Login Enterprise
Speak to an Email Marketing Expert
877-789-ELITE (3548)
 

While getting your audience to read your messages might seem like the hard part of SMS marketing, in reality it’s the easiest portion of the whole process. People can’t get enough texting, so it’s pretty clear that simply sending out a message is at least worth a momentary glance from this customer on the go. However, it’s not so easy to get these interested shoppers in the door if your messages don’t hit them the right way. Thankfully, you won’t need to do too much to revamp your SMS approach; just follow these five simple tips and you’ll be heading toward radically improving the redemption rates on your latest text message deals and offers.

Don’t Forget to Identify Your Brand

While this one might seem painfully obvious when you first read it, you’d be surprised at just how many brands fail to do something as simple as identify themselves somewhere in the text. Chances are, you’ve probably even come across one of these messages on your own phone. We’ve all received vague messages from strange numbers and more than likely the first response most people have is to dump this wasted opportunity into the virtual trash can. To avoid this potentially campaign killing fate, make sure you add something that people can relate to your brand. Whether it’s a product name, company name, or even a slogan, anything that helps cut out this confusion can go a long way toward pumping up redemption rate numbers on your offers.

Set up Auto-responders and Surveys

Being interactive makes members of your audience feel like they’re doing something worthwhile, so why not add this flavor into your SMS strategy? By setting up auto-responders or building in surveys that utilize response keywords, your customers can chime in via text with what they like and dislike, all while snagging a coupon or discount for their time and effort. Even something as simple as texting back a word or series of numbers to redeem an offer can go a long way instead of a generic text that does little to separate itself from the rest of the SMS pack. In some cases, you can double dip with this little trick and turn a onetime text into a recurring conversation in the form of periodic messages to a highly interested customer.

Avoid Abbreviations… But Keep It Short

The biggest draw to texting over pretty much any other marketing medium is the speed at which your viewers read and respond. Because of this, plenty of brands try to keep these promotional messages as short as possible. While this is definitely the right approach in theory, the problem arises when relying on “text speak.” “Msge bk 4 gr8 deals” might seem trendy and okay when you’re prepping your first set of messages, but the reality of the situation is that most mobile consumers don’t like or even understand these abbreviations and shorthand. Additionally, the fact that they also don’t want to read a novel on their phones makes things a little tricky.

To keep your redemption rates up and remain relevant, you’ll need to learn to walk the fine line of brevity. Basically, try cutting out all the filler in your message and get right to the important details – while also skipping out on the text speak. It might be a little hard to handle at first because so many brands think more is better when it comes to talking with customers, but in the case of texts, keeping it simple and short goes a long way with your audience.

Timing is Everything

Another simple pitfall that has doomed far too many SMS campaigns and crushed redemption rates on offers is poor timing. While your message might be one of a kind in terms of the deal you’re offering and how you phrase it, if it hits most of your audience at four in the morning, chances are they’re not going to be too thrilled with your text. If you’re sticking to a regional plan, matching up times based on peak hours (like 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for restaurants with lunch specials) is pretty easy. However, crossing over into other time zones does require a little more effort in the form of staggering these messages to all arrive in the right time slot.

Tying in the Rest of Your Brand Content

The final quick tip you can take to revamp your redemption rates comes in the form of adding a simple link to some of your other content. Whether it’s a blog post about the featured product or a link to your email mailing list, anything that adds a little extra value to the text without taking up too much space is a great tool to boost customer interest. Even if it’s just a graphic or a little extra info on what you’re promoting, it’s well worth the addition. When paired up with the rest of these quick tips, you can build a sound SMS marketing strategy that keeps redemption rates and conversions up and your customers happier and more interested than ever before.

SMS_Marketing

 

The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How a savory SMS marketing campaign turned a good burger deal into a great one for Carl’s Jr. restaurants across the U.S.

In a world of fine dining and dishes that have ingredients you’ve most likely never heard of, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and bite into a hot and juicy hamburger. While most of the time that sentence alone is probably good enough, the guy’s over at Carl’s Jr. knew that they needed to really go the extra mile in order to keep sales up and help turn a steady trickle of customers into a veritable flood of hungry patrons. However, standing above all the other quick service restaurant (QSR) chains during the sizzling summer month of May isn’t exactly the easiest marketing goal to pull off.

