Thursday, January 11, 2018

How Targeted Email Marketing Can Help Your Business Convert Better

Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your online business. B2B marketers believe that email is their most effective channel for generating revenue. On B2C’s side, ⅘ of retail professionals trust email as their best method of retaining customers.

When done correctly, email marketing can help take your business to the next level. However, doing it correctly is the best “if” among most marketers.

Setting up opt-in forms to acquire subscribers and send all of them the same content is no longer enough. You need to develop a highly-focused strategy that will turn your email subscribers into customers.

Therefore, a targeted email marketing campaign is in order.

What is targeted email marketing?

By definition, this approach to email marketing lets you group subscribers that share the same characteristics into different segments.

At the very core of targeted email marketing is personalization, especially for e-commerce businesses. Instead of sending all your subscribers the same email, segmentation lets you identify what makes a specific group in your email list tick. As a result, you can create content that connects with each segment of your email list to increase the chances of conversion.

An example of a successful targeted email marketing campaign is from eCommerce enterprise Nykka. With the goal of engaging subscribers through personalized emails, it was able to send 29 million emails with an average opt-in rate of 13% and a click-through rate of 8%.

One of the most effective tactics Nykka used for their email marketing is by targeting highly engaged users and sending out emails of similar products from the ones they’ve recently purchased.

Image source: Boomtrain

By sending similar products to engaged customers who bought a particular brand and with an order value of $50, Nykka was able to convert more customers and increased its revenue.

Benefits of targeted email marketing

Targeted email marketing is a powerful way to communicate with your leads and customers and get them to purchase again. Below are some of the benefits as to why this is the case.

Higher conversion rate

As mentioned, you shouldn’t do email marketing without committing to it wholeheartedly. Merely sending email blasts to your subscribers is one of the best ways to get them to unsubscribe.

To make the most out of your email marketing campaign, make sure to understand who your subscribers and customers are. Getting as much information about your customers allows you to humanize them and lets you create emails that they’d likely click on and read than ignore.

By identifying and catering to “high-value segments” in your email list, you can increase conversion rate by 208%.

Higher customer engagement rate

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, your business will crumble. However, it is not enough that you acquire as many customers as you can. You need to get the same customers to buy from you as many times as possible. In fact, it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to keep your currents one. Also, the success rate of selling to previous customers is 60-70% while the chances of making a sale with new clients is at 5%.

These statistics prove that you need to keep your customers engaged with your brand as much as you can. And what better way to grab their attention than through targeted email marketing.

Sending a personalized email increases customer engagement by 74% according to marketers in this study. By segmenting your audience based on their habits and preferences, you can send more meaningful emails to them, which in turn compel them to interact with your brand.

Increase in customer retention

Part of grouping customers for targeted email marketing involves knowing their calculated lifetime value (CLV). It computes how many customers you have, the average dollar for every sale, and other factors. By coming up with your CLV, you can predict the average value of your customers should you keep them around.

Retaining these customers can be done through targeted email marketing. The fact that 80% of businesses look up to email marketing as the way to keep customers means you’re not the only one who shares this belief. Sending customers emails that “speak” to them will generate better reception from them. As a result, it increases the chances of them staying with you as long as you provide them with excellent service.

Personalization and creating hyper-targeted segments for targeted email marketing

For your email marketing strategy to work, you must group subscribers and customers accordingly. However, finding the common denominators among them is easier said than done. Nonetheless, below are steps to make the process much easier for you.

Generate your segments

When slicing your email list, you need to group them accordingly using different segments. Whenever somebody purchases from your site, you need to gain access to their age, gender, buying patterns and more. This personally identifiable information (PII) give you an idea of the kind of customer or subscriber each is so you can send them emails tailor-made to their desires and needs.

Choose your focus segments

Since your goal is to profit from your email list, you must determine which of the segments you should dedicate your attention to the most. Not all segments are created equally. Some contribute to your bottom line much more efficiently than others. Your goal now is to determine which segment will have the greatest effect on your profitability.

Segments that you need need to look into are the following:

Past purchases– Find out the products customers in your email list purchased from your website. You can then upsell related products they might want to buy from your site.

Buying frequency– The more people buy from your site, the more chances that you can make them purchase again. Also, you can reward customers by offering them your loyalty program. If you don’t have one yet, learn how to plan and implement your loyalty program in this HelpScout post.

Seasonal sales– Some of your customers only buy from your site during particular seasons. If you’re selling products with a high demand in the period, i.e., Christmas decorations during the holidays, then you need to segment customers who bought only at that time.

Create content for each

Once you’ve figured out which segments to focus on, it’ll be easier for you to craft emails written specifically for that group of subscribers. When done correctly, you can expect your conversion rates to skyrocket and potentially hike up your sales.

When drafting your email message to each segment, you need to keep these things in mind:

Image Source: Shopify

Maintain consistent tone– You need to stick to your voice when delivering a message to your segments. The tone should embody your brand – it is one of the reasons why they buy from your shop in the first place. Whether you revel in humor like Chubbies as seen in this Black Friday email example or take a more formal approach in your emails like Idealist in another example, it is crucial to use your tone to full effect.

Communicate message – Make sure that your email message is clear and leaves no room for misinterpretation. It doesn’t matter if you draft a long, persuasive copy or write a short one. What’s more important is whether the message gets through to your subscribers.

Provide value– Even if you’re not selling anything online, targeted email marketing is an excellent way to share useful content to your subscribers. You can use email marketing so send exclusive resource guides, curated content, and surveys. For example, SuperOffice regularly sends out white papers to its subscribers to provide them with content that resonates with their needs. While white papers and other resource guides can be used to supply your email list with information simply, these can help B2B companies bring their subscribers down their sales funnel.

There are other more factors that you need to consider when crafting emails for your segments. The approach to every email is different for each group on your list. Nonetheless, the three above should help build the foundation on how you should approach writing your emails.

Testing ideas to further optimize your targeted email campaign

You need to find a way to optimize all your targeted email marketing efforts to produce the best results. You can’t keep doing the same thing for every campaign and expect a different outcome. If you want to improve your campaign, you need to make the necessary changes. And to find out what you need to tweak on your future campaign, you need to scale your progress.

One of the most common ways to measure your email marketing is through A/B testing. By deploying different versions of the same campaign, you can determine the iteration that converted the most. You need to diligently test all your campaign so you can unearth breakthroughs in your email marketing that will increase your conversion rate further.

Assuming that you’re already doing A/B testing, below are other ways on how you can scale your targeted email marketing:

Send time optimization

Instead of sending all the emails to recipients at the same time, you can set the time when they will receive them. Factors such as time zone differences and email habits prevent you from launching a successful campaign without considering the factors.

By customizing the time when your emails will be sent, you can engage more subscribers and maximize the results of your campaign.

You can assign different times for each segment when its recipients will receive the emails. Once you’ve sent the emails, compare the open rate of your current campaign with the old ones. Measure the effectiveness of this approach and see and makes the changes whether the results are positive or not.

Experimental design

As valuable as A/B testing is when it comes to optimizing your targeted email marketing, larger businesses will find it limiting. The process of isolating a single variable for testing may not be enough for companies who want to put multiple variables to the test.

Image source: Bain & Company

The experimental design does exactly that. By increasing the variants being tested in a targeted email campaign, you can expedite the increase of your email campaign’s conversion rate. Experimental design is only effective if you have segmented your list accordingly. From here, you can determine the variants that appeal to a segment and will be controlled throughout the email campaign.

Surveys and micro-surveys

There is information that the data provided by your email platform isn’t showing you. You can gain access to the number of people who opened your emails, clicked on the link, and subscribed to your list, among others. What it doesn’t share with you is why they did.

You may have done something right that caused them to perform such actions. However, some of those answers aren’t as evident as it seems. Most importantly, you need to explain why people didn’t open your emails and unsubscribe from your list.

Therefore, you need to reach out to different segments in your email list. Instead of waiting for them to tell you what’s wrong or what you need to do, take the initiative by sending them a survey form. It should ask questions relevant to their behavior towards your email campaigns or a particular subject. The answers provided here can determine what you need to do with your email strategy and tweak it for the better.

As an example, Mailjet surveyed international differences when it comes to email marketing. The survey provided valuable insights on how people from all walks of the globe approach email marketing.


If you want to succeed with targeted email marketing, then you need to value what email marketing brings to the table. It’s one thing to acknowledge its benefits to your business. It’s another to take action on your email list by segmenting each one of them correctly. Doing the latter helps optimize your email marketing so you can send optimized messages to the right people, which will lead to higher conversions.


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!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

8 Reasons Your Email Marketing is Not Working

According to HubSpot, 86 percent of businesses prefer to use the email format for communication purposes. But not all of them achieve positive results. That’s because there’s more to email marketing than meets the eye. Incorrect email marketing techniques do more harm than good to your business. You need to figure out what you’re doing wrong, and you need to fix the problem immediately. Check out this list of eight common email marketing mistakes you should avoid.

Always Send the Right Number of Emails

Do you send marketing messages to your subscriber every other day? Well, unless you want them to unsubscribe, you might want to stop! Customers do not enjoy the idea of being poked and prodded, just as they hate the idea of being neglected or forgotten. So, you need to toe the line between sending too many emails and too few. Also, pay attention to the frequency of your messages.

A study by Campaign Monitor found that:
Email frequency affects customer unsubscribe and open rates 
Initial email campaigns enjoy the highest open rates 
Subsequent campaigns have higher unsubscribe rates 
Six campaigns later, nearly 50 percent of subscribers open at least one mail and 13 percent click

So, after a while, it all boils down to comparing subsequent email costs with the value of the incremental unique clicks your messages receive. And ideally, marketers should send emails once a week if they want to increase the number of unique clicks without anybody unsubscribing. That’s because 61 percent of buyers enjoy getting promotional emails on a weekly basis. Do not be like other marketers who send emails two or three times in a week.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Most subscribers view emails on their cellphones, which means you have two seconds or less to grab the viewers’ attention immediately. Your subscribers also lose interest if you include too many messages in one mail, use a lot of words in one message, or your email lacks a clear action point. Rather, keep your message short and crisp. Your goal should be to get your message across in the least number of words.

Recognize Your Audience

Figure out what kind of messages your target audience appreciates. Align your message with your readers using the tips below:

Segmentation: After the first few campaigns, begin a survey to separate your audience into groups based on the information they wish to receive, like promotional offers, new products, and more. Use tools like QuestionProand SurveyMonkey to create great surveys. When you send targeted emails, you not only build trust but get more clicks and conversions.

Develop Buyers Personas: Maximize conversion for your email marketing campaigns using comprehensive buyer personas. You can use buyer persona templates for this purpose.

Personalization: According to a Litmus Software report, email personalization is one of the hottest new trends in email marketing. So customize your emails using customer personas, intelligent timing, and behavior triggered messages.

Tip – 64% Americans own a smartphone; look to blend together different channels for more traction on email marketing. Consider integrating your email marketing efforts with SMS. People are available 24X7 on mobile and this is a great way to gain more subscribers. SMS is a great channel to get more leads, so start sending SMS to potential customers, with tiny URLs leading to regular email subscription forms or landing pages. In this way, you will be able to gain lots of new subscribers by way of SMS marketing

Avoid Sending Emails to the Spam Folder

Email spam filters are becoming more advanced. According to Return Path, five percent of emails get stuck in spam folders, while 16 percent get blocked by email providers. So, you need to tweak your emails to avoid pitfalls. 

Follow the tips given below:
Never stuff words like “hurry”, “offer”, “buy”, “free”, and “promo” in your emails 
Reduce the size of bulky emails 
Avoid being labeled as a spammer by testing your email list using a list cleaning service such as NeverBounce 
Never buy email lists 
Try using an email verifying tool like ViolaNorbert 
Balance the text to image ratio 
Avoid adding attachments 
Include only reliable links 
Avoid using exclamation marks and all caps in the subject line

Improve the Subject Lines of Your Email

A study by Experian found that personalized email subject lines increased open rates by 37 percent. Also,according to HubSpot, subject lines that had less than 30 characters enjoyed the highest email open rates. Keep in mind that your messages will not reach your audience if the subject line fails to capture their attention. To ensure your emails perform better, use a subject line analysis tool like Subject Line to figure out what works best for you.

Measure Your Email Marketing Results

Always measure the performance of your email marketing campaign. Keep an eye on stats like:

Total clicks for your email campaign 
Number of unique opens 
Unsubscribe rates 
Conversion percentage 
Number of clicks from unique email formats and content styles 
Every campaign will bring you one step closer to understands which aspects of your email marketing you should improve.

Make Sure Your Emails are Mobile-Friendly

Your emails should load perfectly on different screen sizes. Otherwise, you will never find the success you wish to achieve. You can use a simulator like Previewmyemail or EmailOnAcid to see how your messages appear on various screens. This will help you avoid any mistakes. Also, try to balance the visuals to text ratio for your emails. Keep in mind that 88 percent of smartphone users use their devices to check emails, and that number is only going to increase with time.

Avoid Sending Boring Emails

A dry wall of text is never a good idea! Add personality to your emails or your subscribers will not stay around for long. There’s nothing worse than a bland email. Not only does it make your brand look bad, but it also causes your customers to lose interest in your products or services. So, try to liven up the proceedings by adding some interesting media and content. Adopt some great ideas for improved email copywriting so your campaign finds the success it requires.

Final Thoughts

Like SMS lead generation, a successful email marketing campaign can go a long way in helping your business experience growth. Follow the steps shared in this guide to speed the process of improving email marketing ROIs and conversion rates.

Image Credit: Tweak Your Biz

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!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

10 Tips for a Wildly Successful Email Marketing Campaign

It seems like every time I turn on the radio, there's an ad for an email marketing automation tool. Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Emma, iContact and even Salesforce make it pretty easy for small and mid-size businesses to automate beautiful emails. Or for larger organizations, there are offerings like Marketo, Adobe Marketing Cloud and Eloqua.

But while the ads make it sound like these campaigns write themselves, they don't.

Email marketing is a delicate business. On one hand, you don't want to be an evil spammer. On the other, email is an efficient way to stay in touch with potential and existing customers.

I've been involved in many email campaigns through the years. Here's what I've learned:

1. Choose an email automation tool that fits the size of your marketing team.

Many of the more robust products really need a staff person at the reins. If you can't afford someone in that position, then turn your attention toward simpler software that requires little overhead.

2. Use a third party tool instead of Outlook.

You really need an unsubscribe button to give recipients the opportunity to opt out, and Outlook doesn't have that.

In some countries you might otherwise be breaking the law, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

3. Protect personally identifiable information.

Use strong passwords with the service you use and never sell that information unless your privacy policy explicitly states you can (and even then it's still probably a bad idea).

4. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Boring, dry emails get old fast and people will almost invariably unsubscribe (except your competitors).

Be yourself, be conversational and feel free to poke fun at yourself every now and then. This makes your organization a little more human. And it makes your job more fun.

5. Automate syncing contacts with your CRM.

Loading or syncing your contacts from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool can be labor intensive and can cause technical misfires that end up adding people who have unsubscribed back in, or sending people duplicate emails.

Instead, whenever possible, choose a tool that has a plug-in or integration with existing tools you use at your organization.

6. Use email automation to cross-sell goods and services.

If you've already converted a lead to a customer then you will have the ability to potentially sell them other items in your portfolio.

Don't be too salesy, but do have multiple campaigns - those for prospects at each stage of the sales funnel and those for organizations who are already customers at various maturity levels - so the content is fresh and pertinent to them.

7. Use email automation to communicate more than just a sales pitch.

Don't use email just to hawk products. Send surveys or thought leadership content such as an interesting industry report to stay engaged with customers, as long as you don't do it too often.

8. Be timely.

If it's tax season, for example, tell customers and leads how your product can help them file their return. If it's April, talk about spring cleaning. If they've been a customer for three months, check in to see how they're doing.

9. Have a call to action.

Let's say you sent that email timed to tax season. Have a button with a call to action.

A great way achieve this is to coordinate a blog post and have a "Read more" button, and then a call to action within that post.

The longer you can keep a prospect's or customer's attention, the more likely they are to buy your product and stay with you.

10. Pay attention to when people unsubscribe.

This is simple - stop doing whatever it is you're doing that made them unsubscribe.

Remember, if people are clicking, you're succeeding. If they're not clicking and they're unsubscribing, you're not! Email can be a very powerful tool for interacting with customers - as long as you do it right.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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!

Monday, January 8, 2018

3 Relationships That Will Build the Tribe Every Entrepreneur Deserves

Entrepreneurial success isn't easy to achieve, and it's even harder when you're going it alone. Every entrepreneur needs to build a network of sustaining individuals who fill key relationship roles -- -- and LinkedIn is stepping in to help.

The business-centric social network is preparing to roll out Career Advice, a new service to connect its members with potential mentors. Users set preferences about the advice they'd like to give or receive, and LinkedIn suggests possible partnerships within their networks, schools or regions. Once connected, mentor and mentee can talk using LinkedIn's messaging service.

How valuable are these connections? In a MicroMentor survey of more than 700 participants, entrepreneurs with mentors increased their business revenue by 83 percent; mentorless small businesses gained only 16 percent in the same period.

Life is a team sport, and we cannot succeed alone. Building healthy, supportive relationships is more than a cornerstone of life and dream fulfillment; nourishing ourselves with the words, advice, and caring of others is embedded in humanity's very fabric.

A biological drive to connect

If I asked you to list humanity's basic needs, you likely would include food, water and shelter. But that list would be incomplete without mention of social connections.

Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, has explored the psychological association between trusting social relationships and personal and professional success. Fewer than 5 percent of the 60,000 leaders he examined for his book described themselves as adept at both forming strong relationships and turning in important business results. The takeaway? Many individuals cannot easily bring ideas to market, and so leave innovations to "wither."

I echo Lieberman's sentiments: Building networks and leveraging the talent of a team of gifted persons results in major benefits. When you recognize and celebrate the strengths of others, you uplift people and reduce stress-producing interactions. Instead of seeds of doubt, you plant seeds of energy -- and watch your true potential and greatness evolve.

Who do you need to be in your corner?

Although you might be great at connecting with your team at work, you need to branch out beyond your company or field to find new friends. Think about everyone in your life who plays a pivotal part in helping you get from today to tomorrow. Ideally, you should have each of the following personalities in your corner:

1. The cheerleader. Doesn't everyone deserve to look to the sidelines and see someone rooting just for them? When the chips are down, this person says "Everything's going to be OK" and makes the tough stuff easier. He or she is excited for your achievements and urges you to work hard -- and this verbal encouragement will help you achieve your goals, just as it can help athletes perform better. No better tireless advocate exists than the cheerleader.

One way to attract cheerleader types into your sphere is to show appreciation for others. Comment on your colleagues' positive behaviors and contributions, especially if you've neglected to say anything thus far. Send a handwritten note to a colleague or friend to thank him or her. The more you emit cheerleader vibes, the more likely you'll magnetize these much-needed friends to your own corner.

2. The mentor. When you're dealing with a startup's ups and downs, you need someone you can call who has navigated similar hurdles. Find a person who exhibits the traits you covet, and ask him or her to be your mentor. If you can engage at least once a month to share ideas and get advice, you'll start to see your confidence and business acumen soar. Just ask Bill Gates: He credits his mentor, Warren Buffett, with teaching him to change the way he thinks and with igniting his interest in philanthropy.

Finding and securing a mentor takes both audacity and patience. First, write down the specific expectations you have for a mentoring relationship. Then, seek out mentors from all your in-person and online business and social networks. Ask for an exploratory meeting to discuss forming a formal mentorship relationship. If you can get a commitment, make sure each meeting covers what you both need.

3. The foxhole buddy. The foxhole buddy is someone you can count on to be with you day in and day out. You need a partner who will have your back every day and whose skills complement your own. Consider the partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, co-founders of Apple: Wozniak was the mastermind behind the tech giant's first offerings, while Jobs focused on building the future of the company. Wozniak has said that a combination of technological expertise and business acumen like theirs is key to overall success.

You and your foxhole buddy should be the "yin" to each other's "yang," able to combine forces and make an unstoppable team. Make sure you're both headed toward the same goal and focused on the same future so you can get there together.
Bring the smartest, most optimistic people with real-world experience into your inner circle. The more intentional you are in your relationships, the more your investment in social connections will pay business and spiritual dividends.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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!

Friday, January 5, 2018

I Ask Myself These 3 Questions Before Asking Someone for Help--and It's Taught Me How to Craft Meaningful Relationships

You can't do everything by yourself. It's not feasible, and it certainly isn't any better for you in the long run. Over the years i've built a strong circle of friends who are business sharks in their own right.

These friends help me to improve in areas I am weak, and I offer my two cents when they ask for it. We recommend interesting people to work with, give help when needed, and generally just want to help each other to succeed.

Building these types of relationships that are mutually beneficial is key to the growth of your professional abilities. However not everyone is a good fit. For me it's the people who are easy going and enjoyable to chat with, and it's comfortable to shoot a text over like, "Hey I think you might find so and so as a great fit for your new project, what do you think?"

I was reminded of this last night when a friend reached out to discuss his goals for 2018. He wanted to achieve more notoriety for his efforts in the business world, and thought that I could assist him in achieving that goal. What I appreciated about his approach, was that it wasn't all "me me me" but that he understood that asking for help comes with the responsibility of offering help in return.

He asked how he could help me, and as I had seen this coming a mile away, I was quick to say that I knew he had done over 50 speaking gigs in 2017, and that I was interesting in becoming a better public speaker. I'm of the opinion that we can always learn something new from others.

He and I decided to help each other throughout 2018 to accomplish certain goals that the other excelled at. These are the types of business relationships I admire, the ones that give and take, yet leave you feeling fulfilled at the end of it all. Not only do I get to help someone truly worthy of more publicity, but I get a few lessons along the way.

Take a moment to think of a weakness in your professional persona that could use a boost. You cannot be great at everything, but with the help of others you can very well try to be.

Ask yourself these three questions to put your plan into action:

1. What professional skill do you want to excel at?

2. Who do you know that is very good at this one thing?

3. What help can you offer them in return?

Make it a point to reach out to that person to catch up with them. Don't make it too obvious you're only calling because you want something, that's the worst. I feel that way constantly, and I am no longer too timid to call someone out on it.

Tell them you'd appreciate their help with something, and ask them how you can help them. They may surprise you and ask for help in an area you didn't expect. Take that as a compliment. Remember, mutually beneficial relationships make the world go round.

Don't be parasitic, those are the worst types of friends. If you act in this manner you will find yourself sending texts and emails that people don't reply to. Propose a mutually beneficial relationship to a colleague or friend, and start bettering yourself today.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Here's the Secret to a Successful Marketing or Networking Event

Whether it's a customer meeting, an industry conference or an employee celebration, your business puts on its fair share of events. These events are important but also require considerable time to plan, market and execute, which limits how much effort you can devote to other tasks. It would be great to have an entire team devoted to event planning, but if you don't have the budget for one, you can leverage event technology instead, including tools and event platforms that automate the event management process. Here are some ways that you can more effectively manage your events, no matter how big or small.

1. Event platforms.

Eventbrite is the world's leading event technology platform. Besides providing a framework for hosting all types of events, such as music festivals, conferences, contests, fundraisers, gaming competitions and more, the event technology company provides an increasingly automated and integrated system for creating, promoting and hosting these events.

For example, its whitepaper "5 Essential Eventbrite Extensions That Will Make You More Productive" defines many of the aspects of an event that can now be integrated and automated, including 130 extensions that shorten the time you need to spend on an event. Many of these extensions you may already recognize and use, which makes employing an event platform even easier.

For example, you can use MailChimp from the Eventbrite event platform to send personalized, automated emails to sell event tickets. SurveyMonkey automates the event feedback process to determine what your guests thought of the event and what you might improve. Also, Eventbrite has a Publish to Facebook tool and the ability to integrate with Hootsuite to get the word out about your event. Finally, Zapier extends the automation capabilities within the platform to perform numerous event-related tasks, thus removing the need for, say, any manual data entry.

2. Event planning automation technologies.

Event planning automation is advancing in many ways. Radio-frequency identification(RFID) technology, which has been around for a while, is now becoming a more common tool for automating aspects of an event. For example, the wireless system can be used in attendee wristbands for large-scale events, saving considerable resources and eliminating manual checks. In addition, the stored information can help you enhance the customer experience at the event. Attendees will not need to worry about carrying credit cards or a ticket but can just enjoy the show.

Furthermore, the data from those RFID wristbands can be analyzed through machine learning to deliver new insights that can lead to improved events for you and your audience. Various types of intelligent analytics can now be used to look at every aspect of the event to identify what the audience liked, what delivered the greatest return, and what needs more thought.

3. Event engagement technologies.

Attendee engagement is a vital part of the event management process. It could make the difference in the number of attendees who return to future events you hold, as well as the recommendations -- or complaints -- they share with their network. These technologies offer an incredible range of ways to engage with your eventgoers, such as gamification, social walls, live streaming, second-screen technology, people discovery, content sharing and attendee logistics.

Another area gaining attention is the use of virtual reality and augmented reality as event engagement tools. Many venues are offering virtual reality through Oculus Rift viewers as a way to provide a better vantage point of their space. However, you can also use this technology to engage with your attendees. It provides the option for virtual attendance, extending your pool of attendees beyond those physically present. Virtual reality viewers can potentially enhance any type of gamification at your event as well.

4. Biometrics and sentiment analysis.

Biometrics technology such as facial recognition is helping to strengthen and facilitate event security. To gauge your attendees' response to your event, sentiment technology collects such attendee data as mood and engagement level, in addition to demographic data such as age, gender and ethnicity. Examples include Sightcorp's CrowdStats Audience Analytics system, Visage Technologies' face tracking and analysis technologies and's Face Tracking SDK and Emotion Recognition SDK. The XOX emotional technology platform even provides a sensory wristband that can measure attendee excitement.

A complete event package.

This intriguing list of event technologies illustrates the significant changes that have occurred in event management in recent years. There are many ways to reduce the time you spend managing events while also increasing the overall experiences you create and the insights you can glean from them. Even better is that these event technologies are fairly affordable and have proven to deliver a considerable return on investment.

Image credit: Rawpixel Getty Image

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!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

3 Ways a Seductive Call to Action Can Make Any Sales Email Irresistible

A sales email's subject line gives recipients an initial glimpse of you and your business and, hopefully entices them to open an email. But it's the call to action (CTA) that usually determines whether someone will actually hit "reply" and write you back.

Far too often, people obsess about the former and neglect the latter, ending their email with utterly forgettable lines like, "I look forward to hearing from you" or "Let's chat soon. TTYL."

If you're ending emails with calls to action like that, you're giving your prospective customers a really bad last impression of yourself. You're also failing to provide clear instructions as to the next steps you want to take. In other words, these would-be customers have zero incentive to respond to you.

To avoid leaving these people confused, bored, or just uninterested, take the time to write crystal-clear CTAs that offer something enticing and push them to respond.

Here are three ways to do that: 

1. Offer something of value.

Why should a prospective customer respond to you? It's not because you have a really cool demo to show them. In fact, most people have no interest in hearing about every product feature or watching an "informative" video clip. If you want to get your prospects on the phone, you need to prove they'll get something valuable to them in return for their time.

Think about how a phone call with you will improve their lives. Will it save time or money in the long run? Can it solve an especially painful business problem? Could it offer warning signs about a mission-critical issue, like security? So long as they're offering value that's relevant, any of these tactics can help build up credibility and entice your contact to respond.

2. Keep it short and simple.

It only takes seconds to lose someone's attention in a sales email. That's as true of the end of the message as it is of the opening line.

Your CTA is just a simple request. Bearing that in mind, keep yours focused and brief: "When do you have 10 minutes to discuss ideas for increasing your website traffic?"

Stick to one idea per CTA; nothing will confuse a reader and lose their attention faster than cramming multiple asks into one sentence. And limit these CTAs to one or two sentences, max. When it doubt, shorter is better.

Avoid cramming links, PDFs, or videos into the end of your email. Not only does this make the entire message look cluttered, it's also confusing. A reader won't know how to prioritize all those different asks, and when that happens, there's a high chance this confusion will make them give up on your email altogether.

3. Make sure your ask isn't overwhelming.

One of the reasons CTAs need to be simple is that it's easy to ask a prospect for too much and end up pushing them away. Potential customers receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of emails each week. Most all of those messages ask them to schedule a call, book a meeting, watch a demo. So if you show up in their inbox asking for an unspecified amount of their time, you're only adding another burden to the pile, rather than offering value.

To avoid that, stick to very basic requests. Asking for 10 minutes of your potential customers' time is a non-threatening way to try and engage them. It's easier for people to say "yes" to something when they know they won't be stuck on the phone indefinitely.

And if they agree to this 10-minute call, honor the timeframe and don't spend an hour rambling about every feature your product offers.

Your CTA is really just another way of helping your potential customers take the next step, and another way to build up trust with them. Ultimately, the best salespeople end their emails by showing how much they can help the other person. Make sure your own CTAs reflect that, and you'll start to see response rates that match the open ones.

Image Source: Getty Images

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!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

10 Tips for Improving Customer Experience and Growing Your Business

Optimize Your Website’s User Experience and Boost SEO

Search engines don’t just look at keywords when determining how to rank websites. They also want to call attention to sites that provide great user experiences. So by optimizing the user experience of your website, you can also boost your SEO. 

Supercharge Your Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping can be a powerful way for ecommerce businesses to get their products in front of more online shoppers. You can make that tool even more powerful by investing in advertising options. 

Consider the Benefits of Podcasting

Podcasts have been around for years. But many businesses still overlook them when creating their content marketing strategies. 

Follow These Top Holiday Season Digital Trends

The holiday season offers some major opportunities for businesses to market their products and services online. But you need to keep an eye on the landscape to get the most out of your efforts. 

Learn These Lessons About Social Media and Millennials

Marketing to millennials has become a hot topic for businesses in recent years. But some businesses still have difficulty using social media to connect with this group. 

Overcome These Digital Transformation Challenges

Technology is forcing businesses in all industries to transform. But there are challenges that go along with that. 

Be Intentional with Your Character Count on Twitter

Twitter recently increased its character limit from 140 to 280. But does that mean you should double the length of all your tweets? 

Increase Word of Mouth Referrals with Online Reviews

Online review sites have made a major impact on how consumers choose which companies to do business with. These reviews can lead to tons of word of mouth referrals for businesses. 

Balance Your Small Business Budget with These Key Steps

No matter what trends and strategies you employ for your small business, eventually it all comes down to money. So having a budget is key. 

Run an Effective Business with These HR Management Tips

Managing your team on a daily basis is another essential business chore. So you need to create HR processes that work for your team and your bottom line.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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!