Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

Email Marketing: How a creative throwback helped Dell boost revenue 109%

March 18th, 2014 2 comments

Meeting customer expectations can be tough, but exceeding them consistently introduces a whole new set of challenges.

How do you build fresh excitement around a new product when customers have become comfortably numb?

This was the challenge facing Dave Sierk, Consumer & Small Business Email Strategist, Dell, who shared an interesting case study at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 on Dell’s approach to tackling this problem for a new product’s launch.

In today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post, let’s take a look at the throwback creative Dave and his team used to effectively communicate value.

 

Expectations on autopilot are tough to disrupt 

dell-laptop-emails

 

Dell launches a few products a year, and as you would expect, most of them are laptops.

When the team prepared to launch the XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook, a laptop that can transform from a laptop to a tablet, they realized communicating the new product’s value effectively would prove a little tricky.

 

Text and images don’t always cut it

A versatile range of motion is one of the core values of the product.dell-text-emails

How do you communicate that aspect through an email using text or images?

You can’t.

Image stills do not fully deliver the product’s fluid range of motion, and a wall of descriptive text telling customers about it is not very appealing either.

Let’s not forget an even bigger problem …

While the laptop’s motion could be demonstrated at a brick-and-mortar store, the gap in effectively demonstrating the product online would remain unsolved.

 

A blast from the past emerges as a solution

dell-gif-email

 

The team decided to use a GIF to illustrate the product’s full range of motion in the email campaign. Another advantage of using this throwback to the 90s was that the GIF solved the problem of showing online users how the product worked.

“It’s a great way for a customer to get a full understanding of how that product is going to work in their hands,” Dave said.

 

Delivering value to the inbox is why customers buy from you

dell-gif-email-results

 

After Dell compared the campaign’s performance against internal benchmarks, it proved a success. Dave’s team increased conversion 103% and boosted revenue 109%.

This example also serves as a reminder as to why capturing and delivering a value proposition is vital to your email efforts versus just plugging a few product images and text in an email and hoping for the best.

You have to go beyond just sharing what something is with customers and show them why it’s the ideal solution for them.

To learn more about this campaign and other inspirational and transferable takeaways from Email Summit 2014, check out the on-demand replay of “Email Summit 2014: Top takeaways from award-winning campaigns.”

Read more…

Email Marketing: Genuine mistake or evil genius email tactic?

March 4th, 2014 7 comments

Just the other day, I received an interesting email from a company who shall not be named (we’ll call them “the Brain” for the purposes of this post).

This email read, “Thank you for your interest in our 2013 Canadian Bacon Report.” I was invited to access my copy of the report, download my free copy of the presentation and attend a related webinar.

The thing is, while I am a subscriber of the Brain’s list, I was not at all interested in the report, nor did I ever indicate that I was ever interested (no offense to Canada).

I sat puzzled for a second and then just proceeded to delete and move on with my inbox purging.

Later that night, a little email notification popped up on my phone that stated, “Yeah, We Messed Up. Our Apologies … ”  It was from the Brain.

This conversational and customer service email informed me that they had a “technology glitch” and accidentally sent me the report.

“But don’t get us wrong,” the email stated, “This is a great report, as are all 18 of our global reports on bacon.”

Not-so-shameless plug.

They apologized for sending me something that may not have been of my interests.

Post apology, the Brain seized the opportunity to ask me to update my email preferences to make sure they were sending me email communications based on my preferred topics: “It will be less than 30 seconds, we promise.”

 

Genuine mistake or evil genius email tactic?

I wasn’t sure until curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to “update” my email preferences.

My conclusion: evil genius.

 

After I “updated my preferences” with information that was never asked of me when I signed up for the Brain’s list, I received a third email.

This email stated it all: “Subscription Confirmation: Thank you for joining the Brain’s mailing list.”

Update, not so much; list subscription ploy was more like it. I wasn’t sure whether I should be offended or impressed.

Whether this was truly a mistake or a calculated psychology tactic, it probably worked well for them for a couple of reasons.

Read more…

Email Summit 2014: Finding your email voice

February 19th, 2014 1 comment

Sometimes marketers might feel as though they are stuck in a permanent promotional cycle. Promo email after promo email goes out, and there are high expectations for each one.

