retail email ROI

How Retailers Can Improve Email ROI


If your retail email ROI isn’t generating the highest return of your marketing budget, you might want to take a second look at your strategies. That’s because across all industries, email ROI can be as high as 3,800% (according to the Direct Marketing Association). For retailers who have limited ways to connect with customers, that rate of return is a good goal to set.   A recent report from market intelligence firm Retail Systems Research suggests that even retailers who are good at email could be doing more to improve […]

Alumni Relations Email Series

Alumni Relations: 6 of the Best Alumni Email Engagement Ideas


An engaged alumni base can help higher education marketers tap into a network of advocates that can refer future students, share stories about their experiences, and fundraise for future initiatives they care about. But first, you’ll have to create an alumni relations experience that’s worth engaging with.   How to Use an Alumni Email Series to Engage Post Graduates If you want to truly engage your alumni base with email, you’ll need to ditch the batch-and-blast approach. We’ve pulled together six of the best alumni email series campaigns that can […]

2018 SEO Trends

2018 SEO Trends: 7 Things to Watch


As is customary for many people around this time (okay, maybe I’m a little late), it’s time to make some predictions on the biggest trends I believe will dominate 2018 SEO trends discussions in the coming year. As everyone knows, mastering the Google Dance is not easy…they keep changing the steps to keep us on our toes. Nonetheless, we’ve wrapped up the seven trends we think will come into play this year.   Mobile First Index – Go Beyond Responsive On November 4th, 2016 Google began “testing” its mobile-first index. […]

email marketing benchmarks 2017

Email Marketing Benchmarks 2017: Part Two


Congratulations, email marketers! We made it through the final two months of 2017, that magic time of year when the average inbox sees a 50% increase in email traffic. Now that our inboxes are cleared of flash sales and holiday cards, it’s time to take a look at our Email Marketing Benchmarks 2017 Report for the second half of the year. (Missed Part One? Revisit it here).   If you’re new to the Email Marketing Benchmarks Report, this is our twice-yearly dive into the email marketing metrics compiled by our […]

How to optimize the google shopping feed

How to Optimize Your Google Merchant Center Shopping Feed


Wondering how to optimize your Google Merchant Center Shopping Feed? As we move into a new year, most businesses are currently going over end of year reporting and planning Paid Search budgets for 2018. This is the boring stuff the VPs are sifting through while the fun is just beginning for your resident Google PPC Geeks who love presenting the facts and building out improvements to their Google Product Listing Ads. If you manage a Google Shopping Feed and utilize programs like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and a dozen other CMS […]

6 elements of an effective newsletter

The 6 Elements of an Effective Newsletter


An effective newsletter is an extremely valuable marketing tool that can go a long way in educating and persuading your clients and prospects to work with you. They help keep your brand top-of-mind for consumers, establishing credibility and authority in the space and notifying readers of products and company news that may interest them.   So, maybe you’re new to the idea of sending newsletters, or maybe you’ve been sending newsletters for quite some time and realizing your audience isn’t very engaged. This is why sending out newsletters with the right elements is […]

5 Upcoming, Can’t Miss Holidays for Your Marketing Calendar


I live for random holidays. Not only as a consumer, but also from a marketer standpoint. Who knew there was a National Cotton Candy Day? If you didn’t, it’s today. December 7th – you now have a valid justification to go find that sugary fluff that we classify as candy…you’re welcome.   While we have survived Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, the popular shopping days don’t stop there. I’ve found a few more that you may be able to add into your Holiday Marketing Plan: Dec. 15th Free […]

difference between content marketing and content strategy

The Difference Between Content Marketing and Content Strategy


If you’re wondering whether you’re working from a content strategy or simply doing content marketing, there are four important questions you can ask yourself to find out.   First, it’s important to understand that “doing” content marketing is not the same as “implementing” content strategy. Just to be clear, both activities are important, but content marketing without a strategy as foundation is really just the tactical implementation without the larger vehicle required to make sure those dollars and initiatives are being allocated most effectively.   In order to evaluate whether what […]

last minute holiday email tips

10 Last-Minute Holiday Email Tips for 2017


Ah, the holidays—the perfect time of year to cuddle up with an inbox full of offers from your favorite brands.   Thanks to email marketers, holiday shopping has become less stressful and the deals are just as good. This year alone, Black Friday online retail sales pulled in $5.03 billion, which is up almost 17% from last year’s online Black Friday sales. Online retail sales for the 2017 holiday shopping season are expected to break $100 billion.   For digital marketers, these numbers are nothing but good news. The only […]

schema markup

Schema Markup: What Is It and Why You Should Want It


What is schema markup? Schema markup is structured data coding, recognized by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex, added to an individual webpage which gives those search engines additional context to the content of the page.   Basically, schema helps remove some of the guesswork for search engines.   Here is a use for schema example Take the word crane for example. Katy has a webpage to sell her crane.   Is she selling a bird classified as Aves? I totally didn’t have to Wikipedia that. Did you know cranes usually […]

Facebook Watch

What to Watch for in the New Facebook Watch


In August, Facebook became the latest big name to jump into the original video content category with its new Watch tab. Content, which is produced for Facebook by partners, earns Facebook 45% of ad break revenue (partners get to keep the additional 55%). It’s a move designed to keep more eyeballs on Facebook for longer, which is to say more data—and opportunities—to sell to advertisers. We asked Jr. Account Coordinator Jesse Eiskina to share her rundown of the new feature and what marketers should expect.   If you haven’t noticed […]

marketing automation

5 Steps to Amplify Your Inbound Strategy with Paid Media and Marketing Automation


Now more than ever, marketing and sales strategies and communications need to be aligned in order to create an effective growth strategy. The path and singular focus of these two historically siloed business units continues to move closer together into a unified vision. I believe that inbound marketing will be the centerpiece of this unification because of the focus on pipeline growth and nurturing.   An inbound strategy, in the broadest terms, is a marketing strategy which is focused on demand generation, lead acquisition, and lead nurturing. Traditionally, the line […]

user reviews

5 Ways to Put Your User Reviews to Work


Welcome to the age of the influencer, where consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. For marketers, that means what those reviews say—and what we do with them—has as much to do with our marketing strategy as it does with our customer service record.   According to the most recent BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey, 74% of consumers say that positive reviews help them trust a business more, and nearly 54% of people will visit that company’s website after reading those positive reviews (how’s that for inbound?). Consumers […]

How to Build an Email A/B Testing Plan


No one has perfected email marketing. If they have, I hope they are enjoying retirement on a beach and have the urge to pass along their knowledge to the rest of us. But until that box of secrets shows up at our doors, the burden is on us to stay ahead of the ever-evolving preferences of our audiences.   Email marketing isn’t stationary, and what worked last week may not work this week. In truth, it is nearly impossible for an email marketer to know what always works all the […]

call to action buttons

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Call to Action Buttons


How many times have you hit a “submit” or “join” button in your lifetime? I’ll tell you – too many. Call-to-action buttons are just another touchpoint that a company can customize to set them apart from their competitors. In this post, I’m going to talk about 5 ways to make your CTA button a little less cookie cutter and a lot more unique.   1) Be Transparent – Literally The design of your CTA should not be overlooked. One of my favorite design tactics is implementing “ghost buttons.” They are a […]

How to Build an Abandoned Cart Email Series


Here’s a surprising statistic for retail marketers to ponder: more than 40% of retailers aren’t implementing an abandoned cart email strategy to entice back would-be customers.   That’s according to a recent study conducted by Kibo and Astound Commerce, which outlined how many retailers were making efforts to entice cart abandoners back to their sites. Something else the study uncovered: online retailers are missing some serious opportunity.   Across all segments and sizes of online retailers, nearly three-quarters of all carts are abandoned, and they’re abandoned for a variety of […]

Do Social Media Platforms Really Punish Your Organic Reach for Posting from a Third-Party Tool?


I set out to answer an age-old social media question with this blog post: is there any truth to the claim that social media platforms (particularly Facebook) punish brands for posting content from a third-party tool?   I had a plan to answer this question very simply, and it was a question I wanted to clarify for all of us using marketing automation platforms to post content to social. I wanted to state that prior to 2011, the claim that Facebook favored content directly posted to Facebook was true. That […]

How Positive Reviews Improve Local SEO For Businesses


Whether it’s foot traffic to your retail store or an online purchase, there is no doubt that positive online reviews, combined with the power of local SEO, play a pivotal role in Search Engine Optimization and increased traffic to your business.   If you haven’t noticed them before, reviews show up under Google Maps when you search for a business name. This year, local reviews factored in 13% of the search algorithm that influences where one business ranks versus where the other ranks in the local 3 pack that appears […]

How DKIM Affects Email Deliverability


Ah, the spam filter: an email marketer’s nemesis. Finding our way through that filter and into the inbox keeps us email marketers on our toes—and away from too many exclamation points. But if you’re following email best practices (like the ones seen here) and still having trouble, you may need to approach the problem through a technical angle.   DKIM’s Role in Deliverability Inbox deliverability is never a guarantee, but understanding how DKIM affects email deliverability can improve your chances of landing in the inbox rather than the spam folder. […]

Is There Really a Big Difference Between B2B and B2C Social Media Strategy?


  Facebook is for B2C and LinkedIn is for B2B—end of story, right?   Well, not exactly.   Social media marketing has a complicated history with digital marketers. We’ve been working under a series of assumptions about what we should do and where we fit, depending on our B2B or B2C label. We began to believe that B2B marketers should dump all of their resources into LinkedIn. We demanded that B2C marketers live exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. We flooded feeds with clever puns and pretty pictures, and we forgot […]

amazon paid search

Amazon puts AdWords in Its Crosshairs with Plans to Launch a Paid Search Platform


Ecommerce paid search has had a renaissance in recent years and now Amazon is looking to use its credibility in the Ecommerce space to build a Paid Search Platform. According to a study by BloomReach in 2017, Fifty-five percent of people start their digital shopping experiences on Amazon. Seth Dallaire, VP of Global Sales at Amazon Media Group, said, “There’s an expectation from people who visit Amazon [that] they’re going to find anything they want.” Amazon hopes to use this credibility to create a paid search product that will monetize […]

5 Things You’ll Learn How to Do at the And Then Some Conference


Haven’t bought your ticket to the annual emfluence And Then Some Conference yet? There’s still time!   We’re officially two weeks away from this all-day digital marketing summit. Tickets are still available (for now), and we’re counting down the days and honing our basketball skills in preparation for August 25th at the College Basketball Experience.   This year, we’re building the conference around takeaways—things you can start applying as soon as you get back to the office. Let’s look at 5 things you’ll learn how to do if you attend […]

Why We Need Marketing Automation (and not just Email Marketing)


By now it’s no secret that email marketing is a must-have in every marketer’s toolbox.   More than 82% of companies—big and small alike—are using email marketing in some capacity to drive leads and sales, and they’re using it for good effect. Recent studies show that marketers rank email as the most effective channel for acquiring new leads and holding on to existing clients, and more than three quarters of marketers are happy with the ROI of email marketing.   But here’s the thing: even though the vast majority of […]

How to Run Email Deliverability Double Checks


When you sign on to the emfluence Marketing Platform, you not only get the fantastic resources who work in the Kansas City office, but you also get access to industry-leading partnerships that emfluence has built over the years, like ReturnPath.  ReturnPath is the deliverability expert in the email marketing industry, and we value this partnership because it helps get your message delivered to the inboxes you want.   ReturnPath isn’t just a great email deliverability engine—they’re also a content machine. ReturnPath publishes multiple articles throughout the year covering topics ranging […]

What InspiroBot Means for the Future of Content Marketing


Meet InspiroBot, the internet’s first artificial intelligence bot solely dedicated to generating unlimited inspirational quotes.   The results are an intriguing mix of terrifying, hilarious, and sometimes just a little too close to accurate. But here’s the thing: if you print out your InspiroBot creations and hang them around your office (like we did), no one is going to mistake InspiroBot’s quotes with actual inspirational quotes. The sentences are a little off. The inspiration is a little frightening. Something about them just isn’t…human.   InspiroBot is nonetheless a harbinger of […]

The Technical Side of Adblocking


Following on from Alan’s great blog post about advertising blockers, I wanted to share a bit of information about the technical side of adblocking to help the techies in marketers’ offices understand how it works, what you need to know if you’re employing trackers, and how vendors might be impacted. So I took a quick dive into Webkit’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) initiative from a technologist’s perspective.   Alan’s post focused a lot on the adblocking aspect of this and how it’s driven by consumers. I’m going to focus more on the […]

What Marketers Need to Know About Collecting Personal Data


As a marketer, you want to know as much as possible about a customer or prospect so that you can develop strategies to better target them and to generate more revenue. As an individual, you want to protect your personal information from misuse or mishandling. Finding a happy place for everyone is complicated. It requires respect and diligence from marketers and trust and understanding from individuals.   This is part one of a series of posts to help promote a general understanding of the current state of Information Privacy in […]


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