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

five_waystoboost_ROI

At the end of the day, there’s a reason why email marketing is known as the best way to reach your digital audience – when you do things right, nothing else can compare to the results that come with this process. However, just because there’s seemingly limitless potential held within this practice, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to a happy ending. To generate a powerful following – and the sales that come with such a contact list – there’s plenty that needs to go right for your brand. With this in mind, let’s spend some time talking about five fast and efficient ways to give your email marketing return on investment (ROI) a healthy boost.

Power up your Subject Lines

Since the first thing your viewers see when a new email goes out is the subject line, Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Samson points out that there’s no better place to start this discussion than with this portion of your message content. In order to capitalize on the ROI gains found within your subject line, Samson explains that you need to hit on three key points.

First, make sure that the subject line is useful, unique, urgent, and ultra-specific. Viewers don’t have time to waste on changes found within these headers, so get to the point and make sure it stands out in a big way. From here, try to identify your brand; it’s important that your audience knows exactly who is attempting to connect with them. Finally, great subject lines take these two attributes and add factors that promote trust and a rapport with the person on the other side of the screen when possible.

Show Empathy in Your Content

Once you’ve garnered that all important open via a strong subject line, Samson goes on to suggest that you continue to build goodwill with your readers by way of emphatic content. Making a point to highlight the fact that you’re willing to use this content to cover any questions, comments, or concerns regarding both the daily life of these audience members and your products or services shows that your brand is able to connect on a deep and meaningful level with consumers.

Avoid the Spam Filter

From a technical aspect, Eric Didier of MarketingProfs suggests that your brand can boost ROI by avoiding the spam filter. By avoiding “spammy” words both in your subject line and within your content, your email blasts can successfully bypass these filters and end up in front of your targeted audience.

Aside from succumbing to the temptation to use damaging words like “buy,” “free,” and “stop,” Didier also pinpoints coding errors as a way to trigger filtering on your messages. Before hitting send, make sure that your template functions properly on both mobile and traditional platforms. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when the response to this content is stymied due to unnecessary spam filtering.

Play to the Holiday

Is there an important or exciting holiday/event coming up in your region? If you answered “yes” to this question, then Social Media Today’s Veronica Taylor explains that you might be sitting on an ROI boosting goldmine. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or a more localized reason to celebrate, developing content that highlights these exciting times not only breaks up the monotony of generic offerings, it also helps your brand stand out while other organizations let these opportunities slips through the cracks.

Embrace the Mobile Future

Finally, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow from this look into boosting ROI, it needs to be the fact that embracing the mobile future of the email marketing world is vital to your campaign’s success. With more than half of all emails being opened on smartphones and tablets, it’s more important than ever before to get things right with your on-the-go customers.

Implementing responsive templates that shift to the needs of each device or platform, keeping message content brief and concise, and constantly evaluating the mobile experience from a critical perspective helps ensure that your brand is always on the cutting edge of this front of the email marketing industry and maximizing the impact of its mobile ROI potential.

Naturally, there’s so much more that goes into boosting ROI than just these five tips. However, if you’re strapped on time and looking for a few quick fixes to get things back on track in terms of extracting the maximum value from your email marketing operations, you’ll be hard pressed to find better tips that what we’ve covered here today. Once you’ve hit on each of these points and you’re ready to take the next step with your campaign practices, the sky is the limit in terms of your ROI potential.

 

back_on_track

By now, you know without a doubt that email marketing is the biggest player in the world of digital brand awareness. More consumers are connecting with organizations in the inbox than ever before, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. However, this process is far from infallible. To ensure that you get back on track for success in the event of an email marketing stumble, let’s talk about some of the best ways to revamp and reinvigorate your inbox campaign.

Put Your Tools to Good Use

Considering that email marketing is all about making the most out of modern technology, it makes sense to start this conversation off with a look at your digital tools and how best to put these assets to good use. As Jason McDonald of LinkedIn points out, there’s plenty of options to consider as you refine and optimize this content. From free subject line testers to HTML previewers that ensure your coding comes out clean and flaw-free, presenting a technically sound and attractive email shouldn’t be relegated to the territory of guesswork and uncertainty.

