Want Better ROI? Reengage Your Website!

shopping cart 1While shopping cart abandonment is well documented as a powerful driver of revenue for online companies, 95% of email subscribers visiting your website never get to the shopping cart. That is the very definition of leaving a lot of money on the table.

Working with over 50 companies who reengage subscribers who visit their website using email, whether or not these subscribers ever visit the shopping cart, we have seen significant results.

Here’s the thing: Website abandonment emails typically make up less than two percent of the total volume of email each of these companies send in a month, and yet these emails deliver over 25% of the total revenue driven in direct response from email.

Two percent of the volume of email sent, 25% of revenue. Do the math: that’s fewer emails and more money. Fewer emails, fewer inbox delivery challenges, more money. It’s not rocket science.

How does it work?

Marketers identify their email subscribers as soon as they show up at their website; they keep track of the pages they visit. They also track when these customers leave the website without making a purchase.

Twenty minutes or so after leaving the website, the customer receives an email postcard. The postcard lists current sales and offers. If there is a current discount code, it’s included. If there is a current coupon, it’s included. If there is free shipping, the customer is told of that offer.

shutterstock_107844167 2And it all links back to the website to make a purchase. It’s as simple as that.

These emails include current offers, coupons, and/or discounts. They “never” offer elevated promotions which might simply train buyers to leave the website to get the company’s best offers.

The opportunity is enormous. Tracking over 50 companies with website abandonment email programs in place, the results are impressive:

  • consistently over 50% open rates
  • click-to-open rates over 30 percent
  • conversion rates (sales) of anywhere from six to 70 times those of the companies’ regular promotional email campaigns, no matter how well they are targeted
  • revenue generated is 25% or more of the total revenue the company drives from all its email campaigns

This is truly low-hanging fruit. Website abandonment email reminders to use a discount code or a coupon or to take advantage of free shipping before the offer expires, delivered to customers at exactly the right moment, while they are still online and thinking about your company, adds a new dimension to customer convenience that is appreciated and drives sales.

Website reengagement is an opportunity to reach out to customers from every page of your website, and to send tailored messages based on specific pages the customer visited on the site. A carefully devised and implemented website abandonment strategy immediately isolates undecided customers, gives them the opportunity to return and make a purchase, and improves the marketer’s ability to gain additional return on investment from regular customers.

Want better ROI? Forget the shopping cart and optimize your whole website for reengagement!

 

Building a Great List: Back to Basics

shutterstock_107177447We talk here a lot about customer acquisition, and for good reason: every marketer needs to have a constant steady stream of new subscribers, new prospects, and new customers in order to stay in business. It really is that simple.

Speaking of simplicity, we’re all always going after the next Holy Grail of email marketing. And that’s necessary: new technologies are constantly becoming available that make our jobs easier and more productive. But it’s also worth taking a step back and reminding ourselves of some of the basics involved in building a great email list.

Those basics include the pseudo-”new” field of content marketing (which has actually been with us all along): you’ll attract more prospects if you consistently offer quality content that they can use. It’s a great way to interact with them as well, and you’ll gain valuable insights when you see which parts of your content are being shared.

What content should you be sharing if you’re interesting in building an email list?

  1. Website. Make sure that your website is easily and intuitively navigable, and then add in content that your customers and prospects will love. Depending on your product or service, this can include some how-to guides and videos, reports, pamphlets, and so on. Make sure that you’re always adding something fresh and new to your website content.
  2. Blog. You should have a dedicated blog that is updated regularly (if you let it go for a while, people will lose interest). This will attract both prospects and search engines as long as the content you place in your blog is useful and non-commercial. The blog should be accessible from every page of the website.
  3. Social media. Once you have a blog post, market it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else your customers might be hanging out (you do know where they hang out, right?). This offers a social introduction to your brand.
  4. Giveaways. Don’t ever ask for people to sign on without offering them a thank-you gift for doing so. It can be simple and wast (and should be simple and easy!), but it should make the new signup feel appreciated.
  5. Opt-In. Be careful not to ask for too much information upfront—some people won’t sign on if the form is too long.
  6. Use an enterprise-level ESP for your email lists. Everything is automated, freeing you to do what you do best!

Getting back to basics will grow your list and increase your ROI, so what are you waiting for?

Email Marketing Must-Haves

shutterstock_107479076Okay. Here are three quick must-haves for midweek. Check your email marketing strategy and practice to make sure you have them all:

  1. Listen to your subscribers: What do your subscribers care about? Live data—what we call “now” data—allows marketers to respond to customers and subscribers in near-real time.
  2. Don’t check out: If you want your subscribers and customers to do more business with you, then you need to earn their trust and respect over time with ongoing messaging.
  3. Make it personal: An email recipient should be able to recognize that a message is useful and vital specifically to them within seconds of glancing at a subject line. And that means great—not just good—copywriting.

