Category: TIEIT Blog

9 Tips for Creating an Awesome Email Subject Line

Creating valuable content that is worth reading is hard work. But what’s even harder is creating a compelling subject line that will encourage readers to actually open your email to read the content that you spent time creating.

Creating valuable content that is worth reading is hard work. But what’s even harder is creating a compelling subject line that will encourage readers to actually open your email to read the content that you spent time creating.

If readers aren’t even opening the email to read the content you spent hours creating, than your efforts and not to mention your email campaigns aren’t having much of an impact.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when creating a compelling subject line:

1. Think KISS: Keep It Short & Sweet.

With more and more emails being opened on mobile devices, its best to keep your email subject lines short. If your subject line is too long, it will get cut off on different mobile devices. This is why we recommend keeping your subject lines under 50 characters.

2. Add names.

Let’s be honest, everyone loves the sound of their own name. Based on our own testing and past campaign success, we found that including the first name of the recipient in the subject line had higher clickthrough rates.

Here are some examples:

  • “John, we thought you might like to see this”
  • “John, just wanted to share this with you”
  • “Happy Birthday John!”

Using merge tags to automatically pull your Contacts name or other information into the subject line is a useful feature when trying to create more personalized subject lines.

3. Use a Familiar Sender Name.

With the increased amount of spam email that people are getting these days, it’s no wonder people are hesitant to open emails from unfamiliar senders.

Here are a few tips when creating your “From” name and email address:

  • Never use “noreply@companyname.com” – why would anyone reply to this email address?
  • Use a real email address that accepts responses and is being monitored.
  • Try using your full name, instead of just using the company name – comes off impersonal.
  • Or, try adding the company name at the end of your full name. For example: “John Doe, MaaS Pros”.
4. Be truthful.

The email subject line should be a really brief description of what the email entails. The subject line is essentially making a promise to your recipient about what they will read in the email itself. So to avoid being marked as spam or to avoid unsubscribes, do not try to lure your recipients with a false promise in the subject line.

5. Right on time.

Finding the optimal time to send emails is always tricky. But having that data of what time most of your recipients are opening your emails is key increasing your clickthrough rates. This is why a lot of our users take advantage of TieiT’s built-in timing chart which displays the time that you received the most opens so you can use this data for your next campaign to narrow down an optimal time for your leads and target audience.

Best Times to Open

6. Make your readers take action.

Try to include some type of “call-to-action” within the subject line itself. Subject lines that begin or have some type of action verb are a lot more enticing to click on.

Have you tried to use language that inspires people to click? Here are a few examples:

  • “Join us for our end-of-year event!
  • “Have lunch with us at our Charity BBQ”
  • “Buy your tickets now before we sell out!”

Words like, join, have and buy will encourage people to take a particular action.

7. Create a sense of urgency.

Adding a sense of urgency or deadline to your subject lines can encourage recipients to act immediately instead of putting off for later. For example, giving a deadline such as “Ends today!” or “Offer expires in 24 hours!”

8. Pose a compelling question.

Asking a question in the subject line is a great way to pique your reader’s’ interest or curiosity. Also, asking a question and not giving the answer compels readers to open your email to find the answer.

9. A/B Testing.

Some subject lines have proven to be more effective than others for a variety of reasons, but one thing to remember is that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to subject lines.

For this reason, we highly recommend that our users test their email campaigns. And testing your subject line is one of the easiest elements to test on an email campaign.

A/B testing your email campaigns by sending out two versions of the same email but with different subject lines is going to help you figure out what works best for your target market and audience.

A:B Testing Email Subject Lines

Here are a few elements you can modify when conducting an A/B test with your subject lines:

  • Long vs. short subject lines
  • Try including numbers vs. spelling out the numbers
  • Asking a question
  • Using punctuation such as an exclamation mark
  • Personalizing the subject line with the recipient’s name

The more you test your subject lines, the more data you will gather and gain better insights into your subscribers.

These are only a few of many tips that we can give you to help you create a compelling email subject line to increase your open and clickthrough rates. The best length and type of email subject line will depend on your target market and understanding your audience. And the best way to get a better understanding of your recipients is through A/B testing but also making sure you are looking at the data.

Remember to check past subject line performance. How did they perform? Did the subject line with the question garner more opens or did the subject line with the name in it? Getting a good view of the data and analyzing it is only going to help you to create really great email subject lines that your recipients will want to open, so all that hard work you put into creating your emails will be worth it!

How to Select the Best Marketing Automation Software

Marketing automation is all about the software.

Before you get into selecting the right marketing automation software for your business, you should gain a good understanding of what marketing automation is so you can figure out what is required for your business. If you haven’t done so already, check out our article on What is Marketing Automation?

The core of any marketing automation software is to help you drive in more leads, build your email list and automate your marketing process. And did I mention that this should all be done in a simple, intelligent and easy-to-use application? That’s the challenge – finding an application robust enough to meet the needs of your business but not being “too robust” and complicated that you will need a manual just to login.

There are many softwares in the market, all with their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Figuring out which marketing automation software is right for your business is what I am hoping to help you with in this article.

There are many factors to consider when researching marketing automation applications. The first would be to determine or prioritize what it is your business needs to increase efficiency and sales. The software you select is meant to alleviate stress and give you more time to focus on your core day-to-day business duties.

Marketing Automation

Lets start with making a priority list of what it is you want/need help with. Here is a list of some sample questions that you may want to ask yourself to help you organize your priority list.

  • Driving in more leads from various sources.
  • Managing new leads.
  • Managing past customers and current contacts.
  • Nurturing leads to ensure proper follow-up process is being done.
  • Customer retention – a proper follow-up process is being done with past customers to stay top of mind.
  • Inventory Management.
  • Improving the sales process – ability to create invoices and estimates.
  • Account Management.
  • Reports and analytics.

