Setting Up Your Email Campaigns for 2019 Success

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Whether you’re aiming for an ambitious career goal or vowing to eat more vegetables, the new year means new opportunities to better ourselves — and the same holds true for your email campaigns.

Here are five resolutions to set your email campaigns up for success.

1. Clean up your lists
January is the perfect time to step up your list hygiene. Segmenting your unengaged contacts is key to improving deliverability.

Review your open rates and identify contacts who haven’t opened your last 20+ sends. The length of time they’ve been away will determine your next steps. Has it been 90 days or less? Run them through a reengagement campaign, making sure to scale back your normal email cadence. On the other hand, if they’ve gone two years with no opens, it’s time to unsubscribe them for good.

2. Review your automated marketing campaigns
Automated campaigns like abandoned cart emails, browse abandonment emails, and post-purchase series are easy to “set and forget.” However, even your best-performing campaigns have a shelf life — typically around 12 to 18 months.

The new year is a great opportunity to assess these campaigns and run through a checklist of the basics. Are your email templates mobile-optimized? Could the subject lines or cadence of your emails improve? Have you personalized your content wherever possible? Your campaigns may just need a refresh to start generating results.

3. Test new optimization strategies
Just like your own resolutions, small changes to your email messages often have the biggest impact. Plan to A/B test at least one form of optimization — this may include the subject line, send time, content, or personalization. Depending on the campaign’s goals, focus on one metric to track, such as: – read more

5 Ways Email Marketing Can Help Your SEO Efforts

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None of the channels in a digital marketing strategy should exist in a vacuum.

They’re all connected in some way, and using those connections to your advantage can help you maximize your results on each.

Unfortunately, many marketers’ approach to this is simply aiming for consistent branding and messaging on each channel. And while it is important to create cohesive campaigns, that’s only the beginning.

Still, the potential impact each channel can have on another isn’t always immediately obvious — like with email and SEO.

But that doesn’t mean the connection isn’t there.

Keep reading to learn five ways email marketing can impact SEO, and how you can use each of those impacts to improve your SEO campaign results. – Read more

Hey, email marketers — Take a load off and embrace automation

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As email marketers continue to find themselves busier than ever with increasing responsibilities and competing priorities, efficiency is becoming a lifeline for many of them.

More and more, automation is proving to be the email marketer’s knight in shining armor. It’s an efficient and systematic way of sending promotional and transactional emails without having to actually press a “send” button. That’s almost like setting up automatic payments for credit cards and your mountain of bills.

Sending automated emails ensures you’re not missing fleeting opportunities, provides more relevant and personalized content to your users and — most importantly — saves you heaps of time.

Email automation, thy name is efficiency
Email automation goes by many names: nurture, drip, triggered messages and so on. Whatever term you use to define marketing automation, one thing is clear: It’s about doing more with less and driving outcomes and long-term strategies to improve customer lifetime value (LTV).

In the case of email, we think of this as a series of emails that are launched based on a discrete or unique set of circumstances that could be initiated by a customer or a marketer to a specific segment that exhibits a set of similar characteristics, making them ideal for this type of automated campaign.

Currently, most email automation is achieved through artificial intelligence (AI) tools, yet surprisingly, a survey by GetResponse found that only 5 percent of email marketers considered themselves experts at it. From GetResponse: – Read More

In The Age Of Social Media, Should You Bother With E-Newsletters?

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Many marketers view e-newsletters as a kind of interesting relic or an outmoded stepping stone between newspapers and social media. They may pull their writers away from the weekly or monthly newsletter and focus them instead on social media. After all, you can post that same information online and reach your audience instantly, right? However, when used correctly, e-newsletters can still be a valuable marketing tool, especially in the age of social media.

In an almost mythic way, the greatest strength of social media marketing is also its greatest weakness. Social media is instant communication, but it is also fleeting. Your carefully written post about the latest development in your industry may reach thousands of people in a second. But by the next second, it is drowned out by a dozen other posts. – Read

Why Is Email The Most Effective Digital Marketing Technique?

email-1Did you know email marketing is 40x more effective than Facebook marketing, and you get 6x more engagement that with Twitter?

Working out where to focus your digital marketing can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack and yet since starting using email for marketing 10 years ago, I’ve sent over 1 million emails, using MailChimp, Active Campaign and now InfusionSoft, with great results. – Read

 

Top 5 Marketing Automation Tools 2017

Marketing automation platforms are designed to manage and automate repetitive tasks for marketing professionals and organisations. As a hospitality business owner or marketing employee, we know that correctly structured marketing plans require forethought and a long term strategy. Much of this can be planned, scheduled and actioned using a marketing automation software tool.

Common capabilities include management of social media and scheduled posts, email marketing, digital adverts, lead generation tools and insightful analytical reporting systems.

Below are five of LeadDigital’s preferred marketing automation software platforms in 2017:

Pardot by Salesforce | Pardot.com

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Pardot is the popular B2B marketing platform brought to us from the huge CRM provider Salesforce. Pardot focuses on the lead generation side of marketing automation, and is structured towards creating more meaningful conversations with existing and new clients. Going beyond features, if you’re a Salesforce CRM user, this platform is ideal given its air-tight integration with the CRM.

Pro: All the features you could need. Tight integration with Salesforce.

Con: Doesn’t play well with others, few additional integrations. At the higher price end for a marketing automation platform (standard £800/mo).

ActiveCampaign | Activecampaign.com

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ActiveCampaign are a much more affordable marketing automation provider, perfect for small hotels or events venues. They may be less known than some other platforms, but it’s very hard to critique AC. They have a huge feature collection including the ability to create automated workflows and the various integration possibilities.

Pro: Cost effective, from around £15/mo for their basic package. Lots of features and a strong focus on email marketing.

Con: Some areas of the tool feel outdated, such as the email builder, when compared to alternatives available.

Act-On | Act-on.com

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Act-on believe their niche comes in the form of “outstanding experiences for customers“. Much of their marketing automation capabilities are around lead nurturing, and their support for clients is very highly rated. We would like to see some improvements to their reporting features, but otherwise this is a strong, easy to use contender.

Pro: Flexible platform, built for marketing teams not developers/engineers.

Con: Reporting is somewhat limited, some tools can be quite basic.

Marketo | uk.Marketo.com

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If you’re somewhere between the small hotel and enterprise-sized corporate events company, then Marketo could be the right tool for you. It’s not for the faint hearted, but is very intuitive and offers solutions that go much deeper than many of its competitors. We particularly like how current they are, regularly developing new services to match the digital landscape.

Pro: An industry leader, huge range of solutions, always updating services.

Con: In the higher price bracket, considered to have limited reporting & analytics abilities.

HubSpot | Hubspot.com/Marketing

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HubSpot is very features rich. It’s a platform that can do basically everything, and in our opinion, does it all to an incredibly high standard. Although they do offer HubSpot Marketing as a separate platform, when combined with their CRM and Sales tools this software becomes an all-in-one tool for complete business management.

Pro: Easy to use, designed for small businesses, lots of support and educational learning facilities available. Always trying to help clients get the most from the platform.

Con: Expensive compared to alternatives. Some features only available at additional costs, and often there are lower cost software options that provide the same functionality.

Conclusion

Whilst we only name five platforms here, there are various other tools available online today which can serve the same or similar marketing automation tasks. The important thing to consider is what your hospitality business actually needs, what you will actually use, and choosing a platform that fits.

At LeadDigital we have experience working with a wide range of marketing automation software tools for various clients, so understand the best ways to get more from the software.

 

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Top 5 Email Marketing Services in 2017

We are often asked about the various email software platforms available today and with so many options out there, how should you decide which is best for your hotel or venue? In this blog I’m going to give an overview of LeadDigital’s Top 5 recommended services for Email Marketing.

It’s easy to be tempted by all singing, all dancing services like Infusionsoft (discussed below), but these are often overcomplicated, and require a significant investment. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t try to run before you can walk”. In this case it’s better to start simple and select software based on your needs today. It’s easy to upgrade as your requirements become more sophisticated, but it’s very difficult to go backwards!

So without further ado, lets get started:

AWeber

“All The Tools You Need To Send Emails The Right Way.”

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Established back in ’98, AWeber is one of the original email marketing platforms and is considered a great starter option for people new to email. It’s very simple, offering most of the core features a small to medium hospitality business would need, without overloading you with too many tools.

Pros: All the basics are covered, simple reporting and functionality and it offers a useful WordPress plugin for quick website sign-up forms.

Cons: The subscriber importing capabilities are quite limited, no ability to build landing pages, overall it can be quite limiting for more established businesses.

Cost: Today you can get a 30-day free trial followed by $19 (£15) per month for up-to 500 subscribers. Standard pricing then peaks $149 (£120) per month for 10,000-25,000.


MailChimp

“Send Better Email. Sell More Stuff”

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If you want to design awesome looking emails without needing a web designer on-hand, MailChimp is the tool for you!

A fan favourite for many, MailChimp is a popular option for most email marketers given its powerful functionality and user friendly interface. Whether you’re adding new subscribers, creating new email campaigns or looking for advanced automated email options, MailChimp is a solid all rounder.

Pros: Integrates with hundreds of web services including e-commerce platforms, huge collection of templates to design from, quick to get started.

Cons: MailChimp use a unique language for features & processes, they only allow for one opt-in form per list, reporting whilst informative can be less comprehensive than competitors unless managed by a MailChimp expert.

Cost: Up-to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month you can sign up for free, however this only gives access to the most basic features. To access all functions including autoresponders, pricing starts from £8 per month for <500 subscribers, then £65/mo+ for over 10,000 subscribers.


Drip

“Quick And Easy Email Marketing Automation Software”

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Marketing automation is the ultimate dream of most email marketers. The ability to take insights you have on customers and turn them into personalised & automated outreach campaigns, makes for the perfect recipe to succeed in email marketing.

Drip take that one step further by building their entire platform around the premise of drip marketing. Intelligent workflows allow users to automate the entire customer journey, with sophisticated rules based on interactions helping you get the most engagement from each subscriber.

Pros: Specialists in drip marketing, advanced visual workflows & event triggers, automate everything, access to marketing automation normally reserved for only high end expensive email software.

Cons: Still quite a new software platform so constantly seeing changes, integrations are less available and can be complicated.

Cost: Free for 100 subscribers, or get 2 months free when buying an annual package. £39.50/mo for up-to 2,500 subscribers, £120/mo+ for 10,000 subscribers.


ConvertKit

“Email Marketing For Professional Bloggers”

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Like MailChimp, ConvertKit offer many of the essentials needed for hotels, venues, restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Its advantage over competitors however, is that it uses ‘tags’ rather than ‘lists’. List based systems store subscribers (email addresses) on a per list basis, such as ticket buyers or competition A entries. If one subscriber is in both lists (tickets & competition), you could get charged twice!

Alternatively a ‘tag’ based system like ConvertKit looks at all subscribers together as one. Using customisable event tags, segments are then created and personalised emails can be sent to a select audience only, without the risk of double charging!

Pros: Tag based software, easy to use, simple to create sign up forms, offers a basic landing page builder.

Cons: Reported information and email testing functions can be quite limited and the email composer is somewhat basic.

Cost: 0-1,000 subscribers is £23 per month, £64/mo for up-to 5,000 then custom price for above 5k subscribers.


Infusionsoft

“Build Better Connections With Leads And Customers”

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If your subscriber numbers are above 50,000, you’ve got everything you can out of platforms like MailChimp and need to step it up a notch, it’s probably time to look at Infusionsoft.

This is a marketing automation, CRM and sales platform all rolled into one, and is big, powerful and perfect for complete email marketing dominance! It has every feature you could imagine and more, but does also demand a significant investment in time and money so can’t be taken lightly. Its abilities extend way beyond just email marketing, so you’d likely see this service become part of every aspect of your hospitality company.

Pros: Ultimate tool for much more than just email.

Cons: Too expensive for most business owners, very complex.

Costs: £160/mo for 2,500 subscribers plus you have to buy a kickstart package from £804 up. Thats not including the cost of training and additional staffing this system would require.

In Summary

There is a huge range of email marketing services to choose from in 2017, and this list only scratches the surface, with other services like ‘ActiveCampaign’, ‘GetResponse’, ‘Constant Contact’, ‘Ontraport’ etc… equally deserving of mention.

So how do you choose? Stop. Down tools and just ask yourself one question – what do I actually want to achieve with email marketing? Be specific.

The right software is vital, but even more so is the right email marketing strategy. This is the point when you should talk to LeadDigital. We have over 20 years experience in email marketing and only serve businesses within the hospitality sector – with our team creating bespoke email strategies designed to increase bookings and sell more events!

 

Want to Speak with an Email Marketing Expert?

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