Get Personal

Outside of keeping your digital tools and practices in top shape, Business 2 Community’s Amanda Clark suggests getting personal with your audience. For some brands, this means personalizing content and leveraging the power held within your consumer data to make the email marketing experience more intimate and unique. If you don’t have this data to help guide your decision-making process, then now is as good a time as any to start surveying members of your list and utilizing other sources of “Big Data” and viewer information.

Free Stuff Makes a Difference

Perhaps the most powerful way to get back on track with your email marketing campaign is by giving away free stuff. Yes, on paper adding more costs to a failing endeavor seems like bad business. However, analyzing the situation from a more grounded and industry-relevant perspective proves just how wrong this initial assumption is when it comes to the inbox.

As Clark goes on to explain, few methods offer up as much potential for goodwill and immediate impact as a giveaway. Even if it’s something as simple as a coupon or test product, letting these customers and contact list members know that there’s something tangible and worthwhile waiting for them should they participate in this outreach initiative goes a long way toward restoring the impact of your campaign.

Re-Evaluate Your Timing

Another area that could be tanking your inbox operations comes in the form of poor message timing and frequency. Specifically, Direct Marketing News’ Andrew Corselli points out that even the best content around doesn’t stand much of a chance if you’re unable to get it out in front of viewers when they’re most likely to open the email.

Because of this reality, ensuring you always test new timing strategies and avoid resting on your laurels is not just recommended, it’s virtually essential. Sometimes making a switch based on shifting consumer needs and trends is a tough pill to swallow. However, when compared to the alternative – a failed email campaign – it’s easy to see that making the switch is well worth the effort.

Try a New Template or Email Approach

In some cases, it might be time to take your actual content back to the drawing board in order to get things back on track. According to Search Engine Journal’s Alex Bashinsky, one of the best ways to go about this is by trying out a new template or basic structure for your content.

Change for the sake of change obviously doesn’t make much sense, but just like testing out your timing and frequency, sometimes consistently exploring new territory can help uncover a theme or style that resonates more closely with your audience. Even if it’s something as simple as a new template for your base message, switching things up can go a long way toward catching the attention of your viewers.

Check the Quality of Your Contact List

Finally, take some time to guarantee that there’s actually someone waiting for your content on the other side of the screen. Far too often, brands that purchase or fail to maintain accurate contact lists end up firing off emails to dead end or incorrect addresses. Even if you’re not an email marketing expert, it doesn’t take much to see that either of these scenarios are literally “no-win” situations.

Thankfully, if you stay on top of monitoring and maintaining your contact list – as well as putting to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why your future campaigns can’t end up standing as shining examples of the true power held within this practice.

 

landing_pages

Whether you’re texting with customers in your area or reaching out to the masses in the inbox, one thing is certain – you better have a good plan in place for when these viewers hit your digital domain. Without stellar landing pages leading the charge on this front, it’s only a matter of time before these valued members of your online audience start seeing what the competition has to offer. To ensure that you always close the deal when a potential customer steps foot through your digital front door, let’s spend a minute talking about what makes a great set of landing pages.

Consistency Is Key

In his look at winning on this front, Inc. magazine’s Jim Belosic points out that it’s always a good idea to place an emphasis on consistency. From social profile and main page designs, to the various landing pages that greet new visitors, stable and easily identifiable branding and imagery is vital to creating a welcoming experience. The opposite approach – disparate selections that don’t tie into one another – can leave SMS and email shoppers alike feeling confused or uncertain about the seriousness of your digital approach.

Simple Is a Good Start

Additionally, Belosic suggests keeping things simple and toned down as you start developing and creating landing page content. Just like a longwinded text message or email chock full of images, having a set of landing pages that are too “busy” or confusing isn’t a smart idea.

Instead, keep your call-to-action (CTA) and navigation tools clear and prominent. This way, as shoppers start to delve into the particulars of the offer, product, or service that led to this point, they’ll have a straightforward and easily understood path leading straight to a successful checkout.

Sprinkle in Some Trust Elements

Of course, funneling viewers into a conversion isn’t always enough to seal the deal on a successful campaign. For some visitors, it’s all about feeling comfortable with the process, as well as what your brand has to offer. For this reason, John Paul Mains of Marketing Land explains that sprinkling in some content that helps build trust in your organization is a strong landing page tactic.

