3 Benefits of Email Preference Center Will Make You Want to Start Now

Have you set up your Email Preference center yet?

Most marketers look at the concept of an email preference center as an unnecessary part of their email marketing activities, and frankly some view it as a waste of resources. But in our privacy-conscious world, and contrary to what many people think, a Preference Center can give you peace of mind. Without these centers, marketers cannot get a self-reported and even comprehensive set of insights and information on their targeted customers. Nor can they identify if they are interested in their products, newsletter, periodic updates content, or other offers.

Here are a few things about email preference centers that can help you to move forward with one – what it is, how it works and how an email preference center can help boost the performance of your email marketing campaigns. In short: a simple way to improve your long-term client relationships.

First things first: Define the email preference center

An email preference center, or a subscription center, should be the first part of an email registration process, because of the unobtrusive way it can help collect information from your targeted customers.

It is a check point where email subscribers can update data about themselves, including their own preferences in receiving emails. By offering this kind of choice, you enable your subscribers to take control over the type of content and information they want to receive from you. Also, they are given choices to decide their preferred frequency in which they want to receive mails and how many mails they want to receive. That will give marketers with useful insights about their prospects, which they can use to personalize campaigns and customize messages, based on subscribers’ preferences, leaving overall powerful impacts on their email campaigns.

For an in-depth look at how an email preference center can benefit and empower your ongoing email campaigns, scroll down and check out these bullets on the advantages of setting up an email preference center.

Benefits of email preference center

1. Lessen incidences of unsubscribes and spam reports:

Often marketers have no idea why their subscribers choose to unsubscribe from their email lists – but with an email preference center, they can collect information on why prospects are unsubscribing from their campaigns. In addition to that, an email preference center also helps marketers by giving alternatives to their subscribers who are contemplating unsubscribing, giving them reasons to keep the relationship at least somewhat intact.

Broadly speaking, there are three things your subscribers do to exclude themselves from your email list and these are

  • unsubscribing from the list

  • managing their email preferences

  • reporting your email address as spam.

With an email preference center, and a “manage your preferences” option, you take a powerful pre-emptive step so that they are far away from clicking the ‘Report as spam’ button. That option to regulate how many or frequently they will receive your communications, and the type of content and information they want to receive, is powerful preventive medicine.

2. Showcase your email offerings:

Another major benefit of having an email preference center is to be able to showcase marketers’ email offers and content. If you have multiple email lists, then take advantage of an email preference center to make your subscribers aware of your multiple email lists. Email preference centers not only allow subscribers to unsubscribe but also, choose the email lists they are interested in to get periodic updates and newsletters. Thus, they can select their preferred and most relevant email list and communications.

Here one thing you need to make sure of: you must have adequate content ready for every email list you have created to maintain a steady flow of good quantity and quality of content for your subscribers. For example, if your subscribers prefer tips and tricks or DIY type of content, make sure you have enough relevant content of that type. Similarly, if you let them choose lists by their professional profile, roles or industry, your content inventory must feed them with relevant content useful for those profiles and industries.

3. Get help in segmentation:

Email preference centers are of great help in segmenting prospects and targeted customers. These centers free marketers from doing the guesswork for their email marketing campaigns by enabling them to give their subscribers choices and personalize campaigns based on their insights on their preferences.

Based on subscribers’ email preferences, it becomes easier to accurately segment them and deliver personalized campaigns to keep subscribers engaged and take actions as stated by CTA. For example, you can create email preference center similar to Groupon which has categorized their centers based on multiple factors that are location, notifications, and types of deals.

Other factors that you can consider for creating email preference center and delivering personalized emails can be –

Type of messages:

Use email preference center to allow your subscribers to self-select their choice of content they want to receive and engage with. By this, we mean that let your subscribers choose topics of content, offers that attract them the most, type of news and their choice of new product updates which will bring them closer to your product and service lineup. Thus, you can target better with an email preference center by sending them customized promotions and product announcements and in return, you will decrease high attrition rates of your subscribers.

