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What NOT To Do When Creating Your Newsletter

The only good newsletter that I ever received was in 2008. I’m not kidding. At the bottom of the newsletter was an offer that simply said:

For the first 20 people to respond to this email, you will receive a pair of tickets to our suite at the next New England Patriots game.

I won, and the rest is history.

I remained a “fan” of that newsletter for about two years…mainly in hopes that I would see another offer hidden inside. Since then, I’ve received hundreds -no THOUSANDS – of newsletters with sources ranging from neighbors updating me on their extended families (sorry, I don’t care.) to vendors (boring… congrats you made a bunch of money last quarter… I don’t care.) to those trying to sell me on their brilliance.

The point is: nobody likes newsletters. Even people that signed up for them, and appear to have read your newsletter, probably didn’t read it. If you insist on periodic communication as part of your required role, please consider doing the following to make things a little more palatable to your audience:

  1. Offer them something of value (and no, we’re not talking about content). Perhaps it’s a contest, a game, a trial of your product, an invitation to meet for coffee… anything that gives a feeling that is warmer than a Christmas Fruitcake.
  2. Personalize the message. If you expect me to take the time to read your content, at least take the time to know who you are sending your information to. If I bought a car from you last month, please don’t send me information about how badly you need to sell me a car this month because it’s President’s Day (or any other lame, manufactured reason).
  3. Segment your messaging. If I have to read 3 pages of information to find the two sentences that I care about; I won’t do it. If you are lucky, I’m going to give you 16 words to win my interest. If you can’t do that; I’m very likely to unsubscribe from your messaging forever. If you can entice me to click on information, and then follow that up with a special offer, you just might have my interest for many months.

In summary, with marketing automation and other analytic capabilities that are available to you, you would be amiss to send a generic newsletter in today’s business world. Be creative, be fun, and focus on building emotion, not just throwing as much content onto as many people as possible. Reface your newsletter, and watch your results blossom. And if you are ready to see the many other ways marketing automation can help your business be BETTER, let us know. We’d love to give you a quick tour.

Why Your Marketing Automation Company Should Play Well With Others

Plays Well with OthersWhen you’re a kid, adults constantly remind you that it’s important that you play well with others. That lesson is important on into adulthood – people don’t like someone who is difficult to work with. This concept is also an important characteristic of your marketing automation platform. Ideally, you would want to do most of your marketing and sales work within your marketing automation platform (like sending emails, creating web forms, etc.). But what happens when you have a separate platform that you are required to use outside of your marketing automation system? Don’t let that work be lost or untrackable.

As a company who listens to it’s users, Lead Liaison prides itself on being flexible and adapting to current and relevant needs. We know that one of the most important integrations is the communication with your Client Relationship Manager (CRM). That’s why we integrate with many CRMs – our Salesforce integration being the most powerful. We also integrate with Microsoft Dynamics, Insightly, Base, and many more!

What about emails? We’ve got that covered – and then some. If you’re not going to be using our super-easy Email Marketing Tools (you really should, though!), we integrate with many email platforms. We also have built-in capabilities to track and provide real-time browser notifications for emails sent through Google Chrome (Gmail) or Outlook via our Send & Track feature.

CRMs and Email platforms are two very important areas of integration. But that’s certainly not all that we offer. Social media platforms, productivity tools, video hosting sites, payment gateways…you name it. We’ve got it covered. To see a full list of our integrations, click here.

To see our Press Release regarding Integrations, click here.

Interested in getting a demo of these powerful integrations? Click here.

The Most Important Email Marketing Elements For 2016 (Infographic)

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at OnBlastBlog.com 

Let’s get one thing straight: email marketing is not dead, nor is it dying. It is still one of the most effective means of generating leads and conversions for a business. The old ways may have died, but there are new elements rising into the spotlight that change how we look at our email campaigns.

Today I’ll share several of the email marketing elements you should be using in 2016, followed by an infographic filled with the latest strategies that you can implement into your next campaign.

Today’s Top Email Marketing Trends and Strategies (Infographic)

You should start by avoiding the most common email marketing mistakes. Now, let’s look at some of the most important elements in any modern strategy:

  • Marketing automation such as drip campaigns and triggered message series are becoming more important to manage and nurture leads.
  • Segmenting your email lists based on a variety of factors (such as whether they’ve purchased or not) will ensure that your emails are personalized and relevant to each category.
  • Provide timely and relevant communication that addresses their needs.
  • Offer exclusive content they can’t get any other way.

Email marketing is a powerful tool in the right hands. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at today’s top strategies and let us know how it helps you in the comments!How to Send out Emails Like a Professional

Common Mistakes with Email Marketing Campaigns and How to Fix Them

Common Mistakes with Email Marketing and How to Fix ThemOne of the best ways to utilize your marketing automation software is to engage leads directly through automated email marketing campaigns, tailored to gradually entice the lead through specific lead nurturing programs. Of course, the modern consumer receives an enormous amount of email every day, so you need to make sure that emails your marketing team sends out get noticed. Here are some common mistakes with email marketing campaigns, and some good ways to fix those problems.

Bad or Misdirected Content

If you have placed a lead in a lead nurturing campaign, then one of your most important struggles isn’t getting them to open the first email – it’s to get them to open all the ones that will follow that first one. It may seem obvious, but you need to ensure that all of the content you send to your leads is strong, readable and engaging, or else your leads may lose interest with your company before they reach a point where they are ready to buy.

A related problem is sending content that isn’t appropriate to the person receiving it. If your marketing automation has scored your lead as not yet interested in your product, don’t try to over pitch them. Your content should be informative, helpful and there to remind your leads that you’re out there, ready to assist them. However, if your lead looks like they might be ready to purchase your services, then make sure you’re ready with well written, compelling content that will convince them to buy!

Some marketing automation software, such as Lead Liaison, can even help you craft email marketing campaigns that target extremely specific demographics. Lead Liaison’s software can look through social media profiles to find information about your leads interests, which would let you, for example, send out a deal that was tied to a baseball event and specifically sent to baseball fans.

Email That Is Not Optimized For Mobile

Another common mistake in email marketing campaigns is failing to optimize for mobile devices. Mobile devices are quickly becoming one of the most common ways that consumers read their email, and if your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, it makes them that much more likely to be ignored. Make sure that any images you’ve included will scale appropriately, that your text displays in a readable size and font, and you’ll find your email marketing campaign will bring you much more success.

Ineffective Call To Action

The last common mistake in email marketing campaigns that you should keep track of is a sloppy or ineffective call to action. If your marketing automation software indicates that your emails are being read but you are seeing poor conversion rates, then the problem could lie with your call to action. Using strong action words, such as buy, click, or register and making sure any images you use have bright colors with high contrast can help make your call to action more effective.

Learn about more ways to make your email marketing campaign, and other marketing automation strategies, more effective at Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog.

How our Company Saved $9,618 on our Mailchimp Email Campaign – Get More out of Email Marketing

Get More out of Email Marketing

Get More out of Email MarketingOur company recently sent an email campaign the “old school way” to see how difficult and costly it would be compared to sending the email campaign and complement the strategy with Lead Liaison. We wanted to empathize with the 100s of thousands of companies that spend money on email marketing but aren’t equipped with the full software solution to turn their salespeople into “happy heroes”. Companies think they’re saving money by going with email service providers like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, when they end up spending way more than they anticipated in the end without having software that fosters sales efficiency. In this post we explain how to get more out of email marketing. Lets unfold what we did.

In this exercise, we sent out an email to 17,000 contacts. Although Lead Liaison has a powerful email marketing component to the platform, we wanted to act like most businesses and signed up for Mailchimp. The campaign was a huge success and cultivated the average click-throughs (2.2%) in the software and web application industry. That’s 374 people that clicked at least one link in our email campaign. Now, most businesses would send that list of click-throughs to their sales team and ask them to follow up. Let’s look at the investment required to properly follow up with these 374 “leads”:

  1. 374 people clicked a link.
  2. Consider an average time of 20 minutes for each rep to research the lead, contact them, add reminders in their CRM, follow up, etc. It’s probably more, but we’ll be conservative here.
  3. 374 people x 20 minutes = 7,480 minutes = 125 hours spent chasing these leads.
  4. We all know salespeople are the most expensive resource in a company. The average fully burdened cost of a software salesperson is $175,000 per year. $175,000 / 2,080 business hours in a year = $84 per hour.
  5. 125 hours x $84 per hour = $10,500 spent following up with these leads.

Yep, that’s right…a typical company would spend over $10,000 on their email campaign. These companies might be looking for some cost savings as a Mailchimp subscription at this contact level is $150 for the month; however, they end up spending a lot more in operational costs. It’s important to look at the total cost of the campaign, from the price of the software to deliver the campaign through the follow up. The problem with this type of traditional approach to email marketing is that the marketing person has to invest more time (and ultimately the company’s money), extracting data from Mailchimp, parsing data to determine which reps should get each lead, and delivering data to them. Now, let’s look at how we saved 92% of that investment, or $9,618, by using Lead Liaison for sales efficiency.

Instead of following up with everyone that clicked a link in an email, we used Lead Liaison to take care of all our tracking, lead qualification and lead distribution. It took us 20 minutes to set things up before sending our campaign through Mailchimp. We spent 5 minutes adding a tracking token to the end of each of our links inside the Mailchimp Campaign. Then we spent 15 minutes setting up a Workflow that ran for two weeks following the launch of our email campaign. In our Workflow we told the system to look for:

  • new leads from email marketing with
  • website activity after the date we launched the campaign
  • with a lead score more than 30

With these rules we could automatically distribute warm leads to our sales team, based on territory, round robin, or sales rep performance. The lead is then automatically synced into our CRM and the salesperson gets a task reminder to follow up. The sales team is a lot happier as they’re focusing on qualified leads and don’t have to bother with data entry. Lets look at the numbers:

  1. 21 hot leads were generated that met the above criteria
  2. The reps were able to spend more quality time (30 minutes per lead) on each prospect as they knew their prep and research would be more meaningful with higher quality leads. Reps used Lead Liaison to see what the person looked at after they clicked the link in the email and how many other times they visited our website. Reps could see all kinds of digital behavior like when they played our video explainer, visited our pricing page, and more.
  3. 21 hot leads x 30 minutes per lead = 10.5 hours spent chasing hot leads
  4. At $84 per hour, that’s $882.
  5. Compared to $10,500 for the “traditional” approach to following up to an email campaign, our company saved 92%, or $9,618, had a happier sales and marketing team, kept all the data in the system, and saved time not having to export or lose data.

That’s a pretty compelling ROI. Even if we didn’t invest the 15 minutes setting up the Workflow in Lead Liaison, we could have used our visitor tracking solution for the period of our campaign, filter out Known Leads (people with an email) with an Original Lead Source of Email Marketing, and sort by Lead Score. The website visitor tracking view displays businesses visiting our website in real-time and tracks activity across all our marketing channels. We could have easily clicked the “Hits” column to see what pages people viewed during their visit and how many times they visited our website since the campaign ran.

website visitor traffic

We hope you try a modern approach to email marketing and connect email to web using Lead Liaison to get more out of email marketing.

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!Building an email list takes time. We all know this, yet something about the allure of buying emails and trying to “beat the system” captures the attention of many companies. It may seem at first that buying an email list is a great workaround – saving you from having to build a list organically and expend money and effort into lead gen – but at the end of the day, buying lists for sale could be hurting you more than helping you.

If you’re a company that’s built an email list via direct list purchasing, why should you stop doing this – and better yet, what can you do to get that legit list you’re looking for without a lot of legwork?

 

Building an Email List Organically – Stop Buying!

The minute you buy a list and execute emails to that list, you’re sending spam. Why is this? Well, 100% of the list subscribers you just purchased opted in somewhere else. They never agreed to receive promotions from your particular company.

Any legit email service provider (ESP) is going to ask for your address and company information to comply with CAN-SPAM regulations. Additionally, your ESP should confirm that you built your opt-in organically to decrease the chance of spam. If your list isn’t organic, your ESP may shut down your campaigns and bounce you even after your first list send. If you’re in this situation and you just paid for an email list, you’re now out the new customers AND a way to send your emails. No bueno!

How Can You Build a List Organically?

For starters, you should be prepared to offer great content. A top of the funnel activity such as a blog post, a free offer like a white paper or an instructional video offers opportunities for you to build organic traffic and get customers engaged with you. The free, useful content you offer is bait and will also help you succeed organically – particularly if you use things your customers are searching for as the title of your videos or blog posts. For example, if you’re a financial planner you may use something general such as “what is financial planning?” that has a high search volume as your post or video title.

Once users take the bait, they’ll see an opportunity to download a whitepaper from you. Ask for their email address to get the whitepaper – and voila, you now have their email and can advertise to them again and again without spamming. Create several funnels and opportunities like this based on the different services you provide, or different topically separated content offerings on your site.

Want more info on how to build your list organically? Lead Liaison can help! We’ll assist you in rethinking your funnels, building out new campaigns and measuring them today. Let’s chat!

 

Track Email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response and More

Integrates with Any 3rd Party Email Service Provider or CRMDid you know you could track email from a 3rd party email service provider, or ESP, and get even more value out of your existing email system? Marketing automation from Lead Liaison will help you track email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, ExactTarget, Emma and any other 3rd party email system you can imagine. We’re not just talking about basic stuff like opens and clicks that you have to dig up, we’re talking sophisticated tracking that delivers crucial sales intelligence pushed to your reps.

What’s the value-add?

This process will magnify the value of your 3rd party email system by 10x. Here’s what you’ll get above and beyond what you have with your 3rd party email provider:

  1. Complete history of online behavior. We’ll pull together past, present and future activity that your prospect demonstrates as they engage with your company’s brand. This includes all kinds of behavioral tracking, such as document downloads, pages viewed, videos watched, chats, social media engagement and more through the life of the prospect’s buying cycle.
  2. Real-time website visitor tracking. We’ll tell you when your prospect is online and what they’re looking at in real-time.
  3. Sales alerts. When your prospect comes back to your website and demonstrates buying signals we’ll send a Buy Signal alert to your sales rep via email and/or text.
  4. Profile enrichment. We’ll layer on data from 110+ social networks on top of the rich demographic and behavioral information collected on your prospect.
  5. Original lead source attribution. Marketers spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns but often times have difficulty attributed closed business to their marketing campaigns. We’ll identify the original lead source of your prospects with “Email Marketing” if they engage with your email sent from the 3rd party system.
  6. Lead qualification. When your prospects engage with emails sent from your 3rd party system Lead Liaison will automatically add a point value, determined by you, to your prospect’s lead score. Lead scores range from 0 to 1,000 and provide a great way for marketers to help salespeople separate hot leads from stagnant leads.

What do you need to do?

Integrating marketing automation with your 3rd party email service provider is easy and can be done selectively, on a campaign by campaign basis. To integrate Lead Liaison with your 3rd party ESP simply add some special tracking code to the end of each of your links. We’ll use the email information and tracking code to add engagement activity to your Prospect’s Profile. If the Prospect is already in your system with an assigned Lead Owner we’ll trigger Buy Signals for the Lead Owner.

 

Email Marketing and Anti-Spam Laws in North America

Email Marketing Anti-Spam Laws in North AmericaIt’s important to be aware of email marketing and anti-spam laws in your country. If you’ve done any type of email marketing, you’re likely familiar with the CAN-SPAM act of 2013. This is the first bill outlining national standards for how email marketing should be used by United States businesses. CAN-SPAM details a procedure and fine/criminal penalty structures for businesses that blast recipients who haven’t opted in to a list with unsolicited advertising.

While folks who have been routinely spammed may not be able to afford the legal bills and filing fees associated with going after spammers, the government has been cracking down on ESPs (email service providers) over the past few years. This makes purchasing lists wholesale from larger providers tricky. If users haven’t directly opted into your list, you could run into problems with your email service provider, including being banned from using the ESP, sending further emails until you disclose how you built your list, etc.

When it comes to legislation, it’s not just about understanding your country’s guidelines – new email marketing legislation is popping up all over the world, most recently in Canada. Doing efficient email marketing now includes understanding the laws of the country whose users you’re marketing to.

The CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Law)

The new CASL legislation went into effect July 1 of this year. Harsher penalties will be enacted for businesses that don’t comply with new regulations. The law defines businesses must obtain implied or express consent from recipients. Implied consent may include exchanging messages with friends or family members, business emails sent to you from a recipient’s business address or a customer who transacted business with in the past 24 months.

Making sure that you comply with the laws of countries you’re marketing to can save you headaches in the future. Losing the ability to send emails across ESPs can hurt your chances of reaching your audience and cause huge headaches for sending to a list in the future. It’s a good idea to do a Google search on the law changes in Canada to make sure you’re on the right side of the law – and your users.

Ethical Email Marketing

Legislation in different countries is essentially created with the goal of ensuring businesses do email marketing ethically – using emails that are given to them freely and willingly by users rather than soliciting to people who don’t want to receive marketing in their emails. Email providers like Google are also changing their algorithms to ensure that spammers make it to inboxes less and less. It makes sense to use a progressive ESP and take a good look at how you’re building your email marketing list.

Marketing automation can help connect all the different pieces of your advertising together. Doing efficient, compliant email marketing is a great step in the right direction of an effective marketing campaign. We can help! Contact Lead Liaison for more ideas on how we can help your email marketing ethically grow as your business grows.

Getting Your Subscribers to Open and Click

Getting Subscribers to Open and ClickIt’s tough to send good marketing emails. Even after they’ve opted in, you have to reaffirm their interest with each and every email you send. And let’s be honest, it takes time to develop a winning email marketing strategy, and no matter the size of your business, time is expensive. Here are a few quick and simple things to implement in your email marketing strategy:

A/B Testing

Try A/B testing with several strong subject lines to see what works better. What’s going to make your recipient open this email? The first step is getting it opened. Check out these email subject line hacks taken from SXSW session titles. Try out your own version of these against something else you think might work. It’s all about experimentation and understanding your subscribers. Tailor it to them personally as often as possible.

Spicy Subject Line

Surprise your subscribers with an interesting subject line. Play-up the sense of urgency and scarcity of your product. Along the same lines of A/B testing, test out what times of the day work best for your content. Are you grabbing your audience at a time when they’re looking for your services? Or are you sending at a time when your email is just one of many and it’s lost in the pile? Check out a few tips on improving your open rate here.

Know Your Subscribers

Understand your buyer persona. What makes them tick? Why would they have subscribed to your list and what kind of information are they seeking? This is where organizing your leads properly will really pay off. Read more about email tracking here. Targeting your subscribers personally makes them believe that email is for them, not just the whole pool of subscribers.

Lead Liaison keeps email marketing simple for you through our marketing automation services. We make it easy for you to succeed in each email campaign, keeping each email personalized, utilizing drip campaigns, keeping your lists clean and organized, and providing important analytics.

Solidify Your Email Marketing Efforts in 2014

email-marketing-tips-for-2014Good email marketing requires not only the ability to create compelling content, but a strategy for ensuring click throughs and open rates increase throughout your marketing efforts. For many companies, time is such a factor that developing a strategy around increasing readership and engagement becomes difficult. If you’re looking to solidify your email marketing efforts in 2014 look no further, we can help.

Fortunately, there are some strategies companies of all sizes can implement to ensure they’re getting the best content to their reader base and are increasing engagement as time passes. Now is a great time to start thinking about how your company manages email marketing and if there are potential ways to increase your stats and reach your readership more effectively.

Consider Your Subject Lines

If you haven’t yet created a subject line that features a call to action why not test one out? A call to action typically begins with a strong verb that compels the reader to do something. Good examples of strong subject lines are:

  • Be the change you want to be.
  • Enjoy the holidays for once!
  • Open your own store today.

It’s important that your email subject line be fairly brief and concise. Verbose subjects don’t tend to get a lot of opens, particularly since most people use an email client that obscures part of the subject line. It’s always a good rule of thumb to get to the point quickly.

Strategically Place Links

Don’t just put a URL leading to your site in the sidebar of your email. Prominently feature a link back to your site or content in a few different places. One great way to get people clicking is to feature an interesting article that includes about 2-3 paragraphs of text in your email, and then post a “Read More” link where your article starts to get really compelling.

You can also experiment with creating a footer or other area in your email that groups “related content” links that allow people to click through to your site.

Vary Your Email Marketing Techniques

Rather than just sending out the normal company newsletter, try creating a new post when your company has a big sale, news or even if there’s a new blog post available to read. Check your email stats and take stock of what your client base seems interested in reading. By managing your stats, you can get an idea of how to best get the open rate and click throughs that you’re looking for.

If you need help creating content or managing your email marketing stats, Lead Liaison would love to help! Let us show you how today.