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Automation – The Future of Easy Email Marketing

Automation is bang on trend at the moment, nearly everyone is talking about it! So what exactly is email automation and how can it be beneficial to your business?

Email automation is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers. It includes the creation and setup of workflows, which are designed to send engaging emails at specific dates and times of a customer’s lifecycle. This helps marketers to nurture and convert potential leads into actual customers.

Just some of the benefits include:

Increase of brand awareness
With relevant, well timed emails being sent to your contacts, your brand, products and services will be stuck in the back of their mind.

Saving time
Having automated workflows able to send multiple campaigns 24/7 is a massive time saver. Once a workflow is set up and running, emails can be sending throughout the day leaving you time to carry out other tasks.

Nurturing leads
Sending relevant emails containing useful information encourages contacts to brush up on their knowledge about your business, services or products. Later on down the line, if they are contacted by your sales team they will have an idea about your company and may be more open-minded when approached.

Sending relevant emails to recipients
Email campaigns will be sent to the right people at the right time with the right message. Having relevant content will encourage more clicks and in return create more conversions.

Campaigns are planned well
Being able to see a workflow in front of you will encourage you to plan more meticulously. Having a workflow and all its stages will open your eyes to more opportunities and will benefit your overall marketing strategy.

Can be personalised
Automated emails and personalisation go hand in hand. Combined they allow you to tailor your emails and send unique content to individuals, creating a more personal and relatable customer experience.

Errors are reduced
Compared to individual emails being sent to new leads, workflows can be created well in advance with ease before going live. This gives you the peace of mind and time to check for any errors before they go out to your audience.

Saving money
The size of your sales team can be reduced as instead of cold calling all the time looking for potential leads, information from automated workflows allows an insight into known interested and engaged users.

Author : Emma Weir

This article originally appeared on Emailcenter UK

What Are The Best B2B Email Marketing Practices?

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

The last time we talked about email marketing, we threw out a pretty big number: 2.5 billion, or the number of people around the world using email.

Here’s another big number: 4300%

That’s the average return on investment businesses see from doing email marketing, according to Experian. It’s one of several reasons you should consider launching a B2B email marketing campaign. In this post, we’ll go over some ways to set up your campaign, and offer up some tips for what to do once it’s underway.

First up, here’s how to get started:

 Outline Your Goal

The first step in setting up an email marketing campaign is defining what you want it to accomplish. Do you want your email marketing campaign to educate your customers? Do you want to use it to bring in more leads? To increase sales? Before you launch, be sure you’ve determined your objectives.

Tap Into The Powers Of ESP

We’re not talking about extra-sensory perception. In this case, ESP stands for “email service provider,” an online platform that allows a business to manage an email marketing campaign.

Some of the major players in the ESP world include Hubspot, Pardot, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Exact Target and Campaign Monitor, all of them providing a range of costs and features. A careful evaluation will tell you which service is the best fit for your business.

Appoint Someone To Run The ESP

Once you’ve defined the goal for your email marketing campaign and decided on an ESP, it’s time to choose someone on your team to be your point-person for the email service provider. They should immerse themselves in the tool – or better yet, have experience with it already – so they know all the ways it can help your business succeed.

Now that you’ve done all your set-up, here are a few B2B marketing techniques you can use to build relationships with current and potential clients.

1. Create and Build Lists

A good B2B email marketing plan needs a solid list of email addresses, one that you develop with care. The list can be made up of new and old clients, and should be specific to your industry and geared toward a specific objective. Be aware: specific laws govern the collection of email addresses. Be sure everyone on your list knows you, has given permission to be emailed, and can reasonably expect an email from you.

2. Get Segmented

From there, get even more specific with the practice of segmentation. To be clear, this is usually an extra service with an ESP, so it may cost more. What it gives you is the chance to engage certain portions of your audience with content that is most suitable to them: special offers, pertinent blog posts and event announcements.

3. Use Automation

The ESP you pick should include an automation tool that lets you communicate with customers and future customers in a timely, relevant fashion. For example: an auto responder can let you reply to users who fill out a form or download content from your site, letting you take your conversation with new leads to the next step.

4. Say Yes To RSS

With an RSS-to-email feed, you can decide how often an email subscriber receives your content, and send your audience emails every time you create new content for your blog. Your RSS-to-email feed should allow readers the opportunity to opt in or out of reading. If what you send them is good, relevant content, they’ll keep checking in.

5. Leads Need To Be Nurtured

While email can be a great tool to reach existing customers, you can also use it to reach potential customers who are undecided about you. By creating a lead nurturing campaign, you can keep in touch with prospective clients, contacting them on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

Author : Greg Cawood

This article originally appeared on IQnection Blog

3 Ways to Send Marketing Emails That Get Results

geralt / Pixabay

Business owners don’t send marketing emails into the void. They send emails to their customers and leads, hoping something good will come of it—hoping they can boost brand loyalty, drive traffic to their website, or perhaps even close a sale. These laudable goals can only be achieved through quality emails, though—and unfortunately, in many businesses, email construction is something of an afterthought.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s not difficult at all to put together emails that are thoughtful, appealing, and loaded with value. We’ll show you some basic strategies you can implement today to help you develop emails that get bottom-line results.

