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.

Improve Conversions With These 5 Google Ads Extensions

This is a guest post from Dmytro Spilka at Solvid.

The web is full of companies vying for consumer attention—and the conversions that come with it.

In an industry that’s congested with PPC marketing, it’s important for you to use all the resources you can to stand out.

Google Ads extensions give your ads the best chance possible of getting noticed. They can bring an edge to your campaign, improve your quality score, and can ultimately make the difference between your ad and someone else’s.

But what exactly are Google Ads extensions and how can they help you improve PPC conversions? Read on to see the most effective extensions out there, along with how they can fit into your campaign.

Need help with reporting? Get the guide.

How ad extensions work

Ad extensions operate as additional snippets of data that expand your ad, making it more useful to readers. Ad extensions can include a range of valuable data, such as telephone numbers, further links to your web pages, and reviews from sellers, among other things.

Fundamentally, if you have a clear idea of the goals that are driving your ad campaign, it’s possible to utilize extensions that can drive the right conversions among your target audiences.

What’s more, it doesn’t cost more for businesses to tap into the potential of Google Ads extension options.

While it’s possible to manually input valuable data pertaining to your extensions, some are fully automated, meaning that Google Ads automatically adds extension information to your advertisement, including click-to-call and automated calling services, as well as sitelink extensions.

Source: VisualCapitalist

When it comes to PPC marketing, no other organization comes close to the power of Google (Facebook comes closest). The world’s favorite search engine has been used by businesses for decades and, although we can see that Facebook’s appetite for digital ads is growing exponentially, it has a sizable task in catching up with Google.

Plus, Google experiences around 3.5 billion searches each day, a figure that goes some way in illustrating the strength of the search engine’s dominance.

With such a vast market to tap into, it’s no surprise that marketers are desperate to gain PPC prominence while using Google Ads.

Considering the fact that there’s an ongoing battle for top positions, especially within high-competition niches like insurance, the advertisers are pushed to utilize every opportunity possible to stand out and attract the click.

But which extensions are the best performers? And how exactly can certain extensions help to skyrocket your conversion rates? Let’s take a deeper look at the power of extensions and the conversions they could bring your business:

1. Call extensions

Source: Search Engine Land

Call extensions provide interested parties with a direct link to a conversion. As you may be able to guess from the name, this function adds a telephone number to your Google Ads search ads.

If you work for a large, multinational corporation, there might not necessarily be a pressing need for callers to speak to your staff on the phone, but for more localized businesses, (e.g. restaurants, shops, etc.), the addition of a phone number can be the bridge necessary to build enough customer confidence to prompt a sale.

Learn to localize your emails.

Call extensions can be constructed at an account, campaign, or even an ad group level. If you create a call extension at group level, then your call exension will be on display then for that group’s ads.

This function is ideal if you’re a national or international business that still wants to offer options to local customers. By providing a local phone number, it’s possible to arrange appointments or special reservations for people living near your brick-and-mortar location.

If your business offers local services, be sure to combine call and location extensions in a way that allows searchers to see telephone numbers associated with their geographical location. This will work wonders in encouraging visitors to act on their interest sooner rather than later.

2. Sitelink extensions

A prominent example of sitelink extensions.

Source: Clicteq

The sitelink extensions offered by Google Ads provide extra links to support your ad and your target audience to pages that may carry more relevance to them, depending on their query.

In the example above, we’re able to see that Nike has added sitelinks to focus on new products, women’s training ranges, football equipment and running goods.

How do sitelinks perform such a significant role in boosting your conversions? Well, this process offers unique levels of insight into your PPC performance.

Using this extension, users can see which specific links are performing better than others and optimize their strategies accordingly. If, for example, your shop is gaining more traffic for one product over another, it could be time to shift your links.

It’s key to monitor which ads and sitelinks are bringing the most traffic and which are the most valuable to the business in the long run (not just the first click).

To do that, you should be able to see the entire behavioral flow of the click. You’d need to connect Google Analytics to your Google Ads account. Another way of tracking conversions is through tools like Finteza that provide rich insights into the traffic coming from Google Ads.

(Image: Finteza)

In the meantime, tools like WordStream enable advertisers to optimize ads and apply recommendations with ease.

As with many things in the world of marketing, it’s worth running tests to see which links are bringing more conversions. Be sure to construct short-term campaigns to fine-tune the type of links you’re including in your ads to yield the best results.

3. Callout extensions

Source: WordStream

Callout extensions via Google Ads help marketers to include extra lines of text to accompany their ads. The application of these extra lines is relatively open-ended—meaning callout extensions can be used to tell prospective customers about your brand or notify them of certain promotions or signup offers. They can also be added to your Search Network Campaigns.

This particular extension gives businesses the chance to invest a little more time in promoting certain qualities of their brand or offer an additional flourish in the form of a CTA.

4. Click-to-text extensions

(Image: Blue Frontier)

If you’re looking to utilize the potential of a mobile audience, then click-to-text extensions can invite prospective customers to begin their journey through your sales funnel, all with a simple SMS text message.

The beauty of click-to-text Google Ads extensions is that they offer users a fresh avenue in which to get in touch with your business in a way that suits them.

This particular extension can be utilized in the form of a non-intrusive prompt at the foot of your ad, and really helps in making your company appear more accessible.

How to get engagement (despite the ad blockers).

What’s more, click-to-text functions double as a CTA, inviting users to choose. This opportunity for communication among users has shown strong signs of boosting conversions for businesses.

In fact, Hallam claims that click-to-text extensions can boost click-through rates by as much as 17.2% online—a massive increase on the 6% standard for the company’s headline-only ads.

5. Price extensions

Source: SEJ

It’s also possible to add more value to your search ads through the potential of Google Ads price extensions. This feature allows businesses to broadcast the price of their products or services (up to eight are possible) within their search ads results, so potential customers have a clear idea of what you’re selling and how much it’ll cost.

Price extensions can be implemented as links directly to your site, so it’s possible for users to bypass your landing pages and find themselves right in the midst of your checkout pages.

While this form of advert is great for offering users a direct insight towards your price ranges and your product offers, it’s also the type of extension where searchers could click multiple links within one ad, meaning that you’ll ultimately end up paying for two clicks in one go—a slight inconvenience that, in many cases, will be outweighed by a vast array of benefits.

Wrap up

As you compete with other companies in your industry for Google rank and number of clicks, remember to implement these Google Ads extensions for best results:

  • Call extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Click-to-text extensions
  • Price extensions

By incorporating these methods, you’re improving your chances of being seen and your chances of converting even more prospects into customers.

Dmytro Spilka is the Founder and CEO at Solvid, a creative content agency based in London. Dmytro is a contributor for Entrepreneur, TechRadar, SEMRush, and more.

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The post Improve Conversions With These 5 Google Ads Extensions appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How to Achieve Your 2020 Marketing Goals

Trying to figure out how to achieve your marketing goals in 2020? It takes a good deal of time and planning to reach your goals, and that means you need to start early in the year. However, plans can quickly change, and that means you need to be able to reevaluate at any moment.

Not quite sure how to go about this process? Campaign Monitor has you covered.

Achieving your 2020 marketing goals—What should your goals look like?

Before you can dive into figuring out how to achieve your marketing goals in 2020, you must first define each one of your goals individually. These goals can come in dozens of different forms, and they’ll look different, depending on the industry you’re in. However, some common marketing goals include:

  • Increasing sales
  • Acquiring new customers/generating new leads
  • Retaining current customers/reducing churn
  • Up-selling/Cross-selling
  • Improving brand awareness
  • Increasing customer satisfaction rates
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Increasing email open rates
  • Automating your email campaigns
  • Creating an omnichannel customer experience
  • Setting up a membership/customer loyalty program

Setting SMART goals

To achieve your 2020 marketing goals, you need to make sure they’re as detailed as you can get them. A good way to approach your goals is with the Content Marketing Institute’s SMART goal-setting guidelines, which include setting time-sensitive, measurable, relevant, and attainable goals.

SMART Goal Setting Defined

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Taking the time to define your marketing goals in this fashion will ensure that you’re not only setting attainable goals, but goals that’ll suit your brand’s needs. It’ll also come in handy when it’s time to act on these goals and decide what types of content you’ll need to produce and how you’ll deliver it to your consumers.

How to achieve your marketing goals in 2020 with five simple steps

You’ve got your goals ready—now it’s time to act. Here are five essential steps you need to take to achieve your 2020 marketing goals.

1. Conduct a content audit.

The first step in achieving your 2020 marketing goals is to perform a content audit. This is the process of both collecting and analyzing the content on your website, such as your landing pages, blog posts, and other content that your audience has access to.

This process allows you to take inventory of everything you have and find what’s performing adequately and what isn’t. Anything that isn’t should be either reworked or simply removed from your site. However, keep in mind that it’s much more cost-effective to revise existing content than it is to start completely over from scratch.

A content audit can be run in several different ways and requires the use of various tools. There are plenty of online tools and online brands to help you perform a content audit, such as SEMrush.

Example content audit

Source: SEMrush

Once your audit’s complete, you’ll have a good idea of what types of content have performed adequately for you in the past and what content you either must update, rework, or completely do away with.

You’ll want to make sure you’ve already set and defined your marketing goals by this point because you’ll be able to start aligning your current content with your 2020 goals, which will better guide you on the content changes you need to make.

2. Research your audience.

As a marketing professional, you already understand just how vital it is that you genuinely understand who your brand’s targeted audience is. If you haven’t recently gone through your email list or social media pages to see who your targeted audience members are, it’s time you do so.

Your audience can change faster than you think. By running audience audits, you’ll be able to tweak your goals and actions accordingly.

Facebook audience insight examples

Source: Marketing Land

Your audience wants to receive only the most relevant content that suits their needs—not necessarily your goals. Consumers couldn’t care less about your marketing goals and have no problem unsubscribing from an emailing list due to irrelevant content. According to MarketingSherpa, it’s actually the number two reason behind most brand unsubscribes.

For those looking to turn their audience into paying customers, you’ll want to keep in mind that nearly 34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if that brand personalizes their content to their audience members.

To create personalized content, your marketing team will want to carefully define who your audience members are, and you can utilize the data you gather through social media and email insights to help you do just that.

You’ll want to ask yourself:

  • Who visits my site/consumes my content? What’s their demographic profile?
  • What exactly are they looking for? What are their pain points?
  • How can I solve their problems?

Once you’ve taken adequate time to outline your ideal audience member, you’ll be able to move onto the next step of the process.

3. Decide which types of content will help you reach your goals.

Knowing who your ideal target audience members are is essential in deciding which types of content you’ll be creating and sharing to help you achieve your 2020 marketing goals. There are dozens of different forms of content worth creating. However, your audience will dictate which types of content are most valuable to them.

Types of content worth considering include:

  • Assessments
  • Blogs
  • Case studies
  • Datasheets
  • eBooks
  • Guides
  • Long-form articles
  • Physical events
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations (videos and slides)
  • Testimonials
  • Tip sheets
  • Training videos/online classes
  • Video content
  • Virtual events
  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers and more

The idea is to create content that your audience finds useful and shareable. This helps build your authority within your niche and attract more potential leads as your community shares your content.

4. Create a content calendar.

Once you’ve decided on which types of content will best suit your needs and help you achieve your 2020 marketing goals, you’ll need to sit down with your team and create a content calendar. The general goal behind a content calendar is not only to get your content topics lined up and planned out, but to help your team delegate projects out.

When creating your content calendar, you want to keep several things in mind, including:

  • Your brand’s seasonality: Are there certain times of the year you’ll want to be pushing certain topics or products?
  • Your customer’s mindset: Once you’ve done your research and you know who your audience is, you’ll want to start creating content that addresses their specific needs. Ask yourself what your customers need from you and how you can best deliver it to them.
  • Your brand’s celebration style: If your brand plans to celebrate certain milestones or holidays, you must maintain your brand’s tone and voice.

Check out our Campaign Planning Calendar for year-round inspiration.

Marketers have several different tools available to them when it comes to creating an organized content calendar. While a typed-up document or Excel sheet is excellent, it can be more challenging to share once you’ve delegated specific tasks. Some helpful tools worth considering include:

  • Asana
  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Evernote
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Google’s Suite of online tools: Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.

Example editorial calendar

Source: Asana

5. Utilize email to deliver your content.

Once you’ve followed through on the above steps, you’ll finally be able to start distributing your content to your readers. While there are many different channels available for doing so, the most beneficial is through email marketing.

Email marketing generates the highest ROI for your brand and is the preferred method of interaction between consumers and their favorite companies. Recent studies have shown that, when it comes to communication between consumers and brands, chat and social media ranks below email.

Looking at preferred channels for brand engagement, millennials are a bit more inclined to email versus social, while Gen Z is skewed a bit more oppositely. The other channels mentioned received very similar interest.

Email also helps you when it comes to sending out content that your readers truly want. Thanks to email list segmentation and email preference centers, your consumers can tell you precisely what type of information they wish to see from you, which will help increase your email opens, click-throughs, and content shares. Your email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share your email content with their social media followers than any other source.

If it’s promotional content you’re looking to share to achieve certain marketing goals, then you must keep in mind that 72% of consumers state that they’d prefer to receive this sort of content via email, as compared to 17% who prefer social media.

Wrap up

Learning how to achieve your marketing goals in 2020 will look different, depending on the market that you’re serving. However, the following five tips are a great place to start, no matter which industry you’re in:

  • Conduct a content audit
  • Research your ideal target audience
  • Decide which types of content to create
  • Create a content calendar
  • Deliver your content via email

Curious how you can elevate your email engagement in 2020? Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on elevating email engagement.

The post How to Achieve Your 2020 Marketing Goals appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

7 Ways to Revive Your Outdated Email Marketing Campaigns in 2020

This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.

You’ve read the reports that email marketing ROI is at 4,400%, where you earn $44 for every $1 you spend.

But you take a look at your email campaigns lately and see that they aren’t performing as well as the reports promised.

Read on to discover whether or not email marketing is still relevant today in the age of new media and how to move forward with a fresh, more engaging email marketing strategy in 2020.

Is email marketing dead?

With the introduction of social media networks and even search engine optimization, many marketers feared that this would be the end of email marketing. Indeed, advancements and innovation in marketing and sales have also caused changes in consumer behavior.

Generic mass emails might just not be doing the trick anymore. And this is a good thing.

Today, consumers want personalized experiences. In fact, 72% of consumers reported that they’d only be willing to engage with marketing messages if they were personalized and tailored to their interests.

So, if you notice a decline in your email marketing campaigns’ engagement or ROI, it’s time to reevaluate. Are you using an old and outdated way of doing email marketing?

Whether or not you’re sure, read up on these 7 top tips to breathe new life into those outdated email marketing campaigns. And then you can start seeing better results this year.

How to revive outdated email marketing campaigns

Review your data.

First, it’s good to start with where you are.

Look through your analytics dashboards to see data on previous emails and campaigns to see what you’ve done, what worked, and what didn’t.

Pay attention particularly to metrics like click-through rate, which can tell you how engaged your audience or recipients were. Notice which campaigns had higher click-through rates and try to see why they saw such results.

Your open rates can also clue you in on the level of engagement of your audience. If you see a decline in open rates over time, that might signal that many of your emails were losing relevance to more and more customers.

How well do your email marketing analytics fare compared to the benchmark averages?

Also take note of your top-performing email campaigns from the past. You may glean insights from these campaigns, such as preferences of your customers, or any specific email marketing tactics, such as different templates or subject lines that you used that led to these good results.

Consider the evolving world.

New laws and regulations continue to adapt to changes in tech capabilities. You may consider this as you continue in your marketing journey. Read on for a couple of examples of what we mean.

For example, the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union caused significant changes in the way marketers handled data, especially personal data like email addresses.

And, in 2019, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) brought GDPR-like policies to California, and other states may soon follow.

While certain laws and policies seem like they don’t apply to your business because of geo-location, being aware can be positive.

Add emojis to your subject lines.

Staying relevant is one of the most important things to remember when you’re trying to spruce up your email marketing campaigns.

According to a compelling study by the MyClever agency, they found that businesses that used emojis in the subject lines of their emails enjoyed a 52% increase in average open rates. Not only that, but unique opens, unique clicks, and average click-through rates increased as well.

Some reports also found that certain emojis had better performance than others. For example, one report found that a snowman emoji increased open rates during the holidays by 66%, based on the typical average.

Best and worst emojis and their effect on open rates (Image source)

For your own business, experiment with different emojis and see which your consumers gravitate towards. This may differ between varying industries, but, over time, you’ll see which emojis typically bring higher engagement.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should use the same emoji in every campaign. Instead, use it as a foundation on which to experiment with a similar—or completely different—set of emojis for your next campaigns.

Use your transactional emails to enhance your customer experience.

With everything available at one’s fingertips, it’s no surprise that customers are expecting better and better experiences when dealing with a brand.

For your email marketing, this means one thing: Bring great customer experience straight to your campaigns.

From sending beautiful invoicing templates to using shipping and delivery emails to provide customers with updates about their online orders, it’s important to think of how every transactional email can boost a consumer’s experience with your brand.

These small changes can do well to encourage customers to engage with future emails, especially when they see how streamlined the experience of dealing with your business is.

Some brands don’t hesitate to add some vibrant brand personality in their transactional emails, such as order confirmations. If it suits your brand, take this as inspiration for your own emails, for invoices, and tracking numbers. (Image source)

As a best practice, transactional emails should be easy to read and skim, while containing all necessary information or next steps. Include instructions for how to return products or apply for refunds and add contact information to make it easier to get in touch with you.

Because emails for order confirmations have average open rates of 65%, this could be an important vehicle to deliver excellent customer experiences right in their inbox.

Increase content personalization through behavioral segmentation.

To increase retention and get those customers engaging again, you need to think of personalization.

If you truly want to deliver a personalized email campaign to customers, you’ll need to properly segment them in your mailing list. There are a number of variables you can use as reference, such as geo-location, gender, or even previous transactions with your brand.

It’s important to put up customer segments as early as you can, while also setting up any triggers or conditional rules within your email service provider or CRM.

Once you’ve segmented your list, it’s easier to send them personalized content.

One example of personalized emails you can send would be product recommendations based on previous purchases. You can get to know your customers’ preferences and interests based on things they’ve added to their cart or items they’ve checked out.

This is also an effective way to drive customer loyalty. If customers see that you truly understand their preferences and needs, they’ll be more likely to repurchase from your brand.

Based on the personalized recommendations from this example, the customer must have been browsing for collared shirts and blouses. (Image source)

Combine with other channels.

Next, while email marketing does generate the most ROI, there are still several benefits to investing in different channels to provide a more well-rounded customer experience.

Focus on delivering a great web experience, for example, for ecommerce shoppers. Or create a valuable blog that lets you consistently share high-quality content with your audience.

Perhaps your social media can also give a behind-the-scenes look at what your company’s working on, or be the channel where customers can connect with you in a more meaningful way.

All these channels can provide a synergistic effect on user experience and strengthen customer engagement. So, for example, instead of just sending promotional emails all the time, give your audience other things to look forward to in their inbox.

Many brands are now combining their marketing channels with email by providing sneak peeks of their latest collections, hosting contests and giveaways, or sharing new video content with email subscribers.

Beauty brand Lush shares high-value content on their YouTube channel, sending new content to subscribers and encouraging video viewers to subscribe to their email list, if they haven’t already.

Invest in the right automation tools.

Last but not least, automation tools can do well to provide more streamlined and engaging customer experiences.

These tools let you personalize emails with your subscribers’ first names or locations, for example. Sending welcome emails to new subscribers is one simple way to use email automation. You can also use automation to send a series of emails as part of a seasonal promotion or ongoing sale on your store.

Automation tools can also send retargeting campaigns, particularly useful for ecommerce stores that have high cart abandonment rates. The right tools are also able to help you segment customers immediately based on different variables you set.

Whichever the use case, automation will save you time and help you get insights and trends faster.

Wrap up

In 2020, it’s not enough to just send emails to your list; you need a strategy that lets your customers engage in more meaningful ways.

Using the tips above, you can be on the road to creating new email marketing campaigns that get more opens, more click-throughs, and even more sales, all while building your brand.

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 7 Ways to Revive Your Outdated Email Marketing Campaigns in 2020 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 Small Businesses Can Utilize Content Marketing

This is a guest post from Elizabeth Walker at Meegle.

We all know how important it is to market your local business online. But what exactly is content marketing for small business?

Read on to discover what content marketing is, its numerous advantages, the goals it can to achieve, and how to get started for your own small business.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

In other words, it means marketing your business with the use of relevant content. This helps you attract your target audience and bring in more traffic to your business online.

On an essential note, the content you create should be in line with your company and relevant to your target audience’s needs.

You don’t need to concentrate on your products and services constantly. Instead, curate content that targets your audience’s problems.

Content marketing methods

As a smart entrepreneur and marketer, you always have the task of keeping your budget in check and making wise decisions for the growth of your small business.

But, thanks to technological innovation, content marketing strategies for small businesses are available and ready for you.

Under this section, you’ll find five powerful content marketing ideas for small businesses. There are a lot of marketing methods, but we believe these are the first tactics you should use for your small business content marketing.

Blog posts and articles

small business content marketing

Source: Campaign Monitor

In everything you do, there’s always the question: Where do I start? And, for content marketing strategies for small businesses, the written content is your obvious starting point.

Make use of your blog posts and articles to boost your small business marketing. With the data you have at your disposal, aim to curate content that presents new information to your audience or that solves their issues.

However, if you’re having problems coming up with fresh content to write about, you always have the option to ask your customers what they’d like to know.

The internet is incredibly vast, meaning your content has to be specially curated for your audience. In other words, aim to write content for every niche that buys from your store.

It may be hard, at times, but with proper data and SEO research, you can begin to understand what questions your customers have and how you can help.

Not sure where to start researching? Use our Resources Hub to begin your data dive.


If you’re tired of showing statistics and numbers on your blogs and articles, you may want to try another one of the available content marketing ideas for small businesses: infographics.

This type of content makes statistics easier to digest. Infographics make numbers appear more colorful and enjoyable to read and are more manageable to share than a bunch of texts.

What’s great is that you don’t have to do all the hard work with the design. Either you let your resident graphic designer come up with the idea or do it yourself with the help of hundreds of free infographic templates available online.

Your infographic works best if you give it a searchable title incorporated with relevant keywords and remember to cite your references for the data you used.

Don’t forget to include your business name and website within the infographic, as content marketing for small businesses requires branding content.

Need examples? Check out our custom-made infographics.

Interactive forms

One way to keep your potential customers stick to your website is to create interactive forms and tools within your content.

Doing that helps you generate more leads for your business. While your web content should always contain a CTA, your content works better when it requires development or urges potential customers to do something, and interactive forms help you achieve that.

Even though contact forms on landing pages are proven effective, they still don’t keep your website visitors engaged with your content for a very long time.

If you happen to be an online booking site, a calculator helps your visitors know how much they’re going to need to spend buying with your business.

That way, they don’t have to leave your site to pull up their calculators. Or worse, look for another business website with better content.

Podcasts and videos

For small businesses to survive in today’s fast-paced industry, marketers must adjust their content marketing strategies and come up with innovative ways to produce and distribute content to their target audience.

With the rise of the popularity of mobile devices, you should consider creating content that’s as portable as they are.

You can do just that with the use of podcasts and videos. These two can bring you more followers and increase engagement with your fanbase. You can make these files available on on-demand sites like iTunes or Spotify for podcasts, and Youtube or any social media website for videos.


Below are tips that some of the successful small businesses of today are applying to their content marketing.

Know your target audience and understand their needs.

As a business owner, it’s your job to understand your target audience. Your small business won’t taste success in the industry if you don’t know who your target market is and what they need.

The same goes for content marketing, knowing your target audience is crucial in creating a solid foundation for your content. It prevents you from wasting time coming up with content that’s irrelevant both to your line of business and your audience.

Conducting in-depth research on your target audience is a great idea to make sure you understand them and their needs.

Once you get a hold on understanding your target audience, it’ll be easy for potential customers to find you. That’s because you figured out the content you’re going to produce that hits home to your audience.

But always remember to avoid being hard-selling in tone with your content, as it’ll undoubtedly turn your customers off.

Give them what they want.

small businesses content marketing

Source: Campaign Monitor

After you’ve come to understand what your target audience needs, the next best step is to give them what they want. As a small business owner, you know that it’s not about you.

Doing small business marketing means making it more about the customer and their needs.

Thus, you have to give them solutions to problems and answers to questions that are relevant to your business, and they’ll likely come back for more and do business with you again.

Originality is best.

Producing content can be hard at times, but keeping it original can take you miles ahead of the competition. Take pride in everything that your business does and show it to your target audience through your content.

Formulate a sound small business marketing strategy that would allow you to showcase everything you could offer to the market, and be original as you can be.

Create well-crafted content.

Source: Campaign Monitor

In every blog about how to do content marketing, it’s always preaching about creating a well-crafted content: It’s part of what makes customers interested in your brand.

Quality content means being original, informative, honest, thought-provoking, and actionable. If you lean on these five qualities when you’re in the process of curating content, then keep going—you’re on the right track.

Wrap up

A wise small business owner and marketer should always remember that there are a lot of ways that you can utilize your content and come up with various content marketing ideas for small businesses.

You have to dig deep and show everyone what your business is made of. It’s also essential to curate meaningful content that keeps your brand attractive to your target market.

Never be afraid of trying out new ways and innovate your content marketing strategies like making infographics, podcasts, and videos, as opposed to doing everything in text only.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Walker is a Marketing Outreach Specialist for Meegle and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management. She writes articles with essential tips on digital marketing and helps small businesses achieve their business goals through their SEO and social media campaigns.

The post How Small Businesses Can Utilize Content Marketing appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Publisher Marketing Strategy Tips and Tricks

Digital marketing is vital for those in the small business and retail markets. It’s also crucial for those in other industries, including publishers. In fact, publishers like BuzzFeed, Reddit, and Rolling Stone all rock their publisher marketing strategies.
However, for newer publishers out there, building a publisher marketing strategy can seem a bit overwhelming.

Read on to discover a few tips and tricks to help guide you along the way.

Publisher marketing in a digital world

When most consumers think of publishers, traditional books, magazines, and newspapers come to mind. Unfortunately, as our world continues to delve deeper into technology, the more traditional forms of publishing are quickly becoming outdated and irrelevant. They aren’t completely outdated, but more and more people are turning to the internet for their daily dose of news and other content.

In fact, more people under the age of 50 get their news from sources like news websites and social media than they do print media and TV.

Those under 50 years of age get the majority of their news from social media and news websites.

Source: Pew Research Center

With social media and websites taking priority over television, print, and even radio, it’s time that publishers start focusing their marketing efforts on more digital channels.

Digital marketing channels worth investigating for publishers

If you aim to reach those 50 and under, you want to focus your publisher marketing strategy on digital channels. However, choosing the right digital channels for your brand’s needs can be a bit tricky. Based on Pew Research Center’s studies, it might seem as though websites and social media are channels worth prioritizing. However, that research leaves out one very vital channel: email marketing.

Social media sites such as Facebook are great for sharing news stories; however, not everyone wants to spend the necessary time scrolling through their feed for the latest news. In fact, social media can be a pain to navigate, as algorithms tend to prioritize the most popular stories, which don’t always cater to each reader.

Social media news stories tend to be prioritized based on comments and likes, not actual clicks and reads.

Source: ABC 7 Chicago/Facebook

That’s not to say that publishers should avoid social media. Instead, they should ensure that their publisher marketing strategy utilizes multiple digital channels, including both social media and email marketing.

For example, The Wall Street Journal caters to their myriad of readers by making good use of both social media and email marketing. On their social media pages, they focus on trending stories, while their email marketing efforts take on a newsletter format to share the latest and greatest with their email subscribers.

Publishers can use email marketing to share both original and curated content with their readers.

Source: Milled

Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using multiple channels to keep your engagement up and your readers interested, so take the time to get to know your audience. Once you’ve found out where it is that they hang out the most, the easier it’ll be to choose the right digital channel to focus your publisher marketing strategy on.

6 publisher marketing strategy tips and tricks worth noting

Out of all digital marketing channels, email marketing has the overall highest ROI, and most consumers prefer this channel to social media when it comes to receiving their news and other marketing material.

1. Curated content is your friend.

When it comes to sharing and publishing material for your readers, the common misconception is that what you share must be 100% original. While originality is vital to establishing your brand credibility and authority, sharing curated content from other reputable sources is a vital piece of that puzzle.
Take this example from Vox:

Source: Milled

Vox is an online publisher known for its news aggregation. While they can and do share original content regularly, in the example above, the majority of the content is curated from other reputable news sources, such as:

  • CNN
  • ABC News
  • The Wall Street Journal and more

Why would a publisher want to focus so much of their attention on other publishers? To help build brand credibility and trust between them and their readers. A lot of news aggregations are pulling trending stories and writing material that’s common knowledge. That means that the writer doesn’t have to be personally involved with a story or event to write on it. So, to build a trusting relationship with their readers and ensure them that they aren’t being fed a line of lies, they must prove that they’re getting their information from reputable sources.

Proper news aggregators don’t publish lies to their readers, and sharing curated stories from other publishers is the best way to prove that they know what’s legitimate and what isn’t.

2. Utilize split CTAs.

While more traditional marketing methods focus on funneling all of your readers through a single CTA, publishers can utilize split CTAs to help engage more readers at one time.

Utilizing split CTAs is simply the practice of using more than one call to action that directs readers to various articles, podcasts, or product pages. Publishers can utilize this practice to direct their readers to topics that capture their interest.

For example, in this email newsletter from BuzzFeed DIY, users have the options to check out the article on cheap, easy DIYs to home improvement or creative ways to upgrade their outdoor space. While these articles both cater to the need of upgrading a home, one is focused on indoor spaces, and one is outdoor spaces. That means someone in the northwest of the US preparing for fall can focus on the easy DIY practices while someone on the west coast in the fall can focus on the outdoor space.

 Increase overall engagement by utilizing split CTAs.

Source: Campaign Monitor 

3. Drip campaigns work.

Drip campaigns should be considered an essential part of a publishing marketing email strategy because they help your brand stay in constant contact with your audience. Drip campaigns come in several different forms, including:

  • Welcome campaigns
  • Re-engagement campaigns
  • Online courses and more

These campaigns are simply a series of automated emails that are sent out either based on specific triggers or scheduled according to a defined customer journey. In publisher marketing, one way to utilize drip campaigns is to set up a cover reveal campaign for a new book or a campaign surrounding the release of a new book in a popular series.

An excellent example of using a drip campaign in publisher marketing is this email announcement from Penguin Random House publishing.

New book announcements make for great drip campaigns for publishers.

Source: Milled

In this campaign, the publishing company is focusing their attention on the latest pick for Oprah’s Book Club. Oprah recommends books regularly, making this an excellent topic for a drip campaign to send out to Random House’s emailing list.

4. Segment your email lists.

As with any other email marketing strategy, email list segmentation is a crucial step in making sure that your readers are getting only the most relevant content from your brand. While traditional list segmentation categories such as gender, location, and interests are still relevant for publisher marketing, you want to make sure you’re giving your readers every opportunity to supply you with relevant segmentation categories.

Random House does a great job of collecting relevant subscriber data to ensure that they’re delivering only the most relevant content to their subscribers through the use of their email preference center.

Email preference centers allow you to get to know your readers on a whole new level.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Note how each of these segmentation categories goes beyond traditional marketing categories. Now, if you’re a news publisher, relevant segmentation categories may look more like:

  • Geo-location
  • Politics
  • Evergreen
  • Sports
  • Crime
  • Education
  • World news
  • Technology and more

5. Focus on your mobile subscribers.

Publishers know just how essential mobile subscribers are, especially if they’re working in the news or creative writing industries. As more users switch away from traditional print material such as books and newspapers, the focus is turned to mobile magazines, eBooks, and more.

That means focusing on mobile design, and that’s especially true when it comes to your email marketing materials. With more than half of worldwide emails being opened on mobile devices, the focus needs to be on catching the reader’s attention and getting them to open your messages. This isn’t easy, especially given the ever-shrinking character and word counts that are made visible on mobile devices.

That means making the most of your email subject lines and preheader text. This example from VJ Books grabs the reader’s attention immediately:

Subject line: NEW Fall Book Sale starts TODAY: Save 30% with coupon inside!

Capture the reader’s attention by sending segmented/relevant content to their inboxes.

Source: Milled

Once the reader has opened the message, they’re easily guided through a selection of books to a CTA that’ll take them directly to the sale that interested them in the first place.

In this case, the publisher made use of the reverse pyramid design to help guide the reader from the top of the message to the CTA. Also, note that the design doesn’t use a lot of excessive text. Instead, they make good use of images to help the reader scan through the possible sale options. If they see something they like, then they’re more likely to click on the CTA to browse through the more significant sales collection.

6. Test, test, and re-test.

Finally, your marketing team will want to make sure that your publisher’s marketing strategy includes regular testing. Taking the time to set up email campaigns that entice your readers to take action and visit your content takes a lot of time and resources. The only way to know if your efforts have paid off is to monitor your campaigns.

By taking the time to send out test samples of your emails before sending them to your entire list, you’re more likely to find what works best with your readers before wasting your time in the creation process to simply have no opens or conversions.

Utilize A/B testing to help you determine what content and design aspects sit well with your email subscribers.

 A/B testing is the only way to know what your subscribers will react best to.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Wrap up

Creating a publisher marketing strategy isn’t all that different from traditional marketing strategies. The key difference is knowing your audience and what they’re looking for. When working on your publisher marketing strategy, keep these 6 tips in mind:

  • Curated content is your friend
  • Utilize split CTAs
  • Drip campaigns work
  • Segment your email lists
  • Focus on your mobile subscribers
  • Test, test, and re-test

Want to dive deeper into publisher marketing? Then check out our handy guide on everything you need to know about publisher marketing in today’s digital age.

The post Publisher Marketing Strategy Tips and Tricks appeared first on Campaign Monitor.