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 5 days ago from blog.dotmailer.com

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

These five email programs will make you stand out in the inbox

So, you’ve made the decision to take on an ecommerce connector using Commerce Flow or Magento, for instance; it’s all hooked up with dotmailer and ready to go. What next?

As with all data-driven marketing, your customer insight has to sit at the very heart of your email. This is particularly the case if you wish to move away from ‘batch and blast’ – or ‘spray and pray’ as I like to call it – to sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

An extension to this mantra is also “on the right channel”. With the recent acquisition of COMAPI, dotmailer customers now have more choice over the digital channels on which to convey marketing messages – but that’s a blog for another day.

Automation is a method that enables time-poor marketers to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. BUT, the triggers to enrol a subscriber onto an automation program (or the logic behind it) is all based on… Well you guessed it – data.

Hooking up your ecommerce platform with dotmailer ensures you get valuable transactional data into your email platform, empowering you to tailor the experience around the actions of subscribers.

So, I’ve collated the must-have automations that – regardless of what product you’re selling – should be at the top of your list. And once implemented, you can scope programs as per the industry or sector you’re operating in.

1. Welcome program

The welcome journey would be the first email contact you have with subscribers after they’ve signed up. As with the real world, you’ve only one shot to make a good impression, so make it count!

Your welcome program should set the tone of what subscribers will receive moving forward. A good starting place is a three-part series:

  • In the first email, thank your subscribers for signing up and reinforce the reasons why they did so in the first place – this is the prime time to shout about your USPs and the exclusive benefits of being opted-in.
  • As a follow up to the initial email, you should begin building your relationship with customers by telling them your brand story. Make sure subscribers understand your USPs and make your proposition as compelling as possible, recommending the most-viewed or most-purchased products on your site for instance.
  • Email three is the perfect opportunity to prompt subscribers to act. If they haven’t made their first purchase yet, encourage them to do so. If they have made their first purchase, ask them instead to fill in your preference center so you can further tailor their digital experience.

Charlotte Tilbury’s stylish welcome email provides subscribers with a backdrop to the brand and asks for details – such as hair color and skin tone – to drive relevant communications.

2. Post-purchase program

Now that subscribers have made their first purchase, it’s time to enrol them onto an aftersales program that communicates thanks and rewards them for their business with you over that of a competitor. It doesn’t have to be a discount (although research we’ve conducted with the Direct Marketing Association indicates that discounts and money offs are most effective); you can reinforce their decision was the right one by highlighting relevant customer testimonials and awarding loyalty points. Remember, reassurance (especially of an impulsive buy) goes a long way.

With every purchase that follows, customers can be automatically enrolled onto an aftersales program that collects product reviews and drives value-added content; both are likely to bolster UGC for other email programs and enrich your brand’s credibility.

Tangle Teezer does a great job of maximizing its customer loyalty with product-focused tips and inspiring UCG.

3. Abandoned cart

In my experience, this is the automation of automations. Abandoned cart is without a doubt the highest revenue-generating program I’ve come across. Subscribers – whether intentionally or unintentionally – leave their carts full and unattended; sending them a prompt reminder so that they ‘don’t miss out’ or even a cheeky discount (if it’s been a slow month) is guaranteed to produce great results.

I would experiment between a one- and three-stage abandoned cart program to see what works best for you. But be warned, some of the more savvier consumers will abandon their purchase intentionally to seek out a discount code, as they recognize that many brands will use it as incentive to recover lost carts.

Oliver Bonas tempts subscribers back to their cart using data-triggered notifications.

4. Loyalty program

Loyalty programs can be straightforward and help you generate the advocacy enjoyed by the likes of ASOS, winner of our 2017 benchmark report – Hitting the Mark.

The logic behind a loyalty program could be as simple as having the enrollment criteria set to customers’ average order value (AOV) or a minimum number of orders made in the last 6 months. Conditions to enroll might be an AOV that’s equal to or greater than £100, for instance.

An automation can be triggered when the rules you’ve set up have been met, informing loyal customers that they’ve qualified for membership in a special VIP club, and of their exclusive access to additional benefits or gifts.

Triggering this automation will update the relative ‘data-field’ within dotmailer, marking customers that have enrolled as ‘VIPs’. You can then leverage this insight to enrich the relevancy of your business-as-usual newsletters, using dynamic content to display extra information that’s exclusive to your more loyal customers.

Conversely, another automation could be built and triggered if customers’ AOV or number of orders (made over a certain period) are below the prerequisites of entering the VIP club; they’d be either encouraged to make a purchase or enrolled onto a winback program.

Ellisons drip-feeds discounts to customers as means to strengthen retention and inspire loyalty.

5. Re-engagement program

A re-engagement (or winback) program could be based on a period of subscriber inactivity – i.e. the last time subscribers have opened or clicked in an email. Pro:Direct, for example, prompts unengaged subscribers to remain in the loop or connect on other channels.

But in an ecommerce scenario, I’d base the criterion on when they last made a purchase.

If a number of days or months has elapsed and a subscriber hasn’t made a purchase, sending a ‘we miss you’ campaign is sure to rouse their engagement and compel them to act. Things to potentially include are some inspirational UGC, USPs, freebies or a discretionary discount.

Ready, set, go!

Once you’ve got these five automations in place, you’re well on the road to delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time. If you’d like more advice on tailoring automations to your business, please feel free to contact your account manager.

And for more automation inspiration, check out our best practice guide on growing your ecommerce business with email.

The post These five email programs will make you stand out in the inbox appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com

What are the benefits of email marketing?

For the uninitiated, the benefits of email marketing may not be immediately clear. In fact, even seasoned marketing pros may not immediately be able to identify the many advantages of email marketing over other marketing methods.

There are many reasons why we believe – and know – that email marketing is one of, if not the best performing marketing channels that is available out there, to every single brand and business on the planet.

Everyone you email already knows your brand or business

In order to contact someone and market to them via email, you need their express permission – this makes email the strongest tool in your marketing toolbox.

Everyone who receives your emails will have already purchased from you, or shown interest in your brand or business. Whether you’re an online ecommerce retailer that they’ve purchased goods from before, or a SaaS provider whose service or content they’ve interacted with and shown interest in, you should already have an existing relationship with them.

Of course, there are still some brands and businesses out there who don’t play by these rules, but GDPR means that everyone should be getting permission from everyone before the send them any marketing emails. Not only that, increasingly smarter inbox filtering means that fewer spam messages now make it to the inbox, instead being sent straight to the spam folder.

Now, email marketers who choose to ignore best practice advice or new rules will see their deliverability suffer, while those who abide by the rules and respect their subscribers will make it to the inbox.

What this means is that consumers can expect fewer irrelevant marketing messages, and brands and businesses can hopefully expect their marketing lists to be engaged with their content, because subscribers have said that they want to receive emails from them.

It’s easy to use

There was a time when you needed to have a solid understanding of HTML and CSS to build email templates, but those days are long behind us now.

While there’s still a thriving community of email designers and coders, who are pushing the envelope in terms of what email can do and look like, modern marketing platforms and services have given everyday marketers the tools to build and send email campaigns, quickly and easily.

These visual, drag-and-drop style editors make the turnaround time of a campaign much quicker than it used to be. It also gives smaller businesses and one-person marketing teams the ability to enter the email game.

And although it’s easy to use, email can be hard to master. Once you start using it, you’ll soon learn that the smarter you are with your email campaigns, the better your results become. The next step is one of the easiest and simplest ways that you can benefit from smarter email marketing.

Segmentation drives relevancy, which generates engagement

Relevancy is key with email marketing. The average consumer now receives over 100 marketing emails every week (DMA Marketer email tracker 2018), and with attention spans waning, you need to make sure your emails are cutting through the noise of the modern-day inbox.

This is where segmentation of your audience comes in. The ‘batch and blast’ method no longer works. You need to make sure that the emails you’re sending are useful and relevant to the recipient. So, by segmenting your email lists, and sending campaigns that are targeted to these segments, you’ll see better results.

Many people act on impulse

Impulse buyers have long been swayed into purchases by other forms of marketing, and email is no different.

By adding clear calls-to-action in your emails, you increase the chances of the recipient clicking through to your website and completing a sale. The easier you make it for the customer to buy something, the likelier they are to complete an order.

What’s more, if you’re segmenting your lists and sending targeted communications and campaigns, then the chances of generating a purchase from your email increase even more!

The possibilities are endless

You can do anything with your email marketing. While most email marketing campaigns are intended to sell, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the real benefits of using email marketing in your strategy is that you can use it to build and strengthen relationships with subscribers and customers.

From the moment someone signs up to your email list, and you (hopefully) send them a welcome email, there are endless possibilities for the types of email campaigns that you can send them. Think abandoned cart, browse, winback and loyalty.

This spans the full customer lifecycle – from acquisition to conversion, right through to retention and even advocacy, you can utilize email for the full journey.

You can accurately measure your success

One of the real advantages of using email marketing is that on most, if not all modern platforms, you can easily report on and measure the results of your email campaigns.

This makes it easy to see what’s working and what isn’t, and it also makes it a lot easier to highlight success and results for other areas of your business. If you’re having trouble getting buy-in to the importance of email marketing in your wider marketing strategy, then being able to produce accurate results is certainly one way of proving the importance of email.

Easy to use on a global scale

While most global marketing campaigns will be subject to subtle differences that make their execution difficult across different continents, email is – for the most part – exempt from this.

There will be the obvious challenges – different time zones, languages, and currencies will likely be the ones that crop up most – but, the real benefit of using email is that you can use it on a global scale with the minimum of fuss.

This is especially useful for brands and businesses looking to expand into different territories. In lieu of a physical store or office, email is a good starting point, even if it’s just to test the waters of international markets.

Scalable

Carrying on from the previous benefit of being useful on a global scale, email marketing is also scalable. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an email list of 1,000, or 10 million, you can still make email work in your marketing strategy.

The best advantage of using email is that your email marketing strategy can scale with the growth of your business. There are solutions out there for smaller businesses and startups, right the way up to enterprise, as well as omnichannel solutions for the large, multinational brands and businesses who have successfully built up a large global presence.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth

This goes hand-in-hand with the scalability of email marketing. Your use of email doesn’t have to cost more than you can afford. If you’re a small business or organization just starting on your email marketing journey, then there are several free or low-cost email marketing solutions available on the market which will be more than suitable for your needs.

When your email marketing strategy begins to grow along with your subscriber and customer lists, then there will always be appropriate email marketing software providers out there for you.

We know that dotmailer is a perfect example of this. Our platform is tailored for serious marketers who are well-versed in their email marketing strategy, and need the appropriate level of software features and strategic account management.

When the time comes to take your email marketing to the next level, you know where to find us.

ROI

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the real benefit of email marketing is the return on investment (ROI). £32 per £1 spent in the UK, and $30 Per $1 spent in the US is not to be laughed at.

In fact, ROI from email marketing has consistently outperformed other channels.

If you’re not already using email marketing, it’s easy to start. If it’s already part of your wider marketing strategy, you can use some of the tactics detailed above to gain an advantage over your competitors.

 

Just getting started with email marketing? Learn more about why first impressions count.

 

Already know your way around an email? Then find out why you should make time to save time with email marketing automation.

The post What are the benefits of email marketing? appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Harry Hall and email automation: realizing the value of a collaborative implementation

One brand that recognized this was Harry Hall, the renowned equestrian retailer and dotmailer client, who took steps to implement its first email automations with us. These included a welcome series, post-purchase program and a sequence of birthday emails.

As a serious marketer, email automation is your must-have tool to generate more engagement and revenue. It’s quick and simple to get started and you can easily scale your programs once you’ve got to grips with your first few. After the right amount of scoping, and once your first automations have gone live, you’ll start collecting valuable data and the revenue will begin trickling in.

Harry Hall’s story:

Harry Hall is admired by customers for its quality British clothing; every piece is skilfully tailored and further enriched by the brand’s strong heritage. From humble beginnings in the 1870s, Harry Hall has established itself as a prestigious brand in the equestrian world, its products renowned for their durability, practicality and comfort. The brand continues to live up to its original trading slogan: “Hall marked clothes are the best”. To achieve the same level of excellence in its email marketing, Harry Hall’s long-term focus is to create a seamless customer journey that effectively conveys the brand’s rich heritage and trumpets its high level of service.

Challenges:

With a manageable database at the time, Harry Hall was in a prime position to implement dotmailer and learn about its features; the objective was to grow the database and build out the customer journey throughout the year. However, a business decision left the brand with more data than it bargained for and – to get a handle on the new platform and streamline its email marketing – was in urgent need of a robust data-driven strategy.

Overcoming this challenge wasn’t going to be easy, so the brand sought strategic advice from Camilla Nightingale, director of Holbrook Digital Consultancy. Together they collaborated in scoping out the digital and data prerequisites for implementing an effective portfolio of email automation programs. Next came the implementation phase, which required guidance from the brand’s dotmailer Account Manager and Digital Program Manager.

Goals & Objectives:

The long-term goals for Harry Hall were clear from the very beginning: underline brand quality, demonstrate excellent customer service and showcase stylish and reliable products. Fundamentally, the brand had to tap into its higher life-time-value (LTV) clusters, nurture them at various stages of the cycle, and improve their customer experience. The ultimate objective was to generate more revenue and increase email ROI.

Camilla helped Harry Hall analyze its historical data to identify different clusters and their potential value. Her input was pivotal for the success of the project, steering the brand in the right direction in terms of business objectives and revenue prioritization.

Since day one, the Harry Hall team implemented Google Analytics to monitor the performance of automations and user response to incentives, as well as identify any uplifts in email metrics.

Collaborative automation build:

dotmailer’s ‘collaborative automation build’ session is a co-operative workshop – an interface between training and service – where specialists scope and build automation programs with clients. Although the session had capacity for three automation scopes, Harry Hall preferred to use the 10 hours allocated to the project to build and test programs collaboratively. In the long term, this resulted in more automations being built by Harry Hall as its staff were more confident in creating and testing new programs.

Sami Dabek – eCommerce Manager at Harry Hall – facilitated the project, making sure the various stakeholders had the right assets and technical resources in place to meet the tight deadlines. Sami was keen to learn how to design and test new flows, so she could take Harry Hall’s automations to the next level. Since the go-live date two weeks ago, she’d already independently deployed two new programs – a fantastic achievement.

Sami Dabek, eCommerce Manager at Harry Hall:

I found the collaborative approach was a great fit with our business needs. By working closely with our Project Manager and discussing the set-up of programs at each stage, I felt confident that after the project finished I had the knowledge to maintain these programs, and more importantly, create new ones!

The results:

Through close work with their Digital Program Manager & Account Manager, the Harry Hall team has gained a deeper understanding of the dotmailer platform; this has allowed team members to build and test programs confidently, efficiently and with ease.

Building up their portfolio of programs resulted in an increase in subscriber engagement for Harry Hall; contacts were filtered into relevant programs based on their data, meaning communications were personalized and contextual. The brand was pleased with the programs as they facilitated a memorable journey for customers from beginning to end.

Throughout the customer journey, the team reported a noticeable increase in ROI – a well-deserved result for Harry Hall. This uplift was indicative of the long-term gains from nurture programs (such as welcome and post-purchase), as well as short-term wins from implementing abandoned carts.

Being able to scale the knowledge curve so quickly and reap the rewards of automation has been a tremendous achievement for Harry Hall. The brand’s gone from zero to 100 in such a short amount of time and cites the collaborative session as the secret to its automation success.

What’s next?

Harry Hall has a great roadmap ahead and will continue refining current flows to improve performance over time. Build, measure, learn and repeat

 

Get started today!

The program builder is available in every dotmailer account and it’s super-easy to use. Here’s a link to our automation videos to show you how to get started.

 

Need inspiration?

Check out this case study to learn how Minor Entertainment Ltd. has automated many everyday tasks to increase efficiency and revenues.

Get your free copy of our ‘Making time to save time’ guide which’ll put you on the right path to successful marketing automation.

 

  • This blog was co-written by Marius D’Souza and Pamela Zoni, Account Manager and Digital Marketing Specialist at dotmailer.

The post Harry Hall and email automation: realizing the value of a collaborative implementation appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Repeat after me: I will make my email better in 2018!

Each December I traditionally write a predictions blog where I look at what has happened during the outgoing year and look to the year ahead. It is a fun thought exercise that usually involves the team kicking around various ideas of what will happen in the following year. The challenge is always finding the balance between practical stuff that you know will come true, the things that you hope come to pass and the really interesting stuff that would only happen if life were a J.J. Abrams film. Back in December we did the thought exercise and I took copious notes, but it looked just like last year’s predictions and those from the year before that. So instead of predictions, let’s set some goals for 2018 that we will aim to achieve together.

Resolution 1 – Crawl, walk, run

Some of the emerging technology in marketing is really cool (AI, VR, Omnichannel, etc.), but this year we must resist our natural magpie instincts and not chase after the shiny new thing until we are getting the basics right in the channels we currently use.

Resolution 2 – Testing

That said, we want to be able to leverage these new technologies. Whether it is getting the basics right or deciding which new technology to employ, we need to get better at testing by following these four simple rules:

  1. Test the big things first
  2. Clearly define what you are testing
  3. Test one thing at a time
  4. Measure the test with a metric that is as close to your desired outcome as practical to get a meaningful result in a timely manner

Resolution 3 – Reporting more than opens and clicks

Opens and clicks are great process metrics. They are great at telling you how a particular campaign performed, and they allow for easy comparison between campaigns. For almost all of us however, we do not make any money from opens or clicks. In fact, of more than 4,000 dotmailer customers, I only know of one that makes money from opens (they are in publishing). The rest of us on the other hand, need to drive sales either directly or indirectly to make money. We need to start measuring the success of our marketing efforts based on how they are driving sales not based on whether a message drove the most clicks.

Resolution 4 – Write better copy

The reality is that most of us are marketing professionals writing our copy and NOT copywriting professionals. This has become the standard across all digital channels and while we could argue the whys, we cannot argue that our copy is not as good as it could be. Copywriting is a craft and like any craft it takes talent, skill and time to do well. I am not saying that marketing professionals cannot write good copy but, in 2018, we should commit to writing better copy. One of the easiest ways we can make our copy better is by following through on resolution 2 and testing different copy styles, lengths etc. We also need to spend more time working on our copy, from subject lines to alt tags.

Resolution 5 – Focus on what we can achieve with the budget and resources we have

The final resolution is going to be tougher. We need to change our view from ‘glass half empty’ to ‘glass half full.’ Let’s not dwell on what we cannot do but rather celebrate what we can. Let’s not get hung up on changes to consumer attitudes, changes to local regulations or political factors we cannot control. The 2017 Hitting the Mark report clearly showed us that both the brands with whom we compete and the brands we aspire to emulate are not smashing it. If we focus on the first four resolutions the foundations will be laid to allow us to go after the new technologies, channels and tactics.

The post Repeat after me: I will make my email better in 2018! appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Let’s talk about email best practice

Despite all the quirky new ways to promote your brand, email continues to be the most effective and influential.

What makes email so powerful today?

Email is a fast and direct way to reach your customers, wherever they are and on whatever device they’re on. You can adapt email campaigns easily to suit your target market’s needs. It’s super cost-effective and – most importantly – it can be highly personalized and targeted (e.g. through web behavior, order history and preferences). What’s more, campaigns with a cool design and relevant message will not only influence online activity but offline behavior as well, such as driving customer purchases in store.

The channel’s also highly measurable – you can see instant results through real-time tracking of opens, clicks and ROI. This insight allows you to analyze performance and – in understanding what works and what doesn’t – optimize your strategy.

There are many statistics that indicate how much businesses and customers value email:

  • 75% of companies agree that email offers ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)
  • Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020 (The Radicati Group, 2016)

Top Tips

These simple tactics will make sure you stand out to recipients – over and above your competitors – in a crowded inbox.

1. Avoid the ‘dead zone’ of subject lines

Keep it short, keep it snappy, and keep it relevant. Long, uninspiring subject lines will likely disengage readers and prevent them from opening. Check out our cheatsheet which features some great subject line examples.

2. Always personalize your emails

Why? The key objective of an email is to build a relationship with subscribers. There’s an abundance of data to leverage: their name, their preferences, their actions. Perhaps send them an offer which relates to their buying history or web browsing behavior. Brands that value customers’ needs will always prevail.

3. Make sure your emails are optimized across all devices

The look-and-feel of your email is so important and it needs to be consistent when it’s opened on a mobile, tablet or on different email clients (e.g. Outlook, Apple Mail etc.). Make sure your template is mobile-optimized and designed by experts. First impressions count, and email is certainly no exception.

4. Be targeted and avoid batch-and-blast

Too much information at once can overload the recipient and strip engagement away from your product/service offering and organization…. disaster! Analyze your email opens, pinpoint your send time optimization and then maintain consistency in your sending. B2Bs for instance might find it more effective to send emails during weekday mornings, whereas B2C brands may see better results by emailing on a Thursday evening or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

5. Leverage rich customer insight to drive automation

A consistently engaged customer is the dream! And how do you convert your subscribers into engaged brand advocates? The answer is data-driven automation. There are so many clever things you can do with email these days. You can understand what your customers like, dislike; what they want and need. What’s more, the technology is there for you to understand their behavior too.

 

Your key takeaway?

It’s impossible to please everyone, but as a serious marketer you can be clever. I would love to say that a sexy-looking campaign is all you need, but the devil’s in the data. It’s not about one element but rather the bigger picture. Implementing just a few of the above suggestions will help you on your way to sending out the right emails, to the right people, at the right time.

If you would like to hear more information about the power of automation, then please contact your account manager.

The post Let’s talk about email best practice appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Make email automation the backbone of your B2B marketing strategy

Not too long ago, our in-house consultant Gavin Laugenie hosted a dotlive on the top 5 automation programs B2B companies should be doing, the reasons why and the results you can expect to yield from them. Below are the top 5 ROI-generating automation programs with tips on how to approach them.

1. Welcome program

Your welcome program is your chance to make a lasting impression; thank customers for engaging, set the expectations for the relationship and provide some valuable content to get the ball rolling.

  • Give your contacts a good first impression of your brand by outlining the types of communications they’re likely to receive
  • Use this as an opportunity to find out more about their interests through a preference center; in aggregating this valuable insight you can build a strong profile of subscribers and power relevant content that’ll keep them engaged

2. Product-based program

Your product-focused program allows you to personalize marketing communications depending on the stage contacts are at in the purchasing cycle. Push different types of content that resonate with them, supercharging their engagement and intent to buy.

  • Understand where people are in the buying journey
  • Timing is key: find out the optimum time of sending an email
  • Make sure the campaign is responsive on different devices and is easily readable/scannable
  • Relevancy of content: include dynamic content where possible (people have different reasons for buying). Segment based on data-fields and email behavior you hold on subscribers

3. Nurture program

Your nurture program is an essential component of your marketing strategy; drive valuable content to your subscribers on a steady basis to convert them at the right time. Contextualizing your messages is key.

  • Planning is crucial; you must be aware of what contacts will receive at each stage
  • Understand the results – use reporting to stay informed on how your emails are performing, helping you identify what’s working and what isn’t
  • Use contact scoring to understand customers. Identify those who are receptive and who aren’t; it’s much more cost-effective to keep a client happy rather than to win them back or acquire a new one

4. Retention program

Maximize customer longevity with your retention program. Drive key benefits – placing your brand front-of-mind – and you’ll strengthen existing customer relationships and foster true advocacy.

  • Give customers a reason to stay, what are the benefits?
  • Reward them for their loyalty
  • Perhaps even include a win-back strategy if they have an ‘at risk’ status, for example (our contact scoring tool can help you easily identify this)

5. Event program

An event program reinforces all your other marketing automation efforts. Spark interest among your subscribers by promoting events that complement their preferences through segmentation.

  • Segment your data based on geo-location and areas of interest; it’ll provide insight on who to target and help reduce no-shows
  • Perhaps give them an attendee status – make them feel special enough to want to attend and flag those who have already been to an event
  • Always ask for feedback and learn what you’re doing/not doing well to continuously improve and encourage attendance

 

You may already be aware of the above points, however it should help reinforce why these programs are important, how to approach them and the results you’re likely to expect.

If you would like more information on the types of automation programs you could implement, please contact your account manager or download our best practice guide on unlocking the power of B2B automation.

The post Make email automation the backbone of your B2B marketing strategy appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Email marketing is evolving and knowing your KPIs is more important than ever

KPIs or key performance indicators are becoming ever more integral to the reporting and analysis of email marketing.

There are many reasons why email KPIs are a must, but most importantly:

  • they make it easier for you to align your efforts with wider department/company objectives
  • they help you define success, benchmark against tangible goals and track what works and what doesn’t – so you’ll know what to repeat, and what to never do again!

It’s important to embrace KPIs and view them as a valuable means to drive success rather than pinpoint failure, both individual and company-wide. Metrics help you make sense of all your marketing efforts, putting you in a better position to optimize activities so they contribute highly to overall business growth. 90% of executives surveyed in a recent Return Path report believe that their email marketing strategy is successful in achieving wider business objectives.

A great way to plan your KPIs is to use the SMART planning methodology – this will ensure that metrics are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. These are all pre-requisites in achieving value from your KPI process.

SMART

Specific – rather than say that you’ll focus on increasing open rates, say by how much i.e. “we aim to increase unique open rates by 5%”

Measurable – make sure you can measure the results of your efforts – luckily with email, just about everything is trackable!

Achievable – set goals which are a stretch and will require hard work, but which aren’t unrealistic. KPIs should be met continuously; falling at the first hurdle will just encourage a deviation from your core objectives

Realistic – think about ways you can turn your goals into reality. If we consider the increase in open rates example, think about how you would go about boosting this metric, via tools such as send time optimization and subject line testing

Timely – give yourself enough time to achieve your KPIs, but not so much time that they lack a sense of urgency and become redundant

Email marketing objectives

When putting KPIs into place, it’s important to understand your core email marketing objectives. The likely ones are:

  • Driving ROI
  • Maximizing conversions (downloads, demo requests, event registrations, purchases etc.)
  • Increasing list growth (i.e. organic: website, in-store)
  • Increasing opens and click throughs
  • Promoting social sharing
  • Reducing bounces
  • Decreasing unsubscribes

Of these objectives, ROI tends to be the most crucial for key stakeholders. However, as they’re all interconnected with revenue growth, it’s advisable to measure them individually so that you can better judge your email performance. According to Return Path, 67% of top executives surveyed in its report believe that conversions are the most useful KPI for measuring email success, followed by ROI and click throughs.

KPIs will be different for every single business. Start with your top-level goals, filter down to objectives and then set granular metrics that benchmark your success. Email is widely considered as the most effective online channel, essential in funnelling sales and driving revenue. Many will therefore have a vested interest, so it’s more important than ever to track and optimize its performance.

The post Email marketing is evolving and knowing your KPIs is more important than ever appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 4 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

How to tap into the consumer’s psyche with your email marketing campaigns

You don’t need to have studied psychology or consumer behavior to know that human beings have both an emotive and rational side. Our process is essentially reactive, then proactive. We eat with our eyes, don’t we?

In an interesting article by Nielson Norman Group, Kahneman describes two specific ‘modes’ in which people process information – System 1 is our involuntary and automatic self, whereas System 2 is our attentive and analytical self. By default, the former is fast and effortless, whereas the latter is “slow and effortful”.

This psychology can easily be applied to email marketing, as our response to a campaign (i.e. open, click, purchase) is indicative of many factors: first our brain will register emotionally and then rationally; this occurs without us even registering. Therefore, as marketers it’s important to get the look and feel of an email just right, along with delivering content that’s super-relevant to the recipient. These elements are the make-up of a successful campaign that encourages the user or customer to take the desired action.

Putting this knowledge into practice requires a careful balancing act; as email marketers, we’ll often major on trying to capture our audience’s emotions, but this comes at a price if we forget to cater to their rational side.

3 tricks on how to seduce the consumer’s emotional side

Beautiful email design – sexy creative will tap into System 1 – and builds a strong foundation for System 2. A well-design email trumpets brand credibility and strengthens trust amongst subscribers. According to the Nielson Group, UX design (be that a website, email, social etc.) determines the credibility of a brand in 50 milliseconds. Similarly, the attention span of so-called ‘digital surfers’ – those that adopt a multi-channel browsing approach – is around 8 seconds. It’s therefore important that your email is polished and concise, while being 100% on-brand. If you’re wondering how you can go about optimizing your brand’s email design, we’ve got a free cheatsheet which’ll send you in the right direction.

Stunning images and a powerful call-to-action (CTA) – for a positive action to occur, imagery and CTAs must be eye-catching. Although images are said to speak a thousand words, it’s key that they complement your copy to signpost the reader and aid scannability. If you get the former right, you’ll set things up nicely for the all-important CTA. The CTA needs to be well-positioned, inviting, and not alarming. Nielson details the positive and negative outcomes of CTAs, depending on how our System 1 interprets them. For instance, avoid fierce, ‘in-your-face’ CTAs in favor of subtle yet influential ones. Too many variations, colors and options can cause disorientation, negative impressions and unnecessary delay. Minimal ingredients drive better conversions – so don’t over-complicate it!

Relevant friendly from name and a personalized subject line – personalization will always tap into our emotive side – but remember, getting it wrong can cause upset and belittle the overall message. Ensure that your data is top-notch, your segments are set up correctly, and you’ve tested the personalized elements of your email (such as subject line, pre-header text and dynamic content, etc.). Consistency is also key if you’re trying to build brand trust, so ensure that your friendly from name is recognizable throughout your email communications.

3 tips on how to win the consumer’s rationale

Granular segmentation and targeting – brands should tailor messages to subscribers’ interests to ensure the fluidity between their emotional and rational side – otherwise they’ll fail to engage in future. We ultimately want people’s System 1 to override their System 2 – i.e. the relevancy of the message will avoid scrutinization and suspicion. Segmentation and targeting is therefore your best friend; never forget the mantra of email marketing: the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Superb content – according to Email Acid, 80% of your audience is scanning – rather than reading – your email. This ties in with the time-sensitive nature of online channels. Your content needs to be on point and you can do this through a combination of personalization: by crafting copy that oozes personality (reflecting your brand’s tone of voice) and good formatting that lets your content breathe. And, if you can make your email relevant to moments in your customers’ lives, you’ll be winning. Check out our cheatsheet on how to nail your copy.

An irresistible offering – to engage with email, there needs to be something worthwhile for the recipient, or else their System 1 will lose momentum and their System 2 will wield rationality. Consequently, it’s necessary for brands to scope the product offering in a way that reflects the needs of consumers and provides them with a solution to their pain points. This could be anything from an anti-wrinkle face cream (I’m in my 50s and anti-ageing cream is one of my preferences), to a whitepaper on healthcare (I’m a senior social researcher), to an undergraduate degree course in History (I’m a prospective History student).

 

As an email marketer, it’s your job to captivate the subscriber, and prolong that captivity for as long as it takes to drive a positive action or conversion – all the while affirming brand loyalty. It’s important to iterate that the success of your email marketing is ultimately up to the psychology of the end recipient and how they process the message you’ve sent them. Although there’s always an element of logic in our response to an email campaign, emotion is – nine times out of ten – at the steering wheel.

For more key takeaways on how to master email psychology, check out our whitepaper.

The post How to tap into the consumer’s psyche with your email marketing campaigns appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 4 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com