Behavioral targeting for ecommerce: your step-by-step guide

Behavioral targeting drives offers that resonate with the individual, anticipate their needs, and save them time. And that means more click-throughs, more conversions, and a happy marketing team.

But with all the behavioral data available, how can you tune out the noise and target customers effectively?

We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to get you started.

1. What does behavioral targeting mean to you?

Customers’ actions (and inactions) online can be used to infer their preferences, lifecycle stage, and place in the buying journey. So you can provide the most appropriate type of content and personalization based on the individual’s interests.

How you use this information will depend on your products and customer personas.

You’ll need to think about:

  • what behaviors do you want to target? – Frequent browsing? Carting certain types of products?
  • who are the customers that exhibit this behavior? – What are their passions and motivations? Where are they in the building journey and customer lifecycle?
  • and what content is most valuable to them right now? – A coupon? A reminder? A product recommendation?

2. Work out what data you need

Once you have an idea of the behaviors you want to target, you can start collecting the data you need to make it happen.

This will include some of the following:

  • Pages the customer browsed
  • Products the customer carted
  • Products the customer purchased
  • Categories the customer browsed
  • Content the customer consumed
  • When and how often the customer visits

For these behavioral targeting insights to feed into your marketing efforts, you’ll need a system that collects and coordinates data from as many customer touchpoints as possible – including your ecommerce website, mobile apps, and ESP.

Behavioral targeting

3. Get to know your customers

The next step is to capture the visitor’s email address. This opens up a whole new channel for behavioral targeting communication.

When a new visitor comes to your online store, you can present a data capture in response to their actions. For instance, displaying a registration form only after the visitor has viewed two product pages, and personalizing the offer to match the categories they browsed.

Behavioral targeting

Target customers with the right content

Once you have the right data in place, you can segment customers according to their behavior, interests, and lifecycle stage.

These segments can be used to send targeted bulk emails, refine triggered email programs, personalize web content, and even target customers via social media.

Below are some common ways to use behavioral segmentation. If you’re stretched for time, it’s a good idea to start with basic product-based segmentation and expand from there.

Experiment with product segmentation

Behavioral data can be used to build lists of customers who are interested in certain products, categories, or brands.

For instance, a tool store might have customers who are very loyal to a particular manufacturer. With behavioral segments, the retailer could send brand-specific newsletters and shopping recovery emails – so that customers get recommendations for products that are compatible with their existing gadgets.

Product recommendations

Segment by customer journey

It makes sense to show different types of content depending on customers’ lifecycle stage – whether they’re a new visitor, new customer, regular shopper, frequent visitor, or lapsed shopper.

For instance, you might use a coupon to convert frequent visitors who haven’t yet made a purchase. But this is a less appropriate strategy for frequent purchasers, where discounts could reduce the value of an order that would have taken place anyway.

Segment by engagement

Try varying your emailing cadence to match each shopper’s level of engagement.

Where customers are very engaged but didn’t yet make a purchase, you could send a browse abandonment series combined with more frequent bulk emails.

For occasional visitors, a steady flow of bulk emails might be more fitting.

Refine your real-time marketing

Segmentation can be used to fine-tune your triggered email strategy.

Imagine you’re already sending a browse abandonment program, but want to use a new program for customers looking for Christmas deals. Rules can be set so that regular customers receive the standard browse abandonment email, while customers who browsed lots of holiday deals receive the new festive program.

Behavioral targeting

Combine with personalized content

Segmentation allows you to send the right type of content to different audience groups. Dynamic content is the key to tailor that content to the individual.

For example, marketers can use segmentation to vary the frequency of bulk emails depending on engagement. Then include personalized product recommendations in those emails, based on each shopper’s browsing history.

When you combine segmentation with real-time personalization, content is both relevant and compelling.

Personalized content

Always test and monitor

Behavioral segmentation makes a lot of sense. But avoid making assumptions about your audience. Some shoppers might be receptive to all your marketing, so consider sending the ‘generic’ content to some subscribers to see how it performs.

It’s important to regularly monitor segments to see if they’re performing as you hoped. If a segment isn’t generating as much revenue as expected, it could be time to alter the composition of the group, or change up your marketing tactics for that audience.

5. Choosing the right technoloy

It’s tricky to implement behavioral targeting if your data sits in inaccessible silos.

Luckily, there are straightforward ways to connect up your data pools, even if you aren’t ready for a big data integration project.

Dedicated personalization platforms sit between your ecommerce system, ESP, and CRM to collect behavioral targeting data in real time. This data can be used to automatically segment customers and deliver personalized content across web and email.

If you’d like to find out more, join Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight at dotdigital, and Alistair Milne, Personalization Consultant at Fresh Relevance, as they show you how to take control of your customer data to drive revenue, improve customer experience, and strip it back to basics.

Register for the webinar here.

The post Behavioral targeting for ecommerce: your step-by-step guide appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

13 killer Black Friday marketing hacks

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be revealing a selection of our 37 brilliant Black Friday marketing hacks. If you missed the first nine tactics you can check out the blog here. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming days for smart Black Friday tactics you can start using now. Or, download the full cheatsheet here.

1. Trigger Black Friday messages based on email activity

Email activity is never more insightful than over the Black Friday period. Create triggers that are based on a set of behavioral rules, whereby subscribers are pooled into certain groups. For instance, if email openers don’t redeem their special offer within 24 hours, they get a triggered daily reminder until the sale ends. Likewise, for every email that goes unopened, unengaged subscribers get three different follow-up emails, each with a different variation of the subject line.

2. Send a sneak-peek email 10 days before Black Friday

A peek-reveal before the big deals kick off can spur excitement in the inbox. Building the hype is a tried and tested way of getting subscribers on side before your communications start ramping up. Your brand will be fresh in their minds as they eagerly anticipate your unmissable bargains.

3. Generate a buzz through a flash sale

The run-up to Black Friday is all about seasonal hype. Drum up excitement with a series of festive flash sales in advance of your Black Friday-weekend bargains. You won’t be the only one to adopt this tactic; so why not offer different promotions every hour on the hour? It’s a creative way to stand out from the sales-heavy crowd.

4. Create gift guides for giving

Black Friday is about both consumer self-indulgence and giving gifts. The true spirit of the holiday season is in the gift giving. That can mean that those visiting your website might not fall into your typical target audience, but are shopping for friends and family who do. So, like your standard wish list, create a gift list for these people. The list could filter items based on interest, tastes, product attributes, etc. It might also be handy to present feature collections: 10 gifts for everyone on your list or best gifts for women, men, and kids; dads, mums, daughters, and nephews, etc.

5. Make sure your design is top-notch

Conversion starts with beautiful design. Black Friday is about the best product for the best price; but design captures the user’s attention and interest for your offering over a similar alternative. Enchanting bargain hunters with design is the best way to stop them in their tracks and divert them to your website. Black Friday is about getting as many eyes on your brand as possible.

6. Don’t annoy your champions during the Black Friday run

Don’t bore brand advocates with off-price products when you had them on side to begin with. Take them down a different path. Black Friday is a great opportunity to graduate promising customers into this lucrative persona group. For customers already there, don’t solely target them with seasonal sale messages, but keep up your leading content too.

7. Always extend the Black Friday campaign

Amplify your campaign across all channels and keep the messaging consistent. The timings of your Black Friday deals can be sensitive, so it’s important that all online and offline touchpoints are coordinated. You don’t want to upset customers by showing them a promotion on social that’s unavailable on your website or in store.

8. Include countdown clocks – they work!

This is a must-do. Nothing spurs more urgency than a countdown timer. The deals and offers are raining in, but you can do something to weather the storm. Show your customers exactly when your offer is going to end. Add your countdown clock on a banner; it should be super-obvious, so ensure it’s above the fold.

9. Don’t drift from your brand’s authentic voice

Don’t jump on the Black Friday bandwagon if it’s going to undermine your brand’s authentic voice. It could have serious consequences in the long run. Not every business is a discount brand, and, despite your amazing offers, you should never abuse your customers’ financial and mental wellbeing. Your reputation is on the line, so be cautious.

10. Put customers first

This rule applies all year round, but can be easy to forget around Black Friday. Basically, make it about the customer and not the offer. Sounds hard, right? Not at all. Simply laser-focus on the net benefit to the customer, then complement with the right products and discounts. For example: ‘Relax this December: Nail your holiday shopping NOW with 50% off all homeware.’

11. Include clever product recommendations

Layer personalized product recommendations onto your already compelling deals. Customers won’t be able to resist the relevancy factor. Use past browsing or buying behavior to populate the right recommendations – maybe a lookalike cross-sell based on similar product attributes. You could even surface items that similar customers went on to purchase next. Bosh!

