1. It seems basic, but sometimes we forget what should be done when signing people up for our emails. Here are five things you should make sure you're covering on your subscription page:

    • Tell them why - A brief explanation of what the customer should expect when they sign up for your emails. Tell them the types of emails they will get, and how often you plan to send to them.
    • Ask for preferences - This will make sure that the emails you send to these customers are relevant and timely.
    • Let them know they can opt out - Just a brief not telling customers they can opt out at any time, so they have comfort in the fact that if they don't like what they get, they can drop your emails.
    • Send a mail right away - You should send a mail to new sign ups as soon as possible, within a couple of days at the latest. This way, customers won't forget they signed up for your mails.
    • Stick to your word - If you tell customers that you're going to send one message a week, only send one a week, not 3 a week. If you ask for their preferences, send based on those preferences.
    These five basic tips will make sure that your customers have a better experience when registering and receiving your emails.


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  2. Here are five things you should not do when it comes to your digital marketing campaigns:

    Procrastinate – Don’t wait to send out your e-mail communiqués. Bundling them with timeliness and urgency increases the value of what the recipient thinks of them. Have a sense of panic to ‘greet the guest’ as though they have just walked into your front door. If you keep them waiting, they will wander around, and eventually drift away.

    Letting ‘em help themselves – Do not have one big page and expect to have them tell you all. Structure the questions is a flirtatious conversation. Ask them a little bit at a time and keep your questions open – that way you are not leaving out any important information.

    Send them a catalog – If they haven’t asked for it, don’t send it to them. In a survey of more than 300 catalog web sites – I found it very hard (if not impossible) to just sign up for e-mail. I basically had to sign up for the catalog or direct mail piece – only then would I get an e-mail.

    Put the ‘entire’ offer in the Subject Line – People like intrigue. A short subject line can offer a certain amount of enticement to bring people into your web site. Yet, you have some very high brand name retailers who will put the entire offer of the e-mail within the subject line. Yes subject lines as long as 35 words! This one retailer in particular also pays it’s models for impressions. Unfortunately for them the impression is based on emails delivered, not on number of times viewed. With so much being spent on the collateral within the e-mail, their approach baffles me.

    Listen to ‘Experts’ – The experts or analysts believe in numbers and gut feel based on a cumulative opinion. What is cumulative opinion? This is opinion that is based on what everyone is doing. This in my opinion is precisely the time to stop doing what others are doing and focus on something unique. Most of the e-mail analysts publish reports based on case studies, case studies are the results of vendors publishing success stories, these success stories are usually exaggerated and unfortunately very delayed. This is not going to make your program unique, it is simply going to ensure that you don’t fail – kind of stay average.

    So to rise above all – learn to create dialogues with your clients and prospects. Your employees, your customers, your prospects, and your opinion is what matters most. By you creating interactive conversations – you can leverage first hand research into actionable strategies and tactics to drive ROI.


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  3. Many marketers have the challenge of marketing to customers who only make one big transaction a year; they’re unsure of what to sell and how to promote but want to make sure that they are in consideration whenever the recipient is in the market again. My suggestion is to keep the recipient engaged with information, good customer service and useful tips. Here are a few examples from different industries:

    Your customer has just purchased a vacation trip, start by asking for feedback about their trip, offer lifestyle and food tips from other destinations. Make email communiqués reminiscent of the travel channel – offering a get away with every newsletter. Include information and numbers that they can call about destinations but don't force them to buy, simply remind them that you are there.

    Your customer has just purchased a large piece of furniture; follow up the purchase with a sincere thank you. Then ask them to send you pictures or feedback of how they like the purchase, how it fits with their existing décor. Keep communicating with them offering design tips and ways to spruce up their home. Share stories of how other people have transformed their homes with similar/ complimentary products. Keep them in their same segment but offer smaller gifts that may be perfect for their friends and family.

    A customer makes a large financial investment – a bond or CD. Like the furniture purchase, thank them and then keep them abreast of what is happening in the market. Engage them in a dialogue by getting them to share information about their family, their financial aspirations and how you can help them get there. If you keep them engaged they will pay attention to your communiqués including your offers.

    Whatever your industry, start building up your social content by soliciting feedback from your consumers after they transact with you. Leverage this feedback in all of your messages as other consumers make decisions based on real feedback.

    Regardless of the industry or purchase, the key is to keep people engaged with content that they perceive valuable and applicable to their daily lives… regular interaction could be your answer.


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  4. If you have a direct marketing relationship with your prospects and customers, try to use this these three ideas with them to get them to sign up for your digital marketing campaigns.

    Early Bird
    Offer your customers the ability to get ahead in line by emailing their appointment request to a store or branch representative. This early bird email allows them to bypass the line, simply printing out their appointment card and walking up, a significant advantage of being part of the email program.

    So “oops” doesn’t become “ouch”If you accidentally slip into the red, we’ll give you a chance to slide out of it. This was the title of a nice marketing message giving customers an opportunity to sign up for overdraft services from a financial services institution. Three things stood out here, first the financial institution got you to share your email id, second they got you to pay attention to their email messages, and third, they were able to up-sell you. Once again, this was an interesting way to elevate the importance of the email campaign.

    This promotion underscores the importance of this channel to their financial institution; it also gives them an opportunity to track the people taking advantage of the service and perhaps offer them other services.

    Hold on
    Another good idea is to alter your hold message; if callers are waiting to speak to you (and you absolutely have to speak to them) why not ask them to go a specific website, provide their email id and contact information. Tell them you will do one of three things:
    • Have a rep call them back (so they don’t have to stay on hold);
    • Have their call assigned to the appropriate department (by asking them more about their question/ issue); and
    • Try to answer their question on the internet – give them access to frequently asked questions.
    Notice the self-service option is positioned at the end of the list, by doing this the caller will not feel as if they just entered a second loop. Be sure to audit your loops regularly and send an email back to the customer to make sure that their problem was solved satisfactorily.

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  5. 1) Ends Friday: Save 21% on your $75 purchase – We’re including this one for a few reasons, for starters the percentage off was unusual for the sending company, they usually offer a 15% discount. The cataloger also pushed up the minimum purchase from $50 to $75, also a twist for them.

    2) Gift Ideas for Any Occasion – This subject line is a powerful way to show variety and subtlety communicate your willingness to help. Recipients are coaxed to browse the site rather a specific item/ price point. This subject line would be even greater if it was from a bank or a company selling memberships, because they’re offering gift alternatives.

    3) Lock in Your Summer Savings – I received this email from a cataloger, intrigued I opened to learn that I could lock in my savings coupon for the next 30 days. There was a sense of mystery in this email because I had to go to a landing page to find the percentage savings and the amount of time I had to redeem.

    4) Your Account Aggregation Service – I received this from my bank regarding a service I had subscribed to through my banking profile; I opened the email to read about the changes to the service. The same principles apply to any other sender, if the recipient has elected to receive information on a specialty product/ service then talk to them about it through a special email – this simple approach is very focused and effective.

    5) It’s time to Refill – This was a reminder email and a good use of a recurring campaigns reminding the recipient that they need to order more. It is also a good way to extend the life of a product/ service.

    6) Looking forward to meeting you… – Last week we included the “Don’t Miss Out” subject line and follow up. This is an alternate take, sending a reminder with a personal invitation may earn additional attention. Build excitement by leveraging personalized invitations from the recipient’s individual sales reps – this could be to a seminar or webinar with a promise for a personal follow-up; the odds of grabbing attention increases if this is done in conjunction with the general invitations.

    7) Start Saving With this Exclusive Coupon – This subject line is geared toward the recipient that opens, clicks through to your site and browses around but has yet to make their first purchase. To help push them into the buyer category, send a special coupon for their first purchase, run tests to determine their threshold and get them started.

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  6. Surveys are supposed to provide organizations with information about the needs of their customers and prospects, the hope is that this information can be leveraged into actionable information and make the recipient’s experience more meaningful.

    Yet so many surveys are full of flaws and as a result the responses are less valuable than expected. One of the biggest mistakes made is the military-style opening – the request for name, rank and serial number right out of the gate.

    I’ve seen many surveys that start off by asking the user to identify themselves, the survey then progresses to a series of multiple choice questions and ends with the text box for opinions.

    Think about the last time you responded to a survey, did your answers skew from the start to the end? Typically, we lose interest and start half-reading the questions and answers. Most respondents start off the survey by giving aspirational answers but as time progresses they tune out and may contradict previous answers or completely abandon your survey.

    In either case, the end results aren’t helpful and can be a waste of time for all parties. A better way to engage the user is to ask them to share their opinion through a text box, keep questions interesting, engaging and try to solicit true views – do this by offering creative response options or by keeping the question types variable.

    These strategies will help you hold the respondent’s attention and will ultimately yield more truthful responses. Collect your demographic information at then end when the respondent is on auto-pilot and more comfortable with providing the information.

    Finally, try and leverage the responses in future communications – email, social media, and print. Acknowledge that the update/ change is a result of survey respondent, you’ll bank extra points with all recipients.

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