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August 2019

6 tips for effective nonprofit email campaigns

By |2019-08-20T07:01:27-04:00August 20th, 2019|News|

Email is an essential tool for nonprofit organizations, and for good reason: In 2018, nonprofit email marketing earned $45 for every 1,000 emails sent (M+R Benchmarks). Want to get more out of your email marketing? Start with these tips for effective nonprofit email campaigns.
1. Educate subscribers about your mission
Email is the perfect opportunity to promote your mission and goals. Even better, it gives you a chance to show subscribers how their contributions make a positive impact on the things they care about most.
For example, you can tell subscribers where their donations go. They might be used to feed the hungry, clean polluted lakes or educate children. You can illustrate how your organization’s staff and volunteers have directly affected those in need. And you can demonstrate strong leadership and financial responsibility by detailing what percentage of funds are used to execute your mission.
Use email to foster belief in your mission and trust in your organization, so new subscribers feel good about contributing to your cause.
This Charity:Water welcome email clearly communicates its mission and gives subscribers opportunities to learn more about how donations are used.

2. Excite and inspire subscribers with personalized stories
One of the most powerful fundraising strategies is to excite and inspire subscribers with personalized stories that tug the heartstrings and prove your nonprofit’s impact. You could send an email that lists past accomplishments, details a success story or describes the plight of those in need.
Humanize the story by detailing who your nonprofit helped — or who needs your help — and add an image for strong visual impact. Then, use a call to action (CTA) that invites subscribers to learn more, watch a video or meet the people you’ve mentioned.
Your CTA button can link to a landing page that features a video along with a donation request. The goal is to get subscribers excited about contributing to your cause, then give them an opportunity to make an immediate impact.
This World Vision email shows subscribers the impact the nonprofit has made with specific, personalized stories that inspire action.

3. Raise money with creative fundraising emails for nonprofits
Fundraising is at the core of nonprofit email marketing. The best fundraising emails for nonprofits stress the importance of your cause, personalize your request and create excitement about giving. Here are some ideas:

Tell a success story, then ask for a donation so you can help others in a similar way
Show subscribers exactly what their money goes toward at different contribution levels; for example, $25 might feed a child for a week while $100 might pay for their education for a month
Fundraise for the holidays (or a specific project) and set a campaign goal; send regular progress updates to excite subscribers and motivate donations
Sell promotional items such as shirts, hats and water bottles with your logo; have a portion of the proceeds go to your cause — or let subscribers buy items as gifts for friends and family
Send emails that allow subscribers to donate in others’ names: friends, family members, organizations or in the memory of loved ones

You can make your nonprofit fundraising emails more effective with colorful CTAs that stand out. “Donate now” is a common CTA, but you can try others such as:

Learn more
Give now
Give a meal
Help a child
Save a whale
Watch the video
Get involved
Join us
Be a hero

Once subscribers click, take them to a landing page that features your donation form plus additional information and media: videos, images and an overview of your current campaign. A good nonprofit landing page helps reduce abandonment because it works to foster excitement and makes it easy to contribute.
Personalize your emails as much as possible. For example, use an email marketing tool that inserts each subscriber’s first name in the salutation (and even the subject line). If you’re asking for donations, add your director’s name and signature near the bottom.
You can also take advantage of email automation to boost your fundraising efforts. Create a series of emails that are automatically sent to subscribers at scheduled intervals. For example, your campaign might include:

A welcome email that introduces subscribers to your organization’s mission
An update email that tells subscribers what you’ve been doing to make the world a better place
A fundraising email that creates excitement around your current campaign and makes a direct ask for donations

Here, you can divide subscribers into two segments: donors and non-donors. Donors can receive a thank-you email with updates on campaign fundraising, the impact of their contributions and future requests for donations. Non-donors can receive more emails that build the case for your cause before you make another donation request.
This email from Unicef tells the story of a young girl who lost her home due to climate change, then tells subscribers how to help millions of other children just like her. Note the three different calls to action.

4. Keep subscribers updated with email newsletters
Send regular newsletters to keep subscribers updated on your organization’s challenges and successes. Your supporters want to know how you’re working to achieve your mission and how they can help.
Good nonprofit newsletter ideas include:

Tips that align with your cause — for example, a nonprofit that protects animal rights might list ways to keep pets cool and comfortable during hot summer months
Case studies “from the field” — for example, you could detail how your last campaign saved a wildlife habitat for an endangered species ( and then send them to a fundraising landing page to learn more)
Financial reports to let subscribers know how you’re spending donations and the positive impact of their contributions
Donor and volunteer spotlights show how individuals can make important contributions to inspire other subscribers to do the same
Related news articles and commentary from your director or communications officer
Featured photos that illustrate the impact of your organization
Upcoming events, such as conferences, trade shows, webinars and more
A CTA to show subscribers how they can help — right now

This UNHCR email is a perfect example of a good nonprofit newsletter. It features a video link, personalized news stories and a strong CTA.

5. Help subscribers take a stand
Nonprofit email marketing isn’t just about fundraising. It can also be used to promote activism. In particular, political activism that demands change.
If you’re fighting legislative policy, going head-to-head against a huge corporation or trying to sway public opinion, send an email that asks subscribers to sign a petition. You can then send them to a landing page that collects signatures.
Send your signed petition to legislators, corporate heads, newspapers, blogs and other publications to make your stand. Follow up with subscribers to let them know about responses you’ve received and the impact their petition had.
This is another opportunity to use email automation to raise funds. You can automatically add petition signers to a new email list and send thank-you emails plus donation request follow-ups.
This WDC email uses disturbing images to motivate petition signatures.

6. Learn more about your supporters
Email, when coupled with surveys, becomes even more powerful. Create a survey designed to learn more about your supporters, their demographics and what they expect from your organization. Then, use that information to improve results.
For example, your survey can be used to identify supporter demographics. You can use that information to target your donation requests to people who are likely to contribute. You can also discover what motivates your supporters and what they expect from your organization — use this information to position your message and inspire action, such as donations, volunteerism and advocacy.
Nonprofit email marketing is perhaps the most powerful communication tool at your disposal. Best of all, it’s easy and affordable. Use these tips to craft effective nonprofit email campaigns that increase support and boost your fundraising efforts so you can continue to make a positive impact on the world.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
The post 6 tips for effective nonprofit email campaigns appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Grade A subject lines for back-to-school season

By |2019-08-13T07:00:51-04:00August 13th, 2019|News|

While summer heat waves may still be going strong, August means pens and binders and laptops aren’t too far off. Keep your business ahead of the curve by making the most of this back-to-school season.
The National Retail Federation’s 2019 annual report states that back-to-college and back-to-school shopping are set to reach $80.7 billion this year, while families with children in K-12 plan to spend an average $696.70. That’s up from $684.79 in 2018 and tops the previous record of $688.62 set in 2012. Since most spending goes to clothing, accessories and electronics, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and get some of the profits if your business is in these industries.
Though August is the biggest month for back-to-school deals, stores are starting earlier each year. According to Deloitte, from late July to early August, approximately 90 percent of back-to-school shoppers are expected to start filling their carts. That doesn’t mean it’s too late to promote back-to-school, however.
So, start ramping up your sales (and increasing your profits) with discounts, social posts and emails to communicate your deals. Here’s how to ace your subject lines.
Back-to-school subject lines that add up to great sales
Whether you’re promoting a sale or wishing students the best for the new academic year, keep it smart and keep it classy! Here are some back-to-school email marketing ideas worth noting:

Spend $15, save $5 on ALL your back-to-school basics. | Dollar General
Make the Grade: Back-to-School Favorites Up to 65% Off | DiscountMags.com
Fun new ways to help kids learn back-to-school routines | Really Good Stuff
Turn Heads! Get “A+” Gear For “Back-To-School” Excursions! | Morris 4×4 Center
Cheat sheet! Our editors curated this: Back-to-school style | Dash & Albert Rugs
Your cheat sheet for seats. Styles under $200 | Wayfair
Back-to-school checklist. Take notes! | BoxLunch
Let us help you carry that | Billabong

Plus, back-to-school subject lines from the VerticalResponse class
Because we’re always on the hunt for extra credit, we had to do more. Use these as is or add your own spin to make them meaningful for your business. After all, you don’t want to be the only business who shows up late to the first day of school.

3 reasons why you should shop after July
The kind of math we like: 50% off EVERYTHING
You’re our top pick! See our back-to-school sporting bundles.
Better than a sunny day … this Sunday sale takes care of last-minute shoppers
You can skip class, but don’t skip this crazy deal!
Back at it in the newest backpacks this year.
Be a teacher’s pet. ALL produce on sale, this week only!
We won’t tell if you cheat — 90% (off) is too good to pass up

Utilize back-to-school shopping as your mid-year email marketing boost. By engaging your audience with strong subject lines, you’ll increase sales while giving students one last thing to look forward to.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2017 and has been revised for relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post Grade A subject lines for back-to-school season appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Grade A subject lines for back-to-school season

By |2019-08-13T07:00:51-04:00August 13th, 2019|News|

While summer heat waves may still be going strong, August means pens and binders and laptops aren’t too far off. Keep your business ahead of the curve by making the most of this back-to-school season.
The National Retail Federation’s 2019 annual report states that back-to-college and back-to-school shopping are set to reach $80.7 billion this year, while families with children in K-12 plan to spend an average $696.70. That’s up from $684.79 in 2018 and tops the previous record of $688.62 set in 2012. Since most spending goes to clothing, accessories and electronics, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and get some of the profits if your business is in these industries.
Though August is the biggest month for back-to-school deals, stores are starting earlier each year. According to Deloitte, from late July to early August, approximately 90 percent of back-to-school shoppers are expected to start filling their carts. That doesn’t mean it’s too late to promote back-to-school, however.
So, start ramping up your sales (and increasing your profits) with discounts, social posts and emails to communicate your deals. Here’s how to ace your subject lines.
Back-to-school subject lines that add up to great sales
Whether you’re promoting a sale or wishing students the best for the new academic year, keep it smart and keep it classy! Here are some back-to-school email marketing ideas worth noting:

Spend $15, save $5 on ALL your back-to-school basics. | Dollar General
Make the Grade: Back-to-School Favorites Up to 65% Off | DiscountMags.com
Fun new ways to help kids learn back-to-school routines | Really Good Stuff
Turn Heads! Get “A+” Gear For “Back-To-School” Excursions! | Morris 4×4 Center
Cheat sheet! Our editors curated this: Back-to-school style | Dash & Albert Rugs
Your cheat sheet for seats. Styles under $200 | Wayfair
Back-to-school checklist. Take notes! | BoxLunch
Let us help you carry that | Billabong

Plus, back-to-school subject lines from the VerticalResponse class
Because we’re always on the hunt for extra credit, we had to do more. Use these as is or add your own spin to make them meaningful for your business. After all, you don’t want to be the only business who shows up late to the first day of school.

