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Archive for the ‘Marketing Automation / Email’ Category

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Nurturing Your Retail Customers with Automated Messaging

By | March 26, 2014

Everyone knows it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one, and since it only takes a few seconds for a consumer to find your competition online, it’s important to nurture your customers and give them a reason to stay loyal to your brand.

Automated email campaigns are a great way to reach your customers at critical times in the customer lifecycle: From the time they opt in to your emails, through their first purchase and as soon as they appear to become un-engaged. Triggering messages based on behaviors is a great way to ensure that you’re sending relevant messages and keeping your customers engaged.

The types of automated emails you develop can vary depending on your company and your industry. Welcome messages, cart abandonment and product or service reviews are becoming more common across all industries but there are endless options and companies are getting more and more creative all the time.

Determining what messages you should automate is as simple as taking a closer look at your company processes and current touch points with the customer. Do you sell a consumable product that needs purchased on a regular basis? Then you should be sending reminder messages that make it convenient for your customer to reorder through your website? Do you sell children’s products? If so are sending coupons to your customers around their kids’ birthdays? If a customer browses a product category on your site but then leaves without converting, are you following up shortly after with an incentive to purchase or a short survey to find out if you had what they were looking for?

With so many possible triggers for emails, it can seem overwhelming to get started but you don’t have to launch everything at once. Determine a few messages that you think will have the most impact and then prioritize them. As you get more comfortable with the process and begin to see results you can continue to add new messages and optimize the initial ones. To help get you started, we’ve created a guide to provide some examples of messages you can automate to nurture your customers at each step of the customer lifecycle.

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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5 Deliverability Tips for Higher-Education Email

By | February 11, 2014

There isn’t a magical checklist that instantly guarantees your school’s email delivery. It’s an evolving science that we’re always adapting to, but we do know a few things for sure.

Email providers first look at your school’s sender reputation when deciding what to do with your email. The better your school’s reputation, the better your chances are of being delivered to the inbox. Colleges and universities with poor reputations risk being delivered to the spam folder – or, worse, not at all.
Find out how to gain the trust you deserve with these five deliverability tips for higher education email:
What do email providers look at?

1. Email quality

Send emails that people want to look at, aesthetically. Emails that are poorly coded and don’t render properly in certain mailboxes are viewed as low quality and can be flagged instantly.

2. Send volume

Keep your send volume consistent. Schools that blast out emails at inconsistent times and volumes can cause deliverability problems. Sending to giant lists, especially purchased lists, also creates risk.

3. Complaints

If recipients consistently mark your school’s emails as spam, you’re experiencing a sender reputation problem. Keeping your spam complaints below 1% is a good goal. Send to people who are expecting your email, and provide an easy-to-see “Unsubscribe” link at the top of your message – not buried in the footer.

4. List health

Keep your list clean and avoid sending to people who didn’t opt-in, or recipients who haven’t opened your emails in a long time. Email providers create spam traps that try to catch senders who blast out to bad lists, subsequently marking that sender as a spammer.

5. Lower bounce rates

Be sure your school’s ESP (email service provider) removes hard bounces (emails that bounce back because the address is no longer valid) from your list. It’s crucial to maintain list hygiene by removing email addresses that haven’t engaged with your emails.

Whether you’re sending to prospective students, parents, alumni or anyone else – it’s important to build a sound sender reputation. By following the steps outlined above, you can improve the sender reputation of your college or university and increase email deliverability.

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Learn about how to nurture across the student life cycle and earn $26 for every $1 invested in marketing automation:

Nurturing Across the Student Life Cycle

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Maximizing Retail/E-commerce Conversions with Automated Email Campaigns

By | January 16, 2014

Retail Marketing Guide CoverIn retail, automated email messages triggered by events and consumer behavior typically lead to higher engagement. Higher engagement leads to more purchases or referrals. Whether you are properly welcoming a new consumer, nudging her back to an abandoned shopping cart, encouraging a product review, or just trying to re-engage after a period of prolonged inactivity, email has an answer. The best part? You guessed it: These triggered messages can be automated, saving retailers time/money in the process.

Our new 13-pg. guide will show you email content and sending strategies for retail:

4 Automated Campaigns that Every Online Retailer Should Use.”

Automated Retail Email Guide

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Marketing for Assisted Living: Turning Senior Leads into Move-ins

By | January 14, 2014

senior livingDespite myths to the contrary, more than half of U.S. adults over the age of 65 are online. Furthermore, 70% of all online American seniors say they go online every day. Not only are seniors online, but their caregivers—90% of whom own mobile phones—are also. One-third of these caregivers use their mobile phones to look up health information. According to the Pew Research Center, caregivers also:

  • Gather health information online (72%)
  • Participate in social media activities (52%)
  • Attempt to self-diagnose online (46%)

The obvious conclusion? Seniors can be reached online … and through their caregivers.

Senior-living centers looking to increase search visits, visitor-to-lead rates, and lead-to-move-in rates have many options, from organic search to social advertising to lead-nurturing. With an average 6-month lead cycle, buyers’ collaborative decision-making process, and 40-45 ‘touches’ per sale, sophisticated lead-nurturing can maximize the value of websites visitors. In other words, turn more of the many visitors they’re probably already getting into leads who eventually become move-ins. Learn more in our new 17-pg. guide:

From Lead to Move-In: Digital Marketing for the Assisted Living Industry.”

From Lead to Move-in

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Photo courtesy of Elliott Brown via Flickr.

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Email Subject Lines That Work

By | January 10, 2014

A new report on email subject lines from MailChimp is full of things you would expect–the word ‘urgent’ increases open rates–and not expect, like including a person’s first and last name has a far greater positive impact than either first or last name alone. How about all-caps subject lines? A small increase. The word free in subject lines? Very little impact.

email subject line

Other findings:

  • Reminder and cancelled affected open rates negatively.
  • Using any instance or combination of first and last names = better open rates.*
  • Freebie helps open rates.
  • Breaking, important and alert create engagement.
  • Donation had the most negative impact among all the charitable-action words. The least? Helping.
  • Sign up hurts engagement; last chance even more so.

*Exception: Use of first names hurt the legal industry. (Maybe because people don’t want to feel a false sense of intimacy with what is commonly thought of by outsiders as the most hated profession.)

Be sure to check out the full report for an explanation of how the testing of 24 billion emails was conducted and charts showing the standard positive and negative deviations:

Subject Line Data: Choose Your Words Wisely.”

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