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10 Unique Content Ideas for Your Next Email Campaign

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Traditional Marketing

“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler

I am a firm believer that the success of an email campaign is highly dependent on its content. As someone who has been both the marketer and the marketed, I can rightfully say that if you aren’t writing content that is relative and has value, then you can expect your emails to quickly find their way to the spam junkyard.

However, writing good content can sometimes be challenging. I can most definitely attest to that! After putting together many email campaigns, I still encounter writer’s block because I get stumped with what to write. Usually when that happens, I realize that it is time to come up with some fresh new content ideas.
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Why Spam Is Gross (and why not to do it)

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What is Spam?

Why Spam is Gross

No, not this kind of Spam.

Besides being a beloved meat treat in Asia and Hawaii, it is an email communication that is unsolicited and unwanted. The CAN SPAM Compliance Act threatens up $16,000 per violation for a number of email no-no’s, however these are rarely enforced and it is Email Solution Provider that suffers from the sending of spam like communications.

From my experience, the worst a company has to deal with by sending out spam is the cancellation or suspension of their account. While this can be costly and disruptive to an organizations marketing, it pales in comparison to the damage mass amounts of spam can cause an ESP.

Email IP Addresses that are whitelisted and “seasoned” are hard to come by and take a long time to develop. It only takes one bad apple to ruin it for the bunch. So, if you want a strong partnership with your Email Solution Provider be aware of what you are bringing to the table or your relationship will be very short lived. (more…)

How much is too much when it comes to Email?

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In the immortal words of Gordon Gekko…

Gordon Gekko, Greed is Good

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.

Well then, when is greed too much for your contact lists and when is the line crossed that enough is too much?

As an email consultant, one of the most common questions I receive from new and potential clients is, “How often is too often to send?”

If you simplified email marketing campaigns into their most basic elements, you as the marketer are looking for the highest level of engagement from your contacts. The more opens and clicks, the further down your contacts go in the buying process. If you can push as many contacts far enough down the buying road your revenues and ROI will go up. So why isn’t unlimited email frequency a standard business practice?

Simply put, because consumers have the right to Unsubscribe. They can actively vote if your communications are worthy of their time and attention. If you have developed your email list organically, then you know your contacts want to receive information from you. It is important to not abuse this position of respect from the consumer by betraying their trust and overwhelming them to the point of annoyance. There needs to be a balance between their interest and your passion for conversion. (more…)

35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates

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What’s the easiest way to get your audience to open your emails?

jump_to_downloadWrite better subject lines.

Of course, you need to have a permission based email list of interested and engaged customers. Your audience’s inboxes are an endless stream of promotions, alerts, notifications, and spam. No matter how great the content of your email is, you’ll need to learn how to write subject lines if you want your audience to open your emails.

Or, you can skip to the bottom and download our “35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates” guide.

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketing

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketingTrue, writing better subject lines will boost your email open rates, but that’s just the start. Understanding the psychology behind what makes an engaging subject line is the secret to successful email marketing. It will improve your results in nearly every aspect of your marketing, including:

  • Social media headline writing
  • Blog post titles
  • Sales page headlines
  • Presentation titles

The key to understanding how to write great subject lines is about understanding what causes a person to take a certain action. Why they say, “Yes.” And if you’re in the business of marketing – you are in the business of getting people to say, “Yes.”
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Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

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Building an email marketing list can be challenging and time consuming, especially if you’re a new business that is just getting started or trying to grow quickly. Unfortunately, many marketers take the easy road (or so they think) and purchase email lists to help grow their business without knowing the consequences that lie ahead.

Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

What is a Purchased Email List?

Purchased email lists are a collection of “non-opt-in” email addresses compiled by third-party vendors who then sell the list to a business or individual for a fee.

There are a few methods that third-party vendors use to build these lists. One common method is through banner advertisements placed on websites that offer a prize. And in order to claim the prize, these ads ask that you provide information such as your email address, which is then segmented into categories where you become a “target” for marketers.

Another method vendors use to collect email addresses is through buying email lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where it is common for people to provide their email information during the registration process.

And then there is email harvesting. This sneaky method uses “bots” to scour the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. (more…)

Is your WordPress site safe?

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WordPress has become one of the leading web platforms that powers millions of websites. Unfortunately, for WordPress, they have also become a major target for hackers.

With news surfacing of a new vulnerability, WordPress users need to be aware of the vulnerabilities and the dangers of running an out of date or unsecured WordPress installation.

