3 Emails Publishers Can Send to Stand Out After Businesses Reopen

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become one of the most broadcasted events in recent history. Since early January, there have been more than 1.5 million articles published about the global health crisis and its far-reaching impact.

Ironically, this news event has put the publishing industry in jeopardy. Print publications are now facing the issue of companies downsizing their advertising spend as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.

Publishing companies will need to be prepared to connect with their target audience once businesses reopen. Email is the preferred means of communication, but how will they stand out amid inbox saturation and have their message heard? Campaign Monitor can help.

COVID-19’s impact on the publishing industry

While the impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching, its effect on publishing companies has been especially impactful. To help mitigate the health crisis, companies responded with business closures and staff reductions. Money allocated to advertising budgets had to be used elsewhere to help keep businesses afloat. Suddenly, publications lost their revenue, and now many are facing a serious economic downfall.

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing are keeping people from walking past newsstands to purchase their publications. There’s a new fear around in-person contact and the spread of germs. Subscribers don’t want to pick up a physical copy of a print publication in these uncertain times.

Publications worldwide are feeling the impact of COVID-19. It’s the reason Playboy Enterprises decided to pull the plug on its Playboy magazine after 66 years in publication. Another publication that announced its closure was the San Diego Magazine. After 72 years in publication, the enterprise found itself having to lay off nearly its entire staff. Finally, the Time Out Group announced it was temporarily suspending print editions for each of its 40 magazines for the foreseeable future.

As publication companies are suffering, COVID-19 is driving an incredible amount of traffic to online news sources. Reports show that the global pandemic has caused a 60% increase in online news sites’ content views. Articles mentioning the coronavirus now comprise 15% of total daily web traffic. The public is relying on the internet for local news and information, which is causing a spike in digital subscriptions.

However, traffic isn’t very monetizable, and the increase in digital subscriptions doesn’t overcome the steep decline in ad sales.

Planning for the future

The good news is that this global pandemic won’t last forever. COVID-19 cases are decreasing, social restrictions are lifting, and businesses are preparing to reopen. Now is the time for publishers to begin planning for recovery.

In a recent study, 54% of consumers indicated that they use the internet more frequently since the onslaught of COVID-19. Consumers are looking at their email for information. There’s a strong need now for businesses to communicate clear expectations, keep customers informed, and maintain contact with followers via email marketing. The challenge now is that inboxes are flooded with COVID-19 communication.

People are inundated with COVID-19 emails

Source: Twitter

With a well-planned email marketing approach, publishers can stand out after businesses reopen and stay-at-home orders lift.

3 emails publishers can send after businesses reopen

As businesses reopen, companies will be in recovery mode. They’ll send out emails to reconnect with customers and rebuild revenue. Don’t send the same message as everyone else. Consider what you can do differently. Think about your tone, your focus, and ways you might change the narrative. Here are three emails publishers can send to stand out from the crowd after businesses reopen.

1. Check in with your readers.

So many businesses will come out of the gate eager to boost sales. At this time, when everyone is just beginning to find their footing in their new normal, it’s essential to put the focus on your users. Deliver an email that shows you’re compassionate and socially aware. Get a feel for their frame of mind. Find out what their needs are during this time and put them before your own.

Example of a customer-centric email

Source: Really Good Emails

Be empathetic to their situation. Rather than focusing on how you’re going to do business together, emphasize your desire to rebuild a sense of community. Show you care about your readers, and let them know they can depend on you to continue to provide reliable information. This personal approach will resonate with your readers and set you apart from other messages they’re sure to receive.

2. Find a need and fill it.

Life after COVID-19 is going to look very different for some people, and that could last a while. Set yourself apart from the competition by doing something nobody else in your industry is doing. Offer a relevant, unique solution to new challenges people are facing after COVID-19. Find a need among your readers and fill it. Then send an email that entices them with a feature story about that service.

Offering a new service to fill a need

Source: Really Good Emails

For months, people have coped with isolation and layoffs. They’ve been inundated with fearful information and alarming statistics about the human and economic effects of a global pandemic. Maybe for a limited time, you offer an alternative weekly publication that features only good news. Or perhaps the need is simply resources, for which you can offer your network of contacts. Find ways to be useful to your subscribers beyond your usual products/services and send an email that tells that story.

3. Maintain positive momentum.

Even the best-laid plans can be derailed amid an unexpected global health crisis. After COVID-19, your publication will need to create a new strategy as you plan for the future. Send a message to your audience that acknowledges today’s uncertain climate, but assures them there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to your publication.

Announcing a new strategy

Source: Really Good Emails

Let followers know that, although original business plans have been detoured, you have a Plan B. Adaptability is going to be key in the success of businesses after COVID-19. Share your new strategy. Alert subscribers about exciting plans you have for the future. Convey your new goals and outline the role your readers can play in the success of your plans. Assure subscribers that you’re looking forward to what lies ahead, and the future looks bright.

Email best practices for publishers after COVID-19

While email content can set your publication apart from the competition, it’s useless if the email is never opened. A staggering 105 billion emails are sent every day, many of which are never read. Follow these email best practices to help your message stand out from the crowd and increase email open rates.

Effective subject lines

Grab your readers’ attention from the beginning with a catchy subject line that entices people to open your email. A typical inbox will show about 60 characters of a subject line. You’ll want to get straight to the point in about seven words. Those words should clearly communicate what the email is about. This way, readers can prioritize their urgency at a glance.

Use a subject line to convey value to your readers. Let them know that they have something to gain by reading your message. Include numbers to pique interest and set subject lines apart from a sea of text. Pose a question. Get people thinking and considering their position and whether they’ll take further action. Add a personal touch to your message by tailoring the subject line with a reader’s first name.

Examples of effective subject lines include:

  • 5 ways we’re moving forward in 2020
  • We’re rolling out a limited-time offer
  • Are you prepared for business after COVID-19?
  • Here’s a special offer for you, {first name}

Enticing preheader text

A preheader is the summary text following a subject line in an inbox. It gives viewers a sneak peek at the email’s contents without having to open the message. Recipients use this as a way to screen emails, while senders use it as a way to make an impression. A strong preheader is 85 to 100 characters long. Give it a different color or font style to help it stand out from other text.

The wording is typically pulled from the first line of text in the body of your email. This line can be the difference between someone opening your email or bypassing it, so you’ll want to make it meaningful. Like subject lines, you can personalize it, pose a question, or add value to your message. All of these techniques lead to a higher email open rate.

Wrap up

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been especially detrimental to the publishing industry. Once the pandemic subsides, email communication with subscribers will be crucial to recovery. Unfortunately, inboxes inundated with COVID-19 messages will make it difficult for a publisher’s message to be heard. To stand out after businesses reopen, publishers should send emails that:

  • Put readers’ needs before their own
  • Offer unique services that fill a need
  • Look ahead to a bright future

Utilize best practices like clever subject lines and enticing preheader text
These messages are sure to resonate with subscribers, build strong personal relationships, and help set you apart from the crowd.

We can help your publication stand out with email marketing after COVID-19. For more information, contact our sales team today.

The post 3 Emails Publishers Can Send to Stand Out After Businesses Reopen appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How Nonprofits Drive Donations During a Recession

As COVID-19 impacts a variety of industries worldwide, nonprofit organizations are among the most heavily affected. The human and economic toll of this pandemic is immeasurable.

With business closures and company layoffs, businesses and community members have less money to contribute to philanthropy.

Social distancing policies and stay-at-home mandates mean in-person events like fundraiser galas and walks/runs are canceled. Nonprofits rely on these sources of contributions to keep their organizations running.

How can nonprofits drive donations during times of economic uncertainty? Campaign Monitor can help.

Communicating with donors

Nonprofits know the importance of fostering strong relationships with their donors. Economic uncertainty is the time to strengthen those ties and lean on donors for support. As you begin to re-evaluate your marketing plan to navigate these hard economic times, you’ll want to determine how your donors prefer to receive messages from you. This is a crucial time for effective communication.

According to a recent study, 41.6% of donors prefer email as their primary form of contact with nonprofits. Additionally, 17% said they want to receive an email from an organization representative.

How donors prefer to hear from nonprofits

Source: Campaign Monitor

Clearly, email is an effective marketing tool for nonprofits and should be used in your communications strategy. It’s a trusted and secure avenue, widely used across all demographics. Its combination of images and text provide an effective tool for telling a story. Whether that story focuses on your charity or the needs you’re meeting with donor funds, these emails help you connect with your audience on a personal level. That kind of connection can lead to more support for your organization.

Your emails can tell a story

Source: Campaign Monitor

Effective email messaging

Now that you know how to reach your audience, the next step is to determine the approach to your messaging. Your organization may indeed be suffering from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. But reaching out with emergency solicitations may not only keep donors from responding; it may turn them off from making future contributions.

Donors view their contributions as investments, and nobody wants to invest in an organization on the brink of financial ruin. They want to feel that their money is being used wisely to help toward long-term success. Here are ways email communications can strengthen your relationship with donors and drive donations during economic uncertainty.

Be transparent.

While you shouldn’t emphasize the ways your organization is suffering, it’s essential to be open about the challenges your nonprofit is facing. Explain to donors why your services are important, especially now, when times are hard for so many. Address strategies you have for moving forward. Outline ways their support can alleviate the vital need created by COVID-19. Thoughtfully explain the urgency involved while informing, inspiring, and finding ways to collaborate as you work toward a solution. Remind them that their funds not only help your organization but help the community you serve.

Be grateful.

Appreciation goes a long way. Research shows that the primary reason donors stopped giving to a charity was that they no longer felt connected to the organization. No matter their level of contribution, all donors need to feel that their generosity is appreciated. There are any number of other ways people could be using their money. When they choose your organization, especially in a time of financial uncertainty, they deserve to be acknowledged.

Personal thank you emails can be achieved in several ways. Highlight a specific example of how donor funds have benefited others. Consider including a brief video portraying ways the donor’s gifts are making a difference. Take a celebratory approach. Rather than simply thanking them, congratulate them for their role in helping to achieve a goal. These kinds of communications help donors feel connected to your organization and increase the likelihood that they’ll contribute in the future.

Personalize congratulatory thank-you emails

Source: Campaign Monitor

Be specific.

Studies show that 68.8% of donors are more likely to give a donation when faced with a specific, compelling need. The economic toll of today’s pandemic may indeed be impacting your organization in several ways. Assess your needs and ask for funds that could be targeted for specific uses. People seem to be more generous when they see how their donations can solve a particular issue.

Asking for a large, seemingly arbitrary amount of money can be overwhelming and off-putting to donors. Those who can’t afford such an amount may disregard the gift entirely, assuming someone with more resources will cover that cost. By assigning a specific amount of money to a certain need, donors see the donation as financially manageable. They’ll understand how far their gift will go and how it’ll help. This can lead to an increase in contributions.

Ask for donors to fill a specific need

Source: Campaign Monitor

Components of an effective email

Email messaging is extremely important. But features that entice contributors to open emails, digest them, and take action are even more important. A compelling story doesn’t do any good if it winds up in people’s trash bins. Consider these components to build a successful email campaign to drive donations to your organization.

Enticing subject lines

Email subject lines with seven words tend to lead to higher click-through rates. With such a small number, you’ll want to choose your words carefully. Replace “donate” with “helping” and “fundraising,” as these resonate better with potential donors. Emphasize importance with words like “now” and “urgent” and reference timelines such as “tomorrow” and “midnight.” These not only give a sense of urgency, but they appeal to a reader who doesn’t want to miss out on an opportunity.

Use the subject line to ask a question. Get people thinking and considering their role and whether they’ll take action to help. Add a personal touch to your message by tailoring the subject line with a reader’s first name. Examples of effective subject lines for nonprofit emails include:

  • You can be a hero for $25
  • We can’t solve {problem} without you, {first name}
  • {First name}, will you help us reach our goal?
  • Donate by midnight to help save lives
  • Your last chance to support {cause}

Manageable content

While it’s important to share your story, people are only willing to invest so much money and time. Convey the need for donor assistance in short paragraphs that are easy to read. Overwhelming text isn’t compelling and can actually serve as a detriment to your cause. Make it personal, appealing, and concise.

Example of concise, manageable content

Source: Really Good Emails

Clear CTA

A CTA is one of the most important elements of your email, as this directs people to make a move. Use direct, simple messaging, so it’s clear what you’re asking of your readers. Appeal to your audience by evoking emotion. Give them a sense of the importance of their contribution and urge them to become involved. Call for an action that relates specifically to your cause. Take the guesswork out of donations and use a CTA that clearly defines the donor’s role. Lastly, the CTA should be prominent and easy to find in your email. Examples of effective CTA for your emails include:

  • Sign up to volunteer
  • Inspire change
  • Support a child
  • Volunteer to plant a rose garden
  • Donate $20

Example of a specific call to action

Source: Eisemann Center for Performing Arts

More ways to succeed

An effective email marketing strategy isn’t the only way to drive donations during COVID-19. Seek assistance beyond financial support. In an economic crisis, there are several ways people can help without spending any money. Ask donors for their advice and help in creating a strategy and inquire whether they can make introductions to other prospects. See how supporters can prepare matching gifts to help drive more donations and determine the strategic plans foundational donors employ when resources are limited. See what advice they can offer to help you position your cause as a priority to others.

It’s a great time to build your online presence. The internet offers a variety of benefits to nonprofits, allowing you to reach a younger target audience and provide followers with more ways to participate in your efforts. By building a social media following and creating compelling content, you’ll engage followers and increase support for your cause. Think about using online video conferencing tools to connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Wrap up

The economic impact of COVID-19 is far reaching and potentially long lasting. As a result, charitable organizations should focus on an effective email campaign to appeal to donors and connect them with your mission. Nonprofits can drive donations during times of economic uncertainty by taking the following actions:

  • Connect with donors through transparent messaging
  • Show gratitude for the offerings of your constituents
  • Be specific in your asks
  • Create emails with strong subject lines, concise content, and a compelling CTA
  • Ask for help from and collaborate with experienced individuals
  • Build an online presence

Reassess your goals, continue to foster relationships with your constituents, and stay the course. Your donors want you to succeed and, with a thoughtfully planned email campaign, they’ll help you survive an economic downturn.

For more information about how we can help your nonprofit with email marketing after COVID-19, contact our sales team today.

The post How Nonprofits Drive Donations During a Recession appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

4 Emails Hospitality Companies Should Send After COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that the hospitality and travel industry has been hit hard. Canceled events, flight restrictions, and social distancing wreak havoc on businesses who rely on attendance and in-person interaction.

On the bright side, business will resume eventually, and, when it does, corporate messaging will be more critical than ever.

In these unprecedented times, are you unsure of what message you should send to your contacts post COVID-19? Campaign Monitor can help.

COVID-19’s impact on the hospitality industry

While the impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching, its effect on hospitality and travel companies has been especially impactful. Travel restrictions and social distancing have led to economic concerns for the industry. OAG Aviation Worldwide has reported that restrictions on international flights have caused up to $880 billion in losses for the global airline industry. According to Smith Travel Research, American hotel occupancy has fallen to 53%. The World Travel and Tourism Council reports that, in the tourism and travel industry, 50 million jobs worldwide could be at risk.

Safety is a top priority. Companies have responded to this time of uncertainty with business closures and staff reductions. They’re also taking measures to try to be more responsive to the needs of their customers. Flexible cancellation policies, amended loyalty programs, waived rebooking fees, and regular online communication are some of the ways businesses are trying to maintain a positive relationship with their users.

Communication is key.

In times of crisis, communication is of the utmost importance. In a recent study, 54% of consumers indicated that they use the internet more frequently since the onslaught of COVID-19. Consumers are looking to their email for information. There’s a strong need now for businesses to communicate clear expectations, keep customers informed, and maintain contact with followers via email marketing.

However, there’s a careful balance of maintaining customer loyalty while remaining sensitive to the consumers’ experience during this global pandemic. With so much communication happening at once, you don’t want to get lost in the noise of your competitors or pester your audience.

Consumers are inundated with email correspondence

Source: Twitter

Consumers are also turned off by the idea of companies capitalizing on a crisis situation. If a reader views your email as strictly a sales tool, your marketing plan could actually be hurting your business.

Your email campaign needs to be carefully strategized, providing essential information while remaining mindful of the public’s current mindset. Following this plan can help you stand out from other businesses while building customer loyalty.

Assess consumer engagement.

In today’s tumultuous times, consumer engagement has likely changed. Your customers aren’t in the same frame of mind they were before COVID-19, so your usual marketing messages may not have the same effect.

Consumers have a new sense of fear for their health and safety. Their economic standing may have changed as a result of furloughed jobs or reduced hours at work, and your offers and specials may not be the draw they once were.

Understanding your customer’s mindset can help you create an effective communication strategy.

Quadrants of Customer Engagement

Source: FuelTravel

As you plan your email communications, keep in mind that visitors want to be aware of any potential health concerns. Additionally, guests need money to travel. Between furloughed jobs and non-essential business shutdowns, the economic impact of COVID-19 is extensive.

The Washington Post recently reported that 3.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the virus outbreak. That’s 3.3 million people who no longer have the financial means for leisurely travel.

Lastly, guests need to have their fears abated to feel comfortable traveling. Because it’s difficult to predict what’ll happen with the spread of COVID-19, consumers may find themselves in the following categories:

  • Adventurous: tired of social distancing and anxious to get back on the road
  • Cautious: unpredictable current social climate will impact their long-term travel decisions
  • Middle of the road: somewhere between Adventurous and Cautious

Keep these concepts in mind as you move forward with your digital marketing plan.

Recover your business after COVID-19 with these 4 emails.

Crisis communication is important during a global pandemic. But it’s the messaging after a catastrophe that can really affect business. That’s when people are looking for answers and direction. Customers want to know what happens now: As a consumer, what are my next steps?

While it’s impossible to know when people will be prepared to travel again, hospitality and travel businesses should be planning their messaging now. As communities begin to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, government stimulus and other programs may help minimize the effects on the economy and help support sufficient demand for travel services.

To rebuild once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, hospitality and travel companies should consider reaching their audience with a planned monthly email strategy. Use these four email messages whose purpose coincides with travel demand.

1. Open for business

Your first month’s message post-COVID-19 should reach past and potential guests. It should serve as an announcement that you’re open for business and a viable option for visitors’ travel needs. This could be a thank you message showing your appreciation for customer loyalty or it could be the announcement of a re-opening event with special offers.

Either way, messaging ought to be sensitive to consumers’ post-pandemic mentality. Many may still be fearful of the prospect of travel. Allay those fears by letting visitors know what steps you’re taking to provide a clean and safe environment.

Enhanced cleaning protocol

Source: RedRoof

Include information about any new amenities you may be offering to help visitors feel that their health and safety is a top priority. Think keyless entry for room doors and online check-in for minimal human contact. Provide links to instructional information for new technological developments, so customers know what to expect upon arrival.

Keyless entry for minimal contact

Source: Criton

This is also the time to address common questions such as date flexibility, cancelation policy, and whether area restaurants and shops have resumed operation. Essentially, messaging should be thoughtful and address consumer concerns. You want to instill confidence in your guests while alerting them that your business is accepting bookings.

2. Plan for the future.

Your next email should look to the future and instill a sense of hope for your guests. Many people may not be in the financial position to book a trip right away. But, after months of obeying social distancing and stay-at-home policies, people will be ready to start planning for a future get-away. This email might include enticing destination photos to inspire the planning of an upcoming vacation.

Enticing destination promotion

Source: Really Good Emails

It could also highlight special offers for savings to customers who book in advance. This ensures income for your business while building customer loyalty.

Enjoy savings by booking in advance

Source: Smarter HQ

Even though travel restrictions will be lifted and businesses will be reopened, it may take time for people to feel comfortable resuming familiar activity. If you have a sense that guests aren’t quite ready to venture out, this email could offer an uplifting message of hope. Let them know you’ll be available when they’re ready to travel again.

Businesses are standing by

Source: Search Engine Watch

3. Encourage a longer stay.

By the third month after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, travel demand will continue to rise. Now is the time to focus messaging on packages that increase the length of stay and maximize booking values. Extending a guest’s stay benefits you because the longer they stay, the more they’ll spend in booking fees and on additional services.

To encourage a guest to stay longer, consider offering incentives like discounted rates, special ancillary packages, or free “extras.” These offerings help build customer loyalty, as guests see these bonuses as perks. At the same time, your business reaps the rewards.

 Example of an extended stay offer

Source: Really Good Emails

Discounted meals, preferential spa packages, and waived amenity fees are all ways to entice customers to book a longer stay.

4. Establish a sense of normalcy.

At this point, it’s time to target visitors based on their actual intent to book travel plans with you. Travel demands will continue to stabilize, and guests will soon come to find this time as the new normal. Your email message should now focus on information like seasonal bookings and outline expectations for what these bookings will entail.
Identify ways you’ll provide the outstanding service your guests have come to expect. Give a sense that your business is stable and prepared to help create a memorable trip for your visitors.

Example email for planning a vacation

Source: Really Good Emails

This email can serve to assure visitors that bookings are solid. Health and safety, while always a concern, are no longer a risk. Customers can feel confident in committing to travel plans and, more importantly, to making those travel plans with you.

Wrap up

While businesses today are navigating uncharted waters, the hospitality and travel industry can recover through calculated email messaging after COVID-19. A monthly communication plan should consist of four emails that:

  • Announce you’re open for business and dispel potential fears
  • Help guests to see past the uncertainty of the present and look forward to planning for the future
  • Entice visitors to book a longer stay
  • Establish a sense of normalcy

Sensitive messaging that keeps past and future guests informed of post-pandemic policies while promoting special pricing and offers can build confidence, encourage customer loyalty, and help your business succeed.

For more helpful tips about email marketing after COVID-19, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where we’ll be sending you the latest content.

The post 4 Emails Hospitality Companies Should Send After COVID-19 appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

The Top 14 Tips to Writing Email Copy That Converts

This is a guest post from Megan Wright at ChamberofCommerce.com.

Email marketing is highly effective; it’s a marketing channel you can’t afford to ignore.

However, this strategy isn’t a best-kept secret either. With many brands re-upping their efforts in email marketing, your emails have to cut through the clutter and get the attention of your subscribers.

To maximize your ROI, you need to create high-converting email content. Here are 14 effective ways for writing email copy that converts.

Want to be a copywriting pro? Browse our collection.

1. Write an attention-grabbing subject line.

Did you know that 33% of recipients open emails based on subject line alone? Your email won’t generate results if people don’t read them, so it’s important to write subject lines that’ll entice subscribers to open them.

People will open an email if they think they can benefit from the content, fear that they’ll miss out on a good deal, or are intrigued by the title. Incorporating urgency, curiosity, mention of special offers, personalized content, relevance, and timeliness into your subject lines can help increase open rates.

2. Use the preview text wisely.

The preview text appears on the inbox view and tells the recipients more about the content of your email. It gives you a great opportunity to supplement the subject line or highlight another aspect of the content to entice recipients to open the email.

Preview text ranges from 35 to 140 characters, depending on the email client and device on which an email is viewed. Make sure to put the most important content first and send out test emails to see how the preview text appears on different platforms.

3. Follow web copywriting best practices.

People read email copy in a way similar to how they consume web content. Recipients want to know “what’s in it for them,” so you should communicate how they can benefit from reading the email (e.g., learn to solve a problem, see how to take advantage of an offer.)

Use succinct sentences and short paragraphs. Follow a logical structure, communicate one main idea in each paragraph, and use white space strategically to improve legibility. You can also use bullet points to make the content easy to digest and include images to increase engagement.

4. Speak to subscribers thoughtfully.

All caps are often equated with shouting online—and nobody likes to be yelled at. The same goes for multiple exclamation marks in both the subject line and body of an email. Subscribers are looking for thoughtful, conversational emails. Don’t make them feel like they’re on the receiving end of an alert.

Part of thoughtful messaging is knowing which subscribers care about specific emails. Be sure to segment your subscribers into individual lists, making personalized messaging easier. If your emails aren’t personalized, your subscribers will be more likely to trash your sends or ignore them altogether.

5. Know your audience.

People are much more likely to read email content that meets their needs and talk about what’s important to them. To better understand your audience, create a series of buyer personas to document their demographic and psychographic information, as well as their challenges and desired outcomes.

While interviewing your best customers allows you to get in-depth insights, you can also leverage web analytics and social media interactions to learn about your audience. Note how they talk about their pain points and the results they want, so you can use the same language in your email copy.

6. Send personalized content.

Personalized email subject lines generate an average of 50% higher open rates while marketers experience a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. Sending personalized emails is the key to meeting today’s consumer expectations.

A segmentation strategy allows you to send the most relevant content and offers based on each group’s interaction with your brand, purchase history, geographic location, preferences, and more. This will help you deliver a personalized customer experience to boost conversion rates.

7. Write conversationally.

Email marketing is an effective tool for building trust over time. Writing conversationally, as if you’re talking to someone who’s sitting across the table and having coffee with you, helps you nurture relationships with the readers.

Don’t be boring and inject a sense of humor, if appropriate. Share stories about your brand and customers or a personal anecdote to stir your readers’ imagination. Engaging content makes recipients want to read your emails, giving you the opportunity to build trust and relationships that will increase sales.

8. Appeal to readers’ emotions.

Fostering emotional connections with the audience allows you to build brand loyalty and increase conversions. Understanding the psychology of your audience can help you use the appropriate stories and language that appeal to them.

For example, you can leverage relatable analogies to help readers understand a concept, use sensory words to paint a vivid picture and invoke a visceral feeling, or include power words to stir up emotions or elicit actions.

9. Don’t use shady tactics.

You want to make a sale, but it doesn’t mean you have to use shady marketing tactics or make false promises. Consumers are resistant to those outdated tactics, which can backfire and prompt them to unsubscribe from your list.

The best way to convert and retain customers is to focus on building trust and relationships by being genuine and helpful. Share relevant content and help readers solve their challenges. Then, the transition is natural when you present your solution and ask for the sale.

10. Include an appealing CTA.

If you want to drive conversions, you need to elicit actions from your readers. While you shouldn’t be hard selling in every single email, you should include a CTA that trains them to click on your links. This increases the chances that they’ll take action when you send out an offer.

For example, you can ask them to continue to read an article on your website, take a survey, forward the email, or opt in to receive a piece of free content. The CTA should be clear, start with an action word (i.e., a verb), and ask the readers to take a simple action.

11. Tap into readers’ psychology.

You can increase the effectiveness of your email copy by tapping into consumer psychology. For example, use the fear of missing out (FOMO) to your advantage by communicating scarcity and/or urgency (e.g., limited time or quantity) in your email copy.

You can add social proof or testimonials to your email content and include pictures of people showing the emotion you want to elicit in the readers. Also, experiment with the design of your CTA button, since different colors evoke different emotions.

12. Focus on one objective.

Each email should have one objective. Whether it’s making a sale or getting subscribers to click through to an article, decide on the one action you want the readers to take and then build your content and subject line around that goal.

This will help you create a coherent narrative throughout the email, leading the readers to the CTA. Having one objective also allows you to better measure the effectiveness of the copy, so you can fine-tune your approach to better appeal to the audience.

13. Add a personal touch.

Build relationships with your readers by including a picture of the sender (i.e., you or someone in your organization) in the email. Also, use the sender’s name in the “from” field, so the email will appear to have come from a person rather than a faceless company.

You can also take this opportunity to deliver a diverse experience while maintaining a consistent brand image by assigning different senders for various types of content. For example, a piece from the CEO can be authoritative, while one from the customer success manager can be light-hearted and friendly.

14. Deliver a coherent experience.

Consistency builds trust and trust leads to sales. Not only do you have to align everything in one email (e.g., the subject line, preview text, content, and CTA) but you should also make sure each email delivers on the promise of the opt-in page and a post-click user experience that’s consistent with the content.

In addition, tying a series of emails with a coherent narrative can increase engagement and make subscribers look forward to getting the emails. You can also set up behavior-triggered sequences to deliver relevant content and customer experience based on how recipients interact with previous emails.

Wrap up

With the many moving parts involved in writing email copy that converts, you need a system to track all the content and sequences. This will help you orchestrate a cohesive customer experience that builds trust and drives conversion.

One effective way to keep track of everything and make sure nothing falls through the cracks is to use a “bullet journal.” This method helps you create an overview of the tasks while breaking down a complex plan into daily and monthly action items.

No matter how you orchestrate your email marketing, the key is to deliver a seamless customer experience that’ll help you build trust and relationships to drive conversions.


Megan Wright is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

The post The Top 14 Tips to Writing Email Copy That Converts appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

10 Steps to Build an Omnichannel Strategy For Ecommerce Stores

This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.

If there’s one business that benefits from omnichannel marketing most, it’s ecommerce.

Because ecommerce owners want to deliver seamless experiences online, and to do that, you’ll need multiple channels—ones that aren’t redundant in messaging and visuals. That’s where omnichannel marketing comes into play.

Read on to discover the many benefits of having an omnichannel marketing strategy as an ecommerce business. Later on, we’ll take you through the 10 steps you need to get started today.

The importance of creating an omnichannel marketing strategy

Based on numerous omnichannel studies and reports, here are a few compelling reasons for why omnichannel marketing should be your next big focus.

  • Brands who employ omnichannel marketing enjoy 90% higher customer retention rates and 18.86% higher customer engagement rates (see charts below)
  • Average order value of stores using omnichannel marketing were 13% more than single-channel marketing
  • After interacting with 3 or more channels, customers purchased 250% more frequently than those who interacted with only one channel

Build an Omnichannel Strategy For eCommerce Stores because omnichannel strategies work better than single channnel, according to this graph

Image source

What this shows us is that omnichannel marketing not only lets you maximize on reach, but also boosts engagement and sales.

Steps to build an omnichannel strategy

Convinced that you should be employing omnichannel marketing in your ecommerce business this 2020? Here are 10 steps to build your own omnichannel campaign.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

Because omnichannel marketing marries both offline and online channels, it’s important to keep your website and store ready for different devices, especially mobile. In a report on mobile ecommerce trends, 79% of smartphone users made a purchase using a smartphone in the last 6 months.

Fortunately, the best website builders on the market can let you not only optimize your store for mobile but also your entire website.

By optimizing for mobile, you don’t lose out on potential sales or leads, as it’s easy for customers to view, browse, sign up, or purchase from your site.

Determine which channels your customers are frequently using

Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy doesn’t mean jumping on every channel available to you. Instead, it means meeting your customers where they are—so you should only invest in the channels your customers use.

In this recent survey, for example, Instagram (73%) was the most-used platform for Gen Z adults, while Facebook remained the top choice for millennials (74%), Gen X adults (68%), and boomers (61%).

Revisit your buyer persona to determine which channels are best for your omnichannel campaign. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new and emerging platforms, but be sure to constantly evaluate results to see if it’s worth continuing.

Map your customer’s journey

As you build your omnichannel campaign, it’s important to map out your customer’s journey from one platform to the next to see that you leave no gaps or awkward encounters.

Create a step-by-step customer journey with our guide

For example, after opting into a lead generation form for a discount lead magnet, you can present your discount code as well as product recommendations, right in the same email. When a customer clicks on one of the products that interest them, they’re taken to a page on your store called New Collections.

And if they decide not to purchase right away, you can also follow up with retargeted ads.

You can have several journeys all in one campaign. But here’s the most important question: How does each channel stand on its own, possibly lead to another channel, and ultimately get customers to purchase?

Example of a simple customer journey using multiple touchpoints and channels.

Image source

Match your content with the marketing channel

Next, it’s important to keep your content relevant to the marketing channel. For example, photos and videos do well on Facebook and Instagram, influencer marketing videos can be done through TikTok or YouTube, while longer text-based content will do well for blog posts or email newsletters.

Omnichannel marketing isn’t just about repeating the same message over multiple channels. It means making the most of different channels so that they lead customers through a journey that eventually convinces them to make a purchase.

As you keep up your campaign, you’ll also see which content forms do best on which channels, so you can adapt future posts accordingly.

Segment your audience

When you conduct lead generation for your online store, it’s important to segment customers right away using behavior-based data and triggers.

The data you gather from these leads and customers can help you craft better, more relevant emails, which in turn can help you also be more accurate in your targeted ads.

Here are some ways you can segment your customers in your email list:

  • Gender
  • Geo-location
  • Previous purchases/interests
  • Loyalty
  • Previous engagement (cold or warm)

Take advantage of shoppable posts

Shoppable posts are now a feature on popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. (Newcomer TikTok is also currently testing shoppable video ads on their platform as well.)

When you use ads or create posts on these channels, be sure viewers are able to instantly check out or learn more about the product by redirecting them to a product page.

Instagram lets you create Shoppable posts and even Shoppable Stories.

Image source

Provide cross-channel customer support

One-third of customers reported that they would consider switching companies after just one bad customer experience. This points to the importance of customer support and how it helps build upon the customer journey.

Make sure your brand can handle customer support on multiple channels, such as email support and social media messaging. For a personal touch, allow customers to call you on your company phone or even write a letter.

Train your support staff to be friendly and warm as well. It’s important to have a playbook for different scenarios and circumstances that might arise, such as requests for refunds, complaints, or even getting good feedback.

Invest in your marketing stack

To successfully create an omnichannel marketing campaign, you’ll want to have a great marketing stack to help you track your campaign goals, analyze your both ongoing and previous campaign results, and run your campaigns with ease.

You’ll need a mix of both online and offline tools to help you create a truly well-rounded marketing campaign. Here are just some of the things you may consider investing in:

  • Powerful website, landing page, and ecommerce store builders that let you customize your pages easily while integrating with other popular tools
  • Easy-to-use email marketing software that lets you build, design, and track personalized campaigns for your ecommerce customers and leads
  • Social media scheduling and analytics software for easy campaign management and tracking
  • On-ground displays, posters, in-store experiences for offline marketing strategies

Keep your customer’s data sacred

Next, because omnichannel marketing is about multiple channels and a streamlined, seamless experience for your ecommerce customers, keeping customers’ personal data secure has to be top priority.

By entrusting you with their personal data like email addresses, postal addresses, and their complete names, customers expect that you use this data wisely.

Many customers appreciate and, in fact, prefer when content and promotions are personalized to their preferences and interests. So that’s one way you can use this precious data you have on them for both your business’ and your customers’ benefit.

Keep your CRMs and databases secure. Update any software and tools you use on your website constantly. And use the best security tools that will keep any malicious web attacks at bay.

Make testing a habit

And last but not least, always make testing your campaigns and tactics a habit. The beauty of doing digital marketing and online campaigns is that much of your data can be tracked, allowing you to glean better, more useful insights.

Start by testing simple variables in your email campaigns, such as campaign subject lines or opt-in forms for lead generation. You can also test post formats on your social media campaigns, or use different CTAs or landing page designs on your website.

In the example below, for example, you’re testing whether a multi-step contact form (in this case, 2-step) would work better against a contact form that’s already displayed onscreen.

Because each test would measure conversion rates against each other, the result you’re measuring for a test like this one is for the number of completed forms versus the number of page visits.

Example of a split test for a sign-up page.

Image source

Specifically for your ecommerce store, consider using different product page layouts. Or experiment with different button text, such as “Buy now” or “Add to cart.” You can even do split tests on scarcity tactics, such as testing different “only X left” counters or using a countdown timer for a promotion.

Learn about our Countdown Timer feature here

The more data you collect, the better you can estimate which tactics will do best in your next campaign. From there, you’re able to create newer experiments that help you get even better data.

Wrap up

With omnichannel marketing, your ecommerce store can:

  • Deliver more seamless experiences for customers from on-ground to online levels
  • Build more brand awareness and personalized experiences
  • Increase customer loyalty over time
  • Meet customers where they currently are

Whether or not you run a completely online store or do offline retail, an omnichannel marketing strategy can boost your leads, sales, and customer loyalty with a rich, consumer-first experience.

Omnichannel doesn’t just make use of several marketing channels. It instead makes the most of them. Create your own omnichannel strategy using the steps outlined in this post, and keep testing to get the best results.


Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

The post 10 Steps to Build an Omnichannel Strategy For Ecommerce Stores appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How to Build Your Personal Brand Through Email Marketing

This is a guest post from Nilam Oswal at SoftwareSuggest.

We all know what branding is, and chances are, you’re already doing branding for your business. But are you building a personal brand?

You should be, because it may be more important than you think.

The community of entrepreneurs and freelancers is fast-growing, and anyone with access to the internet can build an audience by showing their expertise.

Personal branding is everything—it’s your reputation, how people perceive you, and how much they value your knowledge. In short, building a recognizable personal brand opens professional opportunities, and it’s the only way to differentiate yourself from your competition longterm.

By establishing a personal brand, you can build a community. Read on to learn how you can build that community for yourself.

So how do you build a thriving community through email marketing?

Your first question may be: why email marketing over social media?

After all, some people believe email isn’t especially beneficial, but that just isn’t true. Not only can email provide great ROI, but nearly all adults have an email account. This means email has a broader reach than any other social media platform.

Did you know the average open rate of email is 22%? The average reach rate on Instagram is 10%, which means only 10% of your followers get to see your posts. And Facebook is worse, with only a 6% reach rate.

According to Statista, 82% of people check their email at least once a day, and 50% of those emails are read on mobile phones.

In short, email is one of the best ways you have to reach your audience.

How to use email marketing for building a personal brand

1. Make it personal.

Segmentation is the key to successful marketing. You can use email segmentation to send out relevant content to each individual subscriber.

All of your subscribers have subscribed to your email because they like what you have to offer and say. They align with your company’s goals.

However, not all content is relevant for everyone. You need to segment your subscribers based on criteria like gender, location, and more to accordingly personalize and send your emails.

It helps you build a personal relationship with your customers, and they feel valued.

Once you’ve segmented, consider appealing to your segments in a way that illustrates who you are. Yes, you have a business, but how do you fit into that business?

If you’re building a female-run company, for example, consider explaining your company values to a female segment.

That’s not to say you can’t do the same for your other segments, but keeping your audiences in mind can provide the chance to curate highly tailored content. For instance, you might provide a link to an article about how you started your business and how other women like you can, too.

2. Promote brand awareness.

Email enables you to put yourself in front of your audience and spread awareness about your brand.

You can compile a weekly or monthly newsletter that includes relevant information for your audiences. This is how your subscribers keep up with all the latest updates about your brand. Content plays an important role here—if you keep it interesting, consistent, and specific to their needs, they’ll be more likely to read your emails.

Every time you send an email, you’re promoting your brand, but it’s also a chance to promote yourself.

Instead of sending emails from your company name, consider sending them from a personalized send name (e.g. Jill at Campaign Monitor). Provide a personal anecdote or an interesting tidbit about yourself.

If subscribers can relate to you, they’ll be much more interested in your company.

Make branded copy for every piece of marketing.

3. Build better campaigns.

One core benefit of using email is that you’re generating incredibly valuable insights on your subscribers.

There’s lots of email marketing software that gives you insights into various metrics. Using this software, you can know when someone opens your email, clicks through it, or opens attachments.

Open rate is the percentage of the total number of your subscribers who opened your email, and the click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers who’ve clicked on at least one link in your email.

You can use the data to build better campaigns. By discovering which content is working and which isn’t, you can work towards increasing your CTR by adjusting accordingly.

What’s the open rate for your industry? Find out here.

One important tip: emails can be exciting.

To most people, emails probably aren’t as exciting as say, Snapchat or Instagram. After all, email doesn’t offer filters or stories: Email is simply a standard way of communication.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a viable part of your marketing or personal branding. In fact, the majority of millennials and Gen Zers check their email multiple times a day.

This is because email, although not particularly flashy, is a staple in our digital diets. And emails can be exciting and interesting with the right tools.

In fact, there’s a huge collection of design templates or layouts that you can use for your emails, as well as great subject line formulas to increase opens, which you can learn about below:

 

 

Read on for even more tips and tricks on how to make your emails look interesting:

Create a great subject line.

As we discussed above, subject lines are extremely important, since you’re counting on the subject line for opens. Take your time creating a compelling and exciting subject line that piques your audiences’ interest.

Keep it short and concise, and personalize it for the best results.

Do more than just promote.

If you use emails for promotions exclusively, it’s adding no value to your subscribers. Audiences will see your brand as one only concerned with sales.

Instead of just selling, you need to focus on adding value to your content. How? By offering them solutions to their issues.

Consider offering helpful articles, a support hub that’s easily accessible, and a customer-first attitude.

Don’t overdo it with the graphics.

You can use images, colors, fonts, and GIFs that match your brand look. But make sure that you don’t overdo it. Most of your subscribers will be using their mobile phones to check their emails, so you want the messages to load quickly.

Besides quirky graphics, you can always use bold and short content to get your audience to click on the CTA button.

View the step-by-step guide on choosing email images.

Strategies to build leads through email marketing

The first step before you start using email as a branding tool is to get the email addresses. There are two main ways to do that—from your customers and your website visitors.

After you’ve collected email addresses, the next step is deciding what messages to send.

You’ll need to have a plan first.

Start by introducing yourself first.

When you first send out an email, you want to sound like a human. You need to write a natural message where you first begin by introducing yourself. Don’t try to sell your products or services just yet.

Have a certain level of openness—tell them what you do, what they can expect, and what your goals are, so that, next time you send an email, they’ll know exactly who it’s coming from.

People always connect more with a person rather than a business. This welcome email from Girls’ Night In is a perfect example of business branding along with information about the founder. Plus, readers know what to expect from the newsletter.

Girls Night In Welcome email - how your business can do a personal brand

Source

Next, brand yourself as an expert.

The content you send out through your emails should educate your audiences.

You need to figure out what you’re an expert in and what your target audiences want to know. Find a niche and start providing insight.

These educational emails may not immediately lead subscribers to buy your products or services, but you will establish trust with quality content.

Lastly, entertain and inspire your audience.

Your main motive should be to entertain and inspire your audiences through your emails.

Connect with their sense of humor, their concerns, fears, and interests. If you’ve been sending them valuable content at relevant times, your subscribers will be eagerly waiting to hear from you.

Make relevant content with a marketing calendar.

Wrap up

Once you’ve mastered all these techniques, remember to stay consistent. Creating fresh content every week may seem like a task, but with the help of a quality ESP and a little automation, you can get your newsletter off the ground in no time.

So, are you ready to build your personal brand through email marketing?


Author Bio:

Nilam Oswal is a Content Marketing Head and Brand Strategies at SoftwareSuggest. When she’s not hard at work, she can be found wandering, reading, and just generally having a good time in life.

The post How to Build Your Personal Brand Through Email Marketing appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How to Grow Ecommerce Sales Using Actionable Marketing

Ecommerce—specifically, mobile shopping—continues to rival in-store purchases. Understanding how to grow ecommerce sales is crucial to making the best use of your resources and marketing budget.

Read on to discover some actionable tips for growing your ecommerce sales right now and all year long.

1. How to grow ecommerce sales with seamless mobile browsing

Forty percent of all online marketplace sales happen on mobile devices, so a fully mobile-optimized experience from start to finish is critical.

Let’s say someone receives a promotional email. Only between 4% and 15% will buy the item right away. Instead, customers prefer to visit the website first or even wait until they get to their PC.

Since between 22% and 38% of customers like to check out your website before making a decision, you’ll need to optimize more than the landing pages you link to in your emails. Instead, create a seamless experience, so customers can easily browse different parts of your website and complete the checkout process from a mobile device.

How to grow ecommerce sales with email

Source

For mobile browsing and shopping, matter-of-fact navigation menus are key, along with a hurdle-free checkout process.

  • Customers should be able to easily tap different buttons on your site without accidentally touching other links.
  • Menu items should be clearly defined and not leave any room for interpretation.
  • Don’t force customers to register an account to complete a purchase—let them check out as a guest.
  • Take advantage of Google autofill forms.
  • Use open fields where customers can type responses with tappable suggestions instead of lengthy drop-down menus.

2. How to grow ecommerce sales with a robust email marketing strategy

Fifty-nine percent of all consumers say they prefer to hear from brands through email over other channels like text. Email marketing is also important because it gives you an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with your customers. Considering that 84% of customers say being treated like a human being is the key to winning their business, email is something ecommerce brands simply can’t do without.

To learn how to grow ecommerce sales through email, start with a few key features.

Segmentation

Segmented campaigns can improve your open rates by 203% and revenue by 760%.
First, you’ll want to break your audience up into distinct groups based on unique demographics. You have several options to find a segmentation strategy that best suits your specific brand, audience, and products.

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income level
  • Whether or not they have kids
  • Whether or not they’re a student
  • Industry and job status
  • Location and time zone
  • Clothing sizes

You can also segment your audience based on different behavioral factors. Browsing behavior can give you plenty of clues about what kind of content your subscribers like.

  • Which blog or lead magnet enticed them to sign up to your mailing list?
  • Which products have they viewed?
  • Which blog posts and web pages have they read?
  • Do they follow you on social media?
  • Who are your most/least engaged subscribers?

You can then design highly personalized emails with product recommendations and content based on different segments.

American Apparel sent this email with personalized women’s product suggestions.

how to grow ecommerce sales with email segmentation

Triggered customer journeys

Using automation, you can easily design and implement impressive customer journeys based on triggered events. These kinds of emails tend to have much higher open rates of 45.70%, on average, and a whopping click-to-open rate of 23.52%.

Triggered journeys include

  • Welcome emails
  • Onboarding sequences
  • Thank you emails
  • Transactional emails

Trade Coffee sets the tone nicely here with a warm and inviting image and introduction to their roasters and products.

how to grow ecommerce sales with triggered email campaigns

Really Good Emails

Abandonment and retargeting

About 70% of customers will add products to their cart, yet abandon the purchase process. We’ve found that most brands can recover about 12% of their abandoned carts with personalized retargeting campaigns, so understanding how to use them is key to learning how to grow ecommerce sales.

Abandoned cart emails are already highly relevant—which is good. However, you can also include some urgency by letting customers know that stock is running out or including a discount coupon with an expiration date.

It also helps to embed reviews into your abandoned cart emails. These provide social proof to help push potential customers over the edge.

Whisky Loot sent this abandonment email to entice the subscriber to complete their purchase. Although it doesn’t include emails, it does have a funny conversational tone and answers any potential questions a customer might have.

how to grow ecommerce sales with abandonment emails

Really Good Emails

3. How to grow ecommerce sales with preference centers

Sometimes people will sign up to your email list, decide that your content isn’t for them, and then want to unsubscribe.

Instead of simply writing them off as lost causes, provide a marketing preference center where your customers can decide how they’d like to hear from you.

You can include several options like

  • SMS notifications
  • Newsletter subscriptions or just promotional emails
  • Which topics they’d like to hear about
  • Their favorite products or types of products
  • How often they expect to receive emails from you

Brooks Running asks for specific details about the subscriber’s age, demographics, and other athletic activity, so they can provide the most relevant content.

You can also ask your new subscribers to adjust their preference as they sign up to your list.

how to grow ecommerce sales with preference centers

4. How to grow ecommerce sales with localized retargeting

You can learn how to grow ecommerce sales by targeting your customers and audience on a local level, as well.

Based on where your audience lives, you can send them relevant offers and communications through email. Segmenting your email list by time zone is wise because you can schedule your emails to go out at the best time.

You can also create targeted advertising through social media.

If your audience lives in specific areas, you could even create personalized content based on the region or city.

US Outdoor Store sent out this targeted campaign in October to subscribers who’ll likely need winter gear.

how to grow ecommerce sales with personalized content

Milled

5. How to grow ecommerce sales with valuable content marketing

Content marketing is important for understanding how to grow ecommerce sales because it lends credibility and authority to your brand. Customers can feel confident that you understand their problems and needs through valuable content. That’s likely why 86% of B2C marketers say that content marketing is a key part of their strategy.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop clearly knows its audience here. The newsletter is packed with valuable content about financial planning, women’s health, and skincare. Plus, it has personalized product recommendations at the bottom based on the season.

how to grow ecommerce sales with content marketing

Milled

6. How to grow ecommerce sales with marketplace listings

Building organic traffic through SEO and email is important, but it can also help to expand into already existing marketplaces to boost exposure and branding.

  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • eBay

All three of these massive marketplaces make it easy for small businesses to figure out how to grow ecommerce sales by accessing their massive audiences. You could also look for niche apps and websites to e-stock your products, like health food shops, for example.

SiriiMirri, one of Etsy’s top-selling print shops, has a well-branded Etsy store.

how to grow ecommerce sales with marketplaces

Etsy

7. How to grow ecommerce sales with social media

Social media is frustrating for small businesses due to algorithm changes, but it’s not all bad. The key is to understand where your audience hangs out online.

If you’re looking for new tips on how to grow ecommerce sales, consider Pinterest for retail goods, if you haven’t already. Facebook is typically a go-to for most brands, but many retail stores neglect Pinterest, which has awesome marketing potential and targeted features.

Here’s how Whole Foods uses the potential of Pinterest:

how to grow ecommerce sales with social media

Pinterest

8. How to grow ecommerce sales with reviews and feedback

Reviews are the new word-of-mouth advertising. Unsurprisingly, 90% of people read reviews before deciding on a purchase and 88% of people trust them as much as recommendations from friends.

Not only do you have to work on collecting reviews, but you should also promote your reviews as social proof, where they fit. Embed them into your email campaigns, landing pages, and graphics, where appropriate.

Also, make it easy for customers to leave reviews:

how to grow ecommerce sales with reviews

CM Commerce

Wrap up

Standing out in the world of ecommerce can feel like quite a challenge. Fortunately, digital marketing channels give you plenty of opportunities to communicate with your target audience on multiple levels.

Here are a few takeaways on how to grow ecommerce sales with some simple digital marketing tactics:

  • Make the most of email with personalized product recommendations, customer journeys, and segmentation.
  • Optimize your marketplace listings on websites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
  • Create valuable content for your audience personas.
  • Take control of your word-of-mouth advertising by encouraging reviews and feedback.

CM Commerce can help you take your ecommerce email marketing to another level with abandoned cart features, embedded reviews, automated campaigns, segmentation, and much more. Check out the full range of features.

The post How to Grow Ecommerce Sales Using Actionable Marketing appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Why Nonprofit Email Segmentation is the Key to Donor Engagement

This guest post is written by Abby Jarvis from Qgiv.

Marketers know how much email has evolved, meaning they also know that sending the same, generic email to a massive list just doesn’t cut it. If people fail to see value in their inboxes, they won’t be afraid to ignore, trash, or unsubscribe.

But this phenomenon goes beyond traditional for-profit marketing. Nonprofits are also catching on when it comes to personalization, beginning to change their email tactics to promote a better donor experience.

Why? Because it’s not just consumers who want relevant content. Donors, too, are looking for highly personalized communications inside their inboxes.

Personalization could be your missing ingredient.

Subscribers of nonprofits and for-profit companies alike want relevant emails—ones that appeal to their interests and values (not to mention, a genuine connection to the organization itself). Because of this, it’s crucial that your nonprofit creates relevant material for subscribers each and every time you email them.

And if you’re unsure of the effectiveness of emails, consider this nonprofit research study from Campaign Monitor and Qgiv, which found that donors embrace communication via email. What’s more, the study found that donors actually prefer this channel over any other form of nonprofit communication.

But meeting donors where they are is only half the battle. You know donors want to communicate with your nonprofit through email, but the emails have to be high-quality, thoughtfully-cadenced, and relevant.

In other words, personalization is the missing ingredient to an email strategy that works. Not only does personalized email marketing increase click-throughs, but personalized subject lines are also 26% more likely to be opened.

So, where does personalization begin? To create dynamic content, it’s vital that you separate your subscribers based on their differences. This is an important tactic known as segmentation, which is largely available through email platforms.

But where do you start? Which subscriber segments should you be creating?

Read on to learn about popularly used segments, how you can use them to personalize your donor communications, and how you can start segmenting today.

Understanding segments and how to implement them

When it comes to email segments, the list is virtually endless. Ultimately, however, your audience should determine the segments you choose to implement, especially since each segment can accomplish different goals.

Read on to learn about your nonprofit email segmentation options, and find out which ones are right for you.

Location

Of all the different attributes that divide people, location is perhaps one of the biggest players. Language, weather, and a dozen other aspects of location play a role in our daily lives.

Because of this, sending localized messages to your subscribers can be a highly personal way to appeal to donors. Start by creating segments that group your subscribers by various geographic locales, and keep each place in mind any time you send an email to this particular group.

Localization is an easy way to encourage subscribers to engage with your content. You may try this if you’re noticing a high unsubscribe rate: A quick bit of nonprofit email segmentation could be the difference between a generic email and a thoughtful one.

You can localize your message by sending region-specific events or updates.

Demographics

Use demographics to target people of different ages and genders. This is especially helpful for nonprofits that attract donors of a certain age, or if one gender is more charitable for certain causes. (Women, for instance, often give more to causes that are female-focused.)

What if you don’t know very much about your donors? Consider sending out a survey of just a few questions, or include age and gender as non-required fields on your email signup form.

If you want to start segmenting sooner rather than later, you can likely assume your donors are made up of millennials and Gen X. In fact, Campaign Monitor and Qgiv research suggests that many donors are between the ages of 25 and 35: This demographic represents the majority of the respondents to the nonprofit survey Campaign Monitor conducted.

So, if you don’t yet have data for your nonprofit, this age group may be a good place to start.

Donor personas

Similar to the demographic-based messaging we discussed above, you can create a custom segment based on donor personas. In short, you’ll need to create personas that represent different donors on your list.

For example, if you’re targeting males 25-30 who make $60k per year, you could create and use a custom segment for them. This would allow for personalized email campaigns every time.

This approach can take various forms. Perhaps you use existing segments (e.g. demographics) to create the persona, or maybe you approach it from a goals and pain points perspective.

Whatever elements you choose to build your persona, consider implementing a donor persona checklist like Qgiv:

Source: Qgiv

Donation frequency

Collect data about how often your donors are contributing to your organization. If donors give every now and then, you may consider sending emails during times of need: perhaps when there’s a shortage of something or when your nonprofit is trying to meet a specific goal.

Luckily, you have a good chance of earning donations with this tactic: Over half of donors are likely to give after receiving a specific plea, according to the survey. However, they may also stop giving after the need is met.

For more generous donors, consider asking for larger donations, but don’t forget to tell them how their past donations have been used. And this isn’t just for financial donations, either. Take a look at email example from the American Red Cross, which thanks and updates one of their biggest in-kind donors:

Source: Twitter 

Email and website activity

Consider separating subscribers based on past email behavior. You’ll want to be sure you’re following modern regulations, of course, but this behavior-based segmentation method can make your subscribers’ experience better and more intuitive.

For instance, if you notice subscribers only open emails from you once a month, consider placing them into a segment where they only receive a monthly newsletter and the occasional donation request.

On the other hand, if you notice high engagement with every email you send, you might increase send frequency.

We discussed how email activity can be used for nonprofit email segmentation, but website activity can be just as effective. What articles are your donors reading? What stories interest them? Use this information to create specific, behavior-based segments.

Of course, these are just a few of the many different segments you can create and use, but these are simple ways to begin personalizing your donors’ experiences, easily and effectively.

How to segment your list

Segmentation can seem overwhelming at first, but many ESPs, including Campaign Monitor, make it simple. Watch the video below to start segmenting your own list today.

Wrap up

Segmentation is a simple, organized way to personalize communications for your donors. By going beyond the generic email, you show subscribers that they’re more than a donation: They’re part of your nonprofit and part of your cause.

Want to know more about donors and other nonprofits like yours? Download our nonprofit guide, based on original research from real people and organizations. Start engaging with the people who are truly are a part of your cause.


Abby Jarvis is the Nonprofit Education Manager at Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up
on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi
shows on Netflix.

The post Why Nonprofit Email Segmentation is the Key to Donor Engagement appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

5 Unconventional Email Campaigns To Run This Holiday Season

This is a guest post from Addison Burke.

The holidays are fast approaching, and so are the biggest sales events of the year.

If you’re looking to compete with Amazon’s 49.1% of all online shopping sales, you need to get your campaigns ready in advance.

But standard campaigns won’t cut it. You need unique, exciting, and fresh campaigns that customers haven’t already seen before.

Capturing sales with email campaigns requires more creativity than ever, as people now receive more emails than ever before.

Read on to discover some of the most unique email campaign ideas that you can draw inspiration from and implement this holiday season to improve sales.

1. Run your campaign early.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are holidays you can’t miss when it comes to online sales. Each year during this season, people spend over $700 billion.

Hundreds of millions of emails are sent during the holidays, so driving valuable clicks during this time leads to an even more competitive season. With all competitors going full force during the holidays, what’s your best option to stand out?

Running campaigns early.

You can see how Vida runs an early campaign in this great example:

This Early Black Friday deal is an example of an unconventional email campaigns

Source

Sending out this sale two months before Black Friday does two things: it prompts more sales and generates awareness that Vida will provide Black Friday sales all season long.

Since few competitors are doing pre-Black Friday deals this early, customers will likely remember Vida for their holiday-friendly deals.

Running your campaigns early can also help you gauge a few key factors to improve your actual holiday campaign:

  • Inventory: do you have enough, did you beat projections, and should you plan for more?
  • Offer: was the offer valuable? Did it resonate with people? What was your conversion rate?
  • Send times: test multiple email campaign sending times to see which drives the highest engagement.
  • Site: did your site handle the jumps in traffic? Or did your uptime and speed fail you?

Sending campaigns early gives you far better insights with less risk.

If you’re waiting until the day of to test these factors with your standard campaigns, you’re facing more competition, more risk, and less profit.

2. Give to your customers (and you shall receive).

Most email marketing campaigns around the holiday season are the same:

“Come buy this,” “Come spend your money on X,” “Get 15% off if you spend a fortune.”

You’re effectively asking something of the user without giving them anything (of real value) in return. In short, you’re asking your user for a purely transactional relationship.

Unfortunately, transaction-based relationships don’t foster positive brand awareness, and they don’t create loyalty from customers.

And, when consumers are blasted with promotions, loyalty becomes more important than ever.

This holiday season, run campaigns where you personalize and give back to your users.

For example, showcase to your loyal customers that you notice them and how loyal they actually are, as Lyft does:

Lyft uses data to send unconventional email campaigns

At the end of your email, reward them for their loyalty without forcing them to spend money.

Don’t give them a coupon that they can use on orders over $XX. Instead, just give them a coupon or a discount that’s worth their time.

This fosters even deeper loyalty and recognition.

3. Create custom audience landing pages.

Whether you’re selling digital items or selling direct-to-consumer goods, custom landing pages convert (over 200%!).

What are custom landing pages?

Custom landing pages are sales pages that target either a specific product segment, target audience, or both.

For example, take a look at this landing page from Bay Alarm Medical:

This is an example from Bay Alarm Medical's safety email campaign

Now take a look at this landing page for a separate product:

This is an example of an email template from Bay Alarm Medical

Notice how each landing page follows a templated theme, but the content is customized for the specific product and segment.

Doing so allows you to better customize your CTAs and send the right landing page link to the right audience.

See Campaign Monitor’s free templates here.

Sending customers to a more general page might lead to fewer conversions.

Why? Less personalization. Generic landing pages or your homepage aren’t specific enough, and it can be more difficult to find specific items.

Customers need to feel you’re tailoring your content to their pain points and specific needs. And by using templates from page-building tools, it takes just minutes to scale for different audiences.

Typical development costs for websites start at $2,000 on the low end, according to Website Setup. Using an inexpensive website building tool, on the other hand, allows you to create dozens of landing pages for different target segments or product niches:

Examples of website builders

Source

This way, you can design a single page, duplicate it, and customize the offering for each individual segment.

No need to spend thousands on custom development. Simply design one page and scale it for your needs.

4. Shift your focus from selling to brand building.

Holiday sales can be great for your business, but they can also damage your reputation.

Every business wants those holiday sales, and some may send batch-and-blasts to see what sales they can achieve.

These are often ignored, and many companies tend to inflate their listed prices, making discounts worthless. This isn’t just bad for your brand, but also for trust and loyalty.

When running your next holiday campaign this year, consider taking a different approach—one that focuses on your brand development in the long term, rather than short-term sales.

Case in point, Everlane:

This example from Everlane is an unconventional email campaign for the holiday season

Source

Even more daring, the Everland subject line stated, “This is not a sale.” Consumers can’t help but click.

Instead of a standard attempt at driving sales via coupons, Everlane changes the game, promising to give every penny earned on Black Friday to their factory workers for better benefits.

Yeah, that’s a lot of money, but it’s money spent on the well-being of employees who make the product.

That translates into better company culture, brand awareness, and a better product in general.

While you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) copy this idea as is, you can modify it to fit your needs.

Can you partner with a local charity (if your business is local)? Are there certain causes that your company employees can vote on? Or causes your consumers might be interested in contributing toward?

Look for ways to build your brand and make the world a better place.

Consider investing in the long game: It just might be your next home run.

5. Develop an interactive and ongoing campaign.

Standard campaigns can work, but they aren’t very engaging or exciting for most recipients on your list. And while small discounts are nice, they’re not especially unique.

So, how do you stand out? Luckily, the delivery method can be just as impactful as the actual discount.

Boring emails net boring and dull engagement rates. Take a hard, honest look at your last holiday campaign.

How was the engagement rate? Was the open rate low? How did it compare to your industry benchmarks? If so, your offer was probably not compelling enough.

If you fall into the lower engagement category, don’t worry—you have plenty of time to spice things up this year.

For example, Forever 21 takes its Black Friday campaigns to a whole new level:

Try using interactive content for your unconventional holiday campaigns

Source

Instead of just emailing customers a coupon code to redeem, they drive engagement that leads up to Black Friday, helping to build hype for the sales to come.

By using a scratcher-style game, users can win up to 25% off their shopping, in addition to already existing sales.

This gives people the psychological feeling of commitment and, once they’ve won the prize, it’s highly likely they’ll put it to use.

Can you develop interactive content to engage subscribers and unlock more leads?

If so, try this for your next holiday campaign. Ditch the cookie-cutter templates and produce an unforgettable experience for your existing and potentially new customers.

Wrap up

The holidays are fast approaching. Now’s the time to get ahead of the competition and run holiday email campaigns.

But you can’t just recycle and repeat old tactics.

If you want to stand out this year and drive more sales than ever, it’s time to get unconventional.

Start by running your campaigns early, building up hype and brand awareness before you fight for precious, thinning inbox space.

In your campaign, don’t ask them to do anything. Instead, provide them value with zero strings attached.

Create custom audience/product landing pages to better personalize your offers.

Shift your focus from selling to brand awareness. While sales are great, so is long-term awareness of your company and steady growth.

Lastly, develop something interactive that people look forward to each holiday.

Want better holiday sales? Run these unconventional email campaigns.

Addison Burke is a freelance writer that teaches businesses how to grow through better digital marketing.

The post 5 Unconventional Email Campaigns To Run This Holiday Season appeared first on Campaign Monitor.