We had a hunch that word choice in email subject lines have a strong effect on response rates. So, we tested 287 keywords across a sample of 2.2bn emails to see which work, and which don’t.
Why? Because President Obama has done more for email marketing than any world leader in the history of mankind. How? By focusing on subject line testing, his digital team optimised their donation campaigns to generate hundreds of millions of dollars online.
Despite Obama’s best efforts, most marketers still view email marketing as the Bluth Company’s Banana Stand of Arrested Development fame: a more boring and less sexy marketing channel than pretty much anything else imaginable.
But – and never forget this – there’s always money in the banana stand! There is great power in optimising subject lines.
In case you missed my presentations at MarketingWeekLive last week, you can find out more about our findings after the jump.
We tested a random sample of 95,000 global, English-language campaigns over the last 12 months (for a total of 2.2bn emails), and have isolated 287 popular ‘trigger words’.
Then, split by sector, we looked at the correlation between the word’s inclusion in the subject line and its variance above or below the average results for key email metrics (Open Rate, CTR, CTOR, and Unsubscribe).
To ensure outliers aren’t confusing things, we’ve also looked at the first, second and third quartiles to give an indication of data spread, not just nominal long-run means.
Bear in mind, these relationships are correlated, but not necessarily causal. There are simply too many variables in an email campaign to pinpoint exact causation. But, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and at the very least, this will give you many ideas for what to test.
And now some key findings:
People love free stuff
In related news, water is wet. Specific trigger words have a drastic effect on the response rates of offers. For example, ‘Sale’ delivers +23.2% opens, but ‘Save’ only +3.4%.
However, in terms of click throughs, they give +60.7% and -25.2% respectively. When you promote your offers, consider testing those trigger words – it could make or break your campaigns.
And, consider simple quick wins like ‘Free Delivery’ or even ‘% off’ – in the right context these keywords can drive massive response uplifts. But, if you do nothing but hard sell and offer discounts all the time, your customers will become bored and tune out.
Mix up your offer emails in a series of value-adding campaigns.
Content marketing works when the content isn’t crap
The problem with content marketing is the vast majority of content produced is crap. Too many people have outsourced it to agencies that don’t know enough about their clients’ markets, and focus on the wrong metrics. As a result, consumers have become anesthetised to content.
Take, for example, ‘Report’ (-23.7% opens, -54.8% CTR) and Webinar’ (-16.6%, -70.7%.)
Conversely if the content is good, people will consume it. So ‘News’ (+34.8%, +47.7%), ‘Bulletin’ (+15.8%, +12.7%) and ‘Video’ (+18.5%, +64.8%) work well.
Simply put, if your content is crap, it won’t work. If your content is good, you’ll get great results. When doing content marketing, make sure you’re in the latter group, not the former, or else you’ll be what we affectionately call in the industry a “spamming %$*!$#“.
More frequent emails are better than less frequent
Typical for an email guy to say, right? Full disclosure, when people send out more emails, ESPs make more money, this is true. But, if emails drive response and therefore generate revenue, then what’s the problem?
But, don’t take my word for it. We looked at newsletter frequency, and specifically the trigger words that indicate it. ‘Monthly’ brought -26.6% opens and -37.0% clicks. ‘Weekly’ brought +27.1% and +50.6% (not bad) and, amazingly, ‘Daily’ brought +27.8% and +100.3%. Simply put, more email drives more response.
And it’s not just us saying this, check this out if you’re sceptical.
Personalisation works, if your data is clean
Lots of people have played around with subject line personalisation, with varied results. We found the average opens and clicks decrease (-20.7% opens). But, the spread of the data is massive. The first quartile is -73.1%, but the third quartile is +30.8%. Why is this?
The main thing about personalisation is to ensure you don’t deliver users a disjointed user experience. If the subject line is personalised, but the email content isn’t, guess what? You may gain opens, but have done nothing to drive clicks. It leaves users with a negative experience.
Furthermore, if the subsequent online journey isn’t equally personalised, once again you’ve left your users feeling like you’ve given them the old bait-n-switch.
Most importantly, if your database is old and potentially incorrect, you’re in trouble. Eyeball your data first and pick recent, engaged data for testing personalised content.
There’s always money in the banana stand
This report analysed a vast sample of subject lines. More than anything, it showed there is lots of short-run variance in every keyword sample. What matters is that you test things out to your lists, and never stay standing still. What works one week may not work the next, but if you aren’t trying out new things then you’re treading water and ultimately throwing away money.
Email still delivers the strongest revenue of any digital channel by a country mile (source). In all your tweeting, pinning, and facebooking, are you making sure you dedicate enough time to your email subject lines?
Remember – of Obama’s 30 person digital team, 24 of them were focused on email.
They knew that there’s always money in the banana stand.
To see the full list of keywords (287 common words were tested in addition to the ones above), you can download the report. (Registration required – Ed)
There are hundred of apps that claim to “increase productivity” and “optimize company workflow,” but how many apps actually do? We’ve selected a list of 8 apps that actually make your workday easier, and team collaboration more enjoyable in the process.
Did we miss any of your favorite team collaboration apps? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.
Dropbox is the quintessential app for file-sharing and document collaboration. Through Dropbox, you can share PDFs, files and folders. When you star a file, you can access it offline later on.
The free app comes with 2.5 GB of free storage space, with options to upgrade your account at a flat rate of $100 per year for 100 GB of space. Dropbox also offers 250 MB of storage for free when you complete five out of seven Getting Started tasks.
Flow makes project management incredibly easy and collaborative. Many business apps try to do too much, resulting in an overwhelming and stress-inducing experience. Flow’s clean, simple design, however, brings a zen-like peace of mind to task management. Plan a project by creating a folder, adding in lists for each project component and writing in an itemized task for each list. You can delegate tasks to co-workers via email, even if the person you’re delegating the task to doesn’t have a Flow account.
The activity log helps everyone involved in a project see when someone is assigned a task and when someone completes it.
This app is ideal if you work in any kind of visually creative field. From planning concert brochures to laying out next month’s magazine cover, Skitch makes it easy to communicate visually.
Image courtesy of Evernote
Salesforce offers an array of options for business-related apps that run on the cloud for seamless work-integration and collaboration.
The Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s CRM app. Its Leaderboard feature shows each sales team member’s rank. It also comes with access to a prioritized list of your top leads so that you can see them all on one page. The Sales Cloud also includes a page with customer contact information and links to their social profile so you can monitor their interaction with your brand on social media.
Social.com is a social advertising management app and is part of Salesforce’s Social Marketing platform. This app helps you manage all of your ad campaigns across every social media platform, from Twitter to Facebook. Social.com helps you target a specific audience and time of day in order to maximize your social reach. It automatically runs higher performing ads, so you get the most out of your campaigns. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud recently expanded its “listening” power to China and Russia through deals with each country’s primary social network.
The Service Cloud is Salesforce’s Customer Service app. It brings together all of your company’s customer support into one place and then directs certain issues to the appropriate channel, whether it’s to a 1-800 number, email address or social media channel. If there’s any problems fixing a problem, the Service Cloud has a task status feature that you can “Escalate” in order to alert your coworkers of the issue and solve the problem collaboratively. You can even facetime with customers through the app. The Weekly Agent Productivity feature provides incentive to solve situations quickly, while the customer satisfaction metrics let you know how good of a job your team is doing.
Dynamics Business Analyzer is Microsoft’s free CRM app. The app requires Windows 8 or Windows RT to run, and features a colorful metrics dashboard so you can copy, edit, view and refresh reports directly on your desktop. You can customize which reports you want to include on the dashboard, ranging from gross profit reports to sales per month reports. This app integrates with the Windows 8 edition of Lync so that co-workers can collaborate directly on the reports.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
6. Google Apps
The Google Apps for Business suite includes the Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for collaboration in the cloud. Google offers a free 30-day trial and charges $5 per employee.
Google Hangouts is also a popular business app by Google. Hangouts are especially useful if you have employees who work remotely, as they can participate virtually in meetings and brainstorm sessions. You can share photos or emojis and add up to 10 friends per hangout.
Tempo is a calendar management tool that pulls in contextual information about your daily events — from contact information to driving directions. Every day, Tempo generates a daily schedule that you can preview either in calendar or list view.
Tempo is not specifically targeted toward businesses, but it can be especially helpful for pulling in email information about meetings or corporate events. The app comes with built-in Foursquare and Yelp integration, so locating your meeting is painless.
Evernote Business breaks down communication barriers between departments. This democratization of knowledge facilliates collaborative problem solving, which drives faster solutions. Evernote Business also makes it easier for customer feedback to influence strategy.
Evernote Business easily integrates with your existing Evernote account and grants you access to Evernote Premium. With a Premium account, you get access to 2 GB of personal memory a month, and your company gets an extra 2 GM to share in Business Notebooks.
Social media is not only a fantastic marketing tool but it can also boost your businesses costumer service. It goes without saying that providing excellent customer service is a basic part of managing your business. However, you can’t limit yourself to providing on-site service. In today’s age of constant connectivity and instant solutions, customers demand to be assisted immediately at any hour, thats why companies that are using social media for customer service are having huge success. Investing in social media for customer service may become your best acquisition and help you towards the best customer service award.
Please see below an example of how FedEx turned social media in to a successful cusotmer service channel.
Here is an infographic courtesy of Bluewolf on social cusotmer service. The infographic shows the importance of social media in customer service. After all social media is more than just marketing, its about listening, engaging and responding to customer questions. This shows the need for a business to be monitoring the social space, with array of social media monitoring tools available that you can add to your management process.
The infographic also highlighted that there will be a huge growth in customers using social media to contact a business with a question. By 2014 it will be a big no-no to refuse to communicate with customers via social channels as it will be like ignoring daily emails and telephone calls
With the huge growth in social media as a customer service channel, this suggests there is greater need to be monitoring the social world for mentions about your business. These mentions will happen regardless if you don’t wish to participate as a social business.
If this is the case you are missing out on opportunities, as its wise to be in constant communication with your customers. Start helping your customers today before they leave you
for a competitor!
Google+ has over 100 million users, with slightly less of those users based in the United States. If you’re trying to sell your products to consumers, consider websites beyond Facebook. Google‘s group of small-but-dedicated users might just become your most-loyal customers.
Promoting Your eCommerce Site on Google+
Not only does Google want to promote its own products, but sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t allow Google to crawl content. If you ignore the fact that Google+ is a social network, it’s one more location for Google to index when the search engine sends its spiders to crawl the Internet.
Google also gives prime real estate to content posted to its social network. When people perform searches when they’re logged in, they’ll see photos, links and posts at the very top of the search results. That content could be yours if you utilize Google+. When you’re promoting your latest sale or special, for example, there’s no better place to appear than the top of the page. Posting links to specific pages on your website to your Google+ profile can give those pages a boost.
Plus, you can add your author tag to content that you post on the Internet. When you write about what’s going on your industry, you build your reputation as an authority. Even if consumers aren’t ready to open their wallets yet, establishing your company as an authority can bring in shoppers in the future.
Unlike other social networks, Google+ makes it easy to edit content that you’ve posted. This option doesn’t exist at all with Twitter. If you make a typo or if information changes, you must delete your old tweet and add a new one. Facebook allows limited editing, but Google+ has more options for every post than other social networks by far.
Google+ also lets you choose title text with your posts, which is an important aspect for ranking highly. Quality content helps you go viral, while incorporating keywords into titles can boost your search engine ranking. My experience in creating Google+ campaign for www.paramold.com , eCommerce website from New York, was great. Website has improved rankings big time and attract a lot of new visitors, coming directly from Google+ .
Videos also get more prominent exposure, and they’re a great way to introduce visitors to your company or CEO. You can provide tutorials, display new products or unbox the newest gaming console just in time for the holidays. Videos also work well for Q&A sessions, which have the added benefit of showing customers that you’re listening to their questions.
Google Keeps You Connected
With Google+, you can connect with other users in more ways than Twitter and Facebook combined. Forget simply mentioning someone in your posts, there are a plenty other ways that you can interact with Google+ users, including:
-Sharing content to them directly or to circles that people belong to
-Commenting on a post that a person has created or commented on
-Tagging someone in a photo
-Comment on a photo someone has tagged or posted or is tagged in
-Invite them to events, send event updates or comment on someone’s event
Hangouts, which Google has just upgraded to replace GTalk, are the final way to connect with visitors, allowing you to do so in real time. You could even use Hangouts for your Q&A sessions because Google+ enables you to really connect with other users and not just advertise to them.
Social media marketing has become a staple in online business. It is the internet equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. It is not like traditional advertising where a business talks one way. It works as a 2-way conversation. As you publish posts, your readers will make comments about them and this is your chance to tell them about your business or simply to build your reputation.
Many people find it confusing and there are so many different platforms to use. In this article, I’m going to offer some advice and discuss the three C’s of social media marketing. These are curator, content and calendar.
#1 C – Curator
The first letter C stands for curator and this is your point person for social media marketing campaigns. Whether you do it yourself or pay somebody else, it is important to have a single person who is in charge of all social media campaigns to avoid confusion. There are so many different social media outlets these days that it is hard to keep up with all of them. Even if you’re only using Facebook and Twitter, it is easy to lose your direction and focus if you are not careful.
You also want to make sure that there is consistency in the posts that you publish. People will not come back to read your content if all your posts are about the same thing based around your industry. They need to be engaging and blended with images, videos and articles.
#2 C – Content
The second letter C stands for content. Content is king and this is what attracts your readers. As long as you have good, relevant content, people will come back to your site or social media page to read more.
Businesses need to remember that content is about building reputation and authority. That is why it is important to publish good content that is both original and educates your readers. Your posts should be at least 80% educational, and less than 20% promotional.
If you want loyal readers and clients, you must give them something of value.
For more details on types of content to post on your social media, you can download my free content guide: Ultimate Guide to Social Media Content Creation.
#3 C – Calendar
The third C stands for calendar. You need to plan your efforts ahead of time so that they will be organized and consistent. There is a lot of competition on the internet, and if you want to keep your readers you need to make sure that your content is not only of high quality, but is also released regularly.
When you are publishing posts it is crucial that you have a plan in place to keep it up. Your readers will expect it and it will help you stay organized and on-task. Once you have your content calendar in place, you can preschedule these posts through a platform like Hootsuite or even direct through Facebook with their new scheduler.
Keeping track of the times and dates you publish posts should be done for analyzing your efforts. You need to know which campaigns are working, and which ones you should discontinue; otherwise, you may be doing a lot of work for nothing.
Social media is a profitable tool for businesses when used correctly. It can seem overwhelming at times, but it does not have to be difficult. Remember the three C’s of social media marketing: put one person in charge (curator), create good content that is educational and offers value (content) and develop a routine (content calendar) that you can follow. Staying organized by following these three steps actually brings in a fourth ‘C’. The fourth ‘C’ is conversion of activity into sales.
Authored by: Janet Johnson
July 10, 2013 — By Michael
On Wednesday, MMW received a sneak peak at a forthcoming major industry report that shows 1 in 3 restaurants will use some form of mobile payments within 5 years.
MMW will be able to show the findings of the full report once the study’s embargo lifts next week.
All told, the data corroborates recent predictions from other leading research firms, which have long indicated that mobile payment transactions are on pace to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017.
And perhaps nowhere will this growth be more pronounced and apparent than in the restaurant space.
Retail and mobile technology experts believe that it will soon be close to impossible to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer some form of mobile payments option to boost convenience and security for patrons.
PayAnywhere, one of the country’s fastest growing mobile payment solutions providers, recently shared with us their new infographic illustrating why mobile payments will soon be on a menu near you. Check it out below.
And you most likely know the benefits of doing so:
- You don’t have to continuously work so hard to create new valuable content.
- There is no quicker and more powerful way to increase your authority, your perceived expertise and your influence.
These benefits are an integral part of the C.R.E.A.T.E. formula Denise Wakeman and I discussed in a complimentary teleseminar about building your digital empire.]
The only problem is that nobody tells you exactly how to do it, except to give you a long list of things you can do, like pull tweets from your articles and post them or turn your articles into an eBook and so forth. Most people just don’t know how to start.
With that in mind, how would you like a simple, visual explanation of how to repurpose your content in a clear, step-by-step way, starting with one single blog post?
Take a look at the infographic below for my easy to follow roadmap. By the way, this infographic is in itself a prime example of content repurposing…this time into a valuable infographic!
View full image Content Repurposing Strategies
What’s your opinion of this infographic? Is it just another pretty picture, or does it present a clear, visual path for you to follow to repurpose your own content?
Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink: http://thefutureofink.com/repurpose-your-content-infographic/
There is a war going on over the future of the Internet. Piracy is a big issue these days. Many companies are not happy about their products being pirated online. While SOPA and PIPA have not passed, there is no reason to doubt that some sort of legislation will be passed to combat online piracy. But those types of bills could hinder innovation and change the way internet businesses have to operate.
The folks at Visual.ly have put together an infographic that shows how the battle on online piracy is shaping up:
We’re bringing back our Ask an Expert feature, this time in blog form. You have questions and we have experts to give you answers. We’ll give our two cents on social media, digital PR, content creation, SEO and more.
This week Mitch Briggs, Senior Inbound Consultant, offers his advice on building authority for your website. Do you know where you should be placing your content? Read below for Mitch’s advice.
Q: “We’re looking at building a variety of content pages about a specific topic. From an SEO perspective, would it be more beneficial to make these new pages sub pages of our current site or give them their own micro site, completely separate from our main domain?”
A: The key issue here is what we often refer to as “authority”. A site dedicated to carving pumpkins, say, pumpkincarving.com, with 100 pages of content all about carving pumpkins, has a greater chance to rank well for “pumpkin carving” than does a cooking blog that has one post about pumpkin carving (all other things being equal). Pumpkingcarving.com has more authority than the cooking blog in the eyes of the search algorithms (and users) because they can “see” all the related content that resides on that domain and conclude that this is a better option to serve to its users searching for pumpkin carving information.
So, from an SEO perspective, it would be best to load these new content pages onto your current site like additional webpages. Having this content on your existing site will contribute to the overall authority and credibility of your domain and the topics and related topics you’re producing content for.
Make sure also to avoid placing this content on a subdomain (for example: content.yoursite.com). Subdomains are seen and treated as “separate” sites by search algorithms, so having good content live there won’t allow you to leverage the authority of content throughout your main site, and also won’t contribute more authority. Instead, place them in their own folder structure like any other page on your site (www.yoursite.com/info/page1.aspx ; http://www.yoursite.com/info/page2.aspx, etc.)
Let’s look at a full example—maybe this time something more seasonally relevant, like bikes!
Say you’re a bike shop and you know everything about bikes. It’s time to prove to Google that YOU are a real bike authority! Problem is, your website has two pages and all it does is sell bikes…so how is a bot supposed to know? Feed it (and your customers) some of your knowledge!
Here are the five awesome webpage articles you’ve written, all related to bikes and bike equipment:
- Finding the Perfect Sized Bike
- Bike Helmet Safety Tips
- Guide to Bike Tires
- Comfortable Bike Seats
- Specialty Bike Shoes
Step 1: Place them on your site just like a normal page – preferably with a nice short and clean URL like: www.mybikes.com/comfortable-bike-seats.aspx.
Step 2: Give your content a home. If you have a main bikes page, make sure these helpful articles are being linked to from that page or the home page, or even incorporate them into your navigation. This will help them to become seen and indexed by search engines and gives them page rank with good interlinking.
Step 3: Create “content hubs” with these articles so that they all link together and to other related information on your site. This helps with indexation, shows relationship and provides visitors with more and more info they can digest.
Step 4: Profit.
Just remember the word “authority” and that building a credible domain with content can really help you with your search visibility, so don’t split it up by putting that great content you wrote on other domains or sub domains.
I look forward to getting and answering more questions—so stay tuned!
Got a question for our experts? Tell us in the comments, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: Wikimedia
Resource : relevance.com