Business 2 Community

How Email Triggers Can Generate More Sales

To overcome the issue automating your emails is one of the best ways to increase your sales. You can send emails to the right person at the right time.
It is not activated all the time, but whenever a particular event occurs, or your website indicates something, it is sent automatically to the users. It is a reaction of the action taken by any particular user on your website. You can also schedule them at particular moments, like the birthday of your user or when you are willing to announce something publically or at Ester/Christmas, etc.
Boost Up Your Sales Through Different Types of Email Triggers
Email triggers are created based on prior information and data in the database. It is sent on different occasions and can work for you as a sale booster. Let’s discuss how it can be productive to increase sales and conversion rate.
1 Welcome Email After Subscription
Most of the website visitors are not yet prepared to purchase, but they are suitable for our automated email campaign as they have shown interest by registering. Now the main objective is to set up a relationship and persuade them to purchase.
What we could do best is to make them join our newsletter. This is a quick and primary activity, which will make them progressively slanted to make a buy. After subscribing to the website, clients will get an activated welcome email that may contain gifts with greetings (discounted coupons and offers) that rewards them for their trust and urges them to complete another activity (make a buy, give us reviews and take part in surveys, or sharing us on their social media network).
Obviously, this is not a 100% guaranteed process to convert users to buyers. However, it lets you track and screen the growth of a campaign and evaluate its effect on sales.
2 Send Greeting With Offers
Once, any user has filled the form for registration, you will have their basic information saved. Information like birth date, interests, and hobbies will work for you. If you haven’t included these slots in your registration form, include them now.
Send birthday emails to your users with personalized content and a promotional discount. Users enjoy when you wish them their special moments. It helps you to,

Improve your relationship with the customer
Build loyalty
Encourage them for a purchase

It takes 5 times more investment to create a new customer than retaining a previous one. Hence, it is necessary to keep reminding your existing customers that you exist. Send them emails on different events based on their interests. Include packages and offers related to the upcoming event, which will make them purchase.
3 Reduce Cart Abandonment
About 7 out of each 10 users left your store without buying anything, even if they added products to the cart. To convert these users to buyers, you need to send them an automated email. Whenever your customer visits your store and add some items to the cart, be alert. After few days or a week, send them an email, reminding them they have left items in the cart. Make sure:

You have specified the items left in the cart and included product features
Get them a direct link so it could be easy to follow it back to purchase the item.
Offer discount or free shipping which will encourage the customer

4 Use FOMO Emails
FOMO is a Psychological term stands for ‘fear of missing out’. It could be utilized in marketing to attract more customers and make them purchase. According to a study by Strategy Online, 60% of millennials reacted to and made a purchase after experiencing FOMO.
It is a human behavior that we are more attracted to the things we think we might lose them. Similar goes with email marketing. Let suppose some of the products in your store are about to finish. What you need to do is to contact your vendor to send them more. Along with that, you should set a triggered email with each of your product or with the ones on high demand. This email will notify the users that a specific product will be out of stock soon, so you should buy it now.

Again you need to be careful with your content, you should include details like product features and why the product is important so users could realize the importance of that item. Using phrases like ‘Only 7 Left’, ‘Don’t Miss Out’, or ‘Hurry Up’ could work for you.
Crowd Writer has utilized FOMO to increase their sales by 57% in June 2018. According to their co-founder Mrs. Tori Tucker,
“We were focusing on different marketing strategies to bring back our customers we lost during the past six months due to unsatisfactory customer support. Thanks to our Psychology tutor, ‘John Williams’ who advised us to utilize FOMO in our email marketing campaign, and it worked for us.”
5 Remind Your Customer About the Features You Offer
Either you are running an eCommerce store or a brick and mortar store, it is very important for your sales that your customers should know about the features you offer. Obviously, your features make you prominent among others, and if your customers are unaware about it, they will not going to buy regularly.
For the purpose, you can utilize automated emails. Send this email quarterly or every couple of months to the customers who are showing less interests in your services. Remind them how beneficial are you for them by telling them about the free services you are providing them. Highlight features like free shipping, 24/7 human support, etc. You can also target particular users by offering 20% or 30% discount code under the same email.
6 Send Reviews With Caption ‘What Others Say About Us’
Reviews are very important for newcomers. It creates a sense of authenticity about you and your services. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they found true reviews about any particular service.
I will recommend you to send the reviews through emails to the users who have initially shown interest in your website and then moved away. Reviews could work as a magnetic attraction to bring these users back to you. It not only provides brand awareness but shows that your people are using your services.
While sending reviews through email, be careful not to send all reviews with a 5-star rating. Customers are more attracted to the brands with an overall rating of 4.2 to 4.5. Do not forget to send one or two negative reviews. It will show that you are loyal to the customers and will boost sales.
7 Send Product Recommendations
Product recommendation is one of the most used and traditional marketing strategies. It is how you make your customer feel special and promotes your different items. Online stores have observed an increase of 75% in the sales using product recommendations.

By sharing personalized and relevant content based on customer’s browsing history and buying habits, these emails are beneficiary for the cross-sell and upsell scenarios. The best time to send the product recommendation email is right after your customer has made a purchase. Show them relevant products to the one they have just purchased. For example, your buyer has got jeans from your store, it will be best if you recommend some casual shirts and T-shirts.
Some More Tips & Tactics
Apart from the above strategies, you will need to optimize your emails to get more conversions and boosted sales. Let’s discuss some tips that will help you to increase your sales through email triggers.
Catchy Subject Line
Your subject line decides whether a receiver will open your email or not. A good subject line ensures a high opening rate and contact’s attraction. Try not to use long phrases. Be precise and use positive words.
Personalization
Have a look at the below two emails and decide which will work for you.
“Hi,
It is our pleasure to have you at our place. We hope that you enjoyed the meal. Kindly fill the attached review form. We will appreciate your feedback.
Regards,”
OR
Hi Mrs. Carnell,
We hope you enjoyed your meal on Sunday at 10 pm with your family at table number 5 at our place. We would love to have your review about the Hamburgers and Peanut Shake.
Regards,”
I’m sure you will like to receive the second email as it is more personalized.
Well-Arranged and Compelling Content
Most of the time, users did not read the email word by word. The just go through it and find something of their interest. Your content should be so organized that it delivers your message with just a look at it. Make your content persuasive so that it could bring you more sales.

Use CTA
Try to use at least one call to action button with your triggered email. It will improve your CTR and will lead your user to your desired destination easily.
Analyze Your Outcome
Track the performance of your triggered emails through your website’s monitoring system. It will allow you to take the necessary actions in your future campaigns.

Ask NPS Questions Using a Storytelling Approach

cdd20 / Pixabay
When you write a story, what is the first thing you should think about? Your audience. The same holds true for your Net Promoter Score survey. Really, writing a survey question is just another type of storytelling. You can use your creative writing skills to make your NPS question more effective and increase your survey response rate.
After all, “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon,” according to Brandon Sanderson, author of “The Way of Kings.”
What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
Net Promoter Score surveys are a type of customer experience survey. They are good for gathering real-time customer feedback and building customer relationships. The NPS question starts with, “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” But it can also be so much more.
Remember that your NPS survey represents a valuable customer loyalty metric. Viewing customers through this lens gives customer success teams a better way to build healthy, long-lasting customer relationships. Solid customer data helps your customer success teams predict and prevent churn.

Now we’re going to tell you exactly how to write an NPS survey question to grab your customer’s attention and get the feedback you need.
Tip No. 1: make your survey personal
When you send a survey, you are trying to become part of your customer’s story. We respond best to the stories where we identify with the main character, and we feel as though we have walked in their shoes.
Your aim is for customers to see themselves reflected in your survey question. And there are some very good reasons for doing this. 73% of customers want brands to make the shopping experience more personal. Personal experiences drive loyalty.
We tend to respond very well when others use our name in their communication with us. As Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
You have the ability to make your NPS question much more personal by using your customer’s name and other relevant details. Survey software allows you to personalize your survey greetings and language with merge fields.
For example, like this(full disclosure—this survey is not made with GetFeedback):

Image source: MyCustomer
When this technique is used sparingly, it is even more effective.
Tip No. 2: ask about the why
If you wrote a story that was all fact and no drama, it wouldn’t be very interesting at all. We naturally want to be told the why behind the characters: we crave knowing what drives them to do the things they do. The same goes for your NPS survey.
Of course, the purpose of your survey is mainly to gather quantitative data about your Detractors, Passives, and Promoters. That’s one of the main advantages of the NPS format for a survey. On the other hand, you can also ask for qualitative feedback from your customers to find out why they gave you the rating they did.

You need qualitative data—the why—from your customers to gather meaning and get actionable insights. It brings your survey responses to life so you can either a) solve any problems that arise, or b) keep doing more of the good stuff.
Here’s an example from Groove (full disclosure—this survey is not made with GetFeedback):

Tip No. 3: use the fewest number of words you can
It’s easy to add in more detail, but one of the hardest things about writing is knowing exactly what to cut out. When you spend time crafting your message, it can be hard to let go of a single word or sentence. William Faulkner put it best when he articulated how “in writing, you must kill your darlings.” The reason that this technique is so effective is when you cut the fluff, the rest becomes far more engaging.
This means that no matter how precious your NPS survey becomes to you, you must edit, edit, and edit again. Customers are much more likely to complete a short survey than a long survey, which is one of the reasons why NPS surveys are so effective. The more concise the question you come up with, the better.
That’s one of the reasons why hearing aid company Eargo saw a 20% increase in survey completion rate when they switched their survey creation to GetFeedback. Create short, engaging surveys that don’t take up too much of your customers’ valuable time.

Tip No. 4: don’t break character for any reason
In any good story, your goal is to make the characters as believable as possible. This includes the actions your characters take and the words they use. A lot of work goes into building characters, and are a big part of what makes stories so enjoyable.
Your NPS survey question should be written in character with your brand. Remember that 75% of customers want a consistent experience with your brand—regardless of the channel they use to contact you. Any interaction or touchpoint with your customer should be on brand. And all this effort in providing a consistent experience is more than worth it. According to Forbes, consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by 23%.
While staying in character, it should not be obvious that you are using survey software to gather feedback from your customers. It should feel like a natural part of their experience with your brand. Your survey should speak to your customer just like a support rep or sales rep, not a robot. Use the tone of voice and language that you would use in any brand materials or support interaction.

Choose NPS survey software that allows you to have full brand control over the surveys you create, including changing brand logos, fonts, colors, and even custom URLs.

Tip No. 5: prompt your audience to feel
Readers read stories to feel something—moving an audience is the most fundamental purpose of a story. If we don’t feel, our attention wanders and we move onto something else. Better yet, “storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today,” says renowned storyteller Robert McKee.
Your biggest chance to invoke emotion is when writing your open-ended NPS question. This is where you ask your customer for more information about the rating they gave you. Your aim is to ask your customer to expand on their experiences by tapping into their feelings. For example, instead of asking, “What was the reason for your score?” say something like, “If we could do one thing to make you happier what would you choose?”
You can also tap into the power of imagery to trigger an emotional reaction that could motivate customers to complete your survey. Carefully choose an image that is related to your products, like an outdoor adventure scene for an outdoor product company.
Here’s an example from a CSAT survey:

And remember, if you discover that your customer feels bad about your company, follow up promptly and helpfully. 52% of customers believe that companies should act on their feedback, and it just might help you turn a Detractor into a Promoter.
Tip No.6: keep it specific
We like stories that are specific, chock full of details and depicting believable people and events. It makes stories more relatable, and also makes an abstract concept—like rate our brand—more concrete, by tying it into something we can experience. In your NPS survey, reference the specific interaction that your customer has had with your brand, whether that is booking a vacation on your platform, or ordering a ride in your app.
Of course, we often want to take the temperature of how our customers feel about our company overall, since this is the main purpose of the NPS survey. But you can sometimes replace the word “company” in your survey question with a specific product or service. Referencing a specific interaction with your brand is much more powerful than sending out a generalized survey question.

Making your survey more specific also makes it seem more like it comes from a human—there should be a real person at the helm of your software. And customers are more likely to complete your NPS survey if they think their feedback will be heard.
Write the whole story
A great story is a page-turner that you just can’t put down. Here’s your chance to put your storytelling skills to good use by writing NPS survey questions that grab your customers’ attention.
At the same time, a survey can only take you so far. You have to build a picture of the whole story of your customer’s experience. Use these storytelling techniques to increase your survey response rate, and allow your customer success team to learn more about your customers—resulting in the ultimate happy ending.

5 Reasons Your Employees Should Have Strong LinkedIn Profiles

ElisaRiva / Pixabay
Prospective clients and new hires are not only scanning your company’s website, but your LinkedIn company page and employees’ pages too, from the C-suite to interns alike.
There’s a demand for a holistic and comprehensive digital view of your firm—and this includes your employees. Many discussions on ways to bring a human element to corporate social media have focused on one individual–the CEO. However, brands are beginning to realize the importance of having the face of the company represented on social media through employees of all levels, actively engaging with clients and prospects.
These connections create relationships that resonate with clients, prospects, and hires, and they keep your firm top of mind. One of the best ways to establish these professional connections is through LinkedIn. Here are a few reasons and benefits for your employees to have strong LinkedIn profiles.
1. Positive public image and brand reputation
LinkedIn is a great opportunity for your firm to show off its collective company expertise. Prospects, clients and others can see the expertise of each employee if profiles are kept up to date with skills, experience, endorsements and accomplishments. Additionally, employees can post news updates, job openings and new hires to demonstrate the growth of your company. This puts your company in front of your employees’ networks, but also prospects, clients and job seekers who are searching for your company. It’s important that your CEO maintains a strong LinkedIn profile, as they are often the most well-known face of the company. But the collective presence of your employees on LinkedIn is essential in that it makes your brand more human and authentic.
2. Increased firm visibility
Oftentimes one of the only things an employee will do on LinkedIn to promote the firm is by updating their profile to list you as an employer, which links to your Company Page. This is important because a person’s job title and place of employment are the only thing you can see about another user before clicking on their profile. However, there are several other ways that employees can edit their profiles to increase the visibility and reach of your firm. Employees can include a brief description of your company under Experience or the Summary section of their profile, use company keywords in the job description, and even add a link to your website. Employees can also follow the Company Page so that it shows up in the Interests section of their profile, share thought leadership produced by colleagues, connect with their coworkers and give each other endorsements for relevant skills. All of these ideas will make your firm more visible when someone lands on an employee’s profile, and the keywords and information will help profiles appear in search engine or LinkedIn search results.
LinkedIn is great for search engine visibility. Oftentimes when your firm’s name is searched, its LinkedIn page will come up in the first several results. This valuable search engine real estate should be leveraged to show your firm to be the well-rounded capable partner that it is. To not take advantage of this search engine real estate is a missed opportunity.
3. Lead generation and nurturing
LinkedIn is a primary place to make professional connections. In fact, 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn. When you meet people at conferences or speaking engagements, connecting with them on LinkedIn will give them insight into your brand and what it’d be like to work with you, and it gives them an easy way to connect with you going forward, should a need arise.
People want to know who they are working with, and LinkedIn is a primary way for prospects to assess whether they deem your team competent to handle their business. Also, being active on LinkedIn and engaging with your connections will allow for a more personalized experience that creates trust. This is not limited to firm leadership. When your employees are active on LinkedIn and keep their profile up to date in these ways, it creates a positive and engaged public image for your firm and makes your brand more human.
4. Further your brand reach
Part of having a strong LinkedIn profile is being active on the platform by sharing content and engaging with others. LinkedIn research says that on average, employee networks have 10 times as many connections as a firm’s Company Page followers. This means that turning employees into brand advocates on LinkedIn, where they engage with and share your company’s posts, will greatly increase the posts’ and page’s reach. When a post receives more engagement (likes, comments, shares), it will move up to the top of users’ news feeds. That means that even just by commenting on a post, employees can increase the visibility of your firm throughout their network. They also will be more likely to read and engage with the post because people are more likely to trust information that’s shared by someone they know.
5. Drive traffic to your website
LinkedIn is almost always a top referral to B2B and professional services websites, consistently driving a sizeable percentage of traffic to the sites, especially when updates are regularly shared via the company account. As your employees become more active on LinkedIn, engaging with your company’s posts or sharing blog articles, it will expand your reach and drive even more referrals to your site.
6. Attract Talent
LinkedIn is a primary tool for job seekers. And even if jobseekers aren’t actively looking for jobs on LinkedIn, they will almost always use LinkedIn to vet your firm and your people. Prospective employees want to get a sense of your culture and see who they would be working with. The most effective employer branding showcases what it’s really like to work for a firm, and LinkedIn is a great tool to allow prospects to gauge this by scrolling through your people.
A team effort
A strong LinkedIn presence is table stakes in today’s landscape, and the lack of a cohesive LinkedIn presence across your organization is an easy missed opportunity. Although not everyone is a social butterfly, keeping LinkedIn profiles up to date should be encouraged by employers, and inviting your people to like and share content at select intervals is something that is quite effective. Your employees will likely be happy to participate with encouragement and reminders. Your CEO and firm leadership should lead this effort! Management can set a good example by strengthening their own profiles and engaging with the company page in order to encourage others to do so too.

How to Brand Your Affiliate Marketing Program.

With so much competition in online marketing these days, branding your company is not just important, but absolutely necessary to make any sort of headway in the consciousness of consumers. As a simple diagram of the importance of branding, we like this graphic from The Balance:

The five points listed gives a good summary of why branding is important when marketing to your customer base.
But this post isn’t about branding to customers. Rather, it’s about branding to your affiliate reps. And the five points listed above are the same reasons why your company needs to take affiliate program branding seriously in order to help it thrive.
Why brand your affiliate marketing program?
Most likely, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of brands vying for the business of the select few incredible affiliate marketing reps and Influencers in your niche. For example, just take the fitness category. A cursory search shows 10 affiliate programs just on bodybuilding alone. How is a potential affiliate rep going to choose which program to join?
This is where your affiliate program branding comes in. By carving a unique voice in your niche, you’ll not only attract more affiliates but the right affiliates who will work hard for your brand.
Confirms your credibility
Having a brand immediately confers more credibility to your affiliate program. A blank, unbranded signup page makes it feel like your program is just an afterthought to potential affiliate reps who visit. Take this completely unskinned sign up form:

Simply tossing that onto your affiliate sign up page won’t get you nearly the results you’re looking for. Compare that to the affiliate landing page for Verb:

And that’s just the top of the page. The entire scroll down is eye-catching, informative, and shows that there was thought and care behind the program. Credibility is immediately established which will make potential reps much more likely to join up. Even if your company name is as cheeky as BootayBag, a professional landing page will provide all the credibility you need.
Clearly delivers the message
Good affiliate program branding delivers the message that you want to put out there to reps. If you’re in a popular niche, part of your efforts is to attract the right reps, but a good branding effort will also do something just as important: weed out the “bad” ones.
Check out the affiliate signup page for Blenders Eyewear:

It puts it right out there that they are looking for affiliate reps with a strong social media presence, and the image heavily implies a presence that involves photography. They’re saying “Instagrammers, please” without actually saying it, and it’s a good, clean way to present your program as one that’s looking for a certain persona.
Likewise, your own affiliate program branding should be at least this detailed in asking for what you want. Everything from your carefully crafted words, to your image choices, to the “look” of your pictures and page layout should all work toward evoking the type of brand ambassador that you want. Because you want to…
Emotionally connect your target prospects with your product
Branding is always about evoking an emotion, because emotions are what drive purchasing decisions when the $$$ isn’t a factor. Similarly, when two affiliate programs offer the same $$$ commission, the rep is going to pick the one that evokes the right emotion.
Check out the The Fit Life Tribe page for their affiliate group:

What they’re all about isn’t subtle and it isn’t pretending to be picture perfect. It’s about showcasing the results of real people, and this approach evokes a very different emotion than airbrushed pictures of celebrities or fitness trainers with perfectly sculpted abs.
The emotions that this page evokes will resonate with some people and not others, and that’s precisely what they’re going for. It’s to sign up people looking for down-to-earth health plans that care more about real fitness than posting cute yoga pics to social media.
Make sure your affiliate program branding evokes the emotions you want that will resonate the best with your preferred audience. And take note of the name they chose as well: “tribe” that evokes a sense of community and warriors. Because this goes a long way to…
Creating user loyalty
A good affiliate program branding strategy confers a sense of belonging. The best brand reps stick around not just for the commissions, but for the community and fun as well. Things as simple as naming your affiliate group can help foster this feeling.
Skinny Mixes has that language down pat:

The group name is catchy, the font and colors evoke a specific feeling, and the perks foster the community as well. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re part of the company? The second to last bullet point offers that to their ambassadors. And who doesn’t want increased social currency? The final bullet point provides that as well.
We’ve seen rep groups called many fun names: the squad, the tribe, the collective, the ambassadors, the herd, the gang, the club, etc. Choose a name that speaks to your brand and fosters loyalty among the group. Because it all leads to the most important thing…
Motivate the buyer to buy
Just as it’s the entire point of branding to customers to motivate them to buy, your affiliate branding’s point is to motivate them to “buy” into your program. It’s the difference between maybe signing up to become an affiliate, and actually filling out the form and clicking “submit.” Your brand strategy has to be effective and appealing enough to convert pedestrian visitors into full-fledged reps. Or else, it’s just noise.
Branding isn’t just a business exercise for affiliate marketing. It’s crucial to the survival and growth of your program. Check out our recent post on how to supercharge your branding for more ideas on increasing the overall awareness of your company brand, and see how branding effectively can become a positive feedback loop from your company to your affiliate program and back again.

How to Prepare for Your Consultation with a Professional Resume Writer

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Whether you’re looking for a new job or just exploring your options, having a well-written resume is key. The job market is highly competitive, so you want to put your best foot forward. That means making sure that your resume is compatible with applicant tracking systems (ATS), presents your information in a way that is easily understood, and focuses on what employers want to know. If that seems like a lot to manage, working with a professional resume writer can help.
A critical step in crafting your new resume is working with the resume writer. We gather necessary information not just through the documents you provide, but with a one-on-one phone call to discuss your career, accomplishments, and goals. We want to know you so we can tailor your resume accordingly. Here are a few tips for feeling more prepared for this conversation:

Think about where you’re headed.

An effective resume is not generic presenting you as a jack-of-all-trades; it has a clear focus. Decide what types of jobs you want to apply for. Start looking online at different openings to see what kinds of positions are out there and could be a good fit. This will help the resume writer guide their questioning during the call and make sure they’re gathering the right information.

Gather your materials.

Dig up old resumes, performance reviews, meeting notes, awards, projects – anything that will help jog your memory about your career history and may provide some quantifiable data or results. Send anything relevant over to the resume writer ahead of your call so they have time to review and can ask for clarification or more details if necessary.

Consider your accomplishments.

Go through each job and think about what you were most proud of that you accomplished. Did you work on any major projects? Train new employees? Cut costs? Exceed your sales goals? Implement new systems or processes? Consider what made you an integral part of the team or company, and what you brought to the table.

Find a quiet location.

As you’re getting ready for your consultation, schedule it at a time where you’ll be free to talk and not trying to do 10 other things at the same time. Pick a quiet location so there is not a lot of background noise and you can focus. You don’t want to be sitting at your desk in the middle of the office trying to discretely explain why you’re looking for a new job without anyone hearing. You also don’t want to be yelling over everyone at a busy coffee shop.

Be honest.

Jot down any concerns you have about your current resume or the type of position you’re going after so the resume writer is aware of them. Be honest with yourself about your skills and accomplishments too – your goal is not to impress the resume writer. They’re not the one hiring you. You want your resume to be an accurate reflection of you and your abilities, so be truthful with the information you provide. If you didn’t complete a degree program, don’t say you did. If you’re not proficient with a specific software program, don’t say you are. The writer is not judging you; they’re just trying to gather the facts.

Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Pay Attention to Now!

According to Internet Live Stats, over four billion people are online today. That’s more than half of the world’s population. In light of this, most businesses have made establishing an online presence a top priority.
From engaging users on social media to deploying sophisticated email lead nurturing strategies, brands use a multitude of digital marketing channels. All of it is in the name of staying relevant, which, of course, helps their bottom line.
With technologies constantly evolving, the digital landscape and the marketing trends within it are in constant flux. To create and execute successful campaigns, clear insight into the industry’s ebbs and flows is crucial.
It won’t do to just jump in and hope for the best, as navigating these waters is simply more complicated than it seems. For starters, take a look at these fascinating statistics and benchmarks:

75% of users never look past the first page of search results
email open rate average is 17.92% and click-through rate is 14.10%
video content boosts organic traffic by over 150%
94% of B2B marketers cite LinkedIn as their top preference for content distribution

These numbers certainly get you thinking, don’t they? And those aren’t even the half of it. There are a number of anticipated technologies that have been predicted to knock the roof off the digital world in 2019.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are seeing increased use because people are responding well to personalized, immersive experiences. With the development of affordable and disposable tech like Google Cardboard, the ways and means by which brands engage consumers aren’t just expanding, they’re changing completely.
Voice search is on the rise due to the world going mobile and smart devices becoming more readily available. It’s another feature that’s quickly altering how the world works.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are seeing some very cool applications in the industry, and these are making an impact on all areas, from customer service to lead generation.
Indeed, there’s already quite a lot going on, and we’re not even halfway through the year. We’re bound to see many shifts in trends and user behaviors before the end of 2019. With more than a little help from SERPWatch, here is our list of the top marketing trends you need to pay attention to right away.
Without further ado, check out this remarkably informative infographic from SERPWatch:

5 Creative Re-Engagement Emails

Remember the honeymoon stage with your email subscriber list? Your open rates were high, people were clicking on your calls to action, and they might have even forwarded your email to a friend! All was good in your little email marketing land until suddenly, now, you’re sitting in the trash bin. Your subscribers won’t even look at your subject line anymore!
Let’s be real: With so many emails hitting subscribers’ inboxes these days, it’s easy to get pushed to the trash folder without being read. Over time, you’ll find that subscribers fade, get bored, and grow distant. In fact, 25 percent of your email list will drop off each year. It’s your duty to make sure you’re only sending content to people that want to read it. In order to do this, you must rekindle that initial spark and take the time to re-engage your email list. Take a look at these five great examples of re-engagement emails to get you thinking about your next move:
Starbucks

Free coffee—what could be better? This re-engagement email by Starbucks does a good job of balancing calls to action with a giveaway. They’re asking for more precious data about their subscribers, but in return, they’re giving a free birthday treat. I’d say that’s fair.
The data they obtain from anyone who updates their account will allow them to understand their audience better so they can continue to engage them and send them relevant email offers. This will keep their open rates up and continue to warm their subscribers with free coffee.
Thrive Market

Thrive Market checks all boxes when it comes to re-engagement. You’ll notice right away that the message is personalized and framed around an abandoned cart. This indicates that they have a warm lead that was about to purchase but needs a little push with additional freebies. You’ll see in this re-engagement email that the abandoned cart also contains a handful of extra items listed with a price tag of $0. And wait—they’ve included one more promotion at the bottom: a coupon offering 25 to 50 percent discounts on other website items. Why not upsell customers after you’ve closed the original deal?
Urban Outfitters

Appealing to their audience, Urban Outfitters understands that most of their email subscribers are heavy mobile users so why not make the email look like a string of text messages? This is a great example of a company that understands their personas and is simply trying to clean out their database so they’re emailing only engaged users.
SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe does a good job of engaging people by adding a sense of urgency to their copy: “Order in the next four hours and you’ll receive a free video Doorbell with your purchase.” Urgency is widely used in marketing campaigns because it works. We’ve all experienced FOMO at some point in our lives—just take a look at Cyber Monday. According to Forbes, American’s spent a whopping $7.9 billion in online shopping on that single day in 2018. Urgent situations push subscribers to act fast and hopefully boost conversions or increase engagement. And that’s exactly what SimpliSafe is doing with this re-engagement campaign.
Grammarly

Grammarly does a great job of re-engaging inactive subscribers by enticing them to use their tool again with a prominent CTA that directs people to the app. They also include a secondary CTA asking people to purchase the premium product on sale.
Now that you have a pocket full of creative examples to help you re-engage your subscriber list, take the time to test a handful of these approaches. Don’t forget to practice the following:
1. Don’t rely on a single email to reactivate your database. You’ll want to use marketing automation to send a chain of emails that feature different subject lines and offers.2. Segment your database into different lists based on recent activity or buyer behavior.3. Don’t wait too long to engage or win back your subscribers. Create a system of checks and balances that has you re-engaging your database every month or quarter.4. Don’t be afraid to break up with unengaged users. There is a time to say goodbye. Sometimes, things are better off if you go your separate ways. Be sure to clean your email database by setting engagement criteria or a threshold to indicate that it’s time to delete a subscriber from your list.

The Single-App Strategy: Yes or No?

FirmBee / Pixabay
A question we often get: Does it make sense to have a single-app strategy, i.e. one main app where your customers engage with your brand/product at a single destination? Or is it better to have 5-10 apps that are incredibly specific to a product or offering? We’ve worked with companies that do both.
Mobile app(s) should be a large piece of your and how customers interact with, and perceive your brand. It speaks to all four buckets of intelligent digital engagement.
Let’s use some big retailers here. Target, for example, at one point had these notable apps:

The main Target app
Healthful (pharmacy)
Registry (bridal and baby)
Cartwheel (discount offers)
Target Connected (lights system)

This was the full roster as of about early 2017. Since then, Healthful has been shut down and Cartwheel was folded into the main app. Much of the broader Target shopping experience is now in the main app, although Registry and Connected also still exist.
One of Target’s biggest competitors, Wal-Mart, made a similar play: the brand has two apps, one for general shopping and one for e-commerce grocery.
So if the big brands of retail are consolidating towards one app, should you? A look at the pros and cons:
Internal capacity: Maintaining 5-10 specific apps requires a lot of marketing and development muscle. There’s a lot of resourcing, budgeting, and general time management that needs to be done. Working on 5-10 apps is time-consuming and takes time away from other business priorities.
Loyalty: Merging makes sense to drive loyalty towards the brand to 1-2 central places; that’s believed to be the reason Target folded Cartwheel into the main app, for example. Increased loyalty typically leads to increased sales, and that’s the underlying goal of these decisions.
How specific are your offerings? If you offer very distant products/services under the same brand, well, then it can be valuable to differentiate. In Target’s case above, people looking for deals (Cartwheel) are not the same audience as people looking for baby registries, necessarily. But as most brands have products and services that are closely related, consolidation can make sense.
User experience: If user experience is very important to you (it should be), and you have the internal capacity to manage multiple apps, a multi-app strategy might be more beneficial. The experience will be better for that specific product/service, as opposed to jamming lots of products/services into a main app, which can make things harder to find and reduce the user’s experience with the app. (See also: load/launch times are usually faster for each app in a multi-app strategy than “one app to rule them all.”)
Downloads can suffer: Look at some download data for Carousel, which was a separate app under Dropbox that they eventually discontinued:

When you have multiple apps, in terms of capacity you now need multiple marketing strategies to make sure users see a need to have 2, 3, 4, etc. apps on their phone from the same brand. It’s easy for 1 or 2 of these apps to have terrible, or quickly-declining, download numbers.
How logical is the separation? Google Drive and GMail, as one example, almost must be separate apps. But did Facebook and Facebook Messenger need to be? While you can argue having Messenger as a standalone app made it faster and made messaging a more central component of how you interact with Facebook, when those apps were initially decoupled, people did not see the value. If you’re going to have multiple apps, make sure it’s easy to explain/brand/message to users why they need to download each of the apps in your world.
Once you decide which way you want to go, get all-in from Day 1. The biggest challenge will be internal capacity; this is true for almost every client we’ve worked with on single-app vs. multi-app. If you have the budget and marketing and development resources to maintain multiple apps and can deliver a strong customer experience, great! Proceed with a multi-app strategy if your products and offers differ enough. If you lack internal capacity or all services within your brand are similar, a single-app strategy is typically a better choice.

Referral Email Design Examples That Actually Get People Talking

Ready to expand your customer base? When they decide whether to make a purchase, people want recommendations from their friends and family—the source of information they trust most. Many people tune out paid ads, as well as any other messaging that comes straight from your brand. But when a friend tells them about your awesome products or services, they listen.
Your satisfied existing customers are your best advocates—their recommendations will cause new customers to come rolling in. But your advocates might need some encouragement before they share.
That’s where referral marketing comes in! Starting a referral program rocks because it makes the sharing process official. It motivates your customers to spread the word through rewards they can’t resist and makes it super easy for them to recommend your brand to their friends.
So how do you make sure that your advocates get all the insider information about your referral program? By sending a referral email, of course.
A referral email is a great option because it meets them in a space they already visit every day, their inbox. But you’ll have to design your email carefully, and you’ll have to make sure that email gets opened in the first place, and doesn’t get lost in a sea of other messages.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the best practices for designing a compelling referral program email, including examples we love.

Focus on value, conciseness, and convenience
Your referral email must be carefully designed to convince your customer advocates to share your brand. These three main points are key in designing an effective referral email:

Value: What extrinsic rewards (incentives) and intrinsic benefits will an advocate reap from referring?
Conciseness: Explain your referral program in as few words as possible.
Convenience: Make it easy for advocates to start sharing your brand right away!

The tips below will help you design referral emails optimized for these three crucial factors.
Use a compelling subject line
You might think that a witty but vague subject line will entice your customers to open your email. But that’s not true. Instead, your customers want to know exactly what your referral email offers before they open it. So, make sure that your subject line makes that perfectly clear.
State your referral offer right in your subject line.

This is a great time to use a clear referral call-to-action!
According to HubSpot, numbers in email subjects make your email more likely to be opened. So, if your referral offer involves store credit (“Give $5, Get $5”) or a discount (“Refer a friend, get 25% off”), that will work in your favor!

Keep your subject short and sweet, so it doesn’t get cut off on mobile devices.

Use as few words as possible (3-7 words is best).
Keep the character count 30 characters or under, if possible. The most used smartphones have a display limit of between 33-40 characters for email subjects before they cut them off.

Here are some examples of subjects that fall within these word and character guidelines:

Share the love, get $10
$5 for every friend you refer
Give $10, get $10
Refer friends and earn free stuff

And if you want to get a bit creative, consider using an emoji . Surprisingly, as Campaign Monitor reports, an emoji in the subject line can increase your open rate by 56%.
Inside your email, make your CTA clear
Inside of your email, you’ll need to get straight to the point of your referral program. Your advocates must see exactly what you want them to do (share), and understand the value of sharing with friends, as quickly as possible.
After all, most people don’t take the time to read every little detail of an email—they’ll usually just scan through it. So, a carefully crafted call-to-action (CTA) is key.
Effective CTAs:

Catch customers’ eyes
Concisely tell customers what you want them to do (share with friends)
And show them what’s in it for them (an incentive or intrinsic reward)

Make sure your CTA is easy to find. Always put it at the top of your email text, and display it in the biggest font. Also, consider bolding it. Then Follow it with an easy to find CTA button.
Make your offer easy to understand and find
Focus most of your email text on explaining the terms of your offer. Referral emails are all about showing your advocates the value of your referral program! Ideally, you stated your basic offer in your CTA. Now, it’s time to go into detail. Explain your offer concisely, but make sure you cover these points.

What incentives are available for customers who refer a friend?
Are there any rewards for the friends?
What conditions must be met for your advocates to receive the reward?

For example, do referred friends need to make a purchase? Does that purchase need to be worth a minimum amount?

Are rewards cumulative (do advocates get a reward, or points towards a reward, for every friend they refer?)

Provide a way for customers to start referring right away
Inside your email, make sure that customers have a way to start referring right away. Include a call-to-action button with a link to your referral page (where customers can send recommendations to friends via email or social media).
Or, give them a unique referral code or referral link that they can start sharing immediately!
Keep your layout simple, not crowded
Your referral email shouldn’t include much more than your CTA and offer info. Too much information will overwhelm your reader and ultimately make them less likely to refer. So, keep things simple, and use as few words as possible.
But, if you’re thinking about including a few other items to add your brand’s unique touch, try these elements that won’t crowd your email.

Including a carefully selected hero image will capture readers’ attention without cluttering things up.
A GIF is also a great choice because it will grab readers’ attention right away.
Consider putting your own branded spin on the referral offer. For example, Julep uses the text “Get a $15 credit for every bestie who joins.” Just make sure this doesn’t take away from the conciseness of the offer.
Use a referral program FAQ section to cover all these points in one place.

Awesome referral email examples we love
1. Digital Ocean

Source: DigitalOcean/Really Good Emails
DigitalOcean lets developers build, test, scale, and manage applications.
Why this referral email rocks:

Grabs readers’ attention right away with an on-brand (ocean-centric) GIF, which also broadcasts the CTA (“give $10, get $25”).
Provides two quick referral options: a unique referral link and a CTA button that takes advocates to a referral page.
Gets right to the point with a clear, uncluttered offer.

2. Postable

Source: Postable/Really Good Emails
Postable sells and mails designer greeting cards and invitations.
Why this referral email rocks:

Clean and concise: displays very little text, but readers can easily understand what Postable wants them to do.
Gets right to the point with the CTA (“get $5 of credit for each friend you refer”) and explanation of cumulative offer (“the more friends you refer, the more money you make”).
Engaging GIF with smiling money=value!
Easy-to-find CTA button that takes advocates to a referral page.
CTA button is “above the fold” so advocates don’t have to scroll to reach it.
Yellow palette that catches the eye, but doesn’t overwhelm.

3. Bombas

Source: Bombas/Really Good Emails
Bombas is an athletic sock brand that donates socks to people in need with each purchase.
Why this referral email rocks:

Bold CTA gets right to the point: “Refer a friend.”
Valuable offer is easy to spot and attention-grabbing—who doesn’t love free stuff?
List of steps makes the referral process easy to understand.
Two enticing call-to-action buttons: the one that says “get free socks” and the bold pink one.
The “Get free socks” CTA button is above the fold, so you don’t have to scroll to find it.
On-brand creativity without clutter: “Just people helping people discover the most comfortable socks in the history of feet.”

4. Pay with GasBuddy

Source: GasBuddy/Really Good Emails
Pay with GasBuddy is a payment option that helps you save on gas.
Why this referral email rocks:

Neon heart GIF captures attention and frames the CTA (“Share the love & the savings”), making the CTA even easier to find.
CTA reminds advocates of their love for GasBuddy and makes them eager to pass on that love—to gain savings for both themselves and their friend.
“Special Offer” text at the top of email prompts urgency and hints at exclusivity.
Very little text—just enough for customers to know what GasBuddy wants them to do.
“Save 15 cents/gal” is a very valuable offer: Who doesn’t love free gas?!
This email was sent out near Valentine’s Day and customized for the holiday.
Colors are on-brand—a great way to customize an email for your brand without cluttering.

5. Goby

Source: Goby/ Really Good Emails
Goby is an electric toothbrush company.
Why this referral email rocks:

Clear CTA with offer of free brush heads: especially valuable for people who use Goby regularly.
Clean, uncluttered layout with minimal colors and focus pointing to the center of the email.
On-brand line that works well with the referral instructions: “It’s time to use that big mouth of yours.”

6. Square Cash

Source: Square Cash/Really Good Emails
Square Cash (now known as Cash App) lets you send money to and receive money from friends, or receive credit card payments for your business.
Why this referral email rocks:

Images of green money falling from above (free money!) catch readers’ eyes quickly.
Extremely concise referral offer text. In addition to the CTA, Square uses only one sentence (and needs only one) to explain the referral program.
Minimalistic layout with only two colors pairs well with the clean text.
Unique CTA (“Make it rain.”) evokes the money advocates can earn. Ideally, a CTA would have a reference to referring or a more specific offer. But this creative CTA works because it offers value, draws the eye to the clear, uncluttered description, and invites the reader to learn more.

7. Airbnb

Source: Airbnb/ Really Good Emails
Airbnb pioneered the homestay business.
Why this referral email rocks:

CTA reminds advocates why they signed up for Airbnb (their love of travel) and invites them to share with friends. The focus of the CTA is on the intrinsic value, which draws readers in (where they’ll find out about the extrinsic reward.)
Clear text explains the referral offer with only 3 sentences.
Red “Invite friends” CTA button easily stands out from the rest of the email.

8. Treehouse

Source: Treehouse/Really Good Emails
Treehouse provides web development and coding courses under a subscription-based model.
Why this referral email rocks:

Personalized to the advocate: Treehouse greets the customer with their name at the top of the email.
Begins with an enticing sentence of valuable offer text: “Did you know you can get a free account if you refer 5 friends?” Who doesn’t love getting something they are using regularly (and using to better themselves) for free?
“Share the Love” CTA appeals to the intrinsic value of sharing the service with friends who will also enjoy it. This works even better since Treehouse is an education platform.
Offers and carefully explains a cumulative reward. With a stacking, 20% off a referrer’s monthly bill for each friend referred, and the free account on offer for 5 successful referrals (plus a 50% discount available for the friends), lovers of Treehouse are motivated to keep sharing with multiple friends!

9. Webflow

Source: Webflow/Really Good Emails
Webflow gives users the tools to design, build and launch websites visually (with drag-and-drop functionality), so they don’t need to write code.
Why this referral email rocks:

Here, we have an example of a prelaunch referral email, meant to build up a customer base with excited advocates before the service even goes live. It offers the unique reward of giving faster access to Webflow’s beta for each friend someone refers. So, it invokes exclusivity and the desire to gain insider info as motivators. And the first people who see the product are the people most likely to keep sharing with their friends!
Concise text gets right to the point: “Share your unique referral link. The more friends who sign up using your link, the faster you get access.”
Referral link is right in the email (and it’s easy to copy the link), so customers can share it right away.

Key Takeaways
Launching a referral program but aren’t sure how to promote it? Along with using an email marketing software, consider using referral emails. In all steps of your referral email design process, be sure to focus on value, conciseness, and convenience.

Make sure your advocates open your emails with a concise subject line that tells them exactly what your email has to offer.
Then, once they open the email, your referral program must be easy-to-understand, to remove any friction that may cause them not to refer.
Use a clear CTA that tells advocates what you want them to do (refer), and that shares the valuable rewards you have on offer.
Then, explain the referral program and its conditions in as few words as possible.
And provide a CTA button, referral code, and/or referral link, so your advocates can start sharing right away!
If you want to add in a branded touch, feel free to do so, but choose it carefully so your email doesn’t get cluttered. Think about using a hero image, GIF, or tie-in sentence like some of the examples listed above.

Here’s all you need to know about referral marketing.

Why Every Team Wall Should Have Personas on Them

As CEO and Product Owner for Scrum.org I get the amazing opportunity to visit lots of different companies. Recently I spent a week in Brazil visiting some amazing companies and talking about agility. The visit was fantastic for many reasons, but one thing did strike me as I toured many team rooms and looked at a large number of Scrum and Kanban boards. The walls lack any mention of the customer or mission. And then I realized that my team room also was lacking any mention of the customer as well!
Scrum is an amazing framework, but it does nothing without a mission. The intent of Scrum is not to be agile; it is to deliver value and because the value is hidden behind complexity Scrum is required. Scrum encourages the empirical process, self-organization and continuous improvement to solve complex problems and deliver value. Each complex situation has a customer. Our recently released Professional Scrum with User Experience spends two days providing Scrum Teams with a set of ideas of how to unlock the customer, and encourages that customers, their motivations and needs are made TRANSPARENT.
I can hear a Scrum Myth coming on, “Isn’t the Product Owner responsible for the customer?’” Yes, the Product Owner often has a deep knowledge of the customer and the market they live in, but it is EVERYONE’S responsibility to know thy customer! It would not be very agile if every time we had to make a decision about the customer, we had to talk to the Product Owner. The Product Owner makes decisions about value, which things to focus on and which things to do instead of other things. The Product Owner concentrates on economics. The team has to deliver value. They have 10000 decisions to make in pursuit of the economic value defined by the Product Owner. They need to understand the ‘why’, they need to understand the context, they need to have the motivation and desire to provide that value to the customer.
But there are still Scrum Teams that don’t know their customer! Or they have forgotten.
“A fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a product in a similar way.”

One approach to keeping the customer front and center is using customer personas. And when I say customer I do not mean people that pay, I include anyone that consumes the Product being built, this includes users, buyers, admins, etc. A persona is:
Alan Cooper is widely credited in using the term in his groundbreaking book, The Inmates are Running the Asylum. The book, as the title suggests encourages “creators” to take control of their work and engage the customer. Personas provide a tool for talking about customers in an abstract but practical fashion. They help inform the team by helping them ask questions like, “what would Bob do?” at Sprint Reviews or other inspection moments. They encourage healthy debate at Sprint Planning as we focus on outcomes for a particular persona. And, like everything in Scrum they enable us to inspect and adapt our understanding of them via delivering ‘stuff’. But perhaps the most important thing that personas give us is they help motivate the team because, though abstract they are about real people who need us to improve their lives! Personas connect the abstract product work to real human beings. Dan Pink described the value of knowing the context of the word in his amazing book Drive, the Surprising Truth that Motivates us as Purpose. Purpose along with Autonomy and Mastery are key ingredients to extrinsic motivation.
“But we don’t know our customer and it seems silly to be creating these fictional characters,” I hear you shout. After all, we are professional teams focused on doing stuff, personas sound like a fluffy nice to have!
The reality is that teams can get going quickly and just spending an hour looking at the customer and the types of customers the product serves can really expose assumptions and misunderstandings. Everyone has their own view of who the customer is and by making it explicit and on the wall those views can be exposed and then reviewed. Once the first version is ‘up’ we can regularly refine it adding additional ideas, thoughts, and assumptions as we deliver value to real customers and get feedback.
The other great thing about hanging up your personas is visitors can provide some really valuable perspective. For instance, when another team visits on their way to the pub they see the persona and say, “wow I did not know you served that role, did you know we did X or Y?”. Also, when the boss comes down from their gold-plated office it provides a reason to talk. Personas are great conversation starters. And it is amazing what you learn when you make your customer and their pains transparent.
And at the very least it makes your team room and walls look cool.
Scrum On.