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Category: E-mail Marketing

How to Find the Right Email Marketing Platform for Your Business

Email on Mobile Phone

Summary: Let’s jump into a list of features you need to consider if you’re shopping around for an email marketing platform or if you’re unsure whether your current tool is cutting it. Remember, no single email platform fits all, so consider your team’s skill sets as well as your unique marketing goals.

Chances are, if you’re a business owner, you use email to engage with your audience in one way or another. After all, regardless of the size of your operation, your industry, or your technical savvy, email can be one of the most basic methods for communicating with the masses. Customer inquiries can be dealt with via email; promotional coupons and news can be shared; even invoice and payment reminders via email can vastly enhance business efficiencies. Email as a communication tool is pretty much ingrained in today’s consumer culture. Even if you personally are not the biggest champion of email marketing, odds are that a good amount of your customers depend on email. And you wouldn’t want to ostracize anyone supporting your company, right?!

Despite the prevalence of email, I cannot begin to count the number of business owners I’ve met who just don’t know how or where to get started on their email strategy. Often, the task of merely selecting the right email platform for their business is overwhelming enough to halt all progress. And that just plain sucks. Picking the right email platform is crucial to the success of your email marketing life!

Yes, this sounds slightly dramatic, I know. But email has the power to impact a customer’s trust in your brand. And where there’s trust, there’s often customer loyalty. Email is kind of a big deal, guys!

So today, let’s jump into a list of features you need to consider if you’re shopping around for an email marketing platform or if you’re unsure whether your current tool is cutting it. Remember, no single email platform fits all, so consider your team’s skill sets as well as your unique marketing goals.

Your Shopping List of Email Marketing Key Features & Functionalities 

EMAIL MARKETING DESIGN:

This first set of features is all about customizability and the need for this will vary from team to team. Perhaps you’re running a small shop and you need basic drag-and-drop design features. Or you’re leading a huge enterprise and would prefer to have full control over your email design. Take a look as some features to consider:

Template Library

If you’re not looking to build your emails from the ground up, this feature might be a must-have for you. Many platforms have pre-built templates for newsletters, promotional announcements or important notices ready for you to simply insert your own content and photos. It’s an excellent feature if your team is short on email design experience.

HTML Editor 

Most email marketing platforms will have an HTML editor, which gives you way more control over email design, especially when none of the templates are quite right. The prerequisite, of course, is HTML knowledge.

WYSIWYG Editor (“What You See Is What You Get”)

This is a visual editor, which most platforms will have. It’s simple drag-and-drop functionality helps you avoid having to recall your long-forgotten HTML skills, while still having control over your email design. It also makes it easy to manage different media (like YouTube videos or images), and manage custom formatting (like font colors or column alignment).

Image Hosting

Some platforms will allow you to upload and host your email images on their server space. Unfortunately, some providers require you to host elsewhere, independently. Think about how large your image library needs to be for your emails; you might need a platform that will supply you with more space.

DATA MANAGEMENT & PERSONALIZATION:

Personalizing your emails should be very high on your email to-do list if it isn’t already. It empowers businesses to utilize eye-catching, personalized headlines, subject lines or paragraphs based on customer data fields or past customer interactions. Likewise, data is essential to segmenting and personalizing your campaigns. An email platform should help you get the most out of your customer data. Luckily, pretty much all platforms out there will support this.

Data Merge

This is the act of pulling a data field (or several data fields) from your mailing list. For instance, you might often pull customers’ first names in order to personalize your email greeting. Essentially you can use any field in a data merge to personalize your message; like using the D.O.B. field for timely birthday greeting emails. Take note, the more robust email platforms will have data merge services that include logic to display something specific if the field is empty!

Variable Content

If you’re looking to enhance your email personalization while streamlining email creation processes, look for this feature. It allows you to display different email content based on different criteria, like a data field or any number of other conditions like click-thru interaction with a past campaign. Dynamic, custom content requires if/then statements (for example: IF customer “A” clicks the registration link, THEN send the next triggered email).

