Alert Solutions Blog

Make Your Email Marketing Campaigns More Effective This Year - 10 Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

Email remains to be a powerful marketing channel used by organizations of all sizes to communicate with their customers and prospects.  But because email marketing is so prevalent, yours can always use improvement to stand out from the inbox crowd.

We’ve laid-out 10 tips you can use to make your email marketing campaigns more effective in the New Year:

Tip #1Don’t forget to optimize for mobile phones. Many emails are read exclusively from mobile devices so templates and forms should be mobile-friendly for conversion.

Tip #2 Personalize email marketing campaigns to be relevant to each recipient.  Emails that don’t resonate with a person’s interests or pain points can be discarded easily.emailtips.png

Tip #3 Check settings and make email marketing campaigns appear as being sent from an actual person.  64% of email recipients check the sender’s name before opening, according to CIO.

Tip #4Be thoughtful and send emails at the right time.  B2C email marketers find that evenings are best on weekdays, with consideration given to the recipient’s time zone.  B2B emails are different.

Tip #5 Make sure you email marketing campaign has a noticeable and actionable call-to-action (CTA). You want to direct the recipient to “do something”, even if it’s enticing them to learn more on your website.

Tip #6 A/B test different subject lines to sample sets of subscribers to see which is received best.  Alternatively, you can resend email marketing campaigns to those that don’t open with a different subject line.

Tip #7 Preview in different email clients and abbreviate subject lines as needed.  Content that is clipped may be looked-over by your subscribers.

Tip #8 Try plain text emails or emails with very little images and hyperlinks.  These can appear more personalized like a one-off email message.

Tip #9 Reduce unsubscribe requests and allow subscribers to manage their own preferences. This can be segmented into email marketing campaign categories or time frames so recipients can still be connected at their leisure.

Tip #10 Take a close look at all reports and statistics.  The insight into who is opening, who is clicking links and who is bouncing back can enhance the quality of your marketing lists and future email marketing campaign results.

Learn how Alert Solutions can help you create, launch and manage effective email marketing campaigns in 2017.  Download our Email Platform Overview today!

Email Marketing Worksheet Download Now

Topics: marketing relevance, email marketing, email marketing best practices, call-to-action

Multi-Channel Marketing Works! Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Multi-channel marketing helps businesses interact with their audiences through a variety of different communication channels.  These can be direct methods such as email and SMS text messaging, or indirect like tradeshow exhibits and blog articles.

Although it can be challenging to manage, as well as more time consuming & costly, multi-channel marketing helps organizations deliver consistent branding across a much wider range all at once.

Here are three reasons why multi-channel marketing just works:

Reason #1: Your Target Audience Expects It
Google and IPSOS reported that 90% of consumers surveyed toggle between different communication channels on the same day – such as computers, smartphones and TV.  This fact means your target audience is more receptive to multi-channel marketing, as well as reaching them where they are at any particular time.

Reason #2: Tmultichannelmarketing.pnghere’s an Increase in Relevance
The beauty of multi-channel marketing is that it helps organizations to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  This relevance factor drives more engagement, improved response rates and more conversions.

Reason #3: Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
According to SAS, multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do. Why is this?  Multi-channel marketing produces results.  With timely, consistent and relevant marketing content, you give your audience more options to do business with you.

To learn even more, download our Multi-Channel Marketing Best Practice Guide.

Want to Do More with Less? Learn How Here

Topics: multi-channel messaging, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

How to Define Your Target Audience in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 11:05 AM

Your clients and prospects are inundated with messages across all media.  This constant communication has driven consumers to become more sophisticated in filtering their inboxes for information they actually want to receive.

Targeting your audience can help you increase your response rates, convert more prospects and generate repeat or higher value sales.

Want to learn how to start targeting your audience?  We’ve outlined 5 questions to ask yourself:

1. What action do you want your target audience to complete? Mapping out the desired outcome of your marketing message is one of the first important steps to defining your target audience.  What is the ideal response?  Some examples are buying a product or service, donating time or money, or volunteering for an upcoming event.