Black Friday

12. Enrol new customers onto a welcome program

Black Friday is a pivotal period for customer acquisition. Brands tied up with their holiday campaigns can easily omit important communications that keep new customers engaged, i.e. the welcome program. Tone down your bargain bombardment and give new customers some respite; let them know who you are, what you’re about, and ask them for preferences so you can pepper your messages with relevant content.

13. Capture customer data during the Black Friday weekend

Gate your deals to unlock layers of customer data that can enrich your profiles, enabling you to hyper-personalize messages and nurture customers into different persona groups. Using data-capture tools, collect everything from email address and mobile number to communication preferences and message frequency. An exchange of data is a big deal to consumers, so make the offer worth their while and your consent criteria crystal clear.


And that’s a wrap! Stay tuned for the remaining 15 Black Friday marketing hacks, or grab a free copy of our cheatsheet to get your hands on all 37.

The post 13 killer Black Friday marketing hacks appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

dotdigital bags the 2019 Best Marketing Automation Partner Award at NORA Solution Partner Excellence Awards

dotdigital APAC emerged as winners of the Best Marketing Automation category at the recent NORA Solution Partner Excellence Awards, held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

The awards, organized by the National Online Retail Association (NORA), celebrated behind-the-scenes heroes of the online retail industry. The winners were chosen through a voting process whereby retailers across Australia and New Zealand voted for their favorite technology vendor under each category.

A heartfelt congratulations to all the winners! This award is a great achievement for the entire dotdigital APAC team and reflects the commitment and effort that each one puts into servicing our customers and building the dotdigital brand within the Australian market and beyond.

Rohan Lock, Regional Director of APAC, was interviewed during the event and here are his thoughts after accepting the award!

The awards hosted by Paul Greenberg, Founder of NORA Network, and change and leadership expert, Nigel Collin, were the Australian retail industry’s first sustainable awards evening. Every aspect of the event had a high standard of sustainability, from food prepared with sustainably farmed produce, the use of recycled/recyclable materials, and a goal of zero waste. Well done to NORA Network for a hosting a fantastic evening. We are looking forward to next year’s gala already!


Unlock your cross-channel marketing potential with Engagement Cloud. For a quick demo, click here.

The post dotdigital bags the 2019 Best Marketing Automation Partner Award at NORA Solution Partner Excellence Awards appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Building a Local Marketing Strategy for Franchises [Guide Sneak Peek]

Posted by MiriamEllis

A roller is a good tool for painting a house in big, broad strokes. But creating a masterpiece of art requires finer brushes.

Franchises face a unique challenge here: they know how to market at the national level, but often lack the detailed tools for reaching their local customers at a granular level. Google has stated that localization of search results is the greatest form of personalization they currently engage in. For franchises, where local sensitivity is lacking in the marketing plan, opportunity is being lost.

Don’t settle for this. Know that less-motivated competitors are losing this opportunity, too. This creates a large, blank canvas for a franchise you’re marketing to paint a new picture which takes state, regional and community nuances into account.

One famous example of localized marketing is McDonald’s offering SPAM in Hawaii and green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico. For your franchise, it could revolve around customizing content for regional language differences (sub sandwich vs. po’ boy), or knowing when to promote seasonal merchandise at which locations (California vs. North Dakota weather).

What you need is marketing plan capable of scaling from national priorities to hyperlocal customers. Want the complete strategy now?

Get The Practical Guide to Franchise Marketing

From paint roller to sumi-e brush: A franchise marketing plan

Today, we’ll explore the basics of getting to know your local customers, so that your national franchise can customize how you serve them. Build a strategy around the following:



Your step-by-step guide to how to create a local marketing strategy

Finding your target audience

First, you need to understand who your customers are. If you have an existing franchise, you can do this fairly easily by simply observing or asking them. You might run an online survey, or you might do some quick spot interviews right in your place of business. What you want to work out is:

  • Demographics: What are the common ages, genders, income levels, and other relevant characteristics of your customers.
  • Psychographics: How do your customers think? What are their attitudes, behaviors and beliefs as they relate to your franchise?
  • Pain points: What problems do your customers have that you could potentially solve? Maybe they want to eat healthy but have no time. Maybe they want a gym that will help them become better athletes.
  • Consumption habits: How do your customers decide where to buy? Are they online? Do they have smartphones? Do they prioritize reviews/recommendations? Do they like video, or podcasts? Which social platforms do they frequent? What events do they attend?

