Guest Posts

Email, Guest Posts, Small Biz, THE BLOG

Are You Getting The Most Of Your Transactional Emails? @EasydashSMTP

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Guest Post: Easy SMTP: If you’re an online marketer who has an existing base of users or customers for your site or application, then you’re almost certainly sending out regular transactional emails and possibly not taking full advantage of them.

First, what are transactional emails? Well, they’re the entire plethora of one at a time messages that are sent to your customers as a result of specific interactions with your site. These could include e-receipts, renewal notices, welcome emails, shipping and order confirmations or comment and password change notifications.

In contrast to bulk promotional email campaign messages, your transactional emails are based on specific user transactions and sent based on these transactions.

This is where the incredible sales boosting power of transactional emails is found and we’re now going to cover why you should expand your existing email marketing campaign to take the maximum possible advantage of them.

The Power of Transactional Emails

As this excellent little infographic by the email management company Easy SMTP shows, transactional messages have the advantage of open and click rates that completely blow promotional emails out of the water.

easySMTP_infographic_smallThe average transactional message is opened from the recipient’s inbox at a rate of over 100% and enjoys unique clicks on its internal content links that go as high as 17% or more. This is in sharp contrast to what you can usually expect from your bulk mail campaigns, which get average open rates of 15% and click rates of only 3%.

In a world where over 191 billion emails are sent to inboxes every day and where the average email user gets flooded by 48 business or personal emails per day, conversion rates like those of transactional messages are incredibly hard to come by and worth a lot in terms of marketing usefulness. Because of their direct relevance to activity that a user is actually engaged in and the fact that they are being sent out to give practical information relevant to that activity, transactional emails simply get much more favorable attention than other kinds of business email.

This is why you need to take specific steps to make the most of your transactional messages, even if you already have an existing bulk promotion mailing campaign in place. In essence, you need to use their core transactional nature as a vehicle for some extra marketing on the side.

Using your Transactional Emails to Maximize Sales and Conversions

While your transactional messages have to maintain their essential transaction-specific character and must keep subject lines that relate to their specific transaction in order to be compliant with the CAN SPAM Act, you can still modify them in several clever ways that will let you use them for marketing.

As shown in the infographic, the following strategies for improving the marketing power of your transactional messages we’re analyzed by Easy SMTP across its customer base and had their specific effectiveness at raising revenue and conversions tracked. They demonstrably work well.

Serialize your transactional messages

By breaking down a welcome email or some other more complex transactional message into a series of smaller messages which each deliver their own piece of important information to your customer, you can increase the number of transactional emails you send across the board. Doing this will give you more opportunities for delivering marketing messages and has been shown to boost revenues by as much as 13%

Say “Thank You” and personalize as much as possible

A simple and heart felt “thank you” message in the subject line and/or body of your transactional messages –especially those that revolve around a customer purchase or order renewal—has been shown to create click through increases of 35%! Increasing unique clicks doesn’t get any easier than this.

Furthermore, by personalizing each message as much as possible by using each recipients name and referring to their previous interactions with your site you can boost unique clicks by an additional 41%.

Don’t forget to cross sell!

When you’re sending out transactional messages that confirm an order or include an e-receipt for purchases, take advantage of the opportunity to cross sell that they also give you. Recommend additional products or services that complement what your users already paid for and watch your sales grow by as much as 20% or more.

Finally, be social

You’ve almost certainly developed a social media presence for your business –or at least you really should have—so show it off wherever you can, including in your transactional email messages. Include social sharing buttons for your business profiles in each email. SMTP found that doing this increased unique clicks by a hefty 55%.

Guest Posts, Small Biz, THE BLOG

Expand Your Small Business Globally: Guest Post by @bowden2bowden


bowden2bowdenA small business may feel afraid to take the plunge and expand their brand globally due to the prevalent myth that only the largest and most well-known brands are able to succeed within the global market. They may feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of going global, assuming that it’s too much work.

When, in fact, many well-known global brands started out small. But when those brands started out, global expansion was actually more difficult. Small businesses sort of have it easy now in a sense when it comes to global expansion due to the rise of the Internet when compared to the past.

The Internet eliminates international trade barriers of the past, helping small and mid-size businesses compete in the global market and become well-known international brands. So the idea of a small business going global is a very realistic and achievable goal thanks to the help of the Internet.

Technically, your brand is already capable of reaching consumers on a global scale. But here are some tips to help your name become more recognizable globally.

The Customer Comes First – Researching Potential Customers

Before making any type of marketing plan, you first need to choose your target audience and market. Begin with a “test-market” by selecting one foreign country to start your global expansion. Study and research the people within that country very carefully. You want to identify customer needs and with a modest marketing budget, you’ll then test-market your company’s products and services.

You may want to consider seeking the help of a marketing consultant who is familiar with the country that you’re targeting that way you successfully convey a message that will resonate with the target audience in that country. Remember that other countries have different views on life, family, and the world and also have a different sense of humor.

Working with Distributors and Joint Ventures

If you’re concerned with your lack of knowledge regarding global expansion, then you may wish to work through a distributor or consider establishing joint ventures. Find a distributor who is familiar with your country of choice, but make sure to choose a distributor with a reliable reputation. Don’t be afraid to do your research and ask for references.

If you’re choosing to go the distributor route, then a long-term relationship is what you’re looking for. A joint venture may also be a good idea to help expand your small business globally. Consider searching for companies within your target country that may help you sell through their distributor channels or that may even sell your products themselves. This joint venture will allow each of you involved to receive a portion of your product or services profits.

International Licensing Agreements

Who doesn’t want to save money on shipping, especially when shipping internationally? To offset the high-cost of international shipping, you may want to consider establishing a licensing agreement with a local company. That agreement will allow the other company to both manufacture and market your products. You will receive a royalty from the products profits. This will allow you to expand internationally minus the large costs of international shipping.

Final Thoughts

When considering expanding your small business globally, just remember to always remain on your toes and to be mindful of how your brand represents itself. One bad customer can lead to failure. You want to know your customer and to always ensure that the customer’s experience with your company’s products or services is a positive experience for long-term success.

RBRandy is a Principal Partner along with his wife, Shalah, of bowden2bowden llc, a marketing and branding consultancy firm. Specializing in developing targeted marketing solutions, exceptional creative executions and solid branding strategies that give clients a real competitive advantage. Randy writes three posts weekly for their bowden2bowden blog and is the producer and host of the interview series marketer2marketer “a conversation.”

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