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

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

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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

How Do Webinars Work? A Beginner’s Guide to Webinar Marketing

Even though webinars have been here for a long time, with the continuous rise of video content’s popularity in marketing, web presentations are the way to go.

If you’re new to webinar marketing, read along and find out what webinars are, their main benefits, and how to create them.

What is a webinar?

Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations, workshops, or lectures hosted online. They are usually business-related and allow you to share your knowledge with virtually anyone in the world.

Web presentations are a highly interactive form of marketing and can be used as a relationship-building or authority-building tactic. But the possibilities are endless. You can even use webinars for internal team meetings if you’re part of a remote team.

Planning a webinar is so much easier than organizing a seminar or lecture in real life. Mainly because you don’t need to have a big venue to host a large number of attendees. You can invite people from all around the globe, and if they can’t participate live, you can record the webinar and send them the recording later.

What are the benefits of a webinar?

So, now you know what webinars are. But why do you need webinars?

Here are the main reasons you should host a webinar:

  • First of all, they help you build a list. Every registered person is a new contact in your database.
  • Online seminars establish you as an expert, a trustworthy and reliable source of information in your industry. They allow you to share your expertise with your target market. You can personally provide solutions to their problems, which can clear their doubts over your product.
  • If you record your webinars, they will serve you as valuable content you can share with your audience later.
  • By registering, people are demonstrating an interest in what you are offering – they become qualified leads, making it easier to nurture and convert them.
  • They can help you train and onboard new employees in a ‘fun’ way – it’s always better to explain important issues by talking, not writing long-form text.
  • Every web seminar you run gives you many branding opportunities. With webinars, you build brand awareness and set the brand voice.

Michael Leszczynski, Content Marketing Manager at GetResponse, says:

Here, at GetResponse, webinars play an important role and not just because we provide webinar software. We use them to onboard new customers, support our product launches, and establish authority when inviting world-class experts.

We also use them internally, when onboarding and training our new employees who are joining our remote offices. They’ve been great for knowledge-sharing, especially given the fact that you can record and re-use the content later.

Webinar types

There are many types of web seminars you can use to achieve specific goals, or to adjust to the needs of your audience and your business. Here are some of the most popular types of content and techniques you can use while video conferencing and planning your webinar marketing strategy. Follow by them, are the most popular webinar types categorized by the goals you can achieve with them.

Webinar content types

  • A slideshow

If the purpose of your webinar is educating your audience, the web presentation itself should provide accompanying educational visuals – and presenting what you want to convey in presentation slides is the easiest way to do it.

Here’s how we do it with GetResponse webinars:

webinar presentation slideshow.

A quick tip: The first slide of your presentation should have all the important “technical” info – how long will the webinar last, whether it will be recorded & sent to participants, and the agenda for the video seminar.

  • Live video

Creating a web seminar in a live-video format is great if you want to build closer relationships with your customers or to conduct a team meeting. It’s very personal, and you can show the “human side” of your business in a professional way. This type of webinar could also be useful if you’re making a video presentation of a physical product.

  • Text chat

When you’re hosting a webinar, your audience can use the chat option to ask questions or answer yours. It builds the relationship between you and establishes your authority when you provide answers to their problems in real-time. People feeling seen by you makes the connection stronger and creates a bond that keeps the customers coming back to you.

  • Whiteboard

You can use the whiteboard to better visualize more complex topics. By drawing over charts, images, or mapping out various concepts from scratch, you can help your audience follow your thought process.

getresponse webinars whiteboard.

A GetResponse webinar using the whiteboard mode

Quick tip: While explaining concepts on whiteboards during the web conference, don’t hestitate to collaborate 😉

  • A pre-recorded webinar

If you need to do an online presentation on a specific topic more than once – or maybe you even need to do it regularly – you can use a pre-recorded webinar instead. This option is also useful if you’re doing a webinar with a guest-speaker who’s unable to schedule a meeting around the time that best fits your audience.

Once you’ve got a polished presentation, all you need to do is hit the play button once the webinar has started. To make sure the video presentation remains personal and your audience is happy with the experience, you can run the chat and answer their questions live while the pre-recorded webinar is running.

This is a common practice among SaaS companies that need to run product training webinars for their new customers on a regular basis.

  • Screen sharing

When your topic requires demonstrating some step-by-steps in software or online, there’s no better way to do it than by sharing your desktop. The attendees will be able to see exactly what you’re doing and follow along. This format is especially useful while onboarding new users to your software.

You can also use screen sharing if you’ve created your presentation in a non-standard way, e.g., using Prezi. Since these aren’t based on slides, the best way to present them is through sharing your screen with your audience.

The same applies if instead of using one presentation, you’re sharing multiple apps or files like spreadsheets. Rather than taking screenshots and adding them to your presentation, you can share your desktop and jump between different apps freely.

  • Polls

A polling tool is something that will provide both you and your audience with stats and information not available anywhere else. You can set it to be either anonymous or public.

Webinar types by different purposes

1. Educational

If you want to educate your audience on the field you’re an expert within, webinars are one of the most effective ways to do it. To run an educational webinar, it’s best to use well-prepared slides or a whiteboard video, as it utilizes the visual capabilities of webinars.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask external expert speakers to collaborate with you!

2. Product webinars

When you have a great product to showcase to a lot of people, turn your usual event-goers to webinar participants. You can give them a detailed presentation, including every detail, answering their questions. While running a product webinar, you’re educating the participants and getting their attention with your product, so you’re able to nurture your leads and even convert them into actual customers, making a sale. This allows you to collect the much-needed feedback on your product or tool.

3. User onboarding

If your company is offering software, you will benefit from a user onboarding webinar the most. Make sure the learning curve is as soft as possible by inviting new users to participate in a webinar that you run for newbies regularly, for example, once a month. Run a user onboarding webinar making use of a screen sharing option.

4. Employee training and team meetings

Of course, running webinars to convert is beneficial to your business. But that shouldn’t stop you from using webinars for team meetings and training your employees when you have a remote team, or a team too big to fit into a room together.

5. Lead generation and list building

When you promote your webinar across different channels, focus on one persona that you’d like to attract. When they register, they will trust you with their email address, and that’s the starting point. You’ll gain valuable and interesting leads you can follow up with, and nurture them into conversion later. You can also host paid and free webinars with the help of marketing funnels.

6. Customer retention and nurturing

While hosting inspiring webinars may be great to attract new people to your brand, it’s equally as good for nurturing customers that are already on board with you. The personal relationship you build along the way is key to keep them coming back. With such webinars, they can keep track of your newest products and announcements. It’s also a great opportunity for your clients to ask important questions when you’re more approachable than ever.

How to run a webinar & webinar best practices

If you’re wondering how to start creating webinars, here are a few webinar tips, and steps you need to take.

1. Choose the right topic, title, and format

First of all, think of what the purpose of your webinar will be.

Is it to generate leads, grow your list, sell a product, or onboard new users?

Then, decide on the topic. What is the most important knowledge you can share with people in an hour or so? If you’re looking for inspiration for your webinar’s content, you can run through your other content’s stats to see what drives traffic to your site, and what your audience is the most interested in. This step will definitely ensure a higher engagement.

Remember to be precise. It helps people understand what they’re signing up for, and it also helps you with your landing page’s SEO. Consider naming it with a question, e.g., ‘How to make a webinar sale? Free webinar with *an industry influencer*’. Whether it’s a webinar directed towards people new to the subject or experts, specify it. It will save you from lots of negative opinions like “I already knew that” and “It was too complicated; I need to know the basics first.”.

When you’ve decided on the topic, choose a format that would suit your webinar’s needs.

2. Choose the presenters & team

When preparing for a webinar, you’ll need to pick a qualified presenter. It should be a person who’s knowledgeable on the subject, not afraid of public speaking and answering tough questions, has good charisma and is at least a bit immune to stress. Of course, your web seminar can have more than one presenter.

Then, you can choose an assistant, who could admin the chat and possibly answer some of the audience’s questions while the speaker continues with their presentation.

After you’ve found perfect people who will create the webinar’s content, you can also ask someone (or a few people) to take care of the technical side of your web seminar (make sure the Internet connection is strong and that you can be heard and, if required, seen)

3. Plan out the content

Planning is crucial If you want to construct an online seminar that’s engaging from start to finish.

Webinars that involve the presenters running through subjects in chaos and stumbling aren’t the best and most memorable. If you plan your webinar right, it should deliver on your promise, and have the perfect amount of content for your audience to absorb.

The outline

When you know the topic and purpose of your online seminar, it shouldn’t be hard to create an outline. Remember that the average webinar lasts about 40-60 minutes, so that’s the standard timeframe you’re going to work with. If you’re creating a prerecorded webinar, create a storyboard first, just like a film director would.

The structure

The content you provide throughout the webinar should be engaging enough to keep the participants until the end. You can also tease a bonus at the start, to create an incentive to keep watching. Then, it should naturally lead into a paid offering, if that’s a part of your webinar’s purpose. There’s an 80-20 rule for this – make the webinar 80% solid content, and you can promote your product for the remaining 20%.

Always start by welcoming participants. Ask them where they are joining you from, and you’ll create instant engagement.

Make the participants sure that’s the right place for them to be, by specifying who will benefit from the online seminar. Also, introduce not only the subject of your webinar, but yourself. Start with a relatable story to prove you’re trustworthy and keep it brief.

Remember to always save some time in the end for a Q&A session. Mention it at the beginning so that the audience will have time to think through the questions they want to ask.

Read more on how to structure your webinar content.

4. Prep the tech & environment

Before you run a webinar, make sure you have a camera (a working laptop camera is good enough) and a working microphone with settings adjusted to the environment you’re in. Speaking of which, choose a set for your webinar – it can be your office, or even your living room, but keep it professional and ensure nobody interrupts you during the webinar. It can throw you off guard and disrupt the focus of participants.

To minimize the risk of some miss ups, check if your Internet connection is stable, and keep a fully charged backup laptop within reach.

And it should go without saying – if you’re going to share your screen, don’t have any unnecessary tabs open in your browser and possibly clear your desktop.

It’s also best to log into the webinar room 20 minutes before the scheduled meeting and check if everything goes smoothly.

5. Attend other webinars beforehand

It’s hard to imagine how to prepare for such an event if you’ve never attended one yourself. Find a few seminars with experienced hosts, like industry influencers, and register now J. Make notes of everything you find interesting, starting from the webinar’s landing page, to the way the speaker talks. See what you can implement in your own preparation.

6. Schedule your webinar

What is the best time to run a webinar?

It’s hard to pinpoint the ‘perfect’ date and time, but the rule of thumb is to schedule a webinar for the middle of the week, Tuesday to Thursday (with Tuesday as the winner). The other days are more likely to have people vacationing. Most people will only commit to one webinar per week, so you’ll be competing with other players in the field.

While you may assume people want to attend web seminars in the afternoon, when they’re off work, it’s not entirely true. Some statistics suggest that the time most people prefer to attend webinars is 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have guests from different time zones, and if you’re really far away from your targeted audience, you may even have to sacrifice some sleep to host. And, try not to schedule the seminar for lunch hours.

