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By Jodi Daniels

When you think of your favorite cookie, you might picture a recipe that you’ve had since childhood. It’s tasty, nostalgic and part of its charm is that it hasn’t changed in 20+ years.

But while an unchanging tradition is ideal for your beloved baked goods, it’s a recipe for trouble when it comes to website cookies.

Website cookies aren’t stagnant things that you can set and forget. With changing regulations, consumer sentiment and technological advancements, businesses need to mitigate risk with a regular cookie audit.

While audits are usually no one’s idea of fun, a cookie audit for your business doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are five steps you can take to execute an effective cookie audit for your business.

1. Identify and categorize the cookies you already have.

First and foremost, know what you’re working with. Catalogu existing cookies on your website (all of them) and separate them by type:

As you catalogue, check that they’re all labelled correctly. Lumping them all together as “strictly necessary” won’t give insight into your cookie practices… and could lead to overstepping compliance requirements (just because you might think it’s necessary for your business doesn’t mean privacy laws do).

Cookie consent software is helpful here. They can automate cookie discovery and categorization, making the process faster and easier. (It’s not entirely hands-off, though—you still need to regularly review the results and ensure proper categorization!)

2. Review what data privacy jurisdictions apply to your business.

Once you have an accurate cookie inventory, review which jurisdictions apply to your organization. Remember, ignorance is not absolution from the law.

Different countries and states have wide-ranging consumer privacy requirements for businesses, and these laws have different thresholds and policies for website cookies. Broadly speaking, though:

• Under GDPR’s jurisdiction, users need to opt-in to cookies

• Under the many state-level privacy laws in the United States, users need to opt out of cookies

But, as we said, this is broadly speaking.

For businesses that operate out of or serve clients or customers in Colorado, California, Connecticut and a growing list of other states, regulations require a universal opt-out requirement for cookies (also known as global privacy control).

California’s cookie policies are particularly involved. Under California law, businesses must include a link that says “Do Not Sell/Do Not Share My Personal Information” on the home page (usually done with a link in the footer) or companies can use the Your Privacy Choices icon (don’t forget to use the words and the icon).

3. Reexamine the purpose and efficacy of your cookies.

You’ve categorized your cookies (thanks to Step 1). But have you looked at what information your cookies are collecting?

This evaluation extends beyond noting business purposes. It impacts your jurisdictional privacy obligations. (Refer back to Step 2.) For example, do your cookies collect health data? Are they targeting based on health data? This could pose regulatory concerns regarding HIPAA, the FTC and states like Washington with its new consumer health privacy legislation.

You should also look at where this data goes. What third parties have access to it?

Just as importantly, have you made your consumers aware of this? If it’s not in your privacy notice, get it in there.

4. Build/test/review your cookie consent banner.

Depending on applicable jurisdictions, you may need a cookie consent banner on your website. Even if it isn’t strictly required, cookie consent banners can increase the trust between you and your consumer by creating transparency surrounding your data collection practices.

If you’re building a cookie banner, it needs to make sense. It should be:

• Visible

• Easy to understand

• Accurate

Your cookie banner should also:

• Include proper language that describes the purpose of cookies

• Include options to exercise rights

• Link to your privacy notice

• Be formatted without “dark patterns,” e.g., font/color/box shape discrepancies that push the consumer to “accept” rather than “reject” cookies. These can show up in numerous forms, but they’re uniformly detrimental to exercising privacy rights.

If you’ve got cookie banners in place, that’s great. However, they should also be part of your cookie audit.

Make sure your established cookie banner and cookie consent settings are up to date. If you add or remove cookies from your website, update accordingly (this includes your cookie consent software and your cookie policy, not just your cookie banner).

Test your banner to make sure the tech works correctly. If it says “reject,” does it block cookies from firing? Walk through each step of the process as if you were the consumer. Make sure cookies are getting blocked if the user opts out. If your banner isn’t functioning correctly, troubleshoot the issue to prevent any perception of deceptive business practices.

5. Document everything and review the results with your team.

Throughout your cookie audit, document your findings, issues, solutions and any changes required.

As you make changes to your privacy practices, make sure they are reflected in your privacy policy; your privacy policy should contain an up-to-date description of your data activities that is accurate to your current practices, not aspirational.

Once your cookie audit is complete, create an internal standard and controls for cookie practices. This can be used for a consistent approach for future cookie audits.

Consumer data privacy isn’t a requirement for a single department or team. It often involves teams like legal and compliance, marketing, HR, IT, web development, and, of course, executive leadership. Ensure that anyone who works with consumer data is kept up to date with any changes in your cookie policy and any new requirements they must follow.

Clear and transparent communication between your departments—and between you and the consumer—will help mitigate risk and build trust. It’s just good business.

Feature Image Credit: GETTY

By Jodi Daniels

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Jodi Daniels is a privacy consultant and Founder/CEO of Red Clover Advisors, one of the few Women’s Business Enterprises focused on privacy. Read Jodi Daniels’ full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

By 

It laughs!

OpenAI outshone Apple during last night’s spring update livestream. This happened in terms of hype before the event and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the products being announced by the team. As CEO Sam Altman said: “It feels like magic”.

The biggest announcement was the model GTP-4o which will power ChatGPT for both paid and free users. Unlike large language models, this is an omnimodal model, capable of taking in anything from text to video and outputting speech, text and even 3D files.

We used to talk about the iPhone moment when Steve Jobs changed the cell phone industry forever, and then in November 2022 we began to talk about the ChatGPT moment. This was another industry-defining product and I think OpenAI has done it again.

I’ve covered a lot of product announcements over a 20+ year career and this is the most exciting I’ve been to try a new product ever. If Altman is to believed, this is only just the beginning.

Why is GPT-4o such a big deal?

GPT-4o (or, the Omni model) brings a new way to interact with information. Instead of typing, you can just have a conversation or show it a video and get a voice response without any delay.

This response won’t be the slightly monotone of other assistants or the faux inflections of the previous generation of ChatGPT Voice — it is a natural-sounding voice with laughter, emotion and inflections that react in real-time to your conversation.

The full multimodal features with the ability to talk naturally using speech-to-speech are still being rolled out slowly, but even the chat version — conversing in text and pictures — is faster and more responsive than its predecessors.

Altman wrote in his blog: “Talking to a computer has never felt really natural for me; now it does. As we add (optional) personalization, access to your information, the ability to take actions on your behalf, and more, I can really see an exciting future where we are able to use computers to do much more than ever before.”

What might this future look like?

One day, and probably not as far away as many people think, this technology will power robots that work with us or serve us in our homes.

The small black dot you talk to and that talks back is as big of a paradigm shift in accessing information as the first printing press, the typewriter, the personal computer, the internet or even the smartphone.

These will be robots we can converse with like a friend and ask to do complex tasks and have it both understand and respond.

Somebody will fall in love with GPT-4o.