3 reasons why you should shop after July
The kind of math we like: 50% off EVERYTHING
You’re our top pick! See our back-to-school sporting bundles.
Better than a sunny day … this Sunday sale takes care of last-minute shoppers
You can skip class, but don’t skip this crazy deal!
Back at it in the newest backpacks this year.
Be a teacher’s pet. ALL produce on sale, this week only!
We won’t tell if you cheat — 90% (off) is too good to pass up

Utilize back-to-school shopping as your mid-year email marketing boost. By engaging your audience with strong subject lines, you’ll increase sales while giving students one last thing to look forward to.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2017 and has been revised for relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post Grade A subject lines for back-to-school season appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Tips for effective email marketing CTAs

By |2019-08-06T06:01:47-04:00August 6th, 2019|News|

Emails live and die by their calls to action (CTAs). A good email marketing call to action is critical to success; it’s the catalyst that spurs sales. CTAs have evolved over the years, and keeping abreast of current trends is a great way to ensure your email marketing is effective. To that end, here are contemporary tips for crafting powerful email CTAs plus examples you can use to yield better results.
Begin at the end
The call to action should be the first thing you write when you draft a new email campaign. That’s because the entire goal of your email is to get readers to click your CTA and take the next step in the purchasing process.
When you write your CTA first, it’s easy to design the rest of your email to draw readers’ eyes to your call to action and motivate response.
Think of your email as a journey. Your subject line entices readers to open your email. Your body copy and images work to create desire and excite potential customers. Your email call to action is the natural next step and, when everything is in sync, readers will be looking for it because they’re ready to act. That action doesn’t necessarily need to be a sale, though that is likely your end goal.
A series of emails might work to foster trust and therefore include different types of CTAs in each installment. For example, the first email might invite subscribers to learn more about your company’s mission, so your CTA could be a “learn more” button. The second email might lend social proof, so your CTA might lead to your website’s press page. The third email, then, might promote a special discount offer with a CTA to “shop now.”
In the first of our email call to action examples, you can see how Grow.com (below) uses a CTA that invites readers to download a free cheat sheet. They’re not asking customers to buy now, but their end goal is still a sale: They want you to read the cheat sheet and be motivated to try their service.

The below example from Airbnb illustrates how CTAs can be used to introduce readers to your community. It invites engagement and direct interaction without being overly promotional. Of course, the end goal is to land a sale and convert lifelong customers. Note how the email incorporates multiple CTAs.

Single vs. multiple email call to actions
Some marketers feel a single call to action is the best strategy. The logic is that a single CTA allows you to focus your email content on achieving a singular goal, while multiple CTAs can be distracting. With too many options, subscribers aren’t sure what to do next and they ultimately delete your email without clicking anything.
In this example, Dropbox uses a single CTA to drive clickthroughs:

The single-CTA strategy is sound, but there are times when multiple CTAs can be incredibly effective. In fact, multiple CTAs can add personalization to your email and increase your clickthrough rate.
Let’s say you operate an online clothing store. You want to send an email that promotes a special time-limited discount. Your customer demographics include men, women and parents of young children. If you have multiple email lists segmented by those demographics, a single CTA in each email might be a good idea. However, it’s unlikely your lists are segmented like that, so instead you can offer three CTA buttons: “shop men,” “shop women” and “shop kids.” That way your subscribers identify with the CTA that best fits them and can quickly click to see the products they’re most interested in.
Here, Express uses multiple CTAs for men and women:

Another example? Let’s say you have many different types of products: shoes, jackets, shorts, etc. One option is to assign each its own CTA. In this email, Ruche uses multiple CTAs to appeal to shoppers interested in different product types:

This strategy can apply to many different types of businesses. Run an online pet supply store? Add different CTAs for dog lovers and cat lovers. Sell automotive accessories? Add different CTAs by accessory type or vehicle make.
You have options as you build your CTAs. The best way to know which work best is to test them, which leads us to our next point.
A/B test email marketing calls to action with a CTA-test matrix
Data-driven marketing is the best way to fine-tune your emails and consistently improve results. You can run split tests, or A/B tests, to see which email variants perform best. It’s easy to do with a CTA-test matrix.
With a CTA test, you identify a goal and test different versions of your email to see which yields better results. For example, you might wonder whether an email with a single CTA or multiple CTAs will perform better. In most cases, though, you’ll be testing a single element: which color button gets the most clicks, which button text works best and which button placement performs better.
Map the results in a table to make design decisions that improve your email click rate:

In the above example, you can see that on 8/1/17 we ran a test to see which button color increased click rates. Blue was the control (A), which means it was the color that was already being used. Red was the test (B). The results? The control won, so we’ll continue to use a blue button in that email.
In the second test, on 8/7/17, we tested the text “Read More” versus the control “Learn More.” In this case, the test beat the control. Since “Read More” won, it will become the control and we can test other variations against it to see if we can find one that performs even better.
Develop email CTAs from the reader’s point of view
Many email marketing CTAs use the second person point of view. For example:

Subscribe Now
Claim Your Prize
Shop Now
Learn More
Reserve Your Table

However, studies show that the first-person voice yields a 90 percent better clickthrough rate than second-person voice. First-person lends the impression that the reader is in control and adds a level of personalization to your call to action. For example:

Sign Me Up
Claim My Prize
Find My Perfect Style
I Want To Know More
Reserve My Table

See the difference? It’s easy to shift your calls to action to first person perspective: simply replace “you” and “your” with “I,” “me” and “my.”
Give it a try. Chances are you’ll realize a significant boost in clickthrough rate.
Here’s an example abandoned cart email from DoggyLoot that uses first person perspective to encourage subscribers to check out:

This tactic is used again in this opt-in/opt-out email by Redbubble:

Use power words (and have some fun with it)
Your CTA verbiage should reflect the message of your email body copy. Remember, a good CTA is a natural and expected next step in the email journey. Use your body copy to create desire, stir emotion and lend personalized meaning to your message; then, use your CTA to spur readers into action.
Use your test matrix to see which CTAs perform best. Not sure where to start? Try any of these proven CTA power words:

Shop
Contact
Save
Reserve
Find
Discover
Free
Buy
Join
Upgrade
Now
Get
Claim
Book
Create
Give
Explore
Add
Try
Sign Up
View

Another contemporary email marketing CTA trend is to have some fun with your button copy. Instead of using a common CTA like “shop now,” this call to action by Rent The Runway reads “get the party started.”

Here’s another fun example by Public Desire: “Get it or regret it.”

And another one by Banana Republic: “get fresh.”

Your email call to action plays a major role in the success of your marketing strategy. Use these tips to craft modern email CTAs that increase clicks, generate leads and boost sales.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
The post Tips for effective email marketing CTAs appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Tips for effective email marketing CTAs

By |2019-08-06T06:01:47-04:00August 6th, 2019|News|

Emails live and die by their calls to action (CTAs). A good email marketing call to action is critical to success; it’s the catalyst that spurs sales. CTAs have evolved over the years, and keeping abreast of current trends is a great way to ensure your email marketing is effective. To that end, here are contemporary tips for crafting powerful email CTAs plus examples you can use to yield better results.
Begin at the end
The call to action should be the first thing you write when you draft a new email campaign. That’s because the entire goal of your email is to get readers to click your CTA and take the next step in the purchasing process.
When you write your CTA first, it’s easy to design the rest of your email to draw readers’ eyes to your call to action and motivate response.
Think of your email as a journey. Your subject line entices readers to open your email. Your body copy and images work to create desire and excite potential customers. Your email call to action is the natural next step and, when everything is in sync, readers will be looking for it because they’re ready to act. That action doesn’t necessarily need to be a sale, though that is likely your end goal.
A series of emails might work to foster trust and therefore include different types of CTAs in each installment. For example, the first email might invite subscribers to learn more about your company’s mission, so your CTA could be a “learn more” button. The second email might lend social proof, so your CTA might lead to your website’s press page. The third email, then, might promote a special discount offer with a CTA to “shop now.”
In the first of our email call to action examples, you can see how Grow.com (below) uses a CTA that invites readers to download a free cheat sheet. They’re not asking customers to buy now, but their end goal is still a sale: They want you to read the cheat sheet and be motivated to try their service.

The below example from Airbnb illustrates how CTAs can be used to introduce readers to your community. It invites engagement and direct interaction without being overly promotional. Of course, the end goal is to land a sale and convert lifelong customers. Note how the email incorporates multiple CTAs.

Single vs. multiple email call to actions
Some marketers feel a single call to action is the best strategy. The logic is that a single CTA allows you to focus your email content on achieving a singular goal, while multiple CTAs can be distracting. With too many options, subscribers aren’t sure what to do next and they ultimately delete your email without clicking anything.
In this example, Dropbox uses a single CTA to drive clickthroughs:

The single-CTA strategy is sound, but there are times when multiple CTAs can be incredibly effective. In fact, multiple CTAs can add personalization to your email and increase your clickthrough rate.
Let’s say you operate an online clothing store. You want to send an email that promotes a special time-limited discount. Your customer demographics include men, women and parents of young children. If you have multiple email lists segmented by those demographics, a single CTA in each email might be a good idea. However, it’s unlikely your lists are segmented like that, so instead you can offer three CTA buttons: “shop men,” “shop women” and “shop kids.” That way your subscribers identify with the CTA that best fits them and can quickly click to see the products they’re most interested in.
Here, Express uses multiple CTAs for men and women:

Another example? Let’s say you have many different types of products: shoes, jackets, shorts, etc. One option is to assign each its own CTA. In this email, Ruche uses multiple CTAs to appeal to shoppers interested in different product types:

This strategy can apply to many different types of businesses. Run an online pet supply store? Add different CTAs for dog lovers and cat lovers. Sell automotive accessories? Add different CTAs by accessory type or vehicle make.
You have options as you build your CTAs. The best way to know which work best is to test them, which leads us to our next point.
A/B test email marketing calls to action with a CTA-test matrix
Data-driven marketing is the best way to fine-tune your emails and consistently improve results. You can run split tests, or A/B tests, to see which email variants perform best. It’s easy to do with a CTA-test matrix.
With a CTA test, you identify a goal and test different versions of your email to see which yields better results. For example, you might wonder whether an email with a single CTA or multiple CTAs will perform better. In most cases, though, you’ll be testing a single element: which color button gets the most clicks, which button text works best and which button placement performs better.
Map the results in a table to make design decisions that improve your email click rate:

In the above example, you can see that on 8/1/17 we ran a test to see which button color increased click rates. Blue was the control (A), which means it was the color that was already being used. Red was the test (B). The results? The control won, so we’ll continue to use a blue button in that email.
In the second test, on 8/7/17, we tested the text “Read More” versus the control “Learn More.” In this case, the test beat the control. Since “Read More” won, it will become the control and we can test other variations against it to see if we can find one that performs even better.
Develop email CTAs from the reader’s point of view
Many email marketing CTAs use the second person point of view. For example:

Subscribe Now
Claim Your Prize
Shop Now
Learn More
Reserve Your Table

However, studies show that the first-person voice yields a 90 percent better clickthrough rate than second-person voice. First-person lends the impression that the reader is in control and adds a level of personalization to your call to action. For example:

Sign Me Up
Claim My Prize
Find My Perfect Style
I Want To Know More
Reserve My Table

See the difference? It’s easy to shift your calls to action to first person perspective: simply replace “you” and “your” with “I,” “me” and “my.”
Give it a try. Chances are you’ll realize a significant boost in clickthrough rate.
Here’s an example abandoned cart email from DoggyLoot that uses first person perspective to encourage subscribers to check out:

This tactic is used again in this opt-in/opt-out email by Redbubble:

Use power words (and have some fun with it)
Your CTA verbiage should reflect the message of your email body copy. Remember, a good CTA is a natural and expected next step in the email journey. Use your body copy to create desire, stir emotion and lend personalized meaning to your message; then, use your CTA to spur readers into action.
Use your test matrix to see which CTAs perform best. Not sure where to start? Try any of these proven CTA power words:

Shop
Contact
Save
Reserve
Find
Discover
Free
Buy
Join
Upgrade
Now
Get
Claim
Book
Create
Give
Explore
Add
Try
Sign Up
View

Another contemporary email marketing CTA trend is to have some fun with your button copy. Instead of using a common CTA like “shop now,” this call to action by Rent The Runway reads “get the party started.”

Here’s another fun example by Public Desire: “Get it or regret it.”

And another one by Banana Republic: “get fresh.”

