Tag Archives: Guest post

Marketing automation tip: making your emails work

MA-MarleeThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Online Marketing Associates, Marlee Newman. Marlee is well-versed on our “email effectiveness” checklist. Here she uses that checklist to analyze three emails.

Think about the last time you ate at The Cheesecake Factory, or other favorite restaurant. With so many menu options, how do you choose? Most likely you are going to order the item that not only appeals to you specifically and is eye-catching, but is also easy to understand. Same goes for emails!

Starting with your subject line through the email body down to your footer, communicate value to your audience. Be specific about your offer, the benefits your reader will receive, and what you want the reader to do next. Who knows, maybe your next email will be as fulfilling as that cookies n’ cream cheesecake slice!

Effective email examples

MA---Nieman-Marcus-emailFirst up is Nieman Marcus with the subject line “Up to 65% OFF! Midday Dash”. Continue reading.

Silverpop how-to: setting up a birthday email program

faithThis week we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Online Marketing Managers, Faith Albers. Faith is Silverpop Certified and played an integral role in setting up the PaperStyle.com campaign that won Silverpop’s Crawl, Walk Run Programs competition. Here, she shows you the easiest way to set up a birthday campaign – even if you’re not collecting birth dates!

Hopefully you already have a “Birthday” field in your database. If you haven’t been collecting birthdays, don’t worry – it’s not too late! Start collecting birthdays on your email sign up form or email preferences form. You can always send an email asking the subscriber to share their birthday. Here’s an example from B2C Retailer, Mud Pie:

Mud Pie birthday email

Setting up the actual birthday campaign takes 4 easy steps: Continue reading.

Silverpop how-to: using web tracking to drive dynamic content

michelleThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Web Marketing Managers, Michelle Graves. Michelle is Silverpop Certified and works with some of our most high-profile clients. Here, she walks us through using website behavior to create relevant personalized emails.

Nowadays, there’s no excuse for one-size-fits all email marketing. There are tools that make it easy to identify online user behavior right down to the topic or page they visited. With this type of information at your fingertips, it’d be silly NOT to target emails towards customer interests!

Think about this concept in your own life: would you rather a store employee help you find clothes in your size and style, or just haphazardly throw all sorts of garments in your cart? This is a light-hearted example, but it’s representative of a larger pattern. Automated, targeted messages have become all the rage for one crucial reason: your customers like them. Continue reading

Silverpop how-to: setting up a basic preferences center

danThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Online Marketing Managers, Dan Caro. Dan is Silverpop Certified and is in charge of designing and optimizing email campaigns for many Whereoware clients. Here, he discusses the ins and outs of the Silverpop preferences center feature, why you should set one up for yourself, and how to go about doing just that! Let’s take a closer look.

If you’re new to the Silverpop platform, you may not know what a “preferences center” is. That’s okay! It’s simply a feature that allows your recipients to opt in and out of content lists based on their email preferences.

We’ve found that this is a great way to build trust and rapport with your recipients. Providing options demonstrates that you respect your customers’ choices; you acknowledge that they may not want to receive everything you are sending, and they appreciate that you are being mindful and respectful of their wishes. It’s a win-win situation! Continue reading

Web tip: an insider’s look at B2B marketing integration

caitlinThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Online Marketing Managers, Caitlin Kelly. Caitlin played an integral role in setting up the Popware and A Mere Truffle websites, demo environments that show in real-time how Silverpop can be used to integrate behavioral marketing directly into your website. Here, she gives you a behind the scenes look at Popware. Let’s take a closer look…

What is behavioral marketing?

The idea behind behavioral marketing is simple: you can take bits of data gleaned from customer interaction, and use this to personalize all future contact. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

This type of marketing engages customers on an individual level. Doing so can really help bump up conversions and other important metrics; our client Paper Style, for example, saw a 330% increase in revenue per mailing with the addition of a wedding-targeted behavioral marketing email campaign! (See our free case study for more information on the Paper Style campaign.) Continue reading

Silverpop how-to: using Contact Insight

Peter_BHG_Sept13This week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Web Marketing Managers, Peter Bergen. Peter is a Certified Salesforce Administrator and is also Silverpop Certified. Here, he walks us through Silverpop’s Contact Insight feature, sharing what it does, why it works, and what a difference it can make for your marketing.

If you’re just getting started with Silverpop, then you might not be aware of all of the neat features that are built right into the platform. One of those features that I think everyone takes for granted is Contact Insight.

What makes this so important? The Contact Insight function provides rich information on your contacts’ online behaviors, including the emails they’ve opened, the links they’ve clicked, the pages on your website they’ve visited, and much more.

The Contact Insight page, which is available out-of-the-box for all records in all of your Engage databases, can be accessed through the Engage platform, sent in lead alerts, and integrated with your lead/contact detail pages in your Salesforce environment. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics: Continue reading

Silverpop how-to: combining A/B tests with Send Time Optimization

jaredThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Web Marketing Managers, Jared Ruppert. Jared is Silverpop Certified and in charge of designing and optimizing email campaigns for many Whereoware clients. Here, he explains the benefits of Silverpop’s A/B testing and Send Time Optimization (STO) features…and shares a nifty little trick for making the two work together!

Want to increase open rates and ultimately boost your bottom line? Silverpop’s A/B testing and Send Time Optimization (STO) features are simple to use and can drastically improve your email performance. Silverpop’s A/B testing feature makes it easy to test things like “from name” and subject lines. The platform also offers automated Send Time Optimization (STO), which allows you to send your message to contacts at the precise day and time they are most likely to check messages (identified based on past behavior). Continue reading

Web tip: our 5 favorite e-commerce websites

rochelleThis week, we have a guest post from Whereoware’s Creative Lead + Front End Developer, Rochelle Pennington. Rochelle has been a web designer and front end developer for 5+ years, and has helped the Whereoware team design and develop more than 50 websites for our clients.  Over the years, she’s picked up a few tricks of the trade, and she knows how to spot a good design when she sees it. Here, Rochelle provides a round-up of some of her favorite e-commerce websites:

Barneys1. Barneys New York (http://www.barneys.com)

Barneys.com features a beautiful, bold product detail page design that online shoppers don’t normally get to see. Tall product images are no longer off-limits; Barneys flaunts its large photography, and includes highly relevant upsell content around the main product.

Hiding non-essential content
, like the product description and specs, removes clutter and allows consumers to focus on the important stuff (like pictures and the “buy” button!). They keep the important information up above the fold, making it super easy to purchase.

2. United Pixelworkers
(http://www.unitedpixelworkers.com)

I love the UnitedPixelworkers.com website because it proves that an e-commerce site can be light-weight and responsive. Since it is content-light and contains only necessary product information, the site is able to load quickly, minimizing wait time for customers. In addition, the site’s advanced design allows for it to be responsive to customers’ own devices.

Rather than directing mobile or tablet visitors to a mobile site, the United Pixelworkers site is designed in such a way that the same exact website can adapt to all different screen sizes. The site’s layout is not dependent on the device, but rather on screen size, with all page content able to shift to fit in smaller screens. In terms of information, the website provides only what is actually necessary – cost, shipping, in-stock status, a description, and an image. This is true on both the mobile and desktop sites. This kind of minimalism makes it easy for customers to navigate, find what they want, and ultimately purchase.

UPworkers

United Pixelworkers also does something that we don’t see much of on other e-commerce sites: product availability (in-stock, out of stock, running low) is graphically represented, with a nifty bar for each product variation. The bar is shaded to represent the remaining inventory; if a product is out of stock, the words “out of stock” appear in the bar rather than shading.This achieves two ends: giving this kind of information to the customer early in their shopping experience sets expectations, and decreases the feeling of frustration they’d potentially get after adding an out-of-stock product to the cart. In addition, seeing a very limited amount left in stock may be the final impetus a customer needs to make a purchase. Pretty clever!

JCrew3. J.Crew
(http://www.jcrew.com)

I find myself shopping on J.Crew’s website…a lot. Besides having great products, one of the reasons I’m so loyal to them is because they make it easy for me to spend my money – not so great on my wallet, but awesome for them!

J.Crew offers PayPal as an alternate secure payment option, which is fantastic for customers who are wary about giving away credit card information. In addition to being secure, it’s also fast and convenient because customers aren’t asked to enter their billing information again and again.

Another thing J.Crew does well is to provide a clean website design (minimizing distractions) and well-organized products. Viewing all products within a parent category would normally return an endless sea of content, but J.Crew does a great job visually breaking up product thumbnails into their respective subcategories.

4. Sugarpova
(http://www.sugarpova.com)

Sugarpova.com is the youngest site on my list, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Sugarpova’s product detail pages have many things in common with Barneys’, so you can probably guess that I’m a big fan. Just as with Barneys, simple page layouts, large imagery, and minimal copy let products shine.

Sugarpova

The minimalistic design is carried over to the shopping cart and checkout pages, featuring an easy one-page checkout process that keeps a running tab of all information the customer has entered in the right-hand column. This website just makes online shopping a breeze.

WestElm5. West Elm
(http://www.westelm.com)

West Elm is another one of my favorite retailers. If you step inside of one of their brick & mortar stores, you’ll find yourself in an insanely detailed showroom, and it’s not hard to imagine a few (or all!) of their products inside your home.

WestElm2West Elm stores achieve this by showing you their products in their natural environment (i.e., your living room and bedroom). They do the same thing online, too.On their website, they offer up alternate product images* almost anywhere they can, including on the home page, category landing pages, in the quick view, and even on thumbnail rollovers. Being able to view product in context can make purchasing online less intimidating, so why not allow customers to do so at every opportunity?

While eye candy encourages customers to stick around, providing faceted search filters will help them make easier buying decisions. Faceted search is when the user performs a simple search using a keyword or two, then narrows down their search results by selecting the appropriate checkboxes or drop downs (sorting by price points, color, material, etc).

*Side note: including high-quality, professionally directed photography is an absolute must. Your website may be the only opportunity you have to make a good impression on potential (and returning) customers, so I highly recommend investing in exceptional silhouetted and/or environmental photography.

There are many factors I didn’t get to list that make a successful e-commerce website, but I’ll save those for next time!

What is your favorite e-commerce website?  Why?

Google Analytics tip: 3 features to pay attention to in 2013

teyaThis week, we have a guest post from Whereoware’s Director of Marketing, Teya Flick. In addition to managing marketing for Whereoware itself, Teya has a wide breadth of experience in strategy, email marketing, SEO, PPC, + other activities dependent on Google Analytics reporting. Here, she shares some of the key Google Analytics features you should be paying attention to in 2013:

1. Enhanced link attribution for In-Page Analytics. We’ve written about In-Page Analytics before, and still consider it a valuable tool (for a refresher, check out Google Analytics tip: using in-page analytics). For the first time, we could see the distribution of clicks on a page-by-page basis, rather than in spreadsheet form. One of the limitations of this service, however, is that it was previously only able to report click-through information by URL.This meant that even if “Bestsellers” was linked as a button at the top of the page, a text link to the side, and a text link at the bottom, the statistics for these links would be reported as the same percentage, even if only one of the locations was really drawing clicks.

With Enhanced Link Attribution, however, you can view statistics based on where a link is located on a page, rather than simply where it leads. This means that you can now tell whether a Contact Us link at the top of the page is receiving 3x the clicks as a link to the same URL positioned at the bottom of the page – information well worth knowing as you design pages or tweak campaigns. Enhanced Link Attribution can also report data for buttons or navigation triggered by JavaScript code – a sorely needed upgrade! Enabling the feature requires the quick addition of 2 lines to your tracking code + some tinkering with Google Analytics settings, but the results are well worth it. This feature is definitely something you should be implementing in 2013.
Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: A/B testing with the pros

This week, we have a guest post from Whereoware Web Marketing Manager, Peter Bergen. Recently, Peter’s A/B test for Paragon won Honorable Mention in the B2B Email Blast Templates category during Which Test Won’s 2012 Email Test Awards. This test was also added to the 2012 Email Tests Hall of Fame. Here, he breaks down his experiment, and shares secrets to making A/B tests work for you.

A/B Test: Paragon

Purpose: The goal of this test was to see which approach to a new product introduction is better – a “creative” approach or a “standard” approach.

What does this mean?

Two different designs were prepared:

Paragon-AB-Test (1)

Continue reading.