UK

Carmaker PSA: work at UK plant depends on Brexit deal

LONDON (AP) — French carmaker PSA will continue to make its Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars in the U.K. — but only if Britain leaves the European Union with a deal.

The pledge comes amid a heated Conservative Party leadership contest to determine who will replace Prime Minister Theresa May.Read more on NewsOK.com

Email Campaign Management for Newbies: From Strategy to Deployment

geralt / Pixabay
At the heart of an effective email marketing strategy lies carefully considered “email campaign management”. Without proper campaign management, your email strategy will be like a punctured tyre that does not get you anywhere. Email campaign management consists of diverse interlocking activities that range from building an email list through lead generation tactics to designing and coding an email to its timely deployment. Every task conforms to intricate practices that should be followed for its flawless execution.
If you are an amateur email marketer, we have put together the different steps in the campaign management process, which will help you execute your email strategy better.
Ascertain the email purpose
Here are some questions that you should ask, to determine the purpose of your email campaigns:

“What are you looking to achieve through this email campaign?
“Do you want to promote a new product?”
“Are you trying to build brand loyalty?”

The answers that you get, will let you know whether you want to:

Create brand awareness
Increase open-rates and reach more people
Generate website traffic by improving click-through rates
Get brand evangelists and building customer loyalty
Increase conversions and drive business growth

Suppose you are looking forward to creating brand awareness through the email campaigns. In such cases, the email campaigns will primarily focus on building trust and nurturing the leads, rather than showcasing the products and persuading them to buy.
Email Campaign Production and Deployment
To make email campaign production easily comprehensible, we shall break it into 9 simple steps.
Planning it right
To make sure things are on track, it is recommended you have a detailed email calendar at your disposal. It will help you avoid the last-minute hustle or procrastination by setting the right timeline. Before planning a calendar, decide on the number of emails that should be sent.
The calendar should serve as a document that communicates the purpose, goals, and target audience of every email campaign along with the deployment date. It is advisable to have a yearly calendar and a monthly update regarding all the emails that are planned.
Building a list
The fuel that propels the vehicle of email marketing is an email list. You should work on a well-designed landing page or opt-in form that serves as a lead magnet and offers something valuable to the user in exchange for the email address. Make sure the landing page conveys the message clearly because visitors judge a website within 50 milliseconds once they land on it.
Here’s a schematic representation that can help you build better landing pages.

To sum it up, as the intent and interest of the lead increases, you have better opportunities to collect personal information from the subscriber.
Rather than having a single landing page asking “everything” to the subscriber at one go, it is recommended you ask questions in installments based on the user engagement.
Segmenting the email list
Blasting an email to the entire subscriber list is not enough. It is important to send the right message to the right person, and this is possible through email list segmentation. Segment the email list based on every detail available—demographics, geographical location, past purchases, total purchase value, frequency of purchase, etc. This is important to send targeted and more relevant emails to the subscribers. For example: Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates in US and UK. Segmentation based on geographical location will help you send the right email to the right people at the right time.
Preparing the Email Copy
Once you have a calendar, you pretty well know the next email that you have to work on. Conceptualize the theme and draft an interesting as well as relevant email copy. Based on those metrics, write a suitable subject line, From name and copy of the email.
Designing and Coding the Email
Pass on the document to the email design team after the final approval from the concerned professional. The concept and design idea should be shared with the email designer. While designing an email, you should take into account the coding limitations and also design an appropriate fallback with suitable alt-text for the non-supportive email clients.
Subsequently, after the design approval, the email coding team comes into picture. The coded email should be pixel perfect and render well on every device and email clients.
Testing the Email
Every email coded must be carefully tested. It should be checked for the links and be free from any bugs. Every link and CTA should redirect the user to the right page.
EmailMonks checks the HTML version of the email thrice before deploying it- once by the reviewer, next by the team leader, and finally by the project coordinator.
Test the email on tools such as Litmus and Email on Acid.
Deploying the Email and Analyzing Metrics
The FINAL (approved) email is integrated in the ESP of your choice and checked across the major email clients and different devices with various screen sizes before deployment. This ensures that there are no rendering issues, regardless of the device or email client on which the subscriber views the email. In case there’s still an issue, it has to be fixed before the deployment.
Only after the email is meticulously checked, it should be sent to the specific segment at the scheduled time and day.
Of course, the email marketer’s task does not end at this. They have to constantly keep a track of the email metrics like open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, unsubscribes, and time spent on an email. If there is a sharp dip in any of the metrics, you should make the required changes. For example: Work on creating better CTAs and place them more strategically if the click-through rate is constantly dwindling.
Optimizing the Campaigns and Email List
Email marketing professionals should stay abreast with the industry updates besides the performance of the email campaigns. These learnings should be used to optimize and keep the freshness alive in the email campaigns.
Over a period of time, the email subscribers are likely to go dormant and stop engaging with the emails. Such inactive subscribers who have not engaged with the emails in 90 days should be targeted with a series of reengagement emails. If they still show no activity, they should be removed so that you can maintain a clean list with good email deliverability. You should remove the hard bounces and invalid addresses of subscribers and update their email addresses, if available.
Automating the Email Campaigns
You might have to automate the email campaigns and set a workflow of triggered emails. Let’s say you are a player in the e-commerce industry. You can set email automation for product recommendations, cart abandonment emails, or reengagement emails for them in addition to the mandatory transactional emails – order confirmation, shipping notification, and delivery confirmation.
Wrapping Up
Most of people use email marketing and email campaign management interchangeably. It is important to understand that email campaign management is a part of email marketing – the most indispensable part. Effective email marketing is only possible if you have efficient campaign management in place.

Building a Lasting Workplace Culture: 7 Statistics You Need to Know

Workplace culture isn’t guaranteed when you start, buy, or take over a company. It doesn’t exist solely in high-tech companies, or only in exotic locations. The fact is that building a solid office culture needs to be intentional and requires a lot of work from the company leaders. It’s a mindset that will resonate with employees when they watch their leaders lead by example. Happy leaders make happy employees. Happy employees are the first step to creating thought-leadership, industry altering innovation, and attraction of the most elite employees in any field. Need proof? Here are 7 hard facts you should know about employee happiness and how their satisfaction impacts your business.
1. Happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy employees.
Researchers in the UK conducted a study that scientifically proves happiness is one of several important keys to a company’s success. As it turns out, employees that feel supported, encouraged and happy are more likely to effectively collaborate and innovate; making them better able to ramp up the pace at which they work without sacrificing the quality. When Google’s focused on employee happiness, they found it increased productivity by a whopping 37%!
Did you know A Gallup poll shows that unhappy employees cost American business over $300 billion a year?! (source)
2. 85% of employees feel motivated to do their best when an incentive is offered.
Historically, it has been looked down upon to take too many vacations because could give the impression that the employee is “slacking off”. We now know the opposite is true. Several forward-thinking companies have started offering “unlimited vacations” for employees and found that not only do employees not abuse the privilege, but they work harder and more efficiently because they feel incentivized to earn the vacation that they will take.
Which incentives work the best?

Money – 40%
Free Vacation – 29%
Extra Time Off – 23%

3. Happy sales people produce 37% greater sales
Simply put: happiness is contagious. If your sales people are happy, prospects are more likely to warm up to and engage with them. Think of the last sales person you did business with. Chances are, they were happy, personable and seemed to genuinely enjoy the conversation. A happy workforce will give you a greater advantage over your competitors than virtually anything else.
4. Happy employees mean 71% less employee turnover.
Company culture plays a huge role in employee turnover. Job turnover in a company that has higher job satisfaction and happier employees will see 71% less turnover than a company that doesn’t take employee emotional health into consideration in its day to day operations. This will also decrease the resources needed to on-board new employees and lead to greater success overall.
5. Happy employees help you to outperform the competition by 20%.
It’s no surprise that happy employees work harder because they feel more committed. This feeling of investment in the company and its future, turns employees into powerful brand advocates, giving the company an impressive edge over the competition.
6. Happy employees spend 100% more time focused on the tasks at hand.
A study conducted by the iOpener Institute for people and performance found that employees that are happy at work report being “on task” 80% of the time or 4 out of 5 days. Being on task 100% of the time k is unrealistic, so 80% is remarkably good. Unhappy employees? They report being on task only about 40% of the time or 2 out of 5 days.
7. Unhappy employees will rack up 50% more in health care expenses (and could reduce profits by 10%).
Unhappy employees are more likely to show signs of sickness and fatigue in addition to emotional and physical strain. Conversely, happy employees are more able to deal with every day stress, feel more energetic, and have better overall health than their counterparts. This means, less sick days for the employee and more productivity for the company.
The good news is that finding out what makes your employees happy isn’t as hard as you may think. The best place to start is in the interview process, ask questions, get to know them, why they love what they do and what makes them get up in the morning. This simple starting strategy will get you started down a path of organically positive workplace culture that will continue to make your business thrive.

3 Reasons Why B2C Enterprises Should Use Single Sign-on Authentication

Single sign-on authentication, or SSO, is becoming more commonplace as the digital revolution continues to evolve. With numerous benefits for customers and companies alike, SSO helps streamline user experience, aid movement between applications and services, and secure the transfer of pertinent information about customers between organizations.

Web SSO means that your customers have only one set of login details for all of your services and can switch seamlessly between applications. Mobile SSO allows your customers to switch seamlessly between mobile applications if you have more than one. SSO also allows user access to multiple applications without the need for separate login accounts.
Federated SSO uses a range of industry-standard protocols including SAML, JWT, OAuth, OpenID Connect, and more to allow the same seamless experience between service applications from a range of providers and sources.

Why is it time to use SSO as part of your customer authentication process? Here are three compelling reasons:
1. Customers Expect SSO
Today’s customers expect SSO. They might not be able to articulate this expectation in words, but as a matter of course, many customers already use single sign-on authentication in services every day. This means that the customer-facing features of SSO are now considered to be a minimum standard of customer convenience. Simply put, SSO is a service that most customers expect from every online company.
If you have more than one website or service that requires logging in, you need single sign-on if you don’t want to annoy your customers and appear behind the times. With single sign-on, you can eliminate several common roadblocks that can hurt your business.

For example, we heard from a consumer in the UK that there’s a customer experience disconnect between different divisions at Virgin. People getting cable TV and home broadband services from Virgin Media are encouraged to sign up for Virgin Mobile with several competitively priced offers. However, even though the sites look similar, consumers need to have two separate logins for the two Virgin services. They even have different rules for password strength.
I’m sure you can think of examples of your own, perhaps where (like with Virgin) you can’t even choose to use the same sign-in details if you want to. Maybe others require you to log in to different services from the same company repeatedly.
Don’t be one of these companies. You probably won’t end up with frustrated customers, since they’ll end up voting with their feet (and leaving you for another provider).
2. SSO Makes Companies Smarter

A unified customer profile is the first step to a smarter company. With CIAM, you’ll have a single location for everything about individual customers (including their login and service usage data).
What’s more, CIAM creates a unified customer profile on which to base all other metrics and predictions. Customer-specific data can be used in marketing, sales, customer support, content planning, product development, customer security, and more. Unified customer profiles are simply a brilliant resource for rich data, metrics, and analytics that multiple departments can use.
3. Single Sign-on Saves Money
By reducing the number of separate sign-in databases and systems you need to maintain and service, SSO reduces maintenance costs for every application or service that would previously have needed a separate login system.
A centralized identity solution also streamlines the creation of new apps and services by providing a “drop-in” solution for logging in, and for a multitude of useful data gathering methods. An effective enterprise SSO solution saves money in the long term and short term by making it easier than ever to collect customer data and user credentials in one secure spot.
So Why Do I Need SSO Authentication?
Single sign-on directly benefits your organization by gathering a wealth of customer data and credentials securely in one spot for your services, teams, and applications to use. Your customers will notice how your customer experience meets the expectations carved out by big names like Google and Microsoft, essentially showing them that you’re a modern, effective company.
Failing to use SSO authentication, or failing to use it correctly, will make your customers notice you in a bad way by frustrating them as they try to navigate your apps and services. By contrast, leaders who bring a SSO solution to their organization will stand out because of the multitude of benefits that single sign-on provides.
Find out more about enterprise SSO authentication and how to get it by downloading the LoginRadius SSO data sheet.

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt in runoff for UK prime minister

LONDON (AP) — Britain's next prime minister will be a man in his 50s who went to Oxford University — either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, the two finalists selected Thursday in a race to lead the governing Conservative Party.

Johnson , a flamboyant former foreign secretary and ex-mayor of London, topped a ballot of 313 Conservative lawmakers with 160 votes and is runaway favorite to become the party's next leader.Read more on NewsOK.com

Trump turns from pomp to business in UK visit

LONDON (AP) — Moving from pageantry to policy during his state visit to Britain, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged embattled Prime Minister Theresa May to "stick around" to complete a U.S.-U.K. trade deal, adding to this recent chapter of uncertainty in the allies' storied relationship.

The president, whose praise for May comes after spending days touting her possible successors, met with the prime minister and corporate executives from the United States and United Kingdom as part of a day of negotiations ahead of a news conference on Trump's second day on British soil.Read more on NewsOK.com

Trump family to get red-carpet royal treatment on UK visit

LONDON (AP) — It's a unique odd couple: A 93-year-old sovereign who has made a point of keeping her opinions to herself during her long reign is hosting a 72-year-old reality TV star-turned-president who tweets his uncensored thoughts daily to 60 million followers.

For Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's unflappable monarch, the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump, his family and his armored entourage on Monday means a full day of ceremony and toasts topped by a magnificent banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Yet beneath the pomp and ceremony, there are differences aplenty.

There will be a formal tea Monday afternoon hosted by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla for Trump and first lady Melania Trump, which brings together a future king who has warned about the perils of climate change for years with a president who is actively dismantling U.S. policies designed to slow global warming.

On the political front, Trump meets Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May only days before she steps down Friday as Conservative Party leader, kicking off a race to succeed her as prime minister.

Trump professes friendship for May, but he has been harshly critical of her handling of Britain's tortured Brexit negotiations with the European Union.Read more on NewsOK.com

eCommerce Marketing Trends in 2019

A new report from Episerver has revealed eCommerce marketing insights from more than 4,500 consumers about the current state of online shopping and how marketers need to adapt to the latest trends. Its findings confirm a few things widely known in the industry, but there are also a few surprising revelations about consumer expectations that eCommerce marketers should pay attention to.
Key findings from the report
You can download your own copy of the Episerver report here if you want to read it in full, but here’s a quick summary of the key findings:

Consumers want guidance: Only one-in-five shoppers say their online purchases are pre-planned.
Shipping matters: Consumers want free shipping (67%), shipping tracking (61%), and information about returns (52%).
Personalisation vs privacy: 88% of online shoppers say personalisation is important but 93% say companies need to respect their anonymity.
Simplicity sells: 46% of consumers say they have failed to make a purchase because there were too many options to choose from.
Content woes: 98% of online shoppers say incorrect or incomplete content on a brand’s website/app has stopped them from completing a purchase.
Social influence: 52% of consumers who use social media have clicked on an influencer’s post and 31% of those have made a purchase directly from the posts.
Marketplaces dominate: 46% of consumers who know what they want to buy head straight to marketplaces like Amazon. While 39% of shoppers who don’t know what they’re after still start their eCommerce journey on marketplaces.
The Amazon standard: 87% of online shoppers compare what they find on brand/retailer websites with Amazon.
Voice search vs shopping: While voice search is becoming more popular, people aren’t yet using the technology to buy products in great numbers.

As you can see, these insights touch on some of the most pressing issues in eCommerce marketing right now – personalisation vs privacy, the constant presence of Amazon and the true role of voice search in online shopping.
These are worth exploring in more detail.
What do these insights mean for eCommerce marketing?
With the average eCommerce conversion rates sitting at around 2.86% (Incespcro, 2018), there’s still a lot of scope to increase the number of visitors who become paying customers. Luckily, the findings above offer up some solid clues about how to go about this in 2019.
80% of online shoppers need buying advice
The fact that 80% of online shoppers know they need help with making purchase decisions should be encouraging for eCommerce marketers. Consumers are open to marketing messages that genuinely help them buy the right products. The challenge for marketers is identifying which kind of messages consumers are open to, influenced by and where to deliver them.
Most consumers look for buying advice before making purchases
Know the problems your target audiences face when comparing and buying your products because this is where the search process starts. Plenty of studies suggest UK shoppers prefer to research online but then go on to buy in store (85%, according to data from ONS), which means retailers need to bridge the online-offline divide.
Google’s local inventory ads are a great way to show people in your area that you have the item they’re interested in, ready for a live demo.
This doesn’t mean eCommerce marketing should focus purely on in-store traffic or that online-only retailers should be discouraged. Other studies indicate more UK shoppers are buying online every year and some even put online purchases ahead. EmpathyBroker found 51% of UK shoppers actually prefer to buy online. Make sure to do your research and understand how your target customers prefer to buy.
Consumers are overwhelmed by too many options
Episerver says almost half of online shoppers (46%) say they’ve failed to make a purchase due to being overwhelmed by too many options. This only reinforces the fact that people need help when it comes to making purchases, which should influence the kind of content, messages and experiences you create.
The more varied or complex your range of products, the more important it is you help shoppers make choices without feeling overwhelmed.
However, it’s not only product options consumers say they’re confused by. Today’s constant barrage of marketing messages is also getting in the way of sales, according to Episerver.
“To mitigate the risk of overwhelming customers online, brands and retailers must intentionally decide how and when they reach out to shoppers… they must take care to avoid inundating customers with brand communications.”
Today’s eCommerce brands need to understand how consumer needs change, before and between purchases. The frequency of messages and content they’re going to respond to varies greatly along the way. Generically blasting shoppers with special deals doesn’t cut it anymore.
Content makes the difference
One of the most telling stats in the Episerver study is that 98% of consumers say incorrect or incomplete content has stopped them from buying products in the past. This is particularly important as today’s shoppers move across different devices and search on various platforms before making a purchase.
“Regardless of where shoppers choose to engage a company, they should be able to trust the accuracy and completeness of the information they find… Disjointed content experiences result in major financial consequences.”

Consistent messaging across platforms is crucial so users can pick up the consumer journey where they left off from the previous session. Make sure your campaign messages, special offers and featured products users have seen on one device are still there on others. These are what bring a lot of top-funnel visitors back to your website, social profile or Amazon page.
Visitors further down the sales funnel must be able to get to the parts of your site that matter most. Navigation couldn’t be more important here, especially for users who don’t have an account or aren’t logged in.
Things are a little easier with repeat visitors who stay logged in. You can personalise the experience with the products they’ve most recently viewed and product recommendations based on the items they’ve previously engaged with and/or purchased.

At the very end of the sales funnel, accurate and complete product information is what matters most – and again, this needs to be consistent across every platform/touch point. The same thing goes for shipping details, information about returns and honest transparent pricing.

Additional costs are the top reason shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard Institute, 2018)
Users are conflicted about personalisation vs privacy
One of the biggest challenges in eCommerce marketing today is the conundrum of personalisation vs privacy. As Episerver’s study shows, consumers want a personalised experience but they’re understandably concerned about privacy issues.

If consumers want a personalised shopping experience, they need to hand over personal data and eCommerce brands have to prove to users that the exchange is beneficial to them. Sadly, GDPR has done little to improve this relationship in its first year – in fact, most reports suggest it has only added to the confusion and frustration for all parties involved.
The common implementations of consent simply aren’t working. Online retailers need to innovate their own solutions for GDPR compliance without adding friction to the shopping experience.
It’s all about Amazon, not Alexa
Episerver’s findings on marketplaces like Amazon probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, but they’re emphatic regardless. Almost half (46%) of all consumers who know what they want to buy head straight to marketplaces and 39% of those who haven’t decided still go to marketplaces to browse first.
Even more telling is that 87% of online shoppers compare what they find on brand/retailer websites with Amazon.
There’s not much point in trying to fight against Amazon. If you haven’t already, get your brand established on the marketplace and turn it into an eCommerce marketing channel. Amazon’s ad platform is growing faster than both Google and Facebook’s (even if the top two still dominate) but it all comes down to being where your target audience is – and they’re almost certainly on Amazon.
As for Alexa and voice eCommerce in general, more consumer journeys are starting with voice search but only 17% of shoppers are making regular purchases with the technology, according to Episerver.

The Power of Transformation

Shifting Focus to the Customer, Not the Product
Many organizations have struggled with moving from product-centric to customer-centric over the years. Some have achieved this transformation, others have not. Of course, this transformation is just the beginning, as improving the customer experience will always be a journey and not a destination. However, for those well along the path toward being customer-centric, the results have been clearly positive.
Five Key Elements in Transforming the Customer Experience
Transformation is not easy. According to an article published by McKinsey, the most important criteria for getting a transformation effort off to a fast start is to find the parts of the organization where a leader and at least some employees want to change. These prospective change agents can be high performers who want to get better or stragglers who need to improve quickly. Either way, picking those who are the most willing can ensure you get off the starting-block quickly. The article goes on to provide five essential elements to achieving a customer experience transformation, as illustrated in the following info-graphic:

This is a great guideline. It starts with identifying your change agents within the organization and defining your vision. Governance and ownership around the implementation and execution of your vision is critical and will be key to the success of your transformation.
From there you embark on your initiatives and measure performance and progress. Continuous change management is also increasingly important, as the more you improve, the higher the expectations become.
Look to Industry Leaders as Examples
A commitment to following this guideline is imperative as the journey will not be an easy one. However, for those that chose the path to transforming to a customer-centric organization focused on continuous improvement of the customer experience, the ROI has been there in both the bottom-line and brand recognition.
Here is a list from a Forbes article of five organizations with great customer service, as published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), along with some commentary. These organizations have made the transformation and you should hopefully recognize these names.
1. Chick-fil-A
Category: Limited-Service Restaurant
Score: 86.0
ACSI commentary: “Chick-fil-A seems to have the recipe for great customer experiences with its more focused menu and great service.”
Customers say: “The professionalism and courtesy of the Chick-fil-A staff are far superior to any other chain restaurant I’ve frequented.”
Claim to fame: Its employees were rated the most polite in their industry category. When it comes to companies that have the best customer service, Chick-fil-a can’t fly any higher.
2. Trader Joe’s
Category: Supermarkets
ACSI Score: 85.4
ACSI commentary: “From its private label staples to its organic produce, Trader Joe’s has carved out a niche that has propelled its rapid growth.”
Customers say: “From the selection of products that you can only get there to the quality of service you can get nowhere else they’re always my first choice. Trader Joe’s products are the standard by which I measure other stores.”
Claim to fame: It’s one of America’s top employers, according to, ahem, us.
3. Aldi
Category: Supermarkets
ACSI Score: 85.0
ACSI commentary: “Like its subsidiary Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s no-frills approach seems to connect with consumers and has fueled rapid growth over the past decade.”
Customers say: “Aldi has everything I need at the lowest prices in a small area that feels like a Mom and Pop store. I love the personal feel of the store combined with the high quality and low prices every day.”
Claim to fame: ALDI is big here, but their customer service reputation is even bigger in the UK, where it nabbed the top spot in a recent survey.
4. Amazon
Category: Internet Retail
ACSI Score: 84.8
ACSI commentary: “The world’s largest internet retailer has mastered a combination of value, satisfaction, and delivery efficiency that consumers love.”
Customers say: “Infinite variety on one site without having to search multiple brands and companies online.”
Claim to fame: A few years ago, ForeSee ranked Amazon highest in overall customer satisfaction in its survey with a score of 90, the highest ever recorded by the firm.
5. Lexus
Category: Automobiles
ACSI Score: 84.6
ACSI commentary: “Toyota’s Lexus brand has been a perennial leader among not just automakers, but luxury brands around the world.”
Customers say: “It makes me feel pampered because it’s so comfortable and well designed and I love driving it.”
Claim to fame: J.D. Power has repeatedly recognized Lexus for its outstanding customer service.
Commit to Change
They go on to list an additional fifteen companies in the list, but you get the picture. The results are clear.

Success begins with a commitment to change, enabled by empowered people that are committed to change.
Is your organization ready to join this list?