How to utilize drip emails in your marketing

There’s no doubt that marketing automation is a useful tool to help increase a business’ bottom line, but how do you strike the perfect balance between too much and too little when setting up an email campaign strategy with drip emails?

When done right, successful drip campaigns can lead to 20% more sales.

But, Why Use Drip Emails?

  • Drives engagement
  • Helps understand engagement levels and focus marketing/sales efforts on the leads that are genuine prospects
  • Sends the right message at the right time
  • Grows sales and drive revenue
  • Acts as a sidekick and useful informant for the sales team
  • Automation saves time

How to Implement Drip Campaigns:

While there is no one size fits all approach to the right frequency of drip email campaigns, there are necessary considerations to tailor your plan for success:

  • Compare & Learn: Depending on your industry, an initial benchmark is to see what your competition is doing. Check out their frequency and consider beginning with something similar if they are a well-trusted and successful business.
  • Industry-Specific: Based on your product or service, the frequencies of your emails will vary. For example, if your service is selling flowers, you’ll increase your marketing around holidays. If your product has a specific expected lifetime, like cosmetics, you’ll want to remind your customers to reorder based on when they last made a purchase. If you are a news service, daily emails are more relevant than once a month.
  • Leave it to Them: Who knows more about what your customers want than your customers? Set up email preferences via a user profile so that they can opt-into the frequency and types of emails they wish to receive.
  • Trial-and-Error: Marketing, especially email marketing, relies on testing to get it right. Use metrics to gauge whether you’re gaining or losing subscribers, and adjust your strategy based on engagement as feedback.

As mentioned, creating automated campaigns is a balancing act, and here are some of the email drip campaign content ideas to get you started.

How to Structure Drip Emails for Various Uses

The number one key to success across all these types of emails is to ensure you match the content to the prospect’s position in the sales journey to make the message relevant, timely and actionable.

You can set up marketing automation workflows to:

1. Remain Relevant and Trusted

Educational drip campaigns provide new leads with thought leadership content and information they need to know to help them convert into a paying customer. This type of email also positions your business as a trusted expert in your respective industry and promotes trust.

In the beginning stages, a customer is in the middle of many businesses competing for their attention, and of course, transaction, so by offering information or a differentiating factor to stand out, your preliminary emails can open the door to a new, and potentially, lifelong customer.

How to Do It: Write an email offering something useful to your client with a strong call-to-action to download an e-book or read more. Keep in mind that these customers are most likely researching your competition, so try to use data points to personalize the message so they feel a connection to your business from the get go.

2. Build A Relationship

With welcome drip campaigns, you can help grow engagement with a new subscriber. By creating a next step or promoting a new feature to keep them interested, you are leading them down the sales funnel in a seamless manner.

With smoove, you can set up a newsletter pop-up on your website, and once an email is captured, an automated welcome email will be sent with your desired content (and hopefully a call-to-action for the new user to take the next step).

How to Do It: Track a customer’s journey on your website, and then follow-up with a specific product they checked out and offer additional information to be a digital salesperson, informing them why they need to purchase said product.

3. Grow Your Prospect

Like plants need water and sunlight to grow, new prospects need communication and information to build trust, and loyalty. With lead nurturing drip campaigns, you can send different prospects content based on their position within the sales funnel. For example, new or active customers may receive tutorials whereas lapsed customers could receive an offer for a new trial.

Based on metrics and analytics, smoove uses smart data to move said contact into the next segment so that the next message they receive is based entirely on the action they took prior – whether they opened, clicked or ignored.

By setting up these customer journeys, your sales team has one less worry because follow-ups are automated.

How to Do It: Use customer personas and predict their steps and the questions they may have at each stage through their journey. Create a map with email triggers that automatically send tailored content to lead them through the sales funnel.

4. Retain Loyalty

Customers can choose to churn, but before you lose one, re-engagement drip campaigns can play a saving role in your retention efforts. It’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one, so you can set up parameters by which customers receive reminder emails to reorder or re-subscribe based on timing with their purchase history.

Additionally, re-engagement can come in the form of exclusive discounts and incentives that are compounded by an expiration date, adding a sense of urgency, or even a simple abandoned cart email reminder.

Even if an incentive is not involved or an immediate purchase is not the intended goal, an email to stay at the top-of-mind and maintain engagement and newsletter subscribers can be used to retain active contacts. Urban Outfitters provides a good example of this in their email that looks like a text message and communicates perfectly with their target audience by sticking to their brand’s voice.

Urban Outfitters

How to Do It: Segment your database according to engagement levels. Create different content for those who have lapsed or not purchased in X amount of time. You can even break this list down further to those who haven’t purchased in X amount of time, but have also spent more than X amount of dollars in the past. Offer these customers a more enticing incentive to return than those who have provided less ROI historically.

5. Keep in Touch and Express Gratitude

For drip personalization messages, event marketing emails can be a very useful tactic. Whether you send emails to confirm a ticket purchase of RSVP, or send post-event surveys and recaps, there are multiple opportunities to really personalize the content and demonstrate your gratitude for a customer’s engagement.

Beginning by adding the event goers first name, you can also use dynamic content and incorporate photos of customers from an event which adds for a nice, personalized, and highly shareable touch.

Even if you don’t fully personalize the message, post-event marketing emails also offer an opportunity to gain valuable feedback and thank your customer for attending. On average, thank you emails generate a 40% open rate, so they should not be forgotten.

A nice example that combines different content within one neatly designed post-event marketing email comes from Marketing United.

Marketing United

How to Do It: Create post-event surveys and thank you emails before the event actually occurs. Then, automate the email to deploy the day after an event so that it is still fresh in your customer’s mind and it is relevant content.

Wrap Up

With email drip campaign best practices, you can utilize automation at all stages of a customer’s journey and make the message feel personalized using segmentation and triggers. It’s a time-effective way to stay on top of the sales funnel, while also being creative and strengthening your brand’s story in a timely and actionable fashion.

From welcome emails, drip nurturing campaigns, renewal drip campaigns, educational emails and more, drip email marketing is a seamless way to stay in contact with your customers at every stage and create a two-way street of communication to convert prospects to happy customers!

If you like what you’re reading, it’s time to turn the knob and get your drip campaign strategy flowing with smoove’s marketing automation platform.

Why smoove is the ideal marketing software for small businesses

Growing your small business can bear a number of challenges, especially when it comes to competing with other, much larger businesses in the specific industry. This practically means that small businesses need to be able to do more with less and get more leads and conversions with less money and personnel.

And this is exactly where marketing automation steps in.

Marketing automation allows you to generate more leads, convert more customers and build quality relationships with your target audience. It also saves time and allows business owners/marketers to focus on other tasks that need to be handled by a human.

The latter is crucial for your business, as one research showed that 53% of small business owners said that the most difficult part of their job is that they have to do multiple jobs on a daily basis. Best of all, marketing automation is cost-effective. The same source reported that, with the right marketing software in place, small business owners can save as much as $300 per day.