Understanding the customer’s journey

Marketers spend a lot of time thinking about what we call the “customer journey.” This is just another way of saying we want to understand what happens between us and customers before they know our brand exist, after they discover it, up until they buy, and then beyond.

The best way to do this is to divide that experience into steps, understanding that some people will drop out of the process at every stage. Most corporate franchisers will recognize this as the “sales funnel.”

Here’s a simplified version of a sales funnel. Take the time to determine what happens at each stage in your own customers’ experience, and you’ll be a long way toward understanding how you can influence and help customers from one step to the next. 

Mapping a sales funnel


  1. Awareness
    This is where a customer first discovers you exist and starts to form an opinion about you based on what they see. Often, this is managed by the activities being conducted by corporate franchisors (like a national TV ad campaign). But, it can also happen through franchisee-generated references and referrals (like a searcher discovering you via a Google Maps search on their phone).
  2. Discovery
    This is where a customer has already absorbed information about you and your product and begins to actively try to learn more about it. This stage often encompasses online research. It local word-of-mouth queries between potential customers and their friends and family.
  3. Evaluation
    This is where a customer has decided to probably purchase something similar to what you offer, but is trying to decide where to buy. They might stop by your business in this stage, or they may give you a call. They might visit your online website or listings to look at your hours, or menu or price list. This stage is influenced by both franchisor and franchisee activity.
  4. Intent
    Now the customer has decided to buy from you — which means they are your customer to lose. Franchisors can lose them at this stage through misinformation in the brand’s local business listings — like incorrect hours or bad directions that lead customers to the wrong place and cause them to give up. Franchisees could lose the business through poor on-premises experiences — like uncleanliness, long wait times, low inventory, pricing, or poor customer service.
  5. Purchase
    This is where the transaction takes place, and is generally entirely within the control of the franchisee.
  6. Loyalty
    This stage determines whether the customer will return to buy again, and whether or not they will become an advocate for your business, give you good reviews, or rate you poorly. Again, this is typically within the control of the franchisee unless the issue is a decision made at the franchisor level, such as product/menu, pricing or policy.

Sometimes this whole funnel can take place in the time it takes to spot a sign for ice cream and purchase a double scoop sundae. Sometimes it may take weeks, as your customers labor over the right financial advisor to choose.

Understanding how your customer is thinking and what goes into making the decision to use you is important and will guide decision-making and sales activity at both the franchisor and franchisee levels.

Scoping out the competition

Most brands have already worked out their positioning with regard to other national brands, so this one is mainly for franchisees. Take some time to figure out who your direct competitors are in your local market. They might be other big brands, but there will also probably be local SMBs that are not on the corporate franchisor’s radar.

Understand:

  • Where they are stronger or weaker, compared to you
  • Who they attract, compared to you
  • How they are marketing their business

Having this information should help you to position yourself to win a bigger piece of the local pie. Is your competitor a gym that has better weight training and machines than you? Are they marketing mainly to younger men and athletes? Are they advertising on local radio? Perhaps you should double down on your cardio and yoga classes and try to attract more women or older clientele. Maybe adding some nutrition classes will encourage people trying to lose weight. And so on.

Building your authority

Once you’ve figured out who your customers are, how they buy, and how you plan to position your franchise in the local market, it’s time to put that plan into action by creating some content to support it.

For franchisors at corporate this means putting in the time to create an informative, interesting brand website with dynamic, engaging content. Your content should aim to educate, inform and/or entertain, rather than only sell. The more points of engagement your website offers to customers, the more reason they have to read, share, and link to your content, building authority. Your most valuable content will, of course, be the elements or pages that directly convert visitors into customers.

The content you put out over social media should follow this same precept, and lead back to your site as often as possible. Experts suggest that “60% of your posts you create should be engaging, timely content, 30% should be shared content, and only 10% should be promoting your products & services.” (Medium)

Invest some time in link building, in order to show Google’s algorithm how influential your site is and boost your authority and ranking.

Here are a few tips:

    • Use Moz’s “Find Opportunities” feature to locate sites which are linking to your competitors and not you (yet).
    • Look for people who are already referencing your site and ask them to hyperlink to you.
    • Do a little PR or news-making and ask articles to link to your site. (This is something local franchisees can excel at.)
    • Ask for links from local trade organizations, community organizations or commerce groups.
    • Sponsor events and ask for a link.
    • Start a scholarship and post it on local .edu sites.

