How to Best Convert Prospects into Customers with MailChimp

Email automation is often at the center of every successful online marketing campaign today. Most digital marketers use this method to nurture their leads and ultimately convert them into buying prospects.
One of the more popular email marketing tools is MailChimp. Some of the factors attributed to its success include the incredible level flexibility it offers marketers, features, and overall efficiency.

In this post, we show you how you can get the most out of your marketing campaigns by leveraging MailChimp and other marketing tools. Let’s dive straight in.

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Using MailChimp’s testing and preview features

Testing your emails readability is a critical first step to boosting your conversion rates. Use the MailChimp preview and A/B test tool to see what your target audience responds better to in terms of subject lines, content, email layout, and design. Besides, remember that most readers will open your emails on mobile devices which means you need to ensure they’re properly optimized for mobile. You don’t want to have users ignore your communications or worse still, unsubscribe from your mailing list.
You can also use this tool to monitor your click rates, open rates, and bounce rates for crucial insights on potential areas of improvements. Whenever possible, try to test your campaigns on multiple platforms and browsers before hitting the ‘send’ button. The extra effort will certainly pay off in higher conversions.

Engage your audience

The key to converting leads into customers is to understand what they really want. What motivates them to sign up to your email list? What products are they looking for?

The good thing is that getting this kind of information is in most cases a pretty easy task. You only need to engage and inquire from your audience in an extremely thoughtful manner.

Look at it this way – most customers make and rationalize their buying decisions based on their emotions. With this understanding, you can try to create passionate marketing campaigns that influence their intent to buy your products. A simple way to do this is by creating messages, usually emails or web copies that evoke emotions and logically convince your prospects to make a purchase.

Email targeting and segmentation.

Email targeting and segmentation is one of the most effective strategies that marketers, and especially those in the ecommerce space, can use to make their email campaigns more productive. Numerous studies have shown that segmented campaigns record higher click-through rates than the normal emails. On the other hand, lower conversions and increased number of unsubsriptions are inevitable if you keep sending the same generic emails to your prospects and customers.

Personalisation is obviously important as those in your mailing list have varying needs and are at different stages of the customer acquisition journey. By segmenting your list, you’re able to send relevant offers, products, and special discounts to respective groups.

MailChimp allows you to segment your email list based on several factors including engagement level, behaviour, location, shopping history, persona, gender, and job title.

Write captivating headlines and great content

The subject line is the first thing readers see before deciding on whether to open or discard your email. Emails with intriguing but detailed titles that clearly describe the information inside have a higher open rate.
But that is not all.

After a reader opens the email, it’s important that what they find inside matches the excitement or the promise they saw on its subject line. This is where great email content comes in. Craft your emails in such a way that they invoke emotional responses from your readers. You managed to convince them to open your mail; you cannot afford to lose their attention now by sharing poorly written, long-form emails that are full of typos.

Use clear calls to action

Every email you send out to your list should prompt your reader to take a certain action; this can range from a request to download your latest e-book, check out the latest blog, or just reply to the email for a chat. This is where calls-to-action (CTA) comes in.

For more effective results, keep your CTAs simple and clear, with well-stated steps guiding the reader to your offers or other website content. Also, as a general rule of thumb, avoid including multiple recommendations/CTAs in your emails to increase your chances of converting better.

MailChimp Integration

A simple way to get the best out MailChimp is by using the tool’s integrations directory to connect it to other web services. For example, MailChimp seamlessly integrates with numerous CRMs thereby helping users synchronize customer data, import relevant content, and see how different elements affect their business. This Pipedrive MailChimp Integration is one such powerful combination if you’re looking to automate your email campaign using customer behaviour data collected by Pipedrive CRM.

Other helpful MailChimp integrations include PayPal for secure online payments and MailChimp for Shopify (both which are suitable for e-commerce stores).

Reporting

Beyond analysing email click-through rates, open rates, and bounce rates, MailChimp reporting is another crucial function that helps you understand how to improve your overall email marketing performance. For example, you’re able to see how increased mailing frequency impacts your conversions and sales. Does doubling or tripling the number of emails sent out to your list in a week boost your sales or does it result in more people unsubscribing? This is the information you should be able to unearth from the reports sent to you by MailChimp. Use them to improve and shape the future of your email marketing campaigns.