If you can assign a number for the above list in terms of importance, this will help you in selecting an application that can fit all of your requirements or at least most. If you find a software that is offering way more than your requirements, then you need to ask yourself if it is worth it to get a software with features that will not be useful for your business. I believe that it is more important to use a simple platform to its full potential than using one or two modules in a more complicated system.

COMPLEXITY

Marketing automation software can vary based on its complexity. A good rule of thumb is that the more advanced the functionality, the increased complexity. So before you start jumping without a parachute, make sure you figure out what type of functionality is needed for your business and what would be useful. Remember that you always have the option to upgrade to a more advanced application as your business grows or develops. Many companies choose this approach of starting out with a less robust, more easy-to-use application and then upgrade to a more complex solution as their business needs advance down the road.

CRM

In my opinion, the core module of any marketing automation software is its CRM. Its one thing to have the most advanced email marketing module or social media management to help drive in leads, but its another if you do not have a place to store, track and nurture those leads.

Most applications will be able to integrate with other CRMs which is important if you are looking to shift over from another application. This feature would be something like importing or exporting customer data. This feature is very important if you fall in this category so make sure both the application you currently have has an export feature and the software you are looking to upgrade to has some type of import feature.

PRICE

Price is a tricky factor. Although it is important for any small business, it should not be given the most weight. THe reason is, if you select a marketing automation software that is right for your business, the money you will be spending will be returned to you through the use of the full potential of the software.

When selecting a package, make sure you are aware of any extra fees such as setup fees, mandatory training and integration fees. These hidden fees could mean paying more per month so make sure you get these sorted out up front.

TRIAL AND ERROR

A lot of these applications offer some type of free-trial. This is the best way to test out different applications on a free trial to see which works best for your business. A lot of companies don’t always advertise the free trial so make sure you ask a sales rep if they can sign you up for a free account to try out.

Different marketing automation applications are designed for different types of businesses. The right marketing automation software should also integrate with your existing solutions and be manageable by yourself and/or your team.

Marketing automation software can take your businesses marketing to a whole new level. It can also help increase your sales, close more deals quicker and streamline your overall business and marketing processes.

The goal is to find a marketing automation software that meets all of your business needs in one easy-to-use and robust platform.

What is Marketing Automation?

You are hearing these words be spoken and written about everywhere you go, everywhere you click and every page you browse.

You hear other businesses are implementing it and seeing great results.

You find yourself nodding and smiling or listening intently to pick up on any catch phrase that will help you understand this growing phenomenon that is called “Marketing Automation.”

The question that everyone is asking these days is “what is marketing automation?” Here is our definition of marketing automation:

Marketing Automation is the use of a software to automate your marketing strategies such as managing and segmenting leads from sources, email campaigns, following up with leads/customers and customer retention (to name a few).

Many businesses have made it a part of their marketing to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media marketing, follow-ups and more in order to avoid time spent on tedious tasks that can be automated.

With marketing automation, you save time, make processes more efficient and streamline operations to give you more time to focus on selling and driving in more leads and customers.

The key to utilizing the technology of marketing automation is finding the right software that fits your needs. A core component of a good marketing automation software is that a business can execute their marketing from one platform, instead of trying to manage from multiple applications.

marketing-automation-img

 

What is Your Marketing Process?

As a business is growing, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain that one-on-one relationship with each and every customer that has called, stepped into your store or made a purchase from you.

Marketing automation is helping you maintain that relationship without you spending more time or forgetting to do. Every lead is valuable to a business. You spent all that time, money and energy into driving that lead in and converting them into a customer, but now what are you doing to ensure they continue being your customer?

Have you implemented a proper follow-up or customer retention process?

Lets say you sold your customer the Widget 2001 and a year later, you want to follow up with them to see if they are now interested in upgrading to the Widget 3001 – how will you be able to pull up every customers purchase date and send an email on every customers one year purchase anniversary?

This is where marketing automation comes in.

Marketing automation is made up of many different components that when combined make for one very powerful marketing machine. Marketing automation connects multiple marketing channels including email marketing, social media and landing pages.

The main goal of marketing automation is to track and nurture leads for the long-term.

Every lead that comes in should not be seen as a short-term conquest to convert that lead to a customer. Every lead should be nurtured a relationship should be built for the long-haul.

Lets think about it, you sold that amazing widget to customer A – great work! Customer A goes out for dinner with potential Leads B, C and D and they start talking about widgets that they have used. With Marketing Automation, even after you sold that widget to Customer A, you still keep in touch, send tips on how to use the widget properly, coupons, referral codes and other helpful tips.

Now while at dinner, Customer A will surely mention the amazing widget that they got from you and the great customer service. Now let’s look at this another way. Customer A goes out for dinner with potential Leads B, C and D and they start talking about widgets. Customer A says that they have a widget but aren’t sure how to use it properly and to be honest, they don’t quite remember the name of the place that they got it from.

Without you giving your customers a reason to remember you, why would they? You need to make it part of your marketing to stay top of mind with all of your customers, contacts and leads (especially those who haven’t bought that widget from you yet).

Marketing Automation Does Not Mean Robots are Taking Over Your Business

Marketing automation can still allow your business to offer the “personal touch” service. How you asked?

Let me tell you.

Marketing automation allows you to send personalized, targeted messages and emails to your customers. During the automation process, you can integrate personalization techniques so every message sent will be personalized for each and every customer (for example, “Hi Jessica” or “Jessica, this offer is just for you!”).

With marketing automation, you will be able to send targeted messages based on a customers purchase behavior, significant dates like birthdays, a leads interests and more.

Customer Life CycleWhat is Your Customers Sales Life Cycle?

Every business has a different type of customer life cycle or sales pipeline. For example, a customer may have found your business through search, social media or through your blog.

The path to convert that website lead into a customer is unique for every business.

So what if you could define that path and set up automated processes to ensure that lead is moving along the right path and not stuck in that pesky fork in the road?

Lets face it, every business owner or manager gets busy, forgets to do their phone calls for the day or send out that follow-up email. It gets very difficult to manually chase down every single lead.

But what if there was a system that did all of this for you? (This is where I imagine a bright light shining down from the skies with the lovely sound of “aahhhhh” – come to the light, you know you want to).

Take a Different Approach to your Marketing

Marketing automation will help you think differently about your sales process and about your leads.

With marketing automation, you will be able to segment and categorize your leads and customers based on purchase behaviours, demographic details, source and more.

You are probably thinking, why is this important?

It is important because these days you can’t send out the same email to every single lead that you have had stored for the past 3 years.

Customer Appreciation EmailYou need to target your marketing and your messages for your leads. For example, send out an email offer for 10% off your first purchase to all of those leads that came through the website but never did make a purchase. And at the same time, send out a customer appreciation day email to all of your customers that have made a purchase in the past, offering them 10% off their next purchase.

See how I did that?

I created two separate emails with the same offer, but I changed the wordings to target each group. A new customer will take advantage of the 10% off their first purchase and for your existing customers, who doesn’t like a day to appreciate them?

Marketing automation lets you get creative.

Before, when you thought about being creative with your marketing, you saw dollar signs because you thought the only way to be creative is by spending a lot on tv commercials, print ads and mail outs. Well not anymore.

Now you can be creative with your marketing to your customers and test out different variables to see which works best for your business and your customers.

You can automatically test different variables like email send times, subject headings, body content, different offers and more.

Marketing automation is all about the software and finding the right application for your business.

Your goal as a business is to use this software to grow your potential leads, build your email list and increase the customer retention rate.

How do you know which software will do all of this for your business?

How will you know which marketing automation is right for your business?

There are many different types of marketing automation software out there. Check out our article on Selecting the Right Marketing Automation Software for Your Business.

Hope I was able to shine some light on the topic of Marketing Automation so you can see the potential it has for your business.

Regardless of the industry, size of your business, number of employees – every business needs leads, customers and sales.

And nowadays, that sign on your door or that flyer you send out every 6 months is just not going to help you stay competitive or help you keep the lights on.
Take a hold of your business, get creative and drive in your own leads and retain your customers for the long haul.

3 Ways to Re-Engage With Cold Prospects

Why are Cold Prospects Important?

Some prospects, customers or subscribers tend to lose interest over time. They no longer wait for your latest products, services or offers. However these cold prospects are also valuable assets that could be turned into sales and loyal customers at a later date.

It does not have to do with what kind of services you provide or what kind of business you carry out, some clients are bound to fall off the wagon but that doesn’t mean that you give in and let them go. Here are 3 ways to turn the tables around in your favor to keep your business top of mind with cold prospects who could be in need of your services down the road.

In the world of email marketing these cold prospects mean subscribers who haven’t engaged, clicked or opened your campaign emails in a long time such as two months.

Our Top Three Strategies to Re-Engage Cold Prospects:

1. Group Your Subscribers and Email Accordingly

By using a marketing automation software to identify prospects who don’t open your emails, you can send these people content that is based on their behavior and actions.

  • Target shopping cart abandoners to bring them back

These are people who abandon their shopping carts instead of going through with the transaction. They’ve browsed all your products, decided on what they want to buy but leave the cart in the middle.

What you can do to bring them back immediately is to send them an email letting them know that their transaction was not completed. Then after a couple of days you can email them testimonials and assurances of happy customers. If this does not succeed then it is advisable that you reach out to them with incentives. Find out why they left. You can then offer them free shipping, first time discounts and other latest offers and discounts.

The goal here is to catch the customer in their mindset and urge them to complete the purchase. Not only this, with customized emails you will be able to reconnect with them.

  • Product Page Browsers

These are those types of customers that have decided on the product that they want and have browsed your page for details and information but are still not ready to make the purchase. These people are interested but not convinced yet.

What you can do for them is to offer them coupons or offers, send them testimonials, reviews or a company profile so they feel more comfortable making a transaction with your company. Warm them up and win their trust. It’s one of the best ways to turn them into solid customers.

  • Lost Email Subscribers Who Never Seem To Get Your Mail

It is feared a large number of marketing campaigns are never even opened in the first place. This can be because your customers are moving away or are losing interest. Whatever the reason may be, this could be potential sales that you are losing out on.

You can bombard them with digital advertisements so you get them thinking about your brand and they know that you are still in the market. If you always send your email at a set time of day, you should change the timing. Experiment and see what time works best and gets the highest response rates. You can also change the frequency. It is never a good idea to annoy or overwhelm your customers with a storm of emails. You can also resort to a win-back email. Make sure that it provides an attractive incentive to your customers, it is well worded and it truly shows how much you miss them. If done right, winning back those lost customers should be easy!

2. Look for connections

Another way of reaching out to cold prospects is through mutual acquaintances that you may have in common. LinkedIn is a great platform to utilize to determine if there are any people in common. Finding referrals or mutual acquaintances is a great way to open up the lines of communication again.

People tend to be more trustworthy when they know you run in the same circles or speak to the same individuals. The benefit of this is that they are more likely to listen to you, open your emails and even reply.

3. Reach out to your customers in different ways

Another technique could be to vary where your company and brand is present online to your customers. Change the place your customers are used to watching and ignoring online marketing ads, such as Google. Instead, you can actually utilize social media ads which will grab people’s attention while they are browsing. These social media platforms where you can utilize ads include Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. It should be kept in mind that all these social media platforms vary in their price that you have to pay to place an ad. But regardless, these tend to be very effective. What’s best is that these mediums are also already established and have a huge consumer base that you can reach out to.

By far, we have seen that email marketing has the highest conversion rates in relation to customer engagement and re-engagement. Nowadays with marketing automation technology, and built-in email marketing modules, it makes it easier to create email campaigns and automate timely follow-ups based on triggers.

In this fast moving age of technology and changing tastes in trends, it is understandable that leads, prospects or once been customers turn cold. This is no reason to worry or let them go because with just a little effort and some of the latest online marketing techniques, you can easily warm them in no time.

How Marketing Automation Can Save You Time

What is Marketing Automation?

Ever get tired of doing things manually?

Managing your business can be a handful, handling everything on your own can take time. That’s what Marketing Automation is for; time is precious when handling a business. Marketing Automation is the use of a software to help with marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration and campaign management, all these are very valuable for your business and will be easier to manage with automation.

The Marketing industry is evolving and customer demands and informational needs have grown. Marketing automation will make your contact management system and email marketing easier by tracking lead behavior and performing a series of predetermined actions depending on that leads activity.

Marketing automation makes it possible for your business to be discovered by and engage with your target audience more than ever, without doing so much manual work.

How Does Marketing Automation Save You Time?

Automate your leads with marketing automation as it will help you turn your leads into customers. You can do this through automated segmentation that helps you organize your leads into categories. With those categories you can target them with relevant messages that would best get their attention. Create personalized email messages for customers and track actionable data such as opens, clicks or unsubscribes.

Chasing leads can be very difficult because you have to approach at the right time. You don’t want to attempt a sales conversation before they are ready because it causes them to resist. Having automated emails be sent out on your behalf allows you to stay on top of leads without missing any opportunities. You can miss opportunities when you engage in a sales conversation at the wrong time.

When they are not ready to purchase your product.   Now we know that you will or have spent a lot of time on leads that are not going to buy your product or service. With marketing automation, the leads can have access to all the information about your business. You can track the content they are downloading and note that they are not reaching the final purchase stage so you don’t waste your time on a pitch that will lead you nowhere.

Social Media Marketing has become a key element to any business, any size and any industry. However, engaging with your audience, posting relevant content and staying consistent is not easy. This is why we created a scheduling base Social Media Marketing module in TieiT which allows you to post content on social media accounts every couple of hours automatically by following a schedule that you have already pre-set. This will give your various social media accounts more visibility, while at the same time allowing you to be more efficient.

Marketing Automation is a very efficient tool that businesses need to succeed. When properly implemented, marketing automation can save you time and help you close more deals and close them faster.

5 Ways to Build an Awesome Personal Online Brand

It’s no wonder that “Google” became a word in the Oxford English Dictionary when most people have made it a part of their regular business to “Google” someone you just met, or someone you are thinking of doing business with.

Have you ever “Googled” yourself to see where your online brand stands and to see how others are perceiving you?

If you have and are not happy with how you are being perceived or if you see that someone else with the same name appears before you do, than you need to continue reading.

Because we will go through 5 ways to help you build an awesome personal online brand that you will be proud of and potential customers will want to do business with.

Your brand should be a reflection of who you are and if you don’t put in the effort to build the proper brand for yourself than you could be losing out on business for not taking the extra effort and initiative.  

Despite the number of new technologies and different methods of communicating, at the end of the day, people connect with other people. If you don’t appear to be a real person or if the company you represent looks unprofessional or fake, how likely do you think others are going to trust you?

Let’s dive right in.

1. How do you want to be represented or portrayed online?

If you don’t have an understanding of who you are and what you are all about, then, how will anyone else?

First and foremost before thinking about creating or improving your personal online brand, you need to first know who you are, what makes you unique and what are you offering to the world?

What do you want people to associate you with when they think or hear your name? Is there a certain subject matter or industry in which you want to be perceived as an expert?

Once you gain this understanding of how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can be much more strategic with building your personal brand.

2. Give Yourself an Audit

You can’t determine what needs to be fixed without a good understanding of where you stand online.

In other words, this is your permission to Google yourself (and don’t pretend like you haven’t done it already). Enter your name in Google and other search engines and see what results pop-up on the first few pages.  

How does the online world currently perceive you? What websites appear?

If there is anything negative or untrue being said about you online, you want to know ahead of time so we can plan on how to react and respond. Ignoring doesn’t help – it can, in most cases, make things worse.

Creating a strong personal brand online includes how you respond to what is being said about you.

3. Building Online Personal Profiles  

This is the fun part. Now you get to be creative with how you want to be perceived through personal online profiles such as sites like LinkedIn, About.Me or Google+ to name a few.

Again, depending on how you want to be perceived and who you are reaching out to, will help you select the right online platforms to display yourself.

If you are in a professional industry and want to be perceived as an expert to your target market who are also professionals, then LinkedIn is definitely a platform that you want to be on. You want to be on LinkedIn with a strong profile and be active with regular posts and joining groups to ensure that your presence is being seen.

There are a lot of online profiles that you can use, so do your research to see the type of audience that are on these profiles to make sure you are reaching out to the right audience.

4. Build an Online Presence Through your Website

Get Creative

Create a website that reflects you, your brand and your business in one. Sounds like a heavy task – but it can be done!

To start, you want layout how you want to be seen and how you want to be perceived to your online visitors if they are coming to your website for the first time.

Then, you want to find someone to work with who can make your vision a reality. A lot of times, businesses struggle with making their vision a reality by using free online website templates which can be rigid and do not allow for a lot of creativity. So if it’s something unique and creative that you are looking for to best reflect you and your business, you want to make sure you are doing your research and thinking outside the box to find someone that can help you achieve your vision properly.

Get Noticed

Do you know where your website is currently ranking? Nowadays, it’s pretty clear that the higher you rank on a search engine, the more likely you will be seen by your potential customers when are conducting an online search.

If you are putting all this effort into building an awesome personal brand for yourself, you want to make sure that it has the potential of being seen which is where Search Engine Optimization, online ads and other forms of inbound marketing can help you.

Pick up the Speed

Online visitors are not patient and on the internet, every second counts. The longer it takes for your content to load, the quicker your website visitors will leave.

According to Econsultancy, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

You work hard on your SEO and other Inbound Marketing strategies to drive people to your website to learn more about you and your business so if you can make the experience as seamless as possible, the better it is for you and your personal brand. The more seamless the process, the more praise you will get from customers!

Mobile Matters

Have you checked to make sure that you are easily accessible through mobile devices? Being mobile (and i’m not referring to being readily able to move in a heartbeat) but instead being easily searchable and being easily reachable through all mobile devices is very important.

Through your website or any other place that you are branding yourself online, you need to make sure that your contact information is clickable so your online visitors are able to contact you easily through their mobile device.

5. Never Stop Learning

Regardless of how well you know your industry or how many years of experience you have, it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with latest changes and trends in the industry.

It takes a lot of time and effort to build a great personal brand. If you fail to stay up to date and relevant, all of your effort to build yourself up will go down the drain.

The way to ensure you are staying relevant is by researching and studying the on-goings in your industry and anything related to your target market. If your target market is changing the way they think or act based on new advancements, you need to be aware of this.

And the way to show your market that you are keeping yourself up to date is by sharing your knowledge through articles, posts, blogs, or videos to name a few.

If you are not expanding your knowledge and growing with new changes, then you’re stagnating and that’s the last thing you want to do.

10 Things to do When Business Slows Down for the Holidays

It happens every year, your business slows down during certain parts of the year – the main one being the holiday season in the later part of December. Does this mean you completely shut your business down?

For the self-employed or entrepreneurs who rely upon steady cash-flow and lead sources, this can be a rough time.

So does this mean we just shut down and wait until things start to pick back up?

Or can we use this down-time effectively to get us prepared for the new year?

to-do-list-1307631-639x1025Prepare yourself to be different and to take risks next year by trying new methods to grow your business. Perhaps that entails trying new marketing strategies to reach out to past leads or customers or research new and effective ways to drive in more traffic and leads.

Whatever your goals are, use the “holiday down-time” to build a foundation and to set your business on the path to success for the coming year.

So, instead of getting down or taking the easy route of doing nothing, challenge yourself and try some or all of these strategies that will help your business:

1. Review what you did in the past year

Down-time might be the best time to take a good hard look at what you did in the previous year.

Did your business meet its goals or KPIs?

calendar-1192688-639x490Were you able to drive in more leads or increase traffic compared to last year?

What marketing strategies did you do this year that worked and what didn’t work?

Without knowing what worked and what didn’t work – how will you be able to make decisions for the next year?

Create a simple spreadsheet and jot down every strategy you did and note down the metrics month over month to see the results. And if you have access to your Google Analytics – even better. Compare your website metrics month over month to see where your traffic was coming from or to see if there are any places for improvements.  

2. Create a Strategy

Once you have analyzed your strategies from the previous year, you will now be able to narrow down a strategy plan of what you want to do for the next year.

When you sit down to create your strategy, make sure you think about your target market, your target geographic areas and the best methods to reach this audience. Once you have narrowed down your target market, this will give you a better idea of which platforms you can utilize and how to utilize them to reach your market and to increase conversions.

3. Create Content

Content will help you achieve your goals that you set in your strategy in terms of driving qualified traffic and leads to your website.

Creating content and posting it on your website and other online platforms has the ability to drive leads and sales, engage customers/buyers/influencers as well as boost your overall online brand awareness.

To create compelling content, it requires you to be in a creative space without the phone ringing or your email inbox filling up. So take advantage of the down-time during the holidays to get in a content zone.

4. Set up your Drip Campaigns

If you haven’t already adapted drip campaigns or email marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy for your business, you are definitely missing out.

This might be a good time for you to do some research on the benefits of drip campaigns and email marketing and how it has the potential to convert past customers into active, qualified leads.

Screenshot 2015-12-11 13.23.41

If you are already utilizing email marketing as part of your marketing strategy, then use this time to create your email content, monthly newsletters or start segmenting your lists to put the appropriate contacts into different drip campaigns to re-engage with prospects.

Remember, don’t let those past prospects get away just yet. If you can automate the process to create an automated drip campaign, you never know who might be ready to buy from you!

5. Create Videos

Have you ever thought about creating videos for your business but always had something that got in the way? Well with the down-time over the holidays, no more excuses!

Set aside some time to create some compelling videos about your business or the products or services that you offer. Videos don’t need to necessarily be created in a professional studio. They can be as simple as sitting in front of your laptop and recording yourself.

Give it a try because videos have the ability to increase conversion rates and really help to engage with website visitors and leads. YouTube is the second largest search engine, so open up a YouTube account for yourself and start recording!

Screenshot 2015-12-11 13.26.536. Clean up your CRM

The down-time during the holidays can also give you some time to go through your CRM and re-organize it.

Take a look at every contact in your CRM and start creating groups or segments within your CRM to better organize your leads, customers and prospects.

7. Get your Accounts in Order

Keeping accounts up to date during the year can be difficult and dreaded task. This might also be a good time to organize accounts and/or get all your documents organized prior to the dreaded tax season so you aren’t trying to play catch up when the time comes.

8. Become Goal Oriented

Setting goals for you and for your business on different aspects like sales, website traffic or even increasing your social media presence will help motivate you to achieve those goals that you set.

Once you figure out your strategy for the coming year, creating goals should be the fun part. Create goals that are achievable, yet will challenge you to exceed your expectations and will push you.

9. Take a Course

Make it a goal to challenge yourself. And maybe that challenge will include you learning something new that will help benefit your business.

Take on something that you have always wanted to learn and sign yourself up for a course to finally meet your goal of learning something new.

10. Reach Out to Cold Prospects

The holiday season is a great time to reach out to cold prospects that you have in your CRM through a simple and automated email marketing campaign that you can send out. While you are cleaning out your CRM, create a list with cold prospects and easily send them an email blast telling them about the new things to come next year with your business.

Use the holiday season to re-engage with your customers and to get yourself organized for the new year!

How Can I Automate my Marketing?

Marketing automation is best done through the use of software. Marketing automation methods and tactics help to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted and returning customers. This in turn can help to increase operational efficiency and grow revenue.

Some of these practices are possible at small volumes without software, but technology becomes essential with any scale and with the increasing number of channels that are required to manage in order to market your business effectively.

There are many different methods of Marketing Automation and one common mistake that businesses make is signing up for all different types of software that may do one or two aspects of marketing automation.

The problem with this method is that all of your methods and strategy is not inter-connected which could lead to an inefficient marketing strategy for your business. You may end up doing twice as much work when it’s not needed.

If you are using multiple different marketing automation software, the data you receive is not connected and is not proper since the data is being measured on different levels and in different ways.

The beauty about online marketing is the ability for your actions to be tracked resulting in real data. Without this data, you may end up doing the same type of marketing, expecting different results each time.

The best way to avoid this is by finding a software that can do everything your business needs from, lead management, email marketing, lead generation, landing pages, workflows and more.

Though there are many pieces that must be put in place to establish a successful marketing automation strategy, like any other campaign, you will want to start with a well-defined strategy, where you determine your target audiences, establish goal values, and create convincing content assets and offers. But in this blog post, let us focus on the more technical benefits of marketing automation and what you can implement to make your marketing easier.

Here are some marketing automation methods that you can implement for your business.

Staying top of mind with cold prospects.

You worked so hard to get that lead in and reach out to them, most likely on more than one occasion. So it would be a shame to just let that lead go without a fight. And if you had a way to automate that fight, would you do it?

With Marketing Automation, you can set automatic follow-ups to be sent out to these cold prospects based on factors such as their interest level, behaviour or time. So for example, if a prospect was really interested in a product that you had to offer but the timing was off because they didn’t have the budget for it at that time, wouldn’t it be worth it to keep your business top of mind with that prospect, just in case that time came when that prospect had the budget and was still interested in the product you had to offer?

You would be able to add that prospect to a group that will receive timed emails about that specific product or similar products just to keep enticing that prospect to buy it. In fact, maybe this will motivate them to work harder or save more so they can afford to buy it from you.

Moving current leads along the sales pipeline.

Managing multiple leads at once can get a little hectic – especially if you are the one having to handle all the leads by yourself. There are automations that you can put in place in order to help with moving that lead farther down the sales pipeline instead of manually having to do it for every single lead that comes in.  

Businesses have all different types of sales pipelines and cycles that they go through. Some pipelines could include 3, 5, or even 10 different stages with multiple activities that take place within each stage. If you had a way to automatically move that lead along the pipeline without having to manually remember which stage they are in or what activity you have to do next for them – wouldn’t that make your life and your sales process a whole lot easier?

Well believe it or not, there are software that exists with a built-in sales process feature that is customizable and has built in automations.  TieiT for example, has this feature built in that is helping our users  to help streamline their day and sales process.

Staying engaged with past customers.

Converting a lead to a customer is a great feeling and amazing accomplishment for you and your business. A past customer should be considered just as valuable if not more valuable than a lead. You took a lot of time to convert that lead into a customer, so don’t let all that effort go to waste.

Use marketing automation to consistently stay in touch and engaged with past customers to see if you can bring any more value to them.

By you adding past customers to a drip marketing campaign or into a group that will receive consistent emails about your business, new products/services, achievements, deals/coupons, you are keeping your business top of mind and making your customer feel special so if they are in need of your products/services again in the future, they will remember you. Plus, they may not be shy in referring their friends and family to you too.

Show your customers that you care.

Using marketing automation, you can also create workflows to send out automated, yet personal emails to everyone on your CRM on their birthdays (or at least to whoever you have collected this information from in your CRM). The key component though is to have your marketing automation and CRM connected in some way to achieve this (for more information on why its best to have your marketing automation and CRM connected, click here.

By sending out a simple birthday email to your customers or leads, this shows an extra initiative by your business and shows that you care.

You can also create other types of workflows like this based on purchase dates. So you can send an automated follow up after a certain amount of time to a customer based on the date of their purchase.

These types of automations helps take your customer service to a whole new level without having to hire new staff to remember to send these types of emails out.

There are many different types of automations that your business can put in place to help your business on many levels. Marketing automation can help streamline operations, increase customer engagement  and improve customer service. If you are considering marketing automation, make sure you research the different software available to you. For tips on selecting the right marketing automation software for your business, click here

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is the process of creating strategies around the content you create and distribution of that content in order to help drive traffic to your business, products and/or services that you offer.

When creating an online marketing strategy or campaign, the main objective has to be lead conversion. Converting visitors to leads and leads to customers is what good campaigns do. In order to obtain higher conversions, one of the main components of any online marketing campaign needs to be about creating a strategy around driving in qualified leads. The more qualified the leads, the higher the chances of conversion.

And every business wants qualified buyers in their sales funnel – not leads that are not sure or who may take longer to convert because they are not far along the sales cycle.

Creating an inbound marketing campaign will help you drive in those qualified leads who are may be farther along in their sales cycle and who are seeking answers to their questions or who are seeking out someone in the industry that can assist them with making a purchase.

This blog will give you some idea of what an inbound marketing campaign consists of and what are some major aspects to consider before you start a campaign.

An inbound marketing campaign consists of a set of elements which are used to reach a desired marketing goal, such as increased visit-to-lead conversion rate, marketing qualified leads, or total customers.

By integrating today’s most relevant online tools with your inbound marketing campaigns, it becomes measurable and can provide you with an ability to show detailed ROI statistics on your efforts.

Inbound marketing campaigns mainly rely on several other important factors including the offer itself, content distribution, calls to action, promotional emails, social media and blog posts, in addition to testing and optimization. Without all of these things in place, your chances of maximizing results from inbound marketing are limited.

Creating an Inbound Marketing Campaign

Just like everything in business, when developing your inbound marketing campaign it should first start with goals. The goals help to shape the focus and positioning of each campaign.

Before creating your inbound marketing campaign, ask yourself the following questions which will help you in developing your goals and your strategy:

1. Who are you trying to target?

  • Are you looking for new leads?
  • Are you looking to re-engage with past customers?
  • Are you looking for investors?

2. What is the best way to reach your potential target market?

  • What offer can you make that will entice them?

3. Who does your product/service most appeal to?

  • What problem are you attempting to solve with your products/services?

4. How is your target market searching online?

  • What keywords are they typing in search engines to find you?

If you can answer all of the questions above that are applicable to your business, you will be on the right path to putting together an inbound marketing strategy.

Inbound Marketing is made up of many different components that will help you in achieving the goals you have set.

Below is a simple graphic outlining the different types of inbound marketing strategies that you can incorporate in your strategy.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing sees better results when combining a few of these methods together as opposed to conducting only one method. By combining a few of these methods, you are increasing your chances of building a better online presence and thus being more reachable for your target market. By only conducting one method, you are reducing these chances. For example, if you decide that you want to become an expert blogger by only implementing blogs on your site – you will not see good results. What good is it to write great content and blogs on your site and then have no way of using that content to reach out to your target market?

Blogging works best when combining it with Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing, because you can take that blog and post links on your social media accounts to spread the word and to increase chances of people seeing your posts and clicking on your blog link to read more. The more clicks you have back to your site and the more visitors you have on your website, the better it is for your search engine optimization.

Inbound Marketing really does work when you implement the right strategy and in order to figure out the right methods for your business, you need to make sure you have the following answered:

  1. Figure out your goals (a good start would be by answering the questions we have above).
  2. Determine which Inbound Marketing methods would work best to achieve your goals.
  3. Put together an Inbound Marketing strategy.

We will be writing more on inbound marketing and how to implement proper strategies in future blogs.

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning how we can help you put together a proper inbound marketing strategy for your business, take our free online Internet Marketing Questionnaire: www.maaspros.com/imq. Once we receive your results, we can put together a free, no-obligation quote on what we types of inbound marketing strategies would work best for your business.

The Why, When, What and How of Landing Pages

The goal of any landing page is to convince visitors to provide you with their contact information in exchange for something you are offering. Landing Pages have this “magic” ability to convert a visitor into a lead, far better than your website would.

If I have peaked your interest, keep reading. This article is going to answer your questions about why you should be using landing pages, when to use them, what should be on a highly converting landing page and how to use them effectively.

So lets get started…

Why Should I Use Landing Pages?

The short answer is because they help in increasing your conversion rates.

Why?

Because a product specific landing page or a targeted promotional landing page have a focused, singular objective that matches the intent of the button in the email campaign or ad that your visitors clicked on.

If we look at the difference between your website and a standalone landing page, we can see that a website is designed with a more general purpose of describing your overall business, brand, products and/or services. As opposed to a landing page that has the sole purpose of promoting a particular product/service or is intended to drive a visitor towards a specific call-to-action.

When Should I Use a Landing Page?

You should try to use a landing page for every type of ad campaign that you are running.

You might be selling multiple products or setting up different promotional offers for different target markets and if this is the case, your home page cannot possibly handle this type of differing messages and calls-to-actions.

What Does a Highly Converting Landing Page Look Like?

Unfortunately, there is not one standard or “winning” landing page that has a 100% conversion rate. There are so many different factors that make up a landing page. Every landing page could have a different call-to-action, different readers, a different product or service offering, and a different target market or niche.

However, there are certain elements or components that help in increasing conversion rates on a landing page.

A Landing Page is made up of six main elements:

1. Your offer or unique selling proposition: Your offer should be simple and easy to understand. You need to convey your offer through your main headline and secondary headline.

2. Image/Video: If you include a relevant image or video, this will give visitors an idea of what you are offering and what they will be receiving. Plus, it will help make your landing page much more visually appealing.

3. Benefits of your offer: This can effectively be shown using a short paragraph that summarizes the benefits plus a quick bullet point list for the reader to skim through.

4. Testimonial: A testimonial can help act as a trust symbol. A visitor wants to know that they can trust your business and what you are offering and if they can see a trustworthy testimonial, this will definitely go a long way.

5. Lead Capture Form: This would be the most critical element of a landing page as this is where visitors submit their information in exchange for the offer, which is converting that visitor into a lead.

6. Your Call-to-Action: This could be the most important element on your landing page. What action do you want your visitor to take? Do you want them to download an eBook? Do you want them to fill out the form in exchange for them receiving a free consultation? Your Call-to-Action needs to be decided before you start designing your landing page. Your Call-to-Action should be shown somewhere on your lead capture form, either in the form title or in the button in order to emphasize what it is you want your visitor to do.

TieiT Landing Page ImageHow to Effectively Use Landing Pages

You can utilize landing pages in many different methods within your inbound marketing strategy.

One effective way is by connecting any PPC ads that you may have online with a targeted landing page.

If you have decided to invest your marketing efforts and dollars into Pay-per-Click campaigns, than you need to make sure you are implementing the strategies that will help you to increase your conversion rates which ultimately ensures that you are getting the best ROI. And one of those strategies is to connect your Ad campaigns with a targeted landing page.

Let’s assume you own a professional contracting company that specializes in finishing basements. You have already implemented inbound marketing strategies, which is why you maintain a blog on your website that features articles about contracting tips and tricks and other free educational content.

Now let’s also assume that a mother was looking for ideas on how to convert her unfinished basement into a finished playroom for her two young children. She is searching on Google and comes across your blog post titled “Top 10 Safety Features you Should Consider Before Converting Your Basement into a Play Area.” When she clicks on this post, she is taken directly to your full blog post.

When she reaches the bottom of the blog, she notices a Call-to-Action (CTA), which is your offer for a free consultation to help her discuss different ideas on how to convert her basement into a play area for children. She thinks this would be a great idea and clicks on the CTA which takes her to a landing page which provides some additional information and details about what is included in the free consultation. Essentially, this landing page is convincing her why it is worth providing her contact information on the form.

She decides to sign up and submit her information and you now have yourself a targeted new lead for your business!

What I have described above is not the only example of converting a visitor into a lead. You can use your landing page link in email marketing campaigns or on social media posts. In addition, you can also place your call-to-actions throughout your website which will lead your visitors to the targeted landing pages.

Landing Pages play an important role in your inbound marketing strategy because it is proven to help with increasing conversion rates and bring in more targeted leads for your business.

If you are interested in learning more about how to implement landing pages in your marketing strategy, leave me a message or feel free to send me an email!

5 Ways TIEIT Helps Your Business Use Email Marketing More Efficiently

It is an undeniable fact that email marketing is a great marketing strategy for any business, in any industry. Email marketing has a fantastic ROI and is a great way to re-engage and build a relationship with contacts and leads.

There are a lot of CRMs that claim they have an integrated email marketing module but when conducting your research, make sure you double check if this is a true integration with their own email marketing platform or if this is just a 3rd party integration with another system. The problem with 3rd party integrations is that it is not always a seamless integration so data is not always being consolidated for each contact. Without knowing how your contacts are interacting with your emails, you are just blindly sending emails every month with no true results to see the value of the time and effort you are putting in.

TieiT was built off of client feedback and one of the main feedback we received during the development phase is that we need to make it easy to use and it should be intuitive. In order to achieve these goals, we knew we had to make a truly integrated platform where all modules are built in the system and not utilizing 3rd party systems or APIs.  That is why TieiT’s modules are all proprietary (except of course for our integration with Google Analytics). By utilizing our technical expertise to create our own sales and marketing automation modules, we are able to listen to our users and move at a quicker rate to continually improve and add more features based on our client feedback.

This article outlines the top 5 ways how TieiT makes it easier for businesses to utilize email marketing and how we have made it more efficient to see better results, streamline your email marketing efforts and most importantly, save you time!

1. True Integration with the CRM

TieiT’s proprietary email marketing module is built-in and directly connected to your CRM. This means that you don’t have to keep exporting your contacts from your CRM and importing them into your stand-alone email marketing module.

The time savings alone of not having to export and import contacts in and out of different stand-alone systems is worth it.

Prior to signing up for TieiT, many of our current users used to sign up for a stand-alone CRM and a separate email marketing application, mainly because of the cost they thought they were saving. But if you are trying to operate a small to mid-sized business with minimal staff, you know your time is worth a lot. Spending time each month to transfer your contacts from one system to another adds up.

With TieiT, we’ve made it easier for you to add contacts directly to Subscriber Lists both manually and using the built-in marketing automation modules so contacts can automatically get added or removed from Subscriber Lists based on specific actions or behavior.

2. Ability to Send to Multiple Lists at Once

Our TieiT development team is always seeking user feedback to make TieiT even better for our users. We heard our users feedback when they requested that they wanted the ability to send an email campaign to more than one subscriber list at a time, so we added the feature in!

TieiT’s built-in email marketing module allows our users to send an email campaign to more than one subscriber list at a time, instead of having to send separately to each subscriber list – again, saving our users time!

Allowing users to send to more than one subscriber list at once helps our users be more efficient with their email campaigns and email marketing. Lets say you wrote an amazing email and want to share it with everyone on your list or two segmented target markets that you think it might appeal to. Well now you can do that and track the results with our built-in email marketing reports.

3. Email Marketing Reports

For every email campaign that is sent out of TieiT, you will receive a report that tracks how many people opened it, how many clicked on a link, where and when the recipient opened the email and the bounce rate of those who did not receive the email.

This tracking will allow you to improve your results. By reviewing these reports after each campaign is sent, you can start to gain an understanding of what is working and what isn’t when it comes to your contacts and how they are interacting with your emails.

Email Reporting in TieiT

If you see a lower number of people opened the email, that could mean your subject line was not enticing enough. If you see that not many people clicked on the button that was in your email, that could mean that either your call-to-action was not good or your offering should be improved.

You can see which subscribers are engaging with your campaigns, what type of content they like, the time of day that you receive the most opens and use this data to improve future campaigns and drive even better results for your business.

4. Easy Tracking

All email campaigns that you send out will also be shown in each respective contact’s timeline for better tracking of the contacts behavior.

Since the email marketing and CRM are connected in TieiT, you will be able to leverage this consolidated data to take actionable steps with your contacts.

Email Tracking in TieiT

Let’s say its time to follow up with a contact and you are looking back at the contact’s timeline to review the history you have had with him/her. You will be able to see how engaged the contact has been with the email campaigns that you have sent out. So if you see that the contact has opened or clicked on a particular email, you can now leverage this data and use it in your follow-up.

5. Mobile Compatible Email Templates

We know that time is precious so to help our users, we provide you with multiple email templates that you can easily edit. All of our email templates are built in HTML and are mobile compatible to ensure the emails are viewable on all mobile devices. This way you don’t have to worry about creating mobile compatible emails since we provide our users with responsive templates that they are able to edit, customize and brand for their business.

Mobile Compatible Email Templates in TieiT

When developing TieiT, we knew that we wanted to create our own proprietary email marketing module to give us more flexibility and control over the features that we wanted to add. And this decision has proven to be the right one, because our users are reaping the benefits of our built-in email marketing module in TieiT since it truly is an integrated module and not a 3rd party system that is using an API to connect to your CRM.

TieiT’s email marketing module is also assisting our users by taking the tedious tasks off their plates like automatically tracking unsubscribes, removing them from subscriber lists and eliminating duplicate entries.

With TieiT’s email marketing module being a true integration with our CRM, we are able to give our users more actionable data to drive in better results for their business.

Click here to sign up for a no-obligation, live demo of TieiT!