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81 Spam Words to Avoid in Your Email Marketing [Infographic]

When it comes to email, even a single word can turn your audience off from opening the message. These are a few spam words to avoid next time you run a campaign.

With so much content flooding the every day feeds of consumers online, there are certain triggers that people look for instinctively in order to determine if there is any value in reading further into a piece of content that has been shared. In terms of email, that could mean a single word or phrase in the subject line. Once a certain term is seen, it is immediately registered as spam by the recipient and thrown in the trash. Here is a pretty sizeable list from Beeketing, which focuses on spam words to avoid in order to keep your audience happy.

Spam Words to Avoid in Your Email Campaigns

Email Marketing Myths [INFOGRAPHIC]

Email marketing is still alive and well, and there are plenty of email marketing myths that still scare marketers.

There is no shortage of email marketing myths out there that tend to scare some people away from the very successful platform. Email was the first form of social marketing, and it is still a viable option that should be considered in any strategy.

You want to reach your audience. That’s a goal for any social business. While billions have taken to the socialsphere, not everyone has adopted the platform yet. Despite seeing a mention of social media at every turn, it is still a new platform. Even marketers that have embraced social as the next big step in communications are still trying to figure out exactly how to sell on social platforms. With email, that trial and error period has been going on for much longer, and there are several ways to get your message across and sell your product or service via email.

In the infographic below, seven email marketing myths are laid out and dispelled. Take a look at them and ease your concerns about email. It should definitely be a consideration with any strategy!

How do you integrate email in your social business? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

email marketing myths infographic

How to Create Effective Email Subject Lines

When running an email campaign, you need to ensure that you create an effective email subject line to get your audience to read on!

effective email subject linesThe first thing people see when they open up their inboxes are the subject lines of their emails. Generally, these are going to be the deciding factors in whether or not someone is going to open an email or delete it. If you want to find yourself on the better side of those two options, then you need to make sure that you are crafting effective email subject lines.

There are a few best practices when it comes to creating effective email subject lines that should be followed. Take a look below to see what you can do to increase your open rates with a few small tweaks.

Be Clear

People don’t want mystery. It might seem logical: entice your audience with an aura of mystery and they will be more inclined to open your email and read through your content. It is actually the opposite.

Roughly 84% of emails sent are spam. Yes, that’s an actual figure. When you are not clear about what people are going to see when they open up your email, you fall into that 84%. The subject line, “These 5 Facebook Marketing Tips Will Help Drive New Engagement” is much better than, “Want to Make More Money?” The latter screams spam, and you’ll be lucky if you don’t see a large unsubscribe rate as a result.

Avoid Certain Words

Email marketers should know that words like ‘free’ tend to trigger spam filters, but research has shown that there are other words that tend to lower open rates.

MailChimp conducted a study and found that there were three seemingly innocent terms that had generally lower open rates: help, percent off and reminder. If this is the content of your email, include these words in the copy and keep them out of your subject line.

Change Your Newsletter Subject Line

The tricky thing about newsletters – everything from daily to monthly – is that they all eventually start to see diminishing open rates. One way to avoid seeing a drastic drop off is to keep your subject lines fresh with every new email. If you are always sending out an email with the subject line, “My Company’s Weekly Newsletter” it will not be nearly as captivating as, “Major Discoveries Found in New Research This Week”.

The 50 Character Rule

We have to learn to work within tight spaces. If you look at your inbox and an email subject line is a lengthy sentence that ends with an ellipses (…) is that really going to interest you? Are you even going to read the full subject line? Probably not.

With so much we can be doing, reading, watching and working on, we need to capture the attention of our recipients right away. Keep your subject lines short, 50 characters maximum is optimal.

Avoid Flash

“You need to BUY NOW!” is horrible. So horrible. And anything like it is also horrible.

Nobody wants to read whatever is in this email. In fact, the only reason why you might see some opens is because people wanted to click on the unsubscribe link. Avoid flash like CAPS, exclamation points, multiple punctuation (!!!) and anything that might “grab the attention” of your audience. It does, but for all the wrong reasons.

Stick to these best practices and you will certainly see some better performance with your emails. One of the best questions to ask yourself is, “Would I open this email if it came to me?” That question will generally give you the answer you’re looking for.

How do you craft effective email subject lines to increase your open rates? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

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How Much Does Social Media Cost?

It is a misguided question often asked: “How much does social media cost?”

how much does social media costWe hear it all the time. As marketers, a lot of us have even asked it or are asking it now. The question, “How much does social media cost?” is one that has surged in popularity as of late, but anyone who actively operates a social business knows why it is somewhat misguided.

So what makes the question misguided? The nature of asking why it is misguided might lead us to think that we are going to be given some convoluted, pseudo-existential response, but the fact is that it is quite simple. The question, “How much does social media cost?” is misguided because of the simple use of the term, ‘social media’.

What’s wrong with the term ‘social media’?

The buzzword on the tips of everybody’s tongue is ‘social media’. We know that it resonates when we talk to clients, and we bring it up because we know that clients expect to hear about it. While the media type is important, we have to step away from the term and look at the words and what they mean.

Social is self-explanatory. It is something that connects people. But media is plural. So basically, when we take a step back, we are saying, “How much does it cost to connect with people in different ways?” Now we’re getting somewhere.

What should the question be?

Now that we know that using the term ‘social media’ is misleading, we need to ask ourselves what the proper question is. We need to ask ourselves, “What is the cost of running a social business?”

A page on Facebook, boards on Pinterest and a Twitter account might look good, and they might be ‘free’ to create (if you don’t count the time it takes to create them) but what is the overhead of running a social business? This is where you have to think of ‘social media’ as more than a few networks – it is the new way of conducting business.

What is the cost of running a social business?

First of all, we need to stop thinking of social as MySpace, Friendster, Facebook and subsequent networks. Yes, these were new ways of connecting people, but the concept of social selling was nothing new. Blogs and email, even your website, were the original forms of social media; hubs in which people could connect. So what does it cost to apply that approach to your entire business?

First look at what departments are going to go social. If you are going to transition your customer service onto social channels – a more cost-effective, time-efficient and customer preferred way of doing business – how much will it cost per issues handled? Determine how much work will exist, how many people it will take to handle it and how much it will cost to employ those people. (NOTE: You might be the sole proprietor of your business. That’s great! But don’t sell yourself short. Your time is very valuable, and you need to figure out what your opportunity cost is to handling these facets of your business on your own.)

Most people are not looking at bus benches. They are spending hours a day looking at Facebook. They are sifting through billions of pieces of content on Twitter. They are conducting Google searches and clicking on results. They are looking for jobs on LinkedIn. You might hope to drive traffic organically. But these social channels need to make money, too. You are going to need to invest in your social business to see returns.

Advertising on social media is still young enough that it is affordable. Take advantage of that. Create highly customized ads that target your ideal candidates. Drive people to your website with your ads, or grow your brand’s market presence. Determine your budgets, as you have in the past, and test them to see what works.

There is no magic button or single answer. You might hear about a video that goes viral and figure, “I can do that, too!” You can try. But you might be sorely disappointed. Your social business is going to take a serious commitment, an investment and a new way of thinking.

So, how much does social media cost? Social media is your new business. It is not a standalone tool. Do not simply throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Take social seriously and invest appropriately.

Have you developed a Social Business Plan? See how t2 can help you put one together here.

Where have you invested most in your social business? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

How to Determine KPIs on Social Media

Understanding your brand’s KPIs on social media is going to be crucial to measuring the success of your program.

kpis on social mediaROI remains one of the key concerns for marketers and executives alike when it comes to social media marketing. While there exist a number of ways to measure your returns on social campaigns, few marketers know where to look in order to find them. The first place to start is by establishing your KPIs on social media – they are going to be invaluable down the road.

Think about it: how can you know if you are successful, if you do not know what your measurement for success is going to be? For those that do not know what KPI stands for, these are Key Performance Indicators, and they vary from brand to brand.

There are a few steps you are going to need to take in order to determine your KPIs for social media. Below is the set of steps to follow in order to figure out what, exactly, you plan on using as a criteria for success with social media efforts.

Establish Your Goals

Before you can determine how you want to measure your returns, you need to know what you want to accomplish. As it states above, KPIs are going to vary from business to business. Of course there will be some that are fairly general, and observed by almost everyone. But to know what you want to be measuring, you need to know what is going to contribute to achieving your goals.

There are a few goals your brand might have. Maybe you want to increase brand awareness, or drive direct sales. Maybe it is something in between those two. Whatever it is, you need to start by establishing your short and long term goals.

Understand Insights

When it comes to social media, insights are going to come in all shapes and sizes. They can also be assisted by tools and technologies. When looking at KPIs, you are going to need to sift through quite a bit of data. Conventionally, the top-down approach to measuring KPIs started with your goals and simply looked at the processes that led to results as the KPIs. This is not the case with social (well, not entirely the case). While you are going to be looking at processes as KPIs, you are also going to be looking at a number of other resources. Enter insights.

Know where your insights exist both on and off social networks. Look at your activity on Facebook Insights, and compliment that with data collected in Google Analytics. Knowing where all of your data is being collected (and yes, all of your data is being collected) is going to be extremely useful when determining your KPIs and where you can find them.

Simplicity is Not a Bad Thing

Sometimes, the simplest answer is going to be the best. Measuring your return on investment does not have to be some convoluted set of equations that generate a mysterious, variable-filled result. You can look at some of your more simple KPIs and find a whole lot of value.

Something as simple of your number of interactions – a hard, straightforward number – can be an extremely valuable KPI and you shouldn’t go out of your way to complicate things.

Some Helpful Starting Points

When it comes to KPIs on social media, there are going to be some standard ones. No matter what you are trying to achieve, you will ultimately want to keep at least a few of these in mind.

  • Cost-per-lead/conversion: You have to spend money to make money and social media is no different. Pay attention to how much you are investing in every one of your conversions in order to ensure that you are profitable.
  • Engagement: Look at how often your fans are interacting with your brand in order to see if your content strategy is successful. If you are talking to no one, how can you expect to drive any business from social media?
  • Referral traffic: This relates closely to your engagement KPI. How often is your content leading to users visiting your website? What types of content are leading to users visiting your website, or finding landing pages?
  • Network growth: It might seem trivial, but a lot of people tend to overlook the value of a large network. Whether that is an email database, a group of Twitter followers, or followers on your company’s LinkedIn page, a growing network can have a lot of value if leveraged correctly.

What KPIs are you using to track your work on social media? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

Scary Fun Facts About Social Business and Commerce

It’s that time of year again, and we thought we would share some ‘scary’ fun facts about social business to keep with the spirit of Halloween!

facts about social media halloweenWait, how can something be scary and fun at the same time? Well, for businesses that are leveraging the possibilities that social business presents, these facts are a lot of fun. For those that have not yet invested in social initiatives, seeing that they are missing out on these facts about social business is very, very scary.

The Pinterest Witch Has Cast a Spell

A spell on female consumers, to be exact. On Pinterest, 47% of women say that they have made a purchase based on a recommendation they saw on the network. Considering that women make up a vast majority of Pinterest users, you can see why that might be an opportunity one would be terrified to miss.

People Are Trapped on Facebook

People are spending over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Hours of time online is being devoted to one website. So the billions of other pages on the web need to compete for the attention of this Facebook user base. Rather than trying to direct their attention elsewhere, wouldn’t it just be easier to make your presence known within a community that is already active and highly engaged?

We Are Brainwashed By Cats

Over 6 billion hours of video are watched every month on YouTube alone! So whether you are creating videos for your audience or advertising in the video space, you know that there is at least one hour per person on Earth where you can be found on YouTube.

Shopping Zombies Hungry for Information (Kind of like Brains, I Guess)

Research shows that 40% of consumers compare prices on their mobile devices before making a purchasing decision. It also shows that 64% of consumers have made a purchase from a brand because of a digital experience (web site, social presence, email, etc.). Consumers are looking to the web for information and a positive user experience. If you do not have a presence there, you can rest assured that your chances of getting someone’s business decrease dramatically.

Scared yet? The importance of engaging with your audience and becoming a social business has never been greater. People are looking to each other and to brands in order to make purchasing decisions. If you are not a part of the conversation, you are not a part of the market. Now that’s scary stuff.

How are you conquering your fears and becoming a social enterprise? Find out how t2 can help you here.

We would love to know what facts you find interesting, and be sure to send us a picture of your costume on Twitter! Happy Halloween!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

4 Tips for Handling Social Care on Twitter

Social Care on Twitter is becoming increasingly popular with brands of all sizes.

social care on twitterWhat exactly is Social Care on Twitter? Today, one-third of online adults prefer to engage with brands through new media – like Twitter or a live chat service – than through conventional forms of customer service – like the phone, or even email. People want their issues addressed right away. The practice of helping customers on these networks is called “Social Care”.

By providing Social Care on Twitter, for example, your brand is offering an added value that many competitors may not yet offer. This is still an emerging trend, and your brand can be among the first to reap the benefits!

Let’s go through 4 helpful tips when it comes to offering Social Care on Twitter.

Have a Plan in Place

The most important thing you are going to need to do is have a plan in place for dealing with customer service issues as they come up. Whether it is a technical issues (maybe you provide a software, or a physical product) or a dissatisfied customer, you need to have procedures in place to address these issues in real time.

Remember, everything you share on Twitter is public (with the exception of Direct Messages) so make sure that you know exactly what you want to share, how you want to share it and the image you would like to portray for your brand, because these conversations will be seen by a potentially large audience.

Address Issues Immediately

When it comes to customer service, surveys show that customers want their issues completely resolved within 60 minutes. They want their issues addressed by a brand within five minutes of bringing them up. Letting complaints, questions or comments sit in the socialsphere and gestate is worse than having the comment up there to begin with.

What kind of image is portrayed of your company when you let your customers’ issues go unaddressed, for the whole world to see what kind of service you offer? Make sure you are handling these issues in real time. After all, that’s why people are reaching out on these media.

Take Twitter Seriously

If you plan on offering Social Care on Twitter, you have to be prepared to take it seriously. The same way you would have a team in place to deal with customer service calls, you need to have a designated individual or team for handling Social Care on Twitter.

People expect the same service, if not better service on Twitter than they do from any conventional form of customer service. Just because it is Twitter, does not mean it is a free pass.

Take Advantage of Tools

The bigger the brand, the heavier the volume of customers reaching out. It can be overwhelming to watch a stream fill up with queries and complaints. You might find it hard to address every one. Take advantage of some of the tools that exist to help with organizing your Social Care on Twitter.

Look into ZenDesk, which works with HootSuite, or Salesforce Desk to help you manage your Social Care. You’ll find it a lot easier to work these into your Social Care strategy than to run the whole thing on Twitter alone. Remember the tip above, you need to take Social Care on Twitter seriously.

Implement these tips into your Social Care strategy and you’ll see that customers love a caring brand! Tell us how you use Social Care on Twitter in the comments below or on Twitter!

Feel free to reach out to t2 to find out how we can help you with your Social Care strategy!

t2social social medis marketing strategies

 

How To Promote Events on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

What are a few great ways to promote events on social media?

We have all seen it before: emails with invites to webinars, lightboxes inviting you to a hangout, or Facebook tabs promoting a physical event. There is no shortage of ways to promote events on social media. There are, however, certain best practices that should always be exercised when doing so.

The folks at digital event planning company Eventility put together an excellent infographic that lays out the Dos and Don’ts of event planning on social media, and they are right on the money.

While many of us have probably been on busy webinars wondering, “How did they get all of these people to show up?”, there are plenty more out there with few attendees. So why are some more successful than others? Yes – the reputation of the host has something to do with it. But the real success lies in planning and effectively promoting your event!

Take a look at the infographic to see what steps need to be followed in order to properly promote events on social media.

Have you ever planned an event with the help of social media? Did you implement these steps and tips? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

promote events on social media

Social Media: Week-in-Review, July 6, 2013

We hope you had a nice 4th of July! In case you missed some of the topics we covered this week, here is the social media week-in-review!

LinkedIn Facts & Figures 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]

LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for networking and increasing your clout in the business world and your industry, but where are the benefits to LinkedIn in numbers? This excellent infographic does a great job of showcasing where the benefits are to LinkedIn for business!

content to post on facebook6 Types of Content to Post on Facebook

Everyone knows the Wal-Mart brand. But not everyone realizes that thanks in large part to their content sharing strategy, they have built the largest US-based audience on Facebook. Find out what 6 types of content Wal-Mart has shared in order to reach these unprecedented levels.

4 Tips for Tumblr Beginners

Tumblr is an excellent network and growing considerably every day. There are several opportunities to engage with niche audiences and grow your presence both on social media and online. For beginners, the network can be a little intimidating, so we have put together 4 tips that all Tumblr beginners should be aware of!

Social Media Case Study: SmartPak Equine

When one thinks of a social media case study, an online retailer for equestrian products is not, in all likelihood, the first company that comes to mind. However, with a set of risky event-triggered email campaigns, SmartPak Equine proved that inspiration and success can come from anywhere! Find out what SmartPak Equine did in this week’s social media case study!

social bookmarking your business redditSocial Equity: Social Bookmarking Your Business

Social bookmarking was among the first forms of social media, and popularity for the activity has not slowed. There are still tens of millions of people using social bookmarking sites every day and a virtually endless supply of content being fed to these networks. Find out how social bookmarking sites add value to your business in this week’s Social Equity segment!

Be sure to check out our recently launched YouTube channel! Have a look through some of these great articles and enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

t2social social medis marketing strategies