Take a moment today to check back with your email marketing strategy, and make sure you’re hitting these three high notes. Good email marketing isn’t rocket science: sometimes it’s just about going back to basics.

Want An Insanely Successful Company? Start Here!

shutterstock_117742582How do you run a successful company? Follow these principles:

1) Make a promise/keep a promise

  • At eWayDirect, we continue to believe, and continue to see results that confirm, that the answer to inbox deliverability is clarity. We call it “make a promise, keep a promise.” Be totally clear to all people signing up for your communications that “if you do this, here is exactly what you can expect.” And be as explicit as possible. “If you sign up, we will send you an email every day with special offers and news about our company. The email will arrive in your inbox with the my company from line.”
  • In addition, include with each email you send a confirmation that you are living up to your part of the bargain. “When you signed up, we told you we would send you daily great offers, and here is Tuesday’s offer. Thanks for continuing to be a part of our email list!”
  • Make a promise, keep a promise gets your mail sent directly to the inbox.

2) Use the hierarchy of yes

  • The Hierarchy of Yes starts—and ends—with the understanding that only a team leader (CEO, president, divisional president or senior VP) has the authority to say no to a customer. All other employees are charged with finding ways, within the corporate mission and guidelines, to say yes to customer requests. In cases where employees cannot produce a positive outcome, they escalate the request up the line until, if necessary, it lands on the desk of the singular person in their group empowered to say no.
  • The Hierarchy of Yes applies for both internal and external corporate customers.
  • No employee wants to be put in a position where he or she has to tell their boss they can’t handle a challenge. By limiting the options employees have, in terms of what the end result must look like (yes), creates full transparency in the organization, in terms of showing management exactly what issues get in the way of saying yes to every customer, every day.
  • No manager wants to spend their time dealing with customer problems, so they use H.O.Y. to understand the current impediments to successful customer outcomes, and train their employees to meet customer needs and exceed customer goals every time.
  • It is about the three Ts:
    • Transparency becomes a way of life
    • Training becomes a mission
    • Teamwork becomes a priority

 

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

The following information should not be considered legal advice.  Please consult with your legal counsel for specific guidance about compliance regarding the new legislation.
canadian-flag002

Summary

Canada has adopted a new regulation entitled the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) that will go into effect on July 1, 2014. The two organizations that will be enforcing this are Industry Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

A few key differences between the previous and new regulations are:

BEFORE AFTER
Implied consent acceptable Express consent is required
Opt-out is acceptable Opt-in is required
No ability for private individuals to file suit Private right of action takes effect July 1, 2017

Highlights

The highlights of CASL are described below. Details may be found in the references listed at the end of this post.

  • After July 1, 2014, commercial electronic messages (CEM) to and from Canada may only be sent to subscribers who have given consent as defined by the new law, unless the message is exempt.
  • There are exemptions for:
    • Existing business relationships
    • Responses to an information request received within the past six months.
    • Messages sent to an employee, representative, consultant, or franchisee of an organization, or of another organization if the organizations have a relationship, and the message concerns the activities of the organization.
    • Existing non-business (family or personal) relationships
    • Messages sent to satisfy a legal or judiciary obligation
    • Messages sent by a charity or on their behalf, in order to raise funds
    • Messages sent by a political party or a candidate for public office or on their behalf in order to solicit contributions
  • If you are sending a message that is not exempt from CASL then consent is required. Consent may be implied or express.
  • You may consider consent to be implied if:
    • There is an existing business relationship such as the recipient making a purchase in the past 2 years or making an inquiry in the past 6 months.
    • There is an existing non-business relationship
    • The recipient has conspicuously published their email address or provided it directly to the sender and has not stated that they do not wish to receive unsolicited email and the email is related to the recipient’s business or official role.
  • If the message is not exempt and consent is not implied, you must obtain express consent before sending a CEM by:
    • Clearly describing the purpose for obtaining express consent
    • Providing the name of the person seeking consent or identifying the name of the person seeking consent if different.
    • Providing contact information for either of these persons, including a mailing address and either a telephone number, email address or web address.
    • Indicating that the recipient can unsubscribe.
    • NOTE:  A pre-checked box cannot be used to obtain express consent according to the CRTC.
  • Senders must include certain items in each commercial electronic message including:
    • Providing the name of the person sending the message or identifying the name of the person sending the message if different.
    • Providing contact information for either of these persons, including a mailing address and either a telephone number, email address or web address.
    • A mechanism allowing the recipient to easily unsubscribe at no cost.
  • The CRTC may impose financial penalties for violations of the regulations.
  • The last phase of CASL begins on July 1, 2017 with the private right of action, allowing individuals to file suit.

Next Steps

The new law makes explicit opt-in a requirement when sending to and from Canada.  It is time to review sign up pages to make sure they ask for an opt-in without a pre-checked box and that consent information is being recorded.  Existing lists with Canadian addresses without express consent will need to be reviewed and decisions made on obtaining consent or deactivating appropriate subscribers.

eWayDirect, Inc. recommends that you consult with proper legal council regarding the new laws and to inform yourself by reading the details:

 

- posted by Gene Gusman, Director of Compliance, eWayDirect

Now Data Drives ROI

social media chat shapesWhen a prospect or customer takes an action, the time to respond is now.

Some important actions (examples of what we call “now data”) can include:

  • opening and/or clicking on an email from your brand or service
  • browsing your website for products or information
  • starting to fill a shopping cart
  • commenting on your blog
  • viewing one of your product videos on YouTube
  • posting one of your company’s products on Facebook or Instagram
  • clicking on one of your banner ads
  • sending a request to your company helpdesk.
  • and more …

Your response to that action? Leverage “now data” by sending a triggered, relevant email follow-up (with content and promotion matched to the customer’s action) immediately after the action is taken. Interacting with the consumer the moment they’re thinking about your company, and when they’re still online, accelerates revenue significantly.

Here are three ways that using “now data” to trigger real-time marketing campaigns will help your business grow:

  1. Converts browsers to opted-in customers
  2. Attracts more repeat buyers
  3. Generates higher sales from your best customers

Using big data and now data together to make the most of your email marketing campaign is the best way to generate ROI.

5 Tips to Get Your Email in the Inbox

shutterstock_136613396Deliverability is the first, second, and last concern of email marketers. And it’s not the sort of thing that gets “done” once and then it’s all over. Smart email marketers are constantly finding ways to improve their inbox deliverability.

Here are a few tips for better deliverability:

  1. Clean your lists: 1/5 of your database will churn—either change emails or unsubscribe—in a calendar year. Confirm permissions!
  2. Follow subject-line rules and avoid misnomers (no $ signs at the beginning, false promises)
  3. Always do a spam check before sending
  4. Check results by domain (for example, how does hotmail.com compare to gmail.com?)
  5. Monitor your reputation and sending scores

Email deliverability is essential: customer acquisition is expensive, and undeliverable emails could mean the loss of customers and prospects that you paid dearly to acquire. It’s fifteen times less expensive to market to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, anything you can do to increase deliverability will be helpful.

Now Data Drives Email Marketing

shutterstock_155050016The proliferation of different marketing vehicles—social media, content marketing, advertising—has made some marketers wonder about whether email marketing is still an effective way to reach customers and make sales. And every time the question is raised, it seems, the answer is clearer than ever: email marketing remains one of the lowest cost, highest yield forms of marketing available today.

Consider these findings:

  • 80% of email subscribes subscribe to lists purely to receive coupons, discounts and deals, so marketers need to make sure to include these to keep subscribers engaged.
  • Email is still emerging as a powerful tool for gathering, analyzing and applying consumer data. In other words, test, test, test!
  • There’s a new emphasis on progressive profiling, on moving away from static profiles of customers and subscribers and into continuing to fill out their profiles with new data.
  • Marketers who provide interactive content are most likely to get actionable data and keep subscribers engaged.

“Now” data and “big” data combined allow marketers to deliver relevant content at the specific moment when people are looking to make decisions. This is extremely powerful, and it keeps subscribers engaged. As Kara Trivunovic has written recently over at Click-Z:

Instead of more data, what we really need is better data — and, that’s where email can help. The goal of email marketing is shifting away from data quantity (growing subscriber lists) toward maximizing data quality — expanding the depth and breadth of data about existing subscribers and leveraging that to maximize customer engagement and lifetime value. Email is an excellent vehicle for gathering better, richer data and applying that data to create a stronger, more personal connection with customers.

Better data is data that’s actionable, and that’s where “now” data comes in: it’s the data marketers receive whenever a subscriber clicks, opens, fills out a form, visits a webpage, or behaves in other ways that trigger immediate email responses from the marketer.

Smart marketers are driving their email marketing campaigns with now data, data that triggers responses, data that is immediately actionable and keeps subscribers engaged.