As far as options go on this front, Mains points out that you have plenty from which to choose. Whether you go with privacy policy information, consumer testimonials, reviews, certifications, or even prior awards and accolades all depends on your products and services. However, for the skeptical viewers out there, few offerings are as enticing and highly sought after on landing pages as these trust-oriented elements.

Building a Winning Headline

In terms of sheer impact, Phil Frost of Web Marketing Today notes that it’s hard to go wrong with a winning headline. Yes, you still need to have a strong offer and CTA, but simply snagging the initial attention of the shoppers that make the jump from SMS and email to this point often comes down to the headline.

Generally, you’ll want to focus on keeping things short, sweet, and enticing. Letting the reader know that this page is connected to the offer in question, as well as ensuring that it’s worth his or her time to continue reading should be your primary goal when it comes to writing headlines. If you’re able to do this, then you’re well on your way to capturing – and retaining – the attention of these future customers.

Test, Test, Test, and Test Some More

Finally, don’t be afraid to repeatedly test your landing page content with different segments of your audience. Just like SMS or email content, assuming you got everything right on the first try is a dangerous and risky way to approach this process. Testing does add extra work to your overall campaign commitment, but failing to optimize and refine this content opens your brand up to a plethora of problems and concerns.

Depending on your content strategy and methods, the type of test needed – as well as the testing variations – can shift or change. However, honing in on bounce rates, unique visitor numbers, time spent on site, and raw conversion rates should help tell the story of your landing page content fairly accurately.

Generating quality landing pages is a lot like pulling off a successful email or SMS marketing initiative. With the right information guiding the way, as well as a willingness to put forth the time and effort needed to refine your operations, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from making the most of this crucial gateway between initial interest and satisfied customers.

 

repurposing_email_content

Sometimes, the biggest problem that comes with running a strong and consistent email marketing campaign isn’t found on the technical side of the process. In fact, once you’re set up with a strong and consistent platform, keeping this well-oiled machine in motion is actually pretty easy. Where most brands get tripped up is with the creation of their content.

While you might not feel the same pressure as Hemingway or Twain, facing down writer’s block when it comes to your marketing messages is never a good thing. With this in mind, let’s talk about five quick and effective ways to repurpose some of your old content. This way, you’ll not only get through the tough times when fresh ideas are scarce, but you’ll also be able to breathe new life into content that still has plenty to offer to the people on the other side of the screen.

Break down an Old Blog Post

At the top of the list of repurposing ideas, according to Search Engine Watch’s Salma Jafri, is splitting up old blog content and leveraging these ideas in upcoming emails. Considering that the value held within these informative and engaging selections, it makes sense to “spotlight” key points and concepts as part of your inbox strategy. The best part? For particularly relevant or poignant posts, you can pull multiple topics and excerpts to keep the excitement and intrigue flowing with your email marketing audience.

The Same Goes for eBooks

On a similar line of thought, if you have an established eBook that might be relevant to your growing email audience, there’s no reason not to repurpose this content and offer it up to your readers in the inbox. Naturally, distilling this long-form offering into a series of interconnected messages can take a little more time and effort when compared to the work that goes into doing the same for a typical blog post.

However, this additional commitment can solve your content creation problems over a far greater period. Instead of developing one email, the repackaged message found within your eBook can span days or even weeks, thus capturing the attention of your inbox following and keeping these viewers eagerly awaiting the next installment in this ongoing series.

Leveraging Your Social Content

In terms of making the most of digital marketing overlap, Erin Everhart of Search Engine Land suggests tapping into your social media profiles as a way to generate message ideas and content. Whether you highlight a tweet, a post, or a pin of your own, or if you take this opportunity to help boost the reach of an industry influencer or respected voice, integrating social content into your email marketing plans is a quick and efficient way to tether these two powerful platforms to one another. For those who are willing to go the extra mile, there’s also the opportunity to keep this interconnected approach moving forward by promoting awareness of your email contact list via these established profiles.

Share Your Video Content

If your brand already has a stable of YouTube postings or on-site video content, why not incorporate this media into your next series of email blasts? Obviously it’s important to verify that this portion of your brand following has an interest in this type of content, otherwise you run the risk of sending these inbox viewers irrelevant messages. However, once you get the green light from your consumer data regarding the content preferences of your contact list, then you’ll have another type of medium to lean on as you continue to stand out from the competition.

Update an Infographic

Finally, the Content Marketing Institute’s Arnie Kuenn points out that infographics – when properly sized and rendered – can excel as a form of repurposed content. The big key to keep in mind on this front is that sending out infographics as part of your email content means updating these offerings from time to time. If you’ve ever worked with infographics before, then you know that this form of content requires the utmost care when it comes to data and information. The last thing you want to do is send out an email with dated – or flat out wrong – information standing center stage.

Naturally, you don’t want to rely solely on repurposing content from your digital endeavors as the fuel that feeds your email marketing fire. However, letting this practice guide the way from time to time can help keep things running smoothly as you continue to engage and interact with the people who make up your inbox audience.

 

summer_campaign

With the mercury rising to higher and higher levels in thermometers across the country and air conditioners running on full blast, there’s no denying that one thing is on everyone’s mind; summer is officially here. Unfortunately, plenty of brands out there fail to take note of this trending topic and continue along in the inbox with a “business as usual” mentality. To ensure your brand stands out this summer and doesn’t get lost in the flood of generic offerings coming from the competition, let’s talk about five of the best email marketing tips for your upcoming summer campaign.

Go Regional with Your Content

According to Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye, there’s no better place to start than with regionally relevant content. Naturally, this can be harder for the bigger brands to pull off, but if you’re able to integrate references and relevant information about local events, happenings, and other topics into your content, then you have an opportunity to really stand out and capture the attention of specific communities. Even if you don’t dig into highly specialized neighborhood happenings, simply covering citywide events and other outings in a particular area can help keep the goodwill flowing into your brand image.

Talk about Summer Behavior

Similarly, there’s also the concept of tailoring your overarching content tone toward a more “summer-oriented” style and direction. Discussing gardening, getting ready for the beach, or any other seasonal behavior might seem a little out of place at first, but this approach falls right in line with a sound email marketing strategy.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everything you send out to your contact list members has to be related to a product or service. Sometimes, it’s okay to take a moment and talk about something – in this case, summer activities – that’s both relevant and interesting to your audience.

“Christmas in July”

Nye also suggests utilizing the “Christmas in July” tactic as part of your summer email marketing initiative. It might seem a little awkward at first, but creating a sense of urgency for the holiday season now is both effective and engaging; if you’re able to pull it off properly.

Essentially, a Christmas in July email campaign or sale needs to hit on two key points – encouraging the consumer to start holiday shopping early and offering real value to incentivize the process. If you’re not able to hit on these aspects of the process, then don’t be surprised when even the most well-crafted summer email content falls flat on its face.

Offer up a Seasonal Giveaway

If you’re not looking to run a sale, but rather generate some excitement via a giveaway or contest, Jonha Revesencio of The Huffington Post points out that the summer season offers up the perfect timing for this tactic. A surefire way to win big on this front is by blending in practicality to the process.

As Revesencio goes on to explain, people can really appreciate offerings that fill a practical need during these hot summer months. Even if your organization doesn’t offer up a product or service that fits in line with this mentality, that doesn’t mean that branded sandals, sunglasses, and other giveaways can’t fill this void.

Give Summer Tips and Health Advice

Finally, if you’re all out of other ideas, don’t be afraid to send out an email that’s a little more educational in orientation. The rising temperature comes with plenty of perils, so a simple and straightforward tips and advice edition of your weekly brand newsletter can go a long way toward keeping your audience informed and safe.

Whether you cover information regarding sun safety and extreme weather warnings, or simply decide to focus on lawn-care advice and other relevant summer discussions, setting aside the promotional content for a day is a powerful and effective tool for bonding with your valued following. The best part is that this tactic extends to other seasons as well, so you’ll never have to worry about coming up with something to write about when the fall, winter, and spring months pop up on the calendar.

At the end of the day, staying seasonally relevant – especially during these hot summer months – is all about finding new ways to transfer value to your audience. This basic premise is the guiding light behind email marketing, so finding creative ways to incorporate summer and other major yearly events into your campaign approach ensures that you’ll always be relevant and engaging.

 

time_saving

Running a campaign that connects with your audience in the inbox is one of the most powerful ways to take advantage of the constantly growing digital world. Unfortunately, if you don’t approach this process from the right angles and with the right mindset, it can also end up requiring a substantial investment of your most valuable resource: Time. If you’d rather not deal with inefficient and unnecessary practices, take a few moments to look over these five time-saving email marketing tips.

You Have Consumer Data, Use It!

To start the discussion off in high gear, Wired magazine’s Emily Konouchi suggests dusting off that consumer data that’s been sitting around and putting this asset to good use. All too often, information regarding the people that make up your audience lies dormant due to the perceived idea that this content takes time and effort to properly utilize.

While this notion definitely holds plenty of truth, it’s also important to point out that consumer data enhances and optimizes your content, thus lowering the amount of time and effort put into the process down the line. Essentially, working in this knowledge now takes a little bit of time, but it can save you countless hours later on.

Look for Areas of Improvement

Additionally, Konouchi explains that keeping an eye out for optimization throughout the process continues this tradeoff of a small time commitment now for greater efficiency and resource allocation later. Instead of living by the “getting by is good enough” email marketing mindset, make it a point to take note of weaknesses and deficiencies in both your content development and deployment methods. This way, you can manage and eradicate these small problems before they turn into major issues that bog down your forward momentum in the inbox.

Stay Organized

For those of you who embrace clutter and hectic desk layouts, it’s time to bite the bullet and get organized. Just like in most other facets of your professional and personal lives, letting disarray take center stage with your email marketing operations is akin to asking for avoidable problems.

Lost content ideas, uncertainty regarding plans, and missed meetings with your email marketing team of experts are just a few of the calamities that come with a disorganized take on reaching out in the inbox. Thankfully, one you get things in order and stop wasting time via a cluttered or jumbled approach, you’ll find that maintenance is far easier to handle than the initial clean up.

Automate Opt-ins and Other Steps in the Process

When it comes to running the day to day operations, Business 2 Community’s Monica Montesa notes that automation is a massive boon to those who are looking to cut down on their time expenditure. Naturally, you won’t want to put everything on autopilot, but there are a few key steps that definitely benefit from an automated response approach.

At the top of this list are sign-up confirmations and other opt-in messages. By having welcome content and data entries ready to fire up when a user accepts your invitation to join your brand’s contact list, you’ll not only be saving a few minutes getting things up and running, but also offer a professional and quick response to this action.

In terms of other points worthy of automation, important date and product reminders deserve a spot in the conversation. By utilizing the consumer data we talked about earlier to hone in on these events and generate relevant automated content, you can efficiently maximize your interaction and impact with these customers, all while working on other projects or duties. When it comes to saving a few minutes here and there, it’s hard to pass up this kind of opportunity.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Within Reason)

Finally, don’t be afraid to recycle and reuse your content across every facet of your business and marketing approach. From “best of” email newsletters to snippets on social media that breathe new life into influencer quotes and other offerings, repurposing what once lit the inbox up is a great way to reduce your development time and get these selections out in front of new viewership.

The only catch here is that you won’t want to rely solely on this process going forward; you’ll need to find the right balance between recycling and creation to keep your inbox users excited and engaged. However, if you can find this sweet spot and pair it with the rest of what you’ve learned here, it won’t be long before your email marketing operations take on a sleek, streamlined, and efficient new look.

 

winning_position
SMS campaigns came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and approaches – including the coveted contest method. As a way of engaging your audience, offering up substantial prizes or rewards in return for outreach and a burgeoning contact list seems like a slam dunk. Unfortunately, if you rush into this process too fast and without a firm understanding of what works with your audience, you’ll be in dire straits in no time. To keep your brand from facing this marketing nightmare, let’s spend a few minutes talking about how you can put your organization in a winning position with its next SMS-driven contest.

Arm Yourself with the Right Help

Before reading any farther, Matt Silk of Target Marketing magazine offers up perhaps the most important piece of advice that you can take with you on this journey; find the right team of SMS experts to help guide your campaign. While there’s definitely something to be said for forging a path on your own, nothing replaces the benefits generated by having years of experience and tested methods backing your approach.

