Category Archives: Email Campaigns

Email Marketing Is Not Old School

My Web Writers Content EmailsEmail marketing seems so old school. Today, it’s often overlooked as eCommerce Marketing pros are pressured by top brass to look forward towards the next big customer acquisition tool. Should we be building Pinterest boards or posting daily video snippets on YouTube? What’s this Quora thing and should we be active there? The list of potential new ways to engage customers can become endless. Improving email marketing too easily gets brushed aside.

Simms Jenkins, in his book The New Inbox, notes that, “Email marketing is the digital hub in a social and moblie world.” He couldn’t be more spot on. Have you ever tried to start a Facebook or Twitter social media account without an email address? Most apps require using social logins with start with an email too!

With all this movement forward into new digital marketing channels, organizations should stop for a moment to consider the vital role email plays. With every eCommerce transaction, asking the customer to provide an email address is required. From that requirement flows a string of email communications: order confirmations, shipping confirmations, invitations to provide feedback on the online shopping experience, reminders to complete a product review, and prompts to follow the brand using social media. The list of potential email marketing activities doesn’t stop.

Weeks and months after the purchase, trigger campaigns follow with “since you purchased A, you might also like to purchase B” offers. There are reminders that you may need to re-purchase that same item again. Incentives are shared to join loyalty programs. Brand messages are being reinforced every step of the way through these emails.

It is the written word that powers these essential email marketing messages that support eCommerce. Too often, the words themselves are not reviewed to ensure they function as well as intended. Email marketers should periodically run through a checklist:

1. What is the call to action that is being focused upon within each email communication?
2. Does the messaging support the brand?
3. Does the wording ramble? Customers spend a few seconds per email. Brevity is key.
4. Is the message memorable? Should it be?
5. Did the message provide value from a customer’s perspective?
6. Do all the hyperlinks still work?
7. Are you properly using ALT text on images as a call to action?
8. Have the Subject lines been A/B tested for open rate improvements?
9. Are the font sizes being used for words big enough to be read on a mobile device?

If conducting a review of your email marketing practices is far down the list of future to-dos, bring on board a writing workforce to review and improve your content. With a few updates, you can quite easily demonstrate that the old email dog can still bite! ~Keith

Related Posts To Read:
5 Tips to Grow Your Email Audience
What Should Web Writers Know About Content Creation in 2014
Purchasing Furniture – Why Did She Buy From Your Store?

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Filed under Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, Marketing, The Writing Process

Six Business Valentines You Can Copy and Paste into Emails

by My Web Rhymers

Go ahead and start the day with a little fun.  It is Valentine’s Day, after all. Did you get a card for your spouse and candies for the kids? Let clients, vendors, bosses, and coworkers know that you’re thinking of them, too.

We created six, light-hearted, Valentine’s Day email ideas. We’ll post some on Facebook and G+, too.  Borrow our little ditties or use them to kick-start your own. We give you permission to modify and to send the following poor puns, jilted rhymes, and pup pictures in your emails or add them to your blog posts, but do kindly link back to My Web Writers’ blog with attribution when you do.  You can grab the images by right clicking and saving them and then uploading to email or blog content.  Spread some joy.

 

6. Sending Love

You're best in show.

You’re simply the best!

We’re sending this little e-card

to catch you off your guard.

With enthusiasm we say,

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Through all the emails, meetings, and reports; we’re proud to call you our cohorts.

<Your Name and Business>

~My Web Writers 2014.

 

5. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Other Side of the World

To our Tired Valentines

To our Tired Valentines

It’s morning here

and evening there.

Still we all work together without a care.

Sometimes the time zones get confusing,

but today we start with a little musing.

“Happy Valentine’s Day” to our overseas crew,

Your perspective is valued the whole year through!

<Your Name and Business>

~My Web Writers 2014.

 

4. Be Our Valentine, Boss

Take us to lunch?

Take us to lunch?

Sometimes your pace is crazy,

But your enthusiasm is so amazing.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to say,

Let’s take one day to play.

You’re the best boss for the job.

Will you please take us to lunch in your Saab?

<Your Name and Business>

~Content courtesy of My Web Writers 2014.

 

3. To My Coolest Client on Valentine’s Day

You're the top dog!

