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Stories, thoughts, and data on reaching more customers with effective content and email marketing strategies.

email marketing strategy
Email Marketing

Email Marketing Strategy: 6 Steps for Flawless Execution

new email addresses
Email Marketing

Free Techniques for Finding New Email Addresses

It’s often more effective to send a direct email than to use a website form when reaching out to new contacts. However, trawling through websites or social media to find a contact’s email address can be time consuming. Fortunately, there are faster (yet still free) ways for how to find email addresses.

Google

Beyond web searches, Google’s got your back when it comes to finding new emails. Enter the name of the person you need to contact and their email address in quotation marks then, presto!

You’ll have near instant results available in the metadata, so you won’t even need to click in to find the email address. Keep in mind that for common names like John Smith, you may need some additional data, such as location or the name of the business they work for.

WHOIS

WHOIS provides easy access to publicly available data that’s recorded when registering domain names. A simple search of your target’s domain name can find email addresses along with other contact details such as address and contact numbers.

Target Websites

People often hide their personal details in the footers, author images, or sidebar link of their website. These usually require website visitors to sign up on their contact forms. A simple way to get around this and find an email address is to type a few instructions directly into the address bar of your web browser.

[WebsiteName]/contact, [WebsiteName]/contact-me, and [WebsiteName]/about are all good ways to get directly to the information you need. Additionally, they cut the time it takes to find email addresses.

new email addresses

Take a Guess

So, you know the basic format of an email address thanks to the contact details on the website. However, you still don’t have the email address of the exact person you need to get in contact with.

How to find their email address might be easier than you think. Take an educated guess and construct their email address from that. Common email structures for business email addresses include:

  • [First name]@domainname.com
  • [First name].[Last name]@domainname.com
  • [First name][Last name]@domainname.com
  • [First initial].[LastName]@domainname.com

The address of a contact’s colleague will help you make a better guess for constructing an email address. Additionally, an email verification service can check an email before you send to ensure it exists.

Prospecting Services

So you’ve tried the above, plus a couple of your own methods to find email addresses, and you’re still coming up with nothing. Outreach services like Ninja Outreach and AeroLeads.com can crawl through internet information on your behalf to find email addresses so you don’t have to. Whilst these services generally do charge, most offer a free trial period so you can check them out before putting your hand in your pocket.

Other Methods

A list of tips on how to find email addresses would be incomplete if it didn’t include mention of your own email lists. You might not have the contact details of the exact person you need to reach out to, but someone from the same business may have signed up to your email database. Take a moment to run a quick search within your own records first.

Social media – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – can also be utilized as a source as people fill out their details when creating their pages.

content marketing
Uncategorized

What’s Better for a Product Launch: Evergreen Content vs. One-off Content

Both evergreen and one-off content benefit a social media marketing strategy. One-off or topical content provides instant exposure and a sense of urgency or timeliness for your audience. However, its usefulness and influence is short-lived. Evergreen content, on the other hand, has a long shelf-life that gives value to both old and new readers.

So which should you choose when launching your product?

Create a Buzz Around Your Launch

One-off content is designed to be newsworthy. As a result, it provides a high rate of shares in a short period of time. This also means it suffers from a high decay rate.

This type of content is linked to an event or season and is likely to be viewed by lots of people, dropping off just as quickly as it started. Anyone who comes across this content outside of the relevant period will think they have outdated information and move on. This is the case even if it contains some useful gems that are evergreen. That said, one-off content can leverage attention for your business or product if you are quick enough to link it to specific events or include an opinion on trending issues.

Provide Longevity for Your Content and Products

Evergreen content is the kind that is useful to your audience for months or even years. It is informative and beneficial to the reader because it is not tied to a specific event or date. These types of articles will gather backlinks over time, helping not only the article but also your overall SEO.

content marketing

On the other hand, it is difficult to create a sense of urgency or scarcity with evergreen content. When launching a new product, encouraging potential customers to act immediately is difficult. If it’s not tied to a specific season or issue, they are less motivated.

Evergreen or One-off Content – Which to Use?

Both evergreen and one-off content have their place in a marketer’s toolkit. Which you use will depend on the type of promotion you are planning and your longer term marketing strategy and goals. These three areas should be considered when making your decision about creating one-off or evergreen content.

  1.       Workload – One-off content means putting in a lot of work before the launch, and then getting to enjoy a lull as the campaign plays out. Evergreen content requires a sustained approach that is spread out to create a consistent feed of useful articles.
  2.       Financial peaks and troughs – One-off content will create a buzz and a sense of urgency that translates to high sales whilst the content is fresh. After this, though, sales will drop off as the content deteriorates. Evergreen content usually garners lower per-month sales that are spread over a longer period. To combat this, an effective email sequence and sales funnel can generate more sales with evergreen content.
  3.       Momentum – A sense of urgency and relevance is easier to create with one-off content. The purchasing window is smaller so your audience is more likely to take action quickly. Evergreen content is about continual promotion and keeping your product relevant to your buyer demographic year-round. Additional pushes with evergreen content to create pockets of urgency and increase momentum can be created with a little thought.

Regardless of which type of content strategy you pursue, a new product should be lauded across your brand’s online presence: newsletter, social media, website, etc. To ensure everyone on your email list is getting the news, be sure to use an email cleaning tool. Reducing bounce rates and reaching customers is the best way to let them know about your new product, and giving them a chance to purchase the item directly through email.

email marketing
Email Marketing

5 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2017

Email marketing is still one of the most effective means of reaching customers. Much of this is due to the high volume of emails internet users send and receive on a daily basis – an average of 121 emails per day for an office worker.

However, some email campaigns are stronger than others. If you want to design a successful marketing strategy in 2017, keep the following email marketing best practices in mind:

Make Your Emails Interactive

The content of your emails should have the same impact on customers as the content of your website. This means sending emails that are more interactive. The nature of this feature will vary depending on your industry, but the general goal is to boost engagement by giving your customers something to actually do when they open your email.

For example, a retailer can send their customers an email with images of various new products they’re launching. Instead of simply displaying multiple images for each product, they could include a slideshow. When users click on the slideshow, the picture changes to show a new product. This approach accomplishes the same goal, with the added benefit of boosting user engagement.

Craft Effective Subject Lines

Approximately 64% of people decide whether they’ll open an email based on the subject line. Clearly, this is a crucial element of any email marketing campaign.

The nature of your business will affect what type of subject line attracts customers. The traits of a subject line that works for a bar geared toward Millennials probably won’t be as effective for an apparel company targeting senior citizens.

That said, there are some general ways you can improve your subject lines:

  • Use emotionally exciting words (e.g. “End Today!” or “5 Hours only!”)
  • Include emoticons and/or symbols
  • Ask your customers a question, or simply tease the content of the email

Your goal is to identify what your customers want, and how you can make it clear to them that by opening your email, they’ll get it.

email marketing

Validate Your Emails

What’s the point of an email marketing strategy if your emails don’t reach the people they’re intended for? Invalid emails not only affect your marketing campaign’s effectiveness, but also pose a risk to your sender reputation. Whenever an email doesn’t reach the inbox of a recipient, it negatively impacts your reputation with your email service provider, and can even lead to you being locked out from their platform.

Use an email cleaning tool to verify the emails on your list and ensure they reach inboxes. Doing so will provide insurance that your email marketing campaign is the most effective it can be, while also avoiding the risk of damaging your sender reputation.

Include a Call to Action

Your emails need to do more than simply remind customers that you exist. In each email you send, include at least one call to action. You can ask customers to purchase a product, direct them to your website to learn more about a free offer, ask them to share a piece of content on social media, etc.

Don’t assume the mere presence of a call to action is enough, though. The copy preceding it will determine whether customers actually take the action you’re encouraging.  Incentivize customers without giving away too much information. Use of color or bolded fonts will also help ensure a CTA stands out.

Stick to Your Brand

Customers don’t want generic emails that feel like they were automatically generated and mass distributed. Your copy should be dynamic, personal, and genuine.

More importantly, it should reflect your brand. If your company tries to depict itself as fun, for example, use exclamation marks, make enthusiastic statements, and choose words that align with that quality. If your brand is more serious and professional, make sure the copy and aesthetic has a more reserved, technical tone.

Email marketing best practices can apply to any kind of business. The most important factors include getting people to open the email then take action, curating engaging and interactive content, staying on-brand, and validating emails so people actually receive them.

email ROI
Email Marketing

How to Build an ROI Positive Email Campaign

Email marketing is one of the best tools in a marketer’s arsenal for building an ROI positive email campaign. It provides a targeted, direct way to reach your audience that allows you to build a relationship with new leads and nurture old customers. An effective email campaign can result in ROI of $44 per $1 spent. It’s considered by 80% of retail professionals to be the main driver of conversions and retention, versus 44% claiming the same for social media tactics.

An email campaign provides an avenue for fast and effective, permission-based marketing. The audience you are contacting has usually signed up and expressed interest. An email is 40 times more effective for gaining new customers than Facebook or Twitter, and nurtured leads make larger purchases than others. So how do you get involved and build your own ROI positive email campaign?

Email Campaign Do’s

Create a compelling subject line – When you include an incentive in your subject line, open rates increase to as much as 50%. Subject lines should give the recipient some idea of what to expect from your email. Keep to the point, but still entice them to open it. Try to keep these lines to 30-50 characters.

Use automation where possible – Automated campaigns can generate 4x the amount of revenue and 18x more profits. Opt ins, auto-responses, and each step of the buyer’s journey through your campaign can be automated. Email campaigns are about engaging with your prospects and customers, so ensure that each one succeeds in doing this by segmenting. Offer relevant content, discounts, recommendations or special offers to each type of audience.

Clean your email list – Any successful email campaign requires the email to first land in your recipients’ inboxes. Avoid missing out on potential customers and failing to reach people by verifying your email list using a list cleaning service. Additionally, valid email addresses ensure your sender reputation remains intact as you continue to grow and expand your email marketing strategy.

Keep it simple – Don’t overload your emails with numerous tasks or excessive design elements. Instead, keep it simple with just one or two CTAs and a simple background. A few easy-to-read fonts to add to that means you’ll have a higher chance of success. Emails with just a single CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

email ROI

Email Campaign Don’ts

Create an email more than 500 to 650 pixels wide – Around 54% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. As soon as your email campaign uses more than 650 pixels in width people will have to scroll horizontally to read it all. You can count on people simply not reading the email if this is the case. Format your email and content appropriately so as to avoid this mishap. Additionally, make sure everything is mobile-optimized.

Hide your Call to Action – You want your CTA to be followed, and to do that it must be seen. Keep it above the fold line and repeat it three times throughout your email. Also, keep it within the reader’s ‘eye path’. Most of us scan our correspondence before reading. Finallly, keep an ‘F’ formation in mind when placing CTAs.

Standardize content – Remember that email campaigns can build a relationship with customers old and new. Good email marketers personalize their messages. Use the recipient’s name and send them communications that are relevant to the stage of their journey. Avoid emails that appear mass-produced and are void of customization. Personalized emails improve click through rates by 41% and open rates by 29%.

Forget to track, measure, and test – One of the most appealing parts of an email campaign is your ability to track each email. Is it deleted, opened, read? Did the CTA get followed? All of this information helps you measure your success as you go. Along the way test new ideas and tweak your email campaign to get the most from it.

An email campaign is certainly worth your while: 58% of businesses agree and are therefore increasing their email marketing budgets. Stick to the dos, avoid the don’ts and you’ll be building your own effective, ROI positive email campaign in no time.

Video camera
Uncategorized

How to Launch Your Video Marketing Campaign

By the end of this year, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video content. Customers want more video and businesses are responding with enough to fulfill their appetite. To reach more customers and connect with more prospects across a range of platforms, you should be launching video marketing campaigns.

As with most advertising endeavors, it’s easier said than done. Small budgets, little experience, and limited expertise could all be reasons for you to be holding back on creating your own video advertising campaign. That’s why we’ve pulled together some basic steps to get you started quickly and easily.

Figure Out What You Want to Say

Just as you would with all your other marketing strategies, work with your customer data. Who they are, what they want, and what their pain points are should all be considered when planning to advertise with video. This will help you create videos for each step of the buyer funnel. It will also let you speak to customers in a way that they will understand, remember, and share.

Videos for marketing should bring your product to life, humanize your brand, educate your audience, and build trust in your offer. Consider using customer-created content, sharing behind-the-scenes peeks, and saying thanks as ideas for your first video campaigns.

Video camera

Decide Who Will Produce Your Video

Producing video marketing content doesn’t require a multimillion dollar budget. Quality is important, but so is authenticity that resonates with your customer. There are really only two options available for video production. Each depends on what you are trying to achieve and the size of your budget.

  1. You or your team develop the videos internally. Get yourself a great HD-quality camera and spend some time researching how to create great video marketing campaigns. You might also want to consider taking a short course that will give you additional insights. Alternately, you can hire a videographer to join your team.
  2. Hire an outside agency. This can often be the more expensive option, but remember you’ll get what you pay for. Working with professionals can be the answer for an impactful, one-off video advertisement. However, they could be an expensive, longer-term option.

Keep it Short and Shareable

One of the greatest advantages with video ads is that people love to share them, thereby doing a large part of your marketing work for you. Remember Google’s ad from 2015? It was the most shared ad of the whole year because it was short and sentimental.

Although the ultimate aim of your video campaign is to sell more, you must avoid being too self-promotional – it will turn viewers off. Try to educate, entertain, and inspire. Stick to the point, and remember what your customers want and how they want it. Provide that in an engaging video format and you’ll reap the rewards.

Promote, Measure, and Analyze

Once you’ve created your video marketing content, you need to release it. YouTube and your own website are obvious places, but Facebook and other social media platforms you are already active on should also be used. Additionally, utilize your email list and disperse the content through there. As long as you verify your email list, subscribers will receive your video and can then share it among their other contacts.

Measuring the performance of your video will provide you with the information you need to build a library of useful videos that convert viewers to customers. You should be tracking views, how they are watched, how long they are watched for, and drop-off rates. This data will help you understand what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to build on successes and reap the rewards of an effective video marketing campaign.

sending email
Email Marketing

List Building Strategies to Increase Your Prospect List 3x

More than 2.5 billion people worldwide use email, with a predicted increase to 2.8 billion by next year. Email marketing and list building remains one of the best ways to engage with customers, enhance loyalty, and upsell products. The facts are clear: 72% of customers say their preferred method of communication with brands is via email, while 61% say they like receiving weekly promotional emails.

While other marketing strategies can be effective, employing an email list building strategy is an efficient way to initiate the conversion funnel. Unfortunately, email lists deplete by around 22.5% every year as email addresses change and free email accounts are abandoned. That’s why anyone wishing to continue growing their business must consider how to build email lists on a year-round basis.

#1 – Create new leads from your existing email list:

Including a prompt for customers to share your email with friends, family, and colleagues will encourage them to do some of your marketing for you. This is especially true when you send engaging and relevant content their way. A simple, text-based link to ‘Share with Friends’, a subscribe CTA, or social sharing buttons will increase the reach and build your email list with no additional work on your end.

email marketing

#2 – Give something away:

This is a common strategy for businesses in any vertical. There are basically two list building options here for encouraging people to sign up:

  1. Offer a discount code or coupon for your product or service.
  2. Give away a free piece of content.

Anything you give away should be attractive to your target customer. E-books, videos, or articles are all giveaways that have proven appealing to consumers. An attractive offer contributes immensely to building your email list quickly.

#3 – Include an Email Signup Form in Your Website Navigation:

It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses miss this opportunity for how to build email lists. Interested visitors to your site click the navigation menu to learn more about your business. Along with including an email signup form on each of your landing pages, inserting a direct link into your menu is an easy way to entice people to opt in for your newsletter without them having to search too hard for it.

#4 – Email List Popup Forms:

When done right, popups can be a great source for email list building. A word of warning, though: don’t use popups that lock your entire page or Google will penalize your site. Smaller popup boxes work just as well and will be more effective for your email list building. Include catchy and convincing content, along with powerful CTAs, that tell people what they’re signing up for and why they should do so.

sending email

#5 – Social Media:

Twitter campaigns promoting your discount codes or free content are a necessity. Gated offers on Facebook and LinkedIn that require an email address sign up to receive them should also be implemented. Evan a simple ‘Sign up’ button on your business’ Facebook page will build your email list with users interested in your product or service. Pinterest can also be leveraged by pulling together visual boards of products or offers that require an email signup to access.

Reaching people starts with email, so making sure you are both replenishing and building your email list is essential. Equally important is ensuring that the emails you are acquiring are valid. NeverBounce offers unbeatable pricing, accuracy, and turn-around when it comes to email list validation and cleaning. Taking on your email list building from multiple angles will increase your prospects by at least three times and allow you to convert early leads into loyal, return customers.

The Free Beginner's Guide to Social Media
Uncategorized

Free Marketing Guides for Email and Social Campaigns

Staying ahead of trends like content marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing can be tough. This is especially true when every site has something different to say. Marketing guides give business owners like you the chance to learn from the experts with a straightforward, step-by-step plan.

So, instead of scouring the internet for hours, we’ve listed a few of the best free marketing guides right here for you.

Online Marketing Guides

Kissmetrics – Fix your “leaky online funnel” with Kissmetrics’ “How to Measure and Fix Your ‘Leaky’ Marketing Funnel guide.

Beginner's Guide to Online Marketing

QuickSprout – QuickSprout offers a 14-chapter marketing guide titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing” (by Neil Patel and Ritika Puri) that’s designed to help every level of marketer. As such, this guide is for everyone from the very experienced to the first-timers.

Google – If you’re more interested in a hands-on approach, Google has an interactive online marketing guide – “Google’s Small Business Online Marketing Guide”. It comes with a “getting started worksheet.”

Email Marketing Guides

Kissmetrics – Kissmetrics also offers a “Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing” that’ll teach you how to approach each phase of email marketing. This covers everything from getting started to the day you launch.

WhenIWork – If you’re a small business owner, then WhenIWork’s “A 101 Guide to Email Marketing” is for you. It covers the basics and offers some need-to-know practices for getting started with email as an SMB. Especially for small businesses, use an email validation tool to make sure that once you set up your email campaign, you’re reaching inboxes.

The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Marketing

Digital Marketer – Digital Marketer has created “The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing”. Included is a three-part plan that walks readers through the eCommerce email marketing process.

Social Media Marketing Guides

Mashable – Twitter is intriguing, but if you’re unsure how to use it, it can be detrimental for business. Fortunately, Mashable has created a comprehensive “Twitter Guide Book” for novices of this social media platform.

Social Media Examiner – If you’re more of a Facebook person, then Social Media Examiner’s “Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide” will help you cover all your bases. The guide even includes how to optimize your business page.

The Free Beginner's Guide to Social Media

Moz – For those who are just interested in social media marketing as a whole, Moz released “The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media”. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you learn all the basics of every platform, from Facebook to Twitter.

The internet is teeming with free marketing guides. The hardest part is figuring out which one is the best. This list, however, will get you on track.

Internet Security Threats
Email Validation & Verification

The Unforeseen Threat Many Marketers Are Ignoring

A colleague recently contacted me that their site was hacked and they were struggling to correct the issue. As soon as the team found and removed the malicious code, the site would get re-infected. The core issue is that hacks made to sites don’t simply infect a single file, they infect all files and even the database. When you remove it from one location, another script is executed that re-enables the infected site. Correction requires the site being disabled and all files and data thoroughly cleansed.

The problem doesn’t stop there, though. By the time Google Search Console or a browser alerts you that your site is infected, contact data from your site is extracted, and search engines are burying your site from page one search results. Now, your users are getting SPAM, or worse, getting phishing attacks that use the compromised data against you. And your prospects are visiting your site and being warned that it’s now untrustworthy.

Core to the issue is that a company made the decision years ago that it was unnecessary to provide the additional budget for external or cloud hosting, that hosting would be more cost effective if managed internally. Liquid Web released the results of a study that pointed to a shift in opinions on inexpensive or internally hosted sites:

  • 91% of web-dependents noted security is a top factor when selecting a hosting provider.
  • The average number of technical hosting issues is 4.5 times a year.
  • 80% of web-dependents expect to be more web reliant in 5 years.
  • 86% of web-dependents believe selecting the right hosting provider can affect a company’s competitiveness.

You’re not simply losing revenue from your downtime; you’re losing search visibility that could take months to regain. You’re also losing credibility from prospects that may have been researching their next purchase decision for months. This issue that started with a few minutes of downtime may now cost your company thousands of dollars, upset users, and valuable prospects. Your decision to save a few bucks may have cost you your business.

If a website or application fuels the revenue generation of a business, the choice of a hosting provider should be a strategic one. Yet, often businesses make the mistake of choosing their provider based on price rather than ensuring they have a dependable partner. It’s important not to buy into empty promises of “best support” or “most secure” without validating the performance and security of the offered hosting solutions, reviewing current customer testimonials and customer satisfaction results, and researching the skill level of the resources that will be assisting you to design, migrate and support your solution. It is definitely worth the time to make sure you are picking a partner, not a vendor. Liquid Web CTO Joe Oesterling

The unforeseen threat, of course, is security. Instead of researching how much managed hosting services with security, support, automated backups, and other benefits cost, businesses need to reverse the question.

What will the cost be for our business if it’s hacked, dropped from search results, our client data exposed, and we’re publicly displayed as untrustworthy to our prospects? What will the effort and expense be to overcome that loss in credibility?

It’s a lot more than most companies think. Especially as our systems and sites are being automated, integrated, and collaborated across services and organizations. A single security issue, like dominoes, could lead to a chain of events that severely damage your brand’s marketing efforts and investment.

As data breaches, hacks, and phishing become frequent occurrences, customer attitudes are dramatically changing as well. In fact:

  • 39% of consumers said they’d remember a major privacy or security breach for a lifetime.
  • 44% of consumers would permanently stop using a site that sold their data to vendors without their knowledge.

Source: Adroit Digital

While services like Neverbounce aren’t hosting your site, we are importing and managing precious data from your company. We’re often surprised that marketers will evaluate similar services that have no terms of service, data policies, or even secure hosting considerations. Uploading their customer data to one of those services could be handing over your most precious digital asset to organizations that will abuse its use.

It’s time that marketers got serious about security. And, as Mr. Oesterling stated, it’s time that marketers ensured they were picking partners, not vendors!