Even in the short term, as OpenAI rolls out iPad, iPhone and laptop apps for ChatGPT with voice and vision capabilities we’ll see it take on the role of tutor, coding assistant, financial advisor and fitness coach — and do so without judgment.

What we’re witnessing — and other companies will catch up — is the dawn of a new era in human-computer interface technology.

Omni models don’t require the AI to first convert what you say to text, analyze the text and then convert that back to speech — they understand what we say natively by analysing the audio, the inflections in our voice and even live video feeds.

The small black dot you talk to and that talks back is as big of a paradigm shift in accessing information as the first printing press, the typewriter, the personal computer, the internet or even the smartphone.

Feature Image credit: OpenAI

By 

Sourced from tom’s guide

Sourced from Forbes

In recent years, podcasts have exploded in popularity to become an enticing platform for comedians, historians and even royalty to speak on different topics to engaged listeners.

For entrepreneurs in particular, podcasts offer the opportunity to market their business while also establishing a direct connection to their target audience.

With so many people hopping on the podcast bandwagon, any business looking to start one has to carefully consider how they can stand out from the crowded market and what value they can offer listeners. To help, 20 Forbes Business Council members each share essential tips that will ensure entrepreneurs get started on the right foot.

1. Determine Your Target Audience

Identify your target demographic and meticulously discern their preferences, both in content and presentation. Harness the potential of guest engagement, maintain a steady cadence of content publication and relentlessly promote your podcast. Consider what sets your podcast apart. Then craft a distinctive tone while avoiding contrived efforts, as authenticity remains the favoured attribute among audiences. – Yasmin WalterKMD Books

2. Focus On What Sets You Apart

If you’re starting a podcast, focus on value. Determine what your business has that sets it apart and is able to offer in terms of solutions. Customize your content to match your audience’s needs. Engagement is a major factor, so respond to the listeners’ questions and comments on social media platforms to create a community. Keep in mind that the key to generating an audience is consistency. – Chris KilleEO Staff

3. Be Consistent

Consistency is key, so make sure you maintain a regular schedule to keep your audience engaged. Invest in quality production for clear audio and engaging content. Interact with your audience, encourage feedback and don’t be afraid to collaborate with experts to expand your podcast’s reach. – Mark WilliamsBrokers International

4. Outline A Content Plan

If a business is going to start a podcast first, leaders need to make sure they keep a constant feed of knowledge pouring into the podcast and preplan what listeners want to engage in. This is vital for a podcast to be successful. – Tammy SonsTn Nursery

5. Create A Distribution Plan

Starting a podcast in today’s world where everyone is battling for attention is a daunting task. Before you consider starting a podcast, you have to have a distribution plan. You must have other marketing channels established. Whether it’s email, social media, paid marketing, influencer marketing, content creation or something else, you have to figure out distribution before producing a podcast. – Calvin KrainockIncline Marketing

6. Provide Practical Solutions

Focus on providing practical solutions for the problems of your customers or listeners. If you not only want to attract but also retain your listeners for the long term, you need to ensure your conversations are applicable to their situations. Start with marketing and suitable personalities when you launch, but focus on your topics being relevant and relatable to drive word-of-mouth and longevity. – Akshay ShettyGuidewire Software

7. Focus On Relevant Topics

Present topics relevant to your audience. We started a podcast back in January called Bridging the Gap. The purpose is to bridge the gap between individuals and health insurance questions, concerns and the unknown. Inclusion of your audience is also key. When viewers feel they are seen and heard, they tend to tune in more frequently. In addition, do live sessions and invite your customers. – Kimberly Branham-NelsonNelson and Associates Insurance

8. Diversify Your Guests

Look for quality diversity. Speak to as many different guests as possible. Finding people who have differing ideas to your own often leads to an interesting conversation that opens eyes to new insights. To avoid homogeneity, create healthy debate and encourage several different perspectives to be heard. – Pearl LamPearl Lam Galleries

9. Consider Your Platform Carefully

Personally, I use Buzzsprout for my podcast. They offer great tools to help businesses syndicate their content, format it and create marketing assets to help promote it. With Zapier, I was able to create an automation that blasts a link and synopsis to my list of 35,000 subscribers every time I publish a new episode. This has dramatically helped me increase engagement on my own podcast. – Joe TrustyPool Magazine

10. Craft Outbound Marketing Campaigns

Listening in is the outcome of a disciplined process. Create outbound campaigns via LinkedIn and other social media platforms to engage email clients, prospects and centres of influence. Introduce yourself to media focused on your space and position yourself as a thought leader. Research strategies to launch on podcast platforms like Spotify and iTunes. For the podcast itself, focus on the delivery of value to the listener. – Gregory RollTouchpoint Associates

11. Deliver Valuable Content

Focus on delivering valuable content that resonates with your target audience. Identify your niche, understand your audience’s needs, provide consistent value, promote your podcast through various channels, encourage listener engagement and optimize for discovery on different podcast platforms. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of attracting and retaining a loyal listener base. – Asaad HakeemSARC MedIQ Inc.

12. Combine Education And Entertainment

Make it educational with a flair for entertainment. The best-performing podcasts educate, not sell. Therefore, create content about your expertise and solve problems for potential customers rather than selling your products or services. – Gaidar MagdanurovAcronis

13. Find Your Niche

The number one mistake I see with new podcasts is a lack of direction. I started a super niche podcast for an industry we serve and I’ve had no problem getting sponsors and listeners. I recommend finding your niche, determining what people in that niche would want to listen to and drawing up your plan. I also suggest having a plan for each episode but don’t be afraid to go off script. – Ryan LuciaSuch n Such Media

14. Prioritize The Community First

I recommend becoming “news media” for the community. I would focus on those in the community I want to impact before I focus on having big stars on. For example, if I own a dentistry, interviewing the city council may have more of an impact than a high-profile celebrity. Community is not just geographic either. If you are in a niche, focus on the people who are well-known in your niche. – Todd PricePerimeter Roofing

15. Keep It Conversational

Ensure your podcast is conversational. Consider having two hosts versus just one person because it will make it more dynamic. Identify other thought leaders in your specific niche and invite them to your podcast. It is a great way to build a community of like-minded thinkers and provide a depth of ideas. – Chris WilliamsInteraction Associates

16. Make It Easy To Find

Optimize and promote smartly. Make sure your podcast is easy to find. Use SEO-friendly titles and descriptions to improve visibility on podcast platforms and search engines. Share snippets and episodes on social media, tapping into hashtags and communities relevant to your podcast’s theme. Encouraging reviews can also significantly boost your podcast’s discoverability, drawing in a wider audience. – Jo StephensLaw Firm Sites, Inc.

