10 Brilliant Ideas for Personalized Email Marketing


Personalized email marketing refers to any form of alteration of the email copy or design tailored specifically to meet one or more characteristics of the recipient. Personalized email marketing is not always easy to achieve and requires a bit more effort than simply sending a generic email to your whole list of subscribers. However, personalized email marketing in most cases leads to higher conversion rates, which is practically the goal of every marketer, isn’t it?

Increased chances of conversion are certainly worth all the extra efforts. If you are lacking ideas of how to personalize the emails you are sending, well, we have good news for you. In today’s post, we’ve gathered some brilliant ideas for personalized email marketing that worked for other brands and maybe you should give them a shot, too. Let’s begin!

 

1. Name

Using the recipient’s name is probably the first thing to come to mind when someone thinks of personalized email marketing.

“Hello, Mike” undeniably sounds more personalized than “Hey there” but how exactly to use the name is an issue bringing a few more questions to the table. Should you use it in your email subject line or in the copy perhaps? Should you use the recipient’s first name or should you call them by their last name? Experimenting with A/B testing will surely give you the answers.

2. Conversational tone and utterance

Usually, the level of formality of your brand determines the conversational tone when sending emails to leads and clients. However, different generations often speak “different” languages, as well as people of different professional ranks would require you to adjust the level of formality of your utterance.

3. Gender

Personalizing emails by gender is exceptionally useful when you are selling men’s and women’s products, such as clothing and cosmetics. Instead of creating one email campaign that would cover both men’s and women’s products, segment your subscribers’ list by gender and create two different campaigns – one that’s targetting women and therefore offering women’s products, and the other – targetting men and offering men’s products.

4. Location and time

Depending on your business, you can segment your audience based on location, as well. This is a great way to advertise local shops, events or contests happening nearby, etc.

In regards to timing, have in mind that if you are sending internationally, it’s better to adjust to the recipient’s time zone. Depending on the ESP you are using, you may even be able to let the ESP choose the best time at which the recipients are most likely to open the email.

5. Account creation date

When you have the account creation date for each subscriber, it’s easy to craft a happy birthday email that will automatically get triggered when this day comes. Such practice provides an extremely personalized experience for the recipient.

6. Frequency of purchase

Based on how the customers behave on your website, you can create a few different customer personas to whom to send personalized email offers. For example, based on the frequency of purchase your subscribers could fall into 3 different groups:

  • subscribers who have never purchased from you – strive to send enticing offers which prompt these users to make their first order;
  • subscribers who haven’t purchased from you in a while – send reactivation campaigns;
  • regular customers – customer appreciation and loyalty programs.

7. Spending habits

Of course, you can segment your database of subscribers based on different behavior, e.g. the average amount they spend in one order. Such information can help you craft and send personalized email marketing offers to people who are willing to spend this kind of money. Here is an example of segmentation based on spending habits:

  • people who spend less than $50
  • people who spend between $50 and $250
  • people who spend over $250

Personalized Email Marketing Spending Habits

8. Personalized product recommendations

Be it upselling or cross-selling, recommendations based on previously purchased products, products saved as favorites, search history or browsing history on website, sending personalized email marketing offers including products people actually care about is quite promising. Not only do the chances of conversion increase, but the value of the order has also pretty high chances of increase, too.

9. Send the email from a real person

If the customers have ever interacted with someone on your team, sending emails on behalf of this person can really help you convey the feeling of one-to-one communication, especially if you also use the recipient’s name in the beginning of the email.

10. Personalize the landing page

Personalized email marketing undoubtedly requires personalized experience beyond the email. Don’t let your efforts for personalization go in vain once the person clicks through. Personalized landing pages are a must. They work like a natural sequence of your email. Think in terms of design- and copy-consistency.

 

How to get more ideas for personalized email marketing?

Easy. The more information you gather about your subscribers, the easier it will be for you to personalize your email marketing.

Asking the right questions right from the beginning will ensure you a database full of useful information. For example, if you are a retailer, you can ask if the subscriber is male or female when they subscribe. The same goes for gathering other demographical data or customer interests that will help you segment your list of subscribers later.

Don’t underestimate the power of behavior-triggered emails. Cart abandonment, inactivity for a given period of time, adding products to favorites – these actions and more can all be triggers for personalized email marketing campaigns based on the specific behavior of your prospects and clients.

 

To sum up,

There are indeed many ways to personalize your emails. The key is asking the right question to gather the right information, so you can send the right content to the right users. We believe these ideas will help you achieve more personalized email marketing. If you’d like to share your thoughts, feel free to do so in the comments below.

7 Internal Newsletter Rules for Seamless Company Communication


Have you been sending internal newsletters across your company? If not, now may be the perfect time to start. And if you have, now may be the perfect time to check if your internal newsletter has these 7 qualities which are super important for your seamless company communication.

Keeping employees informed of what’s happening in the company and in the industry makes them feel valued. Automatically, this makes them feel happier in the workplace. In result, employees become more productive and motivated.

Without wasting any more time, let’s see which are the 7 essential qualities any internal newsletter must have.

 

1. Informative: Focus on quality information.

First things first. If you don’t have anything to say, just skip sending an internal newsletter this time.

Internal newsletters should be filled with important and valuable information. This way, employers form a habit of opening and reading all of these emails, simply because they know they will find interesting and useful information regarding your company, business or even the employees themselves.

Leave the chit-chat behind and focus on quality information. What would that be? Here are a few directions.

  • the launch of new products, services, and/or brands;
  • advancements and updates on developing new products;
  • industry news and/or essential news about competitors;
  • courses opportunities, seminar announcements, training programs, etc.;
  • updates or changes of employee benefits;
  • team-buildings and off-work activities;
  • changes in the organizational structure of the company, rebranding, merging, etc;
  • milestone announcements and company celebrations;
  • company reward systems encouraging high employee performance;
  • open job possitions;
  • and many more!

 

2. Scannable: Let employees sift out information.

Sometimes, an internal newsletter may turn out a bit longer for the most recipients to read through. Just think of it as a regular newsletter which you usually send to your email marketing subscribers but instead, you send this one to your employees.

Just like other recipients, your employees would want to sift out information and read only those pieces which are interesting and valuable to them. For this purpose,

  • use bullet-points,
  • use numbering,
  • bold keywords and key phrases in the text,
  • use headings.

 

3. Relevant: Include valuable info for everyone.

We all must agree that not all information would be relevant to all your employees. For example, an important message from the company’s CEO or a change in the company’s organization would be of interest to all employees. However, news regarding organizational changes in just one company department wouldn’t raise the interest of people working in other company departments.

Having this in mind, try to include information with a company-wide relevance in each of your internal newsletters. This way, your employers will know that when they open the letter, they will learn something useful regarding their jobs or the company. Still, keep these emails scannable, so readers can easily go through the content and read only those pieces which are relevant to them.

Employee newsletter template example

 

4. Truthful: Always be honest.

Lying or amending the truth won’t do you any good. If your company is experiencing struggles or you have big challenges ahead of your brands, simply be honest about it. Your employees will learn it anyway. It’s important to be open about problems and solutions you are pursuing, and why ask your employees about their opinion? You might be surprised by the suggestions you receive.

Since most company secrets can easily leak once shared with your employees, do not share anything that you wouldn’t want to be known publicly.

 

5. Concise: Nobody has time for novels.

Even if you are sending your internal newsletters monthly or once every two-three months, don’t flood your employees with information. We get it, it might be tempting to share all those good stories, news and campaigns happening to your company and brands but long internal newsletters might be a bit overwhelming to your employees.

If you don’t want to risk losing the attention of your recipients, why not maintain a company blog where you can share all company stories and news? In the internal newsletter, you can just summarize each story in a sentence or two and provide a link to the whole story for employees who want to read it.

Internal Newsletter template example

 

6. Punctual: Because time really matters.

Timing is important. If you set a schedule, for example, to send an internal newsletter every first working day of the month, your employees will expect it. It would be extremely important for you to be punctual once you have established a schedule.

If you cannot sustain a monthly internal newsletter, it’s okay. An irregular schedule is also an option as long as your recipients are informed. Such a schedule is especially useful for smaller businesses which can send internal newsletters only when they have essential information to share with their teams.

 

7. Human: In the end, we are all human.

Make it sound like you are having a normal conversation with your employees. Don’t use too formal or informal writing manner. Simply set a friendly tone while avoiding jargons and slangs.

 

Conclusion,

Sending regular internal newsletters to your employees is certainly beneficial to your business and even more beneficial to the happiness of your employees. If you’d like to add your suggestions and comments on the subject, we’d be eager to see what you have on your mind.

Want to check out 15 Awesome Customer Appreciation Email Marketing Campaigns?

19 Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid Making in 2019


Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool but only if you are doing it right. Unfortunately, many brands these days make email marketing mistakes which cost them opens and conversions. It isn’t rare that for some brands things have been going well until at some point some they report a rise of the unsubscriptions.

Well, even if you thought you’ve figured out the email marketing game, circumstances are changing. At some point, you may not realize that you have started making email marketing mistakes, whether small or big. Today, we’ve prepared a list of 19 common email marketing mistakes that may negatively impact your opens and conversions. Let’s begin.

1. Not abiding by the GDPR regulation

As of May 2018, all companies operating in the EU as well as companies outside the EU which operate on the EU market, have to abide by a set of rules regarding collecting, storing and using data and personal information of users and clients. Find more information about GDPR.

2. Skipping the proper preparation

The proper preparation for what awaits you and your future email audience is the essential first step that you have to take. First things first, ask yourself a few vital questions before moving on.

  • Can you really benefit from email marketing?
  • How exactly will you engage your email list?
  • What type of content can you create?
  • How often?

Making a plan and deciding on the details of your email marketing strategy will help you clear up your vision, create focused content, and ultimately, reach your goals.

3. Not setting the right expectations

Then, you need to prepare your email recipients for what to expect from you. This means they need to know, when subscribing, how often you will they receive emails from you and what type of content it is going to be. Here is an example by Moz Blog.

4. Not setting goals for each campaign

Sure, you must have one general goal that you want to achieve via email marketing. But! With each email newsletter or email campaign you create, you must set a specific goal for this email campaign. What would you want your recipients to learn? What do you want them to do afterwards? Setting a specific goal for each specific campaign will boost your success significantly.

5. Skipping the email list segmentation

Sending a general email campaign to your whole email list can sometimes be justified but doing it every time may lower your open and conversion rates. This is because people in your email list are different and they would love to have more personalized experience with your brand.

How to achieve that? Well, the first step is segmenting. Now, you can segment your email list by gender, interest, purchase patterns, stages of the sales cycle, etc. Learn more about Email List Segmentation Best Practices

6. Not sending relevant content

After you’ve segmented your email list, don’t keep sending one general email newsletter to all. Send relevant content to the different groups of people you’ve created. For example, if you are selling clothes, create one campaign for men’s clothes to send to the male subscribers, and one for the women’s clothes to send to the female subscribers. The examples are many but the idea is: You email becomes more relevant and personalized. As a result, the conversion rate will grow.

Here is an example for sending relevant content by Shinola, a brand for men’s and women’s accessories. In this campaign, they promoted men’s new accessories which they sent to their male subscribers.

shinola-our-first-automatic-timepiece

7. Annoying your recipients with too many emails

Even if the person is interested in receiving content from you, flooding them with emails is absolutely a no-go. From our experience, some brands send an email each day, and others send even more frequently. In such cases, you will most likely receive an unsubscribe rather than a click.

8. Writing poor subject lines

The subject line is a major factor when it comes to generating high open rates. Depending on how you’ve written the subject line, it will either catch the recipient’s attention or be completely ignored. Of course, you don’t want the latter to happen.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a recipe that works for every brand. But there are a few rules that you can and should follow.

  • Don’t mislead the viewer. This means all you say in the subject line should be true.
  • Don’t say it all. Just provoke the curiosity of the recipient, so they are motivated to click and see your message.
  • Put your keywords in the beginning. Since a lot of recipients will read their email on mobile devices, have in mind that the subject lines will be cropped.

9. Neglecting the preheader text

The preheader text is the text that is displayed right next to the subject line. Its purpose is to give more information about the email content and convince the user to click and see what’s inside.

preheader text preview

If you don’t fill out this field with valuable information, the email service provider will display the beginning of your email. And it won’t be very helpful sometimes, e.g. “View this email on the web”.

10. Sending a non-responsive email design

When it comes to reading emails on mobile devices, it’s an absolute must that your email design is responsive. Either this or a mobile version of the email design will ensure that all your mobile readers will see it in the best possible way.

11. Not branding the email design

If you are using a pre-made email template, you should most definitely brand it with your logo. If possible, you should even change the template’s colors to be consistent with your overall brand identity. A simple way to brand your email is to place your logo in the upper part of the email design. Here is an example by Shopify.

welcome-to-shopify-we-have-special-features-for-wordpress-users

12. Too much going on in your email

Remember the goal we talked about? Without a goal, you might get you carried away in including all kind of information, relevant or irrelevant to your recipients. In result, they may prefer to close the email rather than click on anything inside.

So, keep your email newsletter focused. Remember your goal and leave out everything that would distract the viewer.

13. Not leading the viewer’s eyes

With every email design you send, you need to have a hierarchy that’s clear for the viewer. Headings, subheadings, and paragraphs help you establish a hierarchy. They also make your content scannable, so the recipient can sift out the information and read only the pieces that catch their interest.

Here is a great example by Nokia of how to make your content scannable and lead the viewers’ eyes.

mother-s-day-offer-free-luxury-wristband-with-any-watch-purchase

14. The email design lacking consistency with the landing page

When creating email marketing campaigns, marketers neglect the landing page very often. Well, this clearly is a mistake because after all, this is the destination you want the recipient to arrive to.

Make the design of the landing page consistent with the email design. The landing page should feel like a natural extension to the email.  This way, the person won’t feel like they’ve landed on the wrong page.

15. Forgetting about the alt text for images

For one reason or another, the email service provider may not display your images. Or the user might have turned them off. Either way, you should most certainly include alt tags for your images, especially if they are linked. Make the alt text meaningful, so a user can decide if they want to click, even if they are not seeing the image.

16. Not using anchor text for links

Avoid pasting plain URLs in your content. Use anchor texts that are meaningful and feel like a natural part of the text. So, instead of using “Click here”, say “Browse our new collection” or “Learn more”, or “Download this freebie”, etc. Here is an example by Brandless – the anchor text “unboxing videos”.

brandless-feeling-the-love

17. Unclear call-to-action copy

We are not only talking about the text you put on the buttons but the text right before that, as well. A call-to-action button copy is effective only if it’s harmonized with the copy of the headings and the paragraphs. Here are the steps:

  • Grab the attention with the headings’ copy.
  • Increase the interest with the paragraphs’ copy.
  • Inspire action with the buttons’ copy.

And here is a great example by Apple of how to implement these 3 steps into your email campaign.

apple-buy-an-eligible-mac

18. Not filling the email footer with the right information

Including unnecessary or unuseful information in the email footer is as bad as not including any information at all. Here is what you should put in the email footer:

  • An Unsubscribe option that doesn’t require logging in.
  • Social media buttons that make it easy for recipients to follow you on social media.
  • A link to your privacy policy which is in compliance with the GDPR regulation.
  • Other disclaimers if necessary, e.g. when you are promoting a contest.

19. Not doing A/B testing

Email marketing isn’t rocket science but it isn’t so easy to figure it out from the beginning, as well. It takes time to understand what kind of content appeals to your recipients the most. At what days of the week and what times of the day you generate the highest conversion and open rates. You will establish all of these factors by using A/B testing. Learn more about How A/B Testing Improves Your Email Marketing.

