105 posts categorized "Email Tactics"

The coolest trends in email marketing

Every year Jordie van Rijn collects all of the trends and predictions on email and marketing automation into an EPIC post called “The Future of email marketing”.

Now the outlines of email marketing trends start to take form, here are a few of this year’s favorites.

Email production automation will become the norm

We know email content automation is the email trend that nobody is really talking about yet. A lot of time spent in email creation can be automated using email templates and dynamic code. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time-saving email strategy. In combination with the right type of email template, it can be a big step forward in personalisation as well.

According to Litmus’s state of Email report, the most time that’s spent on email production is graphics & design (4.1 hours) followed by coding and development (3.8 hours).

That’s almost 45% of the time spent on email tasks (the others include: copywriting, data pulls/logic, testing and troubleshooting, and post-send analytics and analysis). There’s no reason as to why so much time should be spent in email content creative creation. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time saving email strategy.

‘Mailable ‘Microsites’ are set to continue its winning spree.

Jaymin Bhuptani of emailmonks talks about the mailable microsite, also known as Interactive email. These smart mails allow the user to interact with email within the inbox. Interactivity in email is all set to continue its winning spree in 2018.

An interactive email is an email where a click triggers an action within the same email. Interactive emails can keep the inbox interesting and unique. What type of interactions are there?

* Integrated forms and surveys,
* Social sharing,
* Gifs, videos, and animations,
* Search in email,
* Menu options / navigation bars,
* Rotational banners / carousels and Countdowns.

Now the fresh new part of this story is the news from google AMP for email, which allows to do a lot more in at least Gmail. However this is still a

The Interactive email essentially hands your audience what they need from inside the email, with much effort for them. They do not need to click through from the inbox to view content, interact with video or complete surveys – increasing the chance of engagement.

Even simple effects can make a (lasting) impression. See this example by TOMS, the live email uses interactivity, on interacting with the switch, the images updates and gets switched to the glow in the dark version.


Embrace the contextual email

Jamie Bradley from Emma gives the head up that Contextual Email is, well, quite cool.

More and more brands will use tools that integrate with their ESP to provide contextual email. Think things like a progress bar in a confirmation email that automatically updates the shipping status of something you ordered.

Or maybe a poll or survey where the results update in real time. The way to stand out in the inbox is to be more relevant and useful than your competitors, and contextual email is one (really cool) tactic to do just that.

An interesting development in that area is the announcement of Google AMP for Email, which could be opening more option to interact in the inbox (or at least Gmail). We will have to see just how that will turn out.

Emoji use will skyrocket 🚀

Mike Ragan, Designer at ActionRocket says: Emojis are a fascinating evolution of digital language and - crucially - becoming more and more integrated into our favourite “formal” tone of voice channel: email.

This emoji acceptance can be illustrated by companies such as Monzo, a bank keen to be seen as trustworthy and legitimate. But also real, human and reasonable. Kudos.

Emojis are great in email because they distil a lot of information, and convey it quickly. We predict being genuinely emoji literate will continue to be a coveted skill in 2018 and beyond.

A research published on econsultancy by Parry Malm, concluded  that emojis don’t always work, but basically are a result amplifier. They either make a bad subject line worse (40% of cases) or a good subject line better. (60% of cases).


I have Data, Automation, AI and personalisation on my mind.

How do brand side marketeers think email marketing will evolve? Econsultancy asked it to their panel of marketers: Out came a word cloud with the topics of Data, Automation, AI and personalisation to be most mentioned / top of mind. Of course there is much more to say, read the complete article with the summary with 100+ email marketing trends 2021 or the newest 2022 email marketing trends edition

3 keys to improving your customers checkout experience

How often have you abandoned a checkout due to a confusing and difficult experience? Unfortunately this is more common than it should be and we lose customer's during the checkout process. In fact you're average abandon rate is around 80%!

Plan to Engage recently  hosted a webinar with conversion expert James Critchley of cloud.IQ and provided 3 keys to leverage in order to prevent abandonment of the shopping cart process. 

 The 3 Keys discussed are based on BJ Fogg's Behavioural Model which shows that 3 elements must converge at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: MotivationAbility, and Trigger.

Fogg Theory


In this webinar we detailed each of these elements and look to see how we can apply this model to our customer's checkout process  in order to refine and optimise the experience, resulting in increased conversions. 

Interested in seeing more? The please view the slides of the presentation below, alternatively you can watch the actual webinar here. 

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

State of Email Marketing Strategy in the UK

A recent Plan to Engage & Pure360 survey (The current state of email strategy) of over 500 UK marketers revealed a lack of strategy and an over reliance on open rates as a metric in email marketing programmes:

  • 39% of marketers do not currently have an email strategy in place
  • 64% of marketers don’t currently offer any alternatives to the traditional unsubscribe process
  • 32% of marketers do not currently report on their email marketing
  • Almost half (44%) of marketers don’t segment their email list
  • 54% of marketers reporting that they do not currently use automated campaigns

I thought today I’d address three of these findings:

Strategy: objective setting seen as a luxury not a necessity
I teach hundreds of email marketers every year and in every class I am amazed at the percentage of email marketers who do not have a solid strategy in place. 

Email is a channel where setting objectives seems to be a luxury rather than a necessity. There are very few other channels where setting objectives and KPIs are not mandatory – in fact I’m struggling to think of any – other than email.

Setting objectives is where we must start – as it affects everything we subsequently do – from creating the strategy and identifying the tactics, to designing, copywriting and creating the landing pages to testing and optimising. Everything, maps back to our objectives – business objectives, email programme objectives and of course campaign objectives.

Personally I believe the lack of objective setting and strategy creation is down to the channel historically being seen as ‘cheap’. Happily this is changing year by year but we still are suffering the effects of this way of thinking. I believe a simple mindset change can be very effective in remedying this situation. 

If we were all to swap the phrase ‘cheap channel’ with ‘cost-effective channel’ then suddenly we’re taking into consideration the ROI, the traffic, the branding exposure, the customer retention and strengthening of customer relationships we gain from this channel – all for a small amount of investment. Words are very powerful and the word ‘cheap’ has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. The word ‘cheap’ indicates something we probably won’t value, invest into it or treat it well. ‘Cost-effective’ however brings it to light as being the valuable, essential channel that should be prioritised and invested into. A good start to the investment is by implementing a holistic strategy for your email marketing programme.

Reporting: an over reliance on open rates
This ties in with the lack of objective setting. Basically, if you don’t know what you want to achieve and have a strategy in place – how do you determine what to measure? Email Marketing is one of the most accountable and trackable channels – let’s take advantage of this! 

Even if reporting is undertaken, too many email marketers seem to be too much value on the open rate and use it as their main measure of success. But in reality, does the open rate map back to your objective and actually signify success? I truly doubt it.

Personally I think that the days of viewing the open rate as a valuable metric are dated. To me it has always been a messy metric, not at all reliable and generally not a good indication of success. It does not report how many people have read your email, rather it reports how many people have downloaded images on your email. So, because of this, many email marketers have been using it to gauge reader engagement, assuming that a reader is engaged with your email because they have downloaded images. To this extent, this was a fairly safe assumption – until recently.

In 2013, Hotmail.com became Outlook.com and with that change, came also the automated downloading of images; recently Gmail has followed suit and is no longer blocking images but downloading them by default. Now, while this is wonderful news for our beautifully designed emails, it has made the open rate even more of a messy metric. No longer can we rely on it as being a measurement of engagement.

I would recommend that the reporting be structured to involve the metrics that truly indicate success according to your objective. That’s not to say that we ignore metrics such as opens or clicks, as there are insights that we can gain – not just on a campaign by campaign basis but on a subscriber reporting basis as well as in comparing year-on-year reports.

Unsubscribe: part of the customer journey
I believe we need to view everything to do related to our email programme as a journey, a journey that the customer takes. And yes, this journey may include them unsubscribing from our email programme. When I perform my email heath checks for my clients. I’ve discovered that many brands forget about optimising this step and just accept the basic process provided to them by their ESP. What they provide to you is just the start – not the end of optimising this process.

Not only is the unsubscribe process an opportunity to gather information about why they’re leaving (and hint – it isn’t always about your email programme! Sometimes it’s about a bad customer experience) or offer them the ability to opt down and stay subscribed.

But most importantly, if they decide that they really do want to leave, then this is your opportunity to let them leave you with a smile on their face, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. So, our main aim here is to give them a positive experience so that if they want to subscribe at a later stage or follow us on social media, they’re more likely to want to.

Hubspot do a great job at conveying this message with their video – just watch and enjoy.


(article originally published on DMA  UK Email Marketing Councils, Infobox)

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6 Tips for a Valentine’s Day Email Campaign

Valentine's Day Email Campaign

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:

  • Tease about your upcoming offer in a February or even a January newsletter
  • Send your special offer campaign at the beginning of February. Resend it with a different subject line to those who haven’t opened it, and with a slightly changed call to action to those who haven’t clicked on it
  • Remind about your offer with a last call campaign some days before February 14th. This is the right time to surprise with outstanding email design and wish a happy Valentine’s Day
  • A few days after the celebration, thank those who benefited from your offer and ask for feedback via an online survey.

#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.

  • When preparing a Valentine’s Day email campaign, roll out special offers for couples, romantic style gifts and bonuses
  • Include an entertaining video or gif animation in your email campaign to attract and engage more in your offer
  • Add tips and tricks to your email campaign offering where to go, what to do and how to make this day awesome
  • If your business doesn’t offer things that are marketable on Valentine’s Day, send a beautiful e-card. Thus you will remind the customer about your company, show you care and increase loyalty to your brand

#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:

  • Gender – different offers to your male and female audience are vital when we talk about Valentine’s Day. Just change the roles this time: ladies would like to receive gift offers for their boyfriends, while guys – how to surprise their ladies
  • Age – young adults would be more interested in news about places and events where they could meet their Valentines, while more mature customers would look for exclusive gifts or travel deals to surprise their loved ones
  • Interests – use all the information you have gathered from online surveys, sign up forms, profile update forms or other resources to produce campaigns that suit your customers’ interests and get better engagement from your email campaigns
  • Activity – send a series of emails to your most active subscribers and a compelling reengagement email campaign to your inactive subscribers.

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.

  • Go beyond traditional cupids and candies, and choose stylized images
  • Apart from the traditional red and pink, shine with pale pink, silvery white and other colors from this season’s top hues
  • Use responsive email designs to make your email campaign easily readable and clickable to mobile users
  • Try today’s flat metro style design in your email campaign
  • Include video or GIF animations in your email campaign to make it more attractive and engaging

#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.

  • Alongside hearts and arrows, include interesting symbols in your subject lines to make your Valentine’s Day email stand out in crowded inboxes
  • Ensure your call to action displays immediately without the necessity to unblock images by using email design with CSS3
  • Keep your email campaign short and straight to the point, highlighting images and other visual elements

#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!



Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

[Infographic] Boosting Sales Conversion with Cart Abandon Emails

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:

  • 88% of online shoppers who abandon online purchases before completion are open to being emailed by retailers afterwards..
  • 35% actually say they will actively welcome these emails
  • For every £100 spent on driving customers to the site, only £1 goes into converting them

To see all the stats and the full infographic, view it here.

Boosting Sales Conversions

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[FREE Event] London - 5 keys to increase your email marketing conversions

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 
Sponsor: dotMailer

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!

To find out more or register now

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

3x3 Tips for a Perfect Christmas Email Campaign


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 timing?

#1 Go for right here and now

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!

#2 Be aware of people’s habits

According to Christmas shopping habits, people can be divided into several groups:

  • shopaholics or those who shop throughout the year
  • a minority who start Christmas shopping early in October and November
  • the majority who start thinking about Christmas gifts in December and hope to benefit from discounts
  • last-minute buyers who only remember to buy gifts shortly before Christmas and grab what they see

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!

#3 Set the goal of the campaign

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.

  • If it’s some kind of offer, send it at least a week before the Christmas holidays, so recipients have enough time to take action.
  • If it’s Christmas greetings, send an e-card a few days before Christmas. Although lots of marketers schedule the campaign for the very day of Christmas, you risk being ignored as during the holidays people usually try to get away from work, including their emails.

What is the right strategy?

#4 Tease with a series of emails

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...

#5 Include non-selling emails

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?

#6 Continue that Christmas feeling

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.

Where is the magic?

#7 Get much more than sales

Christmas email campaigns can give you much more than just additional income.

  • Build the branding of your company with a compelling email template design
  • Strengthen your customer loyalty by showing you remember and care about them
  • Remind your inactive recipients about your company, products and services

#8 Know what to offer

What exactly you should offer subscribers for Christmas depends of course on your business. But in general:

  • offer the upgrade of your services for the next year to your B2B customers
  • choose the best gift ideas among your products or services for your B2C customers

#9 Fulfill your dream of Santa

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.

  • Everybody will always be happy about a discount, a coupon code or a gift card, but this time make it more eye-catching, for example, a countdown discount within a Christmas calendar
  • Prepare an online guide, a book or another resource with useful data for your recipients according to their interests and needs
  • Share exclusive information with them, so they can also share it on their social media profiles with their friends
  • Bring them laughs with an interactive email design that includes funny GIFs or videos
  • Surprise them with a personalized email showing your individual care and interest in them

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!

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Blending personas and personalities to optimise conversions in email marketing [Part 2]

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.

Read the full article

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Blending personas and personalities to increase conversions in email marketing [Part 1]

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:

  • Persona: This addresses the motivation (i.e. what the buyer needs, what are their challenges and goals, what motivates them  etc)
  • Personality: This addresses their temperament (i.e what triggers they respond to, how they navigate, read and perform tasks etc)

In this post [Part 1] of this series, I’ll be addressing the Persona based upon motivation.

Read the full article
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An example of Holistic Email Marketing: Integrate search and email marketing using intelligent personalisation

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

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Looking for resources on Lead Management Programmes?

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:


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/

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

6 Tips on How to Make Email Subscribers React

Earlier this year I spoke at iLive 2013 in Latvia, and presented 7 tips on getting your subscribers to action your emails. The sponsor of iLive, Mailigen has just blogged a nice sumary of the main points of the presentation .

6 Tips on How to Make Email Subscribers React

Focus on email campaign objectives

Email marketers often focus on the opens and clicks of email subscribers, forgetting about conversions which are, of course, most important. An increase in opens and even clicks doesn’t necessarily mean that conversions will also increase. Purchases, registrations, reads, downloads, etc. will increase only if you had set them up as a goal.

If you know exactly what you want your email subscribers to do after receiving your message, it will be much easier to achieve it with appropriate subject linescall to action buttons, images, content and other email elements.

Carefully craft subject lines

“Spend 80% of your time crafting a subject linecall to action and headlines, and 20% writing copy,” highlighted Kath Pay at the conference. Create subject lines and call to action buttons with your email subscriber in mind.

  • Be extra specific, relevant and useful to your customer. Shorter is not always better, so replace the usual “Continue” CTA with something more specific, e.g., “Check availability” in order to get your email subscribers to act on your emails.
  • Be visually different, for example, make your subject line stand out visually by trying square brackets, symbols, etc.
  • Use digits, action words and timely topics, for example, use an end date for a campaign to motivate email subscribers to react to the message right here and now.
  • Use a call to action by asking a question.
  • Make the call to action appropriate to where the email subscribers are at in the buying cycle.

Maximize the golden real estate

When creating your email design, use the golden real estate wisely – the upper left hand corner of a newsletter. As we read in an F-shaped pattern, this is the place where attention is paid first of all. So don’t waste this space for images or logos. Leave it for text where you directly call on your email recipients to act.

Read the full article

You can also view the presentation on Slideshare here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How Digital Body Language Increases Sales

by Michael Zipursky

In the golden age of sales, the best salesmen were those that could close a deal by reading body language. In our digital age, those salesmen are pretty much out of a job.

Why? Body language means something totally different when you’re looking at online activity. Folded arms and raised eyebrows don’t matter - clicks and cookies are what holds weight. Digital body language is now the name of the game. Learning how to read it is key to successful marketing and drawing in new clients.

Digital Body Language: A Crash Course

What is digital body language, anyway?

Simply, it’s just people’s online behavior on websites, emails, social media, and so on. How many times do they visit a site, what they click on when they are there, how many times they post to social media sights, when they are most likely to use the web ... these are all digital body language.


The trick is to read that language and use it to generate leads. It’s easier than it sounds. Existing software and some old fashioned research on your part is the key.

Let’s start simple.

People leave a cookie trail of their online actions, and you can use that to your advantage. Email marketing metrics and/or basic web tracking software can go a long way to measuring digital body language.

Here’s a great example by Steve Girshik of theinnovativemarketer.com. Check out this marketing activity log for a client, let’s call him John:

  • March 1 - Sent email - Opened at 8:32 a.m. Clicked through to a web page at 8:35. Visited 2 web pages 
  • March 3 - Visited 10 web pages at 8:15 a.m. 
  • March 14 - Sent email. Opened at 8:45 a.m. Clicked through to three web pages. 
  • March 21 - Called - Left voicemail. Visited 3 web pages. Downloaded an eBook at 7:48 a.m. 
  • March 31 - Called - Left voice mail. 
  • April 2 - Visited web site. 8 pages. 8:12 a.m.

What a gold mine of information!

First and foremost, John is clearly interested in your company. He has visited several pages, several different times over the course of a month. That in itself is a solid lead.

But go a little deeper. You can tell that he's doing his web surfing and email reading before 9 a.m. That is likely a good time to reach him at his desk. While the log doesn’t go into detail, I would bet those follow-up calls that went to voicemail weren’t made in the morning. You might think the missed calls mean he is not interested ... his digital behavior tells a different story.

Such a simple set of data, but so much can be learned from it.

Check out other simple digital body language signs to determine potential clients.

Does someone always download white papers or case studies that you post on your site? Have they recently started following your blog, liked you on Facebook or started following you on Twitter? Are they commenting on any of these sites and when are they most likely to do so? This is all “body language” showing a level of interest that can be a potential lead.

We’ve used this approach at FreshGigs.ca to better track and understand who are visitors are so that we can engage with them in a more relevant way and tailor our messaging to what they are looking for.

Digital Body Language for Personalized Marketing

By the time you or your sales team even know about an opportunity, that client has been all over your website. Most people are researching online and making up their mind about you before they even talk to a live person.

The days of one-size-fits all marketing is over.

According to Mickey Alon, CEO and Co-Creator of Insightera, a B2B online marketing tool for website personalization, more than 98% of online visitors are anonymous. However, websites tailored to read digital body language can capture their data. There are companies out there that offer tools to collect this data for you.

Companies can use that data to provide a personalized experience. You can target prospects based on their industry, location and actual behavior to provide them with relevant content while visiting the site.

You can also use digital body language to:

  • Create targeted webinars to a specific audiences at specific buying stages and so on, as well as tailor microsites to target the participants of that webinar
  • Target remarketing emails after a visitor has left your site that offer an opportunity to reconnect or offer a specific discount
  • Determine possible clients to individually send white papers, case studies and special marketing communications



“You are able see what prospects are interested in and then respond by sending them case studies and other information that speaks directly to their needs and areas of interest,” says Jill Konrath, leading sales strategist and author, in Digital Body Language by Eloqua. “That relevancy is so powerful in today’s business environment and the relevancy quotient just keeps increasing.”

The Takeaway

Using digital body language to build a relationship with potential clients is a little bit like the relationship you have with your favorite coffee place. You go in, the barista knows what you want and its ready in no time, and she will likely recommend a slice of coffee cake based on your previous visits.

The experience is all about your needs. That level of trust and familiarity keeps you coming back. That’s the beauty of digital body language. You build interest, trust and familiarity by personalizing information to people based on their own likes and behavior.

The sky is really the limit with digital body language. Even if you can’t afford fancy software to track a potential clients’ every move, you can track the activity of email campaigns, data requests, social media pages and so on.

Since more and more of our world is moving online, you won’t regret getting to know your audience.

Michael Zipursky is an author, consultant and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder Business Consulting Buzz, a resource centre focused on helping consultants become more successful. His work has been featured in Maclean’s, Financial Times, FOX Business, Marketing Magazine and other media. Connect with Michael on Twitter @MichaelZipursky

Would you like to become a guest blogger on this blog as well? Get in touch!

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

3 Startup Mistakes to Avoid in Email Marketing

A new business is born every 5 seconds in the U.S. according to the Startup Ecosytem Report 2012 by Startup Genome. Of them, 45% last only 6 months before closing their doors, and only 1 in 12 businesses succeed and stay in the market.

Why is this figure so high? 20% of startups fail because of poorly thought out, or lack of, marketing activities. As email marketing is a simple and cost effective method providing high ROI, startup marketers often say ‘YES’ to email marketing, although often they also make mistakes. So, what are they and how can they be avoided?

1. Waiting too long for campaigns

The best thing about startups is that they have the possibility to begin marketing activities with the very first client. Building an email database can take some time, especially if you are an unknown newcomer.

If there are only a few subscribers within the first weeks or months, you may think that sending email campaigns is not worth it. But the thing is that subscribers may soon forget you if you don’t remind them about yourself often enough. Enter into email marketing with well thought out and regular campaigns - even for small audiences. After all, they are your first customers and the basis of your business.

Take advantage of the bundles of startup tool-kits with particularly favorable offers provided by business incubators. Several ESPs also offer free mailing for startups. For example, Mailchimp is known by its freemium approach to startups and the Forever Free plan as long as you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers. Mailigen recently launched its Epic Free email marketing account that allows you to grow your database up to 5,000 subscribers and use free mailing forever.

2. Forgetting about the first engagement

If you have planned email campaigns on a regular basis within your marketing strategy, new subscribers will simply join your list and start receiving regular news and offers. They can sign up the next day or after a month, depending on your campaign schedule.

However, a problem may occur similar to the one mentioned above, that is, even if subscribers remember you, they may misperceive your message because they have not been properly introduced to your company. Get started with a series of autoresponders that engages in your brand little by little, for example, a thank you email right after signing up or a reminding email about the end of the trial period.

3. Leaving email marketing in solitude

If you are a startup marketer, email marketing most likely is not the only marketing method you have started to undertake. Email marketing is a long-term solution for building trusted relationships with your audience, and it fits perfectly into the marketing mix of other strategies.

One of the most popular and must-have marketing methods used by startups is social networking. Promote actively both sign up forms and sent campaigns via social media. In addition, take advantage of mobile marketing. Start email and SMS list building at once in order to kickstart your new business with complete integrated marketing.


When done well, email marketing brings one of the highest ROI within other marketing strategies. Go ahead with a smart start. Prepare autoresponders and the first campaign before you even start to promote subscription and link it with other marketing tools in a common strategy. Wishing you a great start with the new business!

This is a guest post by Liga Bizune, Public Relations Manager of Mailigen.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

16 Things People Really Hate About Your Email Marketing

Over on the Hubspot blog, Cory Eridon talks about these "16 Things People Really Hate About Your Email Marketing":

  1. Emailing People Who Didn't Opt In
  2. Making Unsubscribing Difficult  
  3. Not Honoring Unsubscribes
  4. Writing a Vague Subject Line  
  5. Not Indicating How We Know Each Other  
  6. Speaking With Forced Sincerity 
  7. Providing Irrelevant Content  
  8. Bombarding Recipients With Email  
  9. Sending Emails Once in a Blue Moon
  10. Including Broken Dynamic Content  
  11. Not Including a Call-to-Action
  12. Sending Emails That Aren't Mobile Optimized
  13. You're Overdesigning Your Emails
  14. Not Optimized for Plain Text and HTML
  15. You're Not Proofing Your Email Before Sending  
  16. Not Providing a Real Address to Reply To

Read the full article here (it contains a bunch of examples of what not to do!)

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Don't Forget to Register for the International Email Marketing Summit

On Wednesday Kath Pay and I will be hosting the International Email Marketing Summit, an online email marketing conference that you can attend for free without having to leave your desk.

We've got some really amazing speakers and presentations lined up. Here's an overview:

Please note: all presentations will be made available on-demand to registered attendees immediately after the live event. So if the timing of any of the sessions doesn't work out for you, you can still watch the archived version afterwards.

 There is no overall registration form for the event, to register you need to click the attend button on each individual webinar. The first time, you'll be taken through a registration process at the BrightTalk website, who is hosting this event for us.

Go on and register here, even if you can't make it on Wednesday - all sessions will be available on-demand afterwards for those who registered.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Elements Of a Successful Email Campaign [webinar]

Yesterday I presented a webinar on building effective email campaigns. You can find the recording here:

Also, make sure to register for the International Email Marketing Summit on May 16th. You'll get a lot more really practical email marketing tips on how to build effective email marketing campaigns. The timing of the event is geared towards a European audience, so if the hours don't work for you, register anyway as all the sessions will be available on-demand right after the live presentation.

Check out the agenda here

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Webinar: B2B Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing – Trends for 2012

In B2B marketing, small changes can mean big differences to the success of marketing programmes. Check out this webinar with Tamara Gielen of Plan to Engage and Liz Smyth of Marketo, as they explore best practices and strategies to drive revenue with email marketing.

You will learn about:

  • Improving the odds of your emails being noticed, read and your offers converted
  • Developing creative that will improve your click through and conversion rates
  • Amplifying your email campaigns with social media
  • Increasing sales-ready leads with segmentation, automated nurturing and follow-up activities
  • And much more!


Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

7 reasons why your subscribers don't respond to your email campaigns

Yesterday I was invited to speak at eCircle's Connect Europe 2012 event. What a fantastic conference and venue it was!!! Lots of great presentations and a keynote from Sir Renulph Fiennes himself, which was very entertaining :-)

Thanks to everyone who attended my session, you were a fantastic audience! I just wish there were more seats in the room :-)

For those of you who couldn't make it to the event (or in to the room), here are the slides of my presentation called "7 reasons why your subscribers don't respond to your email campaigns":

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!