It may make sense to the bottom line, but what is the cost to the relationship with your customers?

Discovering a human voice for your email content was one of the topics covered yesterday at the ninth annual MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, held this year in Las Vegas, where marketers spoke about how a fresh perspective or voice can help keep the magic alive between a brand and consumers.

Marcia Oakes, Senior Online Marketing Manager, Calendars.com, in her Tuesday morning session spoke on her team’s tricky situation last year. The email channel was almost exclusively utilized for promotion, and had no real “voice” despite sending roughly 50 million emails a year.

“We were only talking at our customers, not really talking with them. We wanted to evolve beyond that,” she said.

 

Find your voice in unexpected places

When Marcia’s team decided to break away from promotions with a monthly newsletter establish a voice, they had to integrate two previously underutilized assets into the email sphere.

Calendars.com social media provided the voice with the plethora of quirky blog posts via Calendars.com’s official blog, “The Daily Grid,” useful tips and boards on Pinterest and a trademarked phrase, “Flip Day,” which gave the brand a fun excuse to reach out with content on the first of every month.

 

Even the interactive design of the Flip Day newsletter conveys the voice with an interactive grid calendar design that reinforces the brand with engaging and fun imagery. Marcia said they needed to consistently supply newsletter content that:

  • Entertains
  • Informs
  • Is seasonal and timely

The most important aspect, she added, was that if the voice and the content of the send didn’t provide a benefit to the subscriber, it would fail.

To provide that benefit, the days of each month are filled with celebrity’s birthdays, a “word of the month” and historical facts and helpful hints such as “25 make-ahead breakfast ideas” in every Flip Day newsletter. All of this content is interactive and links to Calendars.com Pinterest, Facebook and blog content.

Creating a consistent voice is more than just knocking off the company-speak, Marcia said. It’s a consistent balance of time and assets for the sake of consumer interaction. Sometimes, promotions and monetary goals have to be set aside for the sake of brand equity with your consumers.

“We’re more than just a website to order calendars for your family at Christmas,” Marcia said, adding that the Flip Day newsletter voice has allowed feedback that “is really exciting as a marketer to see someone value your content.”

 

Demolishing discount fatigue

Jessica Andreasen, Digital Marketing Manager, ZAGG, spoke in her Tuesday afternoon session about subscribers succumbing to discount fatigue.

“We’ve been doing the same promotions for years – buy-one-get-one, discounts, and we were just not seeing the same kind of results,” she said.

To better communicate with their customers, the team at ZAGG decided to totally reassess their email design template with an email send to loyal customers.

“A template can’t get in the way of what you need to say,” Jessica said.

Her team started with a conversation with ZAGG’s Web development team.

“Tell me everything you have. I don’t care if it’s relevant or not, tell me everything you have,” she explained.

Whatever data or information you are able to uncover can help you develop a voice that speaks to your consumer and anticipates their behavior.

With data in tow, Jessica’s team studied their current email template with the consumer in mind – how could they speak to them in the design?

She said it was decided they needed to:

  • Disarm the customer by only using one call-to-action, and placing it below the fold
  • Connect to the customer by using image and word selection to convey the email’s purpose to customers
  • Deliver value to the customer by ensuring product details are prominent

Jessica added, “We still needed to deliver value to our customers – we attempted to do this by enlarging and simplifying the text as well as programming a personalized image.”

Some ZAGG customers had been on the list for three or four years, and Jessica wanted to reward that brand loyalty.

“These are loyal customers. I wanted to have a conversation with them,” she said.

By fighting against the discount fatigue they were seeing and developing a voice through their template to communicate with subscribers, the ZAGG team was able to increase their revenue per email by 152%.

Read more…

Email Marketing Analytics: Fight for your right to not be bored

February 7th, 2014 No comments

200,000 clicks.

Is that good? Is that bad? Who knows?

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, Matt Bailey, President and Founder, SiteLogic, compelled marketers to “fight for your right not to be bored” at marketing meetings.

Analytics by themselves, he said, don’t mean anything unless you can apply a meaning to the numbers.

In this excerpt, Matt explained that marketers should ask three questions about analytics:

  1. Where did your visitors come from?
  2. What did they see?
  3. How did they react?

 

Knowing who your customers are and establishing what prompted customers to make an action can help you better target your audience and further segment them into specialized categories.

 

Email is highest profit-per-dollar activity

During his consultations, Matt’s team discovered that regardless of industry, “email is their highest profit-per-dollar activity.”

However, he added, companies aren’t leveraging email as effectively as it could or should be used.

 

When you send the same message to everybody, it doesn’t work

Companies need to determine whether or not customers are opening emails and if they are continuing on to the website through that email send.

Matt found that “when you send the same message to everybody, it doesn’t work.”

Companies should use analytics to analyze customer behavior in emails, and look at specific metrics including:

  • Which headlines prompted customers to open an email
  • From there, whether or not they were brought to the website, or other content within that email
  • How much time they spent engaged with the content

He also added that email is best treated as a conversation.

But when you write a single-send email, “you’re not having a valued conversation; you’re having a one-way announcement,” Matt explained.

The best way to see email numbers improve is by communicating value and relevance to the customer, which enables the customer to continue or initiate a conversation with you.

As Matt said, when it comes to the customer, “it’s all about value.”

Integrating analytics with email marketing provides the marketer with insights into customer behavior and how email marketing strategies can be improved. As a result, the marketer can better serve the customer with that insight, rather than just seeing those metrics as numbers on a page.

You can watch the full video replay of Matt’s Email Summit 2013 session in the MarketingSherpa video archives.

Email Marketing: The benefits email campaigns can have for your business

January 17th, 2014 8 comments

“One of the biggest challenges we face is educating people about the benefits email campaigns can have for their business when they are done well.”

The above is a recent comment we received about the benefits of email marketing and e-newsletters. Perhaps you face a similar challenge with your clients or business leaders? To help you make the case, here are four benefits of email marketing.

 

Benefit #1. Social media is traffic, PPC is a billboard, but email is a fork in the road

Social media can be effective, but it doesn’t force a decision. It is much like traffic on a road – a nonstop flow of information. If you look over at the right time, you might see a particular car, and if you don’t, you may never notice it.

PPC advertising can be effective as well, but it is a distraction off to the side. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get noticed occasionally. However, it does not force an action. You can drive by a billboard without even noticing it.

Email, on the other hand, is a fork in the road. It forces a decision. Even if people simply delete an email without opening it, they took an action. While they were physically taking an action, your subject line had an opportunity to encourage an open.

Perhaps this is why so many social media platforms use email. Think about it – every time an action happens on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, you receive an email letting you know that it happened so you don’t miss it.

 

Benefit #2. Build your case over time (automatically)

By setting up a drip email nurturing campaign, you can take prospects from having a limited interest in your company to fully embracing your company’s value proposition – from tire kickers to warm leads.

For example, a gym chain was able to get 98% of people who qualify for a consultation to sign an agreement by using an email education drip campaign.

 

Benefit #3. Learn about your customers

“Hey”

This was one of the most effective messages for Obama for America that Zoltar himself could never have foretold.

By conducting A/B testing of email messages, the campaign learned what really resonated with its audience and generated more than $500 million in digital donations.

  Read more…

Top MarketingSherpa Blog Posts of 2013: 10 lessons in social media, content and email marketing

December 26th, 2013 2 comments

After tallying up the number of times our audience shared posts, social media, content and email marketing are the areas to receive the most tweets from your peers. That means inbound marketing as a whole once again reigned supreme on the MarketingSherpa Blog, earning 10 of the top 15 spots of 2013. We’ll break down these three areas with key lessons we can learn and apply to our efforts in the new year.

And, since this list is all about the tweets, we’ll include some interesting ones about select posts. Carry on to learn the top 10 lessons of 2013.

 

Social Media Lessons

Lesson #1. Adapt your social content so that it is appropriate for each social media platform 

In his post, “Social Media Marketing: Which type of content is appropriate for different platforms?” Jonathan Greene, Business Intelligence Manager, MECLABS, used an unusual set of analogies to help marketers understand what tone and content to use on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Read this post to learn about the personality each platform has, and how you can effectively put them to work.

 

Lesson #2. Be able to answer why customers should like or follow you

When it comes to social media buttons, you should ask yourself why your customers should follow you. This can be a tougher question for companies that aren’t natural content producers.

You must provide some value for customers in exchange for the privilege to show up in their newsfeed. Value can be ongoing, like exclusive discounts just for Twitter followers, or a one-time opportunity, such as a chance to win a prize.

Read more about this question, and three others, in the post, “Social Media Marketing: 4 questions to ask yourself about social media buttons.” You can also use value proposition to better answer this question, as described by Jonathan Greene in this post, “Social Media Marketing: Why should I like or follow you?

 

Lesson #3. Add visual elements to your social media content

While a quote is just words, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring a visual component to the content. The New York Public Library created graphics for an already popular content type –  celebrity quotes – to create a social media campaign with impressive results. Learn more about its efforts from Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS: “Social Media Marketing: How New York Public Library increased card sign-ups by 35%.”

Interestingly, it seems this post was the most shared on Twitter for certain individuals:

 

Lesson #4. Go beyond the “like” to track your social media success

David Kirkpatrick, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS, broke down a chart covering social media marketing metrics tracking in the post, “Social Media Marketing: Social metrics from “likes” to ROI.” While social reach (e.g., “likes”) tops the list, some marketers are also measuring ROI, leads and conversion. See what other metrics your peers are using to benchmark success in their organizations.

 

Content Marketing Lessons

Lesson #5. Analyze your blog to identify areas for improvement

There are a lot of elements that make up your blog. When was the last time you stood back to evaluate if all of those pieces were working as well as they could?

In his post, “Content Marketing: An 8-point analysis for your blog,” Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, explained the eight points on which to focus your evaluation. From the frequency of your posts and their titles, to author bios and social media integration, you could have untapped potential waiting to be found.

 

Lesson #6. Use WordPress, or any tool, to its fullest potential

No matter what channel or platform you’re using, you want to get all you can out of it. For the post, “Content Marketing: 5 tips for WordPress blogging,” Erin Hogg, Copy Editor, MECLABS, broke down some ways she’s learned to improve a WordPress blog. Learn how to cross promote media with embedding, use basic HTML to improve the look and feel of a post, and more.

 

Lesson #7. Implement (and stick with) a style for your content

AP? Chicago? MLA? APA? There are many established styles, and one might work as-is for your organization. You could decide to create your own.  At MECLABS, we use the Associated Press Style Book as our foundation and supplement it with a set of our own guidelines.

No matter which direction you choose, it’s important to stick with the guide for all of your content. Having well-proofed and consistent content adds to the credibility of your content and builds the authority of your brand.

Erin Hogg explained this and other tips in her post, “Content Marketing: 7 copy editing tips to improve any content piece.”

 

Email Marketing Lessons

Lesson #8. Don’t forget about current customers when designing triggered email campaigns

In the post, “Email Marketing: 3 overlooked aspects of automated messages,” Daniel Burstein said nurturing current customers is one of the most overlooked automated email opportunities. He shared a list of triggered email types you can implement to strengthen relationships with you customers, including product education and upselling.

This post also features two other overlooked aspects of automated emails: customer lifetime value and the gap between what marketers should do and what they actually do.

 

Lesson #9. Test your emails to discover what really works for your audience

You could be using every best practice you’ve come across, but unless you know it’s best for your specific audience, then it might not be the practice you should be using. Testing lets you know what your audience best engages with.

Justin Bridegan, former Senior Marketing Manager, MECLABS, explained how testing revealed two segments of the MarketingSherpa email list prefer different email lengths. Read on to learn his other tips in the post, “Email Marketing: What I’ve learned from writing almost 1,000 emails for MarketingSherpa.”

Read more…

Email Marketing: 3 resources to help you close the automation gap

December 20th, 2013 1 comment

Some marketers have noticed that when it comes to using triggered emails, there’s an interesting gap in the perception of automation in terms of “how things should be” and “how things really are.”

Most marketers use automated triggered emails for nurturing early stage buyers, which leaves overlooked opportunities to use automated emails to strengthen existing customer relationships or to win back the hearts and minds of recently lost customers.

In today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post, you’ll find three resources you can use to help your marketing team close the automation gap.

 

Commit to using automation to build stronger customer relationships

Most marketers in a custom or expensive e-commerce niche are typically not scouting for the impulse buys. Instead, their tactics tend to fall along the lines of supporting a longer sales cycle that requires a little more nurturing.

 

Indochino, a custom clothing company, decided to test an autoresponder send using hand-picked product suggestions in an attempt to build customer relationships using its email program.

 

Results: Indochino increased its revenue-per-email 540% in just the first test. To learn more about the campaign and the four-step process the team used to select targets and expand the program into other customer segments, check out the case study “E-commerce Marketing: 540% higher revenue-per-email for automated send.”

 

Customer behavior matters

For Jermaine Griggs, Founder, Hear and Play Music, communicating with customers through email messaging was a critical part of his marketing efforts. Here’s a short clip of the full presentation from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013.

 

During his presentation at Email Summit, Jermaine explained how he transitioned from using his CRM system as a “glorified autoresponder,” to a CRM system based on behavior and personalization for each customer’s unique needs.

Results: Jermaine was able to successfully increase the lifetime value of his customers by 416%. To learn more, you can also watch the entire on-demand replay of Jermaine’s session, “E-commerce: Harnessing the power of email automation and behavior-based marketing to increase conversions,” from Email Summit 2013.  

  Read more…

Email Marketing: 3 reasons I was sucked into a Pandora win-back campaign

December 3rd, 2013 No comments

It is rare that I become sucked into an email campaign.

After a year of experience at MECLABS, I pride myself on being immune to catchy subject lines, blasted discount sends and tricky calls-to-action.

It’s actually become a bit of a game for me to watch the emails flood in and try to decide which companies are testing a new strategy, which ones are attempting to re-engage me, and which ones are just looking for a click.

In the last month, however, I have been completely taken in by a new personalized email campaign launched by Pandora.

The Internet radio giant has started what appears to be a new engagement campaign designed to pull in customers who have stopped responding to the normal subject lines and creative material.

Let me set the scene: It’s 15 minutes before my lunch hour on a Thursday afternoon and I’m staring listlessly at my Outlook inbox hoping no new projects come in before I manage to flee the office and get some food.

 

Hello sweet, sweet nostalgia

Suddenly, there’s a ding and a new email materializes at the top of the queue. It reads, “It All Started with Rilo Kiley Radio.” I’m hooked before I even have a chance to fully comprehend who the sender is.

Not only does the slightly vague expression pique my interest, but I’m also pulled in by the very specific mention of one of my favorite bands and the romantic nostalgia of the phrase “It All Started With … ” 

 

The subject line captured my attention, but the real beauty of this campaign is the personalized emotional plea found after the open.

 

A large graphic offers me a look back at my musical journey and Pandora’s marketing team proceeds to discuss not only specific songs I liked, but also provides the exact number of songs (4,140 and counting) they have enjoyed playing for me over the last eight years of our relationship together.

The first history email was followed by a two more emails all personalized and designed to make an emotional appeal to my love of certain bands. Here were the other two emails Pandora sent shortly after helping me look at our musical journey together.

 

Pandora send #2

Subject Line: “The Lumineers Radio Misses You”

 

Pandora send #3

Subject Line: “You Will Love These”

 

My full disclosure here is that I have opened and read them all.

So, what’s so different about this campaign and why did I get pulled into the Pandora win-back campaign when I have successfully resisted so many others?

I think I have narrowed it down to three main reasons.

 

Emotional appeal

In a sea of discounts, special deals and savings, the subject lines used by Pandora stand out because they manage to make a strong emotional appeal in a concise way.

This is a lesson worth taking back to the whiteboard for test design. In business, it is easy to become a servant to the bottom line and begin to think this is what appeals to your customers as well.

Deals are nice and I have never passed up a BOGO, but at the end of the day, I might be more willing to spend additional cash on something I’ve fallen in love with rather than something I need.

For example, in college, I once spent too much on a new designer purse and ate Ramen noodle cups for two weeks to make up the cash, because as I saw it:

The purse = Love

Food = Need

Rambling aside, if you can get the customer to fall in love at first glance, you might not need that coupon to get the sale.

 

Personalization

“What new thing can we personalize?” seems to be a big question in the marketing world these days, but Pandora approached personalization thinking instead, “How should we personalize?”

It went beyond a standard personalized salutation by showing me my listening history. While this level of personalization has the potential to be creepy, Pandora’s execution was not.

