New stuff added in November

Surveys become more important

Data is the new gold, you know it. So it’s real information from your customers. We’ve launched site polls one year ago, but if you wanted to send a survey by email or to share it on Facebook you couldn’t.

Until now!

New survey type campaigns give a public URL to be shared with your audience.

And they look like below:

New question types

You had 5 question types until today: short and long input, single or multiple options and NPS. We’ve added 2 new question types:

  • toggle (Yes/No or True/False or whatever you want)
  • mood state (smiley faces)

See entire demo by clicking the video link.

Personalized public links subdomain

You can have all your public links under your own domain: pages.getmara.com/your_domain.com/

What public links exists:

  • surveys links
  • subscribe and unsubscribe links
  • … something really cool will come in the following months

How to set personalized links

Email notifications for polls and surveys

Poll and survey campaigns allow you to receive answers automatically right after you get a new answer. Enter your email address there and choose Yes.

Newsletter process email notifications

Are you using our newsletter campaigns. Now we notify you by email when the newsletter is processed. Activate the option under: Account->Profile

Read about newsletter processing email report

Ecommerce modules update

We’ve updated our integration module to send customer firstname, lastname, county and city along with the order.

What is marketing automation?

We all hear about Marketing Automation in almost every facebook group, news outlet, investment opportunities, trainings or simple blogs we follow. But do we know what marketing automation is?

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation is the process that automates marketing efforts in order to reach the goals. Basically, instead of having marketing people doing repetitive tasks for the business, they get done by software.

A more official definition of marketing automation according to wikipedia:

Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketingdepartments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

What marketing automation is not?

Marketing automation is not magic. Do not expect software to start working on your behalf without any involvement in setting things up or refining them from time to time.

Marketing automation missconceptions

Is not personalization: while marketing automation integrates features specific to personalization, is not only about it.

Not a new name for email marketing:  email is just a channel through which marketing automation software is sending the message to the consumer. Other channels include: push notifications, text messages, banners, ad networks.

You just set and forget about it. While you can definitely forget about it and it will still bring a lot of revenue to your business, is not recommended. Consumers evolve, business the same and you want to improve things even more, because otherwise you will become outdated.

Most important features of marketing automation

  • Email marketing
  • Push notifications
  • Landing Pages
  • Campaign Management
  • Lead scoring / management
  • Social Marketing
  • Forms and surveys
  • Analytics (A/B testing & reports)

The complete Checklist to prepare for Black Friday 2017

There is only one month left for this year BlackFriday. Do you know what to do to prepare for a successful campaign?

The following checklist is a part of the complete guide we are going to launch next week. It’s going to be FREE for all our subscribers, so subscribe to MARA to get it.

Continue reading “The complete Checklist to prepare for Black Friday 2017”

Black Friday Step by Step – Learn how to prepare your Online Shop

If you have not already started, it’s time to get ready for Black Friday, the world’s largest sales campaign.
The phenomenon has grown year by year and the sales generated by Black Friday have increased steadily, reaching about $3 billion in 2016.

Whether it is the first Black Friday you organize or not, we have prepared a guide through which we share our experience: how to prepare yourself starting from planning your campaign to delivering products to customers.

When does Black Friday start?

The rule that sets the day for the Black Friday campaign is simple: usually the last Friday of November. In 2017 Black Friday will be organized on 27

BLACK FRIDAY IS A COLLECTIVE CAMPAIGN
Black Friday is a collective campaign, so do not run the campaign a different day than other stores. There is a risk of losing the start, and buyers will spend their money in other stores.

Start early, don’t go with the last minute strategy

The first and most important rule is to not set up the campaign the last minute. You will not have time to announce your customers, stock availability, talk to suppliers, marketing campaigns, and so on, and this will lead to a failed Black Friday campaign.

