Email Marketing Guide - How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Have you heard about email automation? Or, have you heard about it, but just the name sounds too intimidating to explore further?

In today’s article, we’re going to look at how automation leads to an increase in customers, growth for your business and improved revenue.

We’ll take some of the mystery out of email workflows and automation so you can get busy with your email marketing.

Here’s your email marketing guide.

Defining Email Automation

Let’s get rid of the mystery. Email automation is the best way to engage your customers because it allows you to send out a string of emails at just the right time.

With email automation, you let your email service provider do the heavy lifting for you. For example, if a customer places several items in their shopping cart and leaves, you can target them and reach out to remind them they left something in their cart.

Often times, this encourages their follow-through.

Email automation allows you to develop a closer relationship with your customers because you can maintain communication and increase brand awareness.

(more…)

The Best Of The Best - Top 5 Email Marketing Tools For 2016

Email marketing is important to your marketing strategy. So important, in fact, we’re going to highlight the best of the best – top 5 email marketing tools for 2016.

First, let’s talk a bit about why email marketing is pivotal to your overall marketing plan.

Benefits of Email Marketing

In an email statistics report from the Radicati Group, we learn that more than 2.6 billion people worldwide use email, and they expect more than one-third of the world’s population to be using email by 2019.

The report goes on to explain that businesses send more than 109 billion emails to their customers daily.

Email marketing is simply one of the very best ways to get in front of your customers. With email, you have the ability to land right in your customer’s inner sanctum.

In an age of ultra-personalization, you can customize your email marketing to your customers’ needs and interests.  You can provide them something of value that they appreciate. This makes your business top of mind when they’re looking to make a purchase.

One of the other great benefits of email marketing is that you can segment your audience into separate lists. This allows you to reach them with targeted content. For example, let’s say you are a swimming pool company, but you also sell grills.

You can send one email to your pool customers and one email to your grill customers.

The other benefit of email marketing is that it’s inexpensive. You can reach a large number of people at a very minimal cost.

Now, let’s look at the top five mail marketing tools for 2016.

#1: MailChimp

The first thing that makes MailChimp the best of the best is their Forever Free Plan – a great tool for small business owners and non-profits.

(more…)

3 Words You Should Never Use In Your Email Marketing Subject LineEmail marketing can sometimes seem like a long, winding road filled with road blocks to avoid.

One of the most important, yet difficult road blocks when it comes to email marketing is crafting an effective subject line.

Today, we’re going to help you avoid some of the most common problems when it comes to writing a great email subject line, and we’ll help set your email marketing on the straight road to success.

Let’s look at three words you should never use in your email marketing subject lines. These words are free, cure and credit.

Why shouldn’t you use them? In a nutshell, they can negatively affect your open rates and the actions people take in your emails.

In addition, these three little words can trigger spam filters and get your emails flagged, rendering them undeliverable.

Free, Cure and Credit

Everyone likes something “free,” right? And, who wouldn’t like the “cure” to what ails them or a fix for their credit?

(more…)

Email Signup Form Best Practices and Stats For 2016

We are nearly half way through 2016, and we can announce with great confidence that email marketing continues to top the charts when it comes to digital marketing tactics.

How can we say this with such certainty? It’s simply because multiple studies continue to report that email marketing is the most effective way to get and convert new leads, build awareness and retain customers.

But, you have to have an email list to send emails to, right? The email signup form on your website is one of the best ways to acquire new leads.

While many people can put a signup form on their website and send out an email, they aren’t necessarily doing it in the most advantageous way. Today we tell you how to create a really good signup form so you can send out top-notch emails.

Let’s look at email signup form best practices and stats for 2016. We’ll discuss the best way to create your forms so you can begin and nurture a relationship with your current and future customers using email marketing.

Here are the best practices for your email signup forms:

Use a Limited Amount of Fields

In the case of your email signup forms, shorter is better. Eliminate distractions and save your website visitors time by using only the amount of fields that are absolutely necessary.

Your goal is to reduce “friction” for your customers. What do we mean by friction?

Friction is your customer’s psychological resistance to your form. Consider the form that asks for 10 fields. One might say this form is full of friction. It forces your potential subscribers to think. It makes them rethink their decision to sign up.

Forms with friction take too long to complete and result in interrupted momentum that may keep customers from taking your desired action – completing the form.

Every single time you ask for a new field, you risk increasing your form’s “friction.” This is why we recommend using very few form fields. If you can get away with it, just ask for the email address or if you absolutely must, the email and first and last name.

Consider one study that shows a form with five fields outperforming a form with nine fields by 34%.

Remember – the goal is ultimately the lead. Your sales staff can get the rest of the details later.

When creating your forms, always ask yourself, “Is the additional information I think I need worth losing a potential lead?” If the answer is no, and it usually is, stay away from multiple form fields.

You can also ask yourself if you’ll lose anything if you have to wait for additional information? Remember – the lead is more important than the extra info. Only ask what’s absolutely relevant.

Consider Internet giant, Expedia. They saw an increase in profits of $12 million a year after removing “company” from their booking forms.

Keep It Simple

Consider using simple, straightforward graphics to direct users to your contact forms. Help your user focus on the call to action you want them to take.

Keep your page simple, without any distractions, so your customers have a clear path to your signup form. This helps your overall conversion rate.

Tell Them What They’ll Get

At the top or bottom of your signup form, tell your website visitors exactly what they can expect. Here are a few examples of things to include to make it personal:

  • If it’s a sales lead, let them know when they can expect an email or phone call.
  • Tell them how many emails you’ll send them each month.
  • Let them know what kind of information they can expect in your emails.
  • Promise to keep their information private.

Use Only Mobile-Friendly Forms

According to Litmus, who tracks open rates of more than 12 billion emails, April 2016 saw an increase of email open rates on mobile rise to 56%. Desktop opens remained steady at 19%, while web mail decreased to 25%.

What’s this mean for your email signup forms on your website?

It means that your signup forms must be mobile-friendly and responsive to screen size because your website customers expect it. Having mobile-friendly forms also means it’s easier for customers to signup which in turn leads to a higher conversion rate.

It’s worth noting here that you need to pay special attention to your website, your website forms and your email marketing. The entire digital package should be responsive to screen size for increased ease of use.

Use Social Proof

These days, more than ever, web-surfers feel better doing something if they know others have gone before them.

You can use any of the following ideas to “prove” that it’s a good idea to join your email list:

  • Use customer reviews or testimonials.
  • Use quotes, like “thousands sign up each week” or “join a community of 10,000 subscribers.”
  • Mention who they’ll be joining, especially if they are well-known names.

Use Large Buttons

Large buttons serve two purposes. First, they make it easier for mobile users to click.

Second, small buttons can get lost. Use large, bright submit buttons that can’t get lost on the page. Make the button as wide as your input fields.

While talking about the button, we encourage you to test your call to action. While “submit” may work for some, “get pricing” may work for others. Test and test again to learn what works for you.

Use Double Opt-Ins

For years people have used captchas on their signup forms. Unfortunately, that’s just another form field.

You can try the double opt-in – it not only helps you avoid unwanted spam, but it eliminates a form field. Again, we encourage you to test which method works best for you.

Stay Clear of Long Drop-Down Lists

This falls into the category of asking for too much information. Plus, drop-down lists are often difficult to complete, especially on mobile phones.

If you must offer options, consider the check box or radio buttons. Only use these when your choices include less than six.

Use a PopUp

One last best practice is to use the email signup form pop-up. This allows you to grab visitors as they arrive or get ready to leave your website. It’s a great way to reach out to customers one last time before they click away.

Final Thoughts

To improve your conversion rate optimization, you’ve got to acquire a lead. How? You get your leads and increase your conversions through your email signup forms.

Online lead generation depends on your signup form. Continuing the relationship with your customer continues through your email marketing. The two are forever tied together.

One of the biggest challenges for email marketers is getting into their customers’ inboxes. Today, we’ve looked at some email signup form best practices and stats for 2016 so you can grow and nurture a healthy email list.

Email signup forms are a great strategy for increasing your conversion rate optimization. It’s time to optimize your landing pages with great signup forms.

If you are ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by using email marketing to skyrocket growth among your current customers, that’s great! We’re here to help you optimize your landing pages to increase email conversions. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Fabian Irsara

Why You Should Be Conducting AB Testing On Your Email Marketing

You’ve heard from us on many occasions that A/B testing is a great tool to optimize your landing pages. We’ve told you that for each test you run, you learn something new about your audience – something that helps you reach them more effectively.