Your email call to action plays a major role in the success of your marketing strategy. Use these tips to craft modern email CTAs that increase clicks, generate leads and boost sales.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
The post Tips for effective email marketing CTAs appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

July 2019

Enjoy a better user experience with our latest updates

By |2019-07-30T06:02:22-04:00July 30th, 2019|News|

VerticalResponse is always working to improve the user experience, and we’re excited to announce a series of updates to our email marketing tools that make it faster and easier than ever to connect with your audience, build compelling campaigns and track results. Here’s a rundown of our newest features.
1. Pay as you go
Some of our users take advantage of monthly subscriptions to send unlimited emails. Others purchase credits because they send emails less frequently. If you’re in the latter camp, this update is for you. Now, you can choose the exact number of credits you need instead of paying for a predefined block.
For example, you no longer need to pay for a block of 2,500 credits if you only need 2,347 credits. Simply enter the exact number you need and checkout. Our new pay as you go feature makes it easy to control email marketing costs and maximize your return on investment.

2. Add custom fields to campaign download reports
Now you can customize campaign download reports with custom fields. Choose exactly what you want to include in your report, including any custom fields you create for your contact list. Examples include birthdays, customer IDs, question responses and any other data you want to collect.
To access this feature, click on the message name and then “download report.” Then, choose the custom fields to include from the dropdown located near the bottom of the Download Report page.

3. Google Analytics link tracking
Do you use Google Analytics? If so, now you can use it to track email campaign performance. See which email links your subscribers click, and track their journey through your website. It’s a great way to bring your analytics all under the same roof.
To add Google Analytics tracking to your emails, check the box at the bottom of the page where you designate which contacts will receive your email.

4. Customize sign-up form confirmation emails
Add a personalized touch to your sign-up form opt-in confirmation emails. Now you can create a custom confirmation message for each sign-up form. You can also customize the from name, address, subject line and confirmation button text — plus direct subscribers to a custom landing page URL after they click the confirm button.
Custom confirmation emails can be tailored to your audience to help increase opt-in conversions, and custom landing pages can encourage new subscribers to act. Use them to introduce subscribers to your products, services, a special offer or anything else you’d like.
These new customization options are available in Step 3 of the sign-up form creator.

5. Search contacts by date added
Want to make a list of contacts added before or after a given date, or during a defined date range? Now you can with our new “date added” search filter. This is a useful tool if you want to create a new campaign that targets subscribers based on when they were added to your list. You can even use this feature to filter other contact search results, allowing you to fine-tune your mailing lists for advanced targeting.

6. Clearly named email report tabs
We’ve renamed our email report tabs for clearer, easier-to-understand metrics. The new tabs reflect common industry nomenclature such as “Sent,” “Opens” and “Clicks” for simpler reporting on the metrics that matter.

7. New VerticalResponse mobile functionality
Now you can check your email campaign stats on the go with our new mobile functionality. It offers real-time campaign statistics on your smartphone, lets you verify that scheduled emails were sent and allows you to view past and upcoming emails.
Mobile functionality makes it easy to stay on top of your email campaign performance from anywhere. It’s a value-added service that works on any mobile device with a web browser. 

(Currently, mobile functionality is not available to VerticalResponse Classic or Deluxe Marketing Suite users.)
8. Intuitive drag-and-drop email content blocks
Our email builder updates make it easier than ever to craft compelling email layouts. Previously, clicking on content blocks would move them to the bottom, then you would need to move them up to the position you wanted. Now, you can drag content blocks directly into the builder and place them wherever you want.
The update turns a two-step process into an intuitive one-step process, making our email builder more user-friendly than ever.

VerticalResponse is dedicated to consistently improving the user experience so you can craft compelling email campaigns that get opened, get clicked and help you earn more sales. Stay tuned for future updates!
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© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
The post Enjoy a better user experience with our latest updates appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

8 rules for writing a riveting About Us page

By |2019-07-22T12:15:47-04:00July 22nd, 2019|News|

The About Us page isn’t just one of the most visited areas of your website. It’s the place where people get a feel for your company and whether they’re interested in doing business with you. So, if you’re not putting your best face forward there, it’s time for a makeover.
The good news is that the process doesn’t have to be complicated. With the help of these golden rules, you’ll be able to create a compelling About Us page that online visitors can’t resist.
1. Tell a story
This is an area where small companies have an advantage over the big guys. People enjoy supporting others with whom they feel a connection, and sharing your personal story is a step toward establishing a relationship. In your company description, talk about why the business was started or the history behind it.
Lovett’s Soul Food, based in Alton, Illinois, is all about family — and their About Us page is proof of that. Instead of simply listing the dishes offered, it explains the Lovett family’s connection to those dishes. It also describes the early days of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings as a walk-up window restaurant to its eventual growth and transition into a dine-in restaurant beloved by the community.

2. Include stats and facts
You want to stand out from the crowd, but steer away from any inclination to pad your numbers, client list or achievements. It’s just not worth the risk to your business and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Schlemmer Brothers Hearth & Home is a family-run business based in Wabash, Indiana. The company’s historical connection to Wabash is a point of pride for owner Kent Henderson, and he highlights it in the About Us page by mentioning that the company has been serving the community for 110 years. This impressive fact is further emphasized and supported on the page by vintage family photos of the shop.

3. Use visuals and photos
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” definitely rings true in many cases. Staff pics, behind-the-scenes peeks and old photos add context and color to your company description.
Lisa Morrison, Mary Morrison and Katey Vankirk, owners of Morrison’s Irish Pub in Alton, Illinois, want their patrons to feel at home when they’re in the bar. The trio is also dedicated to creating an authentic Irish pub environment for everyone who walks through their doors. Morrison’s, as they explain on their website, is like an “Ireland away from Ireland.” The images and graphics displayed on their About Us page are intended to support their messaging while grabbing visitors’ attention.
The owners use a mix of high-quality, professional photos and personal snapshots of themselves to show who they are and connect with their website visitors on a human level. They’ve also accented the page with a plaid design and Celtic graphics to evoke the Irish culture that is so integral to their business.

4. Be true to your brand
Your branding — that is, the color scheme, typography, logo and messaging you use on all of your marketing materials — communicates who you are as a company. Strong, consistent branding will bring attention to your company, create trust and ensure that people remember you. This being said, your website design — along with everything from your email marketing campaigns to your social media profiles — should reflect your brand identity and complement the narrative that you’re presenting in your About Us page.
Miguel Velez, owner of Miguel’s Riverside Barber Shop in Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, notes his years of experience and love of old-school barbering in his website biography. The page’s design supports these points in subtle but effective ways. The sleek, clean layout speaks to his professionalism while the deep blue, brown and red color scheme are classic and hint at the old-school barbering that he’s passionate about. If he were to use, say, a neon color palette he would be evoking a completely different personality — one that isn’t compatible with his branding.

5. Let your customers do the talking
What’s better than telling the world that you make the best pizza in town? Hearing or seeing rave reviews from happy customers. Customer testimonials build trust by backing up what you say on your website. So, take a look at what you can share about your business that lends credibility to the claims you make, and put this social proof where online visitors can easily find it.
Like any child care facility, Discover, Learn & Grow in Bristol Borough, needed a way to establish trust in the community. The example below shows how owner Ramona Jones does just that by using parent testimonials on her website.

6. Drive readers to action
Every page on your website, including the About Us page, should drive readers to take a specific action — whether it’s to call you, learn more about your products, buy something or visit your business. So, don’t forget to include calls to action and contact links.
You can create a playful call to action like this one from bait and tackle retailer Bluff City Outdoors in Alton, so long as readers understand what you’d like them to do:

7. Show off your personality
People do business with people, so let your personality shine in your writing. Being a little funny, if that’s your style, can definitely help you stand out among your competitors and help customers feel connected to your company. Just keep it authentic.
Mark McMurry isn’t just the owner of a bait and tackle shop. He is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for catfishing. And he reels in an audience by infusing his personality, passion and expertise into every page of his website. In the following example, McMurry not only builds trust by showing people he has what it takes to wrangle some monstrous catfish, he shares his quirky sense of humor by saying, “Think crappies — not crap.”

 
8. Sum it up
Want your story to stick with readers? Sum it up with a short and sweet, memorable tagline. Your tagline will capture your company’s essence, personality and values to help you stand out from the crowd. Before you write one, think about what your company is about, who your customers are and how you help them.
The tagline below communicates that owner Benjamin Golley of Today’s Beauty Supply, doesn’t just want to make a profit. He wants to make a difference in the Alton community. And he does that by hosting a variety of neighborhood events in the community space connected to the shop.

In short, when it comes to your About Us page, be interesting, be accurate and, above all, be yourself!
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2015 under the title “7 do’s and don’ts for writing your company’s story.” It has been completely rewritten for relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post 8 rules for writing a riveting About Us page appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

8 rules for writing a riveting About Us page

By |2019-07-22T12:15:47-04:00July 22nd, 2019|News|

The About Us page isn’t just one of the most visited areas of your website. It’s the place where people get a feel for your company and whether they’re interested in doing business with you. So, if you’re not putting your best face forward there, it’s time for a makeover.
The good news is that the process doesn’t have to be complicated. With the help of these golden rules, you’ll be able to create a compelling About Us page that online visitors can’t resist.
1. Tell a story
This is an area where small companies have an advantage over the big guys. People enjoy supporting others with whom they feel a connection, and sharing your personal story is a step toward establishing a relationship. In your company description, talk about why the business was started or the history behind it.
Lovett’s Soul Food, based in Alton, Illinois, is all about family — and their About Us page is proof of that. Instead of simply listing the dishes offered, it explains the Lovett family’s connection to those dishes. It also describes the early days of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings as a walk-up window restaurant to its eventual growth and transition into a dine-in restaurant beloved by the community.

2. Include stats and facts
You want to stand out from the crowd, but steer away from any inclination to pad your numbers, client list or achievements. It’s just not worth the risk to your business and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Schlemmer Brothers Hearth & Home is a family-run business based in Wabash, Indiana. The company’s historical connection to Wabash is a point of pride for owner Kent Henderson, and he highlights it in the About Us page by mentioning that the company has been serving the community for 110 years. This impressive fact is further emphasized and supported on the page by vintage family photos of the shop.

3. Use visuals and photos
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” definitely rings true in many cases. Staff pics, behind-the-scenes peeks and old photos add context and color to your company description.
Lisa Morrison, Mary Morrison and Katey Vankirk, owners of Morrison’s Irish Pub in Alton, Illinois, want their patrons to feel at home when they’re in the bar. The trio is also dedicated to creating an authentic Irish pub environment for everyone who walks through their doors. Morrison’s, as they explain on their website, is like an “Ireland away from Ireland.” The images and graphics displayed on their About Us page are intended to support their messaging while grabbing visitors’ attention.
The owners use a mix of high-quality, professional photos and personal snapshots of themselves to show who they are and connect with their website visitors on a human level. They’ve also accented the page with a plaid design and Celtic graphics to evoke the Irish culture that is so integral to their business.

4. Be true to your brand
Your branding — that is, the color scheme, typography, logo and messaging you use on all of your marketing materials — communicates who you are as a company. Strong, consistent branding will bring attention to your company, create trust and ensure that people remember you. This being said, your website design — along with everything from your email marketing campaigns to your social media profiles — should reflect your brand identity and complement the narrative that you’re presenting in your About Us page.
Miguel Velez, owner of Miguel’s Riverside Barber Shop in Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, notes his years of experience and love of old-school barbering in his website biography. The page’s design supports these points in subtle but effective ways. The sleek, clean layout speaks to his professionalism while the deep blue, brown and red color scheme are classic and hint at the old-school barbering that he’s passionate about. If he were to use, say, a neon color palette he would be evoking a completely different personality — one that isn’t compatible with his branding.

5. Let your customers do the talking
What’s better than telling the world that you make the best pizza in town? Hearing or seeing rave reviews from happy customers. Customer testimonials build trust by backing up what you say on your website. So, take a look at what you can share about your business that lends credibility to the claims you make, and put this social proof where online visitors can easily find it.
Like any child care facility, Discover, Learn & Grow in Bristol Borough, needed a way to establish trust in the community. The example below shows how owner Ramona Jones does just that by using parent testimonials on her website.

6. Drive readers to action
Every page on your website, including the About Us page, should drive readers to take a specific action — whether it’s to call you, learn more about your products, buy something or visit your business. So, don’t forget to include calls to action and contact links.
You can create a playful call to action like this one from bait and tackle retailer Bluff City Outdoors in Alton, so long as readers understand what you’d like them to do:

7. Show off your personality
People do business with people, so let your personality shine in your writing. Being a little funny, if that’s your style, can definitely help you stand out among your competitors and help customers feel connected to your company. Just keep it authentic.
Mark McMurry isn’t just the owner of a bait and tackle shop. He is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for catfishing. And he reels in an audience by infusing his personality, passion and expertise into every page of his website. In the following example, McMurry not only builds trust by showing people he has what it takes to wrangle some monstrous catfish, he shares his quirky sense of humor by saying, “Think crappies — not crap.”

 
8. Sum it up
Want your story to stick with readers? Sum it up with a short and sweet, memorable tagline. Your tagline will capture your company’s essence, personality and values to help you stand out from the crowd. Before you write one, think about what your company is about, who your customers are and how you help them.
The tagline below communicates that owner Benjamin Golley of Today’s Beauty Supply, doesn’t just want to make a profit. He wants to make a difference in the Alton community. And he does that by hosting a variety of neighborhood events in the community space connected to the shop.

In short, when it comes to your About Us page, be interesting, be accurate and, above all, be yourself!
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2015 under the title “7 do’s and don’ts for writing your company’s story.” It has been completely rewritten for relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post 8 rules for writing a riveting About Us page appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Improve your survey response rate with these 5 tips

By |2019-07-18T06:01:17-04:00July 18th, 2019|News|

In an era where survey requests bombard consumers, few have the time or energy to take them. So, how do you make yours stand out? Here are five tips to improve your survey response rate. 
1. Keep it short and snappy
A lot of questions are answered by outliers who’ve had a very specific experience they want to comment on. This works well for companies to handle service complaints or prevent future problems, but it doesn’t do much to aggregate the information of the average customer. If you want to get information about your target audience, make it easy for them. 
One way to do that is to respect your customers’ time. Don’t ask for responses with a high word count requirement, or ask people to rank a long list. By asking fewer questions, you give recipients the chance to be thoughtful in their responses. 
Short and snappy example: 

As this image from Engadget shows, Uber’s quick survey makes it simple to provide feedback in the form of stars. And, if there’s a problem, the survey taker can provide more details about their trip. The survey taker feels in control of their level of involvement.  
2. Engage through questions
Make your questions interesting and easy to read; a poor design reflects poorly on your brand. The average email survey response rate is around 30 percent, so to get a large amount of recipients and make your data statistically relevant, you need to draw people in with eye-catching words and images. 
Engaging example: 

This example works because it connects with the audience in a positive way. It also lets recipients of this email know exactly how long the survey will take and how many questions it has. It also uses a tip we’ll cover below: offering incentives. 
3. Ask questions in person
Take advantage of event booths and trade shows by using them as opportunities to interact with your customers. Not only can you speak to them or help them fill out a survey (try an iPad survey or a printed survey you hand out at your table), but you can pick up clues from their body language. To thank them, be ready to hand out gift cards or let people add their name to a raffle.
4. Offer an incentive
Incentives are an inexpensive way to boost your response rates. We’ve listed it last because your focus shouldn’t just be on paying to get responses, but on your customer experience itself. Use the above tips to position the survey in a way that makes people want to answer your questions. If people only take your survey for the chance of a reward, they may hurry through or fill it in without looking too closely. 
Incentive example: 

Not only does this ThredUP email come at the right time — right after a purchase — but it’s clear how much time and money is in it for the recipient. This forward approach lets you decide beforehand if you’re willing to spend the time required to get the reward. 
5. Recognize opportunities for your business type
Survey design tips for different types of businesses are generally the same, but here are a few business-specific tips:
Restaurants 
Try giving a paper survey at the end of the meal with the check or including a URL on the receipt where patrons can go to fill out the survey. Ask questions like: Was your meal satisfying? How was the overall service? Are you likely to dine with us again? 
Retailers and service businesses
After a consultation or shopping trip, include a survey in customers’ information kit or shopping bag. With it, offer a discount or promotion for the next time they use your service or shop with you. Ask them how they’d rate their appointment, and how you could improve their experience in the future. 
Nonprofits
To get recipients to engage with your nonprofit survey, let them know how completing the survey will contribute to improving the nonprofit’s work toward the cause. 
Create the survey
You know how you want to format and ask your questions, but how do you make and distribute the survey? VerticalResponse’s Survey tool gives you the flexibility and ease you need to make and deploy an effective survey. Surveys are mobile-friendly to allow customers to respond when it’s convenient for them, and you don’t need to know how to code to create one. With unlimited surveys and real-time results, long-term success isn’t far away. Get the customer insights your company needs. 
Take what you learn from the surveys to make improvements on what’s not working or to keep going with what’s working 
Regardless of the tip (or tips!) you decide to implement, remember to reach out through email, physical mail, social media and your website to make sure people know about your survey. 
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© 2019, Lindsey Bakken. All rights reserved.
The post Improve your survey response rate with these 5 tips appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

The complete guide to running effective email nurture campaigns

By |2019-07-03T06:01:08-04:00July 3rd, 2019|News|

Step aside, expensive marketing tactics. There’s an affordable way to invest in your audience that pays off for your company — and your customers. Join us as we delve into email nurturing.
What is email nurturing?
Email nurturing engages potential customers with the hope of turning them into loyal customers. When a visitor performs a specific behavior on your website, it triggers an email with targeted information to nurture that relationship with your brand. Data, personas and demographics come together to segment email lists; these allow you to send relevant content that helps customers on their journeys — whether they want to learn, research or purchase — while leaving an impression.
You can send a series of these targeted emails in a nurture stream to guide the potential customer through the buying process. Rather than just generating leads, the focus is on the follow-up with those leads.
Like anything worthwhile, it takes time to see results with email nurturing. Show customers you’re not wasting their time by offering useful information or extras like an eBook or case study. Based on their behavior with your content, you can interact with your audience in a natural way that leads them to take further action with your business.
The difference between email nurture and drip campaigns
Confusion is common around email nurturing and drip campaigns. To clear this up, here are some quick facts about drip campaigns:

A drip campaign is a series of emails sent to a general audience at a set schedule
Drip campaigns risk coming off as salesy or annoying if the frequency is too high
Emails in a drip campaign are often sent to consistently put your business name in readers’ inboxes

Email nurturing campaigns aren’t based on a set schedule.

Nurture campaigns are based on behavior (i.e. downloading an eBook, visiting a specific page multiple times or attending a webinar)
A nurture campaign provides educational content while encouraging engagement
A nurture campaign triggers successive emails based on past actions

The importance of email nurturing
According to Erica Adams, Integrated Marketing Principal at VerticalResponse’s partner company Deluxe, lead nurturing is important because “it meets a prospect where they’re at in their journey and offers relevant, timely resources to help them make thoughtful decisions.” Adams goes on to say, “Today’s buyers are independent in their research and decision-making, and lead nurturing gives you the opportunity to help them and position yourself as an expert.”
How to run effective email nurture campaigns
Creating your first, or fiftieth, email nurture campaign can feel overwhelming. We’ll break it down in six steps:

Identify how you help customers or what solutions you have to offer. Divide them into different categories. For example, a salon may separate hair color kits from products for different hair types. If a lead completes a quiz about their hair type, the salon would place them in a category that makes sense for them. The salon could empathize with its customers’ problems by sending out an email asking what they’re looking for, such as products for frizzy hair, tips to increase volume or ways to grow out hair.
Dig into your customer’s journey. Think about their behaviors, thoughts and feelings at every interaction with your company. Understanding potential pain points and roadblocks will help you nurture leads at each stage. Better yet, if you’ve got a team in sales or research, have them survey users or dig through customer reviews to see where problems arise.
Gather information about your leads to help you tailor your communications. Items like forms on your website, email interactions and customer research can help. Here are some ways to divide your focus:

Demographics such as job title, experience or location
Level of authority a lead has
Needs or wants
Engagement on social and with emails as a gauge of interest (clickthroughs, comments, shares and downloads are good ways to measure email and social engagement)
How likely they are to buy, based off of their behaviors, so you can get them what they need when they need it

Work on the emails. Users coming to you for the first time will likely enjoy videos or blog posts. Sharing helpful information and being a resource at this stage builds a trusting relationship between you and your potential customer. As they interact with your company more, use follow-up emails with products or services that can help with whatever they’ve been looking at on your site or things you think could help them. Case studies and webinars are great for this. As they move closer to a purchase decision, try product demos, free consultations or customer testimonials. Since they’ve trusted you this far, take it home by including a strong call to action (CTA) so readers know what to do next.
Consider how Email Automation can help. Knowing your audience is hugely important, but you don’t have to personally write to each and every lead individually. VerticalResponse’s Email Automation helps send the right campaigns to your defined leads once they complete a certain action. You can also see who opened and clicked through your emails.
Measure and adjust as needed. A strong nurture campaign requires reflection and evolution as time goes on and customer needs change.

Email nurture best practices
Adams provides additional advice for your nurture streams:

Personalize: Make the experience unique just for them. The idea is to send the right content to the right people at the right time to build trust and provide value. Ideally, they’ll see you as a resource and continue opening your emails once you’ve proved yourself. Personalizing to their interests helps reach this objective.
Value customers’ time: Don’t make the mistake of emailing leads every day. They won’t have time to digest your information. They may even feel annoyed and unsubscribe.
Engage leads: Ask for their feedback or offer something you think they’d find value in. Try a bonus eBook for someone who has downloaded multiple eBooks or a sneak peek into a product they’ve preordered.

Examples
See nurturing emails in action. Use these examples as inspiration you can transfer to your business.
To capture attention, mattress company Casper uses witty wording and a customer testimonial to draw shoppers who’ve abandoned their carts back to the Casper website:

Below is an example of celebrating your customer. Airbnb’s email puts itself in customers’ minds without asking readers to buy anything:

As a bonus, here are firsthand recounts of the benefits of email nurtures:
“It’s helped us to grow our business over the last year. I have been able to add my new customers easily, and it’s simple to create email campaigns. This is great for me because I don’t enjoy computer work. But I have my emails out to customers in no time. We have a great turn around in customers responding to what we are offering through our emails.” — Elaine Meade, Cheerful Dreams
“The simplicity and speed of being able to create a professional looking email was much appreciated. The feedback results such as opens, clickthroughs etc. is very helpful to improve content and segmentation opportunities.” — Geoff Walker, Wycliffe
“The big advantage to me is the ability to have sub-lists that group my members in geographic and other ways. I can easily create lead pages, email campaigns and Facebook posts. VerticalResponse has made it easy for me, a small business entrepreneur, to create professional programs, sign-up pages and email follow-ups!” — Meghan Nunes, Total Body & Lifestyle Coaching
Nurturing your customers doesn’t have to feel salesy, and following leads doesn’t mean you have to just “market” at customers. Find ways to connect with your customers when they need you, and you’ll be rewarded with loyal, long-term fans.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
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© 2019, Lindsey Bakken. All rights reserved.
The post The complete guide to running effective email nurture campaigns appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response