lists the standardized name, address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation for each location of the company. Any variant information has been resolved into a single, agreed-upon data set for each location. This sheet has been shared with all stakeholders managing our local business listings, marketing, website and social outreach.

☑ Website optimization

Our keyword research findings are reflected in the tags and text of our website, including image optimization. Complete contact information for each of our locations is easily accessible on the site and is accurate. We’ve implemented proper markup, such as Schema or JSON-LD, to ensure that our data is as clear as possible to search engines.

☑ Website quality

Our website is easy to navigate and provides a good, usable experience for desktop, mobile and tablet users. We understand that the omni-channel search environment includes ambient search in cars, in homes, via voice. Our website doesn’t rely on technologies that exclude search engines or consumers. We’re putting our customer first.

☑ Tracking and analysis

We’ve implemented maximum controls for tracking and analyzing traffic to our website. We’re also ready to track and analyze other forms of marketing, such as clicks stemming from our Google My Business listings traffic being driven to our website by articles on third party sources, and content we’re sharing via social media.

☑ Publishing strategy

Our website features strong basic pages (Home, Contact, About, Testimonials/Reviews, Policy), we’ve built an excellent, optimized page for each of our core products/services and a quality, unique page for each of our locations. We have a clear strategy as to ongoing content publication, in the form of blog posts, white papers, case studies, social outreach, and other forms of content. We have plans for hyperlocalizing content to match regional culture and needs.

☑ Store locator

We’ve implemented a store locator widget to connect our website’s users to the set of location landing pages we’ve built to thoughtfully meet the needs of specific communities. We’ve also created an HTML version of a menu linking to all of these landing pages to ensure search engines can discover and index them.

☑ Local link building

We’re building the authority of our brand via the links we earn from the most authoritative sources. We’re actively seeking intelligent link building opportunities for each of our locations, reflective of our industry, but also of each branch’s unique geography.

☑ Guideline compliance

We’ve assessed that each of the locations our business plans to build local listings for complies with the Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google. Each location is a genuine physical location (not a virtual office or PO box) and conducts face-to-face business with consumers, either at our locations or at customers’ locations. We’re compliant with Google’s rules for the naming of each location, and, if appropriate, we understand how to handle listing multi-department and multi-practitioner businesses. None of our Google My Business listings is at risk for suspension due to basic guideline violations. We’ve learned how to avoid every possible local SEO pitfall.

☑ Full Google My Business engagement

We’re making maximum use of all available Google My Business features that can assist us in achieving our goals. This could include Google Posts, Questions & Answers, Reviews, Photos, Messaging, Booking, Local Service Ads, and other emerging features.

☑ Local listing development

We’re using software like Moz Local to scale creation of our local listings on the major aggregators (Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze and Factual) as well as key directories like Superpages and Citysearch. We’re confident that our accurate, consistent data is being distributed to these most important platforms.

☑ Local listing monitoring

We know that local listings aren’t a set-and-forget asset and are taking advantage of the ongoing monitoring SaaS provides, increasing our confidence in the continued accuracy of our data. We’re aware that, if left unmanaged, local business listing data can degrade over time, due to inputs from various, non-authoritative third parties as well as normal data flow across platforms.

☑ In-store strategy

All public-facing staff are equipped with the necessary training to implement our brand’s customer service policy, answer FAQs or escalate them via a clear hierarchy, resolving complaints before they become negative online reviews. We have installed in-store signage or other materials to actively invite consumer complaints in-person, via an after-hours helpline or text message to ensure we are making maximum effort to build and defend our strong reputation.

☑ Review acquisition

We’ve developed a clear strategy for acquiring reviews on an ongoing basis on the review sites we’ve deemed to be most important to our brand. We’re compliant with the guidelines of each platform on which we’re earning reviews. We’re building website-based reviews and testimonials, too.

☑ Review monitoring & response

We’re monitoring all incoming reviews to identify both positive and negative emerging sentiment trends at specific locations and we’re conversant with Net Promoter Score. We’ve created a process for responding with gratitude to positive reviews. We’re defending our reputation and revenue by responding to negative reviews in ways that keep customers who complain instead of losing them, to avoid needless drain of new customer acquisition spend. Our responses are building a positive impression of our brand. We’ve built or acquired solutions to manage reviews at scale.

☑ Local PR

Each location of our brand has been empowered to build a local footprint in the community it serves, customizing outreach to match community culture. We’re exploring sponsorships, scholarships, workshops, conferences, news opportunities, and other forms of participation that will build our brand via online links and social mentions as well as offline WOM marketing. We’re continuously developing cohesive online/offline outreach for maximum impact on brand recognition, rankings, reputation, and revenue.

☑ Social media

We’ve identified the social platforms that are most popular with our consumer base and a best fit for our brand. We’re practicing ongoing social listening to catch and address positive and negative sentiment trends as they arise. We’ve committed to a social mindset based on sharing rather than the hard sell.

☑ Spam-ready

We’re aware that our brand, our listings, and our reviews may be subject to spam, and we know what options are available for reporting it. We’re also prepared to detect when the spammy behaviors of competitors (such as fake addresses, fake negative/positive reviews, or keyword stuffing of listings) are giving them an unfair advantage in our markets, and have a methodology for escalating reports of guideline violations.

☑ Paid media

We’re investing wisely in both on-and-offline paid media and carefully tracking and analyzing the outcomes of online pay-per-click, radio, TV, billboards, and phone sales strategy. We’re exploring new opportunities, as appropriate and as they emerge, like Google Local Service Ads.

☑ Build/buy

When any new functionality (like Google Posts or Google Q&A) needs to be managed at scale, we have a process for determining whether we need to build or acquire new technology. We know we have to weigh the pros/cons of developing in-house or buying ready-made solutions.

☑ Competitive difference-maker

Once you’ve checked off all of the above elements, you’re ready to move forward towards identifying a USP for your brand that no one else in your market has explored. Be it a tool, widget, app, video marketing campaign, newsworthy acquisition, new partnership, or some other asset, this venture will require deep competitive and market research to discover a need that has yet to be filled well by your competitors. If your business can serve this need, it can set your brand apart for years to come.

Free advice, specifically for local enterprises

It’s asserted that customers may forget what you say, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel.

Call me a Californian, but I continue to be amazed by automotive TV spots that show large trucks driving through beautiful creeks (thanks for tearing up precious riparian habitat during our state-wide drought) and across pristine arctic snowfields (instantly reminding me of climate change). Meanwhile, my family have become Tesla-spotters, seeing that “zero emissions” messaging on the tail of every luxury eco-vehicle that passes us by. As consumers, we know how we feel.

Technical and organizational considerations aside, this is where I see one of the greatest risks posed to the local enterprise structure. Insensitivity at a regional or hyperlocal level — the failure to research customer needs with the intention of meeting them — has been responsible for some of the most startling bad news for enterprises in recent recall. From ignored negative reviews across fast food franchises, to the downsizing of multiple apparel retailers who have been unable to stake a clear claim in the shifting shopping environment, brands that aren’t successful at generating positive consumer “feelings” may need to reevaluate not just their local search marketing mindset, but their basic identity.

If this sounds uncomfortable or risky, consider that we are seeing a rising trend in CEOs taking stands on issues of national import in America. This is about feelings. Consumers are coming to expect this, and it feeds down to the local level.

Hyperlocalized market research

If your brand is considering opening a new branch in a new state or city, you’ll be creating profiles as part of your research. These could be based on everything from reading local news to conducting formal surveys. If I were to do something like this for my part of California, these are the factors I’d be highlighting about the region:

California

Enterprises

We’ve been blasted by drought and wildfire. In 2017, alone, we went through 9,133 fires. On a positive note, Indigenous thought-leadership is beginning to be re-implemented in some areas to solve our worst ecological problems (water scarcity, salmon loss, absence of traditional forestry practices).

Can your brand help conserve water, re-house thousands of homeless residents, fund mental health services despite budget cuts, make legal services affordable, provide solutions for increased future safety? What are your green practices? Are you helping to forward ecological recovery efforts at a tribal, city or state level?

We’re grumbling more loudly about tech gentrification. If you live in Mississippi, sit down for this. The average home price in your state is $199,028. In my part of California, it’s $825,000. In San Francisco, specifically, you’ll need $1.2 million dollars to buy a tiny studio apartment… if you can find one. While causes are complex, people I talk with generally blame Silicon Valley.

Can your brand be part of this conversation? If not, you’re not really addressing what is on statewide consumers’ minds. Particularly if you’re marketing a tech-oriented company, taking the housing crisis seriously and coming up with solutions for even a modest amount of relief would certainly be positive and newsworthy.

We’ve turned to online shopping for an interesting variety of reasons. And it’s not just because we’re techie hipsters. The retail inventory in big cities (San Francisco) can be overwhelming to sort through, and in small towns (Cloverdale), the shopping options are too few to meet our basic and luxury desires.

Can your brand thrive in the gaps? If you’re located in a metro area, you may need to offer personal assistance to help consumers filter through options. If you’ve got a location somewhere near small towns, strategies like same-day delivery could help you remain competitive.

We’ve got our Hispanic/Latino identity back. Our architecture, city and street names are daily reminders that California has a lot more to do with Mexico than it ever did with the Mayflower. We may have become part of the U.S. in 1850, but pay more attention to 2014 — the year that our Hispanic/Latino community became the state’s largest ethnic group. This is one of the most vibrant happenings here. At the same time, our governor has declared us a sanctuary state for immigrants, and we’re being sued for it by the Justice Department.

Can your brand celebrate our state’s diversity? If you’re doing business in California today, you’ll need bilingual marketing, staff, and in-store amenities. Pew Research publishes ongoing data about the Hispanic/Latino segment of our population. What is your brand doing to ensure that these customers feel truly served?

We’re politically diverse. Our single state is roughly the same size as Sweden, and we truly do run the political gamut from A–Z here. Are citizens removing a man-made dam heroically restoring ecology or getting in the way of commerce? You’ll find voices on every side.

Can your brand take the risk of publicizing its honest core values? If so, you are guaranteed to win and lose Californian customers, so do your research and be prepared to own your stance. Know that at a regional level, communities differ greatly. Those TV ads that show trucks running roughshod through fragile ecosystems may fly in some cities and be viewed with extreme distaste in others.

Money is top of mind. More than ⅓ of Californians have zero savings. Over½ of the citizens have less than $1000 in savings. We invest more in Welfare than the next two states combined. And while our state has the highest proportion of resident billionaires, they are vastly outnumbered by citizens who are continuously anxious about struggling to get by. Purchasing decisions are seldom easy.

Can your brand employ a significant number of residents and pay them a living wage? Could your entry into a new market lift poverty in a town and provide better financial security? This would be newsworthy! Have ideas for lowering prices? You’ll get some attention there, too.

Obviously, I’m painting with broad strokes here, just touching on some of the key points that your enterprise would need to consider in determining to commence operations in any city or state. Why does this matter? Because the hyperlocalization of marketing is on the rise, and to engage with a community, you must first understand it.

Every month, I see businesses shutter because someone failed to apprehend true local demand. Did that bank pick a good location for a new branch? Yes — the next branch is on the other side of the city. Will the new location of the taco franchise remain open? No — it’s already sitting empty while the beloved taco wagon down the street has a line that spills out of its parking lot all night long.

Summing up

“What helps people, helps business.” Leo Burnett

The checklist in this post can help you create an enterprise-appropriate strategy for well-organized local search marketing, and it’s my hope that you’ll evaluate all SEO advice for its fitness to your model. These are the basic necessities. But where you go from there is the exciting part. The creative solutions you find to meet the specific wants and needs of individualized service communities could spell out the longevity of your brand’s success.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 week ago from tracking.feedpress.it

How retail marketers can drive innovation with email marketing

It began slowly about a decade ago, with Linens & Things closing in 2008, Circuit City in 2009, Blockbuster in 2010, and Borders in 2011. Now, it seems like every other day we hear news of yet another retail store closing, or moving entirely online (like Linens & Things did).

