Monday, March 25, 2019

2:43 AM

How to Create An Engaging Email Marketing Newsletter

The entire point of your email newsletter is to get people engaged with you and what your company offers.

Just writing down that primary goal can help you create more engaging content. Marketers can get get pulled into different directions with the multitude of topics they want to cover, the design and formatting of the message, and reviewing for grammatical errors. You’re accomplishing a lot and you want everyone to know about it, right?!
Believe me, I get it. All of this can take you away from the goal of creating an engaging email newsletter and clutter up an email that most will simply scan and delete. Those tasks are all necessary, yes, but as many of us marketers know, it can still be a bit distracting.
When creating an engaging email newsletter, it helps to decide on a few factors about your approach to get closer to meeting your newsletter goals:

How much to give up for an engaging email newsletter?

Do you include entire articles in your newsletter or do you share an enticing snippet to make readers click to read more? I’m not going to say one works better than the other because it depends on a number of factors.
It especially depends on what type of marketing goals you have. Do you want to get more traffic to your website? Well then by all means, link them to a landing page. If you have valuable content that you desperately want your readers to benefit from, then share as much as you want in your newsletter…to a point. Remember, the goal of email newsletters is engagement.
As a marketer, I personally enjoy both scenarios. If you’re in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to test it out! Email split testing is a very important benefit that email marketing systems offer and it simply makes you a better, more analytical marketer. 
Pinpointe allows you to spit test up to 8 different variations of your campaign, and getting the results is as easy as a click.
You may be asking, “How can I test this when it really depends on the click?” Very good question and one that changes the position of giving up content, just slightly. When you share an entire article within a newsletter, add a call to action. Maybe that call to action is downloading more information via a report or whitepaper. Or maybe it is requesting a demo to see more about your product. Whatever it is, if people see the value in the content your giving up, this gives them a chance to take your relationship to the next level. Missing out on that is simply a no-win situation for both you and the reader.
If you decide teasing readers with your content is a better, more trackable approach, I hear ya! It has its benefits, there’s no doubt about that. You can see what links they click on and how interested they are in the various things you push out. On the other side of the spectrum, it also puts a ton of pressure in creating enticing email headlines, easy-to-scan sentence structures, and visually appealing (and preferably mobile) design.
That’s not to say it can’t be done. With a little more focus on those areas, many companies have had major success.
Below is a sample of an engaging email newsletter from Litmus.
Now, some companies even take email newsletter engagement to the next level. Let’s take, for example. They are a membership organization so instead of sending their valuable content in an email newsletter, they send out a teaser every week drawing members into what they call, “The Cave”. This is a password-protected and vetted forum that helps promote engagement in a safe place.
Try something similar by creating a landing page or LinkedIn group that is easier to manage other users. That “protected” space goes a long way so users aren’t inundated with people who are just trying to impress.

Get personal. Or get even more personal?

If you’re like most marketers today, you’ve added a level of personalization to your email marketing. You have a sense of who your contacts are, segment contact lists to the best of your ability, and try to keep those contacts updated on a regular basis.
There is a large percentage of companies playing the manual game because budget does not allow for a marketing automation solution. You don’t have to allocate your entire marketing budget just to get more personal. You simply need to implement and maintain the right tools, as well as develop strategic personas.
  • Tools: If you’ve been in marketing for a long time, you know it’s easy to acquire more tools than you actually need. They add up without adding real value.
    Take the time to do an audit of all the tools you use for marketing and see which ones you actually use. It helps to think of your tools in terms of a marketing campaign. What do you use to create your marketing message? What tool sends out that message and then what is the call to action you want prospects to do?
    Pay close attention to those that cause more headaches than benefits and streamline as needed. Once you have a list, write in the purpose and cost to your business each tool brings to help you decide. Using Microsoft Excel is obviously an easy way to accomplish this.
  • You may need to migrate data into a new system, but do your research before making that leap to ensure it aligns with your marketing structure, company size, and goals. Take advantage of trials so you can see your data working in the new tools. For example, you can try out Pinpointe for 15 days free to see if its email marketing features work for you.
  • Personas: Jumping in to segment lists can backfire quickly if you have no plan or reason to what personas you are targeting. Persona development means looking internally and asking questions of your leadership, sales, and customer service teams to see who your perfect client may be. After those discussions, narrow it down to four or five personas that are easy to remember and then…dig deeper.
Pinpointe customers that align with those personas and give them a call. See what makes them tick. Ask how you can better serve them. Not only will you get a ton of valuable information, your customers will feel special and appreciated.
Once you have a strategic plan to the exact personas you are targeting, segmenting lists and creating content for that audience will be all that much easier.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, remember what your primary goal is for email newsletters. Get those readers engaged! After reviewing your content strategy, email marketing tools, and personas, you can finally take your engagement up a notch and reap the benefits of marketing done right!
2:40 AM

