Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Email blasts and bulk email campaigns are surely now a thing of the past. Hubspot posted the following with my comments. The way to market now is to attract prospective clients online, on social platforms, on Facebook groups and on forums. Email is a super communication tool once they are engaged. Learn more about our social management and social, SEO marketing packages here.

How to Prepare for the Apple’s iOS15 Privacy Changes [Checklist Included]

Apple recently began rolling out their new iOS 15 privacy features, including Mail Privacy Protection. This update is a big win for customer privacy, but may impact your marketing efforts and the metrics you see in our platform. In this post, we’ll walk you through everything we know so far, and provide a checklist to help you identify places in your HubSpot account that might be impacted.

Note: this post was last updated on January 6.

What’s the change?

Apple’s new mobile operating system (iOS15) launched on September 20 and will roll out over the next few months, and it includes several privacy-related changes. At a high level:

  1. Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from seeing if and when a recipient opens an email in Apple Mail. It also hides a recipient’s IP address, so senders can’t determine their location.
  2. Hide My Email lets users share unique, random email addresses that forward to their personal inbox anytime they wish to keep their personal email address private.

These changes impact all email service providers that send emails to Apple Mail users.

What does this mean in the short term?

  • Open rates may decline with no change in actual engagement. As a part of the changes, Apple will load tracking pixels on behalf of their users. In essence, Apple will be “opening” emails on behalf of their users. These opens will be caught by HubSpot’s bot filtering technology. Due to the nature of Apple’s technology, the bot filtering will unlikely be able to tell the difference between an Apple-bot open and a human open. As a result, email open metrics in HubSpot may decrease when human opens are bundled with Apple-bot opens, and any other processes that rely on open tracking might be compromised, too. Users can continue to use the open rate metric in HubSpot, but we recommend against using it for critical processes and reports. You can turn off bot filtering if you’d like to manually judge which opens may be human and which may be bots
  • Realtime email tactics that rely on IP-based location will be less effective. For example, time zone sends that use IP addresses to identify location and align send times to each recipients’ unique location may no longer function for Apple Mail users.
  • Email open activity may be spread across multiple contact records — even though they represent the same person. With “Hide My Email,” users can create fake, random email addresses to shield their personal email addresses from senders. In practice, this means that there may be several different “contacts” opening an email, even though just one person exists. 

What does this mean in the long term?

While the new feature may change your marketing tactics and cause some short-term heartburn, it’s designed to create better experiences for all of our customers, and that’s always a good thing. Putting your customers first is what inbound is all about, and it’s a concept HubSpot has been championing since our inception. Put simply, when your customers win, you win too.

What should I do about it?

From a high level, keep doing what you’re doing. Stay the course with your marketing. Focus on creating great content and engaging experiences for your audience. As it relates to Apple’s changes, be mindful of your open metrics for email, with the understanding that they might look different moving forward. Shift your focus to other, more reliable metrics that better reflect actual engagement, like clicks and replies. And do an audit of your downstream marketing processes (e.g. list segmentation, automation) that rely on open tracking. Not sure where to begin? We’ve created a checklist of HubSpot tools that might be impacted. 

Evolving Company Online Profile

Building reach and increasing the company profile.

Posting on social media has multi-benefits – overall you are building your online profile. Put simply; how your company looks online, when someone ‘Googles’ you. It’s really important, it’s your shop window.

Zedcomms promote clients’ company profile online mainly using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google along with website SEO. We focus on what a prospective customer sees online. Using creative targeted promotional text, and engaging photos with links to specific pages to impress and draw in prospective customers.

In addition, we can target where the customers live, what their interests are and what the potential spending may be. We do this with SEO, tags, categories, promotional text, hashtags and account handles.

Initially, we work to establish the brand online, adjust it to attract the preferred customers and build strong search terms. We have reached this point with BJU a reupholstery company in Darlington.

As we have reached a good online established profile for BJU we are adapting how we communicate with customers as follows.

The next stage is to enhance the brand online, develop the search terms and attract a very targeted customer. This means we change the focus of posts to be less ‘selling’ and more ‘promoting’ the ethos of the brand. An example of this is below:

Selling posts are to the point with a strong call to action – Save £500.

Brand posts are calm and confidently styled to demonstrate the brand ethos – BJU | Darlington.

The confidence of the brand posts may not produce immediate links to the site but rather demonstrate and build the brand that will attract the target customer when they are in the buying cycle – ready to buy.

I hope this is of use to you. Feel free to reach out with any specific questions.

Gate Automation Specialist Case Study

Electric gates specialist

We first met Mark and his team at Livewire Gates and Doors when we rebuilt the main website. Mark needed help to look after the website. So in 2020 we started updateing the website and managing the main social platforms; Google, Facebool, Instagram and and Twitter.

‘Electric gate company in Darlington’

Google No1.

About The Company
Livewire Gates and Doors are a specialist in access automation and bespoke security solutions; electric gates and door automation services for domestic, commercial and industrial properties.

What We Do
We originally rebuilt the Livewire website using historical cached information from the Internet due to the original website being unavailable. We updated the branding with a new logo and optimised the website for search.

Ongoing Service
During the initial meeting, the owner mentioned he wished someone would ‘look after the website’ so we instigated one of or standard service packages that covers website maintenance and SEO of the website along with updates of the main social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Google Business.
(Google Business updates• Facebook manage and 5 posts• Twitter manage and 5 posts• Website maintenance and base SEO ongoing adjustment • 4 update reports per month• Yearly Update and Compare Marketing Analysis).

The client’s requirements were to promote the business in a professional manner, increase the online profile, maintain search ranking status and constantly refresh the company profile within several media platforms.

The Outcome
Technical and marketing suggestions have improved business performance overall. This includes the addition of SSL certificate (more secure domain name which increases search ranking). Update of the PHP software on the website, installing the latest software is good for speed, security and search ranking. And the addition of more recently enhanced images of completed works which were not been published previously.

The website is now a much more integral part of the business, customers can see examples of completed gates and doors, the salesperson refers his prospective customers to the site and the search exposure is progressively getting bigger online

Continuous Improvement.
We report our actions to Livewire four times a month along with any additional suggestions to continuously improve the business online profile.

Three Prospective Customers

Website Design

There are three customer sets you need to think about and talk to when communicating online.

Current | Customers who are active and buying from you.

Know You | Customers who know you but are not currently buying from you.

Dont Know You | Customers that don’t know you exist.

Bear in mind these three customer sets when communicating online. Here are the three customer sets are broken down with some tips on what to say.

1 – Customers who are currently active and buying from you:

It is nice when your company appears on social platforms even after a customer has purchased from you. If you are B2B, follow your customers and ask customers to follow you. Include in content helpful tips and news that will interest your customers.

2 – Customers who know of you but are not currently buying from you:

Post the latest work, products etc that you are producing. Reflect onto the Internet what is happening within your company. Examples; Completed bathroom installation, rendered wall, automated gate, upholstered chair etc. A lot of work produced by companies is only seen by the end-user, posting on the Internet lets prospective customers see all your good work.

3 – Customers that don’t know you exist.

They don’t know you or your company exist. They can benefit from your services or product. You are only of interest to this customer set when they need your service or product, they search for you on Google (other search engines too but Google is king), ask around, look on forums and social platforms. These places, you need to be. How best to do it; Optimise your website for your product and service. Be active on at least the top four social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google Business). Update your website often, think of it as changing the shop window. Encourage reviews from current customers online. Advertise your website on your van, car, cards, posters answerphone message, email signature etc to spread the word.

What is Your Company Online Profile?

Online Search

Nearly three in ten consumers who use site search report buying a product or service from a different business than they intended because they couldn’t find the information they were looking for online. 

LONDON, 16th June, 2021 – Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the AI Search company, has today released research that shows a serious failure by businesses in communicating accurate and up to date information with consumers. 

Particularly during the pandemic, digital services have been vital to connecting consumers with brands online. Recent online research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Yext found that 58% of UK adults use site search at least weekly, and that 88% of respondents using site search agree it is an important tool in providing them with accurate and up to date information online. 

Yet despite the importance of site search for consumers, Yext’s research found that over half (56%) of UK adults using this tool believe that site search provides them with unrelated search results online. 

For many consumers, site search does not fulfil its aim of providing answers, with the research showing that 46% of users believe site search does not understand their questions. And another 35% believing that site search provides them with out of date or inaccurate information. 

With this level of competency and accuracy, it is no wonder that 38% of UK users become frustrated when using site search at least once a week.

“The pandemic has proven that now more than ever, the availability of up to date and accurate information online is vital in not only making the public feel safe, but in being able to engage with new and existing customers, no matter where they are in their customer journey.” said Jon Buss, Managing Director, EMEA at Yext.

“Yet site search has been taken for granted for far too long. Businesses need to wake up to the damage that outdated search tools are doing to their brand and bring it into the 21stCentury.”

What are businesses doing about this? Clearly not a lot, with 40% of UK users saying that businesses aren’t doing enough to improve their site search. 

For businesses, this has detrimental effects on customer loyalty and ultimately sales, with 64% of respondents using site search saying they would be more likely to buy from a business that provided direct answers to their questions via site search. 52% also agreed they would also be more likely to trust a business if they provided direct answers.

Outdated site search isn’t just failing customers but failing businesses. When customers can’t get the information they need online, they’ll simply go elsewhere. 

In fact, 60% of UK adults who use site search functions would be more likely to go straight to a customer’s website if they provided direct answers, with 28% stating they have frequently bought a product or service from a different business than they intended, because they couldn’t find the information they were looking for online.

What Yext’s research shows is that while consumers see site search as a vital tool in their digital arsenal, businesses need to take a more modern approach to site search. One that will allow them to cater for a 21st century consumer and save their businesses from technology that belongs back in the 90s.

Data Highlights:

  • 58% of UK adults online use site search at least weekly
  • 88% of respondents using site search agree it is important in providing them with accurate and up to date information
  • 64% of respondents who use site search would be more likely to buy from a business that provided direct answers to their questions
  • 26% of UK adults who use this tool feel site search infrequently provides them with the results they’re looking for first time
  • 38% of UK adults who use site search become frustrated at least once a week
  • 28% of respondents who use site search have frequently bought a product or service from a different business than they intended because they couldn’t find the information they were looking for
  • 56% of respondents surveyed believe site search provides them with unrelated search results
  • 46% of respondents surveyed believe site search doesn’t understand their questions
  • 35% of UK users believe site search provides out of date or inaccurate information
  • 40% of respondents surveyed believe businesses aren’t doing enough to improve their site search
  • 60% of respondents surveyed would be more likely to go straight to a customer’s website if they provided direct answers
  • Industries such as retail (41%) and entertainment services (35%) were considered to have good site search
  • Industries such as energy and utilities (24%), government services (24%) and Telecoms (19%) were considered to have poor site search

Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  The total sample size was 2098 adults, of which 1703 use site search. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 7th May 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels