soft sell

Soft Sell Advertising: What it is, Why it works, and How to Execute

When it comes to advertising, businesses as a whole tend to be aggressive. They let you know exactly who they are, what they do, and why you should buy from them. Even in inbound marketing, companies will try to tie the topic of conversation in with their products or services in some way. However, this isn’t the only course of action. You can also reach your target audience and successfully engage them by advertising in a more subtle manner. Such a strategy is known as soft-sell advertising.

What Is Soft-Sell Advertising?

Soft-sell advertising is a more subtle form of advertising. The goal behind soft-sell advertising is to evoke a positive emotional response. The idea is that the customer will then subconsciously connect the response they had to the brand that invoked it. Businesses that implement soft-selling marketing will often create ads that are warm or humorous, as these tend to be the ads that invoke the most positive feelings.

The History of Soft-Selling

The idea of soft-selling first emerged in 1914, when Theodore MacManus published an ad that would become the model for the soft-sell. The ad was essentially an essay on the burden of being the best in one’s field. The ad was for Cadillac, yet Cadillac wasn’t mentioned a single time. Nor was there an illustration that ran with the ad. Yet the ad was incredibly successful.

The Benefits Of Soft-Sell Advertising

The following are some of the reasons why you should incorporate soft-selling advertising into your marketing strategy:

  • Less pressure on customers – Because soft-sell ads don’t push products or services, customers will feel less pressure to buy. The pressure is apparent in hard-sell ads, and it’s often off-putting. Using soft-selling ads, you give your audience the ability to discover your brand and make a purchasing decision on their own time.
  • Increase brand awareness – Even though you’re not pushing your brand into their faces, audiences will be more likely to share your content. The reason? People don’t share ads, they share content. When you create a soft-sell ad, you have to focus on the quality of the content and not on the sale. If you are able to create high-quality content that invokes a positive emotion, your audience will share that content. People will share content that elicits a positive reaction to their friends, thereby increasing your brand awareness.
  • Build more trust – Another result of having to focus on content quality is that you’ll build more trust. You’re basically offering your audience something of quality without asking for something in return. This shows them that you care about more than just sales. As a result, they’ll be more likely to explore your brand further. Not to mention that building trust is essential to building long-lasting relationships.

Examples Successful Soft Sell Advertising

Soft sell advertising has grown in popularity, both in regards to inbound marketing and outbound marketing. The following are a few examples of effective soft-selling ads:

  • Yeti – Yeti is a company that sells coolers and outdoor accessories. They filmed an entire series of videos called Hungry Life showing a well-known chef spending time in nature, where he picks plants, goes fishing, and prepares his meals outdoors. Although Yeti’s coolers do make an appearance, they are never showcased or talked about. Yeti is obviously targeting a specific audience by showcasing a specific lifestyle. That audience will then make an emotional connection between that lifestyle and the Yeti brand.
  • Burt’s Bees – Burt’s Bees uses their founder as the spokesperson. This is perfect because he essentially represents their main buyer persona. The Nature of Burt video introduces Burt, who explains who he is. He’s likable and funny, and their target audience can relate to him. What makes the video so effective is that it builds an emotional connection between the viewer and Burt, all without ever promoting the brand or its products.

Implement a Soft-Sell Advertising Strategy Today

Because many companies focus many of their marketing efforts on generating brand awareness, they tend to be overly aggressive. However, soft-sell marketing can be incredibly effective in terms of engaging your audience and building trust. As such, you should be sure to include soft-sell marketing tactics in your inbound marketing strategy.

30 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement & Following

Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever.

Why Instagram?

According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.

Here is a compilation of our 30 best marketing tips for businesses to grow Instagram engagement and following in 2020:

Instagram Profile and Posting Habits

  1. Get to know the Instagram app and master how to use its basic features such as uploading posts and stories.
  2. Write a compelling Instagram bio and integrate it into your brand personality.
  3. Keep posts visually consistent to meet your brand’s style guide and tone.
  4. Incorporate categorized pinned stories on your Instagram page so it is easily navigable and can be used as a resource for sharing your brand identity to consumers.
  5. Optimize captions using brand hashtags and relevant hashtags with high popularity. (Determine if a hashtag is trending by typing the hashtag in the instagram search bar to see how many posts come up with the hashtag.)
  6. Use tools such as Hashtagsforlikes to optimize hashtags to use for your business sector.
  7. Create and promote a specific branded hashtag for a campaign. Encourage others to share the hashtag with it theming around a relevant, trending topic that consumers are passionate about.
  8. Use local hashtags and geotags on posts in order to attract local users on Instagram in a similar way SEO works for the web.
  9. Post consistently with both posts and stories, including videos, polls, and other interactive elements to keep followers engaged and entertained with your content. 
  10. Start conversations using Instagram stories stickers and polls.
  11. Schedule Instagram stories to generate more views.
  12. Keep in mind that 40% of Instagram videos do not have sound on, so ensure you caption relevant verbal content.
  13. Convert instagram followers into email subscribers by making your Instagram a business account and promoting your email subscriptions in your Instagram posts and stories.
  14. Monitor your tagged photos to ensure a good reputation, and un-tag your account on posts that are irrelevant or spam, so they do not appear on your profile.
  15. Add a link to instagram stories in order to generate website traffic.
  16. Use humor through gif’s and memes to execute your brand message through a creative angle.

Increasing your Instagram following

  1. Optimize SEO on instagram by paying vital attention to your Instagram handle and name. It is very important that your handle (@…) reflects your business industry. Try to make it short, sweet, and with relevant words. The account name should reflect the account handle and industry because it is what Instagram checks its searches against when users type a word or emoji in the search bar.
  2. Partner with micro influencers.
  3. Run a contest, giveaway, or raffle entry through your account page.
  4. Invest in Instagram ads, which targets customers with personalization and buyer persona techniques.
  5. Create “savable” content, or posts that are aesthetically pleasing, informationally useful or relevant. This will entice followers to save the content to their library and increases the chances of further brand awareness. Simultaneously, creating desirable content provides people a reason to continue following your page and share your content.
  6. Participate in popular conversations on accounts with high following and public relevance in order to get your instagram handle out there and quickly generate new followers.
  7. Encourage followers to re-share your Instagram stories through incentives of discount promotion codes and/or contests.
  8. Open up about your business with a weekly featured vlog of the day in the life of an employee, an interesting biographical picture and captioned story of the founders, or inspirational quote from the CEO.
  9. Follow relevant accounts and users following competition in your industry to gain followers back.
  10. Promote your Instagram on other social media accounts. Feature your Instagram account in your Twitter and Facebook bios, and make a post promoting your Instagram page with a link.
  11. If your Facebook has many likes or followers already, consider linking your Facebook and Instagram together to boost your Instagram following.

6 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2020

Keeping Track of your Instagram Performance

  1. Ensure your account is in business mode to automatically receive valuable insights and analytics on how your posts are doing.
  2. Regularly test and analyze new content to post to your Instagram.
  3. Use a free follower tracking app to regularly unfollow accounts that do not follow yours back in order to maintain a good follower/following ratio while continuously following new accounts.

We hope these 30 tips with various resources serve you well on your journey to becoming an Instagram lead-generation powerhouse. Happy “gram-ing”!

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buyer persona

Lessons Learned: Buyer Persona Gone Wrong

Before a company can establish a solid marketing plan, it must be aware of the specific target markets or customer profiles it has the best chance to attract to its product or service. Creating a buyer persona is essential to effective attraction marketing.

Market Segmentation

In order to perfect your approach in buyer persona launch, these are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Don’t Forget to Focus on the Buyer Decision

The most common mistake marketers make is solely defining a buyer persona by the buyer profile, rather than putting detailed consideration in what is most useful: the buyer decision.

How to fix this:

Aside from using previous data, we recommend using the research questions provided by 5 Rings of Buying Insight™, which incorporates every aspect you need to know about your buyer persona’s decision making process:

  1. Priority initiatives – What causes certain buyers to invest in solutions like yours? What is different about buyers who are satisfied with the status quo?
  2. Success factors – What operational or personal results do your buyers expect to achieve by purchasing this solution?
  3. Perceived barriers – What concerns cause your buyers to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?
  4. Buyer’s journey – Who and what impacts your buyers as they evaluate their options and make a selection?
  5. Decision criteria – Which aspects of competing products, services, solutions, or companies do your buyers perceive as most critical? What do your buyers expect for each?

Ultimate Guide to the Buyer’s Journey- Find out What Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Entails

  1. Keep Your Research Questions Simple and Sweet

Marketers often stray from insightful target market findings if they use too much detail in their research questions. When conducting research about your buyer persona through surveys or focus groups, avoid questions that are overly personal or technical. This may deviate your campaign away from any productive findings that would help you truly get to know your ideal customer niche.

How to fix this:

When developing questions, it is best to start by establishing what the key problems or questions are that you ultimately want answers for.  You may start with a larger, broader list of questions… however, do not make the mistake of forgetting to shave it down. In the end, all questions should lead to answers that are simple, sweet, and directly related to the problem trying to be solved at hand.

 

  1. Assuming About the Buyer Persona Leads Campaigns Astray

It is important to remember that the most helpful information comes directly from the customers. When researching a potential buyer persona, it is crucial to avoid filling in the blanks, skipping the interview, or assuming anything about the client. A campaign could go in the complete wrong direction if this occurs.

How to fix this:

Rather than making an incorrect assumption based on survey results, in-depth conversations with people can provide the answers you need to bring your brand to the next level. Additionally, a small sample size may lead to incorrect assumptions. Since quality > quantity, and many agencies fixate too much into demographic or other obvious information rather than actually helpful insights, in-depth interviews are again a solution to avoiding this mistake. In order to avoid an over-reliance on anecdotes, always ensure they are backed up by data. You know what they say about assuming… it definitely does not make an accurate buyer persona!

 

  1. Less is More: Master One Buyer Persona First!

It is important to focus on mastering one target market rather than taking on too many to handle. Trying to tackle too many buyer personas at once can overwhelm. This results in a lower quality of target profile insights and vague understanding of individual buyer personas.  Before deciding to take on another buyer persona, it is important to know that this new initiative will bring about sufficient revenue and that your company has the resources necessary to execute.

How to fix this:  

Instead of pondering how many buyer personas to generate, it is important to first focus on establishing how many ways your company needs to market its product or service as the solution for a given buyer persona. Once these are established, it is much easier to gauge if another buyer persona should emerge.

 

  1. One Stock Photo Cannot Fit All

Though stock photos incorporate a creative, personable, and emotion-driven touch to a targeted campaign. However, marketers often forget that one stock photo cannot fit all customers within a buyer persona. Do not make the common mistake of overthinking a stock photo to the point it (mis)leads your campaign into the (wrong) direction.

How to fix this:

In order to solidify your campaign, be sure to start the buyer persona creation process with fleshed out, concrete ideas about who exactly your target market is. Only then should you allow yourself to do the fun part of depicting this persona; stock photos should embellish your envisioned buyer persona- not create it.

More on Buyer Personas:

buyer persona guide for business

 

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7 Tips For Success When Working Remotely

More and more employees are working remotely these days, in part due to the major strides made in technology. Not only do most workers have access to a home computer, but they also have access to countless software solutions that allow them to communicate and collaborate with coworkers and managers from home. It’s estimated that between 2005 and 2017, the number of people in the U.S. that worked remotely increased 159 percent. In early 2020, roughly 4.7 million people worked remotely. As of April of this year, those numbers have likely increased substantially.

If you are working remotely for the first time, making the adjustment can be challenging. This is especially true if you’ve gone into work your entire life. You’ll quickly find that working remotely provides you with much more freedom and flexibility, but that it will require much more discipline in order to stay motivated and be productive as well. With that in mind, the following are a few tips on working remotely:

1. Establish A Routine

When you went to work, odds are you had a morning routine before you left as well as an evening routine right when you got back. Such routines are helpful because they allow you to mentally prepare yourself for when to start and stop working. Without clear routines, it can be difficult to get started, which can hurt your productivity. The last thing you want is to keep putting off work to the point where you don’t get started until 3:00 PM and then end up working all night long.

Establish a routine, such as getting up at a certain time, taking a shower, eating breakfast while you watch the news, and then get started by checking your email. Don’t forget to have a routine for when you stop working as well, such as taking your dog for a walk at 6:00 PM.

2. Set Up An Office SpaceWorking Remotely2

If you don’t have a dedicated office space, it will be a challenge to stay organized and to get yourself into the right mindset to be productive. Working from your couch in the living room is also not a great idea since you’ll have to fight off various distractions. If you have a spare bedroom, such as a guest room, consider turning it into your office space. If you don’t have an extra room, try to find a quiet space in your home where you can permanently set up — even if it’s just a table in your kitchen or a desk in your bedroom.

3. Maintain A Regular Schedule

A regular schedule is important for your productivity. Otherwise, you may end up working a few hours one day and 12 hours the next, which isn’t going to be great for your work-life balance. Without a regular schedule, it might be difficult to stay productive as well. Not to mention that coworkers, managers, business partners, and clients may find it difficult to reach you if they don’t know when you’re working.

4. Create Home Rules

If you’re not the only person at home, then you need to set some clear rules, whether you have roommates or a family. Let them know when your work schedule is and where you’ll be working so that they do not disturb you.

Enjoy The Article: Creative Marketing Solutions 

5. Give Yourself Breaks

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t get to take breaks. Take the same amount of breaks you would take if you were working at the office. Breaks are important as they will help keep you from wearing yourself out working. If you don’t take breaks, your work will begin to suffer.

6. Get Out Of The House

Now that you’re working from home, you’re going to find that you’re always at home. To keep yourself from getting cabin fever, be sure to get out of the house. For example, start your day with a run through the neighborhood, use one of your breaks to go for a brief walk, or end your day with a long walk.

7. Communicate Clearly

Because you’re not in the same space as your coworkers and managers, communication is key. Clearly communicate when you’re working, what you’re working on, what your needs are, and more. Regular communication throughout the day will help keep everybody on the same page. It will also help prevent miscommunication, which is something that does tend to occur when everyone is working remotely.

These are just a few tips that will help people adjust to working at home and allow them to work remotely with greater success. Here at Stevens & Tate, we understand the challenges of working from home and are currently one of the many companies that have transitioned to working remotely. We are still capable of providing all of our services, from digital marketing to media coordination, and we will continue to work closely with our clients via a variety of communication methods, including the use of web conferencing tools and more traditional methods, such as phone and email.

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Email Marketing Metrics You Should Keep In Mind & What They Mean

Email marketing was one of the earliest forms of inbound marketing — and it’s continued to be one of the most widely used due to how cost-efficient and effective the strategy is. If you’re implementing an email marketing campaign, then it’s important that you keep track of certain email marketing metrics so that you can judge how your campaign is performing and identify what is and isn’t working so that you can make strategic adjustments as necessary. The following are some of the most important email marketing metrics that you should be following:

Click Through Rate

Click throughs refer to how many recipients are clicking the links in your email. The higher your click-through rate is, the more enticing your content was to your recipients. A poor click-through rate means that you’re not connecting with your readers. A/B tests, which help find new ways to get more clicks in your emails, also make use of CTR’s.

Unique Opens

Unique opens refers to how many people open your emails. If you don’t have many unique opens, it means that your subject lines need work — or you may not be timing your emails properly and they’re getting buried in the inboxes of your recipients so that they don’t see them.Email Marketing Metrics 2

Forward Rate

Forward rates weigh the percentages of recipients who share your posts. A high forward rate is a good sign that you’re doing something right. It means you’re providing content that recipients believe is helpful and informative. As a result they then forward it to friends, family members, or coworkers.

Bounce Rate 

The bounce rate measures how many subscriber email addresses didn’t receive your email. A soft bounce means that the email address is valid; but the inbox was full or the server was down. A hard bounce means that the email wasn’t valid. To avoid a high bounce rate, periodically update your email list and remove old addresses.

Similar Article:Exploring The Differences Between B2C and B2B Email Marketing

Deliverability Rate

The deliverability rate refers to the percentage of emails that reach your recipients’ inboxes.  Factors that may prevent your emails from being sent include email addresses that don’t exist or no longer exist or emails that are spam.

Click-through-rates only refers to how many times your links were clicked. However, Clicks per link is a more detailed metric. It shows which links get more clicks on your campaign; not counting how many times each recipient has clicked on the link .

Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate, will assess how many people click on the link and then complete a specific action. A low conversion rate means that your content isn’t connecting or your calls-to-action aren’t effective. Similarly, conversion rates give unique insight into your return investment. When you know how much you have spent, and how many subscribers have converted, it easier to determine whether or not the money you put in has paid off.

Unsubscribes

The higher your unsubscribe rate is, the more likely it is that there’s something wrong with your email campaign. There are two potential causes for this — you may be sending out too many emails to the point where your recipients are unsubscribing because you’re filling up their inbox or the content of your emails isn’t relevant to your recipients.

Once you’ve launched your email campaign, it’s important that you track how it does. You can make adjustments to your email marketing efforts throughout the campaign, after all. If things aren’t working, you won’t want to just let it fail — you’ll want to right the ship. To track how your campaign is going, be sure to keep these email marketing metrics in mind.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business
direct vs indirect marketing 1

Direct vs Indirect Marketing

You may not realize it, but all marketing efforts can be categorized in one of two ways — direct marketing or indirect marketing. On the surface, direct vs. indirect marketing is relatively easy to understand. Direct marketing involves engaging with leads or customers directly. For example, sending a customer an email that contains a promotional offer. Indirect marketing is a strategy in which you put yourself in a position to be found by leads. Consequently, allowing them to engage with you instead of just directly engaging them. For example, writing a post on your website’s blog. Which leads can find through external links or through a search engine, is a form of indirect marketing.

Both direct marketing and indirect marketing can be effective strategies. However, to make sure that you implement them effectively, it’s important that you not only understand what the advantages of using each are, but also what the potential disadvantages are of direct vs indirect marketing.

Direct Marketingdirect vs indirect marketing 2

Direct marketing includes a number of traditional marketing strategies that everyone is familiar with. For example TV commercials are a form of direct marketing. So are billboards, magazine ads, radio ads, and telemarketing. That’s not to say that digital marketing can’t be direct. For example, email marketing and PPC advertising are also forms of direct marketing. You’re essentially trying to find and address a specific audience — and you’re trying to get them to take action right away. The following are some of the advantages to such a strategy:

Advantages

  • You can identify specific audience segments, thereby allowing you to connect with people who are likely interested in your product or service already. For example, if you run a TV commercial, you can choose a time slot on a channel that you know your audience is watching.
  • If you know the audience you’re addressing, then you can personalize your messages, thereby allowing you to nurture leads and build stronger relationships. For example, using the data you have to segment your email list allows you to send more relevant content to your recipients.
  • The data you collect from your direct marketing efforts is more measurable. For example, you can track your email response rate to determine how effective your direct marketing strategy is and to make adjustments accordingly.

While there are plenty of advantages to implementing certain direct marketing techniques, there are some potential drawbacks as well. These can include the following:

Disadvantages

  • If you’re too overzealous, your direct marketing efforts may cross privacy boundaries and may even come off as spam, which will hurt your brand reputation.
  • You have to have an understanding of who your audience is and where you can find them. Otherwise, you may be advertising to people who aren’t interested in your brand, which is a waste of time and money.
  • Your overall reach won’t be as widespread since direct marketing requires you to focus in on a specific audience to be effective.

Learn More: 5 Ways To Improve Your Relationship Marketing Strategy

Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing is essentially marketing in which you’re not trying to sell a specific product or service. For example, content creation in the form of a blog of email newsletter are forms of indirect marketing. A lot of social media marketing is indirect as well. For example, if you’re simply engaging in discussions or posting links to informative articles. The idea behind indirect marketing is that you’re nurturing relationships, building brand authority, and generating brand awareness. The following are some of the advantages of indirect marketing:

Advantages

  • You provide value to your customers without coming off as self-serving, which helps to build your brand reputation and increase brand trust.
  • Indirect marketing is typically much less expensive than direct marketing.
  • Indirect marketing is a long-term strategy, which means that your efforts will continue to have an impact throughout the future. For example, you might write a blog post that someone reads years later.

As beneficial as indirect marketing is, there are a couple of disadvantages when compared to direct marketing. These disadvantages include the following:

Disadvantages

  • Tracking performance is more difficult. This is because you’re not honing in on specific customers — you’re casting a wider net.
  • Indirect marketing efforts may not have instant impact — it may take some time before they begin drawing in new customers. As such, it can be frustrating not to see an immediate impact on sales.
  • Because it’s a long-term strategy, indirect marketing requires constant attention. Whereas direct marketing tactics can work on their own, indirect marketing functions as a whole. This means that you need to be constantly working at it. There’s basically no end in sight.

As you can see, when it comes to direct vs indirect marketing, both have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Instead of choosing one over the other, the best course of action is to use a combination of both. This will allow you to see both short-term and long-term results, especially if you’re careful when it comes to avoiding the potential drawbacks that both strategies can present when used improperly.

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landing page vs. homepage

5 Holiday Email Templates for Salespeople

When it comes to email marketing, you should always welcome the opportunity to do something a little bit different. Changing it up is a great way to keep it fresh and to keep your leads interested. One of the best times to do this is during the holiday season. The following are five email templates that you can use to send out emails appropriate for the holiday season that will help boost your open rate and that will engage your audience:

1. Gift Guide Email

Sending out a gift guide email is an excellent way to reach prospects who are still in the early stages of their customer journey. A gift guide email gives you the chance to stay in touch (and thereby, to stay on top of their minds) and to remind them who you are and what you have to offer. Using a gift guide format, you can list several of your products and services as well as how they might benefit the prospect. Considering the fact that the holiday season is very much gift-oriented, this is an appropriate way to connect with your prospects.

2. Discount Offer Email

Promotional content is not something that you want to send out too often, but it’s typically considered appropriate during the holidays due to the fact that it’s a very commercial season in which everyone is buying gifts. As such, it’s completely appropriate to send prospects discount opportunities to encourage them to purchase certain products or services. Avoid having your email come off as an advertisement by addressing the prospect in a more lighthearted manner (this tends to be okay to do during the holidays when people are less formal).

Email Opening Lines That Actually Work

3. Holiday Checklist Email

If you’re working on a deal with a prospect, then sending out a holiday checklist email is a great way to help them stay on track so that they won’t fall behind on deadlines. Reminding prospects about upcoming deadlines can be a challenging task, especially since you don’t want to sound pushy. Providing a “holiday checklist” that lists the dates and the milestones that they should reach on those dates is a great way to not only remind your prospect about upcoming deadlines, but to give them an overview of all of their milestones and deadlines that they can refer back to at any point.

4. Upselling Email

Trying to close new sales shouldn’t be your only priority. The holiday season is also a great time to revisit old customers. Using their purchasing history, suggest products or services that may appeal to them. Besides simply trying to upsell them, thank them for their previous purchase and offer a discount that shows them how thankful you are to have them as a customer.

5. Personal Thank You Email

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to send out thank you emails to your prospects and clients. Not only will they appreciate a brief email that thanks them for working with you or taking an interest in your brand, but it’s also an excellent way to stay on top of their minds and to touch base with those who you haven’t heard from in a while.

These are five examples of email templates that can be quite successful during the holiday season. The holidays are an opportunity to not only be a little more playful with your email templates and to have the excuse to send out promotional material, but they are also a great opportunity for keeping your brand on the top of your audience’s minds and to stay in touch with both existing clients and prospects.

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drip email marketing

Email Opening Lines That Actually Work

When it comes to email marketing, everyone knows how important the subject line is. It’s what gets the recipient to open your email in the first place, after all. If your subject line fails, your email may go unread. However, you’re not free and in the clear yet once you’ve managed to get your recipients to open your emails — you still have to get them to read through your content. This means that your email opening lines are extremely important. If your email opening lines fail to capture the attention of your B2B prospects, they’re likely to forgo reading the rest of the email. The following are a few tips for creating effective email opening lines:

Bring Up A Recent Event

Use your opening line to bring up a recent event relevant to their business. For example, a recent product launch or an interview in a magazine with their CEO. Doing so shows your prospect that you have done your research about their company. This will give them some confidence that you might actually have something of value to offer.

Establish An Immediate Connection

If you have a connection to the prospect, use it to get their attention in your opening line. For example, “(someone) recommended that I reach out to you,” or “We recently met at (recent event).” They will immediately have more of an emotional connection, which means that they will be more willing to read on about what you have to say.

Flatter The Prospect

While you don’t want to seem disingenuous in your flattery, it helps if you start out the email by telling them something about them or their business that you like, whether it’s about a new service that they offer, something positive in the news concerning them, or even a post that they made on social media. For example, “I thought the video you recently posted on YouTube was great,” or “I’ve been very impressed with the new (product) that you just released.” It shows that you’re not just cold calling (or cold emailing) potential prospects but that you’re actually familiar with them.

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Begin With a Question

Asking a question is a great way to pique their curiosity right away because they’ll be thinking about the topic you’ve brought up, which means that they will be immediately engaged. Of course, the rest of the email will have to follow in the line of that question. For example, “Are you having a problem with (something)?” or “Have you heard about the recent news about (something)?” You will then have to follow up with how you can provide a potential solution to the problem or how the recent news is relevant to them and how you can be of help as a result.

Get To The Point

You can also just get to the point immediately by positioning yourself as a business that can help their company. For example, “Our product helps businesses like yours to achieve (this goal).” Getting to the point right away by addressing their pain point and how you can solve it is a good way to get their attention for at least the remainder of the email.

A strong email opening line will help generate interest in what your email has to say. Use these tips to create effective email opening lines that will increase the chance that your emails will be read in full, thereby making it easier to nurture your leads.

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b2b email marketing

Exploring The Differences Between B2C and B2B Email Marketing

How you market your brand depends greatly on who your audience is, which is why b2c (business to consumer) and b2b (business to business) marketing are very different strategies. As such, your email marketing strategy is going to depend heavily on whether or not you’re marketing b2b or b2c. The following are some of the differences between b2c and b2b email marketing to keep in mind:

Optimal Send Time

Knowing when to send your emails has a big impact on whether or not they’re opened. B2c customers are more likely to check their emails in the evenings or on the weekends since they are busy working during the day. B2b recipients are more likely to open them during work hours since they often check their work email regularly throughout the day.

Spam Filters

Spam filters work a bit differently with b2b and b2c customers. B2b customers often use filters that check for certain keywords before deciding whether to inbox the email or automatically sort it into the junk folder. With b2c customers, it’s more about building a good sending reputation with minimal complaints.

Personalization And Segmentation

While personalization and segmentation are important for both, they’re a bit different. With b2c customers, you’ll want to personalize products and content based on individual taste. With b2b customers, personalization should be a bit more subtle, such as by highlighting new stories within their industry or providing case studies that match their needs.

How Customers Respond

B2b customers buy from people, whereas b2c customers buy from brands. This means that when you send emails to b2b customers, you should expect a potential reply. Make sure that you include contact information, such as a phone number and who the email is from so that it’s easy for b2b recipients to reply. This isn’t as important for b2c customers.

The Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing Automation

Triggers

Using triggers to automate emails to your b2c customers helps to drive them back to your website. However, email triggers don’t work as well for b2b customers. Instead, use triggers for phone calls from your sales team instead.

Buying Cycles

B2b buying cycles are typically longer than b2c buying cycles. This is because you’re not just nurturing a single type of customer like you would in a b2c situation. Instead, you’re having to nurture a group of decision makers. Not to mention that in b2c situations, customers are more likely to make faster decisions based on emotion.

The Role of Content

Because buying cycles are longer in b2b situations, your customers will benefit more from educational and non-promotional forms of content, such as white papers, whereas b2c customers might be more moved to action by testimonials and case studies right off the bat.

These are some of the differences between b2c and b2b email marketing that you should know before crafting your email marketing campaign. The last thing you’ll want to do is to use b2c tactics for your b2b email marketing strategy (or vice versa) since this will hurt your ability to nurture your leads.

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Future of email

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.

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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.

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