15 Black Friday marketing hacks to drive more sales

Over the course of three weeks we’ve written a three-part blog series on the best Black Friday marketing hacks to smash your sales targets. The first blog outlined the first nine hacks, while the second blog revealed another 13. Now we’ve released the final 15 to get your final marketing preparations in gear.

You can get quick access to all 37 Black Friday marketing hacks here.

1. Skip the early morning madness

Like the early morning commute, battling crowds in the inbox can prove futile. Remember that Black Friday is, more so than on any other day, a numbers game. What’s the likelihood that this customer is going to open – let alone see – my email over my competitor’s? Our advice is to hold tight as the chaos ensues and wait for the right moment to pounce: your chances of getting noticed will increase from noon onward.

2. Find your hook

Maybe it’s a hidden discount or limited product range? Play on human curiosity so that subscribers can’t resist clicking through to discover your mystery offer. Think specific and unique. If your store stocks something artisan or handcrafted, drive the exclusivity factor. There’s no better incentive that prompts people to buy than something special.

3. Create a referral campaign

Referrals are one of the most trusted forms of advertising because people value the experiences of others. It stems from the theory of collective opinion: the psychological circumstance in which we reference the behaviors of others to guide our own decision-making (i.e. a purchase). Referred customers can be a great driver of brand loyalty and deliver even greater ROI than other customers. For your refer-a-friend program to go viral, make it irresistible and time-sensitive.

4. Make it fun – de-stress the experience

Who doesn’t like a party? Cue the music, snacks, and drinks for some festive fun! Physical stores that don’t embrace the festivities are lackluster places which won’t cut the mustard on Black Friday. Email your subscribers and make some noise on social media to get the word out.

5. Give back

Ethical marketing may be a competitive advantage in business, but that shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s about doing something decent. Think humanity over profit. Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia hit the nail on the head back in 2016: The brand donated 100% of its Black Friday sales to grassroots organizations working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards. If that doesn’t scream ethical brand, then who knows what does.

Find out more ethical marketing techniques in our customer engagement white paper here.

6. Bundle products together

Maximize the amount customers are willing to spend on Black Friday. Group complementary products – items that go well together. Use ‘complete the set’ or ‘complete the look’ as a CTA. Do this on your website, over email, and on social. It’s a sure-fire way to upsell and increase AOV on Black Friday.

7. Reward your social media fans

Grab your share of today’s growing social media engagement. Social is a viral platform perfect for sharing consecutive special discounts and exclusive content during the Black Friday period. Oh, and don’t forget to hashtag. #BlackFriday

8. Offer specific exclusive discounts

Making your offer as specific and exclusive as possible will differentiate your brand from the pack. The frustrating thing about Black Friday for marketers is that brands are practicing the same tactics, which means it’s even harder to get heard. So maybe offer 35% off selected products or 25% off everything for email subscribers only.

9. Provide members-only discounts

Exclusivity goes a long way on Black Friday. Sure, you’ll be running campaigns across your entire database, but don’t forget to target different groups with different offers. If you’re part of an exclusive group, like a membership or subscription, you’d expect something special during the holidays. So, don’t disappoint. Amazon is a great example: this brand offers special money-off discounts to Prime Members.

10. Offer an incentive to spend more

Sounds crazy since you’re already offering bargains left, right, and center. But adding a small incentive to boost spend at the check-out can increase AOV across the board. Free shipping and next-day delivery (on orders over a certain amount) are great ways to tempt customers to add on some extra items at the checkout.

11. Make your offers time-sensitive to drive urgency

Everything in the run-up to Black Friday is for a limited time only, but there’s always a way to spice things up. Use an hourglass GIF to emphasize your promotion’s time limit in email. If you’re really data-savvy, you could even use advanced personalization to trigger an individual countdown that activates on email open.

12. Rescue abandoned carts

82% of carts were abandoned online on Black Friday 2018 in the U.S. (Barilliance). So, if you’re not already triggering cart recovery emails, then you’re leaving serious money on the table! Cost-effective and easy to implement, this program runs like clockwork to recoup lost revenue.

13. Extend the season

Extend beyond Black Friday to encompass Cyber Monday and further. Why not prolong your campaigns to acquire new customers throughout the whole week after Cyber Monday? You’ll be able to reach people faster and easier. And don’t forget the people that avoid Black Friday, who you can target once all the chaos has died down.

14. Stay open late

There are only 24 hours in a day. Milk it.

15. Go the extra mile

Do something that puts a smile on customers’ faces. For example, as Cyber Monday draws to a close, send your subscribers a voucher that they can claim then and there, but redeem whenever they want to. No urgency, and no strings attached.


You made it!

A huge ‘well done!’ if you actually read through all 37 tips across the three Black Friday marketing hacks blogs. You’re taking your holiday marketing seriously, and so you should be – there’s a hefty amount of revenue at stake. So why not adopt some new ideas that can make a real difference to your results? And remember, if you need help with campaign planning, program builds, or creative work, the dotdigital team is always on hand to lend a hand.

Don’t forget your free cheatsheet here for all 37 Black Friday marketing hacks.

The post 15 Black Friday marketing hacks to drive more sales appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Managing SMS marketing sends: Flicking the switch from fast to slow

Because of that, we pride ourselves at dotdigital on helping you get your campaigns out lightening fast.

So, perhaps it seems a tad strange that we’d introduce a feature that slows our SMS sends down…

But hear us out.

Managing replies from campaigns

Marketing isn’t always just about the speed of getting your campaigns out. What’s more important than getting your campaigns out quickly? Getting back to customers that have reached out to you, quickly. Why? We live in a scary world where 90% of customers expect an immediate response when they have a customer services question. And by immediate, I’m talking 10 minutes.

If you combine that stat with the fact that SMS open rates are 95% within five minutes of receiving, it gets even scarier. But just like any time-sensitive event, this is something you can cash in on. Sending out an SMS campaign that nearly all of your customers open in the first five minutes opens up a whole load of opportunities: questions, interactions, engagements. That’s what marketing is all about.

The problem arises however when you don’t have a small army, ready and waiting, at the helm of your customer service team. Let’s face it, who does? But remember, you have 10 minutes. And not just 10 minutes to get back to one customer, but tens or hundreds or even thousands of customers. Oh no, your campaign wasn’t just average – it was super-successful. At the 20-minute mark, when you’re drowning in customer engagement, you might even start to chastise yourself for being such a great marketer.

It’s all about engagement, not just broadcast

Customers have so many touchpoints with brands these days. They can call, use chat, and email. And let’s not forget social media of course. As customers ourselves, we’ve all cheekily jumped on Twitter or web chat to ask a brand a question, knowing that the pressure is on for them to get back to us quickly. After 7 minutes of refreshing or checking each second to see if they’ve replied yet, you’re tired and frustrated. And I bet having customers who are feeling tired and frustrated is not the outcome you intended when you sent out your campaign?

This wealth of engagement is good, and it’s a good problem to have. But that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t take control. This is where slowing things down can have its benefits. Sometimes sending out your campaign at a staggered pace that allows you to properly answer your customers’ questions and engage with them quickly is the best thing.

Site traffic: too much of a good thing!

It isn’t just customer service teams that struggle under the weight of a campaign that hits too many people at once. With Black Friday just over a week away, retailers should take note. Last year, US retailer J.Crew’s website crashed on Black Friday due to unexpectantly high traffic, leading to an estimated $700k loss in sales… ouch. And they weren’t alone. Walmart and Lululemon were among other well-known brands that suffered the same fate.