Setting the Stage for SMS Success

So what was the best way to step out of the QSR crowd? If you’re familiar with this case study series, you know that the answer is a great SMS marketing campaign. By reaching out to customers on their phones, Carl’s Jr. tapped into a new way of getting in touch that not only kept their brand on the minds of these hungry shoppers, but also provided a new way to share some unbeatable deals. While it sounds simple at first, to really dig into Carl’s Jr. recipe for success, we’ll need to check this menu headliner out piece by piece.

Breaking down This Tasty Strategy

Let’s start with the basics. As part of any sound SMS campaign, Carl’s Jr. decided to come up with a great offer that clearly gave shoppers a reason to drop by their local restaurant. In this case, the big pitch was a $6 burger combo for only $2.99. To grab the limited time offer, customers on the SMS messaging list only needed to bring in a simple short code found in the text to any of the 1,369 locations. After this, taking a big sip from an ice cold drink and digging to a tasty burger and fries was all that was left on the agenda. Considering how convoluted some marketing techniques and sales pitches can be, it’s hardly a surprise that customers enjoyed such a simple and straightforward deal that came with real savings and mouthwatering food.

Gauging the Customer Response

It’s easy to say that Carl’s Jr. knocked this one out of the park, but chances are you want some real numbers to show just how great a well planned SMS campaign can really be. To start, 19 percent of the message list members decided to take part in the summer promo. That on its own is pretty impressive. However, the stat that really sets this case study apart from the others focuses on what’s going on at the register. For every $1 that Carl’s Jr. spent texting customers via this promotional, the QSR chain generated a whopping $14 in new sales. Even if you’re more of a chicken kind of person, it’s hard to deny that once the customers got the message and came through the doorway, they couldn’t get enough of this grilled to perfection deal.

What Makes Carl’s Jr. SMS Recipe so Enticing?

So all you need to make a great campaign like Carl’s Jr. is a top-notch product – a tasty hamburger for instance – and the ability to send off texts, right? Unfortunately, there’s still one more secret ingredient that really gets this recipe cooking. Instead of just shooting off a standard “come try our burgers” text, Carl’s Jr. tapped into a very powerful marketing fact that too many brands overlook; customers love pricing based offers. By showing the potential savings in a quick little text message, the burger chain made it pretty hard for hungry customers who love a good deal to keep driving past their local Carl’s Jr.

Cooking up Some Success of Your Own

While all of this is definitely a lot to take in, you can boil down the secret to Carl’s Jr.’s success to a few key points and plug them into your next SMS campaign. First, make the offer worth your customer’s time. Simply sending out messages that talk about how good your products are won’t get the job done. From here, limited time offers that put an emphasis on pricing and savings are some of the strongest motivators you can have on your side. Even if you’re not in the business of great food, these basic principles should be enough to get you on the path to following Carl’s Jr.’s lead and raking in some serious sales numbers.

Carl's_Jr

 

We are excited to announce that our CEO Robert Burko is the headline speaker at tonight’s York Region Arts Council and Aurora Cultural Centre event.

Robert will be speaking about Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation along with some general Email Marketing tips.

The event runs tonight from 6:30-9:00pm at the Aurora Cultural Centre.

Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) shakes the foundation of the marketing landscape in Canada by imposing a strict new rule book on what is and is not allowed. With hefty penalties and complex parameters, we’ll explore the in-and-outs of the new law to get you on the path to full compliance. Once you’re CASL-Ready, we’ll explore the ways you can effectively and affordably use email and mobile text message marketing campaigns to drive engagement with customers in new & unique ways with a cross-channel strategy. Every channel can be effective, but using the proper channel to send the right message to the right person at the right time can take your results to new heights.

FREE for YRAC Members, $10 for Nonmembers

Click here for more info

CASLl_Seminar

 

By this point, you know all the big stats and figures that show how powerful emails can be at marketing your brand to the masses. Plenty of other blogs can parrot out these facts until they’re blue in the face, but does that really help you if you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing once you buy in to the email marketing craze? Naturally, talking about templates and subject lines can give your messages a healthy bump in attractiveness, but one of the biggest subjects that doesn’t get much attention centers on the frequency and approach of your email. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how stand alone emails and dedicated series work and if there’s any difference between these two options when it comes to getting your brand noticed in your customer’s inbox.

A Look at Stand Alone Emails

Stand alone emails offer up a one-time deal that focuses on pressing issues – think changes in products and services, as well as limited time deals. As with most offers that expire, these quick, timely messages can be powerful tools to help up-sell or cross-sell deals and inventory to an audience that responds well to “in the now” marketing tactics. Once the offer’s over, it’s time to can this message, pull anything you might be able to use for the next round of emails out of it, and move on. While this might a little cut and dry, having a run of one-offs can keep customers excited and anticipating the next time your latest message makes its way into their inbox.

Understand the Long-term Series Approach

On the flip side of this spectrum is the email technique that’s in it for the long haul. Dedicated series, like newsletters, reoccurring product offers, and informational/club emails, all try and keep the audience interested in your offerings by mixing in some long-term value to go with any coupons or discounts. Whether it’s keeping people up to date with the latest industry trends or offering up periodic columns or articles, dedicated email series that run indefinitely or over long periods of time generally offer great content to make up for the lack of spontaneity associated with stand alone messages. Interestingly enough, you can still mix in some deals that come with limited time runs to your weekly or monthly emails to help maximize the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing campaign. However, if you’re on a set schedule or automating these messages, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle with awkward timing and sudden changes in planning or sales.

Is There Really a Difference?

Now that we’ve got you up to speed on both options, you can definitely see that there’s a little overlap between the stand alone route and long-term series. In fact, you can even make an argument that these two styles are closer to being two sides of the same coin than they are to being complete opposites. While the timing and the framing of your message might be a little different, having consistency in your emails is a major part of a successful campaign. In that regard, there’s really not too much difference between the two. If your messages are all over the place, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first try or your 100th email in a yearlong series, chances are your audience isn’t going to be interested.

Which One’s Right for You?

This is all leads to a final answer to the “which one’s right for you?” dilemma. Basically, there is no right and wrong when it comes to stand alone emails squaring off against dedicated series. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your email marketing campaign, they both have benefits that you can take advantage of to boost awareness for your products and your brand. Looking to pump conversions on a limited time offer or a seasonal product? Then it’s the right time for a quick, powerful, stand alone message. If you’re looking to drum up steady traffic to your blog or tease out information for an upcoming change to your brand, then a dedicated series that keeps your viewers eagerly awaiting your next installment is the way to go.

In fact, there’s no secret rule in the world of email marketing that says you can only choose one method. Just like in other parts of your business operations, a little flexibility can go a long way when you’re catching up with customers via emails. Having access to templates for both, as well as the ability to customize and fit your message to the occasion, will give you all the tools you need to really make a mark with your customers. For any brand that’s thinking about where it wants to be tomorrow, as well as 10 years from now, mixing in a little of both stand alone emails and dedicated series is never a bad idea.

Email_Marketing

 

A lot of what you read on this blog offers advice and guidance for brands that have been around the block at least once when it comes to email marketing. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it might be a little hard to get you into the flow of things if this is your first time setting up an email marketing campaign. Once you’re in gear and up to speed with the latest trends and best practices, you’ll be able to really pull some value out of the rest of the content. For now, here’s a few quick tips that will help you skip the learning curve and make a great email template for your first run of marketed messages.

Simple Coding is the Way to Go

To start, let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of your template – the coding. While you might be a web design whiz who can turn random strings of characters into a beautiful webpage, that talent’s better suited for places outside of the email. Because of the varying platforms and coding accommodations of the different mail providers, simple coding that keeps things clean and tidy is your best bet. This means sticking to the basic tags and fonts, as well as testing out your emails in a “what you see is what you get” (sometimes referred to by the acronym WYSIWYG) setting. By following this line of thought, you’ll never have to hear back from potential customers who wanted to check out your latest email offers, but couldn’t because your message looked more like a bowl of alphabet soup than a potent marketing message.

Go Easy on the Vids and the Visuals

Keeping up with this theme is the concept of cutting down on the videos and images found in your email messages. Much like complex coding, these additions can look great when viewed on certain platforms, but can also go the other way and bog down an otherwise powerful message. Additionally, plenty of email users already have images turned off by default, so all they’ll be seeing is big empty spaces that could otherwise showcase some great text. To circumvent this dilemma and still get some solid use out of these visuals, drop them on your landing pages and social sites so that viewers who like what you’re offering in the email wind up seeing this content anyways.

Don’t Forget the Mobile Viewers

Another key technical feature you can’t forget about when prepping your first email template is that plenty of your audience is going to check out these messages on a smartphone or tablet. Naturally, these mobile viewers need a little extra attention to ensure they can actually view the message. This means taking into account the reduced screen sizes in your scaling coding and going light on the graphics and visuals as mentioned in the previous part of this post. Additionally, mobile landing pages are a must if you go this way to guarantee you can move these viewers from the inbox to your online store.

Keep These Words out of the Mix

Aside from the more techy stuff that goes in your template, the actual wording of your template makes a big difference as well. Some words might seem like a must in your message, but the reality of the situation is that all they do is turn your viewers off pretty quickly. “Final,” “donation,” “don’t,” and “tempting” all bring up some seriously negative responses in your audience. While getting your message across does require some strong wording at times, making the reader feel rushed or compelled to do something is not a smart marketing strategy. Keep it friendly and let your deals and offers speak for themselves.

Think Big Picture

The final point isn’t necessarily a “do or a don’t,” but rather a philosophy that can extend beyond marketed emails and into any outreach with customers and others in your industry. When building a template for communication, keeping the “Big Picture” in view should always be your top priority. While focusing on the coding and technical aspects of your message definitely opens up a pretty powerful channel to spread your message, if the message isn’t good, you’re not really accomplishing anything at all.

As you build your template and the accompanying message, try to look at it as if you were the audience. Does the message make sense? Do you understand what’s being offered and what you need to do to redeem this discount? If either of these questions have answers that are anything but an emphatic “yes,” it might be time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your approach. Although this doesn’t sound like much fun, you’ll be enjoying it later as you watch open and redemption rates go through the roof with a message that’s supported by a great email template.

Email_Marketing

 

The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How a smart SMS campaign gave Avenue a major boost in sales and customer visits.

Everyone enjoys picking up a new outfit now and then. Whether it’s a big formal effort or just grabbing clothes to gear up for going out with friends during summer, having a new wardrobe can radically change how you feel about yourself. Interestingly enough, the same holds true for how your company makes an impression on potential customers. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at how Avenue, a plus-sized women’s clothing store, revamped its look with a great SMS campaign that encouraged shoppers to come in and pick up the latest styles.

A Little Background Before the SMS Run

Before making the switch to texting customers, Avenue stores did all the usual ho-hum marketing stuff. TV spots, local ads, etc. They all did some work in bringing in new customers, but not enough to really equate to a big time boost in sales. While business was steady, plenty of other stores offered up potential shoppers the same styles and selection of women’s clothing size 14 and larger. To break the mold and separate itself from the rest of the crowd, Avenue built a smart and well-planned SMS campaign that tapped into the shopping audience’s love for great deals and for texting.

Looking Your Best for Customers

So what all went into this mobile marketing operation? To start, shoppers in the store, online, and on the company’s email mailing list all had the opportunity to add their numbers to the texting database. From here, the campaign did two things – continue to promote signups and offer great discounts to these willing customers. For joining in on the texting fun, shoppers received $5 off their next purchase. While this might not seem like much at first glance, it was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of text offers from Avenue. Over the next several weeks and months, more offers came down the pipeline and enticed women (and their husbands looking to snag a quick deal before birthdays and holidays) to stop by and check out all the latest styles.

Avenue’s Big Reveal

While all of this sounds nice, you probably want to just get down to the nitty gritty numbers and see if it was really worth the effort for Avenue to reach out this way. If that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed. To date, Avenue stores have reported an astounding 6,600 percent return on investment for the time and money spent on texting with customers. Digging a little deeper, the 500 store chain also noted that these messages generated a whopping 97 percent open rate, with 71 percent of users checking out the deals from a smartphone. Looking forward, the owners of Avenue expect the growth rate of about 30 percent each month to continue and bring in even more shoppers who want to look great and save money at the same time.

Making Your Business Look Great Too

After reading that, you’re probably wondering how you can get in on these major returns as well. Thankfully, we can pull quite a few tips and guidelines from Avenue’s campaign that should apply directly to your next attempt at mobile marketing. First, try and find some synergy with your other marketing endeavors to maximize the value of your SMS messages. This means tapping into your email list, as well as plugging your upcoming mobile offers in-store and online. By doing this, you’ll get more numbers and have even more reach once you start pumping out the deals.

Once you’ve started building that base of customers, the next step is giving them something that will keep them interested. This doesn’t mean giving away your product, but coupons and discounts that at least make your potential shoppers think twice about stopping in should be enough to get the ball rolling. Having mobile landing page links in the text that let your customers share the details on Facebook and other social media just adds more opportunities to get your messages out to new people. From here, keep up the deals and watch your ROI skyrocket as you enjoy the steady stream of new customers that couldn’t get enough of your text deals.

Avenue

 

For the regular readers of this blog and pretty much any other site that covers email marketing, you probably see a ton of discussion regarding social media – and for good reason. While emails are still your best bet for generating leads and hammering out sales, there’s a ton of overlap between this marketing approach and getting friendly with your email list and other potential customers, especially on Facebook. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of this synergy and how you can best retool your company’s Facebook account to supercharge your next email marketing campaign.

Everyone Loves Being Liked

The first entry on the list is pretty straightforward, but highly effective. By simply having a “like” button in the bottom of your email messages, you give your list members a fast and easy way to share your content and let it go viral. With so many social groups looking to show off great deals, it only makes sense that you give them the tools to do this with a simple click. From here, others who might never have known about your email list can jump on the bandwagon and get your daily or weekly offers in their inboxes going forward. In short, it’s a simple addition to your message that goes a long way with customers who love being social on the web.

Learning More about Those Already on Your List

Outside of having your email list show off your deals by liking and sharing your latest message, you can dig a little deeper with Facebook and learn more about your target audience. With so much information being made publicly available via this social network, your company can compare its mailing list with what these customers like and which social communities they’re a part of. Even just a few years ago, this type of insight into what your audience likes and wants was pretty much unheard of. However, with this information in hand, you can reshape and rework your email marketing operations to give them what they really want and boost conversions in a big way at the same time.

Timing’s Everything on Any Platform

It’s funny how some things, regardless of the platform, never change. When it comes to email marketing and posting on Facebook – or any other social network – timing is at the top of this list. If you’ve taken the steps to learn as much as possible about your target audience, then you should have a pretty solid idea of how and when they like their messages. If not, that’s OK too. By fiddling with when you schedule posts on Facebook and keeping track of which offerings blow up and which ones fizzle out, you’ll learn a lot about timing and your audience. From here, putting those test results to good use by optimizing your email messaging schedule is a nifty little trick that can help you sneak in a few extra conversions that might have otherwise have gone by the wayside because of bad timing.

Having a Little Fun

Of course, the synergy between email marketing and Facebook that your fans will like the most is letting them have a little fun. At first glance, you might be wondering how this is even possible. However, simply opening up a browser window with your own Facebook page and looking at your newsfeed will answer this pretty quickly. If you’re page is like most of the rest of ours, you’ll notice that everyone’s filling out quizzes and surveys for pretty much anything. From TV shows to the latest Internet trends, surveys asking “which character are you most like” and a variety of other topics are a major part of the Facebook social experience these days – and there’s no reason your brand shouldn’t get in on the fun.

By having links to your own Facebook surveys, quizzes, and even contests in your emails, you’ll not only engage your audience a little more by letting them have some fun filling these out, but you’ll also learn a lot about what makes them tick. When it comes to maximizing sales and exposure on any part of the web, this kind of insight and interaction should be a top priority for any brand that’s serious about getting the most out of social media and email marketing.

Give Your Viewers a Reason to Share

The final entry on the list is more of a mantra than a specific tip. While all the other synergies we’ve covered have been pretty specific, the biggest thing to remember, regardless of what you decide to do with your company’s Facebook page and email marketing campaign, is to give your audience a reason to share your content. No matter what direction you go, keep this ideal at the forefront of your strategy and you’ll be sure to hit a home run with the social butterflies that make up your audience the next time you roll out a new campaign.

facelogo

 

The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How savvy SMS marketing got the rhythm flowing at TAO Nightclub.

Few people can say no to a night at the club with good friends or maybe that special someone. From enjoying a couple drinks to getting your groove on as the DJ keeps the music rolling, you really have to go out of your way to not have fun. Unfortunately, TAO Nightclub’s slacking attendance quickly switched the dance tunes to the blues for the owners and managers. Fortunately, with some catchy SMS messages and a good eye for great timing, TAO Nightclub turned things around in a big way. If you’re wondering how, don’t worry – we’ve got all the details and a little insight into how it might fit into your mobile marketing strategy moving forward.

Setting the Stage for the Big Night

While plenty of other SMS marketing case studies focus on setting up a great text message database, this one’s a little different. Instead signing up new users for the first time, TAO Nightclub already had a thriving user list of 6,000 customers. With these partygoers serving as the foundation for the campaign, the club began laying the framework to help highlight the next big event on the calendar. As you’ll see, honing in on a big event ended up being the centerpiece for some special nights at the TAO.

Filling the Dance Floors with a Great Mobile Strategy

Unlike other companies covered in this series, most of which simply got behind coupons and called the process good (definitely a strong strategy), TAO Nightclub had to do things a little different. By making the text message an exclusive offer for an upcoming event, the club gave the mobile marketing list members a reward for joining the club. Naturally, throwing in a discount at the door didn’t hurt either. With this text message in hand, the text members got to show off at the door and save a few extra bucks while the rest of the crowd watched and waited in line.

Getting Particular with SMS Messages

Of course, the big secret to this campaign was that the messages only promoted the visiting DJs and weekly parties the night they happened. By doing this, TAO Nightclub helped drum up some hype and made the regular nights at the club even more exciting by giving the events a more personal feel. Instead of just a simple “come to our club” message, members of the text list received something that was closer to having a friend invite them to a big-time event that’s going down later that night and less like just your average night at the club.

The Final Tally

So once the doors closed and the employees cleaned up the bars and dance floors, what was the final tally on the night? As far as heads in the door go, the first run of the SMS marketing campaign brought in an extra 118 guys and 102 women to the club. In total, $1,770 worth of extra revenue via admission fees was good enough to call the whole deal a resounding success. However, people don’t just come to the club and skip out on drinks during the night. The 220 partygoers ended up spending an additional $4,400 in drinks by night’s end. Adding this on top of the usual crowd made for the first of many outstanding turnouts at the TAO Nightclub.

Where Do You Fit in?

While you might not be in the nightclub business, there are still quite a few lessons you can take from this case study and sneak into your own great SMS campaign. First off, it’s all about timing. By shooting off messages the day of the event, you can add a feeling of spontaneity and urgency to your marketing that might be lacking if you’re bludgeoning your viewers over the head with daily messages. Additionally, simply getting customers in your doors is a big deal. TAO Nightclub knew that giving discounts at the door naturally eats away at that specific revenue stream. However, these clubbers might not have even shown up if not for the discount – not to mention the massive amounts of cash spent at the bar by these event-goers during the night. In short, get them in the door with a great deal and your bottom line will thank you later.

TAO_Nightclub

 

The past few days have been pretty tumultuous for the email marketing world, and that’s putting it lightly. In a surprising move, Yahoo decided to switch up how it handles email verification, leading to a major headache for brands that use this domain to send out promotional messages to customers. If this is news to you, don’t worry – it is to most of the rest of the industry as well. To help catch you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of what happened and what you need to do to make sure you stay in contact with every member of your mailing list.

What Happened Exactly?

As part of a new approach to email, Yahoo augmented its Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) reject policy. Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that emails sent to the people on your list en masse from an @yahoo.com address – or the @yahoo.ca, @ymail.com, and @rocketmail.com variants – might get bounced or rejected under the new authentication policy. The reason why? Because they’re coming from an outside platform and not directly from Yahoo’s servers. Currently, the known providers bouncing these messages include Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and Comcast.

Why’d Yahoo Do This?

Yahoo did this to break mailing lists and ruin email marketing, right? Not exactly. While it is a bit of a roadblock for brands currently using these addresses, this wasn’t the plan behind the change. Actually, Yahoo’s reason for making the switch centers on spoofing attacks made against its millions of users – the mass amount of bounces is an unfortunate side affect that’s part of a larger plan for enhanced security. From that perspective, it’s pretty hard to blame Yahoo, but it doesn’t make it any easier for companies to deal with the fact that these emails are now running right into an authentication brick wall.

