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  • What’s New In The World Of Search Engines? Oct 21, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Search Engine News: This week, Google Search Console adds ‘Change of Address’ tool to the new interface, Google is adding reports to help with your videos in Search Console and Google ranking factors for 2020.

    “Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – Phil Frost

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. Google migrates the ‘Change of Address’ tool to the new version of the Search Console
    2. GSC adds new reports for video search results
    3. A set of Google ranking factors to take into considerations in 2020
    Let’s dig in.

    A ‘Change of Address’ Tool Will Be Added To The New Interface Of GSC
    Google announced that they have added the Change of Address tool to the new interface of Google Search Console (GSC). This feature was previously available in the old Search Console but it was not migrated when Google shut down the old interface.
    upload_2019-10-21_14-31-5.png

    What is the Change of Address tool? It is a way to communicate to Google that your site has moved to a new address. According to Google, you can “use the Change of Address tool when you move your website from one domain or subdomain to another. For instance, from example.com to example.org or example2.com.” The tool will tell Google about the change and help migrate your Google search results from your old website to your new one.

    Why should you care? The tool is one of the fundamental ones used by SEOs and webmasters when migrating a website from one URL to another. It helps Google pick up on the change faster as well as helping site owners communicate that said change has occurred. With the tool now migrated to the new interface, the community no longer needs to worry if Google will be killing off this feature – you know, since it’s already in the interface.

    Google Adds New Video Reports To Search Console
    Google has announced two new reports within GSC. They will help users understand how well your videos are performing in Google search and help you fix issues with your videos displaying in Search.

    Video Appearances in the Performance report. The first report is a new option which can be found under the Performance report, within Search Appearances, to see video-only clicks and impressions. According to Google, “the performance report already includes an option to see the performance of your video tab search results (type=video). We are excited to share that we’ve extended our support for videos so users can now also see the performance of their videos in the main search results tab (type = web) and in Discover using the new Video appearance.

    Content will show in this report if you are using VideoObject structured data or if Google uses other signals to detect that there is a video on the page.
    [​IMG]

    Video enhancement report details. Google also launched a new enhancement report for videos. For sites that use structured data to annotate videos, Google will show this new video report under the enhancements section. The report will show video errors and warnings for markup implemented on your website and help you fix those errors.
    [​IMG]

    Why should you care? Videos are a big way of getting content into Google Search as well as Google Discover. Many publishers and website owners use video to help their site visitors learn more about the topic the page (or website) is about. Making sure videos perform well is search can lead to an increase in traffic and conversions for your business.

    Google Ranking Factors For 2020: Facts and Myths
    Google reportedly utilises more than 200 ranking factors when calculating its search result listings. However, no one can tell for certain what, exactly, is included within this process. Moreover, as the search engine evolves, it’s always changing. Therefore, what worked as a raking factor yesterday, might be of no use today.

    Since Google has never published any official ranking factor listings, the specifics have been subject to a lot of controversy and speculation. Not to worry though. The team at SEO PowerSuite created a cool infographic outlining a set of ranking factors to take into account in 2020. It has direct reference proofs from Google and industry research debunking a lot of industry myths and rumours.

    The full list falls into six important categories:
    1) Domain factors
    2) Content factors
    3) Site structure and code factors
    4) Performance and security factors
    5) User interactions factors
    6) Links factors.

    We wouldn’t want to spoil your fun by revealing all the details listed in the infographic. We’ll only say this – you must read it, all of it. Now. You can find the infographic here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 14 October by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What’s New In The Social Media World? Oct 21, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Facebook expands the testing of its keyword alerts for Groups, Instagram launches ‘product launch’ reminder stickers and tags to capitalise on audience interest plus a new messaging app (a lookalike of Snapchat!) and LinkedIn is ramping up its Campaign Manager.

    “Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” – Seth Godin

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent social media news:
    1. Keyword Alerts for Groups on Facebook is getting a new format
    2. Instagram is testing ‘product launch’ stickers and tags to help businesses sell products by reminding customers on Launch Day
    3. Instagram’s new messaging app
    4. LinkedIn adds new insights, targeting logic approach and demographic metrics to its Campaign Manager
    Let’s dive into our selection on social media news, shall we?

    Facebook Testing Improved Keyword Alerts Feature For Groups
    Last year, our favourite code hacker – Jane Manchun Wong – discovered Facebook had started testing a new keyword alerts feature for groups. The new feature would provide another way for FB group admins to stay on top of relevant discussions within-group interactions.

    upload_2019-10-21_12-22-25.png

    Recently, social media expert Matt Navarra had spotted Facebook is refining the process and adding some new features.

    upload_2019-10-21_12-23-28.png
    The new format has been improved from the original one. In the new one, admins will be able to add in all the relevant discussion terms they want to monitor; then get alerted (in a separate tab) about any posts which include the chosen keywords/terms. Admins will then have the immediate option (below the post) to delete it or let it go through to the community.

    Why should you care?
    The new feature could be potentially handy for businesses who are looking to use groups to stay in touch with potential customers. Especially, those within larger groups. By setting up specific alerts for a product or intent-related keywords, admins would be able to ensure they never miss a relevant discussion. While businesses could also, theoretically, work with admins from large, popular groups to set up an alert system to let them know of relevant mentions; which they can tap into.

    The above is not necessarily the intention of the feature. The option is mostly designed to catch content which doesn’t align with the group’s established rules; and, quickly be removed before even being posted.

    Currently, there’s no word on a full launch of the option, but given the progress in its development, we believe it would be launched soon.

    Instagram’s Launch Day (Reminder) Sticker and Tag
    Instagram has continued along the line of encouraging shopping in-app, providing new functionality for users and new opportunities for businesses to get more out of their Insta presence with the launch of a beta test of a new product launch sticker in Stories and a launch tag option in the main feed.

    The two options will enable users to set reminders for a product’s launch date; preview the product details in-stream; and then, make a subsequent purchase as soon as a product becomes available.

    [​IMG]

    Brands will be able to add a sticker noting the date of the launch. Users can tap on the sticker to set a reminder. If they choose that option, a push notification will be sent to their phone (dependent on device settings), letting them know the moment the product they were interested in is released.

    Why should you care?
    The option will enable users to maintain a connection with the latest trends and releases from the people and businesses that they’re already following on the platform.

    As per Instagram, “latest trends come together in music, art, fashion and more. People follow their favourite brands and creators to keep up with these interests and discover new products. Brands and creators connect with shoppers eager to have those products the instant they’re available.

    The social media notes that the option could be particularly beneficial for creator collaborations and limited releases; catering to engaged audiences in the app in order to increase demand; and, well, buzz within the community.

    At this stage, the new tags are being tested by a small group of brands in the US, including Adidas, H&M and Warby Parker. The company has not, yet, provided details of a full-on launch; but, it’s another option which will add to the platform’s increasing slate of eCommerce tools.

    What is Instagram Threads?
    Earlier this month, we told you about Instagram cloning TikTok’s video editor and now, the little copycat seems to be launching a messaging app which is a lot like… Snapchat. The app is called Threads and it opens on the camera and has an interface that will be mostly familiar to Snapchat users. There are, however, a few big differences.
    [​IMG]
    Firstly, the entire app is focused on your ‘close friends’ list. Threads users can only exchange messages if they’ve both added each other to their ‘close friends’ list on Instagram.

    Secondly, besides swapping selfies the app also encourages users to share brief, emoji-driven status updates; a when you’re napping, a for gaming, etc. Yet, if you are willing to give Instagram access to a ton of data, the app can automatically create a cute emoji status for you with a feature called auto status.
    [​IMG]
    If you enable Auto Status, Threads will request your location, movement, battery level and network connection from your phone in order to determine what content to share,” says Instagram’s head of policy Karina Newton. “For example, Auto Status might use your precise location to show your friends that you’re at a cafe.

    If you ask us, this feature is likely to raise privacy concerns. Many users believe the app secretly listens to their conversations, despite executives’ repeated attempts to debunk these claims. So, a separate Facebook-made app that does require excessive app permissions might raise some eyebrows.

    LinkedIn Campaign Manager Is Getting New Functionalities
    LinkedIn is adding audience forecasting information directly to the Campaign Manager dashboard. The professional platform is also introducing new Boolean targeting logic for building audiences as well as new demographic reporting metrics.

    The updated dashboard includes audience forecasting insights. This new metric will give advertisers quick access to the mark-up of their target audiences. They will also be able to customise the forecasting panel to show specific targeting data. Such as top industries, years of experience or company size.

    [​IMG]

    According to LinkedIn’s Director of Product management – Abhishek Shrivastava – “when combined with contacts you’ve uploaded to Matched Audiences, you can be sure that you’re not only serving ads to specific prospects you’re trying to reach but that you’ll have the demographic insight to deliver the content and creative mix that will resonate with them.

    Boolean logic for targeting queries. Advertisers will now have the opportunity to create targeting queries using Boolean logic terms (and/or) which will allow them to build larger audiences for campaigns as they can target multiple profile facets such as job functions, seniority and titles.

    Demographic metrics. Over the next week or so, LinkedIn will be rolling out new metrics at the audience level for leads, Sponsored InMail opens and video ad views. The company states demographics reporting has been one of its most popular Campaign Manager features and it is invested in “making this even better” with audience-level insights.

    Why should you care? The professional platform has been focused on building out its Campaign Manager to attract advertisers managing high volume campaigns for over a year now. By expanding its audience forecasting features; adding Boolean logic to targeting queries; and, ramping up metrics, LinkedIn is giving advertisers (with sizeable budgets) the type of tools they expect. Especially, when creating and managing social campaigns.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what social media news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 14 October by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • News Circulating The Email World Oct 18, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    This week’s email industry news roundup covers Microsoft expanding the list of banned file types in Outlook, a risk calculator for email-based data breaches and a UK court ruling stating email signatures can sign binding contracts.

    “Proper email is a balance between politeness and succinctness. Less than five sentences is often abrupt and rude, more than five sentences wastes time.” – Guy Kawasaki

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. After banning 104 file types from Outlook for the web, Microsoft adds 38 new ones as a way of improving security
    2. An online tool aimed at helping businesses determine the probability of suffering email-based insider data breaches
    3. A warning regarding email signatures – to sign, or not to sign; that is the question
    Let’s dig into our selection of email industry news, shall we?

    Microsoft Bans 38 File Extensions in Outlook
    Microsoft is expanding the list of file extensions that will be banned in Outlook for the web (previously known as Outlook Web Access – OWA).

    The list, which previously included 104 file extensions, will be expanded with 38 new entries. These new entries are file types that are regularly used to deliver malware to Outlook inboxes.
    upload_2019-10-18_15-6-58.png

    Once added to the list of blocked file extensions, users won’t be able to download any of these types of files. Unless the Outlook/Exchange admins have whitelisted a particular file extension on purpose, using a special configuration.

    According to Microsoft Exchange, ‘the newly blocked file types are rarely used, so most organisations will not be affected by the change’. However, if users are attempting to send and/or receive affected attachments, they will be notified they are no longer able to download them.

    For all of you, curious which are the new types of banned extensions, here is a list:
    • Java files: “.jar”, “.jnlp”
    • Python files: “.py”, “.pyc”, “.pyo”, “.pyw”, “.pyz”, “.pyzw”
    • PowerShell files: “.ps1”, “.ps1xml”, “.ps2”, “.ps2xml”, “.psc1”, “.psc2”, “.psd1”, “.psdm1”, “.psd1”, “.psdm1”
    • Digital certificates: “.cer”, “.crt”, “.der”
    • Files used to exploit vulnerabilities in third-party software: “.appcontent-ms”, “.settingcontent-ms”, “.cnt”, “.hpj”, “.website”, “.webpnp”, “.mcf”, “.printerexport”, “.pl”, “.theme”, “.vbp”, “.xbap”, “.xll”, “.xnk”, “.msu”, “.diagcab”, “.grp”
    The list of 104 file types Microsoft is currently blocking in Outlook for the web can be found here.

    The company have not yet confirmed when these 38 new file types will be added to Outlook’s banned list. We only know that the change is coming soon.

    Why are they making these changes?
    To quote Microsoft, “we’re always evaluating ways to improve security for our customers, and so we took the time to audit the existing blocked file list and update it to better reflect the file types we see as risks today.

    As technical, and slightly geeky, as this news might be, we feel obligated to inform you. Why? Because security is very high on our list of priorities. As it should be on yours, too. So, be careful of the attachments you are opening (and sending) to your clients/subscribers/leads.

    An Online Tool Calculating The Risk Of Suffering Email-Based Data Breaches
    Egress, a leading provider of people-centric data security solutions, announced they are launching a new online tool – Insider Breach Calculator – which is aimed at helping businesses determine the probability of potentially suffering email-based insider data breaches.
    upload_2019-10-18_15-8-49.png

    What is it exactly? This unique tool is based on an algorithm which takes into consideration the employee mailboxes within an organisation, the market sector and the perceived level of stress (and tiredness) that the employees experience to calculate the figure. This data is sourced from insights from sample organisations to determine the average number of emails sent on a daily basis; and, the overall security posture of the sector in which they operate.

    The online tool analyses the data further by breaking down whether a breach is likely to be the result of either accidental or malicious email behaviour.

    Why should you care? The Insider Breach Calculator is giving businesses an indication of the chance of suffering email-based data breaches happening to their organisation. It’s also helping companies identify the areas specific to email that require their attention to decrease such risk.

    An Email Signature Is As Legally Binding As A Real One
    Beware of what you say in your emails and any promises you might make. Apparently, people can accept them as legally binding. Especially, if you have an email signature block at the end of it.

    Why? Well, it was argued in a case circulating in the news that your email signature can be as legally binding as sending tons of paperwork and physically signing them all.

    Your work email signature can be used to form a binding and legal contract; the Manchester County Court ruled – which cost an unfortunate land seller £25,000 from her hoped-for sale price.

    A brief overview of the case. A lawyer sent a client an email confirming the sale of their land for £175,000 (instead of the £200,000 the seller hoped for) by email with an auto-generated signature block. Later, he tried to back out of the deal. He claimed no contracts had been signed by both parties as demanded in law. However, in Court, the Judge ruled the electronic signature was as good as a handwritten version, making the contract legally binding. The Judge also declared that the email sender had shown “an intention” to connect their name with the contents of the email.

    Why should you care? If email signatures can be considered legally binding, businesses must be very, very careful as to what they put in their emails as it can cause serious ramifications. So, beware of what you add your email signature to.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful email advice, tips and tricks. Last, but certainly not least, we’ll keep you up-to-date with the most recent social media news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 14 October by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What’s the Difference Between Copywriting and SEO Writing? Oct 14, 2019

    Copywriting and SEO writing are core components of any content marketing strategy.

    “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

    In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between copywriting vs SEO writing, when to use them and how to nail each form.

    Read on to discover:
    • What copywriting is?
    • What SEO writing is?
    • How and when to combine the two?
    Let’s dive in.

    What is Copywriting?
    Copywriting is a core part of any content marketing strategy. It’s the art of creating great copy (written content) that gets the reader to feel an affinity with or interest in your brand – and, ultimately, to take a specific action, like signing up or buying something.

    This means that the copy you write must be engaging, persuasive and pitched just right for your target audience. This applies whether you’re writing blog posts, email copy, ads, social media posts or any other kind of content.

    What is SEO Writing?
    As you can tell from the name, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to a set of techniques that aim to improve your page’s performance in search engines like Google.

    That means you’re not only thinking about how to make your copy engaging and compelling – although that is still very important. You’re also structuring it in ways that a search engine (especially Google) likes and rewards.

    Exactly what works for SEO changes all the time. Google is notorious for changing its algorithms with little notice, which can seriously scupper a carefully implemented SEO strategy. However, there are some strategies that stand the test of time.

    The biggest one is keyword research. This means figuring out which words and phrases are searched for most commonly by people looking for information related to your product, service or business type. You can then build the content around these keywords or phrases, attracting more people to your site.

    Start by creating content “buckets”, i.e. core topics related to what you do or sell. For example, if you sell wine, your content buckets might be things like “wine tasting”, “pairing food and wine”, “fine dining” and so on.

    Next, go to a Keyword Search Volume tool, such as Search.io. Google Adwords recently restricted this incredibly useful feature, but a number of free alternatives have sprung up in its place.

    Here, you can test out a bunch of possible keywords, like so:

    [​IMG]

    The system will tell you how often people search for the term, on average, on a monthly basis:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, this tells you that people are four times more likely to search for the phrase “pairing wine with food” than “pairing wine and food”. They’re nearly 10 times more likely than that to search for the simple term “wine pairing”. That means you will show up in far more searches by incorporating the term “wine pairing” into your copy and especially your page header.

    Does that mean you should only bother with the really high volume search terms, though? Nope. Take the phrase “what wine goes with Chinese food” on this list. Sure, it only gets 110 searches in the US each month, but if you type the exact-match phrase into Google, it only displays 15 results.

    That means you are far more likely to be able to break into the coveted first page of Google for this precise term. If you do, all of those 110 people per month will see your page displayed – and many of them will click. That’s a far better hit rate than you can expect if you compete for the high-volume “wine pairing” but end up on page seven.

    Once you have your search terms, you need to figure out how to work them into your content.
    For this, you can make use of another free tool: Answer the Public. Simply type in your search terms and the website will automatically generate hundreds of questions, comparisons and phrases based on things that people really do search for.

    [​IMG]

    Many of these will sound awkward and weird, but others will give you a spark of inspiration, helping to generate page headings and titles for blog posts:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Final Thoughts: Mixing the Two
    This brings us to the crux of the matter: copywriting vs SEO writing. They are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite. If you’re writing copy for online, it certainly makes sense to increase your performance in search engines.

    What’s more, SEO writing is really a form of copywriting in itself. The same rules about drawing in the reader and making them excited about what you do still stand. Keywords don’t replace that.

    Having said that, there are plenty of times when SEO is irrelevant to the copy you’re writing.

    Think about how the person reading it would discover it. Is this something you envision them stumbling across while researching a topic on the internet? Then sure, make it SEO-rich. But if it’s gated content or something they receive by email, forget the SEO considerations. Focus instead on the effect your words create on readers, not machines.

    This article was originally published on 8 October by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • How To Avoid Messing Up Your Email A/B Testing Oct 8, 2019

    Testing only works if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

    “Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.” – Amrita Sahasrabudhe

    Here are our top split testing tips on how to design and tweak your A/B testing to generate meaningful, actionable results.

    In this article, we’ll cover the following top split testing tips for your email campaigns:
    • Developing a useful hypothesis
    • Isolating variables
    • Segmenting traffic
    • Getting a big enough sample size
    Let’s dive in.

    1. Be Clear on What You’re Testing (and Why)
    Before you start a split test, you need to establish a hypothesis. In other words, you need to pinpoint what you think the problem is before you test it.

    Let’s say you want to A/B test your email subject lines. You need to have an inkling of what you think does or doesn’t work in order to construct your test.

    For example, you might have read that email subject lines with emojis get 29% more opens than those that don’t and you want to test if that’s true for your campaigns. This gives you a clear variable to measure in your split testing. It means you can interpret the results and use your findings to improve future emails.

    Compare that to simply testing two subject line variations that you think sound good without paying attention to what in particular makes them different. Without hypothesizing how this will affect open rates. Sure, your split test will tell you which one was more popular, but you won’t know why. You won’t learn anything useful or replicable for the future.

    2. Test One Variable at a Time
    You could decide to A/B test any element of your emails. That could be the length of the subject line, the preheader text, the positioning and colour of the CTA button, the layout of the email body, inclusion of GIFs or any other factor.

    The important thing is that you choose one of these at a time for any given test. Otherwise, how will you figure out which change made the difference? Your final stats will be meaningless.

    3. Be Smart About Segmenting Your Traffic
    You need to track a single variable at a time, but you need to be aware that other factors beyond your control will affect these variables. For example, people might behave differently depending on whether they open your email on different devices, browsers, days or time of day, geolocation, or according to whether they’re new or returning visitors.

    Ideally, you would only ever compare like for like. So, if you are A/B testing two types of a CTA button in an email, you would also exclusively compare results within the same segment. For example, the activity of people who opened the email on the same kind of device, on the same day of the week, and so on.

    In reality, though, this is impossible. If you segment your results so drastically that you only compare the behaviours of Canada-based women in their 40s who opened the email in Safari on their iPad on a Wednesday afternoon, your sample size will be too small to yield useful insights and you’ll discount valuable user analytics from other segments.

    How to deal with this problem? The answer is simple: be realistic.

    Choose one or two factors that you believe have the most significant impact on this variable and segment using those. For instance, in the CTA example, whether the person opens the email on desktop or mobile is probably more relevant than the browser they used to do so. Comparing the results of your split testing within these two broad categories will give you meaningful insights, without getting so bogged down in the details that you can’t see the wood for the trees.

    4. Get a Big Enough Sample Size
    While we’re on the subject, it’s vital that your overall sample size is big enough to return meaningful results. Many people aren’t sure exactly how to do this, especially if they’re not comfortable statisticians. Free tools like this one are really helpful for calculating the same size you need to be confident in your results.

    Simply enter the baseline conversion rate, which is the current or expected conversion rate you’re working with for that variable.

    Then, enter the minimum change in conversion rate that you want to monitor. For example, if you are only interested in tracking increases of 10% or more, enter this.

    Finally, if you want to, you can adjust the “statistical significance” figure at the bottom. 95% is the industry standard, but if you want total confidence in the results, raise this higher. If you’re willing to accept a lesser degree of certainty, you can bring it down. You may need to do this if you’re working with smaller potential sample size.

    [​IMG]
    The figure at the bottom will now tell you how many conversions you’ll need to track in order to get reliable results. Is it higher than expected? Don’t curtail your A/B testing until you get there.

    Final Thoughts
    Split testing is complicated enough without having to incorporate multiple technologies to manage your experiments. Make life easier for yourself by opting for an email marketing platform with A/B testing features built-in. Then, as useful as our top split testing tips maybe, you might not even need them.

    Ready to get started with your first A/B test campaign?

    This article was published on 3 October by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • News Circulating The Digital Marketing World This Month Oct 7, 2019

    Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps in ongoing privacy investigation, Amazon is manipulating search results to boost its own products and profits plus an SEO WordPress plug-in adding custom favicons to mobile snippet preview.

    “Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” – Ann Handley

    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
    1. Facebook’s suspension of tens of thousands of apps is said to be a part of an ongoing investigation
    2. Amazon was accused of rigging search results in favour of its own products
    3. Yoast 12.1 adds custom favicons to the mobile snippet preview
    Let’s dive in into this month’s digital marketing news.

    Tens of Thousands of Apps Suspended by Facebook
    Facebook has been under intense public criticism for not adequately safeguarding the personal information of its 2 billion users. Because of this inadequacy, the company had suspended tens of thousands of apps for a variety of violations, including improperly sharing private data.

    In a post published by the company’s VP of Product Partnerships – Ime Archibong, the VP states the move was part of an ongoing review that began in March 2018, following revelations that, two years prior, Cambridge Analytica used the personal information of 87 million Facebook users to build voter profiles for Trump’s presidential campaign. Since then, the company have been entangled in several other privacy controversies.

    They associated the tens of thousands of apps with about 400 developers. In a few cases, some of the apps were suspended; Others were banned completely. The offences that led to the ban include inappropriate sharing of data obtained from the FB platform; making data available without protecting user’s identities or clear violations of the social network’s terms of service.

    According to the New York Times, court documents filed at the state court in Boston as part of an investigation by the Massachusetts attorney general into Facebook show that the company has suspended 69,000 apps. Out of those, 10,000 were removed from Facebook for potentially misappropriating FB users’ data.

    Further revelations suggest that the privacy controversy may be bigger than the company’s officials have previously acknowledged.

    Our advice. Now would be a good time for all FB users to review the apps they’ve installed and delete any which request large amounts of data; or, those that don’t provide a meaningful benefit.

    Has Amazon Changed Its Search Algorithm To Boost Its Products?
    In a detailed report published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), it accused Amazon of ‘juicing’ search results “to more prominently feature listings that are more profitable for the company”, including Amazon’s own private-label offerings.

    Earlier this year, Bloomberg published a similar report, accusing the e-commerce giant of undermining small business merchants selling through its site by using data and search placements to boost its private-label products at their expense.

    Pressuring search engineers. The WSJ article states that Amazon lawyers raised red flags about using the company’s search algorithm to generate more profit, suggesting that it might provoke the ire of regulators – and, in all truthfulness, it’s likely to. Of course, the company denied favouring its brands artificially at the expense of relevance or the customer’s best interests.

    Legal side. According to previous judicial opinions, search algorithms are constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment. Therefore, at least in the abstract, Amazon can rank results in whatever manner, using whatever factors or criteria it pleases.

    Accordingly, the inclusion of product profitability as a ranking variable; or the boosting of Amazon’s own products, wouldn’t ordinarily carry any legal implications. But this is Amazon, which currently faces multiple antitrust investigations. A scandal such as this is about to draw further scrutiny from US regulators at the time when most of the major US tech companies are being investigated for alleged anticompetitive behaviour.

    Why should you care? If Amazon’s algorithm is seen as ‘biased’, it could sow distrust among consumers and marketers. Amazon’s share of search advertising is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. The idea that the company is rigging results in favour of its own products could put the brakes on some of that spending; though how much remains unclear.

    What’s New In Yoast’s latest version?
    Yoast has released version 12.1 of its WordPress plug-in and the updates coming along with it are a custom favicon to the mobile snippet preview, matches to Google’s font sizes on desktop search results and new schema filters.
    [​IMG]
    Why should we care? An accurate preview of your mobile and desktop listings enables you to get a better idea of what your customers see before they click through. This will help you optimise your snippets and encourage them to click on your results. You can also use the new filters in the update to control your schema output; as well as, to provide searchers with pertinent information about your brand.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions; or ideas, what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news and PPC & Ads news.

    This article was originally published on 30 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • PPC and Ads: What Happened This Month? Oct 4, 2019

    Campaign optimisation scores are now being displayed in the Google Ads app making it easier for advertisers to adjust their ad campaigns, Facebook rolls out new types of interactive mobile ads and a free interactive report of the daily trends and habits of the Instagram audience.

    “Good advertising is a dialogue with people…” – Lee Clow

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent PPC and Ads news:
    1. Advertisers can now see if their ads are optimised directly on their mobile
    2. Facebook’s new video poll ads and AR ads
    3. Instagram in-stream video ads are driving more purchases than Story Ads
    Let’s dive in into this month’s ppc and ads news.

    Optimisation Score Now Available In Google Ads App
    Google has updated its Ads app with support for campaign optimisation scores.

    What is optimisation score? It’s a metric that was introduced last year and it’s designed to evaluate how well an ads campaign is optimised. The score ranges from 0% to 100%. With 100% meaning that your account is set up to perform at its full potential.

    [​IMG]

    Using the mobile app, advertisers can now review their optimisation score as well as apply any recommended changes immediately. Recommendations given by the app are prioritised according to what will have the greatest impact.

    Previously, this was only available on desktop. Ah, we almost forgot, navigating to the score is easy. Simply go to the ‘Recommendations’ section and that’s it.

    Facebook Rolls Out New Video Poll Ads
    Facebook announced a new video poll ad format and the expansion of AR ads.

    Video poll (VP) ads. After the success the company has seen after releasing poll stickers for Instagram Stories Ads, it’s now bringing polling capabilities to video ads. “In our early findings, we’re seeing poll ads in Feed drive increased brand awareness and conversions,” said Facebook.

    According to the company’s internal data, five out of nine brand lift studies showed poll ads increased brand awareness compared to regular video ads.

    AR ads moving into beta. The first time Facebook started testing its augmented reality ads (with a selected number of brands) was back in the summer of 2018. However, now, they are opening up the global beta for AR ad units; and, making the ad format available to all advertisers.

    In early tests of AR ads, WeMakeUP reported a 27.6 lift in purchases. With the average consumer spending 38 seconds interacting with AR ads. They also saw a 53% higher click-through rate compared to non-AR video ads.

    [​IMG]
    Why should you care? With this ad update, Facebook has broadened the playing field for mobile advertisers, giving marketers new ad formats designed to boost engagement. The new VP ads and AR ads will allow marketers to deliver more interactive experiences; and, help differentiate their brands from the competition.

    VP ads are scheduled to launch this month and the AR ads are moving into open beta globally in the fall.

    Instagram’s In-Stream Video Ads
    According to a report from Wibbtiz, advertisers who want to drive more purchases on Instagram may want to focus on in-stream video ads instead of Story Ads.

    The online video editing platform surveyed 1,000 customers in the US, UK and France to get a broad overview of user’s behaviour. Of the 1,000 participants, 73% said they were Instagram users.

    In-stream video ads vs Story Ads. Out of the 73% of responders who stated they are Instagram users, 31% said they had purchased a product directly after watching a video on the platform. After digging into the types of video ads that resulted in a purchase, 27% of the people surveyed reported they bought something directly after watching an in-stream video ad. Only 12% said they had done the same after watching a video ad within an Instagram Story.

    Drive engagement through the Explore tab. According to the Wibbitz survey, 26% of the Instagram users polled stated they follow new brand accounts discovered through the Explore tab, at least, once a month.

    Why should you care? Instagram consistently ranks as the preferred social platform for younger audiences. 95% of the Gen Z respondents surveyed by Webbitz and 85% of the Millennials use it. Hence, knowing how younger audiences engage with brands on the app (and the type of content that’s most likely to drive interactions) is key insight marketers need. It will help them optimise both their ad pounds and organic posts on the social network.

    You can download the free report here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas about what PPC and ads news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 27 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • Search-verse: What’s New With Search Engines? Oct 3, 2019

    Search Console adds a new type of structured data report, Google makes algorithmic updates to reviews in Search and new snippet settings that give webmasters control over their search listings display.

    “A world where everyone creates content gets confusing pretty quickly without a good search engine.” – Ethan Zuckerman

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. Google adds datasets to the enhancements report in Search Console
    2. Changes to star ratings in Google’s rich snippet results
    3. New max-snippet, max-video-preview, max-image-preview and more coming to Google’s non-snippet snippet controls
    Let’s dig into the search engine news, shall we?

    A New Report In Google Search Console (GSC)
    Google has added a new report to GSC which will let you see how your datasets are performing in Search. You can find it in the enhancements section under ‘Datasets’. That is if you are using Datasets markup on your web pages.

    The new report shows errors and warnings, if applicable, as well as how many URLs have valid datasets markup on it.
    upload_2019-10-3_15-17-59.png

    Wondering what Datasets are? Back in 2018, Google launched Dataset Search which is a search service helping scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else to find the data required for their work and their stories, or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Google stated that if you are not using datasets schema, the report will not show up for you. Though, even if you do, there’s a chance it might still not be there. One reason is that you’ve recently added the schema and it can take time for Google to process it. Why should we care? Having more information is a good thing. Therefore, knowing about the health of your pages in search, directly from Google, is a win-win. If you have implemented datasets schema, this newly launched report should be able to help you find potential issues and debug them going forward.

    Google Is Making Reviews In Rich Results More Helpful
    The company announced it has applied “algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results” in order to determine if it should show the reviews (you know, those little stars) in the search result snippet. According to Google, this will “ease implementation” for the feature going forward.
    upload_2019-10-3_15-18-36.png

    In short, Google will be showing review rich results only for a) a clear set of schema types for review snippets; b) non ‘self-serving’ reviews; and c) reviews that have the name property within the markup.

    Which are the allowed schema types? According to the company’s post, “while, technically, you can attach review markup to any schema type, for many types displaying star reviews does not add much value for the user. With this change, we’re limiting the pool of schema types that can potentially trigger review rich results in search.”Here is a list of the schema types currently allowed:

    Why do we care? If your pages (on your site) show reviews in rich search results, then you’d want to make sure they continue to be shown. Therefore, review the new rules, make sure your pages and schema markup comply with them. If they do, there’s nothing for you to worry about. However, if your review in rich results disappears – today or in the near future – it’s likely due to the new algorithmic update.

    For more information about review snippets click here.

    A New Snippet Setting In Google Search
    Google has released new snippet settings which will allow webmasters to control how Google search displays listings. These settings work either through 1) a set of meta tags or 2) an HTML attribute.
    • New meta tags. The following four meta tags can be added to either an HTML page or specified via the x-robot-tag HTTP header: a) nonsnippet” (an old option with no changes) – lets you specify that you don’t want any textual snippet shown for this page; b)max-snippet:[number]” (new option) – lets you specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet; c)max-video-preview:[number]” (new option) – lets you specify a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview; and, d)max-image-preview:[setting]” (new option) – lets you specify a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images. You can use the meta tags standalone or combine them.
    • HTML attribute. According to the Google Webmaster blog, “a new way to help limit which part of a page is eligible to be shown as a snippet is the “data-nosnippet” HTML attribute on span, div, and section elements. With this, you can prevent that part of an HTML page from being shown within the textual snippet on the page.”
    The company said these are directives they will follow, as opposed to being hints that it’ll consider but might ignore.

    Also, there is no real way to preview how these new snippet settings will work in live Google search. So, you just need to implement them and wait. However, you can use the URL inspection tool to expedite crawling. Once Google crawls it, you should be able to see the revised snippet in the live search results.

    As far as we are aware, Bing and other search engines do not currently support any of these new snippet settings.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 27 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What Caught Our Attention Within The Social Media Universe? Oct 3, 2019

    Facebook debuts several new features for video creators and publishers, Instagram is working on a new tool which replicates TikTok’s key features and Twitter allowing users to hide replies in order to ‘tame’ toxic discussions.

    “The social media web is a very noisy one indeed and making sure that you are heard requires you to shout more effectively, rather than louder.” – David Amerland

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent social media news:
    1. Facebook adds new video publishing tools
    2. Instagram’s ‘Clips’ clones TikTok’s video editor
    3. Users can now ‘hide replies’ on Twitter
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook’s New Tools For Video Creators and Publishers
    Facebook announced a range of new video features and tools at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). The new updates relate to Facebook Live, Watch Parties and Creator Studio. Here is an overview of the new elements:
    • Facebook Live. The company is adding a range of new features including Live rehearsals; replay trimming; simulcast via the Live API and extended duration (up to 8 hours when broadcasting via the API).
    • Watch Party. Facebook is adding features like scheduling, replays, branded content (meaning Pages can tag business partners) and new metrics – ‘minute viewed’ and unique 60s viewers. Minute viewed shows the total amount of watch time accrued. Uniques 60s viewers show the total number of unique users that watched at least 60 seconds.
    • Creator Studio. Users will get a new visualisation in ‘Loyalty Insights’ which will show them which of your videos are driving returning viewers. In addition to this, there would also be a new Distribution metrics; and, 13 new languages for auto-captioning as well as the ability to publish and schedule content for Instagram Feed and IGTV.
    According to Facebook, the new features were built based on feedback from Facebook’s community of video creators and publishers.

    It seems that in its attempts to compete with YouTube and other top video platforms, Facebook continues to pump resources into its video offerings.

    Is Instagram ‘Clips’ a replica of TikTok?
    Have you noticed that with every new social media trend these days, one thing happens pretty much instantaneously? Replication.

    Any time you see a new tool, a new app or a new trending functionality, you can bet your bottom dollar that other platforms will seek to copy it. On one hand, they do it to maximise their own potential. On another, to limit the impact of the competition.

    Evidently, the above theory works, at least to some extent. Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong found out that Instagram is once again cloning competitors’ features. This time, in the firing line, is none other than the steadily rising social media video app TikTok.

    Just as it did with Snapchat’s Stories; AR masks; YouTube (remember IGTV?); Houseparty; Squad and a range of other apps and functionalities, the Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram, is looking to add in yet another similar function. This is in an attempt to fend off competition and keep its 2.7 billion active users (across all apps) from ‘abandoning ship’; and, going with new shiny offerings.
    upload_2019-10-3_12-39-53.png

    In her post, Wong explains Instagram is working on a new tool called Clips which is “inspired” by TikTok and “just like TikTok, ‘Clips’ allows users to record segments of video into a single video Story. Just like TikTok, users can overlay music on clips; and, just like TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips.

    It may seem a little cheap, a little tacking even to so blatantly copy your competition. However, it clearly works. Snapchat’s growth stagnated since Insta stole Stories and Houseparty was sold to Epic. You may not like how Facebook goes about squeezing out smaller challengers, but – again – it works for them.

    Tame Toxic Discussion With Twitter’s ‘Hide Replies’ Feature
    Twitter announced they are going to give people more control over the conversations they start with a new feature that will let them hide replies.

    The company’s been testing the feature in Canada and is now rolling it out in the US and Japan, as well. The move is considered a part of a coordinated effort the tech giant is making to prevent the spread of hate and malice online.

    [​IMG]

    While the company is making the line between free speech and civil discussions, this new feature could still prove controversial. Even though people can theoretically see hidden replies, it allows them to tailor online debates, hiding opposing viewpoints or corrections to misinformation.

    Ultimately, the success of this feature will depend on how people use it; but, it could mean friendlier – and more filtered – conversations.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what social media news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 27 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What’s New In The Email World? Oct 2, 2019

    Email Industry News Roundup: This week, a comprehensive guide of strategic practices necessary for sending engaging emails that will reach (and be opened by) the recipients, an ebook on email mistakes (and how to avoid them) and Gmail’s app getting a dark theme.

    “Not viewing your email marketing as content is a mistake.” – Chris Baggott

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. An essential guide that will help businesses get their message through to the inbox
    2. A detailed ebook on the most common email mistakes and how to fix/avoid them
    3. Gmail is finally getting a dark theme
    Let’s dig in.

    2019 Periodic Table Of Email Optimisation and Deliverability
    Email marketing is about more than just delivery and open rates. As a marketer, you might be investing heavily in email marketing. However, ISPs manage your customers’ incoming emails and define what content is eligible to reach the intended inboxes.

    Our friends at Marketing Land published a free guide (The Periodic Table) that tells marketers everything they need to know about sending emails that subscribers would want to receive.

    Each of the elements in the Periodic Table represents a factor which businesses need to consider if they want to be successful in email marketing. The elements are grouped into categories based on their relationships to one another. The categories are designated as related to either optimisation or deliverability. There is a Toxins section which is a classification for practices that can ‘poison’ your email marketing efforts. There is also a Traps section which elaborates on the methods used by inbox providers to catch spammers in the act. You should steer clear of those. Otherwise, you risk having all of your emails blocked and sent to the spam folder.

    Lastly, you’ll notice there is an Experimental category which describes the emerging factors and practices which may play a significant role in your email marketing efforts.

    Why do you need it? Given all the possible ways recipients might experience your messages – through different email clients, different ISPs, mobile and desktop, etc. – and, also, all the potential obstacles between you and your intended recipients, email is one of the most complex ways for businesses to communicate with their customers and prospects. Therefore, anyone who sends emails should definitely familiarise themselves with the strategic practices and tactical elements necessary for sending engaging email communications.

    Get your free copy of the 2019 Periodic Table here.

    The Anatomy of a Broken Email
    You’ve spent a great deal of time crafting the perfect email. The images are just right. Your subject line is spot-on. The content, well… it’s brilliant. Overall, your email looks outstanding in the email editor, but… that’s not the case out there in the real world.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re an email marketing pro or a newbie on your first day. Email mistakes can happen to all of us. They come in a lot of different ways: broken links, emails placed in the spam folder, subject line errors, broken dynamic content, rendering issues, spelling mistakes, clipped messages, etc. Have you had any of these issues?

    Mistakes – such as the above – can be corrected. However, don’t underestimate the damage they can do to your brand in the long term. If you are looking to position your brand as a trustworthy and competent, the details matter. Mistakes like these, as correctable as they might be, definitely won’t work in your favour. Therefore, it’s important to find a way to get ahead of them and fix them before they even get the chance to make it to your recipients; and, cause damage to your brand.

    Why are we telling you this? Our dear friends at Litmus published an ebook – The Anatomy of a Broken Email – which takes a detailed look into the most common email mistakes that can negatively impact the success of your email campaigns. They’ll teach you how to avoid the biggest email failures such as inconsistent client rendering across popular email apps and devices, delivery to the spam folder and what it means, spelling and subject line errors which are easy to miss, blue links which are ruining your email design and many, many more.

    You can download Litmus’s free ebook here.

    Gmail Is Getting a Dark Mode
    Google announced they are slowly rolling out a dark theme to Gmail for iOS and Android devices.
    upload_2019-10-2_12-13-20.png
    If you already use Android 10 or iOS 13 and have the dark mode switched on at the system level, Google states that Gmail will automatically adjust to dark mode.

    In order to check if the dark mode has been made available to you, open the Gmail app, click on the ‘hamburger’ icon (top left), then Settings, then tap General Setting and you should see a new option there – theme. However, if you don’t see it, don’t worry. In their press release, Google said that dark mode is releasing over an ‘extended rollout’ period of 15 days or longer starting 24 September.

    Why should you care? According to Litmus, mobile remains the most popular reading environment with 41.9% of emails being opened on smartphones or tablets. Therefore, with dark mode, you can conserve a bit of battery life and your’ phone’s screen will be easier on your eyes, too.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful email advice, tips and tricks. Last, but certainly not least, we’ll keep you up-to-date with the most recent social media news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 27 September by EmailOut and ca be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • How To Increase eCommerce Sales With Email Marketing: The Welcome Email Sep 30, 2019

    Ecommerce is a competitive field. Sometimes it feels like your marketing emails are getting lost in the inbox jungle.

    “The best time to send someone an email is immediately after they sign up to hear from you, and this is a great time to share your best content and offers.” – Matt Gratt

    In this bite-sized article, we’ll show you how one simple technique can increase e-commerce sales.

    Read on to discover why your welcome emails should:
    • Say thank you
    • Include a coupon
    • Showcase your brand
    • Encourage an immediate action
    Let’s dig in.

    Your customers will never be as engaged with your brand as they are in the first 48 hours after signing up to your email list. Do not waste that enthusiasm. Make sure that your welcome email is compelling, enticing and designed to encourage immediate action.

    Here are four ways to craft welcome emails that will increase e-commerce sales and convert:

    1. Say Thank You
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. Don’t just take the contact details and run; take a moment to demonstrate to the subscriber that you value their business and are pleased that they’ve decided to join your network.
    [​IMG]
    2. Include a Coupon
    Don’t just say thank you with words, show you mean it by rewarding your new subscriber with actual discounts or perks.

    The fact that you’ve waited until after the sign-up instead of using the offer as bait comes as a pleasant surprise for the subscriber, makes them instantly glad they signed up and encourages them to start browsing products straight away.
    [​IMG]

    3. Showcase Your Brand
    Right now, while your new subscriber is at peak engagement level, is the time to show off the very best of your brand. Airbnb gets it exactly right in this welcome email, which combines gorgeous photos with wistful holiday planning to get new subscribers excitedly clicking through options straightaway.
    [​IMG]
    4. Get the Impetus Going
    The best possible way to keep up the momentum is to get your new subscriber to take an action that familiarises them with your products or creates value before they have time to lose interest.

    Try to do this in a way that doesn’t push them to spend money (at least, not yet). For example, offer a feature tour, give them access to exclusive subscriber content, encourage them to download a free version of a product, or so on.
    [​IMG]
    Final Thoughts
    Research has shown that recipients are 42% more likely to open and read welcome emails than any other type of promotional email.

    You might think you have all the time in the world to build a rapport with new email subscribers, but the truth is: you’ll probably never have a better chance of them opening your emails than you do right at this moment. Take the time to perfect that first contact. It’ll pay off.

    Ready to start designing beautiful welcome emails that convert?

    This article was originally published on 26 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What Is DMARC Email Authentication And How Does It Work? Sep 30, 2019

    Could someone out there be faking emails from your company domain for nefarious purposes?

    “When people feel insecure about something, they look around for validation. Show them that other people trust you.” – Francisco Rosales

    Faking emails with malicious intentions is more common than you might think. Here’s why that’s bad for business – and how DMARC email authentication can help.

    Read on to discover:
    • What is DMARC?
    • How Does it Work?
    • Why Would You Want it?
    Let’s dive in.

    Do you ever receive emails that are clearly spam, but appear to be sent from an email address linked to a genuine, above-the-board company?

    This is known as email spoofing. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, the sender has not hacked into the sender’s email; rather, they have forged the email header in such a way that it seems to be coming from somewhere else.

    Since it’s easily achieved and email inboxes have a hard time distinguishing between real and spoofed emails, this is a very popular tactic used by scammers, especially for phishing attempts.

    Broadly speaking, there are two spoofing approaches used by scammers:
    1. The scammer tries to impersonate a well-known brand, often a bank or online payments company, by imitating its branding. The idea is that the recipient is tricked into thinking the real company is contacting them and hands over sensitive personal data or passwords that allow their accounts to be compromised.
    2. The scammer spoofs a random email address that has a better sender reputation than their own to help them bypass spam filters. The scammer doesn’t care whose email address it is provided that the email gets through, improving its chance of getting through and the recipient clicking a malicious link.
    For obvious reasons, you generally only need to worry about the first one happening to you if your company is very well-known. However, the second type of spoofing can happen to anyone, no matter the type or size of your business. However, if someone does spoof your email address, this can lead to you getting blacklisted by spam filters, undermining your email campaigns… and you might never even know why.

    What Is DMARC Email Authentication?
    Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance
    (DMARC) aims to tackle this problem, protecting both senders and recipients from spoofing. It provides a way to tell whether any given email is genuinely from the sender it claims to be from. And, also, what to do if it isn’t.

    In simple terms, DMARC creates better ways for email senders and receivers to share information about the emails moving between them, boosting email authentication processes. Additionally, it gives the real domain owner a way to request that spam filters reject spoofed emails which use their domain name.

    This makes it far more straightforward to detect spam and phishing emails and block them from inboxes accordingly while avoiding damage to the real companies that have been spoofed.

    How Does it Work?
    DMARC is an authentication, policy and reporting protocol that figures out whether an email message is authentic by building on DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). And, also, the Sender Policy Framework (SPF).

    Your DMARC record is published with your DNS records. It instructs the receiving server not to accept an email if it fails DKIM and SPF (among other checks). All the leading ISPs have already introduced DMARC checks on their receiving servers; and, it’s moving closer to becoming the industry standard.

    Why Should You Use DMARC Email Authentication?
    As we talked about above, by publishing a DMARC record, you stop people from spoofing emails from your domain. It’s a great way to improve trust in your brand. Just the act of publishing the DMARC record may have an immediate positive impact on your sender reputation.

    On a larger scale, DMARC records are part of an effort to clean up fraudulent practices in the industry. And, also make email communication as a whole more trustworthy and secure. That can only be good for companies looking to grow their lists; and, build an affinity with their customers via email.

    Don’t get left behind. If you don’t already have a DMARC policy in place, make sure you bring your domain’s emails up to speed. Fast.

    This article was originally published on 24 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • Email Design Hacks: How To Increase Your Conversion Rates Sep 26, 2019

    Beautiful emails are nice, but what you really need are emails that convert.

    “Every aspect of marketing is entirely useless unless it produces conversions.” – Jeremy Smith

    Here are 6 email design hacks that will help you leverage your design elements to get people to click through – not just admire the scenery.

    In this article, we’ll cover our Top 6 email design hacks for boosting conversions:
    1. Emphasise Your CTA
    2. Divide Into Sections
    3. Use a Grid or Angular Structure
    4. Use an Inverted Pyramid Design
    5. Remember that Your Subject Line Needs Designing Too
    6. Incorporate Graphics and Video
    Let’s dive in.

    Every email you have has a point to it. You’re trying to persuade the recipient to take a specific action. You’re trying to convert them from a passive reader into someone who takes another step towards becoming a customer.

    Designing emails can lead people in the right direction, whether in subtle or more assertive ways. Let’s take a look at some email design hacks that will help you do exactly that.

    1. Emphasise Your CTA
    Your call-to-action is the most obvious point in your email where you try to convert. Make sure your readers pay attention to it. Use bright colours, create button shapes and/or bold fonts. Consider placing plenty of white space or block colour around the CTA to isolate and emphasise it. Learn more about how to pick the best CTA button colours here >>
    [​IMG]

    2. Divide Into Sections
    Make it easy for your reader to pinpoint and digest key information by dividing your email into a few sections. You may decide to incorporate a separate CTA for each of these parts of the email.
    [​IMG]

    3. Use a Grid or Angular Structure
    You can also boost the way those sections work by arranging them into a grid. You could decide to put them into a simple square grid shape, or you could opt for a “zig-zag”, angular shape. The latter can be a great way to draw the reader’s eye down through the content, highlighting each CTA.
    [​IMG]

    4. Use an Inverted Pyramid Design
    Another useful approach is to use an upside-down triangle structure. This is known as an “inverted pyramid”. It’s very simple, but effective: you start with a larger header or block of text and have the visual and text elements get progressively narrower until the CTA button. It’s as if the whole email is an arrow pointing to this button, encouraging people to click.
    [​IMG]

    5. Remember that Your Subject Line Needs Designing Too
    It’s easy to forget that the way your subject line and email preheaders aren’t only copy, but visual elements too. You need to think about how they’ll look, especially on mobile.

    Keeping subject lines and preheaders short enough to be fully visible in the display of a person’s email app is a good start. That said, research suggests that email conversions are best when the subject line is 6-7 words long, possibly because this gives just enough detail, and the content matches the person’s expectations when they open it.

    6. Incorporate Graphics and Video
    Overloading your emails with huge image files can slow things down, but a well-chosen image really lifts your content and makes it attractive to the reader. Video is especially engaging, but it’s not really possible to use native video in an email – usually, you might make it look like the video is embedded, but when you click on it, you’re taken to an external site.

    GIFs get away with this by using image files but making the final product move like a video. It’s a very effective way to catch the reader’s eye and keep them engaged with the content, encouraging click-throughs. Learn more about creating and embedding GIFs in your emails here >>
    [​IMG]

    Final Thoughts
    Whatever email design hack you decide to go for, make sure it displays the way you imagined it, on any kind of device. Use a platform with built-in responsiveness for mobile, preview it in every format and check loading times. The great thing about a top email marketing platform is there should be no nasty surprises when you hit send.

    This article was originally published on 18 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • Growth Hacking vs Digital Marketing: What’s The Difference? Sep 26, 2019

    Every business needs to grow to survive. How you do that, though, depends largely on the stage you’re at in your company’s development.

    “People need to understand the why before the what. Why are failures a big part of the process? Does it take longer to get results for one thing over another? Why is this the most important area to focus on?” – Brian Balfour, VP of Growth at Hubspot

    In this blog post, we’ll explain the core differences between two approaches: growth hacking vs digital marketing – and how to know which approaches are right for you.

    Read on to discover:
    • What is Growth Hacking?
    • Growth Hacking Strategy Examples
    • What is Digital Marketing?
    • Digital Marketing Strategies
    • Are You a Hacker or a Marketer?
    Let’s dive in.

    What is Growth Hacking?
    Growth Hacking involves experimenting across lots of different marketing channels in a short span of time to try and find efficient ways to grow your business as cost-effectively as possible.

    A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that this is all about faster growth. In fact, growth hacking techniques aren’t always speedier than more conventional digital marketing strategies (which we’ll look in a moment).

    Typically, growth hacking is associated with startups that don’t have access to the same budgets, resources or marketing teams that a more established company does. Instead, they’re thinking up creative ideas that allow them to bypass costly growth strategies and expand enough to survive in the early stages.

    At times, that could mean hitting on a genius idea that becomes a runaway success. Often, though, the reality involves trying out a ton of ideas that don’t involve financial investment, just to see what sticks. This process can be time-consuming and very hard to scale, which is why bigger companies often stick to more dependable, tried-and-tested digital marketing strategies instead.

    It also takes an obsessive level of attention to data. You need to be watching the numbers all the time, ready to pounce on anything that shows signs of taking off.

    Growth Hacking Strategy Examples
    Take Dropbox. The online storage and file-sharing company is now hugely successful, but in its earliest stages, it struggled to sign people up.

    Dropbox was spending a fortune on PPC ads – far more than the $5/month subscription-free they earned from each new signup. They needed a way to onboard many more people for free.

    So here’s what they did:

    [​IMG]
    Dropbox adopted a referral system that offered their existing customer free space for every new person they signed up. Suddenly they had all these people sending out emails and doing their marketing for them, without upfront costs at their end. It worked a treat.

    Or what about the clothing brand Nasty Gal?

    Founder Sophia Amoruso (author of #GIRLBOSS) started out selling vintage clothes on eBay when she was broke, quickly realising that all the work of sifting through piles of junk in rag houses was only worth it if you could hone in on what people would pay a premium for. Experimenting revealed that she got a lot more clicks when she showed real people wearing the items, but she couldn’t afford to hire models… so she befriended girls with striking looks on MySpace, paid them in hamburgers to model the clothes and carefully analysed the conversion rates for each image. By matching the right pieces to the right looks, she could market quirky pieces that might have gone for a few dollars as ultra-cool, high-fashion items that made a tidy profit.

    Before long, Amoruso had set up her own site, marketing her items to her huge social media following on MySpace and then Instagram (before everyone was doing it) and started selling original pieces, as well as vintage. Today, Nasty Gal is a fashion brand with a global presence.

    What is Digital Marketing?
    Whilst Growth Hacking is all about testing, experimenting and trying out wild new approaches, long-term digital marketing strategies tend to focus on establishing what works and tinkering with this over time to steadily improve results without escalating risk.

    These kinds of strategies are usually more about building customer loyalty for the long haul rather than grabbing attention with a novel tactic no one else has tried. Rather than solely looking at patterns in data, digital marketers will think about the hard-to-measure stuff like storytelling, brand affiliation and emotional engagement. Boosting online presence and building brand recognition is as important here as simply triggering a 10% spike in signups this month, for example.

    Of course, digital marketers need to be creative and adaptable, too. You can’t survive today’s competitive online marketing world if you’re a dinosaur. However, they do tend to wait and see which growth hacking strategies prove themselves before following down that particular road.

    Digital Marketing Strategies
    Digital marketing strategies aim to acquire new customers and increase brand awareness. These efforts often relate to the first stage in the sales funnel: awareness.

    Typically the kind of strategies that come under the umbrella of digital marketing include:
    • Boosting SEO to improve inbound marketing.
    • Building and nurturing social media networks for better audience engagement. Take a look at our social media strategy guide here.
    • Thought leadership, such as guest posting or media coverage, to emphasise the credentials and reliability of the brand’s founders or key people.
    • Content marketing, i.e. providing useful content for free. Often this is offered as “gated” content, meaning the person has to enter their contact details to get to it.
    • Paid Search (PPC).
    • Email marketing.
    Final Thoughts: Are You a Hacker or a Marketer?
    Growth hacking vs digital marketing certainly aren’t mutually exclusive approaches. Most startups will switch to an emphasis on more conventional digital marketing as they grow, not least because it’s more sustainable and scalable. Most companies that have logical, well-evidenced digital marketing strategies will experiment with something left-of-field now and again.

    Just remember, on the one hand, that the results from growth hacking tend to be volatile and based on short-term novelty factors. And, on the other hand, that digital marketing strategies need to adapt and evolve over time. It’s always good to have a balance.

    This article was originally published on 17 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What Happened In The Digital Marketing World This Month? Sep 24, 2019

    CRM provider reveals survey findings of trends and challenges in marketing, Google My Business is removing the remaining distance-based service areas and over 60 million websites powered by WordPress are under attack.

    “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne

    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
    1. CRM provider shares new market research on sales and marketing initiatives
    2. Google My Business: Service-area businesses currently based on a distance will be automatically converted to the closest named areas.
    3. An ongoing WordPress “backdoor attack” is trying to compromise over 60 million users
    Let’s dig in.

    The First-Ever CRM Platform that Unifies Marketing, Sales & Project Management
    CRM provider Insightly revealed findings from a survey of over 440 businesses about trends and challenges in marketing. Among the findings, the study found that the majority of businesses (54%) say marketing is very important to their business growth, with nearly one in five reporting they couldn’t run their business without it. That said, 11% do not integrate marketing and sales initiatives, while 42% only do it on occasion.
    [​IMG]
    Having spent more than 20 years of my career in marketing, I have experienced the challenges and critical importance of aligning marketing with sales in order to validate its effectiveness,” added Tony Kavanagh, CMO of Insightly. “By driving a better connection to the ROI of marketing programs, we are ensuring marketing teams (no matter how lean) are maximising the impact of their efforts and ultimately, boosting the bottom line for the business.

    Survey takeaways. While the brief survey confirmed that the majority of businesses recognise the importance of marketing to their business growth, it also revealed inconsistencies in the ways businesses manage and invest in marketing and marketing technologies. One of the most common reasons why businesses don’t fully align their sales and marketing efforts is because they don’t consider it a priority.

    There is an opportunity for companies to better invest in marketing technologies. One that would allow them to do more with less. As well as focus on aligning their sales and marketing efforts. Also, with a strong combination of a strategic sales and marketing alignment and scalable, integrated marketing technologies, businesses can not only create consistent brand experiences for their customers at every touchpoint; but also, accurately measure the performance of all marketing activities and their impact on business growth.

    Google Makes Changes to GMB Listings
    Google is going to automatically apply changes to Google My Business (GMB) listings with distance-based service areas. The last remaining distance-based service areas are going to be removed.

    Going forward, service-area businesses currently based on a distance will be automatically converted to the closest named areas. Managers of GMB listings affected by this change will have the opportunity to review these updates; after logging into their account.

    If your listing is affected by this change you will see an “Updates from Google” notification next time you log in. From there, you’ll have two options. You can either accept the changes made by Google or provide a new service area based on city, postcode or other areas.

    This is not a sudden change. Google has been in the process of phasing out distance-based service areas since last year. And now, they are making the shift in order to accommodate businesses that provide services outside of a set distance from where they are physically located. Which, in our opinion, is ideal for businesses that don’t serve customers at the physical location.

    This change should not affect how listings appear in search results. Though it would be wise to review Google’s changes. Even if only to ensure your listing still shows up in the area where you serve customers.

    Critical ‘Backdoor Attack’ Warning Issued For 60 Million WordPress Users
    Over 60 million websites powered by WordPress are under attack.

    There seems to be an ongoing “backdoor attack” that is attempting to compromise as many WordPress websites as possible. If you think you might be in the ‘danger zone’, here’s what you need to know:
    What can you do? If your website is powered by WordPress and using any of these plugins, the best course of action is to make sure that the plugins are updated. Make sure you’ve verified the plugin update status as most of the plugins has already been patched. Also, ensure your WordPress software and themes are up-to-date.

    As being one of the most popular publishing platforms, it’s no doubt that there will be ever-emerging threats on a day to day basis. Each with the sole purpose to mislead website visitors and drive traffic away from websites. However, regularly checking your current/recent admins, software, themes, etc. is the best way to try an avoid potential attacks.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.

    This article was originally published on 16 September by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.