Important Email Stats You Should Know

Important Email Marketing Stats You Should Know

Email Marketing Stats You Should Know

Covid marketing trends that are here to stay

 
  

What is the current state of Email Marketing?

Let's start unpacking this question. Before the Covid-19 pandemic began, many marketers suspected that email marketing would be “dead” within a matter of a few years. However, recent trends suggest just the opposite. HubSpot research shows that 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. In fact, the latest research from Litmus found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the ROI is $42.

 

So, what helpful statistics can help your business navigate email marketing practices to increase your email performance, and thus your company’s ROI?

 

Since April 1, 2020, marketing email open rates have been climbing.

Additionally, companies are utilizing email marketing at a higher rate than before. These two metrics have increased in tandem. Here are some useful insights related to open rates:

 
 

Additional best practices to increase your open rates involve your subject line.

Before your customer can even read the beautiful and helpful email you’ve created, they need to feel inclined to open.  Your subject line needs to grab the attention of your audience within just a few words. 

The best part about subject lines is that they can be A/B tested. It never hurts to switch up your language, be mindful of your audience, and test different methods to see what your audience reacts to. 

  • Keep it short. Recipients are often mobile users. Keep your subject no  more than 9 words / 60 characters. (Mailchimp.com)
  • Personalization is key. Use tags to personalize your subject lines with each recipient’s name, company name, or location. Personalization is known to increase open rates for most users. (Mailchimp.com)
  • Try using emojis. 56% of brands using an emoji in their email had a higher open rate than those that did not (HubSpot.com). Try to limit your emoji use to one, and use them to supplement words rather than replace them to make sure your message is clear. (mailchimp.com)

 
 

Implement email segmentation.

Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue. (HubSpot.com).  

What is segmentation? According to Campaign Monitor, segmentation is the division of an email list into smaller segments based on set criteria. Segmentation is a tactic used to ensure relevancy to your audience based on location, interests, purchase history, client activity, and more. 

 

Additionally, measure & analyze your list performance.

Continually monitor email performance metrics like bounce rate & unsubscribe rate.

Your bounce rate is a direct measure of your contact database and how enriched your data is. A high bounce rate would suggest that your contacts are recently active, or perhaps just aren’t updated.

A high unsubscribe rate speaks to your list and the relevancy of your email to your customer. If you’re just beginning an email campaign strategy and your clients aren’t used to receiving emails from you, make your purpose and value of the email clear to your audience. Continue to segment your lists based on the list performance results and nurture the clients who want to be included in the information you have to share.

 

Create honest, helpful content. This includes educational or resourceful content.

This is more important during this “new normal” as we’ve adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are a part of an industry that has been slow to adapt to digital marketing, this presents a large window of opportunity.

Conductor.com reports that according to their new research, consumers are 131% more likely to buy from a brand immediately after they read a piece of educational content.  

HubSpot Marketing Manager Henni Roini echoes this sentiment, “Only the companies and brands that create human connection are going to succeed. This is extremely true with email. You might get short term benefits from very promotional content, but honest, human, and personalized content creates a following for the long term.”

In our previous blog discussing client Relationship Management, we elaborate on how to use empathy as a tool. Your goal is to design a communication strategy that leads with empathy from an honest place.
 
 

Stay consistent and measure your success.

If you don’t have one already, implement a review process to check for broken links, grammar mistakes, etc. Make sure that you have an approval process that works efficiently. Stay consistent with send dates and times to build trust with your audience.

 

Analyze email performance across all marketing channels.

Did your team write a blog that resonated well with your audience? Perhaps you decide to extend the reach of this article by supporting it with a social media paid campaign. Assess your click through rates - perhaps the topic isn’t as relevant to your customers as you originally thought, or the segmentation wasn’t in the right direction.

The beauty of marketing is the ability to create, test, and analyze to improve your results going forward. Measure results and evolve your strategies.

 
 
 
 

Hurricane Season Preparedness

Ensuring Customers Choose You During a Crisis

Crisis Preparedness:

Ensuring Customers Choose YOU During a Crisis

Crisis preparedness comes in many shapes and sizes. Smart decisions + planning can help prevent “business casualties.” Marketing a business during a time of crisis has to first begin with a crisis management plan. Let’s examine ways in which you can develop a crisis marketing strategy to ensure that when crisis strikes, the customer chooses YOU.

We’ve discussed in previous blogs the importance of the “pull not push” method as it pertains to marketing during a time of crisis. This begins with compassion when communicating with your customers.  “Trends suggest that how a business communicates with clients during a time of crisis will directly impact the brand’s reputation for the foreseeable future. The goal is to design a communication strategy that leads with empathy from an honest place.” 

Naturally, a crisis will push you into a fight or flight mindset. Now is your opportunity to adapt and be willing to try something new when it comes to your marketing strategy. We know that empathetic messaging is important. However, some trends now suggest that this messaging is becoming mundane thus losing its honesty. So, how do you begin that message to your customers? 

 

Step one:  Construct a crisis communication plan.  

This will serve as an outline for how & when you intend to communicate with your clients, and the message you want to convey.

Focus on  keeping your existing and potential customers updated and informed. 

If your company has employees that interact frequently with clients, consult with them. They are a key piece to the puzzle because of their relationships & conversations with customers. Lean on them for insight into your customer experience - what questions do they have that you can provide answers directly? 

 

Here are 5 suggestions to help you construct a crisis communication plan:

  1. Update  your Google business listing so that when a client searches for your company they receive the most updated information. Include any special offers or messages related to the crisis at hand.
  2. Update your hours + other helpful info on your business voicemail.   
  3. Create a newsletter or a monthly email that highlights useful + positive information, and positions your company as a helpful resource. 
  4. Update your company website with a banner on the homepage that leads to a landing page or aggregate FAQ’s page that is concise and easy to read. Include a way for them to contact you directly online with a form + capture the client information.  
  5. When creating content for these newsletters, think about what questions your customers want answered. Provide these answers in an easily accessible location. (For example, how can customers  purchase from you? What is the best way to get in touch with you? Upcoming events and/or cancellations?)

 

Next, data shows that people increase digital consumption during a crisis.

Take the time to update testimonials from clients you’ve helped in a crisis before to create trust with a potential customer. Capitalize on this trend by preparing a solid SEM strategy & finessing your SEO for effective customer acquisition.

What is SEM? According to HubSpot, “SEM, or search engine marketing, is using paid advertising to ensure that your business's products or services are visible in search engine results pages (SERPs). When a user types in a certain keyword, SEM enables your business to appear as a result for that search query.” SEM strategies include methods like keyword research and analysis (Indexability of your website, popular keywords searched as it relates to your industry and business, and integrating these words into your site), as well as PPC (pay per click) advertising strategies through platforms such as Google Ads. PPC is a form of digital marketing where advertisers “pay per click” on their strategically placed ad.  This is a method of paying for website visitors and potential customers versus relying solely on organic website traffic. Learn more about our Search Engine Marketing services.

 

Lastly, get creative.

Now is the time to bundle and put together packages that add value and incentivize a purchase. Be innovative in your crisis preparedness - focus on a positive mindset and problem solving. In what ways can your company adapt to the current situation to achieve success?

 

 

Free Coronavirus Guides from The Post and Courier

Free Coronavirus Guides from The Post and Courier

Free Coronavirus Guides from The Post and Courier

We are in this together.

During these uncharted times, it is essential that we do what we can to help our community and local businesses; therefore, we’ve created these free coronavirus guides. We are working hard behind the scenes to keep our readers informed and to provide our community with updates to support our state and its businesses as we navigate this unprecedented time together.

 

The Post and Courier COVID-19 Business Guide

In order to better support the resilient and creative businesses during this unprecedented time, The Post and Courier is offering a free way for businesses to connect with their customers.  This guide provides a place for businesses to share how to continue to shop and offer support. With options to provide updated hours, location, current deals, or send a kind message to the community, we're here to help!  SUBMIT YOUR BUSINESS HERE

COVID-19 Business Guide The Post and Courier

 

The Post and Courier Dining Guide

Looking for some take-out or delivery options for Charleston-area restaurants? We are  gathering and providing an active list of local food & beverage businesses that are open and providing take-out + delivery options. We’re here to help you support our local restaurant industry! SUBMIT YOUR RESTAURANT HERE

Coronavirus Dining Guide

 

The Post and Courier’s COVID-19 News Guide 

With daily coronavirus updates, coverage map of the virus, and useful resources like No Intermission, The Post and Courier has you covered. Our goal is to provide our readers with the latest news, community updates, and resources in an effort to support our state and its businesses. At this time, we are offering this COVID-19 News for free without a subscription as a public service. READ MORE NEWS HERE

Post and Courier COVID 19 News

 

Marketing Your Business in a Time of Crisis:  A Free Webinar Guide with The Post and Courier + Evening Post Newspapers 

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the marketing landscape for businesses. As a result, The Post and Courier wants to provide useful marketing resources for our clients. In early April we hosted a webinar with renowned marketing experts to discuss how to manage your marketing in a time of crisis. Miss the webinar? Don’t worry, The Post and Courier has you covered.  ACCESS FREE WEBINAR VIDEO + PRESENTATION HERE!

Crisis Webinar Blog Image

Crisis Marketing Webinar Downloads

 

The Post and Courier Business Marketing Guide

As the coronavirus crisis extends further into 2020, The Post and Courier Advertising division is dedicated to providing your businesses with useful blogs full of marketing useful information and free resources.  We're discussing important topics like social media trendsemail marketing strategies, and sponsored events updates. READ MORE HERE

Post and Courier Marketing Blog

 

The Post and Courier Charity Guide

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, financial strain on some industries and the community is becoming increasingly heavy.  The Post and Courier wants to help. We are offering a free way to share your cause and spread the word. View our Charity Guide to contribute + submit your local fundraising opportunities for those in need. SHARE YOUR FUNDRAISER HERE

Post and Courier Charity Guide

 

 

 

 

 

Positive thinking during coronavirus

The Power of Positive Thinking During the Coronavirus

The Power of Positive Thinking During the Coronavirus

How to market your business without seeming insensitive

When tragedy and chaos strike on a global level, it is more important than ever to practice positive thinking - not only in your personal life, but also regarding your business. History shows that during times of recession, it is not beneficial to decrease your advertising efforts. Now what? How do you shift marketing and advertising strategies to stay relevant during a crisis? 

Before we unpack this crisis marketing strategy, we must begin viewing the current market as a cup half-full, despite the underlying situation. We acknowledge that we are experiencing a health crisis like no other. However, the US economy was healthy and strong prior to this outbreak, and it will return when social distancing concludes. Is important to stay relevant and prepare your return strategy.

Data shows that people consume more media during a crisis.

At The Post and Courier, traffic analytics including visitors + session length have tripled. As some businesses unfortunately are forced or decide to cut advertising and/or marketing spending, opportunity is present for surviving businesses to get in front of a large audience, with less competing ads.

Borrell Crisis Marketing Webinar
© 2020 Borrell Inc.
Crisis is not a time to decrease communication

Alternatively, companies should actually be communicating more with customers.  However, instead of an advertising approach, the conversation should transition into positive communication.

Keep the goal of your communication in-line with the company's new marketing goals.  Stay relevant with clients without seeming “pushy” or “sales-y” by being a helpful resource during this time.  Whether this is a small-scale effort by emailing helpful articles (like this one) you've found over coffee in the morning to clients, or building a resource online with free & useful business information for consumers to visit like our Charleston-area Takeout & Delivery Guide. Share your knowledge about a topic as a free resource via a virtual platform, like this Crisis Marketing Webinar.

The tone of communication should be empathetic, with a message that conveys a sense of togetherness. 

The goal is to position the company to be useful during this unprecedented time. Retaining current customers is key - their support will be needed throughout! This is also a great time to offer a hand to the community and clients, and gain new customers along the way through your thoughtful crisis message.   

Credit Karma founder Ken Lin recently shared the importance of choosing your customers when faced with doing the right thing for your customers vs increasing your bottom line. 

“This is an unprecedented time and all Americans are being impacted — some more severely than others. ... As a business owner, your customers and their trust are paramount. You need to be willing to sacrifice short term profit gains to protect your customer,"

From a marketing perspective, now is the time to get creative.

Remember:  What a person decides to spend their money on should never be assumed.  What should shift in the business's strategy is how to innovate existing + future marketing efforts to adapt to the current situation. Take a look at your current campaigns from the perspective of the new normal.  Is this messaging still relevant?  

Brainstorm and implement creative promotional campaigns and strategize going forward based on your results.

Don’t be afraid to use some tasteful humor to relate - it is okay! Creative and relatable advertising takes businesses to a new level during times of crisis and recession. It is more important now in 2020 than ever before to be relatable with your approach. 

Unsure of how to do this in a helpful way? Your company could decide to launch a fun contest and in turn gain followers and capture email leads.  Or, capture email addresses of customers who’d like to be communicated with regarding company updates, new hours, promotions, re-open information, etc.  Include business information in FREE resources like The Post and Courier Business Guide. Submit your business listing for our COVID-19 Business Guide for free here. 

If business is currently closed or experiencing a decrease in sales, utilize this downtime to prepare a strategy for when social distancing ends. That marketing or rebranding initiative you’ve always wanted to start but haven’t? Now is the time to. Have an innovative business idea? Work hard and don’t be afraid to implement it. Many successful startup companies began amidst the 2008 recession including companies like Slack, whose innovation has landed them financial success again during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Whether your company is temporarily closed or ramping up advertising efforts, we are here for you. Continue to communicate and engage with your customers using empathy first. Shift your strategy to, “how can I be useful to my clients?” Keep in mind that your customers are generally stressed and will remember how your messaging made them feel during this crisis. Lend a helping hand, and prepare for the return. We will make it through this together.

11 Free Business Resources During COVID-19

11 FREE Tools Your Business Should Be Using During COVID-19

11 FREE Tools Your Business Should Be Using During COVID-19

Due to the increasing precautions and gathering restrictions throughout the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are experiencing digital growing pains.  Ideally, expanding an in-office position to a remote position would involve a gradual process for businesses and employees. This transition from office to remote work might include planning for necessary resources and employee training. However, over the last two weeks many companies have been scrambling to get their businesses running smoothly online within a short time frame in an effort to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. As a result, business owners are looking for new solutions and ways to run their businesses online.

In order to help guide our small businesses, we’ve compiled a list of 11 FREE tools to help your business during COVID-19:

 

VIRTUAL CONFERENCING:

The silver lining to quarantining is the expanding usage of video conferencing tools. Using one of the popular platforms listed below, you can gather multiple employees on one meeting call.  Simply set your meeting and share the URL in your calendar event. And for the best part? They’re FREE. Attendee and time limits exist for each platform and vary for each. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two most popular platforms: 

1.  Zoom.us

Zoom provides HD Video and audio to its users across a platform that is friendly on any device. Zoom can also be accessed from desktop or mobile. A free account with Zoom.us includes the following:

      • Up to 100 guests
      • Up to 40 minutes
      • Multiple screen sharing 
      • View all guests in grid view

2. Google Hangouts

Google-Hangouts-logo

Hangouts is a free tool for US and Canada that can be accessed within any existing Google account.  Don't have a Google account? Create a free gmail.com account to get started using both.

      • Up to 25 guests on video / 150 in Google Hangouts chat
      • Unlimited minutes 
      • Individual screen sharing (one at a time)
      • View 10 active participants in the bottom of the screen

 

MESSAGING:

3. Slack Messenger

slack-messenger-logo

Slack is an instant messaging tool that brings your company together and helps you to stay productive, regardless of location. Your business can save time with Slack by decreasing the need for back and forth emails and meetings to discuss and approve small tasks.  Additionally, Slack creates a more casual workplace that can be categorized with different channels to keep conversations organized.  Get started using Slack remotely with these tips. With the free version of Slack, you can:

      • 10k searchable messages
      • 10 apps and integrations
      • Two-factor authentication
      • No channel limits

 

VIDEO INSTRUCTION (COMMUNICATION):

4. VidYard

VidYard-logo

VidYard.com is an online video platform for users to create, house, and share video content. This resource is useful for marketing, instruction, and internal communication purposes. During the coronavirus pandemic, it more important than ever to stay connected not only via video conferencing, but also with on-demand videos and video messages. VidYard for Internal Communications is available for free through 6/30/20and includes the following features: 

      • Centralized administration of security policies, user provisioning, and content management 
      • End users can capture,share, and store unlimited videos via web-based extensions to Google Chrome, Outlook, and Gmail - no desktop software required
      • Access control to video content via Single Sign-On authentication
      • Password Protected or IP whitelisting for videos

 

ORGANIZATION/PROJECT MANAGEMENT:

5. Trello

trello-logo-full

Included in the Forbes.com 10 Essential Productivity Tools, Trello is a color-coded organization tool that is also user-friendly.  Manage projects from the board view, create to-do lists and editorial calendars, and plan SEO campaigns with many other options to explore. This visually appealing organization tool is a favorite!

 

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT & SHARING:

6. Google Drive

google-drive-logo

If you’re not already using Google Drive, add this to the top of your to-do list for today! It is easy and free to begin - simply use your free Gmail.com email address to get started. Google Drive allows you to share + create documents to share with anyone. For instance, when you have access to working documents, multiple team members can work in the document at one time. This article provides some in-depth examples of how to integrate Google Drive into your business.

 

THE POST AND COURIER RESOURCES:

7. The Post and Courier’s COVID-19 Coverage 

With daily news updates and an updated South Carolina coverage map of the virus, The Post and Courier has you covered. We are working hard behind the scenes in Charleston, SC to keep you informed and to provide our readers with community updates in an effort to support our state and its businesses as we navigate this unprecedented time together.  Therefore, we are currently offering this COVID-19 News for free without subscription as a public service. 

the-post-and-courier-covid19-news

 

8. The Post and Courier COVID-19 Business Guide

We are here to help our businesses and community connect! The Post and Courier has launched a new COVID-19 Business Guide as a free service! This guide provides a place for businesses to provide their updated hours, location, current deals, or send a kind message to the community. Follow this link and submit your information for free!

Post-and-courier-covid19-business-guide-page

 

9. The Post and Courier Dining Guide

Looking for some curb-side dinner options? In addition to the COVID-19 landing page, we are gathering and providing an active list of local Charleston food & beverage businesses that are open and providing take-out options. We’re here to help you support our local restaurant industry! Send us your restaurant's info here!

Post-and-courier-coronavirus-dining-guide

 

10. Marketing Your Business in a Time of Crisis:  A Free Webinar with The Post and Courier + Evening Post Newspapers 

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the marketing landscape for businesses. As a result, The Post and Courier wants to provide useful marketing resources for our clients. Join us for a live webinar as we host renowned marketing experts to discuss how to manage your marketing in a time of crisis. Reserve your free seat here!

Facebook Webinar Ad

 

11. The Post and Courier Marketing Blog 

As the coronavirus crisis extends further into 2020, The Post and Courier Advertising division is dedicated to providing your businesses with useful blogs full of information and virtual events as an additional free resource.  We're discussing important topics like social media trends,  email marketing strategies, sponsored events updates, and more.

post-and-courier-advertising-blog