17. Collaborate With Influential Guests

The main key is collaborating with influential guests who can bring their audience, significantly amplifying your podcast’s reach. It’s often easier to attract successful speakers because they’re also looking for platforms to share their content, making it a mutually beneficial partnership. This partnership can significantly amplify your podcast’s visibility and listener base. – Kolja BrandAurum Future

18. Include A Video Component

Do it with video. By livestreaming on YouTube, your podcast is now indexed within the largest search engine in the world. You won’t have to spend a penny or second on post-production, and you can answer questions from your audience on a regular basis. Then use programs like Opus Clip to cut up the podcast into reels for TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. – Shane MurphyUGC Pro

19. Make Listening A Fun And Worthwhile Experience

Podcasts must be fun and worthwhile to listen to. People who listen to podcasts want to learn with a smile. To ensure listeners tune in, offer valuable content tailored to your audience, maintain a consistent schedule, prioritize audio quality, promote across channels, engage with your audience, collaborate and persistently refine your approach. – Atte SuominenPADEL1969

20. Make It High Quality

There’s only one way for a podcast to grow an audience and succeed: It has to be good. There are no hacks, shortcuts or tricks. We’ve seen with our podcast that good quality content that engages with a very specific audience and is consistently delivered always wins the day. It takes preparation, patience and persistence. It also takes a commitment to adding value. – Mike EsterdayIntegrity Solutions

Feature Image Credit: GETTY

Sourced from Forbes

 

By

The first iPad Pro reviews are here, and as we rounded up earlier today, they focus a lot on the new OLED displays, the M4 chip, and the limitations of iPadOS as a platform. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple marketing executive Tom Boger explained how the iPad compares to the Mac, and touched on whether Apple might ever release a touchscreen Mac.

Boger, who serves as Apple’s vice president of Mac and iPad product marketing, explained to Joanna Stern that Apple doesn’t see the two devices as competitors. Instead, the idea is that the Mac and iPad are complementary. The iPad serves as a “touch-first device” while the Mac is for “indirect manipulation.”

“We don’t see them as competing devices. We see them as complementary devices,” Tom Boger, Apple’s vice president of iPad and Mac product marketing, told me in an interview. The iPad, he said, “has always been a touch-first device” while the Mac is for “indirect manipulation”—aka using a keyboard, mouse and/or trackpad.

This naturally brings up the question: will Apple ever release a touchscreen Mac? Joanna tried to get an answer – even a hint – from Boger multiple times:

He remained firm: iPads are for touch, Macs are not. “MacOS is for a very different paradigm of computing,” he said. He explained that many customers have both types of devices and think of the iPad as a way to “extend” work from a Mac. Apple’s Continuity easily allows you to work across devices, he said.

I did ask Boger if Apple would ever change its mind on the touch-screen situation.

“Oh, I can’t say we never change our mind,” he said.

You can read Joanna’s full review over at The Wall Street Journal.

Touchscreen Mac: What do the rumours say?

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that Apple is actively developing touchscreen Macs. The company is reportedly targeting a release date for a MacBook Pro with a touchscreen in 2025.

The MacBook Pro revamp being tested inside Apple retains a “traditional laptop design” that includes a standard trackpad and keyboard. The difference, of course, is that the screen would “support touch input and gestures – just like an iPhone and iPad,” Gurman has reported.

By

Sourced from 9to5Mac

Sourced from The Drum

The demise of third-party cookies and an election year team up to present marketers with both challenges and opportunities.

A once-in-a-lifetime perfect storm of technological disruption and cultural flashpoint is about to descend on the digital marketing landscape, resulting in both short-term challenges and long-term change. Few marketers seem prepared for either.

Here’s what’s on the horizon.

Storm 1: Third-party tracking cookies are going away… even if that day is now further than expected. That means  the days of simply buying data on customers and retargeting them based on the information purchased are limited.

Storm 2: The 2024 election cycle, and all the down-ballot issues that come with a presidential election year, are going to eat up nearly all available ad inventory, driving up costs and driving down ROI.

Taken together, it’s going to be extremely difficult for brands to cut through the noise and target the right audience while trying to maintain efficiency.

But there is a way to weather these headwinds and come out the other side a winner. Spoiler alert, it all points to a strategic investment in first-party data, owned channels, and partnering with companies that have the data to help you execute a winning plan.

First, let’s examine more closely the magnitude of the storms upon us.

Cookie depreciation

Yes, Google keeps delaying its promise to end the use of third-party cookie on Chrome browsers. But what’s interesting is that one of the reasons behind this delay is a lack of industry readiness for a world without cookies.

We’ve seen the headaches that over-reliance on tech solutions can have on brands. Remember when Apple killed Identifier for Advertisers (which matched ads to unique individuals on iOS devices)? Brands advertising heavily on Facebook were hit particularly hard – it took nearly two years to normalize reach and metrics closer to what brands were used to seeing before that iOS update.

Perhaps that’s what has marketers so pessimistic about the future of cookies.

  • Up to 80% of advertisers still rely on third-party cookies today.
  • 70% of marketers raise concerns that digital advertising will take a step backward following the death of the third-party cookie.
  • 69% of advertisers think the death of third-party cookies will have a bigger impact than both GDPR and CCPA.

In a worst-case scenario, according to ad sales company Raptive, a 30% deprecation could easily translate to a 30% drop in revenue for brands relying heavily on cookies.

What’s more, the “Privacy Sandbox” APIs Google is creating for advertisers who remain heavily reliant on cookies is hardly a solution. Google itself says it’s “not intended to be direct, one-to-one replacements for all third-party cookie-based use cases,” according to the company’s blog. Regardless, the required innovation and building of new ad tools on top of Privacy Sandbox will require significant new costs and an entire shift in the development of these tools.

All in all, this is uncharted territory. But it seems clear the financial costs to rebuild an ecosystem will be large. There are lots of unknowns, but the biggest is how will these changes affect revenue, and what’s the new normal for an ROI model with paid ads.

Social is no haven either. Visitors from paid social are almost 40% more likely to bounce from your site than paid search traffic. Instead, social will likely remain a brand awareness play.

Regardless of the source of traffic, if an unknown device hits your site, you need to be prepared to capitalize on that activity.

  • Can you offer up the right value exchange that convinces the customer to opt-in for more information?
  • Are you using identity partners that may have a profile on that device and recognize its potential as a high-value customer?

This is critical information that allows you to engage potential new customers the moment they visit your site. Rather than offering new visitors a generic discount code, you’ll be able to make a more specific, personalized offer that has a far higher chance of converting into an opt in. Or offer a pop up touting a loyalty perk rather than a discount code.

Getting that unknown visitor to convert to an owned channel will then allow you to learn even more about these visitors and refine your offers to them even more, resulting in offers more likely to convert to sales, and ultimately a more long-term loyal customer.

If you can convert 30% of your unknown paid traffic to known contacts, your advertising spend will become far more meaningful.

The election

While the presidential race will get the headlines and no shortage of advertising funds to spend, a large majority of ad dollars will come from congressional and local races. This is where political ad machines will be targeting people based on behaviour and other data.

All those dollars will be spent chasing the same people. They call them voters. You call them customers. Either way, political ads will be chasing the same people on the same platforms, vying for the same inventory. So what does that mean?

Consider this: political ad spend is expected to shatter the previous record of $10 billion that was set during the previous election cycle. Predictions for 2024 election ad spend range from $10bn to $15.9bn. And while the majority of political advertising spend in the US goes to local broadcast TV, an increasing amount is moving toward digital channels.

Digital advertising company Jump saw Meta’s CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) rise from a total of $8 to as high as $15.50 during election week 2020, an overall increase of 94%. This is what’s ahead of us and what marketers need to prepare for.

This isn’t a financial discussion either. Brand safety is always a concern during elections. Political ads from so-called “dark money” groups can be highly inflammatory, and you neer know what kind of ad will show up next to yours.

All the more reason why owned channels are much safer. Be in control of where your message lands by seeking one-to-one communication in the personal and private space of the inbox or as a text message.

3 things you can do

1. Focus on identity

Work with partners who can match unknown site visitors against a database of millions of known devices to identify which are your target customers worth engaging with. Get them opted in as early as possible so you can use owned channels to engage.

2. Leverage owned channels

Once you can identify existing opted-in contacts and convert new site visitors, use triggered email and SMS channels to personalize offers based on their web activity and interest in your products or services. This is far more effective (and far lower cost) than remarketing with paid ads.

3. Provide value

Increase your knowledge of each new customer by offering value in return for zero-party data that allows you to make more personalized offers and recommendations in your one-to-many outbound messaging campaigns.

To learn more about how the depreciation of cookies and the upcoming election cycle will affect marketing budgets and strategies in the year ahead, watch the Wunderkind webinar “Navigate the Turbulence: ROAS Strategies for Brand Marketers in an Election Year” here.

Sourced from The Drum

By Brennan Doherty

An effective newsletter marketing strategy uses the intimacy of email to reach out to readers and keep them in the loop. Discover useful tips and best practices from publishers for a successful newsletter strategy.

Introduction to newsletter marketing strategy

With the shareability of social media and the adaptability of a blog, newsletters are an ideal tool for independent publishers to reach their audience. For Nicci Kadilak, founder and editor-in-chief of the Burlington Buzz, her newsletter was more than just a marketing tool: it was her entire platform for the first two years.

“It needs to be an essential part of your platform, because it connects readers with you as an individual, not just the news organization as a sort of nameless, faceless entity,” Kadilak says. “It just creates another touch point for you and your readers.”

The Buzz began in February 2022 in Burlington, Massachusetts to cover current events and local government. While it started out of a single Facebook post, it launched as a newsletter-only platform. Now, it boasts an accompanying news website. Kadilak’s daily newsletter lets 1,600 subscribers know about the town of Burlington and how it works in the span of a five minute read.

But it also acts as a critical tool to help grow the Burlington Buzz’s “hive” of paid subscribers, gather news and maintain a warm relationship with readers. Newsletter strategy is not only about growing a publication’s reach, but leveraging the intimacy of email to hit your marketing goals.

Is a newsletter a good marketing strategy?

“Oh gosh, absolutely,” says Corinne Colbert, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Athens County Independent, an indie publisher based in southeast Ohio. “Until we became an Indiegraf publisher and we became part of the News Startup Fund, it was really hard for us to get our name out there.”

The Independent runs a weekly flagship newsletter called The Indy, as well as two other service-oriented newsletters called The Bulletin Board and The Scoop. In the absence of print circulation or door-to-door delivery, Colbert says newsletters act as a distribution strategy to get the Independent’s work in front of audiences, rather than waiting for people to come to them. “It’s a push instead of a pull,” she says. “It’s hard to get readers to make a habit of checking a website.”

Newsletter marketing strategy for The Athens County Independent

For the Independent, the results speak for themselves. All three newsletters average open rates of around 50 percent, according to Colbert. They have also grown from a readership of around 1,000 last year to just under 5,000. “I see it as integral to our work,” she says. “On the internet, there’s a lot of competition for people’s eyeballs.”

How do you plan an effective newsletter strategy?

Getting a newsletter off the ground, and making it work for your publication, requires careful thought. Its purpose, design and timing all matter. Here’s how both the Burlington Buzz and the Athens County Independent created newsletter strategies that work:

  • Leverage your existing following: Instead of starting from scratch, your newsletter marketing strategy should first draw on your publication’s existing readership. The Burlington Buzz started with a sizeable Facebook and Instagram following among local groups, and posted links to its newsletter to boost awareness in the early days. These groups also became a proof-of-concept for the Buzz.

    “We already had an audience of people who were interested in the work that we were doing on Facebook,” Kadilak explains. “We started these posts on Facebook and then decided to transition to a dedicated newsletter because there was enough information to keep people interested, and we wanted to develop an audience that we could keep with us, and not have to rely on Facebook algorithms.”

  • Give readers news they can use: An effective newsletter strategy isn’t just about putting your publication’s logo in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Good newsletters are useful, and give readers a reason to check back often. At the Athens County Independent, the Scoop and the Bulletin provide weekly updates on public meetings, local events and even major road closures. Colbert says the Independent is looking into enhancing the Scoop’s service journalism through a mass texting tool.

    “It’s part of the strategy of public service journalism,” she says, “getting information out to the community.”

  • A walkie-talkie, not a megaphone: While the Buzz and the Independent’s newsletters serve as marketing tools for both publications, they also allow the founders to keep in touch with their thousands of committed readers. For the Independent, that means handling a mix of compliments, news tips and complaints or correction requests from readers.

    “We want to have a relationship with our readers,” Colbert says. “These are our neighbours, our friends, our family. We don’t want to be something that’s cold and impersonal.”

How to integrate a newsletter into your marketing strategy

Newsletters combine the best of several different marketing avenues, but their real strength lies in their ability to create community. When combined with other marketing approaches like live events or social media, the results can pay off spectacularly for indie publishers.

At the Independent, email marketing integration means bringing email sign-up sheets to Athens County events. It’s a way to carry on a conversation well after a gathering ends. “It’s an opportunity, not only to get email addresses but also just to get your name and your brand out there,” Colbert says. “It’s a way to communicate and engage with your readers.” While they can be tiring, Colbert says she’s never regretted any event the Independent has ever done.

Social media, a mainstay of digital marketing, doesn’t just draw attention to a newsletter. When used right, it can drive community engagement on its own. The Burlington Buzz started by identifying active Facebook groups in town with residents that would benefit from local news, and then posting relevant stories there. “We still do that,” Kadilak says.

The most powerful way to integrate a newsletter into your marketing strategy is to use it to have actual conversations with readers. Colbert points out that very few readers ever talk to a journalist in their lives, let alone carry on a conversation with one.

By Brennan Doherty

Brennan Doherty is a Toronto-based writer. His work can be found at the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, TVO.org, Maisonneuve, Future of Good, The Local, and elsewhere.

Sourced from Indiegraf

BY CHRISTINE WETZLER, EDITED BY KARA MCINTYRE

Encouraging and supporting your employees in their personal branding efforts is not just a strategy for individual growth, but it’s also a forward-thinking business approach to elevate your company in a competitive market.

