How to Reap the Benefits of Email Marketing

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Email has been around for a long time, so it’s easy to dismiss it as irrelevant in the current digital landscape. However, that would be a critical mistake.

The truth is, email marketing is as powerful as ever, and it’s not going anywhere.

The Real Potential of Email Marketing

Unfortunately, organic reach is almost non-existent on social media now. This forces companies into paid advertising. But there is another way to cut through all the noise.

By focusing on growing an email list of loyal subscribers, you’ll soon find the benefits of email marketing are far greater than many people realize.

1. You Can Generate More Leads

Studies show that 59% of marketers claim email is the most effective marketing channel for their company’s revenue.

You can also encourage your subscribers to forward email content to their families, friends and colleagues.

Between forwarding and social sharing, subscribers can amplify your content to boost future sign-ups.

2. It Boosts Conversion Rates

Once you have more leads, you can build a relationship and ultimately nurture prospects through your sales funnel.

In time, that makes it easier to convert email subscribers into customers.

3. It Reduces Marketing Costs

One of the great benefits of email marketing is that it delivers a great return on investment (ROI).

In fact, research indicates the ROI of email marketing is higher than social media and paid advertising, yielding almost $40 for every $1 of marketing spend.

Better yet, many top email marketing tools have free versions, allowing you to get up and running at minimal cost.

Leverage the Benefits of Email Marketing

With the technology available today, email marketing can do a lot more than simply acquire new leads.

Segmentation and Personalization

When email marketers go niche within their own audiences, it enables them to forge deeper connections on a more personal level.

Segmenting your audiences and delivering targeted content that is personalized to their needs is a sure-fire way of improving the results of your email marketing. It may just cause your revenue to increase 7-fold!

Building Trust

By using more personalization, you can soon earn the trust of your subscribers. People want brands to know more about them, and with your tailored content, you’ll soon prove that your business cares about them.

Automation

With marketing automation, you can add personalized product recommendations to your emails. This can boost sales volumes, especially when trust has been built.

Another method is to use automation for drip campaigns, keeping leads warm until they are prepared to buy something. This strategy has been proven to earn a 300% higher click-through rate than single emails.

The Future for Email

The rise of machine learning is one of the biggest benefits of email marketing. Being able to segment audiences and learn more about your customers from data insights can massively improve the ROI of email marketing.

It has truly changed the game.

Also, as more than 70% of millennials prefer email for business communications, the future truly looks bright for email marketers.

Social media is a tough nut to crack and is only becoming more crowded.

Email is going nowhere. The gold is in your list.

Marketing Authenticity: Can it Motivate Your Audience?

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In the recent years, social media has been polluted with trolling, fake news and a lot of negativity. These issues make it harder to build trust with people, which is a problem for business.

Now, marketing authenticity and brand activism in social good campaigns are key considerations for brands.

It’s time to get real.

What is a Social Good Campaign?

Studies on global consumers show that just 52% of people actually trust businesses.

Instead of trying to persuade people for a quick buck, brands must seek to win the trust of their customers by proving they are out for social good.

Whether they are responding to political decisions, supporting a cause, or promoting a much bigger idea than their company’s financial interests, brands can show they are for social good.

While using a cause to promote your own message runs the risk of a negative backlash, if it’s done right, your company can showcase marketing authenticity and align your business with a cause.

The Impact of Marketing Authenticity on your Brand Growth

There are a number of key benefits to using marketing authenticity and brand activism in your growth strategy.

It Nurtures Trust

With successful campaigns that demonstrate what your company cares about more than profits, you will find it easier to build trust with consumers. This adds to your brand credibility and makes it easier to build a larger audience over time.

In 2017, The New York Times responded to the influx of fake news by launching a campaign called, “The Truth is Hard to Find”, which promoted quality journalism and facts.

Not only did they demonstrate integrity in their reporting, but they boosted awareness, which led to a rise in subscription numbers.

It Boosts Brand Awareness

Social good campaigns can deliver quite an impact, which spreads quickly as more people start talking about it. If it connects with people on an emotional level, then the impact can be huge.

A 2018 study found that 77% of people feel they have a stronger emotional connection with purpose-driven companies, as opposed to traditional companies. That makes many people more loyal to that company and more likely to defend it.

It Makes Your Brand More Relevant

Following trending topics is an integral part of modern marketing, especially on social media. By aligning your business with a trending social movement, your brand activism can make you seem more relevant in the eyes of a wider audience.

Marketing Authenticity must be Customer-Centric

Marketing authenticity is a key link between what your brand does and what your customers want. Through brand activism in social good campaigns, your business can transcend the quest for profits, and show you care more about your customers and about the things they care about.

The danger is that if it’s done wrong, people may view your efforts as a gimmick or shameless plug. With some smart strategy, your brand can prove their integrity to forge strong connections with your existing audience and grow a larger one.

In the long run, that will benefit both the people and your business fortunes.

A Millennial Marketers Take on #29Rooms from Refinery29

Inside the Palace of Fine Arts, #29Rooms

Inside the Palace of Fine Arts, #29Rooms

#29Rooms is Refinery29’s exploration into connecting with their readers in an experiential way. #29Rooms is an annual funhouse of style, culture and creativity created by a group of global artists and visionaries. It launched in 2015 during NY Fashion Week and has expanded to major US cities, including San Francisco where I attended. You'll find food, drinks, music, singing, pictures, shredding, (temporary) tattoos, donating, boxing, painting, sharing (dreams and secrets) and more! To no one’s surprise, it didn’t take long to sell out. And when they released more tickets, it just built up the hype leading up to the show.

As a media company, it’s not surprising that the #29Rooms brand is on point. The name is geared towards millennials and ready to trend on Twitter. #29Rooms itself has over 100,000 followers on Instagram, their own merch line and a special Snapchat filter. Their branding is the perfect shade of millennial pink.

#29Rooms is one of a kind. Everything from the art, creativity and experiences is exciting and a must-see. It’s culturally relevant and inclusive. #29Rooms is a genius experience that marketers can take advantage of. I am a huge fan of creative marketing placements and experiential marketing. And #29Rooms combines them brilliantly. #29Rooms is an excellent creative placement for brands to showcase their creativity in front of a millennial crowd. Each of the 29 rooms was inspired and created in partnership with an artist, visionary or brand. Each room was unique and captivating in its own way. Each space had its own relevant story to tell. Jake Gyllenhaal, Haagen-Dazs, Planned Parenthood, Pure Leaf, A Simple Favor (Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively movie), Demi Lovato, Janelle Monae, Adobe, Emma Roberts, Laneige and more partnered with #29Rooms.

Experiential marketing is continuing to rise in popularity. Consumers “ are hungry for all things immersive,” said Karen Wong, deputy director of the New Museum. “It’s a byproduct of us spending an inordinate amount of time on our screens.” The fact that some people attend [#29Rooms] to plump up their own social media feeds is “bringing us full circle,” said Ms. Wong. Many many attendees did use #29Rooms to plump up their social media feed. Just look on any social platform, use the hashtag #29Rooms and you will find thousands of photos, which not only built awareness of the event, but also enhanced the #29Rooms brand. 

#29Rooms’ themes and partnerships were carefully approved to ensure they would fit within the space that Refinery29 was working to create. Some brands utilized their space at #29Rooms better than others.

One of the secrets I found in the room "Tell Us Your Secret"

One of the secrets I found in the room "Tell Us Your Secret"

The movie, A Simple Favor starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick is still building hype. Before the trailer dropped Blake Lively “deleted” everything on her Instagram, only followed people named Emily Nelson and changed her bio to “What happened to Emily?...”. A social media wipe is an increasingly popular tactic to build buzz by top-tier celebrities (Taylor Swift). And now the movie has its own room in #29Rooms. Inside the room, it had the fragmented profiles and voices of the main characters, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. It also had a large board where you could write your own secret, roll it up and put it on the board for other attendees to read after you leave. It was very memorable and tied well to the movie.

THE ROOM "TELL US YOUR SECRET"

THE ROOM "TELL US YOUR SECRET"

Haagen-Dazs had its own room where attendees could experience their new Trio Crispy Layers Ice Cream with a sample and a hanging column of caramel-colored (and scented) thread. Their current marketing efforts focus on trial, and this was a great opportunity to encourage trial. In the past, they’ve had brand ambassadors in San Francisco handing out samples of their new flavors. Their room put their new ice cream flavor top of mind, for when attendees go grocery shopping, stop by the ice cream aisle and can find the new Haagen-Dazs flavor they tried at #29Rooms.

The water works photo backdrop, featuring the laneige watermark

The water works photo backdrop, featuring the laneige watermark

Laneige had a fun “Water Works” photo backdrop with pink pool floaties and a photographer. They were giving out samples of one of their products, while you waited in line. Once your photos were taken by a professional photographer, they were sent to an iPad, where you could send yourself the photos. When the photos arrived in your inbox they were from Laneige, they had a watermark with Laneige’s logo and the #29Rooms logo and they automatically signed you up for their email list. Laneige had a thoughtful and well-executed plan for their time at #29Rooms.

Mastercard was a partner of #29Rooms and for cardholders, you could get a key at the beginning of the event and use it to skip to the front of the line for one room. Maybe it encouraged loyalty to current cardholders, but it did nothing to enhance their brand or to encourage trial. It also brought minimal awareness compared to the other partners of #29Rooms. 

Overall, I take away a lot of creative inspiration and desire for more things experiential and expressive. My advice to #29Rooms as a consumer, do not let so many people in at once. It dampers the experience and does not leave enough time to experience all of the rooms when you are waiting in line for the majority of the event. My advice as a marketer to brands, take advantage! All attendees left with no less than 50 photos that are sure to be shared across their social media accounts. Let your brand be featured in one of them. 

A Millennials Take on Influencer Marketing (Hint: You Need It)

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As a millennial, I LOVE influencers and I can assure you influencer marketing is not going anywhere. Influencers or bloggers are real women (and men) and they live and breathe their personal brand. They are authentic, reachable and major #inspo. Social media is the future of advertising, and using influencers is the best way to succeed at it. Whether your company is big or small, you need to start using influencers. Here’s why.

Influencers cut through the noise of typical advertising. They reach their niche fans through their many social channels. Using influencers uniquely allows you to target your desired audience where they are spending the majority of their time (nearly nine hours a day). They bring authenticity that any marketer dreams for.

I manage many social pages for my company’s clients and our influencer content 99.99% of the time outperforms our other brand-created content. (81% of marketers agree with me). Not only do they produce beautiful content for our social pages and website, they share their content along with their highly regarded opinion to their loyal followers.

Millennials want to see transparency. We want to see companies doing good, being accountable, and acting trustworthy. Influencers provide transparency, trust and the ultimate approval. Millennials will ignore the big ads that marketers think target them (unless they’re funny or star David Harbour). But millennials will trust and NEED to stay at the same hotel in LA that Chiara Ferragni did. Or NEED to own that swimsuit that Alexis Ren wore on her latest Instagram story.

You’ve probably never heard of most of the influencers making bank (millions each year), but your target audience has. And clearly, they’re killing it.

Everyone from Nike to Santa Cruz Organic can benefit from influencers. Not every influencer is a high-impact influencer, there are micro-influencers that smaller brands can greatly benefit from working with. While working on our clients, Chicken of the Sea’s social pages, I’ve seen one of our micro-influencers produce BEAUTIFUL content while not getting many likes/comments/shares on his own page. But, it performed extremely well on our pages. I know he’s going places.  

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

  1. When choosing an influencer, do you research! If you’re looking at them your competitor is or has. Make sure your competition has NOT worked with your influencer in the past. I ran into this problem while working with one of our clients Chicken of the Sea. I noticed that some of our old influencers also worked with Chicken of the Sea’s top competitors StarKist and/or Bumble Bee previously. A quick search for “tuna” on their blog revealed their work history. To me it implies that the influencer sees Chicken of the Sea as replaceable with its competition, and so will their followers. And that will not help sales.
  2. Check their following on all of their social media channels. Know what your dollars will get you. Find out what kind of interaction do they get on their posts. Do they interact with their fans? One of my favorite foodie influencers Ambitious Kitchen replies to nearly all of her follower’s comments on her Instagram posts validating her strong relationship with her followers.   
  3. Influencers disclaiming that they are getting paid for their services is not very well defined. Many will just have #ad at the end of their post. And tbh most people aren’t reading to the end of the post to see that. Make sure your influencers are complying with FTC endorsement guidelines, which have changed.

As if you needed another reason to start doing influencer marketing, a 2015 survey by the Tomoson indicates that businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. No wonder 59% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming years.

Josh Leibowitz, Senior VP, Cunard North America and chief strategy officer at Carnival Corporation best puts it “There’s a little bit of the American dream in these influencers. They’ve built a business and they’re out having a point of view, they’re being creative, recommending things, seeing the world. … [They can] do things that they love and get paid for it.”

Lastly, don’t forget about YouTube as a popular influencer spot. That’s how you’ll get the Gen Z kids to buy your “cool” new backpacks. But more on that next time!

IMHO,

Megan Wood