Make Sure Your Emails Look Good on Mobile Devices

It’s simple reality: Most email recipients are going to be looking at things on a smart phone, and as such it’s critical that your emails can easily be read from the smallest of devices. If your emails require a lot of zooming or scrolling, or if the buttons within them cannot be easily clicked on, recipients will become frustrated and just stop opening your emails altogether.

Some specific tips:

  • If possible, use a program like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, both of which will provide you with mobile-friendly templates you can draw on.
  • If you don’t use a pre-existing template, do ensure that your font is size 14 or higher; anything smaller can prove difficult to read.
  • Make buttons that are easy to tap. Simply using text links doesn’t always work well with all email platforms. Real buttons are better.

Write Subject Lines That Snag Attention, but Resist Clickbait

Your email subject line is your one chance to make a favorable first impression on recipients, prompting them to open the message and see what’s inside. As such, it’s critical to avoid spammy clickbait titles (which often backfire) and instead convey real value.

Some tips:

  • Avoid “You won’t believe this,” or similarly over-the-top turns of phrase.
  • Also avoid using CAPS, which just makes it seem like you’re YELLING.
  • Be relevant and truthful; your subject line should accurately reflect the contents of the message. No bait and switch!
  • Use numbers whenever you can—5 reasons, 10 tips, etc. The human brain connects with numbers, and they can make your email feel more valuable.
  • Try phrasing your subject line as a question, which is often a good way to pique interest.

Deliver Value in Every Email

Finally, always ask yourself: What’s in it for my reader? Each email should convey something actionable and valuable—and if it doesn’t, you shouldn’t send it. The bottom line: You want people to associate your company’s emails with something truly empowering, enriching, or simply entertaining.

As such, your emails should always contain at least one of the following:

  • A meaningful offer or discount.
  • Education about your industry or niche.
  • Delight—something that helps your recipients to feel like they’ve discovered a solution to a problem.

    Author : Amanda Clark

This article originally appeared on The Red Ink

What Is Email Marketing?

When people talk about content marketing, others usually assume they’re referring to blogging, or are confusing it with social media marketing. This makes me cup my face in my hands and shake my head from side-to-side. What about email marketing? It’s used to engage contacts and move them through the buyer’s journey by created personalized and valuable content along with relevant and engaging calls-to-action. If that’s not content marketing, I don’t know what is.

I’ll be honest, optimized email marketing is just about my favorite channel of inbound marketing. Here are some reasons why:

  • Unless you’re buying lists, email addresses you have in your database are intrinsically inbound triggers. Your contacts gave you their email addresses because they’re expecting to hear from you. It’s your job to impress them with your content, wisdom, and offers.
  • These emails can be highly personalized. Through list segmentation of implicit and explicit data (more on those soon) and personalization tokens, no email can be marked off as irrelevant.
  • It allows for research and tweaking. Using a/b testing you can optimize your email campaigns by testing what factors in an email create more engagement and adjust your future emails accordingly. This way you can create the best emails possible.

But that’s just the tip of the email marketing iceberg. Let’s go back and create a foundation of what email marketing is, how to build a personalized and action-oriented email marketing workflow, and optimize for the highest conversion rate.

Ready to start drafting? Think again

Before you write a single line of content, you’re going to want to head on over to your CRM or contact database. In order to run a great email marketing strategy, start segmenting your contacts into buyer personas. Your buyer personas are the different types of people your content speaks to AKA the kind of people you’re looking to get in touch with. Maybe they’re CEOs of hi-tech companies or customer success managers at travel agencies. By catering each piece of content to one of your various personas, you will make each message feel relevant and personalized to your readers.

I’ll be honest, optimized email marketing is just about my favorite channel of inbound marketing. Here are some reasons why:

  • Unless you’re buying lists, email addresses you have in your database are intrinsically inbound triggers. Your contacts gave you their email addresses because they’re expecting to hear from you. It’s your job to impress them with your content, wisdom, and offers.
  • These emails can be highly personalized. Through list segmentation of implicit and explicit data (more on those soon) and personalization tokens, no email can be marked off as irrelevant.
  • It allows for research and tweaking. Using a/b testing you can optimize your email campaigns by testing what factors in an email create more engagement and adjust your future emails accordingly. This way you can create the best emails possible.

But that’s just the tip of the email marketing iceberg. Let’s go back and create a foundation of what email marketing is, how to build a personalized and action-oriented email marketing workflow, and optimize for the highest conversion rate.

