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How Drip Campaigns Can Fill Your Sales Funnel

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Email marketing comes in all shapes and forms. It can be a simple one-time message blasted out to all your contacts, or it can be a large-scale multi-tiered campaign carefully dripped out to specific customers at key times. In order to truly understand the how, when, and why of email marketing, you should be studying the sales funnel and consumer journey. Here, we’ll go over all the steps of the funnel, and how your email campaign can optimize the journey.

The Consumer’s Journey

First, let’s take a look at the consumer journey. There are many versions of this, so we’ll choose a general five stage model.

Awareness Phase: Prospective consumer becomes aware of your product or solution.

Consideration Phase: Prospective consumer begins research on both your product or solution and your competitor’s.

Conversion Phase: The consumer has made the decision, works through negotiations, and makes the purchase.

Loyalty Phase: Your brand continues efforts to retain that consumer and reinforce loyalty.

Advocacy Phase: Inspiring that consumer to advocate for your brand by telling others about their experience.

The Sales Funnel

The term funnel is a common one, as it implies large amounts enter the first phase in order for a few to finish the journey. It may be helpful to picture it as more of a circle, as later phases can actually aid the earlier ones.

The different stage of the consumer journey are what fills the sales funnel and helps your sales team how and when to reach out to a leads. Ideally, through keeping the consumer journey in mind, you help new leads go through the different stages of the journey and warm these leads up for your sales team.

You should also be equipping your sales team with the right content assets that they can share with their leads to convert someone from consideration to conversion.

Targeting Each Phase

Let’s focus on the consumer’s journey and how your content and email efforts can move leads along the path to becoming a new client. Each phase needs a particular strategy applied to maximize effectiveness. Let’s go through the journey with accompanying strategy, and we’ll provide some examples as well.

Awareness Strategy

At a time where the consumer is unaware of your brand, you should resist the urge to push the sales tactics and self-promotional material specific to your product. Now is the time where you want to establish your brand as a thought leader and provider of solutions, so creation of newsletters, eBooks, and informative blog posts should be a priority. Have your newsletter and/or eBook gated, so you can start adding more email addresses to your list, and make sure to promote them on social media as well. That said, you don’t want to bombard people with emails they never wanted to receive, so make sure it’s an opt-in situation. You want to establish and build trust and expertise, and not much more.

Example:  SEO giant Moz sends wonderfully curated and informative newsletters out to all their subscribers, without any pushy sales tactics. The quality of their product speaks for itself, which is pure gold for B2B marketing.

Consideration Strategy

Now you’ve got their attention, and, based on their response, they are definitely interested in your product. You still want to stay away from the hard sales pitches, though, and continue to provide informative and solution-based content. You’re developing a long-term relationship here, so you want this to be increasingly personal as the campaign progresses. This is the stage where you identify who you’re working with, and then provide them with relevant content that applies to them. Case studies, success stories, and maybe a few testimonials are good, but make sure you are still focused on providing solutions and building trust.

Example: PerfectAudience retargets social ads for businesses that are not seeing the results they want. By offering a case study to read, along with juicy success statistics in the email, it encourages potential customers to read that study, as well as continue on to their website to get more information.

Conversion Strategy

This is what you’ve been nurturing these relationships all this time for. It’s time to close, but you still don’t want to overwhelm them with sales calls. You can still provide them with content that reassures them that they’re making the right choice. A few more success stories can provide the social proof they need to make the purchase. Now that they’re almost part of the team, you can invite them to webinars or trickle them onboarding videos. And if you want to offer a welcome wagon discount, make sure there’s language to convey a sense of urgency like “one-time offer” or “limited availability”.  That could be the final gem that makes the deal happen.

Example: Here, Grammarly flaunts a little of their social proof, citing testimonials and easy-to-digest samples of how well their service works. Prime example of how these sorts of emails at the conversion stage can make the difference.

Loyalty/Advocacy Strategy

We are combining these phases into a single strategy, because the ideas are similar. Turning away from your consumers after they’ve been converted is a big mistake; retaining existing customers is worth as much or more than getting new ones. Let them know you’re still excited about their business with entertaining and engaging monthly or weekly email drips, informative posts about how to best use your product or service, and incentives to resign with your brand early. Surveys and feedback can both reassure your customers and give you valuable market research at once.

Turning your existing customers into advocates is a worthy investment, and you can get momentum going with the content you’re sending them. If you sent surveys, let them know how much their feedback meant, and offer them further discounts for referrals. Ask them for testimonials, and make sure that you are linking back to their awesome brand at every opportunity on social media.

You can see now how your efforts on the tail end of your funnel/circle can start moving the needle in the awareness and consideration phases at the front end. The key is to continuously provide great content, personalized messaging, and a trusted presence throughout.

Example: American Express, in one fell swoop, thanks their clients for their loyalty, offers them discounts, and invited them into a no-risk referral program. This covers all of the bases in a non-intrusive yet rewarding way.

Final Thoughts

The consumer’s journey helps fill your sales funnel and it’s helpful to tag leads according to what phase they’re in for both sales and marketing so that sales knows when to call the lead and so you know what content to drip them from marketing. The goal is to steer these leads through the funnel to purchasing and then once they become a client, to keep them as a client with your awesome product and helpful content.

Do you have any tips on nurturing leads according to where they fall in the consumer’s journey? Share your tips with us on Twitter @Feed_otter

 

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3 Innovative Ways B2B Content Marketers Nailed It

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These days, content is as varied, creative, and effective as ever before…which means it’s even more challenging to stand out in the crowd. In the B2B industry, competition is fierce. There are countless ways to use engaging content to drive your business, but which methods will work best for you?

We have picked out a few particularly impressive examples in the hopes that you’ll find a method that resonates with you and your brand. Let’s take a look.

Customer is King

Obviously, your customers (past, present, and potential) are incredibly important to you. So, why not sing their praises to the world? Drift, a conversational marketing service, has elevated customer appreciation into brilliant content marketing, and everybody wins. Here’s how.

First, they feature success stories with their customers on their blog. They talk about how great the company is, and how they were able to help them achieve such amazing success. This shares social proof with potential customers who are in the consideration phase, and assures them they’re on the right track.

There are plenty of examples of customer testimonials, and the reader gets a comprehensive rundown on how the services work, but in an easy to understand, conversational way. Next, the sharing starts, and both companies link back to the other, exponentially raising the share radius and providing some tasty SEO juice in the process.

Drift’s blog is also full of informational content, and the writing is funny and quirky enough to make all of it easy to read. So, you have a great company that clearly loves its customers, happy customers who are willing to testify how great Drift is while enjoying tons of brand exposure, and potential clients who are reassured they’re onto something good. Like we said, everybody wins.

Educate and Sell

There are so many different marketing experts and industry rock stars out there, and they all have great insight and advice to share. Likewise, there are countless new entrepreneurs and startups that need some guidance. Problem is, you have to search and filter through an enormous amount of unorganized and vague posts before you happen upon some relevant industry content, and then hope that it’s well written and pertains to your pain points.

Enter First Round, a thoughtfully curated collection of digital magazines that cover a variety of industries and let the experts do the talking. You need to find and digest this content quickly and efficiently, and come away with actionable tactics you can consider and employ right away. That’s a stated goal of First Round, along with providing entertaining and engaging content that the experts themselves offer. This is a prime example of how strictly offering education and insight is both impactful and beneficial for everyone involved.

Time is Money

Here at FeedOtter, we are all about content marketing solutions, specifically, automating content digest emails so of course we need to include an example from our own experience!

Trimble had a problem. They are an international company that offers unique positioning products, innovative hardware and software , and complex informational solutions to massive companies on several continents. They had a tremendous amount of helpful content to push out to current and potential clients, and had counted on emails and newsletters to do so.

Problem was, all of this needed to be integrated and organized to be sent in a timely and efficient manner. Oh yeah, and in five different languages. Newsletters were taking all day to curate and compose, and they were trying to write unique code and design entire systems to do so. Yes, email campaigns work, but the effort spent in formatting and translating them was costing a lot of time and money.

Enter FeedOtter, a content management service that was able to provide Trimble with newsletter templates, integration with scheduled automated email services, and translation services right away. Within two years, Trimble’s website traffic from subscribers doubled, monthly conversions increased by 150%, and the creative team was able to focus more on the quality of the newsletters.

The takeaway? Hire the right experts to do what they excel at, and utilize your team to keep the quality up where it should be. If it works for a huge company like Trimble, it can work for you, too.

Do you have any examples of brands who rock at content marketing? We’d love to chat with you about it in the comments below!

 

 

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You’ve Created Great Content. Now What?

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If you’re like most marketers, you feel like you’ve been creating engaging content all along, but it just doesn’t get as many views as you need it to. You’ve put a lot of work into creating content and you know that readers would love it…if you could just get them to read it. Sound familiar?

Many experts say that content marketing should follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time should be promoting your content and 20% of your time should be creating content. It’s a better use of your time to make sure your great content gets seen before you continue on towards creating another piece of content.

This post outlines 8 things you can do after you create your awesome content so that your target consumers actually see it.

Utilize your Site

Your site should get a lot of traffic, even if those visitors aren’t initially checking out your content. Creating pop-ups that recommend your newest content when visitors arrive are an effective way to get more content views. You also can put relevant images and content blocks in your sidebar that direct people on your site to your content.

Create a Dynamic Email Strategy

Hopefully by now, you’ve created an email list of leads. Thought leadership content that you produce like blog posts, eBooks and white papers are the perfect items to email out to your leads to keep them engaged and privy to your content. To save time, you may want to consider a tool like FeedOtter to automate and curate a weekly or monthly digest of the content your produce.

For content that is gated by a lead capture form, you may want to go above and beyond with your email strategy and purchase an eblast or a spot in a thought leadership newsletter. The money you might have to spend on this is well worth the new leads that you will generate.

Enlist Your Coworkers

Your coworkers can be an incredible untapped resource for sharing your brand’s content.

One research report found that content shared by a brand’s employees has 561% more engagement than content shared by a brand’s own channels. That number is too big to ignore.

Here are a few ways to encourage your coworkers to share your content:

  • Create a weekly email digest containing your brand’s latest content
  • Write some social messages that they can cut and paste
  • Utilize a communication platform like Slack
  • Gamify the process by offering incentives

Hit Social Hard

Share everything you produce on all of your own social channels and keep experimenting with relevant hashtags. Hashtagify can help you see how popular any particular hashtag is, and can help you be equipped to use hashtags that will actually be seen.

Paid social ads for your best pieces of content are a great idea as well, because you can work with anything from a tiny budget to a big budget while targeting ideal consumers.

When it comes to Twitter, schedule tweets out on a tool like HootSuite and share your post at least 5 times within the first week after publishing. Use different hashtags (2 per post) every time you compose a tweet.

Get on the Radar of Big Brands

If you can get your content on the radar of brands who have a lot of followers, they will often share your content with their own audience, which maximizes the visibility of your content without expensive paid promotions.

One way to do this is to link to their site, or a resource they produced, in the body of your content. Then, when you share your content on social, tag them in your posts so that they notice it.

You can even go as far as to email them and send them the link to your content and ask them to share it.

Along those lines, you can also reach out to big publications and ask if you can write a guest post for them. If you do it right, you can now house your incredible content on their site and benefit from their traffic. What a great way to maximize your visibility!

Utilize Influencers

There are a couple ways to utilize influencers to increase content visibility.

One way is to extract relevant quotes from their posts and use them in your content, and then cite these influencers in your post. They are usually as eager to promote any complementary content that includes their quotes.

Another way to work with influencers for your content is to email them specific questions that you might want them to weigh in on, and then link to their social accounts or blog when you insert their input.

Just like working with brands as we cited above, be sure to generously tag the influencers on social media and email them and ask them to share your content with their own followers.

Make it Sharable

There are a few ways to make your content easily shareable, which can increase your chances of readers sharing your content.

The most obvious way is to have social share buttons on your content. Make these social share buttons easily viewed on the sidebar and/or the bottom of your content. Also, make sure they’re optimized so that when your readers click on them, the posts are accurately representing your content.

Another way is to insert Click to Tweet phrases within the content so that your readers only have to click on the link and instantly share the tweet you’ve composed within your content. Take some time to decide which of your sentences sums up your content concisely and accurately.

Also, it never hurts to include your best content to your email blasts, and ask them to share your content on their own social media channels if they like it.

Tap into Content Sharing Communities

There are plenty of communities out there (that have already built a strong online presence) that you can submit your content to. These communities are a great way to connect with like-minded readers. Some ones to consider are LinkedIn Groups, Triberr and Growth Hackers. These communities also offer optimal networking opportunities with like-minded professionals.

Do you have any strategies that you use to promote your content? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

 

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B2B Content Marketing Strategies That Increase Lead Generation and Conversion

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Content marketing is shown to be three times more successful than traditional marketing strategies and can even cost less than doing things the old fashioned way. Knowing this, content marketing can be extremely beneficial for your business when done correctly.

Let’s examine 5 ways you can leverage content marketing to generate more leads and convert those leads into clients.

Gate Your Best Content with a Lead Capture Form

When you create content that is more dynamic and comprehensive than an average blog post (such as an eBook or a white paper), make sure to gate it with a lead capture form. This will help grow your leads exponentially right away. Downloading your content immediately self-identifies these leads as having an affinity for your brand.

When you create a lead capture form, keep it short and sweet. You want to have a balance of getting all the information you need, while only having a few fields to fill in.  If you ask for too much information, the lead may give up in frustration. Key fields include:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Company name
  • Role at company

Send Leads Content Not a Sales Pitch

It’s likely that you have an email marketing campaign all queued up. But, you might want to take a moment to examine your campaigns and make sure that you’re sending your leads thought leadership content as opposed to a sales pitch about your brand.

Of course, you want to present them with a sales pitch eventually, but you want to “warm them up” with resources they will actually find useful. This positions your brand as a trusted source of information and will make the lead more receptive to your sales pitch when it comes time. A good rule of thumb is to drip your leads with 5 emails before sending them an email about your brand and then asking them if they would like a demo or phone call to learn more.

Create a Dynamic Content Strategy

There are many forms of content to leverage that positions your brand as a thought leader. A balance between a stream of blog posts and more thorough pieces of content like eBooks is crucial. This means that multiple channels will be bringing new leads to the table. A sample editorial calendar to use as a springboard may look like:

  • 1 blog post per week
  • 1 eBook per month
  • 1 white paper per quarter
  • 1 infographic per quarter

This balance and steady stream of valuable content will help generate new leads and nurture current leads. You may want to consider a weekly round-up of your brand’s content, and the FeedOtter tool is a great way to streamline this process.

Learn Your Consumer’s Journey

Sit down with a hot cup of tea and draw out on a piece of paper the stages that consumers go through that lead them to your brand, while noting specific pain points they may encounter or different questions they may have. Seeing these stages on paper will help you create the right content that will appeal to those target consumers and help you line up your email drip campaigns.

Case studies are key pieces of content, but need to be strategically dripped. Knowing where your leads are in the buying process is crucial to understanding when and how you should distribute case studies. Theoretically, the lead should be dripped thought leadership resources like blogs and eBooks to establish brand trust. Once that trust has been established, case studies are key to converting that lead into a consumer.

Embrace User Generated Content

Consumers don’t want to hear from a brand itself. Rather, they are more likely to trust the recommendations of their peers. This is where user generated content (UGC) comes in. Content created by consumers and/or influencers is ideal content to promote and share with your current leads and potential leads. Here are some areas where you might want to use UGC:

  • Social media (paid and organic)
  • Weekly or monthly newsletter
  • Blog posts

To earn more UGC, you may want to offer incentives in the form of discounts from your brand or gift cards. Sometimes, clients need a reason to produce content about their experience with your brand, and it’s so worth it!

Additionally, it’s wise to seek out influencers who have an affinity for your brand and explore how you can work together to have them produce UGC in the form of a product review. This earned media adds an extra layer of authenticity surrounding your brand and can generate a lot of new interest. If this type of content is put in front of current leads, it may get them to the finish line and convince them to convert into a client.

Have you tried any content marketing strategies to generate or nurture leads that you want to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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How to Create a Killer Company Newsletter

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The dreaded newsletter — It’s something that every company strives to send but also wonders if it’s worthwhile.

Most of the time your newsletter list consists of current customers or maybe even leads that weren’t ready to buy. A company newsletter is a great way to maintain brand awareness with your customers. Newsletters can also be a great asset to stay in front of those leads who are not ready to convert. It’s a subtle way to stay top-of-mind while keeping your company brand relevant. When putting together a newsletter, there are two major items to consider. 1) The design and 2) the content.

01. THE DESIGN

The biggest mistake companies can make with their newsletters is the design. While graphics and pops of color can look appealing, they should definitely be kept to a minimum. Here’s why:

  • Too many images increase the likelihood of your email ending up in spam/junk
  • Excessive code in emails can break how they render in different email inboxes
  • Heavy design elements like color, graphics, and custom fonts may not display properly on mobile

Newsletter templates should have a simple yet aesthetic design. It should easily allow readers to move their eyes throughout the content. One great way to accomplish this is by using different content sections or blocks, which can also help organize your newsletter.

                    newsletter1

These email templates are provided by BEE Free and are available for free on their website. Read our blog The Top 3 Free Email Builders to learn how to import this newsletter template into your email marketing platform.

02. THE CONTENT

The type of content within your newsletter will depend on your audience and company brand/voice. If your company voice can be fun and playful, a newsletter is a perfect place to portray it. For example, if your company is a financial institution and your newsletter audience includes clients, it may not be the greatest idea to use a playful voice. Your audience is expecting professionalism and valuable resources in your newsletter.

Contingent on your audience, the following types of content are great for peaking interest and may be a great fit for your newsletter:

Promotions

Promotional offers are one of the most common types of content in newsletters. Offering discounts or special promos can help encourage repeat business but can also help bring in new sales. Social sharing buttons or referral programs make it easy for your readers to share with fellow friends while helping you capture new business.

Resources

Resources like blogs, case studies, and ebooks are just a few examples of the valuable content you can offer your audience in newsletters. For B2B industries, it’s likely that customers will be interested in the material they can relate to their own business efforts. For example, a case study on how another company has overcome the struggle of increasing lead conversion may be valuable for others in the same position. By offering these types of resources you are encouraging your customers to build their knowledge base and in turn, customers will associate value with your company.

Spotlights

Whether you’re adding a new team member or introducing a new client, spotlights are unique content pieces to share with your audience. Employee spotlights could consist of industry related tips, fun facts, reviews, and more. Showcasing a new client may involve a brief introduction but also what your company will be doing to help them. If industry appropriate, spotlights are a great place to get fun with your company personality.

Industry/Company Updates

Reviewing the latest and greatest news in your companies industry is extremely important. By sharing industry updates you’re not only educating them, but you’re also showing your readers you keep up with industry trends and you’re ready to compete. It proves your business is continuously learning and making strides to remain relevant. Updates may also include software or application announcements, especially if your business works with the applications or are widely popular within the industry.

Events

Events are a timeless resource that can hold huge value with customers. Types of events can vary and may include: webinars, networking, fundraising, educational workshops, tradeshows, and more. Newsletters can be a great space to announce these types of events as the email list typically includes the mass majority of your database. Many times hosting or attending an event can also help capture new leads.

If you’re already a pro at email newsletters, check out 8 Valuable Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without.

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How to Create an Editable Marketo Email Template Using BEE Free

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In my last post I showed you how to create a one-off email for Marketo using the BEE Free site which is always a great, easy option when you’re tired of the Marketo editor. But, what if you want to re-use one of those emails just like the pre-built Marketo email templates? Not a problem! And no, you don’t have to be an expert developer to do so. I’ll show you exactly what you need to do.

Creating an Email Using the BEE Free Site

If you don’t already have an email in your Marketo instance that you want to make editable, then I suggest choosing a template you like from the BEE Free site. The site is very intuitive and easy to navigate but be sure you deselect the “pro” option when sorting through the templates. This will ensure you’re only viewing the free options. Once you choose the template you would like to use simply click “get started”.

An editor will open allowing you to fully customize that template design. Now, because we plan to use this as a Marketo email template you don’t necessarily need to fill it in with real content just yet. However, you will want to edit things like background color, text box and image locations, fonts, etc. in order to get the design exactly how you want it.

BEE Free Editor

When you’re finished editing, simply click the “save” button in the top right-hand corner. This will take you to a new page offering the Pro version of their services. The Pro version offers storage so you can save your template inside the BEE Free site. For our purposes however, we really don’t need that so you can simply click the “I just want to download it” button.

Download Template

Adding the BEE Free Email to Marketo

First, you’ll need to open your computer’s “downloads” folder and locate a folder that’s named “beefree” followed by some random letters and numbers. Open that folder and click on the .html file inside. This will open a webpage. Right-click anywhere on this page (except on an image) and select “view page source”. Highlight and copy ALL of the text on that page. This is the coding behind your new template.

Next, you’ll open your Marketo instance, create a new email in the design studio, click “edit code” in the editor and replace the existing code with the new code you copied earlier. The reason I recommend creating an email here rather than a template is because it is easier to verify the edits we’re about to make to create editable fields. This will make more sense as we move through the next steps. Once you’ve replaced all the existing code with your new code, click “save”.

Making Your New Marketo Email Template Editable

Now that your email is created in Marketo, you’ll need to make it editable. To do so you simply need to add <div class=”mtkEditable” id=”section_name”> tags to each section of code. Editing code may sound scary to some at first, but it’s really not once you have a basic understanding of what html is.

So to start, open your new email in Marketo and get to the edit code page. In the code, your email is broken into sections. Each section is housed within <div> tags as shown below.

Example of Code Sections

Example of Code Sections

 

Also, keep in mind that the code of an email flows in the same order as your design. So if you’ve got a text block in the middle of the template you want to make editable, you’ll find the block of code for it toward the middle as well.

Example of code location

Making an Image Block of a Marketo Email Template Editable

If you want to make an image block editable, look through the code for an <img> tag. This is noticeable by the URL linking to the image and the <img> start tag. I typically use control-F to search for the URL of the image. For example, if I know the image is titled “wine” then I search the page for that term and will be taken directly to that portion of the code. Once you have the correct image located, back up through the code and find the <div> tag that comes directly before the <img> tag.

example of image location in code

You’ll notice that in my example this <div> tag already contains a “class=” designation. Since you can only have one of these designations per <div> tag, you’ll need to remove what’s there and replace it with class=”mktEditbale”. Also, Marketo requires every editable section to have an “id” designation. They use this as the section name in the “content” column on the right-hand side of the email editor. So you’ll need to add id=”header-image” (or whatever title makes sense for your email) directly after your new class designation.

To test to see if you added it in the correct location, click save code to get back to the Marketo editor and if when you hover over that section it highlights it or you see the section in the right-hand column, then you know it is editable and your edits to the code worked!

verify your work

Making Text Blocks in a Marketo Email Template Editable

You’ll need to repeat the step above for every section you want editable. For text blocks, the easiest thing to do is to hit control+F and search for some of the words in the text of your email. In the example below that would be “Lorem Ipsum dolor sit…” That will take you directly to the appropriate section of code. Then you’ll again locate the <div> tag directly before the text and add class=”mktEditable” id=”section_name” like below.

locating text block making text editable verifying in Marketo

Finalizing Your New Marketo Email Template

Once you have all the editable areas in place and your email looks just how you want it (again actual content isn’t necessary just yet), you’re ready to save it as a template in your Marketo instance.

Click edit email to open the email editor for your new email. Once in the editor, click the email actions drop down in the top left corner. Choose “save as template” and set your desired location and name. Then hit save.

save as template in Marketo naming your template

You now have a brand new Marketo email template ready for use. Go to your Marketing Activities and locate a program or campaign you’d like to add an email to. Create a new local asset. Choose email and you’ll new see your newest Marketo email template in the template picker.

Plus, as an added bonus, you can now say you know how to edit HTML code!

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The Top 3 Free Email Builders

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As a content marketer, one of your most valued duties includes creating content and sharing it. However, using different marketing software may present as your biggest challenge. Picture this, you’re up against a tight deadline to launch an e-newsletter containing this month’s featured content, but you’ve run into a snag because your email template just doesn’t translate the way you imaged or worse isn’t rendering correctly.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this scenario, this blog is for you! By the end of this piece, you will know how to use the top free email builders and how to import your new design to use in Pardot.

 

BEE Free

BEE Free is one of the easiest email builders to use. You can drag and drop content onto email templates, including buttons, text blocks, images, and more.  With BEE Free, marketers can design sleek and modern emails with ease. This site also offers a way to export HTML to transfer into email marketing platforms.

To begin building your email template, head over to the BEE Free homepage and “Start Designing”. The site will prompt you to start your own design from scratch or select a template where you can filter through an abundance of free templates, usage types, and different industries.

 

Once you’ve selected a template you’re now ready to customize it! The drag and drop email builder gives you a seamless user experience. Once you’ve got the look you desired you want to “Save” the email template. However, if you’re using the free version, BEE Free will ask if you’d like to sign up for a paid plan or if you’d just like to download your template – you want to choose to download it.

 

After selecting to download the email, a zip file should load where you will find an image (holds all the images to the email template) and .html file. You’ll want to open this file and right-click to reveal the drop-down for “View Page Source”. This will allow you to view the code of the whole page. This is the code we’ll later copy and paste into Pardot.

 

In the Pardot email builder, you’ll want to paste the code from the page source into the HTML tab in Pardot.

 

*Note: You may receive the following alert: HTML message: An unsubscribe tag (%%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%%) is required somewhere in the body of the email. This can be done by highlighting the text you’d like to link for unsubscribers and selecting the hyperlink icon to choose the unsubscribe tag as the link type.

 

Once the HTML code is added I suggest previewing your email template and making revisions. Please note if you’re adding images to the BEE Free template, you will need to readd them to the Pardot template.

 

TOPOL.io

Similar to BEE Free, Topol.io allows users to design emails with a drag and drop tool and it’s “sooooo easy”. In comparison to BEE Free, Topol.io also provides a number of email templates but not nearly as many. One feature I believe Topol.io does better is the process of exporting the email HTML. Topol.io automatically creates a download of the .html file, rather than a zip file.

 

After selecting your email template to design, you’ll want to “Save & Download”, which will prompt an automatic download of the HTML. From here the same process as stated above should be followed to import the email HTML into Pardot.

Stripo.email

Unlike our first two contenders, Stripo requires users to sign up for a free account and caps off at 4 free downloads each month. However, Stripo.email states the download limits get reset every month. By selecting “Email Templates” in the navigation bar, you’re able to select from numerous email templates and filter by type, industry, and season.

 

“Try Out” your email template once you’ve selected the right fit and begin to make your revisions. When you’re ready to export the HTML, you will save the email template which will then prompt you to create a free user account.

 

When your new account has been registered you will be brought to an overview screen of all your email templates. Select the one you’d like to export the HTML and proceed with selecting the “Export” button > HTML > Download HTML file.

 

Not a Pardot user? Here’s a similar article for Marketo.

 

 

 

 

 

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Learn 4 Tools to Determine Audience Segmentation in Pardot

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What is Audience Segmentation?

As a content marketer, it’s common to hear that segmenting your data is important, but do you know why it matters? Segmenting your customer data allows you to pinpoint different subgroups that relate to another in one or more ways. This simple strategy can be extremely beneficial to a content marketer. The most significant reason a to consider audience segmentation is due to the fact that it hones in on a data subset, which allows you to better understand your customer. In turn, you can create customer-specific content that resonates with the right target audience.

Why Does it Matter?

With all the advertising and marketing clutter today, it is more imperative than ever to offer relevant and valuable content to your target consumers. By delivering worthwhile resources, customers immediately see value within the company and brand. This can result in a greater opportunity for cross-selling/up-selling, consumer retention, higher conversion rates, and more.

Who is your Audience?

If you are just starting out with content marketing and have yet to determine who your audience is, here are the most common characteristics for segmenting your data.

1) Geographical/Regional (i.e. State)

2) Demographic (i.e. Income)

3) Behavioral (i.e. Product Purchased)

Keep in mind your audience segmentation is going to be specific to your company – learn more about audience building. For example, as a loan lender, you may choose to segment your data by income. The greater the income a contact has, the larger loan you may be able to offer them. This would determine the specific campaigns marketed to these groups – leverage your content the right way.

4 Pardot Tools for Audience Segmentation

If your company utilizes a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can take advantage of the native tools within the platform to create audience segmentation. These tools include:

1) Static vs. Dynamic List

  • With this tool, you are able to create a one-time list (static) and lists that automatically update based on a set of rules and criteria (dynamic). Static lists are manually updated by importing or removing contacts. These are the standard types of email lists. As for a dynamic list, the only way a contact can be added to that list is if they meet the criteria. For example, you may create a dynamic list that only holds contacts with the state MA. If a contact has the state RI, they will not be added to the dynamic list and you cannot manually add them.

2) Suppression List

  • Pardot allows you to prevent certain contacts from receiving specific mailing communication when opting to “suppress” them. For example, you may want to create a suppression list of everyone who has not opened an email within the last 30 days to avoid mailing uninterested leads.

3) Tagging

  • This functionality in Pardot allows you to apply “tags” to individual contacts. This helps to organize and segment your data even further. For example, you may want to tag your “tradeshow contacts” within Pardot to easily distinguish they need to be placed in a pre-show campaign. You can also use these tags to create dynamic lists or automation rules later on.

4) Automation Rules

  • Pardot allows users to create automation rules, which can automate a number of things. Specifically, regarding segmentation, automation rules can push contacts to a mailing list based on criteria. Automation rules can also automatically apply tags to contacts given criteria has been provided. There are many other actions you can take with automation rules like updating contact fields or adjusting their Pardot score.

Now that you have learned how to segment like a pro, let’s look at how to create an effective content and distribution strategy.

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Build a Workflow in Pardot’s Engagement Studio

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A workflow can be summed up in one phrase. They can save you a ton of time! Specifically, a workflow is a sequence of actions that are automated based on set criteria. This criterion is usually established by a prospects behavior and/or data your business has collected on that individual. A workflow can be built out using Pardot’s Engagement Studio tool. This tool is a visual workflow builder that allows a number of actions to be automated such as sending emails, updating fields, adjusting prospect score, and more. While the most common type of workflow is client facing, they can also be used for internal efforts, such as setting notifications and updating custom fields via Salesforce.

Common Types of Workflows

1) Prospect Activity Workflow

Based on your prospects activity, you can automate actions like sending email autoresponders. Pardot’s Page Actions are meant to “flag” priority pages on your website. You can also set Completion Actions within these Page Actions that tell Pardot to kick-start an automated activity when this page is visited. If you’re a content marketer, Pardot’s Page Actions are going to be a dream come true. This tool will allow you to mail more relative communication to prospects who have visited content offers. For example, a contact visits your blog The Best Snacks to Have with Peanut Butter. Using Pardot’s Page Actions you can automate an autoresponder email linking to your related blog Top Peanut Butter Desserts for the Holidays.

**Note: Keep in mind that page actions do not work if you do not have a website tracking code from Pardot present on your website.

2) Nurture Workflow

This type of workflow is exactly as it sounds. The idea is to nurture prospects over time to introduce your company and offer value. New leads may not be ready to commit to your company’s product/service, but by nurturing them you stay top of mind. Nurture workflows typically have three objectives

Create awareness — Introduce your company and it’s products/services. What makes your company special? Why choose your products/services over the industry leaders?

Offer value — Share valuable content that will resonate. Blog posts, case studies, white paper, etc. Offering valuable resources helps creates trust.

Convert — Converting the prospect is the most important objective in a nurture workflow. A prospect converts to a lead or contact once they’ve requested more information in one form or another. Some examples include inquiring on a web form, creating a membership, starting a free trial, etc. This signifies a point of interest or sale.

3) Upselling/Cross-Selling Workflow

Creating additional opportunities for your company can be easily automated with Pardot’s dynamic list and engagement studio tools. If you’ve ever heard the expression data is key, here’s a great example of why it matters. Dynamic lists are emails list that can automatically populate based on criteria. Furthermore, these auto-populated lists can be entered into engagement programs, which automatically filter contacts through a workflow. Companies can use these Pardot features to cross-sell or upsell to their market segments. For example, by creating a dynamic list based on recent customers who have purchased a lawnmower you can automate an email series showcasing your top grass seed brands.

3 Steps to Build a Workflow in Engagement Studio

Workflows can vary in size and complexity. If it’s your first time with a marketing automation tool like Pardot the set-up and launch of an engagement program may be overwhelming. Just remember to take a step back and always keep in mind what the ultimate goal is get more help on building Pardot campaigns.

Step 1: Ask yourself these questions

  • What is the end goal/objective of this workflow?
  • Who is your audience?
    • What does your audience want to hear from you?
  • Are you offering value to your audience? (i.e. Whitepaper, Case Study, Downloadable Resource, etc.)

Step 2: Create your assets (if applicable)

  • Resources
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Templates/Write Content

Step 3: Build and Launch

  • Sketch your workflow out on paper
  • Build in Pardot’s Engagement Studio
  • Launch!

Engagement Studio Terminology

If you have started to play around with Pardot’s Engagement Studio, you’ve probably realized the three different options when building the steps to your workflow — Action, Trigger, and Rule.

An action is an activity Pardot is taking internally or towards your prospect. Some examples include adding a prospect to a list, applying tags, and sending an autoresponder email.

A trigger is an activity your prospect has taken in which you are looking to track. Triggers can consist of tracking email opens, clicks, form submissions, landing page visits, and more.

A rule is checking for internal data you have on your prospect. Rules include checking if they have a custom field, if they’re a member of a list, if they have a certain score, and more.

Both a trigger and rule can be used to build out different “yes” and “no” paths within your workflow – get more hands-on with an engagement studio webinar.

Learn more about the basics of Pardot’s Engagement Studio.

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5 Ways to Enrich Subscriber Data in Email Marketing

Getting good information about email subscribers can be a challenge for even the savviest email marketer. Privacy is a big concern for many people, and that means some of your subscribers will dig in their heels at the thought of handing over anything more than their email address. Basic facts like age and location can be difficult to come by, and that can make it much harder to run personalized email campaigns.

If you’re struggling to enrich your subscriber data, you aren’t alone. In fact, a recent survey found that 54% of marketers named enriching contact data quality as their number-one challenge. But that doesn’t mean you should give up trying to learn more about your subscribers. There are some strategies that will help you get the information you need, and once you do, it could have a big impact on how well your emails convert.

54% of marketers named enriching content data quality as one of their biggest challenges, while 32% said it was one of their most important goals. Source

Why Subscriber Data Matters

Your subscribers don’t want to receive generic emails from you – they want you to know them by name. Basically, more personalization is better for your email campaigns, as long as you aren’t coming off as creepy. People will pay more attention to your emails if they’re personalized, and if you can build a good sense of rapport, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase.

You’ll also be able to segment your email list more effectively if you have a lot of information about your subscribers. Segmenting allows you to target different sub-demographics within your audience with greater sophistication. It helps ensure that your emails are interesting and relevant to your audience. There are dozens of ways you can divide up your email list, but all of them require you to have plenty of data on hand.

How to Get More Data about Your Subscribers

Ready to start gathering more information about your email subscribers? Here are some ideas for obtaining the data you need without coming off as invasive.

Set up a preference center (and encourage your subscribers to use it)

Do you have an email preference center yet? If not, it’s time to set one up. Having a preference center doesn’t just lower your unsubscribe rate – it also lets your subscribers give you their personal information, with no nagging or bribery on your part. In fact, your subscribers will probably be happy to tell you what kind of emails they want, along with other details that will help you customize their content better.

Sephora lets you set your email frequency and your location in their preference center.

Getting people to actually use your preference center can be easier said than done, so remind your subscribers that it’s there every so often. When a new subscriber signs up for your list, take the opportunity to send them an email prompting them to review and adjust their settings. At regular intervals after that (maybe every year or so), send them a reminder email asking if they’d like to update their settings again. This can be especially effective if a subscriber has stopped engaging with your brand so much – they might just need a reminder to come back.

Consider including more fields in your email sign-up form.

Yes, you should generally keep your opt-in forms short – people don’t generally want to give their information to an unknown entity. But you might be able to get a little more information than just an email address from your sign-up form. Consider adding a field for the subscriber’s first name or birthday, for example. This will give you something useful to start personalizing your emails with.

Make a quiz, poll, or survey.

Many people who resist filling out forms will happily take a fun quiz. If your brand lends itself well to quizzes, design a few based on the information you’d like to gather, and direct your subscribers to them. You can also create polls or surveys for your subscribers to take. If you go this route, highlight how the information will help you produce better email content for your list.

Offer freebies in exchange for more information.

What’s the quickest way to get your subscribers to part with valuable data? Offer them something they really want in return. Guides, eBooks, and white papers can all be good bets – just make sure the content is juicy enough to convince your subscribers they can’t live without it. Discounts and samples are also great incentives.

You can use OptinMonster or similar software to capture information from visitors who are about to leave your site. Get their attention by offering something desirable, like an ebook, in exchange for some information.

This trick is easy to repeat, so don’t feel like you have to wring every bit of data out of a subscriber in exchange for a single downloadable. It’s fairly straightforward to capture different bits of data by offering different discounts or pieces of gated content at various times. Asking for only one or two pieces of information at a time cuts down on friction, so you’ll probably get more data in the long run.

Extra: Learn how to use structured data correctly here.

Look at what your subscribers do.

Not having much luck getting specific personal information out of your subscribers? You can still learn a lot about them simply from observing them. Pay attention to how they interact with your emails and your website.

For instance, which of your subscribers click on your emails the most (and which click the least)? Do some people seem to prefer specific types of emails? Based on email data, you could segment your list by highly engaged versus unengaged subscribers, subscribers who like reading your newsletter updates, and subscribers who always click on your sale emails.

You can also tell a lot from how people behave on your site. Which of your subscribers have already made a purchase, and which ones still seem to be on the fence? What are their browsing habits like? You could segment your list based on people who like looking at specific types of items, big spenders versus frugal shoppers, and how often people visit your site.

Wrapping Up

Personalization is key if you want to maximize the potential of your email marketing. It takes subscriber data to personalize your content successfully, though, and that data isn’t always easy to come by. These ideas can help you harvest more information from your subscribers while building trust and rapport with them. Two rules of thumb: people are usually happier to give you their information gradually than to hand it all over at once, and you’ll see more success if you offer your subscribers something nice in exchange for their personal details. And, of course, you can always look at your web and email analytics for an overview of how your subscribers are interacting with you.

What’s the most effective way you’ve found to gather subscriber data? It’s over to you in the comments!