Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho was not included in the 22-man travelling squad for the first leg of their Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim, the Premier League club said on Monday.According to reports in British media, Barcelona target Coutinho submitted a transfer request last week after Liverpool rejected a second bid worth 100 million euros ($117.96 million) from the La Liga club.Coutinho also missed Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Watford on Saturday due to a back injury, with manager Juergen Klopp conceding he had no control over the 25-year-old’s future at the club.Reuters PhotoUnder current UEFA rules, Coutinho’s participation in the play-off round against Hoffenheim would not jeopardise a move in the current transfer window. The Brazil international will remain eligible to feature for another club in next month’s Champions League group-stage.The Merseyside club will also be without striker Daniel Sturridge, who has failed to recover from a thigh injury sustained during the pre-season.Hoffenheim host Liverpool at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Tuesday before the two sides meet again at Anfield next week.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that I’m generally a strong proponent of the value of business blogging (particularly for small businesses). I’ve been advocating the need for small businesses to start blogs as an important part of their Internet Marketing strategy for a while now. So, why the controversial title for this article? Simple: If we’re going to try and rationalize an investment of time, energy and money by attaching an ROI (return on investment) to blogging, we need to be a bit diligent and thoughtful about how we do so. In any case, here are some of my thoughts on about how to improve your chances of getting a return on investment for your business blogging efforts. ROI Of Blogging So, my points here are not particularly complicated. My message is simple: To really get value out of your business blogging efforts, you need to make sure that you are investing sufficient time into the process, measuring what matters and doing something about it. First (and foremost) you should be looking to find more buyers for whatever it is that you are offering. This is the best return you can hope for. Of course, you can’t expect every visitor to your blog to whip out their credit cards (or call one of your sales people), but you can 3. Buyers, Back-links and Brand-Building: This one’s a bit obvious too. It is near impossible to demonstrate a return on your blogging investment if do something about it 5. Analyze and Adjust: have an ROI – but just that an ROI is not guaranteed. Also, my apologies for the acronym ROBBING (I just couldn’t come up with anything better). I’m not suggesting that business bloggers are robbing anyone of anything. All in good jest (and for some percentage of you, the word probably got your attention, thereby increasing the ROI of this article). . You have to watch what works, and what doesn’t. Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t. For example, one thing I’ve learned from writing for two business blogs is that a majority of my readership seems to appreciate my casual, informal style. c) Brand: a) Buyers: Improving The Return On Investment For Your Business Blog ”. As you might suspect, the article (and the associated paper), discusses how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for a blog – and more specifically, a business blog. Though I have not purchased the paper (it talks too much about big businesses), the article itself has a useful framework for looking at this analytically. Topics: These are the three primary areas of “return” I think businesses should strive for when writing their blog. I even put them in descending priority order even though the alliteration sounded better with a different order. You’re welcome. 2. If A Blogger Types In The stuff. For a more dynamic explanation of this, I encourage you to watch a video interview of Brian Halligan (my co-founder at HubSpot). The video is titled “ increase Defining ROI On Business Blogs The article was sparked in part by an article penned by Charlene Li of Forrester who wrote on the topic of “ nobody is reading your blog Lots of business bloggers are diligent about tracking things like their daily traffic, referral sources and other common metrics available through most web analytics tools. Though all of this is good, it’s not enough – and not nearly as meaningful as the Forest…: 1. Launching Is Not Enough: the likelihood that this will occur. This is done by focusing your content (and your promotional efforts for the content) on the types of visitors that are likely to become clients. I think too many businesses think that they can simply sign up for a Blogger account, write an article, and call it a day. This is what I would call the “Look Ma!, I’m Blogging!” phenomenon. Nothing against Blogger. It’s just that if you’re actually looking to create a measurable return, it takes more than that. Stated differently, to get an “R” (i.e. Return) you have to “I” (that is Invest). I have an uncanny knack for the stating the obvious. b) Back-Links: real Astute readers will also notice that I am not stating in this article’s title that business blogging ”. For further reading, I’d also recommend Seth Godin’s article “ If you can’t close a customer, you want back-links. The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is driven by back-links. The more people you can get to your blog articles, the more weighting you will have in the search engines, and the more relevant people will “find” you when doing a search. In fact, you can help test this theory by linking to this article with the words “business blogging” in the anchor text. (smile). Originally published Jan 29, 2007 11:42:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 doesn’t ” Simply measuring how your blog is doing in ways that are meaningful is not going far enough. You need to Business Blogging 4. Measure Something Meaningful: . In this case, the value you get from blogging is likely little more than the satisfaction of expressing yourself (and perhaps impressing your friends and family). So clearly, to get an ROI, you have to find ways to draw visitors to your blog and have them read it. If you got to this article through one of the popular social news sites (like reddit or digg), that is certainly one way to do it. There are others ways too. But all of it hinges on writing content that people are interested in. High Resolution Mistakes Finally, if you can’t get a buyer or a back-link, you can at least build your “brand”. Although you will likely never have a powerful brand like Coke, Nike or Apple – you can certainly benefit from increased visibility of your business. Readers of your blog will (hopefully) be left with a positive impression of you, and your company and this could help with future interactions with that individual (and perhaps then, they will become a buyer or give you a back-link). Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Jun 7, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 HubSpot’s latest research, ” Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses ,” reveals that the more landing pages a business has on its website, the more leads it generates. Specifically, our research found that businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages generated 7 times more leads than businesses with only 1 to 5 landing pages. And the numbers get even more impressive: businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages. So how do you go about creating an arsenal of landing pages? By creating an arsenal of offers! First, think about all the different types of offers you can create: Ebooks/whitepapersIndustry research reportsLive/archived webinarsRecorded videosDownloadable kitsFree trialsProduct DemosPersonal Consultations Offers Relative to the Sales Cycle The beauty of providing a variety of different offers on your website is that you’ll tremendously increase your chances of generating leads, and here’s why…First of all, not everyone who visits your website is at the same point in your sales funnel. A first time site visitor, for example, might not be ready to jump into a full blown product trial or demo but might be quite content to download an instructional ebook. Similarly, a frequent visitor might be further along in the sales cycle and be totally ready for that personal consultation you’re offering but not very interested in downloading yet another ebook or webinar. Consider this when creating offers and offer a good balance of both top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel offers. Similarly, consider also offering a healthy balance of content offers (like ebooks, webinars, kits) compared to offers that involve human interaction such as demos or consultations. Offers Relative to Customer Personas Sure, you could create a separate landing page with a form for each of these types of offers to increase your chances of converting site visitors into leads, but that’s only the beginning. What about getting even more targeted?Face it: your target customer isn’t exactly very one-size-fits-all. While you may have a pretty good sense of the types of customers your products and services attract, chances are there is still some variation among them. This is where marketing personas are helpful. To use HubSpot as an example, we have identified two main types of customers (marketing personas) that are a good fit for our marketing software : Owner Ollie (small business owners) and Marketing Mary (marketing managers in companies with dedicated marketing departments). Understandably, a Marketing Mary might not be particularly interested in the same topics an Owner Ollie is interested in, and vice versa.Now, think about all the different types of offers we just talked about. Can you create an ebook that targets one of your specific marketing personas? Or maybe an opportunity for a different marketing persona to request a specific type of demo relative to their interests? What about one of each? Or one of each for each type of offer? Holy cow — the possibilities are endless! The Benefit of Personalized Offers The good news is that, by offering a variety of different types of offers that appeal to different points in the sales process or different customer personas, you’ll maximize your lead generation efforts with the ability to capture even more site visitors as leads. And as an added bonus, with all the dedicated landing pages you’ll be creating to house your multitude of offers, you’ll also be giving Google and other search engines more website pages to index, giving your website a boost of SEO juice.The personalization of marketing is a hot topic lately, and more and more marketers are beginning to understand the value of more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns . So, are you getting personal enough in your business’ marketing? How else can you vary your offers? Have you noticed a causal relationship between the variety and wealth of offers you create and the number of leads you generate? Photo Credit: cliff1066 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Lead Generation
Have you ever created — or worked with a designer to create — an infographic of your own? What were the results? How meta, right? Truth is, the infographic about infographics isn’t exactly a new concept. There’s a whole slew of them out there, and quite a few them actually poke fun at these highly shareable visuals. And it’s hard to blame ’em. With so many people jumping on the infographic bandwagon, there is certainly no shortage of downright awful infographics floating around the web, all pretty deserving of ridicule.But despite all the flack infographics have gotten, there’s still no question about it — people are drawn to those stimulating, informational visuals, and they can do wonders for your marketing. So while I came across my fair share of infographics making fun of infographics, we’ll share those for another day. The infographic below, from Infographic Labs, will actually help you understand the what, why, and how of infographics — what they are, why they can benefit your marketing, and the basics behind creating one of your own. So while infographics may be the subject of some criticism from time to time, that doesn’t mean you should write off their awesome marketing potential. After all, haters gonna hate, right? Originally published Aug 9, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Almost every day, it seems like some company or social network is redesigning itself or adding new features or something. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a lot to keep track of — especially while we’ve been busy prepping to celebrate Father’s Day today.This week, we’ve got some major redesigns, new features, and even a relaunch that will tickle your marketing fancy. It isn’t often that social networks make many changes to their business facing features, but this week is a whole different story for marketers and brands. Companies like Google and Twitter have made some big changes for its business-oriented users that will make your week all the sweeter. So check out this quick overview of what happened in marketing this week, and then go enjoy the rest of your Father’s Day!Facebook Hashtags Take a Page From Twitter’s Ad Business, From MashableFacebook announced this week that it will be rolling out a hashtag feature to all of its users. There were hints of this happening a few months back and should come as no surprise to many marketers. Facebook users will be able to click on hashtags and find hashtags that are trending, but we expect more functionalities to be announced soon. This new addition to Facebook’s social network is designed to “bring conversations more to the forefront.” For marketers, this means that many of you will be able to take the opportunity to unify your marketing efforts across almost all of the social networks — you can use one hashtag across all platforms, which will help strengthen your brand messages. Beyond more cohesive messaging, marketers might be able to use hashtags for paid opportunities — Facebook mentioned that there are plans to link hashtags to paid ads down the road. Learn more about Facebook hashtags at Mashable.Unified Google+ Dashboard Lets Businesses Manage Search, Social, Maps, and AdWords, From TechCrunchGoogle has been making some big changes to Google+ over the past few months and this week, it is launching a new dashboard for businesses. Google+ page owners will now have a single dashboard to manage a number of their daily activities. The dashboard will allow users to update information, such as website URL and phone numbers, across Google Maps and Google+ all at once. Other features include the ability to monitor Google+ notifications, post photos and videos, start hangouts, and manage AdWords Express.This new dashboard design will greatly increase the effectiveness of Google+ for brands and marketers. With access to all of the important aspects of Google+ in one place, marketers will be able to better manage their ad campaigns, content, and public information — making all of our lives much easier. Learn more about the Google+ Dashboard at TechCrunch.Marketing Box: Your All-in-One Package for Sending the Perfect Email, From HubSpotWith so much buzz and activity around social media, content, and SEO, we often forget about how important it is to nurture leads or prospects with effective email campaigns. We know its hard putting those emails together with all the distractions around the office and on the internet. To help combat all of these distractions, we’ve created a Marketing Box to help you send the perfect email. Our free Marketing Box includes everything from music to jam out to, to pre-designed templates and customizable social sharing buttons. What are you waiting for? Download our free Marketing Box now.Myspace Relaunches With $20 Million Ad Campaign, From AdweekMyspace has hinted at a relaunch the past several months, but it looks like it’s finally making the big ol’ comeback. This week, Myspace announced its official relaunch with a $20 million ad campaign that will run across cable, radio, broadcast, and digital. Myspace has historically seen itself as a social network for “creatives,” and that’s what the new ads are clearly suggesting. In a 90-second ad shared on Adweek, a gaggle of young hipsters are shown dancing, skateboarding, snapping photographs, and smashing instruments as many “creatives” do daily.Brands and marketers should see this relaunch as a way to dive into a “new” social network with a lot of potential. The new UX looks quite remarkable and could be a huge selling point for Myspace to attract an audience of “creatives” who aren’t currently being catered to by any particular social network. For businesses currently in the music industry, this relaunch is a huge opportunity to be one of the first properly branded and promoted Myspace pages on the internet. Learn more about Myspace’s relaunch at Adweek.Site Speed Penalty Coming to Mobile Web Sites, From Search Engine LandGoogle’s Matt Cutts announced this week that Google will be rolling out a mobile version of its site speed ranking factor, which essentially takes the load speed of a website into consideration when calculating search results rankings. This means that Google will begin monitoring the load speeds of mobile sites to determine how well a web page will rank. There is no official announcement on when this will actually come into effect, but Matt Cutts wants webmasters and marketers to be prepared for this new addition.Ranking is a huge factor in how well marketing campaigns perform, and this new addition to Google’s ranking criteria will greatly affect websites with poorly developed mobile sites. Brands and marketers should consider taking a close look at how well their mobile sites are optimized and invest some time into creating a faster mobile experience for users. Learn more about Google’s ranking update at Search Engine Land.Twitter Starts Rolling Out Tweet Performance Analytics to More Users, From HubSpotTwitter is now giving some users access to a free analytics dashboard that will allow them to view the performance of their tweets. Aside from seeing how many favorites, retweets, and replies their tweets get, users will be able to sort their tweets by “Best, Good, or All” when running through their analytics. Users will also be able to download all of their analytics as a CSV file for offline analysis.For marketers or brands that have yet to opt into Twitter Ads paid program or be selected for this free release, these new tools will help give insight into how well their Twitter efforts are doing. With these new insights, brands and marketers will be able to tailor their content based to increase user engagement. To see if you have access, just head to ads.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter credentials. Learn more about Twitter Analytics at HubSpot.What other marketing stories did you hear about this week? Share your favorites with us in the comments.Image credit: zhouxuan12345678 Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Hashtags Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Nov 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Website Redesign I’m sick of looking at you, website. We started off well. You were a major improvement over my last website. But the thing is, you’re just not working for me anymore. It’s not your fault. The truth is, things have changed — I’ve changed. My businesses needs and you are just not compatible anymore. It’s time I start anew. You understand … don’t you?Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignOn average, we marketers redesign our websites every 18-24 months. Our reasons vary — from building a better customer experience, to reflecting a new corporate brand strategy. Regardless of the reason, we’re a constantly iterating breed.The good news is there’s a ton of content out there to help you make the right decisions for your website redesign. However, that’s also the bad news.With so much advice and content on redesigns, it can be hard to filter through it all to get to the best resources. Because I like you guys (and because we’ve gone through our fair share of redesigns ourselves), I’ve compiled a handful of top-notch resources for your next redesign.Deciding on a RedesignMake sure you’re not redesigning for the wrong reasons.I mentioned that marketers redesign their sites every two years on average — I didn’t say that every one of those redesigns is a good idea, though. This post by my colleague Jess Meher gives some common red flags that indicate you may be redesigning when you don’t need to.Scope out the project correctly.Website redesigns can take several months, but you are traveling a well-trodden path. Why not borrow the road maps of those who came before you? The following two resources should give you a good head start when it comes to scoping out your redesign project:Working with a designer? Inbound Marketing Agency Lynton Web has mapped out the 5 Phases of an Inbound Website Redesign.Doing it on your own? HubSpot’s got a Website Redesign Planning and Progress Kit that includes a spreadsheet to help you map out milestones, goals, benchmarks, and more. We’ve used this spreadsheet in our own designs to help us stay on track.Identifying Benchmarks and GoalsWebsite redesigns are filled with subjective measures. While gut reactions are worth listening to, the only way to really know if your redesign is working is to identify some benchmarks and set some goals.The effectiveness of your website can be measured by everything from bounce rate to conversions. To decide what works for you …Take a primer on marketing analytics.There’s a lot to cover in analytics. Should you track visits or unique visits? What’s the right balance of new vs. returning visitors? How do the rest of your marketing analytics fit into your website analytics? This 85-page guide covers the full gamut of marketing analytics, but pages 5-22 are all you need for your website redesign. Set up goals in Google Analytics.Google Analytics is the de facto free analytics program out there, but it changes quite often, so some of the content you may find out there is slightly outdated. This helpful post on Steamfeed, however, was published in September 2013 and gives step-by-step instructions on setting up your goals in Google.Compare the two types of analytics.Your website is not an island. As part of your redesign you should consider how website analytics fit into your larger marketing strategy. This post by fellow HubSpotter Pamela Vaughn explains the differences between website analytics and marketing analytics and guides you on what to measure for each. Preserving Your SEOIn 2009, Toys R Us paid $5.1 million to buy the Toys.com domain name, in an effort to scoop up the SEO benefit of having such a prominent keyword in their domain. So essentially, that’s $5.1 million the company spent to top the search charts.In a great error, however — that honestly could’ve happened to almost anyone — Toys R Us forwarded the entire domain of Toys.com to ToysRUs.com without using 301 redirects, and, in turn, Google de-indexed all of the Toys.com pages. It’s a fascinating story in and of itself, and one you can read about here.The lesson here? Be sure you preserve your SEO whenever going through a redesign. Here are a few more useful resources to help you make sure SEO is top of mind in your redesign.Learn the different types of redirects.There are a handful of different types of redirects you can use if you’re moving your pages from one web address to another. Search Engine People and Moz both have useful posts on the differences between these redirects. Search Engine People’s post is a bit more straightforward while the one by Moz is a bit more comprehensive.Discover other SEO strategies.There’s more to SEO than just the redirect. A website redesign offers you an opportunity to map out your content to really rank for certain keywords. Search Engine Land has a helpful post about building a keyword strategy in the context of a larger website redesign.Use an on-page SEO template.When you’re ready, HubSpot has a free on-page SEO planning template you can use to track all of your work and ensure all of your loose ends are tied down for the redesign.Planning Your Design and ContentOptimize your site for mobile.Mobile optimization is an essential part of creating an excellent visitor experience, driving conversions, and even ranking on search engine results. Make sure that any redesign includes a plan for mobile optimization. You can see how your current site looks on mobile devices here and learn the differences between mobile approaches here. Carefully plan your design.There is plenty of great advice out there on website design. Probably the most comprehensive is this post by Smashing Magazine, which covers everything from about-us pages, to 404s, to breadcrumbs, to calls-to-action. Some other great resources you can check out:Get inspired by looking at different homepage examples.Get scientific (sort of) through KISSmetrics’ Anatomy of an Effective Homepage Infographic.Understand your essential homepage elements.Learn why you don’t have to worry about the infamous website “fold” in this KISSMetrics post.Write your content.Words matter. A beautiful design and compelling words work together to make your site memorable and deliver your company’s unique value. I scoured the web to find some practical advice on moving your web copy from good to great.Get an overview of writing for web: This quick course in copywriting by Smashing Magazine is a nice primer in some of the concepts behind good copywriting.Don’t make it all about you: This Unbounce post explains some of the common pitfalls of company-centric website copy. Make a clear case for the problem that your company will solve for customers.Determine your value proposition: Different than a slogan or a tagline, your value proposition explains to prospective customers how your company will advance their goals. This post will walk you through a few steps to identify and communicate your value proposition.Choosing a Content Management System A website redesign is probably the best timing for assessing your current content management system and trying to decide if you are happy or want to move to a different platform. You’re starting over from scratch, so you have the opportunity to consider all the facets of the way you market online.To determine the best platform for you, think about your core needs. Would it be better for all of your marketing tools to be integrated into one platform or are you ok with separate tools? Is mobile optimization important to you? Do you have a designer to work on your site or need pre-made templates? One of the best ways to get to know the different platforms available is to take a look at review sites. There are a number of review sites around, but a few newer sites are doing a good job with crowd-sourcing reviews from actual users. Take a look at TrustRadius or G2Crowd to compare vendors. If Salesforce integration is important to you, you’ll also want to check out the reviews on its app exchange.Of course, we’re happy to talk with you about HubSpot’s content optimization system to help you determine if it’s a fit for your redesign. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Customer Delight The inbound methodology is focused on three principles: attract, engage, delight.At its core, the inbound experience is a customer-focused way of doing business that is centered on helping people and solving their problems in the ways they want them to be solved. Marketing and Services drive the “attract” stage that draws customers to your business. Marketing and Sales then “engage” the lead and motivate them to convert. Finally, Sales and Service complete the flywheel by delighting the customer with a great purchase and fantastic customer support.Sounds simple, right?Well, not quite. In a truly successful inbound organization, customer “delight” is everyone’s responsibility — not just those people your customers may come into contact with after buying something from you.The concept of delight — providing a remarkable experience to users that focuses on their needs, interests, and wishes that leaves them so satisfied, they can’t help but go out and sing the praises of your brand — isn’t just limited to customers. Great inbound companies focus on delighting potential and existing customers from their very first interactions with the organization — and you should, too.Start solving for the customer today with these 17 templates. Customer Delight DefinitionCustomer delight is exceeding a customer’s expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand. By going above and beyond to create a memorable customer experience with things like discounts, gifts, promotion, or spontaneous outreach to your customers, you can foster an emotional connection and sense of good-will that will make them more likely to be loyal to your brand long-term.Creating an inbound experience whose goal is both pre- and post-sale customer delight can be a competitive advantage for many businesses because happy customers stick around longer than those who have a neutral or negative experience. Simply put, customer delight is to please your customer. Sounds easy, right? But in the context of business, how do you really please someone?In such a competitive modern business world, you can’t afford not to make your customers happy. It’s easier than ever for your customer to switch using products or services if you don’t meet their expectations, and they can publicly share their negative feedback about their experiences on platforms like social media, Yelp, and Google Reviews. Their expectations are tougher than ever, and their recommendations to family and friends are the difference between your business growing or struggling.In fact, the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that it costs businesses 6-7x more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. But despite that fact, only 7% of consumers say that their service experiences with a company exceed their expectations The writing is on the wall: Successful inbound organizations don’t just focus on attracting qualified visitors, converting them into leads, and closing them into customers. Instead, they aim to provide an all-encompassing remarkable inbound experience for potential and current customers, too.We advocate for doing four things consistently well during the customer’s experience to delight them and keep them coming back:Answering their questionsSolving their problemsHelping them reach their goalsBeing enthusiasticDo you do all four of these things exceptionally well, across every single interaction a person has with your business? These delight moments can range from someone visiting your blog, to someone checking out your website’s pricing page, to chatting with a salesperson, to figuring out how to use your product for the first time, to asking for help using your product, and everything in between.Customer success is all about helping customers see value in your product to help them achieve their goals. So think of customer delight like this: how can you best, most effectively provide value to someone so that they can extract value?Creating a great customer experience means that you’re building trust with people so that they stay loyal to your brand and products for a long time. You build trust with people by consistently making the people you’re here to serve successful. Let’s discuss the four must-haves to delighting and building trust with your customers.How to Delight Your CustomersSolve customers’ problems.Be timely.Be helpful.Help customers succeed.Listen to customer feedback.Be enthusiastic.Be unexpected.Build a community. 1. Solve customers’ (and potential customers’) problems.The first (and perhaps most important) thing your organization needs to do is solve the problems your potential and current customers bring your way. Offering your customers a solution to the problem they face or a way to achieve the goal they’re working towards is, after all, why they’ve come to you in the first place — so don’t leave them hanging. Offer your customers the solutions that most align with their individual wishes, needs, and preferences.The same goes for prospects. Even though they aren’t paying customers just yet, potential customers require that you solve their problems as well. You can use free tools like chatbots and a knowledge base to address this customer segment without making a major financial investment.The reasoning here is multifold and gets back to the golden rule: help people and they’ll help you. If you can prove to your prospects that you’re trustworthy and effective when they’re not yet even paying, they’ll be much more likely to want to do business with your organization down the road. All that goodwill generated pre-sale goes a long way towards easily transforming customers into positive promoters post-sale.2. Be timely.A critical aspect of solving problems is responding to them ASAP when they crop up, so a big component of customer delight is being available and responsive whenever they reach out. Whether the issue is big or small, show your customers that you’re prioritizing them by responding quickly. Even if you can’t solve the issue right away, letting them know that you’re working on it or escalating it will give your customers confidence that you’re their advocate.Adopting a customer relationship management software, or CRM, is a great way to start managing customer interactions. Using a CRM, you can record and log emails, as well as set up reminders to follow up with clients. Tools that are set up for conversational marketing can sync your customer service cases to your CRM. This allows you to keep pace with all customer communications and provide a more delightful customer experience.3. Solve for the present and the future.Solving your prospects’ and customers’ problems is great in the short term, but what will happen next time they encounter a similar problem or are looking to accomplish a related goal? Going beyond just solving peoples’ problem and handing over information helps them deal with similar challenges down the road.Empowering both potential and existing customers with education, making recommendations, and helping them succeed are essential to building an inbound experience at your organization. For example, HubSpot offers an academy program that provides free inbound and product lessons for its customers. The benefits of enabling people to reach their goals and solve their problems instead of just arming them with facts are far-reaching for both your organization and the individual themselves.If your prospects and customers get a constant, positive reminder of your company each time they use your advice and recommendations, your company will become known as a helpful, remarkable organization that customers want to do business with. You can achieve this by writing blog posts, sharing tips on social media, and creating a self-service knowledge base.4. Help customers succeed.Make sure you understand why people are buying your product or service so that you can figure out how to help them succeed. By understanding what people need from a product or service, your team can exceed customer expectations. Creating buyer personas and mapping customer journeys are two effective ways to build this type of focus on customer success. You need to be constantly innovating your products, your processes and the overall customer experience to truly delight people. Innovation can be large-scale, like a new product or a whole new way to get help with your product. It can also be on a smaller scale, like how you train new employees to handle customer questions or the content formats you’re using to help people see value in your product.The other thing you need to be focused on doing well is providing education to people and communicating with people in a way that gets them answers to questions and solutions to problems. You should also be helpful the way your customers want to achieve their goals — whether that’s through multichannel customer service options or a self-service knowledge base.5. Listen to customer feedback.It can be tough to take critical feedback, especially if it’s coming from a customer you’ve built a relationship with. But sometimes the feedback from a customer you’ve known a long time can be the most valuable.So if a customer comes to you with a complaint, or even if they come to you ripping you and your company apart, take a breath, don’t take it personally, and listen closely to what’s behind the complaints. Remember, your customer has likely paid your company a lot of money over the time you’ve worked together, so when things break or go wrong, they want the inconvenience to be understood and acknowledged with empathy — and maybe with a discount or kind note thanking them for their patience.One way to effectively manage difficult feedback is to provide automated software to collect it. Customer feedback software allows you to create and customize surveys that can be linked to the customer’s record in the CRM. This gives your customer service team time to research the customer’s history with your company, and come up with an effective response before reaching back out. 6. Be enthusiastic.Make sure that in every interaction with potential and current customers, your company’s voice is enthusiastic, fun, and welcoming. Precisely what ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘fun’ mean for your organization depends on your particular business and industry, but the take-home message is this: if you want to create an inbound experience that truly delights, don’t be a dictionary — instead, provide a real, warm, personalized, human interaction that respects your user’s time and leaves them happy, satisfied, and educated.7. Be unexpected.If you want your company to stand out from its competitors, then it needs to make a lasting impression on your customers. While your primary goal is to solve the customer’s problem, you can create a memorable experience by giving the customer more than what they initially anticipated. Customers expect to see their needs fulfilled, but are truly delighted when your team goes above-and-beyond in the customer experience. You can do this by personalizing each customer interaction, and ingraining a customer-centric culture within the company. For example, personalization software can be used in emails and on web pages to make content feel like it was designed for an individual user. By creating one-of-a-kind customer experiences, your business has a better chance of improving overall customer loyalty.8. Build a community.People enjoy the feeling of belonging to a community or group. Your company can supplement this positive feeling by creating a user community that benefits your customers. This community can be used as a resource for sharing useful information or act as a medium for users to submit customer reviews. By fostering a space for customers to interact with one another, your business is adding value to the customer experience both before and after the purchase. When considering a purchase, customers primarily trust other customers, so they can use this sponsored community forum to help guide their decisions.Take HubSpot’s community for example, where HubSpotters can post and share questions about different HubSpot products. HubSpotters are great at finding unanticipated uses for certain tools, and often share these discoveries on the forum for other users’ benefit. HubSpot’s engineers love this as well because they use this feedback to guide product development for future add-ons.To learn more, read our ideas for demonstrating customer appreciation. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 13, 2019 6:02:00 PM, updated February 19 2019
Originally published Nov 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Imagine a party where Bono, Drew Houston, Eva Longoria, and 20,000 of your lovably nerdy tech friends show up. Add colorful sheep, some intermittent Wi-Fi issues, and a whole lot of drinking, and you’ve got the Dublin Web Summit, one of the hottest tech and marketing events of its kind.The event is remarkable unto itself, but it’s even more remarkable when you consider that the event grew from 400 attendees just four years ago to 20,000 attendees this year. The conference is growing as fast as the Dublin tech scene — as Barry O’Dowd, Head of Emerging Business for IDA Ireland told us, “there is little doubt that the Web Summit has helped put Ireland’s tech scene on the international stage.”Not all the action happens on stage at the Summit, of course. Local legend states that Uber’s 2011 funding round was finalized in a pub at the Summit, and last year’s top 25 startup winners from the Summit raised over $400M over the past twelve months. We tried interviewing the sheep for comment (they politely declined), so instead we found the most tweetable, shareable insights we could find from many of the speakers and assembled them all into one doc for easy inspiration and motivation.Whether you attended the Summit for the first time this year, watched the live stream, or just heard about it from friends, here’s a SlideShare and a few tweetable takeaways of our favorite insights from our friends in the Emerald Isle, thanks to HubSpot’s Melissa Obleada: Topics: Conferences 1) “Amazing people need a purpose beyond profits.” -@dharmesh (Click to tweet!)2) “Deal with disruption by being the disruptor.” -@andymarkowitz (Click to tweet!)3) “Life is too short for bad software.” -@sweetlew (Click to tweet!) 4) “Great marketing is marketing for people, not at them.” -@robnewlan (Click to tweet!)5) “One of the key triggers, statistically, for shareability is emotional intensity.” -@sarahfwood (Click to tweet!) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you have business partners like interior designers or landscapers that are also on Houzz, it’s helpful to request reviews from them, as well. Providing reviews for your partners will help motivate them to provide reviews for you. This will help both of you rank higher for your services and geographic locations.3) Link Projects to Blog PostsWhen you add a project to your Houzz profile, you can include an external link to provide more information on that project. Therefore, we recommend creating a blog post on your website that expands on each Houzz project. You can then include the link to that blog post in the actual Houzz project. This strategy will help increase traffic to your website, provide additional blog content, and encourage people to learn more information about your company beyond what’s in your Houzz profile. It could also lead to new blog subscribers. Plus, if you include calls-to-action in your blog posts, you will encourage lead generation. By including a call-to-action that links to a landing page with a form to download a piece of valuable content (such as a buyer’s guide), you may generate tangible leads that you can follow up with. 4) Engage Users Through “Questions” and “Advice” FeaturesHouzz provides a “Questions” feature that allows users to ask you questions about your projects. Be sure to monitor your Houzz profile closely so you can respond to questions in a very timely manner. Timeliness is key for turning someone who has posed a question into an actual lead. Responding quickly shows you are a tentative builder that cares. It also helps you ensure you connect with the user when they are still in the right mindset. If you respond several days after the question is asked, the user may have received his answer somewhere else, or he may have become preoccupied with something else. Responding in a detailed and thorough manner is also important because it shows you are an expert. This is why the questions feature is so valuable. It helps you show that you are a tentative, caring, expert home builder. And who wouldn’t want to hire a home builder like that?Houzz also offers an “Advice” feature. Engaging in discussions here helps you obtain additional exposure and establish your expertise. Spend time answering questions and contributing valuable insight to discussions. Both the “Questions” and “Advice” features allow you to engage one-on-one with users, and start building relationships. 5) Utilize Bookmarks for CRMThe “Bookmarks” feature allows you to keep track of your favorite discussions on Houzz. If you are communicating with potential leads in discussions, it may be helpful to note that in your CRM software. Bookmarking your discussions will allow you to easily return to those discussions and review your interactions so you can record information about the contact in your CRM system.6) Add a Houzz Badge or Widget to Your WebsiteAdding a Houzz badge or widget to your website’s home page will help boost your ranking in the Houzz directory. There are several badges to choose from, including a badge that simply indicates you have a Houzz profile to badges that indicate any special Houzz recognitions you may have received.Houzz also offers widgets that will allow you to display your Houzz reviews or add a slideshow of your Houzz projects to your website. Adding these features to your website will help demonstrate your company’s status and expertise to visitors who enjoy and trust Houzz as a resource.7) Submit a Project to be an Editorial FeatureSubmit one of your projects to Houzz’s editorial review team for a chance to be become the subject of a featured article on Houzz, such as their “Room of the Day” or “Kitchen of the Week” articles. If you are selected, you’ll receive free national exposure from one of the most important websites in the home building industry. These articles are based solely on merit; no one can pay to be selected. So, they act as a great indicator of your company’s expertise and creativity. If you are selected, you can promote the article via your other marketing channels such as social networks, email marketing, and your blog. 8) Complete Your Profile in DetailThis may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth stating. The goal of completing and maintaining your profile isn’t to get it done so you can move on to something else. The goal is to ensure your target audience finds you on Houzz and then takes an additional action like visiting your website or contacting you. So, invest the time into filling out your profile in detail. Be sure you take advantage of the opportunity Houzz gives to link to all your social networks. If people begin to connect with you in other social networks, they will discover your blog posts and other valuable content. This will help drive them to your website and engage them in lead nurturing. The Bottom LineIt’s not necessary to be active in all social networks; just the networks that are most effective for your industry. For builders, Houzz is arguably the most important social network for driving website traffic and leads. As we’ve described, it can also help increase your search engine and media exposure. These eight tips will help you get the most marketing leverage and lead generation potential out of Houzz. Topics: Lead Generation Since its inception in 2009, Houzz.com has quickly become a valuable tool to help home builders increase online exposure. According to Houzz, the site is home to 25 million users looking for unique home design ideas and possessing an average household income of $125,000.For home builders, there’s no question the target audience is there. The challenge lies in maximizing Houzz exposure to convert Houzz users into leads you can actually follow up with.These eight tips will help you go from simply having a Houzz profile to managing a Houzz presence that produces tangible leads. 1) Include Strategic KeywordsBe sure your target audience discovers your profile when they search Houzz for terms that matter to them by including keywords in your business description and your projects. For example, a Dallas home buyer in the market for a custom builder may want to see examples of unique exteriors on Houzz created by Dallas-area home builders. To find these examples, they might search “Dallas exteriors.” If you’re a Dallas builder, you would want to appear in this search. Therefore, builders should include relevant geographic terms in addition to terms that describe the nature of the project or photo. For example, instead of titling your project “Kitchen Remodel”, consider calling it “Dallas Kitchen Remodel.”When you add a project, there is a specific section to include keywords. To add keywords to an existing project, simply click “edit” on any photo and you will see the keywords section appear. Houzz provides a quick and easy YouTube tutorial to help you add keywords correctly.Take time to add as many relevant keywords as possible in this section. Be sure to include the same type of relevant keywords in the “Description” field of your projects. Be as detailed as possible with these descriptions. It takes time but it’s worth it because it will help more people find you. Keywords are also important because Houzz profiles are indexed by Google. So, when someone searches a term like “Dallas builders” in Google, Houzz’s list of Dallas builders shows up in search results. When someone clicks on that search result, they see a list of local builders with reviews and examples of work.So, it’s extremely valuable to appear in these Houzz lists. It’s even more valuable to appear in a high position. One of the best ways to improve your ranking in these lists is by increasing your company’s reviews on Houzz. 2) Increase ReviewsThe best sales leads have always come from word-of-mouth referrals. Online reviews are often almost as valuable as a friend recommending your company to another friend. Today’s consumers conduct a lot of research before making purchases. Online reviews are one resource that people regard heavily when making a large purchase like a home. Houzz reviews are no different, and the more you receive, the higher you are likely to rank in the Houzz directory for your geographic area. Therefore, you should encourage your clients to submit reviews. Houzz makes this really easy with their “Get Reviews” feature. You can send an email straight from the Houzz platform to your clients requesting a review. The email contains a link that will take your client straight to the location where they can submit a review. Houzz provides a quick YouTube tutorial for this feature, as well. Originally published Apr 13, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated March 31 2016
Topics: Originally published Jul 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Website Design Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Back in 2007, we launched a tool called Website Grader. Since then, it’s evaluated 4 million websites, helping many businesses identify website optimization opportunities.But a lot has changed since 2007. Websites have changed significantly in terms of design, functionality, and purpose. So, to continue to be helpful, Website Grader needed to change, too.Well, today, we’re excited to unveil a redesigned Website Grader capable of assessing websites using modern ranking criteria. Read on to learn what the new tool does and how you can get a personalized assessment of your own. What is Website Grader?Website Grader is a free online tool that allows anyone to receive a free, personalized report that grades their site against key metrics, including performance, mobile readiness, SEO and security.How does Website Grader differ from Marketing Grader? Website Grader isn’t the same as Marketing Grader. While Marketing Grader focuses on assessing a website in terms of marketing activities such as blogs, landing pages, and social media, Website Grader is built to specifically focus on the core areas that impact a site’s ability to rise to the top of search rankings. How does Website Grader work?Simply enter your website URL and email address and, within a few seconds, Website Grader will generate a personalized score between 1-100. You’ll also receive a report that details your website’s performance against each of the key criteria. The criteria are as follows:Performance: Optimizing your website’s performance is crucial to increasing traffic, improving conversion rates, and generating more leads and revenue. We’ll assess your site’s page size, page requests, page speed, and more.Mobile Readiness: Traffic from mobile devices is more important than ever before. It’s important to optimize your website for mobile to ensure you aren’t missing out on valuable traffic, leads, and revenue. We’ll check how mobile-friendly your site is against criteria such as responsiveness and viewport settings.SEO: Your site has to be easy to discover. We’ll assess whether your website is easy for users to find and easy for search bots to understand by grading page titles, meta descriptions, and more.Security: Using an SSL certificate protects your website from attacks and provides your visitors with the confidence that your site is authentic, which means they might feel safer when entering their contact details. If you have it, your site will receive a higher grading.At the bottom of the report, you’ll also find some recommendations on the issues you should tackle to improve your site’s performance and, of course, your Website Grader score.I’ve graded my website, what’s next?Got a score below 90? That’s okay, there’s always room for improvement. Why not share your results with colleagues and work together to implement any necessary improvements? With Website Grader, you can quickly email your personalized report to others. Just click on the share icon on the top-right navigation and enter the email address of your intended recipient.Scoring higher than 90? Wow, your site is pretty amazing so why not let the world know?! You can quickly and easily share your report far and wide to colleagues and friends! Just click on the relevant icon to share it via your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.Have you used Website Grader to assess your website already? How’d you do?