Frequency options:

Build an email preference center which gives you the ability to regulate the frequency with which your subscribers want to receive emails from you. That way, you can reduce the risks that your subscribers will become annoyed with too many emails and eventually unsubscribe from the list.

If they have a choice to set frequency, they can now receive emails at their preferred intervals. In the same way, you can use their frequency choice information to set the right timing and automate campaigns accordingly. This insight about frequency can help you determine how many emails they want to receive as double assurance that they won’t hit the “unsubscribe” button down the road.

Preferred channels:

An email preference center will also allow your subscribers to set their preferred channel through which they want to receive content, engage with your brand, and communicate with your campaigns, letting them self-select from various channels such as, websites, email campaigns, social media channels, mobile, paid ads etc.

This way, you can not only reduce bounce rates and complaints about your campaigns, but you can improve engagement rates, email deliverability, and sender reputation with most Internet Service Providers.

Formatting:

Email experts repeatedly recommend this email best practice which is to allow subscribers to choose desired format of emails. And it is another major benefit of email preference center that it lets prospects to choose if they want to receive emails in their preferred version such as, mobile, HTML or text. Thus, you can deliver emails to your subscribers in their preferred readable format and increase engagement with your emails.

Address update:

These email preference centers or subscription centers are extremely beneficial for both subscribers and marketers, also by easing the address update process with the email list. For many reasons, subscribers may want to change their address whether they have relocated, changed of jobs, etc. An email preference center allows updating their contact address, without much difficulty. This can include information such as physical residential address, email address, home phone numbers, work phone numbers and mobile numbers. It greatly helps marketers to stay updated of their prospects and marketers contact details effortlessly.

An email preference center is imperative to enhance your personalization, relevance, email deliverability, and engagement. As well, it will decrease bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, spam reports, complaints and the possibility that you will get stuck with a negative sender reputation.

Now, the question is what type of email preference centers do your email marketing campaigns require? Find out which kind of email preference centers you need, how to create and dos and don’ts to remember while building here – Types of Email Preference Center – Dos and Don’ts of Subscription Centers.

If you’d like some expert professional guidance and assistance to set up a Preference Center, let us know. Call us at (408) 502 6765 or connect and chat with us via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – we have it all you need.

Are you ready for CANADA’S ANTI-SPAM LEGISLATION?

Are you communicating with Canadian customers, prospects, suppliers or partners via the internet? Then CASL* will affect you! Your business will need prove their opt in consent. This means need to prove that you gained consent from each individual with whom your business communicates. You need to capture the date and time the person granted your company permission to contact him or her via email, event business card exchange or webpage, etc.).

If you have not already done this, follow these quick steps to create Canada Anti-spam Email-Opt In Program before July 1, 2014.

1. Assets:
a. Target Audience-
i.  All the email addresses that have country or inferred country as Canada.
ii. If you do not have country for all email address then to be safe consider those too.

b. Create an email. Here is the sample email image.

c. Create a landing page confirming the opt-in.


2. Create following campaign flow:
a. Send this email to the target audience.
b. Unsubscribe the target audience.
c. If anyone from the member of the target audience list, click on the link (consent link), then mark “Unsubscribe” to be false.

For Marketo Users, here is the link to create program : “Steps to create Canada Anti Spam Email Opt-In Program

3. Remember to launch it before July 1, 2014(Canadian time zone)

This blog is provided as a resource, but does not constitute legal advice.

*CASL is a federal law governing electronic messages sent from organizations and individuals to Canadians for commercial purposes. It’s intended to prevent, or at least limit, the number of unwanted and unsolicited commercial messages (spam) that Canadians receive daily. Broad and stringent, this law will dramatically affect how businesses can use email, text messages and social media to contact customers and prospects. The legislation begins to take effect on July 1, 2014.From a business perspective, the central element of CASL is the need to acquire the consent of individuals, granting the business permission to send commercial electronic messages.

Marketo Summit 2014- All About Innovation!

Hilary-at-Marketo-Nation-SummitThis year’s Marketo Marketing Nation Summit was all about INNOVATION as a theme. With new titles like Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Marketing Technologist, the Marketers are becoming smarter and have to be innovative. Check out Marketo blog all the details here.

With 6000 people attending this conference is truly mind-blowing. Plus the Partner Summit was so inspiring and motivating where Phil Fernandez shared his vision about the explosive growth expected with all the existing Partners.

Madhu-with-Marketo-CEO-PhilContent and marketing automation go hand-in-hand, and marketers are under pressure to create engaging content. In the Marketo Summit this year there were lots of Sponsors in different categories. Innovative Content Marketing and Content Creation were represented by quite a few good ones. All had some unique value to add to much needed ROI. Here are few which you may want to check:

 

marketo-marketing-nation-summitCaptora:
Captora offers breakthrough Cloud Marketing Applications. Modern marketers can automatically and intelligently leverage their content to drive pipeline growth across channels. Our Marketing Execution Platform helps you evolve with demand and engage with buyers before the competition.

Oktopost:
Oktopost is the first solution to establish the ROI of social media, bridging the gap between social media and lead generation. Oktopost delivers the true business value of social media, generating new sales and integrating marketing and sales in today’s social-centric marketplace.

With Oktopost, companies can say for the first time: “This new customer came from this LinkedIn post!” or “This Tweet brought us $XXX in sales!” Oktopost enables users to track closed sales back to the originating social media interaction – whether this is a Tweet, LinkedIn post or Facebook update.

Skywords:
Skyword’s content marketing software and services provide all you need to reach and engage your audience with original web content.
Skyword offers the Skyword Content Production Platform, which equips organizations to streamline and automate every step of content creation and publishing.

Uberflip:
Uberflip makes content perform by giving marketers the metrics they need to provide a tailored content experience that coverts leads into customers. Bring all your content into one centralized, responsive and engaging front-end with no programming required!

Kapost:
Kapost makes content marketing easy by managing every step of the process in a single platform.
Kapost is the leading content marketing software platform, organizing content marketing into a structured business process. Kapost manages the entire content marketing process, including planning (persona / buying stages), ideation, production (marketing calendar, workflows and approvals), distribution and analytics. Kapost centrally organizes all your content, no matter what the type, including: emails, landing pages, blog posts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, videos and social media.

KnowledgeVision:
KnowledgeVision starts with assets that already exist in any organization: PowerPoint presentations and the people who know how to tell the story behind those slides. With its easy-to-learn, easy-to-use tools, KnowledgeVision can combine video or audio, PowerPoint, synchronized web links, navigation, and dozens of plug-in widgets to create an unparalleled interactive presentation experience.

Those were some of the insights we garnered from the 3 day exciting event. Have any additional insights you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

How to Increase Form Conversion Rate?

How to increase form conversion rateAh, you have designed a website and now have hosted it over the internet. Do you think your work in done? No, it’s not! Indeed, you have to continue to work on it and regularly to encourage visitors and then of course there is the job of converting these visitors to customers. It is only then that your website will prove to be helpful.  Let us show you how to explore your website’s online potential. Likewise, professionals have to ponder over various elements that will bring about more visitors and customers through their email campaigns. One of the key parameters that needs to be carefully looked at is “form conversion rate”. Professionals should have a realistic understanding of the conversion rate to minimize the visitors abandoning the form and maximize the results of their campaign.

Let’s discuss a few tips that can improve your form conversion rate and give you a competitive edge in business.

  • Conversational Message: The email should never bore customers with uninspiring style and flow. Instead, the campaign should have relevant information that can increase lead generation. It should have attractive and compelling content and that can be achieved by understanding customers’ needs, communicating the benefits and maintaining the right balance between image and text.
  • Fine-tuning of forms: The form should be easy to locate, preferably visible on the landing page of mailers. The message should be simple and interesting. Customers should not be frustrated by collecting the entire information in one go. The fields of the form should be simple for easy participation by customers and where ever possible the automation of fields should be offered so that if needed the repeated data is not asked of the customer again.
  • Balance of form fields: One needs to be very careful in deciding upon the optimum number of fields in the form. Visitors should not come across hassles, while filing the form. Few and necessary fields should be given more importance, keeping an eye over the core objectives of the campaign. Forms should be simple and easy to fill, plain and simple.
  • Progressive profiling: It is a technique that is followed to keep prospects at ease. It helps them establish deep relationships with the brand. This technique can be used smartly and intelligently to get additional information with each interaction. It helps you gather the right information, avoid monotony, enable smart form designing and capture additional leads where ever possible.
  • Call-to-Action: Call-to-action should definitely be included so that interested customers can make an action and can reach customers at large. It helps them directly get the information they are looking for. In order to do so, design in a button for easy access, mention the incentive, etc.
  • Distractions at bay: The use of jargon-free and precise information helps in conveying the message directly to the prospects. Irrelevant information distracts prospects and forces them to leave the page. The clean information will encourage them to go ahead.
  • Form Efficiency: It is a must to use analytics to measure the results. The form should be tested regularly under different situations and the results should be analyzed to improve upon the conversion rate. The key performance indicators, such as order value and number of conversions should be looked into carefully and regularly.
  • Response to Customers: The special note, carrying a personal touch should be sent to customers who filled the form.  Follow-up with a thank you and an offer.

Check out today, if your customers are happily filing the form on your website or not? Do they find it simple? Don’t just hope the form does not frustrate visitors, but instead improves the conversion rate. If it is not so, follow the above stated steps and check out how you can improve the form conversion rate. Your prospects will definitely love to fill a form that is simple and hassle-free.  This is key to helping your business stay competitive, capture leads that actually convert into action.  This is the competive edge your business needs to make form conversion rate successful.

Carving the Perfect Email Subject Line

Crafting the Perfect Email Subject Line

 

 

What entices you to open any email? More than anything else, the decision making factor is the subject line.  Many marketers keep it short- typically around 50 characters.  Why?  Because a subject line of an email should be compelling and concise enough to convince the recipient to open the email and take the necessary call to action.  That said, there is no magic formula, as an email subject takes both art and science to craft. You should be able to connect with your audience’s heart with a compelling subject on the one side, but it needs to have strategic intent and the right tone too!

Here are 4 rules to consider to get to that perfectly carved compelling email subject for your email campaign, and get a good open, click and deliverability rate too:

  1. Get to the Point: Relevance is key, so get to the point in the most creative way with fresh information. Remember, attention spans are short and your recipients’ time is valuable.
  2. Don’t Mislead for an Open: You want to add a spark to a headline so that it creates curiosity and leads the recipient to open the email. That said, you don’t want to mislead them just to get the email opened. Your subject should tie back to the content in the email. This will improve long term email results, since your goal is to build trust. So be honest, concise and precise while enticing them to open the email.
  3. Test, Test, Test: Perform A/B Testing for your subject line on a segment of your desired recipients. It will certainly give you great insights into what will work for you. Here are some of the types of tests I have done with Marketo customers to improve their subject lines:
    • Personalization: Using first name or company name
    • Proof:  Highlighting an expert or a peer of the recipient
    • Scarcity: Highlighting that the content is exclusive or limited
    • Relevance: Mentioning their city or a competitor
    • Brevity: Shorter email subjects versus longer
  4. Review and focus on the end goal: Look back at your emails or lead nurturing campaigns and see which subject lines got you the best conversions and click-throughs. Most of the time we tend to think, higher open rate is the best way to read the result on if an email subject is good (which is true), but also try to get more insight by ensuring those subject lines lead to results. Going one step deeper may help you identify the content that is working with your audience, allowing you to write more relevant emails going forward.

These tips, plus keeping subject lines short (think 50 characters or 4-6 words) will surely have an  impact on your email marketing success. Personally, I have seen lot of my customers achieve great results with these tips, and I would love to know if these help you (or if I’ve missed any that you can share). What are you testing in your emails?