How to Overcome Content Marketing Struggles

Lack of resources, strategy and budget the biggest content issues

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Are You Happy with Your Email List Size?

Are You Happy with Your Email List Size?

Creating relevant and valuable content is the top obstacle to email list growth

List growth remains a top focus among marketers as they continue to boost email efforts. Fully 67% polled in January 2015 by Ascend2 said email list growth was very important to the overall success of their marketing program, while almost all other respondents (29%) agreed that it was at least somewhat important. However, the study found that it wasn’t always smooth sailing when it came to increasing email list size.

 Marketers ranked content relevance and value as the top obstacles to email list growth, at 44% of respondents. This is especially critical now that consumers are demanding personalized emails; they’re not going to waste their time on canned messages of little to no interest. Skill sets were another issue; 43% of marketers faced challenges with list growth expertise, and 39% had problems with forming an effective strategy—yet only 42% outsourced any of their email list growth tactics. Around four in 10 respondents had problems with email list hygiene and accuracy—something that, when cleaned up, can decrease list size but help boost other metrics.

The most effective tactic for executing email list growth was one of the easiest, too: 43% of marketers said prompting website visitors to opt in to company emails was effective, and just 16% said this was the most difficult. Content downloads were the second most effective tactics for increasing email list size, close behind at 42%.

On the flipside, social media sharing was the most difficult tactic for executing email list growth, at 40%, This makes the 29% who said it was effective look impressive, especially considering it trailed least-difficult upcoming events in the effectiveness category by just 1 percentage point. Paid search campaigns were the second most difficult, cited by a close 39%.

Nearly half of Ascend2’s respondents said increasing email list size was a top objective for the year ahead; however, results from November 2014 polling by Salesforce Marketing Cloud indicated that what happens after consumers sign up is more important. Here, just 21% of marketers worldwide looked at list growth rate to measure email marketing success. Clickthrough rate (47%), conversion rate (43%) and click-to-open rate (38%) were at the top of the list, and unsubscribe rate was even more important, at 23%.

- Source: eMarketer.com

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Email Marketing Still has Juice!

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Does on-line marketing, especially broadcast email marketing, have a bottom-line affect on brick-and-mortar retailers, especially small or start-up retailers?

Marketing Expertise 1

I’ve been in the email marketing business since 2002 and have been preaching the value of doing broadcast email marketing to increase traffic to brick-and-mortar retail locations.  Over the years I have found that some retailers have been successful in orchestrating events and special sales using email marketing as the primary information distribution source.  Other retailers have stopped doing email marketing because it took more time, or money, than they were willing to spend for the results they saw.  I see that a lot in the restaurant industry.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a restaurant and left without ever being asked to join a special list or sign up for an email program.  Nobody asks me to join the club, receive special offers, or be alerted to special events or occasions.  Restaurateurs have always believed that good food and service is all that is necessary to make a restaurant thrive.  It may be so until another restaurant moves into the neighborhood that does that and more.

My wife and I were in a sporting goods store that had two outlets in the metro area and we bought paddles and balls to play something called “Pickle Ball.”  Again, nobody asked us if we wanted to hear about up-coming events, or anything to do with any of the other sporting supplies they provided.  They will probably do well by us because people often ask us where we bought our supplies and we tell them.  There aren’t many places that have Pickle Ball supplies.  There will be soon, however, and the window of opportunity to sell a unique line of products will close for that store.  (Of course, our friends can order their supplies on line.)  Isn’t it worth it to the retailer to know who we are?  Who are friends are?  Maybe that retailer might want to provide us some incentive to connect our pickle ball playing friends to their store.  Is it just not worth the retailer’s efforts?

I know, I know, their web site is on their receipt.  But come on, doesn’t that take a lot for granted?  Right now I’m on the lookout for small or start-up retailers of any stripe who can tell me their story about a successful email marketing campaign that drove sales.  …repeat sales, referrals, add-on sales, anything.  I know email marketing has worked in the past.  I know it works today.  I know it will work in the future.  I suppose it won’t work for everyone.  But I know it works for a vast majority of businesses.

Download this 5 page PDF that explains the steps necessary to make email marketing work.  If I hear a good story, I’ll post it to my blog, my social networks, and also to my subscribers.  And hope that will drive some business their way.  Thank you for reading my note!

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Designing Marketing Email That Works!

DesigningMarketingEmailthatWorksSmartphone usage is sky-rocketing, and with it, so is the number of people that are reading email on a mobile device.

According to Litmus, 43% of email is now opened on a mobile device. That number is up 138% from 2010, andI think it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to continue to grow.

This means that you need to be creating emails that are mobile friendly. A mobile-friendly email is an email that displays optimally between a desktop/laptop and a mobile device, ensuring that it will look great regardless of where your customers and prospects read it.

Read 5 Simple Tips for Mobile-Friendly Emails and more.

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Cybermail Marketing has received the 2013 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc.

CTCT-All-Star-Logos--2011-12-13-VerticalCybermail Marketing has received the 2013 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than half a million small organizations worldwide. Each year, Constant Contact bestows the All Star Award to a select group of businesses and nonprofits that are successfully leveraging online marketing tools. Cybermail Marketing is being recognized as a Solution Provider All Star for its success achieved campaign results ranked among the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer base.

We’re happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results on behalf of our clients. Constant Contact’s tools have helped us to better manage customer relationships and engagement.  Constant Contact customers and Solution Providers using the company’s Email Marketing tools are eligible for this award. Constant Contact looked at the following criteria to select this year’s All Stars:

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns and events
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“We’re always delighted when small businesses and nonprofits are successful,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “We’re honored to recognize Cybermail Marketing as an All Star, and to be able to shine the spotlight on its achievements in 2013.”

About Constant Contact, Inc.

Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys.  Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises and national associations.

 

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

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Looking to volunteer email marketing for a non-profit.

I’ve been doing volunteer work for a wonderful non-profit, donating my services to help it grow and develop. However, after years of work it finally closed its doors. I loved it because it was not political, and provided “hugs” to people all over the world, especially those most in need. So now I need to find another “501 (c) 3″ non-profit, or association, who would appreciate the support. If you know of any such organization, let me know. Thanks!

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Loving Hugs in Uganda

Hugs were recently given to children in Uganda by U.S. Navy Reservist, LCDR Gil Canton. Of the Win-Win-Win experience of giving “Loving Hugs” to children in need, he shared this,

“Hi Wendy,

I’m glad you liked the singing; it was really quite something to see it in person as well.  What you do is not only good for the kids, it’s great for my people here on camp as well.  I had one Air Force SGT tell me, “That’s one of the greatest things I’ve done in the military!”  Another Navy HM1 told me that that was a “Lifetime experience.”  So you can see that for so many of us being away from our families and our own kids this sort of activity is good for the soul and morale!  Thank-you for what you do…
LCDR Gilbert Canton
OIC FOL Kasenyi, Uganda”

 

Hugs in Uganda

Loving Hugs in Uganda

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Is Facebook worth it?

I read in the paper this morning that a lot of companies are having second thoughts about the value of advertising on Facebook.  At the same time I’ve been watching Mad Men on AMC.  I suspect that a lot of would-be intelligent advertisers get all their advertising education from watching TV or reading newspapers and magazines.  It doesn’t apply.  On-line media such as Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, blogging or broadcast email marketing requires permission.  It requires real communication.  It is a two-way one-on-one communication.  It must be genuine.  Interruption, in-your-face shouting just doesn’t work on line.  It really, really pisses people off.  It fact, I’m not sure anyone in their right mind would respond to such a push.  I got automated-recorded phone calls during the Republican primaries.  I hate those things!  Making politicians exempt from the rules of good taste won’t win them elections.  Applying the 1960s version of advertising to Facebook or any on-line media won’t work either.

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Some thoughts on retirement…

My wife is retiring in a month or so.  I slipped into “semi-retirement” a couple years ago.  Have you thought about your retirement? My wife found a book about retirement that reminded her that she probably still has twenty or thirty years ahead of her and that she should plan for it.  We did all the financial stuff a long time ago and feel pretty comfortable about that part of retirement.  But now what?  We have developed a list of the things we like to do and have done in the past.  We developed a list of things we’d like to do in the future.  We even have a “bucket list” (though she doesn’t like to call it that) of places we would like to visit.

 

Of the people we know who are our age many have looked for part-time work to help keep them active.  Some have volunteered to be docents at the local museum, assistants at the local library, volunteers at the local hospital.  One retired doctor I know volunteers to help children learn to read.  I guess you can volunteer to help at the local grade school or high school.  All my life I had this vision of first making sure my finances were solid, then offering my services and talents to help others.

 

If you have kept up with me at all you know I found “Loving Hugs, Inc.” (See: http://www.lovinghugs.org ) It provides “hugs” in the form of stuffed toys to children around the world who otherwise live in a pretty brutal world.  A lifetime ago, in another world, I was to a much lesser degree just such a child.  I was in a home for boys for about a year and a half when I was in the 4th grade.  It was run by well-intended nuns who looked upon us and their work as the sacrifice they had to endure in order to go to heaven.  We felt it too.  There is no feeling on earth like feeling you are being endured.

 

My vocation and avocation these days is to help folks set up their email marketing program and teach them all I know from a decade of study and experience.  I found that I can do that for a modest fee and thus provide a service that capitalizes on my talents, while doing some good.  My marketing challenge is as always, to prove to others that I am worth the money and email marketing is not a “do-it-yourself-trial-and-error” project.  I have enough clients to keep me as busy as I want to be while giving me the time to do the things on my “bucket list.”  …and that works for me!

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