2. What demographic groups will be most receptive to your message? According to an industry expert, “if only a handful of people meet all your criteria, you’ve needlessly gone too far.”  The point is, demographic groups are important for targeting but you also want to make sure the audience is large enough to be worthwhile and actionable.targetaudience.png

3. What challenges or concerns face your target audience? Think about the “pain points” of your target audience.  Understanding their challenges or concerns will better equip you to send messages that are relevant to them.

4. How does your product, service or idea help to solve these challenges/concerns? As a continuation of the above, pitch your message to your target audience in a way that makes it seem like you are helping them, instead of the other way around.

5. How can your target audience best be contacted? None of the above is definitive if your target audience can’t be reached in the first place.  Understanding how to contact your target audience is crucial in getting your word out. Communication preferences should not be overlooked and can vary from person to person.

Also important to remember is that your target audience may not be the same for every single marketing campaign.  It can be different depending on the product, service, or message you are trying to get out.

Want to learn even more about audience targeting? 

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, marketing relevance

Use Multi-Channel Marketing Effectively – 3 Tips for Businesses

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

Even though your target audience prefers different ways to communicate, multi-channel marketing is still intimidating to some businesses. 

Some of the reasons organizations hold-off on multi-channel marketing include:

  • It’s challenging to manage from a technical standpoint.
  • There’s preference to one channel over another.
  • Customer preferences may become harder to track.

Despite these challenges, multi-channel marketing can still help organizations send the right content, to the right person, at the right time. Here are a few tips to get started:

1. Define different ways to communicate.multichannel.png
Through which marketing channels do you want to communicate with your prospects and customers?  Getting this defined will help to properly plan future campaigns.  Some examples include: email marketing, voice broadcasting, fax broadcasting, SMS text messaging and sponsored social media postings.

Bonus Tip! Do your research before sending commercial messages through certain channels.  You want to be compliant with applicable rules and regulations.

2. Consolidate your marketing lists.
Think about all of the places you have contact information for your audience: your customer support tool, your customer relationship management (CRM) software, maybe even your website forms?  A good first step is to consolidate all of this information into one central repository so that you can build contact methods for each member of your audience.

3. Evaluate on-going campaign performance.
Which marketing channels are more effective than others?  Evaluating your campaigns will ensure that you’re communicating through only the most relevant channels.  Some things to check are response rates and open rates.

With a clear focus, it’s possible to execute multi-channel marketing campaigns effectively.

For more multi-channel messaging tips and tricks, download Alert Solutions’’ Guide to Multi-Channel Trigger Campaigns today!

Download Now!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, personalization, marketing relevance

3 Steps Toward Better List Segmentation

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

List segmentation is the process of separating your list into specific groups for the purpose of more marketing relevance.  The options can be limitless: geographic region, industry type, company size, number of previous interactions, and more!

It’s crucial to achieving maximum ROI – your relevant content has to be delivered to the right person at the right time.  The following three steps can get you on your way to better list segmentation:

Step 1: Capture the Data You Need

So many organizations are limited in their list segmentation abilities because they don’t possess the data they need.  Ask yourself, “How do I want to segment my marketing lists?”  Without this foresight, you won’t be able to capture the correct information for audience targeting.

Step 2: Establish Worthwhile List Segmentsaudsegementation.png

The purpose of list segmentation is not to send each subscriber their own personalized message.  There’s not enough time in a day!  Rather, establish list segments that are large enough to be worthwhile and act upon.  List segments should also be distinctly different than one another and be relatable to the products and services you’re promoting.

Step 3: Define the Best Way to Communicate

You may not be able to communicate with your entire audience in the same way.  Defining this information increases the chance that recipients will receive and be receptive to your message.  Communication preferences should be respected and adhered to; certain laws apply!

We have more list segmentation ideas available to you.  Download Our Targeted Marketing Guide Today!

 

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, marketing relevance, list segmentation best practices, marketing lists

Creating Relevant Email Marketing Content – 4 Tips for Success

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 11:09 AM

According to MarketingSherpa, using relevant email marketing content is one of the most important, but underutilized, elements of a successfull email marketing campaign.

It becomes clear, then, why consumers cringe at email marketing campaigns that promote a product or service that’s of no interest to them.  As an email marketer, you may even share the same frustrations with your own personal email inbox.