You’re the top dog!

You answer my emails and calls,

while juggling so many balls.

Thanks for being my coolest client

and making me feel like a giant.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Here’s to increased profits in Q1 & Q2!

<Your Name and Business>

~Content courtesy of My Web Writers 2014.

 

2. To the Nicest Vendor

It's a treat to work with you!

It’s a treat to work with you!

All week long I’m barraged by calls

by prospects and vendors who drive my team up walls.

You rarely miss a meeting, report, or find

and your demeanor is very kind.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

You’re the nicest vendor through and through!

<Your Name and Business>

~Content courtesy of My Web Writers 2014.

 

1. Breaking Up is Hard to Do

We can still be friends.

We can still be friends.

Even though our business relationship ended,

we hope that you’re still not offended.

Your company is outstanding,

We just had a misunderstanding.

Happy Valentines to you and your crew

and all the best the whole year through.

<Your Name and Business>

~Content courtesy of My Web Writers 2014.

 

Crazy, we know.  Share one of your own creations with all of us!

Happy Valentines Day from My Web Writers!


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Filed under Content, Email Campaigns, Holiday Blog

Top 5 Tips to Grow Your Email Audience

Top 5 Tips to Grow Your Email Audience Image

The inbox is a sacred place for personal messages and important information. It’s a virtual “home” for many of us. Much the same way we would protect our home from unwanted intruders, people protect their inbox from unsolicited marketing messages. To motivate people to sign-up for yet one more newsletter can seem like an impossible task. But there are several strategies to help make this not such a fruitless effort. Here are 5 effective ways you can begin growing your email audience now!

Make it easy.

If you want people to do anything, you have to make it as easy as possible! To grow your email audience, be sure that subscribing is an option clearly available to your customers. Place a sign-up button prominently on your web site or blog. Also, market it across social media by sharing a link for people to sign-up. Finally, be sure that your current newsletter has the option to subscribe. Sure, the person receiving it is already on your email list, but if they forward it to a friend you want to be sure to give that person an easy way to sign up as well!

Offer incentive.

So you’ve clearly given your customers an easy way to sign-up to receive your newsletters, but your audience hasn’t grown much. Now what? Offer incentive! Your customers’ inboxes are already bombarded with junk mail and unsolicited messages.  They want to know that what you’re offering isn’t more spam.  Offer exclusive news, advice or discounts through your newsletter.   Let them know exactly how often they’ll hear from you – say once a month.  Some businesses even offer a special one-time discount that’s instantly sent once you sign-up. If people know they’ll save 20% on their purchase, they’re more likely to share their info!

Capture every relationship.

Asking people to subscribe is only one way to grow your email audience; another is to subscribe for them. This doesn’t mean buying a list or randomly taking email addresses from people you don’t know. This means auto-subscribing people who have used your products or services or fill out a contact form on your web site. This will help you reach every customer at least once and engage some of those people who would never sign up on their own. It’s very important to offer an unsubscribe option in all of your emails and to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. So long as you give people an easy way to opt-out, there’s no problem with auto-subscribing your customer base. In many cases, people will choose to continue receiving these emails and build a closer relationship with your business.

Provide meaningful content.

Content is king. If your newsletters fail to offer valuable information or resonate with your audience, you will begin to see the number of unsubscribers rise with each e-blast. To avoid undoing all of your hard work, put the necessary effort into creating meaningful content that’s tailored to your customers’ wants and needs. But don’t get wrapped up in writing a whole novel! Keep your messages short and sweet. A long newsletter will overwhelm your readers and seem like one more thing on their to-do list. Make your content tasty and easy to digest.

Be consistent.

Now that you’ve got their attention, don’t blow it! Be sure to set a regular frequency for your newsletters and stick to it. Readers don’t want to be bombarded with a message every other day for a week and then never hear from you for 2 months. Be consistent. For some businesses, a monthly newsletter is all they need while others have enough content to send a weekly email. How often you send messages should be based on how much useful or important information you have to share.  Most importantly, this consistency will keep readers engaged and keep you top of mind.