You’ve learned what it takes to meet their needs while improving your conversion rate optimization.

The same holds true for email marketing – A/B testing is a good thing. It’s the key to your email conversion rate.

So, today, we tell you why you should be conducting A/B testing on your email marketing and some best tips for doing it.

What is AB Testing?

Just the mention of A/B testing might sound complicated and quite daunting. But, we’re here to tell you that it’s not as hard as it sounds.

A/B testing is the method you use to test your best guess about human behavior. In other words, you are testing what you think they’ll respond to.

Using your email platform, you can perform these “split” tests quite easily testing things such as headlines, send times, content and images.

Let’s simplify A/B testing. For example, you’ve written a blog post, you’re ready to send it out through email, and you’ve chosen two images. You want to know which image is more compelling for people, so you set your split test with the same content but two different images.

In your email app, you set your A/B test to learn which one garners more opens. The app chooses a winner, and your winning email is off to the rest of your list. It’s just that easy.

You’ve just used an A variant and a B variant as a split test to gauge the response of various headlines, calls to action or images.

If you’ve ever wondered what the best open times are for your emails, you can also test send times.

The best part of email A/B testing is it requires very little effort on your part. You pick the one item you want to test, set it up, choose how much of your list you want for test subjects, and then you let the program do the heavy lifting for you in determining which test is the winner.

A/B Testing Best Practices

As easy as A/B testing is using various email platforms, there are few general best practices to guide you through the process.

First, you want to have a reason behind what you’re testing. Don’t just test for the sake of testing. Ask yourself what you’d like to improve. Is it open rate or click through rate?

Why are you testing? Do you want to learn what subject lines engage your audience? How about personalization? Do you want to know if the personal touch gets more opens? Does your audience respond to images with people, landscapes or humorous images? Does your audience respond better in the morning or evening? Should you use numbers in your subjects?

These are just some ideas when it comes to the purpose of your A/B test. You can pick any, just be sure to pick one reason why.

Next, you want to be purposeful in your test. Make sure that the item you’re testing is bold. For example:

  • Test an image of a woman and an image of a man.
  • Test a red call to action button against a blue one.
  • Test a subject line that is personal against one that includes stats.

When you are very deliberate with the items you are testing, you can use a smaller sample size. In addition, we recommend only testing two variants. Some programs will allow you to choose more, but two gives you better results.

Here are some ideas of things you can test:

  • Call to action
  • Subject line
  • Testimonials – included or not included
  • Layout of email
  • Personalization
  • Body Text
  • Headline
  • Images
  • Your Offer – for example, you might offer free shipping in one email and 20% off in another.
  • Send time (change hour or even day)

Before acting on future emails from the result of your last A/B test, make sure your results are statistically significant.

What do we mean? Well, if test A nets 2535 opens while test B nets 2756 opens, that’s not much of a difference. Be careful here when making a decision on test results.

While your program chose a “winner,” a small statistical difference doesn’t necessarily mean one is that much better than the other. Keep testing until you get results that statistically meaningful.

Once you’ve done the test, it can be easy to forget about it. Some marketers test the email and leave it at that. But, what if you learned that your email subscribers preferred images of women in your A/B test, yet in subsequent emails you used images of men?

That isn’t a good use of your testing data. If they preferred images of women in one email, continue to test this theory for a few more emails. If women win out, use images of women in future emails.

Final Thoughts

A/B testing is the key to emails that convert. Improving your conversion rates is after all one of the main goals of your email marketing.

A/B testing gives you the ability to improve not only the email you are testing, but the performance of all future emails.

It’s the best way to make measurable improvements with your email marketing. A/B testing gives you statistical data on the tactics that work with your chosen audience.

Keep track of your testing results and make a list so you can continue to test to see if you get the same results.

Your email A/B testing lets you reach your marketing goals while improving your email open rate, click through rate and conversion rate.

Each time you get statistically significant data, and act on it, you are one step closer to your goals.

It is important to continue testing on an ongoing basis. People and their needs change daily, so it’s important to test and keep track of your results.

One great strategy to use with your email marketing is linking email articles to your website. Are you ready to handle the traffic with optimized landing pages?

If you are ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by using email marketing to skyrocket growth among your current customers, that’s great! We’re here to help you optimize your landing pages to increase email conversions. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Lachlan Donald