Even if this team operates purely from a consulting perspective, at the very least you’ll have access to real-time advice and information regarding the health and trajectory of your campaign. It doesn’t take much to see how beneficial this arrangement can be to avoiding missteps and lowering your learning curve moving forward.

Understand That an SMS Contest Can’t Stand on Its Own

Additionally, Silk also points out that it’s not a good idea to treat your SMS contest as a standalone offering. Sure, this form of outreach is strong enough to generate buzz within an audience all on its own, but you leave so much on the table in terms of impact and return by keeping other facets of your marketing approach at arm’s length.

To keep the positive response flowing into your contact list, don’t be afraid to cross promote on as many relevant platforms as possible. Social media, your branded web pages, and even local outlets – like newspapers and radio spots – are all fair game on this front. It might sound like a cliché, but leaving no stone unturned when it comes to getting the word out about your SMS contest is one of the best ways to extract the maximum amount of value from this process.

Go Big with Your Prize Support

When it comes enticing consumers to opt-in, Matt Baglia of Business 2 Community suggests that your organization had better be willing to bring out the big guns. While a small coupon or other limited discounts works well in a traditional setting, the whole point of offering up a contest is to create a sense of excitement and suspense. This means that the prize at the end of the campaign needs to be high in value.

Everything from free products and tickets to a local sporting event make the cut as acceptable grand prizes. If you’re still unsure about what passes this threshold, there’s nothing wrong with embodying the mentality of bigger is better.

Find a Way for Everyone to Win

Speaking of those smaller selections, Baglia goes on to note that some of the best campaigns around find a way for everyone who participates to win. While it might seem a little awkward at first, giving out discounts and coupons for simply opting-in blends the excitement of a contest with the appeal of a standard SMS campaign. At the very least, this take on the process ensures that everyone walks away happy and with a positive perspective regarding your brand. Regardless of whatever industry you call home, it’s hard to see this potential campaign outcome as anything but good for your organization.

Learn and Evolve

Finally, as you wrap up this SMS contest, take some time to evaluate all of the ups and downs of your process. By implementing an open and honest evaluation, your brand can pinpoint any areas of concern, as well as the highlights of the campaign. As a way of keeping the interaction and engagement flowing, you can also utilize participant feedback and social media responses.

With this information in hand, you and your SMS marketing experts can work toward a future contest that’s bigger, better, and draws even more opt-ins and consumer interest. The only thing left to talk about now is if – and when – you’re ready to leverage all this approach has to offer to your brand and the people that make up its target audience.

 

keep_audience_engaged

For plenty of brands, the hype surrounding email marketing becomes a reality in what feels like the blink of an eye. One second, you’re building a game plan for your first campaign; the next, you’ve got a steady and thriving list of contacts. However, if you’re not careful with how you manage this group of viewers, you could find your brand on the outside looking in just as quickly. With this in mind, let’s take a step back, cover some tactics and tricks that focus on interacting with your audience, and ensure that your brand has what it takes to keep an audience excited and engaged.

A Growing Problem

If you’re already running hot with your content in the inbox, it’s definitely a reasonable response to consider that this advice isn’t designed with your brand in mind. Unfortunately, Tracey Vides of Tech.Co points out that this is exactly what leads so many campaigns into the realm of spam filters and lackluster consumer reactions. In fact, Vides goes on to explain that in some cases, operations that once stood as potent examples of email marketing success fail to barely surpass the three percent mark when it comes to clicks on call-to-action buttons (CTAs) and other requests for interaction.

Skip the Jargon

So if you’re worried about slipping into this inglorious company, where should your renewed commitment to engagement hone in on first? According to Vides, start by skipping out on the jargon if you’re not dealing with a business-to-business (B2B) audience. While other industry experts can’t get enough of buzzwords and other insider lingo, the average customer doesn’t like the idea of being uninformed or confused. In fact, it’s a major turnoff with the vast majority of audiences. Instead, you’re much better off keeping things short, sweet, and to the point with your inbox content.

Clean up the Technical Details

As far as the actual framework and templating of your email offerings go, Business 2 Community’s Corey Husfeldt suggests making things simple, obvious, and consistent for your readers. In terms of engaging the person on the other side of the screen, few things are more damaging than having a CTA button or link that either doesn’t work or ends up lost in a jumbled and confusing message.