Co-marketing is a fantastic way to gain new contacts without having to wait for organic search to kick in … but it’s not always an easy job.The challenging part of co-marketing all boils down to one thing: your partner. Can you find partners who launch campaigns with the same strategy and thoughtfulness you do? Oftentimes, it’s a struggle.If you’re having trouble finding and evaluating co-marketing partners, keep on reading. In this post, I’ll outline 10 tips for making sure you’re entering into a healthy and prosperous co-marketing partnership.Let’s get to it.Click here to download a detailed guide and free templates for getting started with co-marketing.10 Tips to Finding the Right Co-Marketing Partner1) Start with a list of brands you admire. First, create a running list of brands and influencers in your industry that you admire from a marketing standpoint.If you’re an online wine distributor, for example, a great potential partner to include on this list would be a popular wine accessory company. Chances are, your audience would want cool wine accessories and gifts for their family and friends, and the wine accessory company would want an audience of wine lovers to buy more accessories. It’s a win-win!A few questions to ask yourself when you’re putting this list together:Are there potential partners in your space who have enjoyable-to-read blogs that would provide value to your audience?Do you follow any brands on social media that make lovable content that also speaks to your buyer persona’s needs?What apps, tools, or products make your customers’ lives easier? Once you nail down a list of companies that are a fit for your buyer persona, it’s time to dig a lot deeper.2) Consider competitive overlap.It can be tough to assess the “coopetition” of a new partner. It’s common sense to not go after direct competitors, but there is a gray area where a partner’s products are differentiated enough to where you might want to engage in a co-marketing relationship.My biggest pieces of advice when evaluating that gray area is to make sure you’re not fighting for the same keywords. If you’re an interior designer in Boston trying to grow outside of New England, for example, don’t co-market with another interior designer in Massachusetts as the keyword to find you would be “interior designer in Boston” or “interior designer in Massachusetts.” I’d opt to partner with somebody in the furniture or rug business that has a national footprint, as you can both drive traffic and leads to each other without cutting into each other’s business.3) Dig into social media profiles.The first thing I do to check out a new partner is visit their company’s profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.While I’m there, I don’t just look at the number of followers — I also look at engagement, replies, and the type of content their social team is posting. Why? Chances are, your co-marketing content will be promoted on social media. It’s important to know the potential reach and engagement of your partners’ social accounts so you can assess how much exposure your co-branded content will get on social.When you’re looking at their social media accounts, ask yourself these questions:Does the partner use high-quality, relevant, and aesthetically pleasing visuals to promote their campaigns?Is the copy engaging and easy to digest? Are people liking/favoriting and sharing posts?Is the partner answering questions from customers and prospects? Is the partner joining conversations related to your industry? Try to answer all of these questions about your future partner to determine if they’re on the same page you are when it comes to social content.Pro Tip: When you’re on Twitter, check out “Tweets & Replies” as well as “Photos & Videos” to better determine what your future new partner is up to.4) Assess the company’s overall web and content reach.In order to assess how much traffic your new partner could drive to a landing page, I look at their overall web presence on www.alexa.com and www.similarweb.com. These sites help me get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.Alexa specifically is a great tool, as it can help you dig into where visitors click from a company’s main site. If you find most of the clicks are going to a company’s blog or resources pages, that’s a great sign for me as their audience likes that company’s content. If it’s going to a pricing page or something that’s not as top of the funnel, it signals that there is a hole in their marketing and conversion path — they may not be a great co-marketing partner right now. Another tool that works well for assessing a potential new partner’s reach is Buzzsumo. It allows you to find specific types of content that perform well in an industry, as well as uncovers thought leaders in that space. This handy tool ranks content by the number of social shares to provide you insight into what’s working on this company’s site. Here’s a great video on Buzzsumo’s capabilities and a look into how HubSpot’s own SEO guru Matthew Barby uses the tool.image Source: SEMrush5) Google the company.To make sure you don’t start working with a partner who is on the verge of bankruptcy, Google the company and check out the first few pages to see what comes up, as well as the “News” section. If the latest news doesn’t shed a positive light on this potential partner, perhaps you should wait until the dust settles after a few months. If it’s too damaging, you might consider crossing them off your list of partners to reach out to.If the latest news is about their impending IPO or recent funding and growth, however, go get ‘em! 6) Sign up for their newsletters and subscribe to their blog. Sometimes the best way to find out if this company markets their brand and content well is to subscribe to their updates. A few questions to ask yourself:Is the content they’re promoting lovable?How often are they sending emails?Is there an unsubscribe link?Are their calls-to-action to landing pages and useful content, or to assets that don’t make sense?The importance of knowing how this future partner markets to their own database is similar to how they engage on social media. Eventually, if you co-market with them, they’re going to promote via email, social media, and their website. If you like the way they are marketing to their database in helpful newsletters, interesting blog posts, and relevant content, that’s a sign this company knows what their audiences likes and how to convert them into delighted customers and evangelists. If they’re not sending any emails or the emails themselves are irrelevant, that should be a red flag on moving forward with a co-marketing partnership.7) If applicable, check out reviews for their product or service.In the case of the wine distributor looking to pair up with a wine accessory company, I’d check out the Amazon reviews for those accessories or Google search “[insert company name] reviews.”If there’s a way to dig into the customer service and support of this company’s products and services, you should absolutely find out if customers like what they are purchasing as it reflects on how the brand treats their buyers. Go the extra mile and dig into customer reviews and their experiences with any potential partner, if you can.8) Google the person you’d be working with, if you know who they are.Do a quick search to see if this person has experience in the industry, recommendations of their work, and a positive footprint online. I don’t judge people for not having a YouTube channel on inbound marketing that has over 1,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of view to their videos, but I do check out their LinkedIn to see what experience they bring to the table. Ultimately, the person you will be working with will make or break your co-marketing campaign. I don’t discredit people or choose not to work with those who haven’t had several years of experience, but it’s nice to know whether you’re working with somebody who is an industry veteran or somebody who is starting to learn the ropes.9) Ask your network for references.Have any connections in common on LinkedIn? Send your common contact a message and ask if this person you’re thinking of pairing up with is recommendable. If someone you trust can’t recommend this person, that’s a red flag. The same goes for Twitter. If you’re a dog walker looking to pair up with a local dog treat company and see you have a few friends in common on Twitter, Direct Message your common friend and ask about the dog treat company owner you’re interested in working with. Can they vouch for that person? Are they hard workers, passionate about growing their business with inbound marketing, and in tune with their buyer persona and delighting customers?Great recommendations from your network are invaluable ways to research a potential new partner you’re trusting your brand name with.10) Have an introductory call to make sure you’re both aligned (and you get good vibes from the person).I’m a personal believer in first impressions being lasting impressions. Having an introductory call with a future partner is a great way to get a temperature check on their energy and enthusiasm about the co-marketing partnership. A few questions to ask yourself:Do they seem excited about the campaign?Did they come with great questions?Are you aligned on goals?Does the conversation flow well?As a best practice, always schedule a half hour call to get to know each other before agreeing to a campaign. This will give you enough time to ensure you align goals of the campaign, as well as deliverables and the timeline of those deliverables.I try to be as natural as I can on first-time calls. This gives the potential partner a sense of my personality and lets them know I’m excited about the potential for working with them. It loosens the vibe and allows for a more relaxed conversation, which means you can really get to know each other and your goals.At the end of this whole process, you should have a much better idea whether this person and company will be worth partnering up with — or just a waste of time. What other tips do you have for finding and vetting co-marketing partners? Topics: Co-Marketing Originally published Dec 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Apr 15, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 If you guessed email B, you’re right. Email A throws a 30% off discount directly in your face, but doesn’t explain the value behind it. What does 30% off a GoDaddy product do for my goals? Will it let me adjust a small business’ expenditures on infrastructure costs, freeing up money for a new hire? That benefit is far more tangible than 30% off an undisclosed cost.Compare that with Email B from Banana Republic. The goal of this email is to sell shorts, but the copy isn’t just shoving shorts down the recipient’s throat. I mean, they’re shorts … big deal, right? They’ve identified what makes these shorts worthwhile: their versatility. They allow a man to lounge around the house and then go out in the city while putting minimal effort into changing his outfit. How convenient! How easy! How versatile!The copy translates the benefit of buying those shorts, but the copy (or lack thereof) in GoDaddy’s email doesn’t explain the benefit of redeeming a generic 30% off offer.8) Be brief.One of the worst mistakes email copywriters make is trying to shove the entire story into the email message. Think about when you open a marketing email in your inbox. Do you read every single word in there? Probably not. It’s more likely that you scan for important points so you can glean the overall message, and decide whether you want to take any action.So if you’re sending email with hundreds of words of copy, you’re making it much more difficult for recipients to decide whether they want to click through — simply because they can’t quickly sift through all of the information in your email.Instead, find a way to summarize what the reader will get in a compelling way, and let them click through to a page on your website for more information.Take a look at how the folks over at Postmates drafted a brief email encouraging readers to click through for a limited-time offer:Postmates doesn’t wait to get to the point. After a brief, friendly hello, they get right down to the purpose of the email: telling customers about their new “free lattes on-demand” promotion. After introducing the concept, they offer a few of the essential details, then get right to the call-to-action.Keeping your message on-point is the key to writing brief email copy. What’s the point you’re trying to make with your email? If you know the action your email is supposed to drive — recipient orders free lattes on-demand, recipient remembers to buy their Bruce Springsteen tickets, recipient gets motivated to work out — then you’ll have a much easier time drafting succinct email copy that remains focused on that one end goal.If writing succinct email copy isn’t enough of a motivator for you to narrow down your goals, remember that having just one primary call-to-action in your email marketing results in better clickthrough rates than emails with competing calls-to-action.9) Be lovable.Just because emails are meant to inform doesn’t mean they can’t also delight. In some cases, email can be a great avenue for letting your brand’s personality shine, helping you build a meaningful relationship with the folks on your email lists. After all, providing a lovable experience for people begins and ends with how you communicate with them.Check out the example below from the folks over at Death to Stock Photos. The point of the email is to apologize for an email they’d sent the previous day, which promoted a product that sold out way too quickly, didn’t ship internationally, and generally gave a lot of their customers a poor experience.Notice the part of the email that’s called out in red. Using concise, personable language, they explain what happened, apologize for the mistake, say what they learned from it and how they’ll prevent it from happening in the future, and give the recipient several options for following up.The format of this portion of the email is optimized for the large number of recipients who are likely skimming the email. The bold text and one-sentence paragraphs make it easy to follow. Finally, they aren’t afraid to add some personality using phrases like “Give us a wavvveeee” to humanize their brand. The result? Recipients are probably much more open to forgiving them for the honest mistake.10) Use actionable language in your call-to-action.That’s right: Emails have calls-to-action, too. Well, the good ones do. First and foremost, your email call-to-action should be extremely easy to identify. Remember: People scan their emails. If there’s one thing you want your recipient to pick up on, it’s your call-to-action.If you’re sending an HTML email, you may decide to include a button, like this AmazonLocal email did below.There are two qualities that make this call-to-action button effective:Great design: First, notice how the large, bright orange button stands out from the blue design; that call-to-action certainly isn’t hard to find.Great copy: The copy on the button is just as important. Your call-to-action button should include language that is succinct, clear, and action-oriented. This AmazonLocal button tells you in very few words what you can do using verbs — you can view the deal showcased in the email.But it’s also crucial to spend some time optimizing your plain-text emails for clear calls-to-action. No matter how fancy your HTML email are, not all email clients will render your images, and not all email recipients will choose to display your images. In fact, we studied whether HTML emails or plain-text emails performed best and found that, while people say they prefer HTML-based and image-based emails, in reality, simpler emails perform best — and plain-text emails perform best of all.Take a look at how one of our emails makes use of linked anchor text to draw recipients’ attention toward the calls-to-action:The message doesn’t many graphics or colors added compared to most HTML emails. As such, the hyperlinked calls-to-action garner even more attention. When readers scan through the text and focus in on things like bolded words, images, and hyperlinked text, reiterating the same offer over and over hammers home for them exactly what you want them to do — redeem your offer by clicking your call-to-action.What else do you think makes for effective email marketing copy? Share with us in the comments.