Posts about email marketing, email campaigns, etc.

5 Ways Email Marketing Automation Benefits Your Business

It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to spend hours painstakingly writing individual emails for every one of your customers. At the same time, you don’t want to send general email blast after email blast to your entire subscriber list. When subscribers get messages that are irrelevant to them, they’re more likely to unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid these problems and improve your ROI with marketing automation.

Email marketing automation is the use of software, such as MailChimp or Hubspot, to send targeted emails at specified times or in response to certain actions your customers take. It’s all about reaching customers with the right message at the right time. Below, we look at five reasons why your business should use marketing automation.

Increase Transactions by Getting Personal

Name tag representing email personalization

Imagine that you’re walking down a busy street. Are you more likely to turn around if you hear someone say, “Hey, you!” or if they use your name? You’re more likely to pay attention if someone addresses you personally, and the same principle holds true with email marketing.

When you use an email marketing automation platform, you can include personalized fields (like first name and company name) that will be populated with information you have in your email list. Tailoring emails to the recipient can have a big impact: marketing emails with personalized subject line have a 26% higher open rate than those that don’t, and emails that include personalized content can have a transaction rate that’s six times higher than those with generic messages.

Make a Bigger Impact with Segmented Emails

In a survey asking companies why they use email marketing automation, 83% said the biggest benefit they see is being able to send more relevant messages. With marketing automation, you can segment your customer or lead database into different groups and tailor different messages to those groups based on their interests, demographics, or purchase behavior. For example, if your business sells surfing and scuba diving gear, you could create different messages for customers who have expressed an interest in either surfing or scuba diving. This ensures that email recipients only receive content that aligns with their interests.

As with personalized fields, segmenting your email list through your marketing automation platform can result in greater engagement. Popular email platform MailChimp found that marketers who segmented their campaigns saw 14.3% higher open rates and 100.95% higher click-through rates.

Boost Your Revenue with Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are messages that automatically go to website visitors after they take a specific action. These actions might include subscribing to your newsletter, downloading an eBook, or making a purchase. Transactional emails usually include some basic information the recipient was expecting to get (such as an estimated shipping date or a link for a free download), but they don’t have to stop there.

Since recipients interact with transactional emails at a much higher rate than they do with promotional emails, savvy marketers often use these messages to encourage customers to take another step. For example, an order confirmation email could include a “Recommended Products” section at the bottom, while an email that thanks someone for subscribing to a newsletter could include a coupon for the shopper to use on their first purchase.  This marketing automation strategy has proved highly successful: businesses can generate up to six times more revenue from transactional emails than other email types.

Example of transactional email

Example of a possible upsell offer in a transactional email

Sync Up with the Customer Purchase Cycle

Another one of the benefits of marketing automation is being able to schedule emails that reach shoppers at exactly the right time. Let’s say, for instance, that you own a company that sells eco-friendly cleaning products. Knowing that your average customer goes through a bottle of your Squeak-E Clean Dish Soap in a month, you could schedule an email that goes to customers three weeks after they’ve purchased the dish soap, reminding them to restock.

You don’t just have to sell repeat-purchase products to use this email automation strategy, though. You could send messages promoting products related to something a shopper has already purchased or plan messages that correspond to seasonal shopping trends. For example, a knitting pattern company might schedule a “Sweater Weather” campaign offering a discount on all sweater patterns when the weather starts getting colder.

Keep Leads Engaged with Drip Campaigns

 

Email drip campaign conceptA drip campaign consists of a series of automated emails that are sent to leads on a regular schedule for a set period. Why use this type of marketing automation? For one thing, drip campaigns can be a great way to keep your business top-of-mind with people who are interested in your product or service but aren’t ready to make a purchase. You can use these emails to answer FAQs, address customer pain points, and demonstrate how your products solve problems, keeping your leads warm until they’re ready to buy. Persistence pays off: drip campaigns have an 80% higher open rate and 300% greater click-through rate than single send campaigns.

 


If you know that your business could benefit from email marketing automation but aren’t sure how to get started, contact Leverage Marketing. Our email marketing team would be happy to talk to you about automation tools and strategies we can use to increase your conversions.

Mother’s Day Marketing Secrets that Lead to Profitability

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest commercial holidays of the year. Thanks to companies like Hallmark and the power of collective guilt, in 2015 the average consumer spent $173 on Mother’s Day gifts. The holiday has expanded from mothers to wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers—women in general. The challenge, therefore, is figuring out how to develop Mother’s Day marketing ideas for this larger population.

Developing a Mother’s Day marketing strategy before the holiday is integral to your success. With an increased focus on online shopping, three in 10 shoppers will buy a Mother’s Day gift online this year, using mobile phones to research and purchase their gifts. By developing a mobile-focused and forward-looking approach to Mother’s Day advertising, your brand can succeed this year.

Marketers use conventional techniques around holidays like Mother’s Day to entice shoppers, including free shipping (55%), price cuts (44%), and coupons (41%).mother's day marketing techniques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But beyond these apparent techniques, here are some of our Mother’s Day marketing ideas to help your business delight customers and the important women in their life this year:

Video Marketing

Mother’s Day video marketing campaigns like Proctor & Gamble’s 2016 Olympic Games’ ad employ emotional techniques, invoking the bond between mother and child. This Mother’s Day marketing strategy displays the strength of mothers and how they help their children succeed. Developing Mother’s day video marketing campaigns can be extremely successful, as videos like this can perform up to 20% better than similar as placements.

This P&G ad has over 22 million views at the time of publication. The ad shows Olympic athletes’ mothers helped them in their journeys to the Rio games, comforted them in times of struggle, and supported them through everything.

When creating Mother’s Day video advertising ideas for your product or brand, attempt to play on the feelings of the audience—the connection between mother and child, or wife and husband. By utilizing emotional advertising techniques, you can capture market share and increase your sales around Mother’s Day.

Contests and Giveaways

No matter the season or holiday, consumers love contests and giveaways. You can utilize sweepstakes and giveaways around products you’re promoting to drum up excitement for your Mother’s Day sales and marketing efforts. Tie your special or contest into the items you’re trying to sell, such as beauty products, chocolates, or flowers for mom.

Offering a high-value prize, like a spa day or a vacation package for two, can get customers talking about your brand. This type of Mother’s Day marketing strategy can be an excellent way to get email sign-ups for your mailing list as well.

Gifts and Mother’s Day Specific Products

When creating Mother’s Day marketing, focus your deals and promotions on specific gifts for Mother’s Day. Remember that Mother’s Day goes beyond gift-giving for mothers–to aunts, sisters, grandmothers, wives, and even daughters. You can create Mother’s Day packages targeting specific segments of the population, as well as those to whom they want to give the gift.

Nostalgia is a powerful factor in driving customer engagement—whether it’s a child buying their mother a gift that’s reminiscent of a good time in their lives or a husband giving his wife a gift reminding them of how happy they are to be parents. Utilize social media to promote your Mother’s Day gift packages—Pinterest and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms for Mother’s Day.

Email Marketing

Before beginning an email marketing campaign for Mother’s Day, it’s important to segment your email lists and create email content that speaks to your individual customer bases. As Mother’s Day is a diverse holiday, create well-crafted emails targeting those who plan far in advance—in addition to emails for last-minute gifts will allow you to maximize your email list.

Simply starting email subject lines with “Mother’s Day” will also increase your success, as titles that start with the holiday phrase have a 16% higher engagement rate than those that include the phrase later in the line. By segmenting your lists, using Mother’s Day-front loaded subject headings, and writing original emails, you can succeed in capturing market share during the holiday.

Mother’s Day PPC Campaigns

mother's day flower image

To make an impression this Mother’s Day, work with your PPC team to create a campaign several weeks before the holiday. Make sure to update relevant ad copy for Mother’s Day product categories and talk to your team about prioritizing bids for Mother’s day product categories, including popular gifts and presents.

A smart Mother’s Day PPC marketing strategy would be to start with low bids on broad queries and then segment and monitor engagement to accurately remarket to likely customers. Advise your PPC team to save ad dollars for last-minute Mother’s Day shoppers as well.

By using these techniques and other Mother’s Day advertising ideas, you can increase your sales and build goodwill towards your brand. Mother’s Day grows each year, with spending reaching $21.2 billion in 2015. Grab a slice of the pie by utilizing these marketing strategies.


If you need help with your Mother’s Day advertising strategies, the Leverage Marketing team can help you develop a plan to increase your sales and website reach. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news in the digital marketing world from Leverage.

 

6 Unique Ways to Use Video in Your Marketing

Scroll down your Facebook feed, catch up on Twitter, or rummage through Instagram, and you’ll notice immediately the use of video in marketing. Visit a major retailer or electronics developer’s website and you’re likely to stumble on how-to and explainer videos.

Why use video in marketing? Because leverage green computer with mock facebook on screen and videosopportunity exists to market your goods or services within those channels to customers who need and want them with a bit of clever video creation.

It’s no simple task to learn how to use video in marketing, but there are some rarely traveled avenues for video that your competitors probably haven’t explored yet. The following unique ways to use video in your marketing all require only a basic video setup with a microphone and some free space.

Attention-Grabbing GIFs

Animated GIFs don’t just have to come from your favorite TV shows and movies – you can shoot a custom video and turn it into an animation that will pull your website visitors’ attention immediately.

eric promotion highlight animation pointing at text to the leftUse GIFS to:

  • Draw attention to a CTA
  • Make an offer
  • Enhance branding
  • Inject personality

You can use GIFs on your website, in your emails, on social media, and in presentations. Just don’t overdo it – too many GIFs in inappropriate places will hinder your professional credibility. If you don’t have software like Adobe Photoshop to make custom GIFs, use Giphy’s GIF Maker to assemble your animations.

Video Email Signatures

Give prospects, business partners, and clients a chance to look through another entertaining and enlightening window into your business by adding a crafty signature video to your email signature block.

 

The video should exhibit your individual personality and include some elements of your work culture. There’s no one format, and you can film it anywhere at any time. Like most videos, keep it short – it should be fun for the viewer and heighten their goodwill and respect for your company.

Weekly Broadcasts

leverage purple computer showing weekly broadcast showWeekly, monthly, or even daily broadcasts uploaded to YouTube are beneficial to your SEO and can also be easily posted and shared through major social networks like Twitter and Facebook. If your site garners a healthy amount of traffic, you can also feature them on an exclusive part of your website and encourage visitors to register for other special content that you provide.

Assemble short videos to:

  • Display new products
  • Update customers on upcoming products
  • Announce new services
  • Provide industry tips

If you haven’t addressed them in a while, you can also just say hello to your audience. Your broadcasts are most likely to catch views if you share them on social media and encourage others to share as well. However, you can still get some traction by recording periodical videos to create a library of company news and events as well.

Interviews with Influencers

leverage green computer showing interview with influencer

Influencers hold phenomenal authority in the world of social media, which gives them the ability to direct customers to a product or service they deem worthy of their fans’ attention. If you’re using influencer marketing as part of your marketing plan, you’re already on the right track to reaching your target audience and bringing your product or service to the people that are currently looking for it.

 

Influencers and video both currently dominate social media. Combine these trends to multiply the results of your efforts.

Broadcast and record live chats and interviews with influencers about your product. Do it question-and-answer style or just spend some time thanking an influencer for his or her endorsement and reinforcing the reasons that your product or service is worthy of attention from influencers and their followers. You can then turn your live videos into exceptional testimonials for your website.

Unscripted Testimonials

leverage purple computer showing video testimonialVideo testimonials exist scarcely in the deep recesses of the Internet – but that’s not because they aren’t effective. Text-and-photo testimonials still dominate because they are easy to make and post. But by employing only a small amount of additional effort, you can collect a few video testimonials that will tell more than text ever could.

Coordinate with happy customers and offer them an incentive if they don’t seem to have time to fit you in. A one-off free service or product offering is an incredible price for a video testimonial. Prepare a short list of questions to ask to get organic responses and provide the list to the customer beforehand.

Try some of the following questions:

  • What do you like about our product or service?
  • Can you tell me a story about a time when our product or service helped you or your business?
  • Why do you plan to continue to buy or use our product or service?

Bring customers or clients in for a shoot (don’t forget to ask them their name and company while recording), send them on their way, then do a quick edit for a 30-second testimonial and you’ll capture a new level of trust from your audience.

Offline Customer Service

leverage green computer with hammer and wood showing offline service videosCustomer service representatives often have a script from which they read to help customers solve their problems. Save your customer service team some time and eliminate the troubleshooting script with a video or series of videos that attempts to show customers and clients how to solve basic problems without human guidance.

Draw from an available Frequently Asked Questions database or start collecting information from your customer service department. Then draw out a script with step-by-step instructions on how to fix problems. Give the videos a single, cohesive format and brand them so your customers know that it’s your company that cares enough to give them a hand solving their problems.

Get creative with your videos, and no matter how you’re doing them, make sure:

  • Your brand is clear
  • Your actors are recurring
  • Your video fulfills a need
  • Your video’s content has not been done before

Follow content marketing best practices (provide useful information, don’t manipulate your audience, etc.) when creating and sharing videos to increase their power. When executed correctly, videos can enhance almost every part of your digital marketing strategy. Try to find new ways to integrate video into multiple marketing channels at once to take your brand or company to the top – fast!

Leverage knows video marketing. We stay up to the minute on video trends to keep our skills sharp and share information with trusted readers and clients like you. Stay afloat in the video information flow by signing up for our newsletter today. It’s easy, free, and loaded with marketing magic.

SEO Trends and Predictions for 2017

The beginning of 2017 may be a fresh start for you, but for Google, progress in the sphere of optimizing Internet search won’t slow for a second. The preference for mobile Internet consumption, the desire for quicker and denser content, mounting pressure to increase ad revenue, and the unstoppable development of digital assistants and voice search point to a new golden rule for search engine optimization (SEO) trends:

Make it for mobile.

Mobile-First Is Undeniable

chart of hours spent daily on mobile devicesSEO experts have been predicting the latest SEO trends as part of their jobs for years, and there’s one that keeps making an appearance in the latter 2010s: mobile is the future of Internet and search. Major search engines are putting mobile at the forefront as trends in SEO continually point toward the indomitable strength and convenience of mobile consumption.

More Americans are spending more of their free time watching the screens on their smartphones and tablets, according to comScore. If the amount of activity on social networks is any indication, it’s likely that most of those hours are spent scouring Facebook and Twitter feeds for images and videos. Social apps and mobile search are in line to become some of marketing’s biggest targets for paid advertisements and organic efforts. Changes in the way that search will respond to mobile users as well as desktop users point to an almost certain future of mobile takeover.

Mobile-First Indexing

In the latter half of 2016, at the beginning of October, the first iterations of mobile-first indexing became a reality. Mobile-first indexing resets the priority of Google’s indexing bot to read through a site’s mobile version when determining how a site should be indexed. That means Googlebot looks at the relevance, speed, and technical organization of mobile sites over desktop sites when it decides where your page goes on the search engine results page (SERP).

Desktop SERPs Match Mobile

December also saw a UI update for desktop search engine results pages that helped them match the appearance and function of mobile SERPs. Specifically, desktop users see more specialized cards such as featured snippets and maps when they perform searches that trigger those cards. Of course, in such early stages, the desktop experience isn’t quite optimized for desktop searchers:

how long does google take to index serp with mistake

As of 2016, producing cards for desktop searches runs into trouble when wording is ambiguous. In our example, it seems that Google understands our query to be something closer to “How long does it take, Google, to [get to] Index, [WA]?”

Fortunately, development of semantic search promises to inch ever closer to matching the meaning and understanding the context of searches and the searcher’s intent. Consistent improvements in machine learning allow more of your searches in 2017 to reflect the intent of your search rather than the face value of the words you have typed into the engine. While returning relevant search results has long been a goal of Google search, the rise of digital assistants and voice search has lit a new fire in the quest to teach machines to parse language in the same way as humans.

Progressive Web Apps

Google has created a streamlined way for business owners to build progressive web apps, mobile applications that integrate the in-app experience with web capabilities. In many ways, they are web pages that look and act like apps. The intent of progressive web apps is to keep users engaged with apps by:

  • Provided online and offline service
  • Drastically decreasing loading times
  • Eliminating the need for purchase and installation
  • Offering an app experience without the maintenance of an app

Progressive web apps are perhaps the first step toward creating seamless product and service shopping experiences without the need to download apps. Users can keep progressive web apps on the home screens of their mobile devices and load them instantly.

The goal is customer retention. According to Smashing Magazine, users are three times more likely to reopen a mobile application than a website, especially after receiving push notifications. If integrating the app experience with the web experience can make purchasing easier for users, SEO experts will need to focus efforts on driving more customers to those progressive web apps organically.

Video and Images Are Next

The Content Is King mantra is steadfast, but SEOs need to consider more than ever that content has a greater reach than text articles. Major search engines, too, are looking for ways to read and organize all types of content. The term content includes video, animations, and images as well as text. Quality videos and images are proven ways to increase customer engagement and retention, and SEO experts will need to find ways to optimize videos for search in 2017.

Multimedia works in all parts of the marketing funnel and matches the goals of SEO:

  • The intent to purchase of users who enjoy video ads increases by 97%
  • One-third of all online activity is encompassed by watching video
  • 87% of marketers are using video content

These incredible facts from HubSpot make the user preference for video and image content clear. Check out some of the ways marketers are using video content in 2016:

Branded Video Content on Social Networks

titanfall advertisement with video on facebook

Autoplay pushes social videos straight to the brain. When advertisements combine exciting content with beautiful presentation, customers watch – and buy.

Live Streaming

new york times live stream video facebook

Anyone can instantly live stream a video on lots of social networks. Companies can get on-the-spot engagement by sharing stories, information, or just entertaining audiences.

Background Video on Home Pages and Sales Pages

life of pi home page background video

Companies can capture attention instantly with moving backgrounds, then entice users to stay with text overlays or an in-video call to action.

GIFs everywhere

giphy home page with trending gifs

GIFs resonate with young audiences, and marketers are learning how to pull on their heartstrings with simple animations that celebrate their favorite people, movies, shows, and music.

Closer Ties for SEO and PPC

Ad-heavy search results mean that competition for top rankings in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will likely push advertisers to improve the quality of their paid content. SEO experts must be ready to focus on improving quality scores for ads in 2017 as Google search moves toward a role as a PPC giant as well as an organic search engine giant.

Voice Search and Digital Assistants

The artificial intelligence that governs the functions of voice search and digital assistants is the focus of research for many of the companies developing such technologies, including Google. Digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant use artificial intelligence to attempt to understand natural language and harness that knowledge to produce useful information and resources for live people.

If they weren’t already, SEOs should look to improve relevance, usability, and permanence of content so that digital assistants and voice searchers can utilize the real language contained within the content to find the highest quality information.

What Should We Focus on in 2017?

In anticipation of an even more quickly changing search landscape, SEOs should focus on:

  • Crafting all SEO strategies and making design decisions based on mobile use
  • Building a video strategy that integrates with other marketing solutions
  • Sharpening PPC and paid search knowledge to keep customer rankings high in the paid sphere
  • Optimizing organic content to be found by digital assistants that understand real language

Don’t be afraid of change, be ahead of it, and remember: Make it for mobile.