While promoting your video seminar, mention that it will be recorded – people will know it’s worth signing up even if they can’t attend and that they’ll receive the recording later.

7. Promote your webinar

To run an online presentation, you need people to register for it. It’s not just the content that makes them register – it’s how you promote it.

Webinar landing pages

Create a landing page with an invitation, that will encourage people to sign up and tell the audience everything they need to know beforehand.

First, write a short copy explaining the topic. In a few pointers highlight what the participants will take away from it. Then, place a signup form where your leads will leave their name and email, and finish it off with a clear CTA button – the word “register” should be enough.

Don’t forget to introduce the hosts. It’s a nice touch that will set the foundation of your newly-built relationship.

And there’s the last step that you should never skip – highlight the date and time of your webinar (especially the timezone if you expect participants from all over the world).

webinar landing page getresponse p1. webinar squeeze page getresponse p2.

Create a webinar landing page in GetResponse

If you’re feeling extra fancy, when creating a landing page in GetResponse, you can add a countdown timer.

countdown timer getresponse webinar landing page.

Banners, popups, ads

Place a banner on your website or blog in a visible spot at least a week before the scheduled date. The CTA button, again, is of the utmost importance – build a sense of urgency by using phrases like “save your seat” or “register now”. Then, link it to your landing page.

You can promote your event in popup forms on your website if you want a quicker way to get people to register.

Advertise where the people are. If you know your audience’s preferred mean of communication is social media like Facebook or Instagram, create social ads that lead to the registration page. Try the GetResponse Social Ads Creator if you want to use fun templates and create video promos in no time.

Spreading the word

When you have a great following on social media like Twitter, you can use it to your advantage and spread the word, possibly gaining new followers along the way. Create a dedicated hashtag – it can engage the participants you before, during, and after the seminar and allow you to interact with them.

Share links and tease the presentation’s content. And, just before the start of your online seminar, state that it’s about to begin – the audience will be reminded of it in real-time while scrolling their feeds.

Email invitations

You may use the webinar as a mean to build your list. But, what about the people that are already on it? Seize the opportunity and invite them to your web seminar by email.

Start with the subject line. To make clear what you’re promoting, consider stating it first, in brackets, like so:

email marketing for webinars.

If you’re partnering up with an industry expert, don’t shy away from namedropping here 😉

In the copy, don’t just communicate the details and reiterate on the webinar’s topic. Address your prospects’ pain points and tell them how the webinar will help. Only then you should jump into the details and write about the overall agenda, the date and time, how long will it last, and how they can register.

I will touch on the subject of emails one more time in a minute, but in the meantime, you should definitely check out our article on how to design great webinar invitation emails.

7. Practice

You shouldn’t jump into your first webinar without proper preparation, with the hopes to improvise. Sure, being flexible in your presentation is an asset, but practice a lot in the days leading to your seminar to make everything smooth and sound convincing and knowledgeable. Also, everyone on your team should have a bit of first-hand experience with the webinar software you’re going to use – so it’s great to do a dry run with everyone involved.

Keep away from last-minute tweaks and changes in your scenario. They usually make everything a bit messier and cause unnecessary stress.

8. Send reminders

As I mentioned before, there are more emails you should send than just the invitation emails.

On average, only about a third of the people who have registered will attend your webinar, so you should really make sure they don’t forget to join you.

When people have registered to your event and left you their email address, it’s expected of you to, firstly, thank them for registering.

Secondly, remind them of the upcoming seminar.

Marketers usually agree that the best times to send event reminder emails are a week before, an hour before, and 5 minutes before.

One week before encourages the registrants to mark the date in their calendar for the next week.

And the email sent 5 minutes before the webinar creates such a sense of urgency, that they make up for the greatest percentage of attendees.

Sounding both professional and personal in these emails is crucial. One of my favorite examples is an email from GetResponse’s Irek Klimczak. It asked a question in the subject line: “Will you make it today?”. This line alone gave him surprising results. It generated a 42.41% open and a 3.67% click-through rate and boosted the registrants-to-attendees rate by 5%. It also received a decent number of personal replies.

9. Run the webinar

It’s time to host. Get ready and familiar with the number of attendees you’ll be dealing with.

Keep a glass of water nearby. Now, focus and go through the planned agenda. Don’t let anything distract you – you’ve got only about an hour and there are many people excited to hear you. Good luck!

10. Follow up!

Now that the webinar is over, you need to follow up on it.

If you were recording the webinar, make sure to send the recording to people who have registered, but couldn’t attend.

If the attendees didn’t make a purchase, it doesn’t disqualify them from being valuable leads. They may need more information.

Ask for feedback – you could use it in the future to improve your webinar endeavors. Provide them with additional resources to continue the nurturing process, and guide them through your sales funnel, converting them as a result.

What do you use webinars for?

So, now it’s time to hear your opinions – what do you / will you use webinars for?

Let us know in the comments below!

By the way, we also have a few tips for you if you need to know which mistakes to avoid while creating webinars.

This article will be updated with more information soon – stay tuned!

How Do Webinars Work_ A Beginner's Guide to Webinar Marketing (1).

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Original Article

How to Design a High-Converting Ecommerce Landing Page

The goal of every ecommerce page is to sell. Nevertheless, sometimes you need a page that fits a particular stage of your sales funnel. That’s why landing pages are essential for every ecommerce marketing strategy.

Landing pages seem to be very easy to design, and the market has plenty of intuitive tools that can help you prepare them. On the other hand, it takes some time and knowledge to create a high-converting ecommerce landing page. Read on to find out how to do that.

Let’s define a landing page

A landing page is the first touchpoint for new visitors. It’s a place where marketers direct recipients in their social media, email marketing, Google Ads, and many other types of campaigns. Its goal differs depending on the campaign’s purpose. Also, it’s designed to achieve a certain action from the visitors.

Although some other types of pages can also become a landing page due to their use in a campaign, there are a few specific characteristics of a high-converting ecommerce landing page.

Simply put, landing page traffic is targeted, so it comes from a buyer’s history or other sources of data about customers. Moreover, a landing page needs to have one objective and a clear design. It doesn’t have to be meticulously optimized for search engines because its traffic is generated via different channels. A product page can be entered via search engine page results, third-parties or directly from a browser, it can also be more complex.

It encourages shoppers to buy a product and gives more information about it in a description. A product page can have a section with opinions and recommendations. So, it can educate about the product and the brand, while being designed for visitors interested in shopping.

A landing page has to be dedicated to a certain campaign. The point of creating a landing page specifically for the purpose of a given campaign is that most first time visitors are not ready for purchasing. Therefore it can increase the return on investment when it comes to ad campaigns.

Want to practice while you learn? Take GetResponse Autofunnel for a spin and start selling products through your sales pages in minutes.

The advantages of ecommerce landing pages:

  • personalization: you can adjust your copy, visuals, and call-to-actions for the chosen audience. This way your ads can be more effective and you can increase your page click-through rate.
  • opportunity for testing: running A/B tests makes sense when you change one element, so that you can easily compare the performance of two (or more) versions of a page. Thanks to controlled traffic generated via paid campaigns, you can analyse which version is more profitable for your company.
  • wide range of possibilities: you should also use landing pages when creating campaigns directed to existing customers. By using segmentation you can prepare many customised landing pages with special offers for returning shoppers.
  • ease of developing: the process of creating a landing page is much simpler and faster than for “full” websites. It’s also relatively cheap. You can also prepare one template and edit it depending on the details of a given campaign.
  • higher conversion: because of a clear objective tailored towards a given segment of customers or characteristics of potential shoppers, it can be more engaging and successful.

8 tips for creating a high-converting ecommerce landing page

Unfortunately, there is no single guide that would fit all online stores. But there are a few tips that every marketer should take into consideration when designing a strategy including the usage of a landing page.

Tip #1: Define your target group

By knowing who are you going to direct your campaign to, you will be able to design a personalised landing page suitable for segments of customers. You can not only personalize special offers and recommendations, but also text and visuals. Depending on demographics and interests you can adjust the communication.

The more you know about your recipients, the better. Use all available sources of knowledge (for example, Google Analytics, Customer Relationship Management systems, social media reports) to get more data and find out more about people you want to get into the next stage of your sales funnel.

For example, ETQ store prepared a specific landing page dedicated to the latest men’s collection.

ETQ landing page

Tip #2: Choose one objective

Depending on the purpose of a given campaign, an ecommerce landing page should have one goal and a form adjusted to it. There are several types of landing pages, so when focusing on the one you should keep it in mind while designing. You can use several elements that can help you achieve your goal.

For example, if you build a subscribers base for your newsletter, you can use a simple sign-up form on your squeeze page. Customize the call-to-action and labels to make it the most efficient for your audience.

signup form landing page for ecommerce

Another idea is to create an ecommerce landing page dedicated to each segment of your existing customers. You can personalize discounts, for example, depending on how many transactions a given shopper has already made.

Tip #3: Get straight to the point

Focus on the goal of a given landing page. Use only one call-to-action so that visitors can be sure what action you expect them to take.

CPJ uses minimalistic design and shows CTA button with simple encouragement “Order Now”.

cpj landing page design

Minimise distractions, like sliders, pop-ups, chatboxes, too many social media icons, and other links, to draw attention to the main point of the page. These additional elements can be helpful on the home page, but they are not supposed to appear on a landing page. Customers should be able to get all the essential information and perform the action effortlessly.

Tip #4: Use high-quality visuals

It’s an absolute must-have. To attract customers you need to show beautiful images or videos to make your landing page uncluttered and aesthetic. High-quality visuals are extremely important, especially when you present your products because they create the first impression of your website. They represent professionalism and engage potential shoppers. In the end, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let it speak to your advantage.

Abbott combined beautiful nature pictures with products’ packshots and suitable colors.

abbott landing page.

Tip #5: Build trust

As this might be the first touchpoint for potential customers with your brand, you should first and foremost build up trust. Add a logo of a well known and trusted company that supports your online payments. Consider implementing chosen testimonials and reviews on a product page to add some credibility to your online store.

On Beats headphones’ landing page you can not notice information about their award.

beats landing page.

Tip #6: Highlight benefits

If you offer any extras, you should inform people about them. To get more shoppers you can offer discounts for returning customers, free shipping or any other benefit. You have the opportunity to attract customers in a few seconds. This is the place to highlight all the advantages of your online store.

Amazon presented all the significant pros of its wedding registry service.

amazon wedding registry landing page example.

Tip #7: Pay attention to the user experience

A landing page, like every other website, has to be optimized for the best possible user experience. Besides intuitiveness mentioned before (clear CTA) and beautiful visuals, you should check the page’s loading time and make sure it’s created with responsive web design.

responsive web design.

Tip #8: Trigger shopping impulses

Create urgency to give visitors no time for hesitation. If you offer a special deal for returning customers or any other promotion, you should make it temporary and inform them about it on your landing page. A great way to do so is to place a countdown timer on it. Make your offer irresistible! No worries – online landing page editors (like GetResponse) provide such elements.

