Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack

dotmailer recently gathered at the inaugural Shopify Plus meetup in New York City for an evening of fun, networking and education on this very topic. We brought together some big minds and bright ideas from retailers Minbie, dormify and Campus Protein to touch on firsthand lessons learned when negotiating contracts, getting the most out of your partner/vendor support teams, and learning about best-of-breed Shopify Plus technology partners (including Nosto, Addressy and TVPage).

The panel theme ‘Picking Your Ideal Tech Stack’ was moderated by Ben Staveley, dotmailer’s VP of Operations. One of the common pain points shared by the merchants was that they all have relatively small teams that need to wear a lot of hats. They offered some valuable tips that businesses of all sizes should consider when evaluating a technology solution.

When evaluating partners and their technology solutions, Russell Saks, CEO & Founder, Campus Protein, said:

The product needs to be one that is fairly intuitive. Before we actually schedule a demo it needs to be something that we are highly considering. Time is valuable and what typically follows is a lot of sales calls. We also evaluate what kind of extra customization we can add to an out-of-the-box piece of software. This allows us to have a better fit for our business and also gives us a competitive advantage. You have to remember everyone has the same access to the software that you do so it’s really how you utilize and fit it into your business that will truly give you that edge.

Our VP of Operations, Ben Staveley

Nicole Gardner, Chief Operating Officer, dormify suggested:

As partners evolve, others become irrelevant. We are always watching this so we are not wasting time/money as a company on non-performers. Look not just at what the tool does, but what is planned, how quickly the vendor/partner is releasing new features, and how often they have in the past. We expect everyone to be regularly releasing new features – in this day and age, an aggressive roadmap is essential.

 

According to Torquhil Anderson, Co Founder, Minbie:

There is always the temptation to gravitate towards the shiny new thing. Avoid this by applying a framework to rank which tools will actually move the needle most for your business. Once you have made your decision, don’t deliberate, just get in there and get your hands dirty. It’s only through testing the platform that you will truly see whether it adds value to your business.

To summarize the evening, merchants are looking to evaluate solutions that deliver the best ROI and those that continue to evolve as the needs of their eCommerce businesses evolve. For more information, check out why merchants are moving to Shopify Plus.

Not just education, we also said fun, right? Some refreshing Tipsy Scoop ice cream was a welcome treat on this hot summer night shared by many of our friends, partners and colleagues. We look forward to the next outing!

The post Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?

I … Continue reading “Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?”

The post Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility? appeared first on OutreachMama.

Reblogged 2 months ago from www.outreachmama.com

5 of the best landing page designs I’ve seen (and why)

Let’s take length, for example. When it comes to landing page best practice, we know that both short and long forms perform well; it all depends on whether you want to generate a lot of (potentially) lower quality form submissions, or a smaller number of higher quality submissions.

Every page on your website needs to have a strategy, quantitative goals and a very specific business orientation to help your site to be found and to drive leads for your company.  Each of these pages needs to have a role in the prospect’s buyer journey. You want to have pages for people in the awareness stage, in the consideration stage and in the decision-making stage. This is where your landing pages come into play…

So, what is the difference between a landing page and a website? Landing pages are a form of a web page. They are usually intended for a very specific purpose such as a sign-up. The key difference is that they are simplified and have no distractions like websites do.

What makes a successful landing page?

I’ve listed 5 examples of the companies I consider having nailed their landing page design and the reasons why. If you want to improve upon your landing page design and strategy, it’s helpful to know what makes a great one and I’ve scoured the internet to devise this shortlist.

Zendesk

I like Zendesk’s Free Trial landing page because it’s simple in both copy and design. The two things that really stand out on the page are the CTA buttons and the egg drawing at the top; I like the way it wiggles as though it’s about to crack open. The form itself is simple and only requires a work email address and a password to create an account.

H.Bloom

This landing page is simply stunning and is a perfect example of just standing back and enjoying the simplicity and beauty. H.Bloom uses high-resolution photography and lots of white space, making it a pleasure to look at.

Beauty aside, the page has some great conversion elements; an ATF form, a clear and concise description of what will happen when you fill out the form, and a bright orange “submit” button.

Shopify

Shopify’s trial landing page keeps it simple. The user-oriented headline is just a few words and the page relies on simple bullets, not paragraphs, to communicate the trial’s details and benefits. There are only a few fields you need to fill out before you get started; all of this makes it easier for you to get to the point – selling online with their tool.

To top it off, this landing page looks gorgeous on any device you’re using. Responsive design for the win!

Barbour

Beachcomber Competition – May 2017

I loved the high-end photography and simple layout of this Barbour landing page, which was part of a competition the brand ran during May 2017. They were not afraid of using white space and followed a very structured grid system. The logo took a prominent position of top centre, with the image and text sitting side by side. The instruction is clear and the form is short so not to detract the end user. And who wouldn’t want to be in with a chance of winning Barbour products?

Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is one of the most evocative brands in the world and I’m proud that they’ve made my top 5. The combination of interactive imagery, dropdown answer fields and checkboxes make the landing page succinct and provides a slick UX, thus giving users more time to tinker with their Harley. What I love most about this landing page is the edgy black and white styling; it’s striking and totally on brand.

Want some more landing page guidance?

Get a copy of our free landing pages guide which is full of best practice tips and inspiration.

The post 5 of the best landing page designs I’ve seen (and why) appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 5 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Tools and tips for data best practice

When sitting down to devise an email marketing strategy, it is always best to start from the very beginning. Review the core component of all emails: data; specifically the email address. Where has it come from? How did you get it? How clean is it?

Great quality data can act as rocket fuel to your email campaigns, which is no surprise when data sits at the core of all one-to-one marketing. But equally, bad data can severely affect your deliverability, particularly in light of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is just around the corner.

