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10 Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

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The inbox of your standard consumer fills with competitive subject lines, marketing messages, and scores of attention-seeking emails. With more than 144 billion emails sent each day, email marketing remains as one of the preferred channels for business communication.

As technology advances and Internet evolves, newer marketing methods have made many to believe that email marketing is on its way out. However, email marketing is far from dead, despite what some may believe. In fact, a report indicated that workers spend 28% of their time in their inbox.

At the same time, email marketing is getting hard to deliver their marketing objectives. This is because consumers are demanding for a better email experience. They do not want bulk emails thrown at them that looks like spams and do not relate to them in any way. Consumers want their email personalized, relevant and provides value to their lives. And this requires a certain understanding of the consumers which only big data can provide.

Thinking about starting a company newsletter? Here are some tips to keep in mind when launching your email marketing campaign.

Make it easy to subscribe. It is always difficult for businesses to generate relevant email lists that are interested in their business. By posting a signup form on the homepage, blog or Facebook page, businesses can easily collect names, contact information, birth dates (for offer or gift) or useful information on the target audience. However, they should take note not to go crazy with the required fields as a long subscribe form might scare people off.

Email Marketing Tips - Welcome

Send a welcome email. It is always a good practice to remind people that they have signed up for the newsletter and why they are on the list. This can also reassure them that good things are in store. Businesses might even send new subscribers a special offer or exclusive content, as a way of thanking them and to generate more engagements.

Design the newsletter to fit the brand. A visual style guide is imperative. Whether it be a website, advertisement, EDMs, or whatever else, this guide will be the “holy bible” that governs brand consistency. Email campaigns should match a brand’s look and feel. It is always good to customize emails to include the company’s colors and logo in the header and ensure that the emails are consistent with the rest of the company’s content. This gives the readers a sense of familiarity and at the same time allows them to be able to relate the email directly to the brand.

Personalize the email with names (or even segmentation catering to subscribers’ interests). Like many businesses, emails can be catered to different subscribers and customers, each with their preferences via big data. For email marketing to be effective, businesses can no longer create a single email and send it to everyone on the list. “One size fits all” emails can not deliver in an age where informed consumers want highly targeted content. Segmenting customers can work even better by using customer personas. Customer personas can be built by using a multitude of data. Instead of asking a single question, businesses can group customers together using a mix of attributes and actions they take. Sending relevant content will keep readers engaged, and engaged readers look forward to the newsletters and share it with friends.

Email Marketing Tips - Automation

Improve efficiency with email automation. With automation, businesses can easily create workflows to send personalized, timely, relevant emails to customers at the right time such as Behavior-triggered emails. These emails are real-time reactions to how your customers are using your product and have a 152% higher open rate compared with the traditional type of emails. They are also a more valuable communication tool and can convert window shoppers into loyal customers. They are easily automated and can be sent to customers based on different objectives: up-selling and cross-selling of products, welcome, re-engagement, and this list goes on. Tools are also widely available such as Marketo, GetResponse, and Emarsys, which help businesses to improve their engagement through automation.

Keep a publishing calendar is essential. A regular newsletter is a commitment to a business. If a business goes several months without sending anything, then subscribers will forget about them, and they will also be more likely to delete the next email, or worse, mark it as spam. Businesses should make the effort to plan, write, design, and send out newsletters regularly to keep their subscribers engaged.

Email Marketing Tips - Mobile

Focus on mobile. In recent years, digital assets are required to be responsive or mobile friendly as user experience (UX) is highly emphasized. With mobile friendly emails, readers are more likely to open and read the email as the content of the emails can be displayed on different mobile devices. Therefore, sending mobile-friendly emails is a must-have, not a nice to have. In some cases, businesses can include a public link to the web version of the campaign so readers can read it outside of their email clients. (Because some email clients do not support HTML, animated gif, etc.)

Make emails shareable. Send content that readers want to share, and make it easy for them to do so. Businesses should consider adding Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook links to the newsletters so that readers can easily share the content with their friends. This way can help improve the outreach of the email campaigns.

Email Marketing Tips - Analytics

Track the numbers. Email analytics provide data that businesses need, to analyze the effectiveness of email campaigns. Most email services offer reports that contain helpful information for businesses to make data-driven decisions about their activities or the next campaign. Open rate, click rate, clickthrough rate, conversion rate, bounce rate and forwarding rate are some examples of email metrics businesses can track to understand their email campaigns.

