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How to Use Email Marketing for Lead Nurturing

Discover the steps you can follow to make email marketing for lead nurturing your secret…

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Top 5 Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Learn and take advantage of the top five email marketing benefits for small business.

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8 Types of Email Content to Send Your Audience

No more stale emails. Here are 8 types of email content to refresh your strategy….

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5 Essential Lessons of Email Marketing for Startups

Whether you’re building a fast-paced startup or a brick-and-mortar small business, you can apply these…

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6 Fresh Examples for Your Autoresponder Email Template

There’s no doubt about it—email is an incredibly effective way to extend your marketing reach and encourage subscribers to take action. In fact, it seems that 77% of consumers want to be marketed via email. The next runner-up is direct mail with just nine percent of the market. That means your email marketing needs to be on-target and finely honed—but how can you stand above the rest? Read on and enjoy the examples you can use to amplify your email marketing results. 6 best autoresponder email template examples 1. The personal touch email In a paper entitled, The Power of Personalization, thought leader Forrester Consulting determined that personal marketing is more effective. “Personalization is more important today than ever before. The proliferation of devices and channels, such as mobile and social, has fundamentally changed the way that customers interact with companies and brands. This has led to what Forrester calls the mobile mind shift: the expectation that you can get exactly what you want in your immediate context and at your immediate moment of need.” In general, their analysis showed that: Marketers that want to increase engagement must use personalized marketing to be effective. The more pain points you have for your customers, the more challenges you’ll have personalizing your marketing. Many firms don’t use customer interaction to discover how to best personalize their campaigns. While you may—or may not—be on top of all those tasks, the first one is the most important. If you’re not already using personalized email marketing, it’s time to start. Here’s an example of a brand that’s got it down to a science, Sephora.   This email is bright, bold, and personal, the perfect way to entice their customers back into the store. While this email is only using the customer’s name that can be enough to move someone to purchase. You can combine that with showing them similar products to the ones they’ve purchased in the past for further personalization. Add the special savings and it’s a formula that just can’t lose. 2. The confirmation email More people than ever are ordering online. Numbers from Statista show that figures are going to skyrocket in the next few years—topping out at over 230 million people in 2020.   That’s a lot of customers and—if you’re a smart email marketer—that’s a lot of emails, too. Nothing says you care more than an email letting your customer know that their order went through and is being shipped. It’s instant relief and instant gratification all rolled up into one smartly-done email. And no one does this better than online shopping giant Amazon. Here’s a look at one of their autoresponder confirmation emails, sent within 30 seconds of the order.     Notice what else they have built into their autoresponder series? A shipping confirmation. Another great idea for your email idea box. Here’s what theirs looks like:   Notice how simple and uncluttered this email is. Just the facts, but ones that will help your customers feel like you have their backs. 3. The welcome email One of the most important emails in a series, your welcome email helps customers feel appreciated, showcases your brand, and prompts them to take the next steps in getting to know—and love—what you’re offering. Look how art and craft supply giant Michaels wows new customers with their welcome email. Notice the “crafty” way they nail their brand image with graphics and layout that makes the whole email look like a big project. They not only express gratitude for their new customer, but they add a coupon as an enticement. Once you know that their emails might hold this kind of value, you’ll be sure to open every single one. 4. The support email The right support email can take that frown and turn it upside down for your frustrated or unhappy customers. There are varying kinds of support emails, depending on where you and your customer are in the situation resolution pipeline. These can range from: We’re working on it. We’re still working on it. We’ve resolved the issue. Did we do a good job? Here’s how you can fix the problem yourself. For the purposes of this post, let’s focus on the most common, the “We’re working on it” email. This email is critical because it lets your customer know that you’ve received their query and that you’re taking it seriously. To make them even happier with your service, personalize this email. Here’s an example from Jet.com. It’s clear, concise, and most importantly, personalized. Note that you’re also letting them know you appreciate their loyalty. 5. The “follow us” email In 2017, 80% of the U.S. population had at least one social media profile. With over 4 billion people online across the globe, that adds up to a lot of social media users. And guess what? Nearly 75% of social media users made an online purchase last year. Know how many people who didn’t use social media made online purchases? Forty-six percent. That means social media users make fantastic customers. One great way to get more of them engaged in your social media campaign is to invite them with an email. Quiz Clothing gets customers involved with emails like this: This goes both ways as well. Invite email subscribers to follow your brand across social media channels for exclusive offers and discounts, and give your social media followers a special offer when they subscribe to your email. While New Look does it a bit differently, they still make it super easy for customers to Pin, Tweet and post their little hearts out. How you choose to set up your social media email will depend on your brand’s style and customer base, but either of these is a great place to start. 6. The review email Reviews make the marketing world go ‘round. In fact, online product reviews can increase sales by 75%, which makes reviews worth fighting for. When you have the right autoresponder email template, though, you don’t have to exert a lot of effort to get your customers to give feedback. In fact, keeping it simple for customers to understand, and respond, is the best option. Look how cleanly this auto center handled their request for feedback. If you like, you can offer a voucher code for discounts, but be aware that some consumers see that as a way to “buy” their review. Notice the personalization in all the examples? That’s no coincidence. Customers tend to act more often when you use their names. Wrap up There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the thought of creating autoresponder email templates when there are so many good examples out there. We’ve provided example templates for some of the most common—and basic— autoresponder emails for you to use in your own marketing campaign. Change them to suit your brand’s message, what you’re offering, or the vibe you’re projecting and watch how easy it is to automatically engage with your customers to keep the conversation—and profits—going.

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Recap: 3 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Email Results

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us yesterday for our webinar, “3 ways to dramatically improve your email results.” During the webinar, Nora Snoddy (Director of Communications here at Campaign Monitor) shared a ton of tips and tricks for getting more out of your email marketing program. Here’s a quick recap of what she covered—or, if you’d like to go ahead and check out the recording of the webinar, you can find that here! Email is a big deal (when done right). Email marketing has been around for a long time, but it’s still incredibly effective. According to our 2018 Industry Report, 59% of marketers said email generates more ROI for their organization than any other digital channel. But here’s the kicker: Even though it has the potential to be such a high performer, plenty of people are still getting so-so results from their email marketing. The problem is that because email marketing has such a lower barrier to entry (it’s inexpensive, easy to send, easy to build in most email platforms, etc.), marketers often put their programs on autopilot and neglect to optimize their email strategy over time. In fact, according to that same report I just mentioned… • 39% of marketers say they never personalize their emails. • 63% of marketers say less than half of their emails are segmented. • 51% of marketers haven’t started automating their emails. Email has the ability to generate an unmatched ROI for your brand, but to get there, you have to focus on the right things. But what are they? 1. Personalize the inbox experience. To help illustrate the importance of email personalization, Nora shared a quick story. Most days, she stops for coffee on her way to work. There are two shops close to Campaign Monitor’s Nashville office: Pinewood and Little Mosko’s. When she goes to Pinewood, the experience is perfectly fine—she orders her coffee, gets her coffee, and goes on her way. But when she goes to Little Mosko’s, the baristas there actually know her. They greet her by name, ask about her life, and offer her a piece of fresh banana bread they know she’ll like. Where do you think she goes more often for her morning java fix? The fact of the matter is, the brand that creates the better, more personal, more human experience will always win—and that’s especially true when it comes to inspiring customer loyalty and conversion. According to Infosys, 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchase decisions. Personalization works because you’re putting the focus of your message right where it should be: on the subscriber, not on your brand. Here’s an example of email personalization in action from our friend Jay Baer. These two emails are essentially asking for the same thing: an NPS score. The first email was one he got after a hotel stay at the MGM Grand. There’s a first name in there, but otherwise, it’s pretty impersonal. The second was one his wife got after ordering from a local food truck. It contains the same basic ask, but it feels much more personal. They include her first name, a photo of the chef, and even the specific items she ordered. And while Jay didn’t respond to the email from MGM, Allison did respond to the food truck. Segment whenever possible. All marketers tell themselves the same lie: If my emails aren’t doing well, it’s because my audience is too busy. Sure—no one is out there begging for more email, but I’m willing to bet there are a few brands you almost always pay attention to. That’s because they serve up content, offers, and invitations that are actually relevant to you. Relevancy creates time and attention, and segmentation is how you get there. Here are a few easy ways to start segmenting: • How they signed up • Location • Purchase history • Birthdays and anniversaries • Response results • Most engaged • Least engaged But what if you don’t have the data you need to effectively segment? Just ask! Most people are willing to part with personal information if it means getting offers tailored to their interests. Scale your efforts with automation. Automation is the most effective way to scale your email marketing efforts, but not many marketers are actually using it in their email programs. If you aren’t sure where to start with email automation, these three types of emails will help you lay a really solid foundation: 1. A welcome email or series. Welcome emails are incredibly important, so if you aren’t already sending one, it’s time. Your subscribers expect to receive them, it’s one of the most-opened emails you’ll ever send, it helps boost long-term brand loyalty—the list goes on! A pro tip: In your welcome email, be sure to reference exactly how your subscriber ended up on your list. Continuing that connection from signup to the inbox helps create context and sets your brand up for a better, longer-lasting relationship with subscribers. 2. Date-based emails. Along with a welcome after signup, it’s important to automate messages based on key dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Remember: Creating relevance is all about remembering what’s important to your subscriber, not just your brand. Plus, these emails really perform. According to ClickZ, birthday emails can lift conversion rates 60% over non-birthday email messages with the same offer. 3. Behavior-based emails. Let’s talk about behavior-based automation. You can automate emails based on behavior outside the inbox (like browsing a certain section of your website) or behavior inside the inbox, like clicking a link to a particular type of content. These emails help you cater the offers and content you send to individual subscribers because you already know they’ll be interested. Watch the full webinar. Hungry for more actionable email tips and tricks? You can watch the recording here!          

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5 Email Marketing Calendar Templates to Kickstart Your Campaign

How do you ensure you’re sending out your newsletters, promotional emails, and more at the right times? It takes a little planning, forethought, and set-up, but starting with an effective email marketing calendar can simplify a major piece of the puzzle. Once you plan and visualize when to send out your newsletters, kick off your email campaigns, and schedule your marketing follow-up emails throughout the year, it’s easier to stick to your guns and follow through. That means the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year (or sales cycle) will be more achievable and doable than ever. If you’re not sure where to start or how to schedule your email campaigns, check out these 5 email calendar templates. You’ll master the art of the email marketing calendar in no time. When to schedule time-based email campaigns and marketing follow-up emails According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to get promotional messages through email versus any other platform. Your subscribers expect these emails and prefer them delivered via their inboxes, so it’s wise to jump on the bandwagon. Of course, the power of promotional email campaigns is doubled when you tie them into marketing gold mines like holidays, national observances, and special days of the year. Think National Coffee Day, the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, the first day of Spring, or National Cleanup Week (Not sure when each holiday falls? Search Engine Journal has the entire year broken down by holiday via this marketing calendar.) Here’s an example of a spring email offer from Birchbox: Before you start planning and scheduling email campaigns, go through your calendar and mark any holidays or special events that tie into your business, especially annual sales and promotions. You can take this a step further and use events that are personalized for each individual subscriber. These can include things like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and anniversaries of when they subscribed. These email marketing campaigns can be created to automatically get sent from Campaign Monitor using data you already know about your customer. This information could be stored in your Salesforce CRM, Shopify eCommerce or another tool that integrates with Campaign Monitor. Your promotional email campaigns can be one-offs, but, more than likely, you’ll send a series of emails and reminders to tempt your subscribers. Follow these calendar templates to schedule a winning promotional campaign. Calendar template #1: Email campaign for one-day events 2 weeks before sale/promotion/event – Announcement email 1 week before sale/promotion/event – Marketing follow-up email/reminder 1 day before sale/promotion/event – Final follow-up email and last chance reminder   Calendar template #2: Email campaign for ongoing events/promotions 2 weeks before the ongoing event – Announcement email 1 week before the ongoing event – Marketing follow-up email/reminder 1 day before the ongoing event – Reminder During the event – Reminder 1 day before the event ends – Final follow-up email/last chance reminder When to schedule informative, useful email newsletters As opposed to promotional email campaigns, informative newsletters are usually entirely non-promotional. Instead, they seek to provide your subscribers with useful, helpful, or pertinent information. You can schedule these to send around holidays if the topic is relevant (for example, you can send cleaning and organizing tips around National Cleanup Week). However, these types of emails are also great for filling in gaps in communication between you and your audience. It keeps you in constant contact, builds trust, and provides value. This informational email newsletter from Resy, an app for booking tables at restaurants, is a great example. In it, the company highlights hot dining spots around NYC:   These newsletters can also be personalized based on each subscriber’s behavior in previous email campaigns. As a subscriber clicks on specific content topic links you can use that behavioral information to personalize future newsletters with more of that type of content. To create your own newsletter-worthy email content, look at the content you create on your main channels as a jumping-off point. Tie in your helpful emails and use your newsletter as a linking opportunity. Calendar template #3: Informational email newsletters Look for gaps in your email marketing calendar between promotions, sales, and events – Send one-off emails with helpful tips, how-tos, or recommendations (can tie into web content) Weekly, during optimal send-times – Send out a weekly newsletter with updates, links to recently published content, and helpful tidbits (provide an opt-out option if weekly is too often for some subscribers) When to schedule event announcements and promotions Have a big event coming up that needs some promotion? Is a big change coming to your company that you need to communicate with your loyal subscribers? Sending out an event announcement is a great way to keep your audience up-to-date with all the goings-on. Big events are especially important to advertise via email. For instance, if you want to invite locals to an in-store gathering, a big party, a concert, or a benefit, they’re more likely to respond to a personal email invitation. That’s because emails drive conversions better than any other marketing method, including social media. Additionally, email has an average organic reach of 79%, which means over three-fourths of your recipients will receive and read the emails you send. This example from SXSW showcases how the yearly conference uses email to help get people to register:   This email from Hudson Ranch and Vineyards, meanwhile, is a great example of how to make an email invitation to an event seem exclusive:   Calendar template #4: Event invitations and promotions with marketing follow-up emails 4-6 months before the event – Save the date announcement: Let subscribers know what the event is, plus where, when, how, and why it’s happening 3 months before the event – Official announcement/invitation: Depending on the type of event, formally or casually invite your subscribers, detailing time, place, and other important information 1 month before the event – Begin weekly marketing follow-up emails/reminders: If your audience needs to save their spot or register, remind them and provide a call-to-action button in these emails 1 week before the event – Last chance reminder (“Spots are filling up quickly”, “Time is running out to register”, etc.) Calendar template #5: Announcements This template depends on what type of announcement you’re making. For example, if you’re going to announce a huge customer appreciation event, you can really build it up. On the other hand, if you’re making big changes to your business model/website/some other factor that will affect the customer experience, you need to avoid dropping hints and be as transparent as possible. This template is for the former scenario when you can really have fun with it. 2 months before the big announcement – Build up anticipation for the actual announcement, but don’t give it away yet (“A surprise is coming…”, “We’re getting ready for something big”, etc.) 1 month before the announcement – Follow-up email reiterating the initial message Weekly, up until the announcement – Reminder emails with curiosity-inducing hints Wrap up Email marketing campaigns are nothing without a plan to implement them. If you don’t take the time to schedule your emails and optimize send-times, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to grab more interest, opens, and click-throughs. Even more than that, your goals for the quarter or the year may slide by the wayside without a solid email marketing calendar to stick to. This calendar guides your marketing and helps you send the most impactful messages imaginable. Use the templates above to schedule your emails for the biggest impact, then let ‘em loose. You’ll make a much bigger splash with your subscribers and customers.

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Introducing New Previews for Personalized Campaigns

Campaign Monitor has released a new preview feature to help you test and deliver personalized…

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Why Email is the Key to Aligning Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing teams sometimes go head to head. However, sales and marketing alignment helps companies become 67% better at closing sales, generating 209% more revenue in the process, according to a study by App Data Room and Marketo. Even so, only 8% of companies have strong alignment, according to Forrester. For companies that struggle with sales and marketing alignment, the worry is not only the rewards they’re missing out on but the damage that the fracture between teams can cause. Research from Aberdeen Group shows that poor alignment results in a 4% revenue decline, while a study from IDC revealed that an inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs 10% or more revenue per year. As you can see from the graphic below, smooth alignment allows for optimal orchestration of sales and marketing hand-over and faster sales cycles. But there are often physical, functional, and cultural differences at hand with poor alignment. Teams work separately, with differing goals and objectives, and with little regard for how the other goes about their business. This leads to unqualified leads traveling from marketing to sales and causes sales reps to ignore 50% of marketing leads and waste half of their time on unproductive prospecting. Fixing the issues, however, isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. All that’s really required is to bring teams closer together and improve lead qualification. Enter email marketing. Start with your ideal customer Defining your ideal customer persona is the start of any communication or sales. It needs to be well defined and agreed upon by your entire organization. If you’re a small team or a startup, it’s also worth sitting together with sales to understand which customer personas they consider “low hanging fruit.” If you don’t build your email strategy with a clear customer persona in mind, you risk sending out generic messages leads to marketing handing over dead-end leads to sales, rather than focusing on highly targeted messages to a qualified group. It’s essential that marketing sends out the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Once you’ve all agreed on your customer personas, you can begin to use email automation to create a process that nurtures leads continuously until they are sales-ready, and useful tools such as lead scoring and will allow you to identify when the timing is right for sales to contact them. You can do this in six steps, combining email automation with a lead scoring and website tracking solution. 6 steps to align marketing and sales Step 1: Attract new leads Create helpful content interesting for your target customers such as ‘How to’ articles, infographics, hints and tips, and videos. Include email sign-up forms on any page that features this content with call-to-action offers for exclusive email content (ebooks, white papers, etc.). Step 2: Generate interest Build on interest by sending subscribers articles on products or services, ebooks, Webinar invitations, and white papers. Step 3: Show value If Step 2 has proven successful, work on convincing prospects with case studies, product demos, and testimonials. Step 4: Identify hot leads At this stage, prospects are weighing up their options. Now is the time for comparisons and data sheets—and the sales team to jump in. Consider SalesWings as a lead scoring and website tracking add-on for Campaign Monitor to align your marketing and sales team around top priorities. Step 5: Sales phase By now the prospect is a hot lead. Promotional offers, product discounts, and free trials can be promoted to support sales to get them onboard. Step 6: Post-purchase Work on customer loyalty drips with after-sales service emails and upsell/cross-sell offers. These six steps take you smoothly from the marketing end to the sales end of the sales funnel. At every step, people will drop away, leaving only prospects with buying intent. The challenge now is to correctly qualify leads to maximize the chances of making a sale. Segment your email lists for better lead qualification Not every lead becomes a customer, so you need to work out who to spend the most time on. Do this by segmenting your email lists so that prospects are sent more relevant information. There are many different ways to segment email lists, but where qualification within the six-step process is concerned you should focus on: 1. Target customer persona Finding out which subscribers fit your customer profiles (demographics, location, company size, etc.) will help you speak directly to their pain points. 2. Email activity How subscribers have interacted with your past emails is a good indicator of interest. Subscribers that haven’t opened or clicked on links within emails should be separated from subscribers that have visited pages that showing buying intent such as pricing and demo pages. 3. Website engagement What your leads read on your blog, the products and services they look at unveils in a natural way to what target segment they belong. Using a real-time lead segmentation solution you can build smart segments using automation. Segmenting your email lists to better reach your targeted audience is shown to increase revenues by as much as 760%, which is proof, if ever you needed it, that segmentation helps to qualify leads. The next, and final step, to stronger alignment, is to use the results of your segmented email campaigns to give sales reps the hottest leads. Using website tracking and lead scoring to hand-over leads to the sales team Segmentation puts your email campaigns directly in touch with your target audience: those most likely to buy based on their interest and actions. Open rates and click-throughs are then an interesting metric to understand who’s engaging with your campaigns and showing you campaign success. What is essential at this stage of the process, is to be able to filter out the right leads for sales—and these metrics may just not be enough. For a full lead qualification, you will need information about broader activity, timing, lead and company insights. If not, your sales team will complain about poor lead quality, even if they are good! Website tracking provides the sales team with real-time insights into the buyers’ true intent. What are their concerns? Which products or services on your website do they consider viable solutions? For instance: Are they reading a blog post about a specific expertise you have? Are they revisiting a specific product or service? Have they downloaded a form or guide? Have they had a look at your pricing page? If you combine lead engagement tracking (website, forms, email and more) with a lead scoring mechanism or integration, your team will be able to quantify that interest and provide your sales team with a reliable metric on the urgency a lead should be engaged. If you can provide your sales team with information on what’s behind the score (what exactly are leads doing), you help them save time on lead qualification. And that’s when you start to use reporting and analytics to enhance your sales and marketing alignment concretely. Wrap up Aligned sales and marketing teams are better for business, and email marketing is key to making it work. Use website tracking alongside email automation to involve sales reps in the marketing process, allow marketing leads to transition seamlessly into sales leads, and gather the data needed to improve email content for better long-term lead qualification.

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3 Automated Workflow Ideas to Engage Subscribers

To use email automation in a sensible, engaging way, here are three automated workflows as…

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6 Ways to Drive Revenue with Highly Relevant Email Newsletters

We’re sharing how you can generate revenue using your email newsletters.

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