Marketers Need an Easier Way to Optimize Landing Pages [Introducing Smart Traffic™]

Want to capture more conversions with your landing pages? (Silly question, right?)

The received wisdom is that you should A/B test and optimize until you’re converting as many visitors as possible. For years, you’ve been told by industry leaders (and, yes, by Unbounce) that A/B testing is essential to your digital marketing practice.

And why not? There’s plenty of evidence that shows A/B testing works by letting you squeeze more conversions from your existing assets. Brilliant.

But if you’re on a small marketing team—heck, you just might be that proverbial “I” in a team of one—then running tests also demands time, high volumes of traffic, or CRO expertise that you might not have.

For some marketers, a typical landing page converting at 5% might see 50 visitors a day. To see a lift of 20% to your conversion rate in these circumstances, you’d have to run an A/B test for 304 days (to reach 95% significance, according to our A/B test duration calculator). Waiting for almost a year for a test is not viable, especially since these tests don’t always produce useable insights.

Plus, what happens while you wait for the results to roll in? Your time-sensitive campaigns (like that big Black Friday sale) begin to wither on the vine before you can optimize them. Your offers can expire. And you’re potentially delaying decisions you could make about updates to your positioning until you crown a winner.

It’s something of an open secret that, for marketers with limited resources, the experience of A/B testingcan be disappointment and frustration. Like cardio, it’s something you know you should be doing on the regular—people keep telling you that you should be doing it—but the reality is that you’ve got too much to do already.

Can anyone blame you for accepting a certain flabbiness to your landing pages? (Not when the current, most standard way to optimize can be so complex, no.)

Despite all the hard work it requires, the truth is that…

A/B testing isn’t your only option.

At Unbounce, we’ve been advocating for A/B testing for a long time. (For as long as there’s been an Unbounce.)

It was easy to obsess because it works: marketers who optimize landing pages in this way see significant lifts in their conversion rates. They’re able to experiment with different layouts, offers, and content to find the most effective approach for their visitors.

Today, we still stand behind A/B testing as a great tool for confirming an informed hypothesis. It totally works when you’ve got the traffic volumes and expertise to interpret your results properly. But we’d be remiss not to address the fact that plenty of marketers have felt left behind by the A/B testing revolution.

Even its devotees will admit that A/B testing isn’t perfect.

For all its good, A/B testing has a fatal flaw.

As we explored new ways to help you convert more, Unbounce kept running up into the limitations of A/B testing. Even if your business gets boatloads of traffic and can sustain long test durations, optimizing with A/B testing helps you serve up a single landing page that appeals to as many visitors as possible.

By trying to create a champion landing page that tries to target most people, you’re actually just targeting the average person. That means that you end up not converting to your potential.

This “one-size-fits-all” approach to optimizing means you’re letting potential customers slip right through your net: the people who’d never convert on your so-called champion.

You know your customers aren’t all the same. They come from different places, use different devices, have different motivations, respond to different offers, etc. So why send them all to the same page?

An illustration of A/B testing

No matter how easy Unbounce makes it for you to A/B test, optimizing only works under the right circumstances and with the right goals.

So let’s recap. If we’re being real, A/B testing can let you down in three big ways:

  • It’s very complex. If A/B testing inspires imposter syndrome in you, you’re not alone. While 95% of marketers recognize A/B testing has value for their business, 42% think it’s too difficult. From the initial hypothesis, what to test, isolating just one item to test, calculating the duration of time you need, and interpreting results, it’s no joke and definitely not for everybody.
  • It can devour your time and demands tons of traffic. It’s the small and medium businesses—ironically, marketers who need to move faster and smarter than the big guys—who tend to hit this obstacle hardest. If you’re a David looking to topple a Goliath, you’ve got other things on your mind.
  • It leads to “optimized” pages that aren’t actually optimized for each and every visitor. Sure, you can personalize in other ways—even manually—but that just leads to more headaches as you further split the crucial traffic that you need to run A/B tests.

If you’ve been vigorously nodding your head as you read along, it probably feels easy to shrug your shoulders and accept that conversion optimization isn’t right for you. As a small biz, you may feel like you’ll never have the time, the traffic, the expertise, or the resources to make it happen.

But…

What if Unbounce taught a machine to optimize your landing pages for you?

Today, we’re proud to bring you Smart Traffic™, a proprietary landing page optimization tool built on machine learning.

Powered by AI, Smart Traffic automatically optimizes your landing pages by sending each and every visitor to a page variant where they’re most likely to convert. It avoids the problem of optimizing for the average visitor with a “one-size-fits-all” champion.

It’s also dead-simple to use. And it starts optimizing quickly, after as few as 50 visits, without the need to babysit or manually apply your learnings.

Best of all, customers in our beta saw an average 20% lift in conversions compared to an A/B test. (We don’t call it an easy button, but it’s an easy button.)

Here’s how it works:

1. You create landing page variants.

You’re not constrained to just one change at a time—or just one variant—so get creative. Just want to make a small tweak? Do it. Looking to get wild? Heck yeah. Your team can’t decide between two options? Why not both? You can even add new variants at any time—which is perfect for people who’s best ideas come to them in the shower, or in traffic, or during the duller moments of Thanksgiving dinner.

Screenshot of creating landing page variants

2. Set a conversion goal, then turn on Smart Traffic.

Make sure your variants have a conversion goal so that the tool understands your desired outcome. Then just publish (or, if you’re adding Smart Traffic to an existing campaign, republish) your landing page. Our machine will immediately begin a short learning phase where it explores the possibilities.

Screenshot of turning on Smart Traffic

3. Smart Traffic optimizes automatically.

Here’s the best part: you’re done.

You’ll start to see better conversion rates once Smart Traffic starts applying its learnings about your visitors. With the magic of machine learning, the tool will also continue to adapt and improve over time. This way, it better understands where visitors will convert—even if your traffic sources change. In other words, you’ll see a lift in your conversions, no further actions required. This thing’s pretty clever.

Oh, and it’s available to Unbounce customers right now—as you read this very sentence. So if you want to quit reading and go flip that switch, I wouldn’t blame you.

For CRO aficionados or those who already have the benefit of tons of traffic, Smart Traffic has potential as a hands-free way of setting up your already optimized campaigns for progressive, long-term improvements. By using Smart Traffic alongside classic A/B tests, you can see the benefits of both worlds. (We’re very excited to see what the experts can do with it.)

But for small yet scrappy marketing teams—or really anyone tight on time and resources—Smart Traffic is a freakin’ game changer because it lets you optimize your pages without the stresses associated with A/B testing.

Create your variants. Turn it on. See results.

Speed up your time to results. If you build landing pages with Unbounce, you can start using AI-powered Smart Traffic today to optimize for better visitor experiences and more conversions. Find out more about how Smart Traffic helps marketers reach their conversion potential.

A Smarter Way to Optimize

Everything you’ve just read is all you need to know to get started. For the curious, though, let’s go into a little more detail about how Smart Traffic makes optimizing your landing pages easy.

Smart Traffic knocks down the barriers to entry.

As Carl Schmidt, CTO and co-founder of Unbounce, describes it, “Smart Traffic is the first step on our journey towards turning the tides for small businesses by enabling [you] to achieve unprecedented results using the power of AI.”

You don’t need an unrealistic amount of visitors to start seeing results. (It definitely won’t take 305 days.) But there’s also another time gain worth noting. Because, unlike traditional A/B testing, there’s no lengthy exploration phase in which you’re sending 50% of your traffic to the eventual loser (potentially missing out on yet more conversions).

By design, A/B testing splits all your visitors randomly between multiple variants.

With Smart Traffic you’re off to the races and optimizing (almost) right away. Compare it to traditional A/B testing, and the difference becomes very clear:

Comparison of A/B testing, Multi-Armed Bandit testing, and Smart Traffic

On the left, you see the explore/exploit pattern of a typical A/B test. Protracted periods of random testing are required before each learning can be confidently applied via manual intervention. (And there’s no guarantee any given A/B test will produce significant results.)

On the far right, you can see how Smart Traffic uses machine learning to conduct continuous (contextual multi-armed bandit) optimizing for you. It begins applying its learnings to your conversion rates with a sample as small as 50 visitors, so you can boost your conversion rates on campaigns of all sizes. Every subsequent visit represents another chance to learn and optimize.

You’ll see better results than an A/B test in less time and with less work. Some beta testers saw incredible gains with little time or effort when they applied it to existing pages.

The fact we got 10% more conversions without doing any work is a big deal. You can’t ignore that.

Kyle Carline, Brand Manager at Salem Web Network

Smart Traffic matches visitors with the variant most likely to convert.

Instead of optimizing for the average person, Smart Traffic starts matching each and every visitor to the landing page variant that’s right for them, based on the unique attributes that set them apart from the crowd.

An illustration of Smart Traffic

You win more conversions because the experience will be more relevant. So Sally from Brooklyn and Peter from Kansas City will each see the landing page that right for them—instead of one “champion” page that appeals to the masses. There’s no guarantee they’ll convert, but Smart Traffic gives you the best possible chance of converting as individuals.

Finally, Smart Traffic frees you to do great marketing.

It took a team of data scientists—including a literal string theorist—and three years of research, but Smart Traffic’s patent-pending machine learning algorithm puts the complexity back where it belongs: behind the scenes. It’s all kinds of automagical that way. By crunching data and dynamically matching visitors to variants, it’s doing something that no human being could.

But Smart Traffic has value beyond the technology: it frees you to do things that machine learning algorithms simply can’t. Itfrees you to engage with the human part of marketing—the better part of marketing, I’d say—like creating innovative campaigns and strategy, smarter and more engaging content, and more compelling visitor experiences.

So go ahead and leave the complex stuff to us.

Photo of Carl Schmidt at CTAConf
Carl Schmidt (Unbounce Co-Founder & CTO) points out the creative drawbacks of A/B testing at this year’s Call To Action Conference.

The World’s First AI-Powered Landing Page Product

It’s easy to get over-hyped when it comes to AI and machine learning, but that’s not why we’re so proud to bring Smart Traffic to you today.

You see, Unbounce was founded on the idea of helping businesses of all sizes achieve better marketing. We strongly believe that insights and actions drawn from data will be the key.

The goal behind introducing machine learning into our product is to enhance your capabilities as a marketer.

You may not have time to learn the nuances of A/B testing. You may not currently see the traffic volume you need to split test successfully. And you may have a hundred other things on your plate.

But now, you too can optimize. (And really, you should optimize.)

By reducing manual hassles involved with optimizing, AI helps you deliver better, more relevant experiences, connect with your customers in personal ways, and—yep—score more conversions. (I’d love to teach the machine 🤖 to bring me my coffee in the morning, but the team assures me they have bigger, better plans.)

Just in case you were wondering, we’re just gettin’ started.

Original Article

10 Ecommerce Landing Page Examples That Maximize Sales

The best ecommerce landing pages don’t just convert better—they make you more money. (Cha-ching!) Take a look at some of the best-selling examples from other marketers in the biz, and see how you can get more shoppers to click on that “Buy Now” button.

Why Not Just Use Product Pages for Your Ecommerce Campaigns and Promotions?

Pairing ads with product pages can lead to some pretty underwhelming results. According to Monetate, visitors convert half as often when they’re on a product page compared to a custom landing page experience.

That’s because most product pages don’t follow ecommerce best practices. They have boilerplate copy and design that tries to target everybody at the same time (and doesn’t sync up with your paid advertisements). Even worse—most product pages are stuffed with shiny links that end up distracting shoppers and keep them browsing instead of buying.

With landing pages, you can focus a visitor’s attention on a single product or offering and lead them on a personalized journey to purchase. They’re more targeted, customizable, and twice as likely to convert.

Not getting the results you want from sending traffic to your online store? Start building your own ecommerce landing pages today with a free 14-day trial of Unbounce.

10 Ecommerce Landing Page Examples

  1. LIV Watches
  2. TRIBE
  3. Ascent Footwear
  4. BoxyCharm
  5. Thistle
  6. waterdrop
  7. Infinite Moon
  8. Solo Stove
  9. Nathan Sports
  10. Meowbox

Example #1: LIV Watches

Industry: Apparel
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: LIV Watches

Image courtesy of LIV Watches. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Need to Show Off Your Product in Different Ways

Typical online storefronts have a pretty standard approach to showing off their products. There’s probably a carousel of images at the top of the page and… well, that’s about it. But this example from LIV Watches shows how powerful it can be to spotlight your product throughout the page in multiple ways.

In this case, LIV is featuring a special edition wristwatch in partnership with pro cyclist TJ Eisenhart. Notice how, as you scroll down, they show the watch featured in different lights, different scenery, and different situations. You get to see a video overview of the watch, close-ups of the various features, and even a pretty slick side-profile that really shows off the craftsmanship.

It’s a great example of how ecommerce marketers can break the mold of “traditional” product landing pages to show customers the details they actually want to see.

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • LIV creates a sense of urgency with this limited edition product. If you want this particular wristwatch, you know that you need to make a purchase decision fast. (Tick, tock.)
  • This brand is—in part—about lifestyle. That really comes through in the video, which explores idealistic sentiments like passion, aspiration, and truth to oneself.
  • All of the photography (along with the video and additional animations) really gives customers an up-close look at the craftsmanship, so they know exactly what they’re buying.

Example #2: TRIBE

Industry: Food & Beverage
Model: Storefront & Subscription
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: TRIBE Image courtesy of TRIBE. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Can Make Special Offers to Close More Customers

Setting up limited-time deals or special offers on your regular ecommerce shop can be a huge pain. Standard product pages often don’t properly show off a deal, and they can be pretty rigid if, for example, you only want certain people to be able to access the promo.

That’s why this example from TRIBE is worth looking over. Their marketing team set up an “Exclusive Shortlist Offer” on a landing page, so they could carefully control who the promotion went out to—rather than make it available to every single visitor who happened across their website.

Better still, because this is a landing page built using Unbounce, the team from TRIBE had complete control over how they presented the promotion. To help sell the offer, the team incorporated the value of the deal into everything from the CTA (“Enjoy Your First TRIBE Box for £2”) to the subscription details (“Custom built pack and tailored to your needs”). Very smart!

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • The focus on athletics throughout the page—including a great training photo underneath the hero section—helps visitors understand the value of these natural performance products, and who they are meant for. (Hint: not me.)
  • The emphasis on social proof helps make the offer more compelling as well. Not only are there testimonials from a recognizable customer review website, but there are also familiar media outlets and supermarket logos to increase your confidence.

Example #3: Ascent Footwear

Industry: Apparel
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: Ascent Footwear

Image courtesy of Ascent Footwear. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Should Focus on the Product Details Your Customers Care About Most

If you’re selling apparel that’s more function than fashion (like a shoe that’s designed to correct your walking stride), it’s important to put emphasis on the mechanics of how your product works. Case in point: this example from Ascent Footwear.

Not only does this landing page show off exactly what goes into each shoe, but it also explains why that makes such a difference. (Now, I just need to figure out what the heck “ample lateral stability” means.) The page removes all the fluff and focuses on answering one very specific question: How does this shoe actually work?

Compare this to most product pages, which often get lost in the details that don’t matter as much. Manufacturer references, lengthy product descriptions, related products—if your customers don’t actually care about these things, they might just be distracting them from making a purchase.

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • Ascent uses an expanded view of its shoe to showcase the technical components that contribute to its comfort and durability.
  • By including an explainer video, Ascent is able to elaborate on the value propositions of the product without taking up much space on the page.
  • The clean, single-column layout and short length mean that visitors aren’t being overloaded with information. That way, they can focus on Ascent’s core message.

Wanna see all 27 ecommerce landing page examples? Download The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook to help inspire your next high-converting masterpiece.

Example #4: BoxyCharm

Industry: Cosmetic
Model: Subscription
Page Type: Lead Generation

Ecommerce Landing Page: BoxyCharmImage courtesy of BoxyCharm. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Can Use Landing Pages to Build Hype for Product Launches

Launching a new product is always exciting—but getting the word out to customers can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where this example from BoxyCharm comes into the mix.

To help promote their new upscale beauty subscription box, their marketing team put together a promotional landing page that builds anticipation for the product and directs interested shoppers to enter their email address. This lead generation tactic proved to be quite useful—when the subscription box officially launched, the team at BoxyCharm already had a big list of shoppers who were interested.

Brains and beauty? This example really is the full package. 😉

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • The sleek layout, on-brand color scheme, and parallax scroll effect all demonstrate that BoxyCharm has a flair for design. Nice.
  • The landing page copy helps BoxyCharm’s brand identity with the #hashtag generation, and the social links included make it easy for visitors to engage further.
  • The video gives us a look at the process behind the product and shows that BoxyCharm hears (and acts on) customer feedback.

Example #5: Thistle

Industry: Food & Beverage
Model: Subscription
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: ThistleImage courtesy of Thistle. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Should Always Optimize Your Landing Page for Mobile Devices

Making purchases on your phone is the new norm. According to Google, when people have a negative experience on mobile, they are 62% less likely to make a purchase from your brand in the future. That means for every page you create, you should be optimizing it for smartphones and tablets as well.

This example from Thistle shows how simple it can be to optimize your page for mobile devices. Using Unbounce, they created a landing page for their plant-based meal subscription service that looks stunning regardless of which type of device you’re using.

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • The page does a great job highlighting the unique value proposition of this meal subscription service: nutrition-optimized, ready to eat, plant-based meals made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Thistle knows its audience. They understand how health-conscious their subscribers are, and made sure to include extra info about how each Thistle meal is curated to include the right mix of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Example #6: waterdrop

Industry: Food & Beverage
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: WaterdropImage courtesy of waterdrop. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Can Target Specific Audiences to Get Better Results

While your product pages typically have to be generic enough to speak to everybody at the same time, you can build landing pages to speak specifically to one particular audience or use case. This example from waterdrop sets the bar for targeted messaging—and, by converting more than half of all visitors, it makes a compelling case for you to do the same.

Everything on this page is meant for one audience: women. Contextual shots? Women. Testimonials? Women. This brand knows who they’re talking to, and their strategy seems to be working.

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • The design is spectacular and complements the product well. Can colors be flavorful? This landing page says they can, and our abrupt craving for something sweet and fruity makes us believe it.
  • The page also does a good job of leveraging social proof by including recognizable media logos and positive customer reviews.

Example #7: Infinite Moon

Industry: Home
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: Infinite MoonImage courtesy of Infinite Moon. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Should Always Back Up Your Claims with Your Best Testimonials

Any ecommerce marketer will be able to tell you that reviews and testimonials are some of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. And this example from Infinite Moon and Wallaroo Media shows how you can use them more effectively on a landing page to make a sale.

Whereas on a typical product page you might just automatically surface up the latest customer reviews, the testimonials on this page have been carefully curated to help tell the brand story. Each one touches on an important benefit of Infinite Moon pillows: maximum comfort, serious pain relief, and high-quality materials.

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • Using lightboxes to give visitors an up-close view of the product and provide additional information means that the page isn’t cluttered.
  • InfiniteMoon makes good use of the space above the fold, communicating their value prop through a punchy headline and emotive hero shot.

Example #8: Solo Stove

Industry: Cookware
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: Solo StoveImage courtesy of Solo Stove. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Can Overcome Purchase Objections Using Photos and Other Multimedia

Are you relying on the fact that visitors will actually read your product descriptions? As a copywriter, I know as well as anyone that (and this is hard to admit) text and bullet points will only get you so far when it comes to overcoming purchase objections. A lot of shoppers skim or skip over the content you write, and they usually end up missing those key product details.

With ecommerce landing pages, you have the flexibility to overcome purchase objections in whichever ways you think will resonate most with your shoppers.

In this example from Solo Stove, their marketing team uses a combination of text and visuals to answer every possible question you might have about the product as you scroll down the page. (“What does it do?” It protects you from the flame. “Where am I gonna store all this?” It all nests inside the stove. “Can you still roast weiners?” With grooved ridges, this shield makes it easier than ever to get your wiener roast on.)

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • Combining this product promotion with a limited-time 20% off pre-sale offer is a great way to encourage visitors to click through today, rather than wait until tomorrow.
  • The footer at the bottom of the page reminds shoppers that they’ll get free shipping, free returns, and a lifetime warranty. All of these promises help to eliminate risk and build trust in the brand.

Example #9: Nathan Sports

Industry: Sport
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: Nathan SportsImage courtesy of Nathan Sports. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: You Can Get More Creative with Promotions on Landing Pages

Consistent visual branding is more important than ever, but it does place limits on how imaginative you can be with your product pages. After all, they have to exist within the greater ecosystem of your online store. You can’t just go changing up the color schemes or formatting for every new product release!

But that’s why so many marketers are flexing their creativity with their ecommerce landing pages instead. Take this campaign from Nathan Sports, for example. It’s so different from the rest of their online store that it demands you take notice (and maybe put on some retro 3D glasses while you’re at it).

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • The theme is so cool, and Nathan fully commits to it—from the loud, neon visuals, to the flashy animations, to the campaign slogan. Awesome.
  • This page might feel like it’s from another era, but today’s best practices still apply. Strong headline, benefits-oriented copy, rule- of-three layout—it’s all here.
  • Nathan even includes a custom playlist to help runners get pumped with retro jams from Duran Duran, Blondie, and Run DMC. Someone teach us how to run right now!

Example #10: Meowbox

Industry: Pet
Model: Subscription
Page Type: Click-Through

Ecommerce Landing Page: MeowboxImage courtesy of Meowbox. (Click to see the whole thing.)

What This Ecommerce Example Reveals: Any Landing Page Can Be Improved With a Couple of Cat Photos

OK, I’m going to level with you. I was pretty much ready to finish this article… but I just couldn’t resist including this example. Meowbox is a monthly subscription box with toys and treats for your favorite feline. What’s not to love?

What Else We Love About This Landing Page:

  • It’s one thing for pet owners to say that Meowbox is wonderful, but pairing customer testimonials with pictures of their cats enjoying the treats adds another level of credibility.
  • The headline conveys Meowbox’s main value proposition and, paired with the hero shot, helps visitors understand what they’re getting as soon as they hit the page.
  • This is a click-through landing page, but Meowbox includes a newsletter signup form as a secondary conversion goal to try and capture those precious email addresses. No lead left behind.

What Do the Best Ecommerce Landing Pages Have in Common?

The best ecommerce landing pages target one specific audience, focus on a singular CTA, and include just enough persuasive elements to help a shopper convert. They also:

Oh, and I should also mention that all of the examples featured in this article were built using Unbounce. If you’re interested, you can check out some of our high-converting ecommerce landing page templates to get started on your own today.

 

Original Article

9 Creative Popup Ideas to Make More Money for Your Ecommerce Store

While you may have lots of ideas for running high-converting promotions, making changes to your online store to implement said promotions can be time-consuming and tricky depending on your shop setup.

Lucky, you can quickly and easily create targeted popup promotions that spur sales directly, or nurture relationships with prospects until they’re eager and ready to buy, increasing your sales and order values.

Let’s take a look at nine powerful popup ideas that you can get up and running today to boost your business’s bottom line. But first…

What Makes an Effective Popup Promotion?

(“Show me the money—err, examples!”)

Not all popups are created equal. (We’re not the first to point this out—a recent study revealed that popups triggered in context convert 40% better than popups without.)

To create truly contextual popups, you should keep these three principles in mind:

  • Be targeted. Target your popup to appear based on who your prospects are, where they are, and what they’re doing. This will help your message appear for and appeal to the right people, like visitors on a specific page, in a specific location, or from a specific referral source.
  • Be generous. One of the best ways to get your prospects to take action is to make them an offer they can’t refuse. (Cue The Godfather theme.) For example, you can sweeten your popup promotion with a discount, free shipping, or even the opportunity to subscribe for relevant, valuable content.
  • Be friendly. When you’re writing your message, you want to convey it in as few words as possible. But this is also your chance to build rapport with your potential customers. Choose warm and inviting words that showcase your brand’s personality. You can even make things personal (and increase message match) by populating your popup with your visitor’s first name or the search terms they used to find your offer.

9 Popup Ideas You’ll Want to Steal (and Make Your Own)

Now, on to the good stuff. As promised, here are nine powerful popup ideas you can set up quickly on your own ecommerce site.

1. Increase first-time purchases with an upfront offer

You know how the saying goes: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, in ecommerce, you never get a second chance to spark a relationship with a new prospect and get that first sale. The good news is that you can greatly increase your likelihood of converting by implementing a first-time purchase popup.

This means that when a new visitor lands on your website, you’ll offer them an incentive (like a discount) to buy their first item. This can have a domino effect, where people who purchase once are more likely to purchase again and become long-term customers.

One of my favorite examples is from clothing brand Chubbies:

Creative Popup Examples - Chubbies

The popup is eye-catching and straight to the point. The tone is also warm, fun, and playful. Language like “give it a whirl” and “because a weekend is a terrible thing to waste” showcase the brand’s quirky nature. Most importantly, new customers can immediately see the value they’ll get by signing up: $10 off their first order.

Tips for creating your first-time purchase popup:

  • Give new visitors a little time to get grounded and start browsing your website before triggering the popup. We recommend a 5- to 10-second delay.
  • Offer an incentive for new visitors to stick around and buy their first item. That could be a discount, free shipping, a small gift, or anything else you think will resonate.
  • When it comes to writing copy, keep your tone warm, inviting, and on-brand, but also get to the point fast. If your copy is too long, your visitors will get distracted and bounce. (Cat gif, anyone?)

2. Boost cross-sell purchases with a related product recommendation

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, attributes 35% of its revenue to cross-selling. If it works for Amazon, you’d better believe it can work for you, too.

By implementing a cross-sell popup, you encourage customers to add relevant items to their cart. This helps folks find related products they’ll love and bumps your average order value. Of course, your cross-sell popup will work best when it’s something customers genuinely want or need to pair with the product they’re about to buy.

Amazon does this really well. For example, if someone adds a tablet case to their cart, Amazon recommends an SD card that provides extra memory for tablets (shown below). Granted, it’s not the prettiest popup in the world, but it’s still a great example of how you can recommend products that are super relevant to your prospects’ purchase intent.

Creative Popup Examples - Amazon

Or check out this creative idea, again from Chubbies:

Creative Popup Examples - Chubbies (Again)

When customers add an item to their cart, a popup-like slider appears on the right side, offering a chance to unlock a free gift when they spend $99. Then, they recommend a series of t-shirts that would look good with that piece of clothing.

They’re playing with that element of intrigue, too. If you’re naturally curious (like I am), you’re going to want to buy another product just to see what surprise gift is in store.

Tips for creating your cross-sell popup:

  • When prospects add an item to their cart or scroll down to look for product details, they’re showing an intent to buy. That’s the perfect time to trigger this type of popup to appear.
  • Recommend an add-on product related to the one your prospect is looking at. If you’re not sure which products pair well, take a look at your analytics or talk to some of your customers.
  • Offer prospects a gift or discount if they buy products as a bundle.

3. Get visitors’ email addresses before they leave

The harsh reality is that, for most ecommerce sites, many first-time shoppers will browse, leave, and never come back. Ouch.

Thankfully, you can create an exit-intent popup to re-engage visitors who show signs that they’re about to leave. When done right (think more value-focused, rather than breakup-sad), this can help you reduce your website abandonment rate and capture more email subscribers—then you can nurture them and keep them warm until they’re ready to buy.

This is a great example from hannahpad:

Creative Popup Examples - hannahpad

The casual “leaving already?” is enough to grab the visitor’s attention. That’s quickly followed up with a snappy, lighthearted description of why they should stay. That $10 discount coupon does sound appealing, huh?

Tips for creating your exit-intent popup:

  • If a prospect is looking for the exit sign (i.e., hovering over the exit button or opening a new tab), they’re in danger of leaving. There’s no better time to trigger this popup and keep them on your website.
  • Have you heard of the concept of reciprocity? By offering your prospects something valuable first (like a discount or gift), they’ll be more likely to return the favor by handing over their email address.
  • Keep your copy fun and lighthearted. Lots of ecommerce companies beg or plead for their customers to stay. It’s far more effective to give them a reason to stay.

4. Upsell customers with additional products or a high-value version

There’s no better feeling than when a prospect is at your checkout, about to buy a product they’ll love. But what if you could get more value from the sale and help potential customers find the right product at the same time? That’d be much sweeter, right?

You can create an upsell popup that shows prospects an alternative (more expensive, higher-quality) product before they buy. Or you can even prompt them to buy more of the same product.

How cool is this idea from personal grooming company Dollar Shave Club?

Creative Popup Examples - Dollar Shave Club

When a prospect adds a product to their cart, this popup poses a simple question: “How many do you need?” It makes the prospect think twice. Maybe they were about to buy one hair gel product, but realize they could benefit from three. (You know, just in case they’re having a bad hair… year.)

This example also shows that you don’t always need to offer a discount to spark action. By getting a little creative and thinking outside the box, you can create genuine enthusiasm and I-simply-must-have-this desire.

Tips for creating your upsell popup:

  • Just like in real life, when a prospect adds an item to their shopping bag or looks at a particular product for a while, they’re showing intent to buy. That’s the ideal time to trigger this popup—right before the purchase.
  • Recommend a high-tier version of the product your customer is looking at, or ask how many they’d like to buy (like in the Dollar Shave Club example above).
  • Adding an extra incentive, like a discount, will increase your upsell revenue. At the very least, you’ll have some very happy customers who’ll rave about their purchase.

Make more ecommerce sales with popups. Get started quickly and easily with our high-converting popup templates. Once you have a template you like, tailor the copy for your offer and add specific targeting filters (like in the examples here).

5. Reduce abandoned carts with a well-timed incentive

The average cart abandonment rate for ecommerce stores in 2019 is 69.5% across all industries. Reducing cart abandonment is one of the toughest jobs you’ll face as an ecomm marketer. We feel you.

Thankfully, you can trigger an abandoned cart popup to recapture visitors who are just about to leave by incentivizing them to complete their purchase.

Check out this example from Kate Spade:

Creative Popup Examples - Kate Spade

This popup appears when a prospect indicates that they’re about to leave. It highlights that the prospect qualifies for two-day free shipping and free returns—important details they might’ve otherwise missed.

Giving potential customers the option to leave their email address is particularly clever. Armed with that, Kate Spade can send follow-up messages and reignite prospect interest in their abandoned purchase.

Tips for creating your abandoned cart popup:

  • Trigger this popup to appear on exit, when a visitor indicates they’re about to leave their cart. This could be when they move their cursor over the exit button, or when they hover over the navigation to another part of your website.
  • Offer or highlight an incentive for completing their purchase, like free shipping or a discount coupon.
  • If the offer is temporary, consider adding a countdown timer to convey a sense of urgency. This works especially well for limited sale items or additional incentives, like a free gift.

6. Encourage sales with a time-limited offer

Holidays like Christmas, Black Friday, and New Year’s Eve bring peaks in website traffic, especially for ecommerce stores. This provides the ideal opportunity for ecomm marketers to capture more sales with timely, targeted offers.

Check out the example from mattress company Leesa below. The clear, concise, and straight-to-the-point language (“$130 off a Leesa mattress”) makes the offer hard to miss. Plus, the “expiring soon” text—coupled with a timer—generates urgency for the prospect to act soon or risk losing out.

You can create a time-limited offer popup to showcase a sale, creating a sense of excitement and urgency for prospects. This type of promotion will help you boost sales within a specific time period. Talk about a win-win.

Creative Popup Examples - Leesa

Tips for creating your time-limited offer popup:

  • If your offer won’t appeal to everyone, target your popup to appear on a relevant product page or category during your limited offer time period.
  • Leave a slight delay (about 5 to 10 seconds) before triggering your popup to give people a chance to orient themselves first.
  • Highlight your offer upfront, simply and clearly. For extra impact, show a photo of the item that’s up for grabs.
  • Add a countdown timer to create urgency and prompt prospects to act now.
  • Keep it ethical. Don’t mislead prospects about the amount of time the offer is available for just to elicit panic purchases. Remember, the keys to building long-lasting relationships with customers are honesty and transparency.

7. Capture newsletter subscribers with a fun, value-packed popup

Some browsers aren’t ready to buy just yet, but they still want to stay up-to-date with your brand. By reaching out to them while they’re engaging with your content, you have the chance to capture them as newsletter subscribers. That way, you’ll be top of mind as soon as they’re ready to buy.

This Poo-Pourri newsletter subscriber popup (or should I say poopup?) is genius. It’s fun, relevant, and super funny.

Creative Popup Examples - Poo-Pourri

From the shape of the popup to the headline (“Join the Potty”), everything is perfectly on-brand. However, the best thing is how the intriguing description pulls the reader in: “Sign up for our newsletter to get the scoop on new products and (super secret) sales.” Who wouldn’t want access to super secret sales?!

Tips for creating your newsletter subscriber popup:

  • When someone scrolls through a certain percentage of a relevant page (like a blog post), it’s safe to say they’re interested in your content. This is a great opportunity to reach out and offer them more content (like your value-packed newsletter). Ensure what you offer is connected to what they’re currently viewing—in this case, consuming more rad content they clearly like, maybe of the exact topic they’re interested in vs. something very broad.
  • Make the value you’re offering extremely clear. Offer an incentive, like a coupon code or the chance to access exclusive offers.
  • Ensure the subscriber understands what they’re signing up for, whether it’s your latest tips, blog posts, or industry news.

8. Capture high-intent email subscribers with an exclusive content offer

If a prospect is viewing a specific product page for a long period of time, they might need a little nudge to get them to buy. This is particularly true for very high-value products, like engagement rings.

Reach these prospects with an exclusive content popup that promises to help them make a decision with a guide or ebook. Then, once they hand over their email, a member of your sales team can follow up to help answer additional questions (and possibly close the sale).

Along these lines, this popup from Long’s Jewelers is genius:

Creative Popup Examples - Long's Jewelers

It appears after a prospect has been viewing an engagement ring for a while and appeals to the “rookie” buyer (likely a significant chunk of their business). The copy is fun and casual, and it speaks to the reader’s pain points. The image even reveals a sneak peek into the content, which is sure to stir up some level of curiosity.

Tips for creating your exclusive content popup:

  • If your prospect has been viewing a high-value product page for a significant amount of time, they might need more information. This is the best time to reach out with a popup that proactively answers their questions.
  • Offer a guide or ebook related to the product in exchange for their email address, which’ll let you follow up with them later.
  • Be sure to provide a sneak peek to intrigue prospects and encourage them to take you up on the offer.

9. Remind prospects about deals so they don’t miss out

The internet has robbed us all of our attention spans. (Cat gifs, remember?) Just because a prospect has been eyeing up a specific sale item doesn’t mean they’ll remember to actually buy it.

The good news is that you can increase the chance of that prospect remembering a deal by prompting them to add a reminder to their calendar.

This is the premise behind one of Unbounce’s flexible popup templates: the calendar reminder popup. The popup works well because the design is simple and eye-catching while the copy is casual, friendly, and focused on helping the prospect. All you have to do is tweak the imagery, targeting, and copy to suit your ecommerce site and offer.

Creative Popup Examples - Unbounce

Tips for creating your calendar reminder popup:

  • When a prospect looks at a specific deal for some time, they’re probably considering a purchase. Help them out by giving them an opportunity to set a reminder and make their purchasing decision later (before the offer ends).
  • Remind prospects that the offer won’t last forever. If your deal is due to expire soon, consider highlighting the expiry date in your popup.
  • Focus your language on what’s in it for the prospect—not what’s in it for you. Play into their worry of missing out.

Test and Iterate Your Popup Ideas

Your popups are living, breathing entities on your ecommerce site. When done right, they have the power to significantly boost your business’s bottom line. So, make sure to review them and see how they’re performing regularly.

If a popup isn’t doing as well as you’d expect, why not A/B test it? You’ll soon spot trends in what works best (and what doesn’t). Armed with this knowledge, you can tweak your popups to take them (and your creative reputation) to the next level.

Original Article

2020 Ecommerce Landing Page Best Practices (with 27 Examples)

Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Landing Pages (But Were Afraid to Ask)

If your online store isn’t generating a ton of sales, it might have something to do with where you’re sending your traffic.

As an ecomm marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve advertised a product through paid search or announced a seasonal promotion via email—and, maybe, been less than delighted with the results. These campaigns can sputter for all sorts of reasons, but there’s a common blunder that tons of marketers make: they send their traffic directly to product pages on their ecommerce storefront. And that’s a problem.

Here at Unbounce, we want to answer some of the most common questions about poor ecomm performance (plus explain how landing pages can help), including:

Why Isn’t My Ecommerce Website Selling?

First things first. Why doesn’t your ecomm storefront convert as well as you’d like?

Your website (and the product pages within it) has a ton of distractions that can throw your prospects off course and away from purchasing. Think top-level navigation, related merchandise, external links to follow, and a dozen other shiny redirections. Ideally, you only want to present one path for your shopper to take—not the thousand options your website inadvertently presents.

Your online storefront’s messaging will also tend to be pretty broad, lacking the sort of persuasive details that different segments of your audience need to make a purchase decision.

Consider a pay-per-click (PPC) use case. If a potential customer was searching for “bikes for commuters” and clicked on your paid ad, they’d expect to land on a page showcasing bikes built for riding on the road, plus a clear way to redeem the 15% discount that you promised. Instead, they find themselves on your homepage, swamped by a ton of products they weren’t ever looking for: bike helmets, outerwear, and other sports accessories.

Where are the commuter bikes from the ad? How does this visitor claim the 15%-off discount? As you can see below, the message falls apart.

Why Isn't My Ecommerce Website Selling? (Bad message match!)

Research suggests that you’re better off sending traffic to ecommerce landing pages, which have been shown to double conversion rates and average order value. Landing pages focus on just one conversion goal at a time—and because you can build them separate from your ecomm store, you can launch promotional campaigns and test new products faster. In combination with the ads or emails you’re running, landing pages help you learn what type of messaging your visitors need to convert.

What’s an Ecommerce Landing Page?

An ecommerce landing page is a page that has been specifically designed to drive sales by matching your visitors’ search intent, showcasing the benefits of a product, and prompting conversion with a clear call to action. By building a unique landing page for each of your paid ads or ad groups, you can dramatically improve the chance that any given visitor converts.

Remember our PPC use case? Let’s look at an improved experience:

An example of an ecommerce landing page

In the example above, your visitors are directed from your ad targeting “bikes for commuters” (the keyword you’re bidding on) to a dedicated landing page that aligns perfectly with the search term and the visitor’s intent. From the slick imagery that screams “commuter bike” (as much as a bike can) to the descriptive copy and sticky bar focused on ordering now, your page gives visitors exactly what they expected to find. With fewer distractions (there’s no top-level nav and all of the links point to purchase), you’re far more likely to make the sale.

Landing pages aren’t just for paid search and social ads, either. Because they’re separate from your storefront and so quick to build, the ecommerce use cases for these pages are practically limitless. Linking out to a seasonal campaign from your website, or promoting a new product through an email blast, are also great opportunities to boost your sales with conversion-optimized landing pages.

Unless you’re working with one of the top-cheese ecomm platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, implementing changes to your storefront can require some serious technical know-how. There’s also a certain amount of risk in making tweaks without truly understanding the impact they’re going to have. With landing pages, your ecommerce brand can build pages and validate new products or promotions in a jiffy.

What Are Some Ecommerce Landing Page Best Practices?

“Hey, that’s great, Unbounce,” you say aloud, prompting concerned looks from nearby coworkers. “I want to build my page. But where can I learn more about incredible landing page design?”

We’re so glad you asked.

The team here at Unbounce is pleased to bring you The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, which includes some of our favorite landing pages from ecomm marketers in apparel and footwear, home decor, food and beverage, and everything in between. We’ve got spectacular examples from loads of brands you may already be familiar with, including wedding marketplace Zola, shirt brand Twillory, and sweet, sweet Drizzle Honey.

Unbounce Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook - Preview

The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook is presented in partnership with our friends at KlientBoost, an agency that specializes in helping your ecommerce company get more from your PPC ad spend.

Inside the lookbook, KlientBoost’s Director of Ecommerce, Reese Garcia, shares some of his best practices for creating a landing page that sells—and we’ve got a quick preview for you below.

A Great Ecommerce Landing Page Is:

#1. Perfectly aligned with your paid advertisement

This is all about message match, which we touched on earlier. When someone clicks through one of your search ads (or social post, or promotional email—whatever), you’ve already shaped their expectations for what they’ll see next. Ensure the copy that motivated their click is mirrored on your landing page. That way, you can indicate to potential customers that they’ve found what they’re looking for.

#2. Easy to follow with straightforward and concise messaging

It’s pretty unlikely that your visitors are going to read all of the copy on your landing page. Instead, they’ll skim for the information they want to see: your product’s differentiators, your promised benefits, and your price. Stick to the value of your offer. Keep things digestible with section breaks, headers, and bullet points.

#3. Optimized for desktop and mobile visitors alike

More of your visitors are on-the-go than ever before, and you need to make sure that your landing page delivers a positive mobile experience. If you’re not building separate pages for smaller screens, you need to at least make sure the pages you do have are responsive. Use a simple layout and keep load times as short as possible.

#4. Laser-focused on its primary goal: conversion

Every element of your landing page should be nudging visitors towards making a purchase decision. Remove unnecessary navigation and exit points to keep potential customers on the page. Consider using additional calls to action (like sticky bars or popups) to keep your offer top-of-mind.

Make more ecommerce sales with popups. Get started quickly and easily with our high-converting popup templates. Once you have a template you like, tailor the copy for your offer and add specific targeting filters (like in the examples here).

Where Can I Find Awesome Ecommerce Landing Page Examples?

It’s one thing to read tips for how to create an awesome ecommerce landing page. It’s another thing to see those principles come together in a way that not only looks great but also prompts action and drives revenue. That’s why the Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook (from Unbounce and KlientBoost) includes 27 jaw-dropping and high-converting examples from the top bananas of online retail.

Here are just a few ecommerce landing page examples from brands you’ll find in the lookbook. Follow their lead and you’ll be well on your way to building like the best of ’em.

Alps & Meters

Industry: Apparel
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

ecommerce landing page alps and meters

One look at our example from Alps & Meters and you’ll instantly understand how landing pages can elevate your product in ways your storefront rarely does. The luxury sportswear brand uses this opportunity to tell a story, imbuing their clothing with the emotional power of pioneering female athletes. Pair that with striking photography, plus big-name social proof, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

SnackNation

Industry: Food & Beverage
Model: Subscription
Page Type: Lead Generation

Ecommerce Landing Page SnackNation

This example demonstrates how you can use landing pages to run limited-time promotions and crank conversions into overdrive. SnackNation captures our attention with an unbelievable offer above the fold, then tackles objections by explaining exactly how their subscription service works and what’s included. Add in bold, colorful visuals and this whole page feels like a celebration.

This is just a taste of the insight you’ll find in The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook. Download the full thing for Unbounce-certified critiques and reccos on 27 top-notch pages.

Alchemy Fine Home

Industry: Home
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Lead Generation

Ecommerce Landing Page Alchemy Fine Home

Even with sparse copy, this landing page from Alchemy Fine Home (built by KlientBoost) does an amazing job of attracting new customers with a 15% first-order discount. Not only does it incentivize a purchase, it gets visitors onto the email list regardless of whether they actually buy something. Smart.

This page also makes terrific use of photography, visually conveying the sense of elegance that’s central to Alchemy’s brand.

Want to Build Ecommerce Landing Pages Like the Pros?

“Good ecomm marketers copy; great ecomm marketers steal.” — Picasso, probably.

Creating a masterpiece is a lot easier once you’ve found a little inspiration, and landing pages are no different. That’s why we created The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook: to help marketers like you find your ecomm Erato, your online retail muse.

Unbounce - The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook

What’s Inside the Lookbook?

  • Our hand-picked selection of 27 ecommerce landing pages from a bunch of different product segments and retail models.
  • At-a-glance insights into what makes these pages work so well (plus recommendations from the marketers who built them).
  • Heaps of amazing ideas for your own landing pages, including persuasive copy tips and gorgeous design techniques.

Don’t let your next ecomm product launch or promo campaign fizzle. Download The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook and get the inspiration you need to build beautiful, high-converting pages that turn looky-loos into customers.

Original Article

4 Lessons We Learned in 2019 (and How Marketers Can Apply Them in 2020)

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? And it’s not over yet.

Even if you’re still knee-deep in holiday and end-of-year promotions, it makes sense to take time to pause. Now’s the time to reflect on the challenges, opportunities, and accomplishments of 2019—before the crazy starts up again.

With that in mind, we’re revisiting the big lessons drawn from our most popular pieces on digital marketing and landing pages. For each, we’ll talk about how you can best apply these lessons in 2020 and beyond.

Lesson 1: Slow page speed is killing your conversions.

Unbounce predicted that 2019 would be “the year when the difference between fast and slow content becomes the difference between showing up in the search results (whether paid or organic) or disappearing completely.”

In January, we also published Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report to shed some light on how slow loading times are impacting conversion rates.

We wanted to know where improving page speed was falling in the marketers’ yearly priority lists—as well as what their customers experience (and how they behave) when a website is slow to load.

This research stirred up all kinds of reasons why you definitely need to keep speed in mind when creating landing pages. For instance, Google says 53% of visitors will bounce after three seconds of waiting. But our check-in at the Call to Action Conference in late 2018 revealed that 85% of participants’ pages came in slower than 5 seconds at a 3G connection. (We’re not naming names, but some took more than 20 seconds.)

The survey results also revealed that consumers are pretty frank about the impact that slow ecomm sites can have on their willingness to buy:

Slow load times lead to fewer sales
Source: Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report (Stats and Trends For Marketers)

What surprised us most, however, is that improving load times remains an overlooked way of optimizing the visitor experience. Very few marketers we surveyed identified it as a priority for the year, even though those who did have likely seen the benefits.

What Marketers Can Do in 2020

The thing is, these page speed concerns aren’t going away.

The average time for a web page to load is actually slower at the end of 2019 than it was a year ago. Some marketers have resisted making big improvements to loading times in the hopes that technology will save them (“5G is coming any day now!”). But speed remains a competitive differentiator.

Google hasn’t backed away from forcing the issue, either. They’ve always said that speed matters, but in November, they outlined plans to indicate when a site has been historically slow to load using badges in Chrome: “We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences.”

Chrome testing speed warnings
Source: Google Chromium Blog

All of this adds up to a continued need to boost speed on your landing pages and website. To help, Unbounce’s Garrett Hughes put together a shortlist of page speed fixes (plus a downloadable checklist). And if you want to achieve blazing speeds on mobile devices, you’ll also want to investigate using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as well.

Marketers need to get faster and stay that way.

Let’s make speeding up a habit in 2020.

More Reading About Page Speed

  1. Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report (Stats and Trends For Marketers)
  2. 2019 Is the Year of Page Speed. Are You Ready?
  3. 7 Page Speed Stats Every Marketer Should Know
  4. Increase Your Landing Page Speed (By Stealing Our Homework)
  5. Your Shortcut to Lightning-Fast Speeds. AMP Landing Pages Come to Unbounce.

About Unbounce Speed Boost. We’ve made backend improvements to the landing page builder to ensure that, under the hood, every landing page you create is designed to follow Google’s best practices for performance. So you don’t have to think about it. You can read about these improvements here.

Lesson 2: A/B testing isn’t your only optimization option.

At Unbounce, we’ve been preaching the gospel of A/B testing for a very long time. (For as long as there’s been an Unbounce, as a matter of fact.)

Here’s a snippet from our very first website, ten years ago: “With built-in A/B testing as a standard feature, you can experiment with unlimited variants of your page until you achieve the optimal design.”

In those days, we saw the promise of a “no-nerd approach to landing page construction” that included “a digital dashboard to rival the Starship Enterprise.” (No-nerd? Riiight.)

Unbounce.com circa 2010

Today, A/B testing remains an incredible way of testing an informed hypothesis about your landing page. For many people, though, the number of visitors you need (and the time necessary) can put it too far out of reach. No wonder while 98% of marketers recognize testing has definite value for their business, 42% say it’s too difficult for them.

But optimizing and A/B testing aren’t the same thing. And smaller teams and businesses that don’t get the critical mass of traffic to test efficiently should still make optimizing part of business as usual.

What Marketers Can Do in 2020

Nobody would blame you for taking a one-and-done approach. If you find yourself in the camp of marketers who’ve struggled to A/B test in the past, the good news is that the times are a-changin’. New pathways to optimizing your landing pages are opening up as you read this.

In November, we made Smart Traffic™ available to Unbounce customers. Powered by machine learning, this tool dynamically sends each and every visitor to a page variant that’s right for them. Plus, while running A/B tests requires tons of traffic, Smart Traffic starts optimizing after as few as 50 visits.

It’s not only extremely rad, it’s also bone simple: build some variants, set a conversion goal, and turn it on. I encourage you to try it out for yourself.

Beyond Smart Traffic, it’s almost guaranteed that machine learning (from us, from elsewhere) will continue to reshape your marketing stack and enhance your marketing practice. In 2020, you can expect more options when it comes to optimization, personalization, and automation.

The takeaway: adopting a growth mindset means making optimization an everyday practice. Thanks to new technologies, the barriers are beginning to topple—so keep an eye out for opportunities.

More Reading About Marketing AI

  1. Marketers Need an Easier Way to Optimize Landing Pages
  2. Match Each Visitor with the Landing Page Most Likely to Convert [Introducing Smart Traffic™]
  3. How Marketing AI Will Transform Your Lead Generation (and Conversion)

Lesson 3: We all need to raise our marketing IQ.

According to a recent paper published by 13 marketing scholars with the Harvard Business School, marketers see the most potential gains when machine learning technologies enhance human capability: “The brightest future,” they write, “is based on the synergy of what the machine can do well and what humans do well.”

Machine learning will free us from the grind, allowing us to do more of what humans do best. But this also means that it’s more pressure than ever to become the best darned human marketers we can be.

It’s time to raise our marketing IQ. That means moving beyond best practices, received wisdom, and going with your gut. It means making smarter, more informed decisions based on a highly developed skillset. And it means optimizing yourself as a marketer, not just your landing pages.

We think it’s incredibly important, which is why raising your marketing IQ was the theme of this year’s Call to Action Conference.

Over three days, we sought to bring marketers and industry leaders together to talk and sharpen our skills in six vital categories: design, copy, analytics, process, emotion, and strategy (which ties ’em all together).

Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner summed up the benefits of high IQ marketing in a blog post earlier this year: “This is marketing that takes things to a new level, going past surface-level findings to understand the true value of your generated leads.”

Oli Gardner at CTAConf
Oli Gardner at CTA 2019

What Marketers Can Do About It in 2020

In 2020, BYOTL (be your own thought leader). Keep devouring blog posts and other content from the experts, sure, but look for those sources that challenge the status quo and go beyond the best practices. (If you’re looking for some blog recommendations, I think this list from The Search Agency is a pretty good place to start.)

Finally, if you weren’t able to join us at CTAConf in 2019, you can also get caught up on all 20 speakers, watch videos, and review slide decks on our recap site. This includes experts like Joanna Wiebe, Larry Kim, Ross Simmonds, Nadya Khoja, Jason Miller, and Andy Crestodina—as well as a few surprising perspectives on marketing today.

(Finally, binge-watching you can feel good about.)

More Reading About Marketing IQ

  1. Call to Action 2019 Speaker Videos and Slides
  2. The Simple Reason Why Your B2B Lead Gen Conversion Rates Are Completely Wrong
  3. Raise Your Marketing IQ at CTAConf 2019

Lesson 4: SaaS rebrands are a huge challenge.

This lesson became immediately apparent when people began to take notice of a single illustration trend that dominated SaaS branding in 2019.

As Unbounce’s Luke Bailey wrote in a post back in August, “Depending on who you ask, these drawings and animations are either fun and whimsical, or strange and faceless. Maybe you see them as friendly-looking doodles … or maybe you see them as just plain weird.”

Image courtesy of the Stubborn Free Illustrations Generator

It was the sheer ubiquity of these “little buddies” in 2019—especially given the time and thought that SaaS marketers put into standing out from the crowd—that’s particularly striking.

Jimmy Daly, Marketing Director at Animalz, first called out how common the style was becoming:

i genuinely respect all of these companies and use these tools but saas websites are perpetually homogenous. what gives?

— Jimmy Daly (@jimmy_daly) June 4, 2019

Like many of us, Daly doesn’t necessarily dislike this trend, but he isn’t sure how these illustrations were suddenly everywhere. In his words, what gives? Should SaaS brands even care about achieving originality? And if not, where should there focus lie?

These are some big questions, it turns out, and I’d recommend checking out Luke’s epic post for the details on his quest for answers. (There’s some interesting speculation in the comments too.)

What Marketers Can Do About It in 2020

Given the enormous pressure to carve out an identity that’s distinct from competitors, marketers might be tempted to try to avoid all influence from others in their space. Even if this were possible, though, it probably isn’t the best approach. Wildly different branding isn’t necessarily what your customers want from you.
Instead, Luke advises taking a more thoughtful approach to your SaaS rebrand:

If you’re planning to launch a new version of your website in 2020, there’s nothing wrong with looking to other companies you admire for inspiration. But, at the same time, you’d be doing your own brand a disservice if you just try to straight-up swipe someone else’s style.

Luke Bailey, Unbounce Content Team

Luke says to consider your product, your place in the market, your target audience, and your brand personality before jumping on any design trend. Striving for some originality makes sense, sure. But matching your brand with your audience is more important.

Whether the cycle of SaaS rebrands in 2020 brings us more of these little buddies or something a little more out there (“What if our new website was, like, entirely turnip-based?”), it makes sense to keep your eyes on the prize: converting visitors into customers.

More Reading About SaaS Branding

  1. Here’s How the Illustration Design Trend Caught Fire and Why Every SaaS Is Rebranding
  2. [Brand Reveal] Celebrating You with a New Look

Get Ready for 2020…

The lessons you’ve learned from 2019 don’t stop being relevant at 11:59pm on December 31st. It turns out that the earth orbits the sun all the time, and we’re just marking the time.

So how will what you learned in 2019 transform how you do your job in 2020? What are your own marketing lessons going into the new year? What are your marketing resolutions? Now’s the time to start thinking…

We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.

Original Article

Not Using Landing Pages in Your Ecommerce Email Marketing? Here’s Why You Should

So, you’re not using your Landing Pages with your Email Marketing?

We’ve all had it happen. You meticulously craft an ecommerce email campaign that’s gonna help you sell a ton of products. You build a beautiful HTML template, write engaging copy, and A/B test your subject line. You implement an obvious and compelling call to action.

And after all that work, the landing page that your email directs folks to has a high bounce rate—or worse, a low conversion rate.

What gives?

It could be that your emails are writing checks your click-through destination can’t cash. If you send out a 15% off promotion for dog treats and link your audience to someplace with no mention of the discount, visitors are gonna be confused—and they’ll lose interest in a hurry.

Bottom line: Failing to match the messaging in your email with the copy and visuals on your landing page will hurt your conversion rate.

Maybe you already know it’s a problem, but you feel like you don’t have the resources to pair all of your offers with campaign-specific pages. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Here’s why you need to match your emails to your landing pages in your next ecommerce campaign, and how you can do it really, really well.

The Real Reasons Your Email Subscribers Aren’t Buying

Let’s be honest. Sometimes in marketing, you can get away with doing less—and that’s a problem.

Email marketing offers some of the best ROI in the business. When you’ve already got someone’s email address, you can expect them to open 14% of the emails you send, with click-through rates just under 7% overall. Estimates suggest that there’s $44 of revenue generated for every dollar spent on email marketing.

With stats like these, you can just half-butt your ecomm email promotions and still do pretty good, right?

Not exactly. If your emails are paired with landing pages that have high bounce rates or low conversion rates, you’re not just leaving money on the table—you’re also bombarding your potential customers with marketing that just doesn’t resonate.

Here are some of the common reasons email promos underperform:

1. Your storefront product page isn’t enough

Data indicates the average bounce rate is 9%, even with load times of less than two seconds. If you’ve seen higher bounce rates on the destination page of your email promos, it might be that you’re not linking to a relevant enough page in the first place.

Your online store’s product pages are specific no-no’s for this purpose. They’re often short, lack details mentioned in your email, and don’t create a consistent experience from click to click.

2. You’ve got too many escape routes

Another problem with your online store’s product pages is that it’s too easy for customers to get distracted and leave. Think about all of the escape routes: website menus, product navigation, highlighted deals that have nothing to do with your email.

Your ecommerce landing page needs to be built as a distraction-free, conversion-optimized funnel. Always encourage your customers to go forward, not sideways.

3. You’re a victim of the paradox of choice

Even if you cut down on the escape routes, too many options can lead to fewer conversions. As Barry Schwartz explains in his book, The Paradox of Choice: “What we don’t realize is that the very option of being allowed to change our minds seems to increase the chances that we will change our minds.”

The same is true for your visitors. Landing pages with just one call to action have been shown to have 2% higher conversion rates than those with five or more.

4. Your landing page is trying to do too much

When your landing pages are more specific, you can get away with using fewer words. You may also find that it’s better for your conversion rates: landing pages with less copy tend to outperform pages with too much copy at a rate of 14% to 11%.

Josh Garofolo, CRO expert at Sway Copy, explains:

A product page will never do more than an “okay” job because it needs to cater to everyone—every persona, every use case, every traffic source.

Sending subscribers to a focused landing page that leverages everything you know about them—including the context behind the link they’ve just clicked—is the most reliable way to increase conversions.

Why Every Ecommerce Email Marketing Campaign Needs Its Own Landing Page

To summarize some of the things we’ve already covered, here are some of the biggest reasons that you should be pairing email promotions with dedicated landing pages:

  • Avoid confusion and frustration. When someone clicks a CTA in your email for a specific offer, they don’t want to end up on a page that doesn’t mention that promo. They may wonder if the offer is even valid.
  • Target specific customer groups. More specific landing pages help you hit on more customer segments. In one example below, you’ll see how Samuraw targeted specific customer groups with unique pages for each.
  • Maintain purchase momentum. A customer clicking your email offers is further in the sales cycle than a customer who just discovered your product pages. Creating specific landing pages helps you target those customers who are more prepared to buy and streamlines their path to purchase.

B2B email expert Sophia Le makes the case for pairing emails with landing pages this way:

If ecommerce brands take the extra step to make a landing page, it allows them to create a consistent story arc between the email copy and the actual conversion goal.

The more seamless it is, the more likely the conversion. Plus it’s less jarring for the email subscriber when the transition from email to landing page is a smooth one.

How to Match Your Emails with Your Landing Pages (& Maximize Conversions)

Here are some quick tips for creating landing pages that convert more of your email subscribers:

  • Be consistent in design. The first thing that visitors are going to internalize is how the landing page actually looks. When someone clicks on your CTA in the email, the last thing you want to do is surprise them. To create a seamless experience, include consistent design elements like colors, fonts, and images.
  • Minimize navigation. This is a landing page, not a launching page. Yet too few ecommerce marketers seem to realize that: only about 16% of landing pages are free of a navigation bar. Be sure you’re not in the other 84%.
  • Reduce friction. Automatically fill in whatever information you can for visitors on your landing page. For example, if they clicked on a coupon code, make sure it’s already applied to their cart. This reduces the amount of clicking a customer has to do when they’re placing an order.
  • Make one offer per landing page. While 48% of landing pages make multiple offers, you can reinforce the specificity and consistency of your own promotion by focusing on just one offer per page.
  • Make sure the offers match. Don’t make the mistake of promising a discount in an email without also mentioning it on the landing page. Keep the messaging precisely matched so customers don’t have to wonder if they’re in the right place.

Val Geisler, email expert at FixMyChurn, offers this advice:

Landing pages help you be super specific with your audience, and they help your audience feel seen and heard. You can create custom landing pages for various segments of your email list and—using targeted content based on what you know about them—speak directly to their needs.

So, what should a great ecommerce email landing page look like? Let’s check out some examples.

Ecommerce Email Marketing & Landing Page Examples

Example: Codecademy

Let’s kick things off with an incredible example from Codecademy, an online learning platform with courses in programming languages like JavaScript and Python.

This email promotion offers a 25% Black Friday discount on annual memberships for Codecademy Pro, a paid subscription that unlocks all of the platform’s educational coursework. In addition to the savings, Codecademy’s pitch here is all about reaching your potential: unlock the tools, get an actionable plan, achieve your goals.

Recipients who click on Codecademy’s email call to action are directed to an attention-grabbing landing page that expands on the email offer:

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Codecademy Landing Page

Image courtesy of Codecademy. Click it to see the whole thing.

Yeah, it looks great—but this Codecademy page is also converting almost half of everyone who lands here. This is why the promotion works:

  • Incredible design from start to finish. Codecademy uses bold colors and layered patterns to create a promo email that jumps right out of your inbox. Those elements carry over to the landing page, delivering a seamless experience throughout.
  • No introduced distractions. There’s no navigation on the landing page, and none of the ideas are new—just more information about the things we saw in the email. Codecademy repeats its pitch around harnessing your potential, explains its value props, and includes a testimonial as social proof.
  • Focused call to action. There are three buttons on this landing page, but they all point to the same place: checkout. Codecademy uses a sticky bar to remind visitors about the email discount and keep the savings top-of-mind.

Example: Samuraw

Next is Samuraw, a multivitamin and probiotic formula that comes in two versions: one for children, one for adults. The challenge? Addressing each of those target segments with a single campaign.

Another Black Friday email marketing promotion, Samuraw starts by highlighting its holiday discount. Scrolling down, customers find two specific offers—one for each version of the formula.

When someone clicks either “Add to Cart” buttons, they’re taken to a landing page (built by Webistry) that corresponds with the selected formula.

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Samuraw Landing Page

Image courtesy of Samuraw. Click it to see the whole thing.

Pretty intuitive, huh? But that’s not the only reason this example from Samuraw is awesome. Here are some other things they’re doing right:

  • Consistent branding and messaging. The offer being highlighted appears above the fold in the email and on the landing page. The color schemes are the same. Even the product pictures don’t vary. It’s hard to imagine any visitor getting confused when they wind up here.
  • Reduced friction and streamlined checkout. The discounts offered in the email are automatically applied once someone clicks through to the landing page. Samuraw makes it simple for customers to reach the final purchase decision.
  • Segmented customer messaging. “Add to Cart” is a call to action that almost begs to point to a product page, but Samuraw instead links to two specific landing pages aimed at either adults or kids to close the sale. With added details, these pre-cart landing pages do a better job of selling than online store pages.

Example: Great Wolf Lodge

Next up is Great Wolf Lodge, a family of indoor water parks and resort hotels.

Over the summer, they drive bookings through an email marketing campaign that touts their Summer Camp-In event, which includes campfires, pool parties, BBQs, and all kinds of other outdoor fun—only, y’know, inside.

To spur interest, Great Wolf Lodge sent out this well-designed email campaign that highlighted some of the main activities going on, as well as lots of images showing families having an awesome time.

From here, recipients are invited to “Book Now” through the email’s CTA button, which leads to the following tailor-made landing page:

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Great Wolf Lodge Landing Page

Image courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge. Click it to see the whole thing.

As they scroll down the page, the potential booker gets lots of details about what’s included during the event, sees compelling visuals that evoke positive feelings, and even gets a coupon code for a summer-themed suite.

So, well else is working well here?

  • Seamless look and feel. The custom graphics create a consistent experience across the two different touchpoints and generate a feeling of nostalgia with their classic 1950s look.
  • Strategic call to action. The booking CTA on the landing page becomes a sticky bar as the visitor scrolls, so it’s always right at the top of the page and never out of sight.
  • Reinforced discount offer. The coupon code offer is consistent and referenced both in the email and the landing page, helping keep the promotion top of mind.

Looking for more ecommerce landing page examples? Check out our Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, which features pages from 27 of the top online retailers.

How *Not* to Match Your Emails with Landing Pages

The examples above show a few companies who understand that it’s not enough just to send a great email. Your landing page has to reflect that email if you want to convert your subscribers.

Let’s look at an example of an email and landing page mismatch. Motorsport.com recently ran a Cyber Monday email promotion that promised “better than half price” discounts for customers. Here’s a snippet:

Interesting visuals and a clear call to action make this good so far. But when you click “Subscribe Now,” you’re linked to a landing page with this pricing overview:

It’s great that the link to subscribe sends you to a subscription page. But pay attention to the subtle messaging inconsistencies:

  • Where’s the mention of the “better than half price” sale? Cyber Monday customers that wind up here might wonder if they’ve missed their chance. Are they receiving the discount, or not? This sort of confusion can lead them to bounce.
  • If a discount was applied, is it the one we were promised? Is $8.60 per month “better than half price”? Is so, there’s no indication of that here.
  • Why is there a different call to action? “Subscribe Now” becomes “Get the Full Story” and “Select Package.” There’s a missed opportunity here to more carefully match the messaging and imagery from email to landing page.

Visitors who wanted a unique deal might click anyway, but since the landing page doesn’t even mention the discount, lots of people are going to conclude they’re in the wrong place.

Turn Ready-Made Email Clicks Into Ecommerce Sales

Email conversion expert Laura Lupoch sums things up nicely:

To get an email subscriber to make a purchase, you need a series of touchpoints where they keep saying “yes” to you. That sets the stage for the big “yes” at the end when you ask them to buy.

Think of your landing page as another major step in that “yes” journey towards making a purchase.

If you see high click rates on your emails but not high conversion rates on your landing pages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of your emails. It might just be that your emails have promised something your landing page failed to deliver—and that’s hard to say “yes” to.

This is where a landing page builder helps. You can quickly drag-and-drop together specific pages for each email promotion (all without a developer) and deliver a consistent purchase path from inbox to checkout.

Original Article

8 Ways to Get More Email Opt-ins from Your Blog

Problem: You want more Email Op-tins from your Email Lists

For many people, their email inbox is the wild west. Thousands of emails from
hundreds of brands compete for their eyes.

In 2017, the average number of emails sent and received was a breathtaking 269 billion.

In 2018, that number hit 281 billion. By the year 2022, it’s expected that more than 333 billion emails will be sent and received every day.

The result? Consumers are overwhelmed and overloaded by emails.

Here’s
the kicker: despite the rise in the number of emails sent, it remains one of
the most efficient marketing channels in the online world.

Email
marketing
is cheaper and drives a higher ROI
than just about any other channel, including PPC and social.

The question is: how can your blog leverage email list subscribers to drive traffic
and avoid ending up in “unread” or, worse, the spam folder?

It starts with getting more subscribers, but not just any subscribers.

You want to attract the right people who are interested in what you have to say and
are likely to engage with your content.

Here’s exactly how to make email the winning piece of your overall content marketing strategy.

Read more: 43 email list building ideas for 2019

Table Of Contents

Make opting-in easy

When it comes to signing up for email blasts, the process should be smooth and
nearly seamless. If you have to explain the process, it is likely too complex.

In 2000, Steve Krug published the first iteration of his book Don’t Make Me Think. At its core, the book is about
letting users accomplish tasks as directly as possible.

This quote, in particular, stands out:

Your objective should always be to eliminate instructions entirely by making everything self-explanatory, or as close to it as possible. When instructions are absolutely necessary, cut them back to a bare minimum.

Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

When you make tasks easier to complete, people are more likely to actually complete those tasks. If your goal is to drive more email sign-ups for your blog, this means you should:

  • Reduce the number of form fields, only ask for the email and maybe their first name (unless your goal is to attract qualified leads, which we’ll cover later)
  • Reduce the number of clicks needed to subscribe
  • Make sure your form works well on smaller screens
  • Use simple language for the subscribe button, such as “Sign up now” or “Join the list” versus vague phrases like “Let’s do this.”

Also, make it easy for people to find your opt-in in forms by placing them in obvious
locations, such as at the end of blog posts or in the sidebar of your blog.

Tools such as GetResponse or OptinMonster make it easy to build and add web forms, whether using WordPress or a common website builder.

For example, this is the email sign-up form in the middle of travel blog Adventure for Less, a site about travel hacking:

Email signup form example from Adventure for Less
Email signup form example from Adventure for Less

The form is easy to find and simple to fill out, which makes it more likely that
someone will opt-in.

The key is to not overcomplicate it with too many questions or distractions.

What about pop-ups?

My advice? Tread carefully with pop ups.

Many blogs use pop-ups to encourage email sign-ups. While pop-ups can be incredibly
effective, the pop-ups can also annoy readers.

Take care to ensure your pop-ups are unobtrusive, easy to dismiss and use action triggers.

For example, you might trigger a pop-up after the reader has clicked on a link or been on the page for a specific amount of time.

The best kind of pop-ups are based on exit intent. When someone gets close to
leaving the page and their cursor goes to within 10-20% of the top of the
screen, the pop-up is triggered.

My exit intent popup with a lead magnet accounts for about 90% of my email
sign-ups:

Exit intent form example
Source

You can also use exit intent technology to promote other offers on your blog.
Here’s an example of an exit-intent pop-up on my website hosting page that triggers when someone goes
to close the page:

Exit intent form used to promote an offer
Exit intent form used to promote an offer

Create tailored opt-ins for different audiences

Unless your brand offers only one super-specific product, there’s a good chance you have more than one target audience, and they are likely interested in different types of content.

Instead of creating just one opt-in, build landing pages
and CTAs for each of your target audiences.

For example, if you sell yarn, you might have an email list for knitters and crocheters. Or a digital marketing publication might have separate email lists for SEOs and social media marketers.

This strategy serves two purposes. To begin with, it allows you to send subscribers more personalized content, which can increase open and click-through rates.

Creating tailored opt-ins also makes it easier to segment email lists, which can result
in nearly 60 percent more clicks and 14 percent
increase in email opens, according to some studies.

Sending content on topics your audience is interested in has the added benefit of
reducing unsubscribes, which is good for your overall email list health!

Leverage two-step opt-ins

Building a successful email list requires finding a fine balance between getting a lot of email subscribers and getting qualified subscribers, or leads who are legitimately interested in what you have to offer.

A two-step opt-in or double opt-in is an easy strategy to balance these two
requirements.

Double opt-in is a strategy many blogs have implemented following the passage of GDPR,
which impacts how digital information is stored and used in the European Union.

While double opt-ins are not a GDPR requirement, it can be a good first step.

In most cases, a two-step opt-in refers to requiring users to confirm their list
subscription by clicking a link sent to their email.

However,
you can get creative with this approach and ask for information to qualify
leads.

Here’s an example. Lendio, an online marketplace for small business loans, asks users the amount of loan they are looking for as well as their email address.

While this seems to go against the previous advice of keeping things simple, asking
for this information serves an important purpose.

Two step signup form from Lendio
Two step signup form from Lendio

By using a two-step opt-in to ask for the loan amount, Lendio ensures subscribers
are serious before reaching out.

Think about it this way: If you are trying to sell an old couch on Facebook or
Craigslist, you want a lot of people to see your post, of course.

But you don’t want 50 messages from people asking for information you included in
the listing, such as if you deliver or if the price is firm. You want serious
inquiries.

The two-step opt-in process helps attract qualified subscribers, instead of filling
your list with people who are not particularly interested in your brand or
likely to use your service.

Use creative lead magnets

A common strategy for email list building is to offer lead magnets, such as white papers or ebooks, to encourage email sign-ups.

While there is no question that using long-form content as a lead magnet can increase
email sign-ups, there is a challenge.

Long-form content is time-consuming to create and often gets overlooked by users who are
looking for quick tips or fast resolutions to their problems.

Instead, create strategic lead magnets that can be created in less time, such as checklists, email courses, or downloadable versions of blog posts so people can read them offline.

These take less time to create with a compelling
funnel, but still offer plenty of value to your readers.

For example, Classy Career Girl, a blog and community designed to help women build
a career they love, uses a cover letter checklist to drive email sign-ups.

Lead capture form from Classy Career Girl
Lead capture form from Classy Career Girl

Other creative lead magnet examples include templates, cheat sheets, stock photo
downloads, coupon codes, and webinars.

Don’t have time to craft up an ebook or record a webinar but still want a way to
capture leads?

Check out this example from Lyfe Accounting on their small business CPA services landing page:

Lead capture form from Lyfe Accounting
Source

Basically, those who land on their landing page and are interested in CPA services, will have the option to input their information to get a personalized quote from Lyfe Accounting.

This tends to work great rather than a contact form on one simple ‘contact us’ page,
which often gets neglected.

Really, any piece of content that solves a problem can be a lead magnet. So, think beyond ebooks and create truly useful content.

Provide valuable content, not just more noise

The average office worker receives a total of 121
emails every day
.
Standing out when more than 100 other emails are vying for attention is hard,
but it isn’t impossible.

The key to standing out in a crowded email box is to provide value to subscribers.
When you provide value, you build a reputation as a useful email list, not just
another boring list.

And when people value the content you share, they are more likely to share it with
friends, which can increase subscriber numbers even more.

This is particularly true for SaaS (service as a software) companies, who likely use email as
their primary communication channel
.

Provide valuable content by sending emails
that serve a purpose, such as:

  • Breaking industry news
  • Welcome and activation emails
  • Thank you emails after a purchase
  • Well-written newsletters
  • Event invites

For example, if you’re a VPN review site, you could feature snippets
from your latest reviews in your monthly newsletter:

Example of using latest reviews in a monthly newsletter from NordVPN
Source

An occasional email to announce a new feature or product is fine, but be sure the
majority of your emails benefit your subscribers, not just your brand.

Add an email signup option on social

No matter who your target audience is, there’s a good chance they are on social
media.

In fact, according to a recent survey, the average internet user spends between
two and three hours per day on social media.

Average time spent on social media
Source

Which makes social media sites a fantastic source of email list subscribers.

People who follow your brand on social media have already expressed interest, which
makes them more likely to be interested in subscribing to your email list.

As we covered before, qualified subscribers
can be a lot more valuable, as they are more likely to engage with your
content.

For example, Search Engine Journal uses a Facebook button to encourage social media
followers to subscribe to their email list.

Facebook signup form example from SEJ
Source

Several third-party tools, including GetResponse (here’s more information about it), can make adding an email signup button to social easy, or you can do it natively in Facebook.

In addition to adding a button, you can encourage users to subscribe by leveraging
a little bit of FOMO.

Post gated content that requires signing up for the email list, or teasers of new content only available to email subscribers.

Invite blog commenters to join your email list

Just like social media followers, people who comment on your blog posts have already expressed interest in your brand.

They enjoy your content and are willing to engage with you.

These are the type of people you want to invite to join your email list, where you can send them more of your amazing content!

The Thank Me Later plugin makes it easy to send commenters a thank you email
and ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sending a welcome email to blog commenters
Source

Yoast Comment Hacks, a WordPress tool created
by the Yoast team, allows you to redirect commenters to a Thank You page, where
you can ask them to subscribe to your email list.

Use live chat to encourage email subscriptions

Live chat is quickly moving from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have.

Installing live chatbots for customer service can help customers find the information they need immediately, while reducing the resources brands spend otherwise.

HouseCallPro, a SaaS company for home service companies, uses their live chat feature to
answer questions about their software offerings, like scheduling plumbing visits.

The feature hovers in the right corner of the website and expands when users click to ask a question.

Using live chat to prompt a response from website visitors
Source

To increase email subscriptions, you can use an automated feature to ask users if
they would like to join your email list.

Just make sure to ask after they have spoken with a representative and resolved
their issue; users are more likely to subscribe once they understand the value
your brand offers.

Conclusion

Email is the only channel of communication where you have full control, which is part of what makes it so
valuable.

A social media site might change it’s algorithms, you might lose ranking in Google, but if you follow the rules (and
don’t spam), you will always have direct access to your audience through email.

Keep in mind that every niche and every industry is a bit different. What works for a career site might not work for a SaaS business.

Use A/B testing on your email signup pages to find out what works. Features such as color, copy, and even the location of QR codes if used, can have an incredible impact on your subscriber rate.

How do you get your email opt-ins? Do you find these tips useful? Let me know in the comments below.

Original Article

30+ Automated Emails You Should Be Sending Today

Automated emails have become an essential part of any effective marketing campaign. Thanks to them, you can reach your audience exactly when they need it, and when they are most likely to convert.

The good news is that you don’t need a big marketing budget or an overly complex marketing automation software to take advantage of automated emails.

If you’re thinking about adding email automation to your digital toolset, then this article will come in handy.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Let’s dig into it.

What are automated emails?

Just like you set up your out-of-office replies, you can send your email marketing campaigns automatically.

You can send them as a sequence, with specific time intervals in between them. This approach is called drip emailing.

You can also send your automated emails in response to your customers’ actions. In such case, you’d call it a trigger emailing.

Drip email campaigns are often used to run onboarding or educational campaigns. Each email comprises a separate lesson and gets delivered at a specific time counting from the user signup date.

As for triggered emails, you’d mostly use them when you want to react to user’s action in the shortest amount of time possible. Like when they’ve just bought something from you or visited your pricing page.lesson.

How to send automated emails

To send automated email campaigns, you’ll either need an email automation or a marketing automation platform.

Whichever tool you use, the logic remains the same.

Before anyone can start receiving your messages, you have first to specify a set of conditions and put them into a workflow.

Think of it as a scenario – when a subscriber meets the conditions you’ve specified in the scenario, it triggers the system to send out your email.

The good news is that when you set up your workflow and hit publish – you’re done.

From that point onward, every time your customer meets a specific condition, they will get your automatic email.

Setting up marketing automation workflows

Even though marketing automation workflows may seem complicated, most of them follow a simple if/then logic.

If someone subscribes to your list, then wait five minutes, and send them a welcome email.

And that’s it!

From there, you can, of course, develop the workflow further. Add other actions and conditions depending on whether the subscriber opens the welcome email or if they click a link inside it.

But that’s all there is.

Getting started with marketing automation isn’t that hard either. Platforms like GetResponse often offer prebuilt marketing automation templates you can use right away.

Just add your messages, tweak the scenario if you need to, and you’re done.

Here’s what it looks like in GetResponse:

Marketing automation best practices

If you’re new to marketing automation, here are some best practices you should keep in mind when constructing your workflows.

    • Start with a plan

Before you start building your workflows, it’s worth to start by writing it out. A blank piece of paper will be great for that.

Start by writing out the general plan – what you want to achieve, what you want to communicate, and to whom.

Once you have that, it’s easier to add conditions to each step and start putting the pieces together.

    • Prepare all your marketing assets

Once you’ve got the plan, you can build a workflow that has all the conditions and actions set up.

To finish it off, all you’ll need to do is create your marketing assets such as copy, images, and everything else that goes into your messages.

Sometimes you’ll need to start by preparing one or two messages, but it’s often worth doing them all in one go.

When you have all your messages lined up next to each other, it’s easier to see whether the tone and style match the objective you wanted to reach with your workflow.

    • Store key information in a spreadsheet

Marketers sometimes go crazy and end up creating lots of various workflows they find hard to manage.

If you want to run your automated email campaigns with confidence, it’s worth storing the key information in a spreadsheet.

Things like what workflows you’ve created, their objectives, target audience, and reasons for using scoring points and tags – all of this information can help you make better sense of your campaigns.

This kind of data will also be useful if you want to inform your team members about the types of campaigns you’re running.

    • Consult and test

What sounds logical to us may not seem as such to others.

While marketing automation workflows are easy to set up, it’s worth consulting the logic behind them with someone else.

When you agree that the workflow makes sense, test it out. Add your email address into the workflow or draw over it, pretending that you’re taking the same actions your subscribers would.

    • Measure

Time to use the objectives and KPIs you have written down in your plan and measure the success rate of “your workflow.

Why?

As Peter Drucker once said, If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

So make sure you take time to analyze your workflow and all the individual automated emails you’re sending.

Bonus:
Don’t lose track of your business objectives. Download this exclusive guide and stay laser-focused:

How to Measure the Success of Your Marketing Automation Campaign

 

Different types of automated emails

How you’re going to communicate with your audience depends on many factors.

Your industry, target audience, your campaign objectives — these and other elements will affect the way you should be contacting your leads and existing customers for best results.

As a start, consider these email marketing best practices.

Once you’ve covered the bases it’s time to get inspired.

To make your life as a marketer easier, I’ve made a list of 30+ types of automated emails with examples that you can use for your own marketing campaigns.

Feel free to read through them and note down the ones you’ll add to your own email program :).

And if you’re wondering whether you can design such emails without the knowledge of HTML, I’ve got good news for you. With tools like the GetResponse Email Creator you can, and it won’t take up much of your time, too.

    1. Thank you email

As a marketer, you constantly ask your subscribers to do something for you. Sign up for a newsletter, download an ebook, fill out a survey – does that sound familiar?

Now let’s imagine the same scenario in the offline world. If you kept asking someone to do something for you, the least you could do is say thanks, if not return the favor. It’s simple.

The best thing is, it’s not so difficult to do it online either. All you have to do is to send an automated thank you email right after they perform an action. To make the message even sweeter, you can also add a discount code, store credit, or free delivery – they’ll know it was all worth it!

Thank you emails are usually sent through marketing automation workflows or autoresponders. And they perform really well.

As you can see from our recent study, single-message autoresponder email sequences (which usually include thank you and welcome emails) get an average open rate of over 90%. Talking about engagement, right?

Automated thank you email for Google Maps users

Thank you for sharing your photos” triggered email sent to Google Maps users

Email automation example with a thank you message from Return Path

Thanks for showing interest in 2016 Deliverability Benchmark Report” email with a download link from Return Path

Perfect for these industries: All industries

Start sending automated emails

    1. Welcome emails

Why welcome emails?

For one, because they generate an average open rate of over 80% and a click-through rate of over 25%. In other words, they are great for engagement.

But let’s take a look at them from a different perspective.

Let’s assume that you’re organizing a dinner party. What would you do if someone responded to your invitation and arrived at your door? Most likely, you’d greet them and show them around.

Although your newsletter subscription may feel less like a party and more like a business meeting, it doesn’t mean you should throw away your good manners. Thank them for signing up, welcome them to the subscription, perhaps even let them know how frequently they’ll be hearing from you, and what kind of topics you’ll be discussing.

Make them feel special and let them know how much the fact that they’ve decided to stay in touch means to you. You can also follow what Coursera did in their welcome email, and tell your new users what they should do now, pointing them to the most important pages.

Coursera newsletter welcoming new email subscribers

A welcome email by Coursera, pointing new users to the most important links

Tommy Hilfiger automated welcome email

Tommy Hilfiger welcoming their new email subscribers

Perfect for these industries: All industries

    1. Meet the team

Sometimes you’ll want to really connect with your audience. Not on a business-to-customer or business-to-business level, but on a human-to-human level. Introducing your team and the people behind your brand can help you with that.

A “meet the team” email can be a good way to start the conversation on the right foot. You can use it when sending your employee newsletter, or when trying to convince your regular subscribers to support your cause.

Automated emails like this one are great as they prove that there’s a human being that’s sitting behind the brand. He or she is trying their best to deliver value to you, but may sometimes make an error or need help from you. And it’s easier to ask for a favor if they know you in person. Below you can see a good example of a welcome email that introduces the team behind the company called Andrew and Pete.

Or if you think you can go slightly more crazy, just link to your Meet the Team Page, like the one made by Wistia. *Hint* Make sure you click Partytime link at the bottom

Meet Andrew and Pete – an automated welcome email presenting the team

A welcome email by Andrew and Pete introducing themselves and letting users know what they’ll be talking about in future emails

Perfect for these industries: Agencies, Non-profits, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

Start sending automated emails

    1. Download the app and stay up to date

Whether you’re running an online store, news website, or SaaS platform, you will want your customers to keep coming back for more. And do you know a better way to do it than letting them know “there is an app for that”?

Let your fans know that they can access all their favorite information and products even when they’re commuting and killing time on their smartphone. If you can’t offer them an app, just make sure your website is mobile-optimized and that your audience knows that their experience will be just as great on a mobile device.

This type of email fits in well with an onboarding series when your new users are just starting to get familiar with your offer. On top of that, it’s also worth reminding those who haven’t used the app just yet, every once in a while. After all, you want them to interact with your brand as much as possible.

As usual, the setup of such triggered email is easy and you can expect high engagement rates from your email recipients.

Nike automated email promoting their app to access favorite information on the go

Nike promoting its app for customers to access all their favorite brand information on the go

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Your order is on its way

Order and transaction confirmation emails are popular among ecommerce businesses. But anything else related to the product that’s been ordered – not so much.

Customers who are waiting for their package to be delivered are most probably feeling excited and sometimes even a bit nervous.

Think about it. You’ve just ordered flowers or chocolates for Valentine’s day for that special someone. You want to be sure they arrive on time. Should they arrive too late, even if by just one day – it’s all lost!

These types of automated emails will fit perfectly with your valentine’s day emails. That’s not to say they won’t fit other occasions, too!

If you can provide them with useful content, e.g. on how to best use the product, how to take care of it, what to wear with it, how to exchange it, and so on, you can make their wait ever more exciting. Just like looking forward to unwrapping presents on Christmas morning 😉

Tell them why they’ve made a good decision, what others have said about their shopping experience, and let them join the discussion on social platforms, too. That’s how true brand communities are built.

Order confirmation email from Amazon

Order confirmation email from Amazon

Shipping confirmation email with product recommendations from Aliexpress

Shipping confirmation email with product recommendations from Aliexpress

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce

    1. Tell us what you think

If you ever wanted to find out something new about your target audience, who would you ask first? Your customer support team, your sales team, or maybe marketing folks? Why not go straight to the source and just talk to your customers?

If you want to learn more about your audience, just sit down and have a chat with them. Send them an automated email with a survey, or ask them to reply to your message. This way you can quickly find out about their needs, struggles, preferences, goals, and will be able to improve your product and communication program.

As you can see from the two examples below, clothing brands such as Timberland and Adidas seem to have found value in knowing their customers’ views.

Survey email from Indiegogo

An automated newsletter from Indiegogo asking their newsletter subscribers for an opinion

Adidas surveying and asking their users for feedback

Why not ask your new subscribers to tell you something about themselves? What sports do they like the most? What are their objectives? Just like Adidas did in their email.

Perfect for these industries: All of them

    1. Product review emails

Marketing isn’t only about selling. It’s about anticipating and satisfying customer needs. Profits come afterward.

You shouldn’t only care about your audience up to the moment they place their order, and forget them afterwards. Instead, you should stay in touch with them even after they’ve already received the product, and had a chance to give it a go.

If you want to build authentic relationships, you’ll want to ask them how happy they are with what they’ve ordered. What their initial reaction was and whether it’s changed over time. Only then you can really say that you care about their opinion and that you’ll use this to make your products even better.

Naturally, there are different ways to gain that insight. The best one is to send an automated post-purchase email asking your customers to leave a review.

Asking for product reviews has another advantage. You can use the information you’ve gathered to make your marketing messages even more convincing. Because social proof works wonders!

Expedia asking users to rate their service

Email autoresponder asking for feedback about recent experience from Expedia

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

Start automating your email campaigns

    1. Here are our best-rated products

Showing your best-rated products has many advantages. For one, it’s great for persuading new leads into making their first purchase and starting the conversation on the right foot. It’s also useful for finding out what product categories they’re interested in to use this information in the future.

This type of an automated email can be used at different stages of the customer journey. Either at the beginning – when they’re still thinking whether they should order something from you – or much later – when they’ve decided it’s about time they’ve purchased something new for themselves or their close ones.

Emails using customer rating are also making use of what we’ve mentioned above when discussing social proof. Given that 88% customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations, it’s only natural that you’ll want to use them in your communication to make it more effective.

Best selling products from United Colors of Benetton

Product best sellers from United Colors of Benetton

Automated email example using humor in the header image - Timberland

Using witty humor in the email subject line and header image by Timberland

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Health & Beauty

    1. Recommendations

The whole point of modern marketing is to deliver value and present relevant offers to your audience. That means products or services that not only solve their problems but also ones that they want to associate themselves with.

If you really want to deliver value to your customers, you have to pay close attention to how they interact with your brand. What products they look at when browsing the website, which ones they order and are happy with. You need to connect the dots and make recommendations that are tailored to their needs, according to what you’ve managed to observe.

Instead of making your users browse your website for inspiration, show them what they may instantly fall in love with. Saving their time with recommendation emails will mean they’ll have more time to spend with their friends and family, and that’s a true value that not many can offer.

Using email marketing automation: product recommendations in newsletter from Amazon

Email newsletter with recommendations regarding recently searched products by Amazon

Perfect for these industries: Health & Beauty, Internet Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Blog updates

If you’re interested in content marketing or ecommerce, it’s likely that you’re going to have a blog. Not just for the sake of writing blog posts, but to attract new audience to your site. If you manage to answer the question they keep asking, and solve problems they tend to encounter, the chances are you’ll do well.

If you’re going to run a blog, be it to talk about product updates or topics that your customers will find useful, you should also make sure to send automated blog (rss emails) updates to your mailing list.

Why? you may wonder. Because it’s your existing fans that should be the ones who get to access your articles first. This way they’ll get the benefit of being the first ones to see your new offers and you’ll be able to see how the audience responds to it. It’s a win-win situation, and if you communicate this benefit well enough, many more will want to be on your mailing list.

Not to mention the fact, that automated RSS emails get 20% higher open rates than your typical newsletters.

Below’s an example of an RSS email update sent from one of my favorite blogs – Occam’s Razor.

Automated rss email sent after a new blog post has been published

Automated rss email sent after a new blog post has been published

Perfect for these industries: All of them

    1. Webinar invitations

One of the best tactics to build authentic relationships with your customers are online webinars. They help you build credibility, authority, and best of all – show your audience that your business aims to help them, not just sell to them.

The success of your webinar marketing efforts will often be directly connected to the number of users who registered for your event. To make sure you attract the largest possible audience, you’ll want to use all the different marketing channels and tactics available, including paid advertising and email marketing.

Emails are particularly useful when organizing webinars, because you can send them automatically to anyone that may be interested in attending your presentation. Whether you’re running a weekly education webinar, or a monthly meet-up to discuss more advanced topics, automated webinar invitations will be your friend.

Another thing that’s good about webinar or product-demo invitations is that your prospects will finally get familiar with your offer. They may have been postponing this process until now, but you’re showing them a valid reason not to. And if they don’t want to do the dirty work themselves, they can just listen to the presentation and try out the product later.

GetResponse webinar invitation

How we invited our guests to Jamie Turner’s webinar about B2B consumer behavior secrets

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Event reminders

Simply inviting your followers to the event isn’t going to cut it, if you really want them to convert. Just like in everyday life, it doesn’t hurt to send an automatic reminder that will let them know the event is about to start and explain how they can quickly access it.

Send an email a few days ahead if the event is offline, and on the same day if it’s happening online. Make sure that they reserve the time to have a chat with you and ask any questions they may have on their minds. Once they receive something truly valuable from you, the chances of them doing business with your company will increase significantly.

Event reminder we sent 1 hour prior the webinar started

Event reminder we sent 1 hour prior the webinar started

Perfect for these industries: Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Education, Internet Marketing, Real Estate, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Reactivation emails

Even if it’s something important to them, people often lose track of the things they start. They stop jogging, eating healthy, or watching their favorite TV series.

The same goes for following their beloved brands. They may as well be still fans, but things just turned out the way they did, and they stopped visiting your website or reading your emails. No hard feelings.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean you just need to accept this fact. You can do something about it – use email automation to run a reengagement campaign. Send an email every time someone stops opening your messages for a particular period of time. Remind them why they’ve signed up in the first place and reward them with a special incentive that will steal their hearts once again.

Reactivation email from Udemy

How Udemy reactivates their email subscribers

Perfect for these industries: All of them

    1. Your discount code will soon expire

Most ecommerce businesses try to win their customers back using discount codes. Their business value is undeniable.

There is, however, a problem with discount codes, coupons, and other similar incentives. If they’re used too frequently, they will not only cut your margins short but also desensitize your audience.

Sometimes to the point that some of your customers won’t buy from you when shown a regular price because they’ll know that another sale is going to take place in the near future.

That’s why you have to use coupons wisely. If they are meant to be valuable, they can’t be handed around like leaflets or takeaway menus from your local pizza place. That’s why you should not only offer them less frequently but also remind your users when the code’s expiration date gets near. Let them know their chance of using it is getting slimmer, and if they want to get the best deals, they need to act quickly.

Using marketing automation to send an automated reminder about the coupon’s expiration is a good tactic that can help you make the most out of your incentives.

It can help you increase your conversion rates, which means you’ll be able to use discount codes less frequently, avoiding the negative effect on your brand image and profit margins.

Below are two examples of how an ecommerce brand and a marketing agency focusing on education, can use discount codes with a specific expiration date to drive conversions.

Now imagine they’d add one more email, sent a few hours before the code’s about expire. I bet the conversion rate would be positive.

Offer expiration reminder email

Offer expiration reminder email

Ecommerce offer expiration reminder

Ecommerce offer expiration reminder

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Health & Beauty

    1. Content follow-ups after someone visits your site

Marketing automation involves tracking your audience and making the right use of data. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but there are times when a simple solution can deliver high results.

As you can learn from this case study, one of such tactics includes tracking the website behavior of your subscribers. If you can see that they visit particular pages, e.g. one that is related to your product features, you can follow up with them with a message that is directly related to this topic.

There are a number of ways to use this approach. You can get your sales team to automatically reach out when a free-trial user visits your pricing page. Or maybe send a case study that’ll act as social proof to those who’ve looked at the list of the tools you offer? Just give it a try, you’ll see that relevant triggered messages deliver great value and great business results at the same time.

Automated email followup sent after a user viewed a report

Automated email followup sent after a user viewed a report

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Post-event follow-up

After you’ve run an event or a conference, you’re probably thinking about finally being able to kick back and relax. If you’ve ever worked in sales, you know it’s not the time to do that. You have to be at the top of your game, following up with everyone that took their time to join you.

Some of this work can be done with the help of email automation. An automated post-event follow-up message can say everything that’s currently on your mind, and deliver it while the feeling is fresh. A thank-you message, a demo offer, a report you’ve promised, or a question about the experience your audience had – these are great conversation starters.

Best of all, this type of communication isn’t intrusive. If someone wants to reply to you, either because they are interested in doing business together or just want to ask a question, they’ll be happy to do it.

Followup email we've sent after one of the GetResponse webinars

Followup email we’ve sent after one of the GetResponse webinars

Perfect for these industries: Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Education, Internet Marketing, Real Estate, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Birthday and anniversary emails

In today’s world, birthday = presents. Even if you have a more pragmatic approach towards money, chances are you still enjoy receiving gifts.

Even if we’re not happy about the number that’s stated on our ID, we kind of expect that we will be given something nice. Be it from our family, friends, or even ourselves. That’s right. When we’re in a birthday or any other type of anniversary mood, we often say to ourselves: I think I deserve it, I should get it.

What marketers can do about this is to make this process easier and drive their customers’ attention to their offer. For example, by sending them a happy birthday message, that’s all about wishing them all the best and offering them a sweet incentive, so that they can indulge themselves by shopping with you.

All you have to do is collect your subscribers’ birthdays and set a rule to automatically send a message. Put in a special deal and nice copy, and show them the products they’ve been longing for.

Converse wishing their subscriber a happy birthday and offering an additional 20%-off discount code

Pro tip: Don’t wait until the last moment to send the birthday or anniversary emails. Over the years, I’ve noticed that these kinds of messages work best when sent a few days before the big date, which helps your recipients plan their shopping better.

The reason for this is simple. On their birthday or anniversary day, people often choose to spend time with their close ones, not in a shopping mall or browsing through ecommerce websites.

Chances are your email recipients are the same. They’ll be out shopping for the birthday gift on a weekend or a day preceding the specific date, so that they’ll have more time for their family and friends later.

The good news is that setting this kind of rule is easy with most of your marketing automation tools.

Perfect for these industries: Automotive, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Health & Beauty

Start automating your email campaigns

    1. Cart abandonment emails

Over 68% of all online shopping carts are abandoned, according to a study by SaleCycle. It’s a serious problem for most ecommerce businesses, but not something they can’t try to fix.

Other than using retargeting, you can retrieve abandoned carts using so-called cart abandonment emails. These are the messages that are sent automatically shortly after someone leaves your website without placing an order. Acting as a reminder, they can improve your conversion rate, especially if your customers were genuinely interested in the offer.

Cart abandonment emails work well because they are both timely and relevant. If you want them to have an even stronger impact, you can also add free delivery or a discount code to one of such messages, and you’ll see that some of your customers will be happy to return.

Cart abandonment emails are very effective and the good news is that you can set them up with ease if you’re using GetResponse.

Depending on what ecommerce software you’re using, there are a couple of ways to do it.

If you’re using Magento (1.9 or 2), PrestaShop, or WooCommerce, you can just use one of our plug and play integrations.

And if you’re using a different ecommerce platform or a custom one, you’ll have to add the tracking JavaScript code to your pages yourself.

Also, below is an example of a cart abandonment (or actually browse abandonment) email sent by Timberland.

It’s an interesting example as it not only shows the product I’ve looked at on the Timberland site but also provides some additional product recommendations.

Not sure how personalized these products were, given the fact I haven’t actually bought anything from that site yet. One could assume they were just some other products from that particular line I was looking at.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting approach that can help ecommerce brands like this one generate additional revenue and can be implemented fairly simply.

Cart abandonment email from Timberland

An automated email sent by Timberland aiming to get their customers to finish the purchase

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities

    1. Thanks for trying us out

Let’s consider you’re running an online course that offers a free trial allowing people to give it a go without any obligations. During the course, you’ll probably be sending a few messages, trying to convince them to upgrade their account. But what happens to those whose subscription runs out before they make up their mind?

The most obvious answer is that you reach out to them. Present them with a final offer (e.g. with an additional 10% discount, if they make a decision within the next 24 hours) or ask them to answer a few questions about the product — what went well, what went wrong, what they’d like more.

You’ll see that those last-resort offers will not only add value and teach you about your customers, but also generate additional profits you won’t want to ignore.

Automated survey email from Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce email asking their users to leave an opinion about why they didn’t upgrade their free trial

Perfect for these industries: Education, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Upselling messages

Marketers always want more. They want their users to purchase more often, put more products in their baskets, and spend more when they’re placing their order. It’s not surprising, though, since we’re all striving for a higher ROI.

One successful tactic that can help you deliver higher results is called upselling. It’s most often done through the use of additional elements appearing on the landing page, but it can also be used in your email automation messages. All you have to do is to send them at the right time.

Upselling emails are popular among accommodations sites such as Booking.com or Airbnb. Their aim is to convince subscribers to spend more on their service. They can do so e.g. either by getting the customers to stay longer at a given hotel or book a more expensive room. This way their commission is bigger and the users get a chance to have a slightly longer holiday.

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Join the community

There’s nothing better than a loving, devoted, and loyal customer. A real brand advocate. But those don’t grow on trees, I’m afraid. You need to find them yourself.

To get your users hooked on your product, you’ll want them to spend as much time as possible being exposed to your brand. You’ll want to reach them through all the possible channels and means.

Increasing the number of consumer touch points is a solid approach that can make your marketing campaigns more effective. One way to do this is to invite your subscribers to not only visit your site, but also join you on other platforms — e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Invite them to become part of your community and get them to not only purchase your products but also become parts of your brand community.

Join the community automated email example

Join the community automated email example

Perfect for these industries: Automotive, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Health & Beauty

    1. Wish list update and price drop

If you’re running an ecommerce business, then you’ve probably heard of wish lists. If not, then let me quickly explain what these are.

Wish lists are collections of products that have been saved by your customers to their user accounts.

Now let’s consider this: why would anyone add a product to a wish list and not buy the product straight away?

One reason could be because they are still deciding whether or not they should place the order. Another one is that the product is currently out of stock. Or the customer already knows that they want to buy the product but the current price is more than they’re willing to pay.

So what could you do if your store offered a wish list?

Why of course, use it to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate and increase sales.

How? By sending an automated email to your audience, every time one of the following happens:

• The product is back in supply
• The product is on sale
• The product is almost sold out

But that’s not all.

You can make contact just to remind them about the product they’ve previously added to their wish list, simply to check if they’re still interested.

To make your email even more effective, offer some recommendations based on the type of product they want to buy or what others have bought in addition to it.

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities

    1. Replenishment emails

Different products have different life spans. Some of them are more durable and last for years while others, e.g. fast-moving consumer goods such as cosmetics, use up pretty quickly.

If the products you’re selling need to be replaced every few weeks or months, the so-called replenishment emails can help you generate more repeat sales, without taking much of your time.

As the name implies, replenishment emails can be sent to people who have likely already used up the products they’ve purchased from you or are about to run out. To help them out, and yourself in the process too, you can contact them with a kind reminder that they might be interested in re-stocking their favorite product.

This approach has two clear benefits.

One is helping your customers avoid a problem of running out of the product. Which we all know can sometimes be problematic. For example, on Christmas day, when all shops are closed, and you’re out of baby formula. Trust me, I’ve been there. You’d rather avoid that.

Another one is avoiding the problem of losing customers who will go to their local store to re-supply. Even if it means that they’ll have to spend more, they’re often prepared to do so to quickly fix the problem.

So what you need to do is analyze the products that you’re selling and figure out how long it takes to use them up.

Then just use triggered emails to remind your customers that it’s about time they ordered their favorite products.

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Activities, Health & Beauty

    1. Activity update

Attracting new customers is important for any growing business. But in the case of social networks, apps, and SaaS platforms in particular, it’s not enough just to grow the user base. What’s truly important is how many of these users return on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

One way to convince people to keep coming back is to update them:

• On their performance
• On their peers’ activities
• On what’s new in the platform

Of course, for this to work you have to be creative.

If you just follow the same pattern more than a few times, without offering any real value, the recipients of your emails will become desensitized to your communication.

So before you jump in and try to use the same template repeatedly, do some thinking. Two brands you might want to look at, who I believe are doing activity update emails pretty well, are Grammarly and Endomondo.

Below you’ll see two examples of how they communicate with their audience.

Endomondo Monthly Activity Update

Endomondo monthly activity update email with calories burned and time spent on training

Grammarly Weekly Writing Update

Weekly update from Grammarly with information on your productivity and writing accurateness

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Account expiration

Offering a service that needs to be renewed? Then account expiration emails are a must if you want to spike up those conversions.

It may sound counterintuitive at first, but people often don’t act the way you want them to, until they perceive the risk of losing something they value.

People procrastinate. That’s why they’ll postpone the renewal of their subscription or upgrade their free account to the very last minute.

Needless to say, if you want more conversions, you’ll want to address that. Send a triggered email some time before their account’s about to expire and emphasize the reasons why it’s worth to renew it sooner than later.

Gearbest Bonus Points Expiration Email

Gearbest newsletter informing about the expiration date of the recipients bonus points

Perfect for these industries: Education, Sports & Activities, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS)

    1. Shipping information

Branding has never been more important. Offering the lowest price is only a good strategy if you have a large scale that’ll help you outweigh operating at a low margin. Otherwise, you’re better off if you invest in customer experience and branding.

So what does a transactional email with shipping information have to do with this? A lot.

Picture this scenario.

Every couple of months I have to buy toner for my printer. I always order it from the same site, as it offers the best value for my money. The problem is, their brand name doesn’t stand out. I can never remember it.

So to find the site I’ve repeatedly ordered from, I have to dig into my Gmail account.
But there’s yet another problem. Most of the emails about my order don’t even come from the brand itself. Instead, it’s mostly shipping information from the package delivery service.

Eventually, I find the site’s name by typing in the exact printer code name in my Gmail search…

This is not ideal, to say the least. Most people aren’t as determined as I am, when it comes to buying toners. Or any other product for that matter.

What could they be doing differently? For example, provide all the shipping and tracking information themselves. Make sure that they contact me first, and that I’ll remember them.

Of course, that’s only the first step. But a crucial one.

Combine that with a thank you email or a whole onboarding campaign I’ve mentioned above, and you’re off to a good start.

As for examples, MVMT provides a great one, as per usual.

MVMT Shipment Tracking Information

MVMT email providing tracking information and promoting their social media account

Perfect for these industries: Retail & Ecommerce

Start automating your email campaigns

    1. Loyalty points status update

More and more companies are introducing customer loyalty programs.
te
Which makes perfect sense, as they’re really useful for both learning more about your audience and increasing the customer lifetime value, too.

But don’t get fooled. Running a successful loyalty program isn’t as easy as pie.

The challenging part is to convince people to actively engage, i.e., collect and redeem points, search through recommended products, or check their status and how far they’re from reaching the next stage or earning a reward.

There are a few ways you can motivate your customers.

Recommendation emails – with special deals, new ways to collect points, or products that’ll help you earn extra ones – are definitely a good bet.

Another thing that you could try is sending updates regarding your customers’ loyalty points status.

Below are two examples of how you can do it.

The first email comes from Lufthansa Worldshop.

It’s a typical newsletter that uses dynamic content to present your mileage status and includes product recommendations.

It’s a shame, though, that the recommendations seem to be only related to the current season (summer), rather than products you’ve bought or searched for before.

Seems like a missed opportunity.

Loyalty points update email worldshop lufthansa

Lufthansa newsletter updating the customer on their loyalty points status

The second image shows a fragment of an email update from Emirates.

What’s interesting about it – other than your mileage status, which I’ve cut out from this image – is that they’re suggesting what you can do with your miles: buy, give, transfer, or restore.

But there’s another thing they could have done to make this email even more effective.

What’s that?

Add a bit more sense of urgency to it.

For example, by providing the exact date when the unused points would have been lost.

And in case it’s a particularly short period of time, the chances of convincing customers to even just give away their points to a charity of their choice would be high.

Automated email example – skyawards loyalty points status update.

Emirates email suggesting what the customer can do with their current mileage

Perfect for these industries: Health & Beauty, Restaurants & Food, Retail, Travel

    1. Transaction confirmation or receipt

Just like shipping information or a thank you email, this message should aim to confirm and reassure your audience that their payment has been processed.

So, why bother about this extra message?

For some businesses, especially in the travel industry, this email can be very useful.

Take a look at these two examples from Booking.com and Airbnb.

Transactional email example from Airbnb

Airbnb email confirming a reservation

booking-receipt-email

Booking.com email confirming a reservation

These emails have everything you’ll need to enjoy your trip, hassle-free – the exact address of your destination, check-in and check-out dates, what you’ve paid, contact details, the option to change the reservation, and more.

They’re pretty lengthy, but they certainly provide value.

One other thing that’s interesting about the Airbnb example is that they’re also taking this email as an opportunity to promote their business – asking the recipient to invite their friends to use the service for a chance of earning some extra cash.

Which is a pretty good idea if you ask me.

Especially given the fact that the recipient of this email has just completed a transaction and I bet they’re happy, excited, and will probably happily share the link on social media.

Perfect for these industries: Automotive, Health & Beauty, Health Care, Restaurants & Food, Retail, Technology & High Tech, Travel

    1. Just one more step

Let’s say your onboarding campaign has been a success and you’ve managed to convince your customer to take the first step. Whatever that step is – register an account, play around your platform, or sign up for a free online course.

Sometimes this isn’t enough, and your leads need another push to fully engage with your offer.

Let’s take our platform as an example. Someone registers for a free GetResponse account, creates the first email campaign and then doesn’t send it to their audience. They log out and return to whatever else they were doing.

In this case, you’ll want to send them an automated reminder and motivate them to take one more step to fully embrace the tool.

What should you include in this type of email?

Definitely focus on the value that’s just around the corner. How much they can gain and how it outweighs the effort they need to make right now.

And if possible, make this process fun and enjoyable.

Perfect for these industries: Education, Internet Marketing, Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS), Travel

    1. Top of mind campaign

Sometimes people aren’t ready to commit just yet.

They’re genuinely interested in your offer and maybe they even like your brand, but they need more information or can’t make the decision at this moment.

This is often the case if you’re running events or selling something that requires the approval of multiple decision-makers (e.g. with marketing software.)

That’s where a top of mind campaign comes into play.

Just like the name implies, its point is to make sure your leads remember you. Not necessarily to convert them straight away but to keep them informed about your offer.

And eventually, when they’re ready to make the decision, they’ll recall your brand and go directly to your site.

If you’re selling software or are running an agency, your top of mind campaign could include:
• information about the latest developments in your product (e.g., new features, services offered, available payment options)
• milestones and PR news (e.g. new office, awards you’ve received, success stories of your employees)
• customer success stories

And if you’re running an event, be sure to mention your new keynote speakers, business or content partners, sponsors, and anything that’s useful for people who are still considering getting a ticket.

Speaker announcement email from Websummit

Websummit’s conference email as an example of a top of mind campaign

    1. Campaign summary

A campaign summary email can be a good idea if you want to mark down the end of a campaign and make sure everyone involved gets the memo.

Consider this scenario: You’re collecting donations for a charity, an NGO, or to kickstart your business.

Wouldn’t it make sense to let everyone involved know how the campaign went? Whether you’ve been able to hit your target or even exceed it? Or maybe you need some additional help?

Not only would it make sense, but it’s also very likely that this automated email would generate high open and click-through rates.

That’s because people who’ve engaged and donated their money, start feeling that they’ve joined something bigger. They’ve joined a community of people supporting a similar cause.

And if it’s something they have strong feelings about – the campaign’s going to be even more powerful.

In fact, making sure that people see the impact of their actions has been proven to have a positive impact on their engagement and future commitment.

In his book, Give and Take, organizational psychologist Adam Grant refers to several studies that focused on this particular topic.

In short, it turns out that seeing or hearing those who are directly benefiting from our actions – even if for a short moment – can have a tremendous impact on our engagement and willingness to contribute again.

This works especially well, if the ones we’re trying to influence are, by definition, givers. In other words, those who thrive by giving to others, while expecting nothing in return. This tactic’s likely to be less effective for matchers and takers.

All of this is thoroughly explained in Adam Grant’s book, which I highly recommend for you to read, especially if you’re an NGO or struggling to generate engagement from your team members.

Word of advice: watch out for the emotional tone. If you’re collecting money for a very sensitive cause, make sure that the emails you send with marketing automation are respectful and thoughtful.

Below’s an example of an email campaign from Indiegogo, targeted at people who have donated to a specific cause.

This message could be much more powerful if it included content from the organizers – photos, a voice recording, or any other personal message.

But this wasn’t the case, probably because the organizer wasn’t directly related to the person the money was collected for.

But it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re planning to launch such an email campaign yourself.

An automated email summing up Indiegogo campaign

Indiegogo’s campaign summary email

 

Perfect for these industries: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Non-profits, Sports & Activities

    1. Saying bye

Marketers often choose not to think about the moment their customers part ways with them.

They fear that moment so much, they ignore the learnings they can take from it.

They also ignore the fact, that this is a perfect moment to make the last good impression on their now ex-customers.

And that’s what the ‘saying bye’ email campaign is about.

I was inspired to write about it after a fellow marketer, Angel Lorente Paramo, shared this example in our recent roundup post – 30+ best email marketing campaigns.

Although the example was fairly simple, the impact it made was powerful.

What this automated email did – and what yours should – was to say thanks for the years the customers spent with the brand.

That, plus it showed the brand’s gratitude and made a promise not to keep pestering the recipient with future communication.

This message was so honest and tactful that it made Angel question whether he’s made the right decision to choose another phone carrier.

If you offer services that customers can opt out from e.g., you’re running a SaaS platform or another type of organization where there’s a membership, you can create and send these kinds of emails with marketing automation.
Word of advice: When people opt out, they usually don’t want to keep receiving further communication from the brand they’re parting ways with. That’s why this email has to serve one purpose first – to confirm it’s the last message they’ll receive and the process of closing down their account or membership went well. Only then should the email serve the second purpose – to make the last good impression on your email subscribers.
saying bye email simyo.

Perfect for these industries: Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS), Education, Internet Marketing

    1. Testimonial

Testimonial emails are similar to the product review messages I’ve described earlier in this article.

The difference is, at least in my opinion, that these are typically sent by SaaS companies or those who run online courses.

Or what I meant to say, they should be sent, because they don’t seem to be very popular.

This is quite odd, because they’re just as valuable for SaaS businesses as product reviews are for ecommerce sites.

That’s why companies invest so much to be ranked high on sites such as G2Cword and Trustpilot.

But the truth is, rather than running an ad hoc campaign that’s meant to help generate an X number of testimonials and reviews, why not set up a marketing automation workflow to do that for you?

Your workflow could be triggered by a special event, milestone, or change in your customer’s account.

For example, they’ve recently upgraded their account or completed a certain number of projects, which could suggest that they’re a power user.

Then, all you have to do is send them an automated email and ask them to share their opinion.

Best of all, if they’re a power user, they’re likely to be happy to take part in the survey for free.

Because they want to be heard and they value the fact that you care about their voice.

No need for that extra Starbucks gift card…

Unless you want to surprise them with one after they’ve completed the survey. If that’s the case, they’ll sure be delighted to receive one ;-).
Perfect for these industries: Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS), Education, Internet Marketing

    1. Referral

Similar to marketing automation emails asking for testimonials, referral emails can make a big difference in the growth rate of your business.

The theory behind it is super simple.

People surround themselves with those who are like them. By asking your current users or customers to refer others to your brand, you can get a quicker access to your target audience.

Also, by sharing some of the profits (typically those who refer or are referred get some additional incentive) the selling part is done by your loyal customers. If they’re genuinely happy with your service and they know their friends well – convincing them to use your platform should be as easy as pie.

Many famous startups and other companies that growth-hacked their way into the mainstream, used this tactic to their advantage.

Think of Airbnb, Dropbox, Uber, or Transferwise.

All these companies offer to give you an additional bonus – storing space or a voucher for your next trip – if you refer their platform to those who might benefit from their service.

It’s a win-win situation. That is, if it’s done in an honest and trustworthy way.

referral email automation example transferwise

Perfect for these industries: Technology & High Tech (esp. SaaS), Education, Internet Marketing, Travel

    1. Let’s get to know each other better

This type of campaign could be done as part of your onboarding email series.

But, the space in your welcome emails tends to get crowded. There’s just so much you want to talk about, things you want to show, and places you want to direct your email recipients to.

It’s often better to give your subscribers some breathing space and time to adjust.

Instead of asking them all the questions right at the start, why not let them use your product or service for some time and only afterwards – ask them one or two simple questions.

Like what industry they’re in, what best describes their role, what they’re trying to achieve, or what their biggest struggle is.

Answers to these questions could be used to create better content in the future, or to direct your recipients to parts of your website where these challenges have been tackled.

This tactic is part of something called progressive profiling.

While we’ve been seeing it being a trend over the last couple of years, we’re yet to see it being used at a larger scale.

Below you can see an example of such an email being sent by Zapier.
email automation survey email zapier
Perfect for these industries: All of them

    1. Opt-in confirmation

There are multiple benefits of building an email list with double or confirmed opt-in.

I’ve discussed this in another article, so if you want to have a read, you can check it out here.

Your opt-in confirmation email is meant to do one key thing – ensure that only the right recipients join your email list (no bots, spam traps, emails with typos, etc.)

Thanks to this, your email list should stay clean and consist of engaged users who are interested in receiving your email communication.

There’s an endless debate as to whether it’s worth it to use confirmed opt-in.

I believe that it is, as email list quality beats the quantity, but of course, you can’t decide for sure, unless you test it.

In any case, confirmation email could be a part of your email program and the good news is that setting it up is among the easiest things you can do in email marketing.
confirmation email example pat flynn

Perfect for these industries: All of them

Your next step

You’ve just seen over 30 ideas for an automated email campaign that can be used by businesses across various industries. Now is the time for you to act. Go through your own communications, analyze what you’ve been doing well and what needs to be updated. Take this list as an inspiration for your future campaigns, and make use of marketing automation to send timely and relevant emails that your audience will appreciate.

Now that we’re at it, chances are that you’ve had the chance to use some of these types of emails in your campaigns. How did they work out for you? Do they help you build stronger relationships with your audience? Let me know in the comments and share your ideas with other readers.

30+ Automated Emails You Should Be Sending Today

Related posts

The post 30+ Automated Emails You Should Be Sending Today appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

What is an Email Blast and How to Send it Right

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, email blasts are still a thing.

Whether you’re launching a new product, announcing a massive sales campaign, or promoting your new book – you’re most likely going to start with an email blast.

Better yet, you’d start with an email campaign.

Is there a difference? – you may ask. We’ll talk about this in a moment.

You’ll also learn about the best practices you should follow when sending your email blasts and examples for you to get inspired by.

If you’d rather learn the basics first instead, check out our guide to email marketing.

What is an email blast?

When someone says they’re going to send an email blast, they usually mean that they’ll send an email message to a large number of recipients, all at the same time.

Many marketers (myself included), upon hearing the term email blast, still imagine something similar to the following message:

Email blast example

Side note: This is my reaction to these kinds of emails:

That’s because, at least in the past, email blasts:

  • Were sent to as many people as possible, no matter if the sender had the right permissions for these types of campaigns,
  • Were mostly used on an ad hoc basis. They were not part of a larger strategy aimed to build a long-term relationship with the audience,
  • And it didn’t matter who was on the receiving end, what mattered was the number of clicks the campaign would generate.

Email blasts were very much like spam.

But as language evolves, so has the understanding of the term email blast. These days, many marketers use it interchangeably with the term email campaign.

I, however, still see them as two slightly different things.

And since Google tends to show different results in SERPs for both of these terms, in this post we’re going to treat them as two separate things.

Key differences: email blasts vs email campaigns

So what is the difference between an email blast and an email campaign?

Naturally, as an email marketing software provider, we’re going to be referring only to the situation where the sender has the right to communicate with their recipients (permission-based marketing).

In theory, email blasts are:

  • Sent to the entire email list,
  • Not targeted or personalized,
  • Sent at the same time, no matter where the subscribers are located.

Now, again, in theory, email campaigns may be:

  • Sent to a single or multiple segments,
  • Personalized to reflect the recipients’ preferences or needs,
  • Sent according to the recipients’ time zone or in response to their past behavior.

This is, however, only in theory.

As a matter of fact, our recent studies still suggest that 53% of email marketers send the same message to all their recipients.

In other words, most email marketers still send out email blasts.

So is there any better way to run your email communication?

There certainly is.

Below, we’re going to provide you with several tips on how you can do this.

For more email blast best practices, consider reading our email marketing best practices article.

1. How to send an email blast

First off – how do you send an email blast so that it generates high engagement and a positive ROI?

The three key elements to this include choosing the right audience, the right set of tools, and keeping the goal in mind.

Here’s what we mean:

Choosing the right audience

Rather than buying an email list (or even renting it), you should build one instead.

Organically built email lists have many advantages over databases that you can scrape or buy online. They generate higher returns, help you maintain strong deliverability, and, well, are legal 🙂

You can learn more about this from one of our previous articles, where we compare purchased email lists to the organic ones.

Now, how do you build an email list?

The answer comes down to having three things in place:

  • Driving traffic onto the page where the form’s presented
  • Something to offer in exchange for the email address
  • Testing different list building methods

Since these are all rather broad topics, it’s best that you check out these three posts that focus on them individually.

In addition, you may want to read this post where we explain the process of how you can build an email list using lead funnels, from start to finish.

But, building an email list isn’t all there is to making your email blasts effective. You also need to make sure to keep your database clean and your contacts engaged. Otherwise, your messages won’t generate the results you’re hoping for, or even worse – they may be landing in the spam folder.

Let’s consider what it takes to keep your communication engaging.

Based on the data from the Email Marketing Benchmarks report, we can see that emails that beat the average results in terms of open and click-through rates tend to have one of the following characteristics:

  • They’re personalized, i.e., the content is tailored to meet their recipients’ needs.
  • They contain visual or engaging content, e.g., videos.
  • They’re often automated, which means they reach the email recipients at the optimal time.

video emails getresponse.

While employing these tactics doesn’t guarantee instant success, it can definitely help you increase your email campaign engagement rates – and put you ahead of your competitors, too.

One example of a company that maintains high subscriber engagement by running A/B tests and personalizing their email campaigns is a lead generation agency called Submission Technology.

To learn more, read the full case study where they share the tips and tactics they use to achieve click-through rates that are 121-149% higher than the average results in their industry.

These results aren’t something outside of a typical marketer’s reach.

Let’s take personalization, for instance.

In the example of Submission Technology, they’re segmenting their audience and delivering personalized email campaigns based on their users’ gender.

For an ecommerce brand, this should be a relatively easy tactic to apply.

Similarly, you could segment your audience based on their purchase history or engagement level.

You can actually achieve this pretty easily using the engagement score feature in GetResponse.

The system automatically identifies and scores your contacts’ activity based on their interactions with your emails. The score is represented by the number of bars, 1-5 shown under the contact’s name in the Search Contacts section of your account.

This is what it looks like when you’re looking at one of your contacts lists:

Engagement score display 1.

To create a segment using the engagement score, all you have to do is select the right set of conditions, e.g., contact details > engagement score > is equal to > highly engaged.

engagement score search.

Once you’ve created your segment, you can present them a more personalized offer or use them to create a Lookalike Audience when creating your Facebook ads.

To learn more about this feature, check out our FAQ page.

And this is only one example of how you can divide your audience into separate groups. Here are more ideas on how you can segment your contacts, based on the type of business you’re in.

Circling back to what I’ve mentioned before about making sure your content’s engaging, here’s an email blast example that follows this practice rather well.

You’ll find more inspiring examples in our roundup post on the best email marketing campaigns.

engaging content email blast from mvmt.

Choosing the right set of tools

Whether you’ve already built an email list or are about to start one, you’ll need a technological partner to back you up.

Your email blast service or email service provider (ESP) plays an important role when it comes to building and maintaining strong deliverability.

The ESP usually takes care of various processes like bounce and complaint handling, managing the unsubscribe requests, delivering your messages, contacting the ISPs, authenticating your communication, and providing you with analytical reports.

If you aren’t currently using any providers or you’re considering switching, GetResponse can help you run your email campaigns effectively.

Keeping the end goal in mind

In email marketing, as is the case with other marketing channels, it pays off to keep your end goal in mind.

What is that you want your email blast or campaign to achieve?

Click-throughs to your site? Resource downloads? Product orders?

The answer to this question should guide you when designing your messages.

It should dictate what you’re going to include in your subject line, the preheader, the copy, and most importantly – in the call to action.

All of the components of your message should point your audience towards the action you want them to perform.

Ideally, you’ll have one primary call to action. This way, it won’t compete for attention with other buttons or text links.

If this isn’t realistic in your case, make sure to keep it the most prominent one.

You’ll want to test this approach, but usually, it’s best to limit the number of options you present to your audience. By offering too many options, you may be thinking you’re providing them value, but in reality, you’re pushing them into the paralysis by analysis state.

Here’s an example of an email message that offers just one primary call to action button.

crocs single cta button.

2. What is the best time to send an email blast?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to running email marketing campaigns.

There’s no easy answer, even though we’ve tackled it a couple of times in the past in the Email Marketing Benchmarks report or this infographic.

In my opinion, generalizing that your entire audience will open your email blast at a certain time or day of the week is not the right approach.

Consumers are all different, and they change their behavioral habits depending on the situation they’re in.

So here are the steps I propose, in this specific order:

  1. Rather than picking the ideal time for everyone, use an algorithm that’s going to adjust the email sending time for each of your contacts individually. In GetResponse, this feature is called Perfect Timing.
  2. If you’d rather choose that your email blast reaches your audience at a specific time, go ahead and analyze this report to pick the most optimal hour.
    Once you’ve selected the appropriate time slot (10 AM and 2 PM seem to be the most promising), send your email blast using the Time Travel feature.
    Similarly to Perfect Timing, it’ll adjust the time of the sendout for you, but this time only to make sure that the message reaches your audience at a specific hour according to their time zone.

3. Email blast examples

If you need a little creative nudge, here are five email blast examples we’ve found interesting.

As you’re about to see, there’s no blueprint you need to follow when designing your email messages.

This is what we’ve been experiencing over the years, and what we’ve seen while gathering submissions for this post on best email marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind that your email design should resonate with your audience.

Not your family, friends, or other marketers – but people seeking to get value from the relationship with your brand.

Let’s take a look.

This is an email blast example from CAT.

email blast example cat.

Right away you can see that this message wasn’t sent to an individual segment but an entire list instead.

This is a good strategy (from time to time), especially if you don’t know your audience too well and you’re unable to tailor the content to their needs.

What you can do from here is analyze which links your audience clicks on within the message (e.g., clothing category vs. individual shoes) and try to use this insight to craft your next email better.

Alternatively, you can send a discount code to those who haven’t made their first purchase yet.

A good incentive will likely be enough to convert them into first-time buyers. And, it will provide you with additional data you’ll be able to use to personalize your email campaigns.

This is another animated one, this time from Live2Lead.

email campaign example live2lead.

This email blast invited the email subscribers to join the brand’s upcoming event, a leadership training.

Right from the opening (“Friend”) you know it’s meant for everyone who have subscribed to receive updates from John Maxwell Company.

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily.

Everyone who has subscribed to their newsletter is likely interested in the topic of leadership.

While this message isn’t personalized, there are a few things that are particularly good about it.

It clearly states the benefits of joining the event and who’ll be running the training. Also, its design is eye-catching. Everything in that message is leading you toward a single call to action button at the bottom.

Now, take a look at this email blast example from GAP.

gap sale email campaign.

This message announced their back to school offer to those who’ve opted in and chose the appropriate categories of interest.

Theoretically, it means it was targeted, but from the message itself you cannot say for sure that the content’s been tailored to the recipient’s needs.

Since the offer is appropriate for children of all ages, they’ve sent it to everyone in this specific segment.

Assuming that they don’t know too much about the recipient’s preferences, I’d suggest that they pay attention to the categories they click on or types of products they purchase.

Alternatively, they can simply ask their audience about their characteristics or preferences (e.g., how old their child is) via survey and recommend products based on those answers.

Now, onto our fourth email blast example, sent by TRX.

presidents day email blast trx.

I’ve had to crop it out, because it was too long to put here, but the main part’s visible.

It’s a president’s day offer that’s most probably been sent to everyone in the brand’s database.

Since it’s a one-time offer related to a particular holiday, there’s no harm in sending that message to everyone.

If they were to send an email blast like this one every two days, the content would have quickly become boring to their audience.

Once again, I’d look at how the subscribers react to this campaign and segment based on their behavior, like what types of products they bought (for indoor or outdoor training) or based on their order value.

Take a look at this last example from Casper.

color pick email newsletter.

This is a typical sales promo campaign you’d expect to receive from an ecommerce brand.

It was sent to a large number of recipients and it’s not personalized, which as we’ve discussed before, makes it an email blast.

Putting aside whether the offer is good or not – I’m not actively looking for a mattress or a new set of bed sheets – it’s worth noticing the clever tactic they’ve used in their email design.

As you can see, the header includes a GIF which shows you the different kinds of sheets they’ve got on offer.

Underneath of it are small icons that let you pick the bed sheets color you’re most interested in.

If you saw these icons on a website and clicked one of them, you’d expect to be presented a product variant that matches your choice.

Since this is more difficult to achieve with emails, they’ve linked each icon to a different version of the landing page so that clicking them will take you to the appropriate product on their page.

This is a clever tactic. One they can improve even further if they used interactive emails, but as a quick email blast this works out perfectly.

Email blasts, broadcasts, campaigns – it doesn’t matter

As long as your campaigns are purely permission-based and you’re following the email marketing best practices the naming is a secondary thing.

So, go ahead and start preparing your next email campaign.

And if you need help with that, just check out the guide we’ve prepared below.

What is an Email Blast and How to Send it Right.

Related posts

The post What is an Email Blast and How to Send it Right appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

A Beginner’s Guide to Squeeze Pages

Are you unhappy with the number of leads your company website’s generating for you?

If driving traffic isn’t the problem, then I’ve got bad news for you – it’s your website.

*dun dun duuuun*

Don’t worry, though. I’m not going to tell you to redesign it.

Instead, I suggest that you create a squeeze page. And then drive traffic to it, skipping your company homepage.

Feeling slightly hesitant? Good, we’ll answer all the questions that might be popping into your mind right now.

In this beginner’s guide to squeeze pages, we’ll cover the following topics:

Want to skip one section or the other? Just click on one of the quick links above to jump right to the part you’re most interested in.

Let’s begin with some theory.

What is a squeeze page

A squeeze page is a landing page created with the sole purpose of convincing a visitor to leave their contact details – usually an email address.

While other types of landing pages may be designed to generate click-throughs, video views, or some other kinds of user interactions this isn’t the case for squeeze pages.

They are used exclusively to capture an email address and start a conversation with a potential lead or prospect (ideally, this should all be part of carefully planned marketing funnel).

Squeeze pages are sometimes referred to as signup pages or opt-in pages.

Some marketers also use the term landing pages interchangeably with squeeze pages. Personally, I don’t think it’s the best choice and consider squeeze pages to be a type of landing pages, similar to thank-you pages, click-through, or viral landing pages.

Naturally, you may disagree with this distinction.

To make sure we’re on the same page, here’s a squeeze page example, created by Smart Insights.

smart insights optin page.

Squeeze page vs homepage

Why or when should you use a squeeze page instead of your homepage?

The squeeze page definition already hinted toward the right answer.

Your homepage has a different purpose than a squeeze page (in most cases, at least).

It’s designed for many types of users and various goals. There are additional elements like a navigation bar, potentially tons of links, images, and maybe even multiple calls-to-action (CTAs).

Even if you do have a primary CTA or even a signup form in the above the fold part of your page, it’s probably not optimized for capturing email addresses.

And all of these individual elements compete for your user’s attention, while they’re checking out your homepage.

Remember the example I’ve shared above from Smart Insights? Let’s take a look at their homepage now.

smart insights homepage.

You see right away that there are many more elements competing for your attention. That’s because they choose to communicate other things there.

Elements like the navbar, login or blog links, multiple CTA buttons, or the search bar could potentially take away the attention from a signup form – if they had one there.

But they didn’t place a signup form on their homepage. On purpose.

Because that’s what they use squeeze pages for.

Squeeze pages are free of excessive content, links, and any other elements that could potentially distract users from the main goal – providing their email address.

This is critical, especially when you’re running paid ad campaigns to drive traffic to your pages and you have to be careful about your budget.

Before digging deeper into the topic of squeeze pages, I’d like to note that this distinction isn’t always as clear-cut as it may seem.

Sometimes companies design their homepages so that they resemble a typical landing page.

It’s usually the case when the company’s still developing its product, like in the following example from SparkToro.

spark toro signup page.

Or when their primary goal is to generate conversions and new registrations, like in this example from Spotify.

spotify homepage.

And as always in the online marketing world, landing pages, homepages, and squeeze pages come in all shapes and forms.

How to create a squeeze page

Now let’s look at all the elements your page should include and best-practices to follow when creating high-converting squeeze pages.

1. Make an offer they can’t refuse

The most important element of your squeeze page is the offer.

What is it that the user will get in exchange for their contact details?

This is what we call a lead magnet or a signup incentive. A freebie that’s meant to convince the potential subscriber to leave their email address.

A few examples you might have come across include ebooks, spreadsheets, and email courses.

Here’s one squeeze page example where the lead magnet is a report.

report landing page.

There are many other, however, and it’s important that you use the right lead magnet for your target audience and your campaign.

To learn more about this, read our blog post on lead magnets.

2. Start with a powerful headline

How long do you usually spend on a page before you decide to exit it or fill out the form?

Not much, that’s for sure.

Your headline has to seize that moment. Capture your user’s attention, spark interest, emphasize the value or pain points you’re helping with, and convince them to read more or go right to the form.

Take a look at this squeeze page example that stresses the value right from the start.

smartpassiveincome lead magnet.

Bonus:

Want to generate more leads with your landing pages? Join our free email course:

Essential Landing Page Course

3. Write convincing copy

Writing copy that turns landing pages into conversion machines is both an art and science.

Your supporting copy has to convince users that the offer is exactly what they need and it’s in their best interest to fill out the form right away.

netflix homepage.

Other times you just need to emphasize the value and minimize the perceived-risk. That’s what Netflix does on their homepage.

4. Use social proof

Marketing copy isn’t always sufficient. Sometimes users need to hear the voice of other customers or users to decide whether filling out the form is the right thing to do.

That’s where social proof comes into play.

Customer quotes, testimonials, and case studies can help you fulfill that need.

Consider this example from Ahrefs, where they’re showing tweets about their blogging course.

social proof ahrefs landing page.

5. Add trust and authority elements

Your offer sounds fine, the copy is convincing, and there are even some customer reviews on the page, but that’s still not enough for certain customers.

They want to see what other brands, companies, or people you’ve worked with said about you.

This is especially important if money is involved.

transferwise authority elements.

Not exactly a squeeze page, but here’s how Transferwise is using FCA, Bloomberg, Financial Times, and information about the number of their customers to help them minimize customer hesitation.

Here’s how Brian Dean uses authority elements to collect more email signups on his homepage, which is designed pretty much like a squeeze page.

lead capture page.

6. Cut down the deadweight

Since squeeze pages are meant to convert as many website visitors into email subscribers, it’s only natural that everything you place on that page should point towards the primary goal.

At the same time, everything that could potentially distract your users from leaving their email address should either be removed or placed somewhere where it’s not going to collide with your primary goal.

What kind of elements do I have in mind?

Think of all the extra links that you have. Your resources, blog, social media, careers page, contact us page, etc. All of these are useful links, but not in that particular moment.

The same goes for all the other content or products you may want to promote along with your lead magnet. If they’re not essential, keep them for later, and consider showing them on the thank you page instead.

You’ll have to approach this individually. See what’s critical for your audience and make a decision yourself.

As an inspiration, consider this squeeze page example from BigCommerce.

Notice that they’ve skipped the navbar or any other irrelevant links here?

bigcommerce dedicated landing page.

As you can see, there are a number of elements and best practices that most high-converting landing pages include.

You can learn more about them in our post on the anatomy of a landing page, written by Pam Neely.

As for design inspiration, here’s an awesome post from Brea Weinreb from 99designs on the landing page design trends for 2019.

List of tools that’ll help you create squeeze pages

You’ve learned why squeeze pages are important and the best practice should follow to design them.

Now it’s time to look at the how part of creating the best squeeze pages. Here are some tools that’ll help you with the process.

Squeeze page builder

GetResponse offers a set of solutions that’ll help you build and promote your squeeze pages with ease.

Here are the main ones:

Landing Page Creator is a squeeze page builder that lets you create landing pages both from scratch or using one of many mobile-responsive templates.

Packed with 5,000 free Shutterstock images, intuitive drag-and-drop editor, and built-in A/B testing capabilities, it’s got pretty much everything you’ll need to design an effective opt-in page.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

Autofunnel lets you run your entire lead generation campaign using just a single dashboard.

By combining elements like the funnel creator, Facebook and Instagram ads, autoresponder sequences, social ads creator, and more – it helps you drive traffic and build your email list fast.

You can learn more about from our post on lead funnels.

Tracking and conversion optimization tools

GetResponse squeeze page builder comes with built-in analytical reports that keep you informed about the number of people who visited your page and how many of them signed up to the list.

If you’d like to gather more analytical data, you can use:

  • Google Campaign URL Builder to add campaign parameters to URLs to track custom campaigns in Google Analytics.
  • Google Analytics to learn more about where people are visiting your squeeze page from and how they’re behaving
  • Google Tag Manager to add other tracking codes or track events, e.g., when someone clicks on a specific link, interacts with your content, or scrolls to a certain part of your page
  • CrazyEgg to create heatmaps and record user sessions to learn more about their behavior
  • Facebook Pixel to drive more sales, e.g., by showing them to those who visited your website but haven’t converted

Creative and design tools

Last but not least, you’ll also need to be able to design your lead magnets and maybe additional assets for your squeeze pages.

Here are several tools that’ll help you along the way:

  • Visme and Venngage – they’ll help you create ebooks, infographics, and other downloadable content you may want to promote on your squeeze page
  • Coolors – with this tool, you can quickly generate color palettes you can use throughout your pages and all the content formats
  • Unsplash and Pexels – two of my favorite sites containing royalty-free stock photos.
  • Squoosh – want to make your squeeze pages faster and lead magnets lighter? Squoosh is the tool we use to make our content user and SEO-friendly.

Squeeze page templates

Now that you know how to make squeeze pages, I’d like to provide you with some more inspiration.

Below you’ll find squeeze page templates that ready to use in GetResponse.

As you’ll see, they’ve been prepared to fit several different industries, but you can adjust them easily to fit any other vertical, too.

Want to give it a try? Go ahead and sign up for a free trial account to access these templates right away.

Fitness coaches

fitness signup page.

 

Use this squeeze page template »

 

Online coaches

online coach signup page template.

Use this squeeze page template »

 

online coach template.

Use this squeeze page template »

Real estate

real estate squeeze page template.

Use this squeeze page template »

 

Non-profit organization

non profit opt-in page.

 

Use this squeeze page template »

 

Professional services

professional services optin page.

Use this squeeze page template »

 

Promoting an ebook

ebook squeeze page template.

 

Use this squeeze page template »

 

Ready to create your first squeeze page?

Now that you know the basics, you should be fully equipped and ready to create epic squeeze pages that’ll help you generate tons of new leads.

Now, keep in mind that you rarely hit the home run on your first attempt.

That’s why when you’ve successfully launched your first squeeze page, make sure to check out these more advanced materials:

Essential landing page course

Landing page optimization: A step-by-step process for optimizing your landing pages

The Beginner's Guide to Squeeze Pages.

Related posts

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Squeeze Pages appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article