Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

5 Keys to Successful Email Marketing

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

successful email marketing

Successful email marketing is a critical, and often overlooked, element of digital marketing.

According to an article on Inc:

But after a couple decades of Nigerian prince schemes, Spanish lotto scams, and mountains of unsolicited spam (which is never a good marketing tactic), how do people feel about email now? Is it still a worthwhile tactic for small-business owners and marketers to pursue?

The simple answer is yes.

Take a look at the graphic below and you’ll see how important successful email marketing is to your bottom line–generating nearly 2X the ROI of the next more cost-effective tactic.

successful email marketing

Image courtesy of Data Mentors

Successful email marketing

Successful email marketing requires 2 tactics: 1) list building and 2) email campaigns.

So, you’ve really got your work cut out for you. Here are some tips to get you started:

List building

Before you can have a successful email marketing campaign, you need a good list. In the bad old days before CAN-SPAM, you could simply buy a list and spam a bunch of folks with your message. Some experts advised against such “cold messaging”, but it worked well if you were very selective in purchasing a list of likely buyers. List buying was an art in those days and I got paid a lot of money to guide businesses on which list purchases were likely to result in high returns. And, selling lists is what kept a lot of small, specialty magazines in business–they provided unique access to highly targeted subscribers.

Now, of course, you can’t buy lists, so you have to develop your own (and comply with CAN-SPAM regulations which you can find by following the link above). Since, the law makes your email client (for instance, Constant Contact, AWeber, or MailChimp) responsible for your violations, they can get hit with a big fine, so they’re invested in keeping you honest in this.

So how do you go about building a list?

  1. Include your sign-up form everywhere-on the home page and each page of your website, in your store (if you’re a brick and mortar), at events, on social platforms …
  2. Offer something (like an ebook, coupon, etc) in exchange for signing up for your email list
  3. Don’t ask for information you don’t need so it’s fast and easy for visitors to sign up. Maybe all you need is an email address and name. Don’t forget you can get additional information after they sign up.
  4. Make your sign-up form obvious without interfering with user experience (I hate those popups that block content until you either sign up or x out). I prefer a small band at the bottom of the screen that asks for an email address or something that pops up as the visitor starts to scroll away from your site. Remember, your website is critical for SEO and you don’t want to mess with anything that reduces visits, bounces, or time on site.
  5. When you send an email, include social sharing and the ability to subscribers to forward your email to a friend. These are great ways to build your list.

Email marketing campaigns

Your email client should make it easy to create attractive and professional email campaigns to subscribers. I use AWeber because of their flexibility and ease of creating campaigns (they recently added drag and drop capabilities).

Here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your campaigns:

  • Your goal. What do you hope to accomplish with the email.
  • Timing — how often, time of day, day of week, etc. Sure, email is available whenever a user wants to view it, but it’s more likely to get opened soon after it’s sent. The better your timing, the better your open rate.
  • Optimize open rates with a great pre-header, the description users see when they check their email. Check out the image below:

successful email marketing

  • Make your email easy to read and inviting on multiple screens (especially mobile) with great design.

Keys to successful email marketing campaigns

1. Strong content

Just like everything in marketing, the message is everything.

  • Make your content (both text and images) attractive and inviting, use lots of white space and a little humor doesn’t hurt. The more an email looks like a personal conversation with a friend, the better it will perform.
  • Personalization doesn’t end with including the person’s name. Make the email look like it was designed especially for each reader.
  • Don’t waste your readers’ time with nonsense: say what you need and provide links to more information.

2. Timing

You don’t want to overload your readers by sending too many emails, but you want to use your email marketing to build loyalty and engagement with your target audience. That’s a tight balancing act.

And, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A good gauge of the right frequency comes from analytics. If your open rates drop or you start getting complaints or a bunch of folks unsubscribe, you’re probably emailing too often. If you’re not getting folks unsubscribing or complaining, you could probably send more frequent emails.

The key is to send emails when you have something worth saying to your audience.

3. Use marketing automation

Marketing automation often receives a negative knee-jerk reaction because it sounds like you’re treating your subscribers as robots who all get treated the same. But, it’s actually the opposite. Whether you prefer Salesforce or Hubspot or some other marketing automation tool, successful email marketing requires you send the right content to the right people at the right time and that means using marketing automation.

No marketing automation platform works well unless you spend time keeping information up-to-date to ensure the content the subscriber receives is targeted to their product interests, stage in the customer journey, and other key elements, like gender.

4. Use analytics

The wonders of digital marketing provide a plethora of metrics which should guide every marketing decision you make. Here are some metrics you should watch:

  • Subscriber data such as new subscribers and unsubscribes
  • Performance of your email form–I do this by setting up goals in Google Analytics, but AWeber also shows me how many times my form was shown and how many subscribers were generated. I periodically do A/B testing to determine the optimal form, placement, etc.
  • Campaign performance–how many opens, how many clicks, and, if you’ve installed tracking codes, goal completions based on each campaign.

5. Mobile-friendly

Making your content mobile-friendly is a key to successful email marketing. According to Buffer, 47% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Here’s their advice for making your content easier for mobile users:

  • Convert your email to a one column template for an easy mobile fix.
  • Bump up the font size for improved readability on smart phones.
  • Follow the iOS guideline of buttons at least 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall.
  • Make the call-to-action obvious and easy to tap. Above the fold is preferable.
  • Consider ergonomics. Many users tap and scroll with their thumb, so keep important tappable elements in the middle of the screen.

The do’s and don’ts of successful email marketing

Here’s a nice infographic if you want more keys to successful email marketing:

successful email marketing

Infographic courtesy of: Campaign Monitor

This article originally appeared in Hausman Marketing Letter.

This article was written by Angela Hausman and PhD from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Back-to-School Marketing in the 21st Century

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Goddard Systems’ VP of Marketing, Paul Koulogeorge shares his insight on back-to-school marketing on Forbes.com.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE>>>

Preschoolers Across the Nation Search for the Top Educational Toys for the Holidays

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, is kicking off its 9th annual Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. This year, preschoolers from 50 Goddard School locations across the United States are on the hunt for the top 10 educational toys for children (infants to six years old), just in time for the holiday season. The world’s leading toy companies are going head-to-head for the coveted title of The Goddard School’s winning educational toy of the year!

Each year, early childhood education experts from The Goddard School Toy Test Committee review dozens of applications from toy manufacturers across the globe. Each entry is evaluated based on specific educational criteria including encouraging interactive, child-initiated play, inspiring creativity and collaboration, and supporting skill development and playful learning.

The 25 toys that score the highest in the evaluation process will be tested by children from September 19 through September 23 at the 50 participating Goddard School locations across the U.S. The preschoolers and teachers will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys. From there, the top 10 toys will be put to a public vote on The Goddard School’s Toy Test page from November 1 to November 11, 2016 to determine the winning educational toy of the season. GSI will purchase 100 units of the winning toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

“The Goddard School’s Toy Test initiative is an enriching time of the year for the preschoolers as they are able to engage in playful, new learning experiences with the nation’s top toys,” says GSI’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Craig Bach. “By having the children participate in our annual Toy Test, they are immersed in an environment that centers around our core educational philosophy of playful learning. Within this environment, they are gaining valuable tools and lessons that are vital to their future successes in school and life.”

Past Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include brands such as Laser Pegs, K’NEX Brands, Learning Resources, and Lakeshore Learning Materials. For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit www.goddardschool.com/toytest.

Newest EAB Members Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson Share Back-To-School Tips for Parents

The Goddard School®, the premier preschool focused on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, is adding two new members to its esteemed Educational Advisory Board (EAB); Drs. Seeta Pai and Jennifer Jipson. The Goddard School’s EAB is a knowledgeable group of educators, researchers and experts from a range of early childhood fields including early learning and curriculum development, technology integration, brain development, parent engagement and health and nutrition.

For many years, the EAB has helped The Goddard School to move research into action to maintain the best in industry curriculm as the science of learning grows and evolves. To achieve this goal, the EAB provides crucial feedback on new programs and services; suggesting improvements to the industry leader’s proprietary F.L.EX.® Learning Program and supporting original research and publications. The Goddard School looks forward to Drs. Jipson and Pai incorporating their cutting edge research into Goddard Schools all across the country.

A thought leader in the kids’ educational media and international child development fields, Dr. Pai brings her expertise in cultural sensitivity and diversity as well as the influence of media and technology to early childhood education. Holding her doctorate degree in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and prior Vice President of Research at Common Sense Media, Pai hopes to enhance The Goddard School’s research and strategy by acting as a translator of the most up-to-date media studies and methodologies as well as providing insights on child diversity and identity.

Regarding back to school, “This is a time to be willing, as a parent, to embrace all methods of learning,” said Dr. Seeta Pai, new EAB member. “Relax and think about learning as a lifelong enterprise, not something that children do within the four walls of their classroom. Embrace and follow your child’s passion and encourage them to ask questions.”

Dr. Jipson, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Child Development at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, brings experience and knowledge to early childhood education within the domains of science, health and technology. Referencing her studies of how children learn and develop as they engage in everyday routines, Dr. Jipson hopes to shed more light on ways children learn through informal settings and help a larger audience understand child development as a field.

Dr. Jipson believes that establishing a routine is key for back-to-school time. “Get your child’s mind and body prepared for the big shift – whether it be moving bedtime back to an earlier time, making meal times more regular or establishing weekday schedules for homework, TV, baths, etc. Start early and ease children in,” she says.

“At The Goddard School, the EAB ensures a high-quality education program to prepare children for social and academic success in the 21st century,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “We’re extremely fortunate to have Drs. Jipson and Pai joining our team of educators, researchers and experts and we’re confident that they’ll be a valuable asset to furthering our unique play-based curriculum.”

For more information on The Goddard School and their Educational Advisory Board, please visit www.goddardschool.com.