Author Archive

How One B2C Leveraged Social Good to Increase Ecommerce Sales

November 17th, 2015

Introducing a whole new customer segment to your brand can be a challenge for marketers. Especially when your brand transitions from catering solely to professional specialists to the general B2C market. That’s the challenge the team at mybody skincare faced when they were looking to expand from selling to physicians to also selling directly to consumers.

Abby Traister, Vice President of Marketing, and Mike Nelson, Marketing Director of Online, both of mybody skincare, sat down with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, in the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015 to discuss how the company used a combination of social media virality and support for a good cause to introduce this brand to its B2C audience. By supporting a charity that was personally related to mybody skincare’s founder, the company was able to do good while introducing its brand in an authentic way.

According to Abby, mybody skincare had only marketed to physicians prior to March 2015. Around that time, a B2C ecommerce site was introduced but it wasn’t seeing as much traffic as the mybody skincare team wanted. The team then saw an opportunity to combine its dedication to philanthropy to promoting its new product line.

The company’s founder, David Watson, is a chairman on the board for the charitable organization Bring Change 2 Mind, which works to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Because the company had a personal connection to this organization, it decided to partner with Bring Change 2 Mind and donate a percentage of mybody skincare’s new product online sales to support this organization.

“A lot of people wanted to get involved, and so it was a great way to get our products out there in the hands of the consumers who have never heard of us before, drive traffic to our site and help a good cause all at the same time,” Abby said.

Read more…

Tips for Incorporating GIFs in Email

November 3rd, 2015

I am a serial email subscriber. If I think there’s even a chance that a company’s subscription list will provide me with discounts, fashion tips, insightful news stories or even just a joke every now and then, I will most likely click that sign up button.

This email addiction paired with my experience reporting for MarketingSherpa’s Email beat has transformed my promotional Gmail folder into a nest of virtual hoarding. But it has also given me insight into the latest trends in email marketing.

One trend that seems to overwhelm my inbox is adding GIFs to emails. If you’re unfamiliar, a GIF (commonly pronounced “JIF,” like the peanut butter) is a short animated graphic without sound that typically replays the same visual sequence on a loop.

In the Internet age where memes and GIFs seem to reign supreme, adding these fun graphics seems like an engaging and relatable strategy for companies to employ. However, as I’ve learned sifting through my inbox, there is a proper and an improper way to incorporate graphic animations.

Read on for a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts of GIFing while emailing.


Use a GIF when: Flat images would detract from a specific message

For the majority of emails, using an image that relates to its content is enough of an illustration. However, there are instances where using a flat image actually detracts from your overall message. Take a promotional campaign from Dell, for example.

The computer company wanted to send out an email advertising its new Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook: a laptop with a hinge design that allowed it to transform into a tablet. While Dell could use flat images of the device in both computer and tablet mode, the company decided to instead use a GIF, showing the device’s transformation. This illustrated the full capabilities of the product in a fun way.



Read more…

How Microsoft Store Turned Its Receipts Into a Personalized Customer Touchpoint

September 18th, 2015

Personalized marketing is a customer-centric trend that’s been on the rise, but it’s one of those trends that can seem unattainable.

After all, creating a truly personalized, one-on-one experience between your brand and your customer takes a drastic toll on time, resources and manpower. Or at least that’s what you would think at first glance.

Enter Microsoft Store.

Shawna Dahlin, Senior Email Marketing Manager, Microsoft Store, sat down with Selena Blue, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS, at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 to discuss how she and her team made the seemingly unattainable achievable. Shawna created a more personalized email campaign by using data the brand already had available about relevant customer experiences.

To begin, Shawna wanted to change Microsoft Store’s email marketing strategy to make it more personalized, but she lacked the IT resources she needed. To meet this challenge, she developed a plan that would personalize the brand’s email strategy without utilizing IT.

Shawna accomplished this by collecting data that Microsoft Store already had on its consumer base and testing Microsoft Store’s email sends based on this data. Overall, this effort resulted in a:

  • 500% increase in CTR for segmented emails
  • 300% increase in open rate for segmented emails
  • 1,200% overall revenue increase in three years
  • 600% increase in revenue per email (for lifecycle)

Learn how, by implementing this data-centric approach, Shawna was able to transform an email send that almost every consumer receives — the receipt — into a successful first touchpoint.


Read more…

The Benefits of Combining Content Marketing and Segmentation: MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 replay

July 17th, 2015

One of the most talked-about marketing trends at the moment may also be one of the most effective. According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing while costing 62% less.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Stephen Bruner, Marketing Manager, Precor, to discuss the value of content marketing and segmentation as well as the benefits of implementing a strategy using both of these marketing methods.

Precor is the second largest fitness equipment manufacturer in the U.S. and third in the world. Its clients are primarily fitness clubs and consumers. The company focuses on helping each of these consumer segments find the best products for their needs.

Watch the video excerpt from the MarketingSherpa Media Center to learn more about the relationship between content marketing and segmentation:

Read more…

Live from IRCE 2015: The importance of handling customer reviews

June 3rd, 2015

In the often-flooded marketplace of ecommerce, customer reviews can make or break companies. At the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Joseph Jaconi, General Manager, Tech Armor, to discuss how Tech Armor’s focus on customer reviews helped transform this small ecommerce company into a major competitor.

Tech Armor, a screen protector e-retailer for mobile devices, started out selling on Amazon a little more than three years ago. The company now sells on major marketplaces across the U.S., including and eBay. This quick expansion can largely be accredited to the company’s focus on maintaining good customer reviews.

“We really built our brand around service and support,” Joseph said. “We’re a small company, but over 60% of our human resources is dedicated to customer service and support … that’s including sales, marketing and everything we’re doing.”

Joseph shared the following tips on how to handle customer reviews.

Watch the whole interview here:

Read more…

Best B2B Lead Posts in 2014: Lead generation, lead nurturing and content marketing

December 29th, 2014

Originally published on B2B LeadBlog

The holiday season is always a time of reflection for what we have and what we have accomplished over the past year.

However, it is also a time to reflect on all we have learned that can help us improve the blank slate that is 2015.

Read on to find out what B2B Lead Roundtable Blog posts were shared the most as well as the three topics B2B marketers valued most in 2014. You can utilize this information to better inform your 2015 strategy.


Topic #1 — Lead generation is king

Lead generation was a huge topic for 2014 and for good reason. Every lead nurturing campaign, every lead conversion, every sale depends on first generating a lead.

But what’s the best way to optimize your lead gen efforts?


Develop a strategic lead generation portfolio

The best marketers don’t rely on one specific tactic to generate leads. Instead, they utilize a diversified portfolio of channels.

The best way to build this concept is to approach your marketing strategy in the same way a portfolio manager would approach a mutual fund. Namely, this means diversifying your leads, establishing a schedule of when you’ll address said leads and testing every element in this process.

This post offers ideas on how to expand your lead generation portfolio, and features a free downloadable copy of a mind map for lead gen from Brian Carroll’s Lead Generation for the Complex Sale.



Improve the alignment between Marketing and Sales

Not having your marketing and sales teams aligned can be a costly mistake. Luckily, this is also an avoidable mistake.

By simply implementing a few key strategies, such as scheduling frequent meetings between these two teams, you can easily re-align interests and strengthen your overall lead efforts.

Learn 31 tips on how to align Marketing and Sales when it comes to lead generation.


Put you customer first

When you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to get caught up in marketing acronyms, data and analytics. What you need to remember is that, ultimately, lead generation comes down to connecting with people.

This personal connection comes down to one idea — empathy.

Learn about the importance of putting the empathy back into customer interactions, and then read some simple strategies for achieving empathetic marketing.


Topic #2 — It’s all about nurturing. Lead nurturing, that is

More than anything else, lead nurturing can help turn a lead from marketing qualified to sales qualified and hopefully into a sale.

Here are a few tips we learned this year to help you optimize this process.


Stop with the cold calls

In the Internet age of uber-informed and advertising-adverse consumers, cold calling just doesn’t work like it once did.

Instead, in order to score leads, and ultimately drive conversions, marketers need to make themselves a valuable resource to their prospects. This requires a customer-centric approach that involves staying relevant and informed on what the customer wants to learn and then being helpful and building trust through effective nurturing content.

Read on to learn how to modernize your lead strategy.


Learn what qualifies as lead nurturing

What is and isn’t lead nurturing?

A silly question, I know, yet it is one that several marketers continue to answer incorrectly. This seemingly simple concept is one that is actually more nuanced than it seems. Lead nurturing involves providing prospects with relevant and valuable information and helping them on their buying journey, regardless if they ever buy from you. This specialized treatment is much more likely to result in a conversion than sending out generic promotional emails.

Learn the exact definition of lead nurturing, and read some examples about what does and doesn’t make the mark.


Don’t forget about emails

Email is an indispensable tool for today’s marketers, but sometimes the relevancy gets lost between the subject line and send button.

Not keeping your customers first in your email sends can lead to something worse than an ignored email ??it can lead to an unsubscribe.

Read about the benefit of adding lead nurturing to your emailing strategy, and discover six ideas for how to keep relevancy at the front and center of your emails.



Topic #3 — Words, words, words: The almighty power of content

It’s the easiest aspect to overlook, but it’s often one of the most important components in your marketing strategy — your content. Whether it’s the copy in a brochure or a case study about what you’ve accomplished, what you say to your customers and prospects, and how you say it, matters.

Here’s what we’ve learned in 2014 to make content marketing the best it can be.


Build a customer-centric content strategy

How do you create content that your customers will read?

Simple — listen to what they want. Content marketing is an excellent way to introduce customers to your brand as well as to establish yourself as a professional in your industry, but in order to create the best content, you have to first listen to your customers.

Watch Ninan Chacko, CEO, PR Newswire, as he explains the five steps to effective content marketing in this Lead Gen Summit 2013 replay.


Utilize storytelling in your call scripts

When it comes to teleprospecting, it turns out “what” you ask your prospects is just as important as “when” you ask them.

In a 2014 MarketingExperiements Web clinic, testing the time of the “ask” in a call script led to a 31% response increase. The difference? The treatment structured the call script as a story.

Learn more about why transforming the call script into a story resulted in this dramatic increase.



You may also like

The Most Important B2B Marketing Metrics for CEOs [More from the blogs]

10 Ways to Optimize Your Lead Conversion Rate [More from the blogs]

3 Factors that Connect Value Prop to Prospects [More from the blogs]

B2B Marketing: A recap of content and customer-centric marketing in 2014 [MaketingSherpa case study]

B2B Email Marketing: Ferguson Rewards trade show optimization achieves over $10 million [MarketingSherpa case study]