Best Practices: Email Marketing for your Brand

 

Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing, a marketing method most brands use to reach out to their prospective and current customers, can easily become an annoyance customers runaway from. So how do we as brands enable our email marketing to work for us, and not against us?

Let’s look at some email marketing best practices that will help optimize your efforts…

Look and Feel; Think Mobile First

As with websites and social content, it’s important to consider mobile when deciding on your email content, the design, and your messaging. Responsive email design is helpful because it allows your email to be read on both desktop, mobile, and tablet.

However, to ensure that your design works for each device it’s important to test your content. For example, test to ensure your images show up correctly, your headline is able to be read clearly, and the primary messaging is easily scannable, consumable, and shareable.

Use an Editorial Calendar

Your team probably already has an editorial calendar, which allows your brand to schedule out your blog posts, tweets, FB posts, and pins. Adding your email content within this calendar will help see a large-scale view of the content you are putting out, the types of customers who receive it, and what channels are distributing it.

Overall it will keep you organized to know which topics are being published, and in turn which ones do the best. It’s even more helpful the following year when you look back to see what worked the previous year. For example if product sneak peeks were a hit, than the next time around you’ll want to make sure you do it again.

Personalize your Content; Start Simple

Personalizing content for email can go in many directions, especially if your audience is segmented in multiple ways. However, it’s often easier to start simple. Perhaps to do some a/b testing to see which content performs better for different regions of the country, gender, and/or age group for starters. That way you can ensure that Texas is not receiving the same winter content that Maine would get in January.

No customer wants to open up a generic email sent to the masses – it’s always nice to see one that is at least slightly catered to their interests, location, and who they are as a customer to your brand.

Pay Attention to the Details

The details, sometimes overlooked, are key when it comes to email marketing messaging. Your team needs to ensure that the email subject line, headline, first couple sentences (which are seen in a preview), and images are all put together in a way that not only entices the reader to read the email, but spend time with it, and potentially click your call to action – whether it leads them to your website, an offer, or your social media channels.

To read more on measuring results and cross-promotion on Social Media – Check out my Full Post on Startup Fashion!

5 Items to Test in your Brand’s Email Marketing Campaign

Most brands realize that when it comes to marketing, it’s vital to “test and learn, test and learn, and a  test and learn some more.” Split testing, or A/B testing, your marketing efforts is helpful for determining what practices are the most effective in reaching your goals.

Let’s take one marketing example to  apply how this would work: email marketing.

Five items to consider testing when investing in email marketing efforts:

  1. Subject Lines: If your email has an offer, or a newsletter, or a blog post – consider testing different subject lines to see which ones get more open rates. For example consider tweaking the subject lines for personalization, region, or just persuasive verbage. TIP: keep it under 50 characters.
  2. Images: Consider two different images in the email body to which ones may help persuade the reader to click through to the content. For example is it an individual in the image or the product that helps persuade the reader to click through or perform your call to action.
  3. Opening Paragraphs: Most individuals preview emails in their inbox before opening which includes the first couple sentences of the opening paragraph of the email. Focus on making these two sentences the most appealing and reiterating the subject line in some shape or form to reinforce why they looked in the first place.

To read my other 3 items to test which include opening paragraphs, CTAs, and the day and times to send out the emails, read my full post on Startup Fashion.

Image Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2012/03/23/10-reasons-your-business-should-use-email-marketing/

Optimize your Email Marketing Campaign with 5 Tips

 

Email marketing is an essential part of marketing programs for brands. It allows brands to communicate personally and directly with their audience.

There are the basics that all brands should be implementing into their marketing plans, but then there are those few extras that brands can do to further optimize their email campaigns for increased open rates, engagement with the content, and in turn conversion to a customer (or loyal customer).

Here are 5 tips for optimizing email marketing:

Add Clear CTAs

Adding a call to action (CTA) is common, but not all brands do it properly. Unfortunately some brands forget to make it stand out.  Or they add too many, making the call to action (the intent from the brand) less likely to occur.

Our tip – make the one, specific CTA, stand out. Use a button or a different color…either way ensure it calls out to the reader. In addition ensure the wording on the CTA is relevant and a next step that makes sense.

For example, if you have an excerpt on one of your products, add a CTA that allows the reader to continue reading on the topic elsewhere (online, social media, or via download).

Socialize your Content

This step is crucial to any brand whether they are just starting out or not. Utilize social presence and allow the audience to continue the conversation online with brand specific hashtags ,which apply to the content.

Additionally, allow readers to share your content easily with their friends.  Let them tweet it (have a shortened link already available for them to use), let them share on Facebook, let them pin it on Pinterest, let them +1 it or whatever they may choose as their preference.

The key is, the more shareable the content, the further the content and conversation will go. Hence – more eyeballs on your brand!

email marketing

 

To read my 3 other tips on email marketing, please read my original blog post for Startup Fashion. Thanks!

Implementing an Efficient Lead Management Process in Six Steps

Lead management bridges the gap between marketing and sales. It’s a customer acquisition process which identifies potential buyers (leads), educates them, engages with them, and when the leads are considered qualified, get passed from marketing to sales.

Is your business following an organized and effective lead management process? Doing so can improve the results of your lead generation efforts and ultimately contribute to more sales. If your business is lacking a solid system for managing leads, the following five steps will help you create and implement a successful and efficient lead management process from start to finish.

Step 1: Identify and Understand Your Leads

This initial step is crucial to the success of each of the others. You need to determine first and foremost who your potential buyers are to develop a process that will enable you to identify in which part of the sales process these prospects stand.

First, your marketing team should identify buyer types and what their personas are. This will help you identify your ideal lead picture for your product or service. This persona can be carved out by identifying the following:

  • Demographics: Where do your ideal customers live? What’s the size of the company they work for? What industry market are they in? What are their problems, wants, and needs?
  • Behavior: Are they reading blogs, whitepapers, or just searching via Google to find the information they’re looking for?
  • Lead Source: How do your best leads typically find you? Do they come from direct traffic to your website, did they read an article mentioning you, did they see one of your tweets?

You should also dig deeper by trying to understand the mindset of your ideal customer. Is he/she the business owner, the VP, the tech guy? Determine where he or she lives, what he or she reads, and how he or she visited your site.

Step 2: Generate & Collect Intelligence About Your Leads

The sales cycle has been extended because the lead process begins in marketing where the marketing team figures out where the first point of contact was with the potential lead. The key to generating leads and knowing their source is to create and track content.

  • Place your premium content offers like whitepapers and webinars behind a lead-capture form to generate leads and gather critical lead intelligence information about them that can be used during the lead management process.
  • Add a tracking token to links you share in social media and through email marketing to help you identify leads’ behavior and interaction with your content.
  • Use your marketing analytics to determine how people are coming to your website or blog and where they are clicking. This will inform you which types of content leads are looking at and help you understand what their interests, needs, and wants are.

Capturing this information about your leads is critical for step four, lead nurturing.

To read about the other 4 steps on how to be effective with lead management, read my full post on the Hubspot blog here: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28889/6-Steps-to-Implementing-an-Effective-Lead-Management-Process.aspx#ixzz1eOI8ScIh

Three Steps to Utilize Content Mapping to Improve Lead Nurturing

Marketing and sales teams must work hand-in-hand in order to provide a company with the leads and profits it needs to grow and succeed. But let’s back-track a bit. Exactly how does a marketing team help a sales team with those leads once they’re generated? It should all start with a content map for lead nurturing, which can help a marketing team nurture existing leads into more qualified leads for their sales team. As a result, these more qualified leads will be more likely convert into customers at the end of the sales cycle.

What Is Content Mapping?

Content mapping is the process for lead nurturing by which a marketing team prepares and organizes relevant and valuable content. Once organized, this content can be distributed to prospects depending on the type of lead and their point in the sales cycle.

Here are three ways to strategize a very helpful content map:

1. Identify Marketing Personas

First, you need to identify the different personas of the target audience you are selling to. Each of these personas will likely have a different variety of needs and wants when they’re considering your particular product/service. Once this identification had been made, you’ll be able to identify, create, and provide the valuable content different segments of your target audience wants and needs.

Depending on your company, you may have 3 personas or you may have 50. It all depends on your products/services and all the different types of people who become customers of what you offer. Are you a marketing agency selling a service to help people with their social media marketing needs? What types of people would want this assistance? You can determine these personas by examining roles, titles, demographics, goals, pain points, and more. Just make sure you define these personas in a way that allows you to easily group and segment them using similar motives and that you can clearly define their stage in the buying process.

To continue reading my other two steps on how to best utilize content mapping for lead nurturing efficiency and success, please continue reading my full post on the Hubspot blog at the link below. 

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/27100/3-Steps-to-Improve-Lead-Nurturing-With-Content-Mapping.aspx#ixzz1b5ZzU8C5

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead nurturing, which helps move your leads down the funnel via email marketing, is essential but not always implemented properly or efficiently. Most companies would like their leads to move down the funnel and become customers. However, converting leads to customers is not just about sending random emails. The content of each email should be relevant, targeted, and communicate value that your company has to offer.

Before you even start, you should strategize a content map, which will allow you to plan out your email campaign for different types of leads, and how it should be changed as they click on items, and move down the funnel.

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

1. Educational Content Email - You could start with some general educational emails that have content demonstrating the value your company can offer (without being “salesy”). For example, you could have 5 different types of educational emails you can provide depending on upon the type of lead they are. You can provide educational content regarding marketing, technology related to your service/product, selling to their customers, managing their business better, etc.
This was an excerpt of my post for Hubspot. Click the link below to read about the other 4 emails you should be sending in my full post!
Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/25494/5-Types-Of-Lead-Nurturing-Emails-You-Should-Be-Sending.aspx#ixzz1YpEITXkm

5 Obvious Ways to Grow an Email List That You’re Ignoring

email subscribe

The simplest and easiest tools and tips are sometimes also the ones that are most ignored or easily forgotten. Encouraging your target market to opt in to your email subscribe form is key to lead generation for marketing teams. However, some marketers ignore or forget about the simple ways to increase those opt-ins. Let’s take a look at 5 obvious ways marketers can do just that…

1. Simplify Your Email Opt-In

Creating yoblog subscribeur email subscribe box can be as simple as including a title for what the person is subscribing to (e.g. “ABC Monthly Email”) and adding a simple entry box for the subscriber to enter an email address and press ‘submit.’

However, if you want a better and more efficient email opt-in box, set up a form that allows you to also retrieve their full name (perhaps location and company name as well) and demonstrate what they’re signing up for. What’s the value (see below for tips on providing value)? This not only allows you to collect more information for lead generation purposes but also ensures subscribers are truly interested in what you have to offer.

Interested in reading more, check out my full post on the Hubspot blog!

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24896/5-Obvious-Ways-to-Grow-an-Email-List-That-You-re-Ignoring.aspx#ixzz1YJbh1kQG