Find out more about link building and unstructured citation and how to increase them in The Guide to Building Linked Unstructured Citations for Local SEO

Managing channels and budgets efficiently

Armed with good, authoritative content and an effective website, you’ll want to focus on how you manage all the channels available to you. This also includes managing your budget effectively. Most franchisor budgets are focused on the brand, and many franchisees don’t have a lot left over for local marketing, but here are some things to think about.

  • Listings first: Your listings aren’t expensive to manage, but they give your marketing it’s biggest overall value — in some cases literally guiding people to your registers. Make great local business listings your top priority.
  • Claim everything: Franchisors, be sure you are the one in control of your directory listings and social profiles. Complete your Google My Business profile and establish a presence on key social media and review platforms like Facebook and Yelp.
  • Budget wisely: Do the strategy work to understand who your customers are and how best to reach them before you allocate your franchisor or franchisee marketing dollars.


Pointillism for franchises

Adept franchise marketing requires the eye of Seurat: the ability to see life in hundreds of tiny points, making up a masterpiece. For you, franchise pointillism includes:

  • Points representing each customer
  • Points for the customer’s community, as a whole
  • Points representing your locations on the map
  • Points across the web where engagement happens
  • Points offline where engagement happens
  • Points of resource at all levels of the franchise, from franchisor to franchisee

Ready for expert help from Moz in seeing the finer points? Download your copy:

The Practical Guide to Franchise Marketing

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 3 weeks ago from tracking.feedpress.it

Deliverability insights: avoiding spam traps and other revenue risks during the festive period

Deliverability risk alert: We get it – the c-level execs are clamoring for bigger databases and more potential customers to squeeze some revenue from. The temptation to send a quick, cheeky email to that list from 2016 you found in a long-lost folder on a colleague’s shared drive is strong. After all, who wouldn’t want to hear about your awesome company with its amazing products and services and fantastic seasonal discount discounts?

Merrily you go, on your way, importing this list full of hope and promise into your Engagement Cloud. But wait, something’s wrong: your data has been quarantined by the dotdigital data WatchDog. The important has been blocked. “Why!?”, you scream internally as your frantically raise a ticket with our support team.

High-risk data is a deliverability risk and can jeopardize revenue

There are certain addresses which are never going to give consent to receive marketing communications. For example, we keep an eye out for role alias addresses (generic/shared inboxes used for a sales team, support team, abuse reporting, etc.), as these almost never actively sign up to receive emails. Uploading a list which contains these kind of non-consenting addresses is an indicator that the process for ensuring consent wasn’t reliable at the point when the data was collected. Even if your permission game is strong now, it might not have been in 2016 – or even in early 2018, before the GDPR came into effect.

Sending to recipients that have not given explicit consent to receive marketing emails from your company can have disastrous results for your business.

Reduced engagement, increased complaints

The best-case scenario, in this instance, is that recipients ignore your emails. If they do this, mailbox providers like Hotmail and Gmail will notice the lack of engagement and decide your emails are unwanted. Your future sends, even to previously engaged and fully consented contacts, are more likely to end up in the spam folder or the junk box.

It gets worse though…

Some recipients might see your emails and, having not recently given permission for you to contact them, actively mark the emails as junk or spam. These are recognized by mailbox providers as complaints and are given much more weighting as an indicator that you are sending unwanted email. Your marketing ending up in junk or spam will become even more likely.

Plus, if you’re on a dedicated IP then it’s possible that receiving mail servers will start throttling your IP, slowing down how quickly they’ll accept emails from you. This can be incredibly tough when you’re against the clock, with time-sensitive content and flash sales going out the door.

Deliverability alert: inactive inboxes

Do you still use the same email address today that you were using last year? How about in 2016? How about in 2011? (Showing my age here, but I’d just graduated from university and set up my first professional-looking tamara.bond inbox and ditched the old g0thg1rl4lyf alias…) Maybe you had your own website or blog and signed up using that domain has long since defunct – who has time for personal blogging these days? Sending to lots of addresses which don’t exist anymore is another sign to the mailbox provider that your strategy is targeting people who haven’t opted in, and is likely to land you in the spam folder. They might have even turned the unused inbox or domain into a spam trap.