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Email marketing has come a long way in just the past few years. But with all the fancy new functionality brands are utilizing, you know what’s kind of funny? A well-written, plain-text email can perform just as well (if not better) than a highly designed email with tons of bells and whistles.In fact, no matter how fancy your marketing emails look, if they’re devoid of well-written content, your subscribers will stop opening — and start deleting — your messages. So, how do you write a great marketing email? It all comes down to a few copywriting best practices that you should apply to both the subject line of your message and the message body itself.Click here to download our free lookbook that’s packed with our favorite email newsletters.Next time you draft a message for a lead nurturing campaign or just a one-time email send, ask yourself whether your copy meets all of these guidelines first.10 Email Copywriting Tips for Writing Better Marketing EmailsWe’ll start with copywriting tips for better subject lines, followed by copywriting tips for the bodies of your emails.How to Write a Subject LinePart of writing effective email copy is nailing the subject line. The subject line is like the gatekeeper of your email: No one gets to read your stellar email copy if they aren’t interested enough to open your email in the first place.That interest is garnered almost wholly on the subject line of the email (with the sender name playing a role, as well). We’ve written a few blog posts about crafting email subject lines, including one on the anatomy of a great subject line and one showing 18 examples of awesome subject lines from brands. Here’s a distillation of what you need to know to write some excellent copy.1) Use actionable language.With email subject lines, using actionable language doesn’t necessarily mean using verbs, although it certainly helps. OpenTable, for example, sent me an email that said “Take Mom to Brunch” in the subject line. This is one way to use actionable language effectively in email subject lines: by incorporating a verb (like “take,” “download,” “reserve,” “ask,” “buy,” etc.), the reader knows exactly what they can do in the email.But there are ways to use actionable language without relying on verbs, which gives you more room to play around with wording. What it comes down to is using language that makes it clear to the recipient what they can do with the information in the email, should they choose to open it. In other words, keep the value for the user top-of-mind.For example, I once got an email from TicketMaster with the subject line “Don’t Miss Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.” They didn’t order me to purchase tickets by saying “Purchase Tickets Tomorrow for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band,” though such a subject line may have performed just as well. The original subject line worked well because it was clear what I could do with the information in that email — ensure I’m prepared for the 10:00 AM sale time so I could snag my tickets. (Which I did, thanks to that email!)2) Personalize when possible.Emails that are highly segmented tend to have higher performance levels — such as open rate and clickthrough rate — than emails that aren’t personalized. According to a study by Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generated 58% of all revenue for the marketers surveyed, and 36% of revenues were driven by emails sent to specific target selections.This isn’t exactly surprising. After all, the more segmented your email list, the better able you are to personalize the subject line and provide relevant content to that email recipient.So ask yourself: Is there a way to make your email subject line more personal? And I’m not talking about the dynamic field where you insert someone’s [FIRSTNAME] — email recipients stopped being impressed by that fancy functionality some time ago.Consider this scenario instead: You’re a realtor with a huge database of clients …Some of them are looking to rent, while others prefer to buy.Their ideal location ranges across several cities and zip codes.They all have different price points with which they’re comfortable.Some are looking for a studio, while others want a mansion.You even know that a group of them will only accept homes that have been renovated in the past 5 years.You certainly wouldn’t do a blanket email send across all of these different segments of your list, would you?And your email subject line wouldn’t be the same, either. You might have one subject line that says, “Renovated 1BR Apartment for Rent in Cambridge: Schedule a Viewing,” and another that says, “RSVP: Open House Sunday for Colonial House in Sudbury.” Each subject line speaks to the radically different needs of two radically different list segments.3) Prioritize clarity, and only then think about “catchiness.”Write a subject line that is clear first, and catchy second. In marketing copy, clarity should always, always, always be your first priority. If, after you’ve drafted a clear subject line, you can also make it catchy, funny, cute, whimsical, whatever, then go for it. But never sacrifice clarity for the entertainment value.UrbanDaddy is an example of a company that excels at writing subject lines that are always clear, and sometimes also catchy, funny, or entertaining. Take a look at the subject lines of some of the emails I’ve received from them:UD | A Hotel in the Middle of the OceanUD | Nunchucks. Made from Beer Cans. Finally.UD | Getting Everyone Together: Now Less ObnoxiousUD | A Grill the Size of a Foosball TableUD | It’s Ice Cream. It’s Beer. It’s Beer Ice Cream.UD | Here’s a Private Bahamian Island. Do Your Thing.Some of these subject lines either make the recipients chuckle or are bizarre enough to pique your interest. But it is always extremely clear what you will get when you open the email…. Which brings us to our next point.4) Align your subject line copy and email copy.You might already know how crucial it is for your call-to-action copy and your landing page offer to align. Well, it’s no different when crafting your email subject line and email message.What your email subject line promises, the email message should deliver. Why? It’s not just because it’s responsible — it’s also because when readers don’t get what they’re actually promised in the subject line, click-through rates plummet. (And, in the long term, so will your email open rates.)Back in 2011, we performed a test of our own. We sent the same email with two different subject lines to two different groups of people:”54 New Data Slides for Your Marketing Decks”: 26% click-through rate”Get Key Marketing Trends From the Marketing Data Box”: 10.4% click-through rateThe first subject line, which was straightforward and much more accurate had a better click-through rate by 15.4% over the second subject line, which was more vague and less accurate.The key takeaway here? A high email open rate means nothing without any clickthroughs.How to Write an EmailNow that you’ve crafted a stellar email subject line, you have your audience’s full attention on the body of your email message. So, how do you craft copy that will get them clicking? Here are the important components you need to know!5) Establish relevancy.Just like the email subject line should strive to establish relevancy through personalization, so should the copy in the message of the email.Again, it takes more than just a dynamic name tag for your email copy to convince readers that what’s inside is relevant to them. So use the very beginning of the email to explain how you know each other.Below is an example of an email sent by Warby Parker to a colleague of mine. (By the way, the subject line was very clever: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.”)Take a look at that first paragraph, called out in red. Right off the bat, the marketers at Warby Parker tell the reader why they’re being emailed (their prescription is expiring soon) and that this email is meant to help them find a new pair of glasses before that expiration date.Imagine if this email didn’t have that first paragraph, and started instead with what is currently the second paragraph: “Getting a new prescription can be a hassle. Luckily, it’s easy to make an appointment with an optometrist at our Newbury Street Store or through our friends at ZocDoc.”… Why are you emailing me about a prescription? Why would I want your advice? How do you know I live near Newbury Street? By reminding the recipient that they gave Warby Parker their prescription information in the past, there’s a greater likelihood that that person will click through and redeem the offer in this email.6) Write in the second person.Writing in the second person means using the pronouns “you,” “your,” and “yours.” For example, “Before you leave in the morning, remember to bring your jacket.” It means you orient the copy towards the reader, not yourself.Take a look at the copy in this email from Zappos, for example:Now, count how many times this email says “You” instead of “we” or “I.” Okay okay, we won’t make you count: The words “you” and “your” appear 12 times, while “we,” “our,” and “we’re” appear only 5 times.That’s a nice balance of second person language that keeps the focus on the customer, not the brand. This is a subtle tactic that helps you stay value-oriented, but this next step I’m about to cover is crucial to hitting the point home.7) Talk about benefits, not features.You know the value of your email. But does your recipient? No, not yet. And it’s your job to explain it.The problem is, many emails only explain the feature they are offering, not the benefit. Take a look at the copy in two separate ecommerce emails I’ve received. Which one is touting the feature, and which is touting the benefit? Topics: Email Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Originally published Dec 29, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Trends Don’t forget to share this post! Looking for a marketing strategy that’ll give you that extra leg up in 2017?While it’s always helpful and entertaining to spend hours absorbed in the blog posts, webinars, and podcasts from your favorite marketing influencers, there’s not always time for that. And with January 1 just a few short days away, you need to finalize your plans — fast.So in addition to all that content, why not look at what your favorite influencers are actually doing themselves?When I went to HubSpot’s INBOUND event last month, that was my goal. Before I even got to Boston, my coworkers and I started planning who we wanted to learn from. We made a list, we checked it twice, and we set out to learn from the best.Guess what? It paid off. While there, we spoke to some of the smartest people in inbound marketing and found out what marketing strategies they’re excited to use more in 2017. That’s not to mention what we learned in their talks and sessions.Check out the infographic below for some of the most helpful highlights from folks like Gary Vaynerchuk, Peg Fitzpatrick, Larry Kim, and more.128Save128Save
Originally published Oct 10, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 10 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: We all have different reasons for getting up every morning and doing what we do every day.So why is it that, on some days, it can feel harder than others to get up when your alarm goes off, do your workout, crush a work or school assignment, or make dinner for your family?Motivation (or a lack thereof) is usually behind why we do the things that we do.There are different types of motivation, and as it turns out, understanding why you are motivated to do the things that you do can help you keep yourself motivated — and can help you motivate others.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.In this post, we’ll dive into the two types of motivation — intrinsic and extrinsic — to learn the differences between the types, the benefits of each, and how to use both types to inspire productivity.Definitions of Intrinsic and Extrinsic MotivationIntrinsic motivation involves doing something because it’s personally rewarding to you. Extrinsic motivation involves doing something because you want to earn a reward or avoid punishment.What Is Intrinsic Motivation?When you’re intrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by your internal desire to do something for its own sake — for example, your personal enjoyment of an activity, or your desire to learn a skill because you’re eager to learn.Examples of intrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book because you enjoy the storytellingExercising because you want to relieve stressCleaning your home because it helps you feel organizedWhat Is Extrinsic Motivation?When you’re extrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by an external factor pushing you to do something in hopes of earning a reward — or avoiding a less-than-positive outcome.Examples of extrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book to prepare for a testExercising to lose weightCleaning your home to prepare for visitors coming overIntrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: What’s the Difference?At first glance, it might seem like it’s better to be intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated. After all, doesn’t it sound like it would be ideal if you didn’t need anyone — or anything — motivating you to accomplish tasks?But, alas, we don’t live in such a motivation-Utopia, and being extrinsically motivated doesn’t mean anything bad — extrinsic motivation is just the nature of being a human being sometimes.If you have a job, and you have to complete a project, you’re probably extrinsically motivated — by your manager’s praise or a potential raise or commission — even if you enjoy the project while you’re doing it. If you’re in school, you’re extrinsically motivated to learn a foreign language because you’re being graded on it — even if you enjoy practicing and studying it.So, intrinsic motivation is good, and extrinsic motivation is good. The key is to figure out why you — and your team — are motivated to do things, and encouraging both types of motivation.When Intrinsic Motivation Is BestResearch has shown that praise can help increase intrinsic motivation. Positive feedback that is “sincere,” “promotes autonomy,” and “conveys attainable standards” was found to promote intrinsic motivation in children.But on the other side of that coin, external rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation if they’re given too willy-nilly. When children received too much praise for completing minimal work or single tasks, their intrinsic motivation decreased.The odds are, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re not a child — although children are welcome subscribers here on the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But the principles of this study are still sound for adults.If you’re a people manager, be intentional with your praise and positive feedback. Make sure that it’s specific, empowering, and helps your direct reports understand your expectations and standards. But make sure you aren’t giving too much praise for work that’s less meaningful for your team, or they might lose intrinsic motivation.If you’re an individual contributor, tell your manager when their feedback is motivating — give them positive feedback, too. By providing positive feedback to your manager when they give you praise that keeps you motivated, you, in turn, will extrinsically motivate them to keep managing you successfully. (Meta, huh?)When Extrinsic Motivation Is BestExtrinsic rewards don’t just involve bribery (although bribery can work). In some cases, people may never be internally motivated to complete a task, and extrinsic motivation can be used to get the job done.In fact, extrinsic rewards can promote interest in a task or skill a person didn’t previously have any interest in. Rewards like praise, commissions, bonuses, or prizes and awards can also motivate people to learn new skills or provide tangible feedback beyond just verbal praise or admonishment.But tread carefully with extrinsic rewards: Studies have shown that offering too many rewards for behaviors and activities that people are already intrinsically motivated to do can actually decrease that person’s intrinsic motivation — by way of the overjustification effect.In these cases, offering rewards for activities the person already finds rewarding can make a personally enjoyable activity seem like work — which could kill their motivation to keep doing it.If you’re a people manager, use extrinsic rewards sparingly to motivate your team to take on new responsibilities or achieve lofty goals. Bonuses, commissions, recognition prizes, and promotions can be an effective way to motivate or reward your team for learning new skills, taking on new challenges, or hitting a quarterly goal. But make sure you’re giving your team members the time and resources to explore skills and projects they’re already excited about independently — without making them a part of their regular responsibilities, which could demotivate them.If you’re an individual contributor, work for the rewards you want, but don’t over-exhaust yourself in the pursuit of extrinsic prizes. Make sure you’re taking time, in your job or in your personal life, to explore activities that you enjoy just for the sake of doing them, to keep yourself balanced. Productivity
Topics: InVision uses witty copy and bright colors to catch the eye and entice their readers to click.Classy, an online fundraising platform for nonprofits, similarly uses the CTA as an opportunity to be more playful with their copy and create a memorable experience for their blog subscribers.6. You Keep It Short and Sweet How to Break It: Experiment With Length The Skimm’s 6 million email subscribers prove that emails don’t always have to be short and sweet, or highly visual to be successful. While some data points to ideally having relatively short email copy, the Skimm’s emails can get quite long (though they are broken into sections for digestibility). And while they don’t typically include very many visual components, they focus on making one thing very easy for the reader. Sharing.In this example alone, there are nine opportunities to share the email with a friend or colleague. Which leads us to our next habit:7. You’re Focused on Content How to Break It: Consider How Design Feeds GrowthIf content is King, design is Queen.Your content could be strong and interesting, but if your design doesn’t include the ability to easily share your message, you’re holding your content back. According to Bernadette Jiwa, author of Marketing: A Love Story, “Growth hacking is really the practice of creating and leveraging word-of-mouth with intention.”She continues, “Growth hackers optimize their business to acquire new customers by first delighting one customer and then making it easy for that customer to share the store with friends.”You work hard to ensure your content delights—don’t send it off to die in the bowels of your clientele’ inboxes. Incorporate tools that give your email the legs it needs to grow.8. You Use Personas to Make Assumptions How to Break It: Demonstrate Intimacy As marketers, we have to make assumptions. We can’t possibly know each of our audience members intimately. While segmentation and building personas is important to delivering relevant content, today’s consumers are expecting you to know more about them than ever.If you can’t demonstrate intimacy, you’re going to fall short. If marketers aren’t using segmentation by now, they’re at least aware of the tactic and how other organizations benefit from it. While developing personas and lists to send more personalized messages is a step in the right direction, we can take action to further personalize our content and show readers we’re paying attention—and that we’re listening.Consider what data you might share with your readers to develop a sense of intimacy or help them learn about their own behaviors.For example, Spotify uses data to demonstrate how well they know their users. These unique messages feel “one-of-a-kind” because they are. Each user receives a message with personalized data and insights around their own actions.9. You Talk Too Much About YourselfHow to Break It: Send an Email, Just Because It can be easy for messaging to get a little out of balance. After all, your marketing efforts are intended to make your audience aware of the value of your products and/or services. But to become a brand that people identify with in a meaningful way, you need to do more than just keep them updated on your latest deals and features.You need to add value to each person’s life. Develop a cadence for connecting over something unrelated to your sales efforts, but very related to your organization’s core values and culture.This will help you to grow a following of like-minded individuals passionate about who you are and how you make them feel, not just what you’re selling.For example, Spotify sends messages to let their users know about upcoming concerts in their area:Additionally, Chubbies sends a “Weekender” email every Friday that doesn’t include links to products. Instead, they round up fun and entertaining bits of information purely aimed at providing a laugh. This fits right into their culture and core values, as indicated by the statement on their website, “We believe in the weekend.”According to Kyle, one of their founders, “It’s all about all the wild stuff in the world and what you should be doing this coming weekend. And the purpose of it is to send you into the weekend. It doesn’t drive sales. It’s for nothing but creating a valuable experience with our customers. And we’ve done that every Friday for six years. That’s part of how we build a real relationship with our customers.”Ready to Switch Things Up?While best practices emerge for a reason, if you’re not regularly experimenting in this competitive communications landscape, your efforts will soon appear stale and your growth, stagnant. Build time into your team’s workflows to reassess your current best practices regularly to allow for ample creativity. Email Marketing Mistakes Don’t forget to share this post! Before you break any email marketing habits or best practices, it’s important to first understand why they work.Once you’ve mastered basic email content creation, you’ll be in a better position to experiment and test certain components of your strategy. In today’s ultra-competitive email landscape, you need to perform tests in order to find out what drives your specific recipients to open, read, and click.Click here to download our free ebook featuring 104 email marketing myths, experiments, and inspiration.While the right content and design are necessary components for email success, running tests will help you understand how to stand out in your readers’ inboxes. And to understand what to test, it’s helpful to revisit your current strategies and consider which email habits might be appropriate to mix up, or break altogether.In this post, we’ll explore a number of commonly overlooked email habits you should start breaking and experimenting with to find the best strategy for your company.9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break1. You Always Use the Same Sender Name How to Break It: Get Friendly With Your “From” NameWhile it’s helpful to set certain expectations with your email recipients, don’t limit yourself to only sending messages from your company name, or from one team member. Experimenting with “friendly froms” can increase open rates. For example, instead of simply sending an email from the name of your company, you might provide an employee’s name, such as “Tim at Awesome.com”But before you go crazy, always ensure your email activities do not violate the CAN-SPAM act. Your froms should not be false or misleading. However, there are ways your organization can make adjustments that delight your recipients.Chubbies, a men’s fashion company with over 1.5 million Facebook followers, is well-known for getting creative with their from names. While their approach is very specific to their organization’s tone, style, and audience, you can look to them for inspiration.One study found that while Chubbies’ messages had slightly lower inbox placement rates, their “fun and unusual friendly forms” saw higher read rates and lower “delete without reading” rates.Here’s an example of how Chubbies gets creative with the friendly from:Chubbies also makes sure their fun “friendly” from names go with their subject lines and preview text.This synchronization allows them to use every space available to them in your inbox to grab your attention and make a lasting impression. Again, before testing strategies like this yourself, consult with a law professional about the CAN-SPAM act to ensure you’re not in violation.2. You Treat Your Subject Line Too Literally How to Break It: Write Copy That Visually Stands Out Consumers are inundated with emails all day long, which means your subject line is the one factor that will get someone to open your message.Consider the following example:What stands out? Caps lock text? Numbers? The use of an emoji? Personalization? Humor? White space?To catch someone’s attention as they scroll through their unread messages, it’s important to consider how your subject line appears next to others visually.While your subject line text should reflect the contents of your message and match your organization’s tone and style, it’s important to use this space as creatively as possible. Test small tweaks with your audience to see if anything helps grab their attention.3. Your Preview Text Is Auto-Populated How to Break It: Use That Hot Preview Text Real Estate If your email client supports preview text, also known as pre-header text, you can optimize it for every email you send. Allowing this text to auto-populate is a lost opportunity to grab attention or delight your recipients.Though it takes some code, the use of this space will help you stand out from others who do not go to the same lengths to make theirs unique.Experiment with clever, related text, like how Chubbies does in the example above, or try using just a few words to create more white space.In the example below, Crate and Barrel writes preview text that is an extension of their subject line and creates eye-catching white space.And in the following example, the Skimm uses their preview text to address a previous technical error in a light-hearted manner.4. Your Copy Is So Professional It’s Boring How to Break It: Develop a Distinct Tone of Voice Your organization’s tone of voice can be one of your biggest differentiators. Whether you use a certain style of humor or strive to sound as academic as possible, a well-crafted voice allows readers to connect with your organization on a human-to-human level.In a time when technological advancement has us fondly looking to the past and remembering more intimate times, businesses can struggle to both scale and maintain the “humanness” of a mom-and pop-shop.Your tone can help you combat that struggle. The answer is having a personality.According to one of Chubbies’ four founders, Tom, they thought, “Everything’s a little too serious in men’s fashion.” To stand out and attract people to their brand, he says, “We wrote our emails like we were writing to our friends.”In a podcast interview by Smart Passive Income, he advised organizations to think about their own brand as a unique person.“Think about it like a person with a personality. More often than not, that personality is going to be yours—as the business owner, as the person who’s going to be writing or creating this content. Write about the things you care about, write about the things that have an emotional connection with you, and that’s where you’ll start to find kernels. We were not knocking it out of the park every time we wrote but because we were passionate about it, it enabled us to keep testing and keep driving.”When you approach your communication under this lens, you’re bound to create content that doesn’t just deliver a message, but also forms a connection.5. Your CTA Is Literal How to Break It: Get Creative With Button Copy Every inch of your email is an opportunity and each word should be intentional, especially the areas that ask your readers to take an action.Here a few favorite examples of ways to get clever and entice your reader to click. Today’s consumer is well aware of the fact that you’re trying to lead them to a desired action. With that in mind, you might experiment with your call to action copy and use each “click here” spot as a chance to delight. Originally published Mar 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated December 04 2018
I’m a huge fan of case studies. They’re an incredible tool to showcase your nonprofit’s work, demonstrate social proof, and gain more supporters. Jay Baer’s Youtility explains the power of case studies in greater detail, but here are a few ways you can use this approach to support your fundraising and marketing efforts: 1) Get testimonials. Tell the story of why people support your organization. Ask questions such as:Why are you passionate about this issue?When did you start learning about this issue?Why do you choose to support our organization?By gathering this information, you’ll not only have endorsements for your cause, but you can also use responses to inform your marketing and donor recruitment strategies.2) Document how you spent money. Did you dedicate a large portion of funds to operational expenses? Why? What impact did it have? Once you explain that to donors, they’ll better understand how you fulfill your mission, and why it’s important to have operational expenses. Every penny of your budget doesn’t have to go to on-the-ground work, but you do have to demonstrate how operations are vital to ensuring the services you provide are making a positive change. 3) Survey those you help. Ask your constituency how they’ve found your services. Do they see your nonprofit as a vital member of their community? Would they be able to get where they are without you?If those answers affirm your work, ask respondents if you can use a quote in your case study. Most will be happy to help. In some cases, if you provide them with links and social media messages, they’ll share the study with their network, too. If the answers bring up questions or poke holes in your work, pay attention to that. That’s a great opportunity to take feedback and turn it into something positive.Have you created a case study before? What were the results? How did you share it with supporters?
The good news is that giving continues to grow. The bad news is that donor retention rates aren’t what they should be. Think about the donors who came into your organization’s ecosystem during the past year. Will they give again?You can improve the odds of keeping more of your supporters by declaring this year the Year of the Donor. What this looks like for your organization may be different than for your nonprofit peers, but here are a few basics to get you started:1. Have a solid plan.The biggest way to ensure your donors remain your top priority is to create a well-organized plan for cultivating your organization’s supporters throughout the year.To do: Create a comprehensive donor stewardship plan that complements your overall marketing strategy and retention goals. Your plan should include a timeline, messaging guidelines, and who will be responsible for each component of your donor outreach. For more planning tips, take a look at Network for Good’s donor stewardship checklist.2. Send an amazing thank you.Of course you’re thanking all your donors. Right? (Right?) But are you making it an amazing experience of effusive gratitude? Is your thank you so awesome that donors will tell their friends all about it? Even tell strangers? If not, there’s always room for improvement. Your goal: Express to impress!To do: Take the time to write a series of really great donor thank you letters. Make them personal, memorable, and full of gratitude. Your thank you letters should reinforce the projected impact of a donor’s gift and open the door for an ongoing relationship. If possible, hire a professional copywriter to polish your thank yous.3. Keep the conversation going.Your thank you note is really just the start of a new conversation with your donor. Keep this conversation flowing by updating your supporters on your work and how their gift has helped make it possible. Update supporters on what’s new in your community, your work, and how they can continue to be involved. As you build on this communication, you’ll have earned the opportunity to invite them to give again.To do: Create an editorial calendar to plan your outreach and news you’d like to share. Use your email marketing tools to segment your lists so you can separate donors from those who’ve yet to give. Communicate to these two groups differently when sending updates to tailor your message to reflect donors’ special status.4. Clearly articulate your impact.One of the main reasons donors don’t go on to give a second gift is because they’re not sure how their money was used to create real impact. It’s your job to make sure supporters know exactly how their gift is being used and how it makes a difference. Get in the habit of making this a part of everything you do—from fundraising appeals to your monthly newsletter.To do: Illustrate a donation’s impact through photos, testimonials, and quantifiable results that are easy for donors to understand. Incorporate these elements in every piece of donor communication you send. Build a collection of stories that are organized by program or locality so you can easily match these with the profiles of your donors.5. Invite donors for their feedback.More and more donors don’t want to just give and run—they want to be an active part of your cause. Because they’ve been moved enough to donate, they can offer valuable insight on what went into their decision and how you can continue to reach them and others in their network.To do: Regularly invite your donors to provide you with feedback. Add this to your donor thank you phone script and conduct periodic donor surveys to collect their input on everything from your newsletter content to how you contact them. Making them feel more invested in your work will bring donors even closer to your organization.6. Regularly test and improve.It takes a lot of work to acquire new donors, so it’s crucial that you do everything you can to keep the ones you’ve got. One way to do this is to find and fix any leaks in your process. Once you’ve fixed the obvious problems, optimize your donor retention strategy by testing new messages and acknowledgement techniques.To do: Track and measure every interaction with your donors. If you don’t have Google Analytics on your nonprofit website or donation form, that’s one place to start. Identify where donors may be falling off by looking at your website bounce rate, form abandonment, and email unsubscribes. Use A/B testing to see which calls to action and content types work best for your audience.7. Create feel-good moments.Everyone gives for different reasons, but we all want to feel good about our charitable gifts. To keep this positive vibe flowing, it’s important to create moments of connection and with your donors. Ronald McDonald House Charities does just that with this simple thank you video that puts the donor at the center of the experience and in the embrace of those who feel the impact of their donations every day:To do: Commit to making your ongoing donor outreach unique and personal. Get creative with photos, video, and perks for your donors to help your cause stay top of mind. Recruit volunteers and beneficiaries to help keep your communications authentic and original. (Want more ideas on using images to stand out? Read these 10 ways nonprofits can use visuals.)How will you make this year the Year of the Donor? I’d love to hear your plans, and I know your donors can’t wait to see what happens next.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 20, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The 66th World Health Assembly convened today, May 20 with addresses and discussions focused on the post-2015 global development agenda. The Assembly runs through May 28, and will feature numerous discussions and consideration of resolutions on issues that are critical to advancing maternal health.The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has prepared an overview of side events on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Among the highlights is “Securing the future: Saving the lives of women and children,” which will focus on success stories, as well as key challenges for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement. It will provide an opportunity for discussion of a proposed resolution on the ‘Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.’ Other key events include a session on promoting accountability for maternal and child health, which will provide health ministers an opportunity to share perspectives on progress and challenges for MDGs 4 and 5, and to reflect on the “unfinished business” that will require attention past the 2015 MDG deadline; and a session on the importance of human resources for health.For more on the proceedings of the World Health Assembly, including the provisional agenda and highlights of each day’s proceedings, visit the World Health Organization media center. Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 24, 2014November 7, 2016By: Renuka Motihar, Independent Consultant and member of the Executive Committee of the White Ribbon Alliance IndiaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!In India, there has been considerable economic progress, but the country is still grappling with inequities and the basic right to safe childbirth. There are about 30 million pregnancies; 27 million deliveries and about 56,000 women are lost in childbirth each year. This accounts for 19 percent of maternal deaths around the world. Most of these can be prevented. India still has a way to go to reach MDG 5, which would require reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to 109 deaths per 100,000 births by 2015. There has been some progress in the country in the last decade. The MMR has fallen from about 390 to 212 deaths per 100,000 live births in about 10 years, approximately 67 percent decrease. There are some areas in the country, such as states of Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand that still have MMRs greater than 300 deaths per 100,000 live births. Social determinants such as early age of marriage and early and repeated childbearing are also contributing factors. Thirty-six percent of Indian women are malnourished and about 55 percent are anemic. Bodies are ill prepared to handle childbirth with poor nutrition, stunting with negative outcomes for maternal health. The main causes of death in India have been found to be heavy bleeding (hemorrhage) and eclampsia (high blood pressure).The Government of India has policies and programs to improve outcomes for maternal health. Janani Suraksha Yojana, a safe motherhood cash assistance scheme, and now the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakarm (JSSK) have facilitated the shift of births from homes to health facilities. Births in clinics and hospitals have increased over 75 percent in the last 5 years; however the maternal mortality ratios have only declined by approximately 25 percent. But the question arises: Are the health facilities equipped with the desired quality to handle the onset of numbers? Is there adequate inter-partum care and emergency care for complicated deliveries? Is the poorest woman being able to reach services? Is it inclusive and equitable?To address quality of care issues, quality protocols are being developed — for the labor room, antenatal care and postnatal care by the government and there is an effort to standardize. There is an attempt to strengthen supportive supervision, task shifting (reduce dependence on doctors and train a cadre of health workers for providing services), strategic skilling, respectful maternal care and maternal death reviews. However, challenges still remain: India is a vast country, and problems of supplies of essential drugs, medicines, inadequate human resources, inaccessible terrain, socio-cultural factors, and translating policies/programs into action persist. The government of India is grappling with all these issues and is focusing on improving quality of services. There is a realization that only looking at numbers is not enough. Improving quality of services is critical. As Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission has said in a recent meeting, “We need a shift in the focus on achieving numbers to achieving quality of care”. The global targets for preventing maternal deaths are useful in providing goals to aspire for a country. They have acted as a catalyst to accelerate progress. However, the targets currently only reflect maternal mortality. They do not reflect maternal morbidities or the fact that for every woman dying in childbirth, many more women suffer long-lasting and debilitating illnesses, which are now being neglected. For countries, a relative or percentage target may be more useful; and those countries that are on track should also examine the reaching of targets sub-nationally. However, within countries, focusing only on numbers is not enough. Efforts need to go beyond numbers to reflect on enhancing the quality of services, and, in turn, improving the lives of women and children.If you would like to submit a guest post for to our ongoing series exploring potential goals for maternal health in the post-MDG development agenda, please contact Andrea Goetschius: email@example.comShare this:
Posted on May 15, 2014November 4, 2016By: Robina Biteyi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance UgandaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In Uganda we are witnessing a recent increase in maternal deaths . We once reported that 16 women die every day in our country, but that number has now increased to 17. White Ribbon Alliance is tackling this trend by pushing the government to invest adequately in Emergency Live Saving Care. Ugandan citizens are stepping up and demanding that action should be taken. Together, we pushed the government to make a commitment to the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children to save maternal and child lives. That commitment was made, and the real work has begun in making sure the Ugandan government follows through with their commitment.We know our women and their babies are dying due to lack of emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC). This is why we pushed the government to commit to provide this care, and they did. In 2011, the Government of Uganda stated that all health centres would provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) and 50% would provide comprehensive obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC).As White Ribbon Alliance, we campaign for this promise to be delivered. We carried out assessments and collected evidence on the provision of care, and we brought together many different leaders in our society for us to collectively decide what the focus needed to be of our campaign and how we would achieve our goals.Our assessments in 43 health centres across three very diverse districts have shown us that not one of the three districts is currently meeting the minimum requirement for BEmONC nor CEmONC. We collected the stories of the challenges people were facing to try to access the care they needed and made a film to show our policy makers.The assessments carried out to assess maternal health service delivery have brought both anticipated and unexpected successes. As expected, they allowed us to bring real evidence into discussions and campaigns. Also, as we engaged with health workers, district officials and community leaders to complete the assessment, it was reported that this process broke down some of the communication barriers that existed before the assessment. The communication facilitated by the assessment process has led to local actions now being taken to make improvements.As we moved through the districts, people voiced their experiences and we recorded them and connected with local media to document what was happening. We petitioned the district leadership based on the evidence collected and they addressed the petitions in their meetings. Since this engagement with the district leaders, we have already seen real increase in budget allocation for these essential services. Without our evidence and campaigning, the facts would not be known.We are also bridging the gaps between national administration and district councils. The provision of equipment and supplies are critical components of EmONC. To address bottlenecks in these supply chains, we are in discussions with the National Medical Stores and district teams. In addition to addressing the supply chain, we are amplifying the district demands for an increased budget commitment at the national level. We are doing this by pushing through our national networks and media so that emergency care gets the focus it needs in the national budget priorities.We know that if we work together to link citizens’ demands with national leaders, we can save mothers and babies lives. Nobody wants to lose a mother, and no couple wants to lose their baby. We know what works and we know with the right investment in emergency care, we can make the same progress that is happening in other countries around the world. We are calling on all partners in Uganda and beyond to join us in advocating for this government commitment. Please track our progress and get in touch with us through our blog page and Facebook. Please join us to #ACTNOWTOSAVEMOTHERS.If you would like to share your in-country story with us, please email Natalie Ramm or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: