Implementing a Proper Email Subscription Point on Your Website

Friday, May 24, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

Email acquisition is a hot topic right now at Listrak. With Twitter’s release of the lead generation card and Listrak’s recent whitepaper on the importance of acquisition, I felt it relevant to talk about implementing a proper email subscription point on your website.
Beyond a modal popup solution, the subscription point should be a mini form in the header or footer of your site. By positioning it there, you’re ensuring that the mini form will be on all pages of your website. The most common placement is in the footer, but including it in both the header and footer certainly isn’t  a bad idea. The bottom line is you want the mini form to be easily noticed. Don’t ask for lots of information. Keep the form short and sweet. Ask for  email address only. You can work on acquiring more info later via a welcome message that points to your preference center.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Here’s a great example of what a subscription point should be. This example was located in the footer. It’s a mini form that only asks for your email address and it was very visible and easy to find. Well done.
This example has the subscription point located in the header. In this case it’s a text link that upon click displays a pop up mini form. The problem here is it’s hard to find. I really had to scan the page before I saw it. While this example does display a mini form, they would be better served having the mini form directly on the page.
In this example the subscription point was located in the footer. This one had several things going against it. It’s a text link that wasn’t easy to locate. This link directs you to another page that explains the benefits of receiving their email. You then have to click on yet another link that takes you to the account login page. So basically you need to create an account in order to receive their emails. Like it or not, people tend to be impatient, which is why a quick and easy solution is vital. Also, asking the visitor to create an account feels like a commitment. If it feels like a commitment, you’re surely going to scare some potential subscribers away.
Finally, let’s take a look at an example that has all the right things going for it. This is a great example for retailers to follow. There are three subscription points in this example, a link in the header, a modal pop up, and a mini form in the footer.


Making Twitter a Part of your Email Acquisition Strategy

Thursday, May 23, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

As many of you know, yesterday Twitter released the Lead Generation Card, a new type of card which allows marketers to collect leads directly within a tweet.
This could be a game changer because users do not need to fill out any lengthy forms.  Their information (Name, email, and username) is already pulled into the card. They literally just have to hit “Submit” on the Card’s call-to-action.  Currently, this is only available as a feature in Promoted Tweets — a paid feature of Twitter Ads.
As email marketers, we’re always looking for new ways to boost our acquisition.  The launch of this new Twitter feature is exceptionally timely as Listrak recently published a whitepaper focused solely on the importance of acquisition.
This is a great tool to get more bang for your buck from your social media spend.  With Twitter Ads, you pay for the Cost Per Engagement on retweets, replies to, clicks, or favorites your Promoted Tweet — and clicks count both on the URL in the tweet and anywhere in the tweet itself, so this is something you definitely want to test.
It’s important to treat this acquisition source as you would any others (website signup, modal/lightbox signup, etc.) and send new subscribers a welcome email/series. 
There are many reasons that a welcome series is highly recommended. To begin, it validates the email address, which protects your sender reputation. It also reminds subscribers about their opt-in and confirms what they may expect as a result of signing up. In addition, welcome emails may be used to request more profile information while reinforcing your brand. And finally, a welcome series immediately engages new subscribers and keeps them engaged beginning at the moment they have shown interest in your brand.
Will you be testing the new Twitter Lead Generation cards?  Would love to know your thoughts!


AOL Postmaster - New Spam Filtering

Monday, May 13, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

Email marketers should be aware that last week AOL announced on their POSTMASTER BLOG that they have made some changes to their spam filtering.  In a POST from  Lili Crowley, it was announced that based on customer feedback changes have been made to the handling of identified spam.  As a result, some senders may be blocked with 544 CON:B1 Refuses.  AOL’s Postmaster website defines a 554 CON:B1 as “The IP address has been blocked due to a spike in unfavorable e-mail statistics”.  
This type of error message would indicate that the sender has been blocked due to a poor sending reputation.  Senders should be aware that even tough they may have  been able to deliver email in the past without any major deliverability issues, they might not be able to get delivered today.


Customer Loyalty through User Experience

Monday, May 06, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

I’d like to introduce guest blogger Cherene Etemadi, marketing manager with EYEMAGINE, a full-service Magento and web development company based in sunny California. Below Cherene shares some tips for designing and building websites that create customer loyalty through the user experience.   

Customer Loyalty through User Experience

People love things that make their lives simpler, and good online user experience will do just that for your customers.
Many merchants make the mistake of letting the convenience of eCommerce become an excuse for standardized, “out-of-the-box” user experience design and development; but the best online shopping experiences should deliver much more than just the ability to shop in your pajamas. Delivering a superior user experience is the fundamental key to turning your online store into a customer loyalty machine.
Here are some ways to begin thinking about how to deliver that optimal online shopping user experience:

Be Frictionless

A good user experience/user interface designer will focus on the “friction points” of the user experience. Friction points are the sticky areas of online shopping, where customers will often get bogged down and lost before they complete the checkout process. Your UI/UX designer will ask why you’re requiring  customers to go through 5 steps to check out when only 3 would do, asking  them  to  search for where they need to go next, or making them wait an eternity for a page to load.
Identifying friction points means empathizing with users. For a recent Magento custom development and design project, the design team at EYEMAGINE smoothed a shopping flow friction point by adding a “Details” tooltip when hovering over a product image — providing an instant, brief description of product features - as well as an “Add to Cart” button, without the need to click through to the product’s detail page.


Suddenly a friction point was eased and a process that may have taken minutes was reduced to seconds.

Be Persistent

Persistency, or “stickiness,” pertains to the elements of a site’s layout that don’t vanish from the viewport of a browser no matter how far you scroll up or down a page. Creating persistent elements on an eCommerce website allows customers to have what they need at their fingertips at all times instead of needing to scroll up or down.
This can be particularly helpful when it comes to navigation — something you might want users to have access to at all times. For example, for the portable speaker site (another Magento custom development and design project),  the EYEMAGINE design team created an extremely “tall” product details page, full of product information, but requiring an extremely long scroll by users. In order to ensure that customers don’t lose their way on the page, we also added a dark gray persistent navigation bar.


No matter where users scroll within the page, this black bar follows them and remains “stuck” to the top of their browser.

Be Responsive

In addition to being responsive to your customers’ concerns, you must also embrace responsive web design. Not just an eCommerce trend, responsive design is here to stay because it fulfills the need to provide an optimal user experience on the multiplicity of user screen sizes, including tablet, phone, laptop, desktop, and every variety of each.
Embracing responsive design in eCommerce allows an online store to be tailored perfectly to all customers, no matter how they access the site. And while some larger and more trusted eCommerce developers find more success providing custom apps for their clients,  for those without the resource to invest in a fully customized app, and those who want to target all platforms without worrying about particular device compatibility, responsive design is an ideal solution.


Be Scientific

Being ruthlessly scientific is perhaps the most important trait an online storeowner can have, and isn’t easy to master. Being scientific means:
Being willing to constantly discard and refine elements of your site until you arrive at a model that truly works
Forgetting about what your competition is doing and learning for yourself what makes sense
Being able to put your site where it belongs — in users’ hands, instead of in your head
Websites aren’t static items to be designed, built and then left alone. The Internet is a living, breathing creation made with changeable code that provides the huge advantage of flexibility. Good online storeowners embrace flexibility, and use it to their advantage to slowly, over time, arrive at a model that truly works for their businesses.
This can be accomplished with A/B testing, the ultimate scientific method applied to eCommerce web design. When executed correctly, A/B testing can take the neurosis and guesswork out of running an online store by validating ideas with real results.

What it All Means

You don’t just want to redesign your site to look good. You want to redesign it to drive conversions, increase average order value, and create loyal customers.
The only way to effectively build eCommerce customer loyalty through good user experience is by having a deep knowledge of online consumer behavior; something EYEMAGINE’s expert team of designers and developers know better than your 16 year-old-nephew knows Call of Duty.