40 Email Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

When used correctly, email marketing can do some amazing things, like generate $0.11 of revenue per email sent and grow your customer and leads database at a rapid pace.

Our friends over at EveryCloud put togther an infographic – The Giant Email Marketing Statistics Guide, which includes 40 email marketing statistics that will change the way you do business. You can use this data right now to enhance your campaign efforts and reap all the benefits that email marketing has to offer.

Brand Interaction

1. U.S. email subscribers receive 88 billion business emails per day.
2. The average consumer interacts with 11 brands on a daily basis.

How Emails are Being Opened

3. Desktop accounts for 62% of all opened emails.
4. Mobile (phone and tablet) account for the other 38% of opened emails.
5. 23% of subscribers will open their email on a phone, and 16% will open on a tablet.

Email Marketing Performance

6. 97% of businesses are using email marketing to increases sales.
7. 3 out of 4 subscribers eventually make a purchase from an email
8. 34% of emails go to the dreaded spam folder.
9. Emails are deleted and unsubscribed from because nearly 70% of subscribers believe the messages aren't relevant or they receive too many.

Use Automation to Your Advantage

10. Half of top performing companies use email marketing automation to their advantage. 

Optimize for the Bottom Line

11. Trigger based programs increase revenue by 50%.
12. Audience optimization leads to a 14% increase in sales.
13. 36% of revenues are driven by targeted email specific segments.
14. Businesses can see an additional 22% in revenue if they target additional segments from existing ones.

Understand Your Customers

15. 52% of customers won't do anything after receiving a business email.

Improving Your CTR

16. Personalize the messages you send: they account for a 10% increase in conversions.
17. Email on Saturday: Emails received on Saturday have the highest CTR at 9%.
18. The early worm catches the business: 6AM has the highest CTR of any hour.

Awesome ROI

19. Email marketing generates $0.11 per email sent.
20. 77% of ROI comes from targeted, segmented, and triggered campaigns.

Mobile First

21. If an email doesn't render well on a mobile device, it will be immediately deleted by 70% of consumers.
22. One out of four consumers open an email on a mobile device as second time.
23. 33% of clicks come from a mobile device.

When is the Best Time to Send an Email?

24. Mon, Tuesday, Thursday plus a combination of Saturday and Sunday.

Crafting Winning Subject Lines

25. Include the name of the company.
26. Specifically state what the email is about.

Structuring Promotions That Convert

27. 72% of consumers want promotional content through email.

Creating Conversions

28. 66% of consumers will make a purchase if they receive an email marketing message.

Don't Use These Spam Triggers in a Subject Line

29. "Percent Off"
30. "Clearance"
31. "Claim"

The Do’s and Don’ts for Conversion Optimization

32. Do: Segment your email marketing campaign. You'll see a 14.4% increase in open rates.
33. Don't: Forget to put the company name in the subject line. 43% of consumers send these emails right to the spam folder.
34. Do: Create a series of triggered email messages if you want 71% higher open rates and 102% higher click rates.

What the Experts Are Saying About the Next Five Years

35. 53% expect an increase in email automation.
36. 76% expect the increase of personalization.

What Consumers Want from Email

37. No Spammy subject lines or offers.
38. Personalization.
39. Easy to view in a mobile browser.
40. Not too many and not all the time.

All of these email marketing statistics point to one, simple fact: no matter how big a list becomes, or how many segments are in your database, customers want to feel like they are directly interacting with your brand. Use this knowledge to create campaigns customers love and realize the unlimited potential of email marketing.
2:33 AM

4 Ways to Instantly Grow Your Email Marketing

Is your email list growing? If so, by how much? Research shows that successful marketers see 38% list growth every year, that's about 3.2% each month, according to MarketingSherpa.

To be successful, you have to make continuing efforts to grow your email list. But, with so many marketing tasks, finding time to add contacts isn't always easy.
However, there are a few simple ways to keep subscription rates growing without spending a lot of time recruiting.
Here's a look at four ways to grow your email list, along with a list of tools to make it so easy you can almost "set it and forget it."

1. Add a signup form to your website to grow your email list

One of the best ways to entice visitors to join your email list is through signup forms. You've probably seen them on websites before but might not know what they're called. This is a basic sign up form that's on the American Red Cross website: 
This small form sits on a website and gives visitors an opportunity to sign up for a company's emails. It has a basic design that explains what subscribers get for signing up and has a spot for visitors to enter their email address.
Sign up forms can be a little more complex, but the overall point of a signup form is to collect email addresses.
The key to creating a successful signup form is to keep it simple. You should only ask for basic information. Research shows 60% of brands only ask for 2-4 pieces of information per form. In other words, ask for a visitor's name and email address, and maybe one or two additional pieces of information like a hometown or job title.

Tools to create sign up forms

Pinpointe users can create a signup form in a few clicks. Any contacts gained go directly into your Pinpointe account, so you don't have to download any spreadsheets or manually enter email addresses. To set up a signup form on your website, use these simple instructions from Pinpointe.
If you're not a Pinpointe customer, there are additional tools you can use to generate a signup form for your site. Here are a few options:
  • JotForm. Create sign up forms and any other kind of form you can think of including surveys or registration cards for events.
  • Email Subscribers and Newsletters. If you're a WordPress user, this is a simple plugin with high customer satisfaction ratings that you can use to create an email sign up form.

2. Give pop up messages a chance

Pop ups get a bad rap. Brands are hesitant to use them because they don't want to annoy customers or cause them to leave their site prematurely. It's true if you're bombarding your customers with a ton of pop ups as soon as they arrive on your site, visitors will be annoyed.
However, if you use pop ups correctly, they can give your email list a big boost – and won't bother your visitors. How? It's all about using pop up messages at the right time. Here's when a pop should appear:
  • At the end of an article
Once a visitor has finished reading an article on your website or blog, it's a great time to ask for his or her email address. After reading content, visitors are engaged so a pop up that gives them access to more great content makes sense. It isn't intrusive.
  • When a visitor is about to leave
You can trigger pop ups to appear when a visitor is about to leave your site. If they are already on their way out, you know you aren't interrupting their site experience. By showing a pop up, visitors can easily sign up for your email list before leaving.
A pop up should also have a clear, short message. Tell subscribers why they should give up their email address, and consider sweetening the deal with a coupon. For instance, "Join our email list and get 10% off your first purchase."

Tools to create pop ups

There are a lot of pop up tools out there. Here are a few you can choose from:
  • PopUp Domination. This tool is probably the most well-known popup tool. It's easy to use, offers premade templates so you don't need any design or coding skills, and lets you set pop ups to appear when you want.
  • OptinMonster. Another tried-and-true popup tool, OptinMonster gets a lot of acclaim for letting its users place pop ups in a variety of different places like on the side of a website or at the very bottom.
  • PopupAlly. WordPress users can check out this plugin that lets you create pop ups for free. Yes, free. It's a good way to see if pop ups are effective for your site before paying to use a premium tool.

3. Put a sticky top bar on your homepage

Turn website visitors into subscribers with a sticky top bar. What's a sticky top bar? Look at the red arrow below. It's pointing to a small blue bar at the top of this website that says, "Free ProBlogging tips delivered to your inbox" and asks for a visitor's email address. That's a sticky top bar.
It's "sticky" because it's always there. It doesn't appear when a visitor is about to leave or slide in when a customer makes a purchase. It lives at the top of the page. Period.
Sticky top bars have become quite popular, probably because they're not intrusive and don't take up a lot of space.
To use top bars effectively, you have to create a short message. Space is limited, so you have to choose your words wisely to entice visitors to subscribe. Tell subscribers what they get when they sign up or draw them in with a sweet deal.
You can also create a series of sticky top bars that actually switch while a visitor is on your site. You might have 2-4 different messages on rotation. One might encourage visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, while another asks visitors to sign up for an upcoming webinar.
It's like a mini advertising bar that you can use to promote your business. You can even use the bar to promote a certain part of your website and provide a link to send visitors there.

Tools to create sticky top bars

If you like the idea of a sticky top bar, check out these tools:
  • Hello Bar. This tool is user-friendly and offers targeting tools so you can decide which visitors see the bar. Different users are exposed to different messages, which can help you provide a more personalized site experience.
  • WordPress Notification Bar. WordPress users have access to this handy plugin that lets you use the sticky top bar anyway you see fit. Promote a YouTube video, show a countdown timer for a flash sale or collect email addresses.

4. Add a subscriber box to your email signature

Why not add to your email list as you're sending emails? You can use tools to create an email signature that allows people to subscribe to your list.
Think about the number of emails that you send every day. By 2019, the average person will send and receive 246 emails, according to estimates from Radicati.
Your personal email list holds a lot of potential. Give the people that you speak with on a regular basis the chance to learn more about your business by adding a subscribe feature to your email signature.

Tools to create an email signature

Email signature tools can turn an ordinary signature into the most eye-catching part of an email. Most tools will incorporate your picture, work phone number, website, social media buttons and an email sign up feature.
Here are several tools you can use to gain subscribers as you create and send emails:
  • Wise Stamp. The go-to email signature tool is Wise Stamp. This tool offers a newsletter app that lets you create a small line of text to encourage email sign ups.
  • Exclaimer. This tool gives you a basic email signature – for free. It doesn't have a specific email sign up button but if you have a signup landing page, you can add that URL to your signature. Granted, it's not as recognizable, but if you're looking for a free tool it can work.

Selecting the right tools for the job

While some of the tools we mentioned in this list are free, most come with a monthly fee. Take a look at each tool, weigh the pros and cons and decide whether or not the fee is worth the investment.

Wrap up

Growing your email list is important. Every new contact can turn into a loyal customer, so taking the time to attract new subscribers to your list can have a big return on investment. Use the tools above to keep your list growing without spending a ton of time to increase sign ups.
2:30 AM

How to Audit Your Email Marketing Campaigns in 4 Steps

How healthy are your email campaigns? It's an odd question, we know. But, once a year your email strategy should get a checkup. To keep your email strategy in tip-top shape, you need to put it under a microscope to make sure you're achieving your goals. It's called an email audit and you should audit your email campaigns.

It probably sounds about as riveting as a trip to the doctor, but we promise, it's not painful and the insights you gather are well worth your time.
To help marketers audit their email campaigns, we've created a step-by-step guide to audit your email campaigns. For the best results, you should download the Pinpointe Email Audit Worksheet.
Let's get started.

What's an email audit?

Before we start with the actual auditing process, let's be clear about what an audit is and why it's worth your time.
An email audit reviews your overall email marketing process to identify problems and find solutions that can improve your relationships with customers.
Basically, you're examining what you've done with the intent to improve it.
Doing an email audit can help you:
  • Take both a macro and micro level look at your email campaigns
  • Identify problems with email creation and distribution
  • Improve key components of your emails to drive better response rates
  • Decide if you're ready to upgrade to a new email service provider
  • Create a plan for improvement

Step #1: Create a timeline of the email creation process

How do you create an email? What's the process?
The first step of an audit is to understand how an email goes from concept to completion. By understanding your workflow, you can look for ways to create and send emails more efficiently.
Take a minute and write down the steps you take to create an email, who's responsible for each step, and how long it takes to complete each stage. We've created a chart for you to use as part of our email audit worksheet, which you can download.
Take a few minutes to look at your email process. Really look at it. Ask yourself these questions and jot down your answers so you can make improvements:
  • Is the process too long? Where can we pick up efficiencies?
  • Does the process get hung up at a particular point?
  • Are there too many people involved in the creation of an email campaign?
  • Are there any steps that seem out of order?
  • What can be improved upon?

Step #2: Review three email campaigns using our the audit checklist

You've taken the time to evaluate your email creation process, now let's examine your actual emails.
If you're pressed for time and don't want to complete the entire audit, this is the one step you should do. Consider it a mini audit.
Start by pulling three emails that you sent to subscribers. You're going to compare them. Which three should you pick? We suggest pulling emails based on metrics. Pull the following emails:
  • A successful email. One that has high response rates.
  • A middle-of-the-road email. One that has so-so response rates.
  • A failed email. One that performed poorly.
You're going to take each email, one at a time, and see if it meets all of the criteria for a "superior email," which is detailed in the checklist below. It will help you analyze nine components of an email.
The audit worksheet makes this easy to do. If the email contains the item on the checklist, check it off. If it's missing, don't check it.
Run each of the three emails through this checklist.

The 9-Point Superior Email Checklist

1. From line
  • Personal, professional name
  • Company domain included (not @gmail or @yahoo)
2. Subject line
  • Length is between 60-70 characters
  • Personalization included and checked for accuracy
  • No spam words
3. Preheader
  • Preheader text exists
  • It provides additional context about email's purpose
4. Headline
  • A headline exists in the email
  • The headline is in large, bold, readable font
  • The headline gives subscribers an idea of what the email is about
5. Body
  • Short, clear text
  • Bulleted lists used when necessary for clarity
  • Color scheme is appealing and brand appropriate
  • Text talks to the subscriber, not at them
  • Text focuses on benefits not products
6. Call to action
  • The call to action is a button
  • The email has one (maybe 2) calls to action
  • Text inside the call to action is urgent
7. Images
  • Clear, relevant images are used
  • Alt text included
  • Images are compressed for quick load time
8. Branding
  • Your logo and company name is included
  • Clicking on your logo takes subscribers to your home page
  • Messaging is consistent with brand and vision
9. Footer
  • Unsubscribe button is obvious to find
  • Contact information is provided
  • Social icons are clickable
Now, it's time to compare. Your most successful email likely has a lot of boxes checked while the failed email only has a few.
Take some time to write down which boxes are unchecked. These are your new email marketing goals. This is what you'll work on during this calendar year.
Print the list and hang it next to your computer, in the office, or wherever you create emails. Let it serve as a reminder to steer your emails in the right direction.

Step #3: Evaluate your email service provider

Now, it's time to evaluate your email service provider. Often, brands outgrow their email service provider and need more features to keep up with their evolving marketing strategies. It might be time for an upgrade.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
  • What do you like most about your current provider?
  • What features do you use the most?
  • What features do you lack?
  • Is this an email service provider that you can grow with?
  • What kind of features do you get for the subscription fee?
Growing businesses need more than a basic email platform with a few free templates. Take some time to look at various email service providers and do a little comparison-shopping.
To help decide, here is a list of features you should look for in an email service provider:  
  • Mobile-friendly templates
  • A free image library
  • SPAM scoring
  • Email previews that show specific devices
  • Personalization techniques
  • Drip campaign capabilities
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Email preference centers
  • Integrations
  • Customized, comprehensive analytics
Do some research to see which email service providers meet your criteria. The worksheet has a handy pros and cons chart you can fill in like this:

Step #4: Turn analysis into action

You've taken a hard look at your email marketing strategy, but it's not worth much if you don't take action on the lessons you've learned.
It's time to come up with a plan to improve your email marketing strategy based on your audit. We'll help you review the notes from steps one, two and three to summarize your findings and improve your future campaigns. (Again, the worksheet will help you organize your thoughts).

Review your email creation process

Go back to the chart you created for step one. Review the notes you've made and answer these questions:
  • What will you do to improve your workflow and create emails more efficiently?
  • Who needs to be notified of these changes?
  • How will you measure the success of these changes? 

Review your checklist results

When you compared three email campaigns, you learned a lot about what you do and don't include in an email. Take a look at the things you're missing and figure out what steps you have to take to make them happen.
For instance, if you're sending emails from gmail, you'll need to set up a more professional account with your domain name in it. If your personalization skills are lacking, you might need to upgrade to a better email service provider that has the tools you need to do this.
Answer these questions:
  • What has to be done to achieve all of the missing components from the Superior Email Checklist?
  • Do you need to delegate any of these tasks? If so, to whom?

Review email service provider research

You took some time to compare your email service provider to others. Now's the time to decide what you want to do. To help, answer these questions:
  • Are you missing the tools necessary to take your emails to the next level?
  • Are you ready to switch to a more advanced email platform?
  • Which platform resonates with your brand and needs?
  • If you're switching, what steps are necessary to make a switch?

Implementing your changes

Congratulations, you've just completed an email audit. It took some time, yes, but you're now armed with valuable information that can improve your email marketing strategy. Use your completed worksheet as an actionable guide to improve your emails this year.
You're probably excited to make some changes, but remember, you don't have to do everything at once. Make changes slowly. As you make improvements, watch your metrics to see how your audience responds. You'll likely see higher response rates because you took the time to review and analyze your process. Kudos.