Email is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, with an incredible average $1 to $38 ROI. It provides you with a method to interact with existing customers and reach out to new leads, so it’s no surprise that the majority of B2B marketers consider it the most effective medium.
Although email is an incredibly efficient way to increase your sales, a strong email marketing approach can have a substantial impact on your ROI. Best practices like segmenting lists, tracking key metrics, and using an email verification tool can help you run a successful campaign.
Beyond that, the following tactics will help you build a successful long-term email marketing plan that works well with other aspects of your marketing strategy.
Problems to Avoid
While sending marketing emails may seem easy, there are several mistakes that can make your content less engaging for readers. Fixing these simple errors will significantly clean up your emails and increase your conversion rates.
Computers used to be the only way to check your email, but the majority of emails are now opened on mobile devices. This means that you have to adapt your content to fit on a wide variety of screens. Anything wider than 650 pixels will go beyond the edge of the screen and force your readers to scroll.
Generic, One Size Fits All Copy
One of the biggest mistakes email marketers can make is making all of their content look the same. Personalizing the copy in your emails substantially improves open and conversion rates. Generic, mass-produced emails turn customers off and end up being grouped together with spam.
Targets to Hit
The first step in improving your email marketing approach is making sure that you’re not making either of those common mistakes. On the other hand, there are also some easy opportunities that marketers often miss. Being aware of these tactics will give you the tools you need to reach out and attract new leads.
Automating Emails Whenever Possible
There’s no way to completely automate the email marketing process, but letting software do some of the more tedious work will help streamline your campaign processes and give you more time to focus on other aspects of your marketing approach. There are many email marketing applications available that offer an expansive set of features.
Promoting Action in the Subject Line
When readers are scrolling through a long list of emails, a strong subject line can be the difference that incentivizes them to open your piece. Keep it short and to the point in order to attract attention immediately. If you’re offering a promotion or discount in the body, make sure that’s prominently featured in the subject.
Email marketing is an incredibly effective way of increasing your outreach and sales, but simple mistakes can hold you back from achieving the best results. Start by following these tips to streamline your tactics, and continually refine your approach. The best thing you can add to your marketing strategy is consistent evaluation and adjustment.
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According to a 2017 survey done by Marketo, 47% of B2C and 65% of B2B customers responded that businesses could do a better job of aligning their engagement efforts with the customer’s preferences. Despite this, out of the marketers that were interviewed for the survey, 82% of them believe that they were aligning their engagement efforts with customer preferences. This shines some interesting light on what marketers think they are doing versus what the customer perceives.
So how can this gap be closed to put the marketers’ perception more in-line with the customer experience? Here are a few tips:
Know the Audience
This could not be enforced enough. Know the audience well, including their buying habits, lifestyles, challenges, communication channels, and personal tendencies. Their preferred methods of communication should be used whenever reaching out to them, as well as the right content format and tone (articles, videos, infographics, emojis, etc.). The reason that the customer is being contacted should be relevant to their interest, otherwise it could be seen as spam.
Make the Brand Relatable
A brand with a personality is more memorable than one without. If people are able to connect with a brand on an emotional level, they are more likely to feel passionate about the brand and even become great ambassadors. Close attention should be paid by business owners to create a brand that resonates with their audience. Doing this can be more difficult with B2B than with B2C, but it still can be accomplished through careful considerations for the scope of your products and services, and with carefully crafted marketing content.
A company shouldn’t wait for its customers to come to them with questions. The company should actively be asking questions and trying to engage with their customers. If a customer makes a big purchase, a follow-up should be done to make sure that everything met their expectations and to find any opportunities for improvement. Also, incorporate AI technology such as automated chatbots to facilitate social media campaigns. This enables businesses to engage with audiences after the campaign and to create a personalized experience.
Speaking of Social Media…
With the invention of social media, it easier than ever for customers to connect with businesses and to leave feedback. Because of the accessibility of social media and the amount of customer engagement which happens there, it can be tempting for a company to rely on social media as its only form of customer interaction. Yet, only 52% of B2C and 51% of B2B customers rate social media as a highly effective tool for engaging according to the customer feedback survey that was referenced earlier. While having a customer engagement strategy that focuses primarily on social media will work for some businesses, it’s not one that should be used by every business. Since only over half of all customers find it as an effective way to engage with customers, it’s wise for business to include other methods of engaging customers in the mix. This brings us to...
Ask for Feedback!
The importance of feedback from the customer cannot be understated and should be given serious consideration when trying to figure out where the company can improve. With a big enough sample, trends will start to emerge, and company can start to create a picture of how it is performing in the eyes of its customers versus how the company believes itself to be doing.
When designing surveys, be sure to include identification questions (age, gender, education level, contact, etc.), satisfaction-related questions (on a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with…), retention-related questions, and open-ended questions.
Capturing the identities of the respondents enables effective statistical testing during survey analysis. Also, while yes or no and rate on a scale questions saves time and provide a lot of insight, it’s important to ask open-ended questions to give respondents the opportunity to leave a more personalized feedback. Customers often bring up issues that no one at a company had thought to address.
Obtaining feedback is an ongoing process and customers must be asked regularly how a company is doing. Feedback should not only be obtained for the service or product, but also for the engagement efforts also. lastly, don’t forget to update your audiences on any changes that were made to incorporate the customer feedback. Doing so will make customers feel like a company cares about their needs and is making an effort to improve in any way that the company is able. This encourages further customer engagements.
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Editor’s Note: This is a collaborative piece with Arianna Duse from Market Inspector.
Marketing strategies have many different facets and components, but all have one main scope, namely the engagement of customers. This aim has driven companies to implement gamification in their business.
So what is gamification?
Gamification is the implementation of game thinking and methods to different scenarios that are not game related. Competition, reward, status-building, and pride are the dynamics that are applied to different tasks or marketing campaigns. This strategy is effective as it takes advantage of the competitive trait we all have to certain degrees.
In an infographic created by Market Inspector, a B2B digital marketplace, you can find more information connected to the benefits of gamification. Moreover, you will find five different problems that a company can face and how gamification can solve them.
These issues are divided into two different sections: internal-facing issues and external-facing issues.
Gamification as a marketing strategy
The two key ways to use gamification within your external-facing marketing strategy is to improve the rate of engagement at trade shows, and to increase the acquisition of brand advocates.
Trade shows are always a good opportunity to obtain new customers. Yet, your booth has to compete with ones of the other participants. A way to gain people’s attention and win them over is to actualise game methods. According to the focus of your business, a game can be ideated and the player can be rewarded with a coupon that can be redeemed on your website or in your store. In this way, engagement is created both at the trade show and even after the event.
The second issue highlighted in the infographic is the engagement of brand advocates. Samsung Nation perfectly exemplifies how to achieve this through gamification.This platform was created to engage existing customers and to encourage them to post content related to their product on social media. The activity of posting content is rewarded by the platform with badges and trophies.
Gamification as a HR strategy
Gamification can alleviate the issues related to three key HR matters: the hiring process, retention of talents, and implementation of a new system.
The hiring process is a long and time-consuming path that can result in a variety of outcomes. A game can make part of this process more effective. Through gamification, applicants can be presented with a simulation of a business case related to your company that they have to solve. This way, the applicants that have a fitting profile with your company can be identified in a faster way.
The second problem is heavily linked to engagement. According to studies, new generations require to be more engaged and valued in the work environment than previous generations. Gamified tasks that give immediate feedback can be the key difference for your business and retain talents for longer.
The educational benefits of gamification have been already proven in the academic field. For this reason, this strategy can be a winning tool to use when your company is in the process of implementing a new system. Employees will adopt the required skills faster from a gamified course, consequently saving valuable time and working more efficiently.
Gamification is a strategy that can be applied to a diverse range of issues. The infographic below delineates how companies can level up their business by applying this innovative and engaging tool.
Arianna Duse is a communication assistant at Market Inspector. She has recently concluded her studies at Aalborg University in Culture, Communication, and Globalisation, and now she is part of Market Inspector, a B2B marketplace that helps businesses find quality suppliers and make informed decisions.
You’ve probably heard the term “go mobile” tossed around by various blog posts, articles and influencers. You know that the world is becoming increasingly mobile, but what does that really mean? How will this affect your organization? Most importantly, as a nonprofit, what do you have to do to get the most out of your mobile audiences?
Below are five ideas to help you grow your nonprofit organization with mobile apps.
1. Get Your Own Mobile App
As a non-profit, your biggest focus, aside from making a difference in your cause, is going to be fundraising and growing memberships. With the increasing mobile traffic (check out these mobile trend stats on Smart Insights), a mobile app is the perfect channel to connect your audiences with your cause. Create your own customized app to present your messages and for your members to download to their smartphones for easy access. You can either build your app in-house or outsource to a mobile app agency. Your choice will have to depend on your organizations's resources, capacity, size, and what you need it to do. Here are some specific considerations for build-in-house versus outsourcing along with some relevant costs, for your references.
2. Go Mobile with Fundraising/Donations
Did you know: According to Artez Interactive, a fundraising technology and services provider, nonprofits that offer mobile app donation services generate up to 123% more individual donations per campaign than organizations that don’t. Make it easy for your members to donate by implementing easily noticeable “Donation” buttons on each page of your app. Use the app to encourage subscriptions and to track gifts. Employ a rewards program to thank your donors for their gifts and to inspire more people to give. Send your donors small gifts or honor badges based on the levels of donations.
3. Send Updates
People donate because they support your cause and want to make a difference. That’s why sending routine updates on the progress of your projects is essential to retaining and growing your organization’s memberships. In 2007, The Humane Society of the United States campaigned against the commercial hunting of seals in Canada and offered its subscribers live updates during the annual hunting period. According to Grace Markarian, manager of online communications, about 10,000 people signed up for updates in the first year. It’s a powerful way to build an engaging community around your campaign. You can send mobile updates via push notifications.
4. Expand Your Business Network
Link your app with other local businesses to increase member interactions and raise awareness for your cause. Passionate about fair trade? Designate a page on your app that locates local cafes that serve fair-trade coffee and tea, and allow members to share other fair-trade locations. Building a strong coalition with other businesses that share the same vision is key to long-term success.
5. Gamify Your App
Although your causes are serious, the membership experience can be fun. Gaming is an effective way to attract and engage new members for your campaigns, fast. For example, if you’re raising funds for a tornado-struck town, allow donors to “adopt” projects in the town. Then, as the funds start to make an impact, enable users to upload real before and after pictures. This fosters a sense of teamwork and directly connects the donors to the problems to which they are contributing. Allowing donors to see immediate impacts motivates them to remain active members for the long-term.
The key to building and sustaining high-impact nonprofit organizations is making members believe that their contributions are making positive changes to the issue. Employing mobile app effectively connects members to your organization and its projects in a way that is real time and personal. Take advantage of the app’s ability to increase donations, update your members on the status of your campaigns, and allow members to participate in your projects.
Do you need assistance acquiring and/or launching a mobile app for your organization? We're here to help! Please send us a message or leave a comment below.