Now would be the best time to review your data hygiene. Here are three dotmailer tools and tips to put you on the road to data best practice:

Watchdog

The Watchdog acts as the trusted guardian for your data when importing into dotmailer. Although the responsibility for the data very much remains with you (the data owner), the Watchdog screens all data imported into the platform and flags any questionable or risky content in order to protect your sender reputation.

It protects you on two levels:

  1. The Watchdog protects you from sending emails to any questionable data that’s been uploaded, ensuring high inbox placement and deliverability nurture.
  2. It also protects you from being affected by any other users sending to questionable data.

In summary, he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight A Data Watchdog.

GSL

Data can and will decay if it’s not properly monitored, soiling your once pristine database; the recipient could have moved companies; perhaps they’re a B2B organisation and have changed name; it could even be that the recipient has abandoned their email addresses, due to the sheer volume of emails they receive.

Continuing to send to these email addresses is dangerous for your business. At best, you’re delivering emails that go unopened, or that are hard-bouncing. At worst, the email address is reclaimed and turned into a spam trap – and you could quite easily be blacklisted.

This is where the dotmailer’s Global Suppression List (GSL) comes into play. It scans your existing database against a list of known bad email addresses and can suppress these before they do any damage to your sending reputation. You can regularly use the GSL to clean up your data – find out how to do so by clicking here.

Sun Setting Policies

The last item on the agenda is implementing sun-setting policies for long-term un-engaged customers. In essence, what you are doing is filtering your database of all the contacts that have not opened your emails for a set period to answer the question: ‘Does the recipient still want to receive my emails?’

You could reach out and ask them the following:

  • If they want to continue being a subscriber
  • Ask them to manage their email preferences
  • Show them some love with a discount or special incentive

If they still don’t open or respond the next question should be: ‘Are they really receiving any value from me?’ Your communications aren’t improving your relationship with this customer and, if anything, are probably having a negative impact. Maybe it is time to send a ‘We’ll miss you, but good bye for now’ email. This communication informs the customer that you’ll be removing them from your marketing communications to avoid any potential annoyance, which in turn, saves you sending any more emails that don’t add value to the customer (also a great way to avoid sending to a recycled spam trap). Be sure to include a link to your preference center and, perhaps, a direct newsletter signup box, so that the customer can reengage at any time.

Adopting these tools and tips demonstrates you take data hygiene seriously by keeping your data as clean as possible within dotmailer. Being pro-active and giving your recipients a choice demonstrates responsibility and builds trust. However, as laws and legislation concerning data evolve, so will the road to data best practice. It’s important to keep up to date with new rules and regulations.

Ultimately, keeping your customer at the heart of everything you do will ensure you stay above board and can continue to provide extraordinary brand experiences.

To find out more on deliverability best practice, take a look at our 5 minute cheatsheet!

 

The post Tools and tips for data best practice appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 8 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups

For your email newsletters to be effective, you need to reach a wide audience and appear relevant to all of the people in it. But the first step is to convince people to join your mailing list, by standing out in the sea of online marketers.

Opt-ins

Opt-ins are the gold standard of increasing sign-ups: they give your target audience the ability to choose whether or not to sign up for your email newsletter. They also provide you with numerous ways to lure people in, including:

  • On-page opt-ins: this option prompts site visitors to sign up while they’re browsing a page on your site.
  • Slide-up opt-ins: this opt-in slides up from the bottom of a website. It is minimally intrusive, can be displayed on every page, and gives the site visitor the option of closing it or responding.
  • Pop-ups: Popovers are everywhere, and for good reason—they work! With the right online tool, you can customize these pop-ups and decide what pages they appear on, when they appear and who they display for. They can take on many forms, including:
    • Standard pop-up stating the benefits of joining the list
    • Incentivized pop-up
    • Discount-led pop-up
    • Shopping cart-abandonment pop-up, encouraging the user to create an account

Remember, it’s important that no matter what type of opt-in you use, you should provide your subscribers with a double opt-in option. This means they not only opt in when they see the initial offer, but also they receive an email confirmation that they want to receive your newsletter.

By doing this, you are ensuring a loyal online newsletter reader who is more likely to remain subscribed and engaged. Additionally, it will reduce the number of people marking your email newsletters as spam.

Landing pages

Often, a potential subscriber wants to see what you have to offer before they make a decision to sign up for your email newsletter. You can create a landing page that’s specifically designed to show users what the benefits are for subscribers.

One of the best aspects of the email-specific landing page is you can direct all external traffic to this page, whether they are from web searches, social media, blogs, or another source. Keep this page short and sweet and let people know what they will be receiving in their inbox. Examples of what you can offer them include:

  • Coupons
  • Weekly tips
  • Product reviews
  • Interviews with experts
  • DIY/how-to guides
  • Anything else you include in your newsletter

Whether users are directed to these email-specific landing page or to other parts of your website, be sure to have call-to-action (CTA) buttons on every page. Doing so means you don’t miss out on any potential subscriber, no matter where on your site they’re browsing.

Offers

You can increase the number of sign-ups you have simply by giving potential subscribers special offers. These offers come in many forms and can be introduced on a range of platforms (e.g. your social media accounts), such as:

  • Coupons
  • Courses and webinars
  • Content downloads, such as whitepapers
  • Contests/sweepstakes
  • Rewards
  • Surveys
  • Referral offers

The key to online newsletter effectiveness is to be creative and use the technology at your disposal. The more distinctive you make each of these methods, the more successful you’ll be in gathering those engaged subscribers.

Check out our free list acquisition cheatsheet for more advice on collecting email addresses for your database.

The post Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 10 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com