7th of August

How to Design a Website and Get It Online in 2017


Designing websites have gotten more and more easier in recent years. You no longer need to know HTML code to create your own website, as you would have had in, like, the nineties. There are plenty of services online that assist newbies to design websites. However, if you are completely unfamiliar with what web design is, then brace yourself for some much-needed research. You will have to read a lot before you start to create your website.

Before you get started, you will have to think about what kind of website you are planning to create. Do a Google search for different types of websites and see examples. Considering that you are already a web surfer, you will have a basic idea how different websites, like blogs or shopping sites, are designed. You will also need to know what goes behind the scenes of getting a site online, so to speak. You will need services like hosting (web based), a CMS, and security tools. Read below for a brief guide on how to create your own website and get it online these days:

Choose a CMS

The first step in creating your website is choosing the right content management system, or CMS as it is commonly referred to. A CMS is a platform like WordPress, Wix, Joomla, or Magento that people use to design sites. All CMSs are not equal. Some, like WordPress and Joomla, are easy to use and are intended for non-programmer web designers. Some CMS like Magento are specialised for e-commerce websites and have advanced features that only pros know how to use. Some CMSs are better for certain types of websites than other. If you are designing a blog, then WordPress is considered the best platform around. Joomla is a great WordPress alternative. So look around and find the right CMS for you. It would be easier if you already know what kind of website you want to create.

Come Up with a Domain Name

This is one of the most basic and crucial aspects of designing a website. The domain name is the web address of your site. It’s unique to your website, so you will have to create a domain no one else has used before. The domain should be simple and easy to remember. It also should not resemble other web addresses too closely to avoid confusion. You should give your domain an appropriate extension like .com or .org. You should also think about getting a country extension, like .au.

Find a Hosting Provider

Once you have come up with a domain name, you will need to find a hosting provider, where you will rent server space to get your website online. The hosting providers also typically register domain names. For a small website, you can easily find a shared hosting service. As your site gets bigger, you will need a better hosting service. Ask the provider the security features available that will protect your site from hackers.

Once everything is set up, you can go about designing your website using a web theme available in the CMS you choose. The design aspect is up to you to decide. But you might want to choose a good theme that makes your site stand out among millions of others. Also, when you choose the theme, make sure it fits the overall topic of your website.

10th of July

Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions


I’m going to give this to you straight. If you’re directing your hard-won PPC, Facebook, Twitter or banner ad traffic to your homepage…

There is a better way.

Conversion happens on landing pages.

And your homepage is not one of them.

Why?

Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up.

Let me show you what this looks like.

Where to Go (and How You Get There)

Picture this:

You’ve decided to go on vacation. You call up your travel agent. You tell him you’re in the mood for tropical climates, white sand beaches, and public intoxication.

I know just the place, he says.

Your travel agent, who moonlights as an Uber driver, picks up you up and you’re away. Ready to soak up that mojito-laden air.

But, instead of taking you to a resort, he drops you off at the airport. He leaves you there — with no idea where you’re going or what to do next.

See where I’m going with this?

You are the prospect and your travel agent/Uber driver is your ad.

You had an idea of what you wanted and where you wanted to go. But instead of him taking you there — you’re left in a crowded terminal with only one question:

What now?

Sure, you may meander around for a bit. You might even stumble upon a flight to a coastal city.

But, odds are, you’ll find someone else who will actually send you somewhere. Someone who will set you on the path to a beautiful and exotic land—ing page.

It’s About Awareness, Intent, and Direction

Every visitor who clicks on an ad, comes to your site or buys from you, is in a certain stage of problem awareness.

Here’s a brief a rundown on the five stages:

  1. Unaware – The first stage The prospect doesn’t know they have a problem. Enter Dwight. The marketer who works his nine to five, five days a week without issue or complaint.
  2. Problem-Aware – This stage comes after something triggers a feeling of discontent. A disconnect between desire and reality. It’s Dwight at his desk at 9:37am, realizing he feels burnt-out. He doesn’t know what he needs. He only knows he has a problem.
  3. Solution Aware – Vacation. He needs a vacation. The solution stage is when a prospect identifies a way to solve their problem. But, still unaware of the options. He doesn’t know where he can go to get the relaxation he needs.
  4. Product-Aware – Iceland? Sydney? Hawaii? The next stage is awareness of the available options. It’s a prospect knowing your solution exists and what it can do.
  5. Most-Aware – Dwight likes Hawaii. The final stage is when the prospect is not only aware of your solution but when it’s also the top contender.

What does this have to do with paid traffic?

Two things.

First, the awareness stage dictates what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it and how they got there.

In a word: Intent.

Second, knowing which stage a prospect is in allows you to write targeted ad copy. It’s the copywriting adage of joining the conversation that’s already going on in their head — in action.

And it’s not only your ads. Every page on your website addresses concerns at different levels of product awareness. The goal of paid ad campaigns is to prime for conversion by moving them through these stages.

So, which would better fulfil this goal? A homepage or a landing page?

If you answered homepage. Read on.

If you answered landing page. Nice. Read on.

Why Copywriters Hate Writing Homepages

I know what some of you are thinking:

Our homepage has the product on it. By sending traffic there, we’re making visitors product-aware. Plus, it’s littered with information about our value proposition. And THAT will move them into the most-aware stage. It’s the ultimate landing page. Bazinga.

Fair point. But, remember the ultimate goal is conversion. Convincing Dwight that Hawaii is the best place to be, doesn’t mean he’s booked the ticket. Getting to the final stage of awareness is still only awareness — not action.

And although visitors are “landing” on it, I’ll say this again:

A homepage is not a landing page.

Homepages are the gateway to the rest of your site. They are for visitors at every stage of awareness. This makes writing homepage copy a bit of a doozy.

But, landing pages are purpose-built conversion-machines. They follow an optimized set of design principles. Squeezing out every sign-up, opt-in and sale possible. They do this by adhering to a staple of conversion copywriting:

The Rule of One.

The Rule of One is to design each page with one reader and one big idea in mind. For example, Spotify’s landing page for a product-aware prospect (one-reader) with a free trial offer (one big idea):

spotify premium

No more, no less.
The purpose of the Rule of One is to convert. It gives a single visitor a single path.

This is why homepages are troublesome for copywriters. A homepage is for everybody, and so, it converts nobody. Sure, you may have a CTA above the fold, smack-dab in the center. But, how many conversions do you get compared to a purpose-built landing page?

A lot less, I’d assume.

Focus Trumps Clutter

The real problem with sending visitors to your homepage is onus of responsibility. You make them responsible for navigating through your site. You make themresponsible for finding your landing pages.

You make them responsible for your conversion rate.

Let’s go back to Dwight. He knows he has a problem. He needs a solution — so he Googles:

feel less stressed work google query

Dwight’s problem aware search query
And this ad comes up. What do you think he’d prefer to see when he clicks on it? A solution to his workplace woes? Or a page cluttered with links and information that may or may not be relevant?

Directing paid traffic to conversion relies on visitor expectation — join the conversation that’s already going on in their head.

If they’re in the problem stage, they’re expecting a solution. If they’re in the solution stage, they’re expecting a product.

Give it to them.

The first page they see plays a pivotal role in convincing them your offer is worth their time and attention — make it count.

There is already plenty of content out there on designing landing pages. So we won’t get into that here. But, there is one aspect of landing page design that makes it a conversion beast:

Variation.

As in, multiple, targeted and focused designs. Here’s an example: Instapage — a landing page building platform.

If anyone knows how to design landing pages, it should be them, right?

Now, here’s where you come in. You have a problem. You need landing pages. And you need them now.

You go on the Google machine and search for “how to build landing pages”. You scroll down and click a link to Instapage’s homepage:

instapage guarantee

Not a landing page.
Immediately you see menu items, a CTA button, and a video play button. There’s also “3 Brand New Design Features” to check out. You don’t even know the old features yet.

You’re at the airport.

Why are you here? Where do you go? What’s the next step?

Now for comparison, here is the landing page after clicking on the PPC ad for the same search query:

instapage landing page

Two roads did not diverge in a yellow wood.
See the difference?

The landing page has a clear path for the visitor to “GET STARTED NOW”. Clicking either button takes you to a page with a simple signup form — and nothing else. Below the fold, you see the features most pertinent to your search query: how to build landing pages.

instapage below the fold landing page

Should you get started or get started?
What’s more, every single clickable element leads to the same sign-up page as the first CTA button. Like Spotify’s landing page, it gives a single visitor a single path to conversion.

instapage customers tweet

Yes, even these testimonials at the bottom of the page are clickable.
The focus is on the visitor’s intent — anticipating their needs. And by presenting the right information, they meet their expectations.

Now, let’s see the search query: “high converting landing pages”. This is the PPC ad’s landing page:

instapage advertising landing page

Not only is the headline more ROI focused, but the hero image is also analytics-themed.
Again, above the fold there is a central focus — get started now. Below the fold are features relevant to the visitor’s intent and expectations. In comparison, the homepage now looks cluttered and directionless.

Targeted, focused, and relevant landing pages are the key to high conversions.

One company found their ad-specific landing pages outperformed their generic pages by 115%. And companies have seen a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

This is the beauty of directing paid traffic to landing pages. You can create them based on exactly what the visitor needs to see at their stage of awareness.

Homepages are static — There can be only one.

The Bottom Line

If you’re directing paid traffic to your homepage — you’re wasting your marketing budget.

Your homepage was never meant to be more than a central hub. A starting point. Whereas landing pages have every single element designed, tested and optimized for conversion.

You are paying money for this traffic.