I would like to hypothesize this because Pandora managed to take all of the data it has on my preferences and made it into the story.

Customers don’t want to be a random collection of meaningless data. No one wants to be reduced to a series of numbers or a set of coded recommendations.

If you’re going to personalize an email campaign, attempt to really show the customer you know who they are.

There’s a popular expression at MECLABS that goes “people don’t buy from websites, people buy from people.” My twist on that when it comes to win-back campaigns is data sets don’t buy from people, people buy from people, and they deserve to be seen as such.

Read more…

E-commerce: 10 case studies to help you excel in content marketing, social media and website optimization

November 26th, 2013 No comments

Shopping from your seat is a beautiful thing.

Customers relish the convenience and ease of online shopping, but those on the other side of the screen know the process isn’t so effortless. E-commerce can present itself as a multidimensional demon, frightening marketers with shopper abandonment and confusing consumer behavior.

However, there are plenty of marketers who have slain the beast on their way to success. Our MarketingSherpa reporters know this because they have penned many of these marketing heroes’ tales of triumph.

Let’s take a look back at the lessons we learned from these 10 e-commerce case studies.

 

Case Study #1. E-commerce: Edible Arrangements’ countdown ad lifts same-day orders 8%

Lesson: Don’t assume your company’s existing features or services are on the customers’ radar.

The basis for a stellar marketing campaign doesn’t have to revolve around a new service, product or feature. Your company could have a pre-existing item that could use some additional awareness. Take Edible Arrangements’ same-day delivery service. Kaitlin Reiss, Vice President of E-commerce, Edible Arrangements, told MarketingSherpa the service was the company’s “hidden gem.”

“A lot of people don’t realize that we have same-day delivery, even though it is not something new for us, so we realize that we will need to do even more to promote it,” Reiss said.

The hub of tasty fruit bouquets utilized simple promotion through a variety of channels to increase both email open rates and its same-day orders, too. Are your company’s pre-existing services being promoted to its greatest potential?

Doubtful. Despite the fact that those features may not be new to the company, it could be new to consumers.

 

Case Study #2. E-commerce: Moving beyond shopping cart abandonment nets 65% more checkout conversions

Lesson: Targeting customer abandonment is worth it.

We’ve all been there. Perusing products on the Internet when the phone rings, it’s time for dinner or the dog is barking for a walk. No matter what it is that pulls us away from the computer, distractions are inevitable.

As an e-commerce marketer, understanding and reeling your consumers back in is crucial for garnering conversions. Many e-commerce companies have found success recovering customers through abandonment emails.

The case study above examines how Envelopes.com targeted category, cart and checkout abandonment with emails sent less than a week after the customer left the site. The campaign lifted the company to net 65% more checkout conversions.

Examine why your e-commerce site isn’t earning those sales. Is it internal, or could it just be the busy lives of your consumers? Sometimes, all it takes is a little reminder.

 

 

Case Study #3. Email Marketing: How an e-commerce site eschews discounts in favor of eco-friendly content

Case Study #4. E-commerce: How Wine Enthusiast increased organic traffic 154% with content marketing

Lesson: Content can help you connect with consumers while building trust, too.

As an e-commerce marketer, you’re not face-to-face with your consumers — your computer screen is. Establishing trust and connecting with them is a feat of its own. In these two case studies, e-commerce companies utilized content to increase traffic and awareness of their brands to stand out in a crowded Internet space.

PoopBags.com – yes, you read that right – built an email marketing strategy on eco-friendly content. As a biodegradable bag for pups’ – er – business, the brand developed email content emphasizing environmental causes, charities and pet-related issues.

“It makes it easy to bond with people … knowing that we write about things that are so important, and we care passionately about, makes [writing email content] pretty easy to do,” Paul Cannella, Owner, Poopbags.com, told MarketingSherpa of the company’s content strategy.

Retailer Wine Enthusiast also put content into play to earn trust with consumers. The company’s website features wine reviews, articles and videos to help build an audience. The content helped yield a 50% increase in monthly email opt-ins.

“We put time into creating helpful content that helps people either make a buying decision or entertain them,” said Erika Strum, Director of Internet Marketing, Wine Enthusiast Companies. “Even if they aren’t making that purchase in the moment, we feel that they will come back to us as a great source of information.”

Do you have something to offer your consumers other than a great product or service? Look to content to form valuable trust and relationships in your market.

 

Case Study #5. B2B E-commerce: Redesigned online form increases quotes 67.68%

Lesson:  Your website must align with the way people shop online.

A website is never a finished product – it’s forever evolving. After all, it has to. Think about what would happen if you kept your website the same year after year. You couldn’t do that and be successful. The Internet is constantly changing as is the way customers expect to shop online. Failure to take this into account with the structure of your website has the potential to lead to your company’s downfall.

Take our case study on Company Folders, a company that provides businesses with custom folders. Prior to its marketing efforts, the company’s website was out-of-date and had a quote form that wasn’t conducive to the ease-of-use online shoppers expected.

By redesigning the website and online form, Company Folders experienced a 67.68% increase in total quotes.

The old online form: 

 

The new online form:

 

Company Folders CEO Vladimir Gendelman explained to MarketingSherpa how crucial it was for his company’s website to keep in the consumer in mind.

“In order to tackle this, and do all this, we had to think just like a customer would,” Gendelman said. “A redesign is not just like making [the website] look pretty. It is about making it extremely easy for [website] function.”

 

Case Study #6. E-commerce: Adding trustmark boosts sales conversion 14%

Lesson: Small changes can lead to big differences.

Optimization doesn’t have to involve some huge website overhaul. Even the seemingly smallest of things can make a huge difference for your company and our case study on Modern Coin Mart certainly demonstrated that.

The self-described “Modern Coin Superstore” added a simple trustmark to its e-commerce site to ease customers’ anxieties about the purchasing process. A tiny graphic produced monumental results, boosting sales conversions to 14%.

What can you as an e-commerce marketer take from this? Don’t think you have to exhaust yourself to yield impressive results – even small changes can lead to big successes.

 

Case Study #7. Social Media Marketing: How a small e-commerce site attracted 293,000 Facebook fans

Lesson: Social media fosters marketing by the consumer.

What’s on your mind? Facebook gives its users a platform to speak their minds, share their photos and  promote your products. Yes, promote your products.

It may not be what Mark Zuckerberg initially had in mind, but Facebook can offer huge boosts to your company. It’s so simple for a customer to take a photo of your product, which provides your company with a testimonial, review and super sharable content that is free.

Does the product or service you’re selling suit the Facebook realm? In other words, is it sharable? Could it be? This can lead to impressive results. Look at our case study on Diamond Candles, a company that features rings beneath the wax of its candles. By utilizing customer-contributed photos on its Facebook page, Diamond Candles upped conversion rates and attracted more than 290,000 new Facebook fans.

For minimal effort, your e-commerce site has the potential to produce maximum results. Determine how your product can start a conversation in consumers’ social networks and then capitalize on it.

Read more…

Email Marketing: How CNET re-engaged inactive subscribers

November 19th, 2013 No comments

Every email marketer has the goal of building a good quality list. In fact, 74% of marketers report year-to-year growth of their email list, according to the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Handbook, Second Edition. However, having a large amount of people on an email list does not mean it’s a quality list. Keeping email subscribers engaged and active is vital to any email marketing campaign.

In this video excerpt from Email Summit 2013, Diana Primeau, Director, Member Services, CNET, discusses the importance of cutting out disengaged users from your email list and the necessity of sending out a warning email beforehand.

 

“It’s a lot easier to keep your customers happy and engaged if you’re reaching out to them in a meaningful way, providing them with content throughout the year,” she suggested as a preemptive measure.

But, even if you pack amazing content into every single email send, some users still will go inactive. For the health of your email list and the reputation of your company’s email sends, the inactive users should be removed.

Before you start removing people from your list though, an email should be sent out as a last chance, and with that, “it’s really important that you give your customers a reason to stay with you,” Diana said.

In the last-chance email sent by CNET, the copy contains links to other newsletters that may be more specific to members’ interests, sweepstakes opportunities and a plea to not miss out on its news.

With this campaign, CNET re-engaged almost 9% of its inactive users – users that have not opened an email for more than 180 days – that would have otherwise been cut from the list.

Watch the full presentation to see Diana’s specific examples, case studies and her overarching recommendations for her fellow email marketers.

Read more…