5 Essentials to build strong and impactful emails

5 Essentials to build strong and impactful emails

The common thought about email marketing is that it always annoys people, and that it does not bring any great results to the company sending those emails. If we focus on the number shared by The DMA (UK) LTD 2018 in their paper called “MARKETER EMAIL TRACKER 2018” we can obviously understand the power of email marketing with its potential return on investment. In fact, their studies showed that for “1£ spent, the estimated average return on investment is £32.28”. However, if emails are well built, it will, for sure, bring a lot of value on your business. So here are 5 tips for you to bring value to your emails … and to your business!

Tip n°1 : Impactful subject line

With the name of the sender, the subject line will be the first thing people will see when receiving your email. It is key to attract people’s attention so they will open it. Do not make it too long because there is a limited number of characters for people to see in the preview of the email and it changes from desktop to mobile and also from an email provider to another. However, you can also play with it by, for example, start a sentence where people will want to know what is the end of the sentence, and the rest of the sentence is only viewable with the opened email. Make people curious about your email, the more curious they will be the more chance you will have to have a high open rate.

Tip n °2: A clear message

We know you have a lot to say to your customers, however, be careful not to lose their attention. In fact, if you are talking about too many subjects and too many different products in your email, you are going to make people feel overwhelmed by all the information you are sending. In each of your emails, try to focus on around 3 main information to focus on. Create different sections in your email for people to have a clear view of the different topics.

Tip n °3: Put some call-to-action

Sending information to your customers is great, nonetheless, to bring value to your business, you must lead your customers to your website. So, redirect people to specific pages of your website depending on what you are showing in your email. It could be product pages, section pages, articles or also informational pages.

Tip n °’4: Try to step into your customers’ shoes

Before being an email builder, you are a customer who receives tonnes of emails every day. There are things you really dislike in some brands’ newsletters? Write it down, and make a list of all the things you do not like about emails you receive as a customer. If you personally do not like some habit some brands have, it is likely that your own customers will not like it either. So go subscribe to the newsletter of brands you like, or which are known to send great emails, or even those of your competitors! Having a good vision of emailing trends can help you a lot in building yours. The idea is not to copy the ones of the others but to understand the trends to be able to become a proper email expert.

Tip n °5: Send your emails to the right people

Your emails must be sent to a specific audience. First, people who gave you to right to send them an email, following the GDPR rules. Then when you have your cleared list of email addresses, you have to section your customers in different audiences. Of course, it does depend on your company and in what you are selling as a product or a service. For example, if you are a company selling beauty products, you might send specific newsletters to men and different ones to women, because they will not have to same needs and wishes concerning beauty products. It will help you to send relevant information for most of your customers and make them feel understood and listened.

Bonus Tip :

« Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read. » – Leo Burnett

There are many other tips which could be given to write impactful emails. Any idea of good tips? Please do not hesitate to share your insights on social media!

Digitalization: the new relationship between consumers and businesses

Digitalization: the new relationship between consumers and businesses

This topic about customer relationship management (CRM) in the era of digitalization is something that really passionates me. It is also because I now have more than one year of experience in a data marketing agency whose field of expertise is helping brands improve their CRM. The brands I work for are sometimes lost in the variety of new channels and innovative ways of communicating to their customers…

Digitalization has indeed defined new codes, and therefore customers have modified their behaviors. My personal experience is an illustration: it became a reflex to investigate on a brand thanks to customers’ reviews on websites and social media. According to a Nielsen Global Connected Commerce survey, 54% of people make online research to find product information in the beauty and self-care industry. This rate reaches 63% in the travel industry. This phenomenon is part of what we call the ROBO economy: Research Online Buy Offline. The Bazaarvoice infographics demonstrated that 56% of online shoppers read reviews before purchase, and it concerns 45% of the brick-and-mortar buyers.

Through this paper, I want to point out three aspects (among many) that demonstrate how digitalization impacts the relationship between consumers and businesses.

1) Combining physical and digital channels is the key to enhancing B2C relationship

Nowadays, brands and customers are facing two facts. On one hand, businesses have to deal with growing and complex databases because of the nature of the data collected. On the other hand, customers are overreached (overstimulated) and they ask for a more personalized and unique experience.

Those two facts can work together effectively because the whole retail experience is transforming. Both brick-and-mortar and online buyers use digital channels at least once in their shopping experience. The distinction between online and offline channels is not relevant anymore and consumers interact with brands through both of them. The omnichannel strategy is no longer an alternative for brands today but a necessity, in order to bring value to the shopping experience and win market shares.

This infographic from an analysis of Deloitte about the digital technology in the groceries industry demonstrates that grocery spendings increase by 19% when consumer use digital means. Moreover, integrating digital before or during the shopping experience leads to a 9% rise in conversion frequencies. There is no considerable increase noted for people who do not use digital technologies (compared to people who don’t).

One of the most relevant success stories of a brand taking advantage of the combination of online and offline strategies is Disney’s app case.

The interconnection between all the customer touchpoints gives them access to a user experience that never ends. Before the physical visit, users can already buy and scan tickets and Fastpasses, explore the map with distances between attractions and discover them through customized content. During their stay in the park, they can locate, among other places, attractions, restaurants, bathrooms and see the waiting time with an interactive and live map. Disney has successfully gathered all elements for an omnichannel experience.

Taking into account how digitalization can impact customer relationship through omnichannel strategies, we can ask ourselves to what extent the customer loyalty is affected.

2) Customer loyalty in a digital world

In a competitive business context, one of the many goals of a brand in terms of CRM is to strengthen customer loyalty. According to various studies, the digital era, up to now, has not proved significant positive impacts. The Accenture Strategy report “Global Customer Pulse Research” showed only 25% of consumers would recommend their providers to close relations and 65% decided not to remain a client of a company due to poor service. These figures illustrate the after-effect of omnichannel strategies. Digital enables brands to reach prospects and customers easily but the latter are overwhelmed with messages and promotions.

Why did many companies fail to win customers’ loyalty? A Capgemini Consulting report “Fixing the Cracks : Reinventing Loyalty Programs for the Digital Age”, 85% of millennial perceptions registered on social media towards customer loyalty programs are negative. The huge flow of communications makes customers feel like a number, not a person.

So how to increase customer loyalty? A Salesforce report among UK customers demonstrated that 58% switched companies because they had a better experience with a competitor. A brand does not have to offer either a product or a service anymore but has to take into account the holistic experience.

3) Digital and data collection: personalization at the core of experience

Consumers have become expert in the digital era. They understood the links between their digital interactions. They now realize that giving personal data to brands is valuable and consequently, their expectations have grown. The same report from Salesforce states 76% of UK consumers are liable to provide personal information as a compromise to receive customized product suggestions, this number rises to 88% regarding a customized discount. The global concern about how data is used is still very present but people are well aware of the unavoidable data they permanently create and provide.

Therefore, frustration grows up builds up when brands don’t reward customers with a unique and customized experience. That explains why customer loyalty is harder to obtain and to keep maintained. Nevertheless, the need for more customization through data remains a huge potential for business. The following charts prove the importance for consumers to have offers, service, ads, messages that correspond to them.

To widen the question on the personalization, an Accenture report, summed up in this video, introduces the notion of hyper-relevant customer experience, depending relying on customers’ trust and highly-personalized data. It would enable brands to communicate with their customers while it is the most relevant by understanding how they decide to make a purchase.

Cross-selling, a new opportunity for your business

Cross-selling, a new opportunity for your business

E-commerce players always want to find THE solution that will improve considerably their sales performances. Many strategies are currently used online, but have you ever tried to launch a cross-selling strategy?

In this article, you will find the main key points to be aware of how it works and how to implement it. Pure players always want to improve their online sales to reach more market share and take over the competition. For that, they try to implement cross selling into their main strategy. But what is concretely cross-selling?

  • Cross-selling

The cross-selling can be defined as “a strategy that suggest complementary items which will fit with the one you just bought during your purchase. This king of process tends to improve your revenue thanks to an increase of your client’s average basket.” So, you will understand that cross selling is obviously about increasing your sales performances through an item that provide an added value to the product you just purchased.

Moreover, you may know that cross selling can be use through different way but will always be associated to e-marketing and e-merchandising. Indeed, e-marketing tools will analyze your purchased habits and will be able to suggest you relevant items which fit with your product. And e-merchandising will help the company to match those complementary products in the order pipe during your purchase. It is also possible to suggest added value product to your client by e-mail thanks to retargeting methods.

For example, you are French, and you want to go to Brussels for the week-end. You book the hotel you want, and the website will suggest you to rent a car as well, to make your trip more convenient. As a buyer, you will be sensitive to this kind of offer because you don’t want to be dependent to train schedules or even train rates that can be very expensive.

Other solutions can be implemented and correlated to cross-selling. Indeed, pure players tend to promote cross selling to bring added value to their product but some of them try up-selling and down-selling strategy.

  • Up-selling

Up-selling is usually used in e-commerce to not only bring added value, but also to suggest an alternative product that is more expensive but with a higher quality. We can take the example of flight ticket, the client buys a second-class ticket, but the company will tell him during his purchase, “if you had only 80 euros more you will be upgrade to First class”. Companies do that to improve their margin and sell product/service they didn’t sell yet, knowing that the flight is quite soon.

  • Down-selling

On the contrary, the down-selling is to suggest a product with a lower price to your client. Ian Brodie coach and consultant in marketing and sales talks about down-selling: “The advantage of a downsell is that even if a customer doesn’t buy the product you’d ideally like them to buy, they are at least buying something. That means you get some return for your sales effort. And since they’re now a customer they will hopefully have a good experience with you and be much more likely to buy higher priced items in the future.”

This solution is less used because of its low-income generation but still relevant to attract customers. To illustrate my words, you can find a simple explication about down-selling; cross-selling and up-selling strategy.Down-selling, cross-selling and up-selling strategyNow that you are holding the aces of e-commerce cross selling strategy, you need to know how to launch it.

Targeting will be the key of your project. In fact, all your strategy will be successful if you can target your client at the right time. For that, your marketing segmentation must be flawless and your capability to use new techs like machine learning will considerably help you in your process.

Finally, to stack all the odds in your favor, some tools are available on e-commerce hosts website as Shopify that help you to create your shop online. The interface allows you to add some features “plugins” to implement cross-selling. There are also, Boxia, OASIS E-commerce and Powerboutique that help you to set up your automation marketing strategy to increase your online sales performances with a CRM integrated.

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Is Google’s Algorithm more human than you think ?

Is Google’s Algorithm more human than you think ?

Search Quality Raters. These users evaluate the quality of the search results of the Google algorithm. Behind the magic of the automatic, the questions, intentions of users and results of research are analysed and evaluated, tightly circumscribed by guidelines provided by Google. Their feedback is used by the engineers to improve the quality of the research results proposed to the daily users. However, SEO professionals are worried about the impact of the work of these teams on the URL ranking. Despite claims by Google managers to the contrary, minds remain sceptical about the total use of these data collected.

The humans behind the algorithm

An unknown profession, but not secret

Since the early 2000s, people have been working and analysing the results of Google’s algorithm. Today, there are approximately 10,000 of them in the world. They are average people, users of search engines like everyone else. They applied for a part-time job offer at a third company such as Lionbridge or Leapforce and had to pass two tests in order to be selected. One tested their reasoning through questions and the other composed of ‘nearly real-life’ exercises. At home, they spend between 10 and 20 hours per week (paid between $ 12-15 / hour) studying and giving feedback on research results that have already happened.

“In-our-shoes” analyses

The analysed results are mainly organic like texts, images, videos and news results (sometimes paid ad results, as well). Each day, they are offered to perform different tasks to evaluate research results. They can, for example, test a given URL and assess its relevance according to a query on desktop or mobile. They also make side-by-side comparisons of organic results of the same search and selecting the results that best match the query.

Companies provided them with information such as the language of the search, location and sometimes the map of queries (map restoring queries previously sought) to better understand the intention of the user. Their purpose, to put themselves in the shoes of any user and determine if the results are relevant to the intent and research.

 

A very monitored job

Each task has an estimated completion time. Agencies are timing the Search Quality Raters during their tasks to judge their effectiveness. For example, evaluating the quality of a URL is estimated at 1 minute and 48 seconds. However, to ensure that the analysis is done without bias and with the application, the same tasks are assigned to several Search Quality Raters. If their results diverge, they are asked to agree together. In case of persistent disagreement, a moderator will decide

 

The Guidelines: Quality Made in Google

To best frame the evaluation of the quality of the search results, Google transmits (via third-party companies) guidelines. In 2015, after many leaks, Google finally decided to publish them officially.

Google regularly makes changes according to the new objectives of the algorithm. The last official publication dates back to July 20, 2018 and is 164 pages long.

In their guidelines, Google explains to their Search Quality Raters how to evaluate the quality of pages of their search engine. For this, it is necessary to carry out three notations.

Needs Met

The objective is to verify that the result corresponds to the query and the intention of the user. For this, Google identifies four kinds of queries: those with the objective to inquire (know), to act (do), to go to a specific site (website) and local visit (visit-in-person). The Search Quality Rater will evaluate whether the result meets the needs by placing the cursor on the scale from FailsM (Fail to Meet the Needs) to FullyM (Fully Meet the Needs). Some queries can be a mixture of several types.

Scale of the Needs Mat Rating

A Search Quality Rater may decide not to assign a rating for content and to “flag” it in certain cases: if the material is pornographic, presented in a language different from that of the query, does not load, or contains upsetting and or offensive content.

 

The E-A-T

The E-A-T acronym stands for Expertise-Authority-Trust. The Search Quality Raters assess the level of expertise of the content by verifying that the author of the main content has enough personal experience for it to be considered relevant.

They then assesses the authority of the main content, the site and the author. A Search Quality Rater must find evidence of their reputation and recommendations from entities whose authority is already clearly established.

Finally, Trustworthiness is the confidence that the user can have towards the site. It is established with the main content, the website and the author.

This evaluation is in no way related to the query. Through their criteria, Google puts forward the assessment of the benefit that the content brings to users. Moreover, it says on the Google Blog: “We built Google for the users, not for websites”.  Through this rating, Google is fighting back against the increase of fake news.

We built Google for the users, not for websites – The Google Blog

The Overall page quality rating

 

This rating is based on the query and the intent of the user. It includes five criteria: The purpose of the page, the notation of the E-A-T, the appreciation of the main content, the information found and the reputation of the website and the author.

Scale of the Overall Page Quality Rating

The YMYL pages

Some pages are rated more strictly than others: pages Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) page category, created by Google, groups pages containing medical, financial, legal, news, public / official information, as well as pages for shopping or financial transactions. Their content can have a significant impact on the lives of users reading them, which is why they must contain high-quality information.

A quarter of the guidelines pages are dedicated to mobile queries and the assessment of its content especially for queries like “visit-in-person”. Both the main content, as well as the quality of the mobile optimisation of pages have a full part to play in this.

Grey Areas around the ratings

The impact on the SERP ranking

Many experts have expressed concerns about the role of Search Quality Raters in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Can the evaluation of URL quality and feedback from Search Quality Raters cause a downgrade? Is the data collected reusing in addition to the algorithm? In response to this, Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, said the feedback would only be used to refine the algorithm. The webspam and quality rater teams have two separate goals and are not connected.

 

Indeed, the process would be to evaluate the quality of sites at first. Then, when engineers change the algorithm, Search Quality Raters would be able to assess the difference in quality during side-by-side evaluations without knowing which side contains the product of the change in the algorithm and which version is the old one. Engineers will modify and improve the algorithm based on feedback from Search Quality Raters. They can then run a live test on a small percentage of users that are not search quality raters.

However, if in the short term the ranking of a page judged of poor quality by Google is not altered. We can imagine that this will happen in the long term. Indeed, if a page presents some of the characteristics considered to be bad quality, the fact that it is noted as such by a Search Quality Rater will not impact its ranking.

On the other hand the engineers will make sure that only the high quality results are present in the best results during different changes in the algorithm.

The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines as SEO bedtime reading  

The ratings of Search Quality Raters are therefore essential. Unfortunately, Google does not communicate this to the authors but the guidelines framing their notation are, which is why the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines is an essential document for evaluating one’s content. By doing our assessment, we are more than likely to find areas for improvement. Moreover, as SEO is a red thread spot, this evaluation is to be renewed regularly and especially when reworking these guidelines

 

 

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Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

What is mobile UX?

Literally? the letters U and X stand for User Xperience (as in ‘experience’). But according to the Interaction Design Foundation, the definition of ‘mobile UX’ means “the design of positive experiences during the use of mobile devices and wearables, and applications or services running on such devices.” (1) In other words, through efficient application designs, we can create, measure and tailor a positive user experience that may lead to conversions or continuous use of the service app.

How does it affect businesses in today’s technology? Best examples

As technology becomes even more intertwined with people’s lives, it is crucial for businesses to offer a seamless digital experience that accommodates their lifestyle. Author Goran Paunovic writes in his Forbes article that “Most business clients who engage in site design are looking for a revenue-driving product, but few are aware of how much their business can change for the better with the right UX.” (2)

Indeed, having the right UX matters. The numbers speak for themselves.
In the same article, Pauvonic reports of research done by Forrester Research: “a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%”. But how can you differentiate a good UX design from a bad one? Read my next point to find out.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

One of the most recognized events that shaped UX history is, arguably, the downfall of Snapchat. A journalist for The Guardian (3)Edward Helmore writes that after their controversial redesign, they have suffered “their first decline in daily active users” as well as plummeting stock shares.
Bloomberg (4) reports that Snapchat lost over 325.1 million dollars in 2017.

On the other hand, an example of an app made famous by its unique navigation method: Tinder.
With their iconic swipe right/swipe left feature, the app designers got inspired and mimicked real-life rejection/approval movements(5). All that within the optimal on-screen thumb placement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth navigation is essential in providing good and memorable user experience, however, it isn’t the only aspect you should consider when you’re designing an app.

Do’s and don’ts.

In his article, Nick Babich, Editor-in-chief of UX planet, gives us 10 tips for a better UX.

1-      Know your customer.

2-      Don’t confuse your users, prioritize features.

3-      Don’t overcrowd the app, strive for minimalism.

4-      Make navigation feel familiar to users.

5-      Keep the right amount of space for finger tapping.

6-      Use legible font and color contrast.

7-      Provide visual feedback and animation to show app responsiveness.

8-      Make data entry easy and minimize the need for typing.

9-      Create a seamless, homogeneous, experience on all of your platforms.

10-  Test your design and constantly measure your app.

Considering that less than 0.01 of applications were predicted to be a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018, let’s have a look at the mobile UX trends of that year. (7)

Mobile UX trends of 2018

With the unleashing of the iPhone X, full screen and vibrant HD experiences dominated the trends. That trend also included apps who have integrated facial recognition and biometric fingerprints for authentication purposes.
Furthermore, Nick Babich writes that “ In 2016, Google stated that roughly 20 percent of all mobile searches were done with voice activation.  It’s easy to see why the next big thing for coming years will be voice-activated interfaces.” (8)

However, will the latter be on the list of predictions for the 2019 UX trends?
Indeed, design leader Sumit Dagar writes “Voice interfaces (VUI) is the next big thing in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While visual and voice interfaces have largely remained independent entities till now, 2019 will see seamless integration of both and adoption at scale.”

He also predicts that in 2019, we’ll witness a “larger adoption of design systems amongst companies” but most importantly: the “liberal customization of design systems as companies target new geographies where users have less exposure to default systems.” (9) 

The implementation of a geographically customized mobile UX would mean that businesses now have a broader audience within their reach. Hence the reason why mobile UX is an essential investment for companies looking to expand their target audience.

 

All in all, 2019 looks like a very promising year tech wise. As interesting as it might seem to see all of the above actually come to life, I believe it would be more so to witness the unpredicted trends that could pop up during the year. But until then, I’ll keep a lookout.

 

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Picture credit: Basic ways of how people are holding their phones. Research by Steven Hoobe (6)