Marketing automation platforms such as smoove offer simple and intuitive marketing solutions which are easy to start with. This means that you can do all the work by yourself and your existing team of people instead of hiring an external team of marketing and/or IT experts.

Also, once you import your customer contacts and other necessary data into smoove, it begins to run automatically, allowing your team to collect other important data about your customers and design truly outstanding, data-backed marketing campaigns.

What smoove offers to small business owners

    • Access to insightful data

Ask yourself what do you know about your customers’ needs and interests? When are they ready to make a purchase? How can you provide them with the best customer experience and prevent them from leaving you for the competition?

With smoove, you can collect, organize and analyze your customer data and use this information to get a more comprehensive image of your ideal buyer persona, to design personalized marketing campaigns and provide the best customer experience.

    • More efficient lead generation and nurturing

Smoove enables you to generate the results of your marketing campaigns and clearly define the elements of high-performing nurture content. In short, after you see what makes your prospects convert more quickly, you can pay special attention to improve those elements and use them in your future marketing campaigns.

This is also how marketers can spot if there are any bottlenecks in the customer journey and improve the weak points of their marketing.

    • Ensured workflow efficiency

Small businesses crave for marketing automation mostly because they need more efficiency. With smoove you can cut costs and get more done wit,h less resources, but also ensure your workflow efficiency.

Preset, automated workflows enable you to deliver the right content and reach the right customer at the right time. Your only job is only to create the right content and set the conditions in which the workflow best serve your needs, and let smoove’s marketing automation tool do the rest.

How to grow your small business with smoove

Smoove is the all-in-one marketing automation platform which enables small businesses to grow with its 4 core solutions: marketing automation, email marketing, SMS marketing, and landing page solutions. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

#1 Segmentation of customer database

Segmentation is the foundation of effective marketing automation. To make your communication with the prospects and customers relevant and personalized, you will need to segment your customer’s database and create different email lists for every group of customers you may have.

Smoove’s marketing automation tool enables you to import your contacts and create segmented email lists based on their interests, behavior, demographics or any other wanted criteria. Also, you can later easily add new contacts to any of these multiple lists.

Segmenting your customers with smoove helps you deliver right messages to the specific audience and design more effective marketing campaigns.

#2 Personalized emails

Email marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective channels for marketing your small business. By automating your emails via smoove’s email marketing tool you can generate more leads, increase customer engagement with your brand and – sell more!

Smoove’s email builder enables you to automatically send out personalized emails to an individual customer or a list of segmented customers, create the automated email series for your drip campaigns, track the campaigns and use A/B testing tool to find out what content actually works for your customers.

#3 Customized landing pages

A landing page is a web page with a sole purpose of capturing visitor information through a web form. This is usually achieved by offering the visitor something useful and valuable in return, such as a product sample, eBook, discount and more.

But to save time while creating a top-notch landing page for your small business, you will need help from smoove’s landing page builder. It’s a simple and effective tool by which you can design, customize and publish landing pages by yourself.

Small business owners love building landing pages with smoove as it doesn’t require them to be experts either in design or in digital marketing.

#4 Easy to run smartphone/SMS campaigns

To move your marketing efforts to where your target customers are, you need to implement mobile and SMS campaigns in your small business marketing. With smoove’s automated text messaging you can reach your customers on their mobile phones, at any place and any time.

This simple tool enables you to send targeted and personalized texts to your contacts. It also allows users to subscribe to your offers via SMS and smartphone apps. With smoove, your mobile campaigns can be connected with SMS messaging so that users can receive your offers even if, at the moment, they’re not online.

Wrap Up

As an all-in-one automation tool which offers marketing automation, email marketing, SMS marketing, and landing page solutions, smoove is an ideal tool for automating core marketing activities of every small business.

By implementing smoove in your marketing, you can get access to insightful customer data, generate more leads and ensure workflow efficiency while both saving time and money.

And last, but not least – smoove is quite easy to set and run, so don’t wait any longer and start automating your marketing today!

Newsletter marketing tips for SMB success

One of the most important tasks for any SMB is to generate new leads. Also, to maintain their existing customers without huge spending. The best and cheapest way to achieve this is via email marketing and newsletter marketing, via a professionally crafted, timely newsletter in their inbox.

Newsletter marketing is an excellent way to offer different products, services and attractive deals to different types of customers. It is also a way to improve the customer experience and increase the your brand’s visibility.

But how to build newsletter marketing whose messages get opened every time?

Here are 5 tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your emails and getting the newsletter marketing results you want:

1. Segment your customers

Newsletters are mainly used to offer (and sell!) more products and services to as many people as you can reach. Still, some of your subscribers may only be interested in a particular product line. Others may be newcomers, so make sure you send out different offers for the different types of customers.

You will need to segment your customer’s database based on different parameters. These can be their location, purchasing habits, browsing history, and other behavioral data. Segmenting and creating multiple email lists is the key to increasing revenue from email marketing.

Your customers have different needs at different times. By sending out relevant and highly personalized newsletters, you’re significantly increasing the chances of your emails being opened and clicked.

Crafting targeted newsletters used to be time-consuming. But thanks to technology, nowadays we have an easy solution for this one too. Marketing automation platforms, such as smoove, now offer newsletters templates. These can be customized and saved for future campaigns. This way you can easily design and send out targeted, timely newsletters. You can send them to as many different groups of customers you may have.

Pay special attention to your newsletter marketing content

People will only read your newsletters if there is something new and interesting for them. The secret to success is in creating appealing and useful content in consideration to their interests and needs.

#Add more value

Keeping your customers informed and up to date with new deals, events or contests is important. But, you should also consider adding more value to your newsletters.

If you’re having trouble deciding which non-promotional content to include in your newsletter, here’s what to do. Always think both about your business and your customers and their potential interests. Try adding value with business and industry-related news. Go for educational and useful articles related to the products or a field of business. Look for new blog posts and even satisfied customer reviews.

To get this clear, here are some examples of what content you should include in your newsletter:

  • New products and services, along with special offers such as discounts, contests and loyalty vouchers
  • Product news and industry insights
  • Interesting and educative content (‘How to’ or ‘Did you know’ articles, tips and advices)
  • Events and projects you participate in
  • Interviews with people from the industry and satisfied customer reviews

To show how this looks in practice, let’s take a look at this example by Starbucks. They have specially designed their Starbucks Card newsletter. They regularly send it out to registered users of their reward program.

It has a great design, it’s personal and most importantly – it has value! Along with the announcement of new benefits for reward card holders, it has a new product offer, invitation to a prize draw and a survey which helps the company improve the customer experience with their brand.

If you include different content in your newsletter, you can prove to your customers that you are not only a seller. You are also an expert in the field, someone with genuine interest in their needs.

