Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Future Of Email Marketing Automation

The marketing ecosystem is driven towards modern trends that will shape the future of email marketing automation. Apparently, the question that gets asked around frequently is about the fate of email marketing when confronted with fast-evolving trends.

As the technology quickens it pace, it leaves behind a trail of opportunity that can be tapped for profitable growth.  The automation in B2B marketing is taking a leap owing to the constant changes that take place paving the way for competitive opportunities. Unwilling to update strategies can stall the progress. Here is everything you need to know about the future of automation in email marketing.



Justify the Use of Technology Stack for Economical Implementation of Plan

In the marketing realm, the narrative that one size fits all approach has lost prominence. Today, marketers implement multiproduct stack approach that is proven to be result driven.  The transition is facilitated by using robust platform APIs, an array of middleware, and consolidation tactics.

The key successful implementation of multi-product stack lies within the augmented use cases, distinctively identifiable hierarchy, and actionable data interchange approaches. Eventually, it comes down to the feasibility of the overall strategy from an economic viewpoint.

The email marketing updates in 2017 are set to become innovative from the ground up for strengthening the values of analytics, content, ESP, emails, and the segmentation.  Moving ahead, there will more displacement of existing models with the revolution of intuitive design template, video content, and Artificial Intelligence.

Data-Driven Environment Ensures Economic Sustenance of Workflow 

The slash in the running expense of big data technology has proliferated ecosystems by structuring the flow of the process in areas such as web tracking, marketing intelligence, social media, ERP/CRM, and eventually the email marketing. Augmenting these technology infrastructures is not one shot event. It is rather an ongoing process that is estimated to sustain beyond 2017.

Marketers can make the best use of high-quality data extracted from integrated apps and email marketing platforms. The data obtained from these sources are highly relevant and personalized. On the other hand, Email Service Providers will pursue implementation of top notch machine learning technology that will intuitively capture and process intelligence on prospects.



Artificial Intelligence Based Email Campaigns

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has consistently evolved over the last decade by taking on a greater role in the execution of targeted campaigns. The buzz around this technology will continue growing in the coming days.

Brands are vastly deploying process automation systems on segmentation and mapping prospects with relevant content. This investment would make sense to companies having a library of content.

The AI system uses an intelligent algorithm that analyzes data and identifies suitable patterns by tracking behavior and trends. These automated systems recommend solutions that are otherwise not found though everyday analysis. Through high-level automation, marketers will be able to take on more complex roles. AI systems do not require manual intervention from the users on all aspects and spare them from tending to smaller tasks. The Automated systems help marketers to push the boundaries of creativity from impactful campaign ideas to seamless management of resources that will lead to constant learning and unlearning of functions.

The Rise of Video Marketing

Video marketing is seeing the highest growth where creation and deployment of video are made easier with several online tools. The array of tools offered on the Internet provides vast features that can analyze the video content and allow AI system to orchestrate their usage. Hence, the knowledge gained is the key to understanding real-time development within markets

Email Platform Gravitates Towards Data-Centric Approach

Email marketers are rallying behind data-driven email distribution infrastructure. It clearly outlines the prominence of big data in the marketing. In order to send more tailor made email, marketers need knowledge that clearly defines the behavior of targeted individuals. The preciseness of every profile eliminates the chance of distributing irrelevant content. The personalized email is an ideal apparatus for driving conversion. The concentrated data enables crafting information-rich content that is customer centric.

Reign of Machine Learning in Marketing Automation System for Adaptive Promotions

With the evolution of machine learning and fast paced growth of global markets, Artificial Intelligence will crawl into areas of marketing automation. The AI will bring fluidity in marketing campaigns making them more adaptive. The future of campaigns will wholly focus on customer journeys and provide an experience that will influence them right from the initial interaction.

The Innovation-Oriented Start-Up Boom   

The prominence of AI and predictive technology is already known, and there is an ongoing buzz after the acquisition of Watson by IBM. The range of smart technology is making ripples in the marketing realm. But, for such systems to become acutely aware of key elements within the marketing scope, the data must be unbroken and consolidated. It is one of the ongoing challenges faced by the marketers because quality data isn’t hard to obtain, but they are often scattered.

Artificial Intelligence is still a distant dream for many middle markets. However, many start-ups are deploying machine learning technology, and this sector sees most innovations in the present times.

The Rise of Consolidation Platforms

Consolidation platforms will merge and transform data into an instrument of success. Integration platform sees most action while mapping clients with marketers through products and services.

The customer interaction is limited to getting the conversation started with individual clients. The platform will integrate the data points during the customer journey and provide information on how they can be reached through other channels using the same access point.

Cyclic Advancement of Content Automation System

The slightly more controversial than the rest is the fact that email service providers do not innovate in a way leading to a financial advantage for the marketer. However, they are engrossed in optimizing the automated workflow around existing system. The email service provider spends time and effort on improving the overall situation rather than solving the niche problems faced by email marketers.

It is likely to come across many third party platforms and agencies which continuously innovate and produce cutting edge results to help marketers.


Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Email Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts of Professional Emails


Responding to emails is a necessity in the business world, but taking the time to type out a thoughtful, polite reply to each one can eat up a good chunk of your day. Google has added a Smart Reply feature to Inbox by Gmail and Google Allo that allows emailers to choose quick, auto-generated responses suggested for them based on the email text.

While there is a time and a place for this, quick, casual responses to professional emails could do more harm than good, according to Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. Automated responses can reduce connections between senders and receivers, and creating more generic rather than customized emails may lead to miscommunication.

Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of etiquette consulting business Mannersmith, and Schweitzer shared their advice for keeping emails proper and professional, including some major dos and don'ts, and when to use the CC and BCC options.

The Dos


Do: Use proper salutation


Opening an email with "hi" or "hey" might be OK for colleagues you're friendly with, but for new contacts, Schweitzer advised beginning your email with a proper, respectful salutation, such as "good morning," "good afternoon," "good evening" or "hello."

"'Good day' or 'greetings' are other phrases used frequently in the international arena," she added.

Do: Proofread


Before you send, make sure to carefully proofread and edit your email. You should look for misspellings, homonyms, grammar and punctuation errors, Smith said. Careless email mistakes will only make you look bad to your recipients.

"These errors look unprofessional and reduce the likelihood that the email will be taken seriously," added Schweitzer. "Email software comes with many professional tools such as Spell Check. Use them."

Do: Stay concise


It's always best to keep your emails short and sweet. Emails are not meant to be as brief as text messages, Smith said, but they are meant to be a form of quick communication. If your email is too wordy, try editing it down to make it more concise.

"Recipients will only read the first line or two before deciding whether to keep or delete [an email]," Smith said. "Be sure you are saying what you need to say sufficiently."


Do: Keep Calm


Never send any email while you are angry or otherwise emotional, Smith advised. Instead, try to calm down and then speak to the person you need to address face to face or over the phone if an in-person meeting is not possible. Doing so could help you avoid an unnecessary altercation, Smith said.

The Don'ts


Don't: Use buzzwords


Acronyms and buzzwords can confuse recipients and make you look unprofessional, said Smith. Stick to writing out full words and use layman's terms to get your point across, although exceptions can be made depending on whom you're emailing. For example, acronyms may be acceptable in the occasional internal email, but any email you send – especially to clients – should be written in language that's easy to understand, Smith said.

Don't: Put anyone down


Emails can be shared quickly and easily, and there are consequences to disparaging others in lasting, digital communications. Avoid embarrassing yourself – or worse, losing your job – by making sure you don't badmouth any colleagues or business partners.

"You never want to say anything bad about someone in an email," Smith said. "It is simply too easy for it to be forwarded and have it end up being read by someone for whom it was not intended."

Don't: Punctuate poorly


When you're writing a professional email, keep the exclamation marks to a minimum. One exclamation mark is too many, Smith said. Keep your punctuation professional, and unless you're friendly with the intended recipient, Smith said you should avoid using emoticons in emails, too.

"Those little blinking icons are for text messages," said Schweitzer. "They are inappropriate and unprofessional in a business email. Emoticons may divert email to a spam filter or junk mailbox."

Don't: Forget the conversation closer


End your email with a closing such as "best," "best regards," "sincerely," "thank you," or another appropriate phrase.

"By letting the recipient know that a response isn't needed, the email cycle doesn't continue on in perpetuity," said Schweitzer.

Other closer options include "no reply necessary," "thank you again," "see you at the meeting" and "please let me know if I may be of further assistance."

How to CC and BCC properly


The carbon copy (CC) and blind carbon copy (BCC) tools are tricky. Sometimes they're useful, but if used improperly, they can be problematic.

When you're using the CC feature, Smith said to keep in mind that less is more. You also need to think about what it is that you're sending and how important it is to others.

"Truly consider who needs to be in the loop on this communication," Smith said. "Do they need this information, or is there something they can add to the conversation?"

Schweitzer added that sometimes people are so proud of their work product that they add a dozen recipients in the CC line and then bask in the limelight of afterglow when everyone comments about how much or how well they are doing. This may be interpreted as slick boasting, a cry for attention or self-centeredness, so keep CCs to only those with a need to know.

The BCC feature allows you to add someone to an email conversation without others knowing, so it can be a little harder to determine when or if it's right to use it. Smith said that there are times when BCC-ing others is a good idea.

  • If you're planning something but not everyone in the conversation knows one another yet, using BCC keeps everyone's emails private until they're ready to share them with the group.
  • If you have been asked to complete a task, when you include the requester via BCC, it lets that person know that the task is in progress.
  • If you are corresponding with a client who is unsatisfied, BCC-ing your boss will ensure that he or she won't be caught by surprise, should the client call.

Smith said it's best to leave those who don't fall into the "need to know" category off an email and reduce the clutter in their inbox. 
And if you're not sure, Smith said the best approach to take is to ask the person you want to CC or BCC if they'd like to be included.



Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com
Image Credit: Shutterstock


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Event Speakers Wanted: 2017 & 2018 Events and Webinar Series


Do you have the ability to inspire and motivate others when you speak? Do you have a passion in helping others succeed in business?  Are you an expert in your industry?

If yes, Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is seeking individuals like you to share your experience and expert knowledge with our community of professionals.  

Throughout the year WNFP provides an opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop and grow their business within our community. One of those opportunities is a chance to get in-front of an audience of peers and become a leading expert in their field.

WNFP is currently accepting applications from local experts to fill speaking opportunities for their 2017 & 2018 Business Lunch & Learn Series and Webinar Series dates. For consideration, please click the button below to submit your request.






ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Never Send A 'Follow-Up' Email: If You Want Answers, Do This Instead



Sending and receiving a follow-up email can be annoying. The sender wishes they did not have to write the email, and the recipient hates to get one. You are either frustrated because you have not gotten an answer or reminded that you have one more thing to do. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Pause before you send that follow up email. There are more impactful ways than saying, “I’m following up” or even worse, “I’m just following up” (the word “just” lessens the importance of your request and undermines your importance). Here are five ways to follow up without saying “I’m following up”:

1. Share an article or update.

Some people see follow-up emails as “pushy.” Identify opportunities to stay top-of-mind without rubbing it in their face and being annoying or brash. For example, share a relevant and timely article that you came across. Or send them an update about a project that impacts their work. Staying top-of-mind can trigger the person to remember to respond to your inquiry.

2. Make your communication personal .

While you may want to follow up about a work related matter, what initiates your follow-up does not have to be about work. People are particularly excited to talk about their personal interests and accomplishments. If you learn through the local paper that your colleague’s daughter recently graduated from college, congratulate them. If you heard they recently returned from vacation, ask about the trip. To reengage the person, first identify what excites them.

But do this only if you are genuine. Do not go fishing for something the person has done in their personal life, and don’t ask about something if you don’t care. Your indifference can come across clearly and make matters worse.

3. Flex your social media skills.

If you emailed the person, consider trying to engage them via a different mode of communication, including social media. Communicating via social media may be more convenient for the other person. If you want answers, make it easy for the other person to communicate with you.

4. Pick up the phone.

If you have a phone, use it. Don’t rely too heavily on email. Calling can be more effective and efficient. Picking up the phone can also avoid misunderstandings. Hearing your voice, with its intonations, can eliminate possible misunderstandings that might lie in the written word.

5. Catch them in person.

If you see the person, leverage the opportunity to connect with them when you are both in the same room. Say hello, ask them how things are going and give the person the chance to respond to your request. Physically seeing you can jog their memory. If the person does not remember that they did not respond to your request, this is your opportunity to ask about what you reached out to them about.

You can follow up without saying, “I’m following up.” The next time you catch yourself writing these words, take a moment and ask yourself whether there is a more impactful way of getting answers and adding value.




Source: https://www.forbes.com
Image Credit: Shutterstock





ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Email Marketing Is Nearly 40 Years Old. How Can We Keep It Thriving?

As email marketing approaches its 40th birthday, here's what marketers can learn about making email communications more relevant and effective.


The first marketing email was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Thuerk sent an email promoting his company to roughly 400 people with an ARPANET address. While this first marketing email generated a huge spike in sales, it also led to what later became known as spam -- unsolicited, unwanted messages sent en masse.

Today, there is a major distinction between deliberate, carefully crafted communications from a brand and haphazardly sent spam emails. This distinction is the result of saturation. As most brands have adopted email as a major communication hub, consumers have started to get hundreds of brand emails per day both from brands they’ve subscribed to and from those they’re never interacted with. This development has prompted marketers to become savvier in the way they use the email channel to communicate with consumers. As such, email has become a central “hub” for all things digital, making it more useful and important than ever. Just think: When was the last time you purchased something online (and even in-store!) without providing an email address?

As consumers do more online, they’re turning to brands to provide information. That’s one reason the number of new email subscribers (those who have subscribed within 90 days) is at an all-time high. According to new research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing, as of the first quarter of 2017, new email subscribers make up 6 percent of a marketer’s database, registering a 30 percent increase over the last three years.

At the same time however, click-to-open (CTO) rates have been on a steady decline, indicating that while marketers are effectively enticing consumers to subscribe to and open their messages, they still struggle to drive engagement beyond the open.

Email marketing is certainly alive and well, but there’s work to be done. To make the most of consumers’ digital hub, smart marketers should consider these best practices:

Offer unique content.

Enticing subject lines are the foundation of effective email campaigns, but marketers need to do more to engage subscribers beyond the open. This means learning more about your audience, and offering them valuable, relevant information that meets their needs at the right time.

Email content shouldn’t always be promotion-heavy or discount-oriented. As long as information is relevant to a brand’s specific audience, marketers should get creative. For example, a brand that recently sold patio furniture to a subscriber online could follow up with emails with ideas for hosting summer parties or recipes for grilling out. But, unique content doesn’t always have to reflect a previous purchase. Loft, for example, sends monthly horoscopes to subscribers and makes clothing recommendations based on a consumer’s zodiac sign.

By delivering content that’s unique and keeps their brand top of mind, email marketers will leave their subscribers wanting more.

Look at the time.

There’s no magic day of the week or time of day to send emails, but analyzing the performance of past email campaigns can help indicate which days drive the best email marketing ROI. In the first quarter, the same Yes Lifecycle Marketing report revealed weekends proved the most effective. While emails sent on Fridays garnered the highest engagement, emails sent on Saturdays boasted the best conversion rates.

Along with timing, it’s also important to get the frequency of email campaigns right. Subscribers will likely opt out if a brand reaches out too little or too often. To best determine what their subscribers prefer, marketers should utilize preference centers that allow users to customize their mailing frequency.

Trigger engagement.

Another strategy marketers can use to improve engagement is triggered emails, which are informed by specific consumer actions or data. GrubHub, for instance, sends food delivery emails triggered by different weather conditions, such as snow or rain, at each subscriber’s location.

This past quarter, Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that triggered email campaigns generated almost five times the click rate, almost double the open rate and almost triple the CTO rate of business as usual campaigns. Despite their excellent performance, triggered emails made up less than 7 percent of total emails sent in Q1, indicating that marketers are not taking full advantage of the potential of triggered campaigns.

Because triggered messages are timely, relevant, informed and actionable, their use is appropriate for almost any type of email marketing program. With each trigger not implemented, marketers are missing a huge opportunity to drive engagement and conversions.

Make offers meaningful.

Consumers’ promotion tabs are full of emails advertising a dollar amount off, a percent off, free shipping or BOGO offers. In fact, we found offer emails make up roughly a third of all marketing emails. And while these messages drive conversions, emails that don’t contain offers generally perform better in terms of engagement.

Brands can improve their overall email program (and ultimately drive more conversions) by making each message more meaningful. By balancing offer emails with lifecycle messages and value-added communications, an offer is perceived as a treat that maximizes purchase opportunities.

Email marketing will soon be over the hill, but it’s certainly aging gracefully. As we blow out the candles on email marketing’s 40th birthday cake, marketers must ask themselves if they’re doing everything they can to maximize the channel’s timeless appeal. 



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: Alexey Boldin | Shutterstock



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

How to Write an Email Subject and Opener That Will Actually Make People Pay Attention

If you want to engage your email reader, be direct, drop that weak vocabulary and use action language.


How many of these emails have you deleted this week? Maybe this one...

Hi John, I hope all is well. Wanted to reach out to you about the useless crap we are selling and that I really don't care about but want to get my quota bonus so I can save up for the new iPhone 17.

So weak. On every level.

College writing courses don't teach you how to write emails so people will read them. Nor do they give lessons on how to improve your email etiquette or show us the way great communicators use email.

Until we get those lessons on what sentences not to write in an email, here are four tips on how email pros get a reader's attention--and keep it--before your reader banishes your email to the waste bin of dashed solicitation dreams.

Write Short and Sweet Email Subject Lines

If you want people to open--and read--your emails, make your subject lines pithy and precise. Email isn't a mystery story with a big reveal at the end. It's called a "subject line" for a reason. For intriguing subject lines, Marketo.com suggests choosing keywords, questions, or numbers to get a reader's attention.

And keep subject lines short. If you write 50 characters or more, your email will end up in the spam folder, according to email marketing firm Emma.

Remove Weak Language: Take Action

Ever write "Hope this email finds you well..."? Well, I immediately delete those emails even if it's from someone I know. Hope is for wussies. Sure, hope helped Obama get elected but he had a different platform with his book, The Audacity of Hope.

When people use phrases such as "I hope things get better," or "I hope things are well" or "We hope (fill in the blank)"--the language is too passive. No action is associated with making the desired outcome happen. Unless you wrote a book about hope like Obama, cut the weak words out and get right to your message.

Make Your Email Personal: Use A First Name

Write the person's first name in the email. If you ever write a cold email with a generic greeting like "Dear Customer," you're either lazy, spam, or both. You probably hate it when someone asks you for something and doesn't use your name, so why are you doing the same thing to them?

If you want people to read past your first salutation, use their first name. Not only is your email less likely to be deleted, you're more likely to get results. The 2013 Experian Email Market Survey has shown that personalized promotional emails have 29 percent higher open rates, 41 percent higher unique click rates, and produce transaction and revenues rates at six times higher than impersonal emails.

Customize Your Intro

Never start off with "Hi Mike," or Hi Susie. Is this how you really talk? At the Santa Barbara speakers bureau BigSpeak, (full disclosure, my company), our staff has done a substantial amount of research and A/B testing over the last two years with email communication. We found the more authentic the tone and the more customized/sincere the introduction, the better the email was received and the higher the response rate.

Instead of writing "Hi Mike" in the intro, write "Mike, hello from rainy Seattle." Start with the recipient's first name. Get their attention right away and add some detail about you and where you are to get the person intrigued.

Want to take it up a notch? Add some more detail to really create the personal connection: Write "Susie, hello from rainy Seattle, envious of the 83° weather you're having there in Los Angeles."




Source: https://www.inc.com
Image Credit: Getty Images



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Habits Are Hard to Break and Checking Email Is No Exception

The majority of Americans say they have more email to deal with than they did three years ago.


Despite the companies out there building tech platforms they claim will make email obsolete, the messaging medium is alive and well -- and occupying an increasing proportion of Americans’ time.

In fact, 54 percent of people report that they have more email to deal with than they did three years ago. That figure is one of many surprising findings from a survey conducted by ReachMail, an email marketing software company. ReachMail surveyed 1,000 Americans who regularly use email for work and found that their increase in email use isn’t limited to the confines of the workday -- people are spending more time on email both inside and outside the office. Only 14 percent report having less email to deal with today.

Only a quarter of respondents say they’ve never sent a work email after 6 p.m. And later in the evening, men are more likely than women to keep emailing. Sixty-two percent of men and 46 percent of women report having sent a work email after 9 p.m.

Even on days off, email creeps in. Seventy-five percent of respondents admit they check their work email on weekends, while 61 percent check it while on vacation.

ReachMail also asked the group whether receiving a work email after work hours and responding to it promptly makes them feel more important within their role. Fifty-five percent of millennials say yes, compared with 31 percent of gen Xers and 18 percent of baby boomers.



To relieve yourself of the constant inbox influx, Entrepreneur Guest Writer David Lavenda suggests limiting email checking to set times during the day. Or better yet, move some conversations away from email. If you can make a phone call or go down the hall to speak with a colleague about a project or issue, consider handling the task that way. Chances are, it’ll get taken care of faster than if it were handled through the delayed back-and-forth of email.

Remember, your email overuse isn’t just a time suck for you -- it can also make your colleagues less productive. Entrepreneur Contributor Toby Nwazor advises using the CC feature sparingly. Only copy people on emails if the content of those emails directly pertains to them, or if they have to know or act upon the information you’re sending.

Some people commit to a rigorous routine of responding to, archiving or delegating emails that allows them to constantly maintain “inbox zero.” Thirty-six percent of those surveyed by ReachMail say they have zero emails in their inbox, and women and millennials adopt this practice more than men, gen Xers and boomers. Of course, this means they’re looking at and dealing with their email multiple times an hour.

Check out the rest of the findings from the survey, which ReachMail has compiled into the infographic below.

click image to enlarge



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: anyaberkut | Getty Images





ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Attend a Business After Hours Networking Event in White Plains, New York



Join Westchester Networking for Professionals for a Business After Hours Networking Event at L.K. Bennett in The Westchester in White Plains, NY with local business professionals. Come out to unwind and explore the fashions of L.K. Bennett, while enjoying complimentary wine, non-alcoholic beverages and lite bites. You will be treated to a 10-15 minute presentation from our guest speaker, who will share advice, information and inspiration with guests.

Open to all professionals! Invite a friend or colleague; and bring plenty of business cards!










ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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5 Essential Elements To Include In Your First Email To New Freelance Prospects


First impressions matter the most in the business world, and freelancing is no exception. You need to make the most of your first email to new prospects, but it can be hard to tell what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

But if you use these 5 essential elements in every pitch, you’ll be well on your way to success. Here they are:

1. A compelling subject line

If your subject line doesn’t attract your prospect’s attention, then none of the rest of your message matters. People get hundreds of emails per day, and if your subject line looks like “just another pitch,” they might not even bother opening the message.

If your freelance prospect has been referred to you, make sure your subject line is specific. Show that you already know about them and their needs, such as:

  • Blogging opportunity for yoursite.com
  • Your social media services quote

If your first email is a flat out cold pitch (meaning there’s no current connection between you and the prospect), then compelling is the way to go. Give them a good reason to open your email:

  • Why you need video content for your site
  • How to improve your traffic with blogging

2. A personalized message

Templates are helpful. They definitely save time when you pitch. But do they help you land more clients? Probably not!

So don’t bother pitching unless you’re going to deliver a personalized message for your client. Show that you understand their needs and position yourself as a solution to the problem.

For example, “I visited yoursite.com today and noticed you didn’t have any graphics with your blog content. Do you need someone to help create post headers and infographics?” 

This shows the prospect that you actually bothered to visit their site and see how you could help them before pitching.

In addition to personalizing your message to their needs, you should also address them personally. In marketing, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. That should work for you as well! Always use their name in the first line and avoid pitching prospects from the “Contact Us” form or the info@theirsite.com email address where possible. Find the business owner’s email address and use it instead.

3. Benefits of working with you

Next, make sure your email focuses on the benefits of working with you. Many freelancers like to show off their skills and expertise in a pitch email. But prospects don’t care that you’re good at your job. They care about how you can help them.

The best way to do this is using case studies of your success. Say you’re a social media manager. You could say something like this:

I ran across the Twitter profile for Your Company Name and noticed you have less than 500 followers. Do you need someone to help improve your reach online? I’ve helped my current clients:

  • Gain 30,000 engaged followers in less than 6 months
  • Increase their web traffic from social media by 25%
  • Get featured on Social Media Today

If you’re new to freelancing and don’t have a lot of personal case studies to back you up, then rely on industry statistics! For example, “Did you know blogging every day can increase your search traffic by up to 50%? You won’t regret hiring me as your new blogger.”



4. Social proof

Especially when you’re cold pitching, you don’t want prospects to just take your word for it that they should work with you. That’s why you should include social proof in every email.

What is social proof? It’s basically evidence that other people know you, work with you, trust you and would recommend you. Landing pages are covered in them. Testimonials, positive reviews, social following and page share counts are all examples of social proof.

But you don’t want to overcrowd your first email to a new freelance prospect so keep your social proof simple. Links to your social pages and website as part of your signature should be enough. If you have a testimonials page on your site, then link straight to it!

5. A call-to-action

You might think it’s clear from your email message what you want a client to do next. You want them to email you back, hire you, and send you a bunch of money. That is much more likely to happen if you actually use a call-to-action.

First, here’s what not to say: If you want, please let me know if you’d be interested in working with me.

What to say: Interested in continuing the conversation? Hit reply or let’s set up a phone call. Here are a few times I’m available…

Instead of giving them an ultimatum (hire me or don’t reply), you’re showing them exactly how they can keep chatting with you about the prospect of working together. The longer you keep them on the hook, the more likely they’ll become a client.


Getting quality freelance clients is a marathon, not a sprint. But if you use these 5 essential elements in every pitch, you’ll definitely find yourself ahead of the competition.



Source: https://www.forbes.com
Image Credit: Shutterstock



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Your Reputation Affects Email Marketing and How to Improve It

A study of Sender Score by Return Path shows a good reputation increases email delivery dramatically.


Reputation is an important thing for any business or industry. This is extra true for email marketing. When consumers open their inbox, they are more likely to open a message from a company or brand they trust. But before the consumer gets a chance to decide, the email has to make it to the inbox, and in this, a different kind of reputation takes over. A marketer's reputation determines if a email is marked as spam or gets delivered. A recent report from Return Path examined how much effect reputation has on email marketing and what business owners can do to keep their scores high.

Using data from Sender Score and Return Path's Reputation Network, the Sender Score Benchmark Report analyzes a sample of more than 4 trillion email messages to investigate and measure the impact of reputation on inbox placement. The report reveals that highly reputable email marketers are far more likely to reach their intended audience on a consistent basis.

Sender Score is a number between 0 and 100 that identifies your sender reputation and shows you how mailbox providers view your IP address. There is no universal way for email providers to grade emails, like a master blacklist, so Sender Score is a good proxy for all the various measurement schemes and lists.

As many would assume, the sites with the best Sender Scores performed better when it came to message deliverability. According to the report, senders scoring 91-100 (the best possible reputation score) saw 92 percent of their messages delivered to the inbox. This figure drops dramatically to 72 percent for senders scoring 81-90. The decline continues to 45 percent for inbox delivery for senders scoring 71-80. For senders scoring 70 or below, only a small fraction of messages were actually delivered, making most of their efforts are in vain. .

"If email doesn't reach the inbox, brands lose the opportunity to connect with customers and ultimately make a sale--so every message counts. But hitting the inbox is harder than ever," said Return Path President George Bilbrey. "That's why monitoring your reputation and maintaining it at the highest level possible is critical to email marketing success."

The study also offers insight into what marketers can do to improve their standings. For example, much of Sender Score depends on complaints. It's important to have as few as possible in order to keep a good standing in the eyes of email platforms. Senders scoring 91-100 had an average complaint rate of just 0.5 percent, according to Return Path's report. By contrast, the complaint rate for senders scoring 81-90 was 3.2 percent, and for senders scoring 71-80 it was eight times higher at 4.0 percent.

Another factor to keep in mind is the quality of a mailing list. Ideally, all the emails on a list should come from people who chose to add their email address. So things that show the list is unreliable can hurt the Sender Score of the marketer. To illustrate, an "unknown user" is an email address that never existed, has been terminated by the mailbox provider, or was abandoned by the mailbox user. Mailbox providers will return a hard bounce code (5xx) indicating when email is sent to an unknown user. According to Return Path, "senders who not only retain unknown users but send to a high percentage of them are perceived by mailbox providers as having poor list hygiene practices, which will impact their sender reputation."

Similar to the unknown emails, "Spam Traps" are email addresses that don't belong to active users and are used to identify both spammers and senders with poor data quality practices. Return Path mentions two types of basic spam traps. "Pristine" spam traps are created solely to capture bad email marketers. These email addresses were never owned by a real person and therefore shouldn't be on any marketer's list. On the other hand, "Recycled" traps are addresses that were once held by a user, but have been abandoned and converted into spam traps. They are still a sign of poor list management, but not as much of a problem as Pristine traps.

In every area of business, reputation matters. It's important for marketers to learn how their email marketing reputation is determined and do what it takes to keep their scores high. To learn more, Return Path's complete Sender Score Benchmark Report can be viewed on their website.

For more recent research that can help marketers connect with audiences, read this article on preventing package theft of online orders.




Source: https://www.inc.com
Image Credit: Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
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Monday, August 7, 2017

5 Tips for Your Next Email Blast


Getting ready to send your next email blast and wondering what you can do to improve your results?

This post was written for you.

Here are five simple tips for your next email blast, or eblast.

1. Don’t think of it as an email blast

If you’re just “blasting” out information sporadically whenever you have the time, you need to reevaluate your email marketing strategy.

Focus on creating a thoughtful email marketing plan that consistently delivers value to your subscribers and your business.

Rather than blasting out information, think of email marketing as a way to interact with your customers and prospects, build relationships, and drive valuable repeat business.

Look for opportunities to engage your subscribers by offering useful tips, providing exclusive discounts, or giving your subscribers the opportunity to share feedback.

2. Get to know your subscribers

Once you’ve taken a second look at your sending strategy, you’ll need to take steps to better understand your subscribers. Who they are, what they’re interested in, and how you can improve your relationship with them.

The more you think about your subscribers, the more you’ll realize the different groups you’re trying to talk to all at once.

While some people on your email list may be lifelong customers, others may be completely new to your business.

Rather than “blasting” all of your contacts with the same information, take the time to figure out how to deliver a more personalized experience to each of your subscribers.

Consider creating separate email lists to better target your different types of contacts. Here are a few examples of how different industries segment their list:
  • A nursery will email its residential customers about new spring plantings and its commercial customers about availability of bulk mulch.
  • A cosmetics boutique will email one coupon to customers who buy makeup and another to those who buy skin-care products.
  • A financial services firm will email tax prep customers a timely IRS filing reminder and another to financial planning clients about rebalancing their portfolios.

3. Make your emails interactive

When you approach emails with an eblast mentality, you risk forgetting that your emails should inspire action and elicit a measurable response.

Make your emails interactive and give your subscribers a clear call to action so they know how to take the next step.

Should they read an article on your website? Purchase your new product? RSVP to your event?

Your email design should be clean and focused — with every element in the message supporting the goal of your message.

4. Provide value

Today, consumers expect more from the businesses they interact with online and off.

With so many brands competing for their attention in all the places they visit every day — whether it’s through TV, email, or social media — consumers have gotten better and better at filtering out messages that aren’t relevant to their needs or interests.

If you want your audience to remain engaged with your content, you need to make sure you’re offering something of value. For some readers, that means offering a special discount or an exclusive promotion to your email list. For others that could mean offering a how-to article from your blog or a piece of content that’s more than just the typical sales pitch.

Make it valuable, make it relevant, and make it something your audience would thank you for.

If you’re not sure what to send, add a Poll to your email and ask your subscribers what information they’re most interested in.


5. Measure your results

If you’re not measuring your results, how could you ever hope to improve on the work you’ve been doing?

One of the biggest benefits of using an email marketing service, like Constant Contact, is it’s easy to track your email marketing results.

Your email marketing reports will tell you exactly how many people are opening your emails, clicking your links, and even sharing your content. They’ll also provide insight into the type of information your audience is most interested in and will provide a benchmark to improve upon every time you hit send.

Whether you’re trying to learn more about your readers, provide valuable content, or increase sales — your email reports can help.

Use these tips to improve your next email blast

Thinking of your email blasts as a powerful marketing tool is important to get you in the right frame of mind.

Develop a plan to communicate with your subscribers effectively, start sending valuable and engaging messages, and measure the impact of your efforts to make sure you’re on the right track

Ready to get started? Log in and put these tips to work today
Not a Constant Contact customer? Start your free 60-day trial today!

Source: https://blogs.constantcontact.com


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!