Part of this change is due to the ‘Amazon effect’, or the idea that consumers can get anything they want, when they want it – no need to trek to a store’s physical location. According to eMarketer, more consumers are turning to Amazon to research products before they buy instead of Google. The times are a changin’ indeed.

Want to learn how Movable Ink helps leading retailers create amazing experiences?

Download our ebook, Movable Ink for Retail.

 

But let’s look at the numbers. It should come as no surprise that ecommerce is the biggest driver of retail sales growth in the UK. According to eMarketer, UK retail ecommerce sales will rise by 14.2% between 2017 and 2021, driven mainly by mobile commerce.

So, despite what many have deemed a “retail apocalypse”, consumers will continue to spend both in store and online. But the way that consumers are spending is changing, and retailers need to adapt to survive.

Movable Ink Co-founder and CEO Vivek Sharma said it best in his article, The Retail Bubble: How to Survive and Thrive with Digital Innovation:

This is about more than square footage, financial missteps, or the ebb and flow of natural business cycles. This is simply another chapter in the never-ending narrative of creative destruction leading to digital innovation.

The retail landscape will continue to evolve, and it’s up to retailers to embrace digital strategies that create better customer experiences if they want to thrive in this brave new world.

There are many ways retailers can elevate customer experiences both online and offline to meet their business goals. Here are three of the ways they can make that happen with email marketing, along with specific tactics for each.

1. Strengthen loyalty programs with personalized experiences

Email is essential for a successful loyalty program, but many brands aren’t taking advantage of it. Too often, email content is an afterthought. There are so many opportunities to surprise and delight your customers using a sophisticated campaign, especially for your loyal rewards members. Here are a few ways that marketers can strengthen their loyalty programs with email.

Display 1:1 real-time spend and rewards points for every customer

Complicated rules and difficulty redeeming points can often be the downfall of any loyalty program. So keeping it simple is important. According to a study by Colloquy, the number one reason consumers give for continuing to participate in a loyalty program is that it’s easy to understand (81%).

Help customers see the big picture with data visualization

The use of data visualization in marketing, like infographics, has skyrocketed over the past few years. And it makes perfect sense— graphics are more engaging and visual data is easier to digest. According to the SAGE Handbook of Political Communication, the human brain can make sense of a visual in less than 1/10 of a second.

So, incorporating data visualization into your loyalty program emails is a no-brainer. And it’s not as much work as you might think.

Add authenticity with user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a fresh, relevant way to market your products and services. And while the concept might not be new, the ways that marketers are leveraging UGC totally are. Consumers are now content creators, uploading and sharing images of their favorite products and services as a testament to their brand loyalty. And the sheer volume of digital content has grown exponentially thanks to platforms like Instagram and YouTube that encourage social sharing.

You can add user-generated content to your loyalty emails by displaying a live social feed, like Twitter or Instagram, in the body of your email. It’s the best way to showcase real customers using your products, adding authenticity to your emails.

2. Drive revenue with personalized promotional emails

Personalized experiences make for better retail marketing experiences because they’re incredibly effective for getting your customer’s attention. It’s also a huge priority for most marketers. And yet only 40% of consumers report seeing any kind of personalization at all. Here are just a few ways that retail marketers can improve those experiences with relevant offers.

Use contextual elements like geo-targeting and weather personalization

Meeting your customer where they are at the exact moment they open your email makes your email content both relevant and helpful. This type of contextual marketing lets you promote offers based your customer’s location or weather conditions, no matter where they are when they open your email.

This is also a great opportunity to drive foot traffic to any brick-and-mortar store locations by providing a local map with the stores nearest to each customer, and providing relevant store hours too.

Leverage customer behavior like browsing history and cart activity

Each of your customers is different, each with unique preferences. If you serve them an email based on their past interactions with your website, they’re far more likely to convert. Behavioral marketing lets you leverage those interactions – whether its browsing history on your website or items left in their shopping – to create email content that speaks to each individual. You could even offer product recommendations based on recently browsed products.

3. Enhance the productivity of every campaign

Productivity is a major challenge for most retail marketers – lean teams, tight production schedules, and limited resources all factor into this. Here are a few ways retail marketers can take advantage of their existing content to create great, on-brand experiences in email.

Repurpose your content

Email marketing is ideal for repurposing your best content. If your company has a blog, pull your best blog content into your welcome email series to get it in front of your new customers fast. For retailers, this might be a blog post featuring best-selling or most popular products.

And don’t forget about images – take advantage of any product images you have on your website by pulling them into your promotional emails for a seamless, experience that’s on brand.

Use time-targeting

Time-targeting is a tactic for sending multiple offers with just one email send, thus saving retail marketers tons of time. It’s ideal for promoting a new offer every day, like many retailers do in their Black Friday emails. Time-targeting builds excitement, drives urgency, and gives your customers something to look forward to.

Want to find out how Movable Ink is helping leading retail brands accomplish all of this, and more? Download our ebook, Movable Ink for Retail.

The post How retail marketers can drive innovation with email marketing appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 week ago from blog.dotmailer.com

dotmailer Partners with St. George’s Society to Clean Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Welcomes dotmailer Team

The living room at Ronald McDonald House in New York City was silenced yesterday as twelve dotmailer volunteers sat motionless, in awe of a pediatric cancer survivor playing the piano.  After hours of cleaning the house, this young hero quite literally struck a cord with everyone in the room. dotmailer’s Josh Arnold said, “The day was pretty awe-inspiring. A brief three minutes of bonding with this child was an emotional experience that I’ve never felt before. You could see the passion running through him, and his delight in a stranger appreciating his amazing talent.” The large round of applause sent a huge, heartwarming smile across the young boy’s face. As if learning about the house’s mission wasn’t enough, this small moment had the team anxious to schedule a visit to help again soon.

Piano lessons are one of the many activities the RMHNY makes sure the children can continue throughout their treatments. They offer tutoring in music as well as any other extracurriculars the children were engaging in before their diagnosis.

Given dotmailer’s long standing relationship with St. George’s Society, RMHNY was the perfect opportunity for the two organizations to come together and support the community. The teams were given a group tour of the house and then broken up into smaller groups and assigned cleaning tasks. Because the children in the house are undergoing cancer treatments, the house must be kept immaculate, which leaves a tremendous amount of cleaning to be done daily.  There was no lack of passion as the individual teams worked throughout the house.

We truly rise lifting others. Days spent giving back not only benefit the community, but they also bond a team. 

Ronald McDonald House NYC

RMHNYC welcomes families from across the country with accommodations while children receive cancer treatment at local hospitals. The NYC house can hold 95 families at the small request of just $35 a night. When a child is facing cancer, the last thing the family needs is to struggle to find affordable accommodations in such an expensive city. RMHNY relieves that stress by not only providing housing, but also making a family’s stay as peaceful, playful, and happy as possible. “Ronald McDonald house is a happy place,” said tour leader Daniele Starfield. Giving the children and their siblings a childhood, while they undergo treatment seems to be the mission of the caregivers as well as the incredible staff.

For more information on upcoming Fundraisers at RMHNYC visit their volunteers page: http://events.rmh-newyork.org/site/TR/Volunteers/GeneralTeamraiser?pg=entry&fr_id=1280

The post dotmailer Partners with St. George’s Society to Clean Ronald McDonald House appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com

New for GDPR: Keep track of your contacts’ consent

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Tricky beast

I’m going make an assumption here, and it’s this: by now, you don’t need me to tell you about the GDPR, or why it’s important, or even how it will affect you. You know what it is, and you’re already planning for it – and have been for months, or even years. I know this because that’s what you’ve been telling us. We’re fortunate to have customers that are so proactive.

And if you know about the GDPR, you’ll know about Article 7 – even if not by name. Article 7 is the section that deals with that tricky beast: consent.

But perhaps consent isn’t that tricky: isn’t it really just knowing who’s subscribed and who hasn’t?

Under the GDPR, not quite – because simply knowing that a contact is subscribed isn’t going to be good enough. In the post-GDPR world, consent will need to be specific.

Consent’s no luxury

If you have a signup form that contains an opt-in checkbox with, “Yes, I’d love to receive future emails”, then that’s going to cease being the gold standard on May 25. You’re going to need to come up with something more specific – something that says what those emails are going to contain, and how often you’ll be sending them.

But coming up with clearer, more specific opt-in text is one thing. The GDPR also says that you need to be able to demonstrate you have that specific consent.

You may well already be storing preferences in data fields, or perhaps with address books. That’s great, and you should carry on doing that. But being able to demonstrate why a contact has those preferences? That’s something that’s probably new to you – and it’s why we’ve built ConsentInsight.

As of today, you can now store – for free – the exact consent text a contact agreed to. Alongside, you can store the IP address they were on at the time, information about the browser they were using, and when they did it. And if their consent changes, we’ll keep the history too.

Get, store, demonstrate

You can request and store consent wherever you can add a contact (with the exception of adding individual contacts in the app).

The simplest way will be by generating a signup form, which will now get you to set your consent text. If you prefer creating signup forms with our surveys and forms tool, then you can use the new ‘Consent’ building block.

If you’ve obtained consent by some other means, you can set it when importing contacts by including the information in the file you upload (you can map the values just like contact data fields).

Of course, you may also be thinking about retrospectively gaining and storing consent for your current subscribers (we like to call this ‘up-permissioning’). For this, take a look at our two GDPR-themed program templates; you just need to fill in the blanks.

Let us do it for you

If you’d like a helping hand using ConsentInsight, or perhaps running an up-permissioning campaign, we have teams on hand that can help. Just let your account manager know.

ConsentInsight is available in your account now – here’s the link to the documentation. To learn more about dotmailer and the GDPR, visit our trust center.

The post New for GDPR: Keep track of your contacts’ consent appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com

dotdigital Group unlocks customer messaging potential

Last November dotdigital Group acquired Comapi as a strategic move to bring omnichannel messaging to the dotmailer platform. In the past 100 days since the acquisition, you will have seen the start of this omnichannel innvoation with new features being added to our marketing automation platform. For those of you attending our dotmailer summit on April 19, we will be revealing a lot more!

So, that’s a big tick in the marketing automation box. However, we also know that many of our customers have a requirement to use these messaging channels in different ways, outside of marketing.

As part of the dotdigital Group, Comapi is breaking new ground, helping businesses and tech platforms harness the power of messaging on channels such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, Web Chat, Push and Social. This ensures brands maximize their engagement with customers.

Hooking up these channels into your own systems and utilizing a powerful Application Programing Interface (API) allows you to supercharge your customer engagement; for instance, you can drive two-way conversational communications and real-time customer messages such as alerts, appointment reminders, payment confirmations, click-and-collect notifications and one-time passcodes for verification.

We understand that this may not always form part of the marketer’s role, per se. All we ask is that you share this news internally with your teams who may be responsible, and help our Comapi team connect with them to learn how the dotdigital group is changing the messaging landscape.

Or if this is your remit, reach out to them using the details below and see how they can help you deliver API and conversational messaging to support your customer engagement strategy.

We will be giving away one of our highly prized  ‘Winston’ toys  to the first 100 introductions – so get in early

With over 16 years of experience and knowledge, Comapi already powers the messaging experience of many brands, so you’re in safe hands.

This is an exciting time for the dotdigital group as we expand our technology to cover both marketing and business communications, help our customers grow and win big. If you’d like to find out more, follow this link and get in touch with the Comapi team; we’d love to see how we can help.

The post dotdigital Group unlocks customer messaging potential appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com

It’s the best time ever to be a marketer: either go big or go home

Chris Kubbernus, also known as Chris Kubby, is the Founder and CEO of Kubb&co – a digital marketing agency based in Copenhagen. Chris, originally from Canada, is an expert when it comes to helping brands become bigger, better and more effective. He’s worked with both start-ups and large corporations on digital strategy and social media – he teaches others how to take their marketing (and their businesses) to new heights, including working with large brands like Coloplast, Carlsberg, Burger King, and HP.

We caught up with Chris last week to get some clues on what he’ll be covering at the dotmailer Summit, and to get a closer look into the mind of one of the top marketing influencers of our time. The chat we had with him was full of knowledge, inspiration and humor – his talk at the dotmailer Summit 2018 is not to be missed!

 

1. What is or has been your biggest influence?

My biggest influence has been my mother and father. They instilled in me a massive work ethic, which drives me. I love my work and that’s a big reason for my success.

I would also say I am influenced heavily by marketers of the past. People who paved the path, people like Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, David Ogilvy and others.

 

2. What will you be bringing to the dotmailer Summit? Is there anything that the audience will definitely be walking away with?

My goal is to give the audience a renewed sense of purpose and energy. I think we’re in the best time ever to be a marketer and we should be embracing this and go big or go home.

They will be walking away with some practical advice and tactics they can implement the very next day to help take their marketing to the next level.

 

3. What role does email automation play in relation to your social media strategy?

Email and email marketing automation can be a great way to recap all the amazing things that a brand is doing in social or other places. I use email as a way to collect everything I do and to help my subscribers pick and choose the stuff they want to engage with.

With simple trigger flows and a collection of content tools, I am able to streamline my marketing program significantly.

 

4. What is the biggest thing marketers should be looking at in 2018?

Video and voice seem to be at the top of people’s minds. But I think AI is really gaining steam.

 

5. Where is social media heading?

Social media is heading into the awkward teenager phase of its life. Its trying to find its space in the marketing and life household. Its being asked to be more responsible, we see this recently with Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the recent US election.

Twitter is also being asked to step up and be responsible for how people use the platform. I think this will be good for consumers, businesses, and people.

They can’t continue making profits like a media company and claim no responsibility for the media they allow.

I think the result will be more expensive advertising, because the overhead will be too much for these platforms and then we will see less “mom and pop” advertising and more big brands, and more focus on organic content and community building.

 

6. What role do you think social media will play in your kids’ lives?

I hope not that much. I know I sound a bit antagonistic, but I do love social media and the opportunities for brands. But I am very aware of the negative effects of social media on people.

I think everyone needs to have that healthy dose of scepticism in them in order to safeguard their behaviour and the mental health of their loved-ones.

It will be a large part of their life, but I want it to be a tool they use and use only when needed and not a distraction from reality.

 

7. Everyone is competing for attention on social media what are your top three hacks or tricks that marketers should be doing to make themselves heard?

You need to change your mindset. That’s the hack. You need to think like a consumer and not like a brand. You need to understand what excites, inspires, teaches, provokes, disgusts, taunts, your community. And I say community because you need to think of them as a part of your brand, a part of your story. If you can do that and involve people in your marketing and social media, then you’ll win.

Those who don’t do this will continue to live in the marketing era of television – before every. single. person. on the planet had a voice and a platform.

 

8. What is your favorite social medium?

Right now, Twitter. Weird right? There’s a resurgence on Twitter at the moment and it’s a lot of fun.

 

9. What is the secret to advertising in 2018?

Self-awareness. People see right through advertising. So if you can be self-aware like the recent Tide Super Bowl ads, or the Heavy Bubbles ads a couple of years ago, then you can get people to let their guard down long enough for you to talk honestly about your products.

The other thing I would say is advertising is less and less about setting an agenda or “nudging” as we call it in the industry, but more about tapping into an already growing cultural storm and riding the wave.

 

Thank you, Chris – we’re looking forward to welcoming you on stage on April 19 at the dotmailer Summit 2018. We’re in no doubt that you’re going inspire us to be the best marketers we can be.

You can find out more about the dotmailer Summit here.

See you there!

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Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotmailer.com