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By Sahin Alom,

As a newbie in the industry, you should be ready to work hard so that you can earn more profits with the help of the new thing called the internet. It is just like a factory for the newbies to learn how to run a business. The Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Start-up Businesses

Do you know what marketing strategies are for your start-up business? There are a lot of companies that have used these strategies, yet few of them have the money to implement it.

For example, your digital marketing campaign is for different businesses. The strategies for one business may not be effective for another. Complete understanding is the reason why your start-up business should also look into the strategy of your competitors.

For example, if you are into digital media and digital products, you should take into consideration your competitors’ websites. They may already be in business and are competing for the same market as you.

Furthermore, how is your company’s site relevant to the needs of the consumers. The site must be easy to use, easy to navigate, and relevant to the consumer’s needs.

The best way to achieve this is to customize the design of the site. You can do this by using the navigation tools provided by the search engines.

Startup Businesses

To make it look more professional, you can hire a professional designer to look over your site. You will be sure that the website will have an attractive design, but if the designer has a creative side, he or she can give you a great design.

For your online reputation, you must make sure that you have a blog for your website. By blogging, you can create a presence on the web so your customers can have an idea about your services and products.

Articles are also significant for your business. Your articles should be written with accurate facts.

To get more traffic, you can also put the links to your website at various directories. However, it is still essential that you keep the link to your site as prominent as possible.

For your marketing campaign, you can also consider hiring expert feedback. True feedback will provide you information about what works for other companies. Email Marketing Tips for Start-up Businesses

These are just some of the strategies. When you consider these, you will have a better chance of success.

Email Marketing Tips for Startup Businesses

Email marketing is the most cost-effective way to advertise your business. So it’s easy to see why so many companies are getting into this type of marketing.

To build a list of potential customers, you will have to provide them with an email address. While this may seem like a tedious task at first, it really isn’t. It’s all a matter of knowing where to find an email address, as well as making sure that you do it right the first time.

The way to get started with marketing is to go online and do some research on what other people are doing. Find out how they built their lists. You can also ask around to see what methods are working. Knowing the methods that are working can help to get you going, as well as give you great ideas on how to create your own list.

One thing that you want to be careful about is giving out someone’s name and mailing address to many people that don’t care about your product or service. The more subscribers you have, the more money you can make. If you want your list to have longevity, then make sure you choose people who need your product or service.

Best Tips For Your Start-up Business

After you’ve determined who you are going to market to, you will need to start planning out your next step, which will include having a monthly newsletter. Remember that emails can easily get lost in the shuffle. So, having a regular newsletter will ensure that it is picked up each month by your subscribers. You want to make sure that you use a high-quality email marketing software to allow you to know when you should send out an email.

Once you have your newsletter sign up form established, you can start looking for your products or services or start building an affiliate link. Keep in mind that people are only going to join you if they have an interest in what you are offering.

You will want to email these people with offers to promote your products or services and have them take action. You can do this through offers that promote your software or affiliate links, as well as offering incentives for signing up. Also, do a free trial to get their attention, and then you can offer them a discounted or even free product.

While email marketing isn’t a new concept, it is only recently that many companies have begun using it. When done properly, it can result in a considerable amount of profit for your business.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is simply marketing done through social media platforms. A marketing technique that combines website promotion, blogs, and discussion boards to connect with prospects and establish a brand. It allows businesses to connect with their customers but also promote their business via social media marketing. Helps establish business ties, generate buzz, and make an organization more appealing to potential clients.

Today, companies are turning to the Internet to solve all of their marketing needs; however, traditional forms of marketing do not offer the same convenience as they once did. For many years, businesses could only reach out to their customers through visits to their office or even by sending out business cards.

With social media marketing, companies can reach their customers when they need them most. If you’re looking to make your start-up business more attractive to customers, consider using social media marketing.

One of the most critical aspects of the start-up business is to have your products and services are unique. Unlike before, now, customers can easily find out about your business, providing them with fresh information about what you do. For instance, having your website listed on various search engines and sites will help customers find you. Websites are also a great way to connect with customers and create long term relationships.

Most network marketing companies are also looking to expand their reach online. Some of them have gained loyal followings because of their ability to leverage social media marketing techniques. These companies offer a variety of marketing tools for their members, including blog marketing, social networking, and more.

Can Help Your Start-up Business

Social media marketing is similar to traditional marketing. The only difference is that it provides a better way to connect with customers online. It helps to provide your audience with a sense of familiarity while providing your products and services to potential customers at the same time.

Although some might consider network marketing as competition from them, it is suitable for customer support. Since the company will be relying on customers to purchase your products and services, it will be beneficial to provide your customers with free content and discounts to keep them happy.

When people’s attention is brought to your site, it becomes much easier to get them to share your content with others. It makes sense to use social networking sites to connect with potential customers. Not only will you have a built-in community, but it will also give you a platform where you can further build a fan base.

To reach more potential customers, you will need to implement social media marketing strategies in your marketing plan. If you’re looking to start a start-up business, this is a great way to establish the name of your business and attract new customers.

Avoid Failure With Paid Promotions and Paid Advertising

The idea of Paid Promotions to help a start-up business success is simple enough, but it’s also very easy to go wrong. You may want to spend months developing your own promotions and marketing efforts, only to realize that they’re not working well enough for you to earn money from them. On the other hand, you may discover that your existing marketing efforts are working, and then you’re simply out of ideas. Here are some tips to help you avoid this situation.

One reason why paying Promotions may not be as successful as you’d like them to be is because of the quality of your content. For one thing, you want to have something that will catch people’s attention from the moment Facebook ads placement strategy they come across it.

For another thing, you should be writing for readers that will read what you’ve written. When you go into Paid Promotions thinking that only your own site is going to get traffic, this is not the case. A lot of articles and blogs go into Paid Promotions in a similar way – a good article or blog gets more views and traffic because people find it useful.

It’s not always easy to keep in mind these things, but if you’re serious about getting your Business Online and driving traffic to your site, you need to remember that paying Promotions and Paid Advertising can help you. The success of Paid Promotions and Paid Advertising depends on the quality of the material you put out there.

The less work you have to do, the better off you’ll be. It’s not always easy to write an article, but if you’re doing it well and putting out high-quality content, it will make your Paid Promotions and Paid Advertising efforts more successful.

Search Engine Optimization for Start-up Business

The most effective and cost-effective SEO optimization approach that will generate more traffic to your website is Search Engine Optimization. It is mainly a marketing plan that is driven by search engines to generate relevant traffic to your website.

In this process, keywords or key phrases are associated with each page of your website to make it search engine friendly.

The idea is to make your site to be easily found by the search engines and also to bring about a targeted audience to your website. The best way to attract such visitors is through the use of rich media such as graphics, videos, voice over Internet applications, and animated images.

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Although search engine optimization is essential to the success of any website, this also comes with a price. To sustain this for a long time, you need to make use of the best practices of Search Engine Optimization. SEO includes the use of appropriate keywords, appropriate meta-tags, and the use of proper content on your website.

The content consists of all the essential information that is related to your business, product, or service. The SEO strategies should be taken into consideration as the process of SEO is at the forefront of the competition of search engines.

The first step for Search Engine Optimization is research. You need to have a high level of competency to conduct a search engine optimization campaign. SEO is basically to get an understanding of what is on the mind of the search engines.

There are many resources available for free that can provide you with the knowledge to carry out the process of Search Engine Optimization. Some of these are those that offer training. Once you have this knowledge, then you can proceed with the process of Search Engine Optimization.

Content Marketing

If you are a blogger, marketer, or a freelance writer, you should be careful with content marketing. You might be losing clients by writing lousy content for your business. There are three ways to find out what the search engines think about your content. The first is by reading the Google manual that shows you how to find out what the search engines say about your content. You will also find that there are a lot of mistakes in the content of many blogs.

Another way to find out what the search engines think about your content is to have your own content analysed. You should be aware that most content management companies do not analyse your content for you, but they do suggest improvements for you.

The best way to go about this is to find a company that specializes in this and employ them to write a blog post for you. They will tell you exactly what you should change about your content.

Content Strategy

You can also use a service that will analyse the content of your business and send you an email when there is a problem with the content. It sounds far fetched, but you might find that the content management expert had seen similar issues before.

The best thing about it is that you do not have to worry about the time it takes to do it yourself. You can ask them to rewrite the content for you for a little over $20 per article. Do a little research before employing a content management company.

A third option is to do it yourself, but I am afraid you will be writing content that is never going to be seen by many people because most people have no idea what the term content marketing means.

By Sahin Alom

Sourced from ReadWrite

Sourced from yahoo finance.

Technology and new ideas often go hand in hand. The challenge is often to express new concepts clearly and eloquently. This is where effective marketing comes into play.

PR and Content Marketing

Getting professionally written editorial content for your brand is a key factor in your path to success.

PR is an ongoing effort throughout the lifecycle of a company. Before the launch, you need a strong, concerted PR and outreach effort to reach all the major crypto sites. But even after, you need to keep the community informed and engaged with interesting new developments, partnership announcements, background stories, and news.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is essential in blockchain. There is no better way to get to new users, investors and clients where you have the most of their attention: in their inbox.

Always track and measure your email marketing. Many companies claim to have hundreds of thousands of subscribers in their list, but if you look at their email open rates, they are often below 1%. On CryptoCoin.News, we have an average open rate of over 25% because our readers did sign up to receive interesting crypto news.

Video Marketing

In the digital age, content is king. Video content is particularly adept at building credibility and authority for your token sale.

Successful companies have typically two types of video:

  • Explainer animation to give some background of your industry and your solution.
  • Interviews with the founders and company presentations by third parties.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. Influencer Marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their following and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.

In blockchain marketing, trust and authority building is a key component. That’s why Influencer Marketing is an important option in the marketing mix. Getting endorsed by the top YouTube crypto influencers can strongly influence buying and investing decisions.

Trust the Leading Crypto Marketing Agency

The team behind CryptoCoin.News has been active in online marketing for over 10 years, with experience in blockchain marketing since 2016. Trusted by over 150 clients, they know exactly which channels work for blockchain marketing. Paired with efficient, reliable and fast execution, CryptoCoin.News can be your partner for all blockchain marketing needs. Get in touch to schedule a free consultation at https://cryptocoin.news/advertise-with-us/.

Sourced from yahoo finance

Most ecommerce companies rely on email marketing.  But the Covid-19 shutdown requires an evaluation of email frequency and tone, among other tactics.

In this post, I’ll address how to manage email marketing during the pandemic.

Frequency

Depending on the product or service, adjust the frequency of marketing emails. It could be an increase or decrease based on consumer needs and demand.

Monitoring engagement rates can also help determine the frequency. If open and click rates are increasing, consider sending more often. Also, track email segments and adjust accordingly. Repeat customers may require more communication than occasional buyers.

Tone

Consumers are looking for deals. They also want the content and offers that they have grown to expect. However, consider adjusting the tone of your email marketing messages to reflect the pandemic.

  • Be authentic and empathetic.
  • Increase personalization for the needs of each customer.
  • Inquire about customers’ well-being, such as “How are you holding up?”
  • Set realistic expectations for shipping and delivery.
  • Offer flexibility in order methods, delivery, and payment.
Stitch Fix communicated shipping delays to consumers in a transparent manner, helping to build trust and loyalty. To email read, in part, "...we wanted to let you know that we are experiencing delays in our fulfillment center right now."

Stitch Fix communicated shipping delays to consumers in a transparent manner, helping to build trust and loyalty. To email read, in part, “…we wanted to let you know that we are experiencing delays in our fulfillment center right now.”

Retain New Customers

Many consumers are shopping online for the first time or more often. Remember new shoppers in your promotional emails. Try to build loyalty to convert a one-time buyer into a frequent customer.

Here’s an example of what not to do. I recently needed to purchase new running shoes. My regular online store did not have my size in stock. I found a new site, however, with my size. The site was more expensive. Given the circumstances, however, I was willing to pay more.

When I received my shoes, the price on the box was marked down to 50 percent of what I paid. I felt overcharged.

Remain Visible

To save costs, many retailers have cut marketing budgets and reduced communications to customers.  This may relieve short-term pressure. But it likely produces long-term damage in terms of awareness, market share, and loyalty — all of which are key to future success.

Maintain as much email marketing as possible. Try to be top-of-mind to your customers. It will pay off.

Use Downtime

The demand for ecommerce is generally increasing as brick-and-mortar stores close and consumers are stuck at home. Try to make good use of the downtime, however, to launch new projects. Examples include:

  • Survey your customers. Many consumers now have idle time, likely increasing response rates to email surveys. Also, knowing what your customers are thinking and experiencing could help adjust your business immediately. Providing a forum for feedback could help build customer loyalty.
  • Implement new email tools. Explore new email tools that could enhance or streamline your marketing efforts. I addressed some of my favorites at “17 Free Email Marketing Tools.
  • Clean and update your email list. Accurate data is essential for email marketing. Consider, also, improving data collection and management.

Prepare for Upturn

The pandemic will eventually pass. Consumers will resume normal habits and routines. Brands will race to restore lost revenue. This will likely translate to increased competition for consumers’ inboxes. Your current email marketing tactics could determine how quickly your business bounces back.

By 

Sourced from PracticalEcommerce

 

 

By Christina Crawley.

More than ever, teams need to be able to rely on digital tools and strategies to work together. As remote and geographically dispersed teams increase, the benefits of in-person collaboration need to find their place within the digital realm. Various combinations of tools support this approach; however, smart use of internal email marketing is key to keeping employees focused and informed so that they can do their jobs effectively.

Email marketing generally focuses on external audiences. It aims to encourage individuals to click, engage or buy. Its approaches are, however, still very much relevant for internal teams, both large and small.

As you look to either strengthen or launch your internal email outreach to your digital teams, here are a number of trusted approaches that you’ll want to be sure to include.

1. Create (and stick to) a schedule.

Employees can more easily retain info that they both recognize and expect in their inboxes. A companywide or teamwide update email that comes in unexpectedly may leave individuals confused as to how they are supposed to respond or move forward. Consistent, expected email updates provide structure and a sense of routine that they can quickly apply to their work.

Some updates may be more relevant, appreciated or acted upon than others, but their consistent frequency will make them far more likely to be applied to teams’ everyday work. Consistency creates habit, which then becomes part of your employees’ working routines.

2. Apply formatting and branding.

While it may seem like internal audiences don’t need branding and formatting, a visually clear structure goes a long way in getting employees’ attention and engagement. Your staff’s inboxes are just as packed with incoming mail as your external audiences’ are. Visual cues and flags allow your internal teams to effectively understand and scan what you are sending their way.

Deliberate formatting, from familiar subject lines to consistent body topic blocks, allows staff to quickly scan what they’ve received and pick out what applies to them. For teams that are waiting for a certain piece of information, or are focused on other emergencies, this formatting allows them to quickly grab what they need and move on.

Branding allows your staff to immediately recognize and differentiate email communications, such as a new staff announcement versus a product launch. It makes it easier to know what attention is expected of them, and how it affects what they are doing.

Email templates that incorporate branding and formatting for different types of messages can help your messages stand out from regular, nonformatted internal emails.

3. Personalize your content.

Whether you are communicating to thousands of employees worldwide or a small team locally, being aware of your audience segments and what you need from them helps to avoid your emails being ignored. Create content that is relevant to those who receive it. Otherwise, it risks being seen as unimportant and ignored.

Personalization ranges from individual departments to specific roles. For example, the length and detail of your content may be short when providing a brief companywide update on an issue, compared to a small team update on the same issue that dives deeper and includes tasks and action items. Calls to action (CTAs) that you lay out may also differ from one group to another — for example, including buttons and/or links to take action outside of email versus requesting a direct reply or follow-up discussion.

4. Create engagement and interaction.

Generally speaking, we know that if people engage directly with something (in this case, email content), they are more likely to remember it over time. Creating an intriguing or playful interaction opportunity within an internal email is an easy way to achieve this. Examples include launching a feedback poll, asking a trivia question connected to the issue you’re communicating, encouraging engagement with the company’s social media or sharing a relevant video to break up the act of simply reading.

Interaction with your internal emails not only helps employees to better retain the information you’re sending, but it also brings them closer to one another and creates opportunities for further collaboration and support. This is especially valuable when they don’t have the opportunity to connect in person.

5. Don’t spam your internal teams.

When developing an email strategy that engages teams and encourages employees to pay attention and take action, there is a real concern that too many internal emails can have a negative effect on productivity. The general rule of thumb is to focus on content that pertains directly to employees’ roles. If your emails are relevant to their working day, then they will be received as valuable and worth the time to read or scan.

Emails unrelated to employees’ work run the risk of being nothing more than distractions, which may negatively affect employees’ output. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be sending emails about upcoming social events and personal news, but be aware that those should be done at a minimum and/or in a way that avoids distracting or pulling them away from their work.

Looking Ahead

Email is an asynchronous form of communication, so your teams are able to engage with your email outreach when it makes the most sense for their workloads and schedules. As you launch and update your internal email strategy, pay close attention to the engagement data, and make tweaks and changes as necessary. What works today may not next year. The key is to provide consistent content that is essential in supporting your team’s success and productivity.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Christina Crawley

Director of Marketing at Forum One, leading global marketing and outreach to the world’s most influential nonprofits and foundations.

Sourced from Forbes Billionaire

By Aashirvad Kumar

In the last decade, things went from offline to online. People are now searching for clothes on e-commerce websites instead of looking for some stores. Businesses are taking their online presence seriously. Moreover, people are creating millions of dollars through different online services. Here are the eight best digital marketing strategies small businesses should implement.

Running a business or starting your new business?

These days most startups fail because of their narrow visions about marketing. There are hundreds of articles written by various digital marketing experts about different marketing techniques that will help you grow your business.

You’ll need to know about basic digital marketing strategies that will help you grow when you have entered into the internet.

There are basically eight digital marketing strategies for small businesses that should be implemented in order to mark your online presence. But, you’ll want to have a clear vision of your marketing strategies for your new business. Begin here.

Email Marketing

My personal favorite and a great tool to grow your business quickly. Email Marketing is a strategy that has an ROI of 21$ per dollar. Emails are considered dead in the marketing field, but still, email marketing has the potential to give the best results in comparison to other marketing strategies.

You have to very selective while shooting emails to your customers. You can’t attract your customers with a particular mail. You have to run several experiments to find your audiences taste it. Thus, Email Marketing will take time, but once implemented correctly; it will worth every penny.

You can attract your audience through some attractive offers or via some informative pieces of content. But make sure your email good enough to grab your customer’s attention. Avoid using big paragraphs; keep your email content crisp and short.

Social Media Marketing

Another marketing technique that offers you guaranteed results. But the majority of small businesses ignore it as their business is either not related to social media or the want to target user’s available offline.

If you are into the same category, then let me tell you that social media marketing will work as a mouth marketing asset. Thus, if you aren’t the response of offline users, social media can help you grab our customer’s attention indirectly.

Along with this, having good social media handles creates a brand value in the market that will again help you grow your business.

It will give your business some exposure and customers. Social Media Marketing will help you in search engine rankings.

Paid Promotions

It includes PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing. In paid promotions, you basically pay to get a feature. It could be on social media websites, search engines. But for a new business, it is a tough job to get maximum results at a limited investment, and sadly there isn’t any trick or hack to do so.  You need to practice different promotions so that you can get an idea about which one is giving you the desired results.

If you aren’t good at experiments or don’t have the budget for testing, then you can hire some digital marketing experts. Paid marketers will handle all the paid promotions for you, and they will extract maximum profit from every penny spent.

Search Engine Optimization

If you are running a business that has a website and it can get sales to you then, this is the most import strategy that costs you very less but gives long term results. Since you are not the only one running the business, there would be hundreds and thousands of other people working in your niche.

Through Search Engine Optimization, you can outrank them and can hold the first position on various search engines.

But SEO optimization needs proper skill sets and technical knowledge so that you can compete with others. If you don’t have a good grip about the technical aspects of SEO optimization, then you can hire some SEO experts like Optimise for SEO. These are the experts that will help you rank on the top of search engines.

Content Marketing

It is the most trending marketing strategy that will give your business a quick yet reliable boost. Content Marketing is a strategy in which you are creating useful content for a particular audience and putting it on a platform. Content Marketing increases your business visibility over the internet. It boosts your SEO.  It builds credibility, authority f your business. Thus, content marketing is one of the best digital marketing strategies.

Attend Events 

Attending events is not a typical digital marketing technique, but it can help you increase your digital business. All you need to do is to attend the events that are relevant to your field. This way, you will meet with people with a common interest, and it will help you in the next digital marketing technique.

Outreach Like-Minded People

I am assuming that you have contact details like email, phone number, etc. for people that are related to your field. Now, you have to convey a message to then and need to have a conversation describing your products. If the guy found it interesting, then they will surely talk about it on their social media handles or blog.

Reaching out to like-minded people works similarly to paid promotions.

But hey — reaching out is completely free, and it helps you learn from other business ideas. But in this strategy, you need to be very formal and professional while reaching out to people so that you can leave an impression on them.

Offer Freebies

It is a strategy that was implemented by some big brands of the present time, and it worked like charm. In this digital marketing technique, you need to offer something valuable to your users. Offering something useful will get persons or businesses attracted to your business, and as a result, they’ll come to you — as a regular reader and returning customer.

You can check Optimise for SEO as they are offering free SEO audit for a website and in return, they need your mail address so that they can implement the email marketing strategy on you.

Conclusion

These were the best digital marketing strategies that you must try to get the desired results. Though there are hundreds of strategies that work well these 8 are the best among all and yet most efficient.

By Aashirvad Kumar

Aashirvad Kumar is Founder of Tele Trick Mania and SEO Executive at Builds Worth Digital Marketing Agency Pvt. Ltd. He has been blogging since 2016 in the technology niche. He has experience of more than 2.5+ years in Digital Marketing.

Sourced from readwrite

By Jascha Brinkmann

Thanks to Hiten Shah who generously reviewed an early draft of this article.
Some day at the end of last year I stumbled over a post by Justin Jackson about reducing startup costs.
And it made me think hard about our number one expense:

Email Marketing Software

Over the past few years me and my wife have build a brand new Blog from zero to almost 150.000 email subscribers.
And by the end of last year email marketing had become by far the largest recurring expense in our business.
We were spending 10x as much on Emails than on anything else.
The worst was that costs grew at the same rate we were growing:
Adding about 10.000 new email subscribers each month meant that even if we regularly removed no longer engaged subscribers from our list, the amount we were spending was still increasing way too fast to be healthy.
Especially taking in mind that our revenue doesn’t necessarily grows as fast as your email list.
Our main target market are Spanish speaking countries and only a small number of email subscribers actually end up producing revenue. And the typical revenue per customers is not as high as in other economies typical software prices are calculated on.
So this is what made me thinking:

What would I have to do in order to cut this expense?

Unfortunately the decision was taken from me almost right after new years eve.
I got an email from our Email Marketing Provider that they were increasing prices on a 12 days notice:
The worst thing was that they didn’t even mention how much prices would be increasing.
Instead they decided to promote switching to yearly pricing.
Which meant we were practically pressured into forking over almost 5 figures on a two weeks notice as “the only way” to keep our current pricing.
After some investigating and seeing an outburst of other loyal customers we found out that prices would be at least doubling.
What I didn’t know at that time was that while prices were increasing, sending limits were actually decreased. Meaning that we would end up paying more for sending considerable less emails.
In the end it came down to an almost 300% price increase just for us.
In concrete numbers it would have meant about 1,600$ per month.
And just as Justin Jackson says in his Article:
Which solopreneur couldn’t use an additional 20,000$ per year of guaranteed profit?

Why we didn’t move to a different provider and decided to build our own App instead

Over the past few years we have switched email marketing providers three times and out of experience I can tell you it’s always a major pain.
I loved our previous provider and their functionality but I was seriously disappointed by how they treated us and other customers.
They had just completely lost my trust.
And while Email Marketing is our number one expense its as well the most important part of our content based business.
It’s something we literally can’t live without.
After such a devastating experience I just didn’t feel comfortable giving up again complete control over such an important part of our business to yet another company.
Email Deliverability itself was another important consideration.
With most other Email Marketing Providers you have no control over which emails get sended out together with yours. According to Mailchimp keeping delivery rates high is actually one of the major challenges.
By building our own solution it was fairly simple to have dedicated servers for sending our own emails and have real time information about how exactly we are doing:
We could even do things like separate email sending by highly engaged subscribers and lower engaged subscribers to make sure that the ones who matter most are guaranteed to receive our emails.
Beside that it was a simple economical calculation:
At 1,600$ per month and a 10% increase every other month we would be spending nearly 300,000$ over the next five years:
(Taking in mind that we’ve already spent close to 30,000$ in the past two years)
If it took me just a month of my own time to build a viable solution then we would have a positive ROI within the first year.
And that would only compound over the next five years and expected lifetime of the App.
Having complete control over features and building something truly unique to our advanced needs (more about that in a minute) was just an added bonus.
Beside that:
It was an exciting challenge and real world project that would immediately benefit us where I could apply everything I have learned about building software in the past year.
So for us this just felt like the right decision, but it probably isn’t for a lot of other businesses with lower volume and needs.

So here is how

I knew right away that I had to limit the tools I used and cut corners where possible to fit into the tight budget of spending just a single month on this project.
I had to concentrate on the most necessary and yet powerful features only and make use of well established supporting services in order to develop this in such a short amount of time.
Luckily picking essential features was an easy call as I have worked extensively with all mayor email marketing apps and their APIs building integrations to my products over the past few years.
This way I knew exactly what I wanted out of an email marketing app.
I had as well already a huge list with little and bigger annoyances of existing solutions that I could improve on right away.
Sending the weekly newsletters was actually the simplest thing we could have used even an existing open source solution for. (Developed by freecodecamp which found themselves in a similar situation)
What was way harder to do and incredible more important to us was the ability for extensive personalization features through all parts of the App.
For example building visual workflows which use dynamically passed in variables at subscribers optin time, sends different type of emails and does different types of actions at different times in a personalized way for each subscriber:
(This is an actual screenshot from the finished App – Its a single workflow we use for double optins and we previously had 100 almost identical copies off just to handle different tags and downloads)
Luckily technology wise I could start from a blank slate.
The only requirements were the list of features I had in mind, but I wasn’t tied to any legacy code or specific platform.
This meant I could develop everything with state of the art technology like server-less cloud functions or an API first design.
It would scale as needed without the need of providing extra infrastucture or running into typical scaling issues, no matter if the App only had a single big customer (ourselves), or hundreds or even thousands of active customers of varying sizes.

The best possible time to be an indiehacker

What I found curious about this whole project is that just a few years ago you would have needed tens of thousands of dollars to invest, a small team and a very looong time to build something remotely similar.
Nowadays I was able to pull this off all by myself within just 4 weeks.
This is partly thanks to the amazing work of other people who came before us and advanced software and services which weren’t available just a few years ago.
There has never been a better time for any indiehacker to build and launch their own projects.
This is really the spirit of all of it: We are able to pull things off that can compete with well funded, big teamed startups.
So for what its worth here is the complete Tech Stack I used:

Firebase Firestore

I knew first hand that I didn’t want to handle running a highly available database with hundreds of thousands or even millions of rows of data added per month that gets written to in a very high burst fashion.
Firebase Firestore is exactly made to handle this completely hands off for you.
Beside that it offers some of the best developer experience I have ever seen.
They got SDKs for every major platform.
Everything is throughly documented.
The community is big and helpful.
The backend UI is state of the art and usable to edit things you might not have build an UI yourself for yet.
And one of the greatest things is that it integrates almost seamlessly with other google cloud platform services which came in very handy developing other parts of the App. (You will see what I mean further down this article)
It’s pricing is exactly what I was looking for:
It scales indefinitely with you but is basically free to get started with.
It supports a wide range of different needs, from this App I’ve been building or even communities like indie hacker (which runs on top of it as well).
There are certainly other (both more open or expensive) options if you don’t want to handle database servers yourself.
But I just love Firebase.
It certainly has some mayor down sides you should familiarize yourself with before going all in, but once you know what you are up against you can easily navigate around them. (Let me know in the comments if you would like a more extensive post about the pros and cons of Firebase)

UI Framework

Within just 4 weeks there was no way that I was going to design and write my own UI. So I wanted to give a mayor UI framework a try instead.
It has been years since the last time I really worked with any of the available ones, and even then the only true experience I had with was Zurb Foundation – mainly for their JavaScript parts and CSS grid classes in pre-flexbox times.
As I was more looking for ready made UI components I could just plugin and play I decided go for Bootstrap which turned out as a very good choice:
Almost all of the visible part of the UI was made out of the ready made components Bootstrap provides, with a couple of small adjustments here and there.
I gave googles material UI a quick try as well but found it way too difficult to get started with.
There is definitely a higher learning curve with Material Design.
Especially as it seems to be more tightly coupled with the JavaScript framework you use and particular focused on mayor frontend frameworks like Angular. (Something I didn’t want to work with and will tell you why in just a second)
Bootstrap was quicker and easier to start with and turned out truly excellent.
All in all I only wrote about 500 lines of CSS myself for this project which is probably a record as I can’t remember anything I’ve worked on in the past few years that had so little CSS. (Of course not factoring in the CSS provided by Bootstrap itself).

Javascript Frontend Framework

Nowadays the default choice seems to be React or Angular and people can get pretty religious about it.
While I certainly got some experience working with React I’ve become increasingly vary of its usage.
It just feels to me that what might be a great choice for a billion dollar company is not necessarily a great choice for indie hackers.
One thing that happened to me before is that React and its entire Eco System is just moving way too fast. You don’t touch a project for a couple of months and then when you try to update its dependencies you need days just in fixing breaking changes.
I wanted to make sure that the underlying framework I used for this was still relevant and easy to use two to three years from now as I was unsure how frequent I will do updates.
Its a very small framework based on pure web standards that is incredible fast and performant.
If you have used any other modern javascript framework before you will probably find it really easy to use as well.
Its simplicity makes sure that it won’t be out of date a few months down the line, and beside that it encourages you to not bloat your code.
Instead of installing yet another dependency for anything you are more likely to develop smaller, simple stuff you actually understand yourself using just vanilla javascript.
And if you are not used to writing plain javascript from scratch, than you can find help within one of the excellent JS communities like Go Make Things from Chris Ferdinandi. (Who actually helped contributing a small method to this project)
The App only had around 6 to 7 different views I had to build which a lot of repeating components and it was really easy to do this with HyperHTML in combination with Bootstrap and some utility libraries like momentjs.
Using HyperHTML was mainly my choice because I know it really well by now and have come to absolutely love it.
In the end it doesn’t really matter what you use to build you app and instead of worrying about that, you should just choose whatever you feel most comfortable with.

API Design

I’ve never designed a Rest API for myself but have extensive experience working with all kind of different APIs.
Therefore I thought that it shouldn’t be too had to build some simple API endpoints together with Node.js and Express.
Well… unfortunately that wasn’t entirely true.
I seriously tried building a Rest API but with my lack of experience in the area it just wasn’t feasible to get it done properly within such a short amount of time.
Building a proper Rest API turns to be out way harder than you might think. (Which is probably the reason why there are so many low quality APIs out there…)
Fortunately I wasn’t really forced to build a rest API but could use whatever worked best for me in this particular situation.
And for this project using GraphQL turned out to be the better choice.
It definitely has a learning curve but if you have never designed an API before its probably way faster than building your own Rest Endpoints from scratch.
Beside that its declarative approach encourages a lots of best practices you would need to make sure to think of yourself when building a REST API instead.
I know that I am might contradicting my thoughts about the JS Framework going with an almost “overhyped” choice backed by a huge company. But if you are doing something for the first time the size of the community actually matters as there are excellent resources available to learn from and ask questions.

Serverless Backend

For the API and as well all Cron Jobs I used Google Cloud Functions / Firebase Functions.
The reason is simple:
They allowed me to easily trigger things whenever something in the Firebase Database happened.
And they would scale indefinitely with the needs of the App without me ever having to worry about the servers that run the whole thing.
Using the same language (JavaScript) across the whole application stack makes your life a lot easier as well. Coming from a PHP Background I nowadays actually prefer JavaScript above all else as I can share code between the Frontend and Backend whereever I see fit.
Pricing wise you got to be really careful with the things you put within your functions as economies of scale can really hurt you here.
Simple example:
In the beginning I had a couple of functions that took 20s of CPU time at peak hours (because it was waiting for a response from another Rest API). Being executed millions of times this gets VERY expensive VERY fast because you are mainly billed for the CPU time you use.
Optimizing just a single function to take 500 miliseconds instead 20 seconds makes a 4000% difference across millions of executions.

Aggregations and Segmentations

The bad thing about building an email marketing app is that one of the most important parts of your application is actually running aggregations and segmenting your data.
And unfortunately this is exactly the thing Firebase Firestore (or any document based database for that matter) is not great in.
It really depends on what you are building if the aggregations and segmentation features of your database are sufficient, but for this App I unfortunately had to add something especially made for that to the Mix:

Elasticsearch

Elasticearch is basically a search engine for your database that is incredible fast in both searching, indexing and aggregating.
Unfortunately its as well the only part of the application that needs to run on servers. (I am using a couple of powerful Digitalocean VPS for this)
Even if I initially didn’t want to touch any servers for this app, the reason I still decided to do this is because its one of the most incredible and robust pieces of software I have ever come across.
Building a highly available cluster of servers is incredible easy (if you have at least some experience setting up and running servers on your own) and once its up its just mind blowing how smoothly it runs.
I have yet to find something I can’t do with Elasticsearch. (And I found many things I couldn’t do easily with Firebase)
It is a mature software with a huge community and throughly documentation which is just plain fun to work with.

Email Sending

I have worked with another transactional email provider before called Mandrill (made by MailChimp) – unfortunately since a while now its for MailChimp Customers only.
So if you want to send a LOT of emails you basically are left with two choices:
Amazon SES or Sendgrid.
And while Sendgrid looks and feels like the sexier option, its actually as well a lot more expensive if you don’t reach HUGE volumes that might warrant a special deal.
So we went with Amazon SES as it has essentially the same features and is pretty affordable right away.
Building on top of it was mostly smooth. It takes some time to set up properly but then you get real time notifications for sending, delivery, bounces, opens and click rates build right in – some information we weren’t even able to get before.
The sending limits are pretty generous and we yet have to reach the daily quota:
As a matter of fact it was quite a challenge to actually reach our maximum send rate of 200 emails per second. (Which is 12.000 per minute or an email to 100.000 subscribers within roughly 8 minutes).
Which brings me to the last point:

Challanges I didn’t think of

All in all building this went fairly smooth once I figured out what was and wasn’t possible with Firebase.
We transitioned quite abrupt on beginning of Feburary to the new system without any mayor bugs or downtimes.
The biggest difficulty in building this was actually handling such a high amount of data produced in relatively short amount of time.
As a simple example imagine that you send an email to 70.000 subscribers.
For each subscriber you have to personalize each email. Not just the delivery name and address but as well the content and links within the email.
Then each sended email produces quite a few number of “notifications” for sending, delivery, rejections, bounces, opens, clicks and so forth. Each of those notifications needs to be handled and acted upon, changing a single piece of data within your database or triggering complicated, stacked automations in other parts of the App.
So a single “broadcasts” produces roughly 300.000 new pieces of information you need to handle within just a few minutes. Then there are of course other times where almost no emails are sended and not much happens:
Sending Emails based on the subscribers time zone helps mitigating this (so that not all emails are sended at exactly the same time).
Pipelining your events through something like Logstash and handling them at a slightly slower pace your database can easily handle is another solution.
An additional challenge was making sure that emails are not sended twice to the same subscriber. With multiple independent workers sending a lot of emails in a short amount of time this was easier said then done.
UI Wise the most difficult task was building the visual workflows. They have various degrees of recursion and a lot of edge cases that were hard to build and debug. Recursion is definitely a topic hard to wrap your head around and even harder to master.

Conclusion

I wrote this post because a lot of times while building this I would have loved the possibility to reach out to somebody who has done something similar before and ask them questions.
I always imagine this fairy tale office world where you work in an amazing team and got experts you can turn to for everything.
Indiehackers on the other side have to be generalists. We usually work all by ourselves and I think sharing our experiences, difficulties and thought processes with each other in communities like this one can help tremendously.
Of course for the moment I only build and launched this as a tool we can use internally.
If I would have had to build signup flows, customer on-boarding features, billing processes, a marketing website and the millions of things I haven’t thought of it would have easily taken me double or triple the time.
I still think that it was one of the most interesting challenge I’ve ever done that trained me to build and launch something with both limited resources and time. This is exactly the situation most of us find themselves in all the time why trying to build and launch our side projects or businesses.
I hope you enjoyed the journey and let me know in the comments if there is a topic you would like to expand me upon.

By Jascha Brinkmann

Sourced from Hackernoon

By Nick Nelson

Oh, look. Another death of email marketing headline. All too often, we see posts that lead with this provocative clickbait proclamation, while keeping the contradicting nuances under the surface.

Ironically, this kind of practice is exactly WHY email marketing has seen its reputation tarnished. The focus has shifted too far toward style at the expense of substance. Marketers became so singularly obsessed with compelling opens and clicks, through irresistible subject lines and poppy CTAs, that many of us lost touch with the core value of this digital channel: direct, one-on-one engagement.

I’m here to tell you that this value still exists, and might be more essential today than ever, in spite of (maybe even because of) the waters becoming so muddied. Recipients will welcome a little freshness and clarity in their inbox, from those brands and influencers that are willing to buck the trend.

Dead? No way. Email marketing is alive and well, and it can still be a central component of a successful, customer-centric marketing strategy when done right.

The Rise and “Fall” of Email Marketing

This life experience might be unique to fellow millennials, but I’ll never forget the jolt of excitement I felt as a preteen logging into America Online in the mid-90s and hearing those three magical words: “You’ve got mail!” The internet in general was too new and grand a concept for my young mind to grasp, but anyone could take delight in a mysterious message sent expressly to you — like a present waiting to be unwrapped.

via GIPHY

Fast-forward a couple decades, and the quaint charm of a full inbox has largely disappeared. Irrelevant messages began to proliferate and pile up like AOL trial discs. Spam started running amok, to the point where — as of March 2019 — 56% of all email messages were categorized as such. The sheer volume of messages we receive, and the dread of digging through them all, can cause legitimately troublesome levels of stress and anxiety.

As a result, many emails are now being cast aside, either because inundated human users click delete instead of open, or because increasingly stringent filters are diverting them to the spam folder — especially if they come from a company or unfamiliar sender.

There’s no doubt that trust has been shaken. Anecdotally, I’m sure most people reading this have been scarred by an experience where they had to completely shut down an email address because it became overwhelmed by promotional junk, or where they repeatedly tried to unsubscribe from an unwanted newsletter to no avail.

It is at times like these that well-intentioned, creative, value-driven marketers can answer the call and rise above the fray. Here’s how.

Rejuvenating Your Email Marketing Strategy

A fact that might surprise you: open rates aren’t in a state of steady, ceaseless decline. In fact, according to Super Office, the average rate has generally been increasing (or at least remaining steady) year-to-year over the past decade-plus:

Email Open Rate According to Super Office

Meanwhile, a new Email Usage Study from Adobe finds that the average person spends 5+ hours per day checking email, including 3+ hours at work.

As Adobe’s Sarah Kennedy puts it in a blog post: “The Adobe survey findings solidify how important email still is in the everyday lives of our customers, and this means there is still a big opportunity for marketers to utilize email to engage with people in relevant and useful ways.”

Relevant and useful. Therein lies the key. Here’s how we can pursue these ideals.

Refine Your Mailing List

First of all, opt-ins are essential. If you can’t verify that a person on your list actively volunteered to receive emails from you, remove them. You might even want to consider a double-opt-in (send a confirmation email once a person signs up). It’s better to write for 10 people who truly want to receive your messages than 100 who are ambivalent or worse.

From there, any type of segmentation you can do will help. Can you divvy up your list based on areas of interest or specialization? If so, you’ll be able to create different content (or even slight variations of the same content) oriented more toward the specific individuals receiving it. A little personalization goes a long way.

It’s better to write for 10 people who truly want to receive your messages than 100 who are ambivalent or worse. @NickNelsonMN #EmailMarketing Click To Tweet

Use Email to Build Relationships, Not to Sell

There are multiple problems with salesy emails. One: people generally don’t like them. Two: spam filters tend to be triggered by the terminology used in these messages. Three: they represent a fumbled opportunity.

When someone opts into your newsletter and then starts getting overtly pitched right away, it can feel like a betrayal of trust. As a relatively direct and personal form of marketing communication, email should be used to deliver value and build brand affinity. This is not to say you must avoid any type of lead generation elements in your messages, but make them subtle and sparse.

When someone opts into your newsletter and then starts getting overtly pitched right away, it can feel like a betrayal of trust. @NickNelsonMN #EmailMarketing Click To Tweet

Speak as a Human, to a Human

Your emails should never come from an address that looks like this: noreply@company.com. Use a real person’s name in the sender field (an executive or marketing manager or whomever you want to use as the face of your outward brand communications) and craft content in a way that feels human and friendly.

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, has an awesome newsletter called TotalAnnarchy that epitomizes this genuine vibe. At Social Media Marketing World earlier this year, she gave a talk about creating a newsletter people want to read. Among her tips: focus less on the NEWS and more on the LETTER, make it delightful, and write as if your message were only going out to one person.

I love the way Ann frames the present value of this channel as a marketing tool: Email is the only place where people, not algorithms, are in control.

Email, when it’s done well, is like hot fire. It can burn like nobody’s business. Ann Handley @MarketingProfs #EmailMarketing Click To Tweet

Make Your Emails Visually Interesting

This is tricky terrain because different email clients will display images differently (and sometimes not at all) but in general it’s wise to err on the side of making your emails more colorful and lively. Among their examples of powerful B2B marketing campaigns, Campaign Monitor shares this webinar promo email from AdWeek featuring an animated GIF to infuse their content with understated movement.

AdWeek Email Marketing Example

(Example via Campaign Monitor)

Just like on social feeds, compelling visuals can make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. But make sure you don’t cross the line into gaudiness.

Make Email a Thoughtful Part of Your Overall Strategy

“We need more traffic to our blog post. Do an email blast.” This kind of reactionary thinking is a problematic aspect of email marketing.

As we say repeatedly, promotion should be built into campaigns from the start, and every channel should have a distinct purpose. Connect your email strategy with your goals and give it the proper effort to become a worthwhile standalone piece rather than an obligatory add-on.

Bring Your Email Marketing Strategy Back to Life

The rumors of email marketing’s death are greatly exaggerated. This channel can still be a key fixture in your content strategy if you give it the care and attention it deserves. But like other content channels, in order to maximize its efficacy we need to emphasize quality over quantity, focus on building trust-driven relationships, strike a human resonance, spice up the visuals, and connect it to our larger goals and strategy.

When you achieve this, you just may reignite that “You’ve got mail!” spark of wonder that recipients feel when your messages pop up in their inbox.

 

By Nick Nelson

Sourced from TopRank Marketing

By Jared Atchison

Building an effective email marketing list can help grow your business in numerous ways.

If you have yet to build an email marketing list, you’re missing out on a key way to help you achieve your business goals.

Email trumps every other channel in terms of conversions and return on investment (ROI). Research shows that for every dollar spent on email campaigns, you get a $44 ROI. In addition, 91% of subscribers are open to receiving promotional emails from brands. Digging deeper into research, you’ll find that you can’t go wrong with an email list if you want to grow your business to new heights and cater to customers.

There are nearly four billion email users worldwide, and with so much activity, it’s crucial to take advantage of this channel to market to customers. When built to target the right audience, growing an email list can be one of the most effective and lucrative strategies for your business. It provides communication between brand and customer, sends subscribers relevant content and lets businesses collect user feedback.

Email marketing is important because it turns everyday website visitors into paying customers. When someone signs up to join your email list, it’s clear they’re interested in your brand. All you have to do next is send them relevant content, cater to their needs and keep them happy. Since it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, it’s crucial to pay attention to email subscribers.

Based on what offer they signed up for, you can then segment your subscribers, send them relevant content and move them down the sales funnel. Building a list from scratch can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Here are 5 key ways how to build an email list from the ground up

1. Create personalized landing pages

It’s better to create separate landing pages for each campaign rather than one landing page for several campaigns. Why? Because people come to your website for different reasons, looking for different things. One generalized landing page is not going to cater to the masses the way you think it will. Instead, it’ll drive visitors away because they aren’t finding what they’re looking for.

Personalization is the key to creating landing pages your visitors want to engage with. If you’re a furniture company and you create a landing page for every piece of furniture in your store, then you aren’t catering to the small group focused on armchairs. When they don’t see offers for armchairs, they’ll quickly leave your website. The same goes for any website that doesn’t use personalization in its marketing strategy.

By using a landing page creative tool, you can create individual landing pages for each campaign. You can take subscribers who signed up for a specific offer or campaign and segment them according to their behavior on your website. The more landing pages you create, the better, since companies who increase their landing pages from 10 to 15 see a 55% increase in leads.

2. Use a timed popup

Timed popup opt-ins are effective because they appear to users after they’ve already spent time scrolling through your content. Unlike static forms, they use the element of surprise to encourage visitors to hand over their information. If someone is already engaging with your content and an opt-in appears, there’s a good chance they’ll join your email list.

Pay attention to the word “timed.” A popup should not appear after one second of someone visiting your website. It’s irritating and doesn’t give people the chance to consume your content before you bombard them with an opt-in form. Set up your popup so that it appears after a set time, or once a user scrolls to a certain point of the webpage.

Take it a step further by turning your popup into a simple survey. Limit it to no more than two questions followed by the opt-in that collects users’ email addresses. You can ask anything that helps you determine how to cater to them better, such as how their experience on your website is or if user navigation is easy. Kill two birds with one stone by collecting user feedback and growing your email list at the same time.

3. Simplify your forms

According to a recent study, 55% of B2B professionals say their top priority is increasing lead generation. It’s a struggle many marketers face as they try to grow their brand and its following. An easy way to collect more leads is by simplifying your opt-in forms.

You need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to join your email list. For new visitors especially, they won’t bother dealing with an opt-in that’s difficult to navigate or asks for 12 different pieces of information. It might not seem like a big deal, but when you go out of your way to make things complicated, you’ll see your conversions remain stagnant. Removing as little as one form field can increase form conversions by 26%, so avoid adding several fields in your forms.

4. Create a lead magnet

Instead of showing a standard opt-in to visitors, what if you incentivized their reason for signing up? As much as 30% of people will return to complete a form if they get something in return, which is why creating a lead magnet increases conversions.

Lead magnets are free resources you provided your audience in exchange for their email. Visitors gain access to high-quality content while you gain a new email subscriber, which is the perfect start to a mutually beneficial brand-customer relationship.

Examples of lead magnets include:

  • Ebooks
  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Guides
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars

Whatever freebie you offer subscribers, the important thing is that it has value. No one will bother giving you their contact information for content that doesn’t have anything to offer. Make sure you teach something new or provide excitement and intrigue so that the subscribers you convert stay for the long haul.

5. Host a giveaway

If you want to increase your subscribers, build buzz around your brand, and heighten its recognition, consider hosting a giveaway. Giveaways are fun and encourage those within your target market to check out your website.

It’s important to find a giveaway plugin for WordPress that works for what you’re trying to achieve. Pay attention to the specific features you want so you pick the one that’s right for your campaign.

Choose a giveaway prize that sparks interest in your audience. Offer them something you know they want so they’re more likely to enter.

Set rules that do the work for you. For example, you could create a rule that subscribers must tag a friend in your giveaway post to enter. That way, they spread the word about your giveaway and encourage their friends to enter as well, increasing your subscribers. If you plan your giveaway with a strategy in place, your email list will grow.

Building an email list is something every marketer and business owner must do to succeed. Email is the easiest, most responsive channel for generating leads and sales, and it connects brands to their audiences. When you market your email list to visitors by giving them content they care about and making it easy to subscribe, it makes all the difference in your conversions.

By Jared Atchison

Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.

Sourced from business.com

Sourced from www.squareup.com

Voice and tone determine what you say to customers, and how to say it. 

Hitting the right voice and tone in emails ensures that you can reach your customers in a meaningful and authentic way. It may seem tricky at first, but we promise it’s easy once you get the basics down.

What is the difference between voice and tone?

Simply put, voice is what you say to your customers (the message) and tone is how you say it (the attitude with which you state your message).

Think of voice as the personality of your email –– how do you want to come across to your customers? Your voice should remain consistent throughout your messaging. To find your voice, think about the values of your company and what message you want to share with your audience.

Tone, on the other hand, is the attitude of what you’re saying in your email. And just like your attitude can change, so can your tone. Your tone can be whimsical, serious, or even funny — if that’s the attitude you’re trying to convey.

Finding your voice and tone

So now that you know what voice and tone are, how do you find them? That’s a great question. It depends on your goals for your email marketing strategy and overall brand.

If you’re new to email marketing and need help settling on your tone and voice, we recommend writing three different emails to express the same message — let’s say to offer a coupon for ten percent off a purchase. Write the email in three different voices to your ideal customer with what you would say to them about this coupon.

Once you’ve written three emails in three different voices, see which one resonates most with you. Which email sounds most like you and represents your brand the most authentically? Have it? Great – that’s your voice.

Now, let’s move to tone. Do you want your emails to feel silly, heartfelt, or maybe even objective in your emails? Again, test out a few different email by taking the email that you wrote to find your voice and now try out a few different tones with that message. How does that feel? Are you presenting your audience with the right attitude?

After you’ve settled on your tone, take note of your voice and tone with a few words that can act as your North Star when you’re writing your email. For instance, perhaps your voice is conversational, and your tone is funny. Write this information down and keep it next to you when you’re writing your marketing emails -— it will help you stay consistent in both voice and tone, which is incredibly important in marketing.

Using voice and tone in email marketing

This brings us to our next point: consistency. Once you’re comfortable (dare we say even excited?) about your voice and tone, it’s important that you stick with it. That’s not to say you can’t crack a joke here and there even if you have gone with a more formal tone, but for the majority of your emails, they should sound the same.

The more consistent you are with voice and tone, the more recognizable your brand will be to customers who receive your email. That consistency helps your email stand out from all of the other messages in their inbox.

Think of it this way: Your audience should be able to tell it’s your email even if they couldn’t see your shop’s name in the email — that’s how distinct you want your voice to be. So whether you’re writing a welcome or happy birthday email, you should let your North Star guide you.

Sourced from www.squareup.com

By Sean Peek

Email marketing is often cited as having a high ROI, but only if you use it right. Here’s how to make the most of your email marketing software.

Many companies use email marketing to engage consumers and increase sales. Having a list of contacts who want to receive your latest deals, announcements and other advertisements will help you better establish your brand and ultimately grow your business.

If you’ve invested in email marketing, it’s crucial you understand how to best leverage your software to help you manage and target your contacts. Here are some basic tips for using your email marketing software.

Build your opt-in email list

Every good email marketing campaign begins with a curated list of subscribers. Simply mass-emailing past customers and business contacts will not necessarily increase sales — and may, in fact, be against the law, depending on where you do business. If you have customers in Europe, for instance, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates certain rules and policies about collecting and storing customer contact information for marketing purposes.

When launching your first campaign, you’ll want to obtain permission from customers before sending the emails. Your email marketing software should provide opt-in forms for prospects, so you’re only investing in consumers who are actually interested in your brand.

One particularly effective way to build an email list is to offer some kind of incentive — for example, a free, exclusive piece of content like a whitepaper or e-book — in exchange for a person’s contact information. Typically, visitors will need to check a box confirming their consent to receive marketing emails if they want to receive the incentive.

When launching your first campaign, you’ll want to obtain permission from customers before sending the emails.

How to use email list segmentation

Once you have your list of contacts, you should segment your email list to break them up into smaller groups based on specific demographics, like past relationships with your business, location or interests. This will help you target your customer groups specifically, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach. Subject lines and messages can be customized based on the group and their email or buying habits, and increase your conversions.

How to improve your email open rate

To ensure your contacts are actually opening your emails, you’ll first have to figure out how to avoid landing in spam (which is why opt-in and opt-out options are crucial). Email marketing software typically takes care of this for you, ensuring your IP address hasn’t been flagged as spam in the past. You’ll also want to personalize your metadata, like your To: field and domains.

There’s also no point in wasting time with inactive subscribers. If a consumer hasn’t been engaging in your content for over six months, it’s best to send a last-chance email that asks if they’re still interested in receiving emails. Anyone who does not respond can then be removed.

To encourage subscribers to stay active, though, SCORE recommends making emails short and mobile-friendly, and including a call to action (CTA). Taking that a step further, the SBA recommends testing as a great way to ensure you’re actually reaching your targeted inboxes, your subject lines are catchy enough and that you’re sending emails at the right times and on the right days.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images/skynesher 

By Sean Peek

Sourced from CO – by US Chamber of Commerce