If you currently have ads directed to your homepage, direct them to a relevant landing page. Go, now.

If you already direct them to a landing page, ask yourself:

  • Is this the most optimized landing page for the intended reader’s stage of awareness?
  • Does the landing page present information that they’d expect to see?
  • If it doesn’t, can I build another landing page that would be better suited?

Remember, Dwight needs the vacation. Don’t leave him wandering through the airport.

If you show him the boarding gate — he’ll get on the plane.

5th of July

How to Use Facebook as Your PR Engine


A PR agency’s job is to get your story in front of the press and potential customers.

It might set you back $5,000 per month.

But what if you could get the same—if not better—results yourself, by using Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are one of your biggest business opportunities. The targeting capabilities, the tracking functionality and the low cost of getting started means they beat any other form of advertising hands down. If you’re not using Facebook ads as part of your overall marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick.

Facebook has a neat little feature called workplace targeting that many people don’t even know about—and from a PR perspective, it could save you thousands of dollars every month.

Let’s see how.

How to Target the Media on Facebook

When you think about Facebook targeting, you might think it’s all about location, age and interest-based targeting. But when you dive into the demographical data we can use to target people, it goes much deeper than that.

Let’s take a second to think about the data Facebook has. There are 1.94 billion active monthly users on Facebook, and over 1 billion people use the platform every single day.

That’s a lot of data. I’ve personally been on Facebook for over 10 years. During the course of those 10 years, Facebook will have amassed a huge amount of data about me: the pages I’ve liked, posts I’ve reacted to, photos I’ve uploaded, places I’ve checked in, links I’ve clicked on and sites I’ve visited, to name a few. They’ll understand how my behavior has changed over time. When we combine that with the data they have about my Instagram and Whatsapp usage (not to mention data from third-party partners), we’re starting to talk real big data.

As they say, if you don’t pay for a product, you are the product. This might sound slightly daunting to a user, but as a marketer, it’s a huge opportunity—an opportunity you need to be taking advantage of.

When we use workplace targeting to target people based on where they work, we’re simply using the data Facebook gathers when you create your profile.

It’s a targeting feature that many people don’t know about, but it’s one that can be super powerful. Here’s how to do it:

Using Facebook Workplace Targeting

Presuming you already have an advertising account, when you’re in the ads manager, click on create advert.

You’ll be taken here, where you need to choose your campaign objective. You can target the media through any objective, so what you choose here will be entirely dependent upon your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to take a specific action, such as download an eBook, you’ll want to choose the conversions objective. If your goal is to drive traffic to a blog post, you might want to use the traffic objective.

The objective you choose will alter how Facebook optimizes your ads (if you choose conversions, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to convert. If you choose traffic, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to click through). Again, Facebook has data on what action you’re most likely to take, based on your user behavior.

Facebook auction advertising options

Name your campaign and click continue.

You’ll then be taken to the ad set level where you get to choose your targeting options. Your ad set is basically a place where you tell Facebook how you want your advertisement to run. Your options here include:

  • Targeting
  • Placement
  • Budget
  • Bidding
  • Scheduling

Targeting is what we’re interested in here. Find the detailed targeting box, then hit browse > demographics > work > employers.

Here, you can enter the names of the companies you want to target. This will target the employees of the companies you choose. If we’re looking to get some PR, we want to choose media companies as the employers.

targeting bbc facebook

You can go ahead and fill that detailed targeting box with as many companies as you’d like to target.

facebook targeting

I’d recommend creating a list of all the media companies you think might be interested in what you do and any stories you produce. You can then save that audience and come back to it whenever you want to target the media again. I’ll often target the media companies even when I don’t have anything to pitch them—just to keep myself top of their minds.

save audience Facebook ad manager

You’ll then have an audience you can target whenever you have something you feel is media-worthy! Here’s an audience I created of people who work for media companies:

employer targeting media Facebook advertising audience

As a marketer, getting into the media and onto podcasts, writing guest blog postsand connecting with influencers are all great ways to reach and provide value to new audiences. But the people with the power to get you onto these mediums (the owners, journalists, hosts etc.) are inundated every day by people requesting to be on their show or to write a guest post for them. Do you think they want to receive any more requests than they already do?

Definitely not.

Why not do something to stand out from the crowd? Jump on to Facebook, find the person who owns the podcast/blog you want to appear on, see what they’ve put as their company name and then create an ad targeting employees of that company.

In your ad copy, you can specify that you love their podcast/blog and would like to appear on it. What’s gonna stand out more—a boring email pitch or a creative ad?

The ad will win all day long—it’s fun, it’s different and it’s relevant.

Alternative benefits

Workplace targeting doesn’t just offer media/PR benefits. It can literally be used for anything, whether that’s lead generation, getting meetings with specific people or using it to get your next job.

I’ve used this tactic to get meetings with people many times. For example, I wanted to meet the team at Social Chain. After emailing a few times to no avail, I decided to run an ad targeting employees of Social Chain.

man targeting media through Facebook advertising

After only $.39 spend, I had a message from the CEO inviting me down to the office the next week. Crazy, right? Every marketer has a list of companies they want to meet/work with. Rather than sending them cold emails, why not create Facebook ads targeting the employees or CEO of that company?

Relevancy

Relevancy is the key to why this works so well. If you pinpoint an ad to someone and call them out based on how you targeted them—for example, by targeting people that work for ‘x’ company and using copy such as ‘work for ‘x’?’—of course they’re going to click on that ad! Why wouldn’t they when it’s so relevant to them?

But at the same time, just because you’ve used their workplace or job title as the identifier, it doesn’t mean the ad or message you’re trying to get across is interesting to them. There are more than 5 million advertisers on Facebook, of which a small percentage will be targeting you, trying to get their message in your feed. Some of them may have identified you by your job title, while others may have identified you by your interests.

This is where having great ad creative is important. The targeting functionality allows us to get our message in front of the right people with ease. But that doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be interested in what we have to say. Great targeting can’t fix poor messaging. Understand the mindset of Facebook users and serve them an ad that is truly valuable and relevant to them.

Final Thoughts

How can a PR agency compete with results like this—instant results for a tiny spend? Now, the point of this article isn’t to suggest that PR agencies are dead. They still have a place, but if you’re looking to get into the media or to target specific companies, Facebook ads might be your best bet.

The great thing is, you don’t need huge budgets to get results. You can get started from as little as $1 a day. Once you’ve tested and played around with this method, you can scale your budget to as high as you like.

30th of June

29 Inspiring Examples of Behaviorally-Targeted Emails You’ll Need to See to Believe


When it comes to creating behaviorally-targeted marketing emails, we could all use a little inspiration.

After all, there are so many potential actions a customer can take that would trigger an email – how do you decide which ones are worth investing the time to create? Below are some of our favorite examples from brands across a wide range of industries. In addition to the examples, you’ll also get invaluable tips on what makes them so appealing to the customer. Read on for all the details.

  1. Onboarding Email Examples

  2. Airbnb
  3. Runkeeper
  4. Kissmetrics
  5. Asana
  6. Cart Abandonment Email Examples

  7. Pinterest
  8. Chewy
  9. Adidas
  10. Upsell Email Examples

  11. Men’s Health
  12. Women’s Health
  13. Dropbox
  14. Spotify
  15. Harry’s
  16. Follow-up Email Examples

  17. MeetEdgar
  18. Airbnb
  19. OptinMonster
  20. Kickstarter
  21. Pinterest
  22. Codecademy
  23. Bodybuilding.com
  24. Upwork
  25. Notification Email Examples

  26. Slack
  27. Redfin
  28. Spotify
  29. Netflix
  30. Quora
  31. Facebook
  32. Trial Ended Email Examples

  33. Avocode
  34. Kissmetrics
  35. Shopify

Onboarding Email Example

Onboarding is the process of getting a user or customer acclimated to your brand and product. Although it’s most often used in human resources departments to get an employee up to speed on company culture and processes, it can also be used in email marketing to help prospects become more comfortable with your product or service and more receptive to an offer.

Airbnb

airbnb make yourself at home email

Image Source
Airbnb immediately tickles your travel fancy by showing you the average rate of places in a variety of cities that are perfect to visit in the fall. Whether you love the foliage of Vermont or the azure skies of New Mexico, you’ll be tempted to start clicking right away.

This is a great way for Airbnb and its hosts to make extra money during typical travel downtime. Since the summer rush is over, homeowners in popular areas may be looking for ways to keep up their earnings in the off-season. This onboarding email welcomes clicks with open arms while appealing to customers who want to avoid the summer crowds. The SuperHost mention also helps newcomers know what to look for when choosing a place, so they feel safer and more secure in their decision.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is an app that helps you track and save your runs and other physical activity. But if you haven’t used the app or a fitness tracking device before, where do you start? Many people never take the time to start an activity even if they have the tools because getting started can be confusing and challenging.

RunKeeper’s onboarding email helps take all of the mystery out of logging fitness activities with this step-by-step example. Whether you decide to track and save your runs through the website or through the app, these simple instructions and the large call to action button will help make the process much simpler and easier to understand.

Kissmetrics

As an analytics and engagement platform, Kissmetrics requires a pretty extensive setup process – which makes onboarding crucial. There are a number of steps a user has to go through before they can really start using Kissmetrics and getting the full value out of it. The first step is installing the JavaScript. After a user does that, they receive this email:

javascript javascript installed email

They also include the progress bar, to see how far along they are in completing onboarding as well as the next steps they need to take.

Asana

Asana makes it clear how many emails the new will receive, and the CTA is unmissable – just click the Play button to get started.

asana new user onboarding email series

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Cart Abandonment Email Examples

Cart abandonment reminders are one of the most common types of behaviorally targeted emails. But that doesn’t mean they have to be bland or canned-sounding responses. Check out what these companies have done to make their cart abandonment emails more enticing to the recipients:

Pinterest

pinterest cart email

Image Source
Pinterest always does a good job with their emails and this one is no exception. If you’ve pinned an item that’s for sale, but you ultimately don’t purchase it, Pinterest will notify you not only to remind you of the item, but when the price is lowered on it as well. So not only does the user get a reminder that one of their for-sale pinned items is still available, but that they can also get it at a discount — a win-win in the customer’s eyes!

Chewy

chewy saved your cart email

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Sometimes the simplest, most direct emails are the best — and Chewy.com demonstrates this perfectly with their saved cart emails. Not only do they give you one-click access to view your cart, but also let you know how you can save by enabling autoship.

They further help seal the deal with mentions of free shipping when you spend a certain amount, 24/7 customer service, easy returns and a satisfaction guarantee. And should the user have any questions, there’s a fully staffed customer service toll free number ready to lend a paw.

Adidas

adidas out of stock cart email

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Adidas has a unique spin on how they handle their shopping cart. Rather than leaving you empty handed when the item you’re looking at is out of stock or otherwise unavailable, they’ll send you an order update when the item is back in stock. You can then choose to continue shopping or browsing. But rather than keep you waiting forever, this email notification only updates you if the item is found within two weeks.

Upsell Email Examples

But wait, there’s more! Upsell emails are designed to make you an irresistible offer. These brands have learned that the more enticing the upsell, the more likely you’ll want to take advantage of it. Each one of these brands has approached it in their own unique way, however, that fits in perfectly with their end conversion goals.

Men’s Health

mens health upsell email

This email comes from a Men’s Health online program called MetaShred. It’s a free day-by-day workout plan delivered by email. This email, sent on day 1, showcases not just the steps to take, but why you should do them. Each day a new muscle group exercise is sent via email, so the user is never left feeling bored or uninspired.

On the last day of the free workout plan, an upsell to MetaShred Extreme is provided. But rather than the focus being all about the paid program, the author of the course still focuses on providing value through tips and suggestions:

The free offer is essentially designed to give readers a taste of what the Extreme version is like — without the hard sell on the paid version. Every email is all about delivering value, which in turn makes users more comfortable with taking them up on the offer to the more extreme version after they’ve seen results from a week of following the free plan. In the reader’s mind, if this is what the free version is like, the paid one must be even better!

Women’s Health

womens health magazine subscription email

Women’s Health magazine follows a more visually oriented approach – tempting users with a free issue first and foremost, along with a whopping 15 different guides on everything from eating better to better sex. When you load the free offer with other items of similar value, and no obligation to continue, people will often take the initiative to try things out — if only just to get the freebies.

However, what often happens is that the advice is helpful to the point where they’d like to continue receiving the magazine and learning even more tips — which in turn opens up the opportunity for even more upsells in the future.

Dropbox

This list would be remissed if it didn’t include a collection of emails from everyone’s favorite online storage service. And Dropbox doesn’t disappoint. When you first sign up, you’re encouraged to download the Dropbox app on your phone and computer:

dropbox onboarding email

But that’s only the beginning. Once you install Dropbox, you’re given the next step:

dropbox linked to computer email

The user can continue following the guided tour online, but even after finishing the setup process, Dropbox still nudges the user to install it on multiple computers – without being intrusive:

dropbox download email

As the user continues to work with the program, Dropbox will periodically send emails offering more space — either by referring friends, upgrading to the Business suite and so on. It only does this if the user’s existing Dropbox space is getting a little cramped, so these perfectly timed emails represent the perfect opportunity to gently guide the user from free to paid status.

Spotify

While Spotify receives the majority of their revenue from user subscriptions, they have another revenue channel – merchandise and concert sales. If you listen to any specific artist enough, you’ll receive offers when the artist goes on tour.

spotify lcd soundsystem early access email offer

These emails are behaviorally triggered because the user listens to a particular artist and receives an email based on their listening history. This makes them very targeted as well.

Harry’s

Harry’s, the shaving company competing with Dollar Shave Club, sends this upsell email to customers.

harrys foaming gel upsell email

Image Source
Since Harry’s sells shaving products, this foaming gel is relevant to 100% of their customer base. So when they release a new shaving product, they can email their entire customer base and know there will be interest. Or, to behaviorally target them, they can be sent to customers who recently purchased, or may have purchased a shaver without a shave gel.

Follow-up Email Examples

Not quite a cart abandonment email, but not quite an onboarding email, follow-ups fall somewhere in between — often teaching the user a new tip or trick to getting the most out of their favorite services. These can be sent to users who have signed up but not completed the process, requested an invitation but not followed through, or who simply haven’t logged in for awhile.

MeetEdgar

meetedgar follow up email

MeetEdgar is a social media management and integration suite, and they start off their onboarding process after you sign up by asking you a simple yes or no question about how you currently manage your social media updates. They follow up by letting you know how much Edgar will simplify your social media management, and the large call to action button makes it plain to see precisely which action they want you to take.

If you don’t respond, however, they follow up with another email – encouraging you to accept the invitation to “MeetEdgar” and then sprinkling in a few testimonials sharing how Edgar has helped others:

meetedgar drip email

If that still doesn’t encourage you, they decide to switch tactics a bit, and focus less on you meeting a digital cephalopod and more of you meeting and working with a human being:

meet edgar schedule demo drip email

With your Outreach Specialist, you can then schedule a demo to see how the platform works. Further follow-up emails invite you to participate in a Getting Started webinar, and so on — demonstrating that Edgar has his tentacles in a wide variety of channels to make users feel more comfortable and empowered in how they manage social media.

Airbnb

Been looking at a specific location on Airbnb? Expect to receive an email with top destinations at that location:

airbnb destinations triggered email

These types of retargeting emails will only work if you’re an Airbnb user and logged in while browsing those locations. Amazon sends similar emails when they email you about items that are similar to the ones you’ve been shopping for.

OptinMonster

This optin plugin has a very clever set of follow-up emails that bank on urgency to encourage the user to take action. The first is a simple check-in with the subject line – “is everything ok?”

optinmonster everything okay drip email

This follow-up email is a hybrid — it looks like an order fulfillment “oops!” at first glance, but mingles in elements of a typical abandoned cart message as well. If you don’t follow through with your purchase, however, things turn a bit more concerning:

account on hold optinmonster email

This type of “one on one approach” — that “I found your order” and that “your account is on hold” may be enough to spur action, but unlike other emails in the onboarding collection you’ll find here, there’s no compelling reason to want to continue with the order process. Where are the user testimonials? The demo or getting started video?

This should serve as a reminder that urgency alone isn’t often enough to seal the deal – even if it’s targeted by a customer’s behavior. OptinMonster makes another last ditch attempt with another compelling subject line:

optinmonster deleting account drip

“I’m deleting your account” sounds pretty harsh.The open rates on this email might be decent, but one has to wonder if this sense of “your account will be gone forever…but it can still be saved!” is a bit too dramatic. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

This set of follow-up emails was included in this list as it may be the right angle for some services. However, I’d suggest that if you are creating a follow-up sequence, to try out the Edgar approach over the OptinMonster one, as I personally wouldn’t be inclined to take any action if there was a risk of my account being deleted – even if it is a bluff.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is great for getting funding for projects and ideas – but what happens after your idea is funded? To avoid people using the system once and leaving, Kickstarter sends this follow-up email when a user’s project is successfully funded. It not only provides tips and insights into what makes a successfully-funded project really shine, but also how to keep project backers in-the-loop.

kickstarter abandoned user email

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Pinterest

Pinterest’s emails are always a treat for the eyes, and the marketing brain. Here, they encourage users to follow up by starting a conversation around a pin (or sending one back). Many people who use Pinterest for the first time primarily use it to save pins to their pinboard for future inspiration. But there are many more uses for Pinterest, and this follow-up email encourages users to get back into the action and start conversations around their favorite pins.

pinterest followup email

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Codecademy

SaaS companies need their users to login and use the product. If they aren’t logging in, they aren’t using the product. And if they aren’t using the product, they aren’t getting value out of it, which means churn is inevitable.

Here’s the email Codecademy sends when a user stops logging in and taking a course:

codecademy follow up email

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This email encourages the user to “join the crowd” and keep coding.

Bodybuilding.com

As an e-commerce company, bodybuilding.com sends their customers emails if they haven’t ordered in a couple months:

bodybuilding.com come back 10 percent off order

While this email seems like it’s coming from the CEO, it’s actually triggered after their system sees that the customer hasn’t re-ordered.

Before that email is sent, they send a follow-up email to get the customer re-engaged with the content area of their site:

bodybuilding.com promoting content

In some cases, they’ll point people a specific article that is related to their purchase:

bodybuilding.com follow up email

These customer service emails are great because they let the customer know that they care about their order, makes it easy to email them, and keeps them engaged with the company.

Upwork

Freelance marketplace Upwork (formerly known as oDesk) sends an email to users after they stop using the services for a few months.

upwork customer win back email

The subject line for this email was, “Save $100 when you come back to Upwork”. $100 in free work may seem like a lot, but it can be enough to entice an abandoned user to come back and try the service, and they may end up spending more that it makes up for the cost that Upwork has to expend up front.

Notification Email Examples

These emails are sent as a result of inactivity or simply when new things happen and the user hasn’t been seen it yet. These emails serve to alert your users of important activities going on in your app or store.

Slack

If you’re a Slack user, you’ve undoubtedly received the email notification when someone sends you a message that you haven’t read.

slack unread message sent email

These sort of “inactivity” emails are a very common triggered email. They’re similar to an e-commerce sending emails to customers who haven’t ordered in a while, or have abandoned their cart.

Redfin

Looking to buy a home? If you use Redfin and are looking in a specific area, Redfin will send you a monthly “market report” that contains all the market details for the area that you’re looking at.

redfin triggered email

They’ll also send you emails when new homes are available in the area you’ve been searching.

redfin new homes available triggered email
What’s great about this email is the format and CTAs. You have two options – view more details or go straight to scheduling a tour.

Spotify

For Spotify, a listening user is an engaged user. If they’re listening, they’re engaged and getting value out of the product. And part of staying engaged is listening to new music from their favorite artists. So when Spotify knows your most-listened to artists, they’ll send you an email when they release new music.

ryan adams prisoner spotify release email

The CTA “Listen Now” takes you straight to listening to the new album.

Netflix

Much like Spotify, Netflix will send you an email when a show you’ve been watching releases a new season.

netflix triggered email

They’ll also send a “suggested” show based on your viewing history and rating.

netflix adds new show you may like

And if you’re not interested in the new suggested show, they have popular options that just dropped.

Quora

Quora wants most or all of their users to be registered. And there’s a reason for this – they want to know who you are, what you’re reading, so they can send you emails with new threads that are relevant to your interests. If you’ve been reading about airplanes or have it as a topic of interest, they’ll send you emails to new threads, threads with new answers, or threads you haven’t read yet.

quora reading digest behavioral email

And this goes for all topics – it isn’t just airplanes. They may also send you more popular threads that may not be a topic of interest to you, but nevertheless get you to open the email and click through to the app or website.

Facebook

Been out of Facebook for a while? Prepare for a barrage of notifications and emails telling you what you’ve been missing. Facebook will do everything short of sending Mark Zuckerberg to knock on your door and ask you to log back in.

Facebook someone commented on someone's status email

These notifications, while annoying, often work for a company like Facebook. They exploit the fear of missing out in people, which causes them to log back and start using Facebook and being a part of the community once again.

Trial Ended Email Examples

Goodbye doesn’t have to mean forever – and these example behaviorally-targeted emails perfectly demonstrate that although the free trial is over, the really good stuff is just getting started.

Avocode

trial ended behaviorally triggered email

If you design layouts regularly in Adobe Photoshop and want to convert them to an app format, Avocode is an intuitive way to do just that. But if your trial ends, does that mean all your designs are gone too? Fortunately, that isn’t the case. After your trial ends at Avocode, you’re encouraged to continue the service and reinstate access to your designs by simply entering your billing information.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics’ email focuses on what the user will get if they don’t upgrade the plan.

kissmetrics upgrade plan email
The two CTAs make it clear what the next step is – upgrading the plan so they can keep using the analytics & engagement platform.

Shopify

store closed triggered email

Much like Avocode, online store platform Shopify follows a similar tactic in letting users know that their free trial store is closed, but that it’s easy to reopen and get back to selling as long as you enter your billing details and pick your plan. Should the user have any questions, a toll free number or online contact form are available within a single click to help.

With both of these trial ended options, the user’s data is kept intact at all times, and they only need to enter billing details to get back up and running. This is an excellent strategy not only for helping build customer goodwill and retention, but also one that demonstrates the company’s service in a way helps build trust and credibility.

Getting Started with Behaviorally Targeted Emails

By now you should be bursting at the seams with new ideas for your behaviorally targeted emails. But how do you get started?

Kissmetrics Campaigns is a great way to start creating behavior-based emails and improving customer engagement while increasing retention rates and lessening churn. Learn more about Kissmetrics Campaigns by watching the video below:

And if you’re already using behaviorally targeted emails in your campaigns, tell us about it! Have you used any of the methods or strategies shown here in your own campaigns? How did they work out for you? We’d love to hear about your triumphs and success stories, so be sure to share them in the comments below!

29th of June

The Power of Email + The Psychology of Social Proof = The Social Email


Out with the old, and in with the new. That’s the expression. The old? Email marketing. It’s just so 2010. The new? Social…media, proof, marketing.

Just look at the proliferation and popularity of social media platforms – Facebook alone has 1.94 billion monthly active users – and the increasing use of social ads. Facebook again leads the charge, earning $7.857 billion in the first quarter of 2017 from advertising revenue.

So, goodbye email. Hello all things social. That’s the way of the future.

But the thing is, no one told email that it’s past its prime. In fact, it continues to run circles around all other marketing tactics. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined according to a survey of US marketing execs.

The most recent research says there are roughly 3.7 billion email users worldwide (makes Facebook look puny by comparison, no?). We send a collective 269 billion emails each day, and that’s predicted to hit just under 320 billion by 2021.

Email is far from obsolete. It’s far-reaching. It’s effective. And it’s still growing.

email marketing acquisition and retention
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consumers prefer at least monthly promotional email
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Email is where it’s at. Still. It’s affordable. It’s easy. It’s fast. It checks all the boxes. It absolutely must be part of your marketing plan.

“If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot.” ~ Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers

Harsh, but so very true.

But here’s the kicker: you can make your email marketing – a wonderful tactic all by itself – even better. In the email vs social debate, it’s not an either/or choice.

Use both. Together. Ladies and gentlemen, the social email.

The Power of Social Proof

This is not an article on email marketing best practices, per se. There are plenty of those out there. Instead, we’re going to look at just one tactic. Just one often overlooked strategy you should be using with your email marketing.

Social proof. And it’s a lot more than just social media.

Together, it combines the power and effectiveness of email with the popularity and psychology of social proof. That’s a dynamic duo.

What is Social Proof?

Ever choose a restaurant because of how many rave reviews it had on Yelp, or decided to subscribe to an online business because of the number of fans, likes, or followers they have? That’s social proof in action.

Put simply, people trust people, not ads or self-promotion. We want to see or hear or read about others using, enjoying, and succeeding with a product or service before committing to it ourselves. Safety in numbers.

social proof stars

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It plays off our basic human need to belong. Our behavior is influenced by what the majority is already doing. We want in that group.

Social proof is so compelling that Robert Cialdini made it one of his six “weapons” of persuasion in his landmark book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

You want that kind of strength in your email campaigns. And you can get it.

Email + Social Proof = The Social Email

Adding a dose of social proof to your emails is easy, and there are many ways you could do it. Finding the right one is a combination of research and testing on youraudience.

Ratings, reviews, media logos, testimonials, endorsements, trust badges, shares, social counts, case studies, user-generated content, and more.

To get started, try these 4 workhorses and build from there.

Show Them the Numbers

Everyone gets numbers. Simple. Straightforward. If you have 207,000 subscribers, mention it. If 87% of first-time buyers become repeat customers, tell them. If users save an average of $73/week using your service, highlight it. If you have 22,000 clients, include it in your headline or subject line.

Impressive numbers establish trust, increase your credibility, and appeal to our sense of wanting to belong. Use it.

While you’re at it, make it easy for them to share your email content by including social sharing buttons. Just keep it reasonable: 2-3 seems to be the sweet spot. Too much choice and they won’t bother. Neil Patel saw a 29% decrease in sharingwhen he went from 3 to 5 sharing buttons.

What’s the Word?

Reviews, ratings, and testimonials are the simplest and most effective way to leverage social proof.

Nearly 70% of Americans turn to review sites when making a purchase decision, while 82% look for recommendations. Remarkably, 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

So include them at the bottom of your email. Use real photos of real people whenever possible. Link to favorable review sites.

You can even feed this machine by using a “Review This Item” link in confirmation and receipt emails. 70% will leave a review if asked according to BrightLocal.

The Halo Effect

By including the names and logos of well-known brands that you work with or have used your product, media outlets that have featured you or your brand, or awards you’ve won, you can harness the power of the halo effect.

kissmetrics social proof on homepage

Because people already know and trust recognizable brand names and logos, they tend to have a higher, more positive opinion of you by association. And that typically means more conversions.

It’s best to use logos that link directly to the corresponding article, press release, or website. Quicksprout saw their CVR dip by 9.9% when they removed logos from their site.

The more famous and favorable the logo or award, the stronger the halo effect for you. An “As Featured In” or “Awarded/Certified” blurb in your email signature shows them you’re legit and can be trusted.

The Case Study Nudge

For more expensive purchases or lengthier commitments, you may want to include a case study to give them an extra little push.

Case studies are social proof to the nth degree, your greatest hits, your best side to the camera and best foot forward. It shows exactly how real people or businesses are using your product to wild success in the real world.

Necessary for a one-time purchase of $25? Probably not. But a recurring monthly fee of $399? It provides the extra proof they might need to pull that trigger.

Entice them with a brief headline – “See how I increased ROI by 348% for John Doe” – and link to the case study in your email signature.

Getting It Done

Most email marketing solutions like MailChimpSmartMailKissmetrics Campaigns, and AWeber have tools and integration to make it easy. That’s your best bet.

Plugins can help with social countersreviewsratings, and social sharing.

Analytics can provide conversion and traffic numbers.

An email signature generator like these from Hubspot or Exclaimer can simplify including everything you want.

Use screen capture services like Skitch.

The tools are available. It’s up to you to find and use them in these and other ways. Make it a core strategy on your email channel. Look to others for inspiration.

Exceedingly effective and incredibly irresistible. That’s the end result of email and social proof.