Tesco used a countdown which creates excitement. It was followed by two clear CTA buttons.

tesco countdown timer on landing page.

Think twice

Last but not least. Make sure your landing page links directly to a campaign. If there is no connection between an ad and the link shared with it, you might cause frustration for your customers. Do not deceive and manipulate your recipients with inadequate ad creations to get traffic on your landing page. Remember that your real goal is conversion.

Even if you have an excellent home page and detailed product pages, you still need an ecommerce landing page for your campaigns. To convert more efficiently and increase sales, you should remember about the sales funnel and build a relationship with your potential customers.

By reaching the right target group with accurate content you can increase ROI, CTR and in the end get more customers. Make the buyer’s journey as intuitive and personalised as possible.

Creating a landing page according to the aforementioned tips is not enough to fully succeed. You need to constantly test and optimize landing pages in order to improve the results of your campaigns. The more you find out about your target groups and their preferences, the better landing pages you can provide. Don’t wait any longer – start designing your ecommerce landing page today!

Sell your products with ecommerce landing pages

Paweł Ogonowski

Author: Paweł Ogonowski

Pawel is the co-founder of Growcode, the first conversion rate optimization System as a Service that guarantees revenue growth for B2C online stores. With 10+ years of ecommerce experience, Pawel has been helping companies (e.g., Limango, Virgin Mobile, Eniro, 4F, Showroom, Budapester) leverage data from their online channels to improve user experience that results in higher conversion rates, average order value and customer lifetime value.

How to Design a High-Converting Ecommerce Landing Page.

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Original Article

Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why and What You Can Do About It

Worried about your emails going to the spam folder? We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’re sharing 12 reasons why your emails go to spam instead of the inbox and what you can do to prevent them from doing so in the future.

As you’re about to see, you’ll be able to fix most of these issues all by yourself as they’re directly related either to what’s inside of your email messages or how you build and manage your email lists.

Only a few will require some additional help from your email marketing software provider.

For each element, I’ve also included actionable tips that along with the email marketing best practices will help you build strong email deliverability and get your emails in front of your subscribers’ eyes.

Table of contents

  1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients
  2. It’s not clear what your subscribers are signing up for
  3. You’re making it difficult to unsubscribe
  4. Your email frequency is off
  5. You’re not paying enough attention to email list hygiene
  6. Your emails are image-heavy (and text-light!)
  7. You’re linking to suspicious websites (among other things)
  8. You’re playing dirty
  9. You’re not using the right email marketing software
  10. Your email engagement rates are low
  11. You’re sending your email campaigns from a freemail domain
  12. Your mailing IP has a bad history record

1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients

There’s nothing wrong in wanting a big email list.

Although our studies show that email marketers with the largest lists tend to have lower average email open rates, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that their potential to generate sales revenue is huge.

But having a big contact list shouldn’t be a goal in itself. And you shouldn’t aim for it at all costs.

Recent regulations like the GDPR or the upcoming CCPA have become stricter about how email marketers handle customer personal information. It’s no longer enough that you give your email recipients the option to unsubscribe.

Before you start sending your email campaigns, you should always make sure that you have the permission to do so.

If you neglect that, you’re not only risking that your emails will be going to spam, but also that you’ll be fined.

That’s why if:

  • you’re still filling your email campaigns with contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, or any other place where you’ve interacted with people,
  • you’re an ecommerce business automatically adding people to your list from the checkout page,
  • you’re using a pre-checked newsletter consent checkbox in your web form,
  • buying or downloading email lists from the ‘reputable sites’…

…you should stop right now.

There are plenty of perfectly good email list building methods out there you could try.

And if you’re unsure whether it’s OK to contact some of the people who’re already in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign. By sending an email that’s going to ask your audience to continue and stay opt in, you can be sure that only those who’re still interested in your offer will end up on the list.

Pro tip 1: If you’re finding consent management challenging, check out the GetResponse GDPR fields.

These will help you easily store, manage, and view all the consents that your contacts have given you.

GDPR fields are similar to custom fields that you’re probably already familiar with, but there’s one significant difference: instead of editing your consents, you can only create newer versions.

Thanks to this, you won’t end up overwriting your contacts’ permission settings and you’ll know exactly which version of the consent they’ve given you.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see when one of you contacts gives you their consent, e.g., when signing up through one of your landing pages.

How it looks when a contact has given you consent for marketing communication.

Pro tip 2: If you want to stop your emails from going to spam, make sure to always exclude contacts who haven’t given you the right consent.

This will help you avoid making mistakes when you’re running email marketing campaigns that aren’t dedicated to your entire database.

Here’s how you can do this in GetResponse:

Choosing recepients in GetResponse email database.

To select your target audience, check the box next to the name of the list or segment you want to include or exclude from receiving your message. If the same subscriber is present in more than one list or segment, they’ll receive the email only once.

On top of using lists and segments, you can also use suppression lists, where you can store any contacts that shouldn’t receive your communication. A suppression list won’t be included automatically, so make sure to include it manually when sending your email campaign.

2. It’s not clear what your subscribers are signing up for

Transparency is key, especially when you’re building an email list.

When filling out your signup form, users should be fully aware of what kind of communication they’re going to be receiving in the future.

It’s not alright to advertise one service and send emails about another one unless you’ve specified that in your web form.

Or to say that you’re just collecting submissions for a competition and end up using the email database for marketing communication.

Be crystal clear about what you’re going to talk about in your emails. And then deliver on that promise.

When you do that, you’ll see that your unsubscribe, and complaint rates will drop.

And as for your chances of leaving the junk folder – they’ll most definitely increase.

Pro tip 1: Make sure that your web form, the thank you page following it, and your welcome email clearly state what your users are signing up for.

Doing this early in the subscription process improves your chances of building strong relationships with your audience. And, reducing the likelihood of your emails going to spam.

Example of a subscription confirmation page from Further.

Example of a subscription confirmation page from Further. On this page, Further reminds their users about the type of content they’ll receive in the future and how they can make sure they won’t miss out on the content. By doing this, they’re decreasing the unsubscribe rates and improving their deliverability at the same time.

Pro tip 2: If you want to lower your unsubscribe rate, make sure to fill out the name and description of your email lists.

This will help your audience decide which lists they want to stay subscribed to and which ones they want to opt out from.

Here’s what it looks like when a contact clicks the unsubscribe link in one of the emails sent by the GetResponse Marketing Team.

They see all the essential information regarding their subscription. This includes the date of their subscription and the name and description of the list they’ve signed up to.

Unsubscribe preferences.

3. You’re making it difficult to unsubscribe

This one’s among the top reasons why email recipients report emails as spam.

If someone wants to stop receiving marketing communication from a particular sender, the last thing they want to do is to spend extra time looking for a way to unsubscribe.

The moment they find it difficult or lose trust in their request being processed successfully – they report the message as spam or manually move it to their spam box.

In both cases, the marketer is at loss.

Here’s what you should avoid:

  • Burying down the unsubscribe link below the main part of your footer (e.g., by adding empty lines on top of it)
  • Hiding the unsubscribe link (e.g., by changing the copy or writing in a hard to read color)
  • Making your recipients contact you to resign from the newsletter
  • Making recipients log into some form of a panel to unsubscribe or change their mailing preferences
  • Taking unreasonably long to process your users’ requests to unsubscribe

Adding any of the above roadblocks just gets you closer to having your emails marked as spam and having them negatively evaluated by ISPs spam filters.

Here’s one example of an email I received that’s making one of the mistakes I’ve mentioned above. Something you don’t want to do in your own email communication.

Unsubscribe link placement mistake.

Pro tip 1: If you’re worried about your unsubscribe rate being too high, consider offering your subscribers a way to opt down and lower the mailing frequency.

A separate email list or segment will be enough for you to divide your recipients into separate groups, e.g., those who want to receive your emails every couple of days and those who prefer a weekly roundup.

Alternatively, you could also add a short description explaining why the subscriber is receiving your emails and reminding them when or how they’ve signed up for your newsletter.

Pro tip 2: If you’re seeing that your spam complaints are high and you’ve followed the tips described in points 1-3, you could try providing an additional unsubscribe link right after your preheader text.

This may look like a radical move, but it’s better to have more people unsubscribing from your list rather than having them report your messages as spam.

Note: Our observations suggest that people from particular cultures may have a higher tendency to click the ‘report as spam’ button. One of such countries is Russia, which tends to observe the highest average complaint rates as we’ve found in the Email Marketing Benchmarks report.

Moving your unsubscribe link to the preheader may be your best bet if your target audience shows similar tendencies.

4. Your email frequency is off

Emailing too frequently?

People get tired and start ignoring your emails. They stop engaging with your communication, and because of that, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Gmail move your newsletters to the junk folder.

Sending one email every couple of months or so?

People don’t remember you and deliberately ignore your emails (maybe even mark them as spam). Or they accidentally miss one or two and lose the chance of seeing your content for several months straight.

As you can see, neither of these options is good for your email deliverability or your ROI.

The second one’s problematic for yet another reason.

If you have a big email list that you contact only every couple of months, ISPs might get alerted by the sudden email blasts. Such spikes in activity might cause temporary blocks, higher bounce rates, and more emails going to the junk folder.

Pro tip 1: Set the right email frequency by putting together your key email marketing metrics, like the total number of conversions, unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates).

Once you decide on the right email schedule, make sure to communicate it to your audience, e.g., in your subscription form or the welcome email.

Pro tip 2: If you want to increase your email frequency without alerting the spam filters, start by contacting your most engaged subscribers first. Use suppression lists and exclude segments less likely to respond to your email campaigns.

After you’ve managed to successfully engage your best recipients, you can start slowly including those who read your newsletters less eagerly.

High email frequency example.

Some email marketers can get away with having high email frequency. Here, even the name of the newsletter suggests that it’s a daily newsletter update. Be careful with this approach, though, as it can easily backfire. Users can get overwhelmed by too frequent communication. That will result in an opaque churn. Meaning, they won’t unsubscribe from your communication, but by ignoring it, they’ll be affecting your overall email deliverability.

5. You’re not paying enough attention to email list hygiene

Email list hygiene may sound like a funny term. But it’s a process that can have a massive impact on your email deliverability.

Email list hygiene management is about identifying the engaged subscribers, re-engaging those who’ve become unresponsive, and getting rid of those who hold no business value.

And whom do we mean, when we’re saying that they’re holding no business value?

Not just people who are no longer engaging with your communication, clicked the unsubscribe button, or marked your emails as spam.

We also mean those who’ve provided a wrong email address or those who’ve abandoned their mailboxes.

To keep your list clean – and hygienic – you should use confirmed opt-in (a.k.a. double opt-in) and run re-engagement campaigns on a regular basis.

Sending a last resort campaign may work even better, if you put it together with a Facebook or Google Ads campaign.

By doing this, you’ll make sure that your list is clean from misspelled, inactive, or spam trap emails.

If you’re using GetResponse, this process is simple.

You can run Facebook ads directly from your account. Just select the list or segment you want to reach with your Facebook ad, customize your ad, and you’re good to go.

If you’d like to learn about this, read our step-by-step guide to designing Facebook ads in GetResponse.

Pro tip: If your list hasn’t been cleaned in a while or you haven’t processed bounces and unsubscribes before, you should start now.

The best way to do this is to set up an automated re-engagement campaign that’ll send a couple of emails to those recognized by the system as inactive.

GetResponse includes ready-made marketing automation templates that you can use to carry out such a campaign.

Engagement and retention in GetResponse.

Here’s what one of such templates looks like:

A marketing automation template from GetResponse.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to choose whether you want to remove such subscribers from your list completely or try retargeting them using another marketing channel.

Bear in mind that there’s no set rule for when a contact should be identified as inactive. This will largely depend on your sales cycle.

In ecommerce, for example, some recipients stay inactive for the larger part of the year, but they’ll check their emails for discount codes and information about promotions around the holiday season.

Automated email results statistics report.

Take a look at this example report for one of our automated emails. We send this email to users right after they’ve filled out the subscription form in the GetResponse Resources. Notice that the bounce rate is almost 3%, most of which is caused by hard bounces (misspelled or non-existent email addresses). Removing these addresses automatically and early into the subscription, will help you ensure your deliverability is unaffected, especially when you’re planning some bigger promotional activities.

6. Your emails are image-heavy (and text-light!)

Email marketing is slightly different from other marketing channels.

Although images do play a big role in it, they can’t dominate your newsletters.

Many email marketers make this mistake: they pack their email templates with images, to make them look nicer, and spend less time coming up with the sales copy.

Here’s one such example from a renowned brand. Notice that even though there’s text in the email body, it’s still part of an image.

An image-heavy email.

This may seem like a good strategy – after all, people like images and can read the text even when it’s part of an image.

But there are two problems.

One is that, unless you provide the ALT text to your image, consumers that use screen readers may have trouble reading your content.

Just like it would be with the following email.

An email without alt text for images.

Second one is that ISPs like Gmail or Outlook see this a bit differently.

Lots of heavy images make heavy emails and ISPs want to process as many emails as possible. By making your newsletters image-heavy, you’re making this process more difficult and resource-consuming. And because of that, they may choose to filter your emails less favorably and place them in the spam folder or even bounce them.

That isn’t to say that all emails that contain heavy images will go to spam. Email marketers with high deliverability and high subscriber engagement can often get away with slightly heavier newsletters.

But I’m going to assume that this isn’t you, since you’re reading this article.

On top of the email weight, ISPs also look at the amount of text that’s visible in your newsletters.

They check the text-to-image ratio to evaluate the quality of your message. That’s because a lot of spammers wants to avoid the text-based content filters.

In general, the more text or the higher its ratio compared to images the better.

Additionally, ISPs also compare the HTML and text version of your emails. These have to match, otherwise the message looks suspicious to say the least.

Naturally, this doesn’t mean your emails have to be text-only. Especially given that our studies have shown that emails that contain at least one image tend to have higher average open rates than the plain text ones.

So what should you do, when images need to be part of your email template?

First of all, check whether your email software automatically reduces the size of images you upload into your newsletter.

For example, when you add your own images into your email template in GetResponse, they’ll be cropped and compressed before they’re delivered to your email subscribers. This is different for GIFs, however, which are not being altered.

Alternatively, when saving your files in your image editing software, make sure to use an option that’ll be called “export them for the web” or something along these lines.

And if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to bother your designer, use an online tool called Squoosh. It’s really quick and can help you make your images optimized – both to be used in the email campaigns or on your website in general.

Pro tip: One way to increase your text-to-image ratio is to add more copy into your footer. There, you could explain why your subscribers are receiving the email, who it’s being sent by, and how one can manage their mailing preferences or unsubscribe.

This is in addition to adding the elements that are required by CAN-Spam Act and other regulations. One such element is the impressum, which states the name and physical address of the company sending the email.

Another way you can increase your text-to-image ratio is to add copy (in text, not over an image) into your email introduction and product descriptions. The same goes for creating CTA buttons, which could be coded and styled so that they don’t look much different from what your designer would create.

UX perspective: View entire message example.

This is more of an UX concern rather a deliverability one (so it won’t stop your emails from going to the junk folder), but you might want to take this into consideration. Gmail, which is the most popular email client, will clip emails they consider too large. If you add too much content, a critical part of your message might remain hidden until someone clicks the “View entire message” link.

Bonus:

Learn how to create high-impact email campaigns with this exclusive give:

Increase Your Emails’ Impact

7. You’re linking to suspicious websites (among other things)

Not many email marketers realize this, but when ISPs analyze your email’s content, they also go through your links.

If you’re trying to improve your email deliverability, because your emails are going into the junk folder, here are several things to avoid:

  • Linking to websites that have low reputation
  • Using links that redirect users too many times
  • Using suspicious link shorteners
  • Having small text-to-link ratio
  • Linking to too many different domains

Bear in mind that your links could be hidden in the images that you’re using. If they’re hosted on a website with a bad reputation, you might also get hit by spam filters.

In general, you should check the websites you’re linking to and how many links there are in your email in general. Again, the higher text-to-link ratio the better.

As for the number of domains you’re linking to, what you should be looking for is the so-called domain alignment. In other words, in the ideal world, the domains that are used in your from address, mailing domain, and inside of your email content will all match.

Pro tip: Before hitting the send button, make sure to analyze your emails with a spam checker, like the Spam Assassin tool that’s built into GetResponse.

Spam Assassin tool in GetResponse.

If you use this tool and notice that your score is too high (most filters are set to 5.0), try to identify the element that’s responsible for the higher Spam Score. If you’re unsure which one it is, try cutting out the content of your email one element or section at a time and keep checking if the score’s changed.

This way you’ll be able to locate the section or individual element that’s causing trouble. It could just as well be a single link or part of your copy, so pay attention to all elements within your email template.

If you’d like to reduce your GetResponse spam score further, there’s one more thing that you can do – add the plain text version of your message into your email template.

Why bother adding it?

Because it’s one of the elements, ISPs use to evaluate the authenticity of your email campaigns. It can also be useful for those who prefer to read emails in their non-HTML version.

Besides, this step should reduce your Spam Score roughly by 1.1 point.

And all it takes is two clicks. Just click on the Plain Text option at the bottom of the Email Creator arena and then clicking the HTML to Plain link.

This GIF shows you the whole process.

How to reduce GetResponse spam score by adding the plain text version of the message.

8. You’re playing dirty

Some marketers will do anything to increase their email open rates.

Even if their tactics mean that the recipients are at loss.

What sort of tactics are we talking about? For example, adding phrases like “Re:” or “Fwd:” to their email subject lines.

Adding these elements is meant to trick the subscribers into thinking that your marketing email is just a regular message they’d receive from a friend or colleague.

Naturally, newsletters and other marketing communication don’t work this way.

Although they do include personalization or a friendly from name, they’re not meant to trick people into thinking that they’re sent in response to their previous email.

How about using ‘spam words’?

You know, words like “buy now” or “free”.

Believe it or not, most lists of “words to avoid” are now obsolete.

Spam filters have evolved so much, they don’t just look at the direct use of common phrases like the ones above. Using phrases like “cheap” won’t move your emails into the spam folder.

Note: this is different for using names of drugs and other similar products.

Still, there are tactics that you should avoid.

Here are a few, shared by our Deliverability Manager, Martin Schwill, for Econtent:

Just what is considered spam these days? In general, the fundamentals still apply. This includes using a low-quality list that has not been cleaned and/or its subscribers have not clearly opted in to receive messages. Also, poor quality messages, inaccurate targeting, and the lack of solid authentication technology, all continue to be key triggers for filtering. Digging deeper into the current state of spam filters, here’s what else the filters are evaluating behind the scenes:

If the message resembles current or known phishing scams.

Hashbusters: These blocks of text, which are sometimes invisible to recipients, are often used in the mail structure itself in an attempt to deceive the filters.

Hiding text in HTML comments or by using fonts, colors, or backgrounds to reduce their visibility.

Incorrect or suspicious code.

The image-to-text ratio.

Pro tip: Now that spam filters have become more complex, your main focus should be on increasing your email subscribers’ engagement. One of the best ways to do this is to use email automation. Automated emails are sent in response to your recipients’ actions and preferences, which is why they generate above average open and click through rates.

9. You’re not using the right email marketing software

I know this sounds like we’re tooting our own horn, but it’s impossible not to mention a critical factor – your email marketing software.

It’s not only the technology that’s enabling you to send emails to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of recipients within minutes. Your email service provider also plays a big role in delivering your emails to your subscribers’ inboxes.

Let’s take our example.

Here, at GetResponse, we manage your IPs reputation, process bounces, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and set up feedback loops.

Thanks to this, we know when an email address is no longer active, is misspelled, or when the recipient wants to unsubscribe. Once we see such addresses, we remove them from your list, so that your deliverability isn’t affected, and you don’t have to pay extra for contacts that hold no value to your business.

We also team up with various ISPs and anti-spam organizations to learn from each other how to better secure our systems and fight spammers and phishers.

As a result, our email deliverability is 99%, as reported by Return Path.

Pro tip 1: One more thing that’s worth pursuing is email authentication. Setting up the SPF and DKIM records will make you recognizable for the ISP. Identifying you means they’ll be sure you’re not impersonating anyone else. It will also help you increase your reputation and make all the good things you do “stick” to your brand. It will also help you get better knowledge about your reputation.

If you’re a GetResponse user and would like to learn more about how you can authenticate your domain using the DKIM, read our help guide.

Pro tip 2: While designing and coding your own emails from scratch works for many out there, one of the common reasons why emails go to spam is that their HTML code isn’t clean.

To avoid that, either hire a developer who’s on top of the email design game specifically (coding for email is very different from coding websites) or use an email creator.

The latter will help you design and edit your email templates freely, without the need to bother your designers. On top of that, you’ll know your emails are designed specifically for all the most popular email clients.

10. Your email engagement rates are low

Spam filters are also looking at how much your subscribers engage in your email communication.

The more your recipients interact with your content, the better your chances of landing in the inbox.

This also means you don’t have to be as cautious as those who are just starting to send email campaigns or those whose emails land in the spam folder.

You can add heavier images into your newsletters, send bigger blasts in one go, or even increase your mailing frequency and still reach the inbox without a glitch.

The opposite is also true. The lower your engagement rates are, the more careful you have to be about how you run your email campaigns. You need to put extra effort to have your emails delivered successfully.

If you’re seeing that your average email marketing metrics are below the email industry benchmarks, there are a few things you should do.

First of all, focus on improving your email list hygiene. As we’ve discussed in point #5, it’s critical to keep your list clean from bad or inactive email addresses. That’s why you should regularly run re-engagement campaigns that’ll reactivate and separate inactive recipients from your most loyal readers.

The second thing you should consider is lead nurturing. Instead of throwing your new subscribers into the same stream of communication everyone else receives, you should treat them in a more special way. By designing a drip campaign, you can turn your new contacts from complete strangers to active consumers one message at a time.

A big part of your lead nurturing campaigns will be welcome emails. They’re not only great for creating a great first impression but also for engagement and deliverability. They reach an average of 80% open rates and 25% CTRs, and can help you get your customers used to checking your emails in their inbox. You can also use welcome emails to ask your recipients to add you to their safe senders list.

And setting up welcome emails is easy. All you have to do is either set up an autoresponder or a marketing automation workflow that’ll be sent right after a new contact joins your list.

Here’s what this looks like in the GetResponse Autoresponders:

welcome message in getresponse autoresponder.

Last but not least, make sure to segment your audience for all major campaigns. Rather than sending email blasts to everyone who’s on your list, pick the customer segments that are most likely to be interested in your offer.

This way you can exclude those who’ve been already receiving too many emails or would find the content you’re about to promote irrelevant.

Pro tip: Increasing your email engagement rates takes time. If you’re having deliverability issues, be sure to start sending your email campaigns to your most engaged audience.

11. You’re sending your email campaigns from a freemail domain (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo)

When starting their journey with email marketing, marketers often use freemail domains like Gmail or Outlook to send out their newsletters.

Up to a certain point, this works fine. Their emails reach the recipients and the marketer doesn’t need to do any extra work to get them delivered.

But when their list grows, the freemail domain in the from address is often the reason why their emails end up in the spam folder.

The reason for this is that ISPs prefer to see domains that have been registered by an individual sender, whom they can trackback.

Naturally, this is not possible for freemail domains, like Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail.

This may explain why freemail domains are often abused by people who deliberately want to send out spam.

The good news is that it’s an easy fix.

All you have to do is set up your own company domain or create a subdomain under your existing domain and use it for your email campaigns.

Even if you’re going to use it only in the from address, and not the mailing domain you’re physically sending your messages from, it’s going to help you deliver your message better.

That isn’t to say that changing the from address is going to instantly change things for you. Your from address will slowly build a reputation of its own, so it’s best to gradually increase your sending volumes rather than go for a big email blast right away.

Pro tip: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but using tools like the Spam Assassin will help you identify such common mistakes as the freemail domain in your from address.

By running your newsletters through a spam checker, your chances of reaching the inbox grow considerably higher.

12. Your mailing IP has a bad history record

If you’ve gone through all the aforementioned reasons, fixed them, and your emails are still landing in the spam folder – the chances are that your mailing IP is to blame.

The IP you’re sending your email campaigns through builds a reputation of its own. And this reputation stays with that address for months, even when nobody’s using the IP to run their email campaigns.

This means that if you’ve acquired an IP address (or your email software provider assgined you one), it may have someone else’s reputation still affecting the deliverability.

This isn’t usually a problem, because most email marketing providers use a number of shared IPs to process your campaigns.

In other words, the reputation is built by a number of marketers at the same time. Plus, the email traffic is directed through different channels to make sure the deliverability stays intact.

Having said this, if you’re experiencing deliverability issues and you’re using your own mailing IP, this is something you should explore further.

Note: It’s also possible that your IPs’ reputation gets affected by someone else who’s sending their campaigns from an address within the same class. This is rarely the case, but if nothing else works, you should check out the reputation of addresses within your IP class, too.

Pro tip: To check if your IP is listed on one of the popular blacklists, you can use online tools, like the MXToolBox.

Bear in mind that not all blacklists affect your email deliverability. Some were created only for commercial reasons and aren’t used by ISPs when filtering your emails.

Even if you do find your IP or domain listed on one of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean your emails will go into the spam folder.

Action plan

Now that you’ve learned these 12 reasons why your email campaigns could be going to spam instead of the inbox, it’s time you start improving your email deliverability.

If you’re unsure about any of the factors mentioned above, just reach out to us in the comments and we’ll do what we can to help you out.

And if you’re ready to move your campaigns to an email software provider with 99% deliverability, there’s GetResponse for you :).

Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why That Happens and What You Can Do About It

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Original Article

The Business Jargon & Buzzwords You Love to Hate

If you work in a business setting, you’ve probably heard, or even used, at least one of the many cliche business terms that float around most offices. From bosses strategizing on how to get the “biggest bang for their buck” to a coworker sending you a slightly passive-aggressive email that starts with “Just a friendly reminder…”, it’s everywhere and it can be equal parts annoying and exhausting. Business jargon has become so overused that it often lessens the impact of what’s being said and undermines the credibility of whoever is saying it.

At GetResponse, we aim to help individuals relay strong and persuasive messages to their audiences. Accordingly, we thought it would be interesting to find out exactly which common business phrases are the most used, and the most hated, in the business world.

To gather our data, we surveyed over 1000 people across different ages, industries, and locations. We were able to pull insights from our responses to see information such as the most common terms heard, the most annoying terms, and the most passive-aggressive terms. To see what we found, check out the information below.

most common jargon better results table.

Every company is looking for ways to achieve better results, both internally and for clients. We asked respondents what term they are most likely to hear when it comes to improving their results, and two kept coming up: “best practices” and “raise the bar.” Separating the responses into regions, 38.41% of people in the Midwest and 37.04% of people in the North were most likely to respond with “best practices,” while 39.22% of people in the South and 41.94% of people in the West were more likely to respond with “raise the bar.”

Perhaps, people get irritated by hearing the words “best practices” because it’s a reminder of rules they choose to ignore. In fact, more than half of email marketers send the same email to all recipients.

Most passive-aggressive email lines table.

It’s easy to be frustrated when a client or coworker asks a question you’ve already answered, and even though you can’t say, “if you read my last email you’d know”, it’s very tempting to do so. We asked what people say to nudge people to read things more thoroughly and the results differed slightly between men and women. For the most part, however, they agreed “As per my last email…” and “Just a friendly reminder…” were the most appropriate phrases for this situation.

28.97% of the men surveyed were more likely to respond with “As per my last email” as the most passive-aggressive sentence while 26.44% of women were most likely to respond with “Just a friendly reminder” as the most passive-aggressive sentence. Of course, there’s nothing like a good “Please let me know if I’ve misunderstood” or “According to my records…” to express irritation according to about 15% of respondents in each category.

most common jargon for work harder table.

It’s pretty rare for an employer will come out and say, “We really need you to work harder, but we’re not going to pay you more for it”. However, we’ve all probably been on the receiving end of a carefully phrased sentence masking that request. The most common phrase respondents saw was “We want you to take your career to the next level,” with 30.43% of people in the Midwest and 27.96% of people in the West seeing this phrasing the most. The response that was seen a nearly equal amount by respondents around the country was, “We’re asking for 110%.” You know, because 100% effort just isn’t enough.

most common jargon for project performance table.

Common jargon can also be heard in discussions with clients to boost credibility. The most common phrase respondents heard in these meetings was “biggest bang for their buck” and was followed by “value-add.” 35.51% of people in the midwest were most likely to hear “biggest bang for their buck” and they were also most likely to use the term “secret sauce” out of the four regions.

worst jargon describe ideal candidate table.

If you’ve ever seen a job posting, you’ve probably noticed certain phrases that describe the employer’s ideal candidate that made you cringe. We asked our respondents what their least favorite term was for a job posting and the majority thought “badass” was the worst by far. Other terms our respondents picked were “ninja,” “rockstar,” and “superstar.” An equal amount of respondents in the West found that “badass” and “rockstar” to be the worst descriptors. Interestingly, nearly one in ten people in the West have seen “sherpa” in a job posting.

least favorite marketing term table.

The marketing industry has been evolving quickly as the internet continues to influence sales. When we asked respondents what their least favorite marketing term was, the results were split by generation. 24.91% of Millennials responded with “target” as being their least favorite marketing term to hear, while 23.08% of Baby Boomers and 24.73% of Gen X responded with “funnel” as their least favorite marketing term to hear.

Though it seems funnel is the least favorite jargon word among certain groups, there is a big chance that it will become the most beloved one!

GetResponse has recently rolled out Autofunnel – a tool with which you don’t have to speak any jargon, or know the big marketing words – it simply guides you step-by-step through creating a sales / marketing process, doing work for you. No coding required!

least favorite business jargon term table

Respondents were also asked to tell us their most hated jargon terms to hear in any context. “Synergy” was the term that was most commonly picked. After “synergy,” the next most commonly picked term was “teamwork,” followed by “touch base”. Other hated terms that were picked included “think outside the box,” “work harder,” and “best practice” among many others.

You can’t escape most of these expressions in the workplace, and their usage is usually justified. Some are perfect to describe what your goals are, what your brand is like, and who your audience is. But, if you find yourself using some of these phrases too often, you may want to change up how you’re speaking to your colleagues and clients.

Once you’ve tweaked your communication, you can safely use GetResponse and it’s solutions to maintain your relationship with customers, without the fear of irritating them ;).

Let us know in the comments which of these buzzwords are you guilty of using the most in your business communication. And, if there are any other phrases marketers use that make you roll your eyes!

Most hated jargon according to employees.

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Original Article

How to Marry SEO with Email Marketing and Catapult Your Rankings

Email marketing has long been an intimate medium of communication with customers. As the GetResponse email benchmarks report shows, welcome emails can get as high as 84.22% open rates.

On the other hand, SEO remains one of the most reliable sources of driving website traffic and brand awarenesses. Among the major marketing channels, SEO and content marketing have the lowest cost per lead (CPL).

But, what if you can marry the two?

As you’ll see later in the article, the clicks from email subscribers trigger a positive cycle of engagement on your website. It can lead to a cascading effect of more links, more referral traffic, more brand visibility, and higher search rankings.

So let’s get cracking with few ways to creating a compelling marketing strategy at the intersection of SEO and email marketing. Here we go!

Start a waterfall of engagement through your list

Shreya Dalela, a B2C content marketer, had a client in the cosmetics industry with a list of over 20k subscribers. However, the brand only sends them promotional emails.

When Shreya suggested the client to send educational blog posts over email, she faced a huge resistance. The stakeholders of the brand believed that email is solely for offering discounts.

Is the brand missing out on engaging traffic?

Well, most content marketers know that the returns of their content marketing and email marketing efforts are compounding. Hence, they deepen their relationships with their subscribers by serving them value (which might mean sending helpful information instead of discount coupons).

Indeed, the email opens from your subscribers don’t solely result in one-time clicks and feedback on your blog posts. Quicksprout has found that email audiences tend to leave more comments than other traffic. The reason is that email subscribers are more “loyal, engaged, and vocal.”

emails create more comments.

The subscribers that like your content will comment, share the article on social media, and bring new visitors to your site. The engagement from your list triggers a traffic cycle.

traffic cycle triggered by email

And what do more social shares and more discussions on your blog posts mean for your search rankings?

It might result in lower bounce rates, higher time on page, and more comments. These positive engagement signals help your content rank. Also, there’s a positive correlation between social media shares and your ranking.

So start with sharing your latest articles with your email list. A small intro to the subject with a link to the post works well. Remember that repeat visitors are more engaged and likely to buy from you.

content marketing in email newsletters.

Large email list, several segments

Do you have a large list? Or, are you serving different types of audience?

Then, it makes sense to segment your list. It ensures that you send relevant content to your email subscribers. Remember, the goal is not merely to hit the inboxes of MORE people. Instead, it’s about earning higher engagement with every email you send.

For instance, Pat Flynn puts up a question at the end of his emails to let this audience describe their current stage of business. It helps Pat categorize his subscribers into buckets and send them helpful content as per their situation.

categorizing email subscribers.

Actionable takeaway: Regularly send your latest blog posts to your email subscribers. GetResponse allows you to tag your subscribers (invisible to the contact). You can also create automated workflows and add the tag actions in them. It’s useful to tag subscribers that began a new course.

GetResponse also has advanced search and segmentation options. You can use them to segment your list based on factors like location and engagement score. It ensures that you reach the inboxes of contacts interested in your content.

contacts in getresponse.

Pro Tip: Add UTM parameters to your email campaigns to track their effectiveness

If you want your message to be tracked even more precisely, then go to GetResponse Integrations tab, and configure the Google Analytics form.

google analytics getresponse integration.

Conduct surveys of your audience to plan your content

Loosely put, SEO involves publishing high-quality content that satisfies user intent. Then, building backlinks from high-authority websites to that page. Usually, marketers plan their content calendars by relying on keyword research. They search for keywords with low-competition and decent search volume.

However, this doesn’t take your existing email subscribers into account.

Every day new people that search for solutions to their problems find your content (targeting relevant keywords) and they, in turn, become your audience.

audience quick chart.

While that’s great brand exposure, to build a sustainable business, you need a loyal audience that happily engages with you. For that, you need to serve their informational needs.

Indeed, 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers put their audience’s informational needs first. It makes sense to seek the participation of your existing email subscribers in your content creation efforts. Let me share a few examples.

A decade ago, David Siteman Garland started his company, Create Awesome Online Courses. He teaches people how to create and sell courses online. It has crossed $10M in yearly revenue and is #938 on the Inc. 5000 list.

Surprisingly, you won’t find blog posts on his website that target keywords related to online course creation. Indeed, he hardly has any organic traffic on his website.

caoc david siteman garland ahrefs rank.

However, he regularly creates exclusive podcasts and content for his existing customers (that includes me). He regularly engages with his email list with updates about his life and ties the conversation back to course creation.

exclusive content received in email.

Does the success of CAOC highlight the importance of engaging with your existing email subscribers and customers?

Here’s another email I received from star blogger, Adam Enfroy. He mentions the way forward for his blog based on the feedback from his subscribers. His latest five blog posts are also based on it. He ends the email requesting the subscribers to reach out if they want him to cover other specific topics.

adam enfroy asking for subscribers feedback.

Generate organic traffic from your audience interests

You can take Adam’s idea a step further. After surveying and finding the topics that interest your subscribers, you can tie them to the keywords that have decent search volume.

Suppose you find that your subscribers want an article on starting a freelance writing business. You find that the keyword “freelance writing jobs” has a huge volume and decide to target it.

keyword volume freelance writing jobs.

You know that your audience consists of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers.

So, you create an article titled: 25 ways to get freelance writing jobs for ESL speakers.

It targets the keyword “freelance writing jobs” and makes your content relatable to your audience. When you share it with your subscribers, it will resonate, get better engagement, and more social shares.

Remember what user engagement does to your search rankings?

Are you worried that making your article relevant to a niche audience will limit its popularity and prevent you from ranking?

Then look at the likes of Ryan Robinson. He writes about side hustles on his website. Hence, his article on starting a blog used the angle ‘on the side’ to keep it relevant to his audience.

relating to a niche audience in seo.

Did that prevent his article from ranking for the keyword “how to start a blog?”

Nope.

Instead, he ranks for 14K other keywords and gets upwards of 25K visitors every month.

great ahrefs ranking.

Here’s Ryan’s take on limiting his audience:

I’m actually excited to limit the audience I’m writing for. Over the years, I’ve come to really feel strongly that when you try writing for everyone, you often end up writing for no one – which is why I love to niche down in my audience targeting. I choose to write specifically for people who are starting and growing a side business because it’s something I can personally relate very closely to with my ten years of experience in that world. I know their problems, challenges, motivations so intimately that I can connect well with that type of person, so it gives me a strong competitive advantage when I do write for them.

Actionable Takeaway: Choose a feedback tool and get regular feedback from your email subscribers. Ask them for ideas on content and their other needs.

You can also create surveys using GetResponse. Choose “Forms and surveys” from the menu and click on the “Create a new Survey” button.

managing surveys in getresponse.

You can use the drag-and-drop tool features to create different types of questions.

creating a survey in getresponse.

Once you have answers from your audience, then use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs. And try finding relevant keywords for your audience interests.

Generate more leads from your top-performing content

Do you create content every week? Orbit Media found that the bloggers that published every week are 2.5x more likely to report “strong results” than those published every month.

blogging results by publishing frequency.

However, once you have a repository of great content on your blog, it makes sense to slow down and focus on optimizing existing content. For most websites, a few pages make up most of the traffic. For instance, Neil Patel generates 28.7% of his search traffic from .1% of the pages on his site.

performance on search results.

To capitalize on the success of your existing content pieces, you can repurpose and distributing them to reach more people. One email marketing strategy that most bloggers rely on to drive evergreen traffic to their top posts is…?

Welcome emails.

As welcome emails have the highest open and click-through rates, sending your best content starts your relationship with new subscribers on the right note. Here’s an example of a first email from Nat Eliason that shares his most popular articles.

most popular articles in a welcome email.

Another simple strategy to convert your top-performing content into a smoking hot lead magnet is creating an actionable email course. You can attach a task at the end of each lesson to help your audience progress towards their goals (for which they subscribed in the first place).

For example, Ryan Robinson offers a free course ‘Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days’ in his top-performing article on the same subject.

lead magnet example.

What’s awesome is that after the free seven-day course, Ryan pitches a paid course to these new subscribers. It helps Ryan generate a little extra revenue.

You can also repurpose your guest posts and case studies as lessons inside your email course. A few months ago, Nat Eliason launched an email course taking us behind the scenes from his Cup & Tea Leaf blog project. He didn’t shy away from repurposing his Ahrefs guest post on updating content in the last lesson.

email with a lesson.

Doesn’t it feel awesome to reap MORE benefits from your top-performing content?

In 2015, Buffer conducted no new content for a month experiment. During that time, they repurposed their highest-performing content into email drip campaigns, Medium posts, LinkedIn Pulse articles, Ebooks, etc.

The result?

60% open rates (that’s terrific engagement) and over 18k signups on their email drip campaigns.

As you grow your email list and improve your relationship with them, you get more clicks and engagement on every article you publish.

That, in turn, is the ticket to…

Higher search rankings.

Also, in the optimization process, you generate more leads and help your bottom line. What’s not to like?

Actionable Takeaway: GetResponse has some simple and effective templates under the Automation section for designing your “Welcome Email.”

simple welcome email automation templates.

You can also use the autoresponder to create email courses.

Start a curated email newsletter

To rank higher in search engines, you need backlinks from authoritative websites. They count as a “thumbs up” by other websites for your site. And generating links comes down to building relationships.

Is there a way to network with industry professionals without writing detailed blog posts?

Yes, you can choose thought-provoking articles that you’ve been reading and share insightful tidbits from them.

If you regularly hand-pick and compile such links and package them into an email newsletter, you become irresistible. You create anticipation in your subscribers.

Can you see how curating email newsletters is an excellent strategy? It’s a great way of finding a place in the inbox of industry professionals and remaining at the top of their heads.

For example, content marketer, Jimmy Daly, has maintained a weekly personal newsletter for a few years now. He shares links to a few interesting articles, a tweet of the week, some random links, and sponsored stories.

jimmy daly popular newsletter.

The newsletter has built up an excellent reputation for his personal brand as it reaches folks at Google, Apple, Harvard, and more. Ahrefs shows that his website has racked up over 100 backlinks that include a reference to his newsletter “Swipe File.”

swipe file backlinks generated through a newsletter.

He has even landed mentions from authors writing for websites like Entrepreneur.com (which in this case are fellow content marketers deriving value from his newsletter).

swipe file mention on entrepreneur com.

A few other marketing folks that send weekly newsletters include the likes of Kevin Indig and Nat Eliason. It’s crazy how they manage to send value-packed emails on the side of their full-time jobs. However, the newsletters have helped their authority.

And as we’re talking about curated newsletters, how can we forget the 5-Bullet Friday? It’s a weekly email newsletter curated by Tim Ferriss and reaches over 1.5 million subscribers.

5 bullet email newsletter.

Tim delivers five things he has enjoyed over the week. Even the 25th most popular link of the newsletter last year managed to get more than 42,000 clicks. The reason why his recommendations can spark off so many clicks is the way he adds context to the things he shares. The updates are personal and relevant to his niche and audience. Here’s an example:

5 bullet email newsletters appeal

Occasionally, while curating such a newsletter, you can also plug links to your articles. Freelance writer, Elise Dopson, sends a bi-weekly newsletter on content marketing. Under the section of content marketing resources, she shares links to her latest work.

elise dopson newsletter links.

That’s how a curated newsletter can help you build relationships, and even convert into more tangible results like backlinks.

Actionable Takeaway: Save the best content that you read every week using a tool like Pocket or Evernote. Then, use the drag-and-drop GetResponse editor to convert them into an email newsletter. Did I mention that you can choose from over 500 newsletter templates inside the tool?

Final Thoughts

I hope you learned a few ways to let your email subscribers’ feedback improve your content marketing as well as SEO efforts. You can also repurpose your existing assets and convert them into digestible email lessons for extracting more juice from your content.

While they may seem unrelated at first, SEO and email marketing together are a very powerful combo. So whether you’re a new brand or a well-established business, integrating the two can deliver massive business results.

Are there any other ways you’re using email marketing to help your SEO efforts? Let me know in the comments below.

Author: Chintan is a writer and an ROI-focused content marketer. Join him at Elite Content Marketer and learn how to grow your business through content.

How to Marry SEO with Email Marketing and Catapult Your Rankings.

Related posts

The post How to Marry SEO with Email Marketing and Catapult Your Rankings appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

What Makes A Good Holiday Email Campaign ( 8 Examples)

Good Holiday Email Campaigns

Ah, holidays – the time of year everyone who sells online has been impatiently waiting for.

If there’s time to dazzle your audience, it’s definitely now.

While there are many ways you can impress your customers, nothing beats a stunning holiday newsletter.

To help your holiday emails stand out in the crowd (and the inbox!) better, we’ve gathered eight inspiring holiday email campaign ideas, along with examples and explanations on what makes them so good.

Let’s get you all prepped up for the holiday campaigns now, shall we?

Table of contents:

  1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]
  2. Here’s your [holiday name] to-do list
  3. We do Holidays our way
  4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon
  5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday
  6. Year in review
  7. Only for you
  8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Bonus: We’ve prepared a free holiday marketing checklist to help you plan, manage, and optimize your holiday campaigns before the hottest sales season.

Get the checklist

Bonus no.2: Also, be sure to sign up for our upcoming free webinar that will prep you up for the holiday sales fever even more!

Reserve a seat

But the businesses who are going to be the biggest winners of the holiday season race aren’t just the ones who can simply manage the increase in customer enquiries and product orders. They are the ones who successfully capture the attention of their target audience and convince them to do the holiday gift shopping at their store.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is through email marketing campaigns. Not just any campaigns, though, they have to be creative, eye-catching, designed with the audience in mind, and sent at the right time. And that’s just the beginning.

Below I’ve gathered six holiday email marketing campaign ideas along with examples from brands who’ve managed to stand out in my inbox. Although this is an entirely subjective opinion, read on to find out the reasons why I think these campaigns are worth remembering.

Also, if you’re unsure about how you can make your emails feel and look special this holiday season, check out our latest holiday marketing campaigns guide. There, we’ve gathered some of the most creative ways you can build your list, craft your subject lines, and design your messages. No matter if it is for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas – your campaigns will look great!

Whether you agree with them or not, just let me know by posting a comment below this post. Perhaps you have your own favorite example you want to share with the rest of us? I’d love to see them!

Holiday Email Marketing Ideas

1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]

Ideally, your promotional campaign should have been running for at least a week before the holiday festivity begins. Naturally, the closer to the big day, the more intensive your marketing efforts should be.

With the holiday just round the corner, some of your prospects might worry whether they’ll have their order shipped on time. That’s why you could make one last attempt to convert them. How? By offering free overnight shipping or running an “order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time” type of campaign.

Example
From: PUMA
Subject line: ⌚ Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping.

Here’s an email I received from Puma, morning before Christmas Day.

It’s a simple message that includes all the usual elements – a couple of banners, a few links to different secondary offers, a navigational bar, and social media icons.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas

So why is it so good?

If you’re anything like me, you’re usually running a little behind the Christmas schedule and doing the gift shopping at the very last minute.

And it’s not because you’re hunting for special deals, but because you either haven’t found the perfect gift yet or you haven’t realized that December’s passed right in front of your eyes.

This email was designed with this kind of audience in mind. The late shoppers.

It’s not overly complicated and it doesn’t have to be. It quickly communicates the offer that’s going to get you saved if you still haven’t purchased Christmas presents for your loved ones – Free overnight shipping.

The offer’s first mentioned in the subject line, then again in the preheader, and finally in the banner that’s centrally placed in the above-the-fold part of the email.

Besides the main offer, there are four other elements (secondary offers) that have been purposely emphasized. The sale event, gift cards, gift guide, and Holiday FAQ. All of these are crucial for anyone who’s running late with their holiday shopping, and needs to act quickly.

Although this isn’t the only email that I found in my inbox that revolves around the last-minute shipping theme, in my opinion it was the most effective one for the following three reasons:

  • It was quick to communicate the main offer, which is the free overnight shipping that’ll get you your order in time for Christmas.
  • All elements of the email were used in an effective way – subject line, preheader, and the above-the-fold section all reemphasized the offer.
  • It delivered value by pointing the recipient to the offers they’re most likely interested in, e.g. gift cards, gift guide, or the sale event.

To top it off, the use of the watch emoji in the subject line was a nice addition that made the email stand out even more in my inbox.

Another one that did catch my attention was this email from ASOS. However, their animated GIF and the *terrible* dad joke only managed to get them second place in this category.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Remember when and how your audience is going to read your email. Do they have much time to read through it? Or maybe they’re tight on their schedule and need to act fast? Use this information when designing your message and when it’s needed, go straight to the point with your offer.

2. Here’s your [holiday name] to do list

Holidays are a busy period, both for marketers and consumers alike. Most of us are turn back to the good ol’ pen and paper to put together all kinds of to-do lists.

But what can you do with this information as a marketer? For one, you can create a to-do list your audience will actually enjoy checking and going through.

Example
From: Bonobos
Subject line: Welcome to the Holidays, People.

For this year’s Thanksgiving, I received a neat email from an online retail brand named Bonobos.

Unlike other messages I found in my inbox around this time, this one used hardly any visuals. All it contained was a white to-do list on a dark-gray background.

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

So why is it so good?

First of all, this email clearly stands out. When scanning my inbox, I actually closed the message first and then had to re-open it, just to take a second look at what I just saw.

Upon a closer look, I’ve noticed that this isn’t just a simple to-do list. At least not one that I’d expect to receive from a brand. It’s more of a list I’d create for myself, with added humor – for example, Memorize cousins’ kids’ names – and hyperlinks that’ll help me complete some of the errands, like Get something nice to wear for dinner.

The humor’s spot on. The copy looks like it was written by someone who understands the target audience very well. The email itself is really easy to scan and fun to engage with. Rather unusual, but I actually enjoyed going through all the points up to the very end of the message.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Stand out, be creative, engage your audience, and show them that you understand them well. Consider using phrases, abbreviations, or hashtags they use in their communication to make your marketing messages more authentic.

3. We do holidays our own way

When you hear the name Black Friday, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s probably one of the following: discounts, sales, or free shipping.

Most brands hop on the Black Friday bandwagon with the same approach. To sell more, by offering a better deal than what their competitors offer.

But what you don’t expect is that a brand you like will remind you about the mission that drives them. The mission that, most likely, made you choose them in the first place.

Example
From: United By Blue
Subject line: Why We Picked Up Trash Today

Below is the email I got for Black Friday from a brand that I follow – United By Blue. As you’ll find on their website, they sell responsible durable goods. What does that mean? In a nutshell, they sell products for people who care for the outdoors. And for every product they sell, they pledge to remove 1 pound of trash from the Earth’s oceans and waterways.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign

Now that you know their story, you’ll also understand where their email’s coming from.

So what’s the email about? It’s a message that explains why for this year’s Black Friday, they decided to do a proper cleanup. Oh, and they called it Blue Friday.

Unlike what you’d expect from a retailer during this time of year, the email doesn’t talk much about their products. Instead, it invites you to learn more about Blue Friday and how to host your own cleanup, and shows you the people who joined them for this wonderful project.

Not so surprisingly, they do also offer a special deal for their customers. But the information about their special sale is only available once you scroll down to the very bottom of the email.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale

So why is it so good?
This one, again, comes down to understanding your audience and answering the question – why did they choose your brand in the first place?

With United By Blue, the answer is pretty simple. It’s because they make products for people who, like them, care about nature. How can they prove that their mission statement isn’t just marketing fluff? With their actions.

Having organized the cleanup and shown pictures of those who participated in it – which include their CEO and Director of Operations – they said more than any regular marketing newsletter ever could.

What’s more, their message is mostly about getting people to participate or even host a cleanup in their own neighborhood. The information about the sale they’re holding for Black Friday comes much, much later.

To sum up, even though this email arrived quite late, i.e. on Black Friday afternoon, it’s very effective. It managed to capture my attention and got me to read it all to the very bottom, where the information about the sale was placed.

Even though it arrived later than any other message I expected to receive that day, it sure made an impact and made me reconsider what I wanted to order for Black Friday.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: This may not work for everyone. But if you know your audience well, then you don’t need to use your main CTA button to lead to the sales page. You can focus on content and carry on with your mission, and your audience will follow you.

Are there any other brands that caught my eye because they were doing holiday marketing slightly different? Not many, but the one that has is certainly worth mentioning here.

The team behind Cards Against Humanity once again proved that they know their audience pretty well. Take a look at the following two emails and see for yourself.

Do you think any other brand would get away with closing down their store or simply collecting money to dig a hole nobody could ever find? I don’t.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special

Cards Against Humanity Hole Email

Img. 7 – Cards Against Humanity “We’re Digging a Hole” Email

As you can see, sometimes you don’t need to follow best practices to stand out. Quite the contrary, sometimes it pays off to be different, especially during the holiday season when the competition levels are at their all-time high.

If you want to read the whole story behind their Black Friday campaign, read on what the Cards Against Humanity team have to say about their crazy sale.

4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon

Even though holiday sales last for quite long, some of us still have trouble finding something special for themselves or their loved ones. That’s why marketers keep sending them multiple reminders and last-minute emails, hoping to convert them before everyone goes offline to spend some quality time at the dinner table.

What if there was a way to make your email stand out from all the other reminders out there? Apparently, there is.

Example
From: Casper
Source: Reallygoodemails.com

Like the email from Bonobos, this message doesn’t look much like anything else you’re used to in your inbox. It’s what you usually see when you’re lying in bed, either going to sleep or just waking up. It’s an image that resembles your clock app.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter

When you look closer at the image, you see that each alarm has a special name. Along with witty names, you also find information about the super sale and early bird discount the brand’s currently offering.

Just as you’re starting to get slightly nervous that you might miss out on yet another deadline, you find a comforting message, just below the clock app. It says that you can rest comfortably and even sleep through Black Friday, as you can shop with Casper without even leaving your bed. All you have to do is go to the brand’s website and type in the code: SLEEPIN.

Why is it so good?
Casper is a brand that sells mattresses for your bed. Although to some this may not sound very exciting, they’ve managed to make an impact with their marketing communication more than once.

This is one of those examples. What I like about this email is that it fits in so well with what they actually sell. Bed mattresses, clock app, multiple alarms set not to miss an important date, and finally a discount code with the phrase – sleepin.

The email’s relatively short and manages to quickly communicate that you can shop online, without ever leaving your bed. And of course, you wouldn’t want to leave your bed, even if it was for a great sales event like the ones you expect to see on Black Friday now, would you?

One more thing that makes this email campaign even greater is the second newsletter that comes after it. Even shorter, following the same principle, but this time aimed at people who – despite the reminders – managed to sleep through Black Friday.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email

What’s most interesting about this email isn’t the humor or its length. It’s the fact that they decided to extend the Black Friday sale beyond the one day.

This is something we’ve been seeing more and more often over the last few years. Brands seem to be wanting the Black Friday craze to go up until Cyber Monday or even later in the week.

Personally, I’d watch out not to discourage customers from shopping when prices are at their standard level, but this is something each ecommerce business has to decide on their own.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Make sure each element of your email reemphasizes what you’re actually trying to say. A good design can often help and deliver the message much quicker than words ever could. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about good copy.

5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday

When referring to the holidays, you might be thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, or maybe Hanukkah.

But, there are so many other holidays along the way. They may not be as popular as Christmas, but does that mean you can’t tie them nicely with your brand?

Marketers behind the email marketing campaigns for Casper would disagree.

Let’s take a look at some of their more creative newsletters.

Example

From: Casper

Subject line: That extra hour, though.

This campaign is about celebrating the brand’s most favorite day of the year.

Curious what day it is?

It’s the Daylight Saving Time. Because you can sleep in, one hour longer.

And they’re selling mattresses, pillows, and everything else you need to sleep well.

Now isn’t that brilliant?

Besides the idea for the campaign, what stands out about this email is its design. As it’s always the case with this brand, their message looks beautiful.