BLACK FRIDAY CALENDAR:

  • Analysis and documentation;
  • Establishing physical stocks and suppliers – discussing discounts and product availability;
  • Preparing the necessary materials (banners, covers, text content, video content, etc.) and setting up promotion channels;
  • Preparing the landing page and the store;
  • Campaign marketing;
  • Black Friday: Campaign unfolding;
  • Analyze your campaign results (expect to see returns);

If you can not participate in the Black Friday campaign, there is no problem. You can prepare better for the following campaigns, such as Cyber ​​Monday or Christmas.

Tell your customers in advance that you will have a Black Friday

Your customers will need to know that your store will participate in the campaign. Announce them 1-2 weeks in advance, using all of the resources you have.
Even more, in addition to telling them about the campaign, offer them a “sneak peek” with some of the products you will have on discount on that day. This makes them curious and makes them look forward to when your campaigns starts.

EMAIL MARKETING
Your newsletter subscribers are one of the cheapest and most effective resources you can call. Subscribers already know you and probably already have purchased from your store, so do not hesitate to let them know and send them a newsletter.

  • Announce that you are doing a Black Friday campaign;
  • Send a reminder one day prior;
  • Exclusive discounts for subscribers to the newsletter;
  • Give them a sneak peek with some of the campaign products;
  • Emails for abandoned baskets during the campaign.

BANNERE ON SITE

Display banners in the campaign promotion areas available in your store, such as: homepage, category, menu, sticky bar or product page.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Are you proud of the number of Facebook fans, followers on Twitter, Instagram or other social networks? Do not forget to tell them about the campaign you will be doing.

RETARGETING
Use retargeting to track your customers who visited the store and let them know that soon you will have great Black Friday discounts. Thus, you will bring them back to your store on that day.

BLOGGING

Do not forget to go to the blogs you are working with to let your readers know about the campaign and the great discounts you’ll have on Black Friday.

SMS MARKETING

You can run an SMS campaign to let your most active customers know about Black Friday. It is not necessary to let everyone know if the dedicated budget will limit you.

PAY PER CLICK

If the budget allows you, we also recommend that you use campaigns in Google Adwords as a way of communicating the discounts you are about to offer. Keep in mind, however, that because of the popularity of the season you will have to bid a bit more aggressively than usual for your chosen keywords.

POST ON DEDICATED SITES

With this phenomenon there have also been developed sites dedicated to it. Do not hesitate to register your store to announce your participation.

Keep an eye on the competition before Black Friday

Keep an eye on the competition (we all do it) because it will help you gather new ideas and you can learn from the mistakes that other stores can make. So, you can see the missing points in your competition strategy and integrate them into your Black Friday campaign.

The easiest way to monitor your competition is to subscribe to their newsletters and track them on social networks. Study what type of emails they send to their clients and what kind of public content they have in the online environment.

If your competition is the big online retailers, do not be discouraged by them. If you are creative, you can make a successful Black Friday campaign with 10 products, so take full advantage of this opportunity.
Another way to keep an eye on the competiotion is to use Visual Ping or Google Alerts.

Ensure your stocks and suppliers

Black Friday gives you the chance to get rid of physical stocks faster or to reach a higher turnover target for suppliers. You can increase your sales on certain categories, launch new products, or grow your customer base.

Make sure you have enough stock and start preparing them early. At the same time, discuss and negotiate with your suppliers early on to ensure that you do not run out of stock in the early hours. One of the worst things that can happen during such a campaign is to sell faster than you planned and not meeting your customers’ demands.

Create a landing page dedicated to the campaign

On that day, replace your homepage with a landing page for the campaign. Do not let the customer look for discounts through the thousands of products you’ve grouped into dozens of categories. He will get bored and will go to another site, most likely to your competition.
Show the stock status you have available and also the “out of stock” badge if you no longer have stock on certain products.

MOBILE FRIENDLY

Being mobile is no longer an option, because mobile traffic and conversions are on the rise. So your landing page will have to be 100% responsive for all devices: laptop, desktop, tablet and mobile.

STABILITY

Make sure your landing page loads quickly and your server will have a 100% uptime. When customers access your store, you definitely do not want to be offline. On that day you will have a much higher traffic than usual.

NAVIGATION

Create an intuitive menu / navigation, because on that day everything will be done in an accelerated way. The customer will not have time to search too much among the tens or thousands of available products.

CHECKOUT CURSIV

The order flow must be smooth (without errors and without interruption of additional actions) with checkout as a guest (no account, as a visitor), for order placement efficiency.

SEO FOR BLACK FRIDAY

Do not forget about SEO, even if on that day SEO does not count as much and you will rely more on traffic from email marketing or pay per click. It will help you in future campaigns. So, when you create the landing page, use a structure like www.shop.com/black-friday in its URL in exchange for the structure of www.shop.com/black-friday-2017. This way, you’ll get permanent indexing and not targeting a specific year. Apply the same rule when it comes to titles or meta descriptions.

Keep it simple: the price

When it comes to Black Friday try not to complicate things with various types of promotions: bundles, gift products, loyalty points, etc. A customer who buys on that day is looking for one thing: the lowest price. That’s why all you have to do is to apply a discount as high as possible to your campaign products.

QUALITY IN QUANTITY DETERMINATION

Do not focus on the number of products with discounts offered in the campaign. If the discount is not quite attractive to the customer, and you’ve listed a large number of products with insignificant discounts, customers might not be able to reach the attractive offers you have and you might not have as many sales as you wanted.

Payment methods available to the customer

Make sure all of your customers can make purchases using any of the payment methods:

  • Cash on delivery – surely the cash on delivery will be the most used payment method;
  • Card payment – a way of payment that grows and gains confidence from year to year;
  • Interest-free payment – is a payment method that you can not ignore especially when selling high-value products such as home appliances. It is preferable that the number of installments be as high as possible (for example, 12 installments are sufficient);
  • Payment order (for companies) – this part will be a little more difficult to manage, due to the agitation and fast pace of things going on that day, both for order management and for the relationship with related services.

Prepare your staff for Black Friday

Depending on the size of your store, make sure you have the minimum staff required to handle the volume of requests. You will be faced with a much larger volume of work than on a normal day and, of course, there may be problems. That is why you should consider increasing the work schedule for that day.

INTEGRETE A LIVECHAT

Livechat offers the customer the opportunity to quickly get in touch with your store’s staff. If a customer can not get the information or response he needs quickly enough, he will leave the site without buying, which you certainly do not want.

Make sure the products arrive on time

We know that parcel delivery does not entirely depend on you, but try to make sure that they will arrive in a decent time. Customers are aware that the Black Friday order will not arrive on the 2nd day, but it is not good for them to wait a month to get what they ordered.
If you work with more couriers, choose the courier that you’ve worked with best and that has met your needs and your customers’.

FREE SHIPPING ?

If profit margins allow you, offer customers free shipping on all orders of the day and you will have an edge over your competition.
According to Kissmetrics, free shipping can increase your sales by up to 30% if you apply it correctly.

Monitor your store permanently

Make sure your eCommerce platform provider will provide you with the necessary technical support throughout the campaign so that if you encounter a problem, do not be offline too long.
Track your store permanently with Google Analytics (real time) and report any issues as soon as you notice them.

Returns will be inevitable

Do not underestimate the number of returns you will have on products ordered by customers because they will be more than usual. It happens that some customers place orders with the same products in several online stores and keep those with the highest discount or those that are delivered in a timely manner.

Make your customers loyal

Black Friday offers you the opportunity to build relationships and to make your clients more at ease. That’s why you can offer them:

  • Vouchers or promotional codes for future orders;
  • Points of fidelity to use in the future;
  • Free samples, if you are talking about cosmetics or other types of products for which there are samples;
  • Congratulations or personalized messages on shipped packages;

Analyze your results

After each campaign that you run for your online store, you should do an analysis of the results. Use all of the tracking tools you have: Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, internal reports, etc.
Do not rush, wait for the returns, because you have to take them into consideration as well.
This analysis helps you see which marketing channels worked, where you went wrong, where you scored well, to be more prepared for the next Black Friday.

Improve your ecommerce email marketing strategy with these ideas!

MARA is all about marketing automation, as you know it. You might be already using our 20+ automations scenarios or any other email marketing automations solutions, which probably increased your revenue already.

Some other very effective strategies that work together with automations can be used to increase revenues even more.

Optimizing campaigns from time to time is the only work you need to do after setting things initially. The top revenue added comes with very small costs from your side, which is the main reason for having a solid email marketing strategy in place.

Settings our top 20 automation scenarios will bring you a 10-15% increase in revenue and will be delivering new sales every day… forever.

The thing is that automations are only half you can do on the email marketing part of your business. And you want to maximize e-commerce revenue from email, right? 

To push the increase if email marketing revenue to 25-30% of your total sales, you need to combine it with some manual campaigns, a tactic easily to forget when you have the automations in place.

How to maximize email marketing results for your business?

A good email marketing strategy has 2 parts:

  • email marketing automations
  • smart manual campaigns

The manual part is equally important with the automations. While you might think that the effort to manually send campaigns doesn’t bring similar results with automated scenarios, the effect of having this strategy increases overall email metrics and discovers the potential of your email database.

If you have 15% of your sales from email automations, you can grow this metric to 25% by adding some manual tactics. Manual campaigns are different for each business, so you need to test which are the best for yours.

Depending on your list size, sending manual newsletters can be done once a week, or once a month. If you have time or a dedicated person for this task, is recommended to try also sending them 2-3 times a week, only to the most engaged subscribers.

Only sending emails with promotions, sales, offers containing products has a few negative effects for your business:

  • a higher unsubscribe rate because of the hard-selling techniques you are using.
  • email marketing effectiveness will decrease over time, because people know what to expect from your emails: offers, vouchers…

How to create a smart email marketing strategy?

To have a clever email marketing strategy you need to balance automations with manual campaigns to the most engaged subscribers.

First you need to segment your list into engaged subscribers (active in the last 3 or 6 months) and non-engaged. For those that are not engaging with your emails you can try to reactive them  or unsubscribe them after a while.

It’s important to stop doing only hard-selling emails, and to think email targeting in “customer groups”, like business niches.

Some ideas for manual email marketing campaigns

On the long term, having these kind of campaigns being sent regularly, will bring more revenue compared to only pushing promos and offers.

1. New items or exclusive products

While this one has a selling message, it’s self explanatory.

2. Products that will launched soon

New product on the market? Tell everybody about release date, pre-sale registration or whatever else you’re doing. You might link the newsletter with a landing page to collect extra information about subscribers.

3. Blog articles

Are you building a company blog and you don’t send articles to your shop list? That’s the biggest mistake, and you’re losing a lot from email subscribers. Blog articles are good for more than SEO and can increase email revenue by a few percents.

The title, a short paragraph and an image is simply enough to be added at the bottom of the newsletter.

4. Industry news, how to articles

Every industry is changing constantly. You are already following news websites or blogs. Their content might be important for your subscribers, so you can simply add the links to a blast email campaign.

Another example, which many of the DYI shops are doing is sending how-to articles related to the products they are selling.

5. Customer reviews, social proof

Social proof is one of the reasons people are more inclined to buy. Collect the best reviews for your store or products and include them in a newsletter. Maybe there is one very funny, or weird.

6. Products of the week

If you’re already using MARA, you can set recurring campaigns with specific algorithms. But there are times when you are so proud of a product that you will create a manual email and send it as a blast. Just add a free shipping or a voucher code and you’re done.

7. Company news

You move to a new office, hire a new marketing intern or sponsor a youth action? Share it with your subscribers and make them part of the whole family.

8. Key dates or seasonal events

It’s Earth day and you’re selling organic food or LED lightning? Than you must celebrate and tell your customers about it. Or maybe there is a very warm season so you might want to help your subscribers with some advice.


Combination of all of the above

Our advice is to mix campaign types and do whatever fits your business better.  Add product to email content as dynamic blocks in the footer (you can do it using our advanced email editor).

There are tons of potential variations, and you must test the results within your subscribers list. Also, it’s very helpful to have them surveys being sent so you know what to send.

Always remember that sending too many emails is similar to spamming, regardless the content of the emails!

These are just a few ideas, but keep in touch following our blog to find some other ideas.

Final thoughts

It’s easy to consider your work sending manual campaigns won’t bring the same results with automations. You’ll consider this work as being useless, especially with all the non-sale emails

In the end, what’s the point of all these informative emails that do not bring revenue after being sent? On the long run, if you’re consistent, the effect of keeping customers engaged with these kind of campaigns will pay off. They are very connected with the rest of campaigns, improving their metrics and driving sales in the end.

Do not forget: email marketing is a channel which mastered correctly will bring you up to a third of total sales: it’s cheap, easy to scale and brings fast results.

6 Best Performing Email Retargeting Campaigns

Those are the best performing email campaigns that you must have for your ecommerce business. If you don’t know how to create them, get in touch with us or create a free account. There’s no specific order for the following campaigns, because the results are different based on each shop, industry size or target.

Continue reading “6 Best Performing Email Retargeting Campaigns”

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

To find out what conversion rate optimization is, Wikipedia gives the following definition:

In internet marketing, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO.

Using more familiar terms, conversion rate optimization represents the effort put on increasing the number of goals from the same traffic. A goal can be defined as a desired action, in online shopping being the same with purchase.

[Infographic] How a personalized newsletter is sent in 8 steps.

How a personalized newsletter is sent

Find out how a personalized newsletter is reaching out your customers:

  1. You create the campaign in our dashboard
  2. Content is converted to a specific format for our system
  3. On sending time, we select recipients in real-time
  4. System excludes users who are not able to receive new emails due to various limits
  5. The list of remaining users is shared between robots in equal small parts;
  6. Each email is then processed on an individual level:
    • it chooses the variance for A/B tests
    • replaces user tags with their values
    • computes and includes product recommendations
    • adds tracking params to all outgoing links
  7. After processing another robot takes the result and sends the actual email. It tries to send it up to three times.
  8. Email events starts to flow into our reporting system in real-time.

Did you know there are so many steps into sending a smart personalized newsletter?

Email Personalization Statistics 2017

Hello,

While surfing the web I’ve put together some articles on email personalization statistics. Feel free to check each of them:

  • Personalized emails increase click-through rates by an average of 14%. They also increase conversion rate by 10%. – Aberdeen
  • Personalized emails might deliver up to 6x higher transaction rates. – Experian
  • 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. – eConsultancy
  • Only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations via email. – Certona
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.  –  Campaign Monitor
  • Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. (Mailchimp)
  • 53% of marketers say ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact. – DemandGen
  • Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. – DMA
  • 75% of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015. –VentureBeat
  • Ecommerce customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. (Experian, 2016)
  • Email recipients who favor mobile-aware email marketing designs rose from 15% in 2015 to 27% in 2016. (Litmus, 2016)
  • Personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings. (Invesp 2016)
  • Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. – Campaign Monitor
  • Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized web experiences. – Monetate
  • 50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalization. – Experian
  • Personalized promotional emails had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more unique click-through rates in 2013. – Experian
  • Click Rate is 3.5 higher for transactional emails compared to segmented newsletters (Vibetrace 2017)
  • Triggered emails drive 624 percent higher conversion responses for the same number of sends as compared to “batch and blast” emails. This is driven by a 381 percent higher click rate, and an 180 percent higher post-click conversion rate. (VentureBeat, 2016)