A good step to improved email marketing performance is definitely more relevant email marketing content.

At this year’s annual MarketingSherpa Email Summit, experts shared their tips on increasing relevance in their email content.  Check it out:

Relevantcontent

Tip #1: Set realistic goals.
Tip #2: Take the time to develop good email marketing content.
Tip #3: Segment your recipients.
Tip #4: Use data to its fullest advantage.
 
Things to keep in mind:
 
At first, you may not be able to achieve 100% relevance for all of your subscribers.  Don’t give up!  This is why goal setting is so important.  Consider the effect you want increased email marketing relevance to have: better open rates, better click-through rates, more conversions, or all of the above?  Start with a goal that can be achieved and ramp-up from there.
 
Also, remember that email marketing relevance is nothing without list segmentation. Segmenting your subscribers by their demographics, interests or past behavior will yield much better email marketing campaign results.  How else can I go about list segmentation?  Good question.  Check out this blog post for some answers.
 
With email marketing being the most-preferred communication method by consumers (over 70% of respondents said so), it’s easy to see why relevant email marketing content is so crucial to organizations.
 
In addition to the great resources at MarketingSherpa, check out Alert Solutions’ Target Marketing Guide for even more email marketing relevance tips and tricks.

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: personalization, list segmentation, audience targeting, marketing relevance, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Use Personalization to Increase Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 12:09 PM

According to Monetate, the vast majority of organizations (nearly 95%, to be exact) believe that personalization is a strong factor to their email marketing success.

They’re absolutely correct; personalization brings many benefits to an organization.  The proof is in the facts:

  • Activity: Email subject line personalization increases unique opens by 26%.
  • Satisfaction: 75% of consumers are satisfied with offers that are tailored to them.
  • Loyalty: 73% of consumers prefer to buy from organizations using personalization.  

However, personalization may not be as widely-used as you may think.  Brand24 found that only 6% of businesses surveyed have a personalization strategy in place.

Personalized_Marketing_Campaigns-1

With so many consumers swayed by email marketing personalization, now is the time to get started.

These insights from Brand24 can put you on your way to increased email marketing conversation rates:

1. Collect all of the data that you can.
The data may not be under your nose, or is it?  Your audience leaves information about their communication preferences all over the place – social media, feedback notes and even in their behavior on your website.  Learn how to collect it and leverage it appropriately in your email marketing campaigns.
 
2. Review the accuracy of your data regularly.
The second-most common reason for email unsubscribes is due to irrelevant content.  Wouldn’t you be annoyed by offers that didn’t interest you?  This is why it’s so important to keep your data accurate and up-to-date.  What’s important to them today may not be important to them tomorrow.
 
3. Make the recipient feel special.
Personalization is all about making the recipient feel appreciated and important – so take advantage!  VIP programs, sneak previews, early-access to sales; these are all examples of using personalization to build conversions and brand loyalty.
 
Don’t stop there – check out Alert Solutions’ Guide to Personalization and Segmentation for more ideas. 

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: personalization, marketing relevance, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Energizing Customer Loyalty in 2014

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Customer loyalty is an important part of any business, but an extremely hard thing to gain and retain.  This is especially difficult during the holiday season when customers are distracted and impatient.  So, as we dig into 2014 and the holiday season is behind us, it is time to focus on energizing customer loyalty.

According to a 2013 LivePerson study, online shoppers give brands no more than 76 seconds of their time if their needs are not met, making it extremely difficult for a business to change a customer’s perception of their brand.   Reason? Although a customer’s distraction and impatience may be heightened during the holiday season, they still continue to be a factor through the rest of the year.

CustomerLoyalty resized 600

Customer loyalty has become more and more lackluster as years have gone on.  This is due to a variety of elements including:

  • Technology

  • Omnichannel Engagement

  • Economy

All of which will continue to be a factor in 2014.  Although these influencers are part of the problem, they can also be used as a solution to energizing customer loyalty

One way that technology has become an extreme influencer on customer loyalty and customer purchasing is through Big Data.  The accumulation and analysis of customer data gives businesses insight into everything from customers’ daily behaviors and in-store visit frequency to a customer’s engagement with social media. 

This customer data can be used by businesses in numerous ways, such as tailoring customer loyalty programs to fit their customers’ needs and improving the quality of their CRM programs.  Customer loyalty programs are no longer just a coupon, but are adapted in order to offer incentives and rewards that can be used as a point of customer engagement.

Customers now also have powerful research tools at the tips of their fingers, readily available to turn them away from their usual brands at the press of a button.  With economy being such a large factor, customers can easily search online for better deals while in a store, breaking customer loyalty.  A recent study found that if an in-store price was $5 or more above Amazon's price, 63% would purchase online.

In order to energize customer loyalty businesses must accommodate customer wants and needs regarding their preferred communication channels.  Although retaining customer loyalty is not easy, its challenges can be met by using contributing factors as part of the solution.  If businesses can be proactive to satisfy customer demands, obstructing elements can become a tool rather than a downfall.

Learn more about enhancing customer engagement with Alert Solutions.

 

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Topics: multi-channel messaging, marketing analytics, marketing relevance

Building Brand Marketing Through Customer Rituals

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 13:01 PM

Many customers go through their day-to-day by utilizing a series of habits and rituals.  As a business, it is important to become a part of these daily rituals in order to build your brand.  By placing your brand in a customer’s routine, customer loyalty will be installed.

Marsha Lindsey, CEO of the brand strategy firm Stones & Briggs explains, “Much of our daily behavior is habituated, so a business’s job is to break—or break into—customers' habits and rituals.  How businesses do that often lies in connecting with a customer's subconscious.”CustomerRoutine

Understanding a customer’s needs and daily ritual is a large part of having a successful marketing campaign.  By allowing the customer the view your brand as a part of their daily ritual and something that will make their daily routine easier, the customer’s subconscious will connect with the brand. 

Here are two examples of companies who have successfully built a brand through customers’ rituals:

1.        KFC - KFC created a container for chicken nuggets that fits into a cup holder to reach the segment of “on-the-go” customers. It's a simple way to become a part of a customer’s daily ritual.

2.       Amazon - One-click purchase is masterful in this regard because it makes purchasing undemanding and simplified.  The tougher you make it to complete a purchase the less likely customers will complete it. Amazon creates customer engagement through this simplified process which can be easily placed into a customer’s daily routine or become a ritual.

In order to create optimal brand marketing, businesses must understand their customers.  By gathering data about their customer they can create a greater brand strategy that is customized to the targeted audience.  Ensuring your brand strategy is engaging to the targeted audience is imperative in building your brand into customers’ daily rituals.

Check out more of our blogs here!

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Topics: list segmentation, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

Email Marketing Campaigns and Relevance – 2 Important Lessons

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 15:11 PM

Many businesses utilize email marketing campaigns to reach consumers, but there are a few struggles they encounter along the way.  So, what is one of the largest obstacles business face when delivering their email marketing campaigns?  The answer is relevance.

marketingstrategy resized 600Businesses need to be consumer-focused when sending their email marketing campaigns.  One generic email is not going to cut it anymore and will certainly not produce the results you desire.  What is relevant to one customer may not be relevant to the next.  This is why understanding your target audience along with consumers’ needs and desires is so important.

Here are two important lessons in delivering relevant email marketing campaigns according to a recent Marketing Sherpa article:

1.)    Turn lemons into lemonade.

If your business has multiple products or services, you likely have diversity within your customer base.   In order to create a relevant email marketing campaign for those customers, you need to understand what products or services are appealing to them.  In order to accomplish this, businesses should utilize customer data, triggers.  Using customer data to personalize your emails makes your campaign more relevant and leads to an increase in open and click-through rates.

2.)    Guide people from where they are to where you want them to be.

Content marketing is essential in providing value and education to customers.  However, you cannot just rely on having good content in your email marketing campaigns, you must also be sure it is relevant.  It is important to create a strategy to provide relevant content, because as your prospects grow, what was once relevant to them no longer is.  Providing repetitive information to potential customers will discourage them, whereas keeping your content relevant throughout the sales cycle will create greater audience engagement.

Ensure your email marketing campaigns are relevant to your recipients.

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: personalization, marketing relevance, email marketing

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