List Segmentation & Grouping

Segmenting empowers you to stay relevant to your audience by sending the right message at the right time. Bombarding your customers with emails that don’t apply to or interest them is the kiss of death when it comes to your sending reputation; it’s a surefire way to provoke unsubscribes and spam complaints. You need to match customer interests with your message. Some platforms will let you segment by data fields or by past customer interaction (like open rates). Subsequently, many platforms also have grouping features, which can be thought of as more customized segmenting based on demographics or psychographics. For example your company might find the need to group customers by their membership level, reward points tier, etc.

EMAIL DELIVERABILITY:

I’m happy to say the features in this section are very easy to come by. Today’s email platforms focus on maintaining a high level of deliverability since it’s beneficial to their reputation as well as their customers’. While you will be responsible for email design, copy, managing bounces and spam complaints, there are some supplementary tools your chosen platform will likely offer.

Spam Score Checker

This tool scans your email before you hit Send. It will flag elements that might not make it through spam filters like spammy keywords or subject lines, or your text to image ratio. A spam checker will also provide tips on how you can improve your email.

Bounce & Spam Management 

I recommend having this feature as one of your top must-haves on the shopping list. This feature automatically remove emails that have bounced or marked your content as spam in the past.Platforms that automatically suppresses a no-send list saves you time, money and further damage to your sending reputation. Attempting to resend an email to anyone who has already flagged you as spam or bounced, is one of the worst things you can do to your sending score.

ANALYTICS:

Another feature synonymous with most email platforms is analytics and reporting. However, some will provide more robust capabilities than others. Here’s what I recommend you look for in a platform:

Analytics Report
Campaign Analytics

You will more than likely get the basic reports around your campaign sends, bounces, opens, clicks, etc. Some may give you even more helpful insights like recipient geographic location, device usage, time of day of engagement, etc. The more insight you have, the better you’ll be able to benchmark.

Data Exporting

Of course, sharing your successes or identifying your challenges with other team members or stakeholders is a lot easier if you don’t have to log into your email platform every single time. Exporting your analytics reports is common across platforms and you can typically export to PDF, .csv or Excel table. Some of my favorite platforms even let you export easy-to-read graphs.

Lead Scoring

Now this, you won’t find in every email marketing platform, but it is very important if you plan to enhance your marketing automation efforts. Advance platforms provide tools that let you score your leads based on their past engagement with your campaigns. So if prospecting is key for your marketing and sales strategy, ask your email solution provider about this feature.

It can be tough weighing the pros and cons of every email marketing platform out there. If you’re shopping around for the right platform or looking to upgrade, we can help point you in the right direction.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

5 Advanced Techniques to Sky Rocket Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of connecting with your audience regardless of the device they use.

The following techniques will highlight new opportunities to:

  • Publish targeted email messages
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Increase sales
  1. Targeting and Segmentation

The basis of an effective email marketing plan is to understand your customer by developing buyer personas. You can create appropriate groups and segment your email list accordingly.

  1. Make it Personal

Be ready to personalize your message with an appropriate reading or recognition of an anniversary or birthday. You can customize your offers referring to customers purchase history or other company interactions.

  1. Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation

Automated customer initiated email sequences are a great way of providing non-intrusive flow of information to your visitors. As they progress through the sales cycle it allows you to address their needs at the right time.

  1. Refine Your Message by Split Testing

You can make improvements to your email marketing strategy by trying a:

  • Variation of your subject line
  • Different design layout to help you get your message opened and actioned.
  1. Make it Mobile-Friendly

A portion of your customers will read your emails from their mobile device, therefore, make your content responsive with a:

  • Clear design
  • Easy to read fonts
  • Strong clearly visible calls to action.

Finally, be prepared to evolve your email marketing strategy by reviewing your progress and incorporating new email methodologies that will enable you to:

  • Build stronger customer relations
  • Nurture leads
  • Increase your sales.

If you would like to review your email marketing strategy get in touch today.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

Growing Leads and Sales with Marketing Automation

The ultimate goal for your online marketing automation is to generate more leads and convert them into paying customers.

A good marketing automation solution can multiply your effectiveness to:

  • Attract more website visits
  • Nurture your leads through their entire buying process

Here are 5 ways to:

  • Target
  • Personalize
  • Automate your marketing messages across multiple channels
  1. Wise Up to What Customers Want

Digg deeper into your website analytics and social media feedback to identify what content works best. Then, according to their preferences, you can focus your messages to:

  • Qualify
  • Segment prospects
  1. Practice Powerful Email Marketing

Email is one of the best ways to drive engagement.  Send the right message to the right people at the right time turning your emails from an impersonal broadcast into meaningful correspondence.  In addition, use automated emails to send tailored messages at time intervals, after a call-to-action is triggered.

  1. Improve Landing Page Personalization

Continue your customers one to one experience by personalizing your landing pages. You can successfully lead customers through their buying cycle, aligned to their online behavior, by presenting the most:

  • Relevant offers
  • Product selections
  1. Be Ready to Further Relationships

Your marketing automation system enables you to reach out and develop relationships on a more personal level alerting you to relevant events such as:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Retweets
  • Shares
  1. Consider Using Curated Content

The key to the whole marketing automation process is targeted content. To help consider curating relevant content from other sources while putting your on twist on it to enhance your message for your audience.

In conclusion, as you begin your automated marketing campaigns. Getting it right will help you enjoy:

  • A steady stream of followers
  • New leads
  • Increase sales

If you are looking for a leading solution to get marketing automation working for you, get in touch.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

 

 

5 Key Components for Building Better Brand Authority

It has become easier for people to do their due diligence on their business due the continuing evolution of social media networks growing popularity of user review websites and more informative search results.  Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you are at the mercy of their party websites. Implement these 5 digital strategies to build positive brand authority and credibility for your business.

  1. Content Marketing

To build brand authority is vital to a well thought out content marketing plan.  The goal is to consistently publish relevant and valuable content demonstrating your expertise to:

  • Customers
  • Search engines
  1. Social Media Marketing

A big part of your businesses credibility hinges on your social media presence. Constantly monitor and engage with customers through the social sphere to ensure you are ready to make the most of positive feedback and resolve any negative comments quickly.

  1. Video Marketing

Make your content more engaging and memorable, demonstrating your expertise using online video, especially if you can inject some personality.  It also has the benefit of being mobile friendly.

  1. Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time based on:

  • Email
  • Website
  • Social media activity

Use customer driven data to personalize each shopper’s experience making it easier to earn their trust.

  1. Reputation Marketing

Don’t let review sites dictate your reputation. Actively participate in the review process so you can improve customer feedback.  Publish positive reviews on your own site and promptly rectify disappointing customer experiences.

In conclusion, your business is sure to be part of the online conversation because of the wealth of content on the web.  Your goal should be to lead your customers through their buying cycle with great content and then be able to turn reviews, good or bad, to your advantage.

If you would like help to improve your online brand authority, get in touch.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

How to measure your Atlanta company’s e-mail marketing success

Do you use e-mail marketing to promote your Atlanta business? E-mail marketing is an effective way to keep in touch with customers, make them aware of new products and services, distribute special offers and discounts and ask for feedback. If you want to measure the success of a particular e-mail marketing campaign, here are four metrics to help you do just that:

The total number of opens. How many people open your e-mail message and how many simply delete it? Measuring the total number of opens over time allows you to see which types of messages resonate best with your audience and which types of messages they’re more likely to ignore.

Total click through rates (CTR). CTR is the number of times someone clicks on a link contained in your e-mail divided by the total impressions on an e-mail. For example, if you included a call to action in one of your e-mail marketing messages and want to know if it was effective, you would check the CTR and see how many people visited the call to action link.

Abuse reports. Your audience has the option to file an abuse or complaint report, which effectively marks your e-mail message as spam. It’s a sure sign they don’t want to receive your e-mails any longer and you should always make it easy for people to unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe rate. The rate at which people unsubscribe from your e-mails is a strong indicator of how your message is resonating with your audience. Perhaps you’re e-mailing too frequently, or perhaps you’re sending e-mails to an audience that doesn’t find them relevant.

At WSI you’ll find digital marketing specialists who are ready to help you succeed

For more information about how WSI can help you develop an e-mail marketing strategy that helps your business succeed, or if you have any questions for our team, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Discover why so many Atlanta companies partner with us for digital marketing success. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Download Free Lead Gen eBook Now

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

Four tips on creating a fresh e-mail marketing campaign for your Atlanta business in 2015

Want to boost sales for your Atlanta business via email? An e-mail marketing campaign is typically designed to excite and interest or inspire your target audience, but it can have the adverse effect if you don’t create a fresh campaign that truly grabs the reader’s attention. Below are four tips to creating a campaign that has the desired effect on your target audience:

  • Email subject line – this is more important than you would think. Make sure the subject line of your email is intriguing and action-oriented.
  • Use eye-catching graphics – images are important to grab the attention of your client, but be sure they aren’t heavy or you could find your customers lose interest while the images are trying to load.
  • Include a clear call to action – ensure your email content links to an offer or specifically advises the customer what to do next. This is the best way to spur your audience on to action.
  • Use quality and useful content – if you are just sending product information on to clients, chances are they will become annoyed with your emails. Make sure you are sending top quality content offering information on how to make use of your products or something interesting that is related.

Email marketing campaigns made simple by WSI eBiz Solutions

At WSI eBiz Solutions in Atlanta, we offer e-mail marketing campaigns which can capture new leads and increase engagement with an existing customer base. With our assistance your email marketing campaign can offer your customer base news and information that specifically relates to them and interests them.

With our expert team we can create quality and compelling content as well as set up an email marketing strategy that aims to gain the interest of clients and makes certain conversion rates are impressive. Contact us at WSI eBiz Solutions, for more information and advice on our digital marketing services in Atlanta today.

Download Free Lead Gen eBook Now

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

Nine e-mail marketing mistakes that will cost your business

E-mail is an integral part of any digital marketing campaign.  Here are nine e-mail marketing mistakes that will cost your business:

Recipients

  1. Sending emails to unwilling recipients amounts to spam. Maintain the integrity of your mailing list to improve email deliverability and performance.
  1. Lumping all your contacts into one big “To:” list prevents you from increasing your click through rates. By cleverly segmenting your email list, you have the advantage of being able to modify your message to tie in with the interests of each list.

Subject line

  1. This is where you make your first impression – and first impressions count. While you do want a strong subject line using excitement, humor, or anticipation to tempt your recipients to open; avoid spammy words and phrases such as “Urgent”, “Call Now!”, “Free”, or “Last Chance”.

Form

  1. Including visual elements of your brand such as your logo, color scheme, and relevant graphics reminds readers who you are. Be careful to avoid too many distracting elements which may take attention away from your content marketing.
  1. Don’t lay out your mail in too wide a format. Your readers do not want to have to use the horizontal scrollbar. You want to keep it as easy to read as possible; bearing in mind that mobile email is a rapidly growing channel.
  1. Avoid losing your audience. Use sections and signposts to clearly escort them through your content in a logical – and convertible – way.

Content

  1. Overly promotional, spammy, and demanding emails are a no-no. When it comes to email marketing, sharing bite-sized chunks of relevant information is what your prospects want. Ensure that your content is appealing, germane, and thought-provoking. Above all, keep your readers’ attention by fulfilling a need they have. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
  1. Dull content is more likely to lull your prospects to sleep than get them fired up about your latest email. As part of your email marketing strategy, be sure to include visually engaging images. Always use the alt. tag to describe the picture in case the image doesn’t display.
  1. More is not more, so steer clear of flashing GIFS and other animated images.

For more information and advice on how we can be of service to you, please contact us today.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

Our B2B e-mail marketing guide

Our B2B e-mail marketing guide. Think back to the advent of the facsimile, and how thrilled we all were to have such a speedy method of written communication. Shortly afterwards, e-mail became mainstream, and we were even more ecstatic. But then all sorts of shiny new methods of instant communication popped up – from iChat to Facebook to Snapchat. It looked for a moment as if e-mail was heading the same way as faxes did. And yet, a whopping 77% of purchasers prefer e-mail promotions and offers over any other digital marketing channel.

Prepare it

As with so many things in life, it’s most beneficial to set a clear goal before diving in. Decide the exact purpose of your email marketing campaign before you start.

  • Is it to promote a new product or service?
  • Would you like to engage in conversation with your buyers?
  • Do you want to inform and educate your clients?

Encourage your current, previous, and prospective customers to give you permission to send them email. As much as you want to cultivate your email list, you don’t want to be regarded as a spammer. Bear in mind, too, that quality trumps quantity.

Elect when and how often you plan to send out emails. You need to find a balance between overdoing it, and not interacting enough. A customary guide is that emails sent on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons yield the best response rate. Test if that does indeed apply to your particular field.

Write it

Think about the emails you receive. How do you determine which to read and which to skip? Chances are the subject line has a huge impact on your decision. An enthralling subject line is a huge influence on the success of your email marketing strategy.

The actual message of your email needs to adhere to the best practices for all content marketing:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Captivating
  • Call to action included.

Personalize it

Despite the B2B environment, remember that you are a human communicating with another human. So don’t overdo the “corporate” jargon; rather, focus on really connecting with your readers.

For more information and advice, please contact us today.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

Local vs. international e-mail marketing campaigns – Advice from the specialists

When you are faced with having to deal with both local as well as international e-mail marketing campaigns, you can be faced with a bit of a dilemma. Relating to two different target audiences can be a bit challenging and often people do not know how to connect with their international market. This is why you need to take a look at a few of these pointers on how to run both a successful local, as well as international email marketing campaign.

Tips for success in your local email campaign

●      Be relatable. Nothing alienates your audience more than a cold-hearted, clinical email. Ensure your content keeps the human element to it. This will ensure your clients continue to subscribe to and read your email campaigns.

●      Make your content worthy of reading. Do not get caught up in the rat race and release droves of uninformative email campaigns which your target audience does not relate to.

●      Don’t scrimp on the creative. Just because it is an email campaign, doesn’t mean you need to be frugal creatively speaking. Use the same images as you would in your blogs and think of incorporating exciting colors and texts. This could go a long way in engaging with your audience.

Breaking into the international scene

●      Language does not need be a barrier. Although this seems like a given, language can prohibit you from advertising to foreign clients and this not only relates to dialect. Colloquialisms may not be understood by another English speaking country which has a completely different set of expressive informalities.

●      Cultural sensitivity is of great importance. The use of cultural sensitivity – or lack thereof – can make or break your company internationally. Being sensitive to different topics such as religion, sexuality and nationalism is extremely important when trying to win over your international audience and to get them to relate to you.

As you can see, there are many different things to take into consideration in both a national and international email marketing strategy. If you need any assistance in your digital marketing, be sure to contact only the best. WSI eBiz Solutions is happy to assist. We have a wide array of services available and encourage you to contact us for help in the digital world today.

 WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give us a call or get in touch with us at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

The difference between inbound and content marketing

If you have been thinking that inbound and content marketing are one and the same, you are not alone. Many marketers believe that these two types of marketing disciplines are similar with a number of them using the terms interchangeably during discussions. However, to be successful in using the two disciplines, it is important to understand them well so that you can use them effectively as part of your marketing strategy. Here are some differences:

  • By definition, inbound marketing is the provision of the specific content to a customer that needs it at the correct time; while content marketing is defined as content creation for a particular customer demographic that they can use to further a cause or help them understand a topic or product better.
  • The tactics employed by inbound marketers encourage particular actions from the person or group that has been targeted. On the other hand, content marketing rarely pushes a customer towards a certain direction but hopes the information provided will make them consider the product or service being talked about.
  • Inbound marketing focuses on making the right content available to customers that have shown interest in their products while content marketing focuses on relationship building to get to customers and eventually sell to them products or services.
  • Inbound marketers believe that a customer that is looking for specific information is likely to be open to accepting an offer targeted towards them, while content marketing does not believe in interrupting a customer’s day with information they have not requested.

Looking for help in inbound or content marketing? Let WSI help you 

WSI prides itself in offering digital marketing services that will put your business on the path to success by helping you attract customers and convert them into leads. We offer a number of premium services to our customers such as email marketing, PPC, paid advertising and social media marketing.

For more information on both these marketing disciplines contact us today; and also have a look at our inbound marketing checklist that you can download at no cost.

 

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