Choosing the Best Pop-Up Design for Your Goals

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments



If you’re ready to grow your email list then a pop-up on your website is a must-have. Getting started
designing a pop-up may be a bit daunting, though. There are so many things to cover: Do you include an incentive? What design do you choose?

Allow me to help! I’ve picked out a few pop-up designs that I love and hope that my thoughts will help you choose the best pop-up design for your goals.

Keep it light and airy



This traditional lightbox-style pop-up is very simple and clean while still maintaining the look and feel of the brand. Using CSS transitions, it slides onto the homepage about three seconds after you’ve arrived. Using the angled photo, this pop-up adds visual interest while drawing a literal line down to the widest (and most important) part of the form: the email input box. This subtle but effective direction to the input plus the free shipping note in light blue really makes me want to enter my email and click that “send” button. 

Tip: If your website content is more central to the browser window, this design is a great option for you.



Be big and bold


Another sibling in the pop-up family is the full-screen. In order to really grab your user’s attention, these pop-ups completely hide the website behind them. While designing these, it’s important to maintain the look and feel of your brand just in case your customer forgets what website they’re on (hey, it happens!). This one in particular does this perfectly. The background color is the brand’s gorgeous green, and they even took it a step further and included the logo at the top of the form. This way the user always knows what site they’re on.

Another element I like about this pop-up is the offer used to entice the customer to sign up. Not only is the offer large and distinct in the headline, but it's also reiterated in the call-to-action button. Another bonus element I enjoyed: the pretty cool JavaScript counter directly under the button! I don’t see those too often in pop-ups so that really stood out.

Tip: If your website content is stretched across the whole screen, this design would fit seamlessly.


Try clean and subtle


Here we have the simplest pop-up of the bunch: the banner. These are great because they aren’t in your face or pushy; they’re simply there for you whenever you decide you’d like to subscribe. This means a first-time visitor to your website is given the chance to browse around and then make the decision if your brand interests them to sign up for your newsletters.

These pop-ups don’t usually have imagery and since they’re so small, the copy is kept to a bare minimum. In this example in particular, the black background really made this stand out on an otherwise very colorful website. This example does include a close button, but also adds a clever “don’t miss out!” headline right in front of it to play into all your FOMO fears. 

Tip: Looking for a softer, subtler sell? This pop-up is perfect for you!

Which pop-up design speaks to you? Let us know in the comments!




Elsie Compton
Graphic Designer

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Listrak Receives World-Class Net Promoter Score® of 80

Friday, May 19, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

According to a 2016 Nielsen study, the vast-majority (more than 80%) of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. What our friends, colleagues and neighbors think truly matters, even when it comes to business decisions.

One standard industry rating, known as the Net Promoter Score® or NPS®, offers an easy way to gauge how your customers truly feel about you. It boils down to one simple question: Would you recommend this product or service to a friend? Listrak recently surveyed clients to see how satisfied they are with Listrak solutions and services and the results were quite revealing.


The results showed that Listrak’s Net Promoter Score came back as an 80 -what NPS considers “world-class.” 
To give you some background, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) ranks a customer’s willingness to recommend a product or service to others on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being extremely likely to recommend and 0 being not likely at all to recommend. Respondents are then divided into three categories: Promoters (9 or 10); Passive (7 or 8); and Detractors (6 and below).



According to product and NPS specialists, Net Promoter Score is recognized as a key performance indicator. Any score above 50 is excellent, while anything above 70 is deemed “world class.”

As Customer Marketing Manager with Listrak, my main focus is and always will be customer awareness and satisfaction. How do our customers feel about us? Are they content? Do they know enough about our products? So, when Listrak decided to use this ever-telling question in a recent survey focused on satisfaction, I was ecstatic when more than 31% of our active clients responded. This, compared to the average 10-15% response rate for external surveys according to SurveyGizmo.com.


The satisfaction survey also included an open-ended question asking customers what one thing Listrak could do to improve its Client Services team, followed by sentiment questions asking respondents to rate their Account Manager from 1-10 on qualities that included their responsiveness, product knowledge, knowledge of client business, and overall satisfaction. The average rating for Client Services personnel yielded a 9.4.

“One of our core values at Listrak is Customers come first in everything we do.” says Carly Povilaitis, VP of Client Services. “It’s a commitment that we live by as an organization and is at the foundation of who we are and what we do. Our Client Services team is dedicated to providing top quality service and support to all of our customers. The results from this survey illustrate we are delivering on this promise.”

So, what is to be done with this information? For me, it’s going to be to take a step back, take a deep breath and say, “thank you” to our valuable clients. And, also to take a look at those who didn’t rate us as highly, because they did so for a reason (so I’ve learned) and there’s much room for improvement to be had. A recommendation, to me, is the utmost achievement and in order to continue to receive them you’ve got to always strive to satisfy your clients in new and innovative ways. And most importantly, listen closely to what they’ve got to say.



Lauren Eisenhauer
Customer Marketing Manager

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Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

I’ve been with Listrak over 17 years, from the very early days of digital marketing. In that time, I’ve seen it all and done it all - from a technology and marketing perspective.

The recent surge of terms, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics, on the popular scene has me interested. And I’ve heard a lot of questions - do people talking about it truly understand what it is? Are companies in Silicon Valley realizing the dreams and nightmares of so many science-fiction authors? Are there huge teams of PhDs using supercomputers?

The answer to all of these questions is the same: not really.

I wanted to explore what these terms really mean, how they exist in marketing today and how humans can support the usefulness of AI.

First, we should define the terms:
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. In a word, it’s path-finding. The most obvious example of AI is GPS navigation. The system takes a series of inputs and a data set of possibilities, then determines the best route to your destination. Apps like Waze have taken this to another level by incorporating traffic, hazards and accidents as reported by users. This allows the AI to choose better routes that avoid slowdown and get the driver to their destination quicker.
  • Machine Learning (ML) is the ability of computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. To borrow the words of the T-800, “My CPU is a neural-net processor; a learning computer.” A neural net is one application of machine learning, which is a sub-discipline and therefore a potential component of AI. A good example of ML in everyday life is the Nest Thermostat. You see, using sensors and feedback, it learns when to heat or cool or hibernate. More advanced applications would include things like IBM’s Watson ability to learn sentiment and pun usage on Jeopardy or advanced visual recognition of self-driving cars to collect data and feedback. This can then be used to better understand scenarios it is likely to encounter on the road in the future.
  • Predictive Analytics is simply a grouping of statistical techniques that pull from predictive modeling, machine learning and data mining to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events. If last year’s reports are business intelligence, next year’s projections are predictive analytics. Predictive analytics has varying degrees of complexity, from simple to very advanced models and algorithms used to predict outcomes. A common example of predictive analytics are the models used by meteorologists to forecast weather based on patterns in data around pressure, temperature and relative humidity. Another more current example that everyone should be familiar with are Amazon’s product recommendations. They are using data gathered from your (and millions of others’) past behavior to predict what you are likely to purchase next.

Listrak has developed several applications of these technologies in products, including




The good news is that none of these programs will enslave the human race (we think). Usage of things like a random forest helps Listrak identify hundreds of millions of product recommendation candidates every single day. Natural language processing to identify likely keywords across a library of blog articles allows us to better provide relevant content to your readers and shoppers.

Predictive analytics are a key component to several of our solutions like: replenishment, send time optimization and propensity-to-buy modeling for our LifeCycle Grid.

What does the future hold for AI at Listrak? Humans. Wait, what? Yes, humans are a crucial component to artificial intelligence although it feels very counterintuitive to say so. You may have heard of the freestyle chess tournament incepted by grandmaster, Gary Kasparov. In it, two amateur men with 3 laptops beat the entire field to win the championship. Supervised learning and training data sets present algorithms with much needed human support to kick off the potential of an AI application. Personalization is going to get a lot more intelligent as we incorporate neural networks alongside a feedback loop to make great recommendations from the start rather than waiting for the system to learn. Simply stated, humans and computers working together will be able to achieve results not possible by either alone.

Stay tuned for more on artificial intelligence and applications in marketing here on the Listrak blog as well as in our product release notes. We predict that you’ll be very interested in what is coming next.

 



Mike Hartman
Sr. Director, Product Strategy

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The Importance of Live Text in Email

Monday, May 15, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Imagine a subway commuter on his cellphone with barely any signal. He’s trying to read an email from his favorite shoe brand, but none of the images will load. And because there’s no live text in this message, he has no idea what this brand is trying to tell him. Is there an exclusive sale? A brand-new line? In frustration, he deletes the email.

That’s exactly what we don’t want to happen.

When designing an email, it’s easy to put on your creative cap, hop into Photoshop, and go to town. But with mobile on the rise, it’s extremely important to not only create beautiful emails, but functional ones. Having text inside images may look beautiful, but when on a mobile device, the text scales down making it difficult to read. And in Mr. Commuter’s case, the images didn’t even load so he couldn’t read the text at all!

So what’s the solution? Live text.
No matter where in the world your reader is opening your email (whether on the subway or not), HTML text (or live text as I’ll call it) will maintain a readable size (simply wrapping to a new line if necessary) and will display even when images don’t.

This balance of beauty and function has blossomed into one of my favorite things: creative ways to incorporate live text. With Listrak Composer by your side, you can create stunning emails without needing to learn all the quirks of coding for inboxes. Here are a few of my favorite little tricks to make Composer messages with live text extra fab.

Add text within an image (yes, it’s possible!)

If you have a great image for your hero, it is actually possible to include text in that image! You just have to be a little creative about it. Here, you can see I used a solid colored box to cut through the image. In Photoshop, I sliced the image into two parts: above the box and below. In Listrak Composer, I stacked the top half of image, added the text area, then the bottom half of the image. To add color to the text, simply select the structure for the area and add Content Background Color. Voilà! Your test email will now display the text in an easy-to-copy and mobile-friendly manner while maintaining a fantastic aesthetic.








Create unique headings
Want something a little more intriguing for your headline text? You can create a headline combining the powers of an image and a content structure with a background color. In this example, I created a rectangle content structure and placed an image below it to create an arrow. Pretty cool, right?

Now instead of shrinking, your headline text will flow on mobile and remain readable. And bonus! This headline uses a directional cue (the arrow) to draw the reader further down into the email. This is a great design tactic for longer messages because it will entice your user to scroll down to see what the arrow is pointing to, like a promotion or coupon code.


Have fun with your categories
Want to call out apparel, shoes, and accessories without taking up too much real estate in your email? Then Composer’s two-column structure is your best pal! There are a ton of fun things you can do with this structure to call out those categories while incorporating live text. In this example in particular, I have an image in one column and live text (i.e. the category name) in the other. I even messed around with the shape of the images in Photoshop to create a funky angled corner. This finished product not only features the vivid imagery customers love, but the functionality of live text to make their experience flawless with or without those images.

Create a secret banner
This is actually my personal favorite! Though this may look like one whole banner, it’s really another two-column structure! Again, I put an image in one column and text in the other. But this time, instead of leaving the background of the text white, I made it the same bright yellow as the accompanying image. Now it looks like one whole banner! Pretty sneaky, right? To improve the experience on mobile, I set the mobile settings to reverse stack. Now when the reader scrolls, they’ll see the text first and the image second.

While these are just a few examples of ways to incorporate live text into your email messages, I hope they help kickstart some fabulous ideas for your designs. Which ones are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments!





Melissa Lobach
Graphic Designer

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Mobile Marketing: Automating SMS Campaigns in Listrak

Monday, May 08, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Consumers who engage in more than one channel are typically a brand’s most valuable customer. And Listrak’s Mobile Marketing Solution is designed to engage your audience on their favorite – and sometimes only – device.

75% of customers prefer to have offers sent to them via SMS rather than through adverts on mobile apps or online, according to study from Digital Marketing Magazine. And SMS coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed and shared, according to Mobile Marketing Engine. But while the technology has existed for a while, brands have been slow to adopt the functionality until recently. Only 25–30% of businesses currently use SMS to communicate with customers currently.

Adding a mobile marketing solution to your digital marketing mix gives you a direct connection to your customers and gives you a competitive edge. Plus, it works really well with your email campaigns.

For example, you can use SMS to build your email list through a Text to Join campaign, like this example from Rainbow Shops. Through the first 10 months of running this campaign, Rainbow has seen a 92% email acquisition rate through its Text to Join message; and because of the offer, a large percentage of the new subscribers have also converted.

 


You can promote your mobile marketing program through your on-site popup - but follow best practices. Don't just ask shoppers to enter their mobile number as they aren't opting-in to the mobile messaging campaign. Instead, share your keyword and short code and let them initiate the conversation.


You can also use your email campaigns to build your mobile list, like this example from Pier 1:




But just because the two channels work so well together doesn’t mean you should use them the same. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • While emails can go out daily – or even multiple times per day – SMS should be used sparingly, no more than once a week. 
  • SMS should include your best offers or discounts. 
  • SMS should also have a feeling of exclusivity as well as a sense of urgency / immediacy. 
  • Great SMS campaigns include immediate flash sales, new product releases, coupons, local event alerts and reminders while campaigns that don’t work well include upcoming sales, future events and coupons that aren’t immediately enabled. 
  • The content of your SMS campaigns should be direct – you only have 160 characters, which includes the mandatory legal messages, such as “Reply STOP to end”. With that being said, we recommend sending a single message at a time – don’t send two or three messages in a row to cram in a lot of text. If the message is too lengthy, send an email instead. Also, don’t overdo it with abbreviations. While some common abbreviations are okay, such as “Txt STOP 2 end”. 
  • You can use a URL shortener, such as bit.ly, for your call-to-action links and you should allot 10 characters of the 160 limit for your link. 
  • Unlike email, which can be sent any time of the day, SMS campaigns should be sent from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm local time. 
  • Your emails and SMS messages should work together, they shouldn’t compete. Don’t send different offers in the two channels the same day. 
  • Mobile marketing is highly regulated, so be sure to follow all the current rules, regulations and guidelines around signage, promotion and messaging. 

Listrak’s Mobile Marketing Solution – Target Your Audience

With Listrak, you'll be able to create keyword campaigns and transactional messaging and send broadcast SMS messages - and you'll even be able to  target your audience by segmenting your list by geographic location by area code, purchase behavior or other attributes.

Later this year, clients will be able to execute automated campaigns across mobile and email through a single conversation in Listrak Conductor. This will allow you to reach each subscriber in their preferred channel with a personalized message. And this, in turn, will increase loyalty, revenue and customer satisfaction.

Questions about our Mobile Messaging solution? Let us know in the comments section.



Megan Ouellet
Director, Content Marketing

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Mobile Marketing: What You Need to Know about Short Codes

Friday, May 05, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Benefits of Unique Short Code, Dangers of a Shared Short Code and Pricing Pitfalls to Avoid

If you’re considering the SMS mobile marketing channel as your next opportunity to engage your customers, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether you would like a shared or dedicated short code for your company. This decision will affect brand recognition, customer service, internal process and procedures, and the bottom line.

A short code is a five or six-digit number that can be used to deliver messages to a mobile device. There are three main types of short codes:

  • Shared - many companies use the same short code
  • Unique random – random short code dedicated to a single company
  • Unique vanity – customized short code dedicated to a single company 

When you begin researching your short code options, you will quickly discover that the biggest differentiator between shared and dedicated short codes is investment. At first comparison, it is easy to gravitate towards the less expensive option. Let’s face it, if you can get something for almost nothing, you just might be your marketing team’s hero!

However, looking at just the price will not give you a full picture of your investment. In some cases, signing the less expensive option will work against the success of your SMS marketing.
To help you make the right decision, let’s look at pros and cons of each.

Dedicated Short Codes (Unique Random and Unique Vanity)

Pros:

  • Secure: Because you are the explicit user for the short code, you will not have to worry about sharing a subscriber database or platform with another company. For retail or service industries that need an elevated level of secure data, (e.g. financial organizations, health industries, or that have security certifications) a dedicated short code may be your only option.
  • Promotes Brand Recognition: As your customers become familiar with your short code, they begin to associate the number with your brand. It becomes a loyal relationship. The longer they are engaged, the more value your number has. If you want to change providers, you will want to take this relationship with you.
  • Portable: Once you lease a dedicated short code, you can take it with you from service provider to service provider. This encourages brand recognition and reduces confusions for your customers.
  • Control: A short code that belongs to you is not subjected to negligence from an outside company. Negligence includes poor marketing or compliance strategies that result in the short code being suspended or the customer unsubscribing. If a customer unsubscribes from a shared short code, they will be unsubscribed from all companies associated with the same shared short code. If the short code is suspended, it is suspended for all companies associated with the same shared short code. In either case, marketing to a customer is no longer compliant or possible; working against your marketing initiatives.
  • User Friendly Experience: With a dedicated short code, you have complete control over what keyword you would like to have your subscribers use to join your text alert program. A best practice is to make your keywords short and simple to reduce text errors and increase subscription engagement. 
  • Professional Services: When acquiring a dedicated short code, it usually comes with professional services to assist you in developing content, obtaining the short code, assuring compliance to FCC guidelines, and obtaining carrier approval on your behalf. Listrak will even set up your initial campaigns, provide a training session, and help you set up a strategy for successful use of your campaigns. This will take the strain off your internal teams and protect your investment from issues that you may not be aware of in the marketing channel.
  • Increased Deliverability Speed: Dedicated short codes usually have access to a dedicated messaging server. This allows for messaging deployment and throughput speeds to be at an optimal level as they are uninterrupted by other traffic on the short code. 

Cons:
  • The investment can be out of reach for small business depending on demographic. If your demographic is young, your marketing strategy may focus on text over email as the means to communicate.
  • Provisioning Time Period: It can take up to 10 weeks to provision a short code. In some cases, it may be slightly longer if there is a compliance issue.


Shared Short Codes

Pros:
  • Investment: Because you are sharing the short code with many other companies, there is a cost savings.
  • Time To Market: You can get to the market sooner because the short code is already provisioned.

Cons:
  • Fee Structures: Although shared short codes generally require less of an investment, they may come with usage fees, virtual short code fees, keyword priority fees, overage fees, and / or user fees. Depending on the type of fees associated with obtaining a shared short code, you may be charged for sending too many messages or requesting a keyword that is more user friendly to text by your customers. These fees will add up and may cost as much as a dedicated short code if you are not careful.
  • Keyword Limitations: A keyword must be unique to a short code. If company A uses “JOIN” to subscribe its’ customers to their list, company B may not. Company B will have to use a variant of “JOIN” if they want to use that keyword (e.g. “JOIN1”).
  • Brand Confusion: Shared short codes are shared by many companies to keep cost down, however there is no limit on how many or what companies can share the same short code. If you are sharing, you may be sharing with your direct competitors. If you are using similar keywords, there is a potential for your customers to confuse the programs they are signed up for. Additionally, receiving messages from many brands on the same short code, may be confusing to the customer as it will not have instant recognition from the short code number associated with it. 
  • Not Portable: Because you do not explicitly control the short code, you are not able to switch providers and take the number with you thus breaking any brand recognition established.
  • Negligence Risk: As previously mentioned, if a company associated with a shared short code provides a poor marketing strategy, the customer will easily unsubscribe from the short code. If you share that same short code, they will also be unsubscribed from your list if they happen to be subscribed. A more serious concern is if the company deploys a program that is not in compliance with the FCC, they could have the short code suspended for all companies associated with the short code. It will remain suspended until the compliance issue is resolved which may take months to rectify. 
  • Decreased Deployment Speeds: The more companies on a shared short code, the more volume of messages there may be. This will slow deployment speeds. Many providers help control this by imposing volume send fees, message send caps, and / or additional message fees. If you intend to build a substantial list, you will want to review these fees as it will be easy to breach the cap as your campaign gains engagement. 
  • Lack of Professional Services: Most shared short codes do not provide assistance in set up, compliance guidance, content, marketing strategy and other areas that will help you get the most out of your investment and protect you from being fined for serious compliance violations which may result in up to $500 per message sent out of compliance.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when you are deciding your short code path. If you choose a shared short code, you may feel that you are saving money, however it may result in an unsuccessful, similarly priced solution. If you choose a dedicated short code, you will have increased marketing success, flexibility and support services, however it will be more of an investment. Both options have something to offer. It will be up to you to decide how it will affect your brand recognition, customer service, internal process and procedures, and the bottom line.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with shared or unique short codes! Let us know in the comments section.






Paula Spirawk
Business Systems Analyst

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Email Campaign Trends: What’s In My Inbox?

Thursday, May 04, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Every morning I look forward to checking my email. No, really! I love opening my inbox and checking out the emails I get from the brands I follow. I enjoy seeing the unique content and call-to-action buttons they come up with to market a hot new product or the season’s newest line. Some brands get pretty creative, and that’s when I tuck some examples away for inspiration.

Z-Shaped Layout

The Z-shaped layout was the first thing to catch my eye in this example. It helped guide me smoothly down the email, from the exclusive “limited time only” deal prominently displayed in the hero image to the Dipper 2 Pant.

And did you notice the images and the customer reviews? Pay attention to how the women are actually pointing to or facing the customer reviews. This helps draw your eye from the lifestyle image to the user-generated content gushing over how amazing the clothing is.
 Aaron Pearson covered the Z-shaped layout tactic in his webinar “Streamlining Design Time”, which is available on demand. This layout is extremely readable, but before you implement this tactic, there are some things you must consider – particularly around responsive design. Think about how you want the content to look on a mobile device – do you want the text under the images or next to it? If the text is next to the images, will it be large enough to read? Planning out the layout in advance will ensure your entire audience can read, click and respond easily.



A Single Message or Theme
There’s so much I love about this message. Cute pups, clever puns, and colorful illustrations? More, please! One thing in particular that called out to me in this message was the theme. 

To not overwhelm your reader, it’s important that each of your marketing emails have one purpose or a single theme.
This message does a great job of focusing on one thing and one thing only: “dog-tor” products. Even if your dog doesn’t get the joke, you will! This message does an excellent job of hilariously calling out the fun products you can buy. The cool mix of photography and illustration adds a nice design touch and the gigantic call-to-action buttons make this extremely user-friendly and clickable!

These messages work well when you target your audience by only sending this message to people who have recently browsed dog toys or who have purchased dog toys in the past or have it marked as a preference. To learn more about personalization tactics, check out Julie Wahl’s latest blog “Email Personalization: Dynamic Content in Listrak Composer”.



Multiple Messages Done Right
Though it’s important to focus your message on one thing, it is possible to talk about multiple things if you do it the right way. This message does a fantastic job of pairing together food, wine, and dessert to get multiple products in one spot without overwhelming the user.

The simple design makes it easy to scan the headlines, and the incredible photography alone helps me engage in the message.

You can automate messages like this using Listrak’s Personalization Suite. It lets you take all of the great messaging, articles, blog posts and site content that you worked so hard to create and automatically populate emails with the content that is most relevant to each recipient. You can see how it works by testing the demo on our site.



Are there any brands’ emails you look forward to receiving? Give them a shout out in the comments!



Elsie Compton
Graphic Designer

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Listrak’s Top 5 Cross-Channel Strategies for CPG

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Consumer Packaged Goods companies are navigating a time where ecommerce is growing more popular than in-store experiences. But when your business model and KPIs are tied to store shelf sales, how can you get your foot in the door with the ecommerce community consumers (increasingly) depend on?

CPG Marketers today must go “beyond the shelf” – whether they offer onsite commerce or not – and deploy a strong cross-channel presence through store, website, email and social. This reflects the cross-channel nature of today’s shoppers and their demand for real-time connectivity.

Listrak’s Digital Marketing solutions for Consumer Packaged Goods help organizations deploy email and deliver personalized experiences. Here are some simple strategies that prove to drive acquisition, engagement and loyalty, revenue, and subject matter expertise through our digital marketing solutions:

On-site Acquisition
A pop-up or full screen takeover is an easy way to build your email list. Reaching your consumers beyond the store shelf and establishing that all-important relationship is a MUST.



Welcome Series
Once they’ve signed up through your pop-up, welcome your subscribers and start building brand loyalty with a three-part series campaign. Dynamic Content can include relevant videos, blog posts or articles that establish your CPG expertise and leadership.
 


Content Personalization 
Quality content adds value to your brand experience beyond a simple product offering. Delivering it right to the consumer’s inbox based on their preferences and behaviors deepens their engagement and loyalty. Content such as blogs, articles and product instructions curated in email and on-site increases site traffic and retention rates, and keeps your brand top-of-mind when shoppers are not in the active buying cycle.



Recurring Automated Campaigns
CPG brands can utilize Recurring Automated Campaigns to engage consumers with weekly, bi-weekly or monthly emails that include recipes and how-to instructions. This activity keeps appropriate CPG products prominent, while encouraging their use and likelihood of repurchase. What’s more, including recommended products that are personalized to the recipient from the ecommerce site will enhance the experience of products that are bought in-store.

Build an Educational Hub
For CPG entities whose sites are not used to drive eCommerce business, the strategies above can still be put to good use to leverage your site as an educational outlet, and to establish market thought leadership. A product resource center and resource-based cross-channel campaigns can improve your customer lifecycle by driving shoppers back to the store based on the content you share.


Questions? Have any additional strategies you want to share? Let us know in the comments section!







Grace Gill
Channel Marketing Manager

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CPG Loyalty- Energize Repeat Purchases without Deterring Retailer Relationships

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments


The Reality of CPG Marketing:
Gone are the days, when CPG brands could rely only on advertising and promotions. While traditional advertising can still help companies improve customer reach and brand awareness, they can no longer build strong, profitable relationships with their best customers on their own.

With the advent of smartphones and the alarming rate at which they have become an ubiquitous part of customers’ daily lives, CPG marketers have earned a tremendous opportunity to connect with shoppers in ways that weren’t possible before. Shoppers have become more inquisitive than ever, armed with their smartphones they undertake research, seek recommendations from friends on social media, and check reviews online before deciding -what to purchase.


Connecting with end consumers has become imperative for CPG brands. Until now they have always found themselves at the mercy of their retailers and distributors to connect with customers and build brand loyalty.

The convergence of mobile marketing, social media, and email has paved a new way for brands to build one-on-one relationships with their end customers. CPG brands can now construct their own loyalty initiatives to engage directly with their best customers without hampering their relationship with the retailers and distributors or using inconvenient mail-in methods. Omni-channel loyalty for CPG brands enables data-driven campaigns based on consumers’ shopping behavior and creates an emotional bond with their customers, resulting in significant increase in ROI.

Omni-channel loyalty programs can transform CPG brands in the following ways:

Amass Valuable Customer Data
Very few CPG brands sell products directly to their end consumers;- instead, most brands are heavily dependent on their retail and distribution partners. This wall of retailers makes collecting customer data almost impossible. CPG brands are often missing out on thorough demographic data, customer contact information, and purchase behavior data, which severely limits their ability to connect with and engage customers to build true brand loyalty.

This is where omni-channel loyalty comes to the rescue. Omni-channel loyalty programs offer CPG brands a way to directly interact with their end consumers and even collect everything from demographic data to purchase behavior information with tactics such as loyalty packaging, app integration, and receipt data submissions. They establish a dedicated line of communication with a business’s best customers, helping them optimize upsells, increase repeat purchases, and successfully launch new products.

Holistic Customer Experience
Omni-channel loyalty programs, as the name suggests, can be executed at every touch-point where customers are present. Brands can interact with their end customers irrespective of the place of purchase- online, in-store, at a retailer, etc., and create a holistic experience that helps dramatically boost customer satisfaction.
Omni-channel loyalty programs let you provide a similar experience to your customers throughout their journey and based on their past transaction history you can tactically place personalized offers at touch points to heighten customer engagement and boost repeat purchases.

Here’s an example: Imagine running a photo sharing contest positioned around the most shared and most popular images to date.Combine that with rewards that resonate with customers’ buying history, abandoned cart history, most loved products etc. Encourage your customers to share images of your products and,-refer friends to earn these rewards, which can be redeemed while shopping online or in physical stores.

Transform the Purchase Cycle
By connecting transactional loyalty data to touch-points throughout the purchase cycle —from awareness to product research and to post-purchase activity—CPGs can now build relationships at every stage of the customer journey.

For example, when a customer participates in their loyalty program, a brand gets insights about their buying behavior, interests, and demographic details such as gender, birthdays, and much more. Companies can leverage this data and devise a strategy to influence their customers’ buying behavior. They can trigger emails providing a special discount when a product customers were interested in is running out of stock, when the price of a product that customers abandoned before check out is cheaper, when a customer has a birthday or anniversary, and more.They can also send emails educating customers about upcoming sales, new arrivals and offers; let customers know their point standings, expiring rewards, levels achieved… And the list goes on and on. All this can result in remarkable uptick in repeat purchases.

Omni-Presence
With omni-channel capabilities brands can promote their loyalty program and offers at every possible touch point. They can ensure that offers get maximum visibility by showcasing them in prominent places on-site, by sharing on social media, at their physical stores, and through emails.

The most important factor of an omni-channel loyalty program is convenience. Customers can participate, contribute, refer and earn, regardless of the place or mode of purchase. Omni-channel loyalty truly helps brands create a holistic and seamless experience for their customers and engage them throughout their journey.   


We'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Please reach out through the comments section.


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This post was contributed by our partner Social Annex. 


Social Annex delivers the only fully integrated Advocate Marketing and Customer Loyalty platform. Our blog is your source for news, trends, and expert insights into the world of customer loyalty, advocate marketing, and more.

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Data-Driven Marketing: The Convergence of Personalization, Lifecycle Marketing and Channels

Monday, May 01, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

The customer journey is no longer linear. While some consumers opt-in to an email list the first time they visit a site when they’re still in the awareness or consideration phase, many others subscribe during the checkout process – either online or at your physical location.

Many others never subscribe at all, but interact with brands through social and programmatic display ads. And others have unsubscribed from a brand’s email list but still receive SMS messages.



The new customer journey is chaotic, sporadic and crowded. And it differs for everyone. Consumers are in charge of when and where they interact with brands based on their intent, interests and where they spend their time and it’s up to marketers to ensure they reach them in the right channel with a personalized message.
Doing so allows you to nurture and engage customers no matter what stage of the journey they are in – driving revenue, loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value.

How do you ease the path to purchase? How do you break down barriers? Listen to your current and prospective customers. Their behaviors, intent and interests are there for you to respond to. Through the consumption of these data points across environments, channels and devices you will be able to provide an experience that is relevant, timely and appreciated.

Why Personalization is No Longer Optional
According to a study from Econsultancy, 94% of businesses say personalization is critical to current and future success, yet Experian found that 70% of brands fail to personalize marketing messages. More importantly, 74% of consumers get frustrated when they receive content that has nothing to do with their interests, according to the Janrain Online Personal Experience study. You can find email more statistics on why personalization is so important on this post from Autopilot.

However, the main thing to remember is that Forrester reported that relevant and personalized campaigns drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast messages, on average.

Below are two emails sent from the same retailer. The one on the left went to 32% of its list and offered $10 off $50. The one on the right went to only 4% of its list and did not include an offer. 




The one on the right – that went to fewer people and didn’t rely on an incentive – made 34% more revenue than the one on the left. 

It's logical to think that an incentive such as a discount can drive significant revenue. However, as the evidence above shows, offering up merchandise suited to an individual’s interests drives conversion and revenue just as well – or better. Personalized content on its own makes the message relevant.

The timeliness of your engagement is critical to nurture and guide the consumer in their journey. Automated triggers take the burden off the marketer and place the customer in the driver seat on when the marketing occurs and what content is being placed in the messages.

Consider the Options

Welcome Series
A welcome series to introduce someone to your brand and your chance to impress them with all you have to offer. Think that it is too early to personalize these messages? Think again! As stated above, the customer journey isn’t linear. While some new subscribers might opt-in during their first visit to your site, others will opt-in during the checkout process, or after visiting your site through your Lead Ads on Facebook or Instagram, or through your mobile text to join campaign. You’re going to have more information on subscribers than you might think, and you can use it to your advantage by including product recommendations based on categories browsed or purchased. Also, include a fallback to show new, popular or gateway products to engage those first-time visitors! 



Browse Abandonment
Browse Abandon campaigns remind a visitor of the great content and products they showed interest in – and they have quickly become one of the most anticipated emails by shoppers as they are useful. We’ve seen abandonment campaign revenue nearly double by adding a browse abandonment campaign in addition to a cart abandonment campaign. The key to these messages is the message. Some brands can be bold and use a headline that directly calls out the shoppers’ browse behaviors while other brands have to be more subtle, so test to find out what works best for your brand. Regardless of the message, the emails should highlight the last product browsed and additional product or content recommendations to get the shoppers back to the site.


Product Alerts
Back in stock alerts notify shoppers when an item that was previously sold out is available to sell again and what’s new alerts let someone know their favorite brand has new merchandise offerings. These messages are highly relevant to shoppers as they contain products in which the customer has shown high purchase intent.



Recurring Automated Campaigns
Recurring automated campaigns, also known as a What’s New for You email, are daily, weekly or monthly messages that are automatically populated with products based on product affinity gained through purchase and browse behavior. These messages are a great addition to your email blasts as they have similar engagement and conversion metrics but, because they are automated, they don’t take any time or resources to develop.

 

These campaigns are all triggered by the consumer based on what they have shown interest in either through browse or purchase behavior. The guess work out of what message to send has been eliminated!

It’s All About the Consumer
Brands rely on their online and or their physical stores for that final phase of making a purchase. But consider your conversion rate in relation to site traffic and unique visitors. Think of all those individuals who pass through your doors but never make it to the register. People are conducting research, get distracted or cannot find exactly what they are looking for. Extending your reach through programmatic advertising, creating Lead Ads in Facebook, and exposing your store buyers to your website enhances the path to purchase.


The two customers above are examples of going outside the inbox to reach a browser via programmatic advertising and bringing the digital and physical stores together. Bob is a site visitor that browsed but didn’t purchase, so programmatic display ads featuring the product he looked at onsite is served to him as he browses the Internet. Rick purchased in-store and signed up to receive text messages, then opted-in to receive emails through the Text to Join mobile program. Consumers who engage in more than one channel are typically your most valuable customers, so it’s time to stop thinking of channels as individual tactics and start looking at all of the opportunities you have to engage shoppers at different touchpoints.

Questions? Let us know in the comments section.




Andrew Rotteveel
Director, Corporate Strategy





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Email Personalization: Dynamic Content in Listrak Composer

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Retailers currently using Listrak’s Personalization Suite to deliver individualized content and product recommendations to shoppers on their list already know the benefits of tailoring messages to each subscriber. The results speak for themselves- higher click-through rates, increased conversion rates and higher average order values - just to name a few of the metrics that we see impacted with a 1:1 personalization strategy in the email channel.

But sometimes personalization in email calls for strategies that address groups of people. Some of our clients have been taking advantage of Listrak’s dynamic content tool with great success. And now it’s even easier to integrate dynamic content into your overall email strategy with dynamic content in Listrak Composer. Easily choose segments of your list and assign tailored content and imagery all within our drag and drop email editor. If you haven’t yet incorporated dynamic content into your broadcast marketing sends or triggered programs, below are four strategies to consider to get you started.


Tailor Promotions to your Core Send Groups/Buyer Groups

Many retailers have core segments or buyer groups that they send to on a regular basis. When you have several different promotions to run in a single message, you want to tailor the content in the email to match previous shopping/buying behaviors to maximize engagement. Use dynamic content to select who should see what in their inbox. If a subscriber’s behavior shows they have no interest in a certain promotion you are running, the dynamic content tool will exclude that piece of content and scale the email appropriately. This helps to focus the message on the broader behaviors of the core send groups and helps to minimize distraction. Today’s consumer has an attention span of less than ten seconds- there’s no room for clutter.



Interest Level Hero/Lifestyle Imagery 

Shoppers are looking to brands to show them how their products fit into their lifestyle. If a shopper can’t clearly understand the benefit or see themselves using your products, they aren’t going to buy from you. As a marketer, it is your job to show engaged subscribers how your product, service or offering can become part of their lifestyle. Make sure the imagery in your email speaks to subscriber’s preferences. Subscriber interests can be derived derived from self-identified preferences (i.e. Checking “Running” as an interest in your preference center) or from behaviors (i.e. Browsing only Running items) In either case, listen to what the subscriber is saying and show imagery that resonates. Ditch that one size fits all hero image every so often and watch your message engagement increase.


Category/Brand Level Call to Action
This is a great strategy to run in tandem with individualized product recommendations. Choose a few of your top categories or brands and target your subscribers who frequent them. Pair this with some 1:1 product recommendations and you will deliver a message that clearly shows that you understand your shoppers. Today personalization is expected, by millennials especially. Take some time to use dynamic content and create a few category level or brand level banners and match them to segments that browse or buy from those brands or categories frequently. This is also a great strategy if you have several new arrivals across your product offering. You can feature brand specific or category specific new arrivals to the groups who care the most.



Tailored Incentives

Not every subscriber needs 20%. Some might be enticed to convert with free shipping and others might need to be shown 30% before they purchase. To protect margin and still maximize conversion create a few incentives for your next promotion. Test a discount ladder based on customer and shopper lifecycle. Deliver free shipping to those shoppers who don’t need a huge push to buy from you again and only show the 20% + to subscribers who have lapsed in their behavior. The other less commonly tested strategy is to flip this concept on its head. Deliver the best offer to your best customers (and make sure to tell them- so they feel appreciated). Then try a mystery offer for the rest of your list. 

Dynamic Content makes this all possible within one message and with one click of the send button. With Dynamic Content in Listrak Composer you deliver fully responsive, dynamic and personalized emails with ease.


This feature in Listrak Composer will be available soon. Questions? Reach out to me in the comments. I love sharing ideas on how to better target your audience and would love to hear from you. You can also learn more about Listrak in Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant.




Julie Wahl
Director, Product Marketing, Listrak

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Triggered Email Campaigns: Tips for Getting the Most from Your Welcome and Winback Messages

Friday, April 14, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

In our last post, we gave you some quick-win tips to amp up your triggered abandonment campaigns.

But we didn't want to stop with just your abandonment series. Below you'll find some quick tips to improve the results of your welcome series and win-back campaigns, too.

Target those Forgetful Freddies in your Welcome Series 
Sometimes customers visit your site, see that amazing offer you’re serving up to new subscribers, and sign up again without realizing they’re already on your list. Many brands ignore those repeat subscribers and send them nothing. They’re already subscribed – why send them a deal, right? But what if we said that sending those existing subscribers another welcome message is actually a good idea?

Traditionally, most brands use their multi-message welcome series exclusively to target brand-new subscribers. But believe it or not, we’ve seen a dramatic bump in conversion rate and message revenue when you target those Forgetful Freddies who sign up again.

Think about it this way: you’ve got an active, engaged customer on your website who just asked to get emails from you. They’re shopping right now and you have the unique opportunity to speak to them directly. Since they’re already on your list, you don’t need to offer them the discount, but you want to make sure you don’t ignore them.

Here’s what we mean:
  • For brand-new subscribers, send two welcome messages. The initial message will welcome them to the list and send them the coupon code you offered. The second message can dive deeper into your brand by showcasing best-selling categories, brand differentiators, or social media engagement. 
  • For existing subscribers that sign up again, send one welcome message. This message can just say, “Hey, nice to see you again! You’re already on our list, so thanks for that enthusiasm. Now go check out what’s new.”


Avoid the Point of No Return
A win-back campaign is your last-ditch effort to grab waning customers, so make it count! Your customer isn’t responding to what you’re offering day-to-day, so make this message extra special. Bump up that promotion and make the subject line really stand out in the inbox. Something like “Are you breaking up with us?” or “Here’s 20% off (because we really miss you)” would do the trick.

After you have the content all set, make sure you send the message at the right time. Don’t wait until after your buyer lapses – if you do that, they’re not coming back. Send this message right before your customers tend to fall off; 90-days after their last purchase is a good rule of thumb.





by Alicia Morrissey, Copywriter in Listrak Professional Services

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