Key Takeaways

  • A total of 81% of consumers admitted that their trust in a brand significantly influences their purchasing decisions, with 77% preferring to buy from brands they follow on social media.

  • The reputation and credibility of a company’s CEO and employees sway the buying choices of 65% of consumers.

  • For a corporate brand to truly resonate and lead to tangible sales results, the personal brands within it need to be strong and clearly defined.

The intersection of personal branding and corporate success is increasingly apparent as we experience a revival of person-to-person connection. Traditionally, individual and corporate branding have been seen as separate entities, each with its strategies and goals, and at times, they may even appear to be in direct conflict. However, a significant shift is underway due to the growing demand for personalization.

Companies are finding that leveraging the individual brand strengths of their employees can achieve greater reach and awareness. A staggering 81% of consumers admit that their trust in a brand significantly influences their purchasing decisions, with 77% preferring to buy from brands they follow on social media.

The impact remains robust across both B2B and B2C sectors. Interestingly, the reputation and credibility of a company’s CEO and employees sway the buying choices of 65% of consumers. These statistics underscore a crucial point: Brand credibility plays a significant role in sales efforts. For a corporate brand to truly resonate and lead to tangible sales results, the personal brands within it need to be strong and clearly defined.

Having been immersed in communications since the late 1900s (and yes, I find it amusing to say that), I’ve witnessed many branding evolutions — from the advent of email to the rise of social media and, now, artificial intelligence. However, in my view, no technological advancement can ever replace meaningful human interaction; it only redefines what sales groups consider meaningful. You can use AI to generate leads, but if they aren’t the right fit or meaningful to your business, do they truly count? The key lies in a strong corporate brand that invites individuals to join in its journey.

There is a synergy between personal and corporate branding

The above concept isn’t new. We’ve all seen or worked with a “unicorn” employee at some point. What makes them a unicorn? Their individual brand. When employees establish strong personal brands, they bring authenticity and a human touch to the corporate narrative, making the company more relatable and trustworthy in the eyes of consumers.

This synergy not only enhances the company’s reputation but also drives engagement in the places where employees are active—be it in community events, on social media, or among their friends. Employees with robust personal brands naturally amplify the company’s visibility and influence. They become the ‘unicorns’ who direct qualified leads to your company. A LinkedIn social selling study even measured this phenomenon, finding that 92% of B2B customers are more willing to engage with sales reps who are recognized as industry thought leaders.

Encouraging personal brand development without losing control

Many businesses struggle with the idea of encouraging employees to amp up their personal brand, fearing it will diminish the quality of their messaging or they might lose control of their corporate story. Before I share a few tactical strategies to address this, I want to emphasize that your corporate brand must be solid and credible for this to be effective.

A strong corporate brand provides a stable backdrop against which individual employee brands can shine. It offers a cohesive narrative that aligns with the personal stories your employees are telling. Before you encourage your employees to engage in their own branding exercises, it is crucial to conduct some branding exercises at the corporate level. This ensures that your brand welcomes collaboration and instils a sense of pride in everyone associated with it.

You want all individuals to feel positive about being openly associated with your company. These characteristics are essential for personal branding efforts to be effective. Otherwise, you might end up helping individuals build their personal brands, only for them to take that strength to another company that is already well-positioned.

How to get the strongest individual brands without sacrificing consistency

The most fundamental way to maintain control of your corporate messaging while promoting individual branding efforts is to ensure a strong alignment between the company’s values and the personal values of your employees. Here’s how you can accomplish this without compromising the company’s branding efforts:

Define clear guidelines that outline how employees can align their branding efforts with the company’s values and objectives. This ensures consistency and prevents any potential conflicts or off-brand messaging. This is why it is important for you as a business to have your brand already developed — so you can communicate its characteristics clearly and provide guidance.

Offer training programs that help employees understand the best practices for social media and content creation, including workshops on writing, personal presentation and ethical considerations online. These can be both educational and fun, giving people permission and confidence to share your branding goals.

Encourage employees to become thought leaders in their respective fields. This can be facilitated through full support of speaking engagements, writing opportunities on industry blogs and participation in industry and online panel discussions. Thought leadership both boosts the individual’s brand and positively reflects on the company.

Highlight your employees’ achievements on your corporate channels. This will boost their personal brand and show that the company recognizes and values their contributions. One thing we have is an internal message board where examples of social posts are included with these announcements. We also send AI prompts to create social content when we ask people to share our content.

Regular monitoring and constructive feedback are essential to ensure that employees’ messaging remains aligned with the company’s brand identity. Part of our town hall team meetings focuses on the positive contributions individuals have made toward marketing. The feedback here should be consistent and mostly positive. If there is a need for redirection or negative feedback it should always be done privately and one-on-one.

Integrating personal branding into your business strategy creates a win-win scenario: Employees feel valued and empowered, which enhances their loyalty and productivity. For the company, this alignment between individual and corporate brands leads to increased trust and better relationships.

As the lines between personal and corporate branding continue to blur, companies that recognize and leverage the symbiotic relationship between personal and corporate brands will likely see the most significant growth and success. Indeed, at a minimum, they’ll encourage the curation of better relationships and more defined sales leads.

BY CHRISTINE WETZLER, 

ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK® CONTRIBUTOR

President and Founder of Pietryla PR & Marketing

Christine Wetzler is a PR and marketing strategist who knows how to generate consistent, widespread media coverage as well as offer strategic digital insights to business owners. She knows how to accurately integrate public relations, social media and digital marketing to achieve desired outcomes.

EDITED BY KARA MCINTYRE

Sourced from Entrepreneur

By Kanishka Kumawat

Strategies for Achieving Higher Conversions and Better ROI

No matter how you plan your email marketing strategy, the goal is always the same– driving results.

The only way to know the effectiveness of your strategy is by measuring your conversion rates. They are paramount for achieving the results you want while nurturing a strong community.

Driving sales and revenue are the insights that impact the bottom line of your marketing strategy. They tell you if you are making an impact on your audience and inspiring action.

If you want to understand how to master conversion rates and optimize them to your needs, here are some of the best practices and real case studies that will help you stay on top of the game.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Email marketing conversion rates are the direct indicator of your influence on your audience.

They help you understand the percentage of your audience engaging with your content and ultimately being driven to take action — whether that is making a purchase, downloading a PDF, or using a discount code.

Once you optimize this element, you can gauge your campaigns effectively and achieve your desired results.

For example, you can track the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions generated by your campaigns. You can also track the cost per click (CPC), cost per impression (CPM), and return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns.

What Are Email Marketing Conversion Rates?

Say you’re running an email campaign to showcase your new digital product. The conversion rate will show you the percentage of people who not only clicked on that product link in your email but also went ahead and bought it.

A high conversion rate signals that your content resonates with your audience, your Call-to-Action (CTA) is driving results, and your campaign is casting spells of success left and right!