Before firing of your next wave of emails, spend some time optimizing the “path to a click.” This means reviewing the content and guaranteeing that when it shows up in the inbox, your contact list membership will know exactly how to navigate the email and end up back on your site completing a purchase.

Try the “Flash” Route

Husfeldt also notes that tweaking the timing and urgency of your emails can help keep the interaction and engagement flowing with your brand’s target audience. Flash sales that incorporate limited duration offers and “act now” wording fit into this approach perfectly, offering plenty of incentive for the person on the other side of the screen to go ahead and initiate a sale. However, using this tactic too often can make the entire method feel insincere, so focus first on a steady flow of regular content, then add in these unique offerings as needed.

Get Back to Your Roots with Word of Mouth Tactics

Finally, Gareth O’Sullivan – also of Business 2 Community – posits that one of the most overlooked methods of engagement is also one of the oldest tricks in the book. “Word of mouth,” or having your current audience help inform others about your brand, definitely has a spot in any established email marketing campaign. Of course, simply suggesting that you leverage these viewers as a marketing asset isn’t the same thing as showing you how best to incite such a response from these viewers.

At the top of O’Sullivan’s list of word of mouth tactics is the notion that referral rewards go a long way with your contact list. By providing an incentive for your audience to bring others into the fold, you can help promote a scenario in which your inbox relationship grows in an organic manner. Even if you don’t offer up rewards for new referrals, there’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback and discussions in public forums. As long as your brand is part of the conversation, then you’ve hit the mark with this new age take on word of mouth operations.

At the end of the day, keeping your audience engaged and focused on your content does require a serious amount of work. However, with these insightful tips guiding the way, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve taken the first step toward making this process run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

 

5_pillars

As a smaller organization, chances are you’re familiar with exploring all of the options set before you, especially when it comes to stretching a budget as far as it can go. After all, being creative with your resources is the best weapon in your arsenal when it comes to playing with the “big boys” in your industry. To ensure you’re not leaving anything on the table in terms of SMS marketing, let’s look into the five pillars of success for small businesses on this front, as well as a few key tips and tricks your brand can implement to further optimize these practices.

Knowing Your Audience Comes First

The first key point that leads to SMS success, according to the experts over at ITWeb, comes in the form of identifying and researching the habits and desires of your audience. While some brands rely upon the mass message approach that aims to fire off texts to literally anyone who is willing to accept, smaller businesses are better off refining their approach and honing in on the consumers who are most likely to respond. By sketching out the particulars of your audience, then continuing to develop this viewpoint into a narrower focus, your brand can reach out to the segment – or segments – of this group who are ready and willing to build a text-based relationship with your organization.

Timing Matters More Than Ever

Of course, it’s also important for your brand to take a good, hard look at the situation and find out where timing fits into this equation. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when your brand earns the unfavorable reputation as the company that’s willing to text shoppers at all hours of the day and night. Depending on the lifestyle patterns and habits of your targeted segment, the answer to the question regarding when the best time is to fire off a message can vary drastically. However, once you’ve pinpointed the appropriate part of the day for a great SMS message, don’t be afraid to run with your research and start implementing your marketing strategy accordingly.

Engage Your Audience

In terms of the style of your content, South Africa’s Cape Business News suggests skipping the passive experience and actually interacting with your viewership instead of simply talking at these shoppers. As hard as it may be to openly address for some, far too many small businesses have everything fall apart when the time comes to actually generate engaging content. To avoid this unwanted scenario for your brand, try to mix in some surveys, feedback requests, promotional competitions, and anything else that can help turn your messages into an interactive experience.

Understand That Some Lines Aren’t Meant to Be Crossed

On a more technical note, the team behind the Cape Business News report goes on to explain that in the world of SMS marketing, there are definitely plenty of lines that aren’t meant to be crossed – unless you’re interested in ending up on the wrong side of the law. Naturally, the rules and regulations regarding spam violations and other illicit activity can vary from region to region, but ignorance isn’t an excuse for breaking the law.