Spam traps: the real nightmare before Christmas

Hitting a spam trap is the worst-case scenario. Traps are addresses that are operated by mailbox providers and anti-abuse networks to identify senders who are not following data collection and management best practice. There are different types of spam trap that indicate sending to old data or email or recipients who haven’t verified their email addresses, collecting contacts using a form that’s opened to abuse, and more. Increasingly, information collected about mail sent to traps is used in machine learning. You really don’t want your emails to be used as examples to train an AI bot how to identify spam, as it’s likely to negatively impact your inbox placement for a very long time.

Hitting one or more spam traps can result in a mailbox provider directly blocking your emails. Hitting one or more spam traps operated by an anti-abuse network can result in them blacklisting your sending domain, your IP, or (in the really bad cases) all 255 IPs in the range that your sending IP belongs to. Mailbox providers can query these blacklists and block your emails if they find you or your IP on the list.

Reputation and revenue

If your recipients can’t see your emails because they’re not in the inbox or promotions tab, they’re less likely to engage with your brand and make purchases. During the busy period, they’re receiving so many emails (including from your competitors) that they’re unlikely to have time to go through their spam folder and retrieve your messages. There’s a potential for a lot of revenue loss. However, hitting a spam trap or being blacklisted and not being able to deliver any emails at all… well, that’s a nightmare before Christmas, male to mistake.

It can be really difficult and take a very long time to repair reputation damage, get unblocked or de-listed, and make a come back to the inbox or promotions tab. Our deliverability experts are here to help you with this, but we’d rather not see it happen at all. That’s why we created the WatchDog – to protect your reputation as a sender, as well as protect other customers using the platform.

Don’t give me problems, give me solutions

When an import is quarantined, customers often ask us to tell them which addresses are the ‘bad’ ones so that they can remove them and continue uploading their data. The catch 22 is that there’s no real way to tell which contact is going to be your deliverability Achilles’ heal. Sure, you could go through and remove all the role alias addresses, but those are simply indicators of the health of the list as a whole. The rest of that import is still a revenue-ruining minefield riddled with complainers and spam traps and people who aren’t interested in what you’ve got to stay.

List validation and data cleansing

We often ask about using a third party email validation tool to ‘clean’ the list. These can check for and remove things like misspelled addresses or those with no active mail server to receive emails. Depending on the service, they may be able to identify some spam traps or known unused inboxes. However, they aren’t perfect. In particular, spam trap addresses are closely-held secrets and new ones are constantly being created, so no validation tool can guarantee removal of all traps from a list.

More importantly, list validation can’t confirm that the recipients actually want to receive your emails. ‘Spam’ doesn’t mean illegal; it means unwanted. And if you’re sending unwanted emails, sooner or later there will be consequences for your deliverability that impact your revenue.

Analyze how your data was acquired

You should be checking:

  • whether data was given explicitly for your brand
  • whether there was an incentive such as a voucher or WiFi access that could have tempted people to put in false details
  • whether the email addresses submitted were confirmed to be correct and active using doubt opt-in
  • whether the submission for had CAPTCHA or other preventative measures against bot submissions

You could also analyze other sources of information, such as your website or CRM data, to see if any email addresses are associated with people who have recently purchased your products or services.

In our experience, we never see any success from emailing an old list; instead, we’re picking up the pieces and walking customers through the arduous process of rebuilding their reputation after succumbing to temptation. If Winston the WatchDog has quarantined your import, it’s best to heed his advice: ditch the risk to your revenue and instead focus on your existing engaged, valued, and loyal customers


If you’re looking for more actionable deliverability best practice, check out our free 101 guide here.

The post Deliverability insights: avoiding spam traps and other revenue risks during the festive period appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Top 4 SEO Tips That Will Help Your Website to Rank High in 2020

You can have an enticing website loaded with the latest features, offering a remarkable experience to the users. However, until and unless, your potential customers find you on Google and other popular search engines, you actually don’t exist for them. After hearing so, you may like to make your presence in the ever-evolving digital realm. … Continue reading “Top 4 SEO Tips That Will Help Your Website to Rank High in 2020”

The post Top 4 SEO Tips That Will Help Your Website to Rank High in 2020 appeared first on OutreachMama.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from www.outreachmama.com

9 brilliant Black Friday marketing hacks

Over the course of four weeks we’ll be revealing a selection of our 37 brilliant Black Friday marketing hacks. Watch out every Friday until Black Friday for smart tactics you can start using now, or download the full cheatsheet here.

1. Build a year-long Black Friday landing page

Put your SEO hat on! Shoppers will start searching online for their purchases weeks before the Thanksgiving weekend. Did you know that search interest in Black Friday has grown 242% over the last five years according to Google Trends? If you have a high-ranking page, you’ll get seen before the competition. Having a consistent Black Friday landing page all year round creates an impressive and unswerving page ranking result on Google. You know it makes sense!

2. Build anticipation early

The window of opportunity to vie for your target customers’ attention is small. Plus, you’re competing with other brands to get in first. Ramp up your mailing list and social followers in early Fall to maximize the number of consumers you’re able to reach in November. Start sending promotional emails to build the hype early in the weeks before Thanksgiving.

3. Personalize your messages

Black Friday is an attention-grabbing game that can be won with personalization. Include first name, local store, persona-based dynamic content – anything remotely relevant that can hook the reader. Did you know that personalized marketing emails experience 41% higher unique click-through rates than generic ones? That’s the smart way to unlock lucrative holiday sales.

4. Create unique experiences

Know your loyal customers from your infrequent shoppers, and understand who spends how much and on what. Every customer has different needs and wants. Use RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) to filter contacts into segments and deliver a more fitting message. You wouldn’t want to offer 50% off to a customer who typically spends $400 per order.

5. Make subject lines catchy AF

Black Friday is the time to nail the almighty subject line. Expect an unopened email if your subject line is rubbish: your campaign’s success is at stake. Either spur curiosity or iterate the benefits: i.e. ‘The deals you’ve been waiting for inside’ or ‘STARTS NOW: 50% off Black Friday sale + free shipping’. Plus, don’t forget to test and optimize!

6. Put emphasis on the CTA

Calls to action should always be placed above the fold. Don’t hit send if it’s not clear what action the recipient should take. The inverted pyramid method works best; it grabs attention, builds the anticipation, and draws the reader in.

7. Send a ‘save the date’

Save the dates are a great way to get subscribers to block out key events in their diary. Include a CTA in your promotional email campaigns that allow subscribers to save the date in their calendar, so their mobiles will remind them of your deals.

8. Timing is everything

If you’re a global company, don’t forget to schedule your sends by time zone to avoid your customers’ bafflement. You don’t want to send a 60-minute countdown timer to Australia in the middle of the night, or a morning flash sale to the Pacific West Coast after midday.

9. Use web behavior

While your promotional campaigns are hitting the inbox like a well-oiled machine, make sure your behavioral triggers are running like clockwork in the background. Send timely nudges to anyone who abandons their browse and re-target users who quit their search across Google and social channels.


That’s it for this week! To unlock the other 28 Black Friday marketing hacks, grab a free copy of our cheatsheet here.

The post 9 brilliant Black Friday marketing hacks appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

NORA Network chats with our APAC regional director, Rohan Lock

From being a part of dotdigital’s core team in the UK and responsible for building dotdigital’s footprint in Australia and Singapore, Rohan discusses the rebranding journey and sheds light on how we have grown in terms of our functionality and capability over the last 20 years.

Rohan also provides a brief overview of dotdigital’s data capabilities and new functionalities such as SMS and Facebook messenger. Furthermore, Rohan discusses how integral the support from our partners, such as Magento, Shopify, Big Commerce, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics has been. He also provides and overview of how clients utilize Engagement Cloud to capture customer data that allows them to segment, personalize, and automate campaigns, targeting the right people through right channel and at right time.


Want to find out more about dotdigital Engagement Cloud? Watch a quick platform demo here.

The post NORA Network chats with our APAC regional director, Rohan Lock appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Customer Engagement: Brands need to focus more on data to engage with customers better

Customer engagement has been an industry-wide marketing term for around a decade now. It encapsulates the change in marketing philosophy brought about by three effects of digital media:

  • Rise of marketing automation
  • Move from one-to-many broadcast marketing to one-to-one conversational commerce
  • Proliferation of transactional and programmatic messaging

Customer Engagement pressures: Marketers need new ways to engage

According to the report, marketers have found that they need to find new ways to communicate with customers and build lasting relationships, or face crippling competition from more capable rivals.

Those that adopt a customer-engagement approach to their marketing strategy typically see improved customer satisfaction, resulting in improved customer retention and financial performance.

B2Cs, for instance, measure impact in increased order values and reduced marketing costs, while their B2B counterparts use customer engagement techniques to boost acquisition and optimize their lead quality.

For better customer engagement, brands need to connect and communicate smarter

Adopting a customer engagement-focused marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Putting the customer at the heart of the business requires significant, inside-out change throughout the organization. Only 9% of respondents in the survey cited their business at an advanced level.

There are two main barriers to a robust customer engagement strategy:

  1. Difficulties in getting a single customer view (SCV)
  2. Disconnected technology platforms

Many businesses struggle with legacy systems that don’t work together, since driving engagement relies on the seamless connection of all data points. Plus, antiquated organizational structures impede the vital sharing of data across the business. This is another key requirement to creating a consistent and engaging experience along the path to purchase and beyond.

Headline stats highlight customer data silos

How are marketers engaging their customers?

  • 79% of respondents use email platforms
  • 65% use content management systems
  • 62% use social media tools

BUT, creating an SCV proves to be a challenge…

  • Just 65% of companies have integrated email and CRM
  • Only 56% of businesses have integrated email with their didgital analytics

And the levels of integration are far lower for other types of technology.

Consumers expect personalized experiences

Brands are well aware of the growing expectations of consumers. Personalization has, according to 25% of those surveyed, been one of the most important customer engagement-related trends in the last five years. The need to personalize is driving intermediate and advanced brands to focus more on AI as a tool to accelerate the customer experience into new realms of personalization.

More unmissable insights

For a deep-dive into all of the stats, as well as regional breakdowns across the UK & Europe, North America, and APAC, download the full version here.

You’ll discover the true importance of customer engagement, considerations and tactics for B2C and B2B, as well as how the right technology can drive long-term success.

The post Customer Engagement: Brands need to focus more on data to engage with customers better appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 4 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Email deliverability: make Black Friday about consent, not spam

The last email deliverability blog I wrote was about how communicating to everyone in your lists needs to be done strategically, and that email may not be the best path. One of the seasons where senders feel pressure to expand their email audience is fast approaching.

Sometimes that pressure focuses on legal arguments.

To re-iterate from last time: Making sure that what you are sending and to whom is legal, is something I cannot advise on. Most often, when having a conversation on email deliverability, and specifically when I’m giving advice on who to send to, I get the response: ” but it’s legal”.

Please leave the legal conversation for the lawyers. For me – and this may seem harsh – I don’t care. The legal argument is just that – an argument. And it misses the point and moves the whole focus away from what the conversation should really be about.

Email deliverability: Wanted vs. unwanted

The focus of the conversation should be on: do the recipients of the emails you’re sending want to receive those emails?

Consent and setting expectations are both key to having a successful, revenue-generating email program. As we come up to the busy holiday period, it’s easy to let the pressures that come with it change this key part of the message. But there are no exceptions because of timing.

Mailbox providers have a job to do: to make sure that the emails being sent to recipients are wanted. They measure whether or not an email is wanted through many different indicators. Some of those include:

  • when recipients mark a message as spam
  • sending to an email address that’s being used to identify senders collecting email addresses without consent or continued consent (a.k.a ‘spam trap’)
  • sending to recipients that no longer exist at that mailbox provider

Once you reach one or more of those thresholds, mailbox providers (such as Gmail and Yahoo) can see clearly that you’re sending emails that their users – the owners of the email addresses you’re sending to – do not want.

Re-focus on email deliverability

If your biggest argument for sending an email is, “oh, but it’s legal”, then you need to re-focus. Because you run the risk of alienating people who actually do want to hear from you. These are the contacts that drive revenue or any other intended outcome of your email program.

Build a robust sending plan

Building back your reputation is hard; it’s better to build your sending plan for the busy upcoming holidays. Here are some email deliverability tips:

  • Use past years’ data to understand how your recipients interact with your emails. Look at the demographics of your recipient base and what they want to know.
  • Continue to respect recipients that have shown they are not interested. Consider carefully before sending to inactive contacts who may still be opted in. Whatever value you might get from sending a campaign like that is not worth the risk to your email deliverability. Find the data point where revenue drops. At what age of inactivity does the lack of revenue make sending to that data set irrelevant? Remember, the answer to this question will be different for each sender.
  • If there is consent and data to show a larger audience wants to hear about your Black Friday deals, then plan any volume increases accordingly – slowly build to the volumes where you need to be.

Who should I be sending to?

Want more advice on email deliverability during the busy festive period? Get in touch with your account manager to set up a consultation.

For more killer insight, download our email deliverability guide here.

The post Email deliverability: make Black Friday about consent, not spam appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com