Email marketing is a bit of an odd duck: As other marketing channels have seen a distinct rise and fall in the face of social media and new communications technologies, email marketing still remains effective. In fact, despite all of our new ways to communicate, people still retain the use of their email for daily use. Receiving invoices, communicating with customers, etc.; sure, other platforms have sprung up for these communications, but none are as ubiquitous as email. That said, email marketing has aged, and therefore it has changed. Getting your emails opened, then read, then obeyed, is no easy task. It was hard in the beginning, and it’s super hard now that everyone and their mother is used to receiving promotional emails. Let’s take a look at how your emails can be the exception to the rule in a “no open” world.
Give before you take: Many marketers have gotten a lot smarter about this now, but it wasn’t always the case, and there are still many who fall flat on their face when balancing their value. Think about the reasons you follow the accounts you do on twitter. Think about which emails you open when they slide into your inbox. They’re the ones that are important to you, not the ones that sell and annoy you the most. Your customers are just like you, so make sure you’re building trust and value through emails that really offer something, before you every ask for any action(s) in return.
Avoid subject line cliches: This is the most controversial piece of advice here. Most people these days are used to the types of subject line formulas that have traditionally performed well, and haven’t realized that their effectiveness is dying down. Consider simply summarizing your subject lines in a way that makes them sound like they’re from a genuine person. Companies now more than ever perform better when viewed as individuals or collectives of individuals rather than businesses.
Keep it short: How many of you have received emails from some marketer whose email list you opted which are pages long? How many of you read them to the end? How many of you send these types of emails yourself? If you want an email to be a sales letter, keep it short, visual, and enticing, then use a CTA to get people to click out of an email and onto one of your pages where you have more control. People are turned off when they expect a helpful message and are greeted with a 9 paragraph sales letter in email form.
Get feedback: One really can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear back from your customers directly about how you’re doing and how they interact with your brand or your product. The assumptions you make may not be helping you at all, so it’s important that you reach out and invite feedback; you may just find that a slight tweak to your sales funnel could address something that is currently a huge conversion killer for your customers. This could take the form of either a personal email message or a survey.
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Pinterest only started in 2010, yet millions of users flock to the site daily. What sets Pinterest apart is that there has never been anything quite like it before. Imagine being able to pin just about anything you want on a virtual corkboard and you’ll get the essential idea of Pinterest. In addition, you’ll be able to organize these boards into topic-specific scrapbooks.
For businesses, Pinterest provides a way to pin a variety of company information, products, and services onto organized online boards. If you’re wondering if Pinterest is right for your own business, here are 5 benefits to consider:
* Pinterest will help drive more traffic back to your company website. Each time you pin something to a board, you can link what you pinned directly back to your site or blog by using the provided description area below the pin. Each pin comes with its own description box which allows you describe the product in 500 characters or less.
* Most Pinterest users are shoppers. In fact, Pinterest users typically buy more products and services than any of the other top social media sites. According to Nielson, many consumers purchase products and services after seeing them on Pinterest. Furthermore, numerous users visit Pinterest with the intention of purchasing. Although this doesn’t mean that every user will purchase a product, the chances of consumer purchases on Pinterest are favorable when compared to popular social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
* Pinterest offers business accounts. With a business account, you’ll be able to verify your company’s official website, which promotes trust and credibility to consumers. In addition, Pinterest offers a plethora of educational materials and tutorials to help businesses effectively market their services. For instance, some of the tutorials show businesses how to effectively create a company story, how to increase product exposure, how to build a Pinterest community, and practice tips to help your customer base grow.
* You can run contests on Pinterest. Creating a contest is an excellent way to drive in new customers by offering an incentive to those that help spread the word. Pinterest business users can create colorful product and service photos, pin them to a contest board, then offer a prize to the winner who re-pins or gets the most shares from one of your contest pictures. This will not only help your followers get more exposure, but it will allow your pins to be seen by their followers as well.
* You can have as many boards as you need. For example, you can use one specific board to organize conference notes and charts, another board for product photos, and yet another board for service descriptions. Pinterest also offers a simple way to organize the information on each board with a few simple clicks. Keep in mind that although Pinterest is an effective tool to get exposure for your products and services, you can also use boards for company conferences, training materials, and networking.