Putting it all together

Any online marketer looking to enhance their email campaigns should consider adding MailChimp to their arsenal of tools. This is a highly productive tool that can assist you understand your prospect throughout the entire buyer’s journey. Use it to create automated lead nurturing campaigns using the tips we shared in this post.

Remember, you can also increase the tool’s usefulness by integrating it with other relevant tools such as CRMs, ecommerce platforms, and payment gateways.

Do you use MailChimp or any other email marketing software in your online business? We’d love to hear your experience.

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Shape Conversational Marketing in the Future

On the surface, conversational marketing may seem like a marketing buzz term. Look deeper, however, and you’ll see it’s an organic way to engage customers. It comes down to the simple fact that, as humans, we prefer to engage in conversation rather than have someone talk at us. And due to the limitations of marketing throughout the years, that’s predominantly been the only way advertisers could get their message across.

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Now businesses and brands can actually communicate in real time with customers, be it helping to solve a product issue, facilitating a purchase, or simply making a recommendation.

Just look at social media. Currently, there are some 1.3 billion people using FB Messenger every month. To keep up with this trend, brands and businesses now have 300,000 messenger bots on the app all designed to facilitate communication. These bots help with everything from movie/TV show recommendations to finding cheap flights to ordering flowers.

But there’s a place for conversational marketing in the B2B world, too. Consider this tidbit: software developer/marketer HubSpot gained 20% more qualified leads simply by adding live chat to their communication channels. Moreover, tech companies across the globe are reducing lead times, increasing lead quality, and increasing new clients in the sales cycle with conversational marketing.

This is the power of a chat interface, and by extension, it’s the power of conversational marketing.

AI is the wellspring from which conversational marketing will grow

At the moment this is evidenced predominantly in the popularity of chatbots. Since their advent, we’ve seen just how effective machine learning can be at engaging people when they want and how they want. Chatbots eliminated many of the drawbacks that are common with human customer service representatives. Now you can communicate with your customers any time of day or night, whether it’s business hours or not.

Crucial stats bear this out. Consider that 80% of businesses are currently utilizing or plan on implementing chatbots by 2020. This supports the prediction that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship with a brand or business without even speaking to a human.

AI supercharges business Information processes

By integrating conversational AI with the back-end data in your old CRM solutions, the sky is the limit as far as making that data actionable in real time. Consider how things used to be: a business would accumulate terabytes of useful info, and it would then be applied to inbound marketing initiatives like email and social media campaigns.

However, while effective, AI can now take that info and boost personalization, segmenting your target right down to the individual, not a group or demographic.

Advances in natural language processing

With chatbots streaming on ever more platforms, like Facebook messenger, there’s even more need for chatbots to evolve. Natural language processing (NLP), a subset of AI and machine learning, allows chatbots to evolve from script-reading tools to multi-dimensional digital conversationalists, and it will continue to do so into the future.

We’re already seeing real-world advances in NLP advances with digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. Expect to see a boost in this with APIs like Google’s Cloud Natural Language. Applications like this can derive insights from unstructured text. Machines are now analyzing ever greater volumes of data, which helps businesses to glean real-time insight into what is being said about them and how their product and service is being received.

Conversational data protection

At its core, conversational marketing is all about data. As mentioned above, being able to integrate information into your CRM is what allows for greater personalization. But with so much data floating around cyberspace, the potential to misuse information is greater than ever.

The most glaring examples of this in recent times has been the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal. Throw in the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) initiative into the mix and you have technology and information running headlong into regulatory forces trying to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

How this immediately affects the upward trend of conversational marketing is in the chatbot realm. Advances in AI will help marketers who want to implement chatbots to further comply with GDPR regulations in a number of ways. For example, greater machine learning will allow bots to:

Receive data and determine instantly if it is for the purposes of data processing or data controlling (this distinction matters in GDPR, as controllers, have to comply fully with GDPR regs)
Offering those who engage with chatbots clear opportunities to provide consent to receive their data and transfer it to a different format
Ensuring all data is safe, encrypted, and easily downloadable

There is one way AI is still limited where it concerns data protection. At the moment, GDPR’s article 22 specifically states that AI algorithms alone cannot be responsible for decisions that have a significant effect on users. In other words, there still needs to be human oversight regarding data control. So, for the moment the robots are still subservient to people.

Conclusion

We’ve reached an exciting inflection point where the rise of AI can facilitate and shape the trend of conversational marketing. Advances in AI will help this vital trend to evolve and reach more people, allow for greater personalization, and ultimately help marketers achieve what was once thought of as an impossible goal: to have a conversation with their target audience in real time, whenever and however they want.

Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.

Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals while staying true to core values and brand integrity.

The Business Tech In The Most Demand

Business takes a lot of time and money, whether you’re running one yourself or just working as part of one. You have to go back and forth on a commute, paying for your travel. You have to pay for a lunch to take into work with you. You have to pay in your own time and effort, making sure all the tasks you complete are done to your best standard, especially if you’re the boss! But that’s not where the costs end.

Tech. One of the biggest things you have to invest in is technology. The computers you work from day by day cost a pretty penny alone. But there’s a lot more quality technology you can put to good use in business, and now’s the time to look into what’s in the most demand these days.

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Portable Batteries

How many times have you been sit in the middle of a four hour or so long business meeting and slowly watched your battery life tick away bit by bit? Maybe you didn’t pack a charger in your bag, or all the sockets in the room are already being used, and you have no alternative than to sit there and bare it? You hope you remembered to pack a notepad and a pen in your bag, otherwise you’ll never remember what was said here!

Well, if you get your hands on a portable battery or two, situations like these will be a thing of the past. After all, your laptop has a battery of its own that can be removed easily when the situation calls for it, and if you’ve got a spare one in your bag, you can switch them in and out in a couple of minutes. It’s an incredibly useful item to have on hand, and you’re going to want to pick up for the year ahead.

IT Support

If you’re a business that has little to no IT support to its name, whether that be because you’re running it out of a home office or you’ve only just started out with getting a website built, the next thing you’re going to want invest in is a dedicated support desk. And this is something that both you and any customers that come through your website can use, to make sure any problems are dealt with as quickly as possible, and that you’ve got all the network support and security you could ever need.

It’s a lot easier to outsource a task like this, seeing as very few people are technological experts. Companies like Capstone IT could help you out here, or maybe a friend of yours is trying to get their coding career off the ground – why not work together to get yourself a piece of business tech that every company out there wants to have in their inventory?

Find some tech that you can really put to use.

5 Possible Reasons Your Staff Turnover Is So High

Do you keep hiring new employees only for them to leave within a matter of months? A high staff turnover can put a lot of pressure on businesses – you could find that you’re constantly spending time and money looking for new employees and that the temporary lack of staff results in an increased workload for you and your team. To improve staff loyalty and end the constant cycle of recruiting you need to understand the reason why your employees keep leaving. Here are just five possible reasons as to why your employee turnover is so high.

You’re hiring the wrong employees

Not everyone is going to be the right fit for your company. Many employers that are under pressure to hire new employees rush the recruitment phase, however this can often result in hiring the inappropriate people.

Whilst it may take more time and resources, you should consider putting a thorough recruitment strategy in place that could allow you to find someone who is more suitable for the job. This involves doing more advertising, reading more job applications and interviewing more applicants so that you have a larger selection of candidates to choose from.

Don’t be afraid to hire no-one if after interviewing you’ve found no-one that sticks out. If it’s emergency role that needs to be filled, consider trying temp agencies or outsourcing services until you’ve found the right person. It’s better to spend extra time and money finding the right employee than it is to hire the first person you can find only to be in the same position a couple months down the line when they inevitably leave.

You’re overworking your employees

If employees feel as if they’re being asked to take on too much, they’ll likely leave due to the stress. This is a common reason for a high turnover and can be a hard problem to fix if you’re understaffed due to staff constantly leaving.

There may be ways that you can ease the workload such as taking on less clients. If this isn’t possible, consider outsourcing certain time-consuming tasks such as accounting or even answering the phone. You could even research into ways of automating tasks that are currently done manually such as buying an industrial dishwasher for a restaurant kitchen. Your employees will appreciate the fact that you are trying to reduce the burden and may be more inclined to stick around.

You’re not making employees feel appreciated

It’s also important to make your employees feel like their work is appreciated. No sense of appreciation can often lead to no sense of reward – a wage often isn’t enough.

Simple forms of appreciation could include thanking employees at the end of the day or praising employees that go above and beyond. Praising employees in front of customers can be particularly motivating. On top of all this, you could consider sharing happy customer reviews and testimonials to show the positive impact your work is doing. You could also consider donating proceeds to charity to help make employees feel as if they’re making a difference.

You’re not offering any work benefits

Work benefits are also important for keeping employees loyal. A good wage can similarly be a benefit, but there are other perks that you can offer too.

Workplace wellness programs that offer free healthcare can be a great benefit to have. Paid holiday, sick leave and maternity pay are also great incentives that make employees feel as if they’re being looked after. On top of this, you could consider alternative work benefits such as paying for lunch, paying for commute costs and even possibly paying a contribution towards tuition fees. Of course, there are other benefits that don’t require spending money such as letting employees work from home, allowing employees to bring in pets, offering flexible hours or having dress down days.

You’re not offering any opportunities for progression

Another reason all your employees may be leaving you is a lack of progression. Without any sense that they progress within your business, employees are likely to get bored doing the same thing day in day out. Even the most exciting and rewarding jobs can turn into a routine after several years, after which employees may be looking to challenge themselves and improve their status.

Consider offering senior positions within your company or allowing employees to earn more by taking on more work. If this isn’t possible, consider allowing employees to help with the progression of your company. If employees feel that they can play a part in growing your business and making positive changes, they’ll feel as if they’re making progress and will care about your business more.

5 Ways To Encourage Better Teamwork

With a strong and capable team, your business can achieve anything. But there’s more to building a good team than simply hiring the right expertise. If your team doesn’t gel well, you’ll soon find problems with delivery, quality, and motivation, which will have a serious impact on your business.

The good news is that it’s not too late to develop an effective team. Take a look at these five ways to encourage better teamwork to help transform your business and put it on the path to success.

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Consider the group dynamics

More and more businesses are hiring through group interviews to help establish a better team from the start. However, most established businesses don’t have that luxury.

When you bring in several individuals to a room, not everyone is going to gel well. There are different personalities and character traits that might not work well with others. But looking at the group dynamics of teams can help you to ensure that people are in the right roles and have the right responsibilities to form the basis of good work. There are different exercises to boost group dynamics for teams that will help deliver these improvements. Getting to know your team is important and can help you to provide direction going forward.

Set clear aims and objectives

Without objectives, your team can lack the focus they need to do their best work. Setting goals for your team will help give them a common goal to work towards, providing motivation and engagement that will help them stay on task. By setting out everyone’s roles in achieving these goals, you can provide greater clarity on individuals’ responsibilities and help everyone contribute to your company’s wider goals. Objectives can be quarterly, bi-annually, annually – whatever is the right fit for your business.

Make sure you also focus on personal goals and objectives to help individuals retain motivation and take ownership of their professional development.

Get them out of the office

Sometimes the best way to develop a great team is to take them out of the office. When people are outside of work, they tend to relax and get to know each other on a more personal level, which can help to build some strong working relationships. Not everyone has to be each other’s best friend, but feeling comfortable and happy around your work colleagues makes a big difference to your confidence at work.

Your team spends a lot of time together, so forging a social team culture could help them work better together. Start organizing social events, lunches, away days and other activities outside of the office that can help break down some of the formality and develop a strong team bond.

Reward

Rewarding your employees is more than just giving them incentives for doing good work. Teams like to feel valued and when their hard work is recognized, they’re motivated to continue to do great work. There are different ways to reward employees, but recognizing their contribution is one of the most important elements.

It’s easy for a business to focus on and react to what’s gone wrong, but by working out what’s gone right and acknowledging that, you’ll help create a more positive working culture that cares about achieving the company’s goals.

Communicate effectively

Communication is at the heart of developing an effective team. Making sure that knowledge is shared with everyone is important, and stops resentment from developing. It also helps teams to trust each other.

Regular meetings are important to help your team to share ideas, best practice as well as identify areas where help and support are needed. Many businesses are also focusing on developing open-plan working areas that help build collaborative and creative work environments.

You can also make the most of modern tools to help you improve your teamwork. Collaborative online tools can help teams update their progress easily, while also making it easier for employees across different locations to keep in touch. Many of these tools are free and can make a great fit for your business.

While having strong individuals will help your business to succeed, it’s not enough to have everyone work independently. Ensuring that your team works well together will make your employees more productive, as well as help foster a more creative and cohesive work culture. From team building to making your work-space more collaborative, focus on bringing your team together and start achieving your business’ goals.