Before you start racking up fines and penalties, spend some time consulting with SMS experts who understand what it takes to play by the rules in other parts of your country or the world at large. This way, you can move forward with confidence and clarity regarding opt-out clauses, sign-up requirements, and other technical details as your SMS operations lead your brand to new heights and greater audience reach.

Nothing Can Replace Value

Finally – and most importantly – is the fact that when it comes to truly succeeding via SMS marketing, nothing replaces the allure of value. As Small Business Trends’ Megan Totka points out, creating value helps keep customers satisfied and willing to spread the word to others about your campaign. From giveaways to coupons, providing these shoppers with a reason to go all the way on a purchase is the single biggest key to your SMS success.

If you’re able to pair this take on value up with the rest of what you’ve learned here, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from making the most out of even the tightest SMS marketing budget. Considering how important it is to level the playing field with the bigger brands in your area, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better path to success than the route laid out by these five pillars of the SMS process.

 

drip_campaign

Email marketing comes in a seemingly endless variety of flavors – no one can argue this point. However, many organizations find that instituting a drip campaign serves as one of, if not the, most powerful and efficient ways to keep the conversation going with these audience members in the inbox. If you’re brand is looking to utilize this periodic method that builds a relationship over time via consistent and measured email content offerings, take a moment to review the five keys that can put your campaign in a position to succeed now and long into the future.

Your Goals Are the Foundation

According to Tim Asimos of Business 2 Community, building a winning drip campaign all starts with having a firm and realistic vision of what you want to accomplish. Cliché though this may sound at first, there’s a lot of truth in the notion that you need to view the big picture before hammering out the little details.

Think of it this way: As enticing as it may be to just jump in headfirst and improvise the direction of your campaign as you go, what happens when you invest in content or research, only to find that you’re not able to use these assets? By exploring your overarching goals ahead of time, you can avoid inefficient and wasteful scenarios like this one, all while reducing the strain on your marketing bottom line.

Learn about the Audience

Once you’re ready to move out of the realm of the theoretical and start getting the digital cogs and gears in motion, it’s time to start talking about who’s going to be viewing this content. Essentially, the reason for starting here and not with the content or drip schedule itself comes from the need to build a campaign that fits the desires of these individuals in the first place.

Much like generating goals and benchmarks ahead of the actual planning of the drip initiative, learning as much as possible about your audience now ensures that the message held within your emails and the timing of these offerings always generates the maximum amount of value and impact for your brand.

Finding the Right Blend of Content and Schedule Considerations

It’s no big surprise then that the next key to success comes in the act of applying what you’ve learned to the basic drip campaign structure. Molding unique content to the needs and wants of your viewers, setting up automated emails that trigger upon periodic intervals or important events, and tweaking all of the other little variables that go into this setup phase constitutes this next step in building a successful drip campaign.

Embrace Your Analytical Side

While most brands and marketers might call it a day after setting up the particulars of the campaign, Asimos goes on to explain that to truly keep the success rolling, you’ll need to remain vigilant and constantly evaluate the different variables that go into this inbox initiative. This means being ready to openly and honestly utilize inbox metrics and other key performance indicators.

At the top of the list are the basic choices on this front, including changes in contact list numbers, raw sales, and open rates. However, there’s nothing stopping your brand from digging even deeper and searching for additional areas that could use a little improvement or enhancement. Hard and soft bounces, shifts in abuse complaints, and click-through rates all fit this billing and help emphasize the health of key segments of your drip campaign.

Think Beyond the Inbox

Finally, Social Media Today’s Anand Srinivasan suggests that a successful drip campaign isn’t just relegated to building influence in the inbox. If your brand is willing to expand these principles to other facets of its marketing operation, there’s no reason you can’t create a unified and overlapping consumer experience.

In particular, Srinivasan notes that social media is the perfect conduit to extend the reach of this approach. Often, you can even employ the same concepts of timing and tailored content to capture the attention of consumers who would otherwise have missed out on the chance to join your email marketing sphere of influence. Considering how interconnected these two portion of the digital world are already, it’s not too surprising that this is the logical next step for any successful drip campaign.

It doesn’t take much to see that winning on this front requires a bit of forethought and virtual elbow grease. However, if you’re brand is able to get these things right – from developing a vision for the future to exploring next outreach territory – then there’s nothing that can stop you from getting the most out of your next drip campaign.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin