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June 2019

AMP'd Up for Recaptcha

By |2019-06-30T17:47:54-04:00June 30th, 2019|News|

Beyond search Google controls the leading distributed ad network, the leading mobile OS, the leading web browser, the leading email client, the leading web analytics platform, the leading free video hosting site.
They win a lot.
And they take winnings from one market & leverage them into manipulating adjacent markets.
Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.
Imagine taking a universal open standard that has zero problems with it and then stripping it down to it’s most basic components and then prepending each element with your own acronym. Then spend years building and recreating what has existed for decades. That is @amphtml— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) April 4, 2019
AMP is an utterly unnecessary invention designed to further shift power to Google while disenfranchising publishers. From the very start it had many issues with basic things like supporting JavaScript, double counting unique users (no reason to fix broken stats if they drive adoption!), not supporting third party ad networks, not showing publisher domain names, and just generally being a useless layer of sunk cost technical overhead that provides literally no real value.
Over time they have corrected some of these catastrophic deficiencies, but if it provided real value, they wouldn’t have needed to force adoption with preferential placement in their search results. They force the bundling because AMP sucks.
Absurdity knows no bounds. Googlers suggest: “AMP isn’t another “channel” or “format” that’s somehow not the web. It’s not a SEO thing. It’s not a replacement for HTML. It’s a web component framework that can power your whole site. … We, the AMP team, want AMP to become a natural choice for modern web development of content websites, and for you to choose AMP as framework because it genuinely makes you more productive.”
Meanwhile some newspapers have about a dozen employees who work on re-formatting content for AMP.
Feeeeeel the productivity!
Some content types (particularly user generated content) can be unpredictable & circuitous. For many years forums websites would use keywords embedded in the search referral to highlight relevant parts of the page. Keyword (not provided) largely destroyed that & then it became a competitive feature for AMP: “If the Featured Snippet links to an AMP article, Google will sometimes automatically scroll users to that section and highlight the answer in orange.”
That would perhaps be a single area where AMP was more efficient than the alternative. But it is only so because Google destroyed the alternative by stripping keyword referrers from search queries.
The power dynamics of AMP are ugly:
“I see them as part of the effort to normalise the use of the AMP Carousel, which is an anti-competitive land-grab for the web by an organisation that seems to have an insatiable appetite for consuming the web, probably ultimately to it’s own detriment. … This enables Google to continue to exist after the destination site (eg the New York Times) has been navigated to. Essentially it flips the parent-child relationship to be the other way around. … As soon as a publisher blesses a piece of content by packaging it (they have to opt in to this, but see coercion below), they totally lose control of its distribution. … I’m not that smart, so it’s surely possible to figure out other ways of making a preload possible without cutting off the content creator from the people consuming their content. … The web is open and decentralised. We spend a lot of time valuing the first of these concepts, but almost none trying to defend the second. Google knows, perhaps better than anyone, how being in control of the user is the most monetisable position, and having the deepest pockets and the most powerful platform to do so, they have very successfully inserted themselves into my relationship with millions of other websites. … In AMP, the support for paywalls is based on a recommendation that the premium content be included in the source of the page regardless of the user’s authorisation state. … These policies demonstrate contempt for others’ right to freely operate their businesses.
After enough publishers adopted AMP Google was able to turn their mobile app’s homepage into an interactive news feed below the search box. And inside that news feed Google gets to distribute MOAR ads while 0% of the revenue from those ads find its way to the publishers whose content is used to make up the feed.
Appropriate appropriation. 😀

Each additional layer of technical cruft is another cost center. Things that sound appealing at first blush may not be:
The way you verify your identity to Let’s Encrypt is the same as with other certificate authorities: you don’t really. You place a file somewhere on your website, and they access that file over plain HTTP to verify that you own the website. The one attack that signed certificates are meant to prevent is a man-in-the-middle attack. But if someone is able to perform a man-in-the-middle attack against your website, then he can intercept the certificate verification, too. In other words, Let’s Encrypt certificates don’t stop the one thing they’re supposed to stop. And, as always with the certificate authorities, a thousand murderous theocracies, advertising companies, and international spy organizations are allowed to impersonate you by design.
Anything that is easy to implement & widely marketed often has costs added to it in the future as the entity moves to monetize the service.
This is a private equity firm buying up multiple hosting control panels & then adjusting prices.
This is Google Maps drastically changing their API terms.
This is Facebook charging you for likes to build an audience, giving your competitors access to those likes as an addressable audience to advertise against, and then charging you once more to boost the reach of your posts.
This is Grubhub creating shadow websites on your behalf and charging you for every transaction created by the gravity of your brand.
Shivane believes GrubHub purchased her restaurant’s web domain to prevent her from building her own online presence. She also believes the company may have had a special interest in owning her name because she processes a high volume of orders. … it appears GrubHub has set up several generic, templated pages that look like real restaurant websites but in fact link only to GrubHub. These pages also display phone numbers that GrubHub controls. The calls are forwarded to the restaurant, but the platform records each one and charges the restaurant a commission fee for every order
Settling for the easiest option drives a lack of differentiation, embeds additional risk & once the dominant player has enough marketshare they’ll change the terms on you.
Small gains in short term margins for massive increases in fragility.
“Closed platforms increase the chunk size of competition & increase the cost of market entry, so people who have good ideas, it is a lot more expensive for their productivity to be monetized. They also don’t like standardization … it looks like rent seeking behaviors on top of friction” – Gabe Newell
The other big issue is platforms that run out of growth space in their core market may break integrations with adjacent service providers as each want to grow by eating the other’s market.
Those who look at SaaS business models through the eyes of a seasoned investor will better understand how markets are likely to change:
“I’d argue that many of today’s anointed tech “disruptors” are doing little in the way of true disruption. … When investors used to get excited about a SAAS company, they typically would be describing a hosted multi-tenant subscription-billed piece of software that was replacing a ‘legacy’ on-premise perpetual license solution in the same target market (i.e. ERP, HCM, CRM, etc.). Today, the terms SAAS and Cloud essentially describe the business models of every single public software company.
Most platform companies are initially required to operate at low margins in order to buy growth of their category & own their category. Then when they are valued on that, they quickly need to jump across to adjacent markets to grow into the valuation:
Twilio has no choice but to climb up the application stack. This is a company whose ‘disruption’ is essentially great API documentation and gangbuster SEO spend built on top of a highly commoditized telephony aggregation API. They have won by marketing to DevOps engineers. With all the hype around them, you’d think Twilio invented the telephony API, when in reality what they did was turn it into a product company. Nobody had thought of doing this let alone that this could turn into a $17 billion company because simply put the economics don’t work. And to be clear they still don’t. But Twilio’s genius CEO clearly gets this. If the market is going to value robocalls, emergency sms notifications, on-call pages, and carrier fee passed through related revenue growth in the same way it does ‘subscription’ revenue from Atlassian or ServiceNow, then take advantage of it while it lasts.
Large platforms offering temporary subsidies to ensure they dominate their categories & companies like SoftBank spraying capital across the markets is causing massive shifts in valuations:
I also think if you look closely at what is celebrated today as innovation you often find models built on hidden subsidies. … I’d argue the very distributed nature of microservices architecture and API-first product companies means addressable market sizes and unit economics assumptions should be even more carefully scrutinized. … How hard would it be to create an Alibaba today if someone like SoftBank was raining money into such a greenfield space? Excess capital would lead to destruction and likely subpar returns. If capital was the solution, the 1.5 trillion that went into telcos in late ’90s wouldn’t have led to a massive bust. Would a Netflix be what it is today if a SoftBank was pouring billions into streaming content startups right as the experiment was starting? Obviously not. Scarcity of capital is another often underappreciated part of the disruption equation. Knowing resources are finite leads to more robust models. … This convergence is starting to manifest itself in performance. Disney is up 30% over the last 12 months while Netflix is basically flat. This may not feel like a bubble sign to most investors, but from my standpoint, it’s a clear evidence of the fact that we are approaching a something has got to give moment for the way certain businesses are valued.”
Circling back to Google’s AMP, it has a cousin called Recaptcha.
Recaptcha is another AMP-like trojan horse:
According to tech statistics website Built With, more than 650,000 websites are already using reCaptcha v3; overall, there are at least 4.5 million websites use reCaptcha, including 25% of the top 10,000 sites. Google is also now testing an enterprise version of reCaptcha v3, where Google creates a customized reCaptcha for enterprises that are looking for more granular data about users’ risk levels to protect their site algorithms from malicious users and bots. … According to two security researchers who’ve studied reCaptcha, one of the ways that Google determines whether you’re a malicious user or not is whether you already have a Google cookie installed on your browser. … To make this risk-score system work accurately, website administrators are supposed to embed reCaptcha v3 code on all of the pages of their website, not just on forms or log-in pages.
About a month ago when logging into Bing Ads I saw recaptcha on the login page & couldn’t believe they’d give Google control at that access point. I think they got rid of that, but lots of companies are perhaps shooting themselves in the foot through a combination of over-reliance on Google infrastructure AND sloppy implementation
Today when making a purchase on Fiverr, after converting, I got some of this action

Hmm. Maybe I will enable JavaScript and try again.

Oooops.

That is called snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
My account is many years old. My payment type on record has been used for years. I have ordered from the particular seller about a dozen times over the years. And suddenly because my web browser had JavaScript turned off I was deemed a security risk of some sort for making an utterly ordinary transaction I have already completed about a dozen times.
On AMP JavaScript was the devil. And on desktop not JavaScript was the devil.
Pro tip: Ecommerce websites that see substandard conversion rates from using Recaptcha can boost their overall ecommerce revenue by buying more Google AdWords ads.

As more of the infrastructure stack is driven by AI software there is going to be a very real opportunity for many people to become deplatformed across the web on an utterly arbitrary basis. That tech companies like Facebook also want to create digital currencies on top of the leverage they already have only makes the proposition that much scarier.
If the tech platforms host copies of our sites, process the transactions & even create their own currencies, how will we know what level of value they are adding versus what they are extracting?
Who measures the measurer?
And when the economics turn negative, what will we do if we are hooked into an ecosystem we can’t spend additional capital to get out of when things head south?
Categories: google
Source: SEO book

Get your email campaign stats on the go

By |2019-06-28T05:02:32-04:00June 28th, 2019|News|

Now you can check email stats anytime, anywhere with VerticalResponse. Our newest feature makes it easy to view campaign insights right from your smartphone, so you don’t need to be tethered to a desk or laptop to know exactly how your emails are performing. Here’s what you get with VerticalResponse’s mobile version:
Real-time email campaign statistics on your smartphone
Log in to VerticalResponse on your mobile browser to get a bird’s eye view of your email performance, including email opens, clicks and unsubscribes for every email you’ve sent. Understand what’s working and what isn’t, so you can improve your marketing over time and act on current trends for email marketing success.

Past and upcoming emails
View a list of all past emails, plus the dates and times they were sent, and see what’s coming next in your Drafts and Scheduled lists. Verify that scheduled emails were sent and keep your finger on the pulse of your email marketing campaigns.

Quick, easy smartphone access (no downloads)
VerticalResponse can now be accessed directly from your mobile device. It’s not an app, so there are no downloads to hassle with. Simply visit the VerticalResponse login page on your smartphone to access your email stats from home, the park, your child’s school or any other remote location.
Value-added service and excellent support
Mobile access is available to most VerticalResponse subscribers at no extra charge. You only need a smartphone and an active subscription to view your email campaign stats on the go! 

Busy entrepreneurs need tools that make it easy to run their businesses. Take advantage of VerticalResponse’s mobile functionality to check email campaign stats from your smartphone, so you can gain valuable marketing insights on the go!
Build, send and track emails that look great on any deviceVerticalResponse gives you the tools to build powerful campaigns in minutes, leaving you more time to spend with customers.
START YOUR FREE TRIAL

Editor’s note: Users with VerticalResponse Classic accounts or Deluxe Marketing Suite-branded accounts will not be able to use the mobile version of VerticalResponse at this time. 
© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
The post Get your email campaign stats on the go appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

4 surefire ways to win back customers with email

By |2019-06-27T09:53:22-04:00June 27th, 2019|News|

Every once in a while, a few email subscribers stray. It’s natural. But that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. You can recapture their attention and business with targeted, personalized win-back email campaigns.
Why focus on winning back lapsed customers?
Existing customers convert more often and have a higher average order rate than first-time buyers. That’s an excellent reason to try to bring them back with emails. But what should you say in those email messages? Here are four tips to help you craft irresistible win-back email campaigns:
1. Give them an offer they can’t (or won’t want to) refuse
Come up with a compelling offer based on what’s important to your customers. For example, customers who typically place large orders might be enticed by free shipping on any size order. Another idea is to give it a sense of urgency. Encourage customers to come back sooner rather than later by creating deal deadlines.
In the following example, Sephora entices their beauty-conscious customers to shop by offering them free shipping and bonus products that will make them even more gorgeous.
Subject line: EXTRA! EXTRA! You deserve extra  😉
 

Nothing grabs customers’ attention like a discount, especially if you’re a cash-strapped teen. In the example below, Pottery Barn | teen uses a 20% discount to wake up sleepy subscribers.
Subject line: We miss you! Come back and SAVE 20%

 
2. Add a personal touch
Include content that is relevant to customers, such as product recommendations based on past purchases, offers that appeal to them or emails triggered by their behavior.
In the example below, the customer was interested in the Riptide TFN Pod Starter Kit Bundle but didn’t end up purchasing it. So, VaporFi decided to nudge the customer to make the purchase by featuring that product as the deal of the week.
Subject line: Still Thinking About It?
 

Everyone likes a celebration, right? Reconnect with customers by sending them an email on their birthday, their email sign-up anniversary or another special day. Whether you offer them a free gift or savings on their next order, customers are likely to appreciate and engage with it.
In the example below, Indo Restaurant & Lounge uses the customer’s name and details about his email anniversary to speak to him directly, and then offers a sweet reward to entice him to come back.
Subject line: We Want to Say Thank You

3. Appeal to the FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is no joke! If customers haven’t visited your site for a while, you should email them to let them know what’s new and to get back on their radar.
In the example below, Claire’s piques customers’ interest by inviting them to look what they’ve been missing and reinforcing the company brand and values. Claire’s also offers a nice discount to jolt them into action.
Claire’s: Look what you’re missing! Come back for 30% off!

 
4. Ask customers to update their email preferences
People change, and so do email preferences. If you notice a group of customers are inactive, send them an email asking them to update their preferences. It’s a great way to re-engage with customers. Wondering how to phrase it? Let them know your emails are going unopened, tell customers what they’re missing and ask them to update their preferences. If they unsubscribe, you’ll eliminate an email address that’s otherwise negatively impacting open rates on your campaigns.
Bonus tips
Segment your list
Before you send out your win-back campaign, you’ll want to segment your email list and pinpoint customers who haven’t opened your recent messages. That way, you can be sure that you send the right message to the right customer. For example, if you’re targeting a group of customers who’ve had a negative experience, you can tailor your email message to say “Give us a second chance” or “We’re sorry — and we’re ready to make it right.”
Use a strong subject line
Your win-back email is only as good as its subject line, so take the time you need to create a short, snappy one. Appeal to your customers’ emotions and tug at their heartstrings to win them back. Here’s some inspiration to help:

Was it something we said?
Where Have You Been?
Is this goodbye?
We miss you!
Come back and save.
Let’s catch you up …
It’s been awhile

Vary your content
One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is to prevent them from leaving in the first place. To do that, it’s best to send a variety of emails.
From newsletters to promotional offers, you want to keep customers interested. Here’s a quick list of popular emails to send:

Newsletter: A newsletter keeps customers in the know. From company news to upcoming events, you decide what to share with your customers
Educational email: Teach your customers something about your product or service with well-written educational emails
Welcome email: Once a new customer places an order or signs up for your email list, send them a little note to welcome them to your crew
Promotional email: Encourage customers to place an order with a promotional email

It’s a fact of life that customers may stray. But with the help of these tips, you can create engaging win-back email campaigns that bring them — and their business — back to you.
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 2014 and has been rewritten for accuracy and relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post 4 surefire ways to win back customers with email appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

4 surefire ways to win back customers with email

By |2019-06-27T09:53:22-04:00June 27th, 2019|News|

Every once in a while, a few email subscribers stray. It’s natural. But that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. You can recapture their attention and business with targeted, personalized win-back email campaigns.
Why focus on winning back lapsed customers?
Existing customers convert more often and have a higher average order rate than first-time buyers. That’s an excellent reason to try to bring them back with emails. But what should you say in those email messages? Here are four tips to help you craft irresistible win-back email campaigns:
1. Give them an offer they can’t (or won’t want to) refuse
Come up with a compelling offer based on what’s important to your customers. For example, customers who typically place large orders might be enticed by free shipping on any size order. Another idea is to give it a sense of urgency. Encourage customers to come back sooner rather than later by creating deal deadlines.
In the following example, Sephora entices their beauty-conscious customers to shop by offering them free shipping and bonus products that will make them even more gorgeous.
Subject line: EXTRA! EXTRA! You deserve extra  😉
 

Nothing grabs customers’ attention like a discount, especially if you’re a cash-strapped teen. In the example below, Pottery Barn | teen uses a 20% discount to wake up sleepy subscribers.
Subject line: We miss you! Come back and SAVE 20%

 
2. Add a personal touch
Include content that is relevant to customers, such as product recommendations based on past purchases, offers that appeal to them or emails triggered by their behavior.
In the example below, the customer was interested in the Riptide TFN Pod Starter Kit Bundle but didn’t end up purchasing it. So, VaporFi decided to nudge the customer to make the purchase by featuring that product as the deal of the week.
Subject line: Still Thinking About It?
 

Everyone likes a celebration, right? Reconnect with customers by sending them an email on their birthday, their email sign-up anniversary or another special day. Whether you offer them a free gift or savings on their next order, customers are likely to appreciate and engage with it.
In the example below, Indo Restaurant & Lounge uses the customer’s name and details about his email anniversary to speak to him directly, and then offers a sweet reward to entice him to come back.
Subject line: We Want to Say Thank You

3. Appeal to the FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is no joke! If customers haven’t visited your site for a while, you should email them to let them know what’s new and to get back on their radar.
In the example below, Claire’s piques customers’ interest by inviting them to look what they’ve been missing and reinforcing the company brand and values. Claire’s also offers a nice discount to jolt them into action.
Claire’s: Look what you’re missing! Come back for 30% off!

 
4. Ask customers to update their email preferences
People change, and so do email preferences. If you notice a group of customers are inactive, send them an email asking them to update their preferences. It’s a great way to re-engage with customers. Wondering how to phrase it? Let them know your emails are going unopened, tell customers what they’re missing and ask them to update their preferences. If they unsubscribe, you’ll eliminate an email address that’s otherwise negatively impacting open rates on your campaigns.
Bonus tips
Segment your list
Before you send out your win-back campaign, you’ll want to segment your email list and pinpoint customers who haven’t opened your recent messages. That way, you can be sure that you send the right message to the right customer. For example, if you’re targeting a group of customers who’ve had a negative experience, you can tailor your email message to say “Give us a second chance” or “We’re sorry — and we’re ready to make it right.”
Use a strong subject line
Your win-back email is only as good as its subject line, so take the time you need to create a short, snappy one. Appeal to your customers’ emotions and tug at their heartstrings to win them back. Here’s some inspiration to help:

Was it something we said?
Where Have You Been?
Is this goodbye?
We miss you!
Come back and save.
Let’s catch you up …
It’s been awhile

Vary your content
One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is to prevent them from leaving in the first place. To do that, it’s best to send a variety of emails.
From newsletters to promotional offers, you want to keep customers interested. Here’s a quick list of popular emails to send:

Newsletter: A newsletter keeps customers in the know. From company news to upcoming events, you decide what to share with your customers
Educational email: Teach your customers something about your product or service with well-written educational emails
Welcome email: Once a new customer places an order or signs up for your email list, send them a little note to welcome them to your crew
Promotional email: Encourage customers to place an order with a promotional email

It’s a fact of life that customers may stray. But with the help of these tips, you can create engaging win-back email campaigns that bring them — and their business — back to you.
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 2014 and has been rewritten for accuracy and relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post 4 surefire ways to win back customers with email appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Gain more followers with social media invite emails

By |2019-06-20T09:00:41-04:00June 20th, 2019|News|

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat — the list of social media networking sites continues to grow. And once you’ve created your account on the latest social network, how do you get people to find it? Email marketing, of course! Sending an email invitation asking readers to follow your business on a social network may not seem intuitive, but it can be an effective and easy way to grow your following. Your email list is full of people interested in your business, and getting them to interact with you on social media can help build your relationship with them and keep your business top of mind.
Crafting the perfect invite
Before we jump into some excellent social media email invite examples, here are a few tips for creating an effective invite. Make sure the email is:

Informative: Let your readers know what they’re going to get or find if they do start following your business on social.
Easy to read: Include clickable social icons and a straightforward call to action, such as “follow us on social media,” to make it as easy as possible for your readers to connect with you. Remember to add links to all of the accounts that you use.
Short: Just like any invitation, you should share important information, make the copy fun and personable, and stick to the topic at hand — your social accounts. You want to keep readers focused.
Attention-grabbing: Include bold colors, clever copy or striking images you’ve shared on your social accounts to get your readers to take notice.

How to increase followers with social media invite emails
Although you’ll want to include the elements listed above in your email, there is still a lot of room to customize your invite. For inspiration, take a look at how these companies reached out to their subscribers in order to build their social following.
EyeBuyDirect — EyeBuyDirect opens their email with “Come socialize with us” — a headline that clearly and cleverly states what the message is about. They also incentivize “the follow.” People who use their hashtags on social have a chance to win a free pair of glasses. What’s more, the email design works with the copy to encourage readers to check out their social accounts. All of their social icons are front and center. It also looks like the business is sharing user-submitted photos in the message, to showcase the types of images new followers can expect to see.
 

The Class of 23 — This simple email from The Class of 23 is sent to new email subscribers, and it functions as both a welcome email and a social media invite. They have a link to their Instagram profile in the body of the email, as well as a link in the footer of the message. The email also briefly touches on the benefits of following them (followers receive daily updates on merchandise.)
 

Forever 21 — You don’t have to create a formal invite to get your subscribers to engage with you on social. Rather than simply asking readers to follow them, Forever 21 sent out a promotional email that integrates their social media accounts into the offer. In the message, readers are asked to post a selfie of themselves in a Forever 21 outfit, and tag the company. When they show the post at the register, they receive 21 percent off their purchase. Not only does this email encourage readers to visit the company’s social profiles, but it also extends their reach and builds brand awareness. When customers share their Forever 21 selfies on their personal accounts, there’s a good chance that their followers will visit Forever 21’s account, and some of those people might even follow them.
 

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a social media invite is to answer the following questions: “How can I provide value to my readers and followers?” and “What’s in it for them?” Then, keep followers coming back for more with engaging posts and conversations.
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 2013 and has been rewritten for accuracy and relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post Gain more followers with social media invite emails appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Developing an email marketing strategy that works

By |2019-06-06T06:01:27-04:00June 6th, 2019|News|

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. In fact, email averages a 122 percent return on every dollar invested — and it’s one of the most affordable weapons in your marketing arsenal. Successful marketers know it takes careful planning to stand out in a sea of spam and convert customers. Here’s how to develop an email marketing strategy that works.
What is an email marketing strategy?
Your email marketing strategy is a defined process you’ll follow to leverage email for business growth. Its steps include:

How you’ll earn email subscribers
How subscribers will be segmented
The types of emails you’ll send
How you’ll weave emails into campaigns
How you will produce email content
How you’ll measure responses as well as test and analyze results
Which software you’ll use to manage your email lists and campaigns

Your email marketing strategy details every aspect of the process, so you can develop a winning system that reliably attracts subscribers and converts them into customers.
How to develop an email marketing strategy
We’ll walk through each step of the process to develop an email marketing strategy that works for your business. 
1. Earn email subscribers
Determine how you will convince your audience to subscribe to your email list. Ideas include:

Sign-up forms on your website (headers, footers, sidebars and pop-ups)
Gated content (you offer an informative white paper, tool, coupon or other incentive in return for an email address)
Social media links and forms
Contests and sweepstakes (both online and off)
Existing customers (add customers to your email list when they make a purchase, online or off)
Loyalty/rewards card members

2. Segment subscribers
You also need to consider segmenting subscribers into different lists. This makes it easy to send highly targeted emails relevant to specific customers, which in turn yields better response rates.
For example, you might send one email to existing customers and another to subscribers who have not yet bought from you. That way you can promote complementary products to existing customers and continue to market your primary products to your other subscribers.
ACTION STEP: Make a list of different ways you can attract subscribers. What benefit can you offer in return for their email addresses? What will motivate your target audience to subscribe and trust you? Then, make a list of different subscriber segments you might have. To segment your list, consider where customers are in the buying cycle as well as different customer interests.
3. Types of emails
There are many different types of emails, and it’s a good idea to send multiple types for well-rounded branding that lends a sense of community to your communications. This will also help you identify which types of emails work best with different customer segments.
Types of emails you can send include:

Promotional emails. These emails market a product or service, seasonal sales, up-sells, cross-sells, discount coupons and other advertising initiatives
Newsletters. Not every email should be promotional. If you truly want to engage subscribers, send regular newsletters that offer useful information, helpful tips and tricks, how-to guides and problem-solving solutions
Thank-you emails, order confirmations and receipts. These are sent after customers make a purchase. They typically recap what was purchased, the final price and delivery information. Don’t miss this opportunity to deliver an attractive offer — customers who have just bought from you are likely to buy again
Shipping updates. These are sent out with tracking information for shipped packages. You can also use them to deliver a special offer to recent customers
Abandoned cart emails. Send these to people who have added items to their shopping carts but have not yet purchased. Deliver a discount coupon or other incentive that nudges them to complete their purchases
Event announcements and confirmations. If you host events such as webinars, seminars, trade shows or conferences, email is a fantastic way to boost attendance. You can also use email to promote your podcasts, videos, blogs and social media channels
Interactive emails. Send emails that link to interesting infographics and videos to maintain interest in your brand. Another idea: send surveys with a chance to win a prize. Surveys can help you glean valuable insight into your customers’ wants, needs and purchasing behavior
Referral emails. Offer subscribers an incentive to refer your business. For example, they might get a freebie or gift card for every new customer they refer
Contact form and support ticket responses. Automated emails let customers know you have received their requests. Add a promo in the footer or sidebar, especially once you’ve successfully resolved issues or otherwise helped your prospects and customers
Account and subscription confirmations. Once subscribers have opted in, follow up with a “welcome to the team” email that delivers an attractive incentive to buy
Unsubscribe confirmations. No matter how great your emails are, some people will unsubscribe. Respect their decision, but be sure to follow up with an unsubscribe confirmation that invites them to subscribe again any time, subscribe to a different or more relevant list, adjust the frequency of emails or take advantage of a “going away” gift

ACTION STEP: Make a list of all the types of emails you’ll send. Jot down a goal or desired outcome for each type of email. Then, brainstorm ways to craft emails that influence those outcomes, such as strategically placed calls to action.
In this promotional email from MeUndies, the company promotes its T-shirt benefits and ties them in with its brand image.

4. Weaving emails into campaigns
Some emails are triggered by one-time events. For example, order confirmation emails. Other emails are part of a series intended to motivate a specific response. For example, you might attract subscribers with an eBook. When a subscriber opts in, it triggers a series of emails delivered at a predefined frequency.
Known as drip campaigns, these emails are created in advance and nurture leads through the buying cycle until they ultimately make a purchase. Drip campaigns are easy to set up with email autoresponder tools and offer advanced marketing automation that forks subscribers’ paths depending on their behavior.
For example, let’s say you sell fitness equipment. You attract subscribers by offering a free workout plan eBook. These leads are entered into a sales funnel: Your email automation software sends regular emails that feature fitness news, events, new workout ideas and products.
Now, let’s say one of your emails includes a link to a new yoga mat you sell. People who click to learn more can automatically be sent emails that focus on the benefits of yoga mats, and specifically, what makes your yoga mat so great. Instead of getting your general email, they can now receive an email that says you noticed they were interested in your yoga mat and offer them a discount if they buy it now.
By using marketing automation to segment subscribers in this manner, you’re able to send personalized and relevant email campaigns that yield the best conversion rates. Not only that, you can keep customers coming back and even foster long-term relationships that lead to advocacy and ambassadorship.
ACTION STEP: Map out an email campaign funnel from start to finish. Begin with how you will attract subscribers, the types of emails you’ll send and how frequently you will send them. If you’re going to employ marketing automation, include forks to different email paths (buyer journeys) based on triggers (subscriber behavior).
This promotional email from LuLu’s Fashion Lounge promotes a summer sale and adds a sense of urgency with its call to action.

5. How to produce email content
Email production will be a core component of your overall email marketing strategy. Determine your production process, so you can maintain consistency that drives results.
Consider the tone of your emails: Will you be an authority voice, a friendly adviser, a humorous columnist or a boisterous carnival barker? Your voice is part of your branding and should persist throughout your emails.
You also need to consider email design. Develop a style guide for email fonts, headlines, images and colors. It’s a good idea to create an email template for each type of email you send. That way it will be easy to deploy new emails quickly.
Decide who will create your email content. You can write and design emails yourself, have your in-house staff do it or hire an agency or freelancer to create it. No matter how you create your emails, give yourself plenty of lead time so you can plan campaigns in advance. That will give you ample time to make revisions and take advantage of last-minute email marketing opportunities.
ACTION STEP: Identify the tone, or voice, your emails will adopt. Create a style guide and email design templates. Then, identify who will produce your emails and develop a production process and timeline.
This welcome email from Handy offers helpful information about how to get the most from its service: It promotes an app download, tells customers how to edit their bookings and promotes cross-sells to additional services.

6. Measure email responses and analyze results
Track email opens and clicks to determine how effective your emails are. Use software, like VerticalResponse, to create A/B tests to identify which version of a given email achieves the best results. For example, you can test two subject lines against one another to see which gets more opens. Analyze the results and apply what you learn; over time, you can optimize emails for predictable success.
You can also track which devices subscribers use, identify which geographic areas yield the best response rates and view heat maps that show where customers click in your emails. This information will help you develop stronger emails that deliver results.
ACTION STEP: List everything you want to track in your emails: opens, clicks, geography, subscriber devices and heat maps.
7. Choose email marketing software
Email marketing is a powerful strategy, but manually managing subscribers, email lists and segments is tedious, time-consuming and error prone. Manual management makes email automation impossible and tracking difficult. That’s why it’s best to use an email marketing tool that simplifies the entire process.
For example, VerticalResponse makes it easy to create subscribe forms, add gated content, build email templates, manage and segment subscriber lists and automate marketing with autoresponder triggers. It also offers a full suite of email tracking and analysis tools, including the ability to compare metrics between multiple email lists.
ACTION STEP: Choose email marketing software that enables you to execute your email marketing strategy efficiently.
Examples
You know how to develop an email marketing strategy. Now, let’s examine a few examples of email marketing in practice.
Ecommerce examples
Example 1: Patio furniture
A patio furniture company wants to sell table and chair sets to its audience. The company knows its target audience likes to entertain guests, so it develops a guide to hosting the perfect patio party. It markets the guide to people who meet its audience demographics via Facebook advertising.
Subscribers receive two emails per week: The first is a newsletter packed with outdoor entertaining and décor tips. It links to expanded articles on the company’s website. The second email is promotional: invitations to review its online catalog, plus special discounts on featured table and chair sets.
Some subscribers buy table and chair sets and are automatically placed in a new segmented list: table and chair buyers. They continue to receive the weekly newsletters, but the promotional emails they receive are centered around complementary products, including fire pits, outdoor swings, serving trays and décor.
Non-buyers stay in the first list until they buy or the company decides they’re not going to purchase table and chair sets and begins serving them different offers.
This email from West Elm showcases top products to create desire, then sweetens the deal with a discount coupon.

Example 2: Athletic apparel
A company that sells athletic apparel wants to make a big fall push for its basketball shoes. It creates a video course to help players improve their games. They must subscribe to gain access to the course. The company already gets a lot of traffic to its blog, so that’s where it promotes the course.
The company delivers a new instructional video via email every other day over the course of three weeks. Each email also contains a promotion for a popular basketball shoe and links to a product detail page. A time-limited coupon code is added to motivate purchases.
Buyers and those who have completed the course are moved to a new segment that receives regular newsletters, plus promotions for other basketball-related products. One of the emails includes a survey that asks which sports they play: basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc. Subscribers are then segmented into new lists according to their preferred sports.
This email from Nike leads with the primary benefits of its Dri-FIT apparel and illustrates how it aids in running and training to add relevance to its audience.

Example 3: Landscaping company
A local landscaping company wants to earn new clients. The company creates an eBook packed with lawn beautification tips. It promotes the eBook on its Facebook page, which has a large local following, to attract subscribers.
The company sends regular newsletters that feature more outdoor improvement tips, before-and-after photos, plus customer testimonials to promote its landscaping services. Each newsletter features a time-limited offer.
Buyers are segmented into a referral list that encourages them to refer their friends and family members. The landscaping customer offers an annual freshen up to the referring customers plus a discount to the referred customers to sweeten the deal.
B2B examples
Example 1: Accounting firm
An accounting firm wants to earn new clients. The company creates a sweepstakes in which the winner gets free tax preparation. It markets the deal on its website, social media and through partnerships with business bloggers. To enter, companies must submit their email addresses.
The company sends subscribers tips such as which business expenses are tax-deductible and how to track mileage. The newsletters are valuable and likely to be read by subscribers, and so they work by reinforcing the idea that the accounting firm is a trusted expert that can help them.
Their branding efforts pay off: When customers need them, the accounting firm is top-of-mind and gets the call.
Example 2: Office supply company
An office supply company wants to increase its weekly delivery client base. It creates a case study that details how it saves companies an average of 25 percent on its office expenses. The company promotes the case study to office managers via LinkedIn ads and articles, Facebook and on its own website. Office managers must subscribe to a newsletter to access the case study.
The newsletter builds upon the original case study with money-saving tips for office managers. Each week, a second email is sent with discounts on top office supplies.
Customers are segmented according to what they buy. For example, those that buy a large volume of copier paper are sent promotions for paper and complementary products such as toner.
Conclusion
In these examples, you can see how your business can leverage the power of email marketing to boost brand recognition, deliver relevant messages to targeted customers and ultimately yield high conversion rates. Email is one of the most affordable marketing channels, which makes it a perfect platform for every business no matter its budget. It’s easy, too, when you use automated email marketing software. Follow the tips in this guide to develop a profitable email marketing strategy that grows your business fast.
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 Developing an email marketing strategy that works appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

Developing an email marketing strategy that works

By |2019-06-06T06:01:27-04:00June 6th, 2019|News|

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. In fact, email averages a 122 percent return on every dollar invested — and it’s one of the most affordable weapons in your marketing arsenal. Successful marketers know it takes careful planning to stand out in a sea of spam and convert customers. Here’s how to develop an email marketing strategy that works.
What is an email marketing strategy?
Your email marketing strategy is a defined process you’ll follow to leverage email for business growth. Its steps include:

How you’ll earn email subscribers
How subscribers will be segmented
The types of emails you’ll send
How you’ll weave emails into campaigns
How you will produce email content
How you’ll measure responses as well as test and analyze results
Which software you’ll use to manage your email lists and campaigns

Your email marketing strategy details every aspect of the process, so you can develop a winning system that reliably attracts subscribers and converts them into customers.
How to develop an email marketing strategy
We’ll walk through each step of the process to develop an email marketing strategy that works for your business. 
1. Earn email subscribers
Determine how you will convince your audience to subscribe to your email list. Ideas include:

Sign-up forms on your website (headers, footers, sidebars and pop-ups)
Gated content (you offer an informative white paper, tool, coupon or other incentive in return for an email address)
Social media links and forms
Contests and sweepstakes (both online and off)
Existing customers (add customers to your email list when they make a purchase, online or off)
Loyalty/rewards card members

2. Segment subscribers
You also need to consider segmenting subscribers into different lists. This makes it easy to send highly targeted emails relevant to specific customers, which in turn yields better response rates.
For example, you might send one email to existing customers and another to subscribers who have not yet bought from you. That way you can promote complementary products to existing customers and continue to market your primary products to your other subscribers.
ACTION STEP: Make a list of different ways you can attract subscribers. What benefit can you offer in return for their email addresses? What will motivate your target audience to subscribe and trust you? Then, make a list of different subscriber segments you might have. To segment your list, consider where customers are in the buying cycle as well as different customer interests.
3. Types of emails
There are many different types of emails, and it’s a good idea to send multiple types for well-rounded branding that lends a sense of community to your communications. This will also help you identify which types of emails work best with different customer segments.
Types of emails you can send include:

Promotional emails. These emails market a product or service, seasonal sales, up-sells, cross-sells, discount coupons and other advertising initiatives
Newsletters. Not every email should be promotional. If you truly want to engage subscribers, send regular newsletters that offer useful information, helpful tips and tricks, how-to guides and problem-solving solutions
Thank-you emails, order confirmations and receipts. These are sent after customers make a purchase. They typically recap what was purchased, the final price and delivery information. Don’t miss this opportunity to deliver an attractive offer — customers who have just bought from you are likely to buy again
Shipping updates. These are sent out with tracking information for shipped packages. You can also use them to deliver a special offer to recent customers
Abandoned cart emails. Send these to people who have added items to their shopping carts but have not yet purchased. Deliver a discount coupon or other incentive that nudges them to complete their purchases
Event announcements and confirmations. If you host events such as webinars, seminars, trade shows or conferences, email is a fantastic way to boost attendance. You can also use email to promote your podcasts, videos, blogs and social media channels
Interactive emails. Send emails that link to interesting infographics and videos to maintain interest in your brand. Another idea: send surveys with a chance to win a prize. Surveys can help you glean valuable insight into your customers’ wants, needs and purchasing behavior
Referral emails. Offer subscribers an incentive to refer your business. For example, they might get a freebie or gift card for every new customer they refer
Contact form and support ticket responses. Automated emails let customers know you have received their requests. Add a promo in the footer or sidebar, especially once you’ve successfully resolved issues or otherwise helped your prospects and customers
Account and subscription confirmations. Once subscribers have opted in, follow up with a “welcome to the team” email that delivers an attractive incentive to buy
Unsubscribe confirmations. No matter how great your emails are, some people will unsubscribe. Respect their decision, but be sure to follow up with an unsubscribe confirmation that invites them to subscribe again any time, subscribe to a different or more relevant list, adjust the frequency of emails or take advantage of a “going away” gift

ACTION STEP: Make a list of all the types of emails you’ll send. Jot down a goal or desired outcome for each type of email. Then, brainstorm ways to craft emails that influence those outcomes, such as strategically placed calls to action.
In this promotional email from MeUndies, the company promotes its T-shirt benefits and ties them in with its brand image.

4. Weaving emails into campaigns
Some emails are triggered by one-time events. For example, order confirmation emails. Other emails are part of a series intended to motivate a specific response. For example, you might attract subscribers with an eBook. When a subscriber opts in, it triggers a series of emails delivered at a predefined frequency.
Known as drip campaigns, these emails are created in advance and nurture leads through the buying cycle until they ultimately make a purchase. Drip campaigns are easy to set up with email autoresponder tools and offer advanced marketing automation that forks subscribers’ paths depending on their behavior.
For example, let’s say you sell fitness equipment. You attract subscribers by offering a free workout plan eBook. These leads are entered into a sales funnel: Your email automation software sends regular emails that feature fitness news, events, new workout ideas and products.
Now, let’s say one of your emails includes a link to a new yoga mat you sell. People who click to learn more can automatically be sent emails that focus on the benefits of yoga mats, and specifically, what makes your yoga mat so great. Instead of getting your general email, they can now receive an email that says you noticed they were interested in your yoga mat and offer them a discount if they buy it now.
By using marketing automation to segment subscribers in this manner, you’re able to send personalized and relevant email campaigns that yield the best conversion rates. Not only that, you can keep customers coming back and even foster long-term relationships that lead to advocacy and ambassadorship.
ACTION STEP: Map out an email campaign funnel from start to finish. Begin with how you will attract subscribers, the types of emails you’ll send and how frequently you will send them. If you’re going to employ marketing automation, include forks to different email paths (buyer journeys) based on triggers (subscriber behavior).
This promotional email from LuLu’s Fashion Lounge promotes a summer sale and adds a sense of urgency with its call to action.

5. How to produce email content
Email production will be a core component of your overall email marketing strategy. Determine your production process, so you can maintain consistency that drives results.
Consider the tone of your emails: Will you be an authority voice, a friendly adviser, a humorous columnist or a boisterous carnival barker? Your voice is part of your branding and should persist throughout your emails.
You also need to consider email design. Develop a style guide for email fonts, headlines, images and colors. It’s a good idea to create an email template for each type of email you send. That way it will be easy to deploy new emails quickly.
Decide who will create your email content. You can write and design emails yourself, have your in-house staff do it or hire an agency or freelancer to create it. No matter how you create your emails, give yourself plenty of lead time so you can plan campaigns in advance. That will give you ample time to make revisions and take advantage of last-minute email marketing opportunities.
ACTION STEP: Identify the tone, or voice, your emails will adopt. Create a style guide and email design templates. Then, identify who will produce your emails and develop a production process and timeline.
This welcome email from Handy offers helpful information about how to get the most from its service: It promotes an app download, tells customers how to edit their bookings and promotes cross-sells to additional services.

6. Measure email responses and analyze results
Track email opens and clicks to determine how effective your emails are. Use software, like VerticalResponse, to create A/B tests to identify which version of a given email achieves the best results. For example, you can test two subject lines against one another to see which gets more opens. Analyze the results and apply what you learn; over time, you can optimize emails for predictable success.
You can also track which devices subscribers use, identify which geographic areas yield the best response rates and view heat maps that show where customers click in your emails. This information will help you develop stronger emails that deliver results.
ACTION STEP: List everything you want to track in your emails: opens, clicks, geography, subscriber devices and heat maps.
7. Choose email marketing software
Email marketing is a powerful strategy, but manually managing subscribers, email lists and segments is tedious, time-consuming and error prone. Manual management makes email automation impossible and tracking difficult. That’s why it’s best to use an email marketing tool that simplifies the entire process.
For example, VerticalResponse makes it easy to create subscribe forms, add gated content, build email templates, manage and segment subscriber lists and automate marketing with autoresponder triggers. It also offers a full suite of email tracking and analysis tools, including the ability to compare metrics between multiple email lists.
ACTION STEP: Choose email marketing software that enables you to execute your email marketing strategy efficiently.
Examples
You know how to develop an email marketing strategy. Now, let’s examine a few examples of email marketing in practice.
Ecommerce examples
Example 1: Patio furniture
A patio furniture company wants to sell table and chair sets to its audience. The company knows its target audience likes to entertain guests, so it develops a guide to hosting the perfect patio party. It markets the guide to people who meet its audience demographics via Facebook advertising.
Subscribers receive two emails per week: The first is a newsletter packed with outdoor entertaining and décor tips. It links to expanded articles on the company’s website. The second email is promotional: invitations to review its online catalog, plus special discounts on featured table and chair sets.
Some subscribers buy table and chair sets and are automatically placed in a new segmented list: table and chair buyers. They continue to receive the weekly newsletters, but the promotional emails they receive are centered around complementary products, including fire pits, outdoor swings, serving trays and décor.
Non-buyers stay in the first list until they buy or the company decides they’re not going to purchase table and chair sets and begins serving them different offers.
This email from West Elm showcases top products to create desire, then sweetens the deal with a discount coupon.

Example 2: Athletic apparel
A company that sells athletic apparel wants to make a big fall push for its basketball shoes. It creates a video course to help players improve their games. They must subscribe to gain access to the course. The company already gets a lot of traffic to its blog, so that’s where it promotes the course.
The company delivers a new instructional video via email every other day over the course of three weeks. Each email also contains a promotion for a popular basketball shoe and links to a product detail page. A time-limited coupon code is added to motivate purchases.
Buyers and those who have completed the course are moved to a new segment that receives regular newsletters, plus promotions for other basketball-related products. One of the emails includes a survey that asks which sports they play: basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc. Subscribers are then segmented into new lists according to their preferred sports.
This email from Nike leads with the primary benefits of its Dri-FIT apparel and illustrates how it aids in running and training to add relevance to its audience.

Example 3: Landscaping company
A local landscaping company wants to earn new clients. The company creates an eBook packed with lawn beautification tips. It promotes the eBook on its Facebook page, which has a large local following, to attract subscribers.
The company sends regular newsletters that feature more outdoor improvement tips, before-and-after photos, plus customer testimonials to promote its landscaping services. Each newsletter features a time-limited offer.
Buyers are segmented into a referral list that encourages them to refer their friends and family members. The landscaping customer offers an annual freshen up to the referring customers plus a discount to the referred customers to sweeten the deal.
B2B examples
Example 1: Accounting firm
An accounting firm wants to earn new clients. The company creates a sweepstakes in which the winner gets free tax preparation. It markets the deal on its website, social media and through partnerships with business bloggers. To enter, companies must submit their email addresses.
The company sends subscribers tips such as which business expenses are tax-deductible and how to track mileage. The newsletters are valuable and likely to be read by subscribers, and so they work by reinforcing the idea that the accounting firm is a trusted expert that can help them.
Their branding efforts pay off: When customers need them, the accounting firm is top-of-mind and gets the call.
Example 2: Office supply company
An office supply company wants to increase its weekly delivery client base. It creates a case study that details how it saves companies an average of 25 percent on its office expenses. The company promotes the case study to office managers via LinkedIn ads and articles, Facebook and on its own website. Office managers must subscribe to a newsletter to access the case study.
The newsletter builds upon the original case study with money-saving tips for office managers. Each week, a second email is sent with discounts on top office supplies.
Customers are segmented according to what they buy. For example, those that buy a large volume of copier paper are sent promotions for paper and complementary products such as toner.
Conclusion
In these examples, you can see how your business can leverage the power of email marketing to boost brand recognition, deliver relevant messages to targeted customers and ultimately yield high conversion rates. Email is one of the most affordable marketing channels, which makes it a perfect platform for every business no matter its budget. It’s easy, too, when you use automated email marketing software. Follow the tips in this guide to develop a profitable email marketing strategy that grows your business fast.
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 Developing an email marketing strategy that works appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

May 2019

Startup Fundamentals: Turn your dream into a successful business

By |2019-05-22T17:12:13-04:00May 22nd, 2019|News|

Got a great business idea but not sure what to do next? Want to shore up the foundation of a business that you’ve recently launched? Have an unincorporated business that you want to formalize? Learn how to turn your idea, or your startup, into a thriving business with Startup Fundamentals.
Entrepreneurship is rewarding, but it takes a lot of determination, planning and business knowledge to reach your dream. That’s why we packed this free eBook with expert advice, actionable tips, and real-life business stories you can identify with and learn from.
In addition to showing how to differentiate your products or services from competitors, how to create a strong business plan and how to launch your company the smart way, you’ll learn everything you need to know about incorporating your business. There are real financial and operational risks associated with not forming an LLC or other business entity. We’ll show you how to avoid those risks, whether you’re already open for business, trying to turn your side hustle into your day job or taking the very first steps toward establishing your startup.
Go from great idea to growing business

Ditch the guesswork and find out whether your big idea has legs
Lay the groundwork with market research and a business plan
Hit the ground running with funding
Find out which business entity is right for you
Get best practices and insider tips from entrepreneurs who’ve been there

Download this free and insightful eBook today.
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

© 2019, John Habib. All rights reserved.
The post Startup Fundamentals: Turn your dream into a successful business appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

5 ways to keep summer sales sizzling with Email Automation

By |2019-05-16T08:00:55-04:00May 16th, 2019|News|

Life may slow down in the summertime, but that doesn’t mean your sales have to come to a screeching halt. Automating your emails is an easy, breezy way to battle the summer slump, stay connected to your customers and still have time to hit the beach.
How Email Automation works
With VerticalResponse’s Email Automation, you can set up an email or email series now, and then schedule the campaign to be sent out at a later date. Emails can be triggered according to criteria, such as whether or not contacts have opened or clicked a link in an email. What’s more, automated email series generate 80 percent greater sales at 33 percent less cost because they essentially run on autopilot. But before you can set it and forget it, you’ll need to decide what types of automated emails to send. What will be compelling enough to catch the attention of customers who are on vacation, enjoying warm-weather activities or entertaining out-of-school children? Read on for some inspiration.
Inspiration for your automation
1. Tie campaigns to summer holidays 
Father’s Day, Flag Day, July 4th, National Blueberry Day, National Relaxation Day, graduation and more can be the basis for your summer emails. Celebrate holidays with your customers by sending them festive email greetings. Connect with customers on a more personal level by sharing a meaningful story about your mom on Mother’s Day. Or, send customers a coupon for a cool treat on National Ice Cream Day to help them beat the heat.
2. Catch attention with tips and promotions
You can use automated emails to announce your business’s summer hours and new seasonal products, but if you really want to grab people’s attention, consider adding summer tips and promotions to the mix. Get started by putting yourself in your customers’ Espadrilles and thinking about what’s important to them in the summer months.
Manage a pet shop? Send customers an e-newsletter full of tips on how pet owners can protect their furry friends from the high temps or choose the right pet boarding facility before their trip. Run an auto shop? Promote a pre-roadtrip brake inspection special. Own a hobby shop? Share tips on how to have a fun staycation with the family — with the help of your products of course.
3. Give new subscribers a warm welcome
Add some sunshine to subscribers’ lives by greeting them with an automated welcome email. Introduce your business and tell subscribers exactly what they can expect from your emails. Include a strong call to action that lets them know what to do next. Finally, consider giving them a small welcome gift, perhaps a hot summer discount on their first order.
4. Show customers you care
Customers prefer to do business with companies that care about them, so don’t miss the opportunity to wish them well on their special day. Fortunately, you don’t have to memorize every birthday, anniversary or personal milestone. With Email Automation, it’s a snap to send a heartfelt, custom birthday email to each and every customer. While you’re at it, why not thank customers for their business? Not only is it a nice gesture, it’s a good excuse to stay in touch and top-of-mind.
5. Host a summer party
If you’re planning on staying in town for the summer, why not host a summer party for your customers? People with upcoming trips on their minds might forget to RSVP, so send them at least three email reminders in the weeks leading up to your bash.
Use Email Automation to set up your campaign. For example, you can send an invitation and then resend it to people who haven’t opened or clicked your email. Or, remind those who have opened your email but haven’t submitted their RSVP to do so before time runs out. Then all that’s left to do is fire up the grill, turn on the tunes and rock some sales at your summer party.
Lose the summertime sales blues
Email marketing can go a long way toward keeping your sales strong in the summertime, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors, chained to your keyboard. With VerticalResponse’s Email Automation, you can send out emails to your customers while you’re taking that well-deserved vacation. So what are you waiting for? Find inspiration for sizzling summer campaigns in this article and automate your emails. Then pack your bags and prepare for some fun in the sun! 
Join 140,000 small business ownersGet expert tips and email inspiration delivered to your inbox every two weeks.
Subscribe

© 2019, Bella Girardi. All rights reserved.
The post 5 ways to keep summer sales sizzling with Email Automation appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response

13 subject lines to celebrate Memorial Day

By |2019-05-07T10:51:43-04:00May 7th, 2019|News|

Memorial Day is coming up May 27, and there’s no better way to grab your customers’ attention than with clever, seasonal subject lines. With the weather warming up and the long weekend ahead, now is the time to have fun, get festive and let your creative light shine. If you need inspiration, check out a few of our favorite subject lines below, along with some ideas to customize for your own promotions:

The Countdown to Memorial Day Sale starts now | J.Crew
Chill, Grill & SHOP! 50% Off ALL Dresses & Rompers! | Charlotte Russe
Salute-worthy savings in honor of Memorial Day | Wayfair
Sun’s out, sale’s (back) on | LOFT
Knock Knock. It’s Memorial Day Doorbusters | Michaels
Plan your staycation! Extra 15% off bed & bath at our Memorial Day Sale | Macy’s Home
We are OPEN Memorial Day Monday | Menlo Pilates & Yoga
Plans for Memorial Day? | Thousand Trails Campgrounds
Order Your Post Memorial Day Recovery Kit Now | Project Juice
Final Hours to Shop the Memorial Day Sale | Solid & Striped 
Memorial Day = Memorable Savings | Woodwind & Brasswind

BONUS: 13 subject lines to customize for your Memorial Day email marketing campaigns

A long sale for a long weekend
Start saving on the unofficial start of summer
Stars, stripes & savings
Your 3-day weekend just got better
Save and get in a summer state of mind
It’s time for grillin’, chillin’ and fillin’ your shopping cart
Our sale is worth relishing
Big deals for your big 3-day weekend!
Save 50% on these Memorial Day markdowns
3 HUGE sales for the 3-day weekend
Remember the day with these sales
Take an extra 27% off on May 27 
Take your party outside: 30% off, this weekend only!

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Subscribe

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.
© 2019, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
The post 13 subject lines to celebrate Memorial Day appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.

Source: Vertical Response