Leverage Marketing can take you every step of the way through the SEO process – but we also do so much more. If you’re thinking about changing the way you market your business, let us guide you through it. Start by getting your hands on our 2017 Digital Marketing Budget Guide and find out what it will take to pull your marketing into 2017.

How to Create a Valuable Holiday Gift Guide

 

Why Create a Holiday Gift Guide?

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are almost upon us. We’re around the corner from Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays are just a stone’s throw away in marketing time. What can you do to get your customers ready for the season? How can you make them aware of what products you or your partners have available for purchase?

With average spending reaching over $800 per consumer this holiday season, digital marketplaces are excellent places for consumers to buy gifts for everyone on their list without driving to multiple stores. 44% of US holiday shoppers bought gifts online in 2014, and for 2016, online sales are forecast to be as much as $117 billion. Making a holiday gift guide can help your company grab a chunk of this revenue.

With holiday shopping now starting as early as the day after Halloween, making a holiday gift guide early can be a great way to highlight best-selling and popular products. By creating a visual representation of your product selection, you can facilitate the holiday shopping processing and make buying easier for your customers.

Holiday gift guides are a way to take marketing and make it creative. Instead of just a boring sales email, you get to take the products you want to sell and present them in a visually enticing format that transports the reader where you want them to go.

Here are a few methods to make holiday gift guides that grab your customers’ attention:

Use a Data-Driven Approach

graph-holiday-gift-guide

Don’t just choose your favorite products to include in your holiday gift guide, use targeted products that are either currently popular or were popular last holiday season. Generate reports on the top sellers in various categories and try to find items that would make good presents. Furthermore, it’s important to get a good mix of products in your gift guide to appeal to a broad range of consumers. You probably don’t have only one type of customer, and your holiday gift guide should reflect that. Look back to your buyer personas and make sure your gift guide reflects the variety inherent in them.

It’s important to get the raw data to find what people are purchasing–use tools like Google Analytics and Hubspot. Track what people are purchasing and what their purchase path is. Use social media and online polls to ask your customers what items they’d like to see. All this data will help you create an approach to your guide that targets a wide swath of customers and reflects the diversity of your business.

Create an Immersive Experience

When creating your holiday gift guide, it is best to curate an experience that submerges the reader in your content. Try segmenting your gift guide into different gift collections by age or gender (if applicable), or by price point. The consumer is then drawn into a selection of items targeted exactly for the people on their gift list. By creating a seamless experience with colorful, high-resolution images of your products, readers are more likely to buy.

Use Pinterest and Other Social Media to Create Holiday Gift Boards

As much as you may segment your holiday gift guide, there is no way to account for every different group and taste. Creating a variety of simple holiday gift boards on Pinterest to augment your existing gift guide is a simple way to help your customers. You can create a specific board for the customer (or buyer persona) you’re trying to target, such as “dog lover” or “stay at home mom.” This strategy works better for some B2C businesses with audiences and demographics more likely to use Pinterest. Tailor your approach to your customers and you’ll have more success. Find out what platforms they use through Google Analytics and online polls and promote through those.

Marketing using Pinterest and other social media sites is incredibly useful in today’s digital age. You can target users who wouldn’t otherwise interact with your content and start new conversations about your products. Remember to continually engage the users from social media and offer them exciting special offers to pique their interest.

pinterest holiday gift guide

Continue Writing About and Promoting Your Holiday Gift Guide

Once your holiday gift guide is out there, don’t just leave it sitting in cyberspace. Write about it using blog posts to provide additional context to the products you’re recommending to your customers. Tell your customers why they should buy this particular item. Explain why your product will make the perfect gift for their friend or family member. Producing blog posts about the products in your gift guide creates additional engagement around your products and adds a framework for your buyers. Do keyword research so that you can incorporate phrases for a higher organic ranking.

Promote the gift guide and your blogs on social media. Don’t let them stagnate on your website waiting for organic hits. Include links in emails, launch a paid campaign, and perhaps even look for promotional opportunities with other blogs or websites in your industry for link sharing. These methods can further enhance the reach of your guide to additional customers.

Your holiday gift guide can be your customers’ entry point into your product offerings. Make sure it is inviting, accessible, immersive, and understandable. If you use these tips to create your gift guide, you’re more likely to succeed this holiday season.

The team at Leverage Marketing has been through many holiday seasons and knows holiday gift guides inside and out. If you have questions about marketing for the holiday season, we are here to help. We are experts in helping our clients meet their needs all year-round. Sign up for our newsletter today to get tips about SEO, social media, marketing, and lots more.

Prep Your Website for Black Friday: A Marketing Checklist [UPDATED]

This post was originally published on October 8th, 2015. We’ve updated it with several new checklist items for 2016.

With Black Friday coming up on November 25th and Cyber Monday following right on its heels, your holiday marketing is no doubt well underway. In all the chaos, it’s easy to overlook some of the small but impactful online marketing tactics you can use to boost sales on two of the biggest shopping days of the year. With that in mind, we’ve put together a marketing checklist of things to do in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.

Download a PDF of our Black Friday Checklist

Web Design

o Update homepage for Black Friday.

Make sure anyone who lands on your homepage in the days leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday knows about the deals you’re going to offer. Add relevant banners and calls-to-action, change your home page header/hero image to highlight your Black Friday offers, and consider adding a countdown clock to build excitement. You may also want to create a banner that you can place at the top of all pages to remind shoppers about your deals.

o Simplify forms and checkout process.

Take some time before the holidays to go through your checkout process and identify steps where shoppers are likely to drop out. Eliminate unnecessary form fields and try to minimize the clicks it takes to complete a transaction.

Compress and resize any images that are weighing down your pages. 

Unnecessarily large images can slow down page load times, and online shoppers aren’t going to wait patiently for your site to load. Take some time before Black Friday to check images on your home page and most popular product pages, and either resize or compress high-resolution images.

o Test site to ensure all pages are mobile-friendly.

By now you likely know how important it is to have a website that looks good on mobile devices. Even if you think your site is fully responsive or adaptive to mobile, it’s worth testing individual pages—especially new ones you’re adding ahead of Black Friday. Enter page URLs into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test bar to determine if all pages meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendly design.

o Set up live chat.

There are dozens of live chat systems available online, and you can easily set one up by adding a piece of HTML code to all the pages where you want the chat window to appear. If you don’t have a system in place yet, install one before your big holiday sales days so that potential customers can quickly get help from one of your team members.

Email Marketing

o Craft emails to build anticipation for your sales.

Schedule your emails so that subscribers receive an initial announcement about your holiday sale, followed by several messages designed to build anticipation and keep you top of mind. Consider revealing some of the upcoming Black Friday sales prices on top-selling items, or send out a sales offer that is exclusive to email subscribers.

A/B test subject lines.

Remember: before you can get readers to click on email links leading to great Black Friday deals, you have to convince them that opening your email is worth their time. Businesses flood their subscribers’ inboxes with promotional messages around the holidays (MailChimp delivered 1.2 billion emails last Black Friday), so you need to make sure your messages stand out. Be clear about the deals you’re offering in your subject line, and A/B test different subject line variations to see what gets the most engagement.

o Write copy for transactional emails.

Tailor order confirmations, abandoned cart notices, and other automated email messages to your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Consider adding copy about upcoming holiday sales to encourage visitors to shop with you again before the end of December.

o Write emails to remind shoppers that your sale is about to end.

Create a segmented list of email subscribers who haven’t purchased anything on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and send an email several hours before the end of sale, reminding them that there is limited time to take advantage of your discounts.

o Test email links.

Before running any of your holiday email campaigns, take a few minutes to make sure none of your email links are broken and that all links go to the appropriate landing page.

o Create landing pages that align with email CTAs.

It can be jarring for email subscribers to click on a call-to-action that takes them to a landing page with a completely different offer—and shoppers aren’t as likely to convert if the initial CTA and landing page don’t match. Check the copy in your email message and on the landing page to ensure it’s coherent.

SEO

Make sure you’ve enabled ecommerce tracking. 

If you sell products through your site, you should absolutely set up Ecommerce Tracking in Google Analytics (if you haven’t already). Ecommerce Tracking will give you more insights in your customers’ behavior patterns so that you can better tailor future sales to your audience. If you’re not sure how to set up Ecommerce Tracking, check out our step-by-step guide.

o Check page load times.

Go to the Site Speed tab in Google Analytics to check the load times of your web pages. On average, people will give a page three seconds to load before abandoning the site, so if you have pages with slower load times, you’ll need to fix them. If you’re not sure what’s causing the slow load time, have your marketing team perform an audit.

o Create landing pages for sales categories.

Include ‘Black Friday’ or other holiday-related keywords in your title tags, header tags, and content so that the landing page has a better chance of being served to web users who enter relevant search queries.

o Research long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords will have a lower search volume than more general Black Friday-related keywords, but they will also have less competition and are more likely to attract shoppers who are looking for your specific products or services.

o Pitch products to influencers who curate gift guides.

Backlinks from high-quality third-party sites are a ranking factor for SEO, so it’s always a good idea to make connections with bloggers and journalists in your industry who may be interested in sharing your content. Lots of sites begin publishing holiday gift guides in November and December, so try pitching some of your best gift products to relevant sites. In addition to the SEO-value of backlinks, having your products featured in gift guides can also help drive traffic to your site.

o Local brick-and-mortars: check your online listings.

If you own a brick-and-mortar as well as an online store, go through all the major online directories to make sure your address, phone number, and other important information are up-to-date. If you have not yet claimed your business on Google, do so now using Google My Business.

PPC

o Set up meeting with your PPC team.

Keyword bids will be high around Black Friday because this is one of the busiest shopping times of the year, so you need to get the most out of your budget by choosing the keywords that are most likely to lead to conversions for your business. Unless you are a PPC professional, you should meet with your PPC team to discuss strategies.

o Create PPC campaigns tailored to consumers who are researching before Black Friday.

Most Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers will be researching deals in advance so that they can get the products they want before they are out of stock. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, tailor the copy in your PPC ads to your customers’ research phase.

Prepare ads for several top sellers if you think you may run out of inventory.

Have you been promoting a particular product heavily? Is it possible that this product will be out of stock before the end of Black Friday? If so, write ad copy for several other top sellers so that you will have ads ready to go if you have to pull the ads for an out-of-stock item.

o Retarget web users who have already visited your site.

If you have a retargeting pixel set up on your site, start remarketing to customers who have previously browsed your site. This is a good way to stay top of mind and announce deals to people who may not be on your mailing list but who have shown interest in your products.

Use day parting and bid scheduling to maximize your paid search budget. 

Look at your historical data to see which times of day you’re likely to see the highest levels of traffic and conversions. Allocate more of your paid search budget to the top-converting hours of the day to maximize your ROI.

Social Media Marketing

o Use Facebook and Twitter remarketing.

Retargeting pixels on your website aren’t just for PPC ads—you can also use them to create ads for custom audiences on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook even lets you serve ads to Lookalike Audiences—that is, people who are similar to your existing customers and therefore likely to be interested in your products. If you’ve never done this before, talk to your online marketing team about creating targeted social media ads before Black Friday.

o Create exclusive offers for followers on social media.

Offering exclusive discounts is a great way to reward your followers on social media—and to encourage those followers to recommend your social profiles to their friends and family.

o Put together holiday gift guides and share on social sites.

Use a design template site like Canva or Piktochart to create visually-appealing gift guides in different categories (e.g. ‘Stocking Stuffers’, ‘Gifts for Grillmasters’, etc.), and share those guides on your social channels. If you have a following on Pinterest, keep in mind that you can now create buyable pins that integrate with Magento, Bigcommerce, and IBM Websphere.

Use relevant holiday hashtags. 

Do some research into hashtags that are being used around Black Friday and think about how they pertain to your sale. You can, of course, use tags like #blackfriday and #cybermonday, but keep in mind that everyone else will be doing this as well. To stand out and get customers excited for your sale, consider using additional hashtags related to your store name and location. Let social media users know they can get updates on your sale (or maybe even get entered into a contest) by using your business-specific hashtag.

o Make sure at least one team member can monitor Twitter on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

If you have an active presence on Twitter, you should assign at least one team member to monitor this social site for mentions. If customers are tweeting at you because they have a question or complaint related to your sales, you’ll want to be able to respond quickly.

Having trouble with any of the action items above? We’d be happy to help you check all the boxes on your holiday marketing to-do list. Contact us to get started.