But that’s not all. What you’ve looked at so far is only explicit data – or data that is shared by the contact within the company. But there’s also implicit data that is information gathered from user behavior. Consider the buyer’s journey and lifecycle stage which address where each contact is in their journey from your marketing team to your sales team to your customer success team. These will work as the basis for how to personalize your approach to your contacts. Has the contact downloaded a specific eBook that can shed light on their current state? Recently been made a customer? By creating lists that reflect the digital engagement of those contacts with your company, you can then go on to create content that speaks to who they are and their relationship with your company.

Pro Tip: if you’re using HubSpot’s marketing tool, make sure to track all actions the contact has taken on your website. What blog posts did they read? What pages did they visit? Tailor your emails to correlate with what you know about the contact.

Content & Design

Now that we know WHO we’re talking to, can we starting writing content yet? Patience.

Before we start writing, we have to talk about goals, structure, and design for your emails. Figure you’ve looked at your newly revamped and segmented contact list and think: “I seem to have a number of contacts that are CEOs that have subscribed to our blog, downloaded a consideration stage eBook, but haven’t contacted us about a demo, free trial, or consultation.” For this group, you’ll want to move them one step farther down the buyer’s journey. You’re so close to finding out if they’re strong leads for your sales team to approach! So you decide you want to set a goal for this group to take a decision stage action. To do that, you choose to write for them a sequence of emails to get them to request a free consult. Awesome!

Before you start writing or typing, here are some points to consider about the design and content for your emails:

  • At the top an email (and this goes for any inbound outreach) you’re going to want to give a reason to get in touch. This isn’t a spammed message but one that comes with intention for who they are and where your relationship stands. By grabbing their attention this way, you’ll got them curious enough to hear you out.
  • When building anticipation, one great design tip is whitespace. While we tend to think of whitespace as making content look empty, when it’s actually needed to help readers who are scanning the content. By cutting the clutter of your content and creating space that frames your words, your message will be easier to read and hold a sharper presence.
  • Another comment about design. Use fonts, colors and bold text to help capture the reader’s interest. Tip: Don’t underline. Underlines can look like they should be links that don’t work. Find other ways to get your point across.
  • Try not to offer more than one CTA. We think that our prospects want options, but the reality is less is more. When contacts get multiple offers that they’re interested in, there’s a good chance they’ll just close the email simply because they can’t decide which one they want more. Sounds like a nice problem to have in theory, but this can really hurt your conversion rate. So remember, less is more.

The picture below of the inverted pyramid is a format to follow for writing all your marketing emails. You want something big and bold to grab the reader’s attention, then build anticipation that they have a challenge or situation that you can help with, and lastly offer a clear and pointed (no pun intended) CTA to collect that offer.

(HubSpot Academy)

Building a sequence

Zooming out, let’s see how an email is going to work in a larger email sequence. By using a sequence, you can do two things: provide a content offer a number of times (because there’s always a chance they won’t bite the first time) or push people through to their buyer’s journey.

 

Sequence Goal:
Starting Criteria (who will be you be sending the emails to?):
Email 1:
Email 2:
Email 3:
Follow up email:

Let’s go back to our example from earlier and fill out the table:

Sequence Goal: Request a free consultation
Starting Criteria (who will be you be sending the emails to?): CEOs that are blog subscribers, filled out a form to download a consideration stage eBook but haven’t done a demo, trial, or consult
Email 1: Send them consideration blog posts related to the consideration eBook they downloaded
Email 2: Send a case study
Email 3: Send offer to request a consultation
Follow up email: Thank you email + schedule consult

By creating an outline for your sequences, you can ensure that every email you send in a sequence provides relevant and compelling value and a CTA that pushes them to your goal along their path to purchase.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/email-marketing/what-is-email-marketing-3-01881516#YPEQGWG0L1HHG0kV.99

Some final words about optimization 83% of marketers aren’t optimizing for their email marketing campaigns. Scary isn’t it? That means that 83% of marketers are planning and writing emails without any follow up to see what’s converting and what isn’t. Aspects of your emails like send time, subject line, images, device email is opened on, and CTA design can all affect the way your contacts interact with your emails. Try a/b testing to see if changes in your emails affect the way people engage with them. But only switch one variable at a time! Try to alter more than one thing at once won’t help you find the piece that makes a difference. One more thing: don’t stop a test too soon. Reliable results take time so run a test for at least a month (if not for a whole quarter) before changing your strategy to something new.

Looking for more tips and advice before you start writing? Check out our How to Strategize and Boost Your Email Marketing eBook below!

Author : Shoshi Weinstein

This article originally appeared on Bold Digital

How to Improve the Design of Transactional Email Templates

You know those handy emails you receive whenever you need to reset your password? Or those friendly reminders sent when you’ve forgotten about the items in your shopping cart for a few days? These aren’t your average email — they’re transactional emails.

Improve The Design Of Transactional Emails

Transactional emails refer to all triggered emails automatically sent upon specific user action, including password resets, monthly invoices, abandoned cart series and more. These emails present a great opportunity to convince a user to take a specific action (such as buy the items in their shopping cart). But if your emails aren’t awesomely designed, you may miss the chance for engagement or conversion.

Luckily, we’ve got three tips to help you make the most of your transactional emails.

1. Use content to your advantage

Transactional emails are a prime opportunity to connect with customers and prospects outside the confines of newsletters and promotions. Most of the time, users are already in the conversion funnel when triggered emails are sent, so all you need to do is give the proper push to turn them into a paying customer. Including the right supplemental content with your transactional email can help push prospects down the funnel.

Start with the important stuff

Since transactional emails are triggered upon specific user action, you’ll want the user to know right off the bat why they’re receiving this email. Make sure your subject line and the opening portion of the email focus on why it’s being sent. That way, you get your important messaging across, even if your audience only reads the first sentence.

Make the most of your content

Getting to the point doesn’t mean you can’t supplement the point with relevant, useful content. You have the reader’s attention, use it wisely.

For example, if you’re sending an email to confirm a new user’s email address, consider linking to the “About Us” page of your site or a customer spotlight story on your blog to introduce the new user to your brand. Or, if you’re sending an email thanking a buyer for purchasing, take advantage of the opportunity to cross-sell by linking to similar products they may like.

Keep it succinct

So, true story: people don’t actually read your emails. They quickly scan them to see if there’s any useful tidbits of information, and then they go along their merry way.

Make sure your primary call to action (CTA) is crystal clear so your readers know exactly what you want them to do. Use design elements, like arrows or boxes, to draw the eye right to the CTA. Use smaller headers and short paragraphs or bullet points to call attention to supplemental content.

2. Invest in design

Transactional emails are notorious for being bland. Think about it — when was the last time you received an invoice that didn’t make your eyes glaze over?

Investing in the design of your transactional emails is a great way to stand out and engage readers. Here are a few ways to go about beautifying your emails:

Play with color psychology

The colors you use are more than just pretty. They can be powerful, too. Make strategic use of the rainbow and leverage color psychology. This is especially important with your call to action. Use action-oriented colors like red or orange to drive conversions.

You can also use color to section out your email. Use different colors to separate the header and footer of the email. Use complementary colors and keep your palette to two or three colors to avoid visual headaches.

Use images wisely

Images can definitely add to an email, but there’s something to be said about too much of a good thing.

Don’t use too many images or your content might get lost. Never lead with an image unless it’s your logo. Make sure you include some content first so your readers know what your email is about. If you’re using a lot of images or photos, keep the rest of your design simple and allow them to take center stage.

Don’t forget about whitespace

Whitespace helps to visually break up your content in a more digestible way. It can also help you bring emphasis to key points and section out different areas of your email.

Use whitespace to make your email feel more spacious, bring attention to important messaging, make your text and visuals pop, and really just make the whole thing easier on the eyes for your audience.

Keep it on-brand

Even if you’re only sending a password confirmation, any and all communications that come from your brand should look and feel like your brand. Use brand colors and fonts when possible, and include your logo in the header or footer.

Your brand identity extends past just the visual elements — it also refers to your tone of voice and brand personality. If being quirky is part of your brand, don’t be afraid to inject humor in the email copy. Your readers will thank you for it!

3. Pay attention to layout

If content is king, then consider layout the queen. How you organize and layout your transactional emails is just as important as what’s actually in them.

Wise up on width

An email that’s too wide just doesn’t work. If your readers have to scroll from side to side on their device to read the content of your email, they’ll most likely stop reading and hit delete.

Keep your width to 600 pixels to make sure all of your content appears on the screen—no scrolling required.

Cultivate the right columns

If you’re including supplemental content you want to highlight, you might be tempted to section your content out into a million columns, but don’t.

With the 600px width limit, more than two or three columns feels way to crowded.

Build a hierarchy

No one likes to stare at big blocks of text. It’s visually overwhelming and will remind people of a textbook (and the last thing you want your audience thinking about when they read your email is homework).

Use text hierarchy, like sub-headers, quotes and font formatting like bold and italics to organize your copy and visually illustrate important points.

Don’t forget about mobile

If your email only works on a desktop, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity. So many people read their emails on their phones, and if your email isn’t optimized for mobile, all they’re going to see is a hot, jumbled mess.

Make sure your email design is fully responsive. Your readers should have a positive, well-designed email experience on whatever device they’re using. Check your email on every application and device to get a sense of user experience across the board.

And just to cover your bases, add a “view in browser” link. That way, if all else fails and your email still looks wonky on their device or email client, they can still access your content.

With these transactional email design tips, you’ll have all the weapons you need to increase engagement and drive conversions.

Author : Laura McLeod

This article originally appeared on The Mailjet Blog

 

How Email Marketing Enhances Cross Promotion

Use Email Marketing to Build Your Online Influence

Have your email marketing campaigns been ineffective lately?

Would you like to see more growth on your blog and social networks?

As your business attracts new subscribers the golden opportunity to build relationships and present valuable offers can be used to increase your traffic and grow your social media fans and followers despite the latest algorithm changes.

Email marketing will not only help you maintain your current subscribers, but can also be used to nurture your prospects and invite them to participate in giveaways, join a professional group on LinkedIn or Facebook, provide valuable and exclusive offers, and much more.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing plays an important role in attracting more brand followers:

This is especially true of emails that include the first name and then thank their subscribers with a personalized message as shown in a recent article on Hubspot.

In order to reach the most visitors you need to appeal to their emotions as well as make it easy to open our messages on any device. Here are several ways you can attract new subscribers and encourage them to follow you on social media.

Write an attractive headline

The first point of contact between your business and the reader is the headline. Take your time to write the best hook for your audience, which should grab their attention right away and appeal to their needs or desires. Constant Contact recommends that you should always include your brand or individual name, as this is something your subscribers will recognize.

They also recommend a shorter, more personalized approach that compels people to take action and includes honesty, which is based on a study by Adestra:

Place the focus on your readers

During the early phases of your email campaigns it’s important to appeal to your readers first. What tips or webinars could be of value to them? Can your business offer a free training session that doesn’t include a high pressure sales message? Later on as you establish a relationship you can move on to include important updates, product or service announcements, or information about your company without being too pushy. The bulk of your messages need to be about the reader and how your brand or business can best meet their needs. Here’s a great example of offering a free report for those interested in becoming a speaker:

Measure the response rate

Most email services include statistics on how well your messages are being received — some even include suggestions on how to cut down on being flagged as spam. As you take a look back at your history you will soon discover which campaigns get the most clicks and views. Take note of the topics that garner the most attention, and which emails have a low open rate.

Promote separate campaigns

Let your audience know right away what your business is offering them by creating separate campaigns. It’s tempting to write emails that contain too much information and are not focused on a targeted message. Give your readers something to look forward to in a series of emails with a call-to-action to share on social media.

Fewer graphics and more text

As you are designing a template take into account that your emails will most likely be read on a smaller screen. Instead of too many graphics use rich text and bold keywords to help your reader follow along and digest the message in bite-sized chunks. Keep the message short, and to the point in order to improve your chances of them taking action like this example:

Segment your messages

This is especially important if you are selling as a B2B — segmenting your subscribers for your target market will help you focus on those who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Create separate lists of subscribers for each of your campaigns such as book launch or product announcement.

Include links and icons to your social networks

Organic growth on social media has been diminishing over the last couple of years, and so brands have needed to be more creative in attracting a larger audience to their networks. Like it or not advertising is here to stay, and this will become a growing trend. But you can still improve your numbers by including icons and links to your profiles as well as sharing buttons inside your email message.

With the right focus and strategy your next email marketing campaign can help grow your online presence and improve your conversion rates. Make sure your content is simple, to the point, and easy to read. As you measure your results you will be able to better determine what your audience is looking for and how to best meet their needs both on your website and through social media.

Author : Susan Gilbert

This article originally appeared on Susan Gilbert

This Simple Email Subject Line Can Get You An 80% Open Rate

When it comes to writing email subject lines, people often try too hard. After all, the content of your email is meaningless if your recipient never ends up opening it. Unfortunately, this means that senders resort to corny, irrelevant, or deceptive subject lines in the hope of getting opened. And the consequence of using these kinds of subject lines is that your email will be rendered useless as a way of getting your recipient’s attention.

This leaves the million dollar question: how can I get people to both open my email and respond to my message? It turns out that the solution is really simple. We have created a simple template I will share with you but it is first important to understand what you’re trying to achieve.

Your email’s subject line needs to do two things

  1. Convince your recipient to read your message
  2. Accurately present the intention of the message

Your recipient looks to your subject line to decide whether they will open your email. In fact, a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 64% of people open an email solely on the basis of the subject line. This means that a subject line is an opportunity to get your foot in the door. It doesn’t matter if you have an established relationship with the person or not. Of course, this comes with an expectation.

The expectation is that the content of the message will reflect what is promised in the subject line. When the content does not match the subject line, it kills the credibility of the message in the eyes of the reader, and you won’t get the response you want.

 Subject lines to avoid

Think about it this way. You want your reader to do something after reading your email. It could be click through to an offer or give a reply which requests more information about your product. For instance, imagine you got this message:

You would expect that the content of the message would be about a pressing concern. So how would you feel if it turned out to be a pitch asking for a sales meeting? If you are anything like me, you would probably feel lied to and immediately stop trusting the email and the sender. More importantly, you would not respond to the message the way the sender would want you to.

And this isn’t the only way you can destroy trust in your message with your subject line. Another common technique to avoid is a subject line that pretends to be a reply to a previous email like this one:

The recipient might open the message because they think it is part of a conversation that they are in the middle of. It won’t take very long for them to find out that they are reading a new message, leading them to disregard everything in the message.

In addition to outright deceptive subject lines, there are a number of subject lines that have become so common and generic that recipients no longer click on them. These Include:

Riddles

A “Quick Question”

Ones that sound like a generic marketing newsletter


Why would anybody use one of these bad subject lines?

For some of you reading this, it is obvious that these are bad techniques to use. So why would anyone use a deceptive or highly touted but overused subject line? It is because they lose sight of the real goal of their email, to convert the reader. Instead, they focus solely their open rate.

Look, we all know an 80% open rate is great. After all, you need your recipient to read your message in order to convert them. So you need to optimize your open rate as a step in optimizing your conversion rate. Your 80% open rate doesn’t mean anything if you can’t even convert 1% of your recipients.

This means that you want a subject line that gets your recipient interested enough in your message to open it and then act on the content. And this is where our simple subject line formula comes in:

We have switched our cold emails to this simple subject line formula

After sending over 80,000 cold email campaigns, testing as we went along, we have landed on this simple formula:

(Name of recipient) x (Name of Sender)

Let’s look at why this works. For one thing, it is short and this is important. An Adestra report stated that subject lines with 2 words or less had a 53.7% chance of being opened on average, higher than any other word count.

It is also personalized, explicitly stating that this is a message from you to your recipient. The same Adestra report as before states that personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened than non-personalized ones. After all, would you be more interested to read something that could apply to anybody or something that applies to you specifically?

And this subject line sets up your message to deliver on a personal conversation. If you send a personalized message intending to start a conversation with your recipient, that is exactly what can be expected from this subject line.

What are the benefits of simple subject line?

We have used this on roughly 20,000 cold emails, for which we have an average open rate of 80% and an average conversion rate of 10%. Not only that, but we have avoided hurting our reputation. You see, deceptive and overused subject lines can be flagged by users and hurt your sender reputation. This will hurt your ability to deliver your emails in the future.

We came across this formula by doing simple A/B tests to see what worked. It is important to keep testing as subject lines can become overused and ineffective. But for the time being, you could get the same results we get by using this simple formula for your email subject line.

Author : Lewis Stowe

This article originally appeared on Growbots

Gamification in Emails: The Most Interesting New Kid on the Block

Looking for something new to try in your emails?

Something beyond images, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and videos? Something even more unique?

PRESENTING GAMIFICATION…the most interesting new kid on the email marketing block!

..But do you know a secret?

Though gamification is deemed “new”, it is an old tactic that was used by club Nintendo years back wherein they used to reward points for email reads and click-throughs. On that illumination, let’s revive the concept yet again with a fresh perspective.

It isn’t anything new to add fun elements in the digital world to enhance user experience and gamification is a perfect example of encouraging reward-based engagement.

Check out this example of gamification employed by Gmail.

The user is more likely to follow the steps in order to achieve that reward of “100% setup complete”.

The same concept can be applied in your email marketing strategy too.

Let’s start with why you should give a try to gamification in emails!

Perquisites of Gamification in Emails

  • Enhanced engagement of agile as well as inactive subscribers
  • Building reputation as a fun company
  • Encouraging more email conversions and better ROI
  • Knowing more about your audience
  • Delighting the subscribers with design and functionality
  • Driving the desired subscriber behavior
  • Amplifying the existing user experience
  • Establishing deeper customer loyalty and satisfaction through playful interaction

How to Smarten Up Your Email Campaigns with Gaming Mechanics?

Take a behavior-based approach if you wish to tread on the path of gamification. You are likely to get more subscriber engagement, better visits on your website, and more newsletter subscriptions by incorporating game mechanics in your email campaigns. Offer rewards to user actions to tempt the subscribers to invite their friends and make them curious to know more about you.

To put it simply, determine the motivators that can drive the desired behavior from your subscribers and design a gamification strategy accordingly. Your gamification email should not only fascinate your subscribers but also create awareness among them.

Gamification Ideas for Emails

1. Reward Regimen

Exclusive titles, credits, social awards or discount coupons with QR-codes are great rewards to encourage active subscriber participation in the gamification email. It’s a great idea to have a reward system for subscribers who like, tweet, or share your email. Make sure that these rewards are attractive enough to lure them.

2. Scoreboard Strategy

Have a scoring system that keeps the subscribers hooked to the email. Alternatively, you can allow the subscribers to earn points for clicking around the email with something interesting at the other end of the click.

Take a look at this email by EmailMonks.

It cleverly arouses curiosity in the minds of the subscribers regarding what lies at the other end of the click.

Try it for yourself!

3. Propel Pay-off

Brands can employ gamification to drive the end-result of conversions and hold the subscriber’s attention. It can prove to be an extremely successful email campaign, if done right.

Here’s an example from Taco Bell wherein they have included an interesting board game “How Fast Can You Meet Your Friends”.

Check out how they have used gamification to drive more people at their restaurant outlet.

4. Quirky Quizzes

How about some exciting quiz questions right in the email with the result promoting your product or services?

See how Channel 4 leverages gamification in their Valentine’s Day email and promotes the relevant shows based on the answers given by the subscribers.

Note: If you are unable to view the gamified email with the quirky questionnaire, click HERE.

Applications of Gamification in Emails

1. Occasion Email Marketing

Holidays are a great time to try your hand at gamification. Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and New Year have immense opportunities for successful gamification in email marketing.

2. Surveys

You can incorporate game mechanics in your emails to entice the subscribers to take surveys and get necessary feedback to improve your services.

3. Customer Loyalty Programs

Gamification paves the way for long-term customer engagement when used in customer loyalty email programs. It can drive more referrals and word-of-mouth publicity too for the brand.

Compatibility

The best results for gamified emails are seen in Apple Mail and iPhone Native App. Make sure you include a “View in Browser” link so that your subscribers can enjoy the gaming experience you wish to deliver in the inbox.

Wrapping Up

Are you ready to add value to your business by a GAMIFIED marketing approach and put a sense of enjoyment in your emails?

If you’re still unsure about how it will be accepted by your subscriber list, you can try testing a few elements of gamification in your emails first. If it demonstrates a worthwhile response and gets you the desired results, you can have it in your emails every once in a while.

Author : Kevin George

This article originally appeared on Email Monks Blog

4 Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Rocks

Despite the glut of new ways to connect with people anytime and anywhere online, email is still one of the most effective business tools available. With millions of emails sent and received every day, it’s a channel that cannot be ignored.

Content can be sent in a wide range of formats and most people are familiar with email, so it makes sense to use this method of communication as effectively as possible. However, many of today’s businesses take email marketing for granted or they overlook it entirely. And in many cases, they are not using email in the most effective and efficient ways possible to reach customers. So, we put together a short list of ideas, or maybe reminders, on how you can use email more effectively to give your customers a reason to care, a reason to engage, a reason to buy, and most importantly, a reason to stay with your business.

1. Finding Customers

Sometimes we forget that email is essentially ubiquitous these days. Most everyone will have at least one email account. Email search services are a great tool when you’re looking to proactively identify target customers. If you have an ideal target in mind, this type of service allows you to skip the guessing game and search for and reveal peoples’ email addresses. This way, you can avoid the price tag of buying (frequently out of date and inaccurate) data or engage a costly email fulfillment company to deliver your campaigns, and you can build your own targeted list of potential leads.

2. Reaching Customers Where and When They Are

Email has really come into its own thanks to the introduction of a wide range of mobility technologies. Today, thanks to your mobile device, you’re almost always reachable. You can access your emails from anywhere without having to lug around your laptop or boot up your desktop PC. The fact that you can view and send emails on the move means you have much more flexibility to engage whenever and wherever you desire.

For marketers, engaging with customers on their terms means they are far more likely to engage with your brand and respond to opportunities and offers. According to Campaign Monitor, email opens on mobile devices grew 30% from 2010 to 2015.

Of course, you must design your email campaigns with the form factor in mind.You have to keep all screens in mind. If you’re still formulating your email marketing strategy for the desktop computer era, it’s a safe bet the audience you’re trying to reach will never open or read your emails. Fortunately, the code has been cracked on how to optimize emails to assure that you’re delivering email marketing campaigns that will be opened, clicked, and converted. Most marketing automation tools have realized the importance of this and allow you to preview your emails across a multitude of screens.

3. Driving Conversion

Marketing to people through email is still one of the most effective ways to engage across the Customer BuyWay and build trust with suspects, prospects, leads and existing customers. A targeted, well-designed and relevant email marketing campaign has been proven to convert a high number of prospects into customers and existing customers into advocates. According to a recent Jupiter Research Study, marketers who take the time to segment their lists, making them more relevant to the audience in the process, can improve conversion rates up to 355% and increase revenues by an amazing 781%!

An effective email marketing campaign doesn’t interrupt and try to grab attention – it provides value to the audience… it’s relevant. You can’t just blatantly focus on promoting your products and services. Respect the audience and reward them for their time and attention to your Brand Story. YYourgoal should be to retain subscribers to your email list and nurture them over time to take the actions you want them to take, such as buying or advocating for your products and services.

4. Retaining and Winning Back Customers

Converting a prospect to a customer is exciting – it’s one of the things that marketers and salespeople enjoy most about the profession. However, in most categories, the cost of acquiring that customer can be substantial. Actually, it’s likely much more expensive for you to acquire a new customer than it is to keep them. If you can’t successfully develop and retain that customer relationship, or if you lose that customer, your business may end up worse off than if you never acquired them to begin with. Therefore, retention and win-back of customers is so critical to maintaining momentum when you are growing your business.

The good news is that email marketing has proven to be highly effective in helping to retain and win-back customers. A recent study conducted by email deliverability experts, ReturnPath, analyzed 33 different win-back email campaigns by different ecommerce stores to see how effective they were at turning a non-active customer into an active customer. The results were impressive:

Ninety-two percent (92%) of the emails made it to the customer’s inbox – this means inactive users were receiving win-back emails.

Open rates were twelve percent (12%). This is a respectable number considering that many of these customers had not even interacted with the brand for an extended period. If you’d like to learn more details the essentials for successful win-back email campaigns, check out 25 of the best examples from world-class brands.

Email is one of the simplest and most effective business communication tools, but it’s not always used to its full potential by today’s businesses.

By following these best practices and focusing on being respectful to and relevant for your email subscribers, you’re on your way to email marketing success. Be sure to download our Marketing Automation Conditions for Success Diagnostic to help you facilitate the transformational changes you need for a successful Marketing Automation journey.

Author : Dave Sutton

This article originally appeared on TopRight Partners

4 Compelling Stats That Prove Email Marketing Is Alive

Have you heard the one about email marketing? You know, the school of thought which claimed that it would slowly decline as social and digital communication channels took hold?

This prediction has proved to be wide of the mark, with email marketing continuing to thrive and serve as one of the four most effective drivers of digital traffic.

If you still buy into the idea that email marketing is moribund, you may therefore be missing out on the chance to grow your business. To help convert you, here are four compelling statistics that underline the true value of email marketing in the digital age:

1. Email Marketing Delivers an Estimated ROI of 4400%

While it is easy to be dazzled by the diversity and real-time nature of integrated social media profiles, it is important to remember the core metrics of any successful marketing campaign.

The most obvious of these metrics is profit, as marketing must effectively mobilize your target audience while translating into a positive ROI.

In this respect, there is evidence to suggest that email is the single most effective medium for marketing your business. According to studies, email marketing delivers an average ROI of 4400%, with a $44.25 return for every single $1 spent.

Much will depend on your execution, of course, with the use of personalisation and informative, dynamic content central to optimising the ROI of your email campaigns. Mobile optimisation is also a key consideration, especially with more than 55% of all emails now accessed through a handheld device.

2. There Will Be 4.9 Billion Active Email Accounts by the End of 2017

Of course, the delivery of an inflated ROI means little if you are unable to reach a large or motivated audience through your chosen marketing channel. This is why social media marketing has proven so popular during the last seven years, with Facebook alone now boasting 1.71 billion active users each month.

Email can more than match this, however, with a total of 4.9 billion email accounts expected to be active across the globe by the end of this year. This will represent an increase of more than one billion since 2013, and it highlights the growing popularity of email as a core communication channel.

So while you will still be required to target specific demographics through email marketing, the sheer volume of individuals who use email on a daily basis enables you to maximise the amount of consumers that you reach within each segment. With the use of personalised content and in-depth consumer data, you can also optimise the number of leads that are successfully converted across your audience as a whole.

3. U.S. Consumers Interact With an Average of 11 Brands Through Email Each Day

By itself, the revelation that U.S. consumers interact with an average of 11 brands through email each day means relatively little (even though this is a trend that is repeated across the globe).

When placed into the correct context, however, it offers yet another compelling reason to prioritise email marketing in the year ahead. Consumers only interact with an estimated nine brands through Facebook on a daily basis, and eight through the popular Twitter platform. This underlines the fact that customers have become increasingly receptive to branded communications through email, particularly as the security measures and filters utilised by major platforms such as Gmail and MSN have improved over time.

Not only this, but email has also benefitted from the emphasis that brands have placed on content marketing during recent times. After all, companies have looked to refine all aspects of their content in the quest to get higher on Google, with the need to create in-depth, personalised and topically relevant copy more pressing than ever. These principles have also been applied to email, which in turn has allowed brands to engage customers and convert them more effectively.

To capitalise on this further, strive to customise your email content to include the name of each recipient. Beyond this, ensure that your calls-to-action are placed above the fold and not overly promotional, as they should offer a natural hook and relate seamlessly to the nature of the content.

4. Email Marketing Was the Single Biggest Driver of Black Friday Transactions

We have already touched on the potential of email as a profitable marketing tool, and this was nevermore evident than during Black Friday in November 2015. In fact, email marketing accounted for a staggering 25.1% of all sales that were completed on Black Friday, while the rate of e-commerce transactions also increased by 16.1% during the same period.

This is a statistic that supports the impactful nature of email marketing, and more specifically its unique ability to generate and convert a relatively high number of leads. With a growing number of consumers now receptive to branded emails, carefully crafted and well-timed communications can have a significant influence on real-time customer behaviour (the below example underlines this, as it was a real-time promotion targeted at customers during a typically quiet Thanksgiving evening).

This not only means tailoring personalised email content that is relevant to specific events and consumer holidays, but it also demands a precise approach to the timing and the presentation of your correspondence. Specific consumer demographics are more likely to access their emails at different times, for example, while 43% of respondents under the age of 30 cite design and layout as the most important conversion factor.

Email Marketing Lives On

So there you have it; four statistics which make compelling (and not to mention interesting) arguments for the use of email marketing to reach your audience!

With the data on your side, is there really anything stopping you from building your email list with confidence and improving your ROI?

Author : Marco Mijatovic

This article originally appeared on The Mailjet Blog