We've got a bunch of really good stuff scheduled for you!
Here's an overview of our upcoming FREE webinars:
We've got a bunch of really good stuff scheduled for you!
Here's an overview of our upcoming FREE webinars:
At the Email Evolution Conference in Miami, Kath and I learned that video is a great way to engage an audience - and when featured in an email, they tend to get a lot of clicks!
I'm a big fan of animated videos, that's why I invited guest author Manroop Takhar of of Qudos Animations (turn your volume down before you click!) to write a short blog post on how to create animated videos:
How Animated Video Can Boost Your Marketing Message Delivery
by Manroop Takhar
Welcoming visitors to an inspiring animated video, away from the bustling mayhem that is the internet, can make an invaluable first impression.
Attracting visitors to your animated video is not always easy, though.
Here are my top tips for producing a video that attracts, gets shared and makes an impact.
Tip 1. Simple is attractive
With so much content crowding the web, people can become overwhelmed.
So making your video simple yet striking can be the best way to retain attention and encourage click-through.
It is best to provide potential customers with the minimal information necessary at first. Don’t push them, but captivate them with an inspiring thought.
Don’t forget, simple can still be original and make you stand out from competitors.
Tip 2. Educate and explain complex concepts
You can simplify complicated ideas this with the use of various elements in animated video – i.e. imagery, music, voiceover, special effects.
These also stimulate the viewer’s senses.
One minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words of text, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.
A personable or authoritative voiceover can help viewers relate to an educational video.
Tip 3. Trigger an emotion
Appealing to the viewer’s visceral emotions can be an effective method for keeping them engaged - whether happiness, excitement or shock.
Viewers are then more likely to hear your message, and these emotion-rendering videos are most likely to be shared with their friends.
Tip 4. Create memories and enhance brand recall
If you look back at the most memorable television adverts you’ve seen, the chances are that many of these will be animated.
The simplicity, imagination, unusual voices and often vibrant colours make these often unforgettable; and these can become synonymous with a brand.
Paired with a positive message and this can be invaluable to brand image and loyalty.
Tip 5. Create appealing characters
Give your story a hero - or several.
Some marketers will make the brand the hero of their story, but this often does not answer the questions that your customers have.
It is more effective to tell stories about the problems your customers have faced, so that they can relate to the hero.
For example, if your prospects are animal-lovers, tell a compassionate animal-rescue story.
With your customer taking the lead role in the story, you as the company or brand might take the role of the sage, providing them with answers.
Tip 6. Include gaps and cliffhangers
To engage with your audience, you need to understand the importance of the disparity that exists between what the hero of your story wants and where he/she is now.
As the hero closes in on his/her goal, viewers follow and expect to see their accomplishment, but an unexpected cliffhanger can add to the story’s lure.
Your audience also have gaps in their lives and goals to reach, which they’ve invested a lot of energy in to. A story that recognises this can have power.
Tip 7. Take time choosing your style
There are many methods and styles of animation to choose from, some with potentially different benefits.
A quirky paper cut-out animation can inspire creative minds, while the most up-to-date motion graphics with special effects can appeal to a different target audience.
Find the best style to put across your message to your audience, adapting it to your creative ideas, and this could give a considerable boost to your brand image.
I wish you all the best in creating your animated masterpiece!
This blog post was written by Manroop Takhar, who is the founder of Qudos Animations, an animation studio that creates engaging advertisements and high impact explainer animations for businesses.
Kath and Tamara are planning a couple of live events as well as an online email marketing course in the next couple of weeks. So if you want to learn about email marketing, now is your chance!
5 keys to increase your email marketing conversions
London, 19th February
Advanced Email Marketing Masterclass
Antwerp, 24 February 2014
Getting Started with Email Marketing
by Liga Bizune, Mailigen
The day of love rapidly approaches, and for marketers it’s time to think about a perfect Valentine’s Day email campaign.
Follow our tips to develop a smart strategy, build an eye-catching design, create relevant content and make subscribers fall in love with you and your brand.
#1 Kick off at the beginnging of February
Love is in the air long before Valentine’s Day, so start early with your marketing communication. February 14th or some days before would be okay if you are sending an e-card or promoting ready-to-use products or last minute offers. But if your campaign needs more engagement, kick off before or at the beginning of February:
#2 Let them fall in love with your offer
Offering the right thing is crucial for your email marketing ROI. Think about the most suitable products and services a person would like to receive on that special once-in-a-year day.
If you are in a fashion, food, beauty, travel or a similar industry, you are lucky! For you, Valentine’s Day may be as profitable as Christmas. Use email marketing wisely to get the most out of it.
#3 Treat your lovers differently
I’m sure your subscribers’ inboxes will be stuffed with Valentine’s Day emails. But to make them pay attention and read your email, send what your subscribers really want.
Split your target audience into segments by:
You can also segment by activity within one campaign. Resend your email with a changed subject or call to action to those who haven’t opened or clicked your Valentine’s Day campaign. Or, if you have several offers within one campaign, check out who has clicked on what but hasn’t proceeded and then send an exclusive offer for the product to each customer who was especially interested.
#4 Flirt with hot email design
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to fully express your creativity in email designs. Instead of your usual email template design, prepare or order a custom email template design including today’s web design trends.
#5 Surprise with compelling email content
Content is king, especially in email marketing. It has to persuade the recipient, firstly, to open the email and, secondly, to take an action.
#6 Be their Valentine…
Not everyone is in love on Valentine’s Day. So, for the single customers, all the talk of love and other romantic issues may be quite annoying. When creating a Valentine’s Day email campaign, think about offers, activities and gifts that all subscribers can enjoy regardless of their relationship status. Be their Valentine and express your love and care via personal email campaigns.
If you start planning early, prepare the right offer to the right recipient and pack all this in a beautiful design, a Valentine’s Day email campaign may bring you both great business results and customer loyalty. Make use of our tips to share your love and to receive it back. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling Valentine’s Day!
Cart Abandonment experts, Cloud.IQ have just released a new infographic with some fascinating findings regarding how our customers are abandoning their purchases and how we can leverage this opportunity to generate more sales.
Some stats of interest:
Date: 19th February 2013
Cost: It's FREE!
Time: 9am -12.00 (includes breakfast, morning tea and networking opportunities)
Venue: etc. Venues, 4-12 Norton Folgate Bishopsgate Court, E1 6DQ London, United Kingdom
In this half-day event you will discover 5 powerful keys to increase your email marketing conversions. During this very tactical session, Kath Pay will show you how to improve your conversions by delving into topics such as: Subject Line, Calls-To-Actions, Email Design, Email Copy, Landing Pages and Psychology within Email.
You will walk away feeling inspired and enthused, armed with some new tactics and knowledge that you can apply immediately to your email marketing programme.
Seats are limited - so hurry and book now!
Come and delve into what makes your customers and subscribers tick, discover what motivates them and learn how to deliver engaging and successful campaigns by leveraging this knowledge. During the course of the day, we will look at how we can maximise this wonderful channel to convert and retain our customers and subscribers, and how, with a bit of forethought and elbow-grease, we can increase conversions, whilst keeping our customers and subscribers engaged.
Be prepared to be inspired, stimulated and challenged!
You’ll walk away with lots of ideas and practical tips to implement immediately, as well as some longer-term strategic ideas to implement in the future. So join us in an interactive one-day workshop that goes beyond the technical know-how of sending out a campaign.
What’s in it for you?
You’ll be able to:
We are organizing a couple of training courses, seminars and master classes on various email marketing topics in the next 3 months:
In Antwerp, Belgium:
You can also book us for an in-house training course that is completely tailored to your own needs and wishes.
An email marketing campaign for the Christmas period is on every marketer’s to-do list, I’m sure. However, there are always numerous questions that arise in one’s mind. What should I send and when? Should I offer something and how do I best engage? Let me guide you with 3x3 tips for your perfect Christmas email marketing campaign!
When is the right time to prepare a Christmas email marketing campaign? Right now! The “Last minute” strategy is good for traveling, but for your email marketing carry out your best holiday strategy at the beginning of December!
According to Christmas shopping habits, people can be divided into several groups:
Now is the best time for the last two groups, especially if you are planning a Christmas sales campaign and aim for the year’s biggest engagement!
But before planning any campaign, know exactly what you want it to do for your business. This will also help you decide about the best timing.
Instead of the usual one single Christmas email, create a series of emails for more coherent communication. Now at the beginning of December, tease your subscribers about your upcoming surprise...
A week before the holidays, send the main campaign including the surprise offer, so people have a chance to use it up to Christmas. But why not also send your beloved subscribers a non-selling e-card shortly before Christmas Day?
Instead of ending your Christmas marketing activities on December 25, continue engagement with lifecycle email marketing campaigns. A week after the holidays, remind those who haven’t used your offer of it, and ask for feedback from those who have.
Christmas email campaigns can give you much more than just additional income.
What exactly you should offer subscribers for Christmas depends of course on your business. But in general:
What is Christmas without presents?! Although Christmas is considered the most profitable time of the year for many businesses, it’s also the time of giving... Have you ever wanted to be a real Santa Claus? Whatever it is – a sales campaign or a simple e-card – give your customers something for free.
Email marketing is a great tool to reach your audience during the holidays. With awesome email designs, personalized email content and compelling offers, you will definitely catch the attention of your customers. While at the same time don’t forget about the sense of sincerity and generosity that may happen only at Christmas... Use these tips to do both: increase the engagement with your subscribers and remind them of how important they are to you. May the magic of Christmas fill your marketing!
Making your emails more relevant by appealing to different reader personalities
In Part 1 we introduced using Personas for Email marketing based upon motivation, in Part 2 I’m going to review the 4 main different personality traits that are common to everyone and show how to apply them to email creative. Aristotle was one of the first to identify them and named them: Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine, however we will be using more descriptive names for these personalities in this post.
By leveraging both personas and personalities, you not only know where to place content, images and set tasks but also know how to speak to them (TOV), what offers to deliver and help them to accomplish their task the way they feel comfortable doing so – thus enabling higher and potentially quicker, conversions.
It’s a well-known fact that some of the greatest results can be gained by combining personalisation and persuasive architecture to deliver what the customer wants.
In this 2 part post I will look at approaches to leverage 2 types of buyer personas to use to increase conversions within your email marketing programme.
When combining both of these buyer persona styles we’re ensuring that we deliver not only the copy, TOV, and offers/merchandise that our buyer wants and expects from us but we’re also delivering the experience that will enable them to convert according to their temperament.
So let’s look at the two different types of Buyer Personas. For clarity’s sake, I’m labelling them differently to how they’re labelled elsewhere:
In this post [Part 1] of this series, I’ll be addressing the Persona based upon motivation.Read the full article
Having a specific person in mind that represents a segment of our target audience, makes it easier for us to find the right tone, copy and even offer for an email campaign we're working on.
Do you want to learn how this works and how you can create your own personas? It's not that hard actually!
On November 6th, Hubspot's Kieran Flanagan and our very own Kath Pay will be presenting a webinar in which they'll explain the process.
Looking forward to seeing you then!
Message Systems launched a cool new tool recently, called The Validator.
It's a free web application that enables email senders to test the deliverability quality and authentication settings of their messages prior to sending.
It does this by flagging and identifying issues or failures for the major email authentication and validation schemes used today, including DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance).
I wrote this post last week for Smartinsights and have received very positive feedback on the concept behind using search to personalise the email subscribers experience.
But before we begin, we also need to understand the difference between a pull and a push channel.
Websites and search are both pull channels, whilst email is a push channel.
The strength of search being a pull channel, is that people are on a mission – they have a purpose and are focused on completing that mission.
The strength of email as being a push channel is that it is able to push the valuable content and offers to the subscribers inbox.
What we ideally want to do here is harness the strengths of each of these channels to deliver a personalised and relevant subscriber experience. By doing this we are performing what I like to call Holistic Email Marketing.
We're all aware of being able to utilise implicit data such as click behaviour, browsing behaviour and transactional behaviour to personal the email subscribers experience - but there is also a 4th form of implicit data that we can leverage - that of search data.
Using this data, we can not only understand what products or services they're interested in, but we can speak to them where they're at within the buying cycle.
Read the full post to see how this can work for you
We're excited to be hosting the International Digital Marketing Summit @YourDesk (#IDMS) next tuesday 8th October, and as an appetiser to this event, Rob Thurner of Burner Mobile has kindly shared with us below some of this thoughts on mobile search. To register for this and our other sessions on the day please go to http://events.plantoengage.com/digital-summit.html
“Truly great search is all about turning intentions into actions, lightning fast. In the early days of Google, users would type in a query, we’d return ten blue links, and they’d move on happy”, says Google in its AdWords blog.
That’s not enough today’s mobile users. 50 per cent of mobile interactions start with a search, and users want more from that search. “When searching for great local restaurants, they want places to eat right there on the results page, not another click or two away. It’s the same with hotels, flight options, directions and shopping”, the blog continues.
Google, a self-proclaimed ‘mobile first’ company, has invested heavily in technology, slick marketing and an extensive suite of search tools to drive consumer demand and assist marketers in taking advantage of the opportunity to delivered personalised, time and location sensitive results. Google estimates that mobile search is growing 8 times faster than PC search, and has grown 500% in the past 2 years. Mobile search growth is projected to out-strip mobile display advertising for the foreseeable future.
It would not be reasonable to attribute 100% of the Mobile search business to Google, since Bing and Yahoo! deliver competing mobile search platforms. But let’s not underestimate the role Google has played in defining the mobile search market, and its impact in realising one of mobile marketing’s greatest consumer and business achievements through its proprietary products and service, notably:
5 tips to getting the most from mobile search1: Start by reviewing search behaviour
As with so many other aspects of marketing our advice is to start by reviewing people’s search activity and the volume of demand. Google’s free Keyword Tool lets you assess the number of searches by entering a phrase and then choose ‘mobile’ against ‘desktop’ volumes in the box “Show ideas and statistics for”. Don’t forget to set a Match Type, where you can limit searches to those including the word in a Phrase or an Exact Match.
It’s worth researching how behaviour varies through the day. There are variations by daypart which will impact how and where you should allocate your mobile search budget
The IAB’s study into connected device usage highlights that all three screens (desktop, tablet and mobile) complement each other. The three screens allow for constant connectivity in and out of home, in the evenings and weekends. Mobile can be used most effectively in driving enquiries, via search working alongside banner ads or in-app push notifications, to deliver product information.2: Making sure your mobile site is optimised for SEO
As with desktop search, the majority of searchers still click on the natural or organic listing, so it’s important to maximize your visibility here.
Gaining good visibility in the natural listings on mobile relies on solid SEO principles that you will be familiar with, which rely on a similar algorithm to desktop search, but there are some key features to gain visibility.
To adapt for mobile users’ task-oriented behaviour, brands should identify and prioritise the search terms used most commonly on mobile, including ‘deals, offers, sales’ with a local qualifier appearing frequently.
Consider how search engine crawlers function, and optimise your visibility. If you have a mobile-specific site with dedicated content then you should create mobile site specific site maps. But if you’re using a design technique like progressive enhancement aka responsive web design with common content for all screen resolutions then this isn’t necessary.
Mobile users want ease, speed, and a frictionless user experience. Always try to reduce load times by optimizing content, images and code. Google recommends page load times less than 5 seconds and can penalize slower sites. You can gain an idea of how Google evaluates your site using the “Test Your Site” on Google Get Mo: http://www.howtogomo.com .3: In-home: cater for high-spending tablet users
The IAB’s research highlights that most people with Tablets are dual screening, with 51% of all Tablet usage occurring in front of the TV. Tablet owners are 50% more likely to use their tablet to dual screen than their mobile (35%) or their PC (33%).
Touchscreens have changed the way consumers seek product information. Tablet users claim to spend over 4 hours shopping on their devices each week, with 43% saying they prefer search on tablet compared with PC or mobile. This can be explained by the superior browsing experience, the touchscreen interface, the location and mindset of tablet usage, where browsing is a more relaxed, less time pressured “lean-back” experience than PC browsing allows.
Critically, tablet browsers also tend to spend more. Based on its analysis of 16.3 billion visits to websites of more than 150 retailers, Adobe Digital Marketing Insights revealed that tablet visitors spend over 50% more per purchase than smartphone visitors, and over 20% more than ‘traditional’ visitors using desktop PCs.
Marketers can use the search targeting capabilities of AdWords to reach tablet users during the evening, and drive them to tablet-oriented landing pages to maximize engagement and conversion:
Geo-targeting is one of the greatest differences between desktop and mobile search and one of the greatest opportunities. 85 per cent of mobile search has a local intent, says Google, and 81% of searchers act upon the patient based information they find. This explains why the retail, travel and entertainment top the list for most popular search queries.
Your search returns should match shoppers’ demands for quick, easy, simple
responses to task-oriented searches. Typically they enter no more than two to three words per query, and want to find directions to your address (with zip code), a link to a your (mobile-optimised) site, and button to call your number (with correct dialing code).5: PPC on mobile: bid aggressively
Space constraints on a mobile screen mean paid ads are more prominent relative to natural search returns, with two paid ads appearing on the top and three on the bottom.
Google Adwords enables specific targeting of mobile searchers which is not possible in natural search, so even if you don’t advertise in Adwords for desktop searches you should consider how you can target mobile searchers. More limited inventory and specific targeting options may make it worthwhile to bid higher on mobile, although many compilations show that mobile CPC are currently lower than desktop CPC.
Be prepared to bid 2x higher to get on the first page of search results. You will be competing to have your ad served on 5 ad spots vs 10 for desktop, and add a click-to-call feature when possible.
Select mobile ad formats to meet user demand
Google Adwords isn’t just about text ads and blue links, you can choose a number of ad extensions to provide the most useful search returns. These include
Click to Call is one of the most effective ways to connect to your consumers. We have seen URLs CTR increase by 30% by using the CTC feature. Google AdWord’s ‘Call Extensions’ and Bing adCentre’s Click-to-Call drive call traffic directly for search results. In addition to click-to-call functionality, retailers can also give mobile users the option to click through to the website.
Location presents a significant opportunity for retailers aiming to drive footfall who should use location extensions to promote local details within Google Places and adCenter, which should result in a reallocation of retailers’ mobile search budgets in today’s cut-throat business climate.
Site links are an effective way for brands to provide mobile users with additional options or offers to direct their click into site. This option would take more real estate on the site results page, thereby increasing the chance of click through.
For retailers with apps to promote, Google’s click-to-download feature allows you to download links to iTunes or Google Play. Handset detection software plays a critical role here, filtering iOS / Android traffic to the right appstore automatically. Users simply click the link for the correct app, which elegantly sidesteps the major challenge of saving a timely trawl through the 500,000 apps in each appstore
After realizing that mobile traffic was outperforming desktop traffic in CTR and CPCs, Roy’s Restaurants created a separate mobile-only campaign to maximize number of calls and clicks.
The search solution was based on hyperlocal location extensions to better target on-the-go customers searching nearby one of their local restaurants
Author: Rob Thurner, Burner Mobile
Marketo have just released a Lead Management Success Center. It contains a mix of different types of content such as ebooks, webinars, reports and kits, as well as a load of external respurces and reports – certainly well worth a look for those who are needing to implement Lead Nurturing, Lead Scoring or Lead Management programmes.
Here’s a sample of what lies within this resource centre:
NURTURE SALES LEADS
Once you have defined a sales-ready lead, it’s time to nurture your lead pool to generate as many sales-ready leads as possible. Lead nurturing is the process of delivering targeted, personalized resources and offers to your entire lead funnel to move prospects through the buying process.
We have found that companies with excellent lead nurturing programs generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
How does a company nurture leads until they’re ready to buy?
First, determine your prospects’ unique preferences. What topics interest them the most? What challenges are they wrestling with today? Do they respond better to emails, social media, webinars, or a mix of communication methods?
Carefully evaluate which topics draw the most attention from individual prospects. An automated lead management tool will help track your customers’ likes and dislikes to coordinate the sophisticated communication strategy that lead nurturing requires.
"Lead nurturing is at its most powerful when messages to the prospects are triggered based upon their actions - thus enabling you to deliver more relevant content to them easily and cost effectively. Nurturing and nudging is crucial to relationship building as it gives the prospect an opportunity to evaluate your expertise as a company as well as psychologically making them feel somewhat indebted to you for providing such valuable information, so that when the time comes, they've already decided that you are the company they want to do business with".
- Kath Pay (@kathpay), eCRM & Email Marketing Consultant & Trainer, Plan to Engage
The most important characteristic of effective lead nurturing campaigns is to consistently deliver highly valuable, relevant (and branded) content.
"Give away content that people would pay for. Don't be stingy with the quality of content you share or the detail you provide. Give away your gold. You have a deep well; give away overflowing buckets of icy cool water, and people who are even remotely thirsty will come back to pay for the rest".
- Joanna Wiebe (@copyhackers), cofounder of Copy Hackers
You can find all of the resources here: http://www.marketo.com/lead-management/
Fill out my online form.