Protecting Your Mailing Lists Moving Forward

Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to build a rebound plan and get back in touch with your audience. First on the list – stop sending out emails with a Yahoo reply address. These messages never make their way to your mailing list members’, as they will only continue to bounce. Once you’ve got this under control it’s time to make a switch with which domain you use.

If you’re thinking short term, there’s plenty of free options out there that don’t currently set off the Yahoo red alarm, like Hotmail or Gmail. However, there’s no guarantee that Yahoo’s new DMARC configuration isn’t the start of a new trend among all the major email players. To permanently protect your ability to show up in your subscribers inboxes, you’re going to have think a little more long-term. What this means is going with a domain that you own or operate to prevent any future hiccups like the one inadvertently caused by Yahoo’s attempts to cut down on all the real junk mail.

Yahoo

 

SMS marketing is a powerhouse tool used by some of the biggest brands out there. From Fortune 500 companies to international mega corporations, it’s a key part of some of the best marketing campaigns around. Because of this, you might think that connecting with customers on their mobile phones doesn’t have a spot in your daily operations. However, just because some of the biggest brands out there use mobile marketing doesn’t mean that local or small companies can’t get in on the action as well. If you’re on the fence about SMS marketing, that’s OK – after reading these five reasons why you should give it a try, you see just how powerful this tool can be to bringing in new faces to your local shop.

SMS Marketing Is Budget Friendly

The first question you probably have about SMS marketing is how much it’s going to set you back on your budget. While your first thoughts might bring to mind empty bank accounts and expenses reports dripping in red ink, the reality of the situation is that this type of marketing is most definitely budget friendly. Aside from cutting down on the physical costs of traditional marketing – everything’s electronic with mobile marketing – you can save a healthy chunk of your time, effort, and money by automating the process. Scheduling mass texts and using templates cuts out the cost of setting up the marketing campaign and lets you focus on the important stuff – namely running your business once the interested customers start rolling in.

Engaging and Selective Marketing Goes a Long Way

Aside from being a pretty thrifty way of getting your message out to the masses, SMS marketing is also a highly effective channel to connect with your customers on. Because these messages are often short and to the point, you can create an attractive text that puts an emphasis on brevity and value. For customers on the go, these are two big positives that can help cement your status as a go-to outlet. Messages can also contain a short-link back to your online store which helps engage those customers that might never step foot in your physical shop, but would be more than happy to come through the virtual storefront and do business online.

Everyone Reads Texts

Taking this a step farther is the simple fact that basically everyone loves reading texts. With average open rates hovering right around 93 percent, it’s safe to say that you’re message will definitely end up in front of the eyes of your audience. While this doesn’t always mean that these customers will convert right away, it does plant the seed for keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds. By staying in touch regularly with great offers, you’ll not only snag the sales from the eager members of your audience, but potentially build up enough steam to get over with those who might be a little wary about doing business at first. This is definitely a long-term outlook that requires a little patience, but it’s a great way to build brand loyalty and leverage those high open rates associated with text messages to your advantage.

The Potential ROI Is Through the Roof

Not surprisingly, all of the aforementioned reasons mobile marketing might be a great call for your small business come together to form an outlook that is big on gains and low on risk. Because the costs associated with texting customers are so low and open rates and engagement are so high, SMS marketing often offers up a big chunk of every business owner’s favorite stat – return on investment (ROI.) While throwing around figures and reasons is a nice way of explaining the benefits of mobile marketing, at the end of the day you just want to know if this is going to make your business money. Provided that you come up with engaging content that’s to the point and offers up some good deals to your customers, it’s hard to see the answer to that question being anything other than a resounding yes.

Room to Grow

With the first four reasons in the rearview mirror, our last entry is a little more forward thinking. Since especially savvy business owners are always looking to the future, it only makes sense that the same considerations have a spot in your marketing outlook. Thankfully, the future is looking as bright as ever for SMS marketing. With more people than ever before in your local town, and around the world, carrying phones that can do more and more tech wise, the opportunities for enhanced and even more engaging mobile campaigns are nearly limitless. While it’s impossible to say for sure what the future will bring, it’s probably a safe bet that text message marketing has a firm spot in the majority of great advertising campaigns moving forward.

SMS_Marketing

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Email Marketing by Elite Email | Blog Admin