Email Tip – How email personalization increased offline event attendance



Who:

Pacers Running sells running gear and hosts races to promote a running community for their customers.

Challenge

Pacers Running needed to drive participation at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K (GWPC).

Solution

Whereoware designed a hyper-personalized, automated email program for Pacers to drive participation at the GWPC.

By integrating multiple race registration and tracking systems, the personalized emails reference each contact’s relationship with Pacers, place in the race lifecycle (pre-registration, post-registration, and race lead-up), and more.

See all the unique datapoints Pacers used to personalize their audience’s experience and boost attendance at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K.

Web Tip – Why We Choose Episerver: Commerce and Content

Whereoware clients, prospects, and industry friends frequently ask about our technology partners, and why we chose them.

Episerver

Today, we’re giving a shout out to our CMS and commerce vendor pal Episerver.

See how Episerver played a part in bringing Whereoware’s vision to fruition, and why the experts are taking notice.

Seeking: A Personalization Partner

As a website design and development agency, Whereoware is always on the lookout for technology partners, platforms, applications, and tools to expand our solutions and capabilities. We have a diverse client base, so we employ a wide-breadth of technical talent and cross-platform expertise, rather than limiting ourselves to just one platform or tool.

Episerver Icons

In 2013, Whereoware was seeking a CMS partner to help bring our vision to life: combining automation, analytics, and personalization to build authentic relationships online.

As brands upped their online game with personalized services and offers (COUGH Amazon), all consumers would expect these hyper-relevant and personalized online experiences. (My shopping experience is so simple on Amazon – why can’t it be this easy everywhere?)

We wanted to bridge the experience gap – helping clients create the same simple, pleasant, personal, and genuine interactions online they achieved offline (and vice versa).

We had extensive expertise in automation and personalization, but were seeking a simple and intuitive, cloud-based platform that’d let us deliver a holistic, personalized user experience from email, mobile, and digital ads, to the e-commerce and content-based websites we built and designed for clients.

Enter Episerver

Whereoware ultimately partnered with Episerver, a global provider of a single platform to smartly manage digital content, commerce, and marketing in the cloud.

Episerver balances commerce and content in a flexible, cloud-based platform. They’re uniquely well-versed in B2B and B2C e-commerce business requirements, and those of Service companies.

Episerver is flexible and agile enough to integrate with our automation platforms and other third-party tools. We also loved that it was exceedingly simple to use; letting marketers drag and drop products or messaging to create targeted product pages, or develop hyper-personal visitor groups, in minutes.

We’ve had considerable success using Episerver to build personalized e-commerce and CMS websites for clients. Check out a sample site from Mud Pie.

In the News

We’re not the only ones praising Episerver recently. Check out what the experts are saying in some recent press below:

2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. The Gartner Magic Quadrant report evaluates 21 providers of digital commerce platforms to provide context and clarity to organizations considering vendors and platforms. Gartner named Episerver a “Challenger” and awarded top marks for the critical capabilities of Agility, Customer Experience, Time to Productivity, and Total Cost of Ownership. Read the full report here.

The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2017. This report evaluates web content management systems providers based on their current offering, strategy, and market presence. Episerver was included as one of the 15 most significant web content management systems, and categorized as a Leader for its core web CMS extensibility and architecture, testing, and personalization functionality. Read the full report here.

Episerver Graphs

Want More Info on Episerver and Whereoware?

Whereoware is a longstanding Episerver partner. In recent years, we’ve won Episerver’s 2016 North American Ascender of the Year award, 2015 Commerce Site of the Year award, and 2014 Best Digital Marketing Site award. See examples of our work here.

Want to talk about Episerver and Whereoware’s combined capabilities? Reach out to us.

Behind the Glasses – Erin

Each month, we interview one of our awesome Whereoware employees. For June, we get to know Erin Alemdar, our Digital Marketing Manager, a little better.

Erin-Alemdar

WHO:

What’s your name? Erin Alemdar (fun fact: no middle name)
Job title: Digital Marketing Manager

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Anything Spicy
Hidden talents: Finding the bright side / silver lining
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: A cartoon version of myself
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: A boat to get me back to the mainland

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Instagram
iOS or Android: iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Nerd
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

Being around people who get just as nerd-ily excited as I do about tech and marketing. There’s also a really robust learning environment here. We’re in a rapidly changing and highly competitive field, so making training and development a priority is a must!

Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

When you’re developing a content piece, website, or email, your audience sometimes morphs into faceless figures, instead of the real, everyday people you’re trying to reach.



To engage real people, you need to tailor your messages and incentives to be relevant to their individual needs, address their concerns, demonstrate your value, and persuade them to convert (all at an appropriate time in their purchase cycle and without being too aggressive or annoying).

Luckily, developing user personas – mapping out fictional characters representing your core audience – helps you engage individuals with the right approach, timing, and messaging to move them down the conversion path. (Our Persona Worksheet makes mapping our personas easy! Get it below.)

User personas work

User personas help you personalize interactions with your customers + personalization simply works:
Personalization-Stats-Updated

How to build actionable user personas

Identify characteristics that offer insight about customers and factors driving their decision making. The goal is to group similar customer representations together, until you’re left with a manageable number of personas, representing about 80% of your audience (3-5, depending on your organization’s size).

When developing user personas, you must collect actionable information that tells you something about the person, so you can respond to their behavior with persuasive, impactful marketing.

Remember, you’re trying to understand intangibles like motivations, concerns, turn-offs, and position in the buyer lifecycle, as well as tangibles like location, age, and education level, to paint a clear and divisive picture of the different types of people making up your core audience. You must also plan how you’ll identify these personas in your various channels (website, email, mobile push, etc.) to deliver the right content.

Continue reading Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

Email Tip – Father’s Day Emails We Love

Father’s Day is just a few short weeks away and we have started to receive numerous emails in anticipation of the holiday.

Check out some of our favorite below and get some gift ideas while you read!

Gift Guides

Gift guides make it easy to cut through the clutter on a website and see what stand out items the retailer thinks are perfect for a holiday. We like that Kiehl’s shows both individual and kits that would make great gifts for dad. And we like the top 5 gifts guide from Mark & Graham – especially the S-curve layout of the email!

Segmentation

Is your dad the creative type? Or is he more of a sports guy? Emails that segment gift suggestions to a certain “type” of guy help you to determine where to focus your interest. Is your dude on the cusp or more than one type? Mix and match gifts from different segments for a personalized gift! We like how Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom Rack approached this email style.

Promotions and Deals

Who doesn’t love a sale? Cabela’s and Artifact Uprising sent emails highlighting the deals and site-wide sales they have. This is especially great if you need to buy multiple gifts for the men in your life celebrating Father’s Day. Paper Culture sent an email about a specific product they are running a special on that they think would make a great Father’s Day gift.

Gift Cards

Gift cards give you a lot of flexibility in your gift giving. Services like Stitch Fix offer gift cards that can be emailed, printed, or mailed to the recipient to fit your needs. Ahead of the game? Get a physical gift card gift boxed and sent to the recipient or sent to you to give to them in person. Looking for a list minute gift? Email them the gift card with the retrieval code.

SEO Tip – Create Topic Clusters for Better SEO

Google Strikes Again

We survived Mobilegeddon in 2015 and the most recent resurgence of Mobilegeddon 2.0, but recently Google has again changed the way their algorithms are scanning content and producing search results.

Enter, topic clusters. A topic cluster is a collection of content that cover smaller themes within an overarching topic. Though topic clusters is not a new concept, Google’s algorithm changes, are making them increasingly important.

Google search algorithms now understand phrases and topics not just individual keywords. For example, previously you might search for “content marketing” hoping to get an article explaining what is content marketing; where today you would search “what is content marketing?” and you would hope the first search result would answer your question exactly.

How Will This Work?

Think of topic clusters as umbrellas that house individual sub-topics and keywords. If we continue with content marketing as the topic cluster some of the other ideas that fall under this would be: blogging, case studies, lead generation, etc.
If you have content pages around the keywords such as “5 Tips to the Perfect Blog Post” or “Get the Leads You Want – Lead Generation Tips”, then those pages would link back a main page that explains what content marketing is and how it breaks down. That main page is called a pillar page.

Still confused? Check out the image below from HubSpot that shows the visual relationship of pages on your website with the pillar pages:

Cluster Structure

How Can I Get Started?

First, take a breath. Then comb through the pages and content on your website and start to make a list of the keywords and topics of each page. Once you can see what you have written about see if there are any overarching topics of themes that can be your cluster topics. Next, determine if you have adequate pillar pages for those cluster topics or if you need to create new content to anchor the other smaller sub-topics.

Remember, the pillar pages should answer any overarching topic question (what is it, how can I use it, etc), but also makes sense for other pages to link back to this page.

Why Should I bother?

While you may initially think about making this change just for the sake of search result pages, it’s also a good exercise to review what content you have and what could be added. If you see you have a lot of similar content, see what page could be a pillar page to link it all together; or conversely if you have a lot of random topics on your website, think about creating more pillar pages to root the content under a few umbrellas.

Not only will it boost your search engine standings, it will provide more relevant and helpful content for your readers and those people are why you created the content in the first place.

Webinar: Getting Started with SEO

Getting Started with SEO

Are you playing hard to get? If someone searches for your company on Google, does it return on the first page of search results? If you answered no, then join our free webinar to learn how to get started with SEO!

SAVE YOUR SPOT

Why should I care about SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a collection of best practices to help popular search engines (namely, Google) understand and boost your webpage to the top of search results. This is vital -Hubspot found that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

Having your website appear on the first page of a Google search increases your company’s visibility on the web and the likelihood that browsers find and visit your website.

We recently hosted a local workshop on SEO and, due to its high success rate, decided to open it up as a webinar. It doesn’t matter what your experience level is; anyone can learn to use SEO.

SAVE YOUR SPOT

You will learn:
• How search engines work
• The basics of search engine optimization
• Usability and content ideas
• Useful SEO tools

When: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT

Marketing Tip – Relational Tables 101

Are you an e-commerce company that sells hundreds of products in various iterations and your customers come back to order from you time and time again? Are you pulling your hair out trying to house all the data you have on your customers into one database? Stop. Relational databases and tables will become your new best friend.

Ali Nazam

We welcome Digital Marketing Manager, Ali Nazam to explain what a relational database is and why as an e-commerce marketer you should use them.

Continue reading Marketing Tip – Relational Tables 101

2017 Whereoware Awards and Recognition

We’ve been slow to toot our own horn on some recent award wins and recognition. Today, we’re making up for lost time and updating you on a few exciting happenings at Whereoware.

via GIPHY

Best B2B Agency at the Ace Awards

Whereoware Wins Ace Awards Best B2B AgencyWe’re proud to announce that Whereoware won a Ragan & PR Daily 2016 Ace Awards in the Best B2B/Business Services Agency category.

Announced in May 2017, the Ace Awards honor excellence in communications and marketing.

See all the winners here.

2017 Washington Executive Management Award, SmartCEO Magazine

Whereoware’s VP of Finance & Administration Frank Policastro won a SmartCEO Magazine 2017 Washington Executive Management Award!

IBM Beacon Award Finalist

Whereoware was also a finalist for a 2017 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution (we won this award in 2015).

The IBM Beacon Award recognizes an omni-channel solution developed for client Mud Pie, that combines a personalized, data-driven website, email marketing, digital advertising, and a mobile app.

See an example of Whereoware’s Mud Pie work here.

Whereoware is a 2017 IBM Beacon Award Finalist

Episerver’s North American Ascender of the Year award for 2016

Whereoware Wins Episerver Ascender Partner of The Year sign 250Whereoware won Episerver’s Ascender of the Year award for North America, as part of Episerver’s 2016 North America and Asia Pacific (APAC) Partner Awards, announced in March 2017.

As an Episerver Partner, Whereoware increased net new business 154%, one of the highest growth rates of any North American partner in 2016, and increased revenue over 685% year-over-year.

Whereoware also certified nine developers in Episerver over the past year and contributed to competitive lead generation goals. Read more about it here.

Congratulations to all the Winners

It’s been an exciting couple of months around here.

It’s gratifying to see our hard work recognized among some serious top-tech-talent. Congratulations to all the other winners!

Behind the glasses – Nicolas

Each month, we interview one of our awesome Whereoware employees. For May, we get to know Nicolas Sam, our Junior Front End Developer, a little better.

Whereoware Junior Front End Developer Nicolas Sam

WHO:

What’s your name? Nicolas Sam
Job title: Junior Front End Developer

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Steak
Hidden talents: I am a classically-trained pianist.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Will Smith.
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: A phone, to get off the desert island!
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: A hatchet! Portable, not too heavy, easy to clean, and maintain.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter
iOS or Android: Android
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Nerd
Star Wars or Star Trek? Eh. The Matrix?

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

Definitely the people. I feel like I have great support, and everyone wants to succeed and help others.