How to Target Mobile Shoppers for Black Friday

In 2015, marketers noticed an unexpected change among Black Friday shoppers: it seemed that most shoppers were growing tired of bleary, cold, early mornings and the frantic dash to grab doorbuster deals at their favorite Black Friday shopping spots. Instead, the mobile Black Friday shopping experience, which shoppers can enjoy in small stretches of free time in the comfort of one’s home, started to replace some of the groggy storefront shopping messes that traditionally dominate during the holidays.

Mobile Black Friday shopping set a record in 2015 – it captured 22% of online sales, up by an incredible 70% from 2014 figures. Black Friday mobile sales alone accounted for $583 million in revenue. Thanksgiving Day saw an additional $639 million in mobile sales. Of the total $4.45 billion in sales (including in-store, online, and mobile purchases), one-third of total shoppers used their smartphone or mobile phone to make a purchase.

The trend toward mobile shopping is real, and when combined with the online-focused sales power of Cyber Monday, it could eventually evolve into an entirely new Black Friday shopping experience. Your business can get a piece of those online shopping sales and prepare for a wave of up-and-coming ecommerce strength by learning to target mobile shoppers for Black Friday this year, then perfecting your approach in the coming years.

Rework Your Mobile App and Shopping Interface to Be More Mobile-Capable

The onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the perfect excuse to refine your entire mobile shopping experience on your mobile site or mobile app. Because of the huge sales figures of which your company will be a part, you’ll get a fabulous return on your time and resource investment if you tighten up your mobile shopping interface before the big day hits.

etsy mobile shopping home page

Etsy’s mobile home page is a prime example of effective mobile shopping.

Risks of a Poor Mobile Shopping Experience

  • A Dip in Customer Loyalty – Even your most enthusiastic customers won’t put up with a bad mobile app or ecommerce site. In 2013, 30% of consumers never made a second visit to a retailer’s mobile website on which they had a negative shopping experience. 43% said they would immediately move on to a competitor website if something went awry while shopping on a mobile app or site.
  • Low Recurring Sales – Consumers waited about a year before returning to a mobile site on which they had a poor experience. The good news is that you’ll have another chance next Black Friday. The bad news is that you won’t get any sales from those customers during the long year in between.
  • Faltering Brand Recognition – Having a few unhappy customers is a phenomenon of retail that can’t be helped. But droves of unhappy mobile shoppers, especially on such a big holiday like Black Friday, will tarnish your brand instantly.

Mobile Shopping Challenges to Consider

  • Competitive Buying Experiences – It’s punishing trying to out-price your competitors on Black Friday. There’s a threshold at which the returns on your sales will no longer justify the discounts you offer. The best way to compete is with seamless shopping experiences for the developing mobile crowd.
  • Diversity and Evolution of Mobile Devices – Your consumers use Android phones, Nexus tablets, iPhones, iPads, and all manner of mobile devices to do their shopping. Each device has different capabilities, a different interface, and different compatibilities, and you’ll need to cater to each device’s individuality to capture major Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
  • google wallet logo with textShifting Payment Methods – It’s not just about credit cards anymore. Debit transactions are in charge, there are quick and easy digital wallet payment methods such as Apple & Google Wallet, and some goods and high-priced services allow direct transfers from checking accounts. Make sure you know what your customers like to use to pay and make it easy for them to use that method or service.

Ways to Improve Mobile Sites and Apps

  • Eliminate Frustrations – Don’t be afraid to survey and get feedback from customers to find your system’s weak points. Look at comments about your mobile ecommerce, find out what bothers your customers, then address those concerns directly with your developers.

click to tweet button

Common ecommerce mistakes for mobile include small product images, poor navigation, security concerns, and tedious checkout.

  • forever 21 poor mobile shopping screenRespect the Buyer’s Journey – Shopping for bicycle parts is different than shopping for a PlayStation, and Black Friday shoppers will be looking for both. The path your buyer follows to finish a sale will be different depending on your product. Know what your customers are looking for and how they can find it easily with a touch-screen.
  • Avoid the Unexpected – When a customer aims to buy something, he or she wants to find that item, hit Check Out, and wait for delivery. Keep your mobile shopping experience as close to that simplicity as possible. Don’t assault your customers with sign up gateways and full-screen ploys to join an email list. Give them an option at checkout to join your list and emphasize that checkout is easier when you sign up, but don’t force your customers to go out of their way before they buy.

Make Your Calls-to-Action Mobile-Friendly

black friday ads with mobile shopper aimed copyAdd language to some of your special Black Friday and Cyber Monday copy that includes direct references to smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps.

Make sure your customized mobile shopper copy makes it to CTAs that appear on your site as well. If you do, you’ll be able to grab online shoppers who may be browsing on their desktop and laptop computers but are too busy to run through the purchase process just yet.

Avoid driving away foot traffic. Storefront sales may be on the decline, but they still represent the majority of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Your copy should encourage people to feel comfortable with your mobile app and website shopping experience without excluding any other available shopping options.

Clean Up Mobile Ads and Product Feeds

This section comes from the astounding mind of one of our paid search wizards, Michael Holeman, author of 4 Ways to Track Conversions When Your URL Does Not Change.

Make sure your product feeds are cleaned up well in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you can focus your efforts on your promotions. That means as soon as your summer sales die down, get your pay-per-click advertising in Google AdWords and any other paid search services you use optimized for conversions.

Spend some time making sure that all of your products are accessible by Google Merchant Center. Update your titles and descriptions for maximum user-friendliness. Remember, the way your data is set up in the Merchant Center is the way your product ads will appear. Also, be as detailed as possible when categorizing your products, so that your products will appear for the most relevant searches. If you do, you’ll grab more of those last-minute shoppers shopping on their mobile devices.

shopping ads in google shopping interface

If you’re running fall mobile ads as well, clean them up before the close of November. You’ll be able to run your Black Friday and Cyber Monday mobile ads and then immediately switch to any winter promotions you have lined up once the sales are over.

Also, create a Merchant Promotions Feed in addition to your Shopping Feed so that your product ads will have the most relevant promotions served alongside your products in Google Search results.

merchant promotions list in google adwords

The Merchant Promotions Feed will make it easier for you to serve the appropriate ads at times when they make sense to consumers. Pause any summer-specific deals you have to make room for Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts.

Bottom Line: Make Mobile Shopping Easy

TL;DR – Forecasters predict another jump in the percentage of sales overtaken by mobile shopping this Black Friday, and the faster your customers can check out, the larger chunk of those sales you’ll grab. Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around, check these items off your list:

  • Streamline your mobile shopping experience on your mobile app or website from the home page forward
  • Design ads that promote shopping from home and shopping on your phone
  • Clean up your product feeds for paid search so they appear easy-to-use on mobile search

Remember, don’t discourage business at your storefront, just encourage business on the homefront for a successful and increasingly mobile Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


The marketing team at Leverage Marketing has been through countless Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays together with our loyal clients and have raised the bar for holiday shopping success on mobile and desktop alike. If you have questions about your marketing approach to Black Friday, ask our team for advice. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter today for non-stop insider tips about marketing, business, SEO, and a whole bunch more.

5 Creative Cyber Monday Marketing Ideas

While brick-and-mortar retailers are planning sales to attract droves of shoppers on Black Friday, any business that sells products or services online should be thinking ahead to Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday, which takes place the week after Thanksgiving, has become the largest online shopping day of the year. Last year shoppers spent an estimated $3 billion on Monday, November 30th, setting a new record for the holiday.

Cyber Monday means lots of potential customers for your business, but there are also plenty of competitors trying to win the same customers over with their holiday deals. To convince customers to shop with you, you’ll need more than just a standard discount—you’ll need to get creative with your digital marketing. Here are five out-of-the-box Cyber Monday marketing ideas to help you get started.

Offer More Than Just Free Shipping

Bonus gift card as part of Cyber Monday marketing

Sure, free shipping is a nice incentive, but it’s an incentive that everyone and their mother offers around the holidays. Most customers have come to expect free shipping on their Cyber Monday purchases, and all those marketing emails promising free deliveries aren’t going to make them bat an eye.

To make your business stand out, try offering something unique—like a bonus gift that customers can only get from your online store. For example, you might tell customers that if they spend $x, they can get a pre-selected gift or choose a gift from several options. Make sure you’re offering a gift that will appeal to a wide swath of your target audience; for instance, if you sell at-home beer-brewing supplies, you might offer a free bottle opener with every purchase of $40 or more.

Create Special Interest Gift Guides

gift-box-row

Picking out gifts for friends and family can be challenging, so make it easier on your customers by creating a series of gift guides aimed at different segments of your target audience. Let’s say you run an online store that sells pop culture-inspired apparel and novelty items. You might create guides like “Gifts for the Classic Sci-Fi Fan” or “Gifts for the Netflix Binge-Watcher.” Perform keyword research to come up with copy that will drive organic traffic to these guides (for example, there may not be much search volume around “Gifts for the Netflix Binge-Watcher,” but there will likely be more search volume around relevant phrases like “gifts under $25”).

Once you’ve finalized your copy and images, run the gift guides on your blog and promote them on social media leading up to Cyber Monday. You could also send specific gift guides to email subscribers using lists segmented by demographic.

Ask Customers to Shop for a Cause

donation-canister

In 2012, a coalition of more than 1400 charities launched Giving Tuesday as a follow-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On this day, consumers are encouraged to get involved in volunteer projects or donate to charities as a way to give back during the holiday season. As an online retailer, consider kicking off your charitable giving early by tying it in with your Cyber Monday sales. Choose a charity you care about and let shoppers know–through promotional emails, a slider on your website, a notification at the top of a user’s shopping cart, etc.– that you’ll be donating a percentage of your Cyber Monday profits to that charity.

The skin care and beauty company L’Occitane is a good example of a business that did this successfully last year. They ran a promotion from Black Friday through Christmas, telling shoppers that for every gift set purchased, their company would donate $10 to Dress for Success, a nonprofit that provides professional attire and career development resources to women in need. This kind of charitable act makes shoppers feel positive about their purchases and helps build goodwill towards your brand.

Get Humorous

A lot of holiday sales copy sounds the same (e.g. “One Day Only Doorbuster Deals,” “Only 8 Hours Left on Our Sale”), so try standing out by taking a humorous approach to your Cyber Monday email marketing and social media promotions. Rather than just telling customers to visit your site for great deals, you might frame your discounts in the context of a Holiday Shopping Survival Guide or email subscribers a list of the reasons why this is going to be the year they don’t procrastinate on their gift buying.

For inspiration, take a look at Dollar Shave Club’s “The Perfect Gift for Any Guy with a Face” graphic, which they used on social media last year.

dollar-shave-funny-holiday-marketing-example

The graphic is bold, simple, and looks a lot different than holiday sales promotions that just show product images or the words “50% Off” in a huge font.

At a time when people face an onslaught of promotional messages, humor provides a nice change of pace and can make your brand more memorable.

Surprise Customers with an Extended Sale

Who says that Cyber Monday deals can only be available on Cyber Monday? As the day winds down, send out an email to subscribers letting them know that you’ve extended your sale for x amount of time. This email will serve as a reminder for people who may not have shopped with you yet while also creating a sense of urgency—essentially, you’re giving shoppers a second chance to save but setting a deadline for your deals.

Takeaways

Shoppers will have plenty of choices this holiday season, and you need to give them a reason to choose you. By exceeding customer expectations and offering unique incentives, your business can cut through the noise and get increased visibility this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Need help planning creative holiday marketing campaigns this year? Get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts– we can take an in-depth look at your brand and your competitors to come up with a strategy that drives sales.

Are You Ready to Send that Email Newsletter? [CHECKLIST]

Maybe you’ve heard that email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel. Or maybe you know that your customers are five times more likely to see a message in an email than on Facebook. With the power of email marketing on your mind, you’ve decided it’s time for your company to launch a newsletter.

Deciding to start a newsletter is a great first step. Email newsletters can be useful tools for:

  • Increasing brand awareness.
  • Building a relationship with current and future customers.
  • Driving traffic to existing content assets, such as blog posts and videos.
  • Updating recipients on offers that may benefit them.

Before you start reaping the benefits of a successful email newsletter, though, you have to put in the work. (Hey, anything worth doing is worth doing well, right?) Go through the checklist below to make sure that you’re maximizing the value of your newsletter before hitting ‘Send’. If you want to download a handy .pdf version of the checklist, click the button below.

download-our-email-newsletter-checklist

Initial Steps

  1. Build a subscriber list. Don’t have a lot of subscribers yet? Try these steps:
    1. Create a newsletter landing page that outlines the benefits of signing up.
    2. Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every page on your site.
    3. Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every blog post.
    4. Promote your upcoming newsletter on social media to drive sign ups.
  1. Research successful newsletters in your industry (and beyond). Look at the newsletters in your inbox. What do they do to convince you to open and click through them?
  1. Determine how your newsletter can provide value to your readers. Making your newsletter 100% promotional is a great way to get recipients to hit ‘Unsubscribe’.
  1. Come up with a design and layout that fits your company’s brand. Email platforms like Mailchimp and Emma let you design email newsletters without any coding experience.

Writing the Copy

  1. Come up with a primary, highly visible call-to-action. For example, if you want email newsletters to contact your company for more information, you might include a brightly-colored button that says ‘Contact Us with Your Questions’ towards the top of your newsletter.
  1. Come up with a compelling subject line. Don’t just use ‘Company Newsletter’ as the subject line for every message—give recipients a reason to open the email and see what’s inside. Hubspot has a list of great email subject lines if you need inspiration.
  1. Collect content. Decide what content assets you want to feature in your newsletter. This could include blog posts, videos, major company updates, industry news articles, or even newsletter-exclusive content.
  1. Have someone review your newsletter copy. It’s easy to miss minor errors and typos if you don’t get a second set of eyes on your newsletter.

Getting Technical

  1. Make sure all the links in your newsletter work. Send yourself a test email and click the links to make sure none of them are broken.
  1. View your test email on your desktop and your phone. Make sure it looks good and can be easily read on all screen sizes.
  1. Add alt text to your images. Alt text will appear when an image doesn’t load in an email. Having alt text is especially important when your calls-to-action are images.
  1. Add social sharing and follow buttons. Social sharing buttons make it easy for recipients to share newsletter content they like on their social networks with one easy click. Social follow buttons make it equally easy for recipients to start following your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest page, if they haven’t already.
  1. Make sure you’re legally compliant. You’re required to include your company’s physical address on every email, so add that to your footer if you haven’t already. You also need to include an easy-to-find ‘Unsubscribe’ or ‘Opt Out’ link or button.
  1. Decide what variable to A/B test. Most email providers will let you run A/B tests where you split your subscriber list into two groups and send a slightly different email variation to each group to see which one performs better. Variables that you can test include your subject line, CTA button placement, and CTA copy.

Your job’s not done after you send your newsletter. Remember to look at metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and conversions in order to see what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. Analyzing each newsletter will help you determine how to improve future newsletters for better engagement and more conversions.

5 Pervasive Myths about Email Marketing

For years now, marketers have been asking whether email marketing is effective–here’s one example from this past year and another from several internet eons ago (2009). With 205 billion emails sent and received last year and an estimated 91% of consumers checking email at least once a day on their smartphones, I think we can safely lay the “email marketing is dead” myth to rest. However, there are still plenty of other email marketing myths floating around—and if you believe them, you could be losing out on opportunities to increase your ROI.

Here are five myths that could be getting in the way of successful email marketing, along with some tips to help you move past them.

Myth #1: Open rate and click-through rate are the most important metrics to track.

Open rate and click-through rate (CTR) are essential metrics to track, but they won’t tell the whole story of your email marketing campaign. Open rate may be an indication of whether the subject line and sender name compelled someone to open the email, and CTR can help you determine how much engagement you got with any given email, but that doesn’t tell you whether an email campaign led to a recipient completing a desired action.

To determine how successful your email marketing has been in driving recipient action, you’ll need to look at the percentage of recipients who clicked an email link and completed a specified action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Divide the number of email recipients who completed this action by the total number of emails delivered, and you’ll have your conversion rate.

Other valuable metrics to measure include email list growth rate, email share rate (i.e. the number of people who clicked a social media button within the email to share it on their networks), and overall ROI.

Myth #2: Recipients prefer image-heavy emails.

Multimedia Laptop

You might think that splashy, image-intensive emails will get the most engagement. In fact, that’s what most email recipients think too—in Hubspot surveys from both 2011 and 2014, almost two thirds of respondents said they prefer image-heavy emails. However, when Hubspot looked at their own data set for emails with between zero and fifteen images, they found that the click-through rate actually dropped as the number of images increased. This could be due to the fact that not all recipients could view images on the device they were using to open their email, or because too many images distracted from the email’s call-to-action.

This doesn’t mean that you have to banish images from all email marketing campaigns. What you should do is A/B test emails with different numbers of images, or different image heights and widths, to see what the recipients on your mailing list respond to best.

When you do include images, make sure they’re optimized to be viewed on all device types, from small smartphone screens to large desktops. You should also make sure that your key message is at the top of the email so it’s visible immediately when someone opens an email on their phone.

Myth #3: Campaigns sent out to large lists are most effective.

Sure, growing your email list is a worthy ambition. After all, the more people you have on your list, the more people will receive your marketing messages. But that doesn’t mean you should abuse your list by regularly sending out mass email blasts. Impersonal emails get less engagement than personalized emails, and a message that’s irrelevant to a recipient could lead that person to unsubscribe or mark your email as spam. To avoid this, plan email campaigns around specific list segments, and use a personalized recipient name when that information is available.

You may also benefit from sending emails that are triggered by a specific action, such as a website visitor downloading an eBook or making a purchase. In this email, you might thank the site visitor for their download or purchase, and then recommend other content or products that they may be interested in. Over 75% of email marketing revenue comes from this type of triggered campaign, and transactional emails have an average of eight times more clicks than bulk mailings.

Myth #4: It’s best to send commercial emails early in the week.

Calendar and Pen

According to Hubspot, emails sent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays have the highest open rates. However, several studies have found higher click-through rates on Saturday and Sunday. This is likely because fewer marketing messages are sent on the weekend, so even though there are fewer total clicks, the percentage of clicks is higher. It’s also possible that because there are fewer messages in recipients’ email inboxes over the weekend, they are more likely to engage with the messages they receive.

So should you send your messages earlier in the week or on the weekend? Unfortunately, there’s no clear best day of the week to send—it’s going to depend on your industry and audience. Try testing different days to determine when you get the best engagement.

Myth #5: Email marketing isn’t as effective as search or social media marketing.

Email marketing is inexpensive to implement and drives more conversions than any other digital marketing channel, including search and social. And because of the relatively limited visibility of organic social posts, marketing messages are five times more likely to be seen through email than Facebook, and emails are six times more likely than tweets to get a click-through. If you’re in ecommerce, emails can also increase your bottom line. An estimated 4.24% of people who get to your site through an email message buy something, as opposed to 2.49% who get to your site from search engines and 0.59% from social media. The next time someone tries to make the case that email marketing is outdated or ineffective, point them towards those statistics.

Want to get more information about email marketing best practices, as well as digital marketing tips, trends, and debunked myths? Subscribe to our newsletter below.

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