How Often Can I Email my B2B List: Four Lessons Learned

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Can you send a daily email to a business-to-business email list? How often can I email my B2B list? Check out these …

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: How Often Can I Email my B2B List: Four Lessons Learned

Can you send a daily email to a business-to-business email list? How often can I email my B2B list? Check out these 4 lessons learned. One of my favorite conversion strategies is the second chance. The second chance only comes when I have a way to continue the conversation; to get someone to come back […]

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How to Build a Beloved Product Without Email Marketing

My co-founder and I consider his sister to be a trusted confidant. So when she told us that she’s uncomfortable providing her email address to companies—including ours!—and didn’t want more email clogging up her inbox, it made us stop in our tracks.  Could this be true across the board? We dug into our data and […]

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My co-founder and I consider his sister to be a trusted confidant. So when she told us that she’s uncomfortable providing her email address to companies—including ours!—and didn’t want more email clogging up her inbox, it made us stop in our tracks. 

Could this be true across the board? We dug into our data and quickly discovered that our users shared her sentiment.

Based on what we were seeing, we decided to take a risk. We stopped requiring users to provide an email address upon signing up—which ultimately meant that we ditched our email marketing efforts altogether.

In the time since we decided to stop our email marketing, our business has grown exponentially. Our account registrations went up by 53%, meaning our users were investing further in our site, increasing their chances of returning. 

Wondering how to encourage users to engage with your product again and again, without constantly popping in their inboxes? Here’s how we’ve done it.

Why we decided to stop collecting email

To give you some context, my co-founder and I operate a website called Solitaired, which ties classic card games to brain training. If I’m being honest, our user base was growing rapidly with email marketing. So you may be wondering why we decided to stop collecting email addresses, especially if it was working.

Before I go any further, it’s important to note that this strategy probably isn’t right for all businesses. In many cases, customers are more willing to give out their info when rewards are at stake, like discounts or sales. But our business doesn’t operate in that manner, which is just one of many reasons that we explored the possibility of pausing our email marketing.

However, we didn’t decide to ditch it without digging into our data even further. Before we made a final decision, we wanted to benchmark and understand the value of a sent email.  

To do so, we emailed a small subset of our users. Our open rate was great, at 37%, with a 7% click through rate. Both were above industry benchmarks, which was something we were really proud of. But when we took a closer look, we discovered that, even if we scaled our email campaigns, the users who received our emails represented a measly 1% of our overall revenue. 

We launched our second campaign a week later, and the story got worse. The open rate and click through rate dropped by more than half. Email blindness was setting in.

Armed with that data, and based on the initial feedback we received from my co-founder’s sister, we were also concerned about the potential annoyance of continuing these email campaigns. This was something we saw on a broader level. In general, open rates and click-throughs have decreased 45% since 2010 as users have become fatigued by email marketing and more concerned about their privacy.

This was more than enough data to suggest that we should at least consider pausing our email marketing efforts. But we also knew we needed to replace it with something. 

Our new strategy was fairly straightforward. 

Rather than emailing users, we’ve opened up avenues for two-way communication. Based on the feedback we receive, we make updates to the website. This approach has been far more effective for us than the traditional one-way, brand-to-user email communication. In the time since we stopped our email marketing efforts, we’ve seen increased user (non-email-based) registration, engagement, and returns. 

Our monthly sessions per user, for example, went up from 3.66 to 4.87, a 33% increase in return rate.

But that’s just the start of building a beloved product without email marketing.

 Here are a few areas that we’ve continued to focus most of our energy on.

Strategy #1: Build features users want 

Statistician Lee Baker is known for coining the phrase, “Data doesn’t lie. People do.” While this quote has been used in several different applications, it’s particularly true when you’re trying to build a product that customers love—especially when you’re trying to accomplish that goal without an email marketing strategy. 

We rely on three tactics to leverage data thoughtfully to build features that our users actually want:

1. Follow the data

Even if you have a hunch that users want one thing, the data at your fingertips will paint a clear picture of what’s working. More importantly, it’ll make it abundantly clear if something isn’t working. 