Casper Day Time Savings Emails..

It’s simple, contains a clear heading – in fact, the whole typography’s really good – and a single call to action button that says “Party on”.

The descriptive, humoristic CTA button is placed next to a discount code and an animated GIF alarm clock that makes the information about the 10% OFF discount impossible to miss.

Then finally, below the main part of the email body, there’s an additional link that lets you “Find a sleep shop near you”. Yup, not a store, a sleep shop.

One more thing worth mentioning about this email is the top bar, located just below the navigational bar.

It’s very subtle. It contrasts nicely with the email body and since it’s in the above the fold section, it’s quick to inform the email recipients about the latest offer.

If anyone’s just skimming through their inbox, there’s a chance they won’t read the whole email but they’ll see that top bar. And if it captures their attention and generates interest, they’ll definitely scroll down to learn more about the offer.

Example

From: Casper

Subject line: New season? New bed.

Now I don’t want to sound like a big fanboy, which I may have just become, but here’s another great email from Casper that follows a similar line of thought.

It’s using yet another special time of the year, although not really a holiday, to promote their products.

In this email, Casper’s using the end of the summer and the beginning of “slumber” as the key idea behind their campaign.

Casper end of summer campaign email.

Casper’s end of summer campaign email

Similarly to the previous message, we’ve got the top bar summing up the main offer (located above the fold), one single CTA button that says “Start hibernating”, and a nice image with flip flops and warm slippers that accompanies the whole offer.

The copy? We’ve learned to expect this kind of copy from them.

A slightly awkward rhyme (Summer, Slumber), “Sleepin’ season”, “Start hibernating” – all of these tie in with what their business is selling.

There’s no “buy now” or “start shopping”.

It’s more creative than this.

Everything is put together nicely. The email’s short and sweet.

Although the offer itself isn’t new or creative – just another 10% OFF discount – the email campaign just looks good and is a joy to observe in the email inbox.

6. Year in review

When preparing their marketing campaigns, most marketers focus on what they’ve got prepared for their customers. Their blow out sale, free delivery, contest, or new line of products.

Less often, they focus on their customers – what they’ve done and what they’ve contributed to.

“Year in review” is one of the less seen campaigns. Perhaps because it doesn’t scream “buy now” and maybe it doesn’t provide a big return on investment.

At the same time, from my experience at least, it’s one of the most engaging types of campaigns.

Is it going to work for everyone? Probably not.

It should work for brands, services, or SaaS platforms that customers really care about.

It’s not just about summarizing the products someone bought over the year – that wouldn’t work unless these products meant a lot for the customers.

It’s about…

Well, let’s see what it’s all about :).

Example

From: Sevenly

Subject line: Thanks! Because of you…

Sevenly is an online retailer, that runs charity-themed campaigns and gives back part of their profits to those in need.

As you can read on their website, they pledge to donate $7 per purchase in their 7-Day Campaigns and 7% from their cause-themed collections.

So, every time you buy from them, you get that instant positive feeling that you’re doing something good.

The challenging part is that, over time, you may feel less motivated to help out in this way. Especially if you’re not seeing the direct outcomes, like what the money’s been invested in.

To counter this, Sevenly came up with this idea to send out a “thank you” campaign that summarizes just how much the brand and all of those who’ve participated in their campaigns, have contributed over the year.

As you’ll read in this email, in 2017 they’ve raised $4.9 million in donations, 1.7 million people helped them out, 2.4 billion free impressions were made for their selected causes.

Sevenly thank you email.

Sevenly’s thank you email

Why is this email so good?

There are several things that make this email special.

It’s the idea behind the campaign. Summing up all the milestones can definitely help the customers feel that they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

The sender’s name, aka “from” name, also stands out. In your inbox, it says the email came from “Your Friends at Sevenly”.

If you’re trying to build a community, that’s definitely one way to do it.

As for the design, the email looks nice. It’s not overcomplicated, but the point of this campaign was to provide information to the recipients and thank them for their contribution. It’s not meant to sell.

So, although I can’t say much about the design, it seems to fit with the goal of this campaign.

Example

From: Spotify

Subject line: Everything you need to know about your year in music

Now, there are two emails I really want to show you.

Both of them were sent by Spotify, in different years – 2016 and 2017.

The idea behind them was to summarize everything the Spotify users have listened to over the year. The number of minutes, most popular songs, favorite genres, and so on.

By doing so, they wanted to engage the users, make them reminisce on the things they’ve listened to in the past and have fun analyzing it.

Email Spotify Year in Review

Spotify yearly summary email 2016

And I think they succeeded in this.

In fact, I remember that we’ve had lots of fun sharing the results with our colleagues over the last two years.

I bet it was similar in your office or among your friends, too.

Why are these emails so good?

First of all, I want to emphasize the differences between them.

Except for the most obvious – one’s in English (sent to my colleague), the other one is in Polish (that one’s mine).

The idea behind them was slightly different.

The 2016 one summarized and placed everything in the email. The 2017 one directed you to a landing page where you could have generated the results once you’ve logged in to your account.

I guess the newer one is better for Spotify in terms of activating their users and getting them back to their site.

The other one, however, is more complex and I appreciate it more, mainly because it used dynamic content to personalize the experience for their users.

Other than that, both of them are very nicely designed.

The more complicated one especially, given how different the results could have been for each individual of their customers.

I have to say, aggregating this amount of data and using it to personalize the content for their user – great. Making it pretty at the same time – awesome.

I’m sure this idea could work just as well for other brands. In fact I’ve seen Grammarly, Google Local Guides (example below), and Tripadvisor send out similar “summary” emails.

Unfortunately, they still have a lot to improve, if they want to be as engaging as this inspiring email from Spotify.

Google 2017 highlights email.

Google 2017 highlights email

 

7. Only for you

Exclusivity is a powerful thing, and marketers have known this for a long time.

The holiday sales season is a perfect moment to remind your contacts that being on your list has its perks.

Example:

From: Williams Sonoma

Subject line: 20% Off Fall Decor – Wreaths, Plants & More

williams sonoma holiday campaign email for halloween.

Williams Sonoma holiday campaign email for Halloween

This is a holiday newsletter I’ve received from Williams Sonoma shortly before Halloween.

Design-wise, there’s not much to say about this message. It’s very similar to all the other email campaigns sent out by this brand. Well, consistency in design is a good thing.

Perhaps the only thing that stands out about this email’s design is the uncommon use of the preheader section. You don’t usually see links like “Shop now” or “Find a store” before the “View email with images” URL.

I assume this was done for the mobile audience, but I’m not sure whether this tactic is very practical. As always, it’s one of the things you just have to test on your own.

While there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about this email’s design, the idea behind the campaign is very interesting.

So, if it’s not the design, what makes it great?

Let’s see.

Why is this email so good?

What I like about this holiday newsletter is that it makes the recipients feel special. Maybe not all of them, but the cardholders for sure.

This approach has three clear benefits. It makes their cardholders feel appreciated, and it motivates them to buy more frequently. Plus, WS presented the offer to their entire newsletter audience, so other recipients may feel inspired to join the WS cardholders club.

What’s surprising is that I don’t often see campaigns like this one, although developing one shouldn’t be particularly difficult.

That said, let’s look at one more holiday newsletter template which uses a similar approach.

Mark and Graham holiday fall email campaign.

Mark and Graham holiday email campaign

As you can see in this message from Mark and Graham, right below the navigational bar and above the main headline in the header, there’s a message that says, “Email Exclusive Offer”.

What this tells the subscriber is that this offer is nowhere else to be found. It’s exclusive, unique, and available only to the chosen ones.

If you’re a marketer, you know that offering something like this isn’t difficult, nor expensive.

All you need is to offer early access to your new product lines, exclusive products, additional bonus points, free shipping and returns, or additional content that’s available only through email.

Lesson for other ecommerce business: What’s the benefit of being your subscriber or a loyalty club member? If you figure this out, make sure to communicate it to your audience. Make them feel special, and they’ll pay you back.

 

8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Is it possible to sell Christmas gifts after Christmas has ended?

As it turns out, it is.

You just need to focus on a different audience.

Example

From: Mahabis
Subject line: no mahabis under the tree? treat yourself instead…

mahabis inspiring holiday email campaign.

Mahabis unboxing day email

For most people, holidays are about spending time with family and friends, eating dinner together, and exchanging gifts.

Because of that, marketers spend most of their time coming up with new ways of convincing their audience to spend their holiday budget on gifts for others.

In this holiday newsletter below, Mahabis took a slightly different approach.

They focused on the fact that you too might have wanted to receive a special gift.

Perhaps nobody knew that all you dreamt about was a pair of Mahabis slippers. Does that mean you shouldn’t get them? Definitely not.

What you see in this message is a clever discount offer that lets you extend the holiday feeling by treating yourself with one of their products.

They also playfully called their campaign “unboxing day”, referring to the boxing day that takes place on the day this message was sent.

Why is it so good?

I really like the idea behind this campaign. You don’t often receive a holiday newsletter that focuses on the recipient. Instead, most of them help you buy gifts for others.

If you’re a fan of this brand and have long been waiting to buy a pair of their slippers, this message would’ve definitely caught your attention.

After Christmas is over, the odds are that 1) you’re short on money and could use a discount code, and 2) you’ve not received the gift you truly hoped for.

In this holiday newsletter, Mahabis is betting that this is the case for you.

And I think this is a solid strategy.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: When preparing your holiday campaigns, consider changing the focus to your recipients (instead of their family and friends!) Think about what they need or want this holiday season.

Maybe they want to look good at the Christmas dinner party? Perhaps they’re hosting the party and want to make sure it’s going to be a blast? Or maybe they just want to treat themselves with something nice?

Go ahead, be creative, and try something new!

What else should you try for your holiday marketing campaigns?

Marketers try different approaches to deliver value to their audience. Depending on who they’re communicating with, the tactics they pursue will vary.

Here are a few more examples of email marketing campaigns that, in my opinion, worked pretty well. Without going into much detail, take a look at how effectively they’re using animated GIFs and product recommendations based on the price range.

Special Father's Day Message

Special Father’s Day Message

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100.

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100

How GetResponse can help with your holiday campaigns

Now that you’re inspired and ready to take action, it’s time to craft your stunning holiday newsletters.

And that’s what GetResponse can help you with.

Inside GetResponse you’ll find an intuitive email creator that’ll help you quickly build and send holiday newsletters to your audience.

And if you’re not sure about your design skills, don’t worry – you can just use one of the ready-made templates that are available for you to use.

If you’d like to create stunning Christmas email templates – and other holiday emails, too – all you have to do is sign up for a free trial and give it a go.

In addition to the free newsletter templates and the email creator, you’ll also find that GetResponse offers a great number of tools that’ll help you run your holiday campaigns better.

With tools like Facebook ads, social ads creator, landing page creator, or webinar software – you’ll be fully equipped to run holiday campaigns like a pro!

Inspiring-Holiday-Marketing

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The post 8 Inspiring Holiday Email Campaigns and What Makes Them So Good appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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