#Structure it smartly

Pay close attention to the structure of your newsletter and make sure that your offers, useful tips and other content such as stats and industry insights are always published in the same order. Depending on your marketing goal(s), put the most attractive offer or most interesting article at the top of your newsletter.

Make sure your headlines are short but catchy and engaging and include short descriptions of your offers and/or articles with an option to ‘read more’, if your subscribers choose to. Always include links to your website and/or landing page which will both drive more traffic to your websites and give your newsletter instant credibility.

#Make CTA’s clear and visible

If you want to drive customers to your website and/or bring them to your stores, make sure that your Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons are clearly visible and compelling to click at.
This especially goes for the CTA buttons such as ‘Take your offer’ and ‘Read more’, as you want both to sell and to take the subscribers to your website.

Depending on what you want your customers to focus on in a specific newsletter, make one of your CTA buttons to stand out and put it at the top of your newsletter.

#Be consistent

People prefer to buy from familiar brands, so make sure your newsletter design and colors matches your website/landing page. Your logo is the signature of your brand and you should always place it in the header of a newsletter. Most common practice is to place it centrally or in the top left corner as that is the first place where ‘left-to right’ readers will look at after opening an email.

Always put your contact information at the bottom of a newsletter and include social media buttons so that customers can reach you anywhere and anytime.

Concerning the fact that many people today read their emails on tablets and mobile phones, also make sure your newsletter provides consistency across different devices.

A consistent look and copy leads to a so called unified experience which will make them more likely to convert and buy from you again.

3. Personalize your offers

Have in mind that segmentation of your customer’s database won’t work without personalization of your newsletters. Designing a personalized newsletter which sits well with your customer’s needs and expectations will help you establish stronger relationship with them, but also to increase your sales.

However, personalization goes way beyond including the customer’s name in the first line of your email and sending them product offers based on their previous purchases. Whenever possible, try to tie the newsletter to unique events such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.

Automating your emails and sending out your newsletters on your customer’s birthday, public holidays and other significant events will make your messages reach customers at the right time and make your customer’s experience truly outstanding.

For example, cosmetics giant Sephora regularly sends special discount birthday offers to their subscribers and uses this opportunity to sell more of their products.

Event-tied newsletters have the potential to significantly improve customer experience with your brand, but it also gives you an opportunity to sell more.

Depending on your campaign, you can use targeted newsletters effectively, to achieve multiple marketing goals. You can also use it to re-engage old customers who haven’t purchased anything from you in a while.

The best part about it is that personalization is not something only the big guys in the industry can do. Marketing automation tools like smoove offer many personalisation options, and usually come with different pricing packs that make them affordable for every business and helps them scale more easily, without burning a hole in their wallets.

4. Tracking and analyzing the campaign success

Tracking the activities and behavior of your subscribers will help you develop ba etter strategy for future newsletter offers but also to measure the overall success of your email campaign. In order to do this effectively, experienced marketers suggest we track the following:

#Click-through rate to get direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offer

#Conversion rate, which shows how many people clicked on a link within a newsletter and completed a desired action, such as purchasing a product or starting a free trial

#Unsubscribe rate, which helps you to discover weak points of your campaigns and/or your business

#Inbox placement rate which shows if the content of your newsletter is “good enough” to reach the customer’s inbox

#Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate, which helps you discover what kind of content is likely to be shared the most but also to find out which customers are loyal to your brand

5. A/B testing

If you want to find new ways to make your campaign more successful, I highly recommend using the A/B testing method.

A/B testing allows you to make the best decision when you must choose between two options of the same category (this can be subject line, CTA button, time of email being sent, coloring and more) as well as sending out these slightly different offers to a selected number of your contacts.

With this simple tool, you can find the more popular option between the two. You can, for example, choose between the one with more opens, and the one with more actions.

For example, an A/B test conducted by AwayFind (a web application that sends mobile alerts for urgent emails) showed that the second version of their offer had a 38% increase in sign-ups when comparing it to their initial offer.

The second version had a shorter headline and bolded key features of the offer in the sub-headline copy which obviously worked better with their customers. Even though the initial version maybe had a better, cleaner design, customers preferred the other one because of the emphasis on the copy.

By sending out two variations of one newsletter, you will be able to determine which one attracts more interaction and conversions from your customers. Great thing is that you can use these findings not only for the specific campaign you have in place, but also when designing a strategy for your future marketing campaigns.

Wrap Up

A newsletter is one of the most powerful marketing tools SMB’s use to achieve their goals. These can be either increasing conversions, retaining existing customers, improving customer experience, or selling more!

To design a truly delightful, interesting and targeted newsletter for the purposes of your email campaign, you will need to:

  • Segment your customer’s database and create multiple email lists to send out strategically crafted newsletters
  • Create a remarkable content both in terms of design and copy
  • Personalize your newsletters and reach out to the customers on the special occasions
  • Track and analyze the success of your campaign with the help of email metrics
  • Employ A/B testing to find out which version of your offer is more popular among subscribers

Pro Digital Marketing Tips from 13 Top Industry Experts

Technology is causing the rapid advancement of digital marketing, which means to stay relevant, you have to continuously assess, test and create solutions to grow your business’ digital marketing presence. In fact, 76% of people believe that marketing has changed more in the past two years than the previous 50.

In particular, email marketing requires more strategy as people turn to social media, podcasts and additional platforms that had previously never existed to stay engaged with their favorite brands. So, we compiled a list from over a handful of marketing experts to provide you with the best digital marketing hacks to keep ahead of the trends.

These tips come from CEOs, digital marketing consultants, authors, business owners and more to really provide the ultimate list of quick tips to implement successful marketing strategies.

Let’s take a look:

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Social Media

Whether you are a small business or a big corporation, there is a space for you on social media. It’s understandable as a new entrepreneur to be hesitant to implement a social media marketing strategy, particularly if you have a small team or a limited budget.” – Kurt Lohmann, Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder at Engaged Digital

With over two billion active users on social media, you can interact directly with your target audience. But, it’s important to establish an authentic voice and target your messages based on the platform you choose to use – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. By assessing metrics across platforms, you can then tailor your approach to focus on the platform where you find your audience to be most engaged.

With the ever-increasing number of channels to communicate with your customers, the more tools to simplify and streamline your online presence, the better. But when it comes to choosing a medium for your message, the decision becomes more dizzying.” – Michael Peggs, Founder of Marccx Media

This is why it’s important to utilize multiple touchpoints to turn one time customers into buyers. People choose to interact across different channels based on their preferences, so if you’re consistently communicative throughout various outlets, you are maximizing your ability to interact, inform, and gain feedback from your audience.

Accessibility will continue to play an important role in email marketing going forward, though marketers need to embrace accessibility across all channels, not just email.” – Paul Airy, Email Design and Development Manager at Skipton Building Society

Use metrics and analytics to create data-driven decisions in choosing where you should spend your time on social media to optimize ROI. Social media is an open and infinite platform; don’t be afraid to get involved, test your ideas, and then invest in what works.

2. Implement Successful Newsletters

While email marketing has an unfortunate reputation for being a cheap marketing channel, lots of brands have wisely decided that they want to maximize their returns from this high-ROI channel by investing heavily in their teams and tools.” – Chad White, author of Email Marketing Rules and Research Director at Litmus

There are many reasons to create a newsletter for your business. Starting with a natural way to collect email addresses to grow your database, email marketing is a direct way to keep in contact with your customers by offering promotions, business updates, information and the like.

So where do you begin?

Start by defining your goals and then tailor the content to reach that goal. For example, if you want to drive sales, offer special promotions and segment your audience based on purchase history so you can offer them the products they have shown interest in.

Something Marketers mustn’t do: Forget that your audience is made up of people. Would you like to get 3 emails a day with basically the exact same messaging, when you’ve opened the previous two thinking they’re different? No? Then why would your users like it? Use common sense and segment your heart out.” – Amanda Soehnlen, expert in analytics, design, coding and psychology.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your blog, offer some of the content that hooks the reader, and then insert a call-to-action button to “read more.” Another simple hack that often goes unused for email marketing is implementing preview text that maximizes opens. You can check out the hack that HP uses so well here.

So how do you your customers to open your newsletters? It’s important to remember that with email newsletters, content is king. When onboarding a new customer, be sure to drive them to the next step you want to take by being direct with your call-to-action.

Alex Williams, Senior Vice President at Trendline Interactive, reminds us: “A bad first button CTA in your welcome email kills your subsequent onboarding emails. Give value!

The truth is, the conversation goes beyond just content. It also comes down to timing. If you don’t know the best time to send your newsletters when first getting started, try A/B testing based on different parts of day and even subject lines. Simply set your automation software to schedule the send and define a sample size so that a percentage of your list gets each email variation. The email that is most opened in that sample size will then be sent to the remainder of your list. Typically, it’s advisable to send newsletters on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and to avoid Mondays and Fridays as people are overwhelmed or checked out because of the weekend.

Don’t forget to think about the physical as well as the mental state of your client when they read your email.” – Jeanne Jennings, Founder and Lead Strategist at Email Optimization Shop, Consultant, Trainer, Speaker and Published Author

3. Listen to Your Customers

“Great marketing is about listening to your customers and improving their lives with your products or services. Email marketing is no different.” – Scott Cohen, Email Marketing Strategist, Marketing Copywriter, Lecturer, and Blogger at ScottWritesEverything

You should only want to give your customers the information and offers that they want to receive, otherwise, you’re disrespecting their time and attention. In an overly saturated digital world, your brand’s ability to capture attention and provide value will make or break your business, so you can tailor your digital marketing efforts around this goal for a useful user experience. Begin by using opt-ins, and do not buy an email database.

Jaina Mistry, Email Marketing Specialist at Litmus, warns, “Never buy an email list. It’s a waste of time, money, and it won’t end well. There are so many better ways to build your list. Be a good email marketer and leave list buying well alone.

To get started, create an opt-in form that either asks for a user’s preferences on the kind of information they’re interested in receiving on the pop-up form submission or in the first welcome email. This way, you can segment your lists and direct content at each segment to give them what they ask for. Be as transparent as possible – tell customers what kind of information and how frequently they can expect to hear from you.

As Matt Helbig, Senior Analyst, Marketing Operations at Digitas + Community Really Good Emails, says, “Marketers must make email preference centers part of their marketing efforts. It’s important subscribers know what they are signing up for and the frequency.

4. Personalization is Paramount

I see 2018 as the year where email marketers start really focusing on meaningful personalization. Specifically, making sure that emails are relevant and received at the right time within the customer’s lifecycle.” – Jacques Corby-Tuech, Email Marketing Manager at Paymentsense

Email is the driver and catalyst for amazing relevant relationships.” – Samantha Iodice, Expert Email + CX Strategy, Speaker, Social Media Chairwoman and Charter Member at Women of Email

Customers should feel like the message they receive was amtailored specifically for their eyes. The first step in personalization is segmentation based on audience demographics, preferences, purchase history, engagement levels, etc. Then, you can tailor the message starting with using a customer’s name in a message through your automation platform. But, you can take this even further by using data to actually address their movement through the sales journey with your business to make it feel like you really know their habits, preferences, and their desired next steps. Create a seamless customer journey by directing your messages to users at the right time, and in the right tone.

Email marketing and personalization are all about relationship building. By addressing your customer’s needs, you are able to lead them to the next step through the right messaging.

5. Set the Tone

Emojis are great in email because they distill a lot of information, and convey it quickly. We predict being genuinely emoji literate will continue to be a coveted skill in 2018 and beyond.” – Mike Ragan, Freelance Email Designer and Developer

Speak to your customers as you would speak to your friends. Open the linmes of communication immediately when you gain a new customer and stay true to your brand’s voice throughout all forms of communication. If your business calls for it, digital marketing can be playful, too. Emojis have become a language in and of themselves, and they can benefit your business because they express a lot of information in a small amount of time and space. In email marketing, emojis can be used in subject lines, but more importantly, emojis are great to implement in social media, where your space is literally limited, like the 140 characters Twitters allows.

In the same vein, make sure you let your pictures do the talking, too. Choose imagery that is captivating and contextually relevant to the copy that accompanies the image.

The Wrap Up

While digital marketing is robust and always evolving, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With these expert tips and Smoove’s automation platform, you can implement all of these solutions to drive customer engagement all from one place. That means, you can grow your CRM, manage your database, segment your lists, create newsletters, engage on social media, and track your ROI to maximize your digital marketing strategies.

All in one vs. best of breed automation tools – what should your small business opt for?

With so many marketing automation tools out there, it’s not always easy to choose which one is right for your business.

So, what should you consider during your decision-making process?

There are best of breed platforms that focus on specific elements, and then, there are all-in-one tools that cohesively manage your CRM, automate emails, social media posts, and maintain metrics in one place, like smoove.

In an effort to make the decision easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why we think all-in-one automation tools that integrate with your CMS (content management system) and marketing automation strategy can benefit small and medium-sized businesses.

Let’s take a look:

1. Personalization Made Easy

95% of marketers who implement personalization report an increase in conversions. Everyone is vying for your customer’s attention, so if you can send a message that directly captures their eye, you’re one step ahead.

While it’s possible to take best of breed automation tools and integrate them within your CMS for personalization purposes, the ease of doing so is not as simple as when your automation tool is all-in-one. When pairing separate systems, the ability to personalize content is only limited to the areas where you embed the code from your automation platform. However smoove makes integration with platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify easy so that you can maximize your customer’s journey through personalized content based on their actions.

When your tools work together, you can use landing pages and opt-in forms with automated email marketing to personalize content and send tailored messages to your audience. For example, if a customer interacts with an email or a form on your site, you can automate another message to be sent that addresses their next logical step. Or, if a customer abandons their cart, let smoove do the talking with an automatic email reminder to finish the checkout process.

All-in-one automation platforms take out the legwork and saves your sales team time by creating a workflow process that is carried out by the system. All you have to do is set up how you want it to work.

In this way, you can grow your relationship with each consumer as if they are your sole customer – making them feel important adds value and builds trust, and in turn, loyalty.

2. Simplified Training / Single User Interface

Businesses spend a lot of time and money on training, especially new employees. Regardless of your employee retention rates, every new technology requires a learning curve.

While some are easier than others, a major benefit of using an all-in-one automation tool means that the onboarding and training is siloed to one product. Training comes in the form of product demos, video tutorials, chatbots, support tickets and customer service hotlines. Having one user-interface means that all your teams, from marketing to sales to developers, can access the same tool for their purposes.

Your employees will be happy to know that all of their customers’ metrics and information can be easily found, stored and updated in one place.

3. Single Customer Service Point of Contact

In the same vein as employee training, using an all-in-one tool means you have a dedicated team of experts, and most likely, a single point of contact that manages your business’ account on behalf of the marketing automation platform.

So, any time there is a problem, you have a case file for your business that is updated which makes diagnosing and solving problems highly efficient. Your team members can easily build a relationship with the marketing platform’s support experts to establish a trustworthy relationship.

4. Tracking/Metrics- Holistic Customer View and Data

Marketing comes down to knowing your customers and anticipating their needs. With an all-in-one platform, it’s really easy to track and implement campaigns across platforms and see metrics in one view.

Since customers like to interact with brands in their preferred setting, whether it be via email, websites, SMS messaging, or social media, an all-in-one system treats each customer individually and can measure their engagement across any outlet in a single view.

Therefore, when you want to create customer journey mapping to send out automated messages via email or social media to guide a customer to the next step in the sales funnel, you can bring back reason #1 and personalize content by knowing to whom to send what message.

Wrap Up

It’s important to note that all-in-one marketing automation tools may not be the right fit for your business. But, you can easily decide by defining and prioritizing your goals, assessing your team, and outlining your budget.

If saving time and implementing an easy-to-use automation platform sounds good for your business in its current stage, then an all-in-one marketing automation tool may be the perfect fit.

With a bird’s eye view of each customer that allows you to drill deeply into data, measure ROI on marketing efforts, highly personalize content, and allow all of your team to access information in a single interface, all-in-one tools offer businesses of all sizes an opportunity to attract, nurture and retain happy customers.

How to run a successful smartphone campaign

In 2018, smartphone technology is so advanced that mobile phones are slowly replacing desktops and laptops. We use mobile phones to open and answer our emails, to browse social media, even to order a meal or taxi via SMS and different apps. The best thing is that we can do all of these things while on the move. Stats show that internet users spend on average 69% of their online time on smartphones and that mobile devices will drive 80% of global internet usage by the end of 2018. This, of course, provides a great opportunity for SMB’s to implement a mobile and SMS campaign in their marketing strategies. Mobile marketing is an excellent way to reach a huge number of prospects and existing customers. It is also good to reduce marketing costs and track the overall success of your campaigns.

A recent report published by Google revealed that mobile is the dominant platform for searches, as 48% of the buyers search the internet via smartphones. Also, another research showed that 69% of consumers worldwide between the ages of 18 and 39 use mobile devices to research products before they make a purchase. Still, considering the fact that today’s market is crowded with businesses that feel like carbon copies of one another, we need to find a way to design a strategic, data-driven and innovative smartphone campaigns.

To make your mobile campaign truly stand out, experienced marketers suggest you do the following:

  • Decide on goals and objectives of your campaign and determine your target audience
  • Use advantages of new online marketing tools to make the most of mobile marketing channels
  • Track the performance of your campaign to measure its overall success and adjust your offers to your customer’s needs

To make your work count and move your marketing efforts to where your target customers are, below are four tips you need to use to run successful mobile and SMS campaigns.

4 tips to run a successful smartphone campaign

1. Set your goals and objectives

Plan goals and objectives

Before you launch your smartphone campaign, think of the goals and objectives, first. Ask yourself – what do you want to accomplish: Is to attract and convert new customers? Is it to sell more to your existing customers or to increase the visibility of your brand?

Now define realistic goals that are achievable in a certain period of time and within the given campaign budget.

Always think about your target audience and think of the goals that can add value to their experience with your brand.

Segmenting your customer’s database based on their location, purchasing habits and engagement with your brand will help you design an outstanding mobile marketing campaign.

For example, by segmenting your customers based on their location, you can design a highly personal and targeted local campaign in a specific area. Also, if your goal is to sell more, you can analyze your customer’s purchasing preferences and predict which products they may be interested in.

Now it will be much easier to craft marketing offers tailored to their exact needs and expectations.

2. Optimize your emails for mobile

As already mentioned, smartphones overtook computers as the device most often use to open and read emails. A research from 2017 showed that the majority of marketing emails sent out by companies are now opened on a mobile device, regardless of what kind of business you’re in.

Mobile marketing

Customers have already adopted mobile as the primary way of accessing the Internet, and this is exactly the reason why businesses need to pay special attention to optimizing their email offers for mobile.

Ensuring that your emails and newsletters look equally good on both desktop and mobile phone will increase your click-through rates and simply – bring more customers to your website and/or your stores. To do this the right way, here are some tips:

Keep it simple and focus on functionality

Considering the small mobile screen size, you will need a simple and clean design. This usually means a single column template with an easy-to-read font, without extra work such as zooming in and out while reading an email.

Include visible Call to Action

You should focus on having a single CTA with a clear message. Don’t forget the emphasis on providing a value to the customer. Also, people usually use their thumbs to click on it! The CTA button needs to be visible and big enough so that readers don’t “struggle” with it.

Optimize images

Nowadays, emails are more visual than they used to be. But it still doesn’t mean you should send out one with images only. Always add text to your email and fully optimize the images included in it by reducing the file size and size of the image itself.

Various online services and apps can reduce file size by as 80% without actually reducing the quality of the image. This way you can capture the customer’s attention without worrying if they will wait for the image to load. This is also important due to the fact that not everyone has unlimited mobile data plans. If loading a bunch of images inflicts extra costs on their mobile bills, they’ll unsubscribe immediately.

Make sure it’s consistent on all devices and always preview your emails to check if the images and text are displayed properly.

3. Use SMS campaigns the right way

Sure, mobile marketing is really advanced in 2018. Still, SMS marketing serves as one of the best sales-boosting and customer care channels. One of its biggest advantages in the modern day and age is that SMS doesn’t rely on an internet connection.

To get the most from SMS campaigns, you should always look at it as a mediating channel which leads customers to your more engaging mobile website or app.

To add more value to your SMS campaigns, your message needs to be:

Straightforward, short and simple

Get to your point fast and remember you have the 160 characters to express everything you want to say. Avoid sending unclear copy and make sure the SMS campaigns have all the necessary info about your offer.

For example, if this is a flash sale in one of your stores, don’t send it as a simple announcement. Also include specific date(s) of the sale and highlight the discount percentage in a few compelling words. Customers are more likely to act on it if you provide them with enough information and incentive.

Backed with data

Save your bulk messages for general sales and promotions and segment your customers for targeted promotions. By analyzing your customer’s purchase history and the location-based demographics, you can send the right messages to the right customers.

Customer segmentation can be easily done by SMS automation. This marketing automation feature allows you to send out your text messages in line with a predefined schedule and data-driven strategy you have in place. SMS automation enables you to send your targeted offers at the right time and make your SMS campaigns truly outstanding.

Inviting

Calls-to-action increase customer engagement with your marketing text messages. But, unlike emails, your SMS campaigns offer can’t have a colorful and flashy CTA button. Anyhow, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find an interesting way to include it in your SMS, too. Translate your CTA into words and make sure your customers can easily act on it.

You can do that if you add shortened URLs to your copy. Or, depending on your offer, find another innovative way to catch the customer’s attention. For example, you can ask your customers to “Show this text” in your store in order to earn a discount. Or, invite them to “Buy now” if you have a short-term sale.

4. Track your results

By now, we know that for a successful mobile campaign, our mobile marketing offers need to be optimized, automated and sent out timely to different groups of our customers. We also know that these offers have to be aligned with our campaign goals and objectives. But how can you predict and, later on, measure the success of a certain campaign?

The answer on this one is quite clear: Track your campaign!

Ask yourself once again if the goal of your campaign is to convert more customers? Is it to get more subscribers to your newsletters or sell more products to your loyal customers? After getting your answers, it will be much easier to understand which metrics to track in order to measure the progress towards the marketing goal(s) you have.

Email tracking

Speaking of emails, we recommend you track the following:

  • Click-through rate, which gives a direct and accurate insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offers.
  • Inbox placement rate, which helps you improve the content of your emails, its subject lines and to adjust the time you send your emails. If regularly tracked, this can prevent your emails going to spam.
  • Unsubscribe rate, which helps you discover weak points of your campaign and/or the way you do business.
  • Conversion rate, or the number of people that clicked on a link within an email and completed the wanted action, such as downloading your eBook or purchasing the product.
  • Email sharing/forwarding rate, which both helps you find out what kind of emails are most likely to be shared and discover your most loyal customers.

SMS tracking

When it comes to SMS campaigns tracking, experienced marketers suggest determining KPIs depending on the type of SMS offer you have in place. These are:

  • Response tracking – if your SMS campaigns required a response, this one is quite easy to measure. The customer will send texts back to the source! If this type of SMS yields low response, something is wrong. Look at your CTA or your offer. Is it attractive enough? Rethink your offer. But also try to keep things simple! Ask your customers to reply with a single word or a code.
  • Click tracking – Marketing text messages often contain URL’s that lead the customer to a mobile-friendly website. These sites offer more information about the certain offer. Click tracking is one of the best ways to determine the ROI and to measure the overall results of your SMS campaigns.
  • Coupon and Call tracking – Having a unique coupon code is a great way to measure the performance of your campaign and find out if this approach actually works for your field of business.Same goes for using a custom phone number that redirects to the main line. Inviting customers to get more information or complete a sale via phone is a great way to measure the conversion. Also, to directly find out if the customer is satisfied with your products and services.

Wrap-Up

Mobile marketing unlocked truly powerful opportunities for marketers. Unlike other channels, it allows us to reach a larger number of customers in a personal and timely manner.

Mobile marketing and SMS campaigns are changing the way people engage with brands. But for every successful mobile campaign, you need to follow certain steps:

  • Like with any other marketing campaign, it is crucial that there are established objectives and goals for the campaign. Deciding on goals and segmenting your target audience will help you design the best strategy and select the appropriate mobile marketing channels to distribute your offers.
  • The majority of customers today use their phones to access the Internet, so it is very important to optimize your email marketing offers for mobile. If your emails and newsletters look equally good on both desktop and mobile phone, customers will appreciate it. They will, most likely, buy from you more often.
  • Never underestimate the power of SMS campaigns. Use SMS marketing to connect the customer’s online and offline experiences with your brand. Send the right SMS to the right customers at the right time and drive more customers to your website and/or your stores.
  • No business can afford to waste money, time and effort on a campaign that produces poor results. How to use data to properly run a mobile campaign should be a priority for any marketing team. This means tracking the success of your email and SMS offers and using the results to design more attractive marketing offers in the future.

Tracking emails – the 5 metrics you should be looking out for

Without any doubt, email marketing is one of the most effective and most direct channels of digital marketing in 2018. Email marketing is also considered to be one of the cheapest channels of communication within the world of business. It brings efficiency to multiple levels of your business. You can send it automatically, do different groups of customers. You can integrate it with other channels of communication and marketing for further engagement. It allows you to increase the frequency and relevance of communication with your customers.

The levels of marketing and communication achieved via email cannot be replaced with other strategies at the same cost. We also know by now that, for a successful campaign, our emails need to be optimized, automated and sent out timely to different target groups of our customers. We are also aware of the fact that our email strategy needs to be aligned with our marketing goals. But how can we measure the success of an email campaign and actually find out if it’s helping us to hit our goals? The answer is quite clear: By tracking emails!

Before getting into the types of metrics, ask yourself a question. What are the goals of our email marketing campaign? Is to get more subscribers? Convert more customers? Sell more to existing customers?

After deciding on goals, it will be much easier to use the collected data and effectively measure the progress toward the goal(s) we have.

To make this as simple as possible, we selected five metrics you should always use when tracking emails:

1. Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate, or the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email. This is the metric everyone uses when tracking emails.

Click-through rate gives you a direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offer and/or your brand. According to a research, email CTR is actually is one of the top performance indicators used to evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaign.

It’s important to add that email CTR doesn’t depend only on the interesting subject lines (this mostly affects email open rates) but also on the various other things such as creative copy, time of day, email length and the strategic link positioning.

IBM’s and Epsilon’s research on the matter tells us that the average CTR for newsletters is between 3 and 3.5%, which is something you should aim for. So you would want to strive to either hit, or go beyond these numbers.
To make sure you’re doing it right, experienced marketers suggest to employ following hacks:

#Send only relevant emails

Relevent emails

Segment your customer’s database based on different parameters such as their location, purchase history and engagement with your business and send out different, strategically crafted emails to their inboxes. Also, pay attention to the frequency of your emails and try not to cause the so called “email fatigue”. Find a formula that works for your business, but advice is to keep it to 5 messages per month overall.

#Design great content

You probably know that the content of your emails needs to be creative, inviting and visually striking, but that’s not all! Add a few relevant and strategically-positioned links. That way you will increase your customer engagement, and find out your recipients’ interests. Work on your Call-to-Action and make sure it’s visible, clear and that, once they’ve clicked on it, offers something valuable to your customers.

#Make sure you have a responsive design

Today, businesses value every click so get on board with technology and make your emails look the same and respond well to any device your customers may use. This especially goes for mobile phones, devices we carry everywhere we go.

CTR is also frequently used for determining the results of A/B testing. The usual goal of these tests is to find new ways to make your campaign more successful.

A/B testing allows you to make a smart decision when you must choose between two options of the same category (such as subject line, CTA button, coloring and so on) as well as send them out to a selected number of your contacts.
With this simple tool, your contacts list will get the more popular option, automatically. You can choose between the one that users opened the most, and the one that triggered more action. By displaying two variations of one campaign, you can use tools for tracking emails, to see which one attracts more interaction and conversions from your customers so that you can later create more efficient strategy to reach more customers and boost your sales.

2. Conversion rate

This metric represents the percentage of email recipients who did two things. One – clicked on a link and/or CTA within an email and two – completed a desired action. That can be purchasing a product or filling a form on your landing page. Or, becoming a new subscriber to your business offers.

These rates vary, based on a bunch of parameters, so it’s quite the challenge to set up a figure to aim for. Basic newsletters, for example, have an average conversion rate of one percent, according to Marketing Insider Group.

Order follow-ups do better with five percent, same as with emails related to cart abandonment. Depending on the type of newsletter you’re sending, average figures are between one and five percent, so try to move beyond those figures.

To increase your conversion rates you will also need to optimize your website and your offers by doing the following:

#Segmenting your customer’s database

Segment your subscribers based on their demographics, preferences and previous purchases and send out different emails. Not all customers are ready to buy from you straight away. You will need different approaches to make their buying journey truly unique and delightful.

#Personalize and customize the content

Use your customer first name in the first sentence, craft an interesting subject line and make sure your copy is both useful and interesting. When crafting a subject line, experienced marketers suggest to employ a so called CURVE principle (curiosity, urgency, relevance, value, or emotion) as each of these principles, when used the right way, has the power to increase your conversion rates.

Also, along with the company name, include your own name in the sender field. This is much more effective than generic company address. Marketing automation software, such as smoove, offer these possibilities, and are an indispensable part of every serious marketer’s arsenal. These tools offer easily integrated and managed personalization features, as well as automation.

#Use double opt-in

Double opt-in or the practice of asking people to confirm that they’ve signed up for a newsletter by clicking on a confirmation link they receive via email is actually a very effective way to generate strong leads – future customers which are really interested in your products and your brand.

Double opt-in helps you avoid the spam folder, increases the recipient’s engagement and moreover – provides you with a direct opportunity to introduce your business in the opt-in email. Opt-in mail can be a great marketing opportunity as well if you, for example, include special offers for new subscribers.

Automate emails as responses to other triggers, as well. These can be welcome emails to your new subscribers. Or “thank you” emails after a purchase. Upselling emails, reminders on shopping cart abandonment, stuff like that. Make sure you personalize these emails and make them relevant to certain customers. Only that will increase the chances of conversion.

3. Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate is the number of people who opted-out from your marketing offers. As every marketer, you are probably wondering: Why is this happening again?

Well, there is no universal answer to this one.

Sometimes, people are just tired from receiving emails from different brands or have no need to purchase from you again. Also, maybe you had a great initial offer, so the people gave you their email only for that. It doesn’t mean they have any interest in purchasing from you at all. This happens all the time and the trick is to not become too overwhelmed with this occurrence.

Another, more serious reason why customers leave can be that your emails weren’t properly segmented. There is a reason we talk about segmentation over and over again. People will open personalized, relevant emails. They (most likely) won’t open generic, irrelevant ones. It’s simple as that.

Also, there is another common reason people unsubscribe – you send emails too often. Be moderate and don’t let you customers leave because of this. Set the expectation for when and how often you’re going to email your audience and be consistent.

However, tracking emails when people unsubscribe won’t suffice. To find out if there is something you’re doing wrong, just ask them! Think about conducting more surveys via emails, social media or other communication channels you may have.

By finding out why people unsubscribe, you have a chance to improve the weak points of your business and decrease the unsubscribe rates in the future.

4. Inbox placement

Inbox placement

Inbox Placement Rate is gaining prominence among marketers as one of the most important metrics to evaluate email marketing campaigns. It is based on the deliverability of emails and is used to determine the percentage of emails that reached the recipient’s inbox.

As stats show, 205 billion emails are sent every day (which is around 2.4 million emails sent every second). Of course, people don’t open and read every single one of these emails. Also, engagement levels and recepient levels are important for another reason. They determine which emails make it to the inbox. Lately, spam filtering has become more rigorous and it’s getting harder for businesses to avoid their emails going to spam.

Still, there are few tips on how to increase the chances your email reaches the customer’s inbox:
#Avoid spam trigger words and phrases such as “great offer”, “earn”, “money”, “incredible”, “free gift”, “order”, “please read” and more
#Never use all caps in your subject line and/or your email offer
#Forget the exclamation points, especially in the subject line
#Don’t be overly graphic and make sure your email actually contains text, not only images. Emails with images only and no text just about guarantee your email will never see your customer’s inbox.
#Avoid using attachments in marketing emails as filters usually send those to spam as well. If you want to offer something, do so with a link rather than an attachment.

5. Email Sharing/Forwarding rate

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate is the percentage of email recipients who shared the email content on social media. It’s also the percentage of those who clicked on the “forward” button. Even though this may not seem that important, we can ensure you: It is!

Tracking emails to how many people shared or forwarded them is how you generate new leads. Doesn’t matter if this is the goal or your campaign or not. Having your existing prospects and customers forward your emails means they are actually becoming ambassadors of your brand and generating new leads for you.

Along with getting new leads, this is how you find most shared types of emails and offers. Use that information when designing the strategy for your future campaigns.

If you notice that certain customers are often sharing and forwarding your email content, nurture these relationships! Reward the customers for their loyalty. This way you can increase the customer loyalty to your brand, get some new customers and, most importantly, increase your sales.

Wrap Up

A well-executed email campaign can increase sales and customer loyalty. It can generate new leads and reduce marketing costs, too. This is especially when compared with other digital marketing channels. Marketing automation tools like smoove help marketers achieve these goals with less effort and cost, while helping them be more efficient.
Email metrics help us successfully measure the results of our email marketing. They also help us improve our future email marketing campaigns.

In order to do this, we always need to be tracking emails the following ways:
Click-through rate, which gives you direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offer
Conversion rate, which shows how many people clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as purchasing a productUnsubscribe rate, whose tracking can help you discover weak points of your campaigns and/or your business
Inbox placement rate which, with regularly tracking emails, helps you improve the content of your email offers and prevent them going to spam
Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate, which helps you discover what kinds of emails are likely to be shared the most but also to find out which customers are loyal to your brand

Why use marketing automation for small businesses

When running a small business, financial and human resources are limited. That’s why it’s necessary to use marketing automation for small business in order to grow, serve customers, and increase your bottom line. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of consumers will manage their customer relationship without talking to a human.

What can a marketing automation platform do for your small business? Here are just a few benefits: Read more

What Makes People Forward Emails

When you send an email marketing message, its success is commonly measured by the open rate and/or the click through rate. But, what about message forwarding? The best case scenario is to have your subscriber amplify your message by sharing it with their network. So, what steps can you take to make your message more likely to be forwarded?

For starters, it’s useful to know that according to a New York Times Customer Insight Group, most respondents’ motivation for sharing was to establish or maintain relationships with others. In fact, 73% of people say they share emails because it helps them process information more thoughtfully and deeply. This means you want to provide an informative message from the get-go. But, there’s more to it than just the content!

Here are some other features of highly shareable email content: Read more

Top local business online marketing hacks

In order to convert and engage their customers, SMB’s need a new approach to marketing. One of the best ways to differentiate themselves from other similar companies in the market, businesses can begin by employing new community-centric and local business online marketing strategies to reach their customer at the right place and time.

All businesses share the same goal – to reach the customers in a way that motivates them to make a purchase. However, due to the crowded marketplace, we risk launching already seen campaigns, or those that are simply too generic.

Brands of all sizes benefit from local marketing

Local web marketing became a part of consumer’s daily lives. For example, online search engines will share relevant, local results even when we’re not specifically looking for products or a service provider near us. This is good enough of a reason for SMB’s to capitalize on this, regardless of their real location.

Local marketing strategies help brands drive authentic engagement and reach target buyers in a specific area. Still, to design a successful campaign, brands need to determine a strategy that will work locally.

This is done by optimizing your online marketing efforts to help you drive more traffic and raise awareness of your brand in localized areas. Your strategy needs to be based on your customer location data, but also other parameters such as their buying habits (do they prefer online or offline sales channels?), and overall market data in the area you want to target.

Don’t forget that local marketing campaigns will require local, customized communication and messaging, designed for a particular market.

One of the best, world known, local marketing campaigns are those executed by global restaurant chain McDonald’s. Their localized food choices such as the Tofu McNugget in China, Koroko Burger in Japan or Le McWrap Chèvre in France enjoy great popularity among locals.

Also, McDonalds uses every opportunity to show that it purchases meat and vegetables from local farmers in a certain area which makes their customer feel closer to their brand, such as shown in this campaign poster.McDonalds local business online marketing

Even though McDonald’s is a globally known brand, almost 30% of its revenue comes from restaurants outside the US and big countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, France and the UK. Paying special attention and employing local marketing strategies, McDonald’s managed to stay on top of its customers’ mind and significantly increase sales in those other countries as well.

For example, in Spain it even went a step further and introduced new packaging for a new menu item – gazpacho, a traditional tomato soup. Customers in Spain loved it and recognized the effort, even though it was probably not the best gazpacho they’ve ever tasted.

McDonalds

How to start with local business online marketing?

Now after we have seen how strong localized campaigns can be, it is also important to stress that all businesses can benefit from local marketing, big or small. By adapting your strategies, and also your products and services to a certain local community, you can build your brand and increase your sales much faster than before. But how to start with local marketing?

To integrate a localized strategy into your digital marketing campaigns, employ these three top hacks:

1. Localize (mobile) search

Customers have already adopted mobile as the primary way of accessing the Internet and almost one third of mobile searches today have local targets. This is exactly the reason why brands need to pay a special attention on building better connections with local buyers via their mobile phones.

Mobile phones are personal devices and people carry them wherever they go, so mobile advertising is the ideal way for businesses to provide customers with more personal and targeted offers that seem familiar and friendlier than the offers they see elsewhere. Mobile ads can lead customers directly to your website, your landing page and even your nearby store.

The most effective and most popular local mobile ads are those customers can run into while scrolling through social media such as Facebook or Instagram.

To get more customers into their stores, Jasper’s Market created a special event ad on Facebook and invited local customers in San Francisco to a free cooking class. But what was so special about this ad? Well, along with uploading other photos in the ad, Jasper’s market marketing team also decided to include a Google map of the stores which offer the class.Jasper's Market
They also added an intriguing “Available at selected markets near you’ so that customers actually click on the ad to find out where and when they can join the class.

2. Localize online search ads

Local search ads are one of the most reliable and cost effective ways to drive sales and leads with impressive results. Getting a global visibility for your brand is a very difficult task, but if you restrict it to a specific location, you will be able to get a better ROI without huge spending. Localized ads help you distribute local promotional offers and discounts, include more information such as your contact details, store distance and local product stock but also increase the visibility of your brand logo and company image.

In this location-based, targeted ad by British retailer Argos we can clearly see how the company included all the elements of good local marketing mentioned above. Their offer includes basic product information, details about the nearest store where products can be found in stock, a map and also another thing – how to buy the product online!

Argos

3. Localize newsletters

By segmenting your customer’s database based on their location and purchase preferences, you can design highly personal, targeted newsletters. Another great thing is that, with the help of marketing automation, these newsletters can be sent automatically to your customer’s inbox. This can save a lot of valuable time you can actually use to work more on the strategy and content of your targeted newsletters.

Content wise, these newsletters need to have a more local approach and offer something specific for the area you want to target, such as promotion of local events, flash-sales in nearby stores and customized articles related both to the products and the location of your campaign. For example, if you work for a company that sells hiking equipment and accessories, you can include a short description and link to an article or a blog post about best hiking locations in the area.

For example, a private education organization General Assembly does a great job with their locally targeted newsletters. In one of their newsletters (shown below) they targeted Boston-located professionals and let them know about upcoming events and courses they offer in the area.

General Assembly Boston

A clear CTA in the first section reveals the main goal of the newsletter – to attract more visitors to their Design in Motion panel, but that’s not all.

General Assembly Boston

General Assembly’s newsletter also contains other business news related to the Boston area and a list of other courses and educational activities their customers can engage in.

Wrap Up

Local marketing strategies enable businesses to drive authentic engagement and effectively reach target buyers in a specific area. Local marketing has been successfully employed by both big and small companies and today serves as one of the best ways to increase ROI regardless of your business location.

Still, in order to start targeting our customers locally, we need to excel in the following:

  • Localize mobile search and design creative and appealing ads with local offers which are hard to miss on
  • Localize online search ads and provide customers with necessary buying details and ideally – offer both online and offline ways of purchase
  • Segment our customer’s database and localize marketing newsletters based on their location, interests and purchase history