Importance of Tracking and Analysing Conversion Rates in Email Marketing

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Tracking and analysing conversion rates in email marketing form the bedrock of success.

Here are five reasons why these are not mere numbers but indispensable metrics that hold the power to optimize your marketing strategy:

Performance Evaluation: At the heart of every email campaign is the desire to see results. By understanding which aspects of your emails contribute to higher conversion rates, you can optimize your content, design, calls-to-action, and targeting to improve your campaign’s performance.

Optimization Opportunities: When you analyse your conversion rates you can identify pain points and areas for optimization. Constant iteration is the key to growth and your conversation rates will point to the aspects where you are lagging.

Return on Investment (ROI): The effort and time you invest in your marketing campaigns should translate into a measurable ROI. This is the metric that tells you how effective your work has been.

Segment and Target: Personalization is the key to winning people. Analyse different segments of your email list to understand specific audience preferences. In doing this, your campaigns will resonate with your audience on a personal level and induce higher conversion rates.

Test and Iterate: By conducting A/B tests and experimenting with your subject lines, CTAs, or content, you can pinpoint what resonates best with your audience. Constant iteration and testing allows you to produce highly refined content and enhance campaign performance.

Understanding Average Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Average email marketing conversion rates provide insights into building successful email campaigns. By analysing these rates, businesses can optimize their strategies and achieve better results.

These are the benchmark metrics that reveal the average conversion rates across different niches. This empowers you to fine-tune your strategies, optimize your content, and achieve better results in engaging and persuading your audience.

Factors That Influence Average Conversion Rates

From Sender Reputation to your landing page, many factors dictate your conversion rate. Here are some of the five factors that you can work on starting today:

Call-to-Action (CTA): A clear and compelling CTA can work wonders. This is what inspires people to take action. Example – Sunlighter’s CTA for referrals.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Email Design and Layout: First impressions matter, and your email design can make or break it. Your email layout will enhance your subscribers’ experience and boost interaction. Example – Milk Road’s UI

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Personalization and Segmentation: Generic emails are a thing of the past. Successful marketing is not about selling products– it’s about seeing and understanding people and embracing their needs.

That’s why personalized emails that address people by their names will garner a stronger community.

Timing and Frequency: The right timing can make all the difference. Avoid overwhelming your subscribers with excessive emails to yield better results. This is where you can set a schedule for yourself. Example – “5-Bullet Friday” by Tim Ferriss is a weekly email newsletter where he shares five handpicked recommendations related to tools, books, articles, gadgets, and more that he’s found valuable.

Why Trust me: I earned my audience’s trust by regularly sharing a video series called Half Baked on Instagram every Saturday, which received 27,683 views back in 2020. The audience became familiar with the content and eagerly awaited its release at 8 PM each Saturday.

Reputation and Trustworthiness: Trust is the currency of email marketing. Being transparent with your content and thoughts will make you more relatable to your audience and build a sense of trust. Example- Home screen’s home page.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Techniques

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving the conversion rates of your email campaigns. The goal is to make an impact on people and build trust. Building credibility takes a long time, but when done right, it has a high ROI.

Five effective CRO techniques to enhance your email marketing conversion rates:

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

A/B Testing: Experiment with elements like subject lines, CTA buttons, layout, and images to test what your audience loves the most about your emails. Test-iterate-repeat.

Clear and Compelling CTAs: Your CTA will guide the subscribers to take action. It has to be concise and persuasive which builds transparency.

Example – “I’d love to hear from you. What are you building right now and what are you struggling with? Reply to this email, I’d love to know!”

Mobile Optimization: Most people check their emails on their phones. Mobile-responsive emails will cater to their needs. With beehiiv, you can design your emails for PC and mobile with the same ease.

Landing Page Optimization: Create relevant and optimized landing pages that align with the email content and make it easy for the readers to say “yes”.

Use of Visuals: Incorporate relevant images and videos to make the email content more engaging and impactful. A balance of text and visuals is necessary.

Benchmarks and Industry Standards for Average Conversion Rates

Industries with direct sales and immediate purchase opportunities, such as e-commerce and retail, boast higher average conversion rates. Customers in these sectors often make a purchase, leading to quicker actions and higher conversions.

While industries focusing on lead generation may experience lower conversion rates. The desired action in these cases involves a more extensive decision-making process, resulting in a longer sales funnel.

Take a look at the average conversion rates we noticed at beehiiv in 2023:

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Key Metrics for Evaluating Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Thankfully, tracking the performance of email marketing is fairly straightforward. The majority of email marketing services come equipped with built-in analytics tools that enable you to monitor and comprehend the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

By measuring key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, you gain valuable insights into what is effective, and what is not, and, most crucially, how to refine your future emails for better results.

Click-Through Rates (CTR) And Its Relationship to Conversion Rates

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Click-through rate (CTR) is calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of delivered emails and multiplying it by 100.

It is closely related to conversion rates because it signifies the initial interest and interaction of your subscribers with the email campaign. A higher CTR indicates that more readers found the email content compelling and took the next step by clicking on the CTA or link.

This active engagement is a crucial precursor to achieving conversions.

Open Rates and Their Impact on Conversion Rates

Open rates measure the percentage of subscribers who opened an email compared to the total number of delivered emails. Open rates are influenced by:

  • Subject lines
  • Sender name
  • Preview text

While open rates indicate that the email caught the recipient’s attention enough to open it, they do not directly correlate with conversions. Some subscribers might open an email out of curiosity or interest but not proceed with the desired action. When the open rate is combined with KPIs like CTR, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of email campaign performance.

The relationship between open rates and conversion rates lies in the recipient’s initial interest and engagement. A well-crafted subject line and compelling email content can entice recipients to open the email and explore further. Subsequently, the content’s relevancy and the effectiveness of the CTA play a crucial role in driving recipients toward taking the desired action and achieving conversions.

How To Determine Conversion Rates in Email Marketing

With email platforms like beehiiv, you don’t need to calculate your campaign conversion rates as you can easily get the analytics report which shows you the performance, sources, etc.

beehiiv’s analytics go beyond simple numbers. You can dig deeper into the sources of your conversions, understanding which emails or segments are driving the most significant results. This empowers you to optimize your content and targeting, tailoring your campaigns for maximum impact.

Calculation Formula for Conversion Rates

Conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who either complete the desired action or become customers, depending on your conversion goal.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Conversion Rate (%) = x number of signups or purchases / x number of Delivered Emails X 100

To calculate the conversion rate, follow these steps:

Track and count the number of recipients who completed the desired action (e.g., signed up, made a purchase) as a result of the email campaign. This number will be the numerator in the formula.

Calculate the total number of delivered emails. This includes emails that were not bounced or marked as spam. This number will be the denominator in the formula.

For example, if an email campaign resulted in 200 signups and there were 10,000 delivered emails, the conversion rate would be:

Conversion Rate (%) = (200 / 10,000) * 100 = 2%

This means that the email campaign achieved a 2% conversion rate, with 2% of recipients completing the desired action of signing up.

Tracking Conversions and Attributing Them To Specific Email Campaigns

Tracking conversions is a crucial aspect of email marketing to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and understand audience behaviour. To track conversions and attribute them to specific email campaigns, you can use specialized tools and techniques:

Unique URLs or UTM Parameters: Create unique URLs or add UTM parameters to the links in your email campaigns. These parameters help identify the source of traffic and track conversions from specific emails.

Conversion Tracking Pixels: Use tracking pixels or codes placed on the conversion page (e.g., thank you page after signing up). When your potential subscribers reach this page after clicking the CTA, the pixel fires and the conversion is recorded.

ESP: Your ESP will help you with insights and analytics by giving you an in-depth look into the actions taken by people on your email. Using a good emailing platform can not only affect your conversion rates but also your deliverability– so that you don’t end up in your subscribers’ spam folders!

Tools and Software for Measuring Conversion Rates

As the times have changed, you don’t have to worry about manually tracking your open rates or checking your web views. There are so many tools out there that can help you measure your conversion rates without any hassle, but these two are the best:

Google Analytics: Not only is google analytics free, but is also the top tool that people use to get detailed insights on their campaign performances.

beehiiv: Your emailing and analytical partner. With beehiiv you can track your performance, automate your campaigns and get 3D analytics that help you level up your marketing strategy.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Strategies for Improving Conversion Rates in Email Marketing

There are many ways to improve your email marketing strategy and some of them can be as simple as making changes to the way you write your subject lines. These strategies work because they are grounded in understanding and catering to the needs of your audience.

Your subject lines and CTAs are the connections you build with your readers at first glance.

Crafting Compelling Subject Lines and Email Content

The first step in building your email list is getting people to subscribe to your newsletter. The next step in that ladder is them opening your emails. Your subject line is what they see first to help them determine whether the email is worth their time and interest.

They are the gateway to engagement. Approximately 47% of users open emails based on the subject line. Craft compelling subject lines that pique curiosity and drive recipients to open your email. This will increase your email open rates.

To Create Subject Lines That Truly Stand Out, Consider the Following Tips:

Be clear and concise: Keep your subject lines concise and to the point. Avoid being vague or misleading, as your subscribers might feel deceived and mark your emails as spam.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Personalization: The psychology behind mentioning someone’s name in an email is rooted in a cognitive bias known as the “name-personalization effect.” This effect is a result of the brain’s automatic attention to self-relevant information, which is part of our natural social cognition.

Create a sense of urgency: Incorporate words that create a sense of urgency or exclusivity to encourage immediate action. The best example of this is “limited-time deal” offers that brands push forward during their sales.

Pique curiosity: Spark curiosity by using intriguing questions or teasing snippets of valuable content. When you give people a sneak peek into your content, it channels them to open your email and get the details.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Emphasize benefits: Highlight the benefits or value of opening the email. Ask yourself– “What value are my readers going to get after reading my mail?” and tell them about the same.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

A/B testing and Optimization

A/B testing is a technique that allows you to experiment with different variations of your emails and subject lines to determine which performs best.

By splitting your email list into two groups and sending different versions of your subject lines or email content to each, you can assess which version yields higher engagement and conversion rates.

Here’s how to conduct effective A/B testing:

Choose one variable: Focus on testing one element at a time to accurately measure its impact. For example, test different subject lines while keeping the email content the same.

Segment your list: Divide your email list into two equal segments randomly.

Test and analyse: Send version A to one segment and version B to the other. Monitor the results and analyse the performance of each variant.

Implement the best-performing version: Based on the results, choose the winning version and implement it in your future campaigns.

Utilizing Persuasive Copywriting Techniques

Compelling email content is the driving force behind conversions. Persuasive copywriting techniques help influence recipients’ decisions and prompt them to take the desired action.

Here are some persuasive copywriting tips for email content:

Know your audience: Understand your target audience’s pain points, desires, and motivations. Tailor your content to resonate with their needs.

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Address benefits not features: Communicate how your product or service benefits your audience and solves their problems. The more niche it is, the better. Example – A newsletter for Product Managers– you don’t have to have 100k subscribers, even 10k people can build a strong community.

Use storytelling: Weave engaging stories that connect emotionally with readers and make your message memorable. It could be real-life incidents or pop-culture inspired.

Write action-oriented CTAs: Use strong and clear calls-to-action that encourage your subscribers to act immediately.

Use power words: Incorporate powerful words that evoke emotions and captivate attention. Keep editing your email copy until you feel satisfied. When you feel like you’re done, go through your copy as a reader to get a different perspective.

Real-World Examples of High-Converting Emails

From big businesses like Airbnb and Uber to creators, high converting emails are not that difficult to figure out, all that it takes is an understanding of consumer psychology.

Here’s a breakdown of one of the best emails by Michael Houck:

  • Talking about the Top 1% (who doesn’t want to be there?) and sharing his key learnings from people like Ben Horowitz and Matt Mochary.
  • Mentioning the new things he has been working on, which keeps his subscribers eager to know more.
  • Giving social proof. “Promote your startup to 14000+ founders”
  • Reading time – 5 mins. He’s not asking for a lot of commitment from me, it is an easy ask.
Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Here’s how Superhuman AI did the same!

  • Subscriber count doesn’t always determine success. In specific niches, like a private equity newsletter with 2,000 senior manager readers, the value of the audience matters more. Even with a smaller subscriber base, sponsors may pay generously for ads as a result of the highly targeted audience.
  • Mastering writing is akin to exercising—results don’t come overnight. Quantity leads to quality and consistent action is key. It wasn’t easy at the start, but it is all about putting in more reps. Success comes from learning through continuous practice and experimentation.
Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Tracking and Analysing Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Your first campaign might not give you the best results and that’s a part of the process. You need to write what people want to read. Having an audience-first approach is what always works.

The more you experiment, the better understanding you will get out of your audience’s expectations. When you realize what works, double down on that!

You can start by trying out different content types, themes, or storytelling approaches that consistently capture your audience’s attention. Continuously adapting and optimizing based on your learnings leads to a stronger alignment between your email content and your audience’s desires.

Regularly analyse these performance metrics and make data-driven improvements to your email campaigns:

Click-Through Rate (CTR): Track the percentage of recipients who clicked on the links or CTAs in the email.

Open Rate: Monitor the percentage of recipients who opened the email.

Bounce Rate: Keep an eye on the percentage of emails that were not successfully delivered due to invalid email addresses or other issues.

Unsubscribe Rate: Monitor the percentage of recipients who opted out of your email list.Test different subject lines, CTAs, content, and design elements to identify what resonates best with your audience.

Best Practices for Achieving Higher Conversion Rates in Email Marketing

Achieving higher conversion rates is not rocket science, rather it is just about three main things:

1. Building a Responsive Email List

A responsive list consists of engaged subscribers who are genuinely interested in your content, products, or services. Here are some tips to build and maintain a responsive email list:

a. Use double opt-in: Implement a double opt-in process to confirm subscribers’ interest and ensure they willingly subscribe to your emails.

b. Offer valuable incentives: Provide valuable incentives such as exclusive content, discounts, or free resources to encourage sign-ups.

e. Regularly clean and update your list: Remove inactive or unengaged subscribers to maintain list quality and improve deliverability rates.

2. Email Segmentation and Targeting Strategies

Segmenting your email list allows you to deliver targeted messages tailored to specific groups. This also gives you insights on what you need to focus more on and who your most engaged subscribers are.

This level of personalization not only increases the relevance of your emails but also enhances engagement and conversion rates. It allows you to speak directly to the interests and pain points of each segment, making your communications more meaningful and effective.

Here’s how to use email segmentation effectively:

a. Demographic segmentation: Divide your list based on demographic data such as age, gender, location, or job title.

b. Behavioural segmentation: Segment subscribers based on their interactions with your emails, website, or previous purchases.

c. Interest-based segmentation: Group subscribers with similar interests or preferences to deliver content that aligns with their needs.

d. Buyer journey segmentation: Tailor emails based on where subscribers are in the buyers’ journey to nurture leads effectively.

3. Deliverability and Email Reputation Management

Ensuring your emails reach the recipients’ inboxes and avoiding the spam folder is crucial for email marketing success. Follow these practices to maintain a positive email reputation:

a. Authenticate your emails: Use DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to authenticate your emails and prove their legitimacy.

b. Monitor engagement metrics: Keep a close eye on open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints to measure email engagement.

c. Avoid spam traps: Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive and invalid email addresses that may become spam traps.

d. Provide clear unsubscribe options: Make it easy for subscribers to opt-out if they wish, as this can reduce the likelihood of spam and also boost your deliverability.

e. Comply with anti-spam laws: Familiarize yourself with anti-spam regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR to ensure compliance.

Lessons Learned From Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

The best way to build an audience through email marketing is by a blend of sharing what you know best and what people won’t find anywhere else.

This connection forms the foundation upon which you can build lasting relationships and foster trust. Sharing your specialized knowledge not only positions you as a credible source but also showcases your commitment to providing real value to your audience.

Here are three key takeaways from this blog that you can put into action starting today:

Understanding Email Marketing Conversion Rates

Personalization matters: Personalized emails that cater to individual interests and preferences drive higher engagement and conversions.

A/B testing is key: Continuously test different elements in your emails to discover what resonates best with your audience.

Relevancy increases conversions: Sending targeted and relevant content based on segmentation leads to improved conversion rates.

Your emailing platform can make or break the game, choosing beehiiv will not only help you dodge the spam folders of your subscribers but also give you support in case you feel stuck.

Start emailing today, and join the hive!

By Kanishka Kumawat

Sourced from beehiiv Blog

By Alex Kudos

Marketing has continued to evolve over the years, and with the integration of artificial intelligence, it has emerged as a transformative force. As marketers at one of the largest social discovery companies in the world, we are constantly exploring innovative ways to enhance user engagement, foster meaningful connections and drive business growth. AI has entered the space and is changing how we think about marketing within the dating industry—including localization, data-driven attribution, predictive conversations and its impact on creative endeavours—but how can it help other marketing firms as well?

Localization Bridges The Gap Between Global Reach And Local Relevance

One of the key challenges faced by global social discovery companies is the need to strike a balance between reaching a wide audience and delivering locally relevant experiences. AI-powered localization solutions are valuable tools allowing us to analyze user data to understand cultural nuances, language preferences and regional dating trends.

Through localized content, tailored recommendations, and geo-targeted advertisements, AI enables us to create more personalized experiences for users across diverse regions. For instance, with dating.com, we are able to analyse user interactions and preferences in specific locations, it is now possible to fine-tune matchmaking algorithms to better suit the preferences of users in different geographic areas, ultimately enhancing their overall experience and increasing engagement.

Data, which most companies sit on mounds of and don’t know what to do with it, is the secret weapon to make AI work for your company. By gathering data on local demographics, preferences and cultural nuances, marketers can feed this information into AI-powered tools that can capture sentiment analysis, social listening, market research, etc., and quickly adapt materials accurately across multiple languages and regions.

Data-Driven Attribution Unravels The Complexities Of User Behaviour

Multi-touch attribution is extremely important if there are a number of brands, platforms and channels under one portfolio. In these instances, understanding the customer journey and accurately attributing conversions to various channels are essential to marketers. Data-driven analytics help unravel the complexities of user behaviour, identify the most influential marketing channels, and optimize strategies accordingly. With advanced machine learning algorithms, marketing teams can analyse vast amounts of data to determine which marketing efforts are driving the highest ROI.

Predictive modelling allows us to forecast future user behaviour and tailor our marketing initiatives accordingly. By understanding the factors that influence user engagement and conversion, we can allocate resources more effectively, maximize marketing impact and drive sustainable growth.

Marketers should research a centralized system to house data for data integration and then enlist the help of a skilled team of data scientists to develop algorithms and constantly analyse the data. As this data continues to be analysed and automated, marketing campaigns can be optimized in real time.

Predictive Conversations Anticipate User Needs and Preferences

AI-powered chatbots and conversational agents are powerful tools for engaging users in personalized and meaningful interactions. Companies should consider implementing an advanced chatbot such as ChatGPT into their core product to help with user questions. Earlier this year, OKCupid integrated ChatGPT into its platform to assist with finding out the right questions that correlate directly to what’s happening in the world and pop culture. These AI-driven models can understand user intent, respond to inquiries and provide tailored recommendations in real time.

This formula can be replicated for many companies across industries. It is essential to be able to forecast customer behaviour and preferences to tailor messaging and shift strategies accordingly.

AI Use In Creative Elevates Brand Storytelling And Visual Communication

Compelling creative content is essential for capturing audience attention and conveying brand messages effectively. AI technologies such as generative design are changing the way companies approach creativity, and also speed up the process. From image recognition and content generation to personalized video recommendations, AI can create highly engaging and relevant content at scale. These services and tools are readily available and most can be integrated into existing platforms that are already functioning within an organization.

Marketers can employ AI-driven image recognition to analyse user-generated content to identify trends, preferences and brand associations. Generative design tools make it possible to automate the creation of personalized visual assets such as custom graphics, videos and interactive experiences, upleveling brand storytelling capabilities.

The integration of AI into marketing strategies within the social discovery industry represents a major shift in how we engage with users, drive conversions and foster meaningful connections. From localization and data-driven attribution to predictive conversations and AI-driven creative endeavours, AI technologies can empower marketing teams to deliver personalized experiences that resonate with users on a deeper level.

Feature Image Credit: GETTY

By Alex Kudos

Follow me on LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Alex Kudos has over 18 years experience in marketing and currently serves as CMO at Social Discovery Group. Read Alex Kudos’ full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes