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Comments Off on What Does the Future Hold for Email and Social Marketing?

What Does the Future Hold for Email and Social Marketing?

2013 has arrived, and with it comes thoughts and ideas of how email and social marketing will evolve. While we can’t predict what will become the next big social media channel this year, we can give you some tips to help you stay ahead of the game.

Mobile Design – This may be the most important thing to consider for your email marketing this year. According to Litmus, 36% of emails are opened using a mobile device/tablet, and they predict it’ll be 50% by year’s end. Hence, mobile design is something you definitely want to take this into account when crafting your emails, and it’s not as hard as you may think. With a few minor tweaks, your email will render clearly for readers on a variety of devices or platforms, just follow these tips:

  • Keep the design slim – Around 500-600 pixels
  • Use call-to-action buttons
  • Use a simple, single column layout
  • Include links that’re large enough to “click” i.e., touch
  • Have a text-only email back up
  • Give your email the “touch screen” test (is it easy to navigate with your finger?)
  • Ensure your email renders/downloads properly on an iPhone

Social ROI – Remember the tag line from the movie, Field of Dreams? “If you build it, he will come.” It also applies to social media, as well as baseball fields. Once social media was built, people came in droves (hint: So get on it, if you’re not already!). And, social media no longer pertains to a certain age group or demographic; everyone’s on it. The key now, is to keep people continuously engaged with your business on social, and to do so, you simply need to keep at it! Here are a few engagement-inducing ideas:

  • Content is king – Share links, post videos and/or images (According to Facebook, posts that include a photo generate 120% more engagement).
  • Add value – Share useful information and tips, even if you’re sharing from other sources.
  • Interact and engage – Don’t just post and leave your page unattended – Answer questions, make comments, and ask questions.
  • Post on a regular basis – This could be multiple times a day, or several times a week depending on your customers and the content available.
  • For more social media engagement related posts, read: “Want Better Facebook Engagement? Stop What You’re Doing” and/or “What Motivates People to ‘Like’ or ‘Unlike’ Brands on Facebook“

You can actually track ROI on social media; you just need to set up some key tools. Facebook Insights is a great start for monitoring progress on your Facebook Page. Google Analytics (GA) will also track where people come from when they visit your website, plus it tracks activity on your social accounts. And, if you set up goals in GA, you can track conversions from social interactions. If you’re sharing links from your site, or sharing from another, using not only shortens long URLs, it also gives you tracking information about the people clicking on your links. Even if you aren’t tracking, don’t overlook the power of social engagement. SocialBakers has been tracking exactly this and find that more engagement on social creates more reach, more click throughs, and ultimately more conversion. So keep sharing great info, and it’ll pay off in the end!

Read the full article…

Comments Off on Two ways to ensure that your entire email is rendered by default in the iPhone & iPad

Two ways to ensure that your entire email is rendered by default in the iPhone & iPad

By Michelle Klann

While using the native email clients for the iPhone and iPad, we noticed that in approximately 10-15% of our test emails, the reader only displayed a small segment of the original email. When this happens, it renders the loaded portion of the email with a button at the bottom which reads: “Download remaining XX bytes.” Often times the button appears below the fold, especially in landscape view, making it easy to miss.

Most of the time, when the button is touched the remainder of the email is rendered. In other instances, we’ve

seen it load a second portion of the email with no option for downloading the remainder. When the device is flipped from portrait to landscape the entire message shows, when it is flipped back the entire message remains – which leads us to believe that this is an iOS glitch.

In this particular example, the only thing that is loaded from the beginning is the header image and the button appears well below the fold. Also, the email doesn’t fully download after tapping the button. If you flip the phone to landscape view, it looks ok. If you flip it back, everything still looks ok.

Another thing to point out is that most of the original email was not loaded from the beginning. Therefore there’s no content being displayed just under the subject line in the inbox:

This might cause people to avoid opening the email in the first place. Yikes!

If you’d like to see this in action on the iPad as well, here’s the original HTML version.

So what’s the fix?

  1. Make sure that you have a minimum of 1,019 characters before your closing head tag (</head>) including spaces and carriage returns.If you don’t have any need for more styles nor a style block, try inserting several lines of empty spaces.

    Strange right? This fixed the problem in each of the emails we tested. Oddly enough, I think 1,024 characters totals a single KB – so this might actually be caused by some type of iOS buffering issue.

  2. If your email is below 10k, you can try removing all carriage returns and double spaces. We’ve seen instances where the download button no longer showed up if the email was at or below 7k. This option would by my last resort.

Here are some of the notes we took while testing just in case the above suggestions do not work for you:

  1. The issue occurs with the exact same emails on the iPhone and iPad which leads us to the conclusion that it’s an iOS thing, we tested in iOS4 and iOS5.
  2. It’s not sender specific – this eliminates issues with sender reputation.
  3. It’s not column specific.
  4. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with nested tables.
  5. Some tests that are over 25K render just fine yet others that are less than 10K cause the issue.
  6. The amount that is left to download is not consistent in each of the emails that triggered the issue.
  7. There’s no clear reason why it gets cut off and from where within the email.
  8. Doesn’t seem to be due to meta tags, DOCTYPE, nor media queries. Note: When tinkering with these variables, you might create/resolve the issue because you are switching up the total number of characters before the closing head tag.
  9. It has nothing to do with the internet service (ie: being temporarily interrupted).
  10. There doesn’t appear to be any caching – if an email is opened, then downloaded, the same issue will happen if the exact same email is sent again.
  11. The date/time settings on each of my devices are correct.
  12. I have seen people say that it happens when receiving mail on an Exchange account, I am using a POP3 account and I’m still seeing the issue.
  13. It doesn’t seem to be effected by images, I was able to recreate the issue with all images removed.
  14. It is not caused by html entities (&nbsp).
  15. I tried replacing all the content with Latin and that still didn’t fix it – that rules out content.
  16. It’s not caused by empty table cells.
  17. It’s not a special character – I tried cutting/pasting into Notepad and then I resent the email.

For more info and visual examples, please see the original article…

Comments Off on 8 Tips to Make Your Email Marketing Copy Shine

8 Tips to Make Your Email Marketing Copy Shine

by Janine Popick, CEO and founder of VerticalResponse

If you’re like me and in the business of marketing, you spend a great portion of your day writing. Writing emails, proposals, blog posts, guest articles … If you’ve got email marketing in the mix, that’s even more writing. How do you keep things interesting and “skim-able” for your email recipients so that they can quickly see what you want them to see, and still motivate them enough to take an action? Here are eight tips to help your email marketing copy shine and hopefully make the writing process a little easier.

1. Write using benefits, not features. Features are the things the product has. The iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch touch screen, 5 megapixel camera, 16 GB flash drive. I’m thinking great, but what does that do for me? Well, that means the iPhone 4 lets me easily take and store high-quality, print-ready photos – these are the benefits. As a marketer, you need to answer the recipient’s question, “What’s it going to do for me?” “How is it going to make my life easier?” Many businesses get caught up writing about themselves and all the nifty things they offer rather than how those nifty things will help their customers. Don’t make that mistake.

2. Sprinkle in subheads. Attracting the attention of your readers using subheads is a tried-and-true tactic. It breaks up your thoughts and gets to the heart of what you’re selling or promoting quickly. It lets the reader skim through the email yet still get the message you want to convey.

3. Keep it tight. You need to get to your point fast in small, succinct paragraphs. When was the last time you read an entire press release or news article in an email? No one likes to scroll and scroll and scroll (maybe unless they’re shopping for shoes!); it’s difficult and time-consuming. Include links off the page to more information so that if a reader does want more details, they can find it quickly and easily.

4. Use bullets. Bullets break up points or benefits so that, again, your readers can scan copy without losing any key takeaways. Bullets are great for email and Web writing in general.

Tips 5-8 are even more valuable. Get them in the full blog post.