Recently, we implemented Google Event tracking on all of our buttons and features to understand our most (and least) used features. Some of our most-used features weren’t in prime places on the site. When we moved them, we saw an increase in product engagement (both clicks and bounce rates).

Our bounce rate, for example, dropped a whopping 48%, from 17% to 9%.

Now, this new layout wasn’t how we would have designed the site—but as the data showed us, small changes can have a big impact on how users interact with the product.

2. Use “Painted Door Tests” to test potential features

Many companies (my own included!) have built products they think people want before they test that assumption. Instead, we build what we refer to as “painted doors.” Unlike a traditional minimum viable product (MVP), painted doors are mock features that allow us to see if users engage with them before we invest to build it.

One of our recent “painted doors” involved offering cash prizes to our users. When we launched our test—a button to win a $100 cash prize—we discovered that users weren’t nearly as interested as we thought they’d be in cash incentives. 

We tracked clicks to this button, and realized that the unique users this represented was a tiny proportion of our users. 

3. Run user tests on HotJar 

When considering a new feature, or deciding between two, run a few simple tests on a site like HotJar to see what option your users actually prefer.

For example, one of our users told us that she’d prefer a different design on the back of the cards. That didn’t matter to us, but it really mattered to her. To figure out who was right, we ran a quick test. HotJar showed us that she was right— other users wanted this too. 

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In short, taking the time to understand what features users actually want through data and testing—and then building them—has improved our bounce rate, our time on site, and our user return rate far more than an email could have.

Strategy #2: Create a sticky experience

Everyone in tech is chasing what’s known as a “sticky” experience. Stefan Thomke of MIT’s Sloan Management Review recently wrote that memorable experiences can drive customer decisions as much as price and functionality. But Thomke also adds, “Yet recent research reports suggest that there have been few, if any, meaningful improvements in customer experience over time.”

So when we think about creating a “sticky” product, we need to think about ways to improve the customer experience. It’s easy enough to say that we want to create an addictive solitaire game, but how do you do that with a card game with origins dating back to the 18th century

We feel that we’ve achieved this by prioritizing the following tactics:

Gamify the product

It might be easy for me to say because I’m in the gaming industry, but gamifying a product experience works across many industries—from Audible to Uber—as users are driven to outperform themselves and others. Superhuman has even worked to gamify email.

We’ve built gamification into our platform by serving users their personal stats, like the time and the number of moves it takes to win. We’ve also incorporated a leaderboard so users can see where they stand compared to other players. When someone wins a game, they’re given their scoreboard showing where they rank compared to others and the number of games they’ve won.

It is too early to tell how the impact of these features will move the needle for us, but based on anecdotal feedback we’ve received, users are following their trophy growth. 

Gamification isn’t the domain of B2C or gaming sites alone. There are ample ways of bringing competition and interactivity to B2B processes, too: think bringing quizzes to webinars, adding certifications to professional development add-ons, and creating in-app experiences that make completing a task a joy. I personally would love to see internal JIRA badges for team members that complete tickets fast, close our milestones, or move our business forward. 

Zig when others zag

In our card game research, we learned that the earliest card games were meant to teach players about historical events. We saw that as an opportunity to infuse Solitaired with interesting content and education—something we’d never seen another online gaming site do.

We launched several collaborations with universities and museums, including decks about the suffrage movement and civil rights, and the features ended up being newsworthy. 

That press drew additional users to our site that dwarfed what we would have gotten from email campaigns and led to even more collaborative opportunities.

The lesson: Being innovative has its own rewards. You don’t have to tell people why your product is awesome when you can show them through creative content, campaigns, and collaborations. 

This should look different for every product and business, so get creative. Invite your team members, or even users, to help you brainstorm: What’s the history of your product? What are some non-traditional uses? What has no one in your industry ever done before? Think about partnerships or content that could help you infuse some of these stories and ideas. 

Strategy #3: Show users you care

It’s no secret that customer experience is a top priority for companies across all industries. And the ramifications of a poor customer experience strategy are staggering.

In its Future of Customer Experience report, PwC found that one out of three customers will leave a brand they love after just one negative experience. Additionally, 92% of customers would abandon a company completely after two or three negative interactions.

Even though your users might not want to hear from you through email marketing campaigns, they do want to know there’s a human around when they have issues. When we decided to remove the email requirement from our signup page, we also knew that our customer service program would be even more important. 

As painful as it was, this meant revamping many aspects of our existing customer service strategy. Here are two ways that we did just that. 

1.  Be incredibly responsive 

When we first built Solitaired, we had an online help center. We knew that we didn’t want to spend a lot of time answering questions and responding to support tickets, so we thought this would cover any potential issues our users came across. 

But after my co-founder had a frustrating experience with another site’s help center, he started to question that decision. Soon after, we switched to a manual support system and almost immediately saw results. Our customer satisfaction score (CSAT) increased from 65% to 73%. When we committed to responding to all inquiries within two hours, our CSAT score increased from 73% to 89%. 

This isn’t something every company can do, especially in the very early days when there aren’t many hands on deck. But know this: You don’t have to be immediately responsive to be responsive. We saw benefits in customer satisfaction even after 24 and 48-hour response times.

2. Have your feet on the ground

About 25% of our user base consists of power users, and many of them have emailed in more than once. Through our interactions with them, we’ve been able to get a better grasp of their needs, learn about their feature requests, and have longer conversations to flesh out potential features. 

A few questions we like to ask them: How did you find us? How often do you play? Are there any features we are missing? While we always balance in-depth feedback with quantitative tests, listening to our customers has helped us build a site people enjoy—and want to return to time and time again.

These shifts are not the only changes that we plan on making to our customer support strategy. However, the data that we’re seeing in the early stages confirms our hunch that prioritizing customer support over email marketing was the right decision for our business. From last month to this month, our NPS grew from 40 to 46.

Conclusion

Building a beloved product without email marketing might sound impossible to many startup founders. But as we’ve discovered while building Solitaired, you can ditch email marketing—if you’re strategic about what you replace it with. While we were able to grow our company without email marketing, it did require us to:

  • Take a step back and refocus on our data;
  • Think about ways to create a sticky user experience;
  • Redesign our customer support strategy.

Also, remember that creating a beloved product will never be a one-and-done effort. It requires:

  • Constantly looking at the data;
  • Gathering user feedback;
  • Incorporating those learnings into your product or platform.

It didn’t happen overnight, but everything we saw suggested that it was the right decision, and we haven’t looked back since. 

The post How to Build a Beloved Product Without Email Marketing appeared first on CXL.

7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates
Email is one of the highest converting marketing channels today. Still. Increase your email open rate with t…

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Email is one of the highest converting marketing channels today. Still. Increase your email open rate with these five methods.

The post 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates appeared first on Conversion Sciences.

How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year. You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach. In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing. First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll […]

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How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year.

You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach.

In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing.

First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll give you some advanced tips for using automated email workflows.

Let’s get started with your automated email marketing information.

Why Automated Email?

According to Email Monday, marketing automation is growing at an unbelievable rate. They go on to say that, “Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.”

If top companies the world over are leveraging automation, there must be something fantastic about it, right?

The answer is yes. Automated emails allow you to reach directly into your customers’ inboxes with a personalized message tailored to their needs.

For example, if a customer downloaded one of your eBooks, you can then send them targeted emails on topics similar to your eBook. You’ve shown them you care, and with automated email, you can continue to nurture them.

Your business also benefits in many ways from automating email marketing. Let’s look at a few of the ways.

Lead Nurturing

First, with automated emails, you have the ability to nurture your leads from their first point of contact all the way to the ultimate sale or desired action.

The whole point of email marketing is to gently guide your subscribers through your sales funnel without them even realizing it. For example:

  • You welcome them in the first email, with no sales pressure.
  • In the second email, you give them a tip that pertains to what you already know about their needs and desires, with no sales pressure.
  • In the third email, you give them another resource, perhaps in the form of a video. Again, so sales pressure.
  • In the fourth email, now that they have come to appreciate you, trust you and value your advice, you can offer them something. They are more likely to bite because now that they trust you, they’re willing to pay for what you’re offering.

With automation, you can tailor funnels for particular customers. For example, you might send subscribers you met in your brick-and-mortar store down a different funnel than you’d send a first-time email subscriber on your website.

Smarter Emails

Next, you benefit because you can send smarter emails. You are no longer throwing emails out and hoping you catch someone.

You are building personal, valuable relationships with customers so you can send the right message at just the right time.

Save Time

Lastly, one of the biggest bonuses of automated email marketing is that you save precious time.

Email Monday again tells us that nearly 75% of marketers say saving time is the biggest benefit to automating emails.

You can take a few hours to create several automated series of emails, and then set it and let them run on their own.

You don’t have to set subscribers up or decide what to send them. You create the emails, set the triggers, and your system does the heavy lifting for you.

This then frees you up to focus on additional ways to reach your customers with a personalized message.

How to Master Automation

Now let’s look at how to master automation by looking at the different types of workflows you can create.

1. Welcome Workflow

When someone signs up for your email list, you want to send them through a welcome workflow of automated emails.

Your first email might welcome them, the second and third ones might direct them to some interesting content, the fourth email might introduce them to your social media platforms, and the final one would prompt them to take an action.

2. Educational Series or On-boarding Workflow

Let’s say a subscriber downloads an eBook, whitepaper or free buying guide. You would then send them through an automated workflow tailored to their interests.

For example, if they downloaded a hot tub buying guide from you, you’d send them through a hot tub topic workflow whereas if someone downloaded a swimming pool buying guide from you, you’d send through a pool topic workflow.

The bonus for the customer is that they continue to receive information that interests them. The bonus for you is you can keep nurturing them for the final sale.

3. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow

Ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned at huge rates. But, the good news is you have an avenue for getting them back.

These automated emails are re-engagement emails. If someone fills a cart on your website, you can then send them a special offer to entice them to return.

Discounts and free shipping offers work well.

One study even says that initial emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate. Those are great statistics!

4. Review Product After Purchase Workflow

Another valuable automated email is the one that you send after someone makes a purchase.

Your business thrives when you have multiple online reviews as these matter to buyers.

Once your customer makes a purchase from you, send them a survey or a request to leave a review on your website or Google. Then, reward them with a coupon for their trouble.

5. Miscellaneous Workflows

Finally, you can also set automation up for service reminders, birthdays and holidays.

Use additional workflows to reach specific customers at specific times.

Final Thoughts

A California-based study found that more than 215 billion emails are sent each day. That amounts to an average of 126 emails received per person every day.

That’s a huge number of emails landing in inboxes all over the world, and it’s up to you to figure out how to stand out in an imposing crowd.

The best way to do that is to concentrate on providing the highest quality personalized content to your subscribers at just the right time.

You already know your subscribers want to hear from you. After all, they did give you their email address. Now it’s up to you to leverage automated email marketing to gently nurture them through your sales funnel with valuable content.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Matteo Paganelli

 

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7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails

Your customers are the essence of your business. Most business owners instinctively know this. What many don’t know is that you have to cultivate and nurture your customers to grow your base and retain your customers. In this article, we look at seven ways to grow your business with emails. We’ll show you how to […]

The post 7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails

Your customers are the essence of your business. Most business owners instinctively know this.

What many don’t know is that you have to cultivate and nurture your customers to grow your base and retain your customers.

In this article, we look at seven ways to grow your business with emails. We’ll show you how to do it and why.

Let’s look at the transactional email and the power it has to grow your business.

The Transactional Email

Transactional emails are triggered emails. They involve correspondence you send to someone based on the action your user had with your website.

For example, your customer places an online order, and he expects a confirmation in his inbox shortly thereafter. This is a transactional email.

Often times if the customer doesn’t receive your email, he’ll call customer service to find out why not.

How about when someone signs up for your email list. Do you send them a welcome email? Again, this is a transactional email.

If you aren’t leveraging the power of this type of advanced email marketing, you’re missing out on a big chance to grow your customer base.

Bottom line – a transactional email is an advanced way to send trigger-based, ultra-personalized, targeted and highly-specific emails.

You can expect your transactional emails to have high open and click-thru rates and low bounce rates. This is, after all, information that’s valuable to your customer.

How Transactional Emails Grow Your Base

First, your customers are usually happy to see these emails in their inboxes. Because they’ve done something on your website to trigger the info, they are usually expecting it.

Email marketing extends your digital reach well past your website. Your customers have invited you into the inner sanctum of their inbox, so you have a chance to deliver personal, valuable information.

Now let’s look at the seven ways to grow your customer base with emails – transactional emails.

#1: Welcome Email

Someone created an account, made a purchase, downloaded a product or signed up on your site. This is a good tie to send them a welcome email.

Welcome emails usually provide a login and password and a welcome from your company.

Take this time to say thank you and let your customers know how much you appreciate them. Send this email within an hour of the action taken.

You can also include a call to action in the welcome email. How about asking your customers to tweet or share that they joined your company?

#2: Confirmation Email

You send a confirmation email to notify your email user when the action they took on your website is complete.

This email is fairly straightforward as it’s most often a receipt for a purchase, confirmation of a reservation or a link to a download.

Confirmations have all the information your customer needs in them. It’s up to you, though, to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of the email.

You can take the space to add some additional information in your email that provides value for your customer.

Offer them helpful tips and resources. For example, if they purchased a new camera from you, direct them to your website for blogs and whitepapers on how to use it.

If they booked a room at your hotel, send them their confirmation email with a list of restaurants and things to do in the area. Include insider tips only locals know about.

#3: Newsletter Sign Up Confirmation Email

Don’t be the business who neglects to send a newsletter sign up confirmation. Many of your website visitors will be confused if you don’t.

Not only do these emails confirm their subscription, but this is your chance to let them know what to expect and to welcome them to your “family.”

Provide them a list of what you’ll send and when. Give them a brief overview of the types of information you’ll send.

If you offered them something special for joining your list, you want to provide it to them in this email.

#4: Cart Abandonment Email

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges facing e-retailers today, as the average abandonment rate is nearly 70%.

The best way to encourage your customers to come back to your website and complete their purchase is with a transactional email.

Often, people who return to their carts spend more than they had originally planned.

The best time to send this email is within 24 hours of the abandoned cart. You can even include a special offer such as free shipping or 10% off to increase the odds they’ll finish their purchase.

Do put a time limit on the promo – a sense of urgency moves the process along.

#5: Birthday Email

These are easy emails to send and work to further customer loyalty by growing your customer base.

Provide a gift for your customer in this email. Think video, download or special.

#6: Customer Feedback Email

This email solicits feedback from your customer. Ask for comments on your products and services.

It lets your customers know you value their opinion.

#7: Reactivation Email

Send this email to subscribers who used to interact with you, but haven’t in a while. This email is the perfect vehicle to grow your customer base.

These emails keep your company top of mind and remind subscribers why they signed up in the first place.

To Conclude

We’ve looked at seven ways to grow your customer base with emails.

These emails are transactional emails, and they are key to your advanced email marketing strategy.

Why? Transactional emails are expected, and they encourage your users to take another action.

While some transactional emails are sent because of someone’s inaction, many more are sent because of their action.

Another word for transactional emails that grow your customer base is relationship-based emails. These emails have much higher open and click-thru rates. They also have greater revenue potential than regular emails.

It’s in your best interest to harness the power of the transactional email today. Increase your engagement opportunities with relationship-based emails and watch your customer base grow.

We’d like to leave you with one last tip. Ensure that every transactional email you send is optimized for mobile. The email must render as well on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop or laptop computer.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by fine-tuning your landing pages to skyrocket growth among your email subscribers and current customers? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Alexandru Tudorache

The post 7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.