Dare I say all these brands should have done something to try and stagger visitors to their site? Of course, staggering a campaign is harder to do on Black Friday. I get it. Let’s be honest, you’ll spend weeks in the lead up prepping customers to visit your site on that day rather than just sending out one isolated campaign on the morning of Black Friday. This is not your first rodeo. But it again proves the point that sometimes marketers need more control. Sometimes you want to slow things down to focus on quality for every customer, rather than actively encouraging every customer to engage with you at exactly the same time. 

The solution?

Clearly, it’s all about quality interactions with all your customers. And to help with that, why not try our new SMS throttling feature that lets you send out your campaigns slowly over a period of up to 24 hours? Picture this: a happy customer service team, a website that never crashes, a happy boss who hasn’t just lost $700k in revenue, and you, with a coffee in hand and maybe even enough time to sneak a cheeky peek at the Black Friday sales on your lunch break. Bliss!


Want more guidance on SMS marketing this holiday season? Download our awesome SMS white paper here. It’s jam-packed with all the SMS campaigns you should be sending in the run-up to Christmas.

The post Managing SMS marketing sends: Flicking the switch from fast to slow 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

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

Take the 2019 Local Search Marketing Industry Survey

Posted by MiriamEllis

We couldn’t do it without you! In 2018, over 1,400 marketers responded to our State of Local SEO industry survey. We all learned so much from your responses about the day-to-day realities of marketing local businesses. This year, we can do even better because your answers will give us all valuable comparative data to analyze, YoY.

Who can take the survey?

Anyone who markets local businesses in any way is eagerly invited. Whether you market a single location, work for an agency with some local business clients, or are an in-house SEO for a brand with thousands of locations, we would love your participation! Whether you do just a little local search marketing or a lot, are a novice or an adept, your insights have value.

What is the survey about?

Unlike a typical local ranking factors poll, The Local Search Marketing Industry Survey digs deep into marketers’ experiences with tactics, challenges, clients, Google, and the working environment. For example, we learned last year that:

  • 90% of respondents felt Google’s emphasis on proximity was detrimental to SERP quality
  • 62% felt there aren’t enough quality local search marketing training materials available
  • 60% lacked a comprehensive review management strategy
  • 49% felt utilization of Google Business Profile features were impacting local rank
  • 35% had no link building strategy in place
  • 17% of enterprises had no in-house SEO staff

With your help, we’ll see what’s changed and what hasn’t. There are fresh questions, too, which we hope will uncover new stories to spark new strategies for local brands and their marketers.

There will be four lucky winners!

Everyone is a winner with access to the data we’ll be sharing from this large survey. But we’d like to offer a little extra thank-you for your time and knowledge.

Every respondent who completes the full survey will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of four $50 Visa gift cards. Winners will be selected at random, and we hope they will use these gift cards to shop someplace local and awesome this holiday season!

Take the survey

Look forward to seeing the results in early 2020, when we compile them into our State of Local SEO 2020 Industry Report. Curious about last year’s insights? Check them out here, and thank you for participating!

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

Reblogged 1 month ago from tracking.feedpress.it

Select Fashion: more powerful in omnichannel marketing with its Segmentify and dotdigital partnership!

Select
Fashion is also one of the high-street womenswear retailers to whom, for the
first part of the year, 2019 didn’t bring good tidings. Struggling with all the
major challenges of the fashion retail industry, the brand was facing
administration.

Aware
of the opportunities online, the business was already investing in some tools;
but the poor performance from their existing solutions and disjointed marketing
channels was driving revenue losses on a daily basis. Looking to improve the
situation, Select Fashion decided to leverage its online investments to get
more engaged with their customers.

With
proven success in boosting ecommerce revenue by at least 20% and increasing
conversion rates up to 2.6 times for its hundreds of customers, Segmentify
seemed a perfect fit for Select Fashion. After a free trial of its integration
and widget designs, Select Fashion partnered with Segmentify for onsite
personalised product recommendations and email marketing solutions.

Moreover, dotdigital, another powerful player of omnichannel marketing with its over 4,000-strong customer base in 150+ countries, joined this partnership, adding a valuable competitive advantage. Success became a real certainty for Select Fashion.

Results: Segmentify and dotdigital

Go-live only took three days, and even after the first week Select Fashion saw a 12% increase in revenue and 4% uplift in conversion rates (4x more than its average rate). What’s more, personalized email campaigns had a great success: 87% open rate. During the last two months improvement continued, and Select Fashion secured a 14% increase in revenue, while 33% of all orders included an item from Segmentify’s product recommendations.

Email marketing is no longer a standalone platform for talking to customers. Today it works more effectively in tandem with other channels and touchpoints. With this in mind, Select Fashion promoted personalized product recommendations along the customer journey – a winning relevancy tactic. The brand has successfully highlighted the clear correlation between integrated data practices and better customer experience, plus significant revenue uplift.

Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight at dotdigital

About Select Fashion

Launched in the early 1980s, Select Fashion is a high-street womenswear retailer aimed at 18 to 45-year-olds. With up to 4,000 products (clothing, footwear, and accessories) and new lines added each week, Select offers quality products inspired by the latest fashion trends at an affordable price. Having stores across the UK, and rapid expansion plans in place, Select’s key focus is on opening more prime trading stores throughout the UK. Select’s product range covers key fashion needs, from trendy clothing to footwear and accessories. From the season’s must-haves to essential items, every young woman will find her perfect match.

About dotdigital

dotdigital is a leader in omnichannel technology. dotdigital’s Engagement Cloud is the platform of choice for businesses seeking to engage customers across all touchpoints. The platform’s features empower 4,000+ brands across 150 countries to acquire, convert, and retain customers. Users can connect customer data, surface powerful insights, and automate intelligent messages across email, SMS, social, and more. dotdigital is a global company with over 350 employees, serving companies of all sizes and in all verticals for over 20 years.

You can watch a quick demo here.

About Segmentify

Founded in 2015, and mentioned by Forbes as one of the top machine learning companies to watch in 2018, Segmentify today has hundreds of customers from all around the world. Helping ecommerce retailers to boost their revenue, increase conversion rates, powered by machine-learning technology, Segmentify tracks and targets individual website visitors according to their unique online buying habits better than any personalization platform on the market.

The post Select Fashion: more powerful in omnichannel marketing with its Segmentify and dotdigital partnership! appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com

The beginner’s guide to email marketing automation

At dotdigital, we talk a lot about our platform Engagement Cloud, and all the amazing features, like automation, that can add value to your marketing. But what if you don’t quite know where to start with all this functionality? With all the buzzwords – omnichannel campaigns, segmentation, product recommendations, SMS, push to mobile, and social retargeting – channel marketing can be intimidating for some online retailers.

There’s a
perception that setting up automated customer journeys is a complex activity
that requires substantial investment in precious time and resources, and this
perception is often the biggest blocker to getting started.

In this
article I’ll show how you can see massive ROI with minimal effort through
Engagement Cloud automations. 

My advice is
to start simple:

  1. Decide which contacts you want to target and make sure
    you have a way to segment them
  2. Set up basic customer journeys for each segment

Program Builder, the automation tool in Engagement Cloud, makes step two easy, with pre-built templates you can choose from to get started. We’ve already done the hard work for you, all you need to do is add your campaign content!

I’ve included some recommended customer journeys below.

Give your new subscribers a great introduction to your brand with a basic welcome automation

Segment: Brand new
subscribers

A welcome journey is an automation triggered when a subscriber signs up to your newsletters. The content of your welcome communications introduces your brand and sets your contacts’ expectations for the types of communications they will receive from you.

The below example from Nude by Nature outlines the brand’s purpose: a commitment to natural, cruelty-free products. Plus, the message also incentivizes subscribers to make their first purchase by offering a discount coupon. The “Shop Now” button makes it easy to return to the website and start browsing.

Nurture your customers and inspire loyalty with a helpful post-purchase automation

Segment: New
customers

A ‘post-purchase’
journey is an automation triggered when a customer makes their first order from
your store.

Note that a post-purchase journey is separate to transactional emails, which contain order updates such as delivery status and postage information.   

This example from Baxter Blue is sent to customers after their expected delivery date to check in and make sure they’ve received their product. As well as reiterating the benefits of their glasses, customers are also given advice on what to do if they have still not received their delivery.

email automation

Help tentative shoppers make quicker decisions with abandoned cart or checkout reminders

Segment: Undecided
online visitors

Abandoned cart or abandoned checkout journeys and campaigns can be triggered via your store’s Engagement Cloud integration, as a reminder to customers who have left an item behind. A discount or an offer of free shipping might help entice them to follow through with the purchase, or you can take the opportunity to educate the recipient about your brand. 

This cheeky example from Remedy Drinks exemplifies the brand’s laid-back tone of voice, and the link to the product makes it easy for customers to click through and complete their purchase.

Entice lapsed subscribers back to your brand with re-engagement journey

Segment: Unengaged
subscribers

A re-engagement journey aims to reactivate subscribers or customers who are no longer engaging with your emails. This is a good opportunity to start experimenting with adding your contacts to social audiences to engage with them via another channel. You can use our Facebook retargeting automation template (below) or set up your own journey – it’s as simple as adding a node to your automation.

automation

Takeaways

Marketing automation isn’t supposed to be difficult. You don’t have to do everything all at once; prioritize and focus on the basics. Choose key segments you want to engage with and build simple customer journeys to capture their attention. You can grow your omnichannel strategy (and brand) from there. If you’re not a dotdigital customer, you can watch a quick demo of Engagement Cloud here.

And if you fancy your hand at more triggered programs, grab a copy of our free automation planning worksheet.

The post The beginner’s guide to email marketing automation appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com

14 email marketing mistakes to avoid

We may be omnichannel marketers now, but email still plays an important role in every brand’s marketing function. That’s because email ROI is a whopping £42! (DMA Email Benchmarking Report.)

We’ve gone back to our roots and identified 14 email mistakes that you should avoid like the plague. Happy reading

1. Omitting the unsubscribe and privacy policy in email

This is a legal no-no. Absolutely unacceptable and dodgy AF. You’ll make subscribers angry if they feel like they have no option to opt out. Ensure the unsubscribe is unambiguously visible at the bottom of your email and always link through to your privacy policy. Subscribers will trust your brand much much more if you’re playing by the rules.

No email unsubscribe

2. Using bad grammar

Nothing will kill your conversion more than bad grammar and spelling errors. You’ll lose all credibility if you’re mixing up your yours with your you’res, your theres with your theirs and they’res. Awks. Cringe, right? Developing an eye for detail will put your email marketing in good stead. Good grammar is sexy, and so is your brand!

Email spelling

3. Forgetting to welcome email subscribers

Don’t get off on the wrong foot. Send new subscribers a welcome email that tells them who you are and what they expect from you. Include your USPs and ask for the preferences you need to tailor their email experience. Whether they engage or don’t engage with you depends on what you do with this one email, so get it right!

Welcome email

4. Placing the email’s call to action below the fold

This one is plain stupid. If you want subscribers to take an action, place the call above the fold where it’s clearly visible. Device optimization is key – make sure you test on mobile to make sure the experience mirrors that on other screens. Try the inverted pyramid method – it grabs attention, builds the anticipation, and draws the reader’s eye to the all-important action. All in all, it works a treat!

Email pyramid

5. Not meeting email subscribers’ expectations

If you made a bold promise on sign-up, you need to stick to it. It won’t matter how amazing your product or how great your copy, people will unsubscribe. Subscribing to a brand’s newsletters and then not receiving what I agreed to (namely promotions, editorial, etc.) really gets under my skin. The answer is delivering on your content promise and managing your email frequency. So, just send subscribers what you promised them in the first place and everyone’s a happy bunny. Bosh!

Email expectations

6. Sending sh!t looking emails

Design should leave your subscribers hungry. Think about when you go to a restaurant. If you’re presented with a sloppy bowl of goulash and a more appetizing plate of silky mushroom risotto topped with a piece of seared salmon and a scatter of crunchy scallions, which are you likely to choose? We eat first with our eyes. By the same token, conversion starts with beautiful design.

Email design

7. Bombarding your email list

Don’t send to all. Use the data you hold on subscribers to segment your lists: preferences, demographics, website behavior, orders, email activity. The targeting opportunities are endless! Decide on who will want to hear from you and about what. Your engagement rates will soar because the message will be more relevant to the recipient.

Email segments

8. Not using data to follow up

Email activity is rich insight. If you send a new subscriber a welcome voucher and they open the email but don’t redeem the offer, send them a reminder. The rule is simple and you can set up an ongoing segment that triggers these nudges in the background. The same goes for your lucrative cart recovery and abandoned browse emails. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Data-triggered email

9. Being too salesy

Cut the sales chat. Now. Talk to prospects like you would a friend. Make your prompts funny and be down to earth. No one likes a blanket sales email that has no relevance to them whatsoever. The same goes for B2C: Subject lines that refer to yet another sale or promotion will fall flat and get lost among hundreds of other similar emails in the inbox. Be personal and purposeful; talk about your customer, not you. Get a copy of our 14 free sales and marketing templates for some inspiration.

Sales

10. Neglecting mobile users

Mobile is nothing new. Mobile optimization is not revolutionary. Mobile-first strategies are no longer a game-changer. Hopefully you’re already sending emails that render flawlessly on Android and iPhone. Otherwise you might find that your email conversion rates have hit rock bottom. Design email for the mobile consumer first and foremost. Just think about it. We’re constantly on the move, tapping away. On public transport we’re digesting content, not talking to actual human beings! Sad, right? But that’s the status quo. Plus, the demise of the desktop has been a long time coming. For someone who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, admitting that desktop is dying a slow death is pretty tough. Who else misses the excruciating sound of the dial-up modem?

Best advice: go mobile and stay there. Don’t forget to test, too! Grab our best practice guide on designing email for mobile here.

mobile

11. Employing a robotic tone of voice

Authentic brands talk like their customers speak. It’s at simple as that. At dotdigital, our tone of voice is semi-informal, friendly, and conversational. I write how our account managers talk to customers over the phone. It’s our job to translate technical language into terminology that everyone can understand. We’re anecdotal and tell stories, because that’s what our customers do. So, to hit the nail on the head, converse with your customers and your tone will soon surface. Check out our copywriting guides for more on tone of voice.

tone of voice

12. Making your email a full-length image

No, no, no. Just no. Stick to the email rule book and mix images with text. Email clients such as Outlook, AOL, and Yahoo! Mail block images automatically. If your email is a full-length image it will look ugly when it lands in the inbox and subscribers may delete it straight away. There’s no guarantee that they’ll download the image(s). Whereas including copy in text format mitigates this effect because it communicates relevancy quickly. For any images you do include with your copy, don’t forget to use the alt text so subscribers can identify the images if they’re turned off.

13. Sending subscribers to a totally irrelevant landing page

If I had a pound for every time I clicked on a specific link and landed on a brand’s homepage, I’d be on a beach in Mauritius instead of writing this blog.

landing page

That’s it folks!

I hope this blog has given you good food for thought. Ridding your email campaigns of any blunders can have a real impact on your bottom line. Be sure to measure the results of any changes you do make. For more advice on how to finesse your email marketing, check out our free Back to Basics email marketing cheatsheet.

Back to basics email

The post 14 email marketing mistakes to avoid appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com