Even though webinars have been here for a long time, with the continuous rise of video content’s popularity in marketing, web presentations are the way to go.

If you’re new to webinar marketing, read along and find out what webinars are, their main benefits, and how to create them.

 

What is a webinar?

Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations, workshops, or lectures hosted online. They are usually business-related and allow you to share your knowledge with virtually anyone in the world.

Web presentations are a highly interactive form of marketing and can be used as a relationship-building or authority-building tactic. But the possibilities are endless. You can even use webinars for internal team meetings if you’re part of a remote team.

Planning a webinar is so much easier than organizing a seminar or lecture in real life. Mainly because you don’t need to have a big venue to host a large number of attendees. You can invite people from all around the globe, and if they can’t participate live, you can record the webinar and send them the recording later.

 

What are the benefits of a webinar?

So, now you know what webinars are. But why do you need webinars?

Here are the main reasons you should host a webinar:

  • First of all, they help you build a list. Every registered person is a new contact in your database.
  • Online seminars establish you as an expert, a trustworthy and reliable source of information in your industry. They allow you to share your expertise with your target market. You can personally provide solutions to their problems, which can clear their doubts over your product.
  • If you record your webinars, they will serve you as valuable content you can share with your audience later.
  • By registering, people are demonstrating an interest in what you are offering – they become qualified leads, making it easier to nurture and convert them.
  • They can help you train and onboard new employees in a ‘fun’ way – it’s always better to explain important issues by talking, not writing long-form text.
  • Every web seminar you run gives you many branding opportunities. With webinars, you build brand awareness and set the brand voice.

Michael Leszczynski, Content Marketing Manager at GetResponse, says:

Here, at GetResponse, webinars play an important role and not just because we provide webinar software. We use them to onboard new customers, support our product launches, and establish authority when inviting world-class experts.

We also use them internally, when onboarding and training our new employees who are joining our remote offices. They’ve been great for knowledge-sharing, especially given the fact that you can record and re-use the content later.

 

Webinar types

There are many types of web seminars you can use to achieve specific goals, or to adjust to the needs of your audience and your business. Here are some of the most popular types of content and techniques you can use while video conferencing and planning your webinar marketing strategy. Follow by them, are the most popular webinar types categorized by the goals you can achieve with them.

 

Webinar content types

If the purpose of your webinar is educating your audience, the web presentation itself should provide accompanying educational visuals – and presenting what you want to convey in presentation slides is the easiest way to do it.

Here’s how we do it with GetResponse webinars:

 

webinar presentation slideshow.

 

A quick tip: The first slide of your presentation should have all the important “technical” info – how long will the webinar last, wether it will be recorded & sent to participants, and the agenda for the video seminar.

 

Creating a web seminar in a live-video format is great if you want to build closer relationships with your customers or to conduct a team meeting. It’s very personal, and you can show the “human side” of your business in a professional way. This type of a softwebinar could also be useful if you’re making a video presentation of a physical product.

 

When you’re hosting a webinar, your audience can use the chat option to ask questions or answer yours. It builds the relationship between you and establishes your authority when you provide answers to their problems in real-time. People feeling seen by you makes the connection stronger and creates a bond that keeps the customers coming back to you.

 

You can use the whiteboard to better visualize more complex topics. By drawing over charts, images, or mapping out various concepts from scratch, you can help your audience follow your thought process.

 

getresponse webinars whiteboard.

A GetResponse webinar using the whiteboard mode

 

Quick tip: While explaining concepts on whiteboards during the web conference, don’t hestitate to collaborate 😉

 

If you need to do an online presentation on a specific topic more than once – or maybe you even need to do it regularly – you can use a pre-recorded webinar instead. This option is also useful if you’re doing a webinar with a guest-speaker who’s unable to schedule a meeting around the time that best fits your audience.

Once you’ve got a polished presentation, all you need to do is hit the play button once the webinar has started. To make sure the video presentation remains personal and your audience is happy with the experience, you can run the chat and answer their questions live while the pre-recorded webinar is running.

This is a common practice among SaaS companies that need to run product training webinars for their new customers on a regular basis.

 

When your topic requires demonstrating some step-by-steps in software or online, there’s no better way to do it than by sharing your desktop. The attendees will be able to see exactly what you’re doing and follow along. This format is especially useful while onboarding new users to your software.

You can also use screen sharing if you’ve created your presentation in a non-standard way, e.g., using Prezi. Since these aren’t based on slides, the best way to present them is through sharing your screen with your audience.

The same applies if instead of using one presentation, you’re sharing multiple apps or files like spreadsheets. Rather than taking screenshots and adding them to your presentation, you can share your desktop and jump between different apps freely.

 

A polling tool is something that will provide both you and your audience with stats and information not available anywhere else. You can set it to be either anonymous or public.

 

Webinar types by different purposes

 

1.  Educational

If you want to educate your audience on the field you’re an expert within, webinars are one of the most effective ways to do it. To run an educational webinar, it’s best to use well-prepared slides or a whiteboard video, as it utilizes the visual capabilities of webinars.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask external expert speakers to collaborate with you!

 

2. Product webinars

When you have a great product to showcase to a lot of people, turn your usual event-goers to webinar participants. You can give them a detailed presentation, including every detail, answering their questions. While running a product webinar, you’re educating the participants and getting their attention with your product, so you’re able to nurture your leads and even convert them into actual customers, making a sale. This allows you to collect the much-needed feedback on your product or tool.

 

3. User onboarding

If your company is offering software, you will benefit from a user onboarding webinar the most. Make sure the learning curve is as soft as possible by inviting new users to participate in a webinar that you run for newbies regularly, for example, once a month. Run a user onboarding webinar making use of a screen sharing option.

 

4. Employee training and team meetings

Of course, running webinars to convert is beneficial to your business. But that shouldn’t stop you from using webinars for team meetings and training your employees when you have a remote team, or a team too big to fit into a room together.

 

5. Lead generation and list building

When you promote your webinar across different channels, focus on one persona that you’d like to attract. When they register, they will trust you with their email address, and that’s the starting point. You’ll gain valuable and interesting leads you can follow up with, and nurture them into conversion later. You can also host paid and free webinars with the help of marketing funnels.

 

6. Customer retention and nurturing

While hosting inspiring webinars may be great to attract new people to your brand, it’s equally as good for nurturing customers that are already on board with you. The personal relationship you build along the way is key to keep them coming back. With such webinars, they can keep track of your newest products and announcements. It’s also a great opportunity for your clients to ask important questions when you’re more approachable than ever.

 

How to run a webinar & webinar best practices

If you’re wondering how to start creating webinars, here are a few webinar tips, and steps you need to take.

 

1. Choose the right topic, title, and format

First of all, think of what the purpose of your webinar will be.

Is it to generate leads, grow your list, sell a product, or onboard new users?

Then, decide on the topic. What is the most important knowledge you can share with people in an hour or so? If you’re looking for inspiration for your webinar’s content, you can run through your other content’s stats to see what drives traffic to your site, and what your audience is the most interested in. This step will definitely ensure a higher engagement.

Remember to be precise. It helps people understand what they’re signing up for, and it also helps you with your landing page’s SEO. Consider naming it with a question, e.g., ‘How to make a webinar sale? Free webinar with *an industry influencer*’. Whether it’s a webinar directed towards people new to the subject or experts, specify it. It will save you from lots of negative opinions like “I already knew that” and “It was too complicated; I need to know the basics first.”.

When you’ve decided on the topic, choose a format that would suit your webinar’s needs.

 

2. Choose the presenters & team

When preparing for a webinar, you’ll need to pick a qualified presenter. It should be a person who’s knowledgeable on the subject, not afraid of public speaking and answering tough questions, has good charisma and is at least a bit immune to stress. Of course, your web seminar can have more than one presenter.

Then, you can choose an assistant, who could admin the chat and possibly answer some of the audience’s questions while the speaker continues with their presentation.

After you’ve found perfect people who will create the webinar’s content, you can also ask someone (or a few people) to take care of the technical side of your web seminar (make sure the Internet connection is strong and that you can be heard and, if required, seen)

 

3. Plan out the content

Planning is crucial If you want to construct an online seminar that’s engaging from start to finish.

Webinars that involve the presenters running through subjects in chaos and stumbling aren’t the best and most memorable. If you plan your webinar right, it should deliver on your promise, and have the perfect amount of content for your audience to absorb.

 

The outline

When you know the topic and purpose of your online seminar, it shouldn’t be hard to create an outline. Remember that the average webinar lasts about 40-60 minutes, so that’s the standard timeframe you’re going to work with. If you’re creating a prerecorded webinar, create a storyboard first, just like a film director would.

 

The structure

The content you provide throughout the webinar should be engaging enough to keep the participants until the end. You can also tease a bonus at the start, to create an incentive to keep watching. Then, it should naturally lead into a paid offering, if that’s a part of your webinar’s purpose. There’s an 80-20 rule for this – make the webinar 80% solid content, and you can promote your product for the remaining 20%.

Always start by welcoming participants. Ask them where they are joining you from, and you’ll create instant engagement.

Make the participants sure that’s the right place for them to be, by specifying who will benefit from the online seminar. Also, introduce not only the subject of your webinar, but yourself. Start with a relatable story to prove you’re trustworthy and keep it brief.

Remember to always save some time in the end for a Q&A session. Mention it at the beginning so that the audience will have time to think through the questions they want to ask.

Read more on how to structure your webinar content.

 

4. Prep the tech & environment

Before you run a webinar, make sure you have a camera (a working laptop camera is good enough) and a working microphone with settings adjusted to the environment you’re in. Speaking of which, choosuggestse a set for your webinar – it can be your office, or even your living room, but keep it professional and ensure nobody interrupts you during the webinar. It can throw you off guard and disrupt the focus of participants.

To minimize the risk of some miss ups, check if your Internet connection is stable, and keep a fully charged backup laptop within reach.

And it should go without saying – if you’re going to share your screen, don’t have any unnecessary tabs open in your browser and possibly clear your desktop.

It’s also best to log into the webinar room 20 minutes before the scheduled meeting and check if everything goes smoothly.

 

5. Attend other webinars beforehand

It’s hard to imagine how to prepare for such an event if you’ve never attended one yourself. Find a few seminars with experienced hosts, like industry influencers, and register now J. Make notes of everything you find interesting, starting from the webinar’s landing page, to the way the speaker talks. See what you can implement in your own preparation.

 

6. Schedule your webinar

What is the best time to run a webinar?

It’s hard to pinpoint the ‘perfect’ date and time, but the rule of thumb is to schedule a webinar for the middle of the week, Tuesday to Thursday (with Tuesday as the winner). The other days are more likely to have people vacationing. Most people will only commit to one webinar per week, so you’ll be competing with other players in the field.

While you may assume people want to attend web seminars in the afternoon, when they’re off work, it’s not entirely true. Some statistics suggest that the time most people prefer to attend webinars is 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have guests from different time zones, and if you’re really far away from your targeted audience, you may even have to sacrifice some sleep to host. And, try not to schedule the seminar for lunch hours.

While promoting your video seminar, mention that it will be recorded – people will know it’s worth signing up even if they can’t attend and that they’ll receive the recording later.

 

7. Promote your webinar

To run an online presentation, you need people to register for it. It’s not just the content that makes them register – it’s how you promote it.

 

Webinar landing pages

Create a landing page with an invitation, that will encourage people to sign up and tell the audience everything they need to know beforehand.

First, write a short copy explaining the topic. In a few pointers highlight what the participants will take away from it. Then, place a signup form where your leads will leave their name and email, and finish it off with a clear CTA button – the word “register” should be enough.

Don’t forget to introduce the hosts. It’s a nice touch that will set the foundation of your newly-built relationship.

And there’s the last step that you should never skip – highlight the date and time of your webinar (especially the timezone if you expect participants from all over the world).

 

webinar landing page getresponse p1.webinar squeeze page getresponse p2.

 

 

 

 

If you’re feeling extra fancy, when creating a landing page in GetResponse, you can add a countdown timer.

 

countdown timer getresponse webinar landing page.

 

Banners, popups, ads

Place a banner on your website or blog in a visible spot at least a week before the scheduled date. The CTA button, again, is of the utmost importance – build a sense of urgency by using phrases like “save your seat” or “register now”. Then, link it to your landing page.

You can promote your event in popup forms on your website if you want a quicker way to get people to register.

Advertise where the people are. If you know your audience’s preferred mean of communication is social media like Facebook or Instagram, create social ads that lead to the registration page. Try the GetResponse Social Ads Creator if you want to use fun templates and create video promos in no time.

 

Spreading the word

When you have a great following on social media like Twitter, you can use it to your advantage and spread the word, possibly gaining new followers along the way. Create a dedicated hashtag – it can engage the participants you before, during, and after the seminar and allow you to interact with them.

Share links and tease the presentation’s content. And, just before the start of your online seminar, state that it’s about to begin – the audience will be reminded of it in real-time while scrolling their feeds.

 

Email invitations

You may use the webinar as a mean to build your list. But, what about the people that are already on it? Seize the opportunity and invite them to your web seminar by email.

Start with the subject line. To make clear what you’re promoting, consider stating it first, in brackets, like so:

 

email marketing for webinars.

 

If you’re partnering up with an industry expert, don’t shy away from namedropping here 😉

In the copy, don’t just communicate the details and reiterate on the webinar’s topic. Address your prospects’ pain points and tell them how the webinar will help. Only then you should jump into the details and write about the overall agenda, the date and time, how long will it last, and how they can register.

I will touch on the subject of emails one more time in a minute, but in the meantime, you should definitely check out our article on how to design great webinar invitation emails.

 

7. Practice

You shouldn’t jump into your first webinar without proper preparation, with the hopes to improvise. Sure, being flexible in your presentation is an asset, but practice a lot in the days leading to your seminar to make everything smooth and sound convincing and knowledgeable. Also, everyone on your team should have a bit of first-hand experience with the webinar software you’re going to use – so it’s great to do a dry run with everyone involved.

Keep away from last-minute tweaks and changes in your scenario. They usually make everything a bit messier and cause unnecessary stress.

 

8. Send reminders

As I mentioned before, there are more emails you should send than just the invitation emails.

On average, only about a third of the people who have registered will attend your webinar, so you should really make sure they don’t forget to join you.

When people have registered to your event and left you their email address, it’s expected of you to, firstly, thank them for registering.

Secondly, remind them of the upcoming seminar.

Marketers usually agree that the best times to send event reminder emails are a week before, an hour before, and 5 minutes before.

One week before encourages the registrants to mark the date in their calendar for the next week.

And the email sent 5 minutes before the webinar creates such a sense of urgency, that they make up for the greatest percentage of attendees.

Sounding both professional and personal in these emails is crucial. One of my favorite examples is an email from GetResponse’s Irek Klimczak. It asked a question in the subject line: “Will you make it today?”. This line alone gave him surprising results. It generated a 42.41% open and a 3.67% click-through rate and boosted the registrants-to-attendees rate by 5%. It also received a decent number of personal replies.

 

9. Run the webinar

It’s time to host. Get ready and familiar with the number of attendees you’ll be dealing with.

Keep a glass of water nearby. Now, focus and go through the planned agenda. Don’t let anything distract you – you’ve got only about an hour and there are many people excited to hear you. Good luck!

 

10. Follow up!

Now that the webinar is over, you need to follow up on it.

If you were recording the webinar, make sure to send the recording to people who have registered, but couldn’t attend.

If the attendees didn’t make a purchase, it doesn’t disqualify them from being valuable leads. They may need more information.

Ask for feedback – you could use it in the future to improve your webinar endeavors. Provide them with additional resources to continue the nurturing process, and guide them through your sales funnel, converting them as a result.

 

What do you use webinars for?

So, now it’s time to hear your opinions – what do you / will you use webinars for?

Let us know in the comments below!

By the way, we also have a few tips for you if you need to know which mistakes to avoid while creating webinars.

 


This article will be updated with more information soon – stay tuned!


 

How Do Webinars Work_ A Beginner's Guide to Webinar Marketing (1).



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Article published February 2014, updated July 2019.

There are plenty of great content creators across the web, all of them offering something special that sets them apart. However, some of them stand out a little more than others. 

Even if you’re not a subscriber, you probably recognize the name BuzzFeed. This renowned content creator provides news, facts, opinions, stats, information, and entertainment to an audience of millions of people.

What’s the secret to their success? Could your newsletter do with a bit of BuzzFeed’s stickiness? We asked Dan Oshinsky, their Newsletter Editor to share with us their secret sauce. Find out why personality and good content curation really count with Dan’s top 8 tips.

1. The subject line + preheader really matter

Your emails are showing up in the same space as emails from family and friends. Subscribers are letting you into their lives. Embrace that. Whenever I’m writing a subject line, I try to make it about the reader as much as possible. And then the preheader just drives home the message.

For instance, if the subject line of a food email is, “This Is YOUR Month” the preheader reads, “February is here, and it’s time to take control and plan out a month’s worth of delicious recipes.” When they work together, it can really give subscribers a reason to click.

2. Don’t just have an audience in mind — have a person

Don’t just have an audience in mind — have a person

I write every email with two very different BuzzFeed readers in mind. One is a twenty-something friend who’s always busy at work. The BuzzFeed daily email is her link to what’s happening on the internet. The other is my mother, and she’s got a great sense of humor—but I also don’t want to share anything that’s NSFW. Before I send an email, I ask myself: Would my friend like this? Would my mom? If the answer is “yes” to both, it’ll almost always do well.

All good BuzzFeed email examples are written for people, as in individuals rather than the broad idea of an audience. All the best email marketing examples share this characteristic. Writing for people makes your content more humanized. Sounds basic, right?

You’d be surprised how many content creators overlook this tip. Many times, we get too carried away by the need to create something grand, broad-reaching, and marvelous that we forget about the end result.

We want people reading our content. Whether it is that twenty-something workaholic or good-old mom, or even anyone in-between, speaking to individuals rather than the abstract concept of an audience or segment always makes for better content.

The readability, the takeaway for the reader, and the result it brings to the publisher is also better.

3. Be personable/be consistent

Again, your email lives in the same inbox as emails from family and friends. This is a space for humans. Be personable, and be a consistent source of awesome stuff. Do that, and subscribers will keep reading (and keep sharing your emails).

What’s the best way to be personable? Going back to tip #2, you’re writing for individuals, right? Those individuals will have traits. They’ll be at a certain place in life, with particular interests and goals. If you can appeal to these unique aspects of their personality and journey, your content will make a better connection.

What’s the best way to be personable? Going back to tip #2, you’re writing for individuals, right? Those individuals will have traits. Source: Really Good Emails

In this example, you see a great strategy where a company recaps a customer’s history with them. Not only is this personal, but it brings out the other element we’re discussing—consistency. Consistent content builds on previous entries, and in this case, the email summarizes the user’s experience with the company.

Now imagine that in BuzzFeed email format. It could discuss a user’s journey with them, the articles they’ve engaged with, or even a list of the biggest stories from the year. The approach is consistent with the brand’s offerings, and it’s personal in how it connects with the reader.

4. Write Honest (But Amazing) Headlines

Write Honest (But Amazing) Headlines

At BuzzFeed, we work hard to make sure our headlines aren’t creating false expectations. If we’re promising the “The 27 Best Moments From The Golden Globe Awards” then those better be the best moments. Don’t trick readers into clicking: Readers are too smart for that and not too busy to unsubscribe from emails that deceive.

5. Don’t be afraid to share stuff that doesn’t directly help you

Our Sunday email of great feature stories is our most-opened email—40-45% of subscribers open it every week—but it’s also the newsletter that features the most non-BuzzFeed content. Our team curates great stories from around the web, and readers really appreciate that approach. Sharing only BuzzFeed content would drive more clicks in the short run, but this approach has made this a more awesome newsletter that we can continue to grow.

They say variety is the spice of life, and it’s also a great element to remember in your marketing. If your own in-house team can’t pump the variety of content you need to keep things fresh, reaching out to other sources is a smart move. We can still maintain the BuzzFeed email format even with mixing things up every now and then.

6. Embrace the GIF

Embrace the GIF

I won’t include one in every email. But if there’s a really amazing GIF, I always try to feature it. It’s a great way to make your emails stand out—and they also look great on mobile!

The GIF is a nice treat, largely when it is used sparingly. You may use static images on a regular basis, so your viewers will be used to it. When they check out an image and see some animation along with it, it’s an unexpected treat.

7. Mobile is what matters

If you’re not building your emails with mobile readers in mind, you’re losing half your audience. We try to keep the content easy to scroll through on your phone, and our newsletters are fluid-width, which means they’ll look fantastic on mobile—and also really good on your desktop.

8. When In Doubt, Feature A Photo Of A Puppy

When In Doubt, Feature A Photo Of A Puppy

tl;dr — Everyone appreciates a good puppy photo.


Massive thanks to Dan for being not only a cool customer, but someone who sends newsletters that many of us regularly look forward to. To receive their regularly hilarious, sometimes animated and always irresistible emails, sign up here.

Wrap up

The BuzzFeed email format is designed to enable great design, not hinder it. That’s why there’s never a worry about mixing things up. Curated content, multiple media types, and a personalized approach are all great strategies. They keep your emails spontaneous, even if you do stick by a familiar format.

Learn how BuzzFeed has powered consistent growth through their approach to email marketing.



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Customers who shop online and in-person spend on average 4% more on each in-store trip and 10% more online than shoppers visiting only one channel, according to the Harvard Business Review. Coordinating online and offline marketing requires following omnichannel best practices—including being mindful of your budget and resources, keeping consumer data uniform, and offering a seamless, experience to customers.

Whether your business is reaching a customer through in-store signage, social media, or face-to-face interactions, the experience you provide should be positive, consistent, and meaningful. As you consider running a business with both a physical and digital footprint, read on to learn how to develop a singular, coordinated promotional strategy.

Develop a Cross-Channel Strategy

Documenting your cross-channel strategy helps define what success looks like offline and online, describes the reasoning behind your omnichannel marketing approach, and reduces issues that may arise (like the duplication of efforts or spending time on the wrong channels).

Start by creating a one-page plan that outlines your existing goals, target personas, and marketing initiatives—they’ll need to be expanded upon to account for online activities. Here’s what the plan should include in more detail:

Goals

Outline three to five marketing goals for your business, like generating awareness or increasing engagement with customers. Next, pair each goal with three to five key performance indicators (KPIs) that account for how it’ll be measured online and offline. For example, generating awareness as a marketing goal could be monitored by the number of page views on your website and the number of in-store visits from neighborhood foot traffic.

Target Personas

Beyond what’s known about your existing customers (like their job, age, income, education, etc.), add online behaviors to your profiles of each persona. This will inform your approach to marketing to them across digital channels. These might include their preferred methods of online communication, social networks they’re active on, topics they most often search online, blogs and digital publications they read, or other places they like to shop online.

Marketing Channels

Avoid spreading your promotional efforts too thinly by focusing on two to three marketing channels that will allow you to reach your target audience online and offline. List the channels you’ll test to see if your customers respond to your offerings and messaging, which should then inform where you’ll invest further. Whether that’s focusing on direct mail, Instagram or both, it’s important to achieve your goals and provide value to your target personas with these channels.

Use Online Channels to Drive Attention to In-Store Events and Experiences

With an understanding of your marketing priorities, it’s time to execute your cross-channel strategy by making use of the distinct qualities of both online and in-store retail.

Beyond promoting your products, use online channels like email and social media to draw attention to events and experiences offered in-store. While driving purchases is a practical focus, the best way to have a memorable interaction with customers is to get them to visit your retail location.

Since you’re able to control more of the experience in person, host in-store events related to your product offerings and promote them consistently online. This matters, as 49% of consumers surveyed said they visited stores more often due to the introduction of food and entertainment options.

For example, Lululemon, the apparel brand that specializes in yoga and running gear, regularly hosts free yoga and workout classes, as well as running clubs at their stores. Many of their stores have their own email newsletters and Facebook pages to alert their regional customers of upcoming events, which help to drive consistent in-store traffic.

In addition, use social media, articles, or video to highlight service experiences that provide value to customers, relate to your products, and are only available in-store.

For instance, TuxMat is a company that produces custom car mats designed to match the specific dimensions of any vehicle make or model. When customers make a purchase at their retail showroom, their team will also install the custom car mats for them at no additional charge—streamlining the experience for in-store visitors. The company promotes its custom installation options on Instagram and Facebook, highlighting one of the key benefits of visiting its retail store.

Sync Your Communications Efforts Online and In-Store

To grow your business, all your communications efforts online should support your in-store activity and vice versa. What’s advantageous about your online presence is the ability to communicate with your customers long-term over email, a loyalty program, or social media.

Ongoing communication with customers matters, as 81% of U.S. small and mid-size retailers surveyed found email marketing to be their top source of customer acquisition and retention.

Building an email list, social media following, or loyalty program online can help your business:

  • Promote exclusive in-store offers and sales.
  • Highlight articles and videos created by your business that provide relevant advice or showcase your products.
  • Alert your customers to in-store services and seasonal events.

At the same time, your ability to interact with customers face-to-face in-store is an opportunity to expand your list of online customer contacts, and provide your business with a channel for consistently encouraging more in-store visits.

To sign up customers in a nonintrusive way in-store:

  • Ask for their emails at checkout to support your email marketing.
  • Alert them to the benefits of your loyalty program.
  • Draw attention to the ongoing offers shared on your social media accounts.

The goal is to be purposeful when talking with customers to drive sales, but ensure you’re able to communicate with them again by supporting your online efforts.

Measuring Omnichannel Marketing

To understand if your organization’s efforts across channels are succeeding, identify a more balanced mix of KPIs that highlight success online and in-store.

While your business and sales goals will remain the same, the KPIs paired with each goal should reflect customer activity online and in-store. Depending on where you’re active, here is a range of KPIs to consider:

Awareness

  • Website page views (Online)
  • Website users (Online)
  • Social media impressions (Online)
  • Video views (Online)
  • Retail visitors (In-store)

Engagement

  • Pages per session (Online)
  • Average session duration (Online)
  • Average stay time (In-store)
  • Social media interactions (Online)
  • Email sign-ups (Both)
  • Redemption rate of coupons and gift cards (Both)

Conversions

  • Monthly revenue (Both)
  • Revenue growth (Both)
  • Sales per square foot (In-Store)
  • Conversion rate (Online)
  • Customer acquisition costs (Both)
  • Gross margin (Both)
  • Cost of goods sold (Both)

Loyalty

  • Lifetime customer value (Both)
  • Customer retention rate (Both)
  • Net promoter score (Both)
  • Repeat purchase rate (Both)

Since there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all KPI, it’s important to choose metrics that align with your business performance goals. Determine which measurement tools are the most effective for accurately tracking and reporting on the metrics you’ve identified.

KPIs about your website (like average session duration or page views) can be calculated with measurement tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, or MixPanel.

For KPIs associated with in-store interactions (like the number of people visiting your retail locations or sales per square foot), use tools like Square Analytics or Springboard Retail.

Creating target KPIs for your marketing goals will help you understand which online and offline tactics are working and which tactics need to be optimized (or abandoned all together). By keeping a pulse on performance metrics you can optimize and reinvest in initiatives which drive the most revenue for your business.

Get the expert advice you need to launch your online store. Weebly’s intuitive design tools and 24/7 support demystify eCommerce, so you can focus on running your business and reaching new customers. Sign up today and bring your small business online.





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facebook

Is it me, or does Facebook just want to keep you on Facebook?

Every time I post a link to my site, I get less and less traffic. And it’s been this way for years.

In other words, my organic reach on Facebook was dying.

And to make matters worse, they give you hope every time they launch a new feature.

For example, when they launched Facebook Live, you used to be able to get tons of views because they promoted it organically… but not really anymore.

The same goes with Facebook Watch. I used to easily get 30,000 plus views per video when Facebook Watch came out… again, not anymore.

Now I am lucky to get 10,000 views.

But hey, I can’t really hate on Facebook. They are a business and they have to do what’s best for them. So instead of getting upset at Facebook, I decided to run some tests to see if I could find a way to get more organic traffic.

Because there has to be a way, right?

Well, there is. 🙂

And here is my traffic from Facebook over the last 7 days:

facebook traffic

That may not seem like a big increase, but I generated 10,621 visitors the month before. In other words, I took my Facebook traffic from 10,621 visitors PER MONTH to 10,085 visitors PER WEEK.

I am getting roughly the same amount of traffic I used to get in 30 days from Facebook, now in just 7 days.

So how did I do this?

Taking control of your own destiny

As marketers, our faith typically relies on the big giants… you know, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram…

If they decide to change their algorithms your traffic could go up, down, or stay flat.

For that reason, over the last few years, I’ve been building up marketing channels that aren’t as reliant on algorithms.

For example, you may learn about new blog posts I publish through my email lists because every time I publish a new post, I usually send out an email blast.

Or it could be through browser notifications.

subscribers

Every time I release a blog post or a video… again, I send a message out through push notifications.

But why can’t we do the same with Facebook?

Sure, you can post on your wall or page like everyone else, but if Facebook doesn’t want to show it to people they don’t have to.

So, I decided to push really hard on Facebook Messenger, which gives you the same ability.

In other words, you can send a direct message to everyone on Facebook through their chat feature and share a message or a link to your website.

Something that isn’t too controlled by an algorithm… similar to text messaging or email marketing.

I built this list of 129,560 Facebook Messenger contacts and leveraged them to continually generate traffic back to my blog.

Now before I break down the exact steps I took to do this, the tactics here take execution and elbow grease. It isn’t rocket science, it’s not hard to do, but it does take a bit of work.

But first, let’s go over how Facebook Messenger marketing works.

Facebook Messenger

grow facebook messenger list

First, let’s back up on why Facebook Messenger is working so well today.

Facebook Messenger open rates are 50-80% click-through rates post elite stats.

When you send an email campaign, you can expect a 20% open rate on a really good day. On average, I get 28 to 31% with my NeilPatel.com email list.

In other words, if you send your email newsletter to 100 people, 20 people will open it. If you scrub your list and work really hard like me, roughly 30 people will open it, which still isn’t great.

However, when you send a Messenger message to 100 people, 88 people will open it and read it.

We’re talking about an 88% open rate on Messenger. That is crazy!!!!

Now over time, you will notice that it will go down, but it is still substantially higher than email.

But here is where it really gets interesting.

With email marketing, you’ll typically see a 2% to a 4% click-through rate. So for every 100 emails you send, you will get 2 to 4 clicks back to your site.

To give you a benchmark, again, I spend a lot of time fine-tuning my emails and I can get about 6 clicks for every 100 emails I send.

Better than the 2 to 4 percent most people get, but still not life-changing.

With Messenger? You can get 20% click rates.

Over time, you will see it go down, but it is still substantially higher than email marketing.

And it is not just marketing, it works with pretty much any industry. Here’s an example of a real estate company that leverages Facebook Messenger:

As you can see from the screenshot above, Facebook Messenger works like how you would chat with a friend on Facebook or even email. You don’t always have to promote or link, you could just have a conversation with a friend.

This is why their adoption rate is continually climbing in the United States.

That’s almost 140 million users that are projected to use Messenger.

Messaging apps are also surpassing social networks in popularity. Just ask yourself… how many times do you use WhatsApp each week?

But the key is to start now because it will become saturated just like every other marketing channel that works. So whoever builds the biggest list early on will have the best shot of doing well in the long run.

If you are already leveraging Messenger, great, just skip to the tips below to start growing your Facebook traffic.

If you aren’t, just like email marketing you are going to need software so you can send the messages on Facebook. You can start off with this free software called MobileMonkey.

Now let’s get into how you can build your Messenger list and get consistent Facebook traffic.

Tactic #1: Website Messenger widget

My own tests have shown that chat on a website can boost conversions 45%.

So I wondered, what would happen if I installed a Messenger bot on a website?

What’s great about adding this is that visitors get answers to their questions immediately, 24/7. Say goodbye to conversion bottlenecks.

But also, everyone who starts a chat on the site becomes a new contact in my Messenger list.

So how does this work?

Add a Facebook Messenger bot to your website with a widget.

Everyone who visits your website is invited to become a Messenger contact. Website traffic turns into Messenger contacts.

Most users are already logged into Messenger on their desktop or device. So when they have questions or want info and see the Messenger widget, they tap it and boom — new Messenger contact.

If your site is on WordPress site like 34% of the world’s sites, a WordPress plugin called WP-Chatbot is the quickest way to add Facebook Messenger chat to your site.

Install the plugin on your WordPress site and you’ll have Messenger chat on your site in just a few minutes.

This widget makes list building easy. An active website could get hundreds or thousands of new contacts from the visitors on the site who engage the chatbot every day.

Think about yourself.

Are you more likely to search for a contact form on a site, fill it out, and sit back and wait who knows how long for an answer to your question?

Or are you more likely to pop open the chat window, ask your question, and get an immediate response?

Tactic #2: Run Facebook click to Messenger ads

You can do a lot without leveraging paid traffic, but if you really want to put some fuel on the fire, a few hundred dollars goes a long way.

And for the purpose of this blog post, I spent $391.58 just so I would have some stats to share with you. 🙂

Facebook Messenger ads are a Facebook Ad format in which the user who clicks on the ad is immediately added to your Messenger contact list as opposed to going to a landing page where they may bounce or exit, anonymously.

Everyone who clicks the button on the ad converts when they send the advertiser a message — becoming a permanent Messenger contact.

The key part is… they need to send the advertiser a message. In other words, if you don’t get them to send you a message they won’t be added to your Messenger contact list so you won’t be able to send blasts to them.

That’s why you want to use an autoresponder. If which you automatically start talking to each person to increase your chance that they will get added to your contact list.

Here’s an example of an ad:

How much will Facebook click-to-Messenger ads run you?

I personally haven’t scaled a campaign too large yet, but with a $391.58 test budget, I’ve been able to generate leads for roughly 62% less than traditional Facebook ads.

But again, the key with all of this is in the autoresponder. Without that, your numbers won’t be too great.

Within MobileMonkey, use the bot content builder to create the autoresponder to your Facebook Ad.

Then create a new Messenger ad in MobileMonkey to connect your autoresponder to your Facebook Ad.

Next, pick the autoresponder from a drop-down of all your bot dialogues and connect it to your Facebook Ads Manager account.

The result is a low-cost ad campaign that drives more contacts into your Messenger list.

Facebook Messenger ads work time and again across industries, including e-commerce and service businesses.

Now, if you are like me and you prefer to do things a bit more organically and save some money, here’s how you generate more contacts without spending money.

Tactic #3: Use organic Facebook post autoresponders

Growing your list with a little ad spend goes a long way, but this next list building power tactic is totally free.

Anyone who comments on your Facebook Page posts instantly becomes your Messenger contact.

A Facebook post autoresponder adds people to your Messenger contact list if they comment on any Facebook post.

Here’s how it works.

  1. You post to your Facebook Business Page.
  2. Someone comments.
  3. A Messenger bot automatically responds and as soon as that person replies, they’ve become a contact in Messenger.

You can see an example of this tactic in action here:

The more engaging your Facebook post, the more likely it will be that people will want to comment on it.

These kinds of posts always get a ton of comments and contacts:

You could ask fans to post a GIF in response to a question. “Describe your boss with a GIF.”

Or ask them to tell a story or ask them a question like “What industry are most of your clients in?”

Even just asking them “what do you do?” is super-engaging because people love to talk about themselves!

This store asks fans to name how many duck species are in the photo. Comment with your guess and get a discount code in the autoresponder follow-up.

You can create the Messenger dialog for this technique in MobileMonkey with the “FB Comment Guard” tool.

That feature is what allows you to add the autoresponder to an organic post.

I love this technique because it converts my hard-fought organic Facebook engagement into a list of contacts I can follow up with.

Tactic #4: Convert page fans into Messenger contacts

I’m a fan of cross-promoting, traffic-sharing, and allowing various marketing channels to build off each other.

After all, if someone follows you on one channel, they may want your updates on a different channel as well. This increases your odds of connecting with them and amplifying your content reach at any given time.

This tactic combines several methodologies for a boost to Messenger contacts.

If you’ve gone to the effort of building a robust Facebook page, you will want to convert these fans into Messenger contacts. Fans are great, but Messenger contacts are better because Messenger is personalized, interactive, one-on-one, and has way more visibility than Facebook News Feed.

Organic reach on Facebook is very low. Maybe 1%, of your fans on your Facebook Page will even see your post.

Using Facebook Messenger changes this. Instead of a low organic reach, you’re getting high-powered interactions that are personalized.

This is important because page fans aren’t automatically Messenger contacts. You have to invite them or connect with them in Messenger first.

Here are three ways to convert your Page fans into Messenger contacts.

First, and this one is pretty obvious, you can change the CTA button on your Facebook Page to “Send Message”.

Right now your Facebook Page CTA button might be sending traffic to your site with a button like “Learn More”.

Hover over the button until you see “Edit Button.” Then choose the option to “Contact you” and “Send Message.”

Customize the message that people will see when they click that button in MobileMonkey.

Boom. Now anyone who clicks the “Send Message” button from a Facebook Page will become a Messenger contact.

Second, create a Facebook Post Autoresponder (see tip #3).

This autoresponder was a simple invitation — Stay in touch! Sign up for Messenger updates.

Third, you can then use Page fan audience targeting of a click-to-Messenger Facebook Ad campaign.

Remember, your existing Page fans are more likely to take another step into more interaction with a brand that they know and trust.

Tactic #5: Turn your email subscribers into Messenger contacts

Email marketing has a low engagement rate.

Facebook Messenger has high engagement.

Would you rather send your content to your subscribers in a channel with a 2% click-rate or 20% click-through rate?

Ideally, you should do what I do and leverage them both.

Send your email list an invitation to join your Facebook Messenger list. Those who choose to do so will become email subscribers and Messenger subscribers, but their engagement level (and therefore your reach) will increase using Messenger.

One of the most effective marketing methods is to convert your existing contacts into more effective marketing channels.

Using MobileMonkey’s chatbot builder, you can create an opt-in page consisting of a quick and simple “Want to receive occasional updates?” invitation.

Link to that invitation anywhere you’d normally include a link.

Link to that invitation in a button, like the examples below.

And here:

Link to your Messenger experience in your:

  • Email signature
  • CTAs in blog posts
  • Business card in QR codes
  • Landing pages
  • Newsletter subscription forms

The list is as long as you are clever. And it works very well!

Conclusion

You are always going to deal with algorithms, but if you want more consistent traffic you need to take matters into your own hands.

Just look at me, I leverage email marketing, push notifications, and even Facebook Messenger marketing.

I’m now looking into leveraging text messaging too.

Sure, I leverage SEO, content marketing, paid ads, social media marketing… and every other major channel out there.

But I focus a large part of my efforts on controlling my own destiny and you can too.

If you haven’t started, start with Facebook Messenger. It works so well right now and I expect it to last for a while. The key is getting in on the right time and time is right now.

So what do you think about this strategy? Have you tried Facebook Messenger marketing yet?



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Ever see an advertisement for a fitness program? There’s typically a “before” photo and an “after” photo of a customer who followed the workout.

On the left is a “before” photo of a shirtless, slouching man. He’s pale. Average-looking. He’s not smiling.

Then, in the photo on the right, the same guy magically turns into a tall, bronzed, Greek God with an eight-pack of cobblestone abs. His biceps are the size of bowling balls. He’s ridiculously happy.

They barely look like the same person. But that’s the point, right?

You can relate to the guy on the left, but you want to be the guy on the right. If lefty could do it, so can you!

I may be exaggerating this a bit to make my point, but here’s the thing: Social proof works.

What is social proof?

The gist of social proof: When people are uncertain, they’ll look to others for guidance. In marketing, social proof can be a powerful psychological trigger to influence people to buy a product or service.

Social proof is so effective because it helps your customers confidently make a decision. You’re providing evidence that your product is beneficial, has more fans than just your mom, and can positively transform people’s lives.

Related: Email Marketing Statistics: We Analyzed 1,000 Emails from Today’s Top Experts

Luckily, you don’t have to get your customers to go shirtless to provide evidence that your product works. (If you’re not in the fitness industry, that would be . . . awkward.) There are other ways to do it.

5 Ways to Include Social Proof in Your Emails

Social proof #1: quotes

Ask a satisfied customer for a quote about why they love your product or can’t wait to try it. Or grab quotes and comments from your social media feeds.

When a new subscriber reads that other people are excited about your product, they’ll be more likely to take action, too.

Jonathan Goodman, the founder of Personal Trainer Development Center, uses quotes from his social feeds as proof of happy customers. This helps drive more sales for his latest issue of Fitness Marketing Monthly, a print newsletter delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps.

social proof: quotes

Social proof #2: numbers

Marketing professionals use data all the time to persuade people to buy a product or donate to a cause. They call it the “Statistics Appeal,” and it’s based off research that shows people generally trust numbers. So use numbers and stats that tie directly to the success or quality of your product to give perceived weight to your product.

Brian Dean, the SEO expert behind Backlinko and an AWeber customer, uses his numbers to prove why he’s an expert in SEO on YouTube. He uses this as social proof for why you should sign up for his course.

social proof

Social proof #3: ratings

Have 5/5 stars on Amazon or Google? Let your subscribers know!

Great reviews or ratings provide social proof that others recommend your business or products, which might compel prospects to click through to the order page or check out the reviews. If your subscribers see others taking positive actions, they will be more inclined to buy.

Below, you can see how Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing ends her 16-part snackable writing course with links to buy her two books. She also points out that they both receive 5/5 star reviews.

Related: FREE course: What to Write in Your Emails (45+ downloadable email templates)

social proof

Social proof #4: influencers

If you have famous customers, tell your subscribers. Or have them give you an endorsement that you can include in your messages. People are more likely to buy a product if they admire a person or business that uses it.

Social proof #5: case studies

Have a customer who is extremely excited about your product or service? Ask them to relay their experience to you, and post it on your blog or website. Their story may entice others to try your product, as well.

Ramit Sethi uses case studies of happy students to sell his 6-Figure Consulting Program.

Social proof — when used to drive home why you’re an expert in your field and why your product can help transform your subscribers’ lives — can exert immense influence over your readers’ actions. But like any other email marketing tactic, social proof only works if you provide your audience with compelling, helpful content.

Ready to get started adding social proof to your email marketing campaigns? Try AWeber for FREE today. It’s never been easier to connect with your audience and drive success for your business.





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This is a guest post from Chintan at InboxArmy.

Email marketing has evolved at a tremendous pace and emerged as one of the most promising marketing channels. Once solely used as a medium for personal communication, email marketing is now used by almost every brand to promote their products and services and build their brand visibility.

According to internet live stats, more than 2.7 million emails are sent every second. This astronomical figure is expected to get even bigger with time.

According to internet live stats, more than 2.7 million emails are sent every second. This astronomical figure is expected to get even bigger with time.  

Considering this scenario, your email must stand out in the inbox if you want to capture the subscriber’s attention and get ahead of the competition.

So how will you stand out and offer that “something new” to your email recipient who might be bored of seeing the same kind of marketing emails every day?

Read on for some tips to help you ramp up your email marketing strategy in 2019:

1. Micro-segmentation

There was a time when subscriber lists were segmented based on age and demographics. With increasing competition, it has become important to go beyond these variables and segment the subscribers on the basis of the customer’s past purchases, total purchase value, products or services searched for, and resources downloaded. This will help in sending tailor-made emails that are more relevant for the subscriber. Furthermore, as your emails are being accessed on different email clients and devices, you need to consider that information too. It is especially important if you are planning to try something new in your emails. For example:

  • It would be a great idea to try fixed CTAs in your email only if you do not have any iOS (Apple) users in your list, as fixed CTAs do not work on those devices.
  • Nintendo sends out different emails according to the interests of the subscribers.
email marketing strategy examples - zelda breath of the wild email Nintendo sends out different emails according to the interests of the subscribers.

2. Hyper-personalization

Hyper-personalization tactics have given a leg up to email marketing by making the emails more relevant for the target audience. Here’s how you can hyper-personalize your emails:

a) Use dynamic content

Dynamic email content is a unique tactic by which you can update the content when the email is opened. You can consider a number of factors:

  1. Basic demographic information like name, age, sex, etc.
  2. Firmographics like organization name, work address, and industry type
  3. Behavioral aspects such as purchase patterns, browser and cart abandonment, response to different offers, etc.
  4. Psychographic factors like lifestyle, hobbies, interests, etc.
Dynamic email content is a unique tactic by which you can update the content when the email is opened. You can consider a number of factors:

If you personalize by list segmentation, you need to customize the email copy based on the different lists. But, if you are using dynamic content blocks, you don’t have to customize your email copy. You can create different email templates for the various configurations. With a dynamic content block in the email copy, you can send the same email to all your subscribers with different images, product offers, or calls to action, which are modified according to the buyers’ personas.

Consider how Adidas promoted their Originals series through dynamic content.

Consider how Adidas promoted their Originals series through dynamic content.

b) Employ artificial intelligence

Smarter email automation is made possible by using artificial intelligence (AI) in emails. For example, imagine you have bought a mobile phone from an e-commerce site. After an hour, you receive an email that promotes a trendy mobile case and other accessories. It is quite likely that you would end up purchasing those items. That is the magic of AI-powered automated emails that are triggered after a specific action is taken by the subscriber.

E-commerce marketers can reap huge benefits by using AI in their email marketing strategy as Amazon does.

E-commerce marketers can reap huge benefits by using AI in their email marketing strategy as Amazon does.

3. Social media integration in email marketing

You can amp up the power of email marketing by integrating it with social media marketing. And, as a marketer, you must be aware of including links to the social media handles of your business account in the email. You can now add live social media feed in your emails too.

InboxArmy tried this strategy in their email campaigns and the results were fantastic. You can utilize tools like Zapier to add a live Instagram or Twitter feed in your emails. This is a great way to increase organic followers on your social media and also leads to interaction with the subscribers on a platform other than email.

You can utilize tools like Zapier to add a live Instagram or Twitter feed in your emails. You can utilize tools like Zapier to add a live Instagram or Twitter feed in your emails for your email marketing strategy.

4. Visually appealing email designs

Emails are no longer limited to the column layout with a header at the top, followed by a succinct copy, a couple of images, and email footer. Try a broken grid layout, which has been used in website designing, and gives your emails a complete makeover. Your subscribers may be bored of seeing similar promotional emails all the time. Try defamiliarizing them by designing an innovative email and see how it works for your brand.

Tiffany & Co. presents a beautiful example of how to do this right.

You can utilize tools like Zapier to add a live Instagram or Twitter feed in your emails.

Alternatively, you can also include custom illustrations to create a visually impactful email like this one by Hipmunk.

Alternatively, you can also include custom illustrations to create a visually impactful email like this one by Hipmunk.

Whenever you employ visual email marketing, you should be sure to add suitable alt-text so that your subscribers are able to get the context of the email. You can give a creative twist to your alt-text by using pixel art, just like Pizza Express has done.

Whenever you employ visual email marketing, you should be sure to add suitable alt-text so that your subscribers are able to get the context of the email. You can give a creative twist to your alt-text by using pixel art, just like Pizza Express has done.

5. Gamification in emails

Your subscribers love playing games and getting rewards. This is even possible in emails. Just send out a game in the email and reward the subscriber with exciting discounts and incentives if he or she wins. This is a great way to increase subscriber engagement and will prompt them to buy from you, especially during the holiday season or any special occasions like birthdays.

Channel 4 sends out an awesome gamification email with a fun questionnaire to woo their customers during Valentine’s day.

Channel 4 sends out an awesome gamification email with a fun questionnaire to woo their customers during Valentine’s day.

View the email online here.

Timeless tactics for an effective email marketing strategy

While the tactics discussed above will add an element of freshness to your email marketing strategy, there are some strategies almost every email marketer is well accustomed to. These are the tips that you should follow as a marketer, irrespective of the year we are in.

1. Follow the anti-spam laws and guidelines

Be it CAN-SPAM or GDPR, follow the anti-spam laws so that your emails do not land in the spam folder and there are no deliverability issues. Do not use a single image as the entire email content and abide by the 80/20 text-to-image ratio. Make sure your emails are not too flashy, lest they trigger the spam filters. Also, adhere to the coding best practices and keep the email size under 30kb.

2. Carry out A/B testing

The trends in email marketing are constantly changing. Carry out A/B testing to determine what kind of emails are working for your brand. Keep an eye on the email marketing metrics and make necessary iterations based on the data. Ultimately, trial and error is all it takes to shape an effective email marketing strategy.

3. Test before hitting the “Send” button

In order to make your email strategy work, it is important that there are no errors in your emails. Check for grammatical mistakes, personalization blunders, and coding inaccuracies. Also, test the email on different email clients and devices for any rendering issues. Send the email only after you are doubly sure, and have a checklist to ensure that you do not miss out on anything.

Final thoughts

Email lets you send customized messages on an individual recipient basis, so it’s time to try out these tactics to make the most of this data-driven technology in 2019.

Do you have any other ideas? We would love to hear from you.

 

Author Bio: Chintan is Head of Operations at InboxArmy LLC. He has been in the email marketing domain for the last 7 years. Chintan is connected to InboxArmy, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing services, from email production to deployment. Chintan’s track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.



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This article explores the methodology and technology of sales funnels – the fastest and the easiest way to promote, sell, and deliver your products or services online. You’ll find this article useful if you have an idea for an online business and you’re looking for a solution to put it quickly into action.

 

What is a sales funnel?

The idea of a sales funnel dates back to 1898 when E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel – a marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey from the moment of attracting customers towards the purchase of a product or service.

Since then, it’s been given different names (i.e. purchase funnel, sales funnel, marketing funnel, conversion funnel) but the model stays the same, which means that it’s:

  • universal: it can be applied to virtually any business in any industry
  • timeless: times change but the idea stays relevant

In ecommerce, for example, we use the term conversion funnel to describe the customer journey from the awareness stage (usually by driving traffic to a website through paid advertising in search engines and social media) to the conversion stage, when a website visitor becomes a customer.

You might also call it a business funnel, since it allows you to go into business and sell pretty much anything from a physical product, through an ebook, to an online course.

 


Editor’s note:

If using a sales funnel to sell an online course is something you’re looking for, make sure to register for our free webinar with Leslie Samuel. You’ll take away a step-by-step demo on how to build a sales funnel for an online course and much more.

Can’t make it? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording after the webinar.

free autofunnel webinar.


 

Why do you need a sales funnel?

As a business owner or a marketer, you know how complex the sales process might be. A journey from prospect to a satisfied customer might be a long and difficult one. And paradoxically, the constantly growing number of marketing tools doesn’t help you start selling immediately.

That’s exactly why you need a sales funnel. It offers you a simple roadmap to revenue. It helps you focus on the most important stages of online sales: lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales. With a sales funnel, you can start making money quickly and optimize business processes as you go.

 

How does a sales funnel work?

The goal of a sales funnel is pretty much self-explanatory – it drives sales. Whatever it is that you do, the sales funnel is there to help you get more business. The sales funnel model represents the customer journey as a series of stages.

 

What are the stages of a sales funnel?

The original purchase funnel has 4 key stages:

Awareness – when potential customers become aware of your product or service.

Interest – when they actively express an interest in what you have to offer.

Desire – when they know that your product or service is the perfect fit to their needs.

Action – the moment of purchase.

 

As your business develops and leans more towards recurring purchases, you can expand your funnel by adding additional stages.

The more complex version of the funnel might look like this:

Awareness – when potential customers become aware of your product or service.

Interest – when they actively express an interest in what you have to offer.

Evaluation – when prospects examine competitors’ solutions and compare their offers against yours.

Decision – when your offer is shortlisted and it’s time for some negotiation before the final decision is reached.

Purchase – the moment of purchase, when a prospect becomes a customer.

Reevaluation – customer has been using your product for a while. Every now and then they might look for other solutions that will meet their needs. (hopefully, if they’re satisfied with your product or service, they won’t feel the need to look for a different solution).

Repurchase – when a customer repurchases your product or service.

 

You should use the individual stages of the funnel as a blueprint for your marketing and sales communication. Monitor the results and optimize your actions to drive more sales in less time.

 

Here’s a short video from Ian Cleary from RazorSocial that will help you understand the different stages of a sales funnel and how they will impact your business.

 

 

The sales funnel model + technology = Autofunnel

What happens when you apply powerful technology to a solid marketing model? Yes, you’re right! You end up with an ultimate selling machine – Autofunnel.

 

 

Send traffic straight to your sales page with the quick sales funnel, or nurture new contacts with automated emails before presenting your offer with the full sales funnel.

 

What are the key elements of a sales funnel?

Usually, when you think of a sales funnel you think of combining different tools for different individual purposes: an ecommerce platform, landing page creator, email marketing software, webinar solution, social media apps, etc. to set up a sales process.

In this case, your job is not only to plan an online business strategy, but also to carry out an in-depth research of the available tools and integrating them so that they bring you positive results.

Fortunately, it’s so much easier with Autofunnel. You actually have 2 sales funnels to choose from.

 

Quick sales funnel

A very simple funnel that consists of just two elements:

 

With a sales page you can customize the order form and encourage leads to buy your products. The order form is a place where your leads can see all the products they’re purchasing and how much they’ll pay.

 

sales page templates.

Autofunnel sales page templates grouped by the product type

 

The confirmation page shows your customers the order summary, a download link, or contact details. Your customers also get an automated confirmation email, where you can say thanks and confirm the order.

Build your quick sales funnel »

 

Full sales funnel

Sales funnel focuses on the process of collecting leads and finalizing the sales process. Use it to find potential buyers, promote and sell products online, and increase sales results.

The full sales funnel consists of the following elements:

 

  • a signup page with an exit popup form

It’s a landing page where you can collect leads by encouraging them to sign up to your list. You can tell them what they’ll get in return for their signup. You can also offer a freebie to get even more signups. This page has an inline form and an exit pop up form (appears when someone tries to exit the page).

 

A message which is sent to your subscribers as an instant, automated reply message. A series of these are often called, drip campaigns.

 

It’s a page where you can turn leads into customers. You can design a page to promote products and encourage potential customers to buy them. When they choose a product on the sales page, they’ll get to the order page where they can complete the purchase.

 

The order form is the place where your leads can see all the products they’re purchasing and how much they will pay.

 

It’s an email sent to your customers when they don’t complete their purchase. This email reminds them about the products left in the cart, including their name, price, and the URL. It’s one of the most important types of automated emails that has a direct effect on your conversion rates.

 

It’s the page where your customers can see their order summary, a download link and other contact details.

 

After making a purchase, your customers will get a confirmation email. There’ll be a clickable button there. When your customers click on it, they’ll see their order summary.

 

Sales funnel sequence.

The elements of the GetResponse sales funnel

 

Build your full sales funnel »

 

How to create a sales funnel?

Building a sales funnel is easy. You can use the Autofunnel creator, choose your favorite designs from the existing templates, and customize them with just a few clicks.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to create a quick sales funnel

 

 

And if you want to see how to create a full sales funnel, here’s a walkthrough video:

 

 

Here’s another video from Ian Cleary from RazorSocial where he shows how to bridge the gap between marketing and technology with a sales funnel. For the purpose of this demo, he is building a full sales funnel for a photography course.

 

 

Build your first sales funnel »

 

How to manage a sales funnel?

You can manage (edit, add, or delete) all the elements of your sales funnel in the funnel view.

 

GetResponse Autofunnel.

An example of a full sales funnel

 

How to measure sales funnel results?

Autofunnel allows you to monitor your business in real time. Your sales funnel results are displayed dynamically in the funnel view. In order to check the ROI, you just need to log into your account.

 

Build your own sales funnel »

 

What is a Sales Funnel and How to Build an Effective One.



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Article first published November 2017, updated June 2019

Millennials have overtaken the baby boomers, and are now the largest generation in the US, according to Pew Research Center. This audience, consisting of those born between 1981 and 1997, is savvy. They grew up consuming media and are skeptical of many marketing efforts.

Some companies have prospered, but many marketers continue to struggle to connect with millennials in a meaningful way. If revenue and growth are the goals, then marketers need to have strategies for marketing to this group.

When writer Danny Dover was asked by Post Planner what he thought about marketing to millennials, he said,

“For businesses that don’t market to millennials, it might be the last mistake they make. Millennials, while certainly not perfect, are the future.”

If millennials are the future, then marketers need to plan accordingly. How can you do that? You can start by creating a millennial marketing strategy.

How do you market to millennials? 19 actionable strategies for marketing to millennials

Millennials have a lot of buying power right now. You can take advantage of that with the right game plan. To help you get started, here are 19 outbound marketing strategies that’ll change the way you present your brand, products, and/or service to the millennial generation.

1. Keep up with best practices in design.

Web design best practices can often be tricky to nail down, as they’re always evolving, and tech-savvy millennials are at the forefront of that evolution. Don’t fall behind them. Schedule regular assessments and updates at least once a year.

We recommend bookmarking DesignBetter.co, a new project from InVision. DesignBetter.co stays up to date with podcasts, interviews, and insights on best design practices from the world’s top design leaders.

2. Go minimal.

Minimal is always better when you’re marketing to a millennial. Get to the point quickly because, once their attention is lost, they’ll close your app, exit the browser tab, or, worse, unfollow you.

Think of a brand like Google. There’s nothing too flashy about the Google brand or any of their products, yet people flock to them in droves. Their focus is on a clean interface that lends itself well to a superior user experience, and their brand messaging is short, quick, and friendly.

Google Minimal Brand Messaging

3. Get responsive.

A 2016 Bank of America survey found that 39% of millennials spend more time with their smartphones than with the people in their lives.

If you want to make a good first impression with your marketing landing page, you better ensure it’s responsive. Whenever you send outbound marketing messages, be sure to consider how they look across devices.

4. Make your content scannable.

Because millennials spend so much time with multiple devices all day long, they’re used to shortcuts. Sadly, this means they don’t take much time to read through everything you give them. So your content should cater to this through:

  • Shorter sentences and paragraphs
  • Bullet points, numbered lists, and other formatting “breaks”
  • Header tags for easy scanning
  • Less copy and more images that convey your story
WebDevStudios Scannable Content

5. Keep it casual.

Matthew Manos of VeryNice.co summed it up well when he said, “This isn’t the Mad Men era… you can’t put a clever line on a poster and expect my generation to read it—instead, you need to initiate a conversation and talk with us, not at us.”

Slack is a great example of a company that uses a casual, approachable voice in their branding. Their software allows teams and groups to quickly connect through chat, and their friendly messaging is reminiscent of just that—chatting with a team member.

Slack Casual Brand Messaging

6. Be true to yourself and your audience.

Remember when BIC decided it was a good idea to market a pen made specifically for women? It didn’t go so well for them. As Scott Cowley, an Arizona State Digital Marketing Strategy Instructor explained:

“BIC did not attempt to create a meaningful brand proposition beyond ‘this product is for those with XX chromosomes,’’ and the results were ugly. If you attempt to create a product or service where the loudest selling proposition is ‘this is for millennials,’ the market has every right to punish you.”

Remember: when it comes to marketing to millennials, don’t focus on the tangible. Instead, focus on the experience of what it’s like to use your product or service. They want to understand the value you’re going to add to their life.

7. Visualize the story.

That said, millennials would much rather watch than read. With shorter attention spans and busy lives, visual content is much easier for them to digest than a lengthy page describing how your service works.

  • Tell your company’s story with visuals
  • Avoid stock photos as much as possible.
  • Use real photos that reflect who you are as a company and what you do.
  • Play around with other content that fits your brand’s personality. For example, memes, GIFs, and infographics.
  • Ensure that every visual element is high quality.

Don’t forget about the design of the site too. Images and videos are great, but your site needs to consistently tell a story, from the colors you choose to the fonts you use.

Airbnb Visual Content Design

8. Be transparent.

Millennials are a hard group to crack, when it comes to loyalty. However, marketers have found that user-generated content (UGC) is one way to get around this hiccup, as they tend to trust their peers more. So a thumbs-up vote from others will go a long way in helping you instill trust and build loyalty.

There are some ways you can use UGC on your site:

  • Enable reviews and ratings for your products or services.
  • Include customer testimonials.
  • Add photos and videos from customers that showcase how your products look, feel, or can be used.

For example, Wanted Shoes was able to use UGC to give their site a 30% boost in conversions.

Wanted Shoes User-Generated Content Marketing

9. Simplify site navigation.

Millennials are always in a rush to get things done, even if they have nowhere to go. It’s that need for instant gratification that comes with being raised around technology and automation. Naturally, they’re going to expect it from your marketing site.

A good place to start is with your navigation. Keep your menus simplified and in easy-to-find locations (like a hamburger menu). Use clear directional cues elsewhere on your site to draw their attention directly to where they need to go.

QuickBooks Simple, Fast Site Navigation

10. Simplify conversion points.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll want to simplify conversion points (like checkout, for example). Speed is a necessity for millennials, so shorter forms, one-click purchases, auto-fill functionality, and secure and fast payment gateways are essential.

11. Integrate with social.

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, as millennials are synonymous with social media. Whether you’re sending users to a landing page or an app, don’t forget to include:

  • Social media “follow” icons
  • Like, share, and count buttons
  • Social feed widgets
  • Click-to-Tweet text highlights
  • One-click sign-in (for customer portals, checkout, etc.)
OkCupid Social Integration & Marketing to Millennials

12. Create a seamless experience.

Use conversions as the connecting link between all contact channels. This means that, if someone purchases a product on your site, they’re then added to your newsletter as well as your CRM contact list. They’ll also see a pop-up that invites them to share their purchase on social media, inspiring others to get the same thing. And then you can even send them an SMS when their product ships.

Millennials are everywhere, and their interactions with you should help you meet them wherever else they may be.

13. Add self-support options.

Millennials may want you to be everywhere, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want you hassling them any chance you get. In fact, many of them appreciate the opportunity to take care of matters on their own, when it comes to support.

By now, you likely know the most common questions and issues that arise, so you can use that information to create a self-support system within your millennial marketing strategy that includes:

  • An FAQ
  • Knowledgebase
  • Video tutorials
  • Troubleshooting blog posts.

Where older customers might be accustomed to getting on the phone with an operator to solve a problem quickly, tech-savvy millennials can do things for themselves. With this option, users can answer their questions quickly, which could lead them to a conversion point faster.

Pagely Self-Support System Marketing to Millennials

14. Give them a platform for connection.

When millennials are ready to talk to you, make sure you give them options to do so (contact forms, surveys, live chat, Facebook messenger, social media customer service, etc.).

Creative Slice Customer Service & Support

15. Personalize.

Thanks to big data and all the cloud-based software that streamlines the process of managing and analyzing it, we now can personalize visitors’ on-site experiences. Colin Newcomer recently wrote about various ways you can do this, including suggestions for these tools:

  • Bunting – skews towards e-commerce personalization.
  • Optimizely – split testing and web personalization wrapped into one.
  • Unbounce – personalized landing pages, but you need to use the Unbounce platform.
  • Monetate – like Hyver, targets the full customer journey, but specifically for e-commerce sites.

16. Use incentives.

Millennials are very open about how much they love a good deal and how much those money-saving offers play into their decision to convert, so why not take advantage of that information when marketing to them? You can use a variety of tools on site, through email marketing, and on social media to get those special offers and loyalty rewards out to them

Bark Box Email & Social Media Marketing Offers

17. Do good.

If your company is involved in the community and in giving back, don’t be shy about sharing it. Forbes reported that most millennials have a very high opinion of companies with a strong philanthropic spirit.

18. Maintain a blog.

A blog is an important part of your millennial marketing strategy because it’s a great way to show off who the people are behind your company. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re focused on delivering real value to your customers and that it’s not just about the bottom line.

Many millennials rely primarily on blogs to help them make a purchasing decision, which means this is something your site can’t afford to be without.

DevriX Blog Marketing to Millennials 

19. Test your site’s performance.

Even if your visitors don’t understand how everything works behind the scenes, they have websites like Facebook and Amazon telling them that it’s possible to process high volumes of traffic and still provide a fast and flawless experience to visitors.

What’s more is that Facebook penalizes you for slow load times. That means, if your site is slow, fewer people will see your content in their Facebook news feed, which could kill your social marketing efforts.

With a bar set that high, you’ll have to do everything you can to provide a high-quality performance as well.

So, rather than set it and forget it, make sure to regularly test your site for:

  • Speed
  • Stress
  • Alternative scenarios
  • Broken links
  • Security

Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming and something you aren’t equipped to do on your own, that’s why companies like the one I work for exist.

Bonus: Market to Gen Z.

Millennials are an important part of your outbound marketing strategy. You need to know what kinds of experiences millennials prefer, what percent of millennials will be interested in what you have to offer, and how to present it to them. All of this requires time spent doing marketing to millennials research.

However, while creating an awesome outbound marketing plan, don’t want forget another important part of the population: Generation Z.

Gen Z consists of anyone born between 1995 and 2010. This portion of our population is steadily growing, and, now that many of them have reached adulthood, their buying power has significantly increased as well.

A segment of your email marketing campaign should be aimed at each generation, including Gen Z. Like millennials, Generation Z spends a lot of its time online, whether they’re checking emails or engaging with friends and brands on social media.

How can you take advantage of their time spent online and market to Generation Z? Here are a few tips that can help.

1. Add more video into your content strategy.

Video is the future of content marketing. It hasn’t surpassed written content yet, but it’s a definite close second.

Are you taking advantage of video marketing? Many businesses plan on adding this type of content marketing into their strategy this year, and for good reason.

Both millennials and Gen Z often prefer video content because it delivers information to them quickly. They can take in more information in a smaller amount of time.

How can you add video to your marketing strategy?

  • Add videos to your email marketing campaigns.
  • Incorporate Instagram Stories and Facebook Live videos into your marketing plan.
  • Create a YouTube channel and share video updates with your social media followers and email subscribers.

2. Grab their attention fast with creative subject lines.

Generation Z checks their email multiple times throughout the day. They’re always up to date with all things social media, as well as what’s in their email inbox.

This is great for email marketers. However, there’s one thing you must watch out for: Gen Z has a very short attention span. You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression.

How can you do this? Spend extra time on your email subject lines—perfecting them so that they grab your readers’ attention right away.

3. Try incentives.

Marketing to Gen Z is like marketing to millennials, in some ways—one of which is that neither generation likes the hard sell. It’s an instant turn-off for them. Any email that sounds like you’re trying to sell them something will end up deleted, and, even worse, it could cause them to unsubscribe completely.

As with millennials, Gen Z like incentives. Improve customer engagement with loyalty programs, promotions, and other incentives that’ll provide your subscribers with a feel-good experience. Doing so will put you into the category of brands that provide something of real value to them.

Wrap up

While some of these suggestions are quick fixes, others might take a bit more time and effort. Get started where your team has the capacity, and make decisions on how to keep moving forward based on what seems to be working best for your brand.

Millennials keep marketers on our toes when it comes to design, messaging, content management, and engagement. In essence, marketing to millennials makes us work harder and be smarter. They are, in a way, the perfect audience because they allow us to continue growing and learning as marketers.



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In this article, I’m going to show you never-before-revealed data from some of my recent Facebook Messenger marketing campaigns.

I’m sharing these behind-the-scenes Messenger analytics (against my better judgement…) for 2 main reasons:

  • Authenticity: Seeing is believing. You’ve heard the hype about chatbots. I want to pull back the curtain so you can determine, based on real data, whether or not the hype is deserved
  • Motivation: I want to show you that you can get similar results by applying specific marketing tactics
  • Comparable analysis: If you’re already using chatbots and Facebook Messenger marketing, you’ll be able to assess whether or not your results are in the range of typical outcomes

I’ll not only show you the numbers I achieved, but also exactly how I achieved them. By reverse-engineering the process, you can get similar levels of marketing success.

Survey Sent via Facebook Messenger: 52% open rate and 15% response rate.

In this marketing campaign, I sent a survey to a group of contacts (12,680 of them).

The survey was called “What’s Your Bot Level” in which I tried to gauge how familiar my audience was with chatbot marketing.

It started out with a quick question, “I’m a chatbot marketing…” and then you would fill in the blank with your experience level—novice, fan, or pro, basically.

Example of messenger survey

Here are the results that I got after sending that exact survey:

  • The survey was delivered to 10,689 contacts
  • 52% or 5,639 of the contacts opened the survey
  • 2% or 1,733 of the contacts responded, i.e. answered questions, on the survey

Results from a Facebook Messenger survey

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the campaign. (Names have been blurred for privacy reasons.)

detailed breakdown of Facebook Messenger survey campaign

Why am I showing you this particular campaign?

After all, a lot of my campaigns have 75% response rates and higher!

Response rate for Facebook Messenger survey campaign

This survey was only 52%. Why brag about a comparatively ho-hum open rate?

Here’s why I’m showing you mediocre results:

  • These results, though mediocre by chatbot marketing standards, are way higher than what you’d get from an email marketing campaign. See chart below for a breakdown of the analytics
  • It’s a survey. Surveys are notoriously difficult to get people to respond to
  • It was sent to over 10,000 respondents. That means over 5,000 people read my survey, and 1,733 responded to it. These are significant numbers

Let’s draw a comparison between this survey campaign (sent via Messenger) and an equivalent survey that we sent via email.

Comparison of email vs Facebook Messenger

The survey sent via Messenger had a 5,303% higher engagement than the one sent via email.

Besides, surveys are invaluable for marketing teams.

What if you could get more than 16% of your mailing list to respond to a survey? How would this inform your marketing, engage­ your users, or empower your sales team?

This is the power of Messenger chatbot marketing.

To create a chatbot survey, you’ll need to use a chatbot builder, (MobileMonkey is a great option, and what I use). You simply create a dialogue—questions, followed by answers, followed by another question, etc.

Most MobileMonkey users take a survey template and customize it to their specific needs.

Example of a Facebook Messenger campaign

You can also create surveys from scratch using the MobileMonkey bot builder.

You’re probably well aware that a survey isn’t just for information-gathering purposes. A survey is also a powerful engagement tool, compelling your users to take action.

Here are some tips for a successful Facebook Messenger chatbot survey:

  1. Make it easy for people to respond. Multiple choice questions in which they tap answers are best
  2. Make the survey short. People bail from long surveys
  3. Make it obvious what the survey is about. Confusion leads to rejection

Facebook Messenger Drip Campaign: 81% Read Rate and 14% Response Rate

Drip campaigns are the bread and butter of email marketing.

Done right, a strategic drip campaign can nurture a cohort of email marketing leads to some conversion action.

And guess what. It takes days.  

Chatbot marketing has taken drip campaign success rates to a whole new level, like the one I’m sharing with you here.

What email marketer in the last 15 years has seen results like these?

  • 81% of the recipients read or opened the drip campaign
  • 14% of the recipients responded to the drip campaign

Results from a Facebook Messenger campaign

Why am I showing you this one?

Because it’s a small sample size. Not everyone who’s reading this is working with audiences of 31,000+ respondents, as we sometimes do. If you’re just getting started with Facebook Messenger marketing, your audience size may be in the few hundreds, not the tens of thousands.

More results from a Facebook Messenger campaign

While there are times that it’s acceptable to send a message to a huge list, it’s much more strategic to define small audience segments for effective hypertargeting.

The example I’m showing you above is such a segment—a cohort of contacts that share certain engagement characteristics.

(NOTE: Not sure where to get started on your own Facebook ads? Download our NEWLY UPDATED Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library for FREE! You can copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Template Library Lead Magnet

I also show it to you because 90% of these respondents took action within the first 60 minutes of receiving the chatbot sequence.

Chatbots turbocharge drip campaigns. Instead of waiting a period of days to send the next message, you need only wait minutes. When you’re able to accelerate the process, you can close conversions much faster and with a higher success rate.

Creating a drip campaign in the MobileMonkey chatbot builder is a simple drag-and-drop process. First, you’ll create the dialogues, and then you’ll organize them in the Drip Campaign builder.

Facebook Messenger drip campaign builder from Mobile Monkey

As the efficacy of email marketing fades, I want marketers to have confidence in drip campaigns—but not email drip campaigns.

Facebook Messenger drip campaigns powered by chatbots are alive and well, and scoring 80% open rates mere minutes after launching.

Facebook Messenger Data: Cumulative Metrics

The final set of data I want to show you isn’t from a specific Messenger campaign. Rather, it’s drawn from the collective marketing campaigns that I’ve been executing using MobileMonkey and Facebook Messenger.

As a preamble to the actual data, let me tell you yet again why I’m sharing these specific numbers with you.

The most fundamental reason is this—it’s data. Data is omnipotent. Acting upon data is the only effective way to make informed marketing decisions. If you know and understand your data, you can adjust your marketing accordingly.

When opening up any new marketing channel, it is essential to have a sense of the numbers—how many, how fast, who, why, and when.

Here are some of those numbers.

This metric shows the total number of contacts acquired in Messenger over time (the date range is, of course, adjustable).

Total number of contacts from Facebook Messenger

Let’s compare this with email. One Messenger contact is the equivalent of anywhere from 20 to 100 emails in terms of the engagement driven. Thus, a Messenger contact list of this size gets the same engagement levels that you would expect from a 400,000-person email list.

This number—total contacts in Messenger—is the guiding light for the emerging class of chatbot marketers.

Whereas traditional marketers pour effort and energy into amassing email leads, today’s Facebook Messenger marketers measure their success by the number of Messenger contacts.

With email marketing, the contacts consist of, well, an email address—hardly anything else.

With Messenger marketing, the data on each contact is much richer, leading to extremely effective segmentation, retargeting, and campaign refinement.

Every contact goes into a contact list that is organized, searchable, and can even be exported automatically to any other business apps, CRMs, databases, etc.

Contacts and audience insights from a Facebook Messenger campaign

For each contact that subscribes to your Messenger contact list, you have automatic visibility on the following information:

  • Profile picture
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Unique ID
  • Gender
  • Country
  • Time zone
  • Date and time created
  • Time of last activity

Details of a customer profiled from Mobile Monkey

You can create an infinite number of attributes and tags that will help to further refine your contacts based on your own selections and parameters.

You can create custom audiences based on the data you get from profiled customers on Facebook Messenger

Another helpful data point is the rate of acquisition.

The chart below indicates the number of new contacts per day. It’s helpful for analyzing trends, specific campaign effectiveness, and overall trends.

Number of new contacts found through Facebook Messenger per day

Knowing the total number of sessions generated by chatbots is another integral number for measuring chatbot marketing success. This chart shows the total number of sessions (orange) plotted with the number of unique sessions (purple).

Number of sessions can often mirror the number of unique sessions, as shown in this graph

These are just a few of the many metrics available within MobileMonkey’s bot analytics.

To get a rounded view of my data, I often take a look at any paid entry points to my Messenger contact list, which is usually click-to-messenger ads. Doing so helps me understand the costs associated with Messenger list building.

For example, here’s a glance at a recent Messenger ad campaign. Here’s a quick rundown of the salient data points:

  • Campaign duration: 5 days
  • Total amount spent: $12.36
  • Total impressions: 1,373
  • Results: 158
  • Cost per result: $0.08

Cost of a recent Facebook Messenger campaign

Each of the number sets discussed above is important for the role they play in refining and developing my Messenger marketing strategy.

Data from Facebook Messenger Campaigns: Your Turn

We’re in the infancy of Messenger chatbot marketing.

Sure, it’s an exciting field and a lot of marketers are jumping in, but there is no track record of people sharing data or metrical insights into the success of their chatbot marketing efforts.

That’s yet another reason why I chose to share this information with you.

The scarcity of data may lead marketers to conclude that 1) chatbot marketing isn’t effective and/or 2) all these marketers are lying about their 70% open rates.

I hope these few data points will provide a glimpse of authenticity to strip away the veneer of hype that masks the chatbot marketing world.

None of the data I shared with you is anomalous. None of it is sensational. And all of it is real.

Now it’s your turn.

Using chatbot marketing, what kind of results do you think you can achieve?

(NOTE: Not sure where to get started on your own Facebook ads? Download our NEWLY UPDATED Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library for FREE! You can copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Template Library Lead Magnet



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In this episode of Delivering, we’ll take a look at an essential technique for email designers: the humble—but powerful—background image. Learn why background images matter, how to code them using a variety of techniques, and how those various methods compare across different email clients. This episode is a companion to our recently updated Ultimate Guide to Background Images in Email. Check it out for tips, tricks, and code.

Be sure to subscribe to Delivering on iTunes or Spotify to listen to future episodes and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DeliveringPodcast.

Episode Transcript

There are a lot of ways to add interesting visuals to email campaigns.

While CSS allows for a lot of different styling options, sometimes you just need a good image. But what’s the best way to use images in email? In this episode of Delivering, we’ll take a look at an essential technique for email designers: the humble—but powerful—background image.

I’m Jason Rodriguez and welcome to Delivering, a podcast about email marketing and its place in the world. Delivering is brought to you by Litmus, the industry-leading platform for email marketers. Join over 600,000 email professionals who use Litmus to create, review, test, and track better email marketing campaigns. Find out more and get a free 7-day trial at Litmus.com.

Images are a staple of email marketing campaigns. They’re used for product shots, cute illustrations, logos, icons, and—in some cases—for the entire email itself. In the retail world especially, marketers are prone to designing campaigns entirely in tools like Photoshop, slicing those images up, and dumping them into HTML before sending to subscribers. All of the information—headlines, copy, calls-to-action, whatever—exist within images.

It’s a good way to adhere to brand guidelines and produce emails quickly, but using images in this way has some major drawbacks.

The first is that a lot of email clients disable images by default. The images—and all of the content—in an email are literally left unloaded by the email client, resulting in blank campaigns that look broken to a lot of subscribers.

The second is that subscribers using assistive technology, like screen reader software, won’t be able to experience the content in the email.

In both cases, all of the copy, deals, and value you spent time putting into your email campaign have essentially gone to waste. There has to be a better solution, right?

Enter background images.

Background images are simply images, like any other in an email. They are files uploaded to a server and linked to in code. The difference is that background images are applied not with an HTML image tag, but as an attribute or CSS on other HTML elements.

There are four ways to code background images, each with their pros and cons.

The first, and more traditional method, is by applying the background attribute to a table cell. The value of the attribute is just the URL that points to the image. This method is cool because it’s fairly well-supported across email clients. The major downfall, however, is that it’s not very flexible. You can’t control the sizing of your background image and the image will, by default, repeat across your element.

You can also load background images using CSS. The following two techniques use the same method, but are applied differently.

CSS has a number of background properties, most notably: background-image, background-repeat, background-position, background-size, and background-color. There’s also the super helpful background shorthand property.

Using these properties, you can include the URL to an image, control how that image is positioned and whether or not it repeats, as well as include a fallback color for when images aren’t loaded.

The first way to use CSS backgrounds is by embedding those properties in a style block in the head of your email. Just target an HTML element like a table cell or div, and have at it. This method is easy to code, read, and maintain, but embedded styles aren’t supported in all email clients.

A more robust method is by including those properties inline on your HTML element. This can get messy if you’re using background images on multiple elements but, since we’re email geeks and used to using inline images, it’s still perfectly manageable.

The final way to include background images in an email is by using what are called “bulletproof backgrounds”. Bulletproof backgrounds build on top of the HTML attribute method by also including VML—or Vector Markup Language—in the code. VML is a proprietary Microsoft language used in Office products like Outlook. By applying background images in VML, they’ll work in Microsoft Outlook, which isn’t necessarily true for the other methods previously discussed.

The major downside of using VML is that it’s not very accessible or well-documented, and it adds a lot of code that is, frankly, hard to understand. To make it easier, our friends at Campaign Monitor have actually built an amazing tool for generating bulletproof backgrounds. You can find it, conveniently, at backgrounds.cm.

Regardless of which method you choose, there are amazing benefits to using background images in email over traditionally coded images.

The main benefit is accessibility. By using background images, you can rely on live, HTML text instead of images for all of your content. Text doesn’t suffer from blocking like images, so even when images are turned off, your message will still be readable for subscribers. And, for users that require screen readers, they’ll be able to hear content read out to them, unlike with traditional images.

You can use CSS to style that HTML content so that it looks well-designed like images coming out of Photoshop, and you can even include CTA buttons in there, too.

Background images, then, are used to include additional visual styling, whether that’s a simple gradient, some fancy product shots, or a repeating pattern. They work in conjunction with HTML text to create beautiful and usable emails.

What’s even cooler is that you can do more advanced stuff like including animated GIFs as background images, swap images based on screen size or device, or even code a video background like we did a few years ago for our Litmus Live announcement email.

There’s a lot that goes into utilizing background images to their fullest. We recently published an update to our Ultimate Guide to Background Images in Email on the Litmus blog that’s worth checking out. It’s a great way to look at the code powering background images, as well as get inspiration for updating your own campaigns. Just head over to today’s show notes for the link.

And be sure to subscribe to Delivering on iTunes or Spotify to listen to future episodes where we dig into more techniques for building better HTML emails.










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Email automation is powerful. It lets you connect with your audience around-the-clock, convert leads into customers, turn customers into superfans, and drive serious results. And it does all of this while you’re busy doing other important things, like running your business or watching Game of Thrones.

But there’s one big catch: Your email campaign needs to have the right emails in the right order if you want to reach your goals.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could import a proven, tested campaign from an email expert into your AWeber account with just a few clicks?

Well, now you can!

New in AWeber! Shareable Campaigns

AWeber has added a new update: Shareable Campaigns. This tool gives you the ability to add another email marketer’s pre-built, successful email campaign into your account in seconds. Think of these automated campaigns like blueprints that you can easily tweak and customize before sending to your own audience.

On the other hand, you can share your best campaigns with the click of a button, too. For each campaign, AWeber’s platform will generate a unique code that you can hand out to others.

No more trying to replicate supermarketers’ email flows or wondering why your series isn’t working. AWeber’s Shareable Campaigns feature will help you automate your email marketing faster than ever before.

Here are some ways you may be able to use Shareable Campaigns

Marketing agencies and consultants: Easily pass along important and/or effective email flows to your client’s or team member’s account.

Franchises and teams: Share campaigns across accounts so all messaging is on brand. Emails will share a consistent look (the same templates, imagery, fonts, and colors) and voice and tone.

Marketing experts, bloggers, or educators: Do you teach others how to incorporate email into their marketing funnels? Share automated campaigns with your students or clients so they can get started with email automation.

AWeber Affiliates: Create a Shareable Campaign as an incentive to drive new referrals to AWeber. Simply share your Campaign code with your audience, along with an AWeber sign up link with your Affiliate ID attached. You’ll get commissions for anyone who signs up for an account using your link!

(Become an AWeber Affiliate, and receive a recurring 30% commission on any new account you refer to us!)

4 campaigns you can add to your AWeber account right now!

AWeber’s email experts are sharing 4 proven email campaigns below. Pick 1, 2, or all of them to import into your AWeber account.

  1. Copy the sharing code provided. (You can click the “copy” button to add it to your computer’s clipboard.)
  2. Paste the Shareable Code into a new Campaign inside your AWeber account.
  3. Fill in the blanks to personalize the content.
  4. Activate it. You’re done! It’s that simple.

Shareable Campaign #1: the welcome campaign

Use this automated email series to welcome new subscribers to your list and begin building a relationship with them.

Number of emails: 3

Welcome Campaign

Import code:

9605ee72-1c51-4007-bf57-ade68d5df807

Shareable Campaign #2: the lead magnet campaign

Do you offer a lead magnet — a.k.a. freebie or incentive — on your sign up form to entice people to join your list? This automated series will deliver it to your new subscribers immediately after they join your list.

Number of emails: 1

Lead Magnet Campaign

Import code:

bcdb6dcc-75cf-4d5b-87e3-776a278f0872

Shareable Campaign #3: the blogger campaign

Want your audience to fall in love with your blog content? This automated campaign will show off your best blog posts so subscribers keep coming back for more. Plus, it will welcome people to your email list and promote your product or service (if you have one).

Number of emails: 3

Blogger Campaign

Import code:

c1768039-86d8-4948-b23c-bdc67098312b

Shareable Campaign #4: the mini-course campaign

If you’re a course creator, a free email mini-course is the perfect way to show off your expertise, build a relationship with new subscribers, and then promote your paid course at the perfect time. This campaign will help you do just that!

Number of emails: 5

Mini-Course Campaign

Import code:

8532ec68-b8c4-40d8-84ec-f9ccd1d322a0

How to import a Shareable Campaign into your AWeber account

1.Go to the Campaigns page and choose the list where you’d like the Campaign added.

2. Click the “Create a Campaign” button. In the dropdown menu that appears, select “Import Campaign.”

3. Paste the Shareable Campaign code into the portal window, and select “Import.” (Your series will load after a brief delay.)

4. Once the Campaign loads, you can customize the content if you’d like, and then activate the series.

How to create a Shareable Campaign code inside your AWeber account

1.Under the Campaign you’d like to share, select the “Sharing Options” button.

2. In the window that appears, click the toggle labeled, “Make this campaign sharable.” This will generate a Shareable Campaign code that you can pass along.

That’s it!

For more information and details on copying and sharing Campaigns, check out our Knowledge Base article.

Get started today

Log in to your account to try out Shareable Campaigns.

Not using AWeber? Get started, free for 30 days. Our email experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from our Pennsylvania headquarters to help you set up your account.





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