Understand spam rules. A lot of businesses send spam because they simply do not know the rules. In some cases, they have their email addresses marked which contribute to many implications. Put in simple terms; businesses are only allowed to send bulk email to people who specifically asked to be included in the mailing list. It is also a good practice to include a visible unsubscribe link in every email.

Bonus: The Period Table of Email Marketing 2016

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Content Marketing

Simple 7-Step Social Media Strategy to Dominate 2019

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Social Media Strategy 2019

Let’s look at the numbers and be honest with ourselves – social media isn’t slowing down, and they don’t intend to. There are more than 1.47 billion monthly active users on Facebook on average, and this number includes an almost 17% spike in two years.

One of the primary benefits of social media is to establish trust and credibility among your customers. If the people perceive your product or service is useful, they will trust your brand, thus making them more likely to buy from you. The University of London also studied the impact of social media on consumers and discovered a positive correlation between trust and perceived value linking to sales.

A sound marketing strategy should drive every action taken on social media. For your business, brand or organization, this channel is unavoidable if you want to create dominance in your market.

 

1) Define your target audience and build relationships

The first step to develop a strong social media presence is to acquire highly relevant fans and followers. Regardless of the size of your company, before you start investing resources on social media, you need to know why you’re there and who is your target audience.

Solely by looking at Facebook, you have nearly 1.15 billion people scrolling through their feeds almost every day, so it’s important to focus on people who are valuable to your business.

Building trust and your brand reputation with relevant people is vital so that they buy today, return to purchase tomorrow and advocate others about your brand. This logic is the ethos behind a strong social media strategy.

If you want to invest in social media because you plan to sell a product rather than build relationships with your audience, it’s time to pause and reconsider your business model. Although you can sell a product using social media, relationship building still comes first.

 

2) Choose the right channel

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Channels

When it comes to the different social media channels, every platform has its own established culture and audience – and they expect users and advertisers to approach their platform similarly.

Spreading your eggs across several baskets will not produce significant results for you. At the same time, you will be wasting resources like time, money and effort. Focus is the key to success.

There are dominant channels for every industry, depending on your audience, type of product or service. What you will need to know is which channels are dominant for your market and focus your resources on winning against the competition in those targeted channels.

In social media, it’s not about quantity, but quality. Doing a few channels well with consistent, highly-engaging content that resonates with your audience is what will lead to conversion or sale.

There’s no single, universal “best social media channel.” But, by understanding how each channel works and you’ll be able to maximize your investment.

 

3) Determine your objective (Be S.M.A.R.T.)

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Goals

One of the first steps to create a social media marketing strategy is to set your objectives and goals. Without goals, there is no way to measure your success or Return On Investment (ROI).

As a guideline, each of your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Despite this, always keep in mind that while vanity metrics like retweets and likes are exciting and easy to track, it’s hard to prove their actual value for the business. But instead, you should focus on goals such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rate.

By aligning your social media goals with the overall marketing strategy. It will be easier to show the value of your effort and get executive buy-in and investment for your social media strategy.

 

4) Create a strategy

You should always put more effort into your social media strategy to engage your audience rather than focusing immediately on getting returns. Growing the audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.

A social media strategy defines how your organization will leverage on social media channels to achieve its communications goals and the supporting platform and tools it will use to accomplish this.

At a basic level it’s a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives, and the target outcomes you hope to achieve. This strategy is done in the context of the overall business and communication plan so that social media isn’t working in a silo but working in parallel with other channels.

 

5) Develop valuable content

Engaging content can help your business in a variety of ways. It can set you apart from your competition and help establish you as an expert. Having generated good content also keeps your business top of mind with consumers, providing the leverage needed to keep your customers returning from time to time. Again, quality over quantity will always prevail.

Creating content for social media can be fast, but creating good content takes time and effort. In addition to written content, such as articles and blog posts, you should also consider creating tutorial videos, infographics, podcasts, and other content media to help build brand awareness.

 

6) Publish and promote your content

Majority of your time is spent on creating good content, but without publishing them, they are useless. When coming up with your social media strategy for 2019, consider what you can do to be more efficient. Having the right publishing schedule can help you save time and push out more content to your audience.

The ability to schedule content effectively also means perfectly timing your posts for maximum likes, comments, and shares. This ability can be easily obtained from the content consumption patterns on various platforms.

As your business embraces social marketing, your social media strategy will likely grow to include social media advertising. Advertising helps to increase outreach to more people outside of your followers based on effective targeting.

 

7) Track and measure the performance

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Track

The purpose behind measuring your effort on social media is to enable you to understand what you are doing that is working and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results. One way or another, tracking can help you formulate a better social media strategy.

Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your audience is interacting with your updates and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived on the platform.

Keeping an eye on your metrics also tell you how your efforts are paying off.

 

In Conclusion

The best part about leveraging social media is being a part of the ever-changing technological advancements that this world has to offer.

With the opportunity to innovate at every turn and constant product development happening around the globe, there is an excellent potential for you to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.

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Creative

How to Rock Wireframing with PowerMockup

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How to Rock Wireframing with PowerMockup

Wireframe exists to allow designers to plan and design a website/application at the structural level. Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been active in it for years, you’ve no doubt heard of this term.

Many designers tend to dive straight into the design, from picking fonts and colors to choosing the imagery. But there are many benefits to kick things off from wireframing – although it is an additional step, it saves time, makes it easier to spot usability issues, and allows creating a solid user experience.

Essentially, a wireframe is a low fidelity layout of the design which has two primary objectives:

1. Presents the outline of structure and layout
2. Plan out the user needs and journeys

Wireframes are used in the early development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content are added. Similar to the blueprint of a building, it illustrates details of the digital product clearly and accurately. It is an essential step in translating an idea for a digital product into a reality.

Other than using wireframes to plan out a project, it can come in handy when explaining to clients on how the proposed website or application works. Merely explaining through words or writing leaves the vast majority of functions to their imagination and also room for error. Wireframes are helpful in squaring this circle, making it easier for communication between project members or clients.

 

PowerMockup: PowerPoint Wireframe and Prototyping Tool

PowerMockup is a wireframing tool that makes building wireframes easy. It provides a massive arsenal of user interface elements and icons made entirely with PowerPoint shapes. You can quickly build wireframes for your digital project from this library of elements right from inside PowerPoint.

 

The One-Click Installation

Installation of PowerMockup is effortless. Simply execute the program, and it will automatically install itself onto PowerPoint.

PowerMockUp - Installation

 

Familiar and Simple User Interface

When someone seeks to create a familiar user interface (UI), the objective should be to construct a simple process between the user and the product, such that it meets their needs, while providing a UI that is very intuitive and reduces the learning curve.

As PowerMockup runs on PowerPoint, the interface is basically Microsoft PowerPoint itself. It is brilliant as PowerPoint is one of the most used softwares for the majority of the professionals. Adding, removing and editing of elements is as easy as editing a PowerPoint slide.

PowerMockup - PowerMockup

PowerMockup - Editing

 

Building a Website Wireframe

Comparing to most wireframing tools in the market, PowerMockup is considered decent with sufficient elements to construct the wireframes you need for your digital projects. Leveraging on a drag-and-drop method, you can easily choose what you need from the library and add them to the project at the desired location. No coding or training needed, you can build interactive wireframes and prototypes visually.

PowerMockup - Guides

PowerMockup - Alignment

There are also guides/gridlines for element alignments and formatting tools on PowerPoint that can help in design consistency for your project.

 

Unlimited Possibilities

If you find that the elements that come with PowerMockup is not enough, you have an option to download more shapes from its database. You can also create your own items to the shape library. Simply select a shape on a PowerPoint slide, click on “Add Shape,” and you’ve added a custom shape into the library for future use.

PowerMockup - Download Shapes

 

Final Verdict

PowerMockup is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you work faster and smarter. It reproduces the experience of wireframe designing on a professional software, but using PowerPoint. Looking at the final product, who would have guessed that it is done using PowerPoint. It doesn’t take six years of study or a thick manual to use PowerMockup effectively. The simple UI and intuitive controls allow you to master the tool in minutes. It only takes me 15-20 minutes to re-create a wireframe for my website.

PowerMockup - 1

PowerMockup - 2

PowerMockup - 3

PowerMockup - Final

 

Pre-requisites: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016 (including Office 365) for Windows

Cost: From $59 .99 to $2,099.50 (Download Free Trial)

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Advertising

How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT

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Interact - Step by Step

The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.

There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.

According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.

In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!

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Do you want to triple sales growth, understand digital marketing components and improve your competitive edge?

This book is your go-to-guide for discerning digital marketing and social media and understanding how to perfect these as an art, rather than functional steps to build your business.

 

By Vincent Wee