media mix

Email Design Trends of 2018

Getting your leads to open your emails can be quite challenging as it is, which means that when they do open your emails, you’ll want to make sure that you make a good impression. This is where the visual design of your email comes in. High-quality email designs will leave a strong first impression, whereas poorly designed emails will reflect badly on your brand. If you can’t put the effort into crafting a nice looking email, your leads may assume that the effort you put into your products or services may be lacking as well.

Keeping that in mind, the following are a number of email design trends that you should consider implementing this year to help you make a better impression on your leads:

Interactive Emails

When it comes to standard email designs, interactivity is generally limited to scrolling up and down. However, more brands are beginning to focus on creating emails that are more interactive. Doing so helps to draw the attention of your readers to different elements of your email.

For example, image carousels or icons allow readers to click on different points or images to bring them to the forefront, which is more engaging than simply scrolling through a list of bullets. Even something as simple as allowing the reader to hover over an image to reveal product details can help increase engagement with your email content.

 

The Use Of Animation

Movement helps prevent email content from becoming too static, which can sometimes be a bit boring. To bring movement to their email content, many brands are using animated GIFs. Just be careful about their size since they can slow down the loading time a bit — especially on mobile devices.

The Use Of Infographics

If you need to convey a lot of information to your readers, then infographics are an excellent way to do so. Infographics are visually effective because they allow you to carefully organize your information in a manner that is easily digestible. Infographics are also much more pleasant to look at visually speaking than having to read through a list or table full of statistics.

An Emphasis On Color Use

Many brands use color in their emails, but don’t give a lot of thought into how they use it. Bold color choices can help you bring attention to different components of your email, whether it’s highlighting a product or emphasizing your call-to-action. The careful selection of color can also help you tie the entire aesthetic of your email together into a more cohesive design.

Click Here for More Email Marketing Tips.

The Use Of Monochrome

Monochrome email designs make use of greyscale in order to create a more sophisticated and elegant look. However, don’t be mistaken into thinking monochrome just means black and white. Black and white email designs look boring, whereas monochrome requires the careful consideration of various shades of gray along with black and white to create high contrast visual elements.

Minimalistic Designs

You don’t want an email design that’s too busy and cluttered or else it will overwhelm the reader. A more minimalistic design will not only make it easy for readers to scan your content, it creates a more elegant appearance when pulled off properly. Minimalistic designs often make strategic use of negative space to bring attention to headlines or images. It also tends to create a more professional impression of a brand.

Keeping up with the latest email design trends is a good way to ensure that your email designs don’t get stale. These are some of the current email design trends that you should consider adopting for your email marketing campaign this year.

email marketing

What Are The Benefits Of Using HubSpot Marketing Automation Tools?

Creating a successful long-term inbound marketing strategy requires that you tackle several different tactics on different fronts, such as optimizing your site for SEO, creating high-quality content for your website, producing email newsletters, and engaging with followers on social media. Because these tactics all require constant attention to be effective, you should strongly consider the use of HubSpot marketing automation tools as a way to simplify your workload. The following are four reasons why you should be using HubSpot marketing automation tools:

1. Collect and Analyze Data to Improve Your Marketing Efforts

HubSpot’s analytics tools can help to collect data across all of your marketing platforms and provide you with metrics that you can use to the benefit of your marketing campaign. For example, you’ll be able to see what blog posts are outperforming other posts based on metrics such as visits, social engagement, click-throughs and captures. You can use this information to determine what kind of content is more effective or what elements of your blog posts need to be changed. For instance, if you have content that is receiving tons of views but no click-throughs, it may be because your calls-to-action are poor.

2. Personalize Communication With Your Customers

Marketing automation allows you to segment your email list, which makes it easier to personalize your emails and send more relevant content to your recipients. This is done by gathering data from your opt-in forms and using that data to segment your email list into different groups. For example, if you run an online clothing store, then segmenting your list into male and female will prevent you from sending content about women’s clothing to your male audience, which would hurt your ability to properly nurture leads through the sales funnel. The use of email segmentation will make your email marketing strategy more efficient and effective.

3. Schedule Out Your Work Ahead of Time

One of the important aspects of a good content marketing strategy is making sure that you continually publish new content on a regular basis. Your readers are going to expect new content at certain times and if you don’t publish it on the same days at the same times, you’ll lose readers. Of course, remembering to manually publish new content, whether it’s a posting an article to your blog or sending out a tweet, is time-consuming. Marketing automation allows you to create your content and posts well ahead of time and set them to be automatically published at specific times on specific dates.

Read our article: Content Marketing Misconceptions

4. Send More Qualified Leads to Your Sales Team

One of the challenges that a lot of businesses face is having their marketing team on the same page as their sales team. Sales personnel often don’t know what state of the buyer’s journey prospects are on, which makes their job more difficult — especially if they are sent leads that aren’t qualified. HubSpot marketing automation tools allow you to collect extremely useful visitor information, including their history of actions on your website, which in turn can allow you to send more highly qualified leads through to your sales team when they are ready.

The use of HubSpot marketing automation tools allows you make more efficient use of your resources and gives you the opportunity to see exactly what is and isn’t working in your marketing strategies. You’ll end up saving a lot of time on smaller, more time-consuming tasks, which you can then dedicate to more important aspects of your marketing campaign, such as engaging with and nurturing your leads.

 

What’s Trending in Marketing for June 2018

Staying up-to-date on marketing trends is a great way to reflect and verify whether your marketing efforts are in tune with what’s going on in today’s marketplace. We’re aware that keeping up with these trends can often be difficult given the abundance of information thrown at us every day.

The following articles come from popular marketing blogs and highlight current marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News and Trends

Instagram’s New Native Payment Feature For Users

According to an article by Josh Constine on TechCrunch, Instagram’s new native payment feature will allow individuals to buy services or book appointments without having to leave the application. Users can now register their credit or debit card as part of their profile and will not be forced to go to a separate website or re-enter their payment information when purchasing a service. For businesses, this exciting feature will lead to higher conversion rates, as people will feel less inclined to quit in the middle of the checkout process and will make Instagram an even more powerful player in commerce. The potential of this feature has also enticed businesses to want to increase spending on advertising their services on Instagram.

Read our article to learn tips on how to use Instagram for your business.

Facebook’s Expansion of Reporting Options For Advertisers

Facebook’s Ads Reporting platform will be updated over June and the new changes will allow advertisers to customize their reports to their liking according to a recent write up on Marketing Land. The platform will also make things a lot easier for advertisers as it will include a side panel so they can edit ads on the same screen as the campaign page without having to switch back and forth between tables. Along with the updated platform, a new “creative reporting” metric will also be introduced and will provide users with useful information on which of the implemented creative ad elements are performing best.

Improving Your Marketing Program

Improve Your Marketing Strategy By Asking These 4 Questions

What separates a successful business from the rest? For Dan Gartlan, it’s the constant improvement and updating of marketing strategy. Updating your business’s strategy will demonstrate to consumers and competitors that you are in tune with the changes in your competitor’s messaging, methods of communication, consumer concerns, and the overall marketplace. In this article, Gartlan challenges you to reevaluate aspects of your business in relation to your marketing strategy by asking four key questions.

6 Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing continues to be a popular form of marketing and given the abundance of emails people receive daily, it’s important to make sure that your email looks good and stands out. Our own Nicole Wagner published a blog posts that offers tips on how to make the best out of your email marketing.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Amazon, Homebuilders Unveil Smart Home ‘Amazon Experience Center’ in California

A new partnership between Amazon and Lennar, one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., plans to shake things up with their efforts to create pre-wired, voice-activated smart homes that will change the future for homebuyers. A recent article on Security Info Watch explores how Lennar plans to integrate Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant program into the design of the future homes they are going to construct. They have already constructed several models of these smart homes across the nation so people can experience what it would be like to live in one. Amazon and Lennar are convinced that this partnership and new creation will allow people to have greater control over their lives and could potentially make doing chores a thing of the past.

Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands in 2018

While you might believe that influencer marketing is solely for B2C brands, Michael Brito asks you to think again. Influencer marketing has proven to be efficient in increasing ROI and reaching audiences. According to Brito, the principles of influencer marketing can be also be applied to B2B markets and the implementation of it for these brands can be explained using the 1:9:90 model of influence, which has been used in the past to find, segment, and activate groups of people. By applying this model and understanding the differences between each group, you can then determine the best way to engage with influencers and encourage them to talk about your company.

marketing trends

email marketing

6 Email Marketing Tips

Millions of people have email accounts. Email marketing is a popular form of marketing still today. When sending emails, it is important to make sure it looks good. It is important because people receive many emails a day. In order to have your email opened and read, it needs to stand out. Here are 6 email marketing tips.

1) Right person, right time

Before sending an email, it is important to determine who the audience is of the email. Segment your contacts by buyer personas. This way you know who each group of your contacts is and what emails they should be receiving. Make sure you are sending out your emails at the right time. It is best to determine what time the people you are reaching are most likely to check their emails.

2) Content

Content is highly important and has so much value. If an email doesn’t have value then it shouldn’t be sent to people. A good way to determine if your email has value is to ask the question, “Would I be excited to read this email?” If the answer is yes, then the email has value.

3) Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects with the goal of earning their business when they are ready. This process involves a series of emails. With lead nurturing, the goal is to turn a lead into a customer. Email marketing is a great way to nurture leads.

The Right Lead Nurturing Strategy Can Help You Stay Top of Mind 

4) Title

The title is what the people are going to read first. Usually, if the title is interesting and eye catching, the email will be opened up. If the title is boring, it will be passed over and not opened. Therefore, the title needs to be attention grabbing and interesting so that the email will be opened.

5) Personalization

Make sure each email you send it personalized. By personalized I mean at the beginning of the body of the paragraph, include “hello” followed by the person’s name who is receiving the email. What this does is that instead of the person being on an email list and just another name getting an email, it is directed specifically to that person and that person will most likely be more pleased with the email they are receiving.

6) CTA

Emails are a great place to include a CTA or call to action. By including a call to action with a link to relevant information regarding the email, you are providing a link back to your company website.

As you can see, these are just a few tips to help emails. These tips can help you execute some great emails to those people you are trying to reach. Something to remember, whenever you receive an email, think, “What is good and bad about this email?” That way you can evaluate emails.

email marketing

marketing automation software

Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation Software: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Email is an essential part of marketing in many companies. One challenge many companies face is choosing which software to use in order to manage their email marketing.

On one hand, an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact can send targeted emails out to select leads. It can also  provide reporting on how your audience opened the email and clicked through. On the other hand, marketing automation software, like Hubspot, offers the same functionality, plus a whole lot more. Marketing automation software has the ability to nurture leads throughout the sales process, as well as the ability to monitor website visitor behavior.

The challenge is determining which solution works best for your business.

Email Service Provider Vs. Marketing Automation

Your company’s marketing needs are going to be different from the business across the street. You will need a unique blend of marketing tactics to connect with your audience and maximize your lead nurturing. Deciding which of these solutions will work better for your business requires knowing the exact needs of your company and industry.

Here are some factors to consider between email service providers and marketing automation software:

You have long sales cycles that require multiple touch points. Marketing automation helps to make some of these touch points happen without human intervention. It is possible to use an email service provider to make some of these touch points. However, the process is manual each time and there is no tracking of how a lead responds.

[Read About the 5 Benefits of Marketing Automation]

You need to sort casual prospects from sales-qualified leads. You don’t want your sales team’s time wasted contacting prospects who are not ready to make a purchase yet. Marketing automation allows you to score and grade leads so that your sales team will know who is close to making a purchase. Email services do not offer this functionality.

You use your lead database to promote events and participation more than for nurturing sales leads. Some businesses do not have a dedicated sales team. They have a short sales cycle and don’t need personal follow-up to get customer purchases. Email service providers are actually a great fit for this type of business. The additional functionality of marketing automation is just not needed in this business model.

You want more insight into how well your marketing activities are working. This is where marketing automation comes out ahead. This software allows you to track just about every aspect of your marketing from email click-throughs to landing page statistic to normalizing your lead data. Email services just don’t have that capability.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Only you, as the owner of your business, can determine which solution would work best in your company. Email service providers work well for building brand recognition, promoting events, and enhancing customer loyalty. However, for those companies that want a more robust solution, marketing automation software is the best solution.

Now, which solution would work best for you?

traffic, leads & revenue

drip email marketing

Drip Email Marketing vs. Lead Nurturing Campaigns; When To Use Each

Many marketing tools seem similar and are often mistaken for one another. Two tactics that are often confused are drip email marketing and lead nurturing campaign. It’s true that there are similarities in the way they work. However, they are two distinct tactics that serve different purposes. You should have both in your marketer’s toolbox to use when appropriate, especially with attraction marketing. Let’s learn a bit about each tactic and when they should be used.

Email Drip Marketing

Emails are a huge part of modern marketing. One email marketing option is email drip marketing. Named after drip coffee makers, this marketing tactic sends out emails at specific timed intervals. Time is the only factor used to indicate when an email is sent. Nothing else.

When should you use email drip marketing?

  • Educating prospects on all the products and services in your company’s portfolio.
  • Keeping your brand in front of your customers while they are contemplating a purchase.
  • Announcing new products or services for your business.
  • Showcasing best sellers in your portfolio.

A well-crafted drip email campaign can educate and inform your audience. However, done too frequently, or used only to pitch products or services, your audience may perceive these emails as spam.

[Read About Interactive Email Marketing Trends Here]

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

A lead nurturing campaign is not based on timed emails. It is based on the lead’s behavior. When a lead performs a specific behavior, it triggers an email with targeted information to be sent to your audience. These emails are designed to guide the lead through the buying process.

This type of campaign depends on gathered information about the lead’s behavior. Specific behaviors that can trigger an email include:

  • Which whitepapers grab the lead’s attention
  • How many times they visit a specific page on your website
  • Which webinar they attend
  • Which of blog post category they spend the most time in

The goal of the emails sent during a lead nurturing campaign is to deliver useful information at critical points in the sales cycle.

A marketing automation system is ideal for lead nurturing. You can build full campaigns within the system that automates almost everything in the process. The power of marketing automation systems is their ability to capture key data. This then triggers the specific emails that nurture leads.

They Complement Each Other Very Well

Drip email campaigns and lead nurturing campaigns, if well designed, will do their jobs well. They both help leads engage with your brand and give leads the information needed to make an informed decision about your products and services.

They are each powerful tools in the marketer’s toolbox on their own, but working together, they are even more powerful. Coordinated campaigns can help close deals faster and keep your brand ahead of the pack.

email marketing program

marketing automation software

Benefits of Marketing Automation vs. Email Marketing

It is a common misconception that marketing automation and email marketing are essentially the same thing. In email marketing, you build an email list and then start sending out emails to market your business. You get statistics back showing how many people opened the email and which ones clicked through to your offer. While the information that email marketing is important, it pales in comparison to the features and benefits of marketing automation.

How Marketing Automation Benefits Your Business

Email marketing systems have a very limited scope when compared to marketing automation systems. The email systems allow you to send mass emails out to your marketing list. Then, you get reports on how well the emails worked. But, that’s really all there is to it.

A marketing automation system gives you those same features and so much more.

With an email marketing system, you have to build your landing pages and web forms in a completely different system. In contrast, you can build both within a marketing automation system. This built-in integration makes building your marketing campaign much simpler. Plus, it gives you automatic reporting that is not available with an email marketing system.

Automatic marketing systems allow you to directly integrate your email marketing with other types of marketing for your business such as direct mail and social media. This streamlines your marketing efforts and allows you to do much more without the need to replicate efforts in multiple systems.

 [Read About the Benefits of Marketing Automation For Senior Living Communities]

A powerful benefit of marketing automation is the power it gives you over your lead information. The software helps you avoid duplication of leads. It also helps normalize the data, making your marketing even easier. The software allows you to score leads based on any number of criteria. You can also recycle and nurture leads throughout the sales process.

The marketing automation software provides reporting on the impact of each marketing effort on your company’s revenue. It allows you to monitor website activity and even tracks IP addresses from anonymous website traffic. It can integrate various data directories to help fill in contact information.

With the data gathered and synthesized in the marketing automation system, you can provide your sales team with qualified leads who are ready to make the purchase decision. This will drastically reduce the amount of time spent talking to leads who are not at that critical point. It will also simultaneously focus your sales team’s efforts and improve your sales numbers.

Using the information provided by the marketing automation system, you can build multi-stage marketing campaigns across any number of channels with ease, . You no longer need multiple tools to get the job done. This means you can get things done faster and make adjustments as needed.

These are not benefits you can get with limited email marketing software.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Marketing Automation

If you are ready to bring your business to the next level of marketing, you need to bring the benefits of marketing automation into your company. Give us a call here at the Stevens-Tate team.

marketing strategy for success

Tips to Consider When Developing Strong Email Subject Lines

Email is one of the most effective marketing platforms in the world today. Marketing is based on judging books by their covers, thus attractive email subject lines are crucial. The choice of words used in the subject line has a huge influence on the readers and determines whether the hard work devoted to writing the email is fruitful.

Investing additional time into writing a good subject line increases your open email rates. This grants you additional exposure increased contact with the target market. Here are some suggestions when it comes to writing strong email subject lines.

Use aspects of personalization

For this, use tags in the subject lines indicating the addressee’s name and locality. For most marketing professionals, this has been observed to increase open rates. Combining this tactic with some targeted automation announcement will improve the effectiveness of the strategy.

Be target specific in creating recipient lists

Though sending blast messages to every contact in your list may seem comprehensive, it may be offputting to some recipients.  Due to receiving irrelevant messages, some of your recipients may feel confused and, at times, frustrated. To solve this problem, segment the list based on past experiences and observations of consumer behavior. Forms are good sources for such information because they are filled with descriptions of personal preferences.

[Are people unsubscribing from your emails? Read here]

Keep it short and sweet

Around 40% of emails sent are opened in a mobile device. Assuming your readers might open emails in their mobile device, your subject line should be under 50 characters so it doesn’t get cut off.  To minimize the character count, only use the most crucial words in your subject line and take away the unnecessary ones.

Avoid overuse of caps and exclamation marks

Excessive use of exclamation marks and caps lock will make your recipient feel like they’re being yelled at. Not only is the tactic disruptive, but 70% of recipients are likely to mark such emails as spam. Avoid this mistake and use action-based language to catch your readers’ attention instead.

Do not divulge the contents

A strong subject line hides the contents of the email from the reader and instead makes them curious. Additionally, you should avoid making the subject line overpromising, which means whatever is indicated in the subject line should be consistent with the contents of the email.

Ask reflective questions

Ask relevant questions in the subject line to attract the reader’s attention. Formulate a question that appeals directly to the recipient, and then provide internal links that provide an answer to the question. This is an efficient strategy that will translate to more email reads.

A/B testing

Though subject lines can be formed based on many ideas, the focus should be the target market. A/B testing involves carefully researching your target audience and experimenting with different subject lines. A successful campaign tests different subject lines on customers and adopts the ones with more reads.  It is necessary to research continuously so as to remain relevant and effective.

inbound marketing guide

50 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.

  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!

tips to drive target traffic

effective marketing strategies

Creative Marketing Solutions

There are many creative marketing strategies that you can implement in order to increase outreach to customers and improve your bottom line. While many businesses are going above and beyond in their search for creative marketing solutions, you can simply seek to be creative within the 4 basic components of an online marketing approach (i.e. brand development, inbound marketing, content marketing and email marketing).

By seeking creative solutions within these 4 tactics, you can develop a successful creative marketing strategy. Here’s how:

Creativity in Brand Development

A creative way of increasing the relevance of your brand is by making your brand tell a story. Story-banding is an effective way to connect emotionally to your customers so they can see your products as having a greater purpose. You can achieve story-branding for your company by highlighting the inspiration behind your products and services.

Emphasize what motivates your company to achieve its goals (for example creativity, self-fulfillment, better health etc.), and incorporate your operations as a means towards achieving this goal. That way you can make your brand the hero of its own story, one which customers will relate to.

Read more on Defining Your True Brand Story and Bringing it to Life Online.

Creativity in Inbound marketing

A creative way to generate leads to your website is by having unique, yet appropriate content across all your channels. One approach you can use is to dedicate a portion of your site for product education.

If you are selling a well-known product, you could come up with creative ways on how the product can be used, how to make it last longer, behind the scenes details on how it works, etc.

One company that uses product education as a tool for its inbound marketing strategy is Gonesh Incense. The company produces incense products and has a DIY blog that contains videos on how their products can be used in many different ways; from re-using flowers after Valentine’s Day to making bath salts using their fragrance oils.

Such content is not only useful and appropriate to potential leads, but it also helps their brand establish trust and stronger relationships with customers.

Read more on The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing.

Creativity in Email Marketing

When you send out emails, incorporate interactive elements such as GIFS, rotating banners and menus. You could display an enticing sales discount or a new product launch by using a GIF. You could also categorize information about your product under different headings within a menu in the email.

This gives your customers the independence to browse product information and select whichever section they would like to read more about, right within the email.

Read more on Interactive Email Trends.

Creativity in Social Media Marketing

One way that you can utilize social media creatively is by developing targeted messages that appeal to common groups of people online, who you can bring together in relevant social media groups.

For example, a company specializing in manufacturing bicycles can create a fan page for cyclists and bring them together through targeted messages that contain useful information that applies to cycling. The more cyclists the company is able to attract to join the group, the more they can incorporate their branding into the fan page and begin to nurture their leads.

Read more on 8 Tips on Social Media Best Practices For Your Business.

Creative marketing solutions are the future of online marketing. By simply rethinking and refocusing the conventional ways through which you carry out your online marketing, you can be able to achieve creative marketing solutions and grow your bottom line.