Email marketing remain the number tool for marketers to connect with customers. Want to find out our best practices? Check out the Cloud9 Marketing blog.

build-email-list

An email list is the most powerful way to generate leads, convert sales and connect with people online. Not only does an email list give you a direct line into someone’s daily life, it is also proven to have the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to other online marketing channels. Facebook’s organic reach has decreased to 6 percent of a fan base as of 2014, and even fewer people are seeing tweets on Twitter. With an average open rate of 21.73 percent, it is agreed by marketing professionals that email is the most effective way to reach an audience.

Many businesses fail to recognize the importance of growing, nurturing and getting the most out of a lucrative email list. Too many times businesses implement marketing plans and miss the important step of acquiring an email address, or they do obtain an address but do not follow through with it. Putting email addresses to work for your business starts with having a solid plan. A purposeful email list backed by the intent to communicate, connect and convert should be part of every business’s digital strategy. Here is your guide to building a lucrative email list online.

Choosing an email marketing platform

The first step to building an email list is choosing an email marketing platform that will store and segment your email addresses. Mailchimp is an easy to use platform and is free for lists under 500. Paid email marketing platforms such as Infusionsoft and Convertkit provided enhanced capabilities of managing, segmenting and automating email lists. Once you have chosen your preferred email marketing platform you can begin taking stock of your list.

Taking Stock of email addresses

Many businesses are surprised at the number of email addresses they have already that they aren’t putting to use. Forage through your contacts whether you keep them in a CRM, on a spreadsheets or inside a Rolodex. Add friends and family if you think they may be interested in your products or services. Import all of your contacts into your email marketing platform (making sure you are compliant with email marketing laws in your province or state), and segment the lists into different markets if applicable.

Generating Traffic to your site

Now that you have a solid list of contacts you can begin generating more leads. There are several ways to do this, but the most common ways are through organic traffic which is optimized by SEO, and through paid advertising via Google Adwords and social media.

Generating traffic through a strong organic ranking on the search engine results page is an effective yet time-consuming way to build your email list. Although some businesses may have a steady stream of organic traffic, new businesses should not rely on this source to build their email list at the outset.

Paid advertising is the easiest and quickest way to send traffic to your website. Whether through Google Adwords, or social media, paying per click is a sure fire-way to drive targeted web traffic to your site. Once they arrive the next challenge is making sure they stay and input their coveted email address. The landing page is key to this.

Landing Page Design

Having a properly designed landing page is essential for building a lucrative email list. A well-designed landing page has a single and focused purpose and in this case, that purpose is to collect email addresses. Landing pages generally offer a special, piece of information or deal (sometimes considered an opt-in or lead-magnet), which entice users to enter their email address.

Landing pages should clearly showcase an offer and be free of distraction and clutter. In most cases the form fields should be simple (email address and maybe first name), and be located above the fold (in the top section of the website). With a well-designed landing page businesses can expect about a 1-3 percent conversion rate, this is where the next step comes in handy.

Re-targeting

Even if you have the most beautifully designed landing page and compelling offer, the majority of people who land on your page will not convert the first time around. It’s kind of like dating. You’d be ridiculous to expect someone to accept a marriage proposal on the first date. The same is true with email addresses, people are unlikely to give them up without a little persistence. This is where re-targeting comes in.

Re-targeting (or re-marketing) happens when a tag or pixel is placed on a web visitor’s computer (via your landing page) enabling you to target these people with additional ads online via Google Adwords or social media. Re-targeting ads often feature a stronger call to action whether it be a time sensitive deal, a substantial price reduction or an irresistible offer. Because we know these people have already shown interest in your business, they are much more likely to convert. A separate landing page should be created for each re-targeting campaign.

Now what?

Now that you have a strong and growing list, what will you do with it? This brings us back to the beginning where we discussed having a purpose behind your email marketing strategy. If you’re a real estate agent you’ll likely want to get listing leads or sell houses, if you’re a hotel you’ll want to book room nights, if you’re an online clothing boutique you’ll want to sell products.

You can monetize your email list by selling your products/ services to the list recipients. Don’t get too salesy though. People are wise to online marketing tactics and will quickly unsubscribe if they feel they are being sold to. The key to a lucrative email list is to communicate, connect AND convert.

Communicate, connect and convert (… and consistency)

The people who have opted-in to your email list obviously have some interest in your business, products or services. You have their attention, now it’s time to communicate to them about who you are, or more so, how you can help make them happier/ richer/ calmer/ better people etc. Every industry and niche is different, however if you can use your email communication to enrich and add value to their lives, you are much more likely to connect with them and ultimately convert these leads into paying customers.

The final things we should add about building a lucrative email list is consistency. You may have noticed that it’s a cluttery space online. By consistently staying in contact with your list you will be top-of mind when people are finally ready to purchase a product or service like yours. The lifetime value of a lead can be in the tens of thousands depending on the industry, and those who nurture their lists will be richly rewarded.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get purposeful with your email marketing by building an email list that communicates, connects and converts. Need help? Cloud9 Marketing develops results-driven email marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. We can help you grow your list and convert more sales online. Contact us today for our email marketing and full service digital marketing packages.

search engine optimization SEO digital marketing

Marketing has come a long way in the last few years, if you ask people in the industry many would probably agree there have been more changes in marketing in the last 5 years, then there has been in the 50 years prior. With the explosion of the internet, uptake of mobile and ability to seamlessly track and monitor advertising spend and ROI online, it’s no surprise businesses around the world are diverting their budget to digital in 2016. Here are some key Marketing Stats that are so important to the way a business markets their products and services in both the B2B and B2C space, they simply cannot be ignored.

  1. In 2016 67% more leads will be generated by companies with an active blog

Content marketing is essential for optimal SEO performance and is the best way to drive traffic to your website. Blogging about useful, informative and engaging information that is relevant to your target market will drive traffic to your website, ultimately increasing conversions for your business.

  1. The average person now spends more time online then TV and all other media combined

This should come as no surprise. Smartphones, tablets and computers have become an extension of people’s bodies and people now turn to the internet instead of traditional media like TV, print and radio to get information.

  1. Total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9% next year. The Internet will become the largest medium for advertising in 2016 (ahead of TV)

Internet advertising is cost effective, highly targeted and traceable. These three features along with potential reach have seen the internet surpass TV for total ad spend.

  1. Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years.

Social media advertising is easy, cheap and effective. With platforms like Instagram now offering ad functionality, total social ad spend is expected to continue with double digit growth over the coming years.

  1. By 2019 mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending

As smartphones become more functional, and websites more mobile-friendly consumers will increasingly use their mobile to research and purchase products and services online.

  1. Digital marketing spend is forecasted to account for 35% of total budgets in 2016.

How much has your business allocated to digital marketing this year? Companies have noticed the value of online marketing and larger portions of budget are being spent on digital marketing.

  1. The top four channels for increases in digital marketing spend last year were email marketing (61% of marketers increasing spending on this channel), social media (49%), mobile marketing (40%), and SEO/PPC (38%)

Most businesses have a combination of email marketing, social media, mobile marketing and PPC as part of their digital marketing portfolio. It is getting rarer for companies not to leverage all four of these components to varying degrees.

  1. Mobile commerce is growing fast, 87% of internet users now have a smartphone – mobiles are revolutionizing business

Around the world smart phones and mobile uptake is becoming the norm presenting an enormous opportunity for mobile advertising.

  1. 93% of shoppers buying decisions are influenced by social media

Although social media is not known as the best conversion platform it is absolutely essential for brand awareness and influencing customers to choose your company over the competition. To increase conversions, social media advertising is very effective.

  1. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive ROI

Content marketing is commonly agreed by marketing experts to be the most important SEO element and those who commit to prioritizing blogging are seeing results.

There is no longer a question of having an online presence or not, and a website that’s not producing fresh content, or a social media presence that’s sitting stagnant, can do more harm then good online. The question now is having the right mix of online marketing components for your business to ensure you are reaching clients with the right message at the right time.

At Cloud9 Marketing we specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies for our clients in Whistler BC and around the world. Whether it’s social media, SEO, web design, graphic design, content marketing and blogging or branding, we deliver results-driven, customer-centric and highly engaging digital marketing services communicating unique brands to the right people at the right time.

Whistler Email Marketing

 

If you’re like most people, you probably receive email newsletters from time to time.

Some, you love: as soon as a good one lands in your inbox, you open it up and start clicking away at what’s inside.

Others, you could take or leave: you might keep one of these in your inbox, saving it to read for a later time, like when you’re waiting for the bus to arrive.

And then there are the ones that you delete immediately upon receipt, not even bothering to see what’s inside.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that you want your newsletters to appear in the first category. Here are 8 tips that will make your newsletters shine.

Target, Target, Target

The first step to a killer newsletter is making sure that the people receiving it actually want to read it.

Your readers should see value in what you send out. If they do, they’ll engage with the content and will be thrilled to keep receiving updates. If they don’t, they’ll unsubscribe, missing out on future newsletters and emails that they might have found interesting and useful.

Curating your list of recipients can be a mind-numbing task, but categorizing your contacts means that you can control who receives what. Targeted content will keep your contacts happy.

Content is King

No matter how you organize your information or how nicely you design your newsletters, nothing will help you if your content is a snore.

Why are you sending out this newsletter? Do you have important news to share? Are you offering your readers a reward or a deal? Are you launching a new product? Don’t send newsletters for the sake of sending newsletters: instead, send them to share valuable content.

An Eye-Catching Title

Coming up with the perfect subject line can be tricky. You want your subject to entice people to open up the email, and you want it to describe what kind of content is inside. The shorter, the better: many mobile screens only display the first 30 characters in a subject line (including spaces).

Short is Sweet

Resist the urge to send a novel-length newsletter. No matter how compelling your content, most recipients will get bored partway and will skip out before reaching the end. Keep your content short and punchy, and provide a link for readers to click if they want to find out more about a particular topic.

Stick to Your Brand

Every aspect of your newsletter – from tone to design – should reflect your brand.

Newsletters are an extension of your brand, so be consistent and use this opportunity to showcase your stuff. Make sure that your logo, contact details, website, and social media links are included.

Mind Your Grammar

Double and triple check the content of your newsletter for spelling and/or grammatical errors. If English was never your forte, find someone who can edit your content. Careless mistakes reflect poorly on you and your business.

Pictures: A Fine Balance

On the one hand, visual content is good: photos can convey a ton of information, and they make a newsletter look good. On the other hand, too many photos will clog up your newsletter. Emails that load slowly and that hog inbox space are major no-nos. Use some pictures, but be aware of their sizes.

Be Mobile Friendly

Your newsletter might look spiffy on your computer screen, but make sure it looks good from a mobile screen, too. After all, that’s where many of your readers will be opening it up. If they have to scroll horizontally or if formatting becomes a jumbles mess, your email will be sent straight to the trash folder.

Need help crafting the perfect newsletter? Get in touch – we’ll help you create a killer newsletter.

email marketing personal communication

In March of 2012, 59% of B2B marketers said email was the most effective channel in generating more revenue, according to HubSpot. So whether or not it’s your strongest lead-generator, there’s no denying you should be using it.
But how do you use e-mail marketing most effectively?

When 43% of adults in the U.S. say more than half of their emails are coming from marketers, according to a survey by Blue Kangaroo, it’s a competitive marketing practice to become successful in.

While testing, testing and then testing again is the only surefire way to determine what will work for your email marketing strategy, the element of personalization is no doubt a winning tactic in 2013.

Personalized Email Marketing

In general, personalizing emails can help start conversions, but there can be instances in which being too personal is something to avoid. Walking this fine line between customization and intrusion is something your company should examine closely before embarking on personalizing an email campaign, but it is worth the investment, as personalized emails can raise click-through rates.

Follow these key tips when personalizing emails:

Use the name in the body of the email: Using the consumer’s name in the greeting and throughout the email body is likely to get their attention. At the mention of their name the reader may be more inclined to read the content.

Use the first name in the subject line: Consumers are more likely to open an email if their first name is used in the subject line, but only if the sender is a company they trust. There have been studies showing that using the entire name can be considered too familiar, so it is best to use only a first name. Furthermore, the use of the name is most acceptable if it is based on a pre-existing relationship.

Use the consumer’s city in the subject line: Another way to get personal without getting too familiar is to include the consumer’s city, region or state in the subject line.

Customize the content of the email: Although a name may help grab attention, the subject material of the email will ultimately cinch the deal. In order to get your reader to take the next step in your sales funnel, it is critical to offer them something they want. Offers, sales, coupons and informational content that satisfy a current desire can help initiate that conversion.

Segment your email blasts: Although it is tempting to send emails to all of your leads, there is the risk of losing those with no interest in the content. In order to limit unsubscribes, you should use personal information to generate market segments that are more likely to respond to a more tailored email. Recognizing key characteristics, like where your customer is in the sales cycle, helps deepen the relationship and encourages them to take the next step in the conversion process.

Personalize but know when to keep your distance.

Don’t get too familiar: Using a first name can help arouse interest in your email, but it may not be welcome if the user prefers anonymity. This can be a serious concern if your businesses offers products or services that are of a sensitive nature.

Less familiar = less personal:

Security is a major concern on the Internet, so it is essential that you establish yourself with the consumer before displaying too much knowledge about them.
Emails can often be considered akin to nosy neighbors; unwelcome unless they are there to serve a useful purpose. Identify the needs of your target consumers and then identify the goal of the email. Your email can help satisfy your consumer’s needs making your email content much more inviting, welcome, and, ultimately, successful.

email marketing

Originally posted on Mashable: 5 Tactics to Grow Your Email List.

Back in January, many email marketers said increasing their lists was their top goal for 2013. Well, spring is here. Is your mailing list growing as fast as your flowers and lawn? If not, it’s time to execute a new plan.

Many marketers have email addresses only for 30% or less of their customer and prospect lists. They’re tempted to revert to their direct-mail experience and reach for a quick fix like email append (“e-append”) and list rental/purchase.

But in today’s engagement-based inbox placement world, this “quick fix” approach can give you more headaches than new sales.

If you seek quantity over quality in list growth, you’re practically inviting the ISPs either to block your entire opt-in mailing list or route everything to your recipients’ bulk folders, where they’ll languish in obscurity until the ISPs dump them automatically.

So, what should be in your email list growth plan? Below are five tried-and-true methods to ignite your email list growth, in a safe, permission-based way.

1. Make It Easy to Opt In on Your Website

Your customers and prospects must be able to find your opt-in form easily on your home page. This advice has been around for years, but today’s web designers apparently didn’t get the memo. They position Facebook and Twitter icons prominently but send you on a search-and-rescue mission to find the opt-in field.

Many websites undersell the email value proposition, using just a link saying “Sign Up for Email” relegated to the homepage footer. Worse, the email opt-in call-to-action isn’t even on the page. Make your forms stand out.

If you want to get more opt-ins, make the email invite more visible. Use a benefit-based call-to-action, and test an offer that you subsequently deliver in your welcome series.

2. Don’t Stop at Just One

Add more opt-in forms throughout your site and in various placements: above the fold (the horizontal halfway point on your website, like the fold in a newspaper), below the fold, in the right rail, in left-hand navigation and on a dynamic layer that displays according to visitors’ site activity.

Test these locations to see how many more opt-ins you can drive, each one alone and in combination with each other. One opt-in form on a page might drive X, while having two opt-in form placements on a page might drive 1.5X to 2X.

At the EEC Summit in 2012, Tommy Hilfiger reported that his company drives 2% of all site visitors to opt in by using a dynamic opt-in layer served to new site visitors on site entry.

3. Collect Emails at Your Stores

Ask your customers to opt in for email at your checkout counter or when requesting an email receipt. However, be sure you are collecting high-quality names.

You’ll have to develop a request procedure that helps you overcome two big pitfalls of point-of-sale requests: phony addresses, either provided by reluctant customers who can’t say no to the request or keyed in by sales associates who have to meet email quotas.

Mistakes, which happen when sales people misspell a written address, misunderstand a customer’s spoken address or omit a crucial detail like the “@” symbol.

Here are a few suggestions for collecting more and better addresses:

  • Let customers type in their email addresses on a POS touchpad or credit card terminal.
  • Give them an offer or benefit for signing up in-store.
  • Explain what they’ll be receiving.
  • Get explicit permission before adding the address.

4. Make It Mobile

Consumer adoption of mobile sites and apps makes mobile another important collection point for opt-in for both email and SMS text. The best mobile site home pages have two opt-in forms: one for email, one for SMS. Remember the constraints that mobile puts on viewing and data input.

Don’t ask users to fill out lots of form fields. Keep the form short and simple. You can collect more information later in your welcome series using progressive profiling.

5. Remember Your Social Networks

Give your Facebook followers a simple opt-in form page. Call out the benefits and differences between your social experience and your email communications.

Consider using social login, also known as social sign-in. This uses existing login information from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to sign in to a website without having to create a separate login account specifically for your website.

You can also use this process to allow your site registrants to quickly and easily sign up to receive your marketing emails.