To wrap up,

Email marketing mistakes are common. Almost every brand has made at least a few of them in while learning and experimenting what works and what doesn’t. We hope we’ve been helpful with these 19 email marketing mistakes that you will most certainly want to avoid making in 2019. If you’ve encountered other email marketing mistakes throughout the years, we’ll be more than happy to hear about them in the comments below.

Interested in 80+ FREE MailChimp Templates to Kick-Start Your Email Marketing?

8 Tips to Write Better Order Confirmation Emails


Be honest: are you treating your order confirmation emails as an afterthought?

If so, you aren’t alone. Because there are more pressing messages for marketers to focus on, right?

Think again. Order confirmation emails are arguably one of the most important messages in the world of ecommerce. 

How so? Keep in mind that confirmation emails receive 8x the opens of a traditional marketing message.

And so while your customers might be sleeping on some of your emails right now, your confirmation messages a prime time to catch your customers’ attention. Such messages are also a key aspect of customer retention.

Considering that it costs at least five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an old one, anything you can do to keep your current buyers in your funnel is a major plus.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear why confirmation messages deserve your undivided attention.

 

8 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Order Confirmation Emails

Confirmation emails are all about capitalizing on your customers’ momentum. They’ve made that ever-so-important purchase.

Now what?

Thankfully, brands have no shortage of options when it comes to those precious next steps. Want to hype something else in your catalog? Grow your social following? Totally up to you.

No matter what you might be selling, here are eight strategies that can instantly boost engagement and potential revenue from your order confirmation emails.

 

1. Get Personal

Although confirmation emails are indeed autoresponders, they certainly shouldn’t feel robotic.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly how many brands treat them.

We live in a world where consumers crave personal and emotional connections with the brands they support. A bland, one-size-fits-all autoresponder doesn’t exactly scream “personal touch,” does it?

At the same time, it’s not as if you can tailor each and every confirmation email beyond populated fields (name, order number and so on).

So how do you find a happy medium?

For confirmation emails, brands should look for ways to let their personality shine through imagery and copy.

More specifically, a distinct brand voice.

This example from Boden does a brilliant job of showing off their personality from top to bottom.

The playful tone of the “New clothes incoming” tagline starts things off on a positive note. The notion of “holding onto” the email is also clever, treating the transaction as something that happened in-person.

Other subtle touches such as consistently using “we” and “you” makes the message seem more conversational. This continues throughout the rest of the message including some creative calls-to-actions (“This Way” and “Spill the Beans”) which are in line with Boden’s brand voice.

order confirmation emails Boden

This confirmation email from Polaroid is a straightforward autoresponder but likewise includes some small personal touches that make it effective.

order confirmation emails Polaroid

The “We’re on it” tagline signals that the company is paying attention. Coupled with conversational, reassuring copy, the message manages to address all of the buyer’s potential concerns.

And of course, the featured image is distinctly Polaroid.

Again, getting personal doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel.

The tone of this confirmation message from Fitbit puts the power of copy on display, starting with its subject line (“Today is the day! Your order has shipped.”)

order confirmation emails FitBit

Followed up by more light-hearted, humorous copy (“Are you smiling? You’re totally smiling”), the message keeps the personal notes above the fold before getting down to business with confirmation details.

These small personal elements may not seem “make-or-break,” but they can certainly add to a confirmation series that’s otherwise lacking a voice.

 

2. Recommend Products and Best Sellers

Order confirmation emails can be a potential goldmine of additional transactions, granted you don’t push too hard for that follow-up sale.

Perhaps one of the best ways to encourage repeat business is by offering up recommendations.

Consider that recommendations account for 31% of e-commerce revenue, not to mention significant upticks in return customers, conversions and order value.

Ecommerce giants like Amazon have proven time and time again the power of recommendations. Of course, technical know-how and having a platform for offering recommendations is what holds many smaller brands back.

The good news? You don’t necessarily need a full-blown recommendation engine to propose another purchase.

Instead, simply link to best sellers or featured products and link to them in your order confirmation autoresponders.

That’s exactly what West Elm does to sweeten their order messages. This not only makes the email feel more tailored and personalized but also encourages another transaction right then and there.

order confirmation emails West Elm

Highlighting best sellers serves as a proof that you already have satisfied customers and your products are in demand. If you aren’t already digging into your data to identify best sellers, maybe now’s the time.

 

3. Encourage Referrals

Order confirmations might feel like they’re “for-your-eyes-only” messages, but they can also bring new shoppers into the fold.

Providing a referral code or discount does double duty of enticing repeat business and introducing your products to a totally new audience.

For example, Brooklinen drops a brief referral promo in their emails to encourage sharing among friends.

order confirmation emails Brooklinen

Based on the best practices, you can tack on a referral pretty much anywhere throughout a confirmation email without interrupting your readers.

And if you’re on the fence about including a referral or feel that it’s too spammy, think again. A digital word of mouth is as powerful as ever, with referral customers boasting a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referrals.

In short, referral offers are win-wins as you create brand advocates and squeeze more out of your order confirmations at the same time.

 

4. Tack on a Discount

Not unlike referrals, offers and discounts in order confirmations can feel like a sort of reward to shoppers when presented tactfully.

This discount from Forever21 is fairly straightforward by offering up 10% off a future purchase. This sort of discount obviously isn’t going to break the bank, but may very well be the incentive someone needs to check out your store again.

order confirmation emails Forvere21

Of course, deals come in many shapes and sizes. This order confirmation from Ruelala offers a future discount in the form of free shipping. A smart move given that free shipping is more or less an expectation of many shoppers (thanks a lot, Amazon), note also how their offer is front-and-center.

order confirmation emails Ruelala

Here’s another free shipping discount, this time from Gilt. This time-sensitive offer is rather bold, especially since it only lasts for one hour.  That said, creating a sense of urgency obviously encourages shoppers to act sooner rather than later.

order confirmation emails Gilt

These examples speak again of the diversity of deals and the fact that brands have plenty of creative freedom when inserting them into their confirmation messages. Generally speaking, the most effective types of discounts include:

  • Sitewide discounts (30% off your entire purchase)
  • Dollar-off amounts ($5 off)
  • Minimum order value ($15 off an order of $60)
  • Buy-one, get-one offers

Offering such deals is also a prime option for those who are wary of offering discounts to new customers. Rather than worry about devaluing your product, these offers reward your current customers only.

 

5. Encourage Customers Follow You on Social

Sure, email subscribers are awesome. But email subscribers and social followers?

That’s even better.

Because encouraging both means that you have multiple touch-points to get your marketing message across to customers.

You don’t need much real estate in your emails to boost your social presence via email, either.

This confirmation from Sephora points to all of their social icons in a way that’s can’t-miss thanks to the contrasting colors. You can likewise tailor your social buttons based on whichever networks are your top priority.

order confirmation emails Sephora

Dollar Shave Club takes their social game to the next level by offering a place for buyers to share their latest purchase. Coupled with a referral code, shoppers have even more incentive to smash the share button.

order confirmation emails Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club and their email marketing at large focus heavily on the concept of community. Similarly, brands promoting their social channels should consider promoting their social following similarly.

Think about it. You’re trying to build a community of customers via social, right?

Beyond listening handles and hashtags, you can also take the time to mention why people should follow your accounts. Whether it’s exclusive content or social discounts, providing a concrete reason can score you more followers.

 

6. Set Crystal Clear Expectations

There’s no doubt that the public at large is more comfortable than ever with the concept of online shopping.

That said, they have every right to be skeptical about shipping or the specifics of their order. This is especially true if they’re first-time buyers who aren’t 100% familiar with your brand.

Besides, they’ve probably been burned in the past by another brand. This is your opportunity to prove that you’re not going to do the same.

That’s why it pays to be crystal clear about shipping and how buyers can keep track of their orders. You should also highlight customer support channels including email, social media, and a good old-fashioned phone number.

Rocksbox does a great job of conveying expectations for new buyers. Mapping out exactly what happens next and providing a tracking code, buyers don’t have to second-guess the status of their order.

order confirmation emails RocksBox

This sort of transparency and communication puts you in a positive light with your buyers. Rather than try to compete with the likes of Amazon with next-day shipping, simply provide realistic expectations and frame that your order will come as soon as it can.

 

7. Promote Your Loyalty Program

Looking to give your customers the VIP treatment? Your confirmation emails are one of the best places to make it happen.

As is the common thread with shoppers taking next steps, providing a concrete reason is going to encourage clicks versus being vague. Here Sperry outlines a laundry list of benefits for joining their loyalty program including freebies and exclusives.

order confirmation emails Sperry

If you haven’t revved up your loyalty program, look at your order confirmation emails as a starting point. They’re a great opportunity to segment your email list and reward your most eager buyers through exclusive deals.

Oh, and don’t forget that consumers spend 37% more with brands they’re a member of a loyalty program with.

Loyalty programs are another important aspect of customer retention. The offers and discounts you hype now will ultimately result in squeezing more out of your subscribers in the long run.

 

8. Incorporate User-Generated Content

Last but not least, let’s talk about the power of user-generated content (UGC).

Customer photos. Testimonials. Social snapshots.

All of these elements are proven trust-builders that create a strong sense of authenticity. They’re also a double whammy for promoting your social channels or hashtags, much like Man Repeller features their Instagram feed in their emails.

order confirmation emails Man Repeller

You could use UGC to promote hashtag contests and featured customers on your Facebook or Instagram. This encourages social sharing, more UGC and, most importantly, more sales.

In other words, an ecosystem of shopping and sharing.

With that, we wrap up our list!

 

Are You Making the Most of Your Confirmation Messages?

At a glance, order confirmation messages might not seem like much. But they can pack some serious marketing firepower when you think about them in terms of your big-picture goals.

The final takeaway here is that you should offer some sort of call-to-action following your purchase. Because if someone buys something from you once, they already trust you.

It’s about encouraging them to do it again.

And again.

Setting the initial tone with an order confirmation is the perfect way to do it. And so any combination of these tips is fair game as long as you’re driving shoppers to take action.

 

About the Author

Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience.

How to Choose an ESP? 15 Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up


Torn between a couple of email service providers or even more? Relax, you are not alone. Making up your mind can be tough when there are hundreds of ESPs who all claim to offer “the best fit” for your business needs. In today’s post, we’ll go through several questions to ask the potential providers that will help you choose an ESP that will really be a match for your brand necessities. But before that, let’s answer a few questions you might be asking yourself right now.

What is an ESP for email marketing?

ESP stands for email service provider. Email service providers are platforms which allow users to send mass marketing emails, mass transactional emails and other types of emails to specific lists of recipients (subscribers).

 

Why choose an ESP?

Email service providers let you send hundreds and thousands of emails to potential leads and customers with just a click. Moreover, most ESPs offer automations which means you can send mass emails even while you are sleeping. Such an opportunity is definitely alluring for most email marketers and business owners.

Undoubtedly, in order to be functional and competitive, email service providers need to:

  • allow users create and maintain lists of email subscribers;
  • allow users send emails to many subscribers at a time, by automation and/or manually;
  • offer a user-friendly email builder or maintain a library of pre-made email templates, since not everybody is familiar with HTML for email;
  • provide reports which help users measure the success of their campaigns.

 

Why choosing a particular ESP is so important?

Don’t they all offer the same? No, not really, and that’s definitely good news to you! Besides having different interfaces, email marketing platforms have several basic functionalities and a lot of different advanced features such as integration opportunities with third parties, email builders, error detection capabilities, security tools, etc. When it comes to choosing the right ESP, you need to find the one whose services and features correspond to your exact needs.

Once you’ve found the perfect match, you’ll know it because your deliverability rate and ROI will increase. Migrating to the new ESP will happen seamlessly, along with integrating your systems with it. You’ll receive collaboration and timely technical support. These and many more factors will clearly speak that you’ve chosen the right ESP but before you do, here are the questions you need to ask several email service provider candidates.

 

Questions to ask before you choose an ESP

Questions to ask before choosing an ESP

1. What email types do you support?

Some ESPs are exclusively focused on a transactional email service which means they are great if you need to send automated responses, operational messages, and other transactional mailings. However, if your purpose is to conduct whole email marketing campaigns, you need to find an appropriate vendor.

2. What are the costs?

Planning your budget is a must-have step before you decide on an ESP. Ask for a consultation on the plans according to the volume of your email database and sending patterns. Have in mind that some ESP offer free plans with basic features which might or might not be good for you. Ask for such and then upgrade to paid plans.

3. What about additional costs, fees, payment methods, and termination terms?

These are all factors you need to clear up when considering different ESPs. It’s important not to make rash decisions. At first, a vendor may seem more affordable but there may be additional costs that will impact your budget. In result, the scales may turn in favor of the other. Everything related to costs and payment needs to be cleared up in advance.

4. Is the interface user-friendly?

As a user, you would love to set up new campaigns and monitor results as quickly as possible. Your ESP should provide an easy-to-understand, intuitive and functional interface that will help you do your job seamlessly.

5. Do you have an email builder or an email template library?

Not everyone wants to integrate custom HTML emails and even if you do, for some campaign you would just want to use the ESP’s email builder. How easy is it to work with? Is there a diversity of pre-made templates that can be edited?

6. Is API integration available?

If you want to connect your own platform and CRM tools to the ESP in order to sync data and manage your systems from a single interface, then you need to ask in advance if this option is provided.

7. Will you have a dedicated IP?

A dedicated IP allows you to control and maintain your reputation as an email sender, as well as have a better control on your deliverability. If you are going to share ID with other senders, you need to ask the provider how they are going to manage the shared ID reputation, e.g. will they suspend accounts which harm the IP? Moreover, if you send emails to huge databases, ask if you can use several dedicated IPs and how much would that cost.

8. What are your deliverability rate and is deliverability monitored?

Email deliverability is a major factor which determines your success. Before you decide on a vendor, ask them about their deliverability rate for the entire customer base. Ask if they monitor deliverability constantly. Do they allow third-party deliverability audit or do they offer one?

9. How about segmentation options and A/B testings?

When asking about segmentation options and A/B testings, we recommend that you ask if the ESP supports exactly the segmentation options you need and how easy would that be to handle? Would you have to create separate versions of the same template and separate email lists even if you want to change only the subject line? Or would the template update automatically? What are the possibilities for segmentation?

10. What is your uptime and how do you handle the downtime?

Uptime is also a major factor you need to ask about. Choose an ESP which can provide 99.9% uptime and also ask how they handle the downtime. Do they recover data? Ask about their records of past crises and how they handled the situation.

11. How will the migration to the ESP go?

You are looking for a smooth migration process without impacting your revenue or other essential metrics.

12. How will you track your success?

Ask about what kind of analysis and reports the vendor provides. The basic metrics you need to follow are sent emails, delivered emails, bounces, opens, clicks.

13. How about customer support?

Customer support is as essential as many other factors when choosing an ESP. Would you require 24/7 support? What are the channels they use for customer support – is a live chat or a phone call available? The answers to these questions determine the timely reaction of the vendor when you need assistance. Also, if you need training with the email design or coding, ask if they offer such.

14. Security and compliance with regulations?

For you, it’s very important to know that the email service provider uses reliable security tools and if their policy is compliant with the regulations. Sending emails to different audiences may require different levels of regulation. Also, ask about how they collect emails and how they manage the unsubscribe process.

15. Is there a free trial?

Even you think you’ve found the perfect match for your business needs, you can never be completely sure unless you’ve tested out the platform for some time.

 

To sum up,

Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you finally choose an ESP that corresponds to your needs best. If you believe even more questions are important in order to help you choose an ESP that’s right for your business, feel free to share with us in the comments below.