There you have it – 5 ways to grow your email audience! Don’t let your messages get lost in wind. Utilize these tools to begin building your audience and maximizing the impact of your email marketing today. ~Stephanie

Other Posts:

Corporate Holiday Email Dos and Don’ts

How do I write content based on buyer personas?

Content for Less, Fat Brain Toys Involves Customers in Content Creation

Seven Ideas for Writing Better Email Newsletters

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Filed under Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, Marketing

How to Create a Hot Holiday Buzz for Your Business

By My Web WritersChristmas present

It’s that time of year! Get ready to have your inbox and newsfeed filled with holiday promotions of all shapes and sizes. It’s a marketing bandwagon worth jumping on because the holidays are when your customers are most likely to act on impulse and splurge more than the usual. But how do you go about creating a hot holiday buzz that will command attention and motivate action? Here are the top 5 tips to helps get your started!

Make your product or service relevant.

You should carefully select the product or service you’re promoting based on what is relevant to your customers’ wants this time of year. For example, a salon that runs a sale on its summer lipstick line isn’t going to connect with its customers. It may be tempting to promote the product that you want to move or offers you the biggest margins, but this won’t connect with your audience. Instead, pick a promotion that “makes sense” for the holidays. Put together a holiday gift set that is packaged and priced perfectly for a small gift for a loved one. Or offer a special on a service that is most likely to help your customers this time of year. Whatever you choose, first ask yourself, “Is this relevant?”

Build excitement.

You should decide on your promotion at least two months in advance of the holidays. This will give you enough time to build excitement with your customer base. Give them a sneak preview on Facebook or allude to the “very special holiday promotion” to come in your next newsletter. Prime your customers to be on the lookout for this exciting deal and then be sure to deliver!

Create incentive.

In order to create an effective holiday buzz for your business, your promotion or sale should offer an incentive (or benefit) for your customers to buy now. Set a limit on how long the offer will last. Will it expire on a certain date? Will it close after enough offers are claimed? Creating scarcity will help to create a buzz. It will also make customers prioritize your offer as urgent and motivate them to act now.

Make it more than an afterthought.

The more thought you put into creating a holiday promotion, the more business you’re likely to get out of it. From mid October through the holidays, your core marketing focus should be on positioning yourself to capture holiday business. Sure, these are busy times for everyone, but don’t get distracted or split your marketing efforts by announcing other news to your customers at this time. All of your communications should tie back to your holiday promotion.

Spread the word!

You’ve gone through the effort of creating a promotion, now you must market it across every communication outlet to make it truly effective. The biggest mistake many businesses make is running a promotion, but forgetting to inform their customers. Create articles for content marketing and circulate them via Google Plus, Facebook, or Twitter to segmented audiences. Use your web site, newsletter, press releases, other social media niches, blog, and anything else to spread a consistent message. Create a signature graphic for this deal that you can also place on all of these pages. We are visual people, so the more we see the offer the more likely we are to remember it when it comes time to gift buying.

The holidays are a time to both give and receive – for businesses as well! By giving a great deal and a little extra to your customers, you are more likely to receive their business in return. But simply running a holiday promotion won’t have people lining up at your door, proper placement and marketing is key. Try out these top 5 tips to help create a hot holiday buzz for your business this winter season!

~Stephanie


Other Posts:

12 Steps to Create Your Own Infographic

Ten Tips for Starting a Social Media Conversation

Tell a Better Story: Tips and Tricks from Mark Twain

Content for Less, Fat Brain Toys Involves Customers in Content Creation

Social Media Interaction in 2014- What’s your Plan?

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Filed under Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, Facebook, Google Plus, Holiday Blog, Marketing, Newsletters, Press Release Writing, Social Media, Twitter

Seven Ideas for Writing Better Email Newsletters

By My Web Writers

Billions of emails are sent every single day, and estimates from the Radicati Group show that in 2013, each user sends/receives more than 100 email messages daily with a majority of those – 78, they predict – coming into your inbox.

Once that email comes in, there’s no guarantee it’ll be read. According to mailchip.com statistics, email open rates vary among industries, peaking at 45.4% for food service and agriculture, and sinking down to 26.5% for vitamin supplements.

So how do you make your email newsletter stand out from all the rest?

Seven Tips for Writing Better Emails:

1 – Keep emails conversational. Sharing a story with a friend over coffee is much more enjoyable than watching a corporate PowerPoint presentation in a large conference room. Use that same approach to your email newsletter writing. Save the formal prose for your print newsletter and keep it casual online.

2 – K.I.S.S. You might remember this acronym from your grade school teacher: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart! Except in this case, you might want to change the “simple” to “short,” especially if you hit send frequently. The more you send, the shorter it should be.

3 – Drive traffic online. One way to keep your email newsletter short is to summarize your point one click away. It’s a great way to move customers to your website, which is a goal for many of us. A commonly accepted link-to-text ration is one hyperlink per 125 words.

4 – Know your goal. Want to gain awareness of your brand? Drive sales with click-throughs? Gain trust from your audience? Your desired end-result determines what you write. If writing isn’t your expertise, or if you just don’t have the time, find an expert writer.

5 – You think timing is everything? Think again. According to a post by email-marketing-reports.com, it really might not matter. Case in point: the author’s traditional every-other-Monday email was slated for a January 1 distribution if he kept to his regular schedule. He decided to keep it on that day just to see how big of a difference the distribution date makes. It was minimal. More important than timing, we believe, is consistency. Once a week on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., every day at 6:00 a.m., or the first of each month are all great examples.

6 – Know the rules. The CAN-SPAM Act was created in 2003 to protect consumers, and it carries hefty penalties for abusers – to the tune of $16,000 per email. Ouch! The Bureau of Consumer Protection has a nice summary of the rules and regulations if you need a refresher.

7 – If you’re an online store, share customer feedback – positive and negative – and provide your own commentary. This will give your customers insight into how you run your business, and create a trusting relationship between you and your (potential) customers.

What has and hasn’t worked for you in the past?

Leave your comments below.   ~Joanne


Other Posts:

How Gmail’s New Look will Change Email Marketing

Adding Content to their Website Increased Our Client’s Keyword Reach

Twenty-five Effective, Call-to-Action Phrases in E-commerce Content

Corporate Holiday Email Do’s and Don’ts

Five Considerations when Marketing to Women

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Filed under Content, Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, Narrative Writing, Newsletters

How Gmail’s New Look will Change Email Marketing

By My Web WritersEmail Marketing

Everyone has their own unique system for organizing their inbox. Some people prefer folders, tabs, rules and more while others let everything gather into one area. These particularities have a huge impact on the effectiveness of email marketing. If your monthly newsletter gets hidden deep in a folder or even worse, sent straight to spam, even the best content will be rendered powerless. Google recently created a new look for its Gmail that includes multiple tabs to help better organize your inbox automatically. It’s designed to capture all social media alerts in one area, all newsletters and promotions in another area and help de-clutter your inbox. The only issue is what Google flags as “clutter” is often your email marketing piece! Here are several strategies to help prevent your email messages from being pushed out of sight and out of mind.

Be thoughtful about your subject line.

Clear and concise is the name of the game here. Emails with short (and compelling) subject lines tend to have higher open rates. And getting your consumers to simply open your message is the first major battle. Avoid using things such as caps lock, multiple exclamation points or odd characters that may set off Google’s spam alert and get it sent directly to the virtual trash can. Readers should know from the subject line what they can expect to read or receive and why this is a benefit. If your email marketing messages still get sent to Gmail’s “Promotion” folder, then the subject line must be that much more compelling to grab the reader’s attention at a glance.

Make them mobile friendly.

Nearly half of all emails are now read by phone so there’s a good chance that your email will also be viewed on the tiny browser of a mobile device. Be sure that your email marketing translates well on all screens and is as easy to read and click through as it is on a computer. Especially for items like newsletters or e-blasts, many people choose to read these while they’re standing in line, waiting in the doctor’s office or in riding in the car. With a mobile friendly newsletter, your message will be a convenient entertainment for your readers during the moments they have to really pay attention to what you’re saying.

Consider your timing.

Now with all promotional emails nicely organized under one tab, your readers will choose a time of day most convenient to them to browse through the messages in the area. It will likely be a time of day when workload is at its lowest or during non-work hours such as early in the morning or late at night. You have the power to schedule your email marketing accordingly. Try sending your emails at different times and monitor the open rates. It will take some trial and error, but adjusting your timing to better suit your audience will help increase your impact.

Know your competition.

Before Gmail’s tabs, your email was competing against every other type of message that could come into someone’s inbox – work, personal, other promotions, etc. Knowing that your emails will likely fall under the promotions tab narrows down your competition. You are still competing for your reader’s time. But rather than competing against far more pressing and important communications, you’re only competing against other promotions. In order to stand out, think unique. You want your message to capture the reader’s interest and offer them an immediate benefit. Choose topics that are new, innovative and unlike what your competition is sending.

Alert your audience.

An obvious but underutilized strategy is directly informing your audience of Gmail’s changes and suggesting a way they can better organize your communication. For example, your next email might include a short blurb in the introduction that offers helpful information on how to better utilize Gmail’s tabs and also insert a reminder to add you to their address book so they don’t risk missing any future communications. Combining helpful advice with a small ask will increase your chances of getting what you want. It will also build credibility and trust with your audience.

With ever-changing technology, it can be overwhelming to on pulse with all of the new features and how they will impact your email marketing. But keep in mind that the basics still hold true. A compelling subject line, quality content and building a genuine relationship with your audience will help get your message heard.

~Stephanie


Other Posts:

How do I write content based on buyer personas?

Ten Tips for Starting a Social Media Conversation

How to Keep Your Lead Pipeline Moving

Five Ways to Write Content on a Shoestring Budget

Content for Less, Fat Brain Toys Involves Customers in Content Creation

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Filed under Content, Email Campaigns

Five Ways to Prepare Your E-Store for the Holidays

Shindigz.com is an example of an e-tailer that grooms its e-stores for the holidays.

by My Web Writers

Prepare your e-store for the holidays.   Delight and encourage shoppers, while providing unique opportunities to increase your potential customers. It goes without saying that if your site is a landing destination, your customers are going to shop more and spread the word about it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networking media.

There’s no time like the holidays to make subtle, effective improvements to your e-store, all in the name of getting ready for the upcoming festivities.

Put up some decorations

It doesn’t take much these days to change a heading or personalize a background. If you don’t want to use your own pictures, search for public domain and free licensing ones to create an atmosphere of holiday cheer on your site. Include a few holiday specific articles, highlighting your best products with previous customer testimonials.

Make your e-store very user friendly

Keep your site stress free for your customers, providing easy access to product, ordering and shipping information. Update return policies and include all information pertaining to receiving items as gifts too. While you’re doing this, it’s undoubtedly a good idea to make sure your return policy is consumer friendly, as well.

Other important user friendly features on your e-store include navigation. Make products on your site easy to find and access. Product descriptions should be thorough and readily available, upon landing on each product page.  Refresh your product and category descriptions for SEO.  Eliminate unnecessary clutter. Minimize eyestrain by softening colors, and reducing glaring bling.

Give gifts and goodies to your customers

Free shipping is huge, but so are coupons. Perks are fun to find and receive when shopping. Provide ample opportunities for customers to save money, and receive special promotions and offers with minimal effort. This might include running a 3-Day sale, and posting a special coupon on Facebook for consumers to print. It could also be a “Refer a Friend” opportunity, where linking to your site sends your customer an extraordinary deal for their kindness.

Eliminate shipping worries

Flexibility is vital when it comes to shipping, especially for those last minute shoppers. As an e-store owner, you can make sure you’re able to deliver customer product in a timely manner; you can also extend the shipping time required by the customer. Give those frazzled shoppers a little breathing room, and make it easy to receive items in record time, even if they’ve been ordered a little later than expected.

Serve your customers well

Treat your customers like royalty. Make them feel wanted and special, by providing multiple ways to contact you. Set up a live chat or forum for their immediate questions and concerns. Make “Contact Information” easy to find and easier to use. Respond graciously and as soon as possible when you are contacted by a customer.

Preparing your E-store for the holidays is an opportunity to make your site stand out among the crowd. Take advantage of this opportunity, so you can drive traffic and increase sales opportunity well into 2013!

~MJ

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Filed under Business Strategy, Customer Profile, E-Tail Category Content, Email Campaigns, Marketing, Merchandising, Product Descriptions, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media