email marketing metrics

Interactive Email Marketing Trends

With increasing competition in the online marketing world, it is becoming essential for businesses to innovate creative ways to appeal to customers via email. Learn some of the newest interactive email marketing trends to take advantage of.

As opposed to traditional emails that would only contain plain text and occasional attachments, interactive emails are packed with exciting add-ons to appeal to their customers. Below are characteristics as well as advantages of using interactive emails for your business.

Increased Compatibility with Google

Google announced compatibility with the media query for their email clients across all devices. This compatibility now allows email developers to include complex email designs without having to sacrifice certain components in order to ensure compatibility.

With the all-new support for media query, developers are now unlimited in their ability to incorporate complex media into emails. Google has also optimized email layouts for viewing between mobile devices and desktop computers.

Animated GIFs

An animated GIF is a combination of static images, containing multiple frames in succession, to create an animated image. It achieves video effect while occupying only slightly more space than a regular image.

These interesting animations can be designed to convey information such as sales discounts, the launch of a new product, important information about your business, among others.

animated gif.gif

Providing a framework for menu options within emails can allow your customers to quickly navigate through various products or service categories right within the email. This allows you to present your customers with several options to choose from before they can begin to load new web pages to get to your site.

If you are providing news, customers can quickly scroll through various news categories and see what interests them before they can read further. Travel companies can also offer various packages right within the email for their customers to sieve through.

Princess Cruises Slider-1.png

Integrated Forms

Integrated forms are perfect for companies that seek to collect information from their customers (in the form of surveys, questionnaires, etc). Rather than having the reader link to a new page, the form can simply be embedded within the email.

Customers can, therefore, answer questions or make their selections right within the body of the email. There are templates that integrate check-boxes, text boxes for open-ended questions and radio buttons for closed-ended questions.

Learn more about Why People Unsubscribe From Your Emails, And What To Do About It.

Rotational Banners

Emails that contain a lot of information can present it in a clean and catchy manner by using rotational banners. These interactive elements allow consumers to flip through multiple images, each with a separate message embedded within.

Rotating banners are perfect for tour and travel companies that are showcasing various packages. Financial institutions like banks that are advertising credit card options or different types of bank accounts can also use this feature. News snippets of various trending stories can also be laid out in rotating banners by news and media outlets.

rotational banner toyota.png

 

Sliders

Sliders can be used to display multiple products within the email at the same time. This allows for customers to make comparisons and to access information on multiple products without having to click on their inbox.

Sliders are perfect for companies that launch different variations of the same product and would like information on the various versions to be readily available to the customer. They are also helpful for those sellers who would wish to include a combination of pictures, product specifications and product reviews right within the email.

There are also brand new interactive email designs that are slowly growing in popularity but still pretty new to most email users. These include key frame animation (smoother animations and frame changes than GIFS, with effects such as linear and parallel movement, and hover effects), cinemagraph (using GIFS to create cinematic video-like effects), and compatibility with 2k and 4k resolutions (which includes lack of width limitation and a resolution of higher than 600 pixels).

In conclusion, interactive emails are the future of email marketing, and it is important for businesses to stay up to speed with new email marketing trends that they can incorporate into their future marketing strategies. The numerous advantages of interactive emails, as discussed here, continue to make them an online marketing necessity.

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visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Trends That Will Shape The Future For Marketers

Storytelling has existed for centuries and is a great way to not only market your brand, but also connect with your audience on a deeper level. Storytelling can be done in a variety of ways, and today, visual storytelling is one of the most impactful forms of persuading and communicating your message with audiences. Thanks to technological advances, we now have the power to captivate people by immersing them in stories, while blending fiction and reality. Here are some visual storytelling trends that will shape the future for marketers and everyone alike:

Never-Ending Stories

Have you ever had an experience that you didn’t want to end? Ever wonder why movie studios continue to reboot classic TV shows and movies? Well, never-ending stories are becoming increasingly in demand as people expect content, specifically stories in real-time 24 hours a day, 7 times a week. This trend has slowly taken shape on social media platforms where characters like Homer Simpson are tweeting to their millions of followers. This also explains why live-streaming apps that allow users to interact with personalities in real time like Meerkat and Periscope, are becoming more popular.

Mini-Ads

Let’s face it—given the current digital landscape, traditional advertising does not hold the same appeal it did a decade ago. Because of this, it’s no surprise that companies have considered new, innovative ways like mini-ads to connect with customers. Facebook plans to launch six-second ads that will give businesses and brands the opportunity to show a condensed version of their story to their target audience. This interesting format is a smart way to capture the audience’s attention given our short attention spans, which will drive a higher level of engagement.

Connective Storytelling/ Immersive Experience

Even though it seems like most people would prefer technology to human interaction given the amount of time we spend on our devices, they also want to connect and interact with others online, fictitious or real. The future of storytelling will go beyond solely connecting emotionally with characters—we now can put ourselves in their shoes. Different virtual reality experiences, like “Nerve” now allow people to experience what the movie character does in a movie like climb a high-rise or ride a skateboard.

Augmented Reality

AR is present everywhere whether its Facebook or Instagram and is fairly easy to program thanks to software like AR Kit for iOS 11. Given Pokémon Go’s success, this is no longer a trend we can put aside. Since people are constantly on their phones and are interested in experiences that go beyond 2D, the implementation of AR visual storytelling will increase and go beyond gaming, entering the magazine and news space.

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50 Most Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases

Are you looking to increase your conversion rate? Call-to-Actions are an essential part of the conversion process, but what kinds of Call-to-Actions should you put on your website? CTAs should be simple yet effective, and should catch the attention of your visitors. The formula for a successful CTA page title consists of combining such sales buzzwords as “free,” “discount,” “offer,” “gift,” “guarantee,” with action-oriented words like “click,” “download,” “request,” and “send.” Listed below are 50 powerful Call-to-Action phrases that visitors can’t resist clicking on.

50 Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases

  1. Download now
  2. Click here
  3. Join now
  4. Download here
  5. Start now
  6. Click here for details
  7. I urge you to…
  8. Get a free…
  9. Talk to an expert
  10. Immediate download
  11. While supplies last
  12. Money back guarantee
  13. Money back guarantee, no questions asked
  14. Get it now!
  15. Act quickly
  16. Free shipping
  17. Shipping discount
  18. Come in for a free consultation
  19. Come see us today
  20. Reserve your spot now
  21. Come in today
  22. Start your trial
  23. Start your free trial
  24. Offer expires…
  25. Satisfaction guaranteed
  26. We’d like to hear from you
  27. I can’t wait to hear from you
  28. Limited availability
  29. Limited time offer
  30. Best value
  31. For more details call…
  32. Please don’t hesitate to call
  33. We’re waiting for your call!
  34. Send for our free brochure
  35. Send for our free catalog
  36. Subscribe to our email list
  37. Subscribe to our newsletter
  38. Send in your application today!
  39. Apply here
  40. Order now and receive a free gift
  41. Tell us what you think
  42. Take our quiz!
  43. Sign up online at…
  44. Get started today
  45. Request your FREE quote today
  46. Just reach for your phone
  47. Members only/Subscribers only
  48. Contact us
  49. It’s important that you respond promptly
  50. Download our eBook for more information

Click here to learn more about powerful CTA phrases that increase clicks!

Now that you know what attention-grabbing Call-to-Actions look like, you can implement your own. Don’t just copy and paste the CTA phrases from the list above. Tweak the CTA phrases so that they apply specifically to your company and your products and/or services. For example, instead of just saying, “Start your free trial,” you can say “Start your free trial with (insert company name here) so your CTA is more personalized. Use these phrases as a template for your website’s CTAs, sit back, and watch the clicks roll in!

25 Website Must Haves
smart goal examples

5 SMART Goal Example For Business Development

A smart goal is basically what the acronyms from the name suggest. It is specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant and time bound. The Smart Goal process provides a frame where you can create a long term goal. It also provides a time limit for you to work on the same goal. By doing this business’ are 70% more successful in achieving their goals thanks to regular check-ins, updates and group accountability. Below are a few smart goal examples for business development that will help you understand the system better and enhance your business.

Smart Goal Examples for Business

“I Want To Increase My Profits”smart goal examples

Specific: I will increase revenue while cutting down on expenditure. Moving to a more affordable premise that will cut my rent by 7% will reduce the operational costs.

Measurable: I will increase sales over the next 3 months by signing in 5 more potential clients.

Attainable: I will improve my current customer relationships and promote the business through referrals, networking and through social networks. This will help me find more leads and therefore see to an increase in revenue for the business.

Relevant: moving to a cheaper establishment will reduce the operational cost of my business and therefore give room to the growth of profits.

Time-bound: I will have increased my profit by the end of the coming three months.

 

 

smart goal examples“I Want To Improve My Response Time to Customer Complaints”

Specific: I will improve the response time to customer complaints by increasing my customer service staff from 3 to 8 in the next one year.

Measurable: the increase in customer service staff is scheduled to take place within one year. It should bring the number to a total of 8.

Attainable: as I plan on moving to a new establishment I will ensure the place has enough room to accommodate the additional staff members I intend to have in the next one year.

Relevant: I will find ways to manage the complaints meanwhile in order to maintain the customer base I have and strive to grow the client base even further to match the additional customer service staff.

Time-bound: I will have hired the customer service staff by the end of one year

 

Related article: Strengthen Your Brand – Learn From These Competitive Advantage Examples

“I Want To Improve My Employee Retention”smart goal examples

Specific: I will improve the employee turnover by 15% in 90 days by putting up training for the new employees to let them know what is expected of them and have a program for them to get used to the operation systems. I will also have one-on-one meetings with employees so that I get to know what challenges they could be facing.

Measurable: the improvement in employee turnover is scheduled to be by about 15% and should take place within 90 days.

Attainable: trainings and one-on-one meetings will ensure the employees are prepared for what is expected of them when they get into production. It also give me a hint of what’s on their mind concerning general operations of the business.

Relevant: outstanding employees will be put up for a reward system. For the ones that might be having a difficult time, there will be motivation trainings for encouragement.

Time-bound: employee turnover will have improved within 90 days

 

smart goal examples“I Want To Be More Efficient In My Business Operations”

Specific: I will improve my efficiency in business operations by challenging my sales department to increase their closing ratio from its current 45% to at least 60%. They could also work on improving the delivery time from 72hours to at least 12hours maximum.

Measurable: the sales people are supposed to increase their closing ratio from 45% to 60% and the delivery time improved to 12 hours from the initial 72hours

Attainable: I will conduct a survey to find out what both the clients and the sales team think about the idea. I will implement it as soon as the idea passes as valid.

Relevant: increasing the number of motorbikes and pickups that will do courier services for us will help make the plan a success

Time-bound: this should happen in one year.

 

“I Want To Grow My Business Operation”

Specific: open three more branches countrywide within five years

Measurable: the objective is to increase operations and revenue for the business. This will, in turn, facilitate the growth to three more branches.

Attainable: increasing my current selling space by 25% will mean more production. This can help me save for the planned growth to 4 branches countrywide.

Relevant: increasing production, operations and revenue will mean a larger client base thus the need for more branches will not be a wasteful idea after all.

Time-bound: establishing the branches should be within the next five years.

 

As much as an organization will work on ensuring their goals are smart. They will never be perfect. It is, however, important to ensure they are giving their teams tasks that are within their capability and make decisions using accurate data from their past operations while setting the new goals. The rest will work out just fine.

buyer persona guide for business
Customer Journey vs Buyer Journey

Core Difference Between Buyer Journey vs. Customer Journey

You’ve probably heard a lot about consumer lifecycles and the different terms used to describe said lifecycles, such as buyer journey and sales funnel. They can be a little overwhelming and a little confusing. You might even wonder why some terms seem to describe the same thing, such as buyer journey and customer journey. Don’t be fooled–the buyer journey is very different from the customer journey and it’s important that you know what the difference is. The following is a breakdown of the buyer journey vs. the customer journey.

The Buyer Journey

As we’ve previously discussed, the buyer journey makes up the stages that a consumer goes through up to their decision to purchase a specific product or service from a specific company. This includes the awareness stage, during which they realize that they have a problem; the consideration stage, during which they identify the solution to their problem; and the decision stage, during which they decide what product or service is the best solution to their problem.

The Customer Journey

During the buyer journey, the consumer doesn’t become a customer until the end of the very last stage (the decision stage). However, your relationship with your customers doesn’t end the moment they’ve made a purchase. The real success of a business depends on return customers, after all. This is where the customer journey comes into play.

During the customer journey, you should focus on further developing relationships with your customers through regular engagement. Building relationships will help to increase trust in your brand, which, in turn, will improve customer retention.customer journey

[Read about how to use the buyer’s journey to create great content]

But getting customers to purchase your products and services again isn’t the only goal. You’ll want to establish customer loyalty, which means that they will only buy those products and services from you–and, eventually, will turn to your company for whatever needs you can offer solutions to.

Nurturing Customers into Brand Ambassadors

Once you’ve managed to build that loyalty, you’ll be able to nurture that customer into a brand ambassador. Consumers tend to trust other consumers much more easily than they trust companies, which is why brand ambassadors offer so much value. Keeping all of this in mind, the following are a few tips to help you nurture your customers through their customer journeys:

  • Initiate engagement following purchases – It’s important that you initiate contact with customers as soon as possible following a purchase. Many businesses use automation to send emails thanking customers for their purchase and even recommending similar products (in an attempt to cross-sell or upsell).
  • Send them relevant content – Continue nurturing your customers by sending them emails with content that is relevant to their engagement history (including their purchases and website behavior). The content you send should be informative and should help improve their brand experience. For example, tips on how to use the product that they purchased or general content relevant to their purchase.
  • Request and listen to feedback – Send your customers surveys or request that they leave reviews. Listen to what they have to say. Customer feedback is valuable to improving your business and can help you improve your relationship with your customers as well.
  • Reward referrals – You can encourage your customers to become brand ambassadors by implementing a referral program. For example, you can offer a discount for every customer that they refer to you.

The difference between the buyer journey and the customer journey is that the buyer journey leads up to the purchase whereas the customer journey continues following the purchase. It’s important that you have strategies in place to accommodate consumers during both journeys to help ensure the success of your business.

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What is CPM Advertising and Should You Use It?

There are many KPIs that you can track in order to judge the performance of your ads. One of these metrics is CPM, or cost per mille, which translates into cost per thousand impressions. CPM indicates how much you’re paying for every thousand impressions the ad is earning. However, there are other KPIs that you can use as well, such as CPC and CPA. These KPIs indicate how much you’re paying for your ads. When implementing a new ad campaign, you’ll have to choose which KPI to use, meaning you’ll have to bid in either CPM or CPC. The question is, when should you be using CPM advertising? CPM Advertising

CPM Advertising vs CPC Advertising

If you’re running an ad campaign with the intention of driving brand awareness and brand engagement, then CPM is a good option to go with when bidding on ad space. This means that you will set a specific amount that you’ll pay for every thousand impressions that your ad receives. If you’re running your ad on Facebook, then using CPM makes more sense because your goal is to get your ad shown to as many people as possible. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you target a specific audience when you do this. You don’t want to pay to have your ad shown to people who are not a part of your target audience as this will result in a waste of money. It’s also worth noting that CPM provides value in that consumers may be shown your ad more than once. Multiple impressions can help keep your brand at the top of a consumer’s mind.

Similar Article: Inside Adwords: Exploring The Differences Between Smart Display Campaigns & Custom Intent Campaigns

If you’re running search ads with the intention of driving conversions, then CPC is the way to go. This is because a search ad, such as a Google AdWords ad, is going to be shown to potentially millions of people. Using CPM, this could end up costing you a significant amount. If you’re trying to drive conversions, impressions won’t matter nearly as much as clicks. You want people who see the ad to click it — only then do you get value out of your ad. It’s why you should use CPC for search ads instead of CPM.

Using CPM Advertising

When it comes down to it, CPC or even CPA is the better option if the goal of your ad campaign is to increase conversions or acquisitions. However, that doesn’t mean CPM doesn’t have its place. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, then clicks don’t necessarily matter as much as impressions. If this is the case, then you’ll want to consider using CPM advertising.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

 

targeted advertising

How Does Targeted Advertising Work?

Back before the Internet, it was difficult to escape ads. If you were watching TV, then you had no choice but to watch the commercials. However, because users have more control over what they view online, advertisements are easy to ignore. As a result, marketers are using targeted advertising to expose their ads to users who are more likely to show interest in their products or services. This reduces the chances that someone will ignore the ads. Let’s know more how this targeted advertising actually works.

How Does Targeted Advertising Work?

In order to target an audience that might be interested in a product or service being advertised, advertisers will use data collected on the user. This data can include demographic information as well as behavioral data. For example, if a person views a certain product on a website, their browser will submit this piece of data to third-party advertising networks. That information will be stored in a browser cookie, which is a snippet of code that shows sites that the person has viewed. When the person visits a different website that has the same advertising network, ads for the product the person viewed on the first site may show up. For example, if a person was checking out a new sofa on a furniture website and then visits a social media platform, like Facebook, they might find an ad for the sofa they were just looking at show up on their feed. This is a result of targeted advertising.

Like this article? Here’s another: 5 Tips To Improve Your Advertising Approach

Types of Targeted Advertising

There are several types of targeted advertising. The following are a few common examples:

  • Social media advertising – Many social media platforms will place advertisements in your feed or on the side of your pages. They have access to a lot of demographic information about its users that can help target different people.
  • Behavioral advertising – Many sites will use past purchasing decisions to advertise to their visitors. For example, Amazon often recommends different products based on the purchasing behaviors of its customers.
  • Search engine advertising – Search engine ads, such as Google AdWords, target users based on their search engine queries to match the keywords they use with those used by their ads.

How To Use Targeted Advertising Effectively

While targeted advertising can be incredibly effective in helping you find an audience that has a need for the products or services you’re advertising, it does have one drawback: some people may be put off by the ad if it looks like you’re using personal information about them in order to target your ad. This can come off as an invasion of privacy, after all. Keeping that in mind, the following are a few tips on how to use targeted advertising:

  • Be transparent – Make sure that you let visitors know that you’re collecting data and how you are using that data. The more transparent you are, the less your audience will feel like you’re spying on them.
  • Create control – Although you’ll want to use the visitor data on your site to target your ads, you should provide users with a sense of control by implementing security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, DoS, and more. This lowers the chances of someone stealing user information and it helps protect visitors.
  • Don’t use sensitive information – You don’t need to use every bit of information you collect to target your ads. For example, you should avoid using information such as health conditions, race, relationship statuses, and sexual orientation to target ads.
  • Targeted advertising can be an incredibly effective way to market your products and services. This is because it helps you identify audiences that will find your ads relevant. This makes your marketing campaign much more cost-effective as a result.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

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How to Use Personal Selling During the Decision Making Stage

The final article in this series, focuses on the final stage of the buyer’s journey: the decision making stage. Previously our view of inbound marketing was from a marketing heavy stance. Here, we’ll shift to sales and how to use personal selling during the decision making stage. Your prospective buyers have finally made it to the bottom of the funnel. All of your hard work with content, landing pages, social media and marketing has paid off.  Your leads are now ready for sales.

At the decision making stage, your buyer is already 60% of the way towards their decision and you can attribute that virtually all to marketing. You’ve heard the adage, “You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink,” and this couldn’t be any more true in inbound marketing. And in all likelihood, despite some cleverly crafted and personalized lead nurturing campaigns, the personal aspect of your buyer’s journey with your company’s sales team is just beginning.

Deliverable Content

A more traditional approach to getting buyers to make a decision was to draft bottom of the funnel content. This used a “Speak to Sales” or “Request a Consultation” button to get sales involved in the buying process. Many buyers roll their eyes at the prospect of speaking to a sales person, so the new approach deals more with deliverable, downloadable content.

While marketing does close to 60% of the work in getting your leads sales ready, content’s job isn’t quite done. Your buyers are looking for the final piece of your content puzzle to help them know that going with your brand is the best thing for them. Offering deliverable content with personal selling is an excellent way to optimize your brand’s efforts during the decision making stage.

Content at this stage of the buyer’s journey is generally geared towards giving the buyer added value. Offers can include case studies, free assessments, service comparison, or product literature. Of course, the content you tailor to your buyer all goes back to your buyer personas.

Personal Selling in the Decision Making Stage 

Once marketing has done their job, qualified their leads for sales, and your leads have shown the behaviors associated with sales readiness it’s time to bring in the sales team.

For your sales team, personal selling will deal  with getting inside your buyer’s head and asking questions they’re asking themselves. Some of the fundamental questions a buyer will likely be asking as they vet potential sellers are:

  1. What specifics of your product or service do the buyers typically evaluate?
  2. How do buyers evaluate those products or services?
  3. What sets your brand apart for buyers?
  4. Who is involved in the decision and how to their perspectives differ when making the decision?

By answering those basic questions for your buyer before a sales call is even made will make a huge difference for how well prepared your sales team is. Also, it’s critical for marketing to communicate with sales and pinpoint exactly what your buyer’s journey look like. This way, sales and marketing are on the same page and your buyer isn’t left with redundancy during their personal interactions.

How do you  drive website conversions throughout the buyer’s journey? Find out by clicking here. 

Tailoring Sales to the Buyer

Finally, let’s focus on tailoring a sales presentation to your buyer. Inbound salespeople are tasked with advising a prospective buyer on how your brand’s unique position fits the context of the buyer’s need, but that is the bottom of the four step inbound sales process. The four step inbound sales process includes identifying the buyers problem, connecting with prospective buyers, and exploring solutions. Smarketing helps align those stages of the buyer’s journey to the inbound sales processes.

The presentation your sales team give to a sales-ready lead should be 100% tailored to your buyer. Hopefully, you’re already leveraging every possible avenue to identify your buyer on a personal level and create a sales presentation that hits home. Those types of presentations may include consultations, demos, or guided case studies where sales takes a buyer through the information.

Just the Beginning of Smarketing

The decision making stage is only the beginning of your sales and marketing efforts for your brand and personal selling is the cornerstone to your sales-marketing marriage. Hopefully through this series of articles, you’ve been able to see with your own eyes the value of smarketing. Inbound is only the beginning of how your sales and marketing come together. The fruits sales and marketing produce will be immeasurable over time.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business