Email tip – Holiday email ideas to stand out

Every year, Americans spend almost $60 billion during Black Friday alone. With an influx of sales, promotions, special deals, and exclusive offers, how do you stand out? It’s all about catering to consumers’ needs.

Bill Haskitt, partner and head of Whereoware’s client marketing group, recently wrote an article for IBM on his three email tips to cash in on this year’s holiday shopping trends. Based on IBM’s 2014 Predictions report, he found that consumers are increasingly mobile shoppers motivated by personalized and relevant interactions with brands online and in-store. We know visuals help get the creative juices flowing, so we’re building off Bill’s blog post with examples of really awesome holiday emails that follow this year’s holiday trends.

Your consumers have gone mobile!

This year, more than half of all online sales will originate from a mobile device. You wouldn’t have your store front under construction and your inventory a mess, so don’t turn off customers with a terrible mobile experience. Make sure your mobile shopping platform is friendly, easy to use, and engaging.

williamsononmaA mobile-friendly email means your reader finds it just as easy to click through on their mobile devices as they do on their PC. 75% of emails are deleted if they can’t be read on a smartphone, so these emails have a big impact on your conversion rate.

Here, Williams-Sonoma has a great holiday offer – ‘gift of the day for 25 days’. This simple email is not only mobile-friendly, but by including the address of their closest brick and mortar store, it also hits our other two trends – personalizing and tying online and offline shopping together.

Not only do you want to capture your reader’s attention with a great email, you want their entire mobile shopping experience to be enjoyable. Take the Pottery Barn example below. They are having a holiday sale (par for the course), but their email design and shopping experience are on point.

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Web tip: sweeten the deal to grow your email list

Your company’s email list is gold. Email converts at a higher rate than other marketing tactics and keeps your brand top of mind with customers and leads. In fact, according to an infograph by QuickSprout, email converts at almost 2x the rate of search and 8x the rate of social, so when you’re deciding where to focus marketing energy, email is a clear winner.

Building and maintaining an effective email list isn’t for the faint of heart – email lists grow stale fast unless they’re nurtured with new faces and scrubbed clean of outdated addresses. Today, we’ll show you how our client Transpac Imports, Inc. leveraged existing sales to breath fresh air into their email list.

Incentivize  email sign ups

Incentivizing web visitors to take action – like signing up for your email list – is proven to increase conversion. Both tangible incentives, like a coupon or a free gift, or a value exchange, like awesome research and other digital resources, helps grow your list. Even well-known brands like Ann Taylor, Dockers, and New York & Company sweeten the deal to motivate email signups.

Capture emails. Grow your email list

Recycle promotions to motivate email sign ups 

We know it isn’t always feasible to dedicate a promotion to email signups. With the holidays right around the corner, you must be offering a sale or discount on something, right? Follow Transpac’s lead and repurpose your existing promotion to motivate website visitors to sign up for your email list.

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Google analytics tip – Using demographic data

How well do you know your website visitors? If you found out the majority of your visitors are women, would you change your marketing strategy? What if you found out your visitors are predominantly twenty-somethings, would you put more emphasis on social media?

You’re in luck. Google Analytics has a demographics report containing just the information you seek! Getting your hands on this data allows you to better target website content, ads, and creative to your unique audience. Accessing demographic data takes a few extra steps, but we promise, it’s simple and quick.

Setup

1. Access your Admin setting using the tab at the top of your screen
2. Select your account, and under property, access the property settingssetuptwo
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Behind the glasses – Jared

Jared3

Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For November, we get to know Jared Ruppert, our Online Marketing Manager, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?  Jared Ruppert
Job title:  Online Marketing Manager

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food:  Chipotle (but torn burritos break my heart)
Hidden Talent:  Undisputed Global Mario Kart Champion, Spotify Aficionado
One item you’d bring with you to a desert island and why:  Can I bring the cast of LOST?
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be:  A fireboat. Living on the water, fishing for food, and water cannoning zombies for fun.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter:  Twitter
iOS or Android:  iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’:  Dweeb (climbs into locker)
Star Wars or Star Trek?  Both are overrated (cue the boo’s) – so I’ll take Star Wars themed Family Guy episodes.

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?
Whereoware encourages us to be creative and innovative with our marketing strategy. I’m constantly learning and adapting to the fast paced digital marketing world – which allows me to branch out into other areas within the industry.

We’re also encouraged to bring our A-game in Halloween costume contests – which I don’t take lightly.

A smarter sales app for huge cost savings

See how Spotlight saves time + money.
Get the free case study.

Evergreen Enterprises, a B2B distributor of home + garden decor products, employs over 175 territory managers selling to retailers in territories across the U.S. and Canada. Evergreen needed a customized sales tool to meet the unique challenges of its complex sales team and national distribution channels.

Solution:
Evergreen Enterprises outfitted its team with Whereoware’s Spotlight for Sales Teams iPad application to increase sales and improve oversight of sales rep activity. With Spotlight, Evergreen Enterprises can showcase products, take orders, and monitor sales activity from the road. The addition of proximity search, lead scoring, and address verification are boosting productivity and saving Evergreen both time and money.

 Results:
•    New lead close rate increased 45% (scoring integration)
•    Reduced returned package fees by over 90% (address verification)
•    Saved money + time (proximity search)

Get our Beginner’s Silverpop Guide

We’ve taken our extensive Silverpop experience (eight years using the tool and 19 Silverpop Certified Pros) and developed a step-by-step Silverpop Email Build Guide to help you learn your way around the tool.

We go over the basics of designing, building, testing, and sending emails, cover email best practices, and recommend checklists to help you create emails that convert customers.

We hope this helps!

Email tip – how should marketers react to Google’s Inbox?

You’re not the only one overwhelmed by a zillion emails each day – Google’s developers are too. They’ve also noticed that consumers use their inbox for way more than just reading their email. For many people, their inbox is a virtual hub for daily life – a place to store important reminders, deadlines, documents, to-do lists, and personal and professional messages. Well, Google listened and delivered.

Meet Inbox

Inbox, Google’s new email app for Android, iOs, and the web, is taking the integration of social, email, and a to-do list to the next level. The app is consistent with Google’s minimalistic design style, but aesthetically more similar to a social network feed than the Gmail inbox look we’re used to.

Pictured on the New York Times,

Inbox

Inbox features / Impact on marketers

We’ve broken down Inbox’s features from what we’ve heard around the online water cooler. We’re also taking a stab at how it’ll impact email marketers.

Highlights is a big deal feature of Inbox.  Similar to most social networking feeds, you’ll see previews of your email messages with important information at-a-glance and photos on the main screen – before you click into the email. Highlights marries email with Google’s rich search functionality and automatically pulls real-time data from the web.

For example, an email from your airline will show real-time updates about your upcoming flight, without you having to click through to the airline’s website. You can click on the email to see the underlying message, but you won’t HAVE to click, and our guess is most people won’t bother to read the underlying message at all.

Impact – Highlights are going to shift the email marketers’ focus from snippet text to snippet content. Instead of scanning “send” names and subject lines, grabbing readers’ attention will take optimized graphics and real-time updates.

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Today’s Tech-Savvy Consumer – Adapt or Be Left Behind

Today’s consumer has different demands than previous generations. They’re technologically savvy and expect retailers to deliver an engaging customer experience both online and in-store, or they’ll simply shop elsewhere.

With unlimited access to product information, researching and purchasing a product should be easy. Consumers expect product details, peer reviews, and competitor pricing to be available both online and in retail stores to help them make an educated shopping decision. In fact, a new study from BIA/Kelsey and ConStat shows 97% of all consumers use some form of online media to research products, with an average of 7.9 different sources of information for local shopping.

Virtual DisplaysHow virtual displays bridge the gap

One way to cater to the educated shopper is to use interactive virtual displays (in-store tablets where consumers can shop or browse online). Virtual displays bridge the e-commerce and brick and mortar store gap; consumers can research product details on the spot and access products that may not be stocked in-store. They can dynamically see “related products,” opening the opportunity to purchase additional items. Furthermore, they can purchase and ship gifts to friends or home with the touch of a button on the tablet. Virtual displays offer brand consistency – letting customers shop seamlessly online or in-store.

Sales reps, meanwhile, are right there to answer customers’ questions and show them additional fabrics, sizes or colors, to nudge them towards a sale. Without limiting reps to in-store stock alone, there are more opportunities to upsell and satisfy customers’ trickier requests.

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Webinar recap – Best Friend Brands

We’ve all been there – you register in advance for a terrific webinar, but then life happens, and you miss it. You plan on listening to the recording, but just can’t squeeze in that hour of time. Don’t worry – we’re attending webinars left and right to summarize the key points for you. Let’s learn from industry rock stars together.

Yesterday, we attended Best Friend Brands: Tips for Getting into Your Customers’ Inner Circle, presented by Silverpop’s Dave Walters. (Full disclosure – we are a Silverpop partner. We love Silverpop and super smart and talented Dave Walters.)

Silverpop's Dave Walters
Companies are striving to differentiate themselves within extremely crowded and competitive markets. One way industry leaders get ahead is tapping into their brand’s inner circle – the few diehard, repeat customers, who always open their messages.

Top 5 Inner Circle

7billionAccording to Dave and in theme with the e-card (right), consumers build lasting relationships with only about 5 brands at a time. These select few are considered “best friend brands” that consumers are happy to engage with on a regular basis.

Throughout the webinar, Dave showed off his own 5 best friend brands (Delta Airlines, Creative Market, eBags, Gilt, and Spotify) and the awesome tactics and messages that won them entry into Dave’s inner circle. (Get the full presentation here.)

Growing your inner circle

Email is smarter and more effective today – it’s ultimately a channel of conversion and a powerful relationship-building tool. How can you leverage email to nurture your super fans, so they accept you into their inner circle?

1)  Be relevant – send messages based on individual customer’s interests and behavior.
2)  Be trustworthy – respect your email list. Your actions need to be consistent with your messaging. Don’t over-send, spam, or share email addresses with third parties.

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Web tip – 5 content marketing tips for e-commerce sites

Running an e-commerce site is a full-time job. You devote resources to selling your products, keeping your site updated, and gaining and maintaining your customer base. Content often falls to the bottom of the priority list, but we recommend you move it up the list.

Content marketing involves attracting and retaining customers without directly selling to them. Instead, you offer contextual, relevant, and intriguing information that customers find valuable. The goal is for those customers to reward your awesome content with a purchase – and eventually, they will. The Custom Content Council reported “61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content; they are also more likely to buy from that company.”

Engaging customers with relevant content enhances your brand interactions and builds loyalty to your company. In addition to keeping your customers coming back, content marketing attracts new customers. According to the HubSpot Marketing Benchmarks report “companies who increase blogging from 3-5x/month to 6-8x/month almost double their leads.” Content marketing should serve as the foundation for your marketing strategy, because it positively impacts social media, search engine optimization, public relations, pay-per-click, and outbound marketing. Get our 5 content marketing tips for e-commerce companies.

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