What can happen if your WordPress site is attacked

how-do-wordpress-blogs-get-hackedMany WordPress hacks begin with Hackers injecting malicious programming into the website which grants them control over the site. Once a hacker has control of a website they can install programs to infect your visitors, compromise your secure data, redirect your site traffic to a new website entirely, and much more.

Hacked websites will often contain pharmaceutical terms (Viagra, Cialis, weight loss pills) or other spam that is unrelated to the website. Hackers can conceal this content in code so that is not visible to the human eye, but is visible to Google bots or other search engines crawling your site. Once this information is indexed by Google, people searching for your site will instead see search results for pharmaceutical companies which originate from your site URL.

Another common form of WordPress hacking involves redirecting your website URL to a different site, or redirecting individual links within a website. For example anyone visiting http://yoursite.com would instantly be forwarded to another website determined by the hacker. The latter method involves the hacker selecting individual links within a website that when clicked will then redirect the user to a new site. This method is much harder to detect. (more…)

Are your business listings confusing your consumers?

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Introducing FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution

In today’s competitive online marketplace, when it comes to information, people expect nothing less than accuracy. Indeed, misinformation can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. But accuracy can be elusive, particularly when your brand lives in so many discrete destinations.

FireDrum has the proven expertise to make sure your business information is correct, consistent and convincing. Everywhere. FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution analyzes, identifies, and controls existing business listings of your locations through our unique publisher network, so all of your content is accurate, synced, and up-to-date across every digital channel. (more…)

Are you communicating your brand effectively?

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Brand Control to Major Tom..

There are several technological innovations in email that are worth writing about. Any topic from deliverability, design, automation, customer segmentation, are worthy enough to focus at least one article on. However, I am a marketer at heart and I love the idea of branding. Digital marketing has provided us significant improvements in relation to customer tracking, profiling, and ROI analysis. But with all of our big data and metric, marketers are shifting too far away from the importance of brand recognition and consistency. In the following paragraphs, I am going to highlight some technologies that for the most part are new to FireDrum’s email system and that have allowed our clients the ability to control their brand in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible.

 

Name Tag

Hello, my name is…

Personalizing an email using a recipient’s information is a great way to establish a relationship that goes beyond just order taking or business as usual. Email systems like most marketing tools are essentially databases storing information related to specific contacts or users of a system. Data Tags are an ideal way to incorporate this information in customer correspondence so that your communication and most importantly your brand stand out. Name use in the subject line increases opening rates, buying preferences can be used to customize content, and birthdays or sign up dates can be used to reward loyal customers. Your organization has taken the time and effort to capture this information from your customers, why not use it to benefit both your recipients and your brand? (more…)

Utilizing Mobile Technology as Marketing Strategy

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Smartphones are transforming the in-store shopping experience. With $25 billion spent on purchases made from phones and tablets, an increase of 81 percent from the year before, you can’t afford to miss out on a piece of the mobile pie.  In this article we’ll discuss the latest consumer shopping trends and teach you how to capitalize on those trends to grow your business.

Understand how today’s customers are shopping and how they get their information.

As North America’s internet population continues to grow, more and more purchasing decisions are being made online. According to a recent study by Google, shoppers are digging up more information, from more sources as they move along the path to purchase from undecided to decided. The study reveals that among the 5,000 consumers surveyed, 50% turned to search engines to research products, and 38% went online to compare prices.

The Internet is accessible nearly every place we go. Because of this, on-demand services are quickly replacing traditional platforms. Whether at home, work, or in the car, consumers are engaging with content on their own schedules. Traditional advertising is showing diminishing returns as DVR’s allow shoppers to skip commercials, online radio allows for ad-free streaming, and the Internet is allowing for easier price comparisons for the consumer.

Misconceptions about mobile marketing

Tablets are the same as mobile

Picture1Many business owners believe that tablets are the same as mobile. But smartphones aren’t tablets, and vice versa. So what is the easiest place to realize that all devices are not created equal? Conversion rates. The majority of retailers report a smartphone conversion rate of 1%, while reporting a 2.6% conversion rate for tablets. Furthermore, the average ticket for purchases made on tablets is $125, 18% higher than the $106 smartphone average ticket. If you are not optimizing your website for both the tablet and smartphone experience, you will face a challenge as smartphones and tablets will increase mobile web traffic by 26 times during the next four years. (more…)

Canada’s new anti-spam law

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There has been a lot of buzz going around regarding Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) that goes into effect July 1st and the implications it may have on your marketing efforts. Although it